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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 21, April, 1875, to September, 1875 - A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science
Author: Various
Language: English
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                                   THE
                             CATHOLIC WORLD.

                                    A
                            MONTHLY MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                     GENERAL LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.

                                VOL. XXI.
                    APRIL, 1875, TO SEPTEMBER, 1875.

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

                                  1875.

       Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
                    THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
    in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

          JOHN ROSS & CO., PRINTERS, 27 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.



CONTENTS.


    Anne of Cleves, 403.
    Are You My Wife? 41, 162, 306, 451, 590, 742.

    Blessed Nicholas von der Flüe, 836.
    Blumisalpe, Legend of the, 285.
    Brother Philip, 384, 509.

    Calderon’s Autos Sacramentales, 32, 213.
    Cardinalate, The, 359, 472.
    Charities, Specimen, 289.
    “Chiefly Among Women,” 324.
    Craven’s The Veil Withdrawn, 18.
    Cross in the Desert, 813.

    Daniel O’Connell, 652.
    Dr. Draper, 651.
    Dom Guéranger and Solesmes, 279.
    Dominique de Gourges, 701.
    Draper’s Conflict between Religion and Science, 178.

    Early Annals of Catholicity in New Jersey, 565.
    Education, The Rights of the Church over, 721.
    Episode, An, 805.
    Exposition of the Church in View of Recent Difficulties and
      Controversies, and the Present Needs of the Age, 117.

    First Jubilee, The, 258.
    Flüe, Blessed Nicholas von der, 836.
    Fragment, A, 628.
    Future of the Russian Church, The, 61.

    German Reichstag, The Leader of the Centrum in the, 112.
    Gladstone’s Misrepresentations, 145.
    Greville and Saint-Simon, 266.
    Guéranger and Solesmes, 279.

    House of Joan of Arc, The, 697.

    Ireland in 1874, A Visit to, 765.
    Irish Tour, 497.

    Joan of Arc, The House of, 697.
    Jubilee, The First, 258.

    Kentucky Mission, Origin and Progress of the, 825.

    Ladder of Life, The, 715.
    Lady Anne of Cleves, 403.
    Leader of the Centrum in the German Reichstag, The, 112.
    Legend of Friar’s Rock, The, 780.
    Legend of the Blumisalpe, 285.
    Legend of the Rhine, A, 541.
    Lourdes, Notre Dame de, 682.
    Lourdes, On the Way to, 368, 549.

    Maria Immacolata of Bourbon, 670.
    Modern Literature of Russia, The, 250.

    New Jersey, Early Annals of Catholicity in, 565.
    Notre Dame de Lourdes, 682.

    Odd Stories--Kurdig, 139.
    O’Connell, Daniel, 652.
    Old Irish Tour, An, 497.
    On the Way to Lourdes, 368, 549.
    Origin and Progress of the Kentucky Mission, 825.

    Persecution in Switzerland, The, 577.
    Philip, Brother, 384, 509.
    Pius IX. and Mr. Gladstone’s Misrepresentations, 145.

    Religion and Science, 178.
    Religion in Our State Institutions, 1.
    Rhine, A Legend of the, 541.
    Rights of the Church over Education, The, 721.
    Roman Ritual, The, and its Chant, 415, 527, 638.
    Russia, The Modern Literature of, 250.

    Saint-Simon and Greville, 266.
    Scientific Goblin, The, 849.
    Space, 433, 614, 790.
    Specimen Charities, 289.
    Stray Leaves from a Passing Life, 68, 200, 341, 486.
    Substantial Generations, 97, 234.
    Switzerland, The Persecution in, 577.

    Tondini’s Russian Church, 61.
    Tragedy of the Temple, The, 84, 223.

    Ultraism, 669.

    Veil Withdrawn, The, 18.
    Visit to Ireland in 1874, A, 765.

    “Women, Chiefly Among,” 324.


POETRY.

    Art and Science, 637.
    Assumption, The, 848.

    Bath of the Golden Robin, The, 159.
    Blind Beggar, The, 305.

    Coffin Flowers, 589.
    Corpus Christi, 450.

    Dunluce Castle, 789.

    Happy Islands, The, 852.
    Horn Head, 485.

    I am the Door, 222.
    In Memoriam, 83.
    In Memory of Harriet Ryan Albee, 414.

    Little Bird, A, 564.

    March, 31.

    On a Charge Made after the Publication of a Volume of Poetry, 340.

    Sonnet, 700.
    Spring, 96.
    Submission, 526.

    Why Not? 548.


NEW PUBLICATIONS.

    Adhemar de Belcastel, 428.
    Archbishop, The, of Westminster’s Reply to Mr. Gladstone, 142.

    Balmes’ Criterion, 428.
    Be not Hasty in Judging, 428.
    Biographical Readings, 859.
    Boone’s Manual of the Blessed Sacrament, 570.
    Brann’s Politico-Historical Essay, etc., 859.
    Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea. 719.
    Bridgett’s Our Lady’s Dowry, 288.
    Bulla Jubilæi, 1875, 288.

    Catholic Premium-Book Library, 720.
    Child, The, 573.
    Classens’ Life of Father Bernard, 429.
    Coffin’s Caleb Krinkle, 144.
    Coleridge’s The Ministry of S. John Baptist, 143.
    Cortes’ Essays, 431.
    Craven’s The Veil Withdrawn, 143.

    Deharbe’s A Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion, 576.
    De Mille’s The Lily and the Cross, 143.
    Donnelly’s Domus Dei, 431.
    Droits de Dieu, Les, et les Idées Modernes, 855.
    Dunne’s Our Public Schools, etc., 429.
    Dupanloup’s The Child, 573.

    Eggleston’s How to make a Living, 430.
    Essays on Catholicism, Liberalism, and Socialism, 431.

    Fessler’s True and False Infallibility, 141, 428.
    First Christmas, The, 859.
    Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion, A, 576.
    Fullerton’s Life of Father Henry Young, 143.
    Fullerton’s Seven Stories, 288.
    Fullerton’s The Straw-Cutter’s Daughter, etc., 430.

    Gahan’s Sermons for Every Day in the Year, etc., 576.
    Gross’ Tract on Baptism, 428.

    Hedley’s (Bishop) The Spirit of Faith, 576, 716.
    Herbert’s Wife, 719.
    Higginson’s Brief Biographies, 429.
    History of England, Abridged, 720.

    Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost, The, 426.
    Irish World, The, 421.

    Kostka, S. Stanislaus, The Story of, 859.

    Lambing’s The Orphan’s Friend, 430.
    Life of Father Henry Young, 143.
    Life of Father Bernard, 429.
    Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 571.
    Lingard’s History of England, Abridged. 720.

    McQuaid’s (Bishop) Lecture on the School Question, etc., 429.
    Madame de Lavalle’s Bequest, 719.
    Manning’s (Archbishop) Reply to Mr. Gladstone, 142, 428.
    Manning’s (Archbishop) The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost, 426.
    Manual of the Blessed Sacrament, 570.
    Mary, Star of the Sea, 427.
    Memoirs of General William T. Sherman, 856.
    Ministry of S. John Baptist, 143.
    Montagu’s (Lord Robert) Reply to Mr. Gladstone, 142.
    Moore’s and Jerdan’s Personal Reminiscences, 287.

    Newman’s Postscript to a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, 287.

    Old Chest, The, 430.
    O’Reilly’s The Victims of the Mamertine, 576.
    Orphan’s Friend, The, 430.
    Our Lady’s Dowry, 288.
    Our Public Schools, etc., 429.
    Ozanam’s Land of the Cid, 576.

    Postscript to a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, 287.

    Readings from the Old Testament, 288.

    Sherman, General William T., Memoirs of, 856.
    Shields’ Religion and Science, 716.
    Spalding’s Young Catholic’s Sixth Reader, 286.
    Spirit of Faith, The, 576, 716.
    Stewart’s Biographical Readings, 859.
    Story of a Convert, The, 430.
    Story of S. Stanislaus Kostka, 859.
    Straw-Cutter’s Daughter, etc., 430.
    Syllabus for the People, The, 286.

    Thiéblin’s Spain and the Spaniards, 574.
    Thompson’s Paparchy and Nationality, 428.
    Tract for the Missions, on Baptism, 428.
    True, The, and the False Infallibility of the Popes, 141, 428.
    Tyler’s Discourse on Williston, 572.

    Ullathorne’s (Bishop) Reply to Mr. Gladstone, 142.

    Vatican Decrees, The, and Civil Allegiance, 428.
    Vaughan’s (Bishop) Reply to Mr. Gladstone, 142.
    Veil Withdrawn, The, 143.
    Vercruysses’ New Practical Meditations, 718.
    Veuillot’s The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 571.
    Victims of the Mamertine, The, 576.

    Wann spricht die Kirche unfehlbar? etc., 720.
    Warren’s Physical Geography, 718.
    Wenham’s Readings from the Old Testament, 288.
    Wilson’s Poems, 144.
    Whitcher’s The Story of a Convert, 430.

    Young Catholic’s Fifth and Sixth Readers, 286.
    Young Ladies’ Illustrated Reader, The, 860.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XXI., No. 121.--APRIL, 1875.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by Rev. I. T.
HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.


RELIGION IN OUR STATE INSTITUTIONS.

    “No member of this State shall be disfranchised or deprived
    of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizens
    thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his
    peers.”

    “The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
    worship, without discrimination or preference, shall for ever
    be allowed in this State to all mankind.”--_Constitution of the
    State of New York_, Art. i. Sects. 1 and 3.

The first article of all the old English charters which were embodied in,
and confirmed by, the Great Charter wrung from King John, was, “First
of all, we wish the church of God to be free.” In the days when those
charters were drawn up there was no dispute as to which was “the church
of God.” The religious unity of Christendom had not yet been reformed
into a thousand contending sects, each of which was a claimant to the
title of “the church of God.” The two sections of our own constitution
quoted from above, which establish in their fullest sense the civil and
religious liberty of the individual, are taken from those grand old
charters of Catholic days. The only thing practically new in them is
the substitution, for the “church of God,” of “the free exercise and
enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination
or preference.” The reason for this alteration is plain. Civil liberty
is impossible without religious liberty. But here the founders of our
constitution were confronted with a great difficulty. To follow out
the old Catholic tradition, and grant freedom to the “church of God,”
was impossible. There were so many “churches of God,” antagonistic to
one another, that to pronounce for one was to pronounce against all
others, and so establish a state religion. This they found themselves
incompetent to do. Accordingly, leaving the title open, complete freedom
of religious profession and worship was proclaimed as being the only
thing commensurate with complete civil liberty and that large, generous,
yet withal safe freedom of the individual which forms the corner-stone of
the republic.

This really constitutes what is commonly described as the absolute
separation of church and state, on which we are never weary of
congratulating ourselves. It is not that the state ignores the church
(or churches), but that it recognizes it in the deepest sense, as a
power that has a province of its own, in the direction of human life
and thought, where the state may not enter--a province embracing
all that is covered by the word religion. This is set apart by the
state, voluntarily, not blindly; as a sacred, not as an unknown and
unrecognized, ground, which it may invade at any moment. It is set apart
for ever, and as long as the American Constitution remains what it
is, will so remain, sacred and inviolate. Men are free to believe and
worship, not only in conscience, but in person, as pleases them, and no
state official may ever say to them, “Worship thus or thus!”

Words would be wasted in dwelling on this point. There is not a member
of the state who has not the law, as it were, born in his blood. No man
ever dreams of interfering with the worship of another. Catholic church
and Jewish tabernacle and Methodist meeting-house nestle together side
by side, and their congregations come and go, year in year out, and
worship, each in its own way, without a breath of hindrance. Conversion
or perversion, as it may be called, on any side is not attempted, save
at any particular member’s good-will and pleasure. Each may possibly
entertain the pious conviction that his neighbor is going directly to
perdition, but he never dreams of disputing that neighbor’s right of
way thither. And the thought of a state official or an official of any
character coming in and directly or indirectly ordering the Catholics
to become Methodists, or the Methodists Jews, or the Jews either, is
something so preposterous that the American mind can scarcely entertain
it. Yet, strange as it is painful to confess, just such coercion of
conscience is carried on safely, daily and hourly, under our very noses,
by State or semi-state officials. Ladies and gentlemen to whom the State
has entrusted certain of its wards are in the habit of using the powers
bestowed on them to restrain “the free exercise of religious profession
and worship,” and not simply to restrain it, but to compel numbers
of those under their charge to practise a certain form of religious
profession and worship which, were they free agents, they would never
practise, and against which their conscience must revolt.

This coercion is more or less generally practised in the prisons,
hospitals, reformatories, asylums, and such like, erected by the State
for such of its members or wards as crime or accident have thrown on
its hands. Besides those mainly supported by the State, there are many
other institutions which volunteer to take some of its work off the hands
of the State, and for which due compensation is given. In short, the
majority of our public institutions will come within the scope of our
observations. And it may be as well to premise here that our observations
are intended chiefly to expose a wrong that we, as Catholics, feel keenly
and suffer from; but the arguments advanced will be of a kind that may
serve for any who suffer under a similar grievance, and who claim for
themselves or their co-religionists “the free exercise of religious
profession and worship, without discrimination or preference.” If the
violation of this article of the constitution to-day favors one side
under our ever-shifting parties and platforms, it may to-morrow favor
the other. What we demand is simply that the constitution be strictly
maintained, and not violated under any cover whatsoever.

The inmates of our institutions may be divided into two broad classes,
the criminal and the unfortunate. From the very fact of their being
inmates of the institutions both alike suffer certain deprivation of
“the rights and privileges” secured to them as citizens. In the case of
criminals those rights and privileges are forfeited. They are deprived of
personal liberty, because they are a danger instead of a support to the
State and to the commonwealth. The question that meets us here is, does
the restriction of personal involve also that of religious liberty and
worship?

Happily, there is no need to argue the matter at any length, as it has
already been pronounced upon by the State; and as regards the religious
discipline in prisons, our objection is as much against a non-application
as a misapplication of the law. “The free exercise and enjoyment of
religious profession and worship” is never debarred any man by the State.
On the contrary, it is not only enjoined, but, where possible, provided.
Even the criminal who has fallen under the supreme sentence of the law,
and whose very life is forfeit to the State, is in all cases allowed the
full and free ministry of the pastor of his church, whatever that church
may be. Nothing is allowed to interfere with their communion. Even the
ordinary discipline of the prison is broken into in favor of that power
to which, from the very first, the State set a region apart. And it
is only at the last moment of life that the minister, be he Catholic,
Methodist, or Jew, yields to the hangman.

Is it possible to think that the State, which, in the exercise of its
last and most painful prerogative, shows itself so wise, just, tender
even, and profoundly religious--so true, above all, to the letter and
the spirit of the constitution--should, when the question concerns not
the taking, but the guarding, of the criminal’s life, and, if possible,
its guidance to a better end, show itself cruel, parsimonious, and a
petty proselytizer? Does it hold that freedom of religious profession
and worship is a privilege to be granted only to that superior grade of
criminal whose deeds have fitted him before his time for another world,
and not to the lesser criminal or the unfortunate, who is condemned to
the burden of life, and who has it still within his power to make that
life a good and useful one? Such a question is its own answer. And yet
the system of religious discipline at present prevailing in many of our
prisons, as in most of our institutions, would seem to indicate that
the State exhausts its good-will over murderers, and leaves all other
inmates, in matters of religion, to the ministry of men in whom they do
not believe and creeds that they reject. A certain form of religious
discipline is provided, which is bound to do duty for all the prisoners,
Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant alike. If that is not good
enough for them, they may not even do without it; for all are bound to
attend religious worship, which, in the case of Catholic prisoners at
least--for we adhere to our main point--is beyond all doubt the severest
coercion of conscience. The worst Catholic in this world would never
willingly take part in the worship of any but his own creed. It is idle
to ask whether some worship is not better for him than none at all. The
fact remains that he does not believe in any other but his own church, in
the sacredness of any other ministry but his own, in the efficacy of any
means of grace save those that come to him through the church of which he
is a member. More than this, he knows that it is a sin not to approach
the sacraments and hear Mass, and that, without frequenting them, he
cannot hope to lead a really good life. The perversion of discipline
prevents him either hearing Mass or frequenting the sacraments, often
even from seeing a priest at all.

There is no need to dwell on the fact that of all men in this world,
those who are in prison or in confinement stand most in need of constant
spiritual aid and consolation. Indeed, in many cases the term of
imprisonment would be the most favorable time to work upon their souls.
The efficacy of religion in helping to reform criminals is recognized by
the State in establishing prison chaplains, and even making attendance at
worship compulsory. But this compulsion is not intended so much as an act
of coercion of conscience as an opportunity and means of grace. As seen
in the case of murderers, the State is only too happy to grant whatever
spiritual aid it can to the criminal, without restriction of any kind.

Laying aside, then, as granted, the consideration that spiritual ministry
is of a reforming tendency in the case of those who come freely under
its influence, we pass on at once to show where in our own State we are
lamentably deficient and unjust in failing to supply that ministry.

In this State there are three State prisons: those of Sing Sing, Auburn,
and Clinton. In no one of them is there proper provision for the
spiritual needs of Catholic prisoners.

There are also in this State seven penitentiaries: Blackwell’s Island,
New York; Kings County, Staten Island, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester,
and Buffalo. Of these seven, in three only is Mass celebrated and the
sacraments administered, viz., Blackwell’s Island, Kings County, and
Albany.

The State boasts also of four reformatories: the Catholic Protectory,
Westchester County; House of Refuge, New York; Juvenile Asylum, New York;
Western House of Refuge, Rochester. Of these, at the first named only is
Mass celebrated and the sacraments administered.

This is a very lamentable state of affairs, and one that ought to
be remedied as speedily as possible. It is being remedied in many
places, for it prevails practically throughout the country. Catholics,
unfortunately, add their quota to the criminal list, as to every grade
and profession in life. But there is no reason why Catholic criminals
alone should be debarred the means which is more likely than the
punishment of the law to turn their minds and hearts to good--the
sacraments and ministry of their church. But the fault, probably, in the
particular case of prisons, consists in the fact that the grievance has
not hitherto been fairly set before the authorities in whose hands the
remedy lies. The application of the remedy, indeed, is chiefly a question
of demand, for it consists in conformity to the constitution.

The Catholic Union of New York has been at pains to collect testimony on
this subject, and the testimony is unanimous as to the advisability of
allowing Catholic prisoners free access to priests, sacraments, and Mass.
In Great Britain, where there really is a state religion, Catholic as
well as Protestant chaplains are appointed to the various prisons and
reformatories, as also to the army and navy. In answer to an inquiry from
the Catholic Union respecting the system on which British reformatories
are managed in regard to the religious instruction afforded to their
Catholic inmates, the following letter was received:

    “OFFICE OF INSPECTOR OF REFORMATORY AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS, NO.
    3 DELAHAY STREET, December 7, 1874.

    “SIR: In reference to your letter of the 20th ultimo, I beg
    to forward you a copy of the last report of the Inspector of
    Reformatory and Industrial Schools.

    “You will observe that almost all the schools are
    denominational; one reformatory (the Northeastern) and one or
    two industrial schools alone receiving both Protestant and
    Roman Catholic children.

    “In these cases the children of the latter faith are visited at
    stated times by a priest of their own religion, and allowed to
    attend service on Sundays in the nearest Catholic chapel.

    “The Catholic schools are solely and entirely for Catholics.

                   “I am, sir, your faithful servant,

                                                   “WILLIAM COSTEKER.

    “DR. E. B. O’CALLAGHAN.”

In the British provinces on this continent the same system prevails.
Equal religious freedom is guaranteed in all reformatories and prisons.
In the Province of Quebec, where the French population and Catholic
religion predominate, the system is the same. Throughout Europe it
is practically the same. Rev. G. C. Wines, D.D., the accredited
representative of our government to the International Penitentiary
Congress at London, in his report to the President, February 12, 1873,
gave most powerful testimony on this point. A few extracts will suffice
for our purpose.

In England “every convict prison has its staff of ministers of religion.
For the most part, the chaplains are not permitted to have any other
occupations than those pertaining to their office, thus being left free
to devote their whole time to the improvement of the prisoners.”

In Ireland, in this respect, “the regulations and usages of the convict
prisons are substantially the same.”

In France, in the smaller departmental prisons, “some parish priest
acts as chaplain.” In the larger, as well as in all central prisons,
“the chaplain is a regular officer of the establishment, and wholely
devoted to its religious service.” “Liberty of conscience is guaranteed
to prisoners of all religions.” If the prisoner, who must declare his
faith on entering, is not a Catholic, “he is transferred, whenever it is
possible, to a prison designed to receive persons of the same religious
faith as himself.”

In Prussia “chaplains are provided for all prisons and for all religions.
They hold religious service, give religious lessons, inspect the prison
schools,” etc.

In Saxony “the religious wants of the prisoners are equally regarded and
cared for, whatever their creed may be.”

In Würtemberg “in all the prisons there are Protestant and Catholic
chaplains. For prisoners of the Jewish faith there is similar provision
for religious instruction.”

In Baden “chaplains are provided for all prisons and for all religions.”

In Austria, “in the prisons of all kinds, chaplains and religious
teachers are provided for prisoners of every sect.”

In Russia “in all the large prisons there are chapels and chaplains.
Prisoners of all the different creeds receive the offices of religion
from ministers of their own faith, even Jews and Mussulmans.”

In the Netherlands, “in all the central prisons, in all the houses of
detention, and in the greater part of the houses of arrest, the office
of chaplain and religious services are confided to one of the parish
ministers of each religion, who is named by the Minister of Justice.”

In Switzerland “ministers of the reformed and of the Catholic religion
act as chaplains in the prisons. The rabbi of the nearest locality is
invited to visit such co-religionists as are occasionally found in them.”

Is it not sad, after testimony of this kind, to come back to our own
country, and, with the law on the point so plain, to find the practice
so wretchedly deficient? In New York State Mass is celebrated in three
penitentiaries and one reformatory only, and that solitary reformatory is
denominational. It was only last year that a Mass was celebrated for the
first time in a Boston prison, and a chaplain appointed to it. In Auburn
prison a priest has only recently been allowed to visit the Catholic
prisoners, hear confessions, and preach on Sunday afternoons. But the
prisoners are compelled to attend the Protestant services also.

In the State prison at Dannemora, Clinton Co., N. Y., where a Catholic
chaplain has only of late been appointed, the prisoners hear Mass but
once a month.

In the Western House of Refuge, a branch house of an establishment in
this city, to which attention will be called presently, it was only
after a severe conflict[1] that in December of last year permission was
granted “to Catholic and all ministers” of free access to the asylum “to
conduct religious exercises, etc.,” and that Catholic children be no
longer compelled “to attend what is called ‘non-sectarian’ services.”
Such testimony might be multiplied all over the country. Indeed, as far
as our present knowledge goes, the State of Minnesota is the only State
wherein “liberty of conscience and equal rights in matters of religion to
the inmates of State institutions” have been secured, and they were only
_secured_ by an act approved March 5, 1874.

Catholics are content to believe that the main difficulty in the way
of affording Catholic instruction to the Catholic inmates of such
institutions has hitherto rested with themselves. Either they have
not sufficiently exposed the grievance they were compelled to endure,
or, more likely, such exposure was useless, inasmuch as the paucity
of priests prevented any being detailed to the special work of the
prisons and public institutions. This, too, is probably the difficulty
in the army and navy of the United States, which boast of two Catholic
chaplains in all, and those two for the army only. But the growth of
our numbers, resources, dioceses, and clergy is rapidly removing any
further obstruction on that score; so that there is no further reason
why Catholic priests should not be allowed to attend to and--always, of
course, at due times--perform the duties of their office for inmates of
institutions who, by reason of their confinement, are prevented from the
free exercise of their religious profession and worship laid down and
guaranteed in the constitution to all mankind for ever.

But over and above the strictly criminal class of inmates of our State
institutions there is another, a larger and more important class, to be
considered--that already designated as unfortunate. Most of its members,
previous to their admission into the institutions provided for their
keeping, have hovered on that extreme confine where poverty and crime
touch each other. Many of them have just crossed the line into the latter
region. Inmates of hospitals and insane asylums will come, without
further mention, within the scope of our general observations. Our
attention now centres on those inmates of State or public institutions
who, for whatever reasons, in consequence either of having no home or
inadequate protection at home, are thrown absolutely upon the hands of
the State, which is compelled in some way or other to act towards them
_in loco parentis_. In the majority of cases there is hope that they may
by proper culture and care be converted, from a threatened danger to the
State, to society at large, and to themselves, into honest, creditable,
and worthy citizens.

This class, composed of the youth of both sexes, instead of diminishing,
seems, with the spread of population, to be on the increase. From its
ranks the criminal and pauper classes, which are also on the increase,
are mainly recruited. The criminal, in the eye of the law, who has led
a good life up to manhood or womanhood, is the exception. Crime, as
representative of a class, is a growth, not a sudden aberration. It is,
then, a serious and solemn duty of the State to cut off this criminal
growth by converting the class who feed it to good at the outset. At the
very lowest estimate it is a duty of self-preservation. This being so,
there is no need to dwell on the plain fact that it is the duty of the
State to do all that in it lies to lead the lives of those unfortunates
out of the wrong path into the right. Every means at its disposal ought
to be worked to that end. There is still less reason to dwell on the
fact, acknowledged and recognized by the State and by all men, that, in
leading a life away from evil and up to good, no influence is so powerful
as that of religion. The fear of man, of the power and vengeance of the
law, is undoubtedly of great force; but it is not all, nor is it the
strongest influence that can be brought to bear on the class indicated,
not yet criminal. At the best it represents to their minds little more
than the whip of the slave-driver--something to be feared, but something
also to be hated, and to be defied and broken where defiance may for
the time seem safe. But the moral sense, the sense of right and wrong,
of good and evil, which shows law in its true guise as the benignant
representative of order rather than the terror of disorder, is a higher
guide, a truer teacher, and a more humane and lasting power.

This sense can only come with religion; and so convinced is the State
of this fact that, as usual, it calls in religion to its aid, and over
its penitentiaries and reformatories sets chaplains. It goes further
even, and, as in prisons, compels the inmates of such institutions to
attend religious services, practise religious observances, and listen to
religious instruction. There is no State reformatory--it is safe to say
no reformatory at all--without such religious worship and instruction.

This careful provision for the spiritual wants of so extensive and
important a class we of course approve to the full. The idea of a
reformatory where no religious instruction is given the inmates would be
a contradiction. The State empowers those into whose hands it entrusts
the keeping of its wards to impart religious instruction--in short, to do
everything that may tend to the mental, moral, and physical advancement
of those under their charge. All that we concede and admire. But the
State never empowers those who have the control of such institutions to
draw up laws or rules for them which should in any way contravene the law
of the State, least of all that article of the constitution wherein the
free exercise of religious profession and worship, without discrimination
or preference, is allowed to all mankind in this State for ever. But
it is just in this most important point that our public institutions
signally fail.

Here is our point: In our public institutions there is, in the case of
Catholic inmates, a constant and persistent violation of the constitution
of the State regarding freedom of religious profession and worship. In
those institutions there is a stereotyped system of religious profession
and worship, which all the inmates, of whatever creed, are compelled to
accept and observe. They have no freedom of choice in the matter. They
may not hold any religious intercourse with the pastors of their church,
save, in impossible instances, on that stereotyped plan. Practically,
they may not hold any such intercourse at all. Once they become inmates
of these institutions, the freedom of religious profession and worship
that they enjoyed, or were at liberty to enjoy, before entering, is
completely cut off, and a new form of religious profession and practice,
which, whether they like it or not, whether they believe it or not, they
are compelled to observe and accept as their religion until they leave
the institution, is substituted. No matter what name may be given this
mode of worship and instruction, whether it be called “non-sectarian”
or not, it is a monstrous violation of human conscience, not to speak
of the letter and the spirit of the constitution of this State. Its
proper name would be the “Church Established in Public Institutions.”
From the day when a Catholic child crosses the threshold of such an
institution until he leaves it, in most cases he is not allowed even to
see a Catholic clergyman; he is certainly not allowed to practise his
religion; he is not allowed to read Catholic books of instruction; he is
not allowed to hear Mass or frequent the sacraments. For him his religion
is choked up and dammed off utterly, and his soul left dry and barren.
Nor does the wrong rest even here; for all the while he is exposed
to non-Catholic influences and to a direct system of anti-Catholic
instruction and worship. He is compelled to bow to and believe in the
“Church Established” in the institution.

There is, unfortunately, a superabundance of evidence to prove all, and
more than all, our assertions. There will be occasion to use it; but
just now we content ourselves with such as is open to any citizen of the
State, and as is given in the _Reports_ of the various institutions.
Of these we select one--the oldest in the State--the Society for the
Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, which has this year published its
fiftieth _Annual Report_. Within these fifty years of its life 15,791
children, of ages ranging from five to sixteen, of both sexes, of native
and foreign parentage, of every complexion of color and creed, have
passed through its hands. The society has, on more than one occasion,
come before the public, more especially within the last two or three
years, in anything but an enviable light. But all considerations of that
kind may pass for the present, our main inquiry being, What kind of
religion, of religious discipline, instruction, and worship, is provided
for the hundreds of children who year by year enter this asylum?

The “Circular to Parents and Guardians,” signed by the president, Mr.
Edgar Ketchum, sets forth the objects of the institution and the manner
in which it is conducted. “For your information,” says Mr. Ketchum to
the parents and guardians, “the managers deem it proper to state that
the institution is not a place of punishment nor a prison, but a reform
school, where the inmates receive such instruction and training as are
best adapted to form and perpetuate a virtuous character.” An excellent
introduction! Nothing could be better calculated to allay any scruples
that an anxious parent or guardian might entertain respecting the
absolute surrender of a child or ward to the institution, “to remain
during minority, or until discharged by the managers, as by due process
of law.” Of course the Catholic parent or guardian who receives such a
circular will have no question as to the “instruction and training best
adapted to form and (above all) _to perpetuate a virtuous character_”!
The training up of “a virtuous character” is, by all concession, mainly
a purely religious work, and the Catholic knows, believes in, and
recognizes only one true religion--that taught by the Catholic Church.
Whether he is right or wrong in that belief is not the question. It is
sufficient to know that the constitution recognizes and respects it.

A few lines lower the Catholic parent or guardian receives still
more satisfactory information on this crucial point. After a glowing
description of the life of the inmates, he is informed that they, “on the
Sabbath, are furnished with suitable religious and moral instruction.”
Just what is wanted by the child! “Sabbath,” it is true, has come to
have a Protestant sound; but as for “suitable religious and moral
instruction,” there can be no doubt that the only religious instruction
suitable for a Catholic child is that of the Catholic religion, and such
as would be given him outside in the Sunday-school by the Catholic priest
or teacher. He is just as much a Catholic inside that institution as he
was outside; and there is no more right in law or logic to force upon
him a system of non-Catholic and anti-Catholic instruction within than
without its walls. Let us see, then, of what this moral and religious
instruction consists; if Catholic, all our difficulties are over.

Turning a few pages, we come to the “Report of the Chaplain.” _The_
chaplain! The chaplain, then, is the gentleman charged with furnishing
“on the Sabbath” the “suitable religious and moral instruction” of the
Catholic child. The chaplain is the Rev. George H. Smyth, evidently
a clergyman of some denomination. His name is not to be found in the
Catholic directory. He is probably, then, not a Catholic priest. However,
his report may enlighten us.

It occupies five and a half pages, and renders an admirable account
of--the Rev. George H. Smyth, who, to judge of him by his own report,
must be an exceedingly engaging person, and above all a powerful
preacher. No doubt he is. He informs us that the children have shown,
among other good qualities, “an earnest desire to receive instruction,
both secular and religious.” That is cheering news. It is worthy of note,
too, the distinction made between the secular and religious instruction
of the children. That is just the Catholic ground. Children require
both kinds of instruction--instruction in their religion, as well as in
reading, writing, ciphering, and so on. The Catholic parent or guardian
congratulates himself, then, on the fact that his child or ward will
not be deprived of instruction in his religion while an inmate of the
institution. All satisfactory so far; but let us read Mr. Smyth a little
more.

“Often have the chaplain’s counsel and sympathy been sought by those
striving to lead a better life.” Very natural! “And as often have they
been cordially tendered.” Still more natural. Then follow some pleasing
reminiscences from the boys and girls of the chaplain’s good offices. He
even vouchsafes, almost unnecessarily, to inform us that “the children
have it impressed on them that the object of the preaching they hear is
wholly to benefit them.” It could not well be otherwise. And Mr. Smyth’s
preaching evidently does benefit them, for one of the boys remarked to
him, casually: “Chaplain, you remember that sermon you preached”--neither
the sermon nor its text, unfortunately, is given--“that was the sermon
that led me to the Saviour.” Happy lad! It is to be regretted that he
ever came back. We are farther informed of “the close attention given
by the children to the preaching of the Gospel Sabbath after Sabbath.”
“On one occasion a distinguished military gentleman and statesman--an
ambassador from one of the leading courts of Europe--was present. The
sermon was from the text _Cleanse thou me from secret faults_.” So
powerful was Mr. Smyth’s sermon on that occasion that the reverend
gentleman graciously informs us it so moved the “distinguished military
gentleman and statesman” from Europe that at the close he rose, and,
“taking the chaplain by the hand, said with great warmth of feeling,
‘That sermon was so well suited to these children they must be better for
it. I saw it made a deep impression upon them; but I rose to thank you
for myself--_it just suited me_.’”

And there the story ends, leaving us in a painful state of conjecture
respecting the state of that “distinguished military gentleman and
statesman’s” conscience. These little incidents are thrown off with a
naïve simplicity almost touching, and are noticed here as they are given,
as establishing beyond all doubt the clear and marked distinction in
nature and grace between the Rev. Mr. Smyth and the dreadful characters,
whether ambassadors or youthful pickpockets, with whom Mr. Smyth is
brought in contact. But the main question for the Catholic parent or
guardian is, What religious and moral instruction is my child to receive?
For it is clear that Mr. Smyth is not a Catholic clergyman. It seems
that Mr. Smyth being “_the_ chaplain,” there is no Catholic chaplain at
all, and no Catholic instruction at all for Catholic children. Are the
Catholic children compelled, then, to attend Mr. Smyth’s preaching and
Mr. Smyth’s worship, and nothing but Mr. Smyth, excellent man though he
be? Mr. Ketchum has already, in the name of the managers, informed us
that the institution is not “a place of punishment.” Far be it from us to
hint, however remotely, that it is a punishment even _to be compelled_
to listen to the preaching of such a man as Mr. Smyth. With the evidence
before us, how could such a thought be entertained for a moment? But at
least how is this state of things reconcilable with that solemn article
of the constitution already quoted so often?

However, let us first dismiss Mr. Smyth, after ascertaining, if possible,
what it is he does teach. Here we have it in his own words: “The truths
preached to these children [all the inmates of the institution] have been
those fundamental truths held in common by all Christian communions, and
which are adapted to the wants of the human race, and must ever be the
foundation of pure morals and good citizenship. Studious care has been
taken not to prejudice the minds of the inmates against any particular
form of religious belief.”

Here lies the essence of what we have called the “Church Established
in Public Institutions.” The favorite term for it is “non-sectarian”
teaching; and on the ground that it is “non-sectarian,” that it favors no
particular church or creed, but is equally available to all, it has thus
far been upheld and maintained in our public institutions. It is well to
expose the cant and humbug of this non-sectarianism once for all.

In the first place, no such thing exists. Let us adhere to the case in
point. Mr. Smyth, who is styled “reverend,” is the chaplain of the
society we are examining. What is the meaning of the word chaplain?
A clergyman appointed to perform certain clerical duties. Mr. Smyth
is a clergyman of some denomination or other, we care not what. He is
not a self-appointed “reverend.” He must have been brought up in some
denomination and educated in some theological school. There is no such
thing as a “reverend” of no church, of a non-sectarian church. Every
clergyman has been educated in some theological school, or at least
according to some special form of doctrine and belief, and has entered
the ministry as a teacher and preacher of that special form of belief
and doctrine. If he leaves it, he leaves it either for infidelity--in
which case he renounces his title as a clergyman--or for some other
form of doctrine and belief to which he turns, and of which, so long
as he remains in the ministry, he is the teacher, propagator, and
upholder. If he is not this, he is a humbug. To say that he is or can be
non-sectarian--that is, pledged to preach no particular form of doctrine,
or a form of doctrine equally available for all kinds of believers or
non-believers--is to talk the sheerest nonsense. In all cases a clergyman
is, by virtue of his office and profession and belief, pledged to some
form of doctrine and faith, which unless he teaches, he is either a
coward or a humbug. Anything resembling a “non-sectarian” clergyman
would be exactly like a soldier who bound himself by oath to a certain
government, yet held himself free not to defend that government, or, when
he saw it attacked, to be particularly careful not to do anything that
might possibly offend or oppose the foe. The world and his own government
would stamp such a man as the vilest of beings--a traitor. The union of
such diametrically opposite professions is a sheer impossibility.

Let us test the doctrine Mr. Smyth himself lays down here, or which
the managers of the institution have laid down for him, and show how
sectarianism, which is the one thing to be avoided, or, to use a kinder
term, denominationalism, must inevitably meet the teacher or preacher
at every turn. “The truths preached to these children have been those
fundamental truths held in common by all Christian communions.” Mr. Smyth
has told us already that “the chaplain’s counsel and sympathy are sought
by those striving to lead a better life, and with good results.” There
must, then, be questioning on the part of the children. Indeed, how could
instruction possibly go on without question, explanation, objection, and
answer? Let us begin, then, with the very foundation of his doctrine.
The first question that would occur to any one would be, What are “those
fundamental truths held in common by all _Christian_ communions”? Mr.
Smyth does not mention one. Where shall we find one? A fundamental truth
held in common by all Christian communions might at least be supposed to
be a belief in Christ. Very well. Then who is Christ? Where is Christ?
Is Christ God or man, or both? How do we come to know him? Is Christ not
God, is he not man? What is his history? Where is it found? In the Bible?
What is the Bible? Who wrote the Bible? Why must we accept it as the
Word of God? Is it the Word of God? Why “all Christian communions” are
at war right on this “fundamental truth,” from which they derive their
very name of Christian, and not a single question can be put or answered
without introducing denominationalism of some kind or another, and so at
least prejudicing the minds of the inmates against _some_ particular form
of religious belief.

Take another supposition. Surely, belief in God would be “a fundamental
truth held in common by all Christian communions.” Here we begin again.
Who is God? What is God? Where is God? Is God a spirit? Is God a trinity
or a unity? Is there only one God? Do all men believe in and worship the
same God? All at sea again at the very mention of God’s name!

Take the belief in a future. Does man end here? Does he live again
after death? Will the future be happy or miserable? Is there a hell or
a heaven? Is there an everlasting life? What is Mr. Smyth’s own opinion
on such “fundamental truth”? There is not a single “fundamental truth”
“held in common by all Christian communions.” What is truth itself?
What is a fundamental truth? Fundamental to what? Why, there is not a
single religious subject of any kind whatever that can be mentioned to
“Christian communions” of a mixed character which will not on the instant
create as many contentions as there are members of various Christian
communions present. Let Mr. Smyth try it outside, and see. Let him preach
on “fundamental truth” to any mixed congregation in New York; let there
be free discussion after, and what would be the result? It is hard to
say. But in all probability the discussion would end by the State, in
the persons of its representatives, stepping in to eject the fundamental
truths from the building.

One need not go beyond this to show how necessarily sectarian must
Mr. Smyth’s religious instruction and preaching be. But the very next
sentence bristles with direct antagonism to Catholic teaching: “What
delinquent children need is not the mere memorizing of ecclesiastical
formularies and dogmas, which they can repeat one moment and commit a
theft the next.” In plain English, Catholic children do not need to learn
their catechism, which is the compendium of Christian doctrine. What is
the use of learning it, asks Mr. Smyth, when they can “commit a theft
the next moment”? He had better go higher, and ask Christian members of
Congress how they can address such pious homilies to interesting Young
Men’s Christian Associations, while they know they have been guilty
of stealing. He might even ask the Rev. George H. Smyth how he could
reconcile it with his conscience to take an oath or make a solemn promise
on entering the ministry to preach a certain form of doctrine, and
profess to throw that oath and promise to the winds immediately on being
offered a salary to teach something quite different on Randall’s Island.
“But they do need, and it is the province of the State to teach them
that there are, _independent of any and all forms of religious faith_,
fundamental principles of eternal right, truth, and justice, which, as
members of the human family and citizens of the commonwealth, they must
learn to live by, and which are absolutely essential to their peace and
prosperity. These principles are inseparable from a sound education, and
must underlie any and every system of religion that is not a sham and a
delusion.”

That sounds very fine, and it is almost painful to be compelled to spoil
its effect. One cannot help wondering in what theological school Mr.
Smyth studied. He will insist on his “fundamental principles,” which, in
the preceding paragraph, are “common to all Christian communions,” but
have now become “independent of any and all forms of religious faith.” Is
there any “fundamental principle of _eternal_ right, truth, and justice”
which, to “members of the human family,” is “independent of any and all
forms of _religious_ faith”? Is there anything breathing of _eternity_ at
all that comes not to us in and through “religious faith”? If there be
such “fundamental principles of eternal right, truth, and justice,” in
God’s name let us know them; for they _are_ religion, and we are ready
to throw “any and all forms of religious faith” that contradict those
eternal principles to the winds. This we know: that there is not a single
“principle of _eternal_ right, truth, and justice” which, according
to Mr. Smyth, “it is the province of the State to teach delinquent
children,” that did not come to the State through some form or another
of religious faith; for in the history of this world religion has always
preceded and, in its “fundamental principles of eternal right, truth, and
justice,” instructed and informed the state. The Rev. George H. Smyth is
either an infidel or he does not know of what he is writing.

What kind of “moral and religious instruction” is likely to be imparted
to all children, and to Catholic children of all, by the Rev. George H.
Smyth, may be judged from the foregoing. Whether or not his teaching
can approve itself to a Catholic conscience may be left to the judgment
of all fair-minded men. His report is only quoted further to show how
completely subject the consciences of all these children are to him:

“The regular preaching service each Sabbath morning in the chapel has
been conducted by the chaplain, one or more of the managers usually being
present; also, the Wednesday lecture for the officers. In the supervision
of the Sabbath-schools in the afternoon he has been greatly aided by
managers Ketchum and Herder, whose valuable services have been gratefully
appreciated by the teachers and improved (_sic_) by the inmates.

“_The course of religious instruction laid down in the by-laws and
pursued in the house for fifty years has been closely adhered to._” That
is to say, for fifty years not a syllable of Catholic instruction has
been imparted to the Catholic inmates of the House of Refuge. The number
of those Catholic inmates will presently appear.

Among the gentlemen to whom the chaplain records his “obligations” for
their gratuitous services in the way of lectures are found the names of
nine Protestant clergymen and two Protestant laymen. No mention of a
Catholic. The Sabbath-school of the Reformed Church, Harlem, is thanked
for “a handsome supply” of the _Illustrated Christian Weekly_. The
librarian reports that one hundred copies of the _Youth’s Companion_
are supplied weekly, one hundred copies of the _American Messenger_,
and one hundred and twenty-five copies of the _Child’s Paper_. There is
no mention of a Catholic print of any kind. The chaplain and librarian
are under no obligations for copies of the _Young Catholic_, or the
New York _Tablet_, or the _Catholic Review_, or any one of our many
Catholic journals. They are all forbidden. Yet they are not a whit more
“sectarian” than the _Christian Weekly_. In addition, the Bible Society
is thanked “for a supply of Bibles sufficient to give each child a copy
on his discharge.”

We turn now to the report of the principal of schools. It is chiefly an
anti-Catholic tirade on the public school question, but that point may
pass for the present. What we are concerned with here is the species
of instruction to which the Catholic children of the institution are
subjected. Mr. G. H. Hallock, the principal, is almost “unco guid.”
A single passage will suffice. “But underneath all this intellectual
awakening there is a grander work to be performed; there is a moral
regeneration that can be achieved. Shall we stand upon the environs of
this moral degradation among our boys, and shrink from the duty we owe
them, because they are hardened in sin and apparently given over to evil
influences? Would He who came to save the ‘lost’ have done this?

“_Nothing can supply the place of earnest, faithful religious teaching
drawn from the Word of God._ I have the most profound convictions of the
inefficacy of all measures of reformation, except such as are based on
the Gospel and pervaded by its spirit. In vain are all devices, if the
heart and conscience, beyond all power of external restraints, are left
untouched.”

It were easy to go on quoting from Mr. Hallock, but this is more than
enough for our purpose. Catholics too believe in the efficacy of the
Word of God, but in a different manner, and to a great extent in a
different “Word” from that of Mr. Hallock. It is plain that this man
is imbued with the spirit of a missionary rather than of a principal
of schools, though how Catholic sinners would fare at his hands may be
judged from the tone of his impassioned harangue. The missionary spirit
is an excellent spirit, and we have no quarrel with Mr. Hallock or with
his burning desire to save lost souls; we only venture to intimate that
Mr. Hallock is even less the kind of teacher than Mr. Smyth is the kind
of preacher to whom we should entrust the spiritual education of our
Catholic children. By the bye, this excellent Mr. Hallock’s name occurred
during the trial of Justus Dunn for the killing of Calvert, one of the
keepers of this very institution, in 1872. One of the witnesses in that
eventful trial, a free laborer in the house, testified on oath concerning
the punishment of a certain boy there:

“_Q._ What was the boy punished for?

“_A._ For not completing his task and not doing it well. He was reported
for this to the assistant-superintendent, Mr. Hallock. He (Mr. Hallock)
carried him down to the office by his collar, and there punished him
for about fifteen minutes with his cane, so that the blood ran down the
boy’s back; then the assistant-superintendent brought him back into the
shop to his place, and there struck him on the side of the head, telling
him that if he did not do his work right, he would give him more yet.
Then the boy cried out, ‘For God’s sake! I am not able to do it.’ So he
took him by his neck, and carried him to the office, where he caned him
again. After that he brought the boy back to his place in the shop, and
treated him then as he did on the other occasion. The boy could not speak
a word after that. Then the assistant carried him down to the office,
and caned him for the third time. After this caning the boy could not
come upstairs, so they took him to the hospital, where he died in about
four days. After his death a correspondent wrote a letter to the New York
_Tribune_, stating the facts, and asking for an investigation, which took
place. The punishment of Mr. Hallock was his deposition from his office
as assistant superintendent, and installation as teacher of the school.
The eye-witnesses of the occurrence were not examined, but the whole
matter was settled in the office of the institution.”

This _en passant_. It is pleasing, after having read it, to be able to
testify to Mr. Hallock’s excellent sentiments, as shown in the extract
already given from his report, which concludes in this touching fashion:
“We are left to labor in the vineyard amid scenes sometimes discouraging,
severe, and depressing even. But, amid all, the sincere and earnest
worker may hear the voice of the Great Teacher uttering words of comfort
and consolation: _Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it unto me_.” Those words of consolation
may be read in more senses than one.

In keeping with all this is the report of the president, Mr. Edgar
Ketchum. He also has the Catholics in his eye. He is strong on the moral
training of the children and “the mild discipline of the house,” of which
the public knows sufficient to warrant our letting Mr. Ketchum’s ironical
expression pass without comment. He is “far from discouraging any effort
to extend Christian sympathy and aid to a class who so deeply need them.”
He believes that “religion, in her benign offices, will here and there
be found to touch some chord of the soul, and make it vibrate for ever
with the power of a new life.” What religion and what offices? He is of
opinion that “the interests of society and the criminal concur; and if
his crimes have banished him from all that makes life desirable, _they
need not carry with them also a sentence of exclusion from whatever a
wise Christian philanthropy can do in his behalf_.”

We quite agree with Mr. Ketchum. Christian philanthropy, as far as it
extends in this world, with the solitary exception of this country, has,
as already seen, by unanimous action, annulled, if ever it existed, that
“sentence of exclusion” which shut off the criminal, or the one whom Mr.
Ketchum designates as “the victim of society,” from the free profession
and practice of his religion, whether he were Catholic, Protestant, Jew,
or Mahometan. That same “Christian philanthropy,” as Mr. Ketchum is
pleased to call it, never peddled over by-laws, or rules, or regulations,
or “difficulties” whose plain purpose was to hinder Catholic children,
confined as are those in the house of which he is president, from seeing
their priest, hearing their Mass, going to confession, frequenting
the sacraments, and learning their catechism. The same wise Christian
philanthropy framed that section of the constitution, binding alike
on Mr. Ketchum and his charges, that was precisely framed to prevent
the “sentence of exclusion” which Mr. Ketchum so justly and with such
eloquence denounces. Christian philanthropy can do no work more worthy of
itself than allowing these unfortunate children, foremost and above all
things, the practice of that form of Christianity which, were they free
agents, they would undoubtedly follow; nor could it do anything less
worthy of itself than force upon them a system of worship and religious
training which their hearts abhor and their consciences reject. It could
not devise a more heinous offence against God and man, or a more hateful
tyranny, than that very “sentence of exclusion” which, under the “mild
discipline of the house,” prevails in the society of which Mr. Ketchum is
president.

There is nothing left now but to turn to the superintendent’s report,
in order to ascertain the number of Catholic children who, for the last
fifty years, have suffered this “sentence of exclusion” from their faith,
its duties, and its practices. We are only enabled to form a proximate
idea of their number, but sufficiently accurate to serve our purpose. The
superintendent’s figures are as follows:

    Total number of children committed in fifty years,      15,791

Of these, 12,545 were boys and 3,246 girls. The statistics for the first
four decades are more accurate than for the last, and show the relative
percentage of the children of native and foreign parents, as follows:

    1ST DECADE:
      Native,                 44 per cent.
      Foreign,                56     ”

    2D DECADE:
      Native,                 34½    ”
      Foreign,                65½    ”

    3D DECADE:
      Native,                 22     ”
      Foreign,                78     ”

    4TH DECADE:
      Native,                 14     ”
      Foreign,                86     ”

    5TH DECADE:
      Native,                 13⁶/₁₀ ”
      Foreign,                86⁴/₁₀ ”

It will be seen from this that the percentage of the entire number is
enormously in favor of the children born of foreign parents. This is
only natural from a variety of reasons, chief among which is that the
foreign-born population, including their children in the first degree,
has, within the last half-century, been vastly in excess of the native,
in this city particularly. Full statistics of the various nationalities
of the children are only given for the last year (1874). Of the 636 new
inmates received during the year, a little more than half the number
(334) were of Irish parentage; 8 were French; 3 Italian; 1 Cuban. All
of these may be safely set down as Catholics. There were 88 of German
birth, of whom one-third, following the relative statistics of their
nation, might be assumed as of the Catholic faith. The remainder, whom
we are willing to set down in bulk as non-Catholic, were divided as to
nationality as follows:

    American,          96
    African,           35
    English,           26
    Jewish,             3
    Scotch,             6
    Bohemian,           1
    Welsh,              1
    Mixed,             34

At all events, figure as we may, it may be taken as indisputable that
more than one-half the children committed during the past year to the
House of Refuge were of Catholic parents. Their average age, according to
the statistics, was thirteen years and eight months. Consequently, the
children were quite of an age to be capable of distinguishing between
creed and creed, and six years beyond the average age set down by the
Catholic Church as a proper time to begin to frequent the sacraments of
Confession and Communion, to prepare for Confirmation, and to hear Mass
on all Sundays and holydays of obligation, under pain of mortal sin.
From the moment of their entering the institution the “wise Christian
philanthropy” of which Mr. Edgar Ketchum is so eloquent an exponent has
pronounced against them a dread “sentence of exclusion” from all these
practices of faith and means of grace, as well as from instruction of any
kind whatever in their religion. And not only has this been the case,
but they have been subjected to the constant instruction of such men as
Mr. Smyth and Mr. Hallock. Multiply these children throughout the last
fifty years, as far as the relative percentage given will allow us to
form an opinion of their creeds, and the picture that presents itself of
these poor little Catholics is one that rends the heart. In the present
article we are only presenting the general features of the case, basing
our argument for the admission of a Catholic chaplain to this and all
similar institutions from which a Catholic chaplain is excluded, on the
law of the land, on the letter and spirit of the constitution, which
we Catholics love, revere, and obey. We simply set the case in its
barest aspect before our fellow-citizens, of whatever creed, and ask
for our children what they would claim for their children--the right of
instruction in the religion in which they were born; the right of the
free practice and profession of the religion in which they believe; the
right to repel all coercion, in whatever form, of conscience, whether
such coercion be called sectarian or non-sectarian. In a word, we ask
now, as at the beginning, what we ask for all, and what Catholics, where
they have the power, as already seen, freely and without compulsion, or
request even, grant to all--that great privilege and right which the
constitution of this State guarantees to all mankind: “the free exercise
and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination
or preference.”


THE VEIL WITHDRAWN.

TRANSLATED, BY PERMISSION, FROM THE FRENCH OF MME. CRAVEN, AUTHOR OF “A
SISTER’S STORY,” “FLEURANGE,” ETC.

CONCLUDED.


XLIV.

This was the spring of the year 1859. In spite of the retirement in
which we lived and Lorenzo’s assiduous labors, which deprived him of the
leisure to read even a newspaper, the rumors of a war between Austria and
Italy had more than once reached us and excited his anxiety--excited him
as every Italian was at that period at the thought of seeing his country
delivered from the yoke of the foreigner. On this point public sentiment
was unanimous, and many people in France will now comprehend better than
they did at that time, perhaps, a cry much more sincere than many that
were uttered at a later day--the only one that came from every heart:
_Fuori i Tedeschi_. But till the time, when the realization of this wish
became possible, it was only expressed by those who labored in secret to
hasten its realization; it seemed dormant among others. Political life
was forbidden or impossible. An aimless, frivolous life was only embraced
with the more ardor, and this state of things had furnished Lorenzo with
more than one excuse at the time when he snatched at a poor one.

I had often heard him express his national and political opinions,
aspirations, and prejudices, but these points had never interested me.
I loved Italy as it was. I thought it beautiful, rich, and glorious. I
did not imagine anything could add to the charm, past and present, which
nature, poetry, religion, and history had endowed it with. From time to
time I had also heard a cry which excited my horror, and conveyed to my
mind no other idea than a monstrous national and religious crime: _Roma
capitale!_ These words alone roused me sufficiently from my indifference
to excite my indignation, and even awakened in me a feeling bordering on
repugnance to all that was then called the Italian _resorgimento_.

Stella did not, in this respect, agree with me. It was her nature to be
roused to enthusiasm by everything that gave proof of energy, courage,
and devotedness--traits that patriotism, more or less enlightened, easily
assumes the seductive appearance of, provided it is sincere. No one could
repeat with more expression than she:

                        “_Italia! Italia!_ …
    De’h fossi tu men bella! O almen piu forte!”[2]

Or the celebrated apostrophe of Dante:

    “Ahi serva Italia! di dolore ostello!”[3]

Never did her talent appear to better advantage than in the recitation
of such lines; her face would light up and her whole attitude change.
Lorenzo often smilingly said if he wished to represent the poetical
personification of Italy, he would ask Stella to become his model. As
to what concerned Rome, she did not even seem to comprehend my anxiety.
If a few madmen already began to utter that ominous cry, the most
eminent Italians of the time declared that to infringe on the majesty
of Rome, deprive her of the sovereignty which left her, in a new sense,
her ancient title of queen of the world--in short, to menace the Papacy,
“_l’unique grandeur vivante de l’Italie_,” would be to commit the crime
of treason against the world, and uncrown Italy herself.

Alas! now that the time approached for realizing some of her dreams
and the bitter deception of others, Stella, absorbed in her grief, was
indifferent to all that was occurring in her country, and did not even
remark the universal excitement around her! As for me, who had always
taken so little interest in such things, I was more unconcerned than
ever, and scarcely listened to what was said on the subject in Mme.
de Kergy’s drawing-room. I was far from suspecting I was about to be
violently roused from my state of indifference.

It was Easter Sunday. I had been to church with Lorenzo. We had fulfilled
together the sweet, sacred obligations of the day; the union of our souls
was complete, and our hearts were at once full of joy and solemnity--that
is, in complete harmony with the great festival. At our return we found
breakfast awaiting us. Ottavia, who, with a single domestic, had the
care of our house, had adorned the table with flowers, as well as with
a little more silver than usual, in order to render it somewhat more in
accordance with the importance of the day. By means of colored-glass
windows and some old paintings suspended on the dark wainscotting,
Lorenzo had given our little dining-room an aspect at once serious and
smiling, which greatly pleased me, and I still remember the feeling of
happiness and joy with which, on my return from church, I entered the
little room, the open window of which admitted the sun and the odor of
the jasmine twined around it. The three conditions of true happiness we
did not lack--order, peace, and industry--and we were in that cheerful
frame of mind which neither wealth, nor gratified ambition, nor any
earthly prosperity is able to impart.

We took seats at the table. Lorenzo found before him a pile of letters
and newspapers, but did not attempt to open them. He sat looking at me
with admiration and affection. I, on my part, said to myself that moral
and religious influences had not only a beneficial effect on the soul,
but on the outward appearance. Never had Lorenzo’s face worn such an
expression; never had I been so struck with the manly beauty of his
features. Our eyes met. He smiled.

“Ginevra mia!” said he, “in truth, you are right. The life we now lead
must suit you, for you grow lovelier every day.”

“Our life does not suit you less than it does me, Lorenzo,” said I. “We
are both in our element now. God be blessed! His goodness to us has
indeed been great!”

“Yes,” said he with sudden gravity, “greater a thousand times than I had
any right to expect. I am really too happy!”

This time I only laughed at his observation, and tried to divert his mind
from the remembrances awakened.

“Where are your letters from?”

He tore one open, and his face brightened.

“That looks well! Nothing could suit me better. Here is an American
who wishes a repetition of my _Sappho_, and gives me another order of
importance. And then what? He wishes to purchase the lovely _Vestal_ he
saw in my studio. Oh! as for that, _par exemple_, no!… The _Vestal_ is
mine, mine alone. No one else shall ever have it. But no matter, Ginevra;
if things go on in this way, I shall soon be swimming in money, and then
look out for the diamonds!”

He knew now, as well as I, what I thought of such things. He laughed, and
then continued to read his letters.

“This is from Lando. It is addressed to us both.”

He glanced over it:

“Their honeymoon at Paris is still deferred. They cannot leave Donna
Clelia.”

After reading for some time in silence, he said in an animated tone:

“This letter has been written some time, and it seems there were rumors
of war on all sides at the time, and poor Mariuccia, though scarcely
married to her German baron, had to set out for her new home much sooner
than she expected.”

I listened to all this with mingled indifference and distraction, when I
suddenly saw Lorenzo spring from his seat with an exclamation of so much
surprise that I was eager to know what had caused his sudden excitement.

He had just opened a newspaper, and read the great news of the day: the
Austrians had declared war against Italy. The beginning of the campaign
was at hand.

Alas! my happy Easter was instantly darkened by a heavy cloud!

Lorenzo seized his hat, and immediately went out to obtain further
details concerning the affair, leaving me sad and uneasy. Oh! how far I
lived from the agitations of great political disturbances! How incapable
I was of comprehending them! For a year my soul had been filled with
emotions as profound as they were sweet. After great sufferings, joys so
great had been accorded me that I felt a painful shrinking from the least
idea of any change. But though the power of suffering was still alive
in my heart, all anxiety was extinguished. Whatever way a dear hand is
laid on us, we never wish to thrust it away. I remained calm, therefore,
though a painful apprehension had taken possession of my mind; and when
Lorenzo returned, two hours later, I was almost prepared for what he had
to communicate.

Yes, I knew it; he wished to go. Every one in the province to which his
family belonged was to take part in this war of independence. He could
not remain away from his brothers and the other relatives and friends who
were to enroll themselves in resisting a foreign rule.

“It is the critical moment. Seconded by France, the issue cannot be
doubtful this time. You know I have abhorred conspiracies all my life,
and my long journeys have served to keep me away from those who would
perhaps have drawn me into them. But now how can you wish me to hesitate?
How can you expect me at such a time to remain inactive and tranquil?
You would be the first, I am sure, to be astonished at such a course,
and I hope to find you now both courageous and prompt to aid me, for I
must start without any delay. You understand, my poor Ginevra, before
to-morrow I must be on my way.”

He said all this and much more besides. I neither tried to remonstrate
nor reply. I felt he was obeying what he believed to be a call of duty,
and I could use no arguments to dissuade him from it. What could I do,
then? Only aid him, and bear without shrinking the unexpected blow which
had come like a sudden tempest to overthrow the edifice, but just
restored, of my calm and happy life!

The day passed sadly and rapidly away. I was occupied so busily that I
scarcely had time for reflection. But at last all I could do was done,
and Lorenzo, who had gone out in the afternoon, found, on returning at
nightfall, that everything was ready for his departure, which was to take
place that very night.

We sat down side by side on a little bench against the garden-wall.
Spring-time at Paris is lovely also, and everything was in bloom that
year on Easter Sunday. The air even in Italy could not have been sweeter
nor the sky clearer. He took my hand, and I leaned my head against his
shoulder. For some minutes my heart swelled with a thousand emotions I
was unable to express. I allowed my tears to flow in silence. Lorenzo
likewise struggled to repress the agitation he did not wish to betray, as
I saw by his trembling lips and the paleness of his face.

I wiped my eyes and raised my head.

“Lorenzo,” said I all at once, “why not take me with you, instead of
leaving me here?”

“To the war?” said he, smiling.

“No, but to Italy. You could leave me, no matter where. On the other side
of the Alps I should be near you, and … should you have need of me, I
could go to you.”

He remained thoughtful for a moment, and then said, as if speaking to
himself:

“Yes, should I be wounded, and have time to see you again, it would be a
consolation, it is true.”

We became silent again, and I awaited his decision with a beating heart.
Finally he said in a decided tone:

“No, Ginevra, it cannot be. Remain here. It is my wish. You must.”

“Why?” asked I, trying to keep back the tears that burst from my eyes at
his reply--“why? Oh! tell me why?”

“Because,” replied he firmly, “I have no idea what will be the result of
the war in Italy. Very probably it will cause insurrections everywhere,
perhaps revolutions.”

“O my God!” cried I with terror … “and you expect me not to feel any
horror at this war! Even if it had not come to overturn my poor life, how
can I help shuddering at the thought of all the misery it is about to
produce?”

“What can you expect, Ginevra? Yes, it is a serious affair. God alone
knows what it will lead to. You see Mario writes Sicily is already
a-flame. No one can tell what will take place at Naples. I should not be
easy about you anywhere but here.… No, Ginevra, you cannot go. You must
remain here. I insist upon it.”

I knew, from the tone in which he said this, it was useless to insist,
and I bent my head in silence. He gently continued, as he pressed my hand
in his:

“The war will be short, I hope, Ginevra. If I am spared, I will hasten to
resume the dear life we have led here. But if, on the contrary.…”

He stopped a moment, then, with a sudden change of manner and an accent I
shall never forget, he continued:

“But why speak to you as I should to any other woman? Why not trust to
the inward strength you possess, which has as often struck me as your
sweetness of disposition? I know now where your strength comes from, and
will speak to you without any circumlocution.”

I looked at him with surprise at this preamble, and by the soft evening
light I saw a ray of heaven in his eyes; for they beamed with faith and
humility as he uttered the following words:

“Why deceive you, Ginevra? Why not tell you I feel this is the last hour
we shall ever pass together in this world?”

I shuddered. He put his arm around my waist, and drew me towards him.

“No, do not tremble!… Listen to me.… If I feel I am to die, I have
always thought a life like mine required some other expiation besides
repentance. The happiness you have afforded me is not one, and who knows
if its continuation might not become a source of danger to me? Whereas
to die now would be something; it would be a sacrifice worthy of being
offered … and accepted.”

My head had again fallen on his shoulder, and my heart beat so rapidly I
was not able to reply.

“Look upward, Ginevra,” said he in a thrilling tone; “raise your eyes
towards the heaven you have taught me to turn to, to desire, and hope
for. Tell me we shall meet there again, and there find a happiness no
longer attended by danger!”

Yes, at such language I felt the inward strength he had spoken of assert
itself, after seeming to fail me, and this terrible, painful hour became
truly an hour of benediction.

“Lorenzo,” said I in a tone which, in spite of my tears, was firm, “yes,
you are right, a thousand times right. Yes, whatever be your fate and
mine, let us bless God!… We are happy without doubt; but our present
life, whatever its duration, is only a short prelude to that true life of
infinite happiness which awaits us. Let God do as he pleases with it and
with us! Whatever be the result, there is no adieu for us.”

Do I mean to say that the sorrow of parting was extinguished? Oh! no,
assuredly not. We tasted its bitterness to the full, but there is a
mysterious savor which is only revealed to the heart that includes all in
its sacrifice, and refuses nothing. This savor was vouchsafed us at that
supreme hour, and we knew and felt it strengthened our souls.


XLV.

The two weeks that succeeded this last evening seem, as I look back upon
them, like one long day of expectation. Nothing occurred to relieve my
constant uneasiness. A few lines from Lorenzo, written in haste as he was
on the point of starting to join the army, where the post of aide-de-camp
to one of the generals had been reserved for him, were the last direct
news I received. From that day I had no other information but what I
gathered from the newspapers, or what Mme. de Kergy and Diana obtained
from their friends, who, though most of them were unfavorable to the war
in which France was engaged, felt an ardent interest in all who took
part in it. But there were only vague, confused reports, which, far from
calming my agitation, only served to increase it.

One evening I remained later than usual at church. Prostrate before one
of the altars, which was lit up with a great number of tapers, I could
not tear myself away, though night had come and the church was almost
deserted. It was one of those dark, painful hours when the idea of
suffering fills us with fear and repugnance, and rouses every faculty
of our nature to resist it; one of those hours of mortal anguish that
no human being could support had there not been a day--a day that will
endure as long as the world--when this agony was suffered by Him who
wished us to participate in it in order that he might be for ever near us
when we, in our turn, should have to endure it for him!…

Oh! in that hour I felt in how short a time I had become attached to the
earthly happiness that had been granted me beyond the realization of my
utmost wishes. What tender, ardent sentiments! What sweet, delightful
communings already constituted a treasure in my memory which furnished
material for the most fearful sacrifice I could be called upon to make!
Alas! the human heart, even that to which God has deigned to reveal
himself, still attaches itself strongly to all it is permitted to love on
earth! But this divine love condescends to be jealous of our affection,
and it is seldom he spares such hearts the extreme sacrifices which lead
them to give themselves to him at last without any reserve!

When I left the church, I saw a crowd in the street. Several houses were
illuminated, and on all sides I heard people talking of a great victory,
the news of which had just arrived at Paris.

I returned home agitated and troubled. At what price had this victory
been won? Who had fallen in the battle? What was I to hear? And when
would the anguish that now contracted my heart be relieved … or
justified? Mme. de Kergy, who hastened to participate in my anxiety,
was unable to allay it. But our suspense was not of long duration. The
hour, awaited with the fear of an overpowering presentiment, was soon to
arrive!…

Two days after I was sitting in the evening on the little bench in the
garden where we held our last conversation, when I received the news for
which he had so strangely prepared me. His fatal prevision was realized.
He was one of the first victims of the opening attack. His name, better
known than many others, had been reported at once, and headed the list of
those who fell in the battle.

       *       *       *       *       *

No preparation, no acceptation of anticipated misfortune, no effort at
submission or courage, was now able to preserve me from a shock similar
to the one I have related the effects of at the beginning of this story.
As on that occasion, I lost all consciousness, and Ottavia carried me
senseless to my chamber. As then, likewise, I was for several days the
prey to a burning fever, which was followed by a weakness and prostration
that rendered my thoughts confused and incoherent for some time. And
finally, as when I was but fifteen years old, it was also a strong,
sudden emotion that helped restore my physical strength and the complete
use of my senses and reason.

The most profound silence reigned in the chamber where I lay, but I felt
I was surrounded by the tenderest care. At length I vaguely began to
recognize voices around me; first, that of Ottavia, which made me shed
my first tears--tears of emotion, caused by a return to the days of my
childhood. I thought myself there again. I forgot everything that had
happened since. But this partial relief restored lucidness to my mind,
and with it a clear consciousness of the misfortune that had befallen me.
Then I uttered a cry--a cry that alarmed my faithful nurse. But I had the
strength to reassure her at once.

“Let me weep, Ottavia,” said I in a low tone--“I know, … I recollect. Do
not be alarmed; I am better, Ottavia. God be blessed, I can pray!”

I said no more, and closed my eyes. But a little while after I reopened
them, and eagerly raised my head. What did I hear? Mme. de Kergy and
Diana were there. I recognized their voices, and now distinguished their
faces. But whose voice was that which had just struck my ear? Whose sweet
face was that so close to mine? Whose hand was that I felt the pressure
of?

“O my Stella!” I cried, “is it a dream, or are you really here?” …


XLVI.

No, it was not a dream. It was really Stella, who had torn herself from
her retreat, her solitude and her grief, and hastened to me as soon as
she heard of the fresh blow that had befallen me. She had not ceased
to interest herself in all that concerned my new life, and the distant
radiance of my happiness had been the only joy of her wounded heart.
Now this happiness was suddenly destroyed.… I was far away; I was in
trouble; I was alone; the state of affairs, which became more and more
serious, detained my brother in Sicily; but she was free--free, alas!
from every tie, from every duty, and she came to me as fast as the most
rapid travelling could bring her. But when she arrived, I was unable to
recognize her, and, when I now embraced her, she had watched more than a
week at my bedside!

This was the sweetest consolation--the greatest human assistance heaven
could send me, and it was a benefit to both of us. For each it was
beneficial to have the other to think of.

My health now began to improve, and my soul recovered its serenity. I
felt a solemn, profound peace, which could not be taken from me, and
which continually increased; but this did not prevent me from feeling and
saying with sincerity that everything in this world was at an end for me.

Yes, everything was at an end; but I resigned myself to my lot, and when,
after this new affliction, I found myself before the altar where I prayed
that evening with so many gloomy forebodings, I fell prostrate, as,
after some severe combat or long journey, a child falls exhausted on the
threshold of his father’s house, to which he returns never to leave it
again!

If I had then obeyed my natural impulse, I should have sought some place
of profound seclusion, where I could live, absorbed and lost in the
thought continually present to my mind since the great day of grace which
enabled me to comprehend the words: _God loves me!_ and to which I could
henceforth add: And whom alone I now love!

But it is seldom the case one’s natural inclinations can be obeyed,
especially when they incline one to a life of inaction and retirement.
There is but little repose on earth, and the more we love God, the less
it is permitted to sigh after it. I was forced to think of others at this
time, and, above all, of the dear, faithful friend who had come so far to
console me.

It did not require a long time for Mme. de Kergy to discern the heroic
greatness of Stella’s character, and still less for her maternal heart,
that had received so many blows, to sympathize with the broken heart of
Angiolina’s mother. The affection she at once conceived for Stella was so
strong that I might have been almost jealous, had it not exactly realized
one of my strongest desires, and had not Mme. de Kergy been one of those
persons whose affection is the emanation of a higher love which is
bestowed on all, without allowing that which is given to the latest comer
to diminish in the least the part of the others.

She at once perceived the remedy that would be efficacious to her wounded
heart, and what would be a beneficial effort for mine, and she threw us
both, if I may so express myself, into that ocean of charity where all
personal sufferings, trials, and considerations are forgotten, and where
peace is restored to the soul by means of the very woes one encounters
and succeeds in relieving.

No fatigue, no fear of contagion, the sight of no misery, affected
Stella’s courage; no labor wearied her patience, no application or effort
was beyond her ability and perseverance. For souls thus constituted it
is a genuine pleasure to exercise their noble faculties and be able to
satisfy the thirst for doing good that devours them. Her eyes, therefore,
soon began to brighten, her face to grow animated, and from time to time,
like a reflection of the past, her lips to expand with the charming smile
of former days.

There is a real enjoyment, little suspected by those who have not
experienced it, in these long, fatiguing rounds, the endless staircases
ascended and descended, in all these duties at once distressing and
consoling, and it can be truly affirmed that there is more certainty
of cheerfulness awaiting those who return home from these sad visits
than the happiest of those who come from some gay, brilliant assembly.
It is to the former the words of S. Francis de Sales may be addressed:
“Consider the sweetest, liveliest pleasures that ever delighted your
heart, and say if there is one worth the joy you now taste.…”

Thus peace and a certain joy returned by degrees, seconded by the
sweetest, tenderest, most beneficial sympathy. Notwithstanding the
solitude in which we lived, and the mourning I never intended to lay
aside, and which Stella continued to wear, we spent an hour every evening
at Mme. de Kergy’s, leaving when it was time for her usual circle to
assemble. This hour was a pleasant one, and she depended on seeing us,
for she began to cling to our company. Diana, far from being jealous,
declared we added to the happiness of their life; and one day, in one of
her outbursts of caressing affection, she exclaimed that the good God had
restored to her mother the two daughters she had mourned for so long.

At these words Mme. de Kergy’s eyes filled with tears, which she hastily
wiped away, and, far from contradicting her daughter, she extended her
arms and held us both in a solemn, tender, maternal embrace!


XLVII.

What Stella felt at that moment I cannot say. As for me, my feelings were
rather painful than pleasant. I comprehended only too well the sadness
that clouded the dear, venerable brow of Gilbert’s mother, and his
prolonged absence weighed on my heart like remorse. Of course I did not
consider myself the direct cause. But I could not forget that he merely
left his country for a few weeks, and it was only after his sojourn at
Naples he had taken the sudden resolution to make almost the tour of the
world--that is, a journey whose duration was prolonged from weeks into
months, and from months into years. I felt that no joy could spring up on
the hearth he had forsaken till the day he should return, and it seemed
to me I should not dare till that day arrived enjoy the peace that had
been restored to my soul.

Months passed away, however, autumn came for the second time since
Stella’s arrival, and the time fixed for her departure was approaching.
I had made up my mind to accompany her, and pass some time at Naples
with her, in order to be near my sister; but various unforeseen events
modified her plans as well as mine.

I went one day to the Hôtel de Kergy at a different hour from that I was
in the habit of going. Diana and her mother had gone out. I was told
they would return in an hour. I decided, therefore, to wait, and, as
the weather was fine, I selected a book from one of the tables of the
drawing-room, and took a seat in the garden.

While I was looking over the books, my attention was attracted to
several letters that lay on the table awaiting Mme. de Kergy’s return,
and, to my great joy, I recognized Gilbert’s writing on one of them.
His long absence had this time been rendered more painful by the
infrequency and irregularity of his letters. Whole months often elapsed
without the arrival of any. I hoped this one had brought his mother the
long-wished-for promise of his return, and cheered by this thought, I
opened my book, which soon absorbed me so completely that I forgot my
anxiety, and hope, and everything else.…

The book I held in my hand was the _Confessions of S. Augustine_, and,
opening it at hazard, the passage on which my eyes fell was this:

“What I know, not with doubt, but with certainty; what I know, O my God!
is that I love thee. Thy word penetrated my heart and suddenly caused it
to love thee. The heavens and the earth, and all they contain, do they
not cry without ceasing that all men should love thee? But he on whom it
pleaseth thee to have mercy alone can comprehend this language.”[4]

O words, ancient but ever new, like the beauty itself that inspired them!
What a flight my soul took as I read them again here in this solitude and
silence. Though centuries had passed since the day they were written,
how exactly they expressed, how faithfully they portrayed, the feelings
of my heart! How profound was the conviction I felt, in my turn, that,
without the mercy and compassion of God, I should never have been able to
understand their meaning!

I was deeply, deeply plunged in these reflections, I was lost in a world,
not of fancy, but of reality more delightful than a poet’s dreams,
when an unusual noise brought me suddenly to myself. First I heard the
rattling of a carriage which I supposed to be Mme. de Kergy’s. But I
instantly saw two or three servants rush into the court, as if some
unexpected event had occurred. Then the old gardener, at work in the
parterre before me, suddenly threw down his watering-pot and uttered a
cry of surprise and joy:

“O goodness of God!” exclaimed he in a trembling voice, “there is
Monsieur le Comte!”

“Monsieur le Comte?” cried I, hastily rising.…

But I had not time to finish my question. It was really he--Gilbert.
He was there before me, on the upper step of the flight that led to
the drawing-room. I sprang towards him with a joy I did not think of
repressing or concealing, and, extending both hands, I exclaimed:

“Oh! God be blessed a thousand times. It is you! You have returned! What
a joyful surprise for your mother! For Diana! For me also, I assure you!…”

I know not what else I was on the point of adding when, seeing him stand
motionless, and gaze at me as if incapable of answering a word, a faint
blush rose to my face. Was he surprised at such a greeting, or too much
agitated? Perchance he was deceived as to its signification. This doubt
caused a sudden embarrassment, and checked the words I was about to utter.

At length he explained his unexpected arrival. His letter ought to have
arrived before. He supposed his mother was notified.… He wished to spare
her so sudden a surprise.…

“I knew you were at Paris,” continued he, in a tone of agitation he could
not overcome. “Yes … I knew it, and hoped to see you again. But to find
you here … to see you the first, O madame! that was a happiness too great
for me to anticipate, and I cannot yet realize it is not, after all, a
dream.…”

While he was thus speaking, and gazing intently at me as if I were some
vision about to vanish from his sight, my joyful greeting and cordiality
were changed into extreme gravity of manner, and I looked away as his
eyes wandered from my face to my mourning attire, and for the first time
it occurred to me he found me free, and perhaps was now thinking of it!

Free!… Oh! if I have succeeded in describing the state of my soul since
that moment of divine light which marked the most precious day of my
life; if I have clearly expressed the aspect which the past, the present,
the future, and all the joys, all the sufferings, in short, every event
of my life, henceforth took in my eyes; if, I say, I have been able to
make myself understood, those who have read these pages are already aware
what the word _free_ now signified to me.

Free! Yes, as the bird that cleaves the air is free to return to its
cage; as the captive on his way to the shores of his native land is free
to return and resume his chains; so is the soul that has once tasted the
blessed reality of God’s love free also to return to the vain dreams of
earthly happiness.

“I would not accept it!” was the exclamation of a soul[5] that had thus
been made free, and it is neither strange nor new. No more than the bird
or the captive could it be tempted to return to the past.…

       *       *       *       *       *

I did not utter a word, however, and the thoughts that came over me like
a flood died away in the midst of the joyful excitement that put an end
to this moment of silence. Mme. de Kergy and Diana, who had been sent
for, arrived pale and agitated. But when I saw Gilbert in his mother’s
arms, I felt so happy that I entirely forgot what had occurred, and was
not even embarrassed when, as I was on the point of leaving, I heard
Diana say to her brother that her mother had two new daughters now, and
he would find three sisters instead of one in the house.

I returned home in great haste. It was the first time for a long while my
heart had felt light. I searched for Stella. She was neither in the house
nor garden. I then thought of the studio, where, in fact, I found her.
Everything remained in the same way Lorenzo had left it, and Stella, who
had a natural taste for the arts, knew enough of sculpture to devote a
part of her time to it. She had succeeded in making a bust of Angiolina
which was a good likeness, and she was at work upon it when I entered.

She looked at me with an air of surprise, for she saw something unusual
had taken place.

“Gilbert has returned!” I exclaimed, without thinking of preparing her
for the news, the effect of which I had not sufficiently foreseen.

She turned deadly pale, and her face assumed an expression I had never
known it to wear. I was utterly amazed. Rising with an abrupt movement,
she said, in an altered tone:

“Then I must go, Ginevra!” And, suddenly bursting into tears, she pressed
her lips to the little bust, the successful production of her labor and
grief.

“O my angel child!” said she, “forgive me. I know it; I ought to love no
one but thee. I have been punished, cruelly punished. And yet I am not
sure of myself, Ginevra. I do not wish to see him again. I must go.”

It was the first time in her life Stella had thus allowed me to read the
depths of her heart. It was the first time the violence of any emotion
whatever broke down the wall of reserve she knew how to maintain, and
made her rise above her natural repugnance to speak of herself. It was
the first time I was sure of the wound I had so long suspected, but which
I had never ventured to probe.

God alone knows with what emotion I listened to her. What hopes were
awakened, and what prayers rose from my heart during the moment’s silence
that followed these ardent words. She soon continued, with renewed
agitation:

“Yes, I must start at once. I had no idea he would arrive in this way
without giving me time to escape!…”

Then she added, in a hollow tone:

“Listen, Ginevra. For once I must be frank with you. He loves you, you
well know, and now there is nothing more to separate you; now you are
free.…”

But she stopped short, surprised, I think, at the way in which I looked
at her.

“She also! Is it possible?” murmured I, replying to my own thoughts.

And my eyes, that had been fixed on her, involuntarily looked upward at
the light that came from the only window in the studio. I soon said in a
calm tone:

“You are mistaken, Stella. I am not free, as you suppose. But let us not
speak of myself, I beg.…”

She listened without comprehending me, and her train of thought,
interrupted for a moment, resumed its course. I was far from wishing to
check a communicativeness her suffering heart had more need of than she
was aware. I allowed her, therefore, to pour out without hindrance all
that burdened her mind. I suffered her to give way to her unreasonable
remorse. I did not even contradict her when she repeated that her sweet
treasure would not have been ravished from her, had she been worthy of
possessing it, if no other love had been allowed to enter her heart. I
did not oppose this fancy, which was only one of those _perfidies de
l’amour_, as such imaginary wrongs have been happily styled, which, after
the occurrence of misfortune, often add to one’s actual sorrow a burden
still heavier and more difficult to bear.

On the contrary, I assured her we would start together, and she herself
should fix the day of our departure.

I only begged her not to hasten the time, and, by leaving Paris so
abruptly, afflict our excellent friend at the very hour of her joy, and
make Diana weep at the moment when she was so pleased at the restoration
of their happiness. At last I induced her to consent that things should
remain for the present as they were. She would return to the Hôtel de
Kergy, and Gilbert’s return should in no way change the way of life we
had both led for a year.


XLVIII.

Nothing, in fact, was changed. Our morning rounds, our occupations in the
afternoon, and our evening reunions, all continued the same as before.
Apparently nothing new had occurred except the satisfaction and joy
which once more brightened the fireside of our friends, and things were
pleasanter than ever, even when Gilbert was present. This time he seemed
decided to put an end to his wandering habits, and settle down with his
mother, never to leave her again.

Nothing was changed, therefore. And yet before the end of the year I
alone remained the same as the day of Gilbert’s arrival, the day when
Stella was so desirous of going away that she might not meet him again;
the day when (as I must now acknowledge) he thought if he was deceived
by the pleasure I manifested at seeing him again, if my sentiments did
not respond to his, if some new insurmountable barrier had risen in the
place of that which death had removed, then he would once more depart, he
would leave his country again, he would exile himself from his friends
… and--who knows?--perhaps die--yes, really, die of grief with a broken
heart!…

It was somewhat in these terms he spoke to me some time after his
return, and I looked at him, as I listened, with a strange sensation of
surprise. He was, however, the same he once was, the same Gilbert whose
presence had afforded me so much happiness and been such a source of
danger. There was no change in the charm of his expression, his voice,
his wit, the elevation of his mind and character, and yet … I tried, but
in vain, to recall the emotions of the past I once found so difficult to
hide, so painful to combat, so impossible to overcome. I could not revive
the dreams, the realization of which was now offered me, and convince
myself it was I who had formerly regarded such a destiny as so happy a
one and so worthy of envy--I, who now found it so far below the satisfied
ambition of my heart. Ah! it was a good thing for me to see Gilbert
again; it was well to look this earthly happiness once more in the face,
in order to estimate the extent the divine arrow had penetrated my soul
and opened the only true fountain of happiness and love!

It was not necessary to give utterance to all these thoughts. There
was something inexpressible in my eyes, my voice, my language, my
tranquillity in his presence, in my friendship itself, so evident and
sincere, which were more expressive than any words or explanation, and
by degrees produced a conviction no man can resist unless he is--which
Gilbert was not--blind, presumptuous, or inflated with pride.

    “Amor, ch’ a null’ amato amar perdona,”[6]

says our great poet. But he should have added that, if this law is not
obeyed, love dies, and he who loves soon grows weary of loving in vain.

Gilbert was not an exception to this rule. The time came for its
accomplishment in his case. The day came when he realized it. It was a
slow, gradual, insensible process, but at length I saw the budding, the
progress, the fulfilment of my dearest hopes.

The “_sang joyeux_” which once enabled my dear Stella to endure the
trials of her earlier life now diffused new joy and hope in her heart,
brought back to her eyes and lips that brilliancy of color and intensity
of expression which always reflected the emotions of her soul, and made
her once more what she was before her great grief!…

       *       *       *       *       *

I saw her at last happy--happy to a degree that had never before been
shed over her life. I should have left her then, as I intended, to see
Livia again; but, while the changes I have just referred to were taking
place around me, the heavy, unmerciful hand of spoliation had been laid
on the loved asylum where my sister hoped to find shelter for life.
Soldiers’ quarters were needed. The monastery was appropriated, the nuns
were expelled. A greater trial than exile was inflicted on their innocent
lives--a trial as severe as death, and, in fact, was death to several
of their number. They were separated from one another; the aged were
received in pious families; some were dispersed in various convents of
their order still spared in Italy by the act of suppression; others,
again, sought refuge in countries not then affected by the tempest which,
from time to time, rises against the church and strikes the religious
orders as lightning always strikes the highest summits, without ever
succeeding in annihilating one, but leaving to the persecutors the stigma
of crime and the shame of defeat!

My sister Livia was of the number of these holy exiles. A convent of her
order, not far from Paris, was assigned her as a refuge, and it was there
I had the joy of once more seeing her calm, angelic face. How much we
had to say to each other! How truly united we now were! What a pleasure
to again find her attentive ear, her faithful heart, and her courageous,
artless soul! But when, after the long account I had to give her, I
asked her to tell me, in her turn, all she had suffered from the sudden,
violent invasion, the profanation of a place so dear and sacred to her,
and the necessity of bidding farewell to the cloudless heavens, the
beautiful mountains, and all the enchanting scenery of the country she
loved, she smiled:

“What difference does all that make?” said she. “Only one thing is sad:
that they who have wronged us should have done us this injury. As for us,
the only real privation there is they could not inflict on us; the only
true exile they could not impose. _Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus!_
No human power can separate us from him!”

       *       *       *       *       *

And now there remains but little to add.

The happiness of this world, such as it is, in all its fulness and its
insufficiency, Gilbert and Stella possess. Diana also, without being
obliged to leave her mother, has found a husband worthy of her and the
dear sanctuary of all that is noble. Mario makes frequent journeys
to France to visit his sisters, each in her retreat, and his former
asperities seem to grow less and less. Lando and Teresina also come to
see me every time they visit Paris, and I always find in him a sincere
and faithful friend; but it is very difficult to convince him I shall
never marry again, and still more so to make him understand how I can be
happy.

Happy!… Nevertheless I am, and truly so! I am happier than I ever
imagined I could be on earth; and if life sometimes seems long, I have
never found it sad. Order, peace, activity, salutary friendship, a divine
hope, leave nothing to be desired, and like one[7] who, still young,
likewise arrived through suffering to the clearest light, I said, in my
turn: Nothing is wanting, for “_I believe, I love, and I wait!_”

Yes, I await the plenitude of that happiness, a single ray of which
sufficed to transform my whole life. I bless God for having unveiled the
profound mystery of my heart, and enabled me to solve its enigma, and
to understand with the same clearness all the aspirations of the soul
which constitute here below the glory and torment of our nature! I render
thanks to him for being able to comprehend and believe with assurance
that the reason why we are so insatiable for knowledge, for repose, for
happiness, for love, for security, and for so many other blessings never
found on earth to the extent they are longed for, is because “we are all
created _solely_ for what we cannot here possess!”[8]


MARCH.

    Ready is Time beneath her brooding wing
      To break with swelling life the brown earth’s sheath;
      And fondly do we watch th’ expectant heath
    For bloom and song the days are ripe to bring.
    Our heralds even vaunt the birth of spring,
      While yet, alack! the winter’s blatant breath
      Defieth trust, and coldly shadoweth
    With drifts of gray each hope that dares to sing.
    Yet still we know, as deepest shades foretell
      The coming of the morn, and lovely sheen
      Of living sunshine lies asleep between
    A snow-bound crust and joys that upward well,
    So, sure of triumph o’er the yielding shell,
      Are ecstasies of song and matchless green!


CALDERON’S AUTOS SACRAMENTALES.

I.


I.

Villemain, in his _Lectures on the Literature of the Middle Ages_, while
speaking of the Mysteries performed by the _Confrères de la Passion_,
exclaims, “It is to be regretted that at that period the French language
was not more fully developed, and that there was no man of genius among
the _Confrères de la Passion_.

“The subject was admirable: imagine a theatre, which the faith of the
people made the supplement of their worship; conceive religion, with the
sublimity of its dogmas, put on the stage before convinced spectators,
then a poet of powerful imagination, able to use freely all these grand
things, not reduced to the necessity of stealing a few tears from us
by feigned adventures, but striking our souls with the authority of
an apostle and the impassioned magic of an artist, addressing what we
believe and feel, and making us shed real tears over subjects which seem
not only true, but divine--certainly nothing would have been greater than
this poetry!”

Such a poet and such poetry Spain possesses in Calderon and his _Autos
Sacramentales_, which may be regarded as the completion and perfection of
the religious drama of the Middle Ages.

Of the modern nations which possess a national popular drama, Spain is
the only one where, by the side of the secular stage, there has grown up
and been carefully cultivated a religious drama; for this, in England,
died with the Mysteries and Moralities.

The persistence of the religious drama in Spain is to be explained by the
peculiar history of the nation, especially the struggle of centuries with
the Moors--a continual crusade fought on their own soil, which inflamed
to the highest degree the religious enthusiasm of the people.

The Reformation awoke but a feeble echo in Spain, and only served to
quicken the masses to greater devotion to doctrines they saw threatened
from abroad.

The two dogmas of the church which have always been especially
dear to the Spaniards are those of the Immaculate Conception and
Transubstantiation.

The former, as more spiritual and impalpable, remained an article of
faith, deep and fervent, only represented to the senses by the mystic
masterpieces of Murillo. Transubstantiation, on the other hand, was
embodied in a host of symbols and ceremonies, and had devoted to it the
most gorgeous of all the festivals of the church--that of Corpus Christi,
established in 1263 by Urban IV., formally promulgated by Clement V. in
1311, and fifty years later amplified and rendered more magnificent by
John XXIII.

This festival was introduced into Spain during the reign of Alfonso X.,
and its celebration there, as elsewhere, was accompanied by dramatic
representations.

In Barcelona, even earlier than 1314, part of the celebration consisted
in a procession of giants and ridiculous figures--a feature, as we shall
afterwards see, always retained.

It seems established that from the earliest date dramatic representations
of some kind always accompanied the celebration of Corpus Christi.

These plays, constituting a distinct and peculiar class, received a name
of their own, and were at first called _autos_ (from the Latin _actus_,
applied to any particularly solemn act, as _autos-da-fe_), and later more
specifically _autos sacramentales_.

We infer from occasional notices that these religious dramas were
performed without interruption during the XIVth and XVth centuries. What
their character was during this period we do not know, as we possess none
earlier than the beginning of the XVIth century.

From this last-named date notices of the secular drama begin to multiply,
and we may form some idea of the early _autos sacramentales_ from the
productions of Juan de la Enzina and Gil Vicente.

The former wrote a number of religious dialogues or plays, which he
named _eclogues_, probably because the majority of the characters were
shepherds.

One of these eclogues is on the Nativity, another on the Passion and
Death of our Redeemer.

The word _auto_, as we have stated, was applied to any solemn act, and
did not at first refer exclusively to the Corpus Christi dramas, so we
find among the works of Gil Vicente an _auto_ for Christmas, and one on
the subject of S. Martin, which, although having nothing to do with the
mystery of the Eucharist, was performed during the celebration of Corpus
Christi in 1504, in the vestibule of the Church of Las Caldas in Lisbon.

These sacred plays were undoubtedly at first represented only in the
churches by the ecclesiastics; they were not allowed to be performed in
villages (where they could not be supervised by the higher clergy), or
for the sake of money.

The abuses in their performance, or perhaps the large number of
spectators, afterwards led to their representation in the open air.

The stage (as in the beginning of the classical drama) was a wagon, on
which the scenery was arranged; when the _autos_ became more elaborate,
three of these wagons or _carros_ were united.

We may see what these primitive stages were like in _Don Quixote_ (part
ii. chap. 11), the hero of which encountered upon the highway one of
these perambulating theatres:

    “He who guided the mules and served for carter was a frightful
    demon. The cart was uncovered and opened to the sky, without
    awning or wicker sides.

    “The first figure that presented itself to Don Quixote’s eyes
    was that of Death itself with a human visage. Close by him sat
    an angel with painted wings. On one side stood an emperor, with
    a crown, seemingly of gold, on his head.

    “At Death’s feet sat the god called Cupid, not blindfolded, but
    with his bow, quiver, and arrows.

    “There was also a knight completely armed, excepting only that
    he had no morion or casque, but a hat with a large plume of
    feathers of divers colors.

    “With these came other persons, differing both in habits and
    countenances.”

To Don Quixote’s question as to who they were the carter replied:

    “Sir, we are strollers belonging to Angulo el Malo’s company.
    This morning, which is the octave of Corpus Christi, we have
    been performing, in a village on the other side of yon hill, a
    piece representing the Cortes or Parliament of Death, and this
    evening we are to play it again in that village just before us;
    which being so near, to save ourselves the trouble of dressing
    and undressing, we come in the clothes we are to act our parts
    in.”

The character of the _autos_ changed with the improvements in their
representation; from mere dialogues they developed into short farces, the
object of which was to amuse while instructing.

Like the secular plays, they opened with a prologue, called the _loa_
(from _loar_, to praise), in which the object of the play was shadowed
forth and the indulgence of the spectators demanded.

The _loa_ was originally spoken by one person, and was also called
_argumento_ or _introito_, and was in the same metre as the _auto_;
although it consisted sometimes of a few lines in prose, as in the _auto_
of _The Gifts which Adam sent to Our Lady by S. Lazarus_:

    “LOA.--Here is recited an _auto_ which treats of a letter
    and gifts which our father Adam sent by S. Lazarus to the
    illustrious Virgin, Our Lady, supplicating her to consent to
    the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    “In order that the _auto_ may be easily heard, the accustomed
    silence is requested.”

Still later the _loa_ was extended into a short, independent play,
sometimes with no reference to the _auto_ it preceded, and frequently by
another author.

During Lope de Vega’s reign over the Spanish stage an _entremes_ or farce
was inserted between the _loa_ and _auto_.

These _entremeses_ are gay interludes, terminating with singing and
dancing, and having no connection with the solemn play which follows,
unless, as is the case with one of Lope de Vega’s (_Muestra de los
Carros_), to ridicule the whole manner of celebrating the festival.

With the increase in wealth and cultivation the performance of the
_autos_ had lost much of its primitive simplicity, and was attended with
lavish magnificence.

The proper representation of these truly national works was deemed of
such importance that each city had a committee, or _junta del corpus_,
consisting of the _corregidor_ and two _regidores_ of the town, and a
secretary.

This committee in Madrid was presided over by a member of the royal
council (_Consejo y Cámera real_) who was successively called the
“commissary, protector, and superintendent of the festivals of the Most
Holy Sacrament.”

The president of the junta was armed with extraordinary powers,
frequently exercised against refractory actors. It was his duty to
provide everything necessary for the festival: plays, actors, cars,
masked figures for the processions, decorations for the streets, etc.

As there were at that date no permanent theatrical companies in the
cities, it was necessary to engage actors for the _autos_ early in the
year, in order that there might be no risk of failure, and to afford the
necessary time for rehearsals.

The necessary preparations having been made, and an early Mass
celebrated, a solemn procession took place, followed by the
representation of the _autos_ in the open air.

The best descriptions of the manner of representation are found in the
travels of two persons who witnessed the performance of the _autos_ in
Madrid in 1654 and 1679.

The second of the two was the Comtesse d’Aulnoy, whose account of her
travels was always a popular book.[9] The writer was a gossipy French
lady, who disseminated through Europe many groundless scandals about the
Spanish court.

Here are her own words about the _autos_:

    “As soon as the Holy Sacrament is gone back to the church
    everybody goes home to eat, that they may be at the _autos_,
    which are certain kinds of tragedies upon religious subjects,
    and are oddly enough contrived and managed; they are acted
    either in the court or street of each president of a council,
    to whom it is due.

    “The king goes there, and all the persons of quality receive
    tickets overnight to go there; so that we were invited, and I
    was amazed to see them light up abundance of flambeaux, whilst
    the sun beat full upon the comedians’ heads, and melted the wax
    like butter. They acted the most impertinent piece that I ever
    saw in my days.… These _autos_ last for a month.…”

We shall see why the flippant Parisian was shocked when we consider the
subject-matter of these plays.

The whole ceremony is much better described by the earlier traveller,
Aarseus de Somerdyck, a Dutchman, who was in Madrid in 1654.

His account is so long and minute that we have been obliged to condense
it slightly:

    “The day opened with a procession, headed by a crowd of
    musicians and Biscayans with tambourines and castanets; then
    followed many dancers in gay dresses, who sprang about and
    danced as gayly as though they were celebrating the carnival.

    “The king attended Mass at Santa Maria, near the palace, and
    after the service came out of the church bearing a candle in
    his hand.

    “The repository containing the Host occupied the first place;
    then came the grandees and different councils.

    “At the head of the procession were several gigantic figures
    made of pasteboard, and moved by persons concealed within. They
    were of various designs, and some looked frightful enough; all
    represented women, except the first, which consisted only of
    an immense painted head borne by a very short man, so that the
    whole looked like a dwarf with a giant’s head.

    “There were besides two similar figures representing a Moorish
    and an Ethiopian giant, and a monster called the _tarrasca_.

    “This is an enormous serpent, with a huge belly, long tail,
    short feet, crooked claws, threatening eyes, powerful,
    distended jaws, and entire body covered with scales.

    “Those who are concealed within cause it to writhe so that its
    tail often knocks off the unwary bystanders’ hats, and greatly
    terrifies the peasants.

    “In the afternoon, at five o’clock, the _autos_ were performed.
    These are religious plays, between which comic interludes are
    given to heighten and spice the solemnity of the performance.

    “The theatrical companies, of which there are two in Madrid,
    close their theatres during this time, and for a month perform
    nothing but such religious plays, which take place in the open
    air, on platforms built in the streets.

    “The actors are obliged to play every day before the house
    of one of the presidents of the various councils. The first
    representation is before the palace, where a platform with a
    canopy is erected for their majesties.

    “At the foot of this canopy is the theatre; around the stage
    are little painted houses on wheels, from which the actors
    enter, and whither they retire at the end of every scene.

    “Before the performance the dancers and grotesque figures amuse
    the public.

    “During the representation lights were burned, although it
    was day and in the open air, while generally other plays are
    performed in the theatres in the daytime without any artificial
    light.”

Sufficient has now been said in regard to the history and mode of
representation of the _autos_ to enable us to understand the essentially
popular character of these plays--a fact very necessary to be kept in
mind, and which will explain, if not palliate, the many abuses which
gradually were introduced, and which led to their suppression by a royal
decree in 1765.

They have, however, left traces of their influence in plays still
performed on Corpus Christi in some parts of Spain, and in the sacred
plays represented during Lent in all the large cities.[10]


II.

We have seen the primitive condition of the _autos_ when Lope de Vega
took possession of the stage. He did for the _autos_ what he did for the
secular drama: with his consummate knowledge of the stage and the public,
he took the materials already at hand, and remodelled them to the shape
most likely to interest and win applause.

The superior poetic genius of Calderon found in the _autos_ the field for
its noblest exercise, and it is now admitted that he carried the secular
as well as the religious drama to the highest perfection of which it was
capable.

It is perhaps not generally remembered that Calderon, in common with many
men of letters of that day, took Holy Orders when he was fifty-one years
old (1651), and was appointed chaplain at Toledo.

This, however, involved his absence from court, and twelve years later he
was made chaplain of honor to the king; other ecclesiastical dignities
were added, which he enjoyed until the close of his life, in 1681.

Mr. Ticknor (_Hist. of Span. Lit._, ii. 351, note) says: “It seems
probable that Calderon wrote no plays expressly for the public stage
after he became a priest in 1651, confining himself to _autos_ and to
_comedias_ for the court, which last, however, were at once transferred
to the theatres of the capital.”

For nearly thirty-seven years he furnished Madrid, Toledo, Granada, and
Seville with _autos_, and devoted to them all the energies of his matured
mind.

Solis, the historian, in one of his letters says: “Our friend Don Pedro
Calderon is just dead, and went off, as they say the swan does, singing;
for he did all he could, even when he was in immediate danger, to finish
the second _auto_ for Corpus Christi.

“But, after all, he completed only a little more than half of it, and it
has been finished in some way or other by Don Melchior de Leon.”

Calderon evidently based his claim for recognition as a great poet on his
_autos_; of all his plays he deemed them alone worthy of his revision for
publication, and he would now without doubt be judged by them, had not
the spirit in which and for which they were written passed away, to a
great extent, with the author.

Before we examine his _autos_ in detail we must notice some of their most
striking peculiarities, and see in what respect they differ from plays on
religious subjects.

The intensely religious character of the Spaniards led, at an early date,
to their consecrating to religion every form of literature; and plays
based on the lives of the saints, miracles of the Blessed Virgin, etc.,
are very common.

Almost every prominent doctrine of the church is illustrated in the
dramas of Lope de Vega and Calderon.

Their plays differ not at all in _form_ from those of a purely secular
character; they are all in three acts, in verse.

The _autos_, on the other hand, are restricted to the celebration of one
doctrine--that of Transubstantiation; consist of but one act (that one,
however, nearly equal in length to the three of many secular plays); and
were performed on but one solemn occasion--the festival of Corpus Christi.

The most striking peculiarity of the _autos_ consists in the introduction
of _allegorical_ characters, which, however, were not first brought
before the public in _autos_, nor was their use restricted to that class
of dramatic compositions.

The custom of personifying inanimate objects is as old as the imagination
of man, and has been constantly used since the days of Job and David; and
Cervantes, in his interesting drama, _Numancia_, introduces “a maiden who
represents Spain,” and “the river Douro.”

It is not easy to see how the introduction of allegorical personages
could have been avoided.

The leading idea in all the _autos_ is the redemption of the human soul
by the personal sacrifice of the Son of God--that great gift of himself
to us embodied in the doctrine of the Real Presence.

The plot is the history of the soul from its innocence in Eden to its
temptation and fall, and subsequent salvation; the characters are the
soul itself, represented by human nature, the Spouse Christ, the tempter,
the senses, the various virtues and vices.

These constitute but a small minority of the whole number, as will be
seen by the following list, which might easily be expanded:

God Almighty as Father, King, or Prince, Omnipotence, Wisdom, Divine
Love, Grace, Righteousness, Mercy; Christ as the Good Shepherd,
Crusader, etc., the Bridegroom--_i.e._, Christ, who woos his bride, the
Church--the Virgin, the Devil or Lucifer, Shadow as a symbol of guilt,
Sin, Man as Mankind, the Soul, Understanding, Will, Free-will, Care,
Zeal, Pride, Envy, Vanity, Thought (generally, from its fickleness, as
Clown), Ignorance, Foolishness, Hope, Comfort, the Church, the written
and natural Law, Idolatry, Judaism or the Synagogue, the Alcoran or
Mahometanism, Heresy, Apostasy, Atheism, the Seven Sacraments, the World,
the four quarters of the globe, Nature, Light symbol of Grace, Darkness,
Sleep, Dreams, Death, Time, the Seasons and Days, the various divisions
of the world, the four elements, the plants (especially the wheat and
vine, as furnishing the elements for the Holy Eucharist), the five
Senses, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and their symbols (the eagle
of John, etc.), and the Angels and Archangels.

Anachronisms are not regarded, and the prophets and apostles appear side
by side on the same stage.

Although the plot was essentially always the same, its development and
treatment were infinitely varied.

The protagonist is Man, but under the most diversified forms, from
abstract man to Psyche or Eurydice, representatives of the human soul.

The essential idea of man’s fall and salvation is entwined with all
manner of subjects taken from history, mythology, and romance.

The first contributed _The Conversion of Constantine_, the second a
host of plays like _The Divine Jason_, _Cupid and Psyche_, _Andromeda
and Perseus_, _The Divine Orpheus_, _The True God Pan_, _The Sacred
Parnassus_, _The Sorceries of Sin_ (Ulysses and Circe). Romance
contributed the fables of _Charlemagne and the Twelve Peers_, etc.

It is almost needless to say that the most important sources of the
_autos_ are the Scriptures and Biblical traditions.

Examples of the former are: _The Brazen Serpent_, _The First and Second
Isaac_, _Baltassar’s Feast_, _The Vineyard of the Lord_ (S. Matt. xx. 1).
_Gedeon’s Fleece_, _The Faithful Shepherd_, _The Order of Melchisedech_,
_Ruth’s Gleaning_, etc.

An interesting example of the use of tradition is the _auto_ of _The Tree
of the Best Fruit_ (_El Arbol del Mejor Fruto_), embodying the legend
that the cross on which Christ died was produced from three seeds of
the tree of the forbidden fruit planted on the grave of Adam. There yet
remains a large number of plays which cannot be referred to any of the
above-mentioned classes.

These are the inventions of the poet’s brain, some of them but a recast
of secular plays already popular;[11] others are fresh creations, and
are among the most interesting of the autos. Among these are _The Great
Theatre of the World_ (_El Gran Teatro del Mundo_, partly translated by
Dean Trench), _The Poison and the Antidote_ (_El Veneno y la Triaca_,
partly translated by Mr. MacCarthy), etc.

No idea, however, can be formed of the _autos_ from a mere statement of
their form and subjects; they must be examined in their entirety, and the
reader must transport himself back to the spirit of the times in which
they were written.

What this spirit was, and how the _autos_ are to be regarded, is
admirably expressed by Schack, in his _History of the Spanish Drama_
(iii. p. 251), and of which Mr. MacCarthy has given the following
spirited translation:

    “Posterity cannot fail to participate in the admiration of
    the XVIIth century for this particular kind of poetry, when
    it shall possess sufficient self-denial to transplant itself
    out of the totally different circle of contemporary ideas into
    the intuition of the world, and the mode of representing it,
    from which this entire species of drama has sprung. He who
    can in this way penetrate deeply into the spirit of a past
    century will see the wonderful creations of Calderon’s _autos_
    rise before him, with sentiments somewhat akin to those of
    the astronomer, who turns his far-reaching telescope upon the
    heavens, and, as he scans the mighty spaces, sees the milky-way
    separating into suns, and from the fathomless depths of the
    universe new worlds of inconceivable splendor rising up.

    “Or let me use another illustration: he may feel like the
    voyager who, having traversed the wide waste of waters, steps
    upon a new region of the earth, where he is surrounded by
    unknown and wonderful forms--a region which speaks to him in
    the mysterious voices of its forests and its streams, and where
    other species of beings, of a nature different from any he has
    known, look out wonderingly at him from their strange eyes.

    “Indeed, like to such a region these poems hem us round.

    “A temple opens before us, in which, as in the Holy Graal
    Temple of Titurel, the Eternal Word is represented symbolically
    to the senses.

    “At the entrance the breath as if of the Spirit of eternity
    blows upon us, and a holy auroral splendor, like the brightness
    of the Divinity, fills the consecrated dome.

    “In the centre, as the central point of all being and of all
    history, stands the cross, on which the infinite Spirit has
    sacrificed himself from his infinite benevolence towards man.

    “At the foot of this sublime symbol stands the poet as
    hierophant and prophet, who explains the pictures upon the
    walls, and the dumb language of the tendrils, and the flowers
    that are twining round the columns, and the melodious tones
    which reverberate in music from the vault.

    “He waves his magic wand, and the halls of the temple extend
    themselves through the immeasurable; a perspective of pillars
    spreads from century to century up to the dark gray era of the
    past, where first the fountain of life gushes up, and where
    suns and stars, coming forth from the womb of nothing, begin
    their course.

    “And the inspired seer unveils the secrets of creation, showing
    to us the breath of God moving over the chaos, as he separates
    the solid earth from the waters, points out to the moon and
    the stars their orbits, and commands the elements whither they
    should fly and what they are to seek.

    “We feel ourselves folded in the wings of the Spirit of the
    universe, and we hear the choral jubilation of the new-born
    suns, as they solemnly enter on their appointed paths,
    proclaiming the glory of the Eternal.

    “From the dusky night, which conceals the source of all things,
    we see the procession of peoples, through the ever-renewing
    and decaying generations of men, following that star that led
    the wise men from the east, and advancing in their pilgrimage
    towards the place of promise; but beyond, irradiated by the
    splendors of redemption and reconciliation, lies the future,
    with its countless generations of beings yet unborn.

    “And the sacred poet points all round to the illimitable,
    beyond the boundaries of time out into eternity, shows the
    relation of all things, created and uncreated, to the symbol of
    grace, and how all nations look up to Him in worship.

    “The universe in its thousand-fold phenomena, with the chorus
    of all its myriad voices, becomes one sublime psalm to the
    praise of the Most Holy; heaven and earth lay their gifts at
    his feet; the stars, ‘the never-fading flowers of heaven,’ and
    the flowers, ‘the transitory stars of earth,’ must pay him
    tribute; day and night, light and darkness, lie worshipping
    before him in the dust, and the mind of man opens before him
    its most hidden depths, in order that all its thoughts and
    feelings may become transfigured in the vision of the Eternal.

    “This is the spirit that breathes from the _autos_ of Calderon
    upon him who can comprehend them in the sense meant by the
    poet.”

With this preparation we can now examine in detail one or two of the
most characteristic of Calderon’s _autos_, selecting from the class of
Scriptural subjects _Baltassar’s Feast_, and from the large class of
allegories invented by the poet the _Painter of his own Dishonor_, which
is of especial interest, as being the counterpart of a secular play.

NOTE.--Those who desire a better acquaintance with Calderon’s AUTOS than
they can form from the above very imperfect sketch and analyses will find
the following list of authorities of interest:

The _autos_ were not collected and published until some time after the
poet’s death, in 1717, six vols. 4to, and 1759-60, six vols., also in
4to, both editions somewhat difficult to find. In 1865 thirteen were
published in Riradeneyra’s collection of Spanish authors in a work
entitled _Autos Sacramentales desde su origen hasta fines del siglo_
XVII., with an historical introduction by the collector, Don Eduardo G.
Pedroso.

The _autos_ have never been republished, in the original, out of Spain.

The enthusiasm in regard to the Spanish drama aroused by Schlegel’s
_Lectures_, early in this century, bore fruit in a large number of
excellent German translations of the most celebrated secular plays.

The _autos_ were neglected until 1829, when Cardinal Diepenbrock
published a translation of _Life is a Dream_ (counterpart of comedy of
same name); this was followed in 1846-53 by _Geistliche Schauspiele_, von
Calderon (Stuttgart, two volumes), containing eleven _autos_ translated
by J. von Eichendorff, a writer well known in other walks of literature.
In this translation the original metre is preserved, and they are in
every way worthy of admiration.

In 1856 Ludwig Braunfels published two volumes of translations from Lope
de Vega, Iviso de Molina, and Calderon; the second volume contains the
_auto_ of _Baltassar’s Feast_.

In 1855 Dr. Franz Lorinser, an ecclesiastic of Regensburg, an
enthusiastic admirer of Spanish literature, began the translation of
all of Calderon’s _autos_, and has now translated some sixty-two of the
seventy-two into German trochaic verse, without any attempt to preserve
the original _asonante_.

This translation is accompanied by valuable notes and explanations,
very necessary for the non-Catholic reader, as these plays are in many
instances crowded with scholastic theology.

If the Germans, with their genius for translation, shrank from the labor
necessary for the faithful rendering of the _autos_, the English, with
their more unmanageable language, may well be excused for suffering these
remarkable plays to remain so long unknown.

Occasional notices and analyses had been given in literary histories
and periodicals, but the first attempt at a metrical translation was by
Dean Trench in his admirable little work (reprinted in New York 1856) on
Calderon, which contains a partial translation of _The Great Theatre of
the World_.

It is needless to say it is beautifully done, and on the whole is the
most poetical translation yet made into English.

The first complete translation of an _auto_ was made by Mr. D. F.
MacCarthy, published in 1861 in London, under the title, _Three Dramas of
Calderon, from the Spanish_, and containing the _auto_, _The Sorceries of
Sin_.

The author was favorably known for his previous labors in this field,
which had won him the gratitude of all interested in Spanish literature.

He has since published a volume, entitled _Mysteries of Corpus Christi_,
Dublin and London, 1867, containing complete translations of _Baltassar’s
Feast_, _The Divine Philothea_, and several scenes from _The Poison and
the Antidote_, in all of which the original metre is strictly preserved.
There are few translations in the English language where similar
difficulties have been so triumphantly overcome.

The _asonante_ can never be naturalized in English verse, but Mr.
MacCarthy has done much to reconcile us to it, and make its introduction
in Spanish translations useful, if not indispensably necessary.

It may be doubted whether in any other way a correct idea of the Spanish
drama can be conveyed to those unacquainted with the Spanish language.

TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT MONTH.


ARE YOU MY WIFE?

BY THE AUTHOR OF “A SALON IN PARIS BEFORE THE WAR,” “NUMBER THIRTEEN,”
“PIUS VI.,” ETC.

CHAPTER III.

THE LILIES.

My first step was to pay a visit to the Préfecture de Police. I was
received with the utmost courtesy and many half-spoken, half-intimated
expressions of sympathy that were touching and unexpected. All that my
sensitive pride most shrank from in my misfortune was ignored with a
tact and delicacy that were both soothing and encouraging. I had felt
more than once, when exposing my miserable and extraordinary situation
to the police agents at home, that it required the strongest effort of
professional gravity on their part not to burst out laughing in my face.
No such struggle was to be seen in the countenances of the French police.
They listened with interest, real or feigned, to my story, and invited
what confidence I had to give by the matter-of-fact simplicity with which
they set to work to put the few pieces of the puzzle together, and to
endeavor to read some clew in them. I returned to my hotel after this
interview more cheered and sanguine than the incident itself reasonably
warranted.

It was scarcely two years since I had been in Paris, yet since that
first visit I found it singularly altered. I could not say exactly how;
but it was not the same. It had struck me when I first saw it as the
place above all I had yet seen for a man to build an earthly paradise
to himself; the air was full of brightness, redolent of light-hearted
pleasure; the aspect of the city, the looks of the people, suggested
at every point the Epicurean motto, “Eat, drink, and be merry; for
to-morrow we die!” But it was different now. Perhaps the change was in
me; in the world within rather than the world without. The chord that had
formerly answered to the touch of the vivacious gayety of the place was
broken. I walked through the streets and boulevards now with wide-open,
disenchanted eyes, critical and unsympathetic. Things that had passed
unheeded before appeared to me with a new meaning. What struck me as most
disagreeable, and with a sense of complete novelty, was the widespread
popularity which the devil apparently enjoyed amongst the Parisians. If,
as we may assume, the popularity of a name implies the popularity of the
person or the idea that it represents, it is difficult to exaggerate
the esteem and favor which Satan commands in the city of bonnets and
revolutions. You can scarcely pass through any of the thoroughfares
without seeing his name emblazoned on a shop-window, or his figure carved
or bedaubed in some grotesque or hideous guise on a sign-board inviting
you to enter and spend your money under his patronage. There are devils
dancing and devils grinning, devils fat and devils lean, a _diable
vert_ and a _diable rose_, a _bon diable_, a _diable à quatre_--every
conceivable shape and color of _diable_, in fact, in the range of the
infernal hierarchy. He stands as high in favor with the literary guild
as with the shop-keepers; books and plays are called after him; his name
is a household word in the press; it gives salt to the editor’s joke and
point to his epigram. The devil is welcome everywhere, and everywhere
set up as a sign not to be contradicted. Angels, on the other hand, are
at a discount. Now and then you chance upon some honorable mention of
the _ange gardien_, but the rare exception only serves as a contrast
which vindicates the overwhelming popularity of the fallen brethren.
Is this the outcome of the promise, “I will give my angels charge over
thee”? And does Beelzebub’s protection of his Parisian votaries justify
their interpretation of the message? I was revolving some such vague
conjectures in my mind as I turned listlessly into the Rue de Rivoli, and
saw a cab driving in under the _porte cochère_ of my hotel. I quickened
my pace, for I fancied I recognized a familiar face in the distance. The
glass door at the foot of the stairs was still swinging, as I pushed it
before me, and heard a voice calling my name on the first floor. “Hollo!
here you are, uncle!” I cried, and, clearing the intervening stair at
three bounds, I seized the admiral by both arms, as he stood with his
hand still on my bell-rope.

“Come in, my boy. Come in,” he said, and pushed in without turning his
head towards me.

“You have bad news!” I said. I read it in his averted face and the
subdued gravity of his greeting. He deliberately took off his hat and
flung his light travelling surtout on the sofa before he answered me.
Then he came up and laid his hand on my shoulder. “Yes, very bad news, my
poor fellow; but you will bear up like a man. It doesn’t all end here,
you know.”

“My God! It is all over, then! She is dead!” I cried.

He made a gesture that signified assent, and pressed me down into a
chair. I do not remember what followed.

I recollect his standing over me, and whispering words into my ear that
came like the sound of my mother’s voice--words that fell like balm upon
my burning brain, and silenced, as if by some physical force, other
words that were quivering on my tongue. I never knew or cared before
whether my uncle believed in anything, whether he had faith in God or in
devils; but as he spoke to me then I remember feeling a kind of awe in
his presence--awe mingled with surprise and a sense of peace and comfort;
it was as if I had drifted unawares into a haven. He never left me for a
moment till the hard dumbness was melted, and I let my head drop on his
shoulder, and wept.…

He told me that the day I left Dieppe news came of the wreck of a
fishing-smack having floated into the harbor of St. Valéry. The police
were on the alert, and went at once to inspect the boat. It had capsized,
and had drifted ashore, after knocking about on the high seas no one
could say how many days; but it bore the name of a fisherman who had been
seen in the neighborhood about ten days before. There was nothing in the
boat, of course, that could give any indication as to what had become of
its owner or how the accident had occurred. About two days later the body
of a woman was washed ashore almost on the same spot; the police, still
on the _qui-vive_, went down to see it, and at once telegraphed for my
uncle. The body was lying at the _morgue_ of St. Valéry; it was already
decomposing, but the work of destruction was not far enough advanced
to admit of doubt as to the identity. The long, dark hair was dripping
with the slime of the sea, and tangled like a piece of sea-weed; but the
admiral’s eyes had no sooner glanced at the face than he recognized it.

I can write this after an interval of many months, but even now I cannot
recall it without feeling, almost as vividly as at the moment, the
pang that seemed to cleave my very life in two. My uncle had said: “It
doesn’t all end here!” and those words, I believe, preserved me from
suicide. They kept singing, not in my ears, but within me, and seemed
to be coming out of all the common sounds that were jarring and dinning
outside. The very ticking of the clock seemed to repeat them: “It does
not all end here.” It did, so far as my happiness went. I was a blighted
man for ever. The dark mystery of the flight and the death would never
be solved on this side of the grave. The sea had given up its dead, but
the dead could not speak. I was alone henceforth with a secret that no
fellow-creature could unriddle for me. I must bear the burden of my
broken life, without any hope of alleviation, to the end. The name of De
Winton was safe now. No blot would come upon it through the follies or
sins of her who had beamed like a sweet, sudden star upon my path, and
then gone out, leaving me in the lonely darkness. Why should I chronicle
my days any more? They can never be anything to me but a dreary routine
of comings and goings, without joy or hope to brighten them. The sun
has gone down. The stone has fallen to the bottom; the trembling of the
circles, as they quiver upon the surface of the water, soon passes away,
and then all is still and stagnant again.

       *       *       *       *       *

So Clide lapses into silence again, and for a time we lose sight of him.
He is roving about the world, doing his best to kill pain by excitement,
and soothe memory with hope; and all this while a new life is getting
ready for him, growing and blossoming, and patiently waiting for the
summer-time, when the fruit shall be ripe for him to come and gather
it. The spot which this new life has chosen for its home is suggestive
rather of the past than of the future. A tiny brick cottage, with a
thatched roof overgrown with mosses green and brown, a quaint remnant
of old-fashioned life, a bit of picturesque long ago forgotten on the
skirts of the red-tiled, gas-lit, prosperous modern town of Dullerton.
The little brick box, smothered in its lichens and mosses, was called The
Lilies from a band of those majestic flowers that dwelt on either side
of the garden-wicket, like guardian angels of the place, looking out in
serene beauty on the world without.

It was a nine days’ wonder to Dullerton when the Comte Raymond de la
Bourbonais and his daughter Franceline came from over the seas, and took
up their abode at The Lilies with a French _bonne_ called Angélique.
There was the usual amount of guessing amongst the gossips as to the why
and the wherefore a foreign nobleman should have selected such a place
as Dullerton, when, as was affirmed by those who knew all about it, he
had all the world before him to choose from. The only person who could
have thrown light upon the mystery was Sir Simon Harness, the lord of the
manor of Dullerton. But Sir Simon was not considerate enough to do so;
he was even so perverse as to set the gossips on an entirely wrong scent
for some time; and it was not until the count and his daughter had become
familiar objects to the neighborhood that the reason of their presence
there transpired.

The De la Bourbonais were an old race of royalists whose archives could
have furnished novels for a generation without mixing one line of fiction
with volumes of fact. They had fought in every Crusade, and won spurs on
every battle-field wherever a French prince fought; they had produced
heroes and heroines in the centuries when such things were expected from
the feudal lords of France, and they had furnished scapegraces without
end when these latter became the fashion; they had quarrelled with their
neighbors, stormed their castles, and misbehaved themselves generally
like other noble families of their time, dividing their days between
war and gallantry so evenly that it was often difficult to say where
the one began and where the other ended, or which led to which. This
was in the good old times. Then the Revolution came. The territorial
importance of the De la Bourbonais was considerably diminished at this
date; but the prestige of the old name, with the deeds of prowess that
had once made it a power in the camp and a glory at the court, was as
great as ever, and marked its owners amongst the earliest victims of the
Terror. They gave their full contingent of blue blood to the guillotine,
and what lands remained to them were confiscated to the Regenerators
of France. The then head of the house, the father of the present Comte
Raymond, died in England under the roof of his friend, Sir Alexander
Harness, father of Sir Simon. The son that was born to him in exile
returned to France at the Restoration, and grew up in solitude in the
old castle that had withstood so many storms, and--thanks partly to its
dilapidated condition, but chiefly to the fidelity and courage of an old
dependent--had been rescued from the general plunder, and left unmolested
for the young master who came back to claim it. Comte Raymond lived there
in learned isolation, sharing the ancestral ruin with a population of
owls, who pursued their meditations in one wing while he pondered over
philosophical problems in another. It was a dreary abode, except for the
owls; a desolate wreck of ancient splendor and power. We may poetize
over ruins, and clothe them with what pathos we will, the beauty of
decay is but the beauty of death; the ivy that flourishes on the grave
of a glorious past is but a harvest of death; it looks beautiful in the
weird silver shadows of the moon, but it shrinks before the blaze of day
that lights up the proud castle on the hill, standing in its strength of
battlement and tower and flying buttress, and smiling a grim, granite
smile upon the gray wreck in the valley down below, and wondering what
poets and night-birds can find in its crumbling arches and gaping windows
to haunt them so fanatically. Raymond de la Bourbonais was contented in
his weather-beaten old fortress, and would probably never have dreamed
of leaving it or changing the owl-like routine of his life, if it had
not entered into the mind of his grand-aunt, the only remaining lady of
his name, to marry him. Raymond started when the subject was broached,
but, with the matter-of-fact coolness of a Frenchman in such things,
he quickly recovered his composure, and observed blandly to the aged
countess: “You are right, my aunt. It had not occurred to me, I confess;
but now that you mention it, I see it would be desirable.” And having
so far arranged his marriage, Raymond, satisfied with his own consent,
relapsed into his books, and begged that he might hear no more about it
until his grand-aunt had found him a wife.

The family of the De Xaintriacs lived near him, and happened just at
this moment to have a daughter to marry; so the old countess ordered out
the lumbering family coach that had taken her great-grandmother to the
_fêtes_ given for Marie de Medicis on her marriage, and rumbled over the
roads to the Château de Xaintriac. This ancestral hall was about on a par
with its neighbor, De la Bourbonais, as regarded external preservation,
but the similarity between the two houses ended here. The De Xaintriacs’
origin was lost in the pre-historic ages before the Deluge, the earliest
record of its existence being a curious iron casket preserved in the
archives, in which, it was said, the family papers had been rescued from
the Flood by one of Noe’s daughters-in-law, “herself a demoiselle de
Xaintriac”--so ran the legend. The papers had been destroyed in a fire
many centuries before the Christian era, but happily the casket had been
saved. It was to a daughter of this illustrious house that the Comtesse
de la Bourbonais offered her grand-nephew in marriage. Armengarde de
Xaintriac was twenty-five years of age, and shadowed forth in character
and person the finest characteristics of her mystic genealogy. In
addition to the antediluvian casket, she brought the husband, who was
exactly double her age, a dower of beauty and sweetness that surpassed
even the lofty pride that was her birthright. For four years they were
as happy as two sojourners in this valley of tears could well be. Then
the young wife began to droop, perishing away slowly before her husband’s
eyes. “Take her to the Nile for a year; there is just a chance that
that may save her,” said the doctors. Armengarde did not hear the cruel
verdict; and when Raymond came back one day after a short absence,
and announced that he had come in unexpectedly to a sum of money, and
proposed their spending the winter in Egypt, she clapped her hands,
and made ready for the journey. Raymond watched her delight like one
transfigured, while she, suspecting nothing, took his happiness as a
certain pledge of restored health, and went singing about the house, as
if the promise were already fulfilled. The whole place revived in a new
atmosphere of hope and security; the low ceilings, festooned with the
cobwebs of a generation, grew alight with cheerfulness, and the sunbeams
streamed more freely through the dingy panes of the deep windows. It was
as if some stray ray from heaven had crept into the old keep, lighting it
up with a brightness not of earth.

Angélique was to go with them in charge of little Franceline, their only
child.

It was on a mild autumn morning, early in October, that the travellers
set out on their journey toward the Pyramids. The birds were singing,
though the sun was hiding behind the clouds; but as Raymond de la
Bourbonais looked back from the gate to catch a last glimpse of the home
that was no longer his, the clouds suddenly parted, and the sun burst
out in a stream of golden light, painting the old keep with shadows of
pathetic beauty, and investing it with a charm he had never seen there
before. Sacrifice, like passion, has its hour of rapture, its crisis
of mysterious pain, when the soul vibrates between agony and ecstasy.
A sunbeam lighted upon Raymond’s head, encircling it like a halo. “My
Raymond, you look like an angel; see, there is a glory round your head!”
cried Armengarde.

“It is because I am so happy!” replied her husband, with a radiant smile.
“We are going to the land of the sun, where my pale rose will grow red
again.”

The sacrifice was not quite in vain. She was spared to him four years;
then she died, and he laid her to rest under the shade of the great
Pyramid, where they told him that Abraham and Sara were sleeping.

When M. de la Bourbonais set foot on his native soil again, he was a
beggar. The money he had received for the castle and the small bit of
land belonging to it had just sufficed to keep up the happy delusion
with Armengarde to the last, and bring him and Franceline and Angélique
home; the three landed at Marseilles with sufficient money to keep them
for one month, using it economically. Meantime the count must look
for employment, trusting to Providence rather than to man. Providence
did not fail him. Help was at hand in the shape of one of those kind
dispensations that we call lucky chances, and which are oftener found in
the track of chivalrous souls than misanthropes like to own. About three
days after his arrival in the busy mercantile port, M. de la Bourbonais
was walking along the quay, indulging in sad reveries with the vacant air
and listless gait now habitual to him, when a hand was laid brusquely
on his shoulder. “As I live, here is the man,” cried Sir Simon Harness.
“My dear fellow, you’ve turned up in the very nick of time; but where in
heaven’s name have you turned up from?”

The question was soon answered. Sir Simon gave his heartiest sympathy,
and then told his friend the meaning of the joyous exclamation which had
greeted him.

“You remember a villain of the name of Roy--a notary who played old Harry
with some property in shares and so forth that your father entrusted to
him just before he fled to England? You must have heard him tell the
story many a time, poor fellow. Well, this worthy, as big a blackguard
as ever cheated the hangman of his fee, was called up to his reckoning
about a month ago, and, by way, I suppose, of putting things straight
a bit before he handed in his books, the rascal put a codicil to his
will, restoring to you what little remained of the money he swindled
your poor father out of. It is placed in bank shares--a mere pittance
of the original amount; but it will keep your head above water just
for the present, and meantime we must look about for something for you
at headquarters--some stick at the court or a nice little government
appointment. The executors have been advertising for you in every
direction; it’s the luckiest chance, my just meeting you in time to give
the good news.”

Raymond was thankful for the timely legacy, but he would not hear of a
stir being made to secure him either stick or place. He was too proud
to sue at the hands of the regicide’s son who now sat on the throne of
Louis Seize, nor would he accept an appointment at his court, supposing
it offered unsolicited. The pittance that, in Sir Simon’s opinion, was
enough to keep him above water for a time, would be, with his simple
habits, enough to float him for the rest of his life. He had, it is true,
visions of future wealth for Franceline, but these were to be realized
by the product of his own brain, not by the pay of a courtly sinecure
or government office. Finding him inexorable on this point, Sir Simon
ceased to urge it. He was confident that a life of poverty and obscurity
would soon bring down the rigid royalist’s pride; but meantime where was
he to live? Raymond had no idea. Life in a town was odious to him. He
wanted the green fields and quiet of the country for his studies; but
where was he to seek them now? He had no mind to go back to Lorraine
and live like a peasant, in sight of his old home, that was now in the
hands of strangers. “Come to England,” said Sir Simon. “You’ll stay with
me until you grow home-sick and want to leave us. No one will interfere
with you; you can work away at your books, and be as much of a hermit
as you like.” Raymond accepted the invitation, but only till he should
find some suitable little home for himself in the neighborhood. Within
a week he found himself installed at Dullerton Court with Franceline
and Angélique. The same rooms that his father had occupied sixty years
before, and which had ever since been called the count’s apartments,
were prepared for them. They were very little changed by the wear and
tear of the intervening half-century. There were the same costly hangings
to the gilt four-post beds, the same grim, straight-nosed Queen Elizabeth
staring down from the tapestry, out of her stiff ruffles, on one wall;
the same faded David and Goliath wrestling on the other. Raymond could
remember how the pictures used to fascinate him when he was a tiny boy,
and how he used to lie awake in his little bed and keep his eyes fixed
on them, and wonder whether the two would ever leave off fighting, and
if the big man would not jump up suddenly and knock down the little man,
who was sticking something into his chest. Outside the house the scene
was just as unchanged; the lake was in the same place, and it seemed
as if the swan that was sitting in the middle of it, with folded sails
and one leg tucked under his wing, was the identical one that the young
countess used to feed, and that Raymond cried to be let ride on. The
deer were glancing through the distant glade, just as he remembered them
as a child, starting at every sound, and tossing their antlers in the
sunlight; the gray stone of the grand castellated house may have been a
tinge darker for the smoke and fog of the sixty additional years, but
this was not noticeable; the sunbeams sent dashes of golden light across
the flanking towers with their dark ivy draperies, and into the deep
mullioned windows, where the queer small panes hid themselves, as if they
were ashamed to be seen, just as in the old days; the fountain sent up
its crystal showers on the broad sweep of the terrace, and the lime and
the acacia trees sheltering the gravel walks that led through grassy
openings into the enclosed flower-garden were as dark and as shady as of
yore; the clumps on the mounds swelling here and there through the park
had not outgrown the shapes they were in Raymond’s memory; the lawn was
as smooth and green as when he rolled over its mossy turf, to the utter
detriment of fresh-frilled pinafores and white frocks.

It was a pleasant resting-place, a palm-grove in the wilderness, where
the wayfarer might halt peacefully, and take breath for the rest of
the journey. Yet Raymond was determined not to tarry there longer than
was absolutely needful. Sir Simon did all that a host could do to
make him prolong his stay; but he was inexorable. He spied out a tiny
brick cottage perched on a bit of rising ground just below the park,
half-smothered in moss and lichens. It was beautifully situated as to
view; flowing meadows sloped down before it towards the river; beyond
the river corn-fields stretched out towards the woods, that rose like
dark waves breaking at the foot of the purple hills; the cottage was
called The Lilies, and contained six rooms, three above and three below,
including the kitchen. When Raymond offered himself as a tenant for it,
the baronet burst into a ringing laugh that scared the stately swan out
of his dignity, and sent him scudding over the water like a frightened
goose. But Raymond was not to be laughed out of his purpose; he should
have The Lilies, or he would go away. He must have it, too, like any
ordinary tenant, on the same conditions, neither better nor worse. The
lease was accordingly drawn out in due form, and M. de la Bourbonais
entered into possession after a very short delay. The room that was
intended for a drawing-room was fitted up with the count’s books--the
few special treasures he had rescued from the fate of all his goods
and chattels four years ago--and was called the library. It was not
much bigger than a good-sized book-case, but it would answer all the
purposes of a sitting-room for the present; Franceline would never be
in his way, and might sit there as much as she liked. The landlord had
had a little scheme of his own about the furnishing of the cottage, and
had sent for a London tradesman to this effect, intending to surprise
Raymond by having it all ready for him. But Raymond was as impracticable
here as about the lease. Sir Simon was annoyed. Raymond contrived to
foil him and have his own way in everything. He seemed to be half his
time in the moon; but when you wanted him to stay there, he was suddenly
wide-awake and as wilful as a mule. There was a substratum of steel
somewhere in him, in spite of his gentleness; and though it never hurt
you, it repelled you when you came against it every now and then, and
it was provoking. There was altogether something about Raymond that
mystified Sir Simon. To see a man as refined and sensitive as he was,
endowed with the hereditary instincts that make affluence a necessity
of existence to a gentleman, settling down into the conditions and
abode of the smallest of small farmers, and doing it as cheerfully as
if he were perfectly contented with the prospect, was something beyond
Sir Simon’s comprehension. To him life without wealth--not for its own
sake, but for what it gives and hinders--was merely a sentence of penal
servitude. Raymond had always been poor, he knew; but poverty in the
antique splendor of decayed ancestral halls, with the necessaries of
life provided as by a law of nature, and in the midst of a loyal and
reverent peasantry, was a very different sort of poverty from what he was
now embarking on. He would sometimes fix his eyes on Raymond when he was
busying himself, with apparently great satisfaction, on some miserable
trifle that Angélique wanted done in her room or in the kitchen, and
wonder whether it was genuine or feigned, whether sorrow or philosophy
had so deadened him to external conditions as to make him indifferent to
the material meanness and miseries of his position. He never heard a word
of regret, or any expression that could be construed into regret, escape
him in their most familiar conversations. Once Raymond, in speaking of
poverty, had confessed that he had never believed it had any power to
make men unhappy--such poverty as his had been--until he felt the touch
of its cruel finger on his Armengarde; then he realized the fact in its
full bitterness. But he had foiled the tormenter by a sublime fraud
of love, and saved his own heart from an anguish that would have been
more intolerable than remorse. Sir Simon remembered the expression of
Raymond’s face as he said this; the smile of gentle triumph that it wore,
as if gratitude for the rescue and the sacrifice had alone survived. He
concluded that it was so; that Raymond had forgiven poverty, since he had
conquered her; and that now he could take her to live with him like a
snake that had lost its sting, or some bright-spotted wild beast that he
had wrestled with and tamed, and might henceforth sport with in safety.

Sir Simon found it hard to reconcile this serene philosophical state
of mind with his friend’s insurmountable reluctance to accept the least
material service, while, on the other hand, he took with avidity any
amount of affection and sympathy that was offered to him. It was because
he felt that he could repay these in kind; whereas for the others he
must remain an insolvent debtor. “Bourbonais, that is sheer nonsense and
inconsistency. I wouldn’t give a button for your philosophy, if it can’t
put you above such weakness. It’s absurd; you ought to struggle against
it and overcome it.” This was the baronet’s pet formula; he was always
ready with this advice to his friends. Raymond never contested the wisdom
of the proposition, or Sir Simon’s right to enunciate it; but in this
particular at least he did not adopt it.

The gentry of the neighborhood called in due course at The Lilies,
and M. de la Bourbonais punctiliously returned the civility, and here
the intercourse ended. He would accept no hospitality that he was not
in a position to return. He was on very good terms with his immediate
neighbors, who were none of them formidable people. There was Mr.
Langrove, the vicar of Dullerton, and Father Henwick, the Catholic
priest, and Miss Bulpit and Miss Merrywig, two maiden ladies, who were in
their separate ways prominent institutions of the place. These four, with
Sir Simon, were the only persons who could boast of being on visiting
terms with the shy, polite foreigner who bowed to every old apple-woman
on the road as if she were a duchess, and kept the vulgar herd of the
town and the fine people of the county as much at a distance as if he
were an exiled sovereign who declined to receive the homage of other
subjects than his own.

Franceline had been eight years at Dullerton, and was now in her
seventeenth year. She was very beautiful, as she stood leaning on the
garden-rail amongst the lilies, looking like a lily herself, with one
dove perched upon her finger, while another alighted on her head, and
cooed to it. She was neither a blonde nor a brunette, as we classify
them, but a type between the two. Her complexion was of that peculiar
whiteness that we see in fair northern women, Scandinavians and Poles; as
clear as ivory and as colorless, the bright vermilion of the finely cut,
sensitive mouth alone relieving its pallor. Yet her face was deficient
neither in warmth nor light; the large, almond-shaped eyes, flashing
in shadow, sometimes black, sometimes purple gray, lighted it better
than the pinkest roses could have done; and if the low arch of the dark
eyebrows gave a tinge of severity to it, the impression was removed by
two saucy dimples that lurked in either cheek, and were continually
breaking out of their hiding-places, and brightening the pensive features
like a sunbeam. Franceline’s voice had a note in it that was as bright as
her dimples. It rang through the brick cottage like the sound of running
water; and when she laughed, it was so hearty that you laughed with
her from very sympathy. Such a creature would have been in her proper
sphere in a palace, treading on pink marble, and waited on by a retinue
of pages. But she was not at all out of place at The Lilies; perhaps,
next to the palace and pink marble, she could not have alighted in a
more appropriate frame than this mossy flower-bed to which a capricious
destiny had transplanted her. She seemed quite as much a fitting part
of the place as the tall, majestic lilies on either side of the
garden-gate. But as regarded Dullerton beyond the garden-gate, she was
as much out of place as a gazelle in a herd of Alderney cows. Dullerton
was the very ideal of commonplace, the embodiment of respectability and
dulness--wealthy, fat-of-the-land dulness; if a prize had been set up for
that native commodity, Dullerton would certainly have carried it over
every county in England. There was no reason why it should have been so
dull, for it possessed quite as many external elements of sociability
as other provincial neighborhoods, and the climate was no foggier than
elsewhere; everybody was conscious of the dulness, and complained of it
to everybody else, but nobody did anything to mend matters. There was,
nevertheless, a good deal of intercourse one way or another; a vast
amount of food was interchanged between the big houses, and the smaller
ones periodically called in the neighbors to roll croquet-balls about
on the wet grass, and sip tea under the dripping trees; for it seemed
a law of nature that the weather was wet on this social occasion. But
nothing daunted the good-will of the natives; they dressed themselves in
muslins, pink, white, and blue, and came and played croquet, and drank
tea, and bored themselves, and went away declaring they had never been
at such a stupid affair in their lives. The gentlemen were always in a
feeble minority at these festive gatherings, and, instead of multiplying
themselves to supplement numbers by zeal, they had a habit of getting
together in a group to discuss the crops and the game-laws, leaving their
wives and daughters to seek refuge in county gossip, match-making, or
parish affairs, according to their separate tastes. Dullerton was not a
scandal-mongering place. Its gossip was mostly of an innocent kind; the
iniquities of servants the difficulties of getting a tolerable cook or a
housemaid that knew her business, recipes for economical soups for the
poor, the best place to buy flannels, etc., formed the staple subjects of
the matrons’ conversation. The young ladies dressed themselves bravely in
absolute defiance of the rudiments of art and taste; vied with each other
in disguising their heads--some of them very pretty ones--under monstrous
_chignons_ and outlandish head-gears; practised the piano, rode on
horseback, and wondered who Mr. Charlton would eventually marry; whether
his attentions to Miss X---- meant anything, or whether he was only
playing her off against Miss Z----. Mr. Charlton was the only eligible
young man resident within a radius of fifteen miles of Dullerton, and
was consequently the target for many enterprising bows and arrows. For
nine years he had kept mothers and daughters in harassing suspense as to
“what he meant”; and, instead of reforming as he grew older, he was more
tantalizing than ever now at the mature age of thirty-two. Mothers and
maidens were still on the _qui-vive_, and lived in perpetual hot water
as to the real intentions of the owner of Moorlands and six thousand
a year. He had, besides this primary claim on social consideration,
another that would in itself have made him master of the situation
in Dullerton: he had a fine voice, and sang a capital song; and this
advantage Mr. Charlton used somewhat unkindly. He was as capricious with
his voice as in his attentions, and it was a serious preoccupation with
the dinner-givers whether he would make the evening go off delightfully
by singing one of his songs with that enchanting high C, or leave it to
its native dulness by refusing to sing at all. The moods and phases of
the tyrannical tenor were, in fact, watched as eagerly by the expectant
hostess as the antics of the needle on the eve of a picnic.

The one house of that side of the county where people did not bore
themselves was Dullerton Court. They congregated here, predetermined
to enjoy something more than eating and drinking; and they were never
disappointed. There was nothing in the entertainments themselves
to explain this fact; the house was indeed on a grander scale of
architecture, more palatial than any other country mansion in those
parts; but the people who met there, and chatted and laughed and went
away in high satisfaction with themselves and each other, were the same
who congregated in the other houses to yawn and be bored, and go away
grumbling. The secret of the difference lay entirely in the host. Sir
Simon Harness came into the world endowed with a faculty that predestined
him to rule over a certain class of men--the dull and dreary class;
people who have no vital heat of their own, but are for ever trying to
warm themselves at other people’s fires. He had, moreover, the genius of
hospitality in all its charms. He welcomed every commonplace acquaintance
with a heartiness that put the visitor in instantaneous good-humor with
himself and his host and all the world. Society was his life; he could
not live without it. He enjoyed his fellow-creatures, and he delighted
in having them about him; his house was open to his friends at all
times and seasons. What else was a house good for? What pleasure could
a man take in his house, unless it was full of friends? Unhappily for
Dullerton, Sir Simon was a frequent absentee. Some said that he could
not stand its dulness for long at a time, and that this was why he was
continually on the road to Paris and Vienna and the sunny shores of
Italy and Spain. But this could not be true; you had only to witness his
mercurial gayety in the midst of his Dullerton friends, and hear the ring
of his loud, manly voice when he shook them by the hand and bade them
welcome, to be convinced that he enjoyed them to the full as much as
they enjoyed him. It is true that since M. de la Bourbonais had come to
be his neighbor, the squire was less of a rover than formerly. When he
was at home, he spent a great deal of time at The Lilies--a circumstance
which gave Dullerton a great deal to talk about, and raised the reserved,
courteous recluse a great many pegs in the estimation of the county.
The baronet and his friend had many points of sympathy besides the
primary one of old hereditary friendship, though they were as dissimilar
in tastes and character as any two could be. This dissimilarity was,
however, a part of the mutual attraction. Sir Simon was an inexhaustible
talker, and M. de la Bourbonais an indefatigable listener; he had what
Voltaire called a talent for holding his tongue. But this negative
condition of a good listener was not his only one; he possessed in a
rare degree all the merits that go to the composition of that delightful
personage. Most people, while you are talking to them, are more occupied
in thinking what they will say to you than in attending to what you
are saying to them, and these people are miserable listeners. M. de
la Bourbonais gave his whole mind to what you were saying, and never
thought of his answer until the time came to give it. He not only seemed
interested, he really was interested, in your discourse; and he would
frequently hear more in it than it was meant to convey, supplying from
his own quick intelligence what was wanting in your crude, disjointed
remarks. There was nothing in a quiet way that Sir Simon liked better
than an hour’s talk with his tenant, and he always came away from the
luxury of having been listened to by a cultivated, philosophical mind in
high good-humor with himself. His vanity, moreover, was flattered by the
fact beyond the mere personal gratification it afforded him. Everybody
knew that the French _emigré_ was a man of learning, given to abstruse
study of some abstract kind; the convivial squire must therefore be more
learned than he cared to make believe, since this philosophical student
took such pleasure in his society. When his fox-hunting friends would
twit him jocosely on this score, Sir Simon would pooh-pooh them with a
laugh, observing in a careless way: “One must dip into this sort of thing
now and then, you see, or else one’s brain gets rusty. I don’t care much
myself about splitting hairs on Descartes or untwisting the fibres of a
Greek root, but it amuses Bourbonais; you see he has so few to talk to
who can listen to this sort of thing.” It was true that the conversation
did occasionally take such learned turns, and equally true that M. de la
Bourbonais enjoyed airing his views on the schools and dissecting roots,
and that Sir Simon felt elevated in his own opinion when the count
caught up some hazardous remark of his on one of the classic authors,
and worked it up into an elaborate defence of the said author; and
when, on their next meeting, Raymond would accost him with “Mon cher, I
didn’t quite see at the moment what you meant by pointing that line from
Sophocles at me, but I see now,” Sir Simon would purr inwardly like a
stroked cat. Every now and then, too, he would startle the Grand Jury
by the brilliancy of his classical quotations, and the way in which he
bore down on them with a weight of argument worthy of a Q.C. in high
practice; little they dreamed that the whole case had been sifted the day
before by the orator’s learned friend, who had analyzed it, and put it in
shape for the rhetorical purpose of the morrow. The baronet was serenely
unconscious of being a plagiarist; he had got into a way of sucking his
friend’s brains, until he honestly thought they were his own.

This intellectual piracy is not so rare, perhaps, as at first sight you
may imagine. It would be a curious revelation if our own minds could be
laid bare to us, and we were enabled to see how far their workings are
original and how far imitative. We should, I fancy, be startled to find
how small a proportion the former bears to the latter, and how much that
we consider the spontaneous operation of our minds is, in reality, but
the reflex of the minds of others, and the unconscious reproduction of
thoughts and ideas that are suggested by things outside of us.

Franceline’s _bonne_, as she still called her, though Angélique had
passed from that single capacity into the complex position of butler,
cook, housemaid, lady’s maid, and general factotum at The Lilies, was
as complete a contrast to a name as ever mortal presented. A gaunt,
high-cheek-boned, grizzly-haired woman, with a squint and a sharp,
aggressive chin, every inch of her body protested against the mockery
that had labelled her angelic. She had a gruff voice like a man’s, and a
trick of tossing her head and falling back in her chair when she answered
you that had gained her the nickname of the French grenadier amongst
the rising generation of Dullerton. Yet the kernel of this rough husk
was as tender and mellow as a peach, and differed from the outer woman
as much as the outer woman differed from her name. When the small boys
followed her round the market, laughing at her under her very nose, and
accompanying their vernacular comments with very explicative gestures,
the French grenadier had not the heart to stop the performance by sending
the actors to the right-about, as she might have done with one shake
of her soldier-like fist; but if they had dared to look crooked at
Franceline, or play off the least of their tricks on M. de la Bourbonais,
she would have punched their heads for them, and sent them off yelling
with broken noses without the smallest compunction. Angélique had found a
husband in her youth, and when he died she had transferred all her wifely
solicitude to her master and his wife and child. She could have given him
no greater proof of it than by leaving her native village and following
him to his foreign home; yet she never let him suspect that the sacrifice
cost her a pang. She was of a social turn, and it was no small trial
to be shut out from neighborly chat by her ignorance of the language.
She took it out, to be sure, with the count and Franceline, and with
the few intimates of The Lilies who spoke French; but, let her improve
these opportunities as she might, there was still a great gap in her
social life. Conversation with ladies and gentlemen was one thing, and a
good gossip with a neighbor was another. But Angélique kept this grief
to herself, and never complained. With M. le Curé, as she dubbed Father
Henwick, the Catholic priest of Dullerton, she went the length of shaking
her head, and observing that people who were in exile had their purgatory
in this world, and went straight to heaven when they died. Father Henwick
had been brought up at S. Sulpice, and spoke French like a native,
and was as good as a born Frenchman. She could pour her half-uttered
pinings into his ear without fear or scruple; her dreams of returning
_dans mon pays_ at some future day, when M. le Comte would have married
mademoiselle. She could even confide to this trusty ear her anxieties on
the latter head, her fear that M. le Comte, being a philosopher, would
not know how to go about finding a husband for Franceline. She could
indulge freely in motherful praises of Franceline’s perfections, and tell
over and over again the same stories of her nurseling’s babyhood and
childhood; how certain traits had frightened her that the _petite_ was
going to turn out a very Jezabel for wickedness, but how she had lived
to find out her mistake. She loved notably to recall one instance of
these juvenile indications of character; when one day, after bellowing
for a whole hour without ceasing, the child suddenly stopped, and Mme.
la Comtesse called out from her pillows under the palm-tree: “At last!
Thank goodness it’s over!” and how Franceline stamped her small foot,
and sobbed out: “No-o-o, it’s not over! I repose myself!” and began
again louder than ever. And how another day, when a powerful Arab who
was leading her mule over the hills suddenly lashed his whip across the
shoulders of a little boy fast asleep on the pathway, waking him up
with a howl of pain, Franceline clutched her little fist and struck the
savage a box on the ear, screaming at him in French: “O you wicked! I
wish you were a thief, and I’d lock you up! I wish you were a murderer,
and I’d cut your head off! I wish you were a candle, and I’d blow you
out!” Father Henwick would listen to the same stories, and delight
Angélique by assuring her for the twentieth time that they were certain
pledges of future strength and decision in the woman. And when Angélique
would wind up with the usual remark, “Ah! our little one is born for
something great; she would make a famous queen, Monsieur le Curé,” he
would cordially agree with her, revolving, nevertheless, in his own mind
the theory that there are many kinds of greatness, and many queens who go
through life without the coronation ceremony that crowns them with the
outward symbols of royalty.

Miss Merrywig was another of Angélique’s friends; but she had not been
educated at S. Sulpice, and so the intercourse was sustained under
difficulties. Her French was something terrific. She ignored genders,
despised moods and tenses; and as to such interlopers as adverbs and
prepositions, Miss Merrywig treated them with the contempt they deserved.
Her mode of proceeding was extremely simple: she took a bundle of
infinitives in one hand, and pronouns and adjectives in another, and
shook them up together, and they fell into place the best way they could.
It was wonderful how, somehow or other, they turned into sentences, and
Angélique, by dint of good-will, always guessed what Miss Merrywig was
driving at. A great bond between them was their love of a bargain. Miss
Merrywig delighted in a bargain as only an old maid with an income of two
hundred pounds a year can delight in it. She had, moreover, a passion
for making everybody guess what she paid for things. This harmless
peculiarity was apt to be a nuisance to her friends. The first thing she
did after investing in a remnant of some sort, or a second-hand article,
was to carry it the rounds of Dullerton, and insist on everybody’s
guessing how much it cost.

“Make a guess! You know what a good linsey costs, and you see this is
pure wool; you can see that? you have only to feel it. Just feel it! It’s
as soft as cashmere. That’s what tempted me. I don’t want it _exactly_,
but then I mightn’t get _such_ a bargain when I did want it; and, as the
young man at Willis’ said--they’re so _uncommonly_ civil at Willis’!--a
good article _always_ brings its value; and there was no denying it _was_
a bargain, and one never _can_ go wrong in taking a good thing when one
gets it cheap; and they do mix cotton so much with the wool nowadays that
one can’t be too particular, as my dear mother used to say, though in her
time it was of course very different. Now you’ve examined it, what do
you think I gave for it?” There was no getting out of it: you might try
to fight off on the plea that you had no experience in linseys, that you
were no judge--Miss Merrywig would take no excuse.

“Well, but give a guess. Say something. What would you consider _cheap_?
You know what a stuff all pure wool _ought_ to be worth. Just give a
guess. Remember, it was a bargain!” Thus adjured and driven into a
corner, you timidly ventured a sum, and, whether you hit it or not,
Miss Merrywig was aggrieved. If you fell below the mark, there was no
describing her astonishment and disappointment. “Fifteen shillings! Dear
_me_! Why, that’s the price of a common alpaca! Fifteen shillings! Good
_gracious_! Oh? you can’t _mean_ it. Do guess again.”

And when, to console her, you guessed double, and it happened to be
right, she was still inconsolable.

“So you don’t think it was a bargain after all! Dear me! Well that _is_
a disappointment. All I can say is that my dear mother had a linsey that
was not one atom softer or stronger than this, and she paid just double
for it--three pounds; she did indeed; she told me so _herself_, poor
soul. I often heard her speak highly of that linsey when I was a child,
and I quite well remember her saying that it had cost three pounds, and
that it had been well worth the money.”

You might cry _peccavi_, and eat your words, and declare your conviction
that it was the greatest windfall you ever heard of; nothing would pacify
Miss Merrywig until she had carried her bargain to some one else, and had
it guessed at a higher figure, which you were pretty sure to be informed
of at the earliest opportunity, and triumphantly upbraided for your want
of appreciation. Angélique was a great comfort to Miss Merrywig on this
head. She loved a bargain dearly, and was proud of showing that she knew
the difference between one that was and one that was not; accordingly,
she was one of the first to whom Miss Merrywig submitted a new purchase.
“Voyons!” the grenadier would say, and then she would take out her
spectacles, wipe them, adjust them on her nose, and then deliberately rub
the tissue between her finger and thumb, look steadily at Miss Merrywig,
as if trying to gather a hint before committing herself, and then give an
opinion. She generally premised with the cautious formula: “Dans mon pays
it would be so-and-so. Of course I can only make a guess in this country;
prices differ.” She was not often far astray; but even when she was, this
preface disarmed Miss Merrywig, and, when Angélique hit the mark, her
satisfaction was unbounded. Other people might say she had been cheated,
or that she had paid the full value of the thing. There was Comte de la
Bourbonais’ French maid, who said it was the _greatest_ bargain she had
_ever_ seen; and being a Frenchwoman, and accustomed to French stuffs,
she was more likely to know than people who had never been out of England
in the whole course of their lives.

The other old maid who occupied a prominent position at Dullerton, and
was on friendly terms with the grenadier, was Miss Bulpit. It would be
difficult to meet with a greater contrast between any two people than
between Miss Bulpit and Miss Merrywig. The latter talked in italics,
emphasizing all the small words of her discourse, so as to throw
everything out of joint. Miss Bulpit spoke “in mournful numbers,” brought
out her sentences as slowly as a funeral knell, and was altogether
funereal in her aspect. She was tall and lank, and wore a black silk
wig, pasted in melancholy braids on either side of her face--a perfect
foil to the gay little curls that danced on Miss Merrywig’s forehead
like so many little bells keeping time to her tongue. Miss Bulpit was
enthroned on a pedestal of one thousand five hundred pounds a year,
and attended by all the substantial honors that spring from such a
foundation. She was fully alive to the advantages of her position, and
had never married from the fear of being sought more for her money
than for herself. So, at least, rumor has it. Mr. Tobes, the Wesleyan
clergyman of the next parish, whose awakening sermons decoyed the black
sheep of the surrounding folds to him, had tried for the prize for
more than seven years, but in vain. Miss Bulpit smiled with benevolent
condescension on his assiduities, allowed him to meet her at the railway
station and to hand her a bouquet occasionally; but this was the extent
of his reward. He persevered, however; and, when Miss Bulpit shook her
black silk head at him with a melancholy smile and a reproof for wasting
on her the precious time that belonged to his flock, Mr. Tobes would
reply that the laborer was worthy of his hire, and that no man could live
without an occasional recompense for his labors.

Miss Bulpit was the lowest of the Low-Church, so zealous in propagating
her own views as to be a severe trial to the vicar, Mr. Langrove. The
vicar was a shy, scholarly man and a great lover of peace, but he was
often hard pushed to keep the peace with Miss Bulpit. She crossed him in
every way, and defied him to his very face; but it was done so mildly,
with such an unction of zeal and such a sincere desire to correct his
errors and make up for his shortcomings, that it was impossible to treat
her like an ordinary antagonist. She had a soup-kitchen and a dispensary
in her own house, where the poor of his parish were fed and healed; and
if Miss Bulpit made these material things the medium of dealing with
their souls, and if they chose to be dealt with, how could Mr. Langrove
interfere to prevent it? If she had a call to break the word to others,
why should she not obey it just as he obeyed his? He had his pulpit,
which she did not interfere with--a mercy for which the vicar was not,
perhaps, sufficiently grateful. Miss Bulpit was limited to no restriction
of place or time; she could preach anywhere and at a moment’s notice;
the water was always at high pressure, and only wanted a touch to set
it flowing into any channel; the cottages, the wards of the hospital,
the village school, the roadside, any place was a rostrum for her. If
she met a group of laborers going home with their spades over their
shoulders, Miss Bulpit would accost them with a few good words; and if
they took them well, as their class mostly do from ladies, she would
plunge into the promiscuous depths of that awful leather bag of hers that
was Mr. Langrove’s horror, and evolve from a chaos of pill-boxes, socks,
spectacles, soap, black draughts, buns, and bobbins, a packet of tracts,
and, selecting an appropriate one, she would proceed to expound it, and
wind up with a few texts out of the little black Testament that lived
by itself in an outside pocket of the black leather bag. This state of
things would have been bad enough, even if Miss Bulpit had held sound
views; but what made it infinitely worse was that her orthodoxy was more
than doubtful. But there was no way of putting her in her place. She was
too rich for that. If she had been a poor woman, like Miss Merrywig,
it would have been easy enough; but Miss Bulpit’s fortune had built a
bulwark of defence round her, and against these stout walls the vicar’s
shafts might be pointed in perfect safety to the enemy. It was a great
mercy if they did not recoil on himself. Some persons accused him of
being ungrateful. How could he quarrel with her for preaching in the
school when she had re-roofed it for him, after he had spent six months
in fruitless appeals to the board to do it? How could the authorities of
the hospital refuse her the satisfaction of saying a few serious words to
the inmates, when she supplied them with unlimited port-wine and jellies,
and other delicacies which the authorities could not provide? It was very
difficult to turn out a benefactor who paid liberally for her privileges,
and had so firm a footing in every charitable institution of the county.
The vicar was not on vantage-ground in his struggle to hold his own. Miss
Bulpit was a pillar of the state of Dullerton. There were not a few who
whispered that if either must go to the wall, it had better be the parson
than the parishioner. Coals were at famine prices; soup and port-wine are
comforting to the soul of man, and the donor’s strictures on S. James and
exclusive enthusiasm for S. Paul were things that could be tolerated by
those whom they did not concern.

Franceline had been to see Miss Merrywig, who lived like a lizard in
the grass, with a willow weeping copious tears over her mouldy little
cottage. The cheerful old lady always spoke with thankfulness of
the quiet and comfort of her home, and believed that everybody must
envy her its picturesque situation, to say nothing of the delights of
being wakened by the larks before daylight, and kept awake long after
midnight by the nightingales. The woods at Dullerton were alive with
nightingales. On emerging from the damp darkness after an hour with Miss
Merrywig, Franceline found that the sun had climbed up to the zenith, and
was pouring down a sultry glow that made the earth smoke again. There
was a stile at the end of the wood, and she sat down to rest herself
under the thick shade of a sycamore. The stillness of the noon was on
everything. A few lively linnets tried to sing; but, the effort being
prompted solely by duty, after a while they gave it up, and withdrew to
the coolest nooks, and enjoyed their siesta like the lazy ones. Nobody
stirred, except the insects that were chirping in the grass, and some
bees that sailed from flower to flower, buzzing and doing field-labor
when everybody else was asleep or idle. To the right the fields were
brimful of ripening grain of every shade of gold; the deep-orange corn
was overflowing into the pale amber of the rye, and the bearded barley
was washing the hedge that walled it off from the lemon-colored wheat.
To the left the rich grass-lands were dotted with flocks and herds. In
the nearest meadow some cattle were herding. It was too hot to eat, so
they stood surveying the fulness of the earth with mild, bovine gaze.
They might have been sphinxes, they were so still; not a muscle in their
sleek bodies moved, except that a tail lashed out against the flies now
and then. Some were in the open field, holding up their white horns to
the sunlight; others were grouped in twos and threes under a shady tree;
but the noontide hush was on them all. Presently a number of horses
came trooping leisurely up to the pond near the stile; the mild-eyed
kine moved their slow heads after the procession, and then, one by one,
trooped on with it. The noise of the hoofs plashing into the water, and
the loud lapping of the thirsty tongues, was like a drink to the hot
silence. Franceline watched them lifting their wet mouths, all dripping,
from the pool, and felt as if she had been drinking too. There was a
long, solemn pause, and then a sound like the blast of an organ rose up
from the pond, swelling and sweeping over the fields; before it died away
a calf in a distant paddock answered it.

If any one had told Franceline, as she sat on her stile, thinking sweet,
nothing-at-all thoughts, under the sycamore tree, that she was communing
with nature, she would have opened her dark eyes at them, and laughed.
It was true, nevertheless. She might not know it, but she drew a great
deal of her happiness from the woods and fields, and the birds and the
sunsets. Her life had been from its babyhood, comparatively speaking, a
solitary one, and the want, or rather the absence, of kindred companions
had driven her unconsciously into companionship with nature. Her father’s
society was a melancholy one enough for a young girl. Raymond’s mind
was like an æolian harp set up in a ruin; every breath of wind that
swept over it drew out sounds of sweet but mournful music. Even his
cheerfulness--and it was uniform and genuine--had a note of sadness in
it, like a lively air set in a minor key; there was nothing morbid or
harsh in his spirit, but it was entirely out of tune with youth. He
was perfectly resigned to life, but the spring was broken; he looked
on at Franceline’s young gayety, as he might do at the flutterings and
soarings of her doves, with infinite admiration, but without the faintest
response within himself. So the child grew up as much alone as a bird
might be with creatures of a different nature, and made herself a little
world of her own--not a dream world, in the sense of ordinary romance;
she had read no novels and knew nothing about the great problem of the
human heart, except what its own promptings may have whispered to her.
She made friends with the flowers and the birds and the woods, and loved
them as if they were living companions. She watched their comings and
goings, and found out their secrets, and got into a way of talking to
them and telling them hers. As a child, the first peep of the snowdrop
and the first call of the cuckoo was as exciting an event to her as the
arrival of a new toy or a new dress to other little girls. She found S.
Francis of Assisi’s beautiful hymn to his “brother, the sun, and his
sisters, the moon and the stars,” one day in an old book of her father’s,
and she learned it by heart, and would warble it in a duet with the
nightingale out of her lattice-window sometimes when Angélique fancied
her fast asleep. As she grew up the mystery of the poem grew clearer
to her, and she repeated it with a deeper sense of sympathy with the
brothers and sisters that dwell in the sky, and the clear, pure water,
and everywhere in the beautiful creation. I am sorry if this sounds
unnatural, but I cannot help it. I am describing Franceline as I knew
her. But I don’t think it will seem unnatural if you notice the effect
of surroundings on delicate-fibred children; how easily they follow the
lights we hold out to them, and how vibratile their little spirits are.
There was no absolute want of child society at Dullerton, any more than
grown-up society; but Franceline de la Bourbonais did not care for it
somehow. She felt shy amongst the noisy, romping children that swarmed
in the nurseries of Dullerton, and they thought her a queer child, and
did not get on well with her. The only house where she cared at all to
go in her juvenile days was the vicarage; but the attraction was the
vicar himself, rather than his full home, that was like an aviary of
chattering parrots and chirping canaries. Now that the parrots were
grown up and “going out,” Franceline saw very little of them. They were
occupied making markers on perforated card-board for all their friends,
or else “doing up” their dresses for the next dinner or croquet party;
the staple topic of their conversation after these entertainments was
why Mr. Charlton took Miss This down to dinner, instead of Miss That;
whether it was an accident, or whether there was anything in it; and how
divinely Mr. Charlton had sung “Ah, non giunge.” These things were not
the least interesting to Franceline, who was not “out,” or ever likely to
be. Who would take her, and where could she get dresses to go? She hated
perforated card-board work, and she did not know Mr. Charlton. It was no
wonder, therefore, she felt out of her element at the vicarage, like a
wild bird strayed into a cackling farmyard, and that the Langrove girls
thought her dull and cold.

It would be a very superficial observer, nevertheless, who would accuse
Franceline of either coldness or dulness, as she sits there on this
lovely summer day, her gypsy hat thrown back, and showing the small head
in its unbroken outline against the sky, with the red gold hair drifting
in wavy braids from the broad, ivory forehead, while her dark eyes
glance over the landscape with an intense listening expression, as if
some inaudible voices were calling to her. It was very pleasant sitting
there in the shade doing nothing, and there is no saying how long she
might have indulged in the delicious _far niente_, if a thrush had not
wakened suddenly in the foliage over her head, and reminded her that it
was time to be stirring. It was nearly three hours since she had left
home, and Angélique would be wondering what had become of her. With a
fairy suddenness of motion she rose up, vaulted over the stile with the
agility of a young kid, and plunged into the teeming field. There was a
footpath through it in ordinary times, but it was flooded now, and she
had to wade through the rye, putting her arms out before her, as if she
were swimming; for a light breeze had sprung up and was blowing the tawny
wave in ripples almost into her face. She shut her eyes for a moment,
and, opening them, suddenly fancied she was in the middle of the sea, the
sun lighting up the yellow depths with myriads of scarlet poppies and
blue-bells, that shone like fairy sea-weed through the stems. She had not
got quite to the end of the last field when she heard a sound of voices
coming down the park toward a small gate that opened into the fields. She
hurried on, thinking it must be Sir Simon, and perhaps her father; and it
was not until he was close by the gate that she discovered her mistake.
One of the voices belonged to Mr. Charlton, the other to a young man
whom she had never seen before. Franceline knew Mr. Charlton by sight.
She had met him once at Miss Merrywig’s, who was a particular friend of
his--but then everybody was a particular friend of Miss Merrywig’s--and
a few times when she was out walking with Sir Simon and her father, and
the young man had stood to shake hands; but this had not led to anything
beyond a bowing acquaintance. That was not Mr. Charlton’s fault. There
were few things that would have gratified him more than to be able to
establish himself as a visitor at The Lilies; but M. de la Bourbonais had
not given him the smallest sign of encouragement, so he had to content
himself with raising his hat instinctively an inch higher than to any
other lady of his acquaintance when he met Franceline on the road or in
the green lanes--he on horseback, she, of course, on foot; and when the
young French girl returned his salute by that stately little bend of her
head, he would ride on with a sense of elation, as if a royal princess
had paid him some flattering attention. This was the first time they
had met alone on foot. Mr. Charlton’s first impulse was to speak; but
something stronger than first impulse checked him, and, before he had
made up his mind about it, he had lost an opportunity. The stranger,
whose presence of mind was disturbed by no scruples or timidity, stepped
quickly forward, and lifted the latch of the heavy wooden gate, and
swung it back, lifting his hat quite off, and remaining uncovered till
Franceline had passed in. It was very vexatious to Mr. Charlton to have
missed the chance of the little courtesy, and to feel that his companion
had the largest share in the bow that included them both as she walked
rapidly on. Franceline’s curiosity, meanwhile, was excited. Who could
this strange gentleman be, who looked so like a Frenchman, and bowed like
one? If he was a guest of Mr. Charlton’s, she would never know, most
likely; but if he was staying at the Court, she would soon hear all about
him. She wondered which way they were going. The gate had clicked, so
they were sure to have gone on. Franceline scarcely stopped to consider
this, but, obeying the impulse of the moment, turned round and looked.
She did so, and saw the stranger, with his hand still upon the gate,
looking after her.

TO BE CONTINUED.


THE FUTURE OF THE RUSSIAN CHURCH.

BY THE REV. CÆSARIUS TONDINI, BARNABITE.

CONCLUDED.

IV.

It is time that our notice of this subject drew towards its close. The
return of the Russian Church to Catholic unity is the dearest wish of
our heart. A brother in religion (in which we love each other as perhaps
nowhere else in the world, because we love each other for eternity) drew
us, during the few months we spent together in Italy, to share in his
longings and aspirations for the religious future of Russia, his native
country. Before quitting Italy Father Schouvaloff went to Rome, and
presented himself before the Pope. The Holy Father, Pius IX., engaged him
to make a daily offering of his life to God to obtain the return of his
country to the unity of the Catholic Church. Father Schouvaloff joyfully
obeyed, and God, on his part, accepted the offering. Being sent to Paris
towards the end of the year 1857, Father Schouvaloff died there on the 2d
of April, 1859.

Upon his tomb we promised to continue, in so far as it would be granted
to us under religious obedience, our feeble co-operation in his work; and
our writings are in part the fulfilment of this promise.

Father Schouvaloff’s confidence in the return of Russia to Catholic unity
was very great; we have fully shared in this confidence, and everything
that, since his death, has taken place in Russia, has but served to
augment it. This may appear strange, but perhaps more than one among our
readers will share it with us when we have said in what manner we look
forward to this happy event.

A return of the Russians _en masse_ to Catholic unity we scarcely
contemplate. This could not happen except under the hypothesis of
political interests which appear to us inadmissible. And even should we,
in this matter, be mistaken, and from political interests the Russian
people were to accept union with Rome, would a union thus brought
about be desirable? Unless we mistake, the words of Jesus Christ might
be applied to a faith thus created when he said, _Omnis plantatio quam
non plantavit Pater meus eradicabitur_--“Every plant which my Heavenly
Father hath not planted shall be rooted up” (S. Matt. xv. 13). Was it by
promising the Jewish nation to deliver it from the Roman yoke that Jesus
Christ taught his heavenly doctrine? Was it by promising independence,
honors, temporal advantages, that the apostles persuaded the pagans to
believe in the Crucified? Again, is it by pointing to a perspective
of material advantages that any Catholic priest, however moderately
cognizant of his own duty and the good of souls, seeks to induce any one
to become a Catholic? If to those who aspire to follow Jesus Christ was
always held the same language as that which he himself used to them,
there might, perhaps, be fewer conversions, but they would be true
conversions, and each one would lead on others, as true as themselves.
No; a faith created by political interests would never be a real and
solid faith, and other political interests would cause it to be cast
aside as easily as it had been accepted; it is the tree which the Father
has not planted, and which will be rooted up. Besides, history proves it.
More than once have the Greeks momentarily reunited themselves to the
Catholic Church; their defection has been explained by the _fides Græca_,
and that is all. But let us be just; Greek faith is pretty much the
faith of every nation. If we take into account the circumstances under
which these reunions were accomplished, the motives which led the Greek
bishops, whether to Lyons or to Florence, and the small care they took
to cause that that which had agreed happily with their presence in the
council--the discussion of the contested points--should remain always the
principal end, we shall perceive that the duration of the reunion would
have been a prodigy.

In not effecting this prodigy our Lord has perhaps willed to hinder men
from finding in history a denial given to his words: _Omnis plantatio
quam non plantavit Pater meus eradicabitur_--“Every plant which my
Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.”

Neither have we by any means an unlimited confidence in the action which
might be exercised by the emperors of Russia on the bishops and clergy
of their church. While retaining the hope that the czars may understand
that it is to their interest to dispossess themselves, in great part at
least, of the religious power, and not even despairing of their favoring
the reunion of the Russian bishops with Rome, our confidence is not based
upon their actions. It is difficult for us to believe that they could
be moved by other than political interests; that which we have said,
therefore, respecting a return _en masse_ of the Russian people, would
consequently here again find its application. Besides, if formerly the
word of a czar was that of Russia, and his will the will also of his
subjects, it is no longer the same in the present day. When Peter I.
accepted the scheme of reunion proposed by the doctors of the Sorbonne of
Paris, and consented to have it examined by his bishops (1717); when Paul
I. took into consideration the plan suggested by Father Gruber (1800),
one might truly have said, Russia promises fair to become Catholic. At
this present time, however, an emperor of Russia might probably speak
and promise for himself alone. We must add that at a period when changes
in popular opinion and sympathies are as frequent as they are sudden, the
simple fact that the reunion with Rome had been promoted and favored by a
czar might, in certain circumstances, furnish an additional pretext for
disavowing it afterwards.

But what is it, then, which induces us to hope, which sustains our
confidence, and which emboldens us to manifest it openly, though we
should seem to be following an utopian idea?

In the first place, we have hope in a change which, grace aiding it, the
events recently accomplished, and those which are continuing to take
place in Europe, will work on the minds of men. Events have their logic,
and it imposes itself also upon the nations. The alternative indicated
above, and which will force minds to recognize the divinity of the
Catholic Church, will become an evident fact, and God will do the rest.

We hope because Alexander II. has emancipated the peasantry, and we may
be allowed to see in the emancipation of the peasantry the prelude to the
emancipation of the Russian Church. We shall return to this point.

We hope because the spirit of apostolate, by faith and charity, is now
more powerful than ever in the Catholic Church. As soon as the doors
of Russia shall be open to her, and she can there freely exercise her
action, her priests, her missionaries, her religious orders, her Sisters
of Charity, her Little Sisters of the Poor, will present themselves of
their own accord. God will do the rest.

Again, we hope because of the “Associations of Prayer,” which have
already preceded and powerfully prepared the way for the return of Russia
to the Catholic faith. The favor demanded is a great one, and therefore
we have chosen all that Christian piety, the church, God himself, offers
us as having most power to prevail with him. Rather than depend alone on
disseminating leaflets of prayers, or engaging pious souls to remember
Russia, thus giving to these associations a form which, in one way or
another, might injure their character of universality, we have endeavored
to obtain the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. For this
intention we have asked for Masses.[12] In the Holy Mass it is Jesus
Christ himself who prays, and he is always heard.

A plenary indulgence, attached to these Masses, invites the faithful to
unite their prayers with those of the divine Intercessor. If the faithful
fail, still Jesus pleads; for faith this is enough.

Lastly, we hope because eighteen centuries which have passed away
since Jesus Christ quitted the earth in human form have not been able
to diminish in anything the creative power of his words. Jesus Christ
promised to faith--and to faith possessed in the measure of a grain of
mustard-seed--that it should move mountains (S. Matt. xvii. 19; S. Luke
xvii. 6). Thus it was with happiness, at the last General Congress at
Mechlin, in 1867, we made a public act of faith in proclaiming our
unlimited confidence in prayer, and, we added, “in prayer presented to
God by Mary.”[13] This public act of faith we here repeat.

At the same Congress of Mechlin we also spoke of our confidence in the
special benediction which His Holiness Pius IX. had deigned to grant to
us, and which is thus expressed: _Benedicat te Deus et dirigat cor et
intelligentiam tuam_.

This confidence has assuredly not diminished since that time. Far from
this, if there is one teaching which imposes itself with an irresistible
force upon our mind, it is this: that in the Vicar of Jesus Christ, no
less than in Jesus Christ himself, is fulfilled the declaration of our
divine Saviour, “He that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (S. Luke xi.
23).

And further, Jesus Christ spoke thus to his disciples: _When you shall
have done all the things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable
servants: we have done that which we ought to do_ (S. Luke xvii. 10).
After this it is not even humility, but simple Christian logic, to attach
a high value to the works of the apostolate, to the benediction of the
pope; lest we should be not only unprofitable servants--which is always
the case--but dangerous servants.

It is that, in the first place, the benediction of the pope, while it
encourages zeal, requires that we should correct whatever there may be
of human or of reprehensible in the manner in which our zeal expresses
itself and the means which it employs. The Vicar of Jesus Christ cannot
and does not bless anything but what is pleasing to Jesus Christ and
conformable to his will. That which is not conformable to these, far from
participating in this benediction, dishonors and in some sort vilifies
it. The benediction of the pope imposes an obligation.

It is, in the second place, that the mission of the priest is not to
preach according to his own ideas; to exercise the ministry according
to his own ideas; to aid the church according to his own ideas; but to
preach, to exercise the ministry, to aid the church, after the manner
indicated by God, who is the Master of the church, who knows her needs
better than we do, and who has no need of us. And who will inform us
of his will, if not his legitimate representatives, the bishops, and,
above them, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the pope? All those who, however
slightly, have studied the mysteries of the human heart, the relations
existing between faith and reason, and the powerlessness of all human
means to produce one single act of faith, will, we are certain, partake
in the sentiment which we have just expressed. Hence it is that we are
happy here to proclaim again our confidence in the benediction of Pius IX.

Thus, therefore, the logic of events, the spirit of the apostolate, the
emancipation of the serfs, the efficaciousness of prayer, the power of
faith, the benediction of Pius IX.--these are the things which support
our confidence; these are our motives for hope.

Are we the plaything of an illusion, and is our confidence the effect of
religious excitement? Not in any wise; for we are now about to indicate
where lies the principal obstacle in the way of reunion, and what is the
objection which will have the most effect upon the minds of men. It is in
the fear that the popes may overstep the limits of their authority; that
the religious power may absorb that of the state; and that Russia would
only become Catholic to the detriment of the national spirit.

In fact, we cannot deny the teaching of history, which shows us, almost
always and everywhere, conflicts between the civil and religious power.
More than in the conduct of the popes, the true cause of these will
be found, we believe, in the fact that Cæsarism--that is to say, the
tendency of sovereigns to obtain an empire entire and absolute over
their subjects--is to be found in human nature itself. To avoid the
possibility of conflicts between Rome and the various governments, it
would be necessary to change human nature. Perhaps it may be allowable
to say that, in the difficulty which stands in the way, practically
to define in an absolute manner the limits of the two powers, we must
recognize a providential disposition which has permitted this in order to
open a wider field for the exercise of virtue. That which was said by S.
Augustine, _Homines sumus, fragiles, infirmi, lutea vasa portantes; sed
si angustiantur vasa carnis, dilatentur spatia charitatis_, may find here
its application, at least, if from the supreme representatives of the
two powers, the pope and the sovereign, we descend to those who exercise
these powers in their name in less elevated spheres and in the ordinary
details of life. These smaller and subordinate authorities, charged to
represent power, and carrying into their representation of power their
personal character, their private views, at times their prejudices
and their interests, may be well compared to those vases of which S.
Augustine speaks--vases of capacity and of varied form, and which must be
made to occupy a certain fixed space. Let only charity intervene, round
the angles, shape the lines, adapt the prominences to the sinuosities,
determine the length, shorten where needful, obtain even the sacrifice of
some superfluous ornaments, these vases will then all find their place;
space is multiplied by miracle; that which has effected it is the spirit
of Jesus Christ, which is charity.

This solution of the difficulty by charity is not, however, the only one
which we propose. Without speaking of the concordats which prove that
an amicable understanding may be entered into with Rome, and also not
to mention those great sovereigns of various countries whose history
proves that to live in peace with the church is by no means hurtful to
the prosperity of the state, the Russians will allow us also to reckon in
some degree upon the intellectual progress to which, no less than other
nations, they attach a great value. Now, to advance intellectually is to
perceive that which was previously hidden from the mind, and to discern
clearly that which was only half guessed at before. Why, then, not hope
that the Russians will now see more clearly than in the time when Peter
I. treated them so contemptuously what must be expected or feared from
the religious and civil power; that is to say, that if conflicts appear
inevitable, the alternative, for them as well as for other peoples, is
this: conflicts with Rome, or slavery to their sovereigns. Let them make
their choice.

Much is said about the providential mission of Russia in Asia. Why not
also in Europe? Of all the nations of Europe, the Russian people is that
which more than all others knows by experience what serfdom really is,
under the empire of a sovereign ruling at the same time bodies and souls.
Their submission has been called “the heroism of slavery.” “Whoever has
seen Russia,” it has also been said, “will find himself happy to live
anywhere else.” Well! at the risk of provoking a smile of incredulity, we
express the hope that there will be found amongst the Russians sufficient
intelligence to comprehend that God is offering to them the most sublime
mission with which he can honor a nation. A people only now freed from
religious slavery, and consecrating the first exercise of its liberty to
hinder other nations from falling into the same slavery, will be worthy
of true admiration, so much would there be in this conduct of nobleness,
of self-denial, and of disinterestedness! Now, all this is what Russia
can do. But in order to do it, she must break with the past; she must
disavow her acts; she must acknowledge with humility her faults, which
she must hasten to repair. If those who hold in their hands the destinies
of Russia were not czars, that would offer no difficulty. The czars
are not the Russian people. If they have reparation to make, they have
nothing to disavow. In the situation in which Russia has been up to the
present time the faults of the czars have been personally their own; no
responsibility could rest upon the Russian people.

But Russia is still governed by the czars. Will they be asked to break
with their past? Will it be expected that they will disavow the acts of
their dynasty; that they will acknowledge their faults; that they will
repair them? It is to require of them a more than heroic virtue. Are they
capable of it? Why not?

The czar who at this time governs Russia has emancipated the Russian
peasants, he has abolished the servitude of the glebe. He has had to
break with his past, disavow the acts of his ancestors, acknowledge their
faults, and repair them. He has had to struggle against immense interior
difficulties, against the interests of the lords, against routine,
against the spirit of domination, against cupidity. In spite of all this,
Alexander II. is emancipator of the serfs--a title far more glorious than
those given by flattery to Peter I.

When the servitude of the peasantry was still in existence in Russia,
lords were not wanting who held to their serfs the following kind of
language: “How happy you are! You are delivered from all care for your
own existence or for that of your families! When you have finished the
work which you owe to me, you can do whatever you think best. You enjoy
in peace the fruits of the earth, the pleasures of the country, the free
air of the fields. I consider you as my children. I take care of you.
Your interests are mine. Your family joys are mine, and mine also are
your pains. How happy you are!” In fact, if we are to believe certain
authorities, nothing was wanting to the happiness of the Russian peasant,
serf of the glebe; it was a perpetual idyl. In spite of that, all Europe
pitied him. And why? Because the peasant could not go whither he would,
and because, if he were not sensible of the privation of this liberty, it
was because he had been rendered incapable of appreciating it.

Now, there are peoples who are chained to the glebe, not by the body, but
by the soul.

They have each their lord, and, provided that they accomplish the
work which their lord imposes upon them, they are, for the rest,
free to employ their time as they please. Care is taken of them, of
their families, of their material interests, and especially they are
unceasingly reminded that they are free, and that their lord has nothing
more at heart than their liberty. They are indeed free to do many things;
but one liberty is wanting to them--their body may go whither they desire
it, but their soul is chained to the glebe. Study being granted to them,
and the knowledge of that which is passing in the world being no longer
refused to them, they discover on the earth a church which calls herself
divine, and charged to conduct all souls to heaven. They study her; they
are not alarmed at objections; they know how to make allowance for
human weakness in her children, and even in her ministers. They find in
this weakness itself one argument more in favor of the divinity of this
church. They admire the courage, full of gentleness, of these bishops. It
is truth, it is God, who speaks by her. These souls desire God, and they
are therefore drawn towards her, because they lift themselves up to God.
At this moment a heavy weight holds them back; wishing to soar towards
heaven, they find themselves chained to the glebe.

Yes, for the souls who desire God the false interests of the state
are but a glebe--a glebe the laws to which the conscience refuses
to submit--a glebe the will of the sovereign, and a glebe also the
traditions of his dynasty.

These people, let others call them free, and, on the faith of their
lords, let them also call themselves free; they are none the less people
in serfdom--souls chained to the glebe.

What glory for Alexander II., if, after having delivered bodies from the
servitude of the glebe, he would also deliver souls! What glory, if,
after having delivered his own subjects from it, he would labor also to
set others free!


STRAY LEAVES FROM A PASSING LIFE.

CHAPTER I.

MR. CULPEPPER MAKES A PROPOSAL--A RENCOUNTER IN A CHURCHYARD.

It was one of those golden November mornings that throw a mystic
glamour over New York. A warm haze draped the great city, softening
its deformities, blending its beauties. In its magic light the very
street-cars took on a romantic air, as they sped along loaded with
their living freight. The bales of goods on the sidewalk, huddled
together in careless profusion, were no longer the danger which they
are generally supposed to be by elderly gentlemen who have due regard
for life and limb, but gracious droppings rather from Pandora’s box,
raining down fresh and bright from the hands of the genial goddess. What
in the garish sun were vulgar business houses filled with sober goods
and peopled with staring and sleek-combed clerks, assumed under this
gorgeous drapery the aspect of mystic temples of commerce, where silent
and solemn-eyed priests stood patiently all the day long to call in
the passers-by to worship. The lofty policeman, looming like a statue
at the corner, was not the ferocious, peanut-chewing being that he is
commonly supposed to be, but a beneficent guardian of the great temple
of peace. The busy crowds of brisk business men that hurried along,
untouched as yet by the toil and the soil of the day, were fresh-faced
and clear-eyed, chatty and cheerful. Thompson stepped out as cheerily
as though he were just beginning that strange task, on which so many
ambitious mortals have gone down, of performing his thousand miles in
a thousand hours; for Thompson, happy man! knew not as yet what was so
calmly awaiting him on his desk--that heavy bill that he was bound to
meet, but which, strange to say, had quite slipped his memory. And there
is Johnson walking arm-in-arm with Jones, Johnson’s face wreathed in
sunny smiles the while. Johnson’s heart is gay and his step light, and
he feels the happy influence of the morning. Jones is sadly in want of a
confidential clerk, and his friend is dilating on the treasure that he
himself possesses--that very clerk who, he learns on reaching his office,
absconded last night with a fearful amount of Johnson’s property. Nor,
on the other hand, does that eager-faced youngster, the shining seams of
whose garments tell of more years than his seamless face and brow, know
that at last the gracious answer that he has so longed for awaits his
arrival, and that the bright opening at length lies before him that is to
lead him on to fortune, if not to fame, more than the five hundred and
forty-six rival applicants know that their addresses have been rejected.
As yet the day is marked with neither white bean nor black, and so let
us hope, with this mighty stream pouring on and on and on down the great
thoroughfares of the city, that the white beans may outnumber the black
when the day is done, and that what is lost here may be gained there;
for we are of them, brethren of theirs, and joyous hopes of this kind
cost little, while, at least, they harden not the heart. And so the whole
city, with its hopes and fears, its life and its death, moved out under
the November haze that morning, and with it, as the central figure in the
vast panorama, he whose stray leaves, it is hoped, may prove at least of
passing interest to the many of whom he is one.

My special point of attraction that day was the office of _The Packet_,
“a monthly journal of polite literature,” to quote the prospectus, which
was supported by “the ablest pens of both hemispheres,” as the same
prospectus modestly admitted. As at this time I was a pretty constant
contributor to _The Packet_, I suppose that, according to the prospectus,
I was fully entitled to take my stand among “the ablest pens of both
hemispheres,” whether I chose to insist on my literary rank or not. And
as I contributed occasionally to other journals which were respectively,
according to their several prospectuses, “the leading weekly,” “the
greatest daily,” “the giant monthly,” “the only quarterly,” “the great
art journal,” etc., there could not possibly be any doubt as to my
literary position. For all that, I confess I was still among the callow
brood, and fear that, if any person had referred to me in public as “a
literary man,” the literary man would have blushed very violently, and
felt as small as a titmouse. Still, I had that delicious feeling of the
dawning of hope and the glorious uncertainty of a great ambition that
always attend and encourage the first steps of a new career, whatever
be its character. It was natural enough, then, that I should step out
lustily among my fellows, my head high in air, and my heart higher
still, drinking in the inspiration of the morning, piercing the golden
mist with the eye of hope, feeling a young life throbbing eagerly within
me, feeling a mysterious brotherhood with all men, gliding as through a
fairy city in a gilded dream.

As I had several places to call at, it was late in the afternoon when I
arrived at _The Packet_ office to draw my little account. On entering I
found an unusual commotion; something had evidently gone very wrong. Mr.
Culpepper, the experienced editor of the journal of polite literature,
was, to judge by the tones of his voice, in a towering rage. I fancied
that I caught expressions, too, which were not exactly in accordance
with polite literature. When Mr. Culpepper’s temper did happen to fail,
it was an event to be remembered, particularly as that event took
place, on an average, some two or three times a week. Everything and
everybody in the office was in a turmoil; for Mr. Culpepper’s temper had
an infectious quality that affected all its immediate surroundings. An
experienced eye could tell by the position of the dictionary, the state
of the floor, the standing of the waste-basket, the precise turn of the
editor’s easy-chair, how the wind blew to Mr. Culpepper. On this mild
November afternoon it was clear that a terrific gale had sprung up from
some unexpected quarter. It had ruffled what was left of Mr. Culpepper’s
hair, it blew his cravat awry, it had disarranged his highly intellectual
whiskers, it spared not even his venerable coat-tails. His private office
showed the effects of a raging tornado. Pigeon-holes had been ransacked;
drawers had been wrenched open and rifled of their contents; Webster and
Worcester lay cheek-by-jowl in the waste-basket; the easy-chair had a
dangerous crick in the back; Mr. Culpepper himself was plunged ankle-deep
in manuscripts that strewed the floor in wild confusion; while Mr.
Culpepper’s hands were thrust in his cavernous pockets, as he stood there
on my entrance, a very monument of editorial despair.

Mr. Culpepper, like most men, was preferable when good-tempered. Indeed,
though his opinions at times, particularly on the merits or demerits of
my own compositions, were apt to be more emphatic than polished, Mr.
Culpepper, when good-tempered, was by no means an unpleasant companion.
In his stormy periods I always coasted as clear of him as I could; but it
was now too late to sheer off. So, making the best of a bad bargain, I
advanced boldly to meet the enemy, when to my surprise he greeted me with
the exclamation,

“Oh! you are just the man I wanted. Can you tell a story--a good,
lively Christmas story, with a spice of fun, a dash of love, a slice of
plum-pudding, a sprinkling of holly and ivy, with a bunch of mistletoe
thrown in? And, by the bye, if you have genius enough, a good ghost. Yes,
a good, old-fashioned ghost would be capital. They are dying out now,
more’s the pity. Yes, I must have a ghost and a country churchyard, with
a bowl of punch, if you want it. There are your materials. Now, I want
them fixed up into a first-class Christmas story, to fill exactly eight
pages, by four o’clock to-morrow afternoon at the latest. Must have it to
fit this illustration. Clepston was to have done it, but he has failed me
at the last hour. Just like him--he must go and get married just when
I want my story. He did it on purpose, because I refused to advance his
pay--married out of revenge, just to spite me. Well, what do you say?”

I said nothing; for Mr. Culpepper’s rapidity and the novelty of his
proposal fairly took my breath away. I had never yet attempted fiction,
but there was a certain raciness in Mr. Culpepper’s manner of putting it
that urged me to seize my present opportunity. A good ghost-story within
just twenty-four hours! A pleasant winter tale that should be read to
happy families by happy firesides; by boys at school, their hair standing
on end with wild excitement, and their laughter ringing out as only boys’
laughter does; by sweet-faced girls--by everybody, in fact, with a vast
amount of pleasure and not a twinge of pain. Thousands whom I should
never know would say, “What a dear fellow this story-teller is!” “What a
pleasant way he has of putting things!” “What--”

“Well, what do you say?” broke in Mr. Culpepper rudely; and I remembered
that the story which was to win me such golden opinions from all sorts of
people was yet to be written.

“I hardly know. Four o’clock to-morrow afternoon? The time is so very
short. Could you not extend it?”

“Not a moment. Printers waiting now. If I can’t have yours by that time,
I must use something else; and I have not a thing to suit. Just look
here,” he said pointing to the floor, and glancing ruefully around; “I
have spent the day wading through all these things, and there is nothing
among the pile. A mass of rubbish, all of it!”

My resolution was made; I started up.

“Mr. Culpepper, I will try. I will stay up all night; and if there be a
ghost yet unlaid, a pudding yet unmade, a piece of holly yet ungathered,
or a bunch of mistletoe that has not yet done duty, you shall have them
all by four o’clock to-morrow afternoon.”

“Now, I rely on you, mind. Four o’clock sharp. Let it be brisk and
frosty, bright as the holly-berries, and soothing as a glass of punch!
We owe you a little account, I believe. Here it is, and now good-by till
to-morrow afternoon.”

Who has not experienced that half-fearful and yet wholly pleasant feeling
of setting foot for the first time in a new and strange land? It was
with some such feeling that my heart fluttered as I left the office of
_The Packet_ that afternoon. Yet what was I to achieve within the next
four-and-twenty hours? An eight-page Christmas story of the approved
pattern, with the conventional sauces and seasonings--nothing more. The
thing had been done a thousand times before, and would be done a thousand
times again, as often as Christmases came round, and thought nothing
of. Why should I be so fluttered at the task? Was this to be the great
beginning at last of my new career? Was this trumpery eight-page story
to be the true keynote to what was to make music of all the rest of my
life? Nonsense! I said to myself; and yet why nonsense? Did not all great
enterprises spring from small and insignificant beginnings? Were not all
great men at some time or another babies in arms, rocked in cradles, fed
on soothing syrups, and carried about in long clothes? Did not a falling
apple lead Newton on to the great discovery of gravitation? Was it not
a simmering kettle that opened Watt’s eyes to steam, and introduced the
railway and the packet? Did not a handful of sand reveal the mines of
California? Must not Euclid have started with a right reading of axioms
as old as the world? Who shall fix the starting-point of genius? And why
should not my first fictitious Christmas pudding contain the germ of
wonders that were to be?

I can feel the astute and experienced reader who has been gracious enough
to accompany me thus far already falter at the very outset of the short
excursion we purposed taking together. I can feel the pages close over
me like a tomb, while a weary yawn sings my death-dirge. But allow me,
my dear sir, or my dear madam, or my much-esteemed young lady, to stay
your hands just one moment, until I explain matters a little, until I
introduce myself properly; and I promise to be very candid in all I have
to say. You see--indeed, you will have seen already--that the gentleman
who has just left Mr. Culpepper’s presence was at this period of his
life very young indeed, and proportionately ambitious. These two facts
will explain the fluttering of his heart at the cold-blooded proposal
of spending an entire night at his writing-desk, delving his brain for
the materials of a silly little story, while you, dear sir, have drawn
over your ears, and over that head that has been rubbed into reverent
smoothness by the gentle hand of time, the sleep-compelling night-cap;
and while you, dear madam, while you have--done nothing of the kind. I
plead guilty, then, at this time, to the twofold and terrible charge of
outrageous youth and still more outrageous ambition. But I have long
since contrived to overcome the disgrace of excessive youth; while, as
regards ambition, what once happened to a literary friend of mine has
never happened to me: that morning I have been waiting for so long,
so long, when I was to wake up and find myself famous, has not yet
arrived--looks even as though it never meant to dawn. Literature was to
me an unknown sea, upon which I had not fairly embarked. I had paddled a
little in a little cockleshell of my own in sunny weather around friendly
coasts, but as yet had not ventured to launch out into the great deep.
The storm and the darkness and the night, the glory and the dread of the
tempest, the awful conflicts of the elements, were as yet unknown to and
unbraved by me. Indeed, as I promised to be candid, I may as well whisper
in your ear that the main efforts of my pen at this precise period of
my life were devoted to meeting with a calm front and easy conscience
the weekly eye of Mrs. Jinks. Mrs. Jinks was my boarding-house keeper, a
remarkable woman in her way, and one for whom I entertained an unbounded
respect; but she was scarcely a Mme. de Staël, unless in looks, still
less a Mme. de Sévigné. Mme. Jinks’ encouragement to aspiring genius was
singularly small when aspiring genius could not pay its weekly board--a
contingency that has been known to occur. Mrs. Jinks never fell into the
fatal mistake of tempting the man to eat unless the man was prepared
to pay. But even Mrs. Jinks could not crush out all ambition, so that
I hugged Mr. Culpepper’s proposal, as I went home that evening, with a
fervor and enthusiasm that I had never before experienced; for it seemed
to open up to me a new vista of bright and beautiful imaginings.

For all that, I could not strike the clew. It seems a very easy thing,
does it not, to concoct a passable enough Christmas story out of the
ample materials with which Mr. Culpepper had so lavishly supplied me?
Just try; sit down and write a good, short, brisk Christmas story, out of
all the time-honored materials, and judge for yourself what an easy task
it is, O sapient critic! a line from whose practised pen stabs to death
a year of hopes, and projects, and labor. Strange to say, my immediate
project dissolved and faded out of my mind, as I plodded homewards along
the great thoroughfare I had trodden so serenely in the morning. The
little Christmas story gave place to something new, something larger,
something vague, indefinable, and mighty. A great realm of fiction
unfolded itself before me--a realm all my own, a fairy island in a summer
sea, peopled with Calibans and dainty Ariels, Mirandas and Ferdinands,
and a thousand unseen creatures, waiting only for the wave of my magic
wand to be summoned into the beauty of life, to bring sweet songs down
from the clouds of heaven, and whisperings of spirits far away that the
earth had never yet heard. A mist sprang up around me as I walked, and
through it peered a thousand eyes, and from it came and went a thousand
shapeless forms, whose outlines I could half discern, but hold not. I
could not bid them stay until I grasped them. Something was wanting, a
touch only, a magic word, but I could not find it. A charm was on me,
and more potent than I. It was there, working, working, working, but I
could not master it. I walked along in a dream. Men in throngs passed
me by in what seemed a strange and awful silence. If they spoke, never a
word heard I. Carriages and vehicles of every description I felt rolling,
rolling past; but their wheels were strangely muffled, for never a sound
fell on my ear. The fair, bright city of the morning was filled now with
silent shadows, moving like ghosts in a troubled dream. Lights sprang
up out of the mist as I passed along, but they seemed to shine upon me
alone. Intensely conscious of my own existence, I had only a numb feeling
of other life around me. At last I found myself at Mrs. Jinks’ door. I
took a letter from her hand, and seated at length in my own room, with
familiar objects around me, the shadows seemed to lift, and I was brought
back to the subject of my proposed night’s work.

Still, I could not collect my thoughts sufficiently to bring them to
bear, in a practical way, on the central idea around which my fiction
was to take body and shape. The sudden strain on my imagination had been
too severe; a kind of numbness pervaded my whole being, and the moments,
every one of which was precious as a grain of gold, were slipping idly
away. The feeling that all the power to achieve what you desire lies
there torpid within you, but too sullen to be either coaxed or bullied
into action, laughing sluggishly at the most violent effort of the will
to move it, is, perhaps, one of the most exasperating that a man can
experience. It is like one in a nightmare, who sees impending over him a
nameless terror that it only needs a wag of a little tongue to divert,
and yet the little tongue cleaves with such monstrous persistency to
the roof of the parched mouth that not all the leverage of Archimedes
himself could move it from its place. That fine power of man’s intellect,
that clear perception and keen precision which can search the memory, and
at a glance find the clew that it is seeking; that can throw out those
far-reaching fibres over the garden of knowledge, gathering in from all
sides the necessary stores, was as far away from me as from a madman’s
dream. I could fasten upon nothing; my brain was in disorder, while the
moments were lengthening into hours, and the hours slipping silently away.

In despair I tried a cigar--a favorite refuge of mine in difficulties;
and soon light clouds, pervaded with a subtle aroma, were added to those
thinner clouds of undefined and indefinable images that floated around
me, volatile, shadowy, intangible; mysterious, nebulous. Mr. Culpepper’s
“materials” had quite evaporated, and I began to think dreamily of old
days, of anything, everything, save what was to the point. I remember how
poor old Wetherhead, of all people in the world--“Leatherhead” we used
facetiously to style him at college--came up before me, and I laughed
over the fun we had with him. What a plodder he was! When preparing
for his degree, he took ferociously to wet towels. He had the firmest
faith in wet towels. He had tried them for the matriculation, and found
them “capital,” he assured us. “Try a towel, Leathers,” we would say to
him whenever we saw him in difficulties. Poor fellow! He was naturally
dull and heavy, dense and persistent as a clod. It would take digging
and hoeing and trenching to plant anything in that too solid brain; and
yet he was the most hopeful fellow alive. He was possessed with the
very passion of study, without a streak of brightness or imagination
to soften and loosen the hopeless mass of clay whereof his mind seemed
composed; and so he depended on wet towels to moisten it. He almost wore
his head out while preparing for the matriculation examen. But by slow
and constant effort he succeeded in forcing a sufficient quantity of
knowledge into his pores, and retaining it there, to enable him to pass
the very best-deserved first class that ever was won. The passage of
the Alps to a Hannibal or a Napoleon was a puny feat compared with the
passing of an examination by a Wetherhead. We took him on our shoulders,
and bore him aloft in triumph, a banner-bearer, with a towel for banner,
marching at the head of the procession. “You may laugh, but it was the
towels pulled me through, old fellow,” he said to me, smiling, his great
face expanding with delight. “Stay there, and don’t go any farther,
Leathers,” I advised, when he proclaimed his intention of going up for
the degrees. “Nonsense!” said he, and, in spite of everybody’s warnings,
Wetherhead “went in” for the B.A. It was a sight to see him in the
agonies of study; his eyes almost starting out of his head as the day
wore on, and around that head, arranged in turban fashion, an enormous
towel reeking with moisture. “How many towels to-day, Leathers?” “How’s
the reservoir, Leatherhead?” those impudent youngsters would cry out.
As time went on and the examination drew near the whole college became
interested in Wetherhead and his prospects of success. Bets were made
on him, and bets were made on his towels. The wit of our class wrote an
essay--which, it was whispered aloud, had reached the professors’ room,
and been read aloud there to their intense amusement--on “Towels _vs._
Degrees; or, The probabilities of success, measured by the quantity of
water on the brain.” He bore it all good-humoredly, even the threat to
crown him with towels instead of laurel if he passed and went up for
his degree. A dark whisper reached me, away in the country at the time,
that he had failed, that the failure had touched his brain, and that he
was cut down half-strangled one morning from his own door-key, to which
he had suspended himself by means of a wet towel; which, instead of its
usual position around his brow, had fastened itself around his throat. Of
course that was a malicious libel; for I met the poor fellow soon after,
looking the ghost of himself. “How was it, Wetherhead?” I asked. “I don’t
know, old fellow,” he responded mournfully. “I got through splendidly the
first few days; but after that things began to get muddled and mixed up
somehow, so that I could hardly tell one from another. It was all there,
but something had got out of order. I felt that it was all there, but
there was too much to hold together. The fact is, _I missed my towel_. A
towel or two would have set it all right again. The machine had got too
hot, and wanted a little cooling off; but I couldn’t march in there, you
know, with a big towel round my head; so I failed.”

The clock striking twelve woke me from my dream of school-days. I had
just sixteen hours and a half left to complete the story that was not yet
begun. Whew! I might as well engage to write a history of science within
the appointed time. It was useless. My cigar had gone out, and I gave up
the idea of writing a story at all. And yet surely it was so easy, and I
had promised Culpepper, and both he and _The Packet_ and the public were
awaiting my decision. And this was to be the end of what I had deemed the
dawn of my hope and the firstling of my true genius!

“Roger Herbert, you are an ass,” spake a voice I knew well--a voice that
compelled my attention at the most unseasonable hours. “Excuse me for
my plainness of speech, but you are emphatically an ass. Now, now, no
bluster, no anger. If you and I cannot honestly avow the plain truth to
each other, there is no hope for manhood. Mr. Culpepper and the public
waiting for you! Ho! ho! Ha! ha! It’s a capital joke. Mr. Culpepper is
at this moment in the peaceful enjoyment of his first slumbers; and the
public would not even know your name if it were told them. Upon my word,
Roger, you are even a greater ass than I took you to be. Well, well,
we live and learn. For the last half-a-dozen hours or more where have
you been? Floating in the clouds; full of the elixir of life; dreaming
great dreams, your spirit within you fanned with the movement of the
_divinus afflatus_, eh? Is not that it? Nonsense, my dear lad. You have
only once again mounted those two-foot stilts, against which I am always
warning you, and which any little mountebank can manage better than you.
_They_ may show some skill, but you only tumble. So come down at once,
my fine fellow, and tread on _terra firma_ again, where alone you are
safe. You a genius! Ho! ho! Ho! ho! ho! And all apropos of a Christmas
pudding. The genius of a Christmas pudding! It is too good. Your proper
business, when Mr. Culpepper made his proposal to you this afternoon, was
to tell him honestly that the task he set you was one quite beyond your
strength--altogether out of your reach, in fact. But no; you must mount
your stilts, and, once on them, of course you are a head and shoulders
above honest folk. O Roger, Roger! why not remember your true stature?
What is the use of a man of five foot four trying to palm himself off and
give himself the airs of one of six foot four? He is only laughed at for
his pains, as Mr. Culpepper will assuredly laugh at you to-morrow. Take
my advice, dear boy, acknowledge your fault, and then go to bed. You are
no genius, Roger. In what, pray, are you better, in what are you so good,
as fifty of your acquaintances, whom I could name right off for you, but
who never dream that they are geniuses? The _divinus afflatus_, forsooth!
For shame, for shame, little man! Stick to your last, my friend, and be
thankful even that you have a last whereto to stick. Let Apelles alone,
or let the other little cobblers carp at him, if they will. The world
will think more of his blunders than of all your handicraft put together,
and your little cobbler criticisms into the bargain. And now, having said
my say, I wish you a very good-night, Roger, or good-morning rather.”

So spake the voice of the _Daimon_ within me; a very bitter voice it
has often proved to me--as bitter, but as healthy, as a tonic. And
at its whisper down tumbled all “the cloud-capt towers and gorgeous
palaces” that my imagination had so swiftly conjured up. It was somewhat
humiliating to confess, but, after all, Roger Herbert, Senior, as I
called that inner voice, was right. I resolved to go to bed. Full of that
practical purpose, I went to my desk to close it up for the night, and
all dreams of a momentary ambition with it, when my eyes fell upon a
letter bearing the address:

    ROGER HERBERT, ESQ.,
    Care of Mrs. Jinks,
    ---- Street,
    New York,
    United States,
    America.

What a quantity of writing for so small an envelope! One needed no
curious peep within, nor scarcely a second glance at the neat-pointed
hand, with the up-and-down strokes of equal thickness, to guess at the
sex of the writer. I remembered now; it was the letter Mrs. Jinks gave me
at the door, and, good heavens! it had been lying there disregarded all
these hours, while I was inflated with my absurd and bombastic thoughts.
The writing I knew well, for my hand had been the first to guide the
writer through the mazes and the mysteries of chirography. One sentence
from the letter is sufficient to give here. “Dear, dear Roger: Papa is
sick--is _dying_. Come home at once.” It was signed “Fairy.”

“Home at once!” The post-marks said London and Leighstone. London, it
may be necessary to inform the reader, is the capital of a county called
Middlesex, in a country called England, while Leighstone is a small
country town some thirty miles out of London. From Leighstone writes
“Fairy” to “Dear, dear Roger” some thousand--it seems fifty thousand--odd
miles away. The father reported dying is my father; Fairy is my sister.
It is now nearly two in the morning, and by four in the afternoon Mr.
Culpepper and the printers expect that brisk, pleasant, old-fashioned
Christmas story that is to make everybody happy, and not a hint at pain
in it! And I have been puzzling my brains these long hours past trying
to compose it, with that silent letter staring me in the face all the
time. A pleasant Christmas story, a cheery Christmas story! How bitterly
that voice began to laugh within me again! Oh! the folly, the crime, of
which I had been guilty. It was such vain and idle dreams as these that
had lured me away from that father’s side; that had brought me almost to
forget him; that, great God! perhaps had dealt the blow that struck him
down. Merciful heavens! what a Christmas story will it be mine to tell?

At four in the afternoon a steamer sailed for Liverpool, and I was one
of the passengers. Years have passed since then, and I can write all
this calmly enough now; but only those--and God grant that they may be
few!--who at a moment’s warning, or at any warning, have had to cross
more than a thousand miles of ocean in the hope of catching a dying
parent’s last breath, can tell how the days pall and the sleepless nights
drag on; how the sky expands into a mighty shroud covering one dear
object, of which the sad eyes never lose the sight; how the winds, roar
they loud or sing they softly, breathe ever the same low, monotonous
dirge.

It was scarcely a year since I had parted from my father, and our parting
had not been of the friendliest. He was a magnate in Leighstone, as all
the Herberts before him had been since Leighstone had a history. They
were a tradition in the place; and though to be great there in these days
did not mean what it once meant, and to the world outside signified very
little indeed, yet what is so exacting or punctilious as the etiquette
of a petty court, what so precise and well preserved as its narrow
traditions and customs? Time did not exist for Leighstone when a Herbert
was not the foremost man there. The tomb of the Herberts was the oldest
and grandest in the churchyard that held the ashes of whole generations
of the Leighstone folk. There had been Crusading Herberts, and Bishops
Herbert, Catholic and Protestant, Abbots Herbert, Justices Herbert,
Herberts that had shared in councils of state, and Herberts that had been
hanged, drawn, and quartered by order of the state. Old townsfolk would
bring visitors to the churchyard and give in their own way the history of
“that ere Harbert astretched out atop o’ the twomb, wi’ a swoord by his
soide, and gluvs on his hands, the two on ’em folded one aginst t’other
a-prayin’ loike, and a cross on his buzzum, and a coople o’ angels wi’
stone wings a-watchin’ each side o’ ’im. A had fowt in the waars long
ago, that ere Harbert had, when gentle-folk used to wear steel coats,
a used, and iron breeches, and go ever so fur over the seas to foight.
Queer toimes them was. Whoi, the Harberts, folks did say, was the oldest
fam’ly i’ the country. Leastwoise, there was few ’uns older.”

My father was possessed with the greatness of his ancestry, and resented
the new-fangled notions that professed to see nothing in blood or
history. Nurtured on tradition of a past that would never reappear,
he speedily retired from a world where he was too eager to see that a
Herbert was no more than a Jones or a Smith, and, though gifted with
powers that, rightly used, might have proved, even in these days, that
there was more in his race than tradition of a faded past, he preferred
withdrawing into that past to reproducing it in a manner accommodated
to the new order of things. In all other respects he was a very amiable
English gentleman, who, abjuring politics, which he held had degenerated
into a trade unbecoming a gentleman’s following, divided his time between
antiquarian and agricultural pursuits, for neither of which did I exhibit
so ardent an admiration as he had hoped. As soon as I could read, and
think, and reason in my own way, I ran counter to my father in many
things, and was pronounced by him to be a radical, infected with the
dangerous doctrines of the day, which threatened the overthrow of all
things good, and the advent of all things evil. He only read in history
the records of a few great families. For me the families were of far
less interest than the peoples, historically at least. The families had
already passed or were passing away; the peoples always remained. To the
families I attributed most of the evils that had afflicted humanity; in
the peoples I found the stuff that from time to time helped to regenerate
humanity. I do not say that all this came to me at once; but this manner
of looking at things grew upon me, and made my father anxious about my
future, though he was too kind to place any great restrictions in the way
of my pursuits, and our disputes would generally end by the injunction:
“Roger, whatever you do or think, always remember that you represent a
noble race, and are by your very birth an English gentleman, so long as
such a being is permitted to exist.”

As I grew older problems thickened around me, and I often envied the
passive resignation with which so spirited a temperament as my father’s
could find refuge from the exciting questions of the day in the quiet
of his books and favorite pursuits. Coming home from college or from an
occasional excursion into the great world without, Leighstone would seem
to me a hermitage, where life was extinct, and there was room for nothing
save meditation. And there I meditated much, and pondered and read, as I
then thought, deeply. The quaint, old churchyard was my favorite ground
for colloquy with myself, and admirably adapted, with its generations of
silent dead, was it for the purpose. In that very tomb lay bones, once
clothed with flesh, through which coursed lustily blood that had filtered
down through the ages into my veins. In my thoughts I would question
that quiet old Herbert stretched out there on his tomb centuries ago,
and lying so still, with his calm, stony face upturned immovably and
confidently to heaven. The face was not unlike my father’s; Leighstone
folk said it was still more like mine. That Herbert was a Catholic, and
believed earnestly in all that I and my father as earnestly disbelieved.
Was he the worse or the better man for his faith? To what had his faith
led him, and to what had ours led us? What was his faith, and what was
ours? To us he was a superstitious creature, born in dark ages, and the
victim of a cunning priestcraft, that, in the name of heaven, darkened
the minds and hearts of men; while, had he dreamed that a degenerate
child of his would ever, even in after-ages, turn heretic, as he would
say, the probabilities were that in his great-hearted earnestness, had it
rested solely with him, he would rather have ended the line in his own
person than that such disgrace should ever come upon it. The man who in
his day had dared tell him that flesh of his would ever revile the church
in which he believed, and the Sacrament which he adored, would likely
enough have been piously knocked on the head for his pains. What a puzzle
it all was! Could a century or two make all this difference in the manner
of regarding the truths on which men professed to bind their hopes of an
eternal hereafter?

One afternoon of one of those real English summer days that when they
come are so balmy and bright and joyous, while sauntering through the
churchyard, I lighted upon a figure half buried in the long grass, so
deeply intent on deciphering the inscription around the tomb of my
ancestor that he did not notice my approach. There he lay, his hat by
his side, and an open sketch-book near it, peering into the dim, old,
half-effaced characters as curiously as ever did alchemist of eld into an
old black-letter volume. His years could not be many more than mine. His
form would equally attract the admiration of a lady or a prize-fighter.
The sign of ruddy health burned on the bronzed cheek. The dress had
nothing particular in it to stamp the character of the wearer. The
sketch-book and his absorbing interest in the grim old characters around
a tomb might denote the enthusiasm of an artist, or of an antiquarian
like my father, though he looked too full of the robust life of careless
youth for the one, and too evidently in the enjoyment of life as it was
for the other. Altogether a man that, encountered thus in a country
churchyard on a warm July afternoon, would at once excite the interest
and attract the attention of a passer-by.

While I was mentally noting down, running up, and calculating to a
nicety the sum of his qualities, the expression of his face indicated
that he was engaged in a hopeless task. “I can make all out about the
old Crusader except the date, and that is an all-important point. The
date--the date--the date,” he repeated to himself aloud. “I wonder what
Crusade he fought in?”

“Perhaps I could assist you,” I broke in. “Sir Roger Herbert followed the
good King Edward to the Holy Land, and for the sake of Christ’s dear rood
made many a proud painim to bite the dust. So saith the old chronicle
of the Abbey of S. Wilfrid which you see still standing--the modernized
version of it, at least--on yonder hill. The present abbot of S. Wilfrid
is the florid gentleman who has just saluted me. That handsome lady
beside him is the abbot’s wife. The two pretty girls seated opposite are
the abbot’s daughters. The good and gentle Abbot Jones is taking the fair
abbess, Mrs. Jones, out for her afternoon airing. She is a very amiable
lady; he is a very genial gentleman, and the author of the pamphlet in
reply to Maitland’s _Dark Ages_. Mr. Jones is very severe on the laziness
and general good-for-nothingness of the poor monks.”

My companion, who still remained stretched on the grass, scanned my face
curiously and with an amused glance while I spoke. He seemed lost in a
half-revery, from which he did not recover until a few moments after I
had ceased speaking. With sudden recollection, he said:

“I beg your pardon, I was thinking of something else. Many thanks for
your information about this old hero, whom the new train of ideas, called
up by your mention of the Abbot Jones and his family, drove out of my
mind a moment. The Abbot Jones!” he laughed. “It is very funny. Yet why
do the two words seem so little in keeping?”

“It is because, as my father would tell you, this is the century of the
Joneses. Centuries ago Abbot Jones would have sounded just as well and as
naturally as did Queen Joan. But, in common with many another good thing,
the name has become vulgarized by a vulgar age.”

My companion glanced at me curiously again, and seemed more inwardly
amused than before, whether with me or at me, or both, it was impossible
to judge from his countenance, though that was open enough. He turned
from the abbot to the tomb again.

“And so this old hero,” said he, patting affectionately the peaked toe of
the figure of Sir Roger, “drew his sword long ago for Christ’s dear rood,
and probably scaled the walls of Damietta at the head of a lusty band.
What a doughty old fellow he must have been! I should have been proud to
have shaken hands with him.”

“Should you, indeed? Then perhaps you will allow a remote relative of
that doughty old fellow to act as his unworthy representative in his
absence?” said I, offering my hand.

“Why, you don’t mean to say that you are a descendant of the old knight
whose ashes consecrate this spot!” he exclaimed, rising and grasping
me by the hand. “Sir, I am happy to lay my hand in that of a son of a
Crusader!”

“I fear I may not claim so high a character. There are no Crusaders
left. Myself, and Sir Roger here, move in different circles. You forget
that a few centuries roll between us.”

“Centuries change the fashion of men’s garments,” he responded quickly,
“not the fashion of their hearts. Truth is truth, and faith faith, and
honor honor, now as when this warrior fought for faith, and truth, and
honor. The crusades end only with the cross and faith in Christ.”

So spake with fervent accent and kindling glance the gentleman whom a
few moments before I had set down as one eminently fitted to attract the
admiration alike of lady or prize-fighter. The words struck me as so
strange, spoken in such a place and by such a person, that I was silent a
little, and he also. At length I said:

“You are like my father. You seem to prefer the old to the new.”

“Not so; I am particularly grateful that I was born in this and in no
other century. But I object to the enthusiasm that would leave all the
dead past to bury its dead. There were certain things, certain qualities
in the centuries gone by, a larger faith, a more general fervor, a
loyalty to what was really good and great, more universal than prevails
to-day, that we might have preserved with benefit to ourselves and to
generations to come. But pardon me. You have unfortunately hit upon one
of my hobbies, and I could talk for hours on the subject.”

“On the contrary, I ought to feel flattered at finding one interested
even in so remote a relative of mine as Sir Roger. As I look at him this
moment the thought comes to me, could he bend those stiff old knees of
his, hardened by the centuries into triple stone, rise up and walk
through Leighstone, live a week among us, question us, know our thoughts,
feelings, aspirations, religions, ascertain all that we have profited by
the centuries that have rolled over this tomb, he would, after one week
of it all, gather his old joints together and go back to his quiet rest
until that

    ‘Tuba mirum spargens sonum
    Per sepulchra regionum
    Coget omnes ante thronum.’

“I can’t help laughing at the conceit. Imagine me escorting this
stiff and stony old Sir Roger through the streets of Leighstone, and
introducing him to my relations and friends as my grandfather some six
centuries removed. But the fancy sounds irreverent to one whom I doubt
not was as loyal-hearted a gentleman as ever clove a Turk to the chine.
Poor old Sir Roger! I must prevent Mattock making such constant use of
his elbow. It is getting quite out of repair.”

“Who is Mattock, may I ask?”

“Mattock is a character in his way. He is the Leighstone grave-digger,
and has been as long as I can remember. He claims a kind of fellowship
with those he buries, and he has buried a whole generation of
Leighstonites, till a contagious hump has risen on his back from the
number of mounds he has raised. He is a cynic in his way, and can be
as philosophic over a skull as Hamlet in the play. He has a wonderful
respect, almost a superstitious regard, for Sir Roger. Whenever he
strips for a burial, he commends his goods to the care of my ancestor,
accompanied always by the same remark: ‘I wonder who laid thee i’
the airth? A weighty corpse thou, a warrant. A deep grave thine, old
stone-beard. Well, lend’s your elbow, and here’s to ye, wherever ye
may be.’ Mattock takes special care to fortify himself against possible
contingencies with a dram. ‘Cold corpses,’ he says, ‘is unhealthy. They
are apt to lie heavy on the stomick, if ye doant guard agin ’em; corpses
doos. So doos oysters. A dram afore burial and another dram after keeps
off the miasmys.’ Such is Mattock’s opinion, backed up by an experience
of a quarter of a century. You are evidently a stranger in this
neighborhood?”

“Yes, I was merely passing through. I am enjoying a walking tour, being a
great walker. It is by far the best method of seeing a country. When in
the course of my wanderings I come across an old tomb such as this, an
old inscription, or anything at all that was wrought or writ by reverent
hands centuries ago, and has survived through the changes of time, I am
amply repaid for a day’s march. Doubly so in this instance, since it
has been the fortunate means of bringing me in contact with one whose
opinions I am happy to think run in many things parallel with my own. And
now to step out of the past into the very vulgar present, I am staying
at the ‘Black Bull.’ The ‘Black Bull,’ I am assured, is famous for his
larder, so that, if you feel inclined to ripen the acquaintance begun by
the grave of your ancestor, in the interior of the ‘Black Bull,’ Kenneth
Goodal will consider that he has fallen on an exceptionally happy day.”

“Kenneth Goodal?” The name struck me as familiar; but I could not
recollect at the moment where I had heard it before. I repeated it aloud.

“It sounds quite a romantic name, does it not? It was my absurd mother
who insisted on the Kenneth, after a Scotch uncle of mine. For that
matter I suppose it was she who also insisted on the Goodal. At least
my father says so. But she is the sweetest of women to have her own
way, Heaven bless her! Of course I had no voice in the matter at all,
beyond the generic squeal of babyhood. Had I been consulted, I should
have selected Jack, a jolly, rough-and-ready title. It carries a sort
of slap-me-on-the-back sound with it. One is never surprised at a Jack
getting into scrapes or getting out of them. But it would cause very
considerable surprise to hear that a Kenneth had been caught in any wild
enterprise. However, Kenneth I am, and Kenneth I must remain, as staid
and respectable as a policeman on duty by very force of title.”

“Now I remember where I heard the name. There were traditions at Dr.
Porteous’, at Kingsclere, of a Kenneth Goodal who had just left before I
went there. But he can’t have been you.”

“No? Why not?”

“He was an awful scape-grace, they told me. He used to play all kinds
of tricks on the masters, though as great a favorite with them as with
the boys. He was a great mimic, and Dr. Porteous, who is as solemn as an
undertaker at a rich man’s funeral, and as pompous as a parish beadle,
surprised Kenneth Goodal one day, surrounded by a delighted crowd,
listening with such rapt attention to a highly wrought discourse, after
the doctor’s best manner, on the history and philosophy of Resurrection
Pie, that it required the unmistakable ‘ahem!’ of the doctor at the close
to announce to actor and audience the presence of the original. The
doctor in the grand old-school manner congratulated the youthful Roscius
on talents of whose existence he had been hitherto unaware, and hinted
that a repetition of so successful a performance might encourage him to
seek a wider field for so promising a pupil. And when the same Kenneth
thrashed the Kingsclere Champion for beating one of the youngsters,
bribing the policeman not to interfere until he had finished him, the
doctor, who was a model of decorum, had him up before the whole college,
and delivered an address that is not quite forgotten to this day;
acknowledging the credit to the establishment of such a champion in their
midst; a young gentleman who could mimic his superiors until his identity
was lost, and pummel his inferiors until their identity was lost, was
wasting his great natural gifts in so narrow an arena; and so on--all
delivered in the doctor’s best Ciceronian style. It took a deputation
of all the masters and all the boys together to beg the delinquent off
a rustication or worse. In fact, the stories of him and his deeds are
endless. How odd that you should have the same name!”

My new acquaintance laughed outright.

“I fear I must lay claim to more than the name; that historical personage
stands before you. I was with Dr. Porteous for a couple of years, and had
no idea that I left such fame behind me. The doctor and I became the best
of friends after my departure. And so you and I are, in a manner, old
school-fellows? How happy I am to have fallen across you. But, come; the
‘Black Bull’ is waiting.”

“By the elbow of mine ancestor, nay. Such dishonor may not come upon the
Herberts. Why, Sir Roger here would rise from his tomb at the thought and
denounce me in the market-place. You must come with me. Dinner is ready
by this time. Come as you are. My father will like you. He likes any one
who is interested in his ancestors. And my sister, who, since my mother’s
death, is mistress of the house and mistress of us all, shall answer for
herself.”

“So be it,” he said, and we passed under the yews, their sad branches
flushed in the sun, out through the gate, under the old archway with its
mouldering statues, up the pretty straggling road that formed the High
Street of Leighstone, arm in arm together, fast friends we each of us
felt, though but acquaintances of an hour. The instinct that out of a
multitude selects one, though you may scarcely know his name, and tells
you that one is your friend, is as strange as unerring. It was this
unconscious necromancy that had woven a mesh of golden threads caught
from the summer sunlight around us as we moved along. Its influence
was upon us, breathing in the perfumed air. I had never had a real
friend of my own age before, and I hailed this one as the discovery of
a life-time. We should strike out together, tread the same path, be it
rough or smooth, arm in arm until the end come. Damon and Pythias would
be nothing to us. The same loves, the same hates, the same hopes, were to
guide, animate, and sustain us. Castles in the air! Castles in the air!
Who has not built them? Who among the sons of men in the neighborhood of
twenty summers has not chosen one man out of thousands, leant upon him,
cherished him, made him his idol, loved him above all? And so it goes
on, until some day comes a laughing eye peeping from under a bonnet, and
with one dart the bosom friendship is smitten through and through, and
Damon is ready to sacrifice a hecatomb of his Pythiases on the altar of
the ox-eyed goddess.

TO BE CONTINUED.


IN MEMORIAM.

E. T.

OBIIT ANNOS NATA XV.

    Who says she has wither’d, that little White Rose?
      She has been but remov’d from the valley of tears
    To a garden afar, where her loveliness glows
      Begemm’d with the grace-dew of virginal years,

    I knew we should lose her. The dear Sacred Heart
      Has a nook in earth’s desert for flowerets so rare;
    And keeps them awhile in safe shelter, apart
      From the wind and the rain, from the dust and the glare;

    But all to transplant them when fairest they bloom,
      When most we shall miss them. And this, that our love
    May be haunted the more by the fadeless perfume
      They have left us to breathe of the Eden above.

    Farewell, happy maiden! Our weariest hours
      May gather a share of thy perfect repose.
    And fragrantly still with the Lord of the flowers
      Thou wilt plead for thy lov’d ones--our little Saint Rose.[14]

    FEBRUARY 27, 1875.[15]


THE TRAGEDY OF THE TEMPLE.

History is like a prison-house, of which Time is the only jailer who
can reveal the secrets. And Father Time is slow to speak. Sometimes
he is strangely dumb concerning events of deep importance, sometimes
idly garrulous about small matters. When now and then he reveals some
long-kept secret, we refuse to believe him; we cannot credit that such
things ever happened on this planet of ours, so respectable in its
civilized humanity, so tenderly zealous for the welfare and freedom of
its remotest members. But this same humanity is a riddle to which our
proudest philosophers have not yet found the clew. It moves mountains to
deliver an oppressed mouse, and sits mute and apathetic while a nation
of weak brothers is being hunted to death by a nation of strong ones in
the midst of its universal brotherhood; seeing the most sacred principles
and highest interests of the world attacked and imperilled, and the
earth shaken with throes and rendings that will bring forth either life
or death, exactly as humanity shall decide, and yet not moving a finger
either way. Then, when the storm is over and it beholds the wreck caused
by its own apathy or stupidity, it fills the world with an “agony of
lamentation,” gnashes its teeth, and protests that it slept, and knew not
that these things were being done in its name.

Sometimes the funeral knell of the victims goes on echoing like a distant
thunder-tone for a whole generation, and is scarcely heeded, until at
last some watcher hearkens, and wakes us up, and, lo! we find that a
tragedy has been enacted at our door, and the victim has been crying
out piteously for help while we slumbered. History is full of these
slumberings and awakenings. What an awakening for France was that when,
after the lapse of two generations, the jailer struck the broken stones
of the Temple, and gave them a voice to tell their story, bidding all the
world attend!

The account of the imprisonment and death of Louis XVII. had hitherto
come down to his people stripped of much of its true character, and
clothed with a mistiness that disguised the naked horror of the truth,
and flattered the sensitive vanity of the nation into the belief--or
at any rate into the plausible hope--that much had been exaggerated,
and that the historians of those times had used too strong colors in
portraying the sufferings of the son of their murdered king. The _Grande
Nation_ had been always grand; she had had her hour of delirium, and run
wild in anarchy and chaos while it lasted; but she had never disowned
her essential greatness, never forfeited her humanity, the grandeur of
her mission as the eldest daughter of the church of Christ, and the
apostle of civilization among the peoples. The demon in man’s shape,
called Simon the Cordwainer, had disgraced his manhood by torturing
a feeble, inoffensive child committed to his mercy, but he alone was
responsible. The governing powers of the time were in total ignorance
of his proceedings; France had no share in the blame or the infamy. The
sensational legend of the Temple was bad enough, but at its worst no
one was responsible but Simon, a besotted shoemaker. It was even hinted
that the Dauphin had been rescued, and had not died in the Tower at all,
and many tender-hearted Frenchmen clung long and tenaciously to this
fiction. But at the appointed time one man, at the bidding of the great
Secret-Teller, stood forth and tore away the veil, and discovered to all
the world the things that had been done, not by Simon the Cordwainer, but
by the _Grande Nation_ in his person. M. de Beauchesne[16] was that man,
and nobly, because faithfully and inexorably, he fulfilled his mission.
It was a fearful message that he had to deliver, and there is no doubt
but that his work--the result of twenty years’ persevering research and
study--moved the hearts of his countrymen as no book had ever before
moved them. It made an end once and for ever of garbled narratives, and
comforting fables, and bade the guilty nation look upon the deeds she had
done, and atone for them with God’s help as best she might.

In reading the records of those mad times one ceases to wonder at recent
events. They give the key to all subsequent crimes and wanderings. A
nation that deliberately, in cold, premeditated hate and full wakefulness
of reason, decrees by law in open court that God does not exist, and
forthwith abolishes him by act of parliament--a nation that does this
commits itself to the consequences. France did this in the National
Convention of 1793, and why should she not pay the penalty?

Of all the victims of that bloody period, there is none whose story is
so touching as that of the little son of Louis and Marie Antoinette. He
was born at Versailles on the 27th of March, 1785. All eye-witnesses
describe him as a bright and lovely child, with shining curls of fair
hair, large, blue eyes, liquid as a summer sky, and a countenance of
angelic sweetness and rare intelligence--“a thing of joy” to all who
beheld him. Crowds waited for hours to catch a glimpse of him disporting
himself in his little garden before the palace, a flower amidst the
flower-beds, prattling with every one, making the old park ring with
his joyous laughter. One day, when in the midst of his play, he ran to
meet his mother, and, flinging himself into a bush for greater haste,
got scratched by the thorns; the queen chided him for the foolish
impetuosity. “How then?” replied the child; “you told me only yesterday
that the road to glory was through thorns.” “Yes, but glory means
devotion to duty, my son,” was Marie Antoinette’s reply. “Then,” cried
the little man, throwing his arms, round her knees, “I will make it my
glory to be devoted to you, mamma!” He was about four years old when this
anecdote was told of him.

It is rather characteristic of the child’s destiny that two hours after
the bereavement which made him Dauphin of France, and while his parents
were breaking their hearts by the still warm body of his elder brother,
a deputation from the Tiers Etat came to demand an audience of the
king. Louis XVI. was a prey to the first agony of his paternal grief,
and sent to entreat the deputies to spare him, and return another day.
They sent back an imperious answer, insisting on his appearing. “Are
there no fathers amongst them?” exclaimed the king; but he came out and
received them. The incident was trifling, yet it held one of those notes
of prophetic anticipation which now first began to be heard, foretelling
the approaching storm in which the old ship of French royalty was to be
wrecked.

On the 6th of October the palace of Versailles was stormed by the mob;
the guards were massacred, the royal family led captives to Paris amidst
the triumphant yells of the _sans-culottes_. Then followed the gilded
captivity of the Tuileries, which lasted three years; then came the 10th
of August, when this was exchanged for the more degrading prison of the
Temple; then the _Conciergerie_--then the scaffold.

The Temple was a Gothic fortress built in 1212 by the Knights of the
Temple. It had been long inhabited by those famous warrior-knights,
and consisted of two distinct towers, which were so constructed as to
resemble one building. The great tower was a massive structure divided
into five or six stories, above a hundred and fifty feet high, with a
pyramidal roof like an extinguisher, having at each corner a turret
with a conical roof like a steeple. This was formerly the keep, and had
been used as treasury and arsenal by the Templars; it was accessible
only by a single door in one turret, opening on a narrow stone stair.
The other was called the Little Tower, a narrow oblong with turrets at
each angle, and attached, without any internal communication, to its big
neighbor on the north side. Close by, within the enclosure of the Temple,
stood an edifice which had in olden times been the dwelling-house of
the prior, and it was here the royal family were incarcerated on their
arrival. The place was utterly neglected and dilapidated, but from its
construction and original use it was capable of being made habitable.
The king believed that they were to remain here, and visited the empty,
mouldy rooms next day, observing to Cléry what changes and repairs were
most urgently required. No such luxurious prospect was, however, in store
for them. They were merely huddled into the Prior’s Hotel while some
preparations were being made for their reception in the tower. These
preparations consisted in precautions, equally formidable and absurd,
against possible rescue or flight. The heavy oak doors, the thick stone
walls, which had proved safe enough for murderers and rebel warriors,
were not considered secure for the timid king and his wife and children.
Doors and windows were reinforced with iron bars, bolts, and wooden
blinds. The corkscrew stair was So narrow that only one person could pass
it at a time, yet new iron-plated doors were put up, and bars thrown
across it at intervals, to prevent escape. The door leading from it into
the royal prisoners’ apartment was so low that when Marie Antoinette
was dragged from her children, after the king’s death, to be taken to
the _Conciergerie_, she knocked her head violently against the upper
part of it, exclaiming to some one who hoped she was not hurt, “Nothing
can hurt me now!” The Abbé Edgeworth thus describes the access to the
king’s rooms: “I was led across the court to the door of the tower,
which, though very narrow and very low, was so overcharged with iron
bolts and bars that it opened with a horrible noise. I was conducted up a
winding stair so narrow that two persons would have had great difficulty
in getting past each other. At short distances these stairs were cut
across by barriers, at each of which was a sentinel; these men were all
true _sans-culottes_, generally drunk, and their atrocious exclamations,
re-echoed by the vast vaults which covered every story of the tower,
were really terrifying.” For still greater security all the adjoining
buildings which crowded round the tower were thrown down. This work of
destruction was entrusted to Palloy, a zealous patriot, whose energy in
helping to pull down the Bastile pointed him out as a fit instrument for
the occasion. These external arrangements fitly symbolized the systematic
brutality which was organized from the first by the Convention, and
relentlessly carried out by its agents on each succeeding victim, but
by no one so ferociously as Simon the shoemaker. The most appalling
riddle which the world has yet set us to solve is the riddle of the
French Revolution. The deepest thinkers, the shrewdest philosophers, are
puzzling over it still, and will go on puzzling to the crack of doom.
There are causes many and terrible which explain the grand fact of the
nation’s revolt itself; why, when once the frenzy broke out, the people
murdered the king, and butchered all belonging to him, striving to bring
about a new birth, a different order of things, by a baptism of blood,
the death and annihilation of the old system--many wise and solemn words
have been uttered concerning these things, many answers which, if they
do not justify the madness of the Revolution, help us to pity, and in
a measure excuse, its actors; but the enigma which no one has ever yet
solved, or attempted to solve, is the excess of cruelty practised on
the fair-haired child whose sole crime was his misfortune in being the
descendant of the kings of France.

The Princesse de Lamballe fell on the 3d of September at the prison of La
Force. The National Guards carried the head on a pike through the city,
and then hoisted it under the windows of the king, and clamored for him
to come out and show himself. One young officer, more humane than his
compeers, rushed forward and prevented it, and saved Louis from beholding
the dreadful spectacle. The king was deeply grateful for the kind action,
and asked the officer’s name. “And who was the other who tried to force
your majesty out?” enquired M. de Malesherbes. “Oh! I did not care to
know his name!” replied Louis gently. That was a night of horrors. The
two princesses, Mme. Royale and Princess Elizabeth, could not sleep; the
drums were beating to arms, and they sat in silence, “listening to the
sobs of the queen, which never ceased.” But more cruel days were yet in
store. Before the month was out the Commune de Paris issued a decree for
the separation of the king from his wife and children. “They felt it,”
says this curious document, “their imperious duty to prevent the abuses
which might facilitate the evasion of those traitors, and therefore
decree, 1st, that Louis and Antoinette be separated.

“2d. That each shall have a separate dungeon (_cachot_).

“3d. That the _valet de chambre_ be placed in confinement, etc., etc.”

That same night the king was removed to the second story of the great
tower. The room was in a state of utter destitution; no preparations of
the commonest description had been made for receiving him. A straw bed
was thrown down on the floor; Cléry, his _valet_, had not even this, but
sat up all night on a chair. A month later (October) the queen and her
children were transferred to the story over that now occupied by Louis in
the great tower. On the 26th the Dauphin was torn from his mother under
the pretence that he was now too old to be left to the charge of women,
being just seven years and six months. He was therefore lodged with his
father, who found his chief solace in teaching the child his lessons;
these consisted of Latin, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history.
The separation was for the present mitigated by the consolation of
meeting at meal-times, and being allowed to be together for some hours in
the garden every day. They bore all privations and the insults of their
jailers with unruffled patience and sweetness. Mme. Elizabeth and the
queen sat up at night to mend their own and the king’s clothes, which the
fact of their each having but one suit made it impossible for them to do
in the daytime.

This comparatively merciful state of things lasted till the first week
in December, when a new set of commissaries were appointed and the
captives watched day and night with lynx-eyed rigor. On the 11th the
prince was taken back to his mother, the king was summoned to the bar
of the Convention, and on his return to prison was informed that he was
henceforth totally separated from his family. He never saw them again
until the eve of his death. The Duchesse d’Angoulême (Mme. Royale) has
described that interview to us with her usual simplicity and pathos: “My
father, at the moment of parting with us for ever, made us promise never
to think of avenging his death. He was well satisfied that we should hold
sacred his last instructions; but the extreme youth of my brother made
him desirous of producing a still stronger impression upon him. He took
him on his knee, and said to him, ‘My son, you have heard what I have
said, but, as an oath is something more sacred than words, hold up your
hand and swear that you will accomplish the last wish of your father.’ My
brother obeyed, bursting into tears, and this touching goodness redoubled
ours.”

The next day Louis had gone to receive the reward promised to the
merciful, to those who return love for hate, blessings for curses. When
the guillotine had done its work, the shouts of the infuriated city
announced to the queen that she was a widow. Her agony was inconsolable.
In the afternoon of this awful day she asked to see Cléry, hoping that he
might have some message for her from the king, with whom he had remained
till his departure from the Temple. She guessed right; the faithful
servant had been entrusted with a ring, which the king desired him to
deliver to her with the assurance that he never would have parted with it
but with his life. But Cléry was not allowed the mournful privilege of
fulfilling his trust in person; he was kept a month in the Temple, and
then released. “We had now a little more freedom,” continues Mme. Royale.
“The guards even believed that we were about to be sent out of France;
but nothing could calm the agony of the queen. No hope could touch her
heart; life was indifferent to her, and she did not fear death.”

Her son, meanwhile, had nominally become King of France. The armies of
La Vendée proclaimed him as Louis XVII., under the regency of his uncle,
the Comte de Provence. He was King of France everywhere except in France,
where he was the victim of a blind ferocity unexampled in the history of
the most wicked periods of the world.

The “freedom” which the Duchesse d’Angoulême speaks of lasted but a few
days; the royal family were all now in the queen’s apartment, but kept
under, if possible, more rigid and humiliating supervision than before.
Their only attendants were a certain Tison and his wife, who had hitherto
been employed in the most menial household work of the Temple. They were
coarse and ignorant by nature, and soon the confinement to which they
were themselves condemned so soured their temper that they grew cruel and
insolent, and avenged their own privations on their unhappy prisoners.
They denounced three of the municipals whom they detected in some signs
of respect and sympathy for the queen, and these men were all guillotined
on the strength of the Tisons’ evidence. The woman went mad with remorse
when she beheld the mischief her denunciations had done. At first she
sank into a black melancholy. Marie Antoinette and the Princess Elizabeth
attended on her, and did their utmost to soothe her during the first
stage of the malady; but their gentle charity was like coals of fire on
the head of their persecutor. She soon became furious, and had to be
carried away by force to a mad-house.

About the 6th of May the young prince fell ill. The queen was alarmed,
and asked to see M. Brunier, his ordinary physician; the request was
met with a mocking reply, and no further notice taken of it, until the
child’s state became so serious that the prison doctor was ordered by
the Commune to go and see what was amiss with him. The doctor humanely
consulted M. Brunier, who was well acquainted with the patient’s
constitution, and otherwise did all that was in his power to alleviate
his condition. This was not much, but the queen and Mme. Elizabeth, who
for three weeks never left the little sufferer’s pillow, were keenly
alive to the kindness of the medical man. This illness made no noise
outside the Temple walls; but Mme. Royale always declared that her
brother had never really recovered from it, and that it was the first
stage of the disease which ultimately destroyed him. The government
had hitherto been too busy with more important matters to have leisure
to attend to such a trifle as the life or death of “little Capet.” It
was busy watching and striving to control the struggle between the
Jacobins and the Girondists, which ended finally in the overthrow of the
latter. On the 9th of July, however, it suddenly directed its notice to
the young captive, and issued a decree ordering him to be immediately
separated from Antoinette, and confided to a tutor (_instituteur_), who
should be chosen by the nation. It was ten o’clock at night when six
commissaries, like so many birds of ill-omen, entered the Temple, and
ascended the narrow, barricaded stairs leading to the queen’s rooms.
The young prince was lying fast asleep in his little curtainless bed,
with a shawl suspended by tender hands to shade him from the light on
the table, where his mother and aunt sat mending their clothes. The men
delivered their message in loud tones; but the child slept on. It was
only when the queen uttered a great cry of despair that he awoke, and
beheld her with clasped hands praying to the commissaries. They turned
from her with a savage laugh, and approached the bed to seize the prince.
Marie Antoinette, quicker than thought, flew towards it, and, clasping
him in her arms, clung despairingly to the bed-post. One of the men was
about to use violence in order to seize the boy, but another stayed his
hand, exclaiming: “It does not become us to fight with women; call up
the guard!” Horror-stricken at the threat, Mme. Elizabeth cried out:
“No, for God’s sake, no! We submit, we cannot resist; but give us time
to breathe. Let the child sleep out the night here. He will be delivered
to you to-morrow.” This prayer was spurned, and then the queen entreated
as a last mercy that her son might remain in the tower, where she might
still see him. A commissary retorted brutally, _tutoyant_ her, “What!
you make such a to-do because, forsooth, you are separated from your
child, while our children are sent to the frontiers to have their brains
knocked out by the bullets which you bring upon us!” The princesses now
began to dress the prince; but never was there such a long toilet in this
world. Every article was passed from one to another, put on, taken off
again, and replaced after being drenched with tears. The commissaries
were losing patience. “At last,” says Mme. Royale, the queen, gathering
up all her strength, placed herself in a chair, with the child standing
before her, put her hands on his little shoulders, and, without a tear or
a sigh, said with a grave and solemn voice, “My child, we are about to
part. Bear in mind all I have said to you of your duties when I shall be
no longer near to repeat it. Never forget God, who thus tries you, nor
your mother, who loves you. Be good, patient, kind, and your father will
look down from heaven and bless you.” Having said this, she kissed him
and handed him to the commissaries. One of them said: “Come, I hope you
have done with your sermonizing; you have abused our patience finely.”
Another dragged the boy out of the room, while a third added: “Don’t be
uneasy; the nation will take care of him!” Then the door closed. Take
care of him! Not even in that hour of supreme anguish, quickened as her
imagination was by past and present experience of the nation’s “care,”
could his mother have pictured to herself what sort of guardianship was
in preparation for her son. That night which saw him torn from her arms
and from beneath the protecting shadow of her immense love, beheld the
little King of France transferred to the pitiless hands of Simon and his
wife.

Simon was a thick-set, black-visaged man of fifty-eight years of age. He
worked as a shoemaker next door to Marat, whose patronage procured for
him the office of “tutor” to the son of Louis XVI. His wife is described
as an ill-favored woman of the same age as her husband, with a temper as
sour and irascible as his was vicious and cruel. They got five hundred
francs a month for maltreating the “little Capet,” whom Simon never
addressed except as “viper.” “wolf-cub,” “poison-toad,” adding kicks and
blows as expletives. For two days and nights the child wept unceasingly,
refusing to eat or sleep, and crying out continually to be taken back to
his mother. He was starved and beaten into sullen silence and a sort of
hopeless submission. If he showed terror or surprise at a threat, it was
treated as insolent rebellion, and he was seized and beaten as if he had
attempted a crime. All this first month of Simon’s tutorship the child
was so ill as to be under medical treatment. But this was no claim on the
tutor’s mercy; if it had been, he would have been unfitted for his task,
and would not have been chosen for it. He was astonished, nevertheless,
at the indomitable spirit of his victim, at the quiet firmness with which
he bore his treatment, and at the perseverance with which he continued
to insist on being restored to his mother. How long would it take to
break this royal “wolf-cub”? Simon began to be perplexed about it. He
must have advice from headquarters, and fuller liberty for the exercise
of his own ingenuity. Four members of the Committee of _Sûreté Générale_
betook themselves to the Temple, and there held a conference with the
patriot shoemaker which remains one of the most curious incidents of
those wonderful days. Amongst the four councillors was Drouet, the famous
post-master of Sainte Ménéhould, and Chabot, an apostate monk. One of
the others related the secret conference to Sénart, secretary of the
committee, who thus transcribed it at the time: “Citizens,” asks Simon,
“what do you decide as to the treatment of the wolf-cub? He has been
brought up to be insolent. I can tame him, but I cannot answer that he
will not sink under it (_crever_). So much the worse for him; but, after
all, what do you mean to do with him? To banish him?” Answer: “No.” “To
kill him?” “No.” “To poison him?” “No.” “But what, then?” “_To get rid of
him_” (_s’en défaire_).

From this forth the severity of Simon knew no bounds but those of his
own fiendish powers of invention. He applied his whole energies to the
task of “doing away with” the poor child. He made him slave like a dog at
the most laborious and menial work; he was shoe-black, turnspit, drudge,
and victim at once. Not content with thus degrading him, Simon insisted
that the boy should wear the red cap as an external badge of degradation.
The republican symbol was no doubt associated in the child’s mind with
the bloody riots of the year before; for the mere sight of it filled him
with terror, and nothing that his jailer could say or do could persuade
him to let it be placed on his head. Simon, exasperated by such firmness
in one so frail and young, fell upon him and flogged him unmercifully,
until at last Mme. Simon, who every now and then showed that the woman
was not quite dead within her, interfered to rescue the boy, declaring
that it made her sick to see him beaten in that way. But she hit upon
a mode of punishment which, though more humane, proved more crushing
to the young captive than either threats or blows. His fair hair, in
which his mother had taken such fond pride, still fell long and unkempt
about his shoulders. Mme. Simon declared that this was unseemly in the
little Capet, and that he should be shorn like a son of the people. She
forthwith proceeded to cut off the offending curls, and in a moment,
before he realized what she was about to do, the shining locks lay strewn
at his feet. The effect was terrible; the child uttered a piteous cry,
and then lapsed into a state of sullen despair. All spirit seemed to
have died out of him; and when Simon, perceiving this, again approached
him with the hated cap, he made no resistance, gave no sign, but let it
be placed on his little shorn head in silence. The shabby black clothes
that he wore by way of mourning for his father were now taken off, and
replaced by a complete _Carmagnole_ costume; still Louis offered no
opposition. He was taken out for exercise on the leads every day, and,
to prevent the queen having the miserable satisfaction of catching a
glimpse of him on these occasions, a wooden partition had been run up;
it was loosely put together, however, and Mme. Elizabeth discovered a
chink through which it was possible to see the captive as he passed.
Marie Antoinette was filled with thankfulness when she heard of this,
and overcoming her reluctance to leave her room, from which she had
never stirred since the king’s death, she now used every subterfuge for
remaining on the watch within sight of the chink. At last, on the 20th
of July, her patience was rewarded. But what a spectacle it was that
met her gaze! Her beautiful, fair-haired child, cropped as if he had
just recovered from a fever, and dressed out in the odious garb of his
father’s murderers, driven along by the brutal Simon, and addressed in
coarse and horrible language. She was near enough to hear it, to see
the look of terror and suffering on the child’s face as he passed. Yet,
such strength does love impart to a mother in her most trying needs, the
queen was able to see it all and remain mute and still; she did not cry
out, nor faint, nor betray by a single movement the horror that made
her very heart stand still, but, rising slowly from the spot, returned
to her room. The shock had almost paralyzed her, and she resolved that
nothing should ever tempt her to renew it. But the longing of the
mother’s heart overcame all other feelings. The next day she returned to
her watch-point, and waited for hours until the little feet were heard
on the leads again, accompanied as before by Simon’s heavy tread and
rough tones. What Marie Antoinette must have suffered during those few
days, when she beheld with her own eyes and heard with her own ears the
sort of tutelage to which her innocent child was subjected, God, and
perhaps a mother’s heart, alone can tell. That young soul, whose purity
she had guarded as the very apple of her eye, was now exposed to the
foulest influences; for prayers and pious teachings he heard nothing but
blasphemy and curses; his faith, that precious flower which had been
planted so reverently and watered with such tender care, what was to
become of it--what had become of it already? None but God knew, and to
God alone did the mother look for help. He who saved Daniel in the lions’
den and the children in the fiery furnace was powerful to save his own
now, as then; he would save her child, for man was powerless to help.
One of Simon’s diabolical amusements was to force the prince to use bad
language and sing blasphemous songs. Blows and threats were unavailing
so long as the boy caught any part of the revolting sense of the words;
but at last, deceived no doubt by the very grossness of the expressions,
and unable to penetrate their meaning, he took refuge from blows in
compliance, and with his sweet childish treble piped out songs that were
never heard beyond the precincts of a tavern or a guard-house. The queen
heard this once. Angels heard it, too, and, closing their ears to the
loathsome sounds, smiled with angels’ pity on the unconscious treason of
their little kindred spirit.

But this new crisis of misery was not of long duration to Marie
Antoinette. About three days after her first vision of Simon and his
victim, the commissaries entered her room in the dead of the night, and
read a decree, ordering them to convey her to the _Conciergerie_. This
was the first step of the scaffold. The summons would have been welcome
to the widow of Louis XVI., if she had not been a mother; but she was,
and the thought of leaving her son in the hands of men whose aim was not
merely to “slay the body,” but to destroy the soul, made the prospect of
her own deliverance dreadful to contemplate. But God was there--God, who
loved her son better and more availingly than even she loved him. She
committed him once more to God, and commended her daughter to the tender
and virtuous Elizabeth, little dreaming that the same fate which had
befallen the brother was soon to be awarded to the gentle, inoffensive
sister.

On the same day that the queen was sent to the _Conciergerie_,
preparatory to her execution, a member of the Convention sent a toy
guillotine as a present to “the little Capet,” doubtless with the
merciful design of acquainting the poor child with his mother’s impending
fate. A subaltern officer in the Temple, however, had the humanity to
intercept the fiendish present, for the young prince never received it.
It was the fashion of the day to teach children to play at beheading
sparrows, which were sold on the boulevards with little guillotines,
by way of teaching them to love the republic and to scorn death. It is
rather a curious coincidence that Chaumette, the man who sent the satanic
toy to the Dauphin, was himself decapitated by it a year before the death
of the child whom he thought to terrify by his cruel gift.

While the mock trial of the queen was going on, Simon pursued more
diligently than ever his scheme of demoralization. A design which must
first have originated in some fiend’s brain had occurred to him, and it
was necessary to devise new means for carrying it into execution. He
would make this spotless, idolized child a witness against his mother;
the little hand which hers had guided in forming its first letters, and
taught to lift itself in prayer, should be made an instrument in the most
revolting calumny which the human mind ever conceived. Simon began to
make the boy drink; when he attempted to refuse, the liquor was poured
into his mouth by force; until at last, stupefied and unconscious of what
he was doing, unable to comprehend the purpose or consequence of the act,
he signed his name to a document in which the most heinous accusations
were brought against his august mother. The same deposition was presented
to his sister for her signature; but without the same success. “They
questioned me about a thousand terrible things of which they accused my
mother and my aunt,” says Mme. Royale; “and, frightened as I was, I could
not help exclaiming that they were wicked falsehoods.” The examination
lasted three hours, for the deputies hoped that the extreme youth and
timidity of the princess would enable them to compel her consent to sign
the paper; but in this they were mistaken. “They forgot,” continues Mme.
Royale, “the life that I had led for four years past, and, above all,
that the example shown me by my parents had given me more energy and
strength of mind.” The queen’s trial lasted two entire days and nights
without intermission. Not a single accusation, political or otherwise,
was confirmed by a feather’s weight of evidence. But what did that
signify? The judges had decreed beforehand that she must die. Hébert
brought forward the document signed by her son; she listened in silent
scorn, and disdained to answer. One of the paid assassins on the jury
demanded why she did not speak. The queen, thus adjured, drew herself up
with all the majesty of outraged motherhood, and, casting her eyes over
the crowded court, replied: “_I did not answer; but I appeal to the heart
of every mother who hears me_.” A low murmur ran through the crowd. No
mother raised her voice in loyal sympathy with the mother who appealed to
them, but the inarticulate response was too powerful for the jury; they
dropped the subject, and when the counsel nominally appointed for her
defence had done speaking, the president demanded of the prisoner at the
bar whether she had anything to add. There was a moment’s hush, and then
the queen spoke: “For myself, nothing; for your consciences, much! I was
a queen, and you dethroned me; I was a wife, and you murdered my husband;
I was a mother, and you have torn my children from me. I have nothing
left but my blood--make haste and take it!”

This last request was granted. The trial ended soon after daybreak on
the third day, and at eleven o’clock the same forenoon she was led to the
scaffold.

Seldom has retribution more marked ever followed a crime, than that which
awaited the perpetrators of this legal murder. Within nine months from
the death of Marie Antoinette every single individual known to have had
any share in the deed--judges, jury, witnesses, and prosecutors--all
perished on the same guillotine to which they condemned the queen.

The captives in the Temple knew nothing either of the mock trial or the
death which followed it. It is difficult to understand the motive of
this silence, especially as concerns Simon. Perhaps it was owing to his
wife’s influence that the young prince was spared the blow of knowing
that he was an orphan. If so, it was the only act of mercy she was able
to obtain for him. The brutalities of the jailer rather increased than
diminished after the queen’s death. The child was locked up alone in a
room almost entirely dark, and the gloom and solitude reduced him to
such a point of despondency and apathy that few hearts, even amongst the
cruel men about him, could behold the wretched spectacle unmoved. One
of the municipals begged Simon’s leave to give the poor child a little
artificial canary bird, which sang a song and fluttered its wings. The
toy gave him such intense pleasure that the man good-naturedly followed
up the opportunity of Simon’s mild mood to bring a cage full of real
canaries, which he was likewise allowed to give the little Capet. The
birds were tamed to come on his finger and perch on his shoulder, and had
other pretty tricks which amused and delighted the poor little fellow
inexpressibly. He was very happy in the society of his feathered friends
for some time, until one unlucky day a new commissary came to inspect his
room, and, expressing great surprise at “the son of the tyrant” being
allowed such an aristocratic amusement, ordered the cage to be instantly
removed. Simon, to atone for this passing weakness towards the wolf-cub,
set himself to maltreat him more savagely than ever. The child, in the
midst of the revolting atmosphere which surrounded him, still cherished
the memory of his mother’s teaching; he remembered the prayers she had
taught him, the lessons of love and faith she had planted in his heart.
Simon had flogged him the first time he saw him go down on his knees to
say his prayers, so the child ever after went to bed and got up without
repeating the offence. We may safely believe that he sent up his heart to
God morning and night, nevertheless, though he did not dare kneel while
doing so. One night, a bitter cold night in January, Simon awoke, and,
by the light of the moon that stole in through the wooden blind of the
window, beheld the boy kneeling up in his bed, his hands clasped and his
face uplifted in prayer. He doubted at first whether the child was awake
or asleep; but the attitude and all that it suggested threw him into a
frenzy of superstitious rage; he took up a large pitcher of water, icy
cold as it was, and flung it, pitcher and all, at the culprit, exclaiming
as he did so, “I’ll teach you to get up Pater-nostering at night like
a Trappist!” Not satisfied with this, he seized his own shoe--a heavy
wooden shoe with great nails--and fell to beating him with it, until
Mme Simon, terrified by his violence and sickened by the cries of the
victim, rushed at her husband, and made him desist. Louis, sobbing and
shivering, gathered himself up out of the wet bed, and sat crouching on
the pillow; but Simon pulled him down, and made him lie in the soaking
clothes, perishing and drenched as he was. The shock was so great that he
never was the same after this night; it utterly broke the little spirit
that yet remained in him, and gave a blow to his health which it never
recovered.

TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT MONTH.


SPRING.

    The spring-time has come,
      But with skies dark and gray
    And the wind waileth wildly
      Through all the drear day.
    Few glimpses of sunshine,
      No thought of the flowers,
    No bird’s songs enliven
      These chill, gloomy hours.

    The snow lieth coldly
      Where lately it fell,
    The crocus and daisy
      Yet sleep in the dell;
    The frost yet at evening
      Falls softly and chill,
    And scatters his pearls
      Over meadow and hill.

    But April, sweet April--
      Her tears bring no gloom--
    Will pour on the zephyr
      A violet perfume;
    Will bid the rill glance
      In the sunlight along,
    And waken at morning
      The bird’s gushing song.

    I am thinking of one
      Who oft sought for the flowers
    In the sunlight and shadow
      Of April’s bright hours.
    But when winter’s bleak winds
      Sang a dirge for the year,
    With pale lips, yet smiling,
      She lay on her bier.

    The flowers then that died
      Will awaken again,
    But her we have loved
      We shall look for in vain;
    Yet, though we have laid her
      Beneath the dark sod,
    She bloometh this spring
      In the garden of God.


SUBSTANTIAL GENERATIONS.

I.

We have shown that the intrinsic principles of the primitive material
substance are _the matter_ and _the substantial form_; and we have proved
that in the material element the matter is a mere mathematical point--the
centre of a virtual sphere--whilst the substantial form which gives
existence to such a centre is an act, or an active principle, having a
spherical character, and constituting a sphere of power all around that
centre, as shown by its exertions directed all around in accordance with
the Newtonian law. Hence the nature of the matter as actuated by its
substantial form, and the nature of the substantial form as terminated to
its matter, are fully determined.

It would seem that nothing remains to be investigated about this subject;
for, when we have reached the _first_ constituent principles of a
given essence, the metaphysical analysis is at an end. One question,
however, remains to be settled between us and the philosophers of the
Aristotelic school concerning the _mutual relation_ of the matter and
the substantial form in a material being. Is such a relation variable or
invariable? Is the matter separable from any given substantial form, as
the Aristotelic theory assumes, or are the matter and its form so bound
together as to form a unit substantially unchangeable? Can substantial
forms be supplanted and superseded by other substantial forms, or do they
continue for ever as they were at the instant of their creation?

Some of our readers may think that what we have said in other preceding
articles suffices to settle the question; for it is obvious that simple
material elements are substantially unchangeable. But the peripatetic
school looked at things from a different point of view, and thought that
the question was to be solved by the consideration of the potentiality
of the _first matter_ with respect to all substantial forms. Hence it is
under this aspect that their opinion is to be examined, that a correct
judgment may be formed of the merits and deficiencies of a system so
long advocated by the most celebrated philosophers. For this reason, as
also because some modern writers have resuscitated this system without
taking notice of its defects, and without making such corrections as
were required to make it agree with the positive sciences, we think it
necessary to examine the notions on which the whole Aristotelic theory is
established, and the reasonings by which it is supported, and to point
out the inaccuracies by which some of those reasonings are spoiled, as
well as the limits within which the conclusions of the school can be
maintained.

_Materia prima._--The notion of “first matter,” which plays the principal
part in the theory of substantial generations, has been the source of
many disputes among philosophers. Some, as Suarez, think that the
_materia prima_ is metaphysically constituted of act and potency; others
consider the _materia prima_ as a real potency only; whilst others
consider it as a mere potency of being, and therefore as a non-entity.
The word “matter” can, in fact, be used in three different senses.

First, it is used for _material substance_, either compound or simple;
as when steel is said to be the matter of a sword, or when the primitive
elements are said to be the matter of a body. When taken in this sense,
the word “matter” means a _physical_ being, substantially perfect, and
capable of accidental modifications.

Secondly, the word “matter” is used for _the potential term lying under
the substantial form_ by which it is actuated. In this sense the matter
is a _metaphysical_ reality which, by completing its substantial form,
concurs with it to the constitution of the physical being--that is, of
the substance. It is usually called _materia formata_, or “formed matter.”

Thirdly, the word “matter” is used also for _the potential term of
substance conceived as deprived of its substantial form_. In this sense
the matter is a mere potency of being, and therefore _a being of reason_;
for it cannot thus exist in the real order: and it is then called
_materia informis_, or “unformed matter.” It is, however, to be remarked
that the phrase _materia informis_ has been used by the fathers of the
church to designate the matter as it came out of the hands of the Creator
before order, beauty, and harmony were introduced into the material
world. Such a matter was not absolutely without form, as is evident.

Of the three opinions above mentioned about the nature of _materia
prima_, the one maintained by Suarez is, in the present state of physical
science, the most satisfactory, though it can scarcely be said to agree
with the Aristotelic theory, as commonly understood. Indeed, if such a
first matter is metaphysically constituted of act and potency, as he
maintains, such a matter is nothing less than a primitive substance,
as he also maintains; and we may be allowed to add, on the strength
of the proofs given in our preceding articles, that such a first
matter corresponds to our primitive unextended elements, which, though
unknown to Suarez, are in fact the _first_ physical matter of which all
natural substances are composed. But, if the first matter involves a
metaphysical act and is a substance, such a matter cannot be the subject
of _substantial_ generation; for what is already in act is not potential
to the first act, and what has already a first being is not potential to
the first being. Hence we may conclude that the first matter of Suarez
excludes the theory of rigorously substantial generations, and leads to
the conclusion that the generated substances are not new with respect to
their substance, but only with regard to their compound essence, and that
the forms by which they are constituted are indeed _essential_ to them,
but not strictly _substantial_, as we intend hereafter to explain.

The second interpretation of the words _materia prima_ is that given by
S. Thomas, when he considers the first matter as “matter without form,”
and as a mere potency of being. “The matter,” he says, “exists sometimes
under one form, and at other times under another; but it can never exist
isolated--that is, by itself--because, as it does not involve in its
ratio any form, it cannot be in act (for the form is the only source
of actuality), but can merely be in potency. And therefore, _nothing
which is in act can be called first matter_.”[17] From these words it is
evident that S. Thomas considers the first matter as matter without form;
for, had it a form, it would be in act, and would cease to be called
“first” matter. In another place he says: “Since the matter is a pure
potency, it is _one_, not through any one form actuating it, but _by the
exclusion of all forms_.”[18] And again: “The accidental form supervenes
to a subject already pre-existent in act; the substantial form, on the
contrary, does not supervene to a subject already pre-existent in act,
but _to something which is merely in potency to exist_, viz., _to the
first matter_.”[19] And again: “The true nature of matter is _to have
no form whatever in act_, but to be in potency with regard to any of
them.”[20] And again: “The first matter is a pure potency, just as God is
a pure act.”[21]

From these passages, and from many others that might be found in S.
Thomas’ works, it is manifest that the holy doctor, in his metaphysical
speculations, considers the first matter as matter without a form.
In this he faithfully follows Aristotle’s doctrine. For the Greek
philosopher explicitly teaches that “as the metal is to the statue, or
the wood to the bedstead, or any other unformed material to the thing
which can be formed with it, so is the matter to the substance and to the
being”;[22] that is, as the metal has not yet the form of a statue, so
the first matter still lacks the substantial form, and consequently is a
_pure_ potency of being.

Nevertheless, the Angelic Doctor does not always abide by this old and
genuine notion of the first matter. When treating of generation and
corruption, or engaged in other physical questions, he freely assumes
that the first matter is something actually lying under a substantial
form, and therefore that it is a _real_ potency in the order of nature,
and not a mere result of intellectual abstraction. Thus he concedes that
“the first matter exists in all bodies,”[23] that “the first matter must
have been created by God under a substantial form,”[24] and that “the
first matter remains in act, after it has lost a certain form, owing to
the fact that it is actuated by another form.”[25] In these passages and
in many others the first matter is evidently considered as matter under a
form.

It is difficult to reconcile with one another these two notions, matter
_without a form_, and matter _under a form_; for they seem quite
contradictory. The only manner of attempting such a conciliation would
be to assume that when the first matter is said to be without a form,
the preposition “without” is intended to express a mental abstraction,
not a real exclusion, of the substantial form. Thus the phrase “without
a form” would mean “without taking the form into account,” although such
a form is really in the matter. This interpretation of the phrase might
be justified by those passages of the holy doctor in which the first
matter, inasmuch as _first_, is presented as a result of intellectual
abstraction. Here is one of such passages: “First matter,” says he,
“is commonly called something, within the genus of substance which
is _conceived_ as a potency abstracted from all forms and from all
privations, but susceptible both of forms and of privations.”[26] It is
evident that, by this kind of abstraction, the matter which is actually
under a form would be conceived as being without a form. As, however, the
conception would not correspond to the reality, the first matter, thus
conceived, would have nothing common with the real matter which exists in
nature. For, since the whole reality of matter depends on its actuation
by a form, to conceive the matter without any form is to take away from
it the only source of its reality, and to leave nothing but a non-entity
connoting the privation of its form. Hence such a _materia prima_ would
entirely belong to the order of conceptual beings, not to the order of
realities; and therefore the matter which exists in nature would not be
“first matter.” It is superfluous to remark that if the first matter
does not exist, as _first_, in the real order, all the reasonings of the
peripatetic school about the offices performed by the first matter in the
substantial generation are at an end.

The confusion of actuated with actuable matter was quite unavoidable in
the Aristotelic theory of substantial generations. This theory assumes
that not only the primitive elements of matter, but also every compound
material substance, has a special _substantial_ form giving the _first_
being (_simpliciter esse_, or _primum esse_) to its matter. Hence, in
the substantial generation, as understood by Aristotle, the matter must
pass from one _first_ being to another _first_ being. Now, the authors
who adopted such a theory well saw that the matter which had to acquire
a first being, was to be considered as having no being at all; else it
would not acquire its _first_ being. On the other hand, the matter which
passed from one first being to another was to be considered as having
a first being; or else it would not exchange it for another. Hence the
first matter, as ready to acquire a first being, was called a _pure_
potency--that is, a potency of being; whilst, as ready to exchange its
first being for another, it was called a _real_ potency--that is, an
actual reality. That a _pure_ potency can be a _real_ potency, or an
actual reality, is an assumption which the peripatetic school never
succeeded in proving, though it is the very foundation of the theory of
strictly substantial generations as by them advocated.

Before we proceed further we have to mention S. Augustine’s notion of
_unformed_ matter, as one which contains a great deal more of truth
than is commonly believed by the peripatetic writers. This great doctor
admits that _unformed_ matter was created, and existed for a time in
its informity. “The earth,” says he, “was nothing but unformed matter;
for it was invisible and uncompounded, … and out of this invisible
and uncompounded matter, out of this informity, out of this almost
mere nothingness, thou wast to make, O God! all the things which this
changeable world contains.”[27] Some will ask: How could such a great
man admit the existence of matter without a form? Did he not know that a
potency without an act cannot exist? Or is it to be suspected that what
he calls _unformed matter_ was not altogether destitute of a form, but
only of such a form as would make it visible as in the compound bodies?

S. Thomas believes that S. Augustine really excluded all forms from his
unformed matter, and remarks that such an unformed matter could not
possibly exist in such a state; for, if it existed, it was in act as
a result of creation. For the term of creation is a being in act; and
the act is a form.[28] Thus it is evident that to admit the existence
of the matter without any form at all is a very gross blunder. But,
for this very reason that the blunder is so great, we cannot believe
that S. Augustine made himself guilty of it. We rather believe that he
merely excluded from his unformed matter a visible shape, and what was
afterward called “the form of corporeity” by which compound substances
are constituted in their species and distinguished from one another. Let
us hear him.

“There was a time,” says he, “when I used to call _unformed_, not that
which I thought to be altogether destitute of a form, but that which
I imagined to be ill-formed, and to have such an odd and ugly form as
would be shocking to see. But what I thus imagined was unformed, not
absolutely, but only in comparison with other things endowed with better
forms; whilst reason and truth demanded that I should discard entirely
all thought of any remaining form, if I wished to conceive matter as
truly unformed. But this I could not do; for it was easier to surmise
that a thing altogether deprived of form had no existence, than to admit
anything intermediate between a formed being and nothing, which would be
neither a formed being nor nothing, but an unformed being and almost a
mere nothing. At last I dropped from my mind all those images of formed
bodies, which my imagination was used to multiply and vary at random,
and began to consider the bodies themselves, and their mutability on
account of which such bodies cease to be what they were, and begin to be
what they were not. And I began to conjecture that their passage from
one form to another was made through something unformed, not through
absolute nothing. But this I desired to know, not to surmise. Now, were
I to say all that thou, O God! hadst taught me about this subject, who
among my readers would strive to grasp my thought? But I shall not cease
to praise thee in my heart for those very things which I cannot expound.
For the mutability of changeable things is susceptible of all the forms
by which such things can be changed. But what is such a mutability?
Is it a soul? Is it a body? Is it the feature of a soul or of a body?
Were it allowable, I would call it a _nothing-something_, and a _being
non-being_. And yet it was already in some manner before it received
these visible and compounded forms.”[29]

The more we examine this passage, the stronger becomes our conviction
that the word “form” was used here by S. Augustine, not for the
substantial form of Aristotle, but for _shape_ or geometric form, and
that “unformed matter” stands here for _shapeless matter_. For, when he
says that “reason and truth demand that all thought of any remaining
forms should be discarded,” of what remaining forms does he speak? Of
those “odd and ugly forms” which he says would be shocking to see. But
it is evident that no substantial form can be odd and ugly or shocking
to see. Moreover, S. Augustine conceives his “unformed matter,” by
dropping from his mind “all those images of formed bodies” by which
his imagination had been previously haunted. Now, it is obvious that
substantial forms are not an object of the imagination, nor can they be
styled “images” of formed bodies. Lastly, the holy doctor explicitly
says that the matter of the bodies “was already in some manner before it
could receive _these visible and compounded forms_,” which shows that the
forms which he excluded from the primitive matter are “the visible and
compounded forms” of bodies--that is, such forms as result from material
composition. And this is confirmed by those other words of the holy
doctor, “The earth was nothing but unformed matter; _for it was invisible
and uncompounded_”--that is, the informity of the earth consisted in the
absence of material composition, and, therefore, of visible shape, not in
the absence of primitive substantial forms.

It would be interesting to know why S. Augustine believed that his
readers would not bear with him (_quis legentium capere durabit?_) if
he were to say all that God had taught him about shapeless matter. Had
God taught him the existence of simple and unextended elements? Was his
shapeless matter that simple point, that invisible and uncompounded
potency, on account of which all elements are liable to geometrical
arrangement and to physical composition? The holy doctor does not tell
us; but certainly, if there ever was shapeless matter, it could have
no extension, for extension entails shape. It would, therefore, seem
that S. Augustine’s shapeless matter could not but consist of simple
and unextended elements; and if so, he had good reason to expect that
his readers would scorn a notion so contrary to the popular bias; as
we see that even in our own time, and in the teeth of scientific and
philosophical evidence, the same notion cannot take hold of the popular
mind.

If the unformed matter of S. Augustine is matter without shape and
without extension, we can easily understand why he calls it _pene nullam
rem_, viz., scarcely more than nothing.[30] Indeed, the potential term
of a primitive element, a simple point in space, is scarcely more than
nothing; for it has no bulk, and were it not for the act which gives it
existence, it would be nothing at all, as it has nothing in itself and in
its potential nature which deserves the name of “being”; but it borrows
all its being from the substantial act, as we shall explain later on.
It is, therefore, plain that the matter of a simple element, and of all
simple elements, is hardly more than nothing, and that it might almost
be described as a _nothing-something_, and a _being non-being_, as S.
Augustine observes. But when the primitive matter began to cluster into
bodies having bulk and composition, then this same matter acquired a
_visible form_ under definite dimensions, and thus one mass of matter
became distinguishable from another, and by the arrangement of such
distinct material things the order and beauty of the world were produced.

Thus S. Augustine did not admit the existence of matter deprived of a
substantial form, but only the existence of matter without shape, and
therefore without extension. And for this reason we have said that his
doctrine contains more truth than is commonly believed by the peripatetic
writers. His _uncompounded_ matter can mean nothing else than simple
elements; and since the components are the material cause of the
compound, and must be presupposed to it, the simple elements of which all
bodies consist are undoubtedly those material beings which God must have
created before anything having shape and material composition could make
its appearance in the world. Hence S. Augustine’s view of creation is,
in this respect, perfectly consistent with sound philosophy no less than
with revelation. His shapeless matter must be ranked, we think, with the
first matter of Suarez above mentioned, under the name of _primitive_
material substance.

As to the first matter of S. Thomas and of the other followers of
Aristotle, it is difficult to say what it is; for we have seen that
it has been understood in two different manners. If we adopt its most
received definition, we must call it “a pure potency” and “a first
potency.” According to this definition, the first matter is a non-entity,
as we have already remarked, and has no part in the constitution of
substance, any more than a corpse in the constitution of man; for, as the
body of man is not _a living corpse_, so the matter in material substance
is not _a pure potency in act_, both expressions implying a like
contradiction. Hence the first matter, according to this definition,
is not a metaphysical being, but a mere being of reason--that is, a
conception of nothingness as resulting from the suppression of the formal
principle of being.

From our notion of simple elements we can form a very clear image of
this being of reason. In a primitive element the matter borrows all its
reality from the substantial form of which it is the intrinsic term--that
is, from a virtual sphericity of which it is the centre. To change such
a centre into a _pure_ potency of being, we have merely to suppress
the virtual sphericity; for, by so doing, what was a _real_ centre of
power becomes an _imaginary_ centre, a term deprived of its reality, a
mere nothing; which however, from the nature of the process by which
it is reached, is still conceived as the vestige of the real centre of
power, and, so to say, the shadow of the real matter which disappears.
Thus the _materia prima_, as a pure potency, is nothing else than an
imaginary point in space, or the potency of a real centre of power. This
clear and definite conception of the first matter is calculated to shed
some additional light on many questions connected with the peripatetic
philosophy, and, above all, on the very definition of matter. The old
metaphysicians, when defining the first matter to be “a pure potency,”
had no notion of the existence of simple elements, and knew very little
about the law of material actions; and for this reason they could say
nothing about the special character of such a pure potency. For the
same reason they were unable also to point out the special nature of
the first act of matter; they simply recognized that the conspiration
of such a potency with such an act ought to give rise to a “movable
being.” But potency and act are to be found not only in material, but
also in spiritual, substances; and as these substances are of a quite
different nature, it is evident that their respective potencies and their
respective acts must be of a quite different nature. Now, the special
character of the potency of material substance consists in its being a
_local_ term, whilst the special character of the potency of spiritual
substance consists in its being an _intellectual_ term. And therefore, to
distinguish the former from the latter, we should say that the matter is
“a potential term _in space_” and the first matter “a potency of being in
space.” The additional words “_in space_” point out the characteristic
attribute of the material potency as distinguished from all other
potencies.

Moreover, our conception of _materia prima_ as an imaginary point in
space may help us to realize more completely the distinction which
must be made between the non-entity of the first matter and absolute
nothingness. Absolute nothingness is a mere negation of being, or a
_negative_ non-entity; whereas the non-entity of the first matter is
formally constituted by a privation, and must be styled a _privative_
non-entity. For, as the matter and its substantial form are the
constituents of one and the same primitive essence, we cannot think
of the matter without reference to the form, nor of the form without
reference to the matter. And therefore, when, in order to conceive the
first matter, we suppress mentally the substantial form, we deprive
the matter of what it essentially requires for its existence; and it
is in consequence of such a process that we reduce the matter to a
non-entity. Now, to exclude from the matter the form which is due
to it is to constitute the matter under a privation. Therefore the
resulting non-entity of the first matter is a privative non-entity.
Indeed, privation is defined as “the absence of something due _to a
subject_,” and we can scarcely say that a non-entity is a subject. But
this definition applies to _real_ privations only, which require a
_real_ subject lacking something due to it; as when a man has lost an
eye or a foot. But in our case, as we are concerned with a pure potency
of being, which has no reality at all, our subject can be nothing else
than a non-entity. This is the subject which demands the form of which
it is bereaved, as it cannot even be conceived without reference to it.
The very name of _matter_, which it retains, points out a _form_ as its
transcendental correlative; while the epithet “first” points out the fact
that this matter is yet destitute of that being which it should have in
order to deserve the name of _real_ matter.

But, much as this notion of the first matter agrees with that of “pure
potency” and of “first potency,” the followers of the peripatetic system
will say that _their_ first matter is something quite different, as is
evident from their theory of substantial generations, which would have
no meaning, if the first matter were not a reality. Let us, then, waive
for the present the notion of “_pure_ potency,” and turn our attention to
that of “_real_ potency,” that we may see what kind of reality the first
matter must be, when the “first matter” is identified with the matter
actually existing under a substantial form.

The matter actuated by a form is a _real potency_, and nothing more.
It is only by stretching the word “being” beyond its legitimate meaning
that this real potency is sometimes called a real being. In fact, the
potential term of the real being is real, not on account of any real
entity involved in its own nature, but merely on account of the real act
by which it is actuated. How anything can be real without possessing
an entity of its own our reader may easily understand by recollecting
what we have often remarked about the centre of a sphere, whose reality
is entirely due to the spherical form, or by reflecting that negations
and privations are similarly called _real_, not because of any entity
involved in them, but simply because they are appurtenances of real
beings.

We have seen that S. Augustine would fain have called the primitive
matter a _nothing-something_ and a _being non-being_, if such phrases
had been allowable. His thought was deep, but he could not find words to
express it thoroughly. Our “real potency” is that “nothing-something”
which was in the mind of the holy doctor. S. Thomas gives us a clew to
the explanation of such a “nothing-something” by remarking that _to be_
and _to have being_ are not precisely the same thing. _To be_ is the
attribute of a complete act, whilst _to have being_ is the attribute
of a potency actuated by its act. That is said _to be_ which contains
in itself the formal reason of its being; whilst that is said _to have
being_ which does not contain in itself the formal reason of its being,
but receives its being from without, and puts it on as a borrowed
garment. Of course, God alone can be said _to be_ in the fullest meaning
of the term, as he alone contains in himself the _adequate_ reason of
his being; yet all created essence can be said _to be_, inasmuch as it
contains in itself the _formal_ reason of its being--that is, an act
giving existence to a potency; whereas the potency itself can be said
merely _to have being_, because _being_ is not included in the nature of
potency, but must come to it from a distinct source. And therefore, as
a thing colored _has_ color, but _is not_ color, and as a body animated
_has_ life, but _is not_ life, so the matter actuated by its form _has_
being, but _is not_ a being.

Some philosophers, who failed to take notice of this distinction,
maintained that the matter which exists under a substantial form is
an _incomplete being_, and an _incomplete substance_. The expression
is not correct. For, if the matter which lies under the substantial
form were an incomplete being, it would be the office of the form to
complete it. Now, the substantial form can have no such office; for the
form always inchoates what the matter completes. It is always the term
that completes the act, whilst the act actuates the term by giving it
the first being. Hence the matter which lies under its substantial form
is not an incomplete entity. Nor is it an entity destined to complete
the form; for, if the term which completes a form were a being, such a
term would be a real subject, and thus the form terminated to it would
not be strictly substantial, as it would not give it the first being.
Moreover, the matter and the substantial form constitute _one_ primitive
essence, in which it is impossible to admit a multiplicity of entitative
constituents; and therefore, since the substantial form, which is a
formal source of being, is evidently an entitative constituent, it
follows that the matter lying under it has no entity of its own, but is
merely clothed with the entity of its form.

But, true though it is that the matter lying under a substantial form has
no entity of its own, it is, however, a _real_ term, as we have already
intimated; hence it may be called a _reality_. And since _reality_
and _entity_ are commonly used as synonymous, we may admit that the
formed matter is an entity, adjectively, not substantively, just as we
admit that ivory is _a sphere_ when it lies under a spherical form.
Nevertheless the ivory, to speak more properly, should be said _to have
sphericity_ rather than _to be a sphere_; for, though it is the subject
of sphericity, it is not spherical of its own nature. In the same manner,
a body vivified by a soul is called _living_; but, properly speaking, it
should be styled _having life_, because life is not a property of the
body as such, but it springs from the presence of the soul in the body.
The like is to be said of the being of the matter as actuated by the
substantial form. It is from the form alone that such a matter has its
first being; and therefore such a matter has only a borrowed being, and
is a _real potency_, not a real entity. Such is, we believe, the true
interpretation of S. Augustine’s phrase: “nothing-something” and “being
non-being”--_Nihil aliquid, et est non est_.

Nor is it strange that the matter should be _a reality_ without being
_an entity_, properly so called; for the like happens with all the real
terms of contingent things. Thus the real term of a line (the point)
is no linear entity, though it certainly belongs to the line, and is
something real in the line; the real term of time (the present instant,
or the _now_) is no temporal entity, as it has no extension, though it
certainly belongs to time, and is something real in time; the real term
of a body (the simple element) is no bodily entity, as it has no bulk,
though it certainly belongs to the body, and is something real in it;
the real term of a circle (the centre) is no circular entity, though
it certainly belongs to the circle, and is something real in it. And
in like manner the real term of a primitive contingent substance (its
potency) is no substantial entity, though it evidently belongs to the
contingent substance, and is something real in it. In God alone, whose
being excludes contingency, the substantial term (the Word) stands forth
as a true entity--a most perfect and infinite entity--for, as the term
of the divine generation is not educed out of nothing, it is absolutely
free from all potentiality, and is in eternal possession of infinite
actuality. Hence it is that God alone, as we have above remarked, can be
said _to be_ in the fullest meaning of the term.

As the best authors agree that the matter which is under a substantial
form is no being, but only “a real potency,” we will dispense with
further considerations on this special point. What we have said suffices
to give our readers an idea of the _materia prima_ of the ancients, and
of the different manners in which it has been understood.

_Substantial form._--Coming now to the notion of the substantial form
the first thing which deserves special notice is the fact that the
phrase “substantial form” can be interpreted in two manners, owing to
the double meaning attached to the epithet “substantial.” All the forms
which supervene to a specific nature already constituted have been called
“accidental,” and all the forms which enter into the constitution of
a specific nature have been called “substantial.” But as the accident
can be contrasted with the _essence_ no less than with the _substance_
of a thing, so the substantial form can be defined either as that which
gives the first being to a certain _essence_, or as that which gives the
first being to a _substance_ as such. The schoolmen, in fact, left us
two definitions of their substantial forms, of which the first is: “The
substantial form is that which gives the first being to the matter”; the
second is: “The substantial form is that which gives the first being to
a thing.” The first definition belongs to the form strictly substantial,
for the result of the first actuation of matter is a primitive substance;
whereas the second has a much wider range, because all things which
involve material composition, in their specific nature, receive the
first specific being by a form which needs not give the first existence
to their material components, and which, therefore, is not strictly
a substantial form. Thus a molecule of oxygen, because it contains a
definite number of primitive elements, cannot be formally constituted
in its specific nature, except by a specific composition; and such a
composition is an essential, though not a truly substantial, form of the
compound, as we shall more fully explain in another article.

The strictly substantial form contains in itself the whole reason of
the being of the substance; for the matter which completes it does
not contribute to the constitution of the substance, except as a mere
term--that is, by simply receiving existence, and therefore without
adding any new entity to the entity of the form. Whence it follows that
the form itself contains the whole reason of the resulting essence.
“Although the essence of a being,” says S. Thomas, “is neither the form
alone nor the matter alone, yet the form alone is, in its own manner, the
cause of such an essence.”[31] It cannot, however, be inferred from this
that the strictly substantial form is a _physical_ being. Physical beings
have a complete essence and an existence of their own; which is not the
case with any material form. “Even the forms themselves,” according to
S. Thomas, “have no being; it is only the compounds (of matter and form)
that have being through them.”[32] And again: “The substantial form
itself has no complete essence; for in the definition of the substantial
form it is necessary to include that of which it is the form.”[33] It
is plain that a being which has no complete essence and no possibility
of a separate existence cannot be styled a physical being, but only a
metaphysical constituent of the physical being.

The schoolmen teach that the substantial forms of bodies _are educed out
of the potency of matter_. This proposition is true. For the so-called
“substantial” forms of bodies are not strictly substantial, but only
essential or natural forms, as they give the first existence, not to
the matter of which the bodies are composed, but only to the bodies
themselves. Now, all bodies are material compounds of a certain species,
and therefore involve distinct material terms bound together by a
specific form of composition, without which such a specific compound can
have no existence. The specific form of composition is therefore the
essential form of a body of a given species; and such is the form that
gives _the first being_ to the body. To say that such a form is educed
out of the potency of matter is to state an obvious truth, as it is known
that the composition of bodies is brought about by the mutual action of
the elements of which the bodies are constituted, which action proceeds
from the _active_ potency, and actuates the _passive_ potency of the
matter of the body, as we shall explain more fully in the sequel.

But the old natural philosophers, who had no notion of primitive
unextended elements, when affirming the eduction of substantial forms out
of the potency of matter, took for granted that such forms were strictly
substantial, and gave the first being not only to the body, but also
to the matter itself of which the body was composed. In this they were
mistaken; but the mistake was excusable, as chemistry had not yet shown
the law of definite proportions in the combination of different bodies,
nor had the spectroscope revealed the fact that the primitive molecules
of all bodies are composed of free elementary substances vibrating around
a common centre, and remaining substantially identical amid all the
changes produced by natural causes in the material world. Nevertheless,
had they not been biassed by the _Ipse dixit_, the peripatetics would
have found that, though accidental forms, and many essential forms too,
are educed out of the potency of matter, yet the strictly substantial
forms cannot be so educed.

The matter may be conceived either as formed or as unformed. If it is
formed, it is already in possession of its substantial form and of its
first being, which it never loses, as we shall prove hereafter. Therefore
such a matter is not in potency with regard to its first being; and thus
no strictly substantial form can be educed from the potency of the formed
matter. If, on the contrary, the matter is yet unformed, it is plain
that such a matter cannot be acted on by natural agents; for it has no
existence in the order of things, and therefore it cannot be the subject
of natural actions. How, then, can it receive the first being? Owing to
the impossibility of explaining how the unformed matter could be actuated
by natural agents, those who admitted the eduction of substantial forms
out of the potency of matter were constrained to assume that the _first_
matter had some reality of its own, and consisted intrinsically, as
Suarez teaches, of act and potency. But, though it is true that the
matter must have some reality in order to receive from natural agents
a new form, it is evident that such a new form cannot be strictly
substantial; for it cannot give the first being to a matter already
endowed with being. Hence no strictly substantial form can be naturally
educed out of the potency of matter.

If, then, a truly substantial form could in any sense be educed out of
the potency of matter, such an eduction should be made, not by natural
causes, but by God himself in the act of creation; for no agent, except
God, can bring matter into existence. But we think that even in this case
it would be incorrect to say that the substantial form is educed out
of the potency of matter. For, although the unformed matter, and the
nothingness out of which things are educed by creation, admit of no real
difference, yet the unformed matter, as a privative non-entity, involves
a formality of reason, which absolute nothingness does not involve; and
hence to substitute the unformed matter for absolute nothingness as the
extrinsic term of creation, is to present the fact of creation under a
false formality. God creates a substance, not by educing its _form_ out
of a privative non-entity--that is, out of an abstraction--but by educing
the _substance_ itself out of nothingness. And for this reason it would
be quite incorrect to call creation an eduction of a substantial form out
of the potency of matter.

There is yet another reason why creation should not be so explained. For
the philosophers who admit the eduction of substantial forms out of the
potency of matter, assume, either explicitly or implicitly, that such
a potency is _real_, though they often call it “a pure potency,” as we
have stated. Their matter is therefore a _real_ subject of substantial
generations. Now, it is obvious that creation neither presupposes nor
admits a previous real subject. Hence, to say that creation is the
eduction of a substantial form out of the potency of matter, would be to
employ a very mischievous phrase, with nothing to justify it, even if no
other objection could be raised against its use.

We conclude that strictly substantial forms are never educed out of the
potency of matter, but are simply educed out of nothing in creation. As,
however, every such form gives being to its matter, without which it
cannot exist, we commonly say that the whole substance, and not its form
as such, is educed out of nothing. S. Thomas says: “The term of creation
is a being in act; and its act is its form”[34]--the form, evidently,
which gives the first being to the matter, and which is therefore truly
and properly substantial. Hence, before the position of this act, nothing
exists in nature which can be styled “matter,” whilst at the position
of this act, and by virtue of it, the material substance itself is
instantly brought into existence. Accordingly, the position of an act
which formally gives existence to its term is the very eduction of the
substance out of nothing; and the strictly substantial form is educed out
of nothing in the very creation of the substance, whereas the matter, at
the mere position of such a form, and through it immediately, acquires
its first existence. The matter, as the reader may recollect, is to its
form what the centre of a sphere is to the spherical form. Hence, as the
centre acquires its being by the mere position of a spherical form, so
the matter acquires its being by the mere position of the substantial
form, without the concurrence of any other causality.

This last conclusion may give rise to an objection, which we cannot leave
without an answer. The objection is the following: If the matter receives
its first being through the substantial form alone, it follows that God
did not create the matter, but only the form itself.

We answer that when we speak of the creation of matter, the word “matter”
means “material substance.” For the term of creation, as we have just
remarked with S. Thomas, is _the being in act_--that is, the complete
being, as it physically exists in the order of nature. Now, such a being
is the substance itself. On the other hand, to create _the being in act_
is to produce _the act_ which is the formal reason of the being; and
since the position of the act entails the existence of a potential term,
it is evident that God, by producing the act, causes the existence of the
potential term. But as this term is not a “real being,” but only a “real
potency,” and as its reality is merely “borrowed” from the substantial
form, it has nothing in itself which requires making, and therefore it
cannot be the term of a special creation.

The old philosophers, who admitted the separability of the matter from
its substantial form, and who were for this reason obliged to grant to
such a matter an imperfect being, were wont to say that the matter was
_con-created_ with the form, and thus they seem to have conceived the
creation of a primitive material substance as including two partial
creations. But, as a primitive being includes but _one_ act, it cannot be
the term of _two_ actions; for two actions imply two acts. On the other
hand, the matter which is under the substantial act has no entity of its
own, as we have shown to be the true and common doctrine, and therefore
has no need of a special effection, but only of a formal actuation. Hence
the creation of a primitive material substance does not consist of two
partial creations. We may, however, adopt the term “_con-created_” to
express the fact that the position of the act entails the reality of the
potential term, just as the position of sphericity entails the existence
of a centre.

The preceding remarks have been made with the object of preparing the
solution of a difficulty concerning the creation of matter. For matter
is potential, whilst God is a pure act without potency; but a pure
act without potency cannot produce anything potential, since it does
not contain in itself any potentiality nor anything equivalent to it.
Therefore the origin of matter cannot be accounted for by creation.

The answer to this difficulty is as follows: We grant that the matter, as
distinguished from the form which gives it the first being, and therefore
as a potential term of the primitive substance, cannot be created, for
it is no being at all, but only a potency of being; and yet it does not
follow that the material substance itself cannot be created. Of course
God does not contain in himself, either formally or eminently, the
potentiality of his own creatures, but he eminently contains in himself
and can produce out of himself an endless multitude of acts giving
existence to as many potential terms. And thus God, by producing any such
act, causes the existence of its correspondent potency, which is not
efficiently made, but only formally actuated, as has been just explained.
Creation is an action, and action is the production of an act; hence
“the term of creation is _a being in act_, and this act is the form,” as
St. Thomas teaches; the matter, on the contrary, or the potency of the
created being, is a term coming out of nothingness by formal actuation,
and consequently having no being of its own, but owing whatever existence
it has to the act or form of which it is the term; so that, if God ceased
to conserve such an act, the term would instantly vanish altogether
without need of a special annihilation. Nothingness is the source of all
potentiality and imperfection, as God is the source of all actuality and
perfection. Hence even the spiritual creatures, in which there is no
matter, are essentially potential, inasmuch as they, too, have come out
of nothing. This suffices to show that God, though containing in himself
no formal and no virtual potentiality, can create a substance essentially
constituted of act and potency. For we have seen that, to create such a
substance, God needs only to produce an act _ad extra_, and that such an
act contains in itself the formal reason of its proportionate potency;
because “although the essence of a being is neither the form alone nor
the matter alone, yet the form alone is in its own manner (that is, by
formal principiation) the cause of such an essence.”

And let this suffice respecting the general notions of first matter and
substantial form.

TO BE CONTINUED.


THE LEADER OF THE CENTRUM IN THE GERMAN REICHSTAG.

The Catholics of Germany have suffered a great loss in the death of
Herman von Mallinkrodt, deputy to the Reichstag. Germany now realizes
what he was, and it is indeed a pleasure for us to honor in this
periodical the memory of this extraordinary man by giving a short sketch
of his life.

Herman von Mallinkrodt was born in Minden (Westphalia), on the 5th of
February, 1821. His father, who was of noble birth and a Prussian officer
of state, was a Protestant; his mother, _née_ Von Hartman, of Paderborn,
was an excellent Catholic. All the children of this marriage were
baptized Catholics--which is very seldom the case in mixed marriages--and
were filled with the true Catholic spirit.

Like Herman, so also did his brother and sister, who were older than he,
distinguish themselves by their decidedly Catholic qualities. George,
who had become the possessor of the old convent of Boeddekken, founded
in the year 837 by S. Meinulph, cherished a special devotion towards
this the first saint of Paderborn, and rebuilt the chapel, destroyed in
the beginning of this century by the Prussian government. This chapel is
greatly esteemed as a perfect specimen of Gothic architecture, and is
now held in high honor, as being the final resting-place of Herman von
Mallinkrodt. His sister, Pauline, the foundress and mother-general of the
sisterhood of “Christian Love,” has become celebrated by the success she
has achieved in the education of girls. (The principal teacher of Pauline
was the noble convert and celebrated poetess, Louisa Aloysia Hensel, in
whose verses, according to the criticism of the Protestant historian
Barthel, more tender and Christian sentiments are expressed than are
to be found in any German production of modern times.) These excellent
Sisters were also expelled, as being dangerous to the state, and sought
as well as found a new field of usefulness in America, the land of
freedom.

The true Catholic discipline of these three children they owe to the
careful training of their mother and the pure Catholic atmosphere of
Aix-la-Chapelle, to which city their father was sent as vice-president
of the government. Herman followed the profession of his father, and
studied jurisprudence. The interest felt by the young jurist in whatever
concerned the church is seen in the following incident, which had an
important influence on his whole life: When the time had arrived for him
to pass his state examination, he retired to the quiet of Boeddekken.
From different themes he selected the one treating on the judicial
relations between church and state. Not being satisfied with the view
taken by certain authors, he endeavored to arrive at a knowledge of the
matter by personal investigation, and after fourteen months of close
application he succeeded in establishing a system which proved itself on
all sides tenable and in harmony with the writings of the old canonists
of the church. The person to whose judgment the production was submitted
declared that the treatise, although excellent, was too strongly in
favor of the church, but that the author had permission to publish it,
which, however, was not done. Herman, nevertheless, as he afterwards told
one of his friends, had never to retract one of the principles he then
maintained; he had only to let them develop themselves more fully. As he
in his youth did not rest until he had become perfect master of any theme
he had to discuss, so also did he never in afterlife ascend the tribune,
upon which he won imperishable honors, until he had digested the whole
matter in his mind. We make no mention of the positions which Mallinkrodt
occupied as the servant of the state. It is well known that his strong
Catholic sentiments were for the Prussian government an insurmountable
objection to his being elevated to a post corresponding with his eminent
ability, until he, as counsellor of the government at Merseburg, left the
ungrateful service of the state. It was, however, his good fortune to
apply the talents which Almighty God had given him in so full a measure,
to his parliamentary duties for eighteen years, from 1852 to 1874, the
short interruption from 1864 to 1868 excepted.

In his life his friends recognized his merits, and in his death even his
enemies confessed that a great man had passed away.

This prominent leader Almighty God has taken from us in a sudden and
unexpected manner. The last Prussian Diet, at whose session he was
more conspicuous than ever before, had adjourned, and in paying his
farewell visits before his return to his home in Nord-Borchen, where
he possessed a family mansion, he contracted a cold, which finally
developed itself into an inflammation of the lungs and of the membrane
covering the thorax. On the fifth day of his sickness the man who, by his
indefatigable public labors and the grief he felt for the afflictions
undergone by the church, had worn out his life, passed to his eternal
reward, on the 26th of May, in the 53d year of his age. He had married
Thecla, _née_ Von Bernhard, a step-sister of his first wife, several
months before his death, and she was present when he died. Placing one
hand in hers, he embraced with the other the cross, which in life he had
always venerated and chosen as his standard.

No pen can describe the heartfelt anguish which the Catholic people
of Germany felt at their loss. At the funeral services in Berlin the
distinguished members of all parties were present. The government alone
failed to acknowledge the merit of one who had so long been an eminent
leader in the Reichstag. Paderborn, to which city the body was conveyed,
has never witnessed such a grand funeral procession as that of Von
Mallinkrodt. From thence to Boeddekken, a distance of nine miles, one
congregation after the other formed the honorary escort, not counting
the crowd of mourners who had gathered together at Boeddekken, where the
deceased was to be buried in the chapel of S. Meinulph. A large number
of members of the Centrum party, nearly all the nobility of Westphalia,
were here assembled, and many cities of Germany sent deputies, who
deposited laurel wreaths upon the coffin. It was an imposing sight
when his Excellency Dr. Windthorst approached the open grave to strew,
as the last service of love, some blessed earth upon the remains of his
dear friend, the tears streaming meanwhile from his eyes. During the
funeral services the bells of the Cathedral of Münster tolled solemnly
for two hours, summoning Catholics from the different districts to attend
the High Mass of Requiem for the beloved dead; so that the words of
the Holy Scriptures applied to the hero of the Machabees can be truly
applied also to Von Mallinkrodt: “And all the people … bewailed him
with great lamentation” (1 Machabees ix. 20). It is a remarkable fact
that even his opponents, who during his lifetime attacked him with all
manner of weapons, could not but bestow the most unqualified praises
upon him in death. It would seem that the eloquence of Von Mallinkrodt
during his latter years had been all in vain; for although every seat
was filled as soon as he ascended the tribune to speak, and he was
listened to with profound attention, yet he exercised no influence upon
the votes, for the reason that they had previously been determined
upon. No one was found who could reply to his forcible arguments, for
they were unanswerable. Not only his graceful oratory, but the very
appearance of a man so true to his convictions, had its effect even upon
his opponents. It will not be out of place for us to give a few of the
tributes paid to his memory by those who differed from him in politics.
Even in Berlin, where titles are so plentiful, the general sentiment was
one of sorrow. “With respectful sympathy,” writes the _Spener Gazette_,
“we have to announce the unexpected death of a man distinguished not
only for talent, but for integrity--Herman von Mallinkrodt, deputy to
the Reichstag. He was sincerely convinced of the justice of the cause
he espoused. Greater praise we cannot bestow upon a friend, nor can we
refrain from acknowledging that our late adversary always acted from
principle.” “Von Mallinkrodt,” says the correspondent of the Berlin
_Progress_, “stood in the first rank when there was question regarding
the policy of the government against the church; no other orator, not
only of his own party, but even of the opposition, could compare with him
in logical reasoning or in rhetorical skill. His speeches give evident
proof of the rare combination of truth and ability to be found in this
great man.” The fault-finding Elberfelder _Gazette_ testifies as follows
to the eloquence of our deputy: “Who that has listened to even one of
Von Mallinkrodt’s speeches can ever forget the fascinating eloquence or
the picturesque appearance of the orator--reminding one of the Duke of
Alba, by the perfect dignity of his manner and the classic form of his
discourse?” The Magdeburg correspondent almost goes further when he says:
“He served his party with such disinterestedness, and was so indifferent
to his own advancement, that it would be well if all political parties
could show many such characters--men who live exclusively for one idea,
and sacrifice every temporal advantage to this idea. The Reichstag
will find it difficult to fill the vacuum caused by the death of Von
Mallinkrodt. In this all parties agree; and members who combated the
principles of the deceased with the greatest earnestness, nevertheless
confess that in energy and vigor of expression he was seldom equalled
and never excelled by any one.” “In regard to his exterior appearance,”
the Magdeburg _Gazette_ says: “Von Mallinkrodt, with his erect person,
beautifully-formed head, stern features, and flashing eyes, was a fine
specimen of a man who knew how to control his temper, and not give way
to an outburst of passion at an important moment. He was a leader who,
in the severest combat, could impart courage and confidence to his
followers, and he stood as firm as a rock when any attempt was made to
crush him.… He will not be soon forgotten by those with whom he has had
intellectual contests. Of Von Mallinkrodt, who stands alone among men, it
can be truly said: ‘He was a great man.’”

The reader will pardon us for selecting from among the many tributes
of respect paid to the memory of Von Mallinkrodt one taken from the
democratic Frankfort _Gazette_, edited by Jews, which journal at other
times keeps its columns open to the most outrageous attacks upon the
Catholic Church. It says with great truth: “The single idea of the
church entirely filled the mind of this extraordinary and wonderful man;
and firmly as he upheld the system of Mühler-Krätzig, as steadfastly
did he oppose the policy of Falk. In this opposition he grew stronger
from session to session, the governing principle of his life developed
itself more and more fully, and he became bolder in his attack upon the
ministers and their parliamentary friends. Talent and character were
united in him; a true son of the church, he was at the same time a true
son of mother earth, and his healthy organization had its effect upon his
disposition. The last session of the Reichstag saw him at the height of
his usefulness; his last grand speech, in reference to the laws against
the bishops, was, as his friends and opponents acknowledge, the most
important parliamentary achievement since the beginning of the conflict.…
In him the Reichstag loses not only one of its shining lights, but also
a character of iron mould, such as is seldom found preserved in all its
strength in the present unsettled state of public affairs. We cannot join
in the requiem which the priests will sing around his catafalque, but his
honest opponents will venerate his memory, for he was, what can be said
of but few in our degenerate times--_a true man_.”

With these noble qualities Von Mallinkrodt possessed the greatest
modesty; he was accessible to every one, cheerful and familiar in the
happy circle of his friends, respectful to his political opponents, just
and reasonable to Protestants, and devoted to his spiritual mother, the
Catholic Church. Like O’Connell, during his parliamentary labors he had
constant recourse to prayer. “Pray for me!” were his farewell words to
his sister when he went to Berlin to enter the arena of politics. When he
had concluded the above-mentioned last and grand speech in the Reichstag,
in regard to the laws against the bishops, with the words, _Per crucem ad
lucem_, which he himself translated, “through the cross to joy,” and when
he descended the tribune, he went directly to the seat of Rev. Father
Miller, of Berlin, counsellor of the bishop, stretched out his hand to
him, and said, “You have prayed well!” It is said of him that before
any important debate in the chambers he went in the morning to Holy
Communion. The people of Nord-Borchen tell one another with emotion how,
without ever having been noticed by him, they have observed their good
Von Mallinkrodt pass hours in prayer in the lonely chapel near Borchen.
What pious aspirations he made in that secluded spot God alone knows. He
was always very fond of reciting the Rosary, which devotion displayed
itself particularly upon his death-bed. He asked the Sister who nursed
him to recite the beads with him, as his weakness prevented him from
praying aloud. When his wife approached his couch of pain, after greeting
her affectionately, he told her to look for his rosary and crucifix,
which she would find lying beside him on the right. The following day,
when his sister, the Superioress Pauline, had arrived in Berlin, after
a friendly salutation, he said to her: “It is indeed good that you
are here; say with me another decade of the Rosary.” It is related of
O’Connell that in a decisive moment he would always retire to a corner
in the House of Parliament, in order to say the Rosary; it was also the
habit of Von Mallinkrodt.

The same living faith which animated him in life gave him also
consolation in death. “Think of S. Elizabeth,” said he to his wife,
Thecla; “she also became a widow when young.” When his wife, the day
previous to his death, spoke to him of the love and grief of his five
children, tears filled his eyes; but he wiped them quietly away without
uttering a word, and looked up to heaven. He explained to the Sister
who attended him why during his whole illness he had never felt any
solicitude concerning his temporal or family affairs; for, said he, “I
have confidence in God.”

Another remarkable feature of his last sickness, which testifies to the
peaceful state of mind of this Christian warrior, who fought the cause,
but not the individual, was the fact that he evinced real satisfaction
that his personal relations toward his political opponents had become
no worse, but even more friendly. It was this sentiment which, when the
fever had reached its height, caused him to exclaim: “I was willing to
live in peace with every one; but justice must prevail! Should Christians
not speak more like Christians when among Christians?” As Von Mallinkrodt
lived by faith, so also did he die, embracing the sign of redemption; and
thus he passed away _per crucem ad lucem_--through the cross to joy.


AN EXPOSITION OF THE CHURCH IN VIEW OF RECENT DIFFICULTIES AND
CONTROVERSIES AND THE PRESENT NEEDS OF THE AGE.[35]

“These are not the times to sit with folded arms, while all the enemies
of God are occupied in overthrowing every thing worthy of respect.”--PIUS
IX., Jan. 13, 1873.

“Yes, this change, this triumph, will come. I know not whether it will
come during my life, during the life of this poor Vicar of Jesus Christ;
but that it must come, I know. The resurrection will take place and we
shall see the end of all impiety.”--PIUS IX., Anniversary of the Roman
Plébiscite, 1872.


I. THE QUESTION STATED.

The Catholic Church throughout the world, beginning at Rome, is in a
suffering state. There is scarcely a spot on the earth where she is not
assailed by injustice, oppression, or violent persecution. Like her
divine Author in his Passion, every member has its own trial of pain to
endure. All the gates of hell have been opened, and every species of
attack, as by general conspiracy, has been let loose at once upon the
church.

Countries in which Catholics outnumber all other Christians put together,
as France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Bavaria, Baden, South America, Brazil,
and, until recently, Belgium, are for the most part controlled and
governed by hostile minorities, and in some instances the minority is
very small.

Her adversaries, with the finger of derision, point out these facts
and proclaim them to the world. Look, they say, at Poland, Ireland,
Portugal, Spain, Bavaria, Austria, Italy, France, and what do you see?
Countries subjugated, or enervated, or agitated by the internal throes
of revolution. Everywhere among Catholic nations weakness only and
incapacity are to be discerned. This is the result of the priestly
domination and hierarchical influence of Rome!

Heresy and schism, false philosophy, false science, and false art,
cunning diplomacy, infidelity, and atheism, one and all boldly raise up
their heads and attack the church in the face; while secret societies
of world-wide organization are stealthily engaged in undermining her
strength with the people. Even the Sick man--the Turk--who lives at the
beck of the so-called Christian nations, impudently kicks the church of
Christ, knowing full well there is no longer in Europe any power which
will openly raise a voice in her defence.

How many souls, on account of this dreadful war waged against the church,
are now suffering in secret a bitter agony! How many are hesitating,
knowing not what to do, and looking for guidance! How many are wavering
between hope and fear! Alas! too many have already lost the faith.

Culpable is the silence and base the fear which would restrain one’s
voice at a period when God, the church, and religion are everywhere
either openly denied, boldly attacked, or fiercely persecuted. In such
trying times as these silence or fear is betrayal.

The hand of God is certainly in these events, and it is no less certain
that the light of divine faith ought to discern it. Through these clouds
which now obscure the church the light of divine hope ought to pierce,
enabling us to perceive a better and a brighter future; for this is what
is in store for the church and the world. That love which embraces at
once the greatest glory of God and the highest happiness of man should
outweigh all fear of misinterpretations, and urge one to make God’s hand
clear to those who are willing to see, and point out to them the way to
that happier and fairer future.

What, then, has brought about this most deplorable state of things? How
can we account for this apparent lack of faith and strength on the part
of Catholics? Can it be true, as their enemies assert, that Catholicity,
wherever it has full sway, deteriorates society? Or is it contrary to the
spirit of Christianity that Christians should strive with all their might
to overcome evil in this world? Perhaps the Catholic Church has grown
old, as others imagine, and has accomplished her task, and is no longer
competent to unite together the conflicting interests of modern society,
and direct it towards its true destination?

These questions are most serious ones. Their answers must be fraught with
most weighty lessons. Only a meagre outline of the course of argument can
be here given in so vast a field of investigation.


II. REMOTE CAUSE OF PRESENT DIFFICULTIES.

One of the chief features of the history of the church for these last
three centuries has been its conflict with the religious revolution
of the XVIth century, properly called Protestantism. The nature of
Protestantism may be defined as the exaggerated development of personal
independence, directed to the negation of the divine authority of the
church, and chiefly aiming at its overthrow in the person of its supreme
representative, the Pope.

It is a fixed law, founded in the very nature of the church, that every
serious and persistent denial of a divinely-revealed truth necessitates
its vigorous defence, calls out its greater development, and ends,
finally, in its dogmatic definition.

The history of the church is replete with instances of this fact. One
must suffice. When Arius denied the divinity of Christ, which was always
held as a divinely-revealed truth, at once the doctors of the church and
the faithful were aroused in its defence. A general council was called at
Nice, and there this truth was defined and fixed for ever as a dogma of
the Catholic faith. The law has always been, from the first Council at
Jerusalem to that of the Vatican, that the negation of a revealed truth
calls out its fuller development and its explicit dogmatic definition.

The Council of Trent refuted and condemned the errors of Protestantism at
the time of their birth, and defined the truths against which they were
directed; but, for wise and sufficient reasons, abstained from touching
the objective point of attack, which was, necessarily, the divine
authority of the church. For there was no standing-ground whatever for
a protest against the church, except in its denial. It would have been
the height of absurdity to admit an authority, and that divine, and at
the same time to refuse to obey its decisions. It was as well known then
as to-day that the keystone of the whole structure of the church was its
head. To overthrow the Papacy was to conquer the church.

The supreme power of the church for a long period of years was the centre
around which the battle raged between the adversaries and the champions
of the faith.

The denial of the Papal authority in the church necessarily occasioned
its fuller development. For as long as this hostile movement was
aggressive in its assaults, so long was the church constrained to
strengthen her defence, and make a stricter and more detailed application
of her authority in every sphere of her action, in her hierarchy, in her
general discipline, and in the personal acts of her children. Every new
denial was met with a new defence and a fresh application. The danger was
on the side of revolt, the safety was on that of submission. The poison
was an exaggerated spiritual independence, the antidote was increased
obedience to a divine external authority.

The chief occupation of the church for the last three centuries was
the maintenance of that authority conferred by Christ on S. Peter and
his successors, in opposition to the efforts of Protestantism for its
overthrow; and the contest was terminated for ever in the dogmatic
definition of Papal Infallibility, by the church assembled in council in
the Vatican. Luther declared the pope Antichrist. The Catholic Church
affirmed the pope to be the Vicar of Christ. Luther stigmatized the See
of Rome as the seat of error. The council of the church defined the See
of Rome, the chair of S. Peter, to be the infallible interpreter of
divinely-revealed truth. This definition closed the controversy.

In this pressing necessity of defending the papal authority of the
church, the society of S. Ignatius was born. It was no longer the
refutation of the errors of the Waldenses and the Albigenses that was
required, nor were the dangers to be combated such as arise from a
wealthy and luxurious society. The former had been met and overcome by
the Dominicans; the latter by the children of S. Francis. But new and
strange errors arose, and alarming threats from an entirely different
quarter were heard. Fearful blows were aimed and struck against the
keystone of the divine constitution of the church, and millions of her
children were in open revolt. In this great crisis, as in previous ones,
Providence supplied new men and new weapons to meet the new perils.
S. Ignatius, filled with faith and animated with heroic zeal, came to
the rescue, and formed an army of men devoted to the service of the
church, and specially suited to encounter its peculiar dangers. The
Papacy was their point of attack; the members of his society must be the
champions of the pope, his body-guard. The papal authority was denied;
the children of S. Ignatius must make a special vow of obedience to the
Holy Father. The prevailing sin of the time was disobedience; the members
of his company must aim at becoming the perfect models of the virtue of
obedience, men whose will should never conflict with the authority of the
church, _perinde cadaver_. The distinguishing traits of a perfect Jesuit
formed the antithesis of a thorough Protestant.

The society founded by S. Ignatius undertook a heavy and an heroic task,
one in its nature most unpopular, and requiring above all on the part of
its members an entire abnegation of that which men hold dearest--their
own will. It is no wonder that their army of martyrs is so numerous and
their list of saints so long.

Inasmuch as the way of destroying a vice is to enforce the practice of
its opposite virtue, and as the confessional and spiritual direction are
appropriate channels for applying the authority of the church to the
conscience and personal actions of the faithful, the members of this
society insisted upon the frequency of the one and the necessity of the
other. In a short period of time the Jesuits were considered the most
skilful and were the most-sought-after confessors and spiritual directors
in the church.

They were mainly instrumental--by the science of their theologians, the
logic of their controversialists, the eloquence of their preachers, the
excellence of their spiritual writers, and, above all, by the influence
of their personal example--in saving millions from following in the great
revolt against the church, in regaining millions who had gone astray,
and in putting a stop to the numerical increase of Protestantism, almost
within the generation in which it was born.

To their labors and influence it is chiefly owing that the distinguishing
mark of a sincere Catholic for the last three centuries has been a
special devotion to the Holy See and a filial obedience to the voice of
the pope, the common father of the faithful.

The logical outcome of the existence of the society founded by S.
Ignatius of Loyola was the dogmatic definition of Papal Infallibility;
for this was the final word of victory of divine truth over the specific
error which the Jesuits were specially called to combat.


III. PROXIMATE CAUSE.

The church, while resisting Protestantism, had to give her principal
attention and apply her main strength to those points which were
attacked. Like a wise strategist, she drew off her forces from the
places which were secure, and directed them to those posts where danger
threatened. As she was most of all engaged in the defence of her external
authority and organization, the faithful, in view of this defence, as
well as in regard to the dangers of the period, were specially guided to
the practice of the virtue of obedience. Is it a matter of surprise that
the character of the virtues developed was more passive than active? The
weight of authority was placed on the side of restraining rather than of
developing personal independent action.

The exaggeration of personal authority on the part of Protestants brought
about in the church its greater restraint, in order that her divine
authority might have its legitimate exercise and exert its salutary
influence. The errors and evils of the times sprang from an unbridled
personal independence, which could be only counteracted by habits of
increased personal dependence. _Contraria contrariis curantur._ The
defence of the church and the salvation of the soul were ordinarily
secured at the expense, necessarily, of those virtues which properly go
to make up the strength of Christian manhood.

The gain was the maintenance and victory of divine truth and the
salvation of the soul. The loss was a certain falling off in energy,
resulting in decreased action in the natural order. The former was a
permanent and inestimable gain. The latter was a temporary, and not
irreparable, loss. There was no room for a choice. The faithful were
placed in a position in which it became their unqualified duty to put
into practice the precept of our Lord when he said: _It is better for
thee to enter into life maimed or lame, than, having two hands or two
feet, to be cast into everlasting fire_.[36]

In the principles above briefly stated may in a great measure be found
the explanation why fifty millions of Protestants have had generally a
controlling influence, for a long period, over two hundred millions of
Catholics, in directing the movements and destinies of nations. To the
same source may be attributed the fact that Catholic nations, when the
need was felt of a man of great personal energy at the head of their
affairs, seldom hesitated to choose for prime minister an indifferent
Catholic, or a Protestant, or even an infidel. These principles explain
also why Austria, France, Bavaria, Spain, Italy, and other Catholic
countries have yielded to a handful of active and determined radicals,
infidels, Jews, or atheists, and have been compelled to violate or
annul their concordats with the Holy See, and to change their political
institutions in a direction hostile to the interests of the Catholic
religion. Finally, herein lies the secret why Catholics are at this
moment almost everywhere oppressed and persecuted by very inferior
numbers. In the natural order the feebler are always made to serve the
stronger. Evident weakness on one side, in spite of superiority of
numbers, provokes on the other, where there is consciousness of power,
subjugation and oppression.


IV. IS THERE A WAY OUT?

Is divine grace given only at the cost of natural strength? Is a true
Christian life possible only through the sacrifice of a successful
natural career? Are things to remain as they are at present?

The general history of the Catholic religion in the past condemns these
suppositions as the grossest errors and falsest calumnies. Behold the
small numbers of the faithful and their final triumph over the great
colossal Roman Empire! Look at the subjugation of the countless and
victorious hordes of the Northern barbarians! Witness, again, the prowess
of the knights of the church, who were her champions in repulsing the
threatening Mussulman; every one of whom, by the rule of their order,
were bound not to flinch before two Turks! Call to mind the great
discoveries made in all branches of science, and the eminence in art,
displayed by the children of the church, and which underlie--if there
were only honesty enough to acknowledge it--most of our modern progress
and civilization! Long before Protestantism was dreamed of Catholic
states in Italy had reached a degree of wealth, power, and glory
which no Protestant nation--it is the confession of one of their own
historians--has since attained.

There is, then, no reason in the nature of things why the existing
condition of Catholics throughout the world should remain as it is. The
blood that courses through our veins, the graces given in our baptism,
the light of our faith, the divine life-giving Bread we receive, are all
the same gifts and privileges which we have in common with our great
ancestors. We are the children of the same mighty mother, ever fruitful
of heroes and great men. The present state of things is neither fatal
nor final, but only one of the many episodes in the grand history of the
church of God.


V. WHICH IS THE WAY OUT?

No better evidence is needed of the truth of the statements just made
than the fact that all Catholics throughout the world are ill at ease
with things as they are. The world at large is agitated, as it never has
been before, with problems which enter into the essence of religion or
are closely connected therewith. Many serious minds are occupied with the
question of the renewal of religion and the regeneration of society. The
aspects in which questions of this nature are viewed are as various as
the remedies proposed are numerous. Here are a few of the more important
ones.

One class of men would begin by laboring for the reconciliation of
all Christian denominations, and would endeavor to establish unity in
Christendom as the way to universal restoration. Another class starts
with the idea that the remedy would be found in giving a more thorough
and religious education to youth in schools, colleges, and universities.
Some would renew the church by translating her liturgies into the vulgar
tongues, by reducing the number of her forms of devotion, and by giving
to her worship greater simplicity. Others, again, propose to alter the
constitution of the church by the practice of universal elections in the
hierarchy, by giving the lay element a larger share in the direction of
ecclesiastical matters, and by establishing national churches. There
are those who hope for a better state of things by placing Henry V.
on the throne of France, and Don Carlos on that of Spain. Others,
contrariwise, having lost all confidence in princes, look forward with
great expectations to a baptized democracy, a holy Roman democracy, just
as formerly there was a Holy Roman Empire. Not a few are occupied with
the idea of reconciling capital with labor, of changing the tenure of
property, and abolishing standing armies. Others propose a restoration of
international law, a congress of nations, and a renewed and more strict
observance of the Decalogue. According to another school, theological
motives have lost their hold on the people, the task of directing society
has devolved upon science, and its apostolate has begun. There are
those, moreover, who hold that society can only be cured by an immense
catastrophe, and one hardly knows what great cataclysm is to happen and
save the human race. Finally, we are told that the reign of Antichrist
has begun, that signs of it are everywhere, and that we are on the eve of
the end of the world.

These are only a few of the projects, plans, and remedies which are
discussed, and which more or less occupy and agitate the public mind. How
much truth or error, how much good or bad, each or all of these theories
contain, would require a lifetime to find out.

The remedy for our evils must be got at, to be practical, in another way.
If a new life be imparted to the root of a tree, its effects will soon be
seen in all its branches, twigs, and leaves. Is it not possible to get at
the root of all our evils, and with a radical remedy renew at once the
whole face of things? Universal evils are not cured by specifics.


VI. THE WAY OUT.

All things are to be viewed and valued as they bear on the destiny of
man. Religion is the solution of the problem of man’s destiny. Religion,
therefore, lies at the root of everything which concerns man’s true
interest.

Religion means Christianity, to all men, or to nearly all, who hold
to any religion among European nations. Christianity, intelligibly
understood, signifies the church, the Catholic Church. The church is God
acting through a visible organization directly on men, and, through men,
on society.

The church is the sum of all problems, and the most potent fact in the
whole wide universe. It is therefore illogical to look elsewhere for the
radical remedy of all our evils. It is equally unworthy of a Catholic to
look elsewhere for the renewal of religion.

The meditation of these great truths is the source from which the
inspiration must come, if society is to be regenerated and the human race
directed to its true destination. He who looks to any other quarter for
a radical and adequate remedy and for true guidance is doomed to failure
and disappointment.


VII. MISSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

It cannot be too deeply and firmly impressed on the mind that the church
is actuated by the instinct of the Holy Spirit; and to discern clearly
its action, and to co-operate with it effectually, is the highest
employment of our faculties, and at the same time the primary source of
the greatest good to society.

Did we clearly see and understand the divine action of the Holy Spirit
in the successive steps of the history of the church, we would fully
comprehend the law of all true progress. If in this later period more
stress was laid on the necessity of obedience to the external authority
of the church than in former days, it was, as has been shown, owing to
the peculiar dangers to which the faithful were exposed. It would be an
inexcusable mistake to suppose for a moment that the holy church, at any
period of her existence, was ignorant or forgetful of the mission and
office of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit established the church, and
can he forget his own mission? It is true that he has to guide and govern
through men, but he is the Sovereign of men, and especially of those whom
he has chosen as his immediate instruments.

The essential and universal principle which saves and sanctifies souls
is the Holy Spirit. He it was who called, inspired, and sanctified the
patriarchs, the prophets and saints of the old dispensation. The same
divine Spirit inspired and sanctified the apostles, the martyrs, and the
saints of the new dispensation. The actual and habitual guidance of the
soul by the Holy Spirit is the essential principle of all divine life. “I
have taught the prophets from the beginning, and even till now I cease
not to speak to all.”[37] Christ’s mission was to give the Holy Spirit
more abundantly.

No one who reads the Holy Scriptures can fail to be struck with the
repeated injunctions to turn our eyes inward, to walk in the divine
presence, to see and taste and listen to God in the soul. These
exhortations run all through the inspired books, beginning with that of
Genesis, and ending with the Revelations of S. John. “I am the Almighty
God, walk before me, and be perfect,”[38] was the lesson which God gave
to the patriarch Abraham. “Be still and see that I am God.”[39] “O
taste, and see that the Lord is sweet; blessed is the man that hopeth in
him.”[40] God is the guide, the light of the living, and our strength.
“God’s kingdom is within you,” said the divine Master. “Know you not
that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you?”[41] “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to
accomplish, according to his will.”[42] The object of divine revelation
was to make known and to establish within the souls of men, and through
them upon the earth, the kingdom of God.

In accordance with the Sacred Scriptures, the Catholic Church teaches
that the Holy Spirit is infused, with all his gifts, into our souls by
the sacrament of baptism, and that, without his actual prompting or
inspiration and aid, no thought or act, or even wish, tending directly
towards our true destiny, is possible.

The whole aim of the science of Christian perfection is to instruct men
how to remove the hindrances in the way of the action of the Holy Spirit,
and how to cultivate those virtues which are most favorable to his
solicitations and inspirations. Thus the sum of spiritual life consists
in observing and fortifying the ways and movements of the Spirit of God
in our soul, employing for this purpose all the exercises of prayer,
spiritual reading, sacraments, the practice of virtues, and good works.

That divine action which is the immediate and principal cause of the
salvation and perfection of the soul claims by right its direct and
main attention. From this source within the soul there will gradually
come to birth the consciousness of the indwelling presence of the Holy
Spirit, out of which will spring a force surpassing all human strength,
a courage higher than all human heroism, a sense of dignity excelling
all human greatness. The light the age requires for its renewal can come
only from the same source. The renewal of the age depends on the renewal
of religion. The renewal of religion depends upon a greater effusion of
the creative and renewing power of the Holy Spirit. The greater effusion
of the Holy Spirit depends on the giving of increased attention to his
movements and inspirations in the soul. The radical and adequate remedy
for all the evils of our age, and the source of all true progress,
consist in increased attention and fidelity to the action of the Holy
Spirit in the soul. “Thou shalt send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be
created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”[43]


VIII. THE MEN THE AGE DEMANDS.

This truth will be better seen by looking at the matter a little more in
detail. The age, we are told, calls for men worthy of that name. Who are
those worthy to be called men? Men, assuredly, whose intelligences and
wills are divinely illuminated and fortified. This is precisely what is
produced by the gifts of the Holy Spirit; they enlarge all the faculties
of the soul at once.

The age is superficial; it needs the gift of wisdom, which enables
the soul to contemplate truth in its ultimate causes. The age is
materialistic; it needs the gift of intelligence, by the light of
which the intellect penetrates into the essence of things. The age
is captivated by a false and one-sided science; it needs the gift of
science, by the light of which is seen each order of truth in its
true relations to other orders and in a divine unity. The age is in
disorder, and is ignorant of the way to true progress; it needs the gift
of counsel, which teaches how to choose the proper means to attain an
object. The age is impious; it needs the gift of piety, which leads the
soul to look up to God as the Heavenly Father, and to adore him with
feelings of filial affection and love. The age is sensual and effeminate;
it needs the gift of force, which imparts to the will the strength to
endure the greatest burdens and to prosecute the greatest enterprises
with ease and heroism. The age has lost and almost forgotten God; it
needs the gift of fear, to bring the soul again to God, and make it feel
conscious of its great responsibility and of its destiny.

Men endowed with these gifts are the men for whom--if it but knew
it--the age calls: men whose minds are enlightened and whose wills are
strengthened by an increased action of the Holy Spirit; men whose souls
are actuated by the gifts of the Holy Spirit; men whose countenances are
lit up with a heavenly joy, who breathe an air of inward peace, and act
with a holy liberty and an unaccountable energy. One such soul does more
to advance the kingdom of God than tens of thousands without such gifts.
These are the men and this is the way--if the age could only be made to
see and believe it--to universal restoration, universal reconciliation,
and universal progress.


IX. THE CHURCH HAS ENTERED ON THIS WAY.

The men the age and its needs demand depend on a greater infusion of the
Holy Spirit in the souls of the faithful; and the church has been already
prepared for this event.

Can one suppose for a moment that so long, so severe, a contest, as that
of the three centuries just passed, which, moreover, has cost so dearly,
has not been fraught with the greatest utility to the church? Does God
ever allow his church to suffer loss in the struggle to accomplish her
divine mission?

It is true that the powerful and persistent assaults of the errors of
the XVIth century against the church forced her, so to speak, out of the
usual orbit of her movement; but having completed her defence from all
danger on that side, she is returning to her normal course with increased
agencies--thanks to that contest--and is entering upon a new and fresh
phase of life, and upon a more vigorous action in every sphere of her
existence. The chiefest of these agencies, and the highest in importance,
was that of the definition concerning the nature of papal authority.
For the definition of the Vatican Council, having rendered the supreme
authority of the church, which is the unerring interpreter and criterion
of divinely-revealed truth, more explicit and complete, has prepared the
way for the faithful to follow, with greater safety and liberty, the
inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The dogmatic papal definition of the
Vatican Council is, therefore, the axis on which turn the new course
of the church, the renewal of religion, and the entire restoration of
society.

O blessed fruit! purchased at the price of so hard a struggle, but which
has gained for the faithful an increased divine illumination and force,
and thereby the renewal of the whole face of the world.

It is easy to perceive how great a blunder the so-called “Old Catholics”
committed in opposing the conciliar definition. They professed a desire
to see a more perfect reign of the Holy Spirit in the church, and by
their opposition rejected, so far as in them lay, the very means of
bringing it about!

This by the way: let us continue our course, and follow the divine
action in the church, which is the initiator and fountain-source of the
restoration of all things.

What is the meaning of these many pilgrimages to holy places, to
the shrines of great saints, the multiplication of Novenas and new
associations of prayer? Are they not evidence of increased action of the
Holy Spirit on the faithful? Why, moreover, these cruel persecutions,
vexatious fines, and numerous imprisonments of the bishops, clergy, and
laity of the church? What is the secret of this stripping the church of
her temporal possessions and authority? These things have taken place by
the divine permission. Have not all these inflictions increased greatly
devotion to prayer, cemented more closely the unity of the faithful, and
turned the attention of all members of the church, from the highest to
the lowest, to look for aid from whence it alone can come--from God?

These trials and sufferings of the faithful are the first steps towards
a better state of things. They detach from earthly things and purify
the human side of the church. From them will proceed light and strength
and victory. _Per crucem ad lucem._ “If the Lord wishes that other
persecutions should be sown, the church feels no alarm; on the contrary,
persecutions purify her and confer upon her a fresh force and a new
beauty. There are, in truth, in the church certain things which need
purification, and for this purpose those persecutions answer best which
are launched against her by great politicians.” Such is the language of
Pius IX.[44]

These are only some of the movements, which are public. But how many
souls in secret suffer sorely in seeing the church in such tribulations,
and pray for her deliverance with a fervor almost amounting to agony! Are
not all these but so many preparatory steps to a Pentecostal effusion of
the Holy Spirit on the church--an effusion, if not equal in intensity to
that of apostolic days, at least greater than it in universality? “If
at no epoch of the evangelical ages the reign of Satan was so generally
welcome as in this our day, the action of the Holy Spirit will have
to clothe itself with the characteristics of an exceptional extension
and force. The axioms of geometry do not appear to us more rigorously
exact than this proposition. A certain indefinable presentiment of
this necessity of a new effusion of the Holy Spirit for the actual
world exists, and of this presentiment the importance ought not to be
exaggerated; but yet it would seem rash to make it of no account.”[45]

Is not this the meaning of the presentiment of Pius IX., when he said:
“Since we have nothing, or next to nothing, to expect from men, let us
place our confidence more and more in God, whose heart is preparing, as
it seems to me, to accomplish, in the moment chosen by himself, a great
prodigy, which will fill the whole earth with astonishment”?[46]

Was not the same presentiment before the mind of De Maistre when he
penned the following lines: “We are on the eve of the greatest of
religious epochs; … it appears to me that every true philosopher must
choose between these two hypotheses: either that a new religion is about
to be formed, or that Christianity will be renewed in some extraordinary
manner”?[47]


X. TWOFOLD ACTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Before further investigation of this new phase of the church, it would
perhaps be well to set aside a doubt which might arise in the minds of
some, namely, whether there is not danger in turning the attention of the
faithful in a greater degree in the direction contemplated?

The enlargement of the field of action for the soul, without a true
knowledge of the end and scope of the external authority of the church,
would only open the door to delusions, errors, and heresies of every
description, and would be in effect merely another form of Protestantism.

On the other hand, the exclusive view of the external authority of the
church, without a proper understanding of the nature and work of the
Holy Spirit in the soul, would render the practice of religion formal,
obedience servile, and the church sterile.

The action of the Holy Spirit embodied visibly in the authority of
the church, and the action of the Holy Spirit dwelling invisibly in
the soul, form one inseparable synthesis; and he who has not a clear
conception of this twofold action of the Holy Spirit is in danger
of running into one or the other, and sometimes into both, of these
extremes, either of which is destructive of the end of the church.

The Holy Spirit, in the external authority of the church, acts as the
infallible interpreter and criterion of divine revelation. The Holy
Spirit in the soul acts as the divine Life-Giver and Sanctifier. It is of
the highest importance that these two distinct offices of the Holy Spirit
should not be confounded.

The supposition that there can be any opposition or contradiction between
the action of the Holy Spirit in the supreme decisions of the authority
of the church, and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in the soul, can
never enter the mind of an enlightened and sincere Christian. The same
Spirit which through the authority of the church teaches divine truth, is
the same Spirit which prompts the soul to receive the divine truths which
he teaches. The measure of our love for the Holy Spirit is the measure
of our obedience to the authority of the church; and the measure of our
obedience to the authority of the church is the measure of our love for
the Holy Spirit. Hence the sentence of S. Augustine: “_Quantum quisque
amat ecclesiam Dei, tantum habet Spiritum Sanctum_.” There is one Spirit,
which acts in two different offices concurring to the same end--the
regeneration and sanctification of the soul.

In case of obscurity or doubt concerning what is the divinely-revealed
truth, or whether what prompts the soul is or is not an inspiration
of the Holy Spirit, recourse must be had to the divine teacher or
criterion, the authority of the church. For it must be borne in mind
that to the church, as represented in the first instance by S. Peter,
and subsequently by his successors, was made the promise of her divine
Founder that “the gates of hell should never prevail against her.”[48] No
such promise was ever made by Christ to each individual believer. “The
church of the living God is the pillar and ground of truth.”[49] The
test, therefore, of a truly enlightened and sincere Christian, will be,
in case of uncertainty, the promptitude of his obedience to the voice of
the church.

From the above plain truths the following practical rule of conduct may
be drawn: The Holy Spirit is the immediate guide of the soul in the way
of salvation and sanctification; and the criterion or test that the soul
is guided by the Holy Spirit is its ready obedience to the authority of
the church. This rule removes all danger whatever, and with it the soul
can walk, run, or fly, if it chooses, in the greatest safety and with
perfect liberty, in the ways of sanctity.


XI. NEW PHASE OF THE CHURCH.

There are signs which indicate that the members of the church have not
only entered upon a deeper and more spiritual life, but that from the
same source has arisen a new phase of their intellectual activity.

The notes of the divine institution of the church--and the credibility of
divine revelation--with her constitution and organization, having been
in the main completed on the external side, the notes which now require
special attention and study are those respecting her divine character,
which lie on the internal side.

The mind of the church has been turned in this direction for some time
past. One has but to read the several Encyclical letters of the present
reigning Supreme Pontiff, and the decrees of the Vatican Council, to be
fully convinced of this fact.

No pontiff has so strenuously upheld the value and rights of human reason
as Pius IX.; and no council has treated so fully of the relations of
the natural with the supernatural as that of the Vatican. It must be
remembered the work of both is not yet concluded. Great mission that, to
fix for ever those truths so long held in dispute, and to open the door
to the fuller knowledge of other and still greater verities!

It is the divine action of the Holy Spirit in and through the church
which gives her external organization the reason for its existence.
And it is the fuller explanation of the divine side of the church and
its relations with her human side, giving always to the former its due
accentuation, that will contribute to the increase of the interior
life of the faithful, and aid powerfully to remove the blindness of
those--whose number is much larger than is commonly supposed--who only
see the church on her human side.

As an indication of these studies, the following mere suggestions,
concerning the relations of the internal with the external side of the
church, are here given.

The practical aim of all true religion is to bring each individual soul
under the immediate guidance of the divine Spirit. The divine Spirit
communicates himself to the soul by means of the sacraments of the
church. The divine Spirit acts as the interpreter and criterion of
revealed truth by the authority of the church. The divine Spirit acts as
the principle of regeneration and sanctification in each Christian soul.
The same Spirit clothes with suitable ceremonies and words the truths of
religion and the interior life of the soul in the liturgy and devotions
of the church. The divine Spirit acts as the safeguard of the life of the
soul and of the household of God in the discipline of the church. The
divine Spirit established the church as the practical and perfect means
of bringing all souls under his own immediate guidance and into complete
union with God. This is the realization of the aim of all true religion.
Thus all religions, viewed in the aspect of a divine life, find their
common centre in the Catholic Church.

The greater part of the intellectual errors of the age arise from a lack
of knowledge of the essential relations of the light of faith with the
light of reason; of the connection between the mysteries and truths of
divine revelation and those discovered and attainable by human reason; of
the action of divine grace and the action of the human will.

The early Greek and Latin fathers of the church largely cultivated this
field. The scholastics greatly increased the riches received from their
predecessors. And had not the attention of the church been turned aside
from its course by the errors of the XVIth century, the demonstration
of Christianity on its intrinsic side would ere this have received its
finishing strokes. The time has come to take up this work, continue it
where it was interrupted, and bring it to completion. Thanks to the
Encyclicals of Pius IX. and the decisions of the Vatican Council, this
task will not now be so difficult.

Many, if not most, of the distinguished apologists of Christianity,
theologians, philosophers, and preachers, either by their writings or
eloquence, have already entered upon this path. The recently-published
volumes, and those issuing day by day from the press, in exposition, or
defence, or apology of Christianity, are engaged in this work.

This explanation of the internal life and constitution of the church,
and of the intelligible side of the mysteries of faith and the intrinsic
reasons for the truths of divine revelation, giving to them their due
emphasis, combined with the external notes of credibility, would complete
the demonstration of Christianity. Such an exposition of Christianity,
the union of the internal with the external notes of credibility, is
calculated to produce a more enlightened and intense conviction of its
divine truth in the faithful, to stimulate them to a more energetic
personal action; and, what is more, it would open the door to many
straying, but not altogether lost, children, for their return to the fold
of the church.

The increased action of the Holy Spirit, with a more vigorous
co-operation on the part of the faithful, which is in process of
realization, will elevate the human personality to an intensity of force
and grandeur productive of a new era to the church and to society--an
era difficult for the imagination to grasp, and still more difficult to
describe in words, unless we have recourse to the prophetic language of
the inspired Scriptures.

Is not such a demonstration of Christianity and its results anticipated
in the following words?

“We are about to see,” said Schlegel, “a new exposition of Christianity,
which will reunite all Christians, and even bring back the infidels
themselves.” “This reunion between science and faith,” says the
Protestant historian Ranke, “will be more important in its spiritual
results than was the discovery of a new hemisphere three hundred years
ago, or even than that of the true system of the world, or than any other
discovery of any kind whatever.”


XII. MISSION OF RACES.

Pursuing our study of the action of the Holy Spirit, we shall perceive
that a deeper and more explicit exposition of the divine side of the
church, in view of the characteristic gifts of different races, is the
way or means of realizing the hopes above expressed.

God is the author of the differing races of men. He, for his own good
reasons, has stamped upon them their characteristics, and appointed them
from the beginning their places which they are to fill in his church.

In a matter where there are so many tender susceptibilities, it is highly
important not to overrate the peculiar gifts of any race, nor, on the
other hand, to underrate them or exaggerate their vices or defects.
Besides, the different races in modern Europe have been brought so
closely together, and have been mingled to such an extent, that their
differences can only be detected in certain broad and leading features.

It would be also a grave mistake, in speaking of the providential mission
of the races, to suppose that they imposed their characteristics on
religion, Christianity, or the church; whereas, on the contrary, it
is their Author who has employed in the church their several gifts for
the expression and development of those truths for which he specially
created them. The church is God acting through the different races of men
for their highest development, together with their present and future
greatest happiness and his own greatest glory. “God directs the nations
upon the earth.”[50]

Every leading race of men, or great nation, fills a large space in the
general history of the world. It is an observation of S. Augustine that
God gave the empire of the world to the Romans as a reward for their
civic virtues. But it is a matter of surprise how large and important a
part divine Providence has appointed special races to take in the history
of religion. It is here sufficient merely to mention the Israelites.

One cannot help being struck with the mission of the Latin and Celtic
races during the greater period of the history of Christianity. What
brought them together in the first instance was the transference of
the chair of S. Peter, the centre of the church, to Rome, the centre
of the Latin race. Rome, then, was the embodied expression of a
perfectly-organized, world-wide power. Rome was the political, and, by
its great roads, the geographical, centre of the world.

What greatly contributed to the predominance of the Latin race, and
subsequently of the Celts in union with the Latins, was the abandonment
of the church by the Greeks by schism, and the loss of the larger
portion of the Saxons by the errors and revolt of the XVIth century.
The faithful, in consequence, were almost exclusively composed of
Latin-Celts.

The absence of the Greeks and of so large a portion of the Saxons,
whose tendencies and prejudices in many points are similar, left a
freer course and an easier task to the church, through her ordinary
channels of action, as well as through her extraordinary ones--the
Councils, namely, of Trent and the Vatican--to complete her authority and
external constitution. For the Latin-Celtic races are characterized by
hierarchical, traditional, and emotional tendencies.

These were the human elements which furnished the church with the
means of developing and completing her supreme authority, her divine
and ecclesiastical traditions, her discipline, her devotions, and, in
general, her æsthetics.


XIII. SOME OF THE CAUSES OF PROTESTANTISM.

It was precisely the importance given to the external constitution
and to the accessories of the church which excited the antipathies of
the Saxons, which culminated in the so-called Reformation. For the
Saxon races and the mixed Saxons, the English and their descendants,
predominate in the rational element, in an energetic individuality, and
in great practical activity in the material order.

One of the chief defects of the Saxon mind lay in not fully understanding
the constitution of the church, or sufficiently appreciating the
essential necessity of her external organization. Hence their
misinterpretation of the providential action of the Latin-Celts, and
their charges against the church of formalism, superstition, and popery.
They wrongfully identified the excesses of those races with the church
of God. They failed to take into sufficient consideration the great
and constant efforts the church had made, in her national and general
councils, to correct the abuses and extirpate the vices which formed the
staple of their complaints.

Conscious, also, of a certain feeling of repression of their natural
instincts, while this work of the Latin-Celts was being perfected, they
at the same time felt a great aversion to the increase of externals in
outward worship, and to the minute regulations in discipline, as well as
to the growth of papal authority and the outward grandeur of the papal
court. The Saxon leaders in heresy of the XVIth century, as well as those
of our own day, cunningly taking advantage of those antipathies, united
with selfish political considerations, succeeded in making a large number
believe that the question in controversy was not what it really was--a
question, namely, between Christianity and infidelity--but a question
between Romanism and Germanism!

It is easy to foresee the result of such a false issue; for it is
impossible, humanly speaking, that a religion can maintain itself among
a people when once they are led to believe it wrongs their natural
instincts, is hostile to their national development, or is unsympathetic
with their genius.

With misunderstandings, weaknesses, and jealousies on both sides, these,
with various other causes, led thousands and millions of Saxons and
Anglo-Saxons to resistance, hatred, and, finally, open revolt against the
authority of the church.


XIV. PRESENT SAXON PERSECUTIONS.

The same causes which mainly produced the religious rebellion of the
XVIth century are still at work among the Saxons, and are the exciting
motives of their present persecutions against the church.

Looking through the distorted medium of their Saxon prejudices, grown
stronger with time, and freshly stimulated by the recent definition of
Papal Infallibility, they have worked themselves into the belief--seeing
the church only on the outside, as they do--that she is purely a human
institution, grown slowly, by the controlling action of the Latin-Celtic
instincts, through centuries, to her present formidable proportions. The
doctrines, the sacraments, the devotions, the worship of the Catholic
Church, are, for the most part, from their stand-point, corruptions
of Christianity, having their source in the characteristics of the
Latin-Celtic races. The papal authority, to their sight, is nothing else
than the concentration of the sacerdotal tendencies of these races,
carried to their culminating point by the recent Vatican definition,
which was due, in the main, to the efforts and the influence exerted
by the Jesuits. This despotic ecclesiastical authority, which commands
a superstitious reverence and servile submission to all its decrees,
teaches doctrines inimical to the autonomy of the German Empire, and
has fourteen millions or more of its subjects under its sway, ready at
any moment to obey, at all hazards, its decisions. What is to hinder
this ultramontane power from issuing a decree, in a critical moment,
which will disturb the peace and involve, perhaps, the overthrow of
that empire, the fruit of so great sacrifices, and the realization
of the ardent aspirations of the Germanic races? Is it not a dictate
of self-preservation and political prudence to remove so dangerous an
element, and that at all costs, from the state? Is it not a duty to free
so many millions of our German brethren from this superstitious yoke and
slavish subjection? Has not divine Providence bestowed the empire of
Europe upon the Saxons, and placed us Prussians at its head, in order to
accomplish, with all the means at our disposal, this great work? Is not
this a duty which we owe to ourselves, to our brother Germans, and, above
all, to God? This supreme effort is our divine mission!

This picture of the Catholic Church, as it appears to a large class
of non-Catholic German minds, is not overdrawn. It admits of higher
coloring, and it would still be true and even more exact.

This is the monster which the too excited imagination and the
deeply-rooted prejudice of the Saxon mind have created, and called, by
way of contempt, the “Latin,” the “Romish,” the “Popish” Church. It is
against this monster that they direct their persistent attacks, their
cruel persecutions, animated with the fixed purpose of accomplishing its
entire overthrow.

Is this a thing to be marvelled at, when Catholics themselves abhor
and detest this caricature of the Catholic Church--for it is nothing
else--more than these men do, or possibly can do?

The attitude of the German Empire, and of the British Empire also, until
the Emancipation Act, _vis-à-vis_ to the Catholic Church as they conceive
her to be, may, stripped of all accidental matter, be stated thus:
Either adapt Latin Christianity, the Romish Church, to the Germanic type
of character and to the exigencies of the empire, or we will employ all
the forces and all the means at our disposal to stamp out Catholicity
within our dominions, and to exterminate its existence, as far as our
authority and influence extend!


XV. RETURN OF THE SAXON RACES TO THE CHURCH.

The German mind, when once it is bent upon a course, is not easily turned
aside, and the present out-look for the church in Germany is not, humanly
speaking, a pleasant one to contemplate. It is an old and common saying
that “Truth is mighty, and will prevail.” But why? “Truth is mighty”
because it is calculated to convince the mind, captivate the soul, and
solicit its uttermost devotion and action. “Truth will prevail,” provided
it is so presented to the mind as to be seen really as it is. It is only
when the truth is unknown or disfigured that the sincere repel it.

The return, therefore, of the Saxon races to the church, is to be hoped
for, not by trimming divine truth, nor by altering the constitution of
the church, nor by what are called concessions. Their return is to be
hoped for, by so presenting the divine truth to their minds that they
can see that it is divine truth. This will open their way to the church
in harmony with their genuine instincts, and in her bosom they will
find the realization of that career which their true aspirations point
out for them. For the Holy Spirit, of which the church is the organ and
expression, places every soul, and therefore all nations and races, in
the immediate and perfect relation with their supreme end, God, in whom
they obtain their highest development, happiness, and glory, both in this
life and in the life to come.

The church, as has been shown, has already entered on this path of
presenting more intimately and clearly her inward and divine side to the
world; for her deepest and most active thinkers are actually engaged,
more or less consciously, in this providential work.

In showing more fully the relations of the internal with the external
side of the church, keeping in view the internal as the end and aim of
all, the mystic tendencies of the German mind will truly appreciate the
interior life of the church, and find in it their highest satisfaction.
By penetrating more deeply into the intelligible side of the mysteries of
faith and the intrinsic reasons for revealed truth and the existence of
the church, the strong rational tendencies of the Saxon mind will seize
hold of, and be led to apprehend, the intrinsic reasons for Christianity.
The church will present herself to their minds as the practical means
of establishing the complete reign of the Holy Spirit in the soul, and,
consequently, of bringing the kingdom of heaven upon earth. This is the
ideal conception of Christianity, entertained by all sincere believers
in Christ among non-Catholics in Europe and the United States. This
exposition, and an increased action of the Holy Spirit in the church
co-operating therewith, would complete their conviction of the divine
character of the church and of the divinity of Christianity.

All this may seem highly speculative and of no practical bearing. But it
has precisely such a bearing, if one considers, in connection with it,
what is now going on throughout the Prussian kingdom and other parts
of Germany, including Switzerland. What is it which we see in all these
regions? A simultaneous and persistent determination to destroy, by every
species of persecution, the Catholic Church. Now, the general law of
persecution is the conversion of the persecutors.

Through the cross Christ began the redemption of the world; through the
cross the redemption of the world is to be continued and completed. It
was mainly by the shedding of the blood of the martyrs that the Roman
Empire was gained to the faith. Their conquerors were won by the toil,
heroic labors and sufferings of saintly missionaries. The same law holds
good in regard to modern persecutors. The question is not how shall
the German Empire be overthrown, or of waiting in anticipation of its
destruction, or how shall the church withstand its alarming persecutions?
The great question is how shall the blindness be removed from the eyes of
the persecutors of the church, and how can they be led to see her divine
beauty, holiness, and truth, which at present are hidden from their
sight? The practical question is how shall the church gain over the great
German empire to the cause of Christ?

O blessed persecutions! if, in addition to the divine virtues, which
they will bring forth to light by the sufferings of the faithful, they
serve also to lead the champions of the faith to seek for and employ
such proofs and arguments as the Saxon mind cannot withstand, producing
conviction in their intelligence, and striking home the truth to their
hearts; and in this way, instead of incurring defeat, they will pluck out
of the threatening jaws of this raging German wolf the sweet fruit of
victory.

This view is eminently practical, when you consider that the same law
which applies to the persecutors of the church applies equally to
the leading or governing races. This is true from the beginning of
the church. The great apostles S. Peter and S. Paul did not stop in
Jerusalem, but turned their eyes and steps towards all-conquering,
all-powerful Rome. Their faith and their heroism, sealed with their
martyrdom, after a long and bloody contest, obtained the victory. The
imperial Roman eagles became proud to carry aloft the victorious cross of
Christ! The Goths, the Huns, and Vandals came; the contest was repeated,
the victory too; and they were subdued to the sweet yoke of Christ, and
incorporated in the bosom of his church.

Is this rise of the Germanic Empire, in our day, to be considered only
as a passing occurrence, and are we to suppose that things will soon
again take their former course? Or is it to be thought of as a real
change in the direction of the world’s affairs, under the lead of the
dominant Saxon races? If the history of the human race from its cradle
can be taken as a rule, the course of empire is ever northward. Be that
as it may, the Saxons have actually in their hands, and are resolutely
determined to keep, the ruling power in Europe, if not in the world. And
the church is a divine queen, and her aim has always been to win to her
bosom the imperial races. She has never failed to do it, too!

Think you these people are for the most part actuated by mere malice, and
are persecuting the church with knowledge of what they are doing? The
question is not of their prominent leaders and the actual apostates.
There may be future prodigal sons even amongst these. Does not the church
suffer from their hands in a great measure what her divine Founder
suffered when he was nailed to the cross, and cried, “Father, forgive
them, they know not what they do”?

The persecutors in the present generation are not to be judged as those
who were born in the church, and who, knowing her divine character, by
an unaccountable defection, turned their backs upon her. Will their
stumbling prove a fatal fall to all their descendants? God forbid! Their
loss for a time has proved a gain to the church, and their return will
bring riches to both, and through them to the whole world; “for God is
able to ingraft them again.”[51]

The Catholic Church unveils to the penetrating intelligence of the
Saxon races her divine internal life and beauty; to their energetic
individuality she proposes its elevation to a divine manhood; and to
their great practical activity she opens the door to its employment in
spreading the divine faith over the whole world!

That which will hasten greatly the return of the Saxons to the church
is the progressive action of the controlling and dissolving elements of
Protestantism towards the entire negation of all religion. For the errors
contained in every heresy, which time never fails to produce, involve its
certain extinction. Many born in those errors, clearly foreseeing these
results, have already returned to the fold of the church. This movement
will be accelerated by the more rapid dissolution of Protestantism,
consequent on its being placed recently under similar hostile legislation
in Switzerland and Germany with the Catholic Church. “The blows struck at
the Church of Rome,” such is the acknowledgment of one of its own organs,
“tell with redoubled force against the evangelical church.”

With an intelligent positive movement on the part of the church, and by
the actual progressive negative one operating in Protestantism, that
painful wound inflicted in the XVIth century on Christianity will be
soon, let us hope, closed up and healed, never again to be reopened.


XVI. MIXED SAXONS RETURNING.

Christ blamed the Jews, who were skilful in detecting the signs of change
in the weather, for their want of skill in discerning the signs of the
times. There are evidences, and where we should first expect to meet
them--namely, among the mixed Saxon races, the people of England and the
United States--of this return to the true church.

The mixture of the Anglo-Saxons with the blood of the Celts in former
days caused them to retain, at the time of the so-called Reformation,
more of the doctrines, worship, and organization of the Catholic Church
than did the thorough Saxons of Germany. It is for the same reason that
among them are manifested the first unmistakable symptoms of their
entrance once more into the bosom of the church.

At different epochs movements in this direction have taken place, but
never so serious and general as at the present time. The character and
the number of the converts from Anglicanism to the Catholic Church
gave, in the beginning, a great alarm to the English nation. But now
it has become reconciled to the movement, which continues and takes its
course among the more intelligent and influential classes, and that
notwithstanding the spasmodic cry of alarm of Lord John Russell and the
more spiteful attack of the Right Hon. William E. Gladstone, M.P., late
prime minister.

It is clear to those who have eyes to see such things that God is
bestowing special graces upon the English people in our day, and that the
hope is not without solid foundation which looks forward to the time when
England shall again take rank among the Catholic nations.

The evidences of a movement towards the Catholic Church are still clearer
and more general in the United States. There is less prejudice and
hostility against the church in the United States than in England, and
hence her progress is much greater.

The Catholics, in the beginning of this century, stood as one to every
two hundred of the whole population of the American Republic. The ratio
of Catholics now is one to six or seven of the inhabitants. The Catholics
will outnumber, before the close of this century, all other believers in
Christianity put together in the republic.

This is no fanciful statement, but one based on a careful study of
statistics, and the estimate is moderate. Even should emigration from
Catholic countries to the United States cease altogether--which it will
not--or even should it greatly diminish, the supposed loss or diminution,
in this source of augmentation, will be fully compensated by the relative
increase of births among the Catholics, as compared with that among other
portions of the population.

The spirit, the tendencies, and the form of political government
inherited by the people of the United States are strongly and
distinctively Saxon; yet there are no more patriotic or better citizens
in the republic than the Roman Catholics, and no more intelligent,
practical, and devoted Catholics in the church than the seven millions of
Catholics in this same young and vigorous republic. The Catholic faith is
the only persistently progressive religious element, compared with the
increase of population, in the United States. A striking proof that the
Catholic Church flourishes wherever there is honest freedom and wherever
human nature has its full share of liberty! Give the Catholic Church
equal rights and fair play, and she will again win Europe, and with
Europe the world.

Now, who will venture to assert that these two mixed Saxon nations,
of England and the United States, are not, in the order of divine
Providence, the appointed leaders of the great movement of the return of
all the Saxons to the Holy Catholic Church?

The sun, in his early dawn, first touches the brightest mountain-tops,
and, advancing in his course, floods the deepest valleys with his
glorious light; and so the Sun of divine grace has begun to enlighten the
minds in the highest stations in life in England, in the United States,
and in Germany; and what human power will impede the extension of its
holy light to the souls of the whole population of these countries?


XVII. TRANSITION OF THE LATIN-CELTS

Strange action of divine Providence in ruling the nations of this earth!
While the Saxons are about to pass from a natural to a supernatural
career, the Latin-Celts are impatient for, and have already entered upon,
a natural one. What does this mean? Are these races to change their
relative positions before the face of the world?

The present movement of transition began on the part of the Latin-Celtic
nations in the last century among the French people, who of all these
nations stand geographically the nearest, and whose blood is most mingled
with that of the Saxons. That transition began in violence, because it
was provoked to a premature birth by the circumstance that the control
exercised by the church as the natural moderator of the Christian
republic of Europe was set aside by Protestantism, particularly so in
France, in consequence of a diluted dose of the same Protestantism under
the name of Gallicanism. Exempt from this salutary control, kings and the
aristocracy oppressed the people at their own will and pleasure; and the
people, in turn, wildly rose up in their might, and cut off, at their own
will and pleasure, the heads of the kings and aristocrats. Louis XIV.,
in his pride, said, “L’Etat c’est moi!” The people replied, in their
passion, “L’Etat c’est nous!”

Under the guidance of the church the transformation from feudalism to
all that is included under the title of modern citizenship was effected
with order, peace, and benefit to all classes concerned. Apart from this
aid, society pendulates from despotism to anarchy, and from anarchy to
despotism. The French people at the present moment are groping about, and
earnestly seeking after the true path of progress, which they lost some
time back by their departure from the Christian order of society.

The true movement of Christian progress was turned aside into destructive
channels, and this movement, becoming revolutionary, has passed in our
day to the Italian and Spanish nations.

Looking at things in their broad features, Christianity is at this
moment exposed to the danger, on the one hand, of being exterminated by
the persecutions of the Saxon races, and, on the other, of being denied
by the apostasy of the Latin-Celts. This is the great tribulation of
the present hour of the church. She feels the painful struggle. The
destructive work of crushing out Christianity by means of these hostile
tendencies has already begun. If, as some imagine, the Christian faith be
only possible at the sacrifice of human nature, and if a natural career
be only possible at the sacrifice of the Christian faith, it requires no
prophetic eye to foresee the sad results to the Christian religion at no
distant future.

But it is not so. The principles already laid down and proclaimed to the
world by the church answer satisfactorily these difficulties. What the
age demands, what society is seeking for, rightly interpreted, is the
knowledge of these principles and their practical application to its
present needs.

For God is no less the author of nature than of grace, of reason than of
faith, of this earth than of heaven.

The Word by which all things were made that were made, and the Word which
was made flesh, is one and the same Word. The light which enlighteneth
every man that cometh into this world, and the light of Christian faith,
are, although differing in degree, the same light. “There is therefore
nothing so foolish or so absurd,” to use the words of Pius IX. on the
same subject, “as to suppose there can be any opposition between
them.”[52] Their connection is intimate, their relation is primary;
they are, in essence, one. For what else did Christ become man than to
establish the kingdom of God on earth, as the way to the kingdom of God
in heaven?

It cannot be too often repeated to the men of this generation, so many
of whom are trying to banish and forget God, that God, and God alone, is
the Creator and Renewer of the world. The same God who made all things,
and who became man, and began the work of regeneration, is the same who
really acts in the church now upon men and society, and who has pledged
his word to continue to do so until the end of the world. To be guided
by God’s church is to be guided by God. It is in vain to look elsewhere.
“Society,” as the present pontiff has observed, “has been enclosed in a
labyrinth, out of which it will never issue save by the hand of God.”[53]
The hand of God is the church. It is this hand he is extending, in a more
distinctive and attractive form, to this present generation. Blessed
generation, if it can only be led to see this outstretched hand, and to
follow the path of all true progress, which it so clearly points out!


XVIII. PERSPECTIVE OF THE FUTURE.

During the last three centuries, from the nature of the work the church
had to do, the weight of her influence had to be mainly exerted on the
side of restraining human activity. Her present and future influence, due
to the completion of her external organization, will be exerted on the
side of soliciting increased action. The first was necessarily repressive
and unpopular; the second will be, on the contrary, expansive and
popular. The one excited antagonism; the other will attract sympathy and
cheerful co-operation. The former restraint was exercised, not against
human activity, but against the exaggeration of that activity. The future
will be the solicitation of the same activity towards its elevation and
divine expansion, enhancing its fruitfulness and glory.

These different races of Europe and the United States, constituting the
body of the most civilized nations of the world, united in an intelligent
appreciation of the divine character of the church, with their varied
capacities and the great agencies at their disposal, would be the
providential means of rapidly spreading the light of faith over the whole
world, and of constituting a more Christian state of society.

In this way would be reached a more perfect realization of the prediction
of the prophets, of the promises and prayers of Christ, and of the true
aspiration of all noble souls.

This is what the age is calling for, if rightly understood, in its
countless theories and projects of reform.


ODD STORIES.

IX.

KURDIG.

The sun was setting in the vale of Kashmir. Under the blessing of its
rays the admiring fakir would again have said that here undoubtedly was
the place of the earthly paradise where mankind was born in the morning
of the world. Something of the same thought may have stirred the mind of
a dwarfed and hump-backed man with bow-legs, who, from carrying on his
shoulders a heavy barrel up the steep and crooked path of a hillside,
stopped to rest while he looked mournfully at the sun. Herds of goats
that strayed near him, and flocks of sheep that grazed below, might have
provoked their deformed neighbor to envy their shapely and well-clad
beauty and peaceful movements. Could he have found it in his heart to
curse the sun which had seemed to view with such complacency his hard
toils amid the burden and heat of the day, the compassionate splendor of
its last look upon field, river, and mountain would still have touched
his soul. As it was, he saw that earth and heaven were beautiful, and
that he was not. Whether he uttered it or not, his keen, sad eyes and
thoughtful face were a lament that his hard lot had made him the one
ugly feature in that gentle scene. No, not the only one; he shared his
singularity with the little green snake that now crawled near his feet.
Yet even this reptile, he thought, could boast its sinuous beauty,
its harmony with the order of things; for it was a perfect snake, and
he--well, he was scarce a man. Soon, however, better thoughts took
possession of his mind, and, when he shouldered his barrel to climb the
hill, he thought that one of those beautiful peris, whose mission it is
to console earth’s sorrowing children ere yet their wings are admitted to
heaven, thus murmured in his ear, with a speech that was like melody: “O
Kurdig, child of toil! thy lot is indeed hard, but thou bearest it not
for thyself alone, and thy master and rewarder hath set thee thy task;
and for this thou shalt have the unseen for thy friends, love for thy
thought, and heaven for thy solace.” As he ascended the hill it seemed
to him that his load grew lighter, as if by help of invisible hands. He
looked for a moment on the snake which hissed at him, and though but
an hour ago, moved by a feud as old as man, he would have ground it in
hate beneath his foot, he now let it pass. The crooked man ascended the
hill, while the crooked serpent passed downward; and it was as if one
understood the other. At length the dwarf Kurdig reached the yard of
the palace, which stood on a shady portion of the eminence, but, as he
laid down his burden with a smile and a good word before his employer,
suddenly he felt the sharp cut of a whip across the shoulders. He
writhed and smarted, feeling as if the old serpent had stung him.

Kurdig was one of those hewers of wood and drawers of water whose daily
being in the wonderful vale of Kashmir seemed but a harsh contrast of
fallen man with the paradise that once was his home. When he did not
carry barrels of wine, or fruit-loads, or other burdens to the top
of the hill, he assisted his poor sister and her child in the task
of making shawls for one of a number of large shawl-dealers who gave
employment to the people of the valley. With them the dearest days of
his life were spent. At odd times he taught the little girl the names of
flowers, the virtues of herbs, and even how to read and write--no small
accomplishments among peasant folk, and only gained by the dwarf himself
because his mind was as patient and as shrewd as his body was misshapen.
His great desire for all useful knowledge found exercise in all the
common stores of mother-wit and rustic science which the unlettered
people around preserved as their inheritance. How to build houses, to
make chairs, ovens, hats; how to catch fish and conduct spring-waters;
how to apply herbs for cure and healing; how to make oils and crude
wine--these things he knew as none other of all the peasantry about could
pretend to know. He had seen, too, and had sometimes followed in the
hunt, the beasts of the forest; nor was he, as we have seen, afraid of
reptiles. He could row and swim, and while others danced he could sing
and play. This variety of accomplishments slowly acquired for the dwarf
an influence which, though little acknowledged, was widespread. In all
the work and play of the rude folk around him he was the almost innocent
and unregarded master-spirit. The improvement of their houses owed
something to his hand, and their feasts were in good part planned by him;
for, while he acted as their servant, he was in truth their master. To
cure the common fevers, aches, hurts, he had well-tried simples, and his
searches and experiments had added something new to the herbal remedies
of his fathers. All his talents as doctor, musician, mechanic, and
story-teller his neighbors did not fail to make use of, while the dwarf
still kept in the background, and his ugliness, whenever accident had
made him at all prominent, was laughed at as much as ever. Even the poor
creatures his knowledge had cured, and his good-nature had not tasked to
pay him, uttered a careless laugh when they praised their physician, as
if they said: “Well, who would have thought the ugly little crook-back
was so cunning?”

Yet there was one who never joined in the general smile which accompanied
the announcement of the name of Kurdig. This was his sister’s child.
Never without pain could she hear his name jestingly mentioned; always
with reverence, and sometimes with tears, she spoke of him. The wan,
slender child had grown almost from its feeble infancy by the side of
the dwarf. When able to leave her mother’s sole care, he had taught the
child her first games and songs, and step by step had instructed her in
all the rude home-lessons prevalent among the country people--how to
knit, to weave, to read and to write, according to the necessities of her
place and condition. The wonder was that from a pale and sickly infant
the child grew as by a charm, under the eye of the dwarf, into a blooming
girl, whose quiet and simple demeanor detracted nothing from her peculiar
loveliness, and made her habits of industry the more admirable. There
was, then, one being in the world whom the dwarf undoubtedly loved, and
by whom he was loved in return.


NEW PUBLICATIONS.

    THE TRUE AND THE FALSE INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPES, ETC. By
    the late Bishop Fessler. Translated by Father St. John, of the
    Edgbaston Oratory. New York: The Catholic Publication Society.
    1875.

Dr. Fessler was Bishop of St. Polten in Austria, and the
Secretary-General of the Council of the Vatican. He wrote this pamphlet
as a reply to the apostate Dr. Schulte. It was carefully examined and
approved at Rome, and the author received a complimentary letter from
the Pope for the good service he had rendered to the cause of truth. The
true infallibility which the author vindicates is that infallibility of
the Pope in defining dogmas of Catholic faith and condemning heresies,
which was defined as a Catholic dogma by the Council of the Vatican.
The false infallibility which he impugns is the travesty of the true
doctrine, falsely imputed by Schulte and others to the Catholic Church
as her authoritative teaching expressed in the definition of the Vatican
Council. This doctrine of infallibility falsely imputed represents the
Pope as claiming inspiration, power to create new dogmas, infallibility
as a private doctor, as a judge of particular cases, and as a ruler.
Such an infallibility was not defined by the Council of the Vatican,
has never been asserted by the popes, is not maintained by any school
of theologians, and is, moreover, partly in direct contradiction to
the Catholic doctrine, partly manifestly false, and as for the rest
without any solid or probable foundation. This false infallibility
must, however, be carefully distinguished from the theological doctrine
which extends the infallibility of the church and of the Pope as to
its objective scope and limit; beyond the sphere of pure dogma, or the
Catholic faith, strictly and properly so-called; over the entire realm
of matters virtually, mediately, or indirectly contained in, related to,
or connected with the body of doctrine which is formally revealed, and
is either categorically proposed or capable of being proposed by the
church as of divine and Catholic faith. Bishop Fessler confines himself
to that which has been defined in express terms by the council, and must
be held as an article of faith by every Catholic, under pain of incurring
anathema as a heretic. This definition respects directly the Pope,
speaking as Pope, as being the subject, of whom the same infallibility
is predicated which is predicated of the Catholic Church. The object
of infallibility is obliquely defined, and only so far as necessary to
the precise definition of the subject, which is the Pope speaking _ex
cathedrâ_. As to the object, or extension of infallibility, no specific
definition has been made. The definition is generic only. That is, it
gives in general terms those matters which are in the genus of faith
and morals, as the object of infallible teaching. The truths formally
revealed are the basis of all doctrine in any way respecting faith and
morals which is theological; and they control all doctrine which is
philosophical, concerning our relations to God and creatures, at least
negatively. Therefore, taken in its most restricted sense, infallibility
in faith and morals must denote infallibility in teaching and defining
these formally-revealed truths. So much, then, respecting the object, is
necessarily _de fide_, and is held as such by every theologian and every
instructed Catholic.

As to the further extension of infallibility, or the specific definition
of all the matters included in the term “de fide et moribus,” the fathers
of the council postponed their decisions to a later day, and probably
will consider them when the council is re-assembled. In the meantime,
we have to be guided by the teaching of the best theologians whose
doctrine is consonant to the practice of the Holy See. We may refer
the curious reader to Father Knox’s little work, _When does the Church
Speak Infallibly?_ as the safest source of information concerning this
important point. As a matter of fact, the popes do teach with authority
many truths which are not articles of faith, and condemn many opinions
which are not heresies. Moreover, they command the faithful to assent
to their teaching, and frequently punish those who refuse to do so.
It is much more logical, and much more consonant to sound theological
principles, to believe that they are infallible in respect to every
matter in which they justly command our absolute and irrevocable assent,
than to believe that we are bound to render this obedience to a fallible
authority. But of the obligation in conscience to submit to all the
doctrinal decisions of the Holy See there is no question. And this
obligation is very distinctly and emphatically declared by Pius IX., with
the concurrence of the universal episcopate, in the closing monition of
the First Decree of the Council of the Vatican.

“Since it is not enough to avoid heretical pravity, unless those errors
also are diligently shunned which more or less approach it, we admonish
all of the duty of observing also those constitutions and decrees in
which perverse opinions of this sort, not here expressly enumerated, are
proscribed and prohibited by this Holy See.”

    THE ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER’S REPLY TO MR. GLADSTONE.

    BISHOP ULLATHORNE ON THE SAME SUBJECT.

    BISHOP VAUGHAN ON THE SAME.

    LORD ROBERT MONTAGU ON THE SAME, ETC.--All published by The
    Catholic Publication Society. New York: 1875.

The Archbishop of Westminster has the intellectual and moral as well as
the ecclesiastical primacy in the Catholic Church of England, and in
this controversy he leads the band of noble champions of the faith which
Mr. Gladstone’s audacious war-cry has evoked. The illustrious successor
of S. Anselm and S. Thomas à Becket has a remarkably clear insight into
the fundamental principles of theology and canon law, an unswerving
logical consistency in deducing their connections and consequences, a
loyal integrity in his faith and devotion toward Christ and his Vicar, a
lucidity of style and language, an untiring activity, dauntless courage,
tactical skill, and abundance of resources in his polemics, which combine
to make him a champion and leader of the first class in ecclesiastical
warfare--a very Duguesclin of controversy. In the present pamphlet he
has defined the issues with more precision, and brought the main force
of Catholic principles more directly and powerfully into collision with
his adversary’s opposite centre, than any other of the remarkably able
antagonists of Mr. Gladstone.

We refer our readers to the pamphlet itself for a knowledge of its line
of argument. We will merely call attention to a few particular points
in it which are noteworthy. In the first place, we desire to note the
exposition of one very important truth frequently misapprehended and
misstated. This is, namely, that the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was
not, before the Council of the Vatican, a mere opinion of theologians,
but the certain doctrine of the church, proximate to faith, and only
questioned since the Council of Constance by a small number, whose
opinion was _never a probable doctrine, but only a tolerated error_.
The archbishop, moreover, shows briefly but clearly how this error,
whose intrinsic mischief was practically nullified in pious Gallicans by
their obedience to the Holy See, and the overpowering weight which the
concurrence of the great body of the bishops with the Pope always gave
to his dogmatic decrees, was threatening to become extremely active and
dangerous if longer tolerated; and that the definition of the Council of
the Vatican was therefore not only opportune and prudent, but necessary.

He shows, moreover, that the violent and aggressive party which stirred
up the conflict now raging was the party of faithless men who wore the
mask of Catholic profession, with their political and anti-Catholic
accomplices, whose unsuccessful _ruse de guerre_, at the time of the
council, was only the preliminary manœuvre of a systematic war on the
church.

The unchanged position of Catholics since the council, in respect to
civil allegiance; the essential similarity of that position, doctrinally,
with that of all persons who maintain the supremacy of conscience and
divine law; its greater practical security for stability of government
and political order over any other position; the firm basis for temporal
sovereignty and independence which Catholic doctrine gives to the state;
and the great variation of practical relations between church and state
from their condition at a former period which altered circumstances
have caused, are clearly and ably developed. We are pleased to observe
the positions laid down in our own editorial article on “Religion and
State in our Republic” sustained and confirmed by the archbishop’s high
authority. Americans must be especially gratified at the warm eulogium
upon Lord Baltimore and the primitive constitution of the Maryland colony.

Among the numerous other replies to Mr. Gladstone, besides those already
noticed in this magazine, the pamphlets of Bishop Vaughan, Bishop
Ullathorne, and Lord Robert Montagu are especially remarkable and worthy
of perusal. Each of them has its own peculiar line of argument and
individual excellence, and they supplement each other.

The want of sympathy with Mr. Gladstone generally manifested in England
and America, and the respectful interest shown in the exposition of
Catholic principles by his antagonists, are specially worthy of remark.
We are under great obligations to Mr. Gladstone for the fine opportunity
he has afforded us of gaining such a hearing, and he has thus indirectly
and unintentionally done the cause of Catholic truth a very great
service, which some of our opponents candidly, though with considerable
chagrin, have acknowledged.

    THE MINISTRY OF S. JOHN BAPTIST. By H. J. Coleridge, S.J.
    London: Burns & Oates. 1875. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)

Father Coleridge has devoted himself to very extensive and critical
studies, with the intention of publishing a new life of Christ. This
volume is the first instalment. It is learned and critical without being
dry or abstruse. It can be relied on, therefore, for scholarly accuracy,
and at the same time enjoyed for its literary beauties. The author has
a felicity of diction and a talent for historical narration, which,
combined with his solid learning, make him singularly competent for the
important and delightful task he has undertaken and so successfully
commenced.

    LIFE OF FATHER HENRY YOUNG. By Lady Georgiana Fullerton.
    London: Burns & Oates. 1875. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)

This remarkable and somewhat eccentric priest lived and died in Dublin,
though he exercised his apostolic ministry also in many other parts of
Ireland. He was undoubtedly a saint, and in some respects strikingly like
the venerable Curé of Ars. The author has written his life in her usual
charming style, and it is not only edifying, but extremely curious and
entertaining.

    THE LILY AND THE CROSS. A Tale of Acadia. By Prof. James De
    Mille. Boston and New York: Lee & Shepard. 1875.

Here we have a kind of quasi-Catholic tale, written by a Protestant.
As a story it has a good deal of stirring incident and dramatic power,
mingled with a fine spice of humor. The writer shows no unkind or unfair
disposition toward Catholics or their religion, and the priest in the
story, as a man, is a noble and heroic character. His Catholicity,
however, is too weak even for the most extreme left of liberal Catholics.

    THE VEIL WITHDRAWN (_Le Mot de L’Enigme_). Translated, by
    permission, from the French of Mme. Craven, author of _A
    Sister’s Story_, _Fleurange_, etc. New York: The Catholic
    Publication Society. 1875.

In its didactic aspects we consider _The Veil Withdrawn_ superior to its
immediate predecessor, _Fleurange_, inasmuch as its moral purpose is more
decided and apparent; and we believe Mme. Craven has been very opportune
in the choice of the principal lesson which her book inculcates, as well
as felicitous in the manner in which it is conveyed. There is perhaps no
peril to which a frank, confiding young matron is more exposed at the
present day than that constituted by the circumstances which formed the
temptation of the heroine of this novel, and which she so heroically
overcame. And herein we trust the non-Catholic reader will not fail to
observe the safeguard which Catholic principles and the confessional
throw around the innocent--warning them of the threatened danger, without
detracting from the ingenuousness and simplicity which constitute a chief
charm of the sex. We purposely avoid being more specific in our allusion
to the plot of this story, lest we diminish the pleasure of those who
have delayed its perusal until now.

    CALEB KRINKLE. By Charles Carleton Coffin (“Carlton”). Boston
    and New York: Lee & Shepard. 1875.

This “Story of American Life,” which would have been more aptly called
a “Story of Yankee Life,” is really capital. Linda Fair, Dan Dishaway,
and old Peter are excellently-drawn characters, and the others are good
in their way. The description of the blacksmith and his daughter is like
a paraphrase of Longfellow’s exquisite little poem. The author makes
use both of pathos and humor, and although there are rather too many
disasters and narrow escapes, yet, on the whole, the story is simple,
natural, and life-like, its moral tone is elevated, and it is well worth
reading.

    POEMS. By William Wilson. Edited by Benson J. Lossing,
    Poughkeepsie: Archibald Wilson. 1875.

He is a bold publisher who sends forth a poetical venture in these
prosaic days, backed though it be by a partial subscription list and the
favorable reception of a first edition.

We are reminded in looking over this volume, as we have often been
before in examining those of the tuneful brethren, how much the world
is indebted to the church, consciously or otherwise, for its most
refined enjoyments. If “an undevout astronomer is mad,” how can a poet’s
instincts be otherwise than Catholic? Were it not for Catholic themes,
he would lack his highest inspiration, as well as appropriate imagery to
illustrate his thoughts withal. Even that doughty old iconoclast, John
Bunyan--every inch a poet, though his lines were not measured--found
no relief for his pilgrim-hero till he had looked upon that symbol of
symbols--the cross.

The author of the present collection made no permanent profession of
literature, and rarely wrote except when the impulse was too strong to be
resisted. His impromptu lines were always his best, the Scottish dialect,
in which many of them are written, adding not a little to their racy
flavor. His verse is characterized by sweetness, beauty, and strength,
and he is particularly happy when descanting upon the joys of home, of
love and friendship, and the charms of outward nature.

We are not aware that the author ever made a study of the claims of the
church, and some passages in his poems give evidence of much of the
traditional prejudice against her; but we are confident, from other
indications, that his head was too logical and his heart too large to
be shut up within the narrow limits of Presbyterian or other sectarian
tenets. The final stanza of “The Close”--the last he ever wrote--is
touching and suggestive:

    “And his pale hand signing
      Man’s redemption sign,
    Cried, with forehead shining,
      ‘Father, I am Thine!’
    And so to rest he quietly hath passed,
      And sleeps in Christ, the comforter, at last.”



THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XXI., No. 122.--MAY, 1875.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by Rev. I. T.
HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.


PIUS IX. AND MR. GLADSTONE’S MISREPRESENTATIONS.

The recent conduct of the Right Honorable William Ewart Gladstone has
filled his former friends and admirers with anger and sorrow, and the
nobler among his enemies with astonishment and pity. He has done much to
convert the defeat of the liberal party in Great Britain, which might
have been but temporary, into absolute rout and lasting confusion; for
its return to power is impossible as long as the alienation of the
Irish Catholic members of Parliament continues. The more generous of
Mr. Gladstone’s political foes cannot but deplore that the once mighty
opponent, whom they succeeded in driving from office, has, by his own
behavior, fallen into something very like contempt. His strictures on
the Vatican decrees and the _Speeches_ of Pius IX. possess little merit
in a literary point of view, being written in the bad style common
to Exeter Hall controversialists, and being full of inaccuracies,
misrepresentations, and oversights. They have accordingly received from
the leading critical journals in Great Britain either open censure or
that faint praise which is equally damning. The _Pall Mall Gazette_
observes that, if Mr. Gladstone goes on writing in a similar strain, no
one will heed what he writes. The wild assault made by him upon Catholics
is not only perceived by others to be causeless and gratuitous, but is
freely confessed by himself to be uncalled for and unwarranted. Speaking
of the questions, whether the Pope claimed temporal jurisdiction or
deposing power, or whether the church still teaches the doctrine of
persecution, he says in his _Expostulation_ (page 26): “Now, to no one
of these questions could the answer really be of the smallest immediate
moment to this powerful and solidly-compacted kingdom.” Again, in the
_Quarterly Review_ article (page 300), he asserts that the “burning”
question of the deposing power, “with reference to the possibilities
of life and action, remains the shadow of a shade!” Why, then, does
Mr. Gladstone apply the torch to quicken the flame of the burning
controversy, which he affirms to be beyond the range of practical
politics? Why does he summon the “shadow of a shade” to trouble, terrify,
or distress his fellow-countrymen? Has he forgotten the history of
his country, which teaches him that these very questions were among
those which brought innocent men to the block, and caused multitudes
to suffer the tortures of the rack and the pains of ignominious death?
We read in Hallam (_Constitutional Hist. of England_) that one of the
earliest novelties of legislation introduced by Henry VIII. was the act
of Parliament of 1534, by which “it was made high treason to deny that
ecclesiastical supremacy of the crown which, till about two years before,
no one had ever ventured to assert. Bishop Fisher, almost the only
inflexibly honest churchman of that age, was beheaded for this denial.”
Sir Thomas More met the same fate. Burleigh, in a state paper in which he
apologizes for the illegal employment of torture in Elizabeth’s reign,
includes among the questions “asked during their torture” of those “put
to the rack,” the question, “What was their own opinion as to the pope’s
right to deprive the queen of her crown?” In those days, then, the mere
opinions of Catholics concerning papal supremacy were torturing and
beheading questions--questions of the rack, the block, and the stake.
Now they are “burning” questions, in a metaphorical sense, and lead to
wordy strife, polemical bitterness, and to widening the breach between
two sections of Queen Victoria’s subjects, which all wise men during
late years have deplored and striven to lessen, but which Mr. Gladstone
deliberately sets himself to widen.

Into the causes which have provoked Mr. Gladstone to attack Catholics and
the Pope it is not necessary to enter. Corrupt or impure motives are not
imputed to him. Nor is it here intended to discuss the theological part
of the subject, which has already been exhaustively dealt with by Dr.
John Henry Newman, Archbishop Manning, Bishops Ullathorne, Vaughan, and
Clifford, Monsignor Capel, and others. The aim of the present writer is
to point out the inaccuracies of Mr. Gladstone in his _Expostulation_ and
his _Quarterly Review_ article on the _Speeches_ of Pius IX., to exhibit
his general untrustworthiness in his references and quotations, and to
bring forward the real instead of the travestied sentiments of the Pope.

Now, to honest and fair examination of documents which concern their
faith Catholics have no objection. On the contrary, they desire sincerely
that Protestants should read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them.
Nothing but good to the Catholic Church can result from impartial
study of such documents as the Vatican decrees, the _Encyclical_ and
_Syllabus_ of Pius IX., to which, in his _Expostulation_, Mr. Gladstone
made such extensive reference. Catholics give him a cordial assent
when he says: “It is impossible for persons accepting those decrees
justly to complain when such documents are subjected in good faith to a
strict examination as respects their compatibility with civil right and
the obedience of subjects.” But Catholics and all upright Protestants
must join in condemning as unjust and unfair that bad habit common to
controversialists of a certain class, who aim at temporary victory
for themselves and their party, careless of the interests of eternal
verity. There are partisan writers who cite portions of a document,
in the belief that the mass of readers will have no knowledge of the
entire, and who take extracts hap-hazard from secondary sources, without
troubling themselves to search the authentic or original documents.
Wilful inaccuracy and purposed misquotations are not, as has already
been stated, to be imputed to Mr. Gladstone. But it often occurs that
carelessness and prejudice lead distinguished writers into errors
similar to those produced by malice, and equally or more detrimental.
It so happens that Mr. Gladstone, in describing and quoting the Vatican
decrees, the words of Pius IX., the _Syllabus_ and _Encyclical_, has
published statements so incorrect and so misleading as to subject the
author, were he less eminent for honor and scrupulous veracity, to the
charge either of criminal ignorance or of wilful intention to mislead.
For example, he cites, at pages 32-34 of his _Expostulation_, the
form of the present Vatican decrees as proof of the wonderful “change
now consummated in the constitution of the Latin Church” and of “the
present degradation of its episcopal order.” He says the present Vatican
decrees, being promulgated in a strain different from that adopted by
the Council of Trent, are scarcely worthy to be termed “the decrees
of the Council of the Vatican.” The Trent canons were, he says, real
canons of a real council, beginning thus: “Hæc Sacrosancta,” etc.,
“Synodus,” etc., “docet” or “statuit” or “decernit,” and the like; and
its canons, “as published in Rome, are _Canones et Decreta Sacrosancti
Œcumenici Concilii Tridentini_, and so forth. But what we have now to
do with is the _Constitutio Dogmatica Prima de Ecclesiâ Christi edita
in Sessione tertia_ of the Vatican Council. It is not a constitution
made by the council, but one promulgated in the council. And who is it
that legislates and decrees? It is _Pius Episcopus, servus servorum
Dei_; and the seductive plural of his _docemus et declaramus_ is simply
the dignified and ceremonious ‘we’ of royal declarations. The document
is dated ‘Pontificatus nostri Anno XXV.,’ and the humble share of
the assembled episcopate in the transaction is represented by _sacro
approbante concilio_.” Mr. Gladstone, stating that the Trent canons
are published as _Canones et Decreta Sac. Œcum. Concilii Tridentini_,
and particularizing in a foot-note the place of publication as “Romæ:
in Collegio urbano de Propaganda Fide, 1833,” leads his readers
wrongfully to infer that there exists no similar publication of the
Vatican decrees. However, the very first complete edition of the
Vatican decrees, printed especially for distribution to the fathers of
the council, bears this title: _Acta et Decreta Sacrosancti Œcumenici
Concilii Vaticani in Quatuor Prioribus Sessionibus--Romæ ex Typographia
Vaticana_, 1872. What Mr. Gladstone appears to have quoted are the small
tracts, containing portions of the decrees, for general use, one of
which is entitled _Dogmatic Constitution concerning the Catholic Faith,
Published in the Third Session_, while another is entitled _The First
Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ, Published in the Fourth
Session_. Mr. Gladstone has not scrupled to take one of these tracts as
his text-book, misstating its very title; for he quotes it as “edita in
sessione tertia” instead of “quarta,” and deriving from it, instead of
from the authentic _Acta et Decreta_, his materials for charging the
decrees with a change of form “amounting to revolution.” Had the _Acta_
in their complete version been before him, he could not truthfully have
said “the humble share of the assembled episcopate in the transaction
is represented by _sacro approbante concilio_”; for he would have found
it distinctly stated, and apparently as reason for their confirmation
by the Pope, that the decrees and canons contained in the constitution
were read before, and approved by, all the fathers of the council, with
two exceptions--“Decreta et Canones qui in constitutione modo lecta
continentur, placuerunt patribus omnibus, duobus exceptis, Nosque,
sacro approbante concilio, illa et illos, ut lecta sunt, definimus
et apostolica auctoritate confirmamus.” Why does Mr. Gladstone call
attention to the date as being “Pontificatus nostri Anno XXV.”? Is it in
order to show that the Vatican despises the other mode of computation,
or is it to exhibit his own minute accuracy in quoting? In either case
Mr. Gladstone was wrong, for the date in the _Constitutio Dogmatica_
before him was as follows: “Datum Romæ, etc., Anno Incarnationis Dominicæ
1870, die 18 Julii. Pontificatus Nostri, Anno XXV.” And why should Mr.
Gladstone describe as “seductive” the plural of the Pope’s “docemus et
declaramus,” and assert that plural form to be “simply the dignified
and ceremonious ‘We’ of royal declarations”? Did he mean to impute to
the use of the plural number a corrupt intention to make people believe
that the ‘we’ included the bishops as well as the Pope? Did he mean also
to impute to the use of the plural an arrogant affectation of royal
dignity? If such were the purpose of Mr. Gladstone, it can only be said
that such rhetorical artifices are unworthy of him and are not warranted
by truth. The ‘we’ is simply the habitual form of episcopal utterances,
employed even by Protestant prelates in their official acts. It is
evident, moreover, that the use of the plural _docemus_ or _declaramus_,
and the employment of the formula _sacro approbante concilio_, denounced
by Mr. Gladstone as innovations, have ancient precedents in their favor.
The _Acta Synodalia_ of the Eleventh General and Third Lateran Council,
held under Pope Alexander III. in 1179, are thus worded: “Nos … de
concilio fratrum nostrorum et sacri approbatione concilii … decrevimus”
or “statuimus.” The same form, with trifling variation, was employed in
1225 by Innocent III. in another General Council, the Fourth Lateran. Mr.
Gladstone thinks “the very gist of the evil we are dealing with consists
in following (and enforcing) precedents of the age of Innocent III.,”
so that it may be useless to cite the General Council of Lyons in 1245,
under Innocent IV., with its decrees published in the obnoxious strain,
“_Innocentius Episcopus, servus servorum Dei, etc., sacro præsente
concilio ad rei memoriam sempiternam_.” The language of another General
Council at Lyons, in 1274, under Gregory X., “Nos … sacro approbante
concilio, damnamus,” etc., and the language of the Council of Vienne,
in 1311, under Clement V., “Nos sacro approbante concilio … damnamus
et reprobamus,” come perhaps too near the age of Innocent III. to have
weight with Mr. Gladstone. But he cannot object on this score to the
Fifth Lateran Council, begun in 1512 under Julius II., and finished in
1517 under Leo X. In this General Council, the next before that of Trent,
Pope Leo was present in person, and by him, just as by Pius IX., in the
Vatican Council, all the definitions and decrees were made in the strain
which Mr. Gladstone calls innovating and revolutionary, namely, in the
style, “Leo Episcopus servus servorum Dei ad perpetuam rei memoriam,
sacro approbante concilio.” Leo X. uniformly employed the plural
_statuimus et ordinamus_ in every session of that council. Pius IX.
followed the example of Leo X., and obeyed precedents set him by popes
who presided in person--not by legates, as at Trent--at General Councils
held in the years 1179, 1225, 1244, 1274, 1311, and 1517. Accordingly,
“the change of form in the present, as compared with other conciliatory
(_sic_) decrees,” turns out on examination to be no revolution, but, on
the contrary, appears to have in its favor precedents the earliest of
which has seven centuries of antiquity. And yet to this alleged change
of form, and to this alone, Mr. Gladstone appealed in evidence of “the
amount of the wonderful change now consummated in the constitution of the
Latin Church” and of “the present degradation of its episcopal order”!

The _Encyclical_ and _Syllabus_ of 1864 have been treated by Mr.
Gladstone in the same loose, careless, and unfair way as he treated
the Vatican decrees. He promised, at page 15 of his _Expostulation_,
to “state, in the fewest possible words and with references, a few
propositions, all the holders of which have been _condemned_ [the italics
are Mr. Gladstone’s] by the See of Rome during my own generation, and
especially within the last twelve or fifteen years. And in order,”
so proceeds Mr. Gladstone, “that I may do nothing towards importing
passion into what is matter of pure argument, I will avoid citing any
of the fearfully energetic epithets in which the condemnations are
sometimes clothed.” The references here given by Mr. Gladstone are to
the Encyclical letter of Pope Gregory XVI. in 1831--a date, it may be
noticed, rather more ancient than “the last twelve or fifteen years”--and
to the following documents, which at page 16 of his pamphlet are thus
detailed: The Encyclical “of Pope Pius IX., in 1864”; “Encyclical of Pius
IX., December 8, 1864”; “Syllabus of March 18, 1861”; and the “Syllabus
of Pope Pius IX., March 8, 1861.” Here are apparently five documents
deliberately referred to, the first an Encyclical of Gregory XVI.; the
second an Encyclical of Pius IX., in 1864; the third another Encyclical
of Pius IX., dated December 8, 1864; the fourth a Syllabus of March
18th, 1861; and the fifth another Syllabus of the 8th of March, 1861.
Yet these apparently five documents, to which reference is made by Mr.
Gladstone with so much seeming particularity and exactitude of dates, are
in reality two documents only, and have but one date--namely, the 8th
of December, 1864--on which day the _Encyclical_, with the _Syllabus_
attached, was published by Pius IX. At page 67 of his pamphlet Mr.
Gladstone “cites his originals,” and curiously enough, by a printer’s
error, assigns the Encyclical of Gregory XVI. to Gregory XIV. But he
cites from two sources only--namely, the _Encyclical_ and _Syllabus_ of
1864. That Encyclical contains a quotation from an Encyclical of Gregory
XVI., which and the _Syllabus_ are positively the only documents actually
cited. By a series of blunders, all of which cannot be charged to the
printer--and in a work which has arrived at the “sixteenth thousand”
edition printers’ errors are hardly allowable--the two documents, with
their one date, have been made to do duty for five documents, ascribed
gravely to as many different dates!

Moreover, Mr. Gladstone’s assertion that he will state “a few
propositions, all the holders of which have been _condemned_ by the Holy
See,” is inaccurate, as far as his extracts from the _Encyclical_ and
the _Syllabus_--the only documents to which he appeals--are concerned;
for in them no “holders” of any propositions are condemned, nor is there
a single anathema directed against any individual. The errors only
are censured. Mr. Gladstone cannot illustrate any one of his eighteen
propositions by a single epithet which could with truth be called
“fearfully energetic.” As a matter of fact, there are no epithets at
all attached to any condemnations in the eighty propositions of the
_Syllabus_. When, therefore, Mr. Gladstone professes, in order to do
nothing “towards importing passion,” that he will “avoid citing any of
the fearfully energetic epithets in which the condemnations are sometimes
clothed,” he plays a rhetorical trick upon his readers. In truth, had he
quoted the entire of the _Encyclical_ and _Syllabus_, he would not have
been able to make his hypocritical insinuation that he might have culled,
if he wished, more damaging extracts. Catholics have to lament, not that
he quoted too much, but that he quoted too little; not that he quoted
with severe rigor, but that he quoted with absolute unfaithfulness. It is
justice, not mercy, which Catholics demand from him, and which they ask
all the more imperatively because he has himself laid down the axiom:
“Exactness in stating truth according to the measure of our intelligence
is an indispensable condition of justice and of a title to be heard.”

It was urged by some persons that Mr. Gladstone gave sufficient
opportunities for correcting the effect of his inaccuracies by publishing
in an appendix the Latin of the propositions he professed to quote. But
so glaring is the contrast between the “propositions” in English and
the same in Latin that a writer in the _Civiltâ Cattolica_ exclaims
in amazement: “Has he [Mr. Gladstone] misunderstood the Latin of the
quoted texts? Has he through thoughtlessness travestied the sense? Or
has his good faith fallen a victim to the disloyalty of some cunning Old
Catholics who furnished him with these propositions?” Mr. Gladstone has
asserted that Pius IX. has condemned “those who maintain the liberty
of the press,” “or the liberty of conscience and of worship,” “or the
liberty of speech.” On referring to the Latin original of these the
first three of his eighteen propositions, it is found that Pius IX. has
given no occasion for such a monstrous assertion. The Pope has merely
condemned that species of liberty which every man not a socialist or
communist must from his heart believe worthy of censure. Gregory XVI.
called this vicious sort of liberty by the name of _delirium_, and Pius
IX., in his _Encyclical_, terms it the “liberty of perdition.” It is
a liberty “especially pernicious (_maxime exitialem_) to the Catholic
Church and the salvation of souls,” and the claim to it is based on the
error “that liberty of conscience and of worship is the proper right
of every man; that it ought to be proclaimed and asserted by law in
every well-constituted society; and that citizens have an inherent
right to liberty of every kind, not to be restrained by any authority,
ecclesiastical or civil, so that they may be able, openly and publicly,
to manifest and declare their opinions, of whatever kind, by speech, by
the press, or by any other means.” Such is the sort of liberty which the
_Encyclical_ condemns, which is not the general liberty of the press,
or of conscience and worship, as Mr. Gladstone would have it, but that
sort of liberty which might be better termed licentiousness--a liberty,
that is, which knows no bridle or restraint, whether human or divine,
and which refuses to be kept in check by any authority, ecclesiastical
or civil--“omnimodam libertatem nullâ vel ecclesiasticâ, vel civili
auctoritate coarctandam.” The _Expostulation_ has been widely circulated
among the learned, and also in a sixpenny edition among the masses. It
is evident that thousands of persons accustomed to entertain a high
opinion of the veracity of great men in Mr. Gladstone’s position will
take his statements upon trust, and never dream of testing, even had they
the requisite acquaintance with a dead language, the accuracy of his
translations and quotations. To abuse the confidence of this section of
the public is a sin severely to be reprobated.

The _Speeches of Pius IX_.--which, it would appear, were not read by
Mr. Gladstone until after he wrote the _Expostulation_--have been by
him criticised in the _Quarterly Review_ unmercifully and unfairly. He
did not take into consideration the circumstance that these speeches
are not elaborate orations, but are merely the unprepared, unstudied
utterances of a pontiff so aged as to be termed by the reviewer himself
a “nonagenarian,” borne down with unparalleled afflictions, weighted
with innumerable cares, and oppressed with frequent and at times serious
illnesses. The speeches themselves were not reported _verbatim_ or _in
extenso_. No professional shorthand writer attended when they were
delivered, and they were not spoken with a view to their publication.
But every word which comes from the lips of Pius IX. is precious to
Catholics; and as some of these speeches were taken down by various hands
and appeared in various periodicals, it was thought proper to allow a
collection of them to be formed and published by an ecclesiastic, Don
Pasquale de Franciscis, who himself took notes of the greater number
of these _Discourses_. This gentleman is described by Mr. Gladstone as
“an accomplished professor of flunkyism in things spiritual,” and one
of the “sycophants” about the Pope who administer to His Holiness “an
adulation, not only excessive in its degree, but of a kind which to an
unbiassed mind may seem to border on profanity.” Mr. Gladstone is fond
of insinuating that his own mind is “unbiassed” or “dispassionate,” and
that he would by no means “import passion” into a controversy where calm
reasoning alone is admissible. But, in point of fact, as the _Pall Mall
Gazette_ has pointed out, he shows himself the bigoted controversialist
instead of the grave statesman. Forgetting the genius of the Italian
people, and the difference between the warm and impulsive natives of the
South and the phlegmatic Anglo-Saxons; forgetting, also, the literary
toadyism of English writers not many years ago, and the apparently
profane adulation paid to British sovereigns, he attacks Don Pasquale
for calling the book of the Pope’s speeches “divine,” and accuses him of
downright blasphemy. Dr. Newman, in one of his _Lectures on the Present
Position of Catholics in England_, has given an humorous account of
the way in which foreigners might be induced to believe the laws and
constitution of England to be profane and blasphemous. This he did by
culling out a series of sentences from Blackstone and others, such as
“the king can do no wrong,” “the king never dies,” he is “the vicar of
God on earth.” Thus impeccability, immortality, and omnipotence may be
claimed for the British monarch! Moreover, the subjects of James I.
called him “the breath of their nostrils”; he himself, according to Lord
Clarendon, on one occasion called himself “a god”; Lord Bacon called him
“some sort of little god”; Alexander Pope and Addison termed Queen Anne
“a goddess,” the words of the latter writer being: “Thee, goddess, thee
Britannia’s isle adores.” What Dr. Newman did in good-humored irony Mr.
Gladstone does in sober and bitter earnest. He picks out epithets here
and there, tacking on the expressions of one page to those of another,
and then flings the collected epithets before his reader as proof of Don
Pasquale’s profanity. The temperament of Italians in the present day
may or may not furnish a valid defence, in respect to good taste, for
Don Pasquale. But it is certain that the phrases used by the latter,
when taken in their context and interpreted as any one familiar with
Italian ideas would interpret them, afford slight basis for the odious
charge of profanity--a charge which Mr. Gladstone urges not only by the
means already pointed out, but by other means still more reprehensible,
namely, by fastening on Don Pasquale expressions which he did not employ.
Thus, at page 274 of the _Review_, Mr. Gladstone, in reference to the
“sufferings pretended to be inflicted by the Italian kingdom upon the
so-called prisoner of the Vatican,” adds, “Let us see how, and with what
daring misuse of Holy Scripture, they are illustrated in the authorized
volume before us. ‘He and his august consort,’ says Don Pasquale,
speaking of the Comte and Comtesse de Chambord, ‘were profoundly moved
at such great afflictions which the Lamb of the Vatican has to endure.’”
It seems, in the first place, rather strained to term the application of
the word “lamb” to Pius IX., or any other person, a “daring misuse of
Holy Scripture.” Many a man, when expressing pious hope under disaster,
exclaims, “The Lord tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,” using or
misusing, as the case may be, not the language of Holy Scripture, but the
words of the author of _Tristram Shandy_, to whose works, we believe, the
epithet “holy” is not commonly applied. If Pius IX. had been termed “the
lamb of God,” then indeed Holy Scripture might have been used or misused;
but the single word “lamb,” even in the phrase “lamb of the Vatican,”
is no more an allusion, profane or otherwise, to the Gospels than it is
to the Rev. Laurence Sterne. In the second place, the expression, be it
proper or improper, was not used by Don Pasquale. Turning to volume ii.
of the _Discorsi_, page 545, as Mr. Gladstone directs us, we find the
words were not employed by Don Pasquale, but by the writer of an article
in the _Unità Cattolica_! Pages 545 and 546, the pages cited, contain
a notice of the presentation to the Comte and Comtesse de Chambord of
the first volume of the _Discorsi_; for the article is dated in 1872,
and the second volume was not printed until 1873. So that it appears
the naughty word was not only not used by Don Pasquale, but did not in
reality form part of the “authorized volume,” being merely found in
a newspaper extract inserted in an appendix. In this same newspaper
extract the Comtesse de Chambord is said to have called the first volume
of the _Discorsi_ “a continuation of the Gospels and the Acts of the
Apostles.” This statement rests on the authority of the writer in the
_Unità Cattolica_, but is brought up in judgment not only against Don
Pasquale, but against the Pope himself, who is held by Mr. Gladstone
to be responsible for everything stated either by Don Pasquale in his
preface or by any other persons in the appendices to the _Discorsi_!

Concerning the Pope, Mr. Gladstone, at page 299 of the _Review_, thus
writes: “Whether advisedly or not, the Pontiff does not, except once
(vol. i. 204), apply the term [infallible] to himself, but is in other
places content with alleging his superiority, as has been shown above,
to an inspired prophet, and with commending those who come to hear his
words as words proceeding from Jesus Christ (i. 335).” At page 268 of
the _Review_ it is also said that Don Pasquale, in his preface, p. 17,
calls the voice of Pius IX. “the voice of God,” and that the Pope is
“nature that protests” and “God that condemns.” If, however, in order
to test the worth of these assertions of Mr. Gladstone, we turn to the
passages he has cited, it will be discovered that Pius IX. did not even
once apply the term infallible to himself; for he, in the passage cited,
applied it not to himself individually, but to the infallible judgment
(_giudizio infallibile_) in principles of revelation, as contrasted
with the authoritative right of popes in general. Nor did Pius IX.
assert any “superiority to an inspired prophet” by saying (_Review_,
p. 276, _Discorsi_, vol. i. 366): “I have the right to speak even more
than Nathan the prophet to David the king.” The right to speak upon a
certain occasion does not surely contain of necessity an allegation of
superiority nor imply a claim to inspiration! Nor did Pius IX. commend
“those who came to hear his words as words proceeding from Jesus Christ”;
for he merely said, in reply to a deputation: “I answer with the church;
and the church herself supplies to me the words in the Gospel for this
morning. You are here, and have put forth your sentiments; but you desire
also to hear the word of Jesus Christ as it issues from the mouth of his
Vicar.” That is to say: You shall have for answer “the word of Jesus
Christ”--meaning this day’s Gospel--spoken by, or as it issues from, or
which proceeds (_che esce_) out of, the mouth of his Vicar. The words,
“He is nature that protests, he is God that condemns,” are evidently
metaphorical expressions of the editor, harmless enough; for, as Pius IX.
cannot be both God and nature literally, the metaphorical application is
apparent to the meanest comprehension. It is true that Don Pasquale, in
his preface, page 16, ascribes to Pius IX. this language: “This voice
which now sounds before you is the voice of Him whom I represent on
earth” (_la VOCE di colui che in terra Io rappresento_); but, turning
to Don Pasquale’s reference (vol. i. p. 299) to verify the quotation,
it is found that the editor made a serious mistake, by which the entire
character of the passage was altered. The Pope had just contrasted
himself (the _vox clamantis de Vaticano_) with John the Baptist (the
_vox clamantis in deserto_). “Yes,” he adds, “I may also call myself
the Voice; for, although unworthy, I am yet the Vicar of Christ, and
this voice which now sounds before you is the voice of him who in earth
represents him” (_è la voce di colui, che in terra lo rappresenta_). Don
Pasquale imprudently put the word “voce” in capital letters, changed “lo”
into “Io,” and “rappresenta” into “rappresento.” The Pope simply said
that his voice, as it cried from the Vatican, was the voice of the Vicar
of Christ. And in the belief of all Catholics so it is.

The charge of “truculence” is brought against the Pope by Mr. Gladstone.
“It is time to turn,” he says (_Review_, p. 277), “with whatever
reluctance, to the truculent and wrathful aspect which unhappily prevails
over every other in these _Discourses_.” The first proof of this
“truculence” is, it seems, the fact that the “_cadres_, or at least the
skeletons and relics of the old papal government over the Roman states,
are elaborately and carefully maintained.” One would suppose that these
_cadres_ were maintained with the bloodthirsty intention of making war on
Victor Emanuel. But Mr. Gladstone does not say so; nay, he insinuates in
a foot-note that their maintenance is for a purpose far from truculent.
“We have seen it stated from a good quarter,” so Mr. Gladstone writes,
“that no less than three thousand persons, formerly in the papal
employment, now receive some pension or pittance from the Vatican.
Doubtless they are expected to be forthcoming on all occasions of great
deputations, as they may be wanted, like the _supers_ and dummies at
the theatres.” It appears from the _Discorsi_ that the Pope received in
audience deputations from the persons formerly in the papal employment on
twenty-one occasions, between September, 1870, and September, 1873. On
fourteen of these occasions the _impiegati_ were received on days when
no other deputations attended. On the other occasions, although other
deputations were received on the same days, the ex-employees were never
mixed up with other deputations, but were always placed in separate rooms
for audience. Mr. Gladstone has not the least ground for insinuating that
these unfortunate persons, who refused to take the oath of allegiance
to Victor Emanuel, and thereby forfeited employment and pay, were ever
called upon like _supers_ or dummies to make a show at great deputations.
If these ex-employees receive pay from the Pope, it surely is no proof
of papal “truculence.” But “none of these,” so asserts Mr. Gladstone
(_Review_, p. 278), “appear at the Vatican as friends, co-religionists,
as receivers of the Pontiff’s alms, or in any character which could be
of doubtful interpretation. They appear as being actually and at the
moment his subjects and his military and civil servants respectively,
although only in _disponibilità_, or, so to speak, on furlough; they are
headed by the proper leading functionaries, and the Pope receives them as
persons come for the purpose of doing homage to their sovereign.” The
references given for this somewhat confused statement are pages 88 and
365 of volume i., where the Pope very naturally speaks of “the fidelity
shown by them to their sovereign,” and of their “faith, constancy, and
attachment to religion, to God, and to the Vicar of Jesus Christ, their
sovereign.” It was in consequence of the introduction by Victor Emanuel,
into the several government departments in Rome, of an oath of allegiance
to the head of the state--an oath not demanded previously under the Papal
rule--that these _impiegati_ resigned their situations, their consciences
not permitting them to take the oath. It was no wonder, then, that Pius
IX. should notice their fidelity to himself. But he makes no assertion
whatever to the effect that these civil and military servants are merely
on furlough or in _disponibilità_. That they do appear as pensioners
on the bounty of Pius IX. may be proved, in spite of Mr. Gladstone’s
denial, by reference to the _Discorsi_, at pages 38, 50, 99, 182, 235,
308, 460, and 472 of volume i. and pages 25, 38, and 122 of volume
ii. It cannot be expected that we should quote all these passages at
length, but we will quote a few of them. The ex-civil servants, on 13th
July, 1872, approached His Holiness to express “their sincere devotion
and gratitude for what he had done for their sustentation and comfort
under most distressing circumstances.” The police officials, seven days
afterwards, were introduced by Mgr. Randi; and one of them, the Marquis
Pio Capranica, read an address, in which the persons whom Mr. Gladstone
calls “the scum of the earth” (_Review_, p. 278) thank the Pope for
extending to them and their “families his fatherly munificence.” On the
27th of December, 1871, the ex-military officials, through Gen. Kanzler,
laid at the foot of the Pope their protestations of unalterable fidelity,
their prayers for the prolongation of his life, and their gratitude for
his generosity in alleviating the distress and misery of many families
of his former soldiers. But perhaps the “truculence” of Pius IX. may be
discovered, if not in his compassion and generosity to his ex-servants,
at least in his admonitions to them to furbish up their arms and keep
their powder dry. Mr. Gladstone asserts (_Review_, p. 297) that “blood
and iron” are “in contemplation at the Vatican.” “No careful reader of
this authoritative book (the _Speeches_) can doubt that these are the
means by which the great Christian pastor contemplates and asks--ay, asks
as one who should think himself entitled to command--the re-establishment
of his power in Rome.” Now, the Pope can ask or command this “blood and
iron” assistance from none so well as from his ex-soldiers, and from the
civil and military officials still loyal to their chief. It happens,
however, that no “careful reader” of the Pope’s speeches to his former
soldiers or servants can discover a trace of this “truculent” purpose
of His Holiness. He rarely mentions a weapon; but when he does, it is
to remind his audience (as at p. 197, vol. i.) that “we must not combat
with material weapons, but spiritually--that is to say, with united
prayers.” He reminds some young soldiers (vol. i. p. 69) that “prayer is
the terrible weapon for use specially in the actual grievous condition of
affairs, by which weapon alone can the complete triumph of the church and
religion be obtained.” When he would place before some of his faithful
civil servants the example of the “Hebrews when rebuilding Jerusalem,
who held in one hand the working tools and in the other the sword to
combat the enemy,” he warns them to imitation by means of “prayer on the
one side, and constancy on the other” (vol. i. p. 475). Prayer is the
burden of his advice on all these occasions. “_Sursum corda!_ Lift up
the thought and the heart to God, from whom only we can expect comfort,
help, counsel, or protection now and always” (vol. ii. p. 25). “They
have imagined,” says the Pontiff to the Marquis Pio Capranica and other
ex-functionaries of the Police Department (vol. ii. p. 36), “that we wish
to cause an armed reaction! To think this is folly, and to assert it
is calumny. I have made known to all persons that the reaction which I
desire is this: namely, to have people who can protect youth, and provide
for the good education of the young in the principles of faith, morality,
honesty, and respect towards the church and her ministers. This is the
reaction which now and always I will say is our desire. As for the rest,
God will do that which he wills. Great reactions are not in my hands,
but in His upon whom all depends.” There is one passage cited by Mr.
Gladstone to show that the Pope would “take the initiative,” if he could,
and lead his troops to battle. It occurs in a speech addressed to Gen.
Kanzler and the officers of the late pontifical army, and may be found in
vol. ii. pages 141 and 142. The Pope says at the beginning of his speech,
“You are come, soldiers of honor, attached to this Holy See and constant
in the exercise of your duties, to present yourselves before me; but you
come without arms, proving thereby how sad are the present times. Oh!
would I also could obey that voice of God which many ages ago said to a
people, Transform your ploughs and plough-shares and your instruments of
husbandry into spears and swords and implements of war; for the enemies
are advancing, and there is need of many weapons and of many armed men.
Would that God would to-day repeat those same inspirations even unto us.
But God is silent, and I, his Vicar, cannot do aught in distinction from
him, and cannot do aught save keep silence.” The foregoing paragraph has
undoubtedly a warlike sound, and is of course quoted by Mr. Gladstone;
but it is immediately followed by another passage which takes from it
all its force, and which is not quoted by Mr. Gladstone: “And I will
particularly add that I could never desire to authorize an augmentation
of arms, because, as Vicar of the God of Peace, who came on earth to
bring peace to us, I am bound to sustain all the rights of peace, which
is the fairest gift which God can give to this earth.”

Mr. Gladstone notices “the Pope’s wealth of vituperative power,” and
refers to various passages for illustrations. A string of references
looks convincing, but it has been already shown how little reliance can
be placed on Mr. Gladstone in this respect. He who takes the pains to
verify these references will find Pius IX. has indeed used hard language,
not only towards the Italian government or Victor Emanuel, but towards
insidious proselytizers and bad and immoral teachers, spectacles,
and publications. But is Mr. Gladstone an unprejudiced judge of the
propriety of the pontifical expressions? The late British premier thinks
favorably of Victor Emanuel, and imagines Rome to be much improved
by the entrance of the Italians. He thinks the Pope “knows nothing
except at second-hand, nothing except as he is prompted by the blindest
partisans.” But Mr. Gladstone himself is the infallible authority. He
has sought and produced, of course from impartial sources, statistics to
show that crime has greatly diminished since the termination of the papal
_régime_. The Gladstonian statistics, of course, refute the statements
of the Pope, and also, as it happens, those of the law officers of the
crown in Italy, one of whom, Ghiglieri, when lately opening the legal
year with an elaborate speech, enlarged on the increasing prevalence of
crime in the Roman province since 1870--that is, since Rome became the
capital. Every visitor at Rome since that date knows that “flower-girls”
and other girls have only since 1870 been permitted to infest the Corso
and theatres, and that Rome, though not yet as bad as Paris or London
in respect to ostensible immorality, is rapidly advancing to equality
in vice with rival capitals. But Mr. Gladstone is not averse to vice in
certain quarters. He calls the blind Duke of Sirmoneta “able, venerable,
and highly cultivated,” and contrasts him (with perfect accuracy, but
rather scandalously) with the other members of the Roman aristocracy,
who, according to Edmond About, have not even vice to recommend them. The
Carnival of 1875 in Rome is itself an illustration of the progress of
vice and of crime in what Mr. Gladstone calls the “orderly and national
Italian kingdom.”

There is but space left to us to notice the deposing power, “the most
familiar to Englishmen” of all the “burning questions.” And the best
way to notice this question is to set before our readers the _ipsissima
verba_ of Pius IX. on the subject (as far as a translation can pretend
to supply them) from the famous speech to the Academia di Religione
Cattolica on July 20, 1871. The Pope said:

“But amid the variety of themes presented to you, one seems to me at
present of great importance, and this is to repel the attacks by which
they try to falsify the idea of the Pontifical Infallibility. Among
other errors, that one is more than all others malicious which would
attribute to it the right to depose sovereigns and release nations from
the bond of fidelity. This right, without doubt, was sometimes in extreme
circumstances exercised by pontiffs; but it has nothing to do with the
Pontifical Infallibility. Nor is its source the infallibility, but the
pontifical authority. The exercise, moreover, of this right, in those
ages of faith which respected in the pope that which he is--namely,
the Supreme Judge of Christianity--and recognized the advantages of
his tribunal in the great contests of peoples and sovereigns, freely
was extended (aided, also, as a duty, by the public right and by the
common consent of the nations) to the gravest interests of states and
of their rulers. But the present conditions are entirely different from
those, and only malice can confound things so diverse--as, for instance,
the infallible judgment concerning the principles of revelation--with
the right which the popes exercised in virtue of their authority when
the common good demanded it. As for the rest, they know it better than
we, and every one can perceive the reason why they raise at present a
confusion of ideas so absurd and bring upon the field hypotheses to
which no one gives heed. They beg, that is, every pretext, even the most
frivolous and the furthest from truth, provided it be suited to give us
annoyance and to excite princes against the church. Some persons wished
that I should explain and make more clear the conciliar definition. This
I will not do. It is clear in itself, and has no need of further comments
and explanations. Its true sense presents itself easily and obviously to
whoever reads the decree with a dispassionate mind.”

Doubtless the deposing power is one of the “rusty tools” which Rome,
according to Mr. Gladstone, has “refurbished and paraded anew.” But
what man with a dispassionate mind can read the authentic version of
the words put by Mr. Gladstone incorrectly before the public without
coming to the conclusion that the “refurbishing and parading anew” of the
deposing power is altogether a creation of Mr. Gladstone’s “brain-power,”
and that Pius IX., so far from showing a disposition to employ again
“the rusty tool,” actually manifests an intention to undervalue it and
lay it aside? Some persons would “refurbish” up the deposing power by
connecting it with infallibility, and the Pope denounces their attempt as
absurd and malicious. The abstract right of pontiffs to depose princes
and release subjects from allegiance is referred by Pius IX. not to the
infallibility which would give it new lustre, but to the pontifical
authority, which in olden time was strong and powerful, but which at
present is scarcely recognized by the kingdoms of the world. The exercise
of this right is delicately touched upon, in such a way as to suggest not
the least disposition to resume the right by putting it in practice. It
was indeed “sometimes, in extreme circumstances”--_talvolta in supreme
circostanze_--exercised by popes in those times when the pontiff was
acknowledged “the Supreme Judge of Christianity,” and when the Holy See,
by the common consent of nations, was the tribunal to which appeal was
made in the great contests of sovereigns and nations. Then indeed this
right was extended to “the gravest interests of nations and of rulers”;
but now all is different--“aflatto diverse.” So far from “parading anew”
the abstract right, and “furbishing” it up for present use, the Holy
Father indignantly repudiates the malicious allegation by declaring that
the right itself was but seldom exercised in ancient times, and then
only under special conditions such as are not likely to be found in
modern days. “Hypotheses” may of course be imagined by those who wish
“to give annoyance and excite princes against the church.” But these
“hypotheses,” as the Pope remarks, are not serious. No one pays heed
or attention to them. They are “ipotesi, alle quali niuno pensa.” The
limits of the obedience of subjects to sovereigns are clearly set forth
by Pius IX. in his address to an Austrian deputation on the 18th of June,
1871. “Submission and respect to authority are the principal duties of
truly good subjects. But at the same time I must remind you,” says the
Pope, “that your obedience and fidelity have a limit to be observed.
Be faithful to the sovereign whom God has given to you, and obey the
laws which govern you; but when necessity calls, let your obedience and
fidelity not advance beyond, but be arrested at, the steps of the altar.”
You have “duties to the laws as subjects, and to your consciences as
Christians.” “Unite these duties well, and let your supreme rule be the
holy law of God and his church.” The state of mind of that man who can
find nothing in the _Speeches of Pius IX._ save matter for ridicule,
sarcasm, and invective is not to be envied. It reminds one of the phrase
employed in the consistorial “_processus_” for the appointment of a
bishop to a diocese in which heretics usurped the churches and impeded
the profession and practice of true religion: _Illius status potius est
deplorandus quam recensendus_--It is a condition which is rather to be
deplored than described.


THE BATH OF THE GOLDEN ROBIN.

    The sun beams over Laurelside
      To Ana-lo-mink water,
    And nature smiles in rural pride
      At all the gifts he brought her.

    The merry greenwood branches hold
      More cheer than castle’s rafter,
    The gurgling river ne’er is old
      With sly and mellow laughter.

    How welcome is the soothing sound
      Of mingling water speeding
    O’er pebbly bed with laugh and bound,
      Through wooded banks receding!

    Ah! pleasant ’tis to close one’s eyes,
      And let the murmurous measure
    With liquid tones of gay surprise
      Fill up the fancy’s pleasure.

    But ere my hooded eyes could wake
      Sweet fancy’s happy scheming,
    Came Robin Oriole to break
      My sleepless, dulcet dreaming.

    For Rob outshines the glowing day,
      And in the sun’s dominions
    Seems like a ball of fire at play
      On elfin sable pinions.

    He glints the orchard’s dropping dew,
      Illumes the maple’s mazes,
    Dispels the pine-shade passing through,
      And in the sunshine blazes!

    And sweeping to a mossy bank,
      The wings the flame deliver
    Where fern-encloister’d pebbles flank
      An eddy from the river.

    Here, by the stream-indented path,
      As master Rob did spy it,
    Thought he, What chance for Sunday bath!
      So tempting, cool, and quiet.

    He quaintly eyed the little pool,
      And hopt so self-confiding,
    And peek’d around, like boy from school,
      To see none near were hiding.

    Then, list’ning, seem’d to mark the tone
      Made by the eddies’ patter;
    But bravely sprang upon a stone,
      And plunged with splash and spatter.

    The bath came only to his knees,
      But, ducking as he flutters,
    Against his throat the water sprees,
      And round his body sputters.

    It leapt in bubbles, as his crest
      And wings were merrily toiling;
    You’d think his ruffled, fiery breast
      Had set the water boiling.

    He stopt short in his merry ways
      As coy as any lady,
    And, flutt’ring, sent a diamond haze
      Around his bath so shady.

    Then popt out on the olive moss
      So softly deep and luscious;
    Then skimm’d the blue-eyed flow’rs across,
      And perch’d within the bushes.

    He perk’d his head like dandy prig,
      Now feeling fine and fresher;
    And took the air upon a twig,
      That scarcely felt his pressure.

    Full suddenly he scann’d his shank,
      As though he had not reckon’d
    One dip enough, flew to the bank,
      And gayly took a second!

    Oh! how the jolly fellow dashed
      The little waves asunder!
    Dove in his head and breast, and splashed
      His pinion-feathers under.

    Then standing up, as though to rest,
      He looked around discreetly;
    Again with zest the pool caress’d,
      And made his bath completely.

    Out hopt he where the sun-fed breeze
      Came streamward warmly tender--
    A brilliant prince of Atomies
      Amid this mountain splendor.

    Oh, balmy is the mountain air
      Of May with sunlight in it!
    And blest is he from town-wrought care
      Who can in greenwood win it.

    But sun on Robin’s radiant coat,
      All drench’d, he fear’d might spoil it,
    So to an alder grove did float
      To make his feathery toilet.

    He pick’d his wings and smoothed his neck,
      Arranged his vest’s carnation,
    And flew out without stain or speck
      To dazzle all creation!


ARE YOU MY WIFE?

BY THE AUTHOR OF “A SALON IN PARIS BEFORE THE WAR,” “NUMBER THIRTEEN,”
“PIUS VI.,” ETC

CHAPTER IV.

“Here you are, you naughty little maiden, gadding about the country
when I want you to be at home to talk to me!” exclaimed Sir Simon, as
Franceline burst into the cottage full of her little adventure. “Where
have you been all this time?”

“Only to see Miss Merrywig, and then I came home by the fields.”

“And was any poor mortal lucky enough to meet you coming through the
rye?” inquired Sir Simon facetiously.

Franceline didn’t see the point a bit; but she blushed as if she did, and
Sir Simon was not the man to let her off.

“Oh! so that’s it, is it? Come, now, and tell me all about it,” he said,
drawing her to a low seat beside his arm-chair, the only one in the
establishment, and which his host always insisted on his taking. “You
must let me into the secret; it’s very shabby of you to have got one
without consulting me. Who is he, and where did you meet him?”

“One is Mr. Charlton,” replied Franceline naïvely; “but I don’t know who
the other is. I never saw him before. Tell me who he is, monsieur?”

“Tell you! Well, upon my word, you are a pretty flirt! You don’t even
know his name! A very nice young lady!”

“Is he a Frenchman, monsieur? I think he must be from the way he bowed.
Is he a friend of yours? Nobody else knows Frenchmen here but you. Do
tell me who he is.”

“He’s not a Frenchman,” said Sir Simon, “and he’ll never forgive you for
mistaking him for one, I can tell you. If you were a man, he would run
you through the body for it just as soon as he’d look at you!”

“Mon Dieu!” cried Franceline, opening her eyes wide with wonder, “then
I don’t care to know any more about him. I hope I shall never see him
again.”

“Yes, but you shall, though, and I’ll take care to tell him,” declared
Sir Simon.

“What is it? What is it?” called out M. de la Bourbonais, looking up from
a letter that he was writing against time to catch the post. “What are
you both quarrelling about again?”

“Petit père, monsieur is so unkind and so disagreeable!”

“And Mlle. Franceline is so cruel and so inquisitive!”

“He won’t tell me who that strange gentleman is, petit père. Canst thou
tell me?”

“Oh! ho! I thought we didn’t care to know!” laughed Sir Simon with a
mischievous look.

“Tell me, petit père!” said Franceline, ignoring her tormentor’s taunt;
and going up to her father, she laid her head coaxingly against his.

He looked at her for a moment with a strange expression, and then said,
half speaking to himself, while he stroked her hair, “What can it matter
to thee? What is one strange face more or less to thee or me?” Then
turning to Sir Simon, who was enjoying the sight of the young girl’s
innocent curiosity, and perhaps revolving possible eventualities in his
buoyant mind, the count said, “Who is it, Harness?”

“How do I know?” retorted his friend. “A strange gentleman that bows like
a Frenchman is not a very lucid indication.”

“I met him coming out of your gate, walking with Mr. Charlton,” explained
Franceline. “He’s taller than Mr. Charlton--as tall as you, monsieur--and
he wore a moustache like a Frenchman. I never saw any one like him in
England.”

Franceline’s recollections of France were mostly rather dim, but, like
the memories of childhood, those that survived were very vivid.

“If he must be a Frenchman, I can make nothing out of it,” said Sir Simon.

“Voyons, Harness,” laughed the count, “don’t be too unmerciful! Curiosity
in a woman once led to terrible consequences.”

“Well, I’ll tell you who he is In fact, I came here to-day on purpose to
tell you, and to ask when I could bring him to see you. He’s the nephew
of my old school-chum, De Winton, a very nice fellow, but not the least
like a Frenchman, whatever his bow and his moustache may say to the
contrary.”

“Do you mean Clide De Winton, the poor young fellow who …?”

“Precisely,” replied Sir Simon; “he’s been a rover on the face of the
earth for the last eight or nine years. This is the first time I’ve seen
him since I said good-by to him on the steamer at Marseilles, and met
you on my way back. He’s been all over the world since then, I believe.
You’ll find he has plenty to say for himself, and his French is number
one.”

“And the admiral--is he with him?” inquired Raymond.

“I’m expecting him down to-morrow. How long is it since you saw him?”

“Hé!… let us not count the years, mon cher! We were all young then.”

“We’re all young now,” protested the hearty baronet. “Men of our time of
life never grow old; it’s only these young ones that can afford that sort
of thing,” nodding toward Franceline, who, since she found her Frenchman
was no Frenchman, appeared to have lost all interest in him, and was
busily tidying her father’s table. “As to the admiral, he’s younger than
ever he was. By the way, I don’t intend to let him cut me out with a
certain young lady; so let me see no flirtation in that quarter. I’ll not
stand it. Do you hear me, Miss Franceline?”

“Yes,” was the laconic rejoinder, and she went on fixing some loose
papers in a letter-press.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Yes, Monsieur le Comte is at home; but, as monsieur knows, he never
likes to be disturbed at this hour,” replied Angélique, who was knitting
the family stockings in the wee summer-house at the end of the garden.

“Oh! I’ll answer for it he won’t mind being disturbed this time,” said
Sir Simon. “Tell him it’s his old friend, the admiral, who wants to see
him.”

Before Angélique had got her needles under way and risen, a cry of
jubilant welcome sounded from the closed shutters of the little room
where the count was hard at work in the dark. “Mon cher De Vinton! how it
rejoices me to embrace you.” And the Frenchman was in his friend’s arms
in a minute. “My good Angélique, this is one of our eldest friends! Where
is mademoiselle? Fetch her on the instant! Mon cher De Vinton.”

The four gentlemen--for Clide was there--went laughing and shaking hands
into the house, and groped their way as best they could into Raymond’s
study. He had the sensible foreign habit of keeping the shutters closed
to exclude the heat, and the admiral nearly fell over a stool in
scrambling for a chair.

“My dear Bourbonais, we’re none of us bats, and darkness isn’t a help
to the flow of soul,” said Sir Simon; “so, by your leave, I’ll throw a
little light on the subject.” And he pushed back the shutter.

Before their eyes had recovered the blinding shock of the light coming
suddenly on the darkness, a light foot was pattering down the stairs,
and Franceline glided into the room. The effect was very much as if a
lily had sprouted up from the carpet. An involuntary “God bless my soul!”
broke from the admiral, and Clide started to his feet. “My daughter,
messieurs,” said M. de la Bourbonais, with a sudden touch of the courtier
in his manner, as he took her by the hand, and presented her to them
both. Franceline bowed to the young man, and held out her hand to the
elder one. The admiral, with an unwonted impulse of gallantry, raised
it to his lips, and then held it in both his own, looking steadily into
her face with an open stare of fatherly admiration. He had seen many
lovely women in his day, and, if report spoke true, the brave sailor
had been a very fair judge of the charms of the gentler sex; but he had
never seen anything the least like this. Perhaps it was the unexpected
contrast of the picture with the frame that took him so much by surprise
and heightened the effect; but, whatever it was, he was completely taken
aback, and stood looking at it speechless and bewildered.

“Do you mean to tell me that this wild rose belongs to _him_?” he said
at last, addressing himself to Sir Simon, and with an aggressive nod
at Raymond, as if he suspected him of having pilfered the article in
question, and were prepared to do battle for the rightful owner.

“He says so,” averred the baronet cautiously.

“He may say what he likes,” declared the admiral, “my belief is that he
purloined it out of some fairy’s garden.”

“And my belief is that you purloined that!” snubbed Sir Simon. “You never
had as much poetry in you as would inspire a fly; had he, Clide?”

Raymond rubbed his spectacles, and put them on again--his usual way of
disposing of an awkward situation, and which just now helped to conceal
the twinkle of innocent paternal vanity that was dancing in his gray eyes.

“No, you usedn’t to be much of a poet when I knew you, De Vinton,” he
said.

“No more he is now,” asserted the baronet. “What do you say, Clide?”

“The most prosaic of us may become poets under a certain pressure of
inspiration,” replied the young man, with an imperceptible movement of
his head in the direction of Franceline, who blushed under the speech
just enough to justify the admiral’s wild-rose simile. She drew her hand
laughingly away from his, and then, when everybody had found a seat, she
pushed her favorite low stool close to her father’s chair, and sat down
by his knee.

The friends had a great deal to say to each other, although the presence
of Clide and Sir Simon prevented their touching on certain episodes of
the past that were brought vividly to Raymond’s mind by the presence
of one whom he had not seen since they had taken place. This kept all
painful subjects in the background; and in spite of a wistful look in
Raymond’s eyes, as if the sailor’s weather-beaten face were calling up
the ghost of by-gone days--joys that had lived their span and died,
and sorrow that was not dead, but sleeping--he kept up the flow of
conversation with great animation. Meanwhile, the two young people
were pushed rather outside the circle. Clide, instead of entering on
a _tête-à-tête_, as it was clearly his right and his duty to do, kept
holding on by the fringe of his uncle’s talk, feigning to be deeply
interested in it, while all the time he was thinking of something else,
longing to go and sit by Franceline, and talk to her. It was not shyness
that kept him back. That infirmity of early youth had left him, with
other outward signs of boyhood. The features had lost their boyish
expression, and matured into that of the man of the world, who had seen
life and observed things by the road with shrewd eyes and a mind that had
learned to think. Clide had ripened prematurely within the last eight
years, as men do who are put to school to a great sorrow. He and his
monitress had not parted company, but they had grown used to each other.
Sometimes he reproached himself for this with a certain bitterness. It
seemed like treason to have forgotten; to have put his grief aside,
railed it off, as it were, from his life, like a grave to be visited at
stated times, and kept trimmed with flowers that were no longer watered
with tears. He accused himself of being too weak to hold his sorrow, of
having let it go from want of strength to keep it. Enduring grief, like
enduring love, must have a strong, rich soil to feed upon. The thing
we mourn, like the thing we love, may contain in itself all good and
beauty and endless claims upon our constancy; but we may fail in power
to answer them. The demand may be too great for the scanty measure of
our supply. It is harder to be faithful in sorrow than in love. Clide
had realized this, and he could never think of it without a pang. Yet
he was not to blame. What he had loved and mourned was only a mirage,
a will-o’-the-wisp the ideal creation of his own trusting heart and
generous imagination. He was angry with himself because the thunderbolt
that had fallen in his Garden of Eden, and burnt up the leaves of his
tree of life, had not torn it up by the roots and killed it. Our lives
have deeper roots than we know. Even when they are torn quite up we
sometimes plant them again, and they grow afresh, striking their fibres
deeper than before, and bringing forth richer fruit. But we refuse to
believe this until we have tasted of the fruit. Clide sat apparently
listening to the cheery, affectionate talk of his uncle and Raymond;
but he was all the while listening to his own thoughts. What was there
in the sight of this ivory-browed, mystic-looking maiden to call up so
vividly another face so utterly different from it? Why did he hear the
sea booming its dirge like a reproach to him from that lonely grave at
St. Valery, as if he were wronging or wounding the dead by resting his
eyes on Franceline? Yet, in spite of the reproach, he could not keep them
averted. Her father sometimes called her _Clair de lune_. It was not an
inappropriate name; there was something of the cold, pure light of the
moon in her transparent pallor, and in the shadows of her eyes under the
long, black lashes that lent them such a soft fascination. Clide thought
so, as he watched her; cold as the face might be, it was stirring his
pulse and making his heart beat as he never thought to feel them stir and
beat again.

“Are ces messieurs going to stay for supper?” said Angélique, putting her
nut-brown face in at the door. “Because, if they are, I must know in time
to get ready.”

“Why, Angélique, I never knew you want more than five minutes to prepare
the best _omelette soufflée_ I ever get anywhere out of the Palais
Royal!” said Sir Simon.

“Ah! monsieur mocks me,” said Angélique, who was so elated by this public
recognition of her omelet talent that, if Sir Simon was not embraced
by the nut-brown face on the spot, it was one of those hair-breadth
escapes that our lives are full of, and we never give thanks for because
we never know of them. “Persuade De Vinton and our young friend here
to stop and test it, then!” exclaimed M. de la Bourbonais, holding out
both hands to the admiral in his genial, impulsive way. “The garden is
our _salle-à-manger_ in this hot weather, so there is plenty of room.”
There was something irresistible in the simplicity and cordiality of
the offer, and the admiral was about to say he would be delighted, when
Sir Simon put in his veto: “No, no, not this evening. You must come and
dine with us, Bourbonais; I want you up at the house this evening. But
the invitation will keep. We’ll not let Angélique off her _omelette
soufflée_; we’ll come and attack it to-morrow, if these rovers don’t
bolt, as they threaten to do.”

And so the conference was broken up, and Raymond accompanied his guests
to the garden-gate, promising to follow them in half an hour.

It was a rare event for M. de la Bourbonais to dine at Dullerton Court;
he disliked accepting its grand-seignior hospitality, and whenever he
consented it was understood there should be nobody to meet him. “I have
grown as unsocial as a bear from long habit, mon cher,” he would be sure
to say every time Sir Simon bore down on him with an invitation. “I shall
turn into a mollusk by-and-by. How completely we are the creatures of
habit!” To which Sir Simon would invariably reply with his Johnsonian
maxim: “You should struggle against that sort of thing, Bourbonais, and
overcome it”; and Raymond would smile, and agree with him. He was too
gentle and too thoroughbred to taunt his friend with not following it
himself, which he might have done with bitter truth. Sir Simon was the
slave of habits and of weaknesses that it was far more necessary to
struggle against than Raymond’s harmless little foibles. There are some
men who spend one-half of their lives in cheating others, and the other
half in trying to cheat themselves. Sir Simon Harness was one of these.
Cheating is perhaps a hard word to apply to his efforts to keep up a
delusion which had grown so entirely his master that he could scarcely
see where the substance ended and where the shadow began. Yet his whole
life at present was a cheat. He had the reputation of being the largest
land-owner and the wealthiest man in that end of the county, and he
was, in reality, one of the poorest. The grand aim of his existence was
to live up to this false appearance, and prevent the truth from coming
out. It would be a difficult and useless undertaking to examine how
far he was originally to blame for the state of active falsehood into
which he and his circumstances had fallen. There is no doubt that his
father was to blame in the first instance. He had been a very splendid
old gentleman, Sir Alexander Harness, and had lived splendidly and died
heavily in debt, leaving the estate considerably mortgaged. He had not
been more than twenty years dead at the time I speak of, so that his son,
in coming into possession, found himself saddled with the paternal debts,
and with the confirmed extravagant habits of a lifetime. This made the
sacrifices which the payment of those debts necessitated seem a matter
of simple impossibility to him. The only thing to be done was to let the
Court for a term of years, send away the troops of misnamed servants
that encumbered the place, sell off the stud, and betake himself to the
Continent and economize. Thus he would have paid off his encumbrances,
and come back independent and easy in his mind. But, unluckily, strong
measures of this sort did not lie at all in Sir Simon’s way. He talked
about going abroad, and had some indefinite notion of “pulling in.” He
did run off to Paris and other continental places very frequently; but
as he travelled with a courier and a valet, and with all the expenses
inseparable from those adjuncts, the excursions did not contribute much
towards the desired result. Things went on at the Court in the old way;
the same staff of servants was kept up; the same number of parasites who,
under pretence of payment for some small debt, had lived in the Court for
years, until they came to consider they had a vested life-interest in the
property, were allowed to hang on. The new master of Dullerton was loath
to do such a shabby thing as to turn them out; and they were sure to die
off after a while. Then there was the stud, which Sir Alexander had been
so proud of. It had been a terrible expense to set it up, but, being up,
it was a pity to let it down; when things were going, they had a way of
keeping themselves going. There had always been open house at the Court
from time immemorial. In the shooting season people had come down, as a
matter of course, and enjoyed the jovial hospitalities of the old squire
ever since Dullerton had belonged to him. While his son was there he
could not possibly break through these old habits; they were as sacred
as the family traditions. By-and-by, when he saw his way to shutting up
the place and going abroad, it might be managed. Meanwhile, the old debts
were accumulating, and new ones were growing, and Sir Simon was beginning
less than ever to see his way to setting things right. If that tough old
Lady Rebecca Harness, his step-mother, would but take herself to a better
world, and leave him that fifty thousand pounds that reverted to him at
her demise, it would be a great mercy. But Lady Rebecca evidently was in
no hurry to try whether there was any pleasanter place than this best of
all possible worlds, and, in spite of her seventy years, was as hale as a
woman of forty. This was a trying state of things to the light-tempered,
open-handed baronet; but the greatest trial to him was the fear in
which he lived of being found out. He was at heart an upright man, and
it was his pride that men looked up to him as one whose character and
principles were, like Cæsar’s wife, above suspicion. He had lived up to
this reputation so far; but he was conscious of a growing fear that with
the increase of difficulties there was stealing on him a lessening of the
fine moral sense that had hitherto supported him under many temptations.
His embarrassments were creating a sort of mental fog around him; he was
beginning to wonder whether his theories about honesty were quite where
they used to be, and whether he was not getting on the other side of the
border-line between conscience and expediency. Outside it was still all
fair; he was the most popular man in the county, a capital landlord--in
fact, everybody’s friend but his own. The only person, except the family
lawyer, who was allowed to look at the other side of the picture, was
M. de la Bourbonais. Sir Simon was too sympathetic himself not to feel
the need of sympathy. He must occasionally complain of his hard fate to
some one, so he complained to Raymond. But Raymond, while he gave him
his sincerest sympathy, was very far from realizing the extent of the
troubles that called it forth. The baronet bemoaned himself in a vague
manner, denouncing people and things in a general sweep every now and
then; but between times he was as gay and contented as a man could be,
and Raymond knew far too little of the ways of the world and of human
nature to reconcile these conflicting evidences, and deduce from them
the facts they represented. He could not apprehend the anomaly of a sane
man, and a man of honor, behaving like a lunatic and a swindler; spending
treble his income in vanity and superfluity, and for no better purpose
than an empty bubble of popularity and vexation of spirit. Of late,
however, he had once or twice gained a glimpse into the mystery, and it
had given him a sharp pang, which Sir Simon no sooner perceived than he
hastened to dispel by treating his lamentations as mere irritability
of temper, assuring Raymond they meant nothing. But there was still an
uneasy feeling in the latter’s mind. It was chiefly painful to him for
Sir Simon’s sake, but it made him a little uncomfortable on his own
account. With Raymond’s punctilious notions of integrity, the man who
connived at wrong-doing, or in the remotest way participated in it, was
only a degree less culpable than the actual wrong-doer; and if Sir Simon
had come to the point of being hard up for a fifty-pound note to meet a
pressing bill, it was very unprincipled of him to be giving dinners with
Johannisberg and Tokay at twenty shillings a bottle, and very wrong of
his friends to aid and abet him in such extravagance. One day Sir Simon
came in with a clouded brow to unburden himself about a fellow who had
the insolence to write for the seventh time, demanding the payment of
his “little bill,” and, after a vehement tirade, wound up by asking
Raymond to go back and dine with him. “We’ll have up a bottle of your
favorite Château Margaux, and drink confusion to the duns and the speedy
extermination of the race,” said the baronet. “Come and cheer a fellow
up, old boy; nothing clears away the blue devils like discussing one’s
worries over a good glass of claret.” Raymond fought off, first on the
old plea that he hated going out, etc.; but, finding this would not
do, he confessed the truth. He hinted delicately that he did not feel
justified in allowing his friend to go to any expense on his account.
The innocence and infantine simplicity of this avowal sent Sir Simon
into such a hearty fit of laughter that Raymond felt rather ashamed of
himself, and began to apologize profusely for being so stupid and having
misunderstood, etc., and declared he would go and drink the bottle
of Château Margaux all to himself. But after this Sir Simon was more
reticent about his embarrassments; and as things went on at the Court in
the old, smooth, magnificent way, M. de la Bourbonais began to think it
was all right, and that his friend’s want of money must have been a mere
temporary inconvenience. In fact, he began to doubt this evening whether
it was not all a dream of his that Sir Simon had ever talked of being
“hard up.” When he entered the noble dining-room and looked around him,
it was difficult to believe otherwise. Massive silver and costly crystal
sparkled and flashed under a shower of light from the antique branching
chandelier; wax-lights clustered on the walls amidst solemn Rembrandt
heads, and fascinating Reynoldses, and wild Salvator Rosas, and tender
Claudes, and sunny Canalettos. It was not in nature that the owner of
all this wealth and splendor should know what it was to be in want of
money. Sir Simon, moreover, was in his element; and it would have puzzled
a spectator more versed than Raymond in the complex mechanism of the
human heart to believe that the brilliant host who was doing the honors
of his house so delightfully had a canker gnawing at his vitals. He
rattled away with the buoyant spirits of five-and-twenty; he was brimful
of anecdote, and bright with repartee. He drew every one else out. This
was what made him so irresistibly charming in society; it was not only
that he shone himself, but he had a knack of making other people shine.
He made the admiral tell stories of his seafaring life, he drew out Clide
about Afghanistan, and spirited M. de la Bourbonais into a quarrel with
him about the dates of the Pyramids; never flagging for a moment, never
prosing, but vaulting lightly from one subject to another, and all the
while leaving his guests under the impression that they were entertaining
him rather than he them, and that he was admiring them a vast deal more
than he admired himself. A most delightful host Sir Simon was.

“Nothing cheers a man up like the sight of an old friend! Eh, De Winton?”
he exclaimed, falling back in his chair, with a thumb thrust into each
waistcoat pocket, and his feet stretched out to their full length under
the mahogany, the picture of luxury, hospitality, and content.

“Much you know about it!” grunted the admiral, filling his glass--“a man
that never wanted to be cheered up in his life!”

Sir Simon threw back his head and laughed. It was wine to him to be
rated such a good fellow by his old college chum.

They kept it up till eleven o’clock, puffing their cigars on the terrace,
where the soft summer moon was shining beautifully on the fawns playing
under the silver spray of the fountain.

“I’ll walk home with you, Raymond,” said Sir Simon when the chime of the
stable-clock reminded the count that it was time for him to go.

It was about ten minutes’ walk to The Lilies through the park; but as the
night was so lovely, the baronet proposed they should take the longer way
by the road, and see the river by moonlight. They walked on for a while
without speaking. Raymond was enjoying the beauty of the scene, the gold
of the fields and the green of the meadows, all shining alike in silver,
the identity of the trees and flowers merged in uniform radiancy; he
fancied his companion was admiring it too, until the latter broke the
spell by an unexpected exclamation: “What an infernal bore money is, my
dear fellow! I mean the want of it.”

“Mon Dieu!” was the count’s astonished comment. And as Sir Simon said
nothing more, he looked up at him uneasily: “I thought things had come
all right again, mon cher?”

“They never were right; that’s the deuce of it. If I’d found them right,
I wouldn’t have been such an ass as to put them wrong. A man needn’t be
a saint or a philosopher to keep within an income of ten thousand pounds
a year; the difficulty is to live up to the name of it when you haven’t
got more than the fifth in reality. A man’s life isn’t worth a year’s
purchase with the worry these rascally fellows give one--a set of low
scoundrels that would suck your vitals with all the pleasure in life,
just because you happen to be a gentleman. Here’s that architect fellow
that ran up those stables last year, blustering and blowing about his
miserable twelve hundred pounds as if it was the price of a cathedral!
I told the fellow he’d have to wait for his money, and of course he was
all readiness and civility, anything to secure the job; and it’s no
sooner done than he’s down on me with a hue-and-cry. He must have his
money, forsooth, or else he’ll be driven to the painful necessity of
applying through his man of business. A fellow of his kind threatening
me with his man of business! The impertinence of his having a man of
business at all! But I dare say it’s a piece of braggadocio; he thinks
he’ll frighten the money out of me by giving himself airs and talking
big. I’ll see the scoundrel further! There’s no standing the impudence
of that class nowadays. Something must be done to check it. It’s a
disgrace to the country to see the way they’re taking the upper hand and
riding rough-shod over us. And mark my words if the country doesn’t live
to regret it! We landed proprietors are the bulwark of the state; and
if they let us be sent to the wall, they had better look to their own
moorings. Mark my words, Bourbonais!”

Bourbonais was marking his words, but he was too bewildered to make any
sense out of them. “I agree with you, mon cher, the lower orders are
becoming the upper ones in many ways; but what does that prove?”

“Prove! It proves there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark!”
retorted Sir Simon.

“But how does that affect the case in question? I mean what has it to do
with this architect’s bill?”

“It has this to do with it: that if this fellow’s father had attempted
the same impertinence with my father, he’d have been sent to the
right-about; whereas he may insult me, not only with impunity, but with
effect! That’s what it has to do with it. Public opinion has changed
sides since my father lived like a gentleman, and snapped his fingers at
these parasites that live by sucking our blood.”

Raymond knew that when Sir Simon got on the subject of the “lower”
orders and their iniquities, there was nothing for it but to give him
his head, and wait patiently till he pulled up of his own accord.
When at last the baronet drew breath, and was willing to listen, he
brought him back to the point, and asked what he meant to do about the
twelve-hundred-pound bill. Did he see his way to paying it? Sir Simon
did not. It was a curious fact that he never saw his way to paying a
bill until he had contracted it, and until his vision had been sharpened
by some disagreeable process like the present, which forced him to face
the alternative of paying or doing worse. These new stables had been a
necessary expense, it is true, and he was very forcible in reiterating
the fact to Raymond; but the latter had a provoking way of reverting
to first principles, as he called it, and, after hearing his friend’s
logical demonstration as to the absolute necessity which had compelled
him to build--the valuable horses that were being damaged by the damp of
the old stables; the impossibility of keeping up a hunting stud without
proper accommodations for horses and men; the economy that the outlay
was sure to be in the long run, the saving of doctor’s bills, etc.; the
“vet.” was never out of the house while the horses were lodged in the old
stables--M. de la Bourbonais said: “But, mon cher, why need you keep a
hunting stud, why keep horses at all, if you can’t afford it?”

This was a question that never crossed Sir Simon’s mind, or, if it did,
it was dismissed with such a peremptory snub that it never presented
itself again. It was peculiarly irritating to have it thrust on him now,
at a moment when he wanted some soothing advice to cheer him up. The
idea, put into words and spoken aloud by another, was, however, not as
easily ignored as when it passed silently through his own mind; it must
be answered, if only by shutting the door in its face.

“My dear Raymond,” said the baronet in his affectionate, patronizing way,
“you don’t quite understand the matter; you look at it too much from a
Frenchman’s point of view. You don’t make allowance for the different
conditions of society in this country. There are certain things, you see,
that a man must do in England; society exacts it of him. A gentleman must
live like a gentleman, or else he can’t hold his own. It isn’t a matter
of choice.”

“It seems to me it is, though,” returned Raymond. “He may choose between
his duty to his conscience and his duty to society.”

“You can’t separate them, my dear fellow; it’s not to be done in this
country. But that’s shifting the question too wide of the mark,” observed
Sir Simon, who began to feel it was being driven rather too close. “The
thing is, how am I to raise the wind to quiet this architect? It is too
late to discuss the wisdom of building the stables; they are built, and
they must be paid for.”

“Sell those two hunters that you paid five hundred pounds apiece for;
that will go a long way towards it,” suggested the count.

The proposition was self-evident, but that did not make it the more
palatable to Sir Simon. He muttered something about not seeing his way to
a purchaser just then. Raymond, however, pressed the matter warmly, and
urged him to set about finding one without delay. He brought forward a
variety of arguments to back up this advice, and to prove to his friend
that not only common sense and justice demanded that he should follow
it, but that, from a selfish point of view, it was the best thing he
could do. “Trust me,” he cried, “the peace of mind it will bring you
will largely compensate for the sacrifice.” Sacrifice! It sounded like a
mockery on Raymond de la Bourbonais’ lips to apply the word to the sale
of a couple of animals for the payment of a foolish debt; but Raymond,
whatever Sir Simon might say to the contrary, made large allowance for
their relative positions, and was very far from any thought of irony when
he called it a sacrifice.

“You’re right; you’re always right, Raymond,” said the baronet, leaning
his arm heavily on the count’s shoulder, and imperceptibly guiding him
closer to the river, that was flowing on like a message of peace in the
solemn, star-lit silence. “I’d be a happier man if I could take life as
you do, if I were more like you.”

“And had to black your own boots?” Raymond laughed gently.

“I shouldn’t mind a rap blacking my boots, if nobody saw me.”

“Ah! that’s just it! But when people are reduced to black their own
boots, they’re sure to be seen. The thing is to do it, and not care who
sees us.”

“That’s the rub,” said Sir Simon; and then they walked on without
speaking for a while, listening to a nightingale that woke up in a
willow-tree and broke the silence with a short, bright cadence, ending
in a trill that made the very shadows vibrate on the water. There is a
strange unworldliness in moonlight. The cold stars, tingling silently in
the deep blue peace so far above us, have a voice that rebukes the strife
of our petty passions more forcibly than the wisest sermon. The cares and
anxieties of our lives pale into the flimsy shadows that they are, when
we look at them in the glory of illuminated midnight heavens. What sheer
folly it all was, this terror of what the world would say of him if he
sold his hunters! Sir Simon felt he could laugh at the world’s surprise,
ay, or at its contempt, if it had met him there and then by the river’s
side, while the stars were shining down upon him.

“Simon,” said M. de la Bourbonais, stopping as they came within a few
steps of The Lilies, “I am going to ask you for a proof of friendship.”
He scarcely ever called the baronet by his name, and Sir Simon felt that,
whatever the proof in question was, it was stirring Raymond’s heart very
deeply to ask it.

“I thought we had got beyond _asking_ each other anything of that sort;
if I wanted a service from you, I should simply tell you so,” replied the
baronet.

“You are right. That is just what I feel about it. Well, what I want
to say is this: I have a hundred pounds laid by. I don’t want it at
present; there is no knowing when I may want it, so I will draw it
to-morrow and take it to you.” Raymond made his little announcement very
simply, but there was a tremor in his voice. Sir Simon hardly knew what
to say. It was impossible to accept, and impossible to refuse.

“It’s rather a good joke, my offering to lend you money!” said Raymond,
laughing and walking on as if he noticed nothing. “But you know the story
of the lion and the mouse.”

“Raymond, you’re a richer man than I am,” said Sir Simon; “a far happier
one,” he added in his own mind.

“Then you’ll take the hundred pounds?”

“Yes; that is to say, no. I can’t say positively at this moment; we’ll
talk it over to-morrow. You’ll come up early, and we’ll talk it over. You
see, I may not want it after all. If I get the full value of Nero and
Rosebud, I shouldn’t want it.”

“But you may not find a purchaser at once, and a hundred pounds would
keep this man quiet till you do,” suggested Raymond.

“My dear old boy!” said the baronet, grasping his hand--they were at the
gate now--“I ought to be ashamed to own it; but the fact is, Roxham--you
know Lord Roxham in the next county?--offered me a thousand pounds for
Rosebud only two days ago. I’ll write to him to-morrow and accept it. I
dare say he’d be glad to take the two.”

“Oh! how you unload my heart! Good-night, mon cher ami. A demain!” said
Raymond.

On his way home Sir Simon looked stern realities in the face, and came to
the determination that a change must be made; that it was not possible
to get on as he was, keeping up a huge establishment, and entertaining
like a man of ten thousand a year, and getting deeper and deeper into
debt every day. Raymond was right. Common sense and justice were the best
advisers, and it was better to obey their counsels voluntarily while
there was yet time than wait till it was too late, and he was driven to
extremities. This architect’s bill was a mere drop in the ocean; but it
is a drop that every now and then makes the flood run over, and compels
us to do something to stem the torrent. As Sir Simon turned it all in
his mind in the presence of the stars, he felt very brave about the
necessary measures of reform. After all, what did it signify what the
world said of him? Would the world that criticised him, perhaps voted
him a fool for selling his hunters, help him when the day of reckoning
came? What was it all but emptiness and vanity of vanities? He realized
this truth, as he sauntered home through the park, and stood looking
down over the landscape sleeping under the deep blue dome. Where might
he and his amusements and perplexities be to-morrow--that dim to-morrow,
that lies so near to each of us, poor shadows that we are, our life a
speck between two eternities? Sir Simon let himself in by a door on the
terrace, and then, instead of going straight to his room, went into the
library, and wrote a short note to Lord Roxham. It was safer to do it now
than wait till morning. The morning was a dangerous time with Sir Simon
for resolves like the present. It was ever to him a mystery of hope, the
awakening of the world, the setting right and cheering up of all things
by the natural law of resurrection.

The admiral and Clide had planned to leave next day; but the weather was
so glorious and the host was so genial that it required no great pressing
to make them alter their plans and consent to remain a few days longer.

“You know we are due at Bourbonais’ this evening,” said Sir Simon. “The
old lady will never forgive me if I disappoint her of cooking that omelet
for you.”

So it was agreed that they would sup at The Lilies, and M. de la
Bourbonais was requested to convey the message to Angélique when,
according to appointment, he came up early to the Court. He had no
opportunity of talking it over with Sir Simon; the admiral and Clide
were there, and other visitors dropped in and engaged his attention.
The baronet, however, contrived to set him quite at rest; the grasp of
his hand, and the smile with which he greeted his friend, said plainer
than words: “Cheer up, we’re all right again!” He was in high spirits,
welcoming everybody, and looking as cheerful as if he did not know what
a dun meant. He fully intended to whisper to Raymond that he had written
about the horses to Lord Roxham; but he was not able to do it, owing to
their being so surrounded.

“Do you ride much, Monsieur le Comte?” said Clide, coming to sit by
Raymond, who, he observed, stood rather aloof from the people who were
chatting together on common topics.

“No,” said Raymond; “I prefer walking, which is fortunate, as I don’t
possess a horse.”

“If you cared for it, that wouldn’t be an impediment, I fancy” said the
young man. “Sir Simon would be only too grateful to you for exercising
one of his. He has a capital stud. I’ve been looking at it this morning.
He’s a first-rate judge of horse-flesh.”

“That is the basis of an Englishman’s education, is it not?” said the
count playfully.

“Which accounts, perhaps, for the defects of the superstructure,” replied
Clide, laughing. “It is rather a hard hit at us, Monsieur le Comte; but
I’m afraid we deserve it. You have a good deal to put up with from us one
way or another, I dare say, to say nothing of our climate.”

“That is a subject that I never venture to touch on,” said Raymond, with
affected solemnity. “I found out long ago that his climate was a very
sore point with an Englishman, and that he takes any disrespect to it as
a personal offence.”

“A part of our general conceit,” observed Clide good-humoredly. “I’ve
been so long out of it that I almost forget its vices, and only remember
its virtues.”

“What are they?” inquired Raymond.

“Well, I count it a virtue in a wet day to hold out the hope to you of
seeing it clear up at any moment; whereas, in countries that are blessed
with a good climate, once the day sets in wet, you know your doom;
there’s nothing to hope for till to-morrow.”

“There is something in that, I grant you,” replied Raymond thoughtfully;
“but the argument works both ways. If the day sets in fine here, you
never know what it may do before an hour. In fact, it proves, what I have
long ago made up my mind to, that there is no climate in England--only
weather. Just now it is redeeming itself; I never saw a lovelier day in
France. Shall we come out of doors and enjoy it?”

They stepped out on to the terrace, and turned from the flowery parterre,
with its fountain flashing in the sunlight, into a shady avenue of
lime-trees.

Clide felt very little interest in Raymond’s private opinion of the
climate. He wanted to make him talk of himself, as a preliminary to talk
of his daughter; and, as usual when we want to lead up to a subject, he
could hit on nothing but the most irrelevant commonplaces. Chance finally
came to his rescue in the shape of a stunted palm-tree that was obtruding
its parched leaves through the broken window of a neglected orangery. Sir
Simon had had a hobby about growing oranges at the Court, and had given
it up, like so many other hobbies, after a while, and the orangery, that
had cost so much money for a time, was standing forlorn and half-empty
near the flower-garden, a trophy of its owner’s fickle purpose and
extravagance.

“Poor little abortion!” exclaimed the count, pointing to the starved
palm-tree, “it did not take kindly to its exile.”

“Exile is a barren soil to most of us,” said Clide. “We generally prove a
failure in it.”

“I suppose because we are a failure when we come to it,” replied Raymond.
“We seldom try exile until life has failed to us at home.” He looked up
with a quick smile as he said this, and Clide answered him with a glance
of intelligent and respectful sympathy. As the two men looked into each
other’s face, it was as if some intangible barrier were melting away, and
confidence were suddenly being established in its place.

Clide had never pronounced his wife’s name since the day he had let his
head drop on the admiral’s breast, and abandoned himself to the passion
of his boyish grief. It was as if the recollection of his marriage and
its miserable ending had died and been buried with Isabel. The admiral
had often wondered how one so young could be so self-contained, wrapping
himself in such an impenetrable reserve. The old sailor was not given
to speculating on mental phenomena as a rule; but he had given this
particular one many a five minutes’ cogitation, and the conclusion he
arrived at was that either Clide had taken the matter less to heart than
he imagined, and so felt no need of the solace of talking over his loss,
or that the sense of humiliation which attached to the memory of Isabel
was so painful to him, as a man and a De Winton, that he was unwilling to
recur to it. There may have been something of this latter feeling mixed
up with the other impalpable causes that kept him mute; but to-day, as he
paced up and down under the fragrant shade of the lime-trees with M. de
la Bourbonais, a sudden desire sprang up in him to speak of the past, and
evoke the sympathy of this man, who had suffered, perhaps, more deeply
than himself. They were silent for a few minutes, but a subtle, magnetic
sympathy was at work between them.

“I too have had my little glimpse of paradise, only to be turned out,
like so many others, to finish my pilgrimage alone,” said Raymond
abruptly.

“No, not alone,” retorted Clide; “you have a daughter, who must be a
great delight to you.”

“Ah! you are right. I was ungrateful to say alone; but you can
understand that that other solitude can never be filled up. That is to
say,” he added, looking up with a brightening expression in his keen
eyes, that sparkled under projecting brows, made more prominent by bushy
black eyebrows, “not at my age; at yours it is different. When sorrow
comes to a man at the close of his half-century, it is too late to plant
again; he cannot begin life anew. There is no future for him but courage
and resignation. But at your age everything is a beginning. While we are
young, no matter how dark the sky is, the future looks bright; to-morrow
is always full of hope and glad surprises when we are young.”

“I don’t feel as if I were young,” said Clide; “it seems to me as if I
had outlived my youth. You know there are experiences that do the work of
years quite as well as time; that make us old prematurely?”

“I know it, I can believe it,” replied Raymond; “but nevertheless the
spring of youth remains. It only wants the help of time to heal its
wounds and restore its power of working and enjoying.”

The young man shook his head incredulously.

“You don’t believe it yet; but you will find it out by-and-by,” insisted
Raymond; “that is, if you wish it and strive for it. We are most of us
asleep until sorrow wakes us up and stings us into activity; then we
begin to live really, and to work.”

“Then I’m afraid I have been awakened to no purpose,” remarked Clide
rather bitterly. “I certainly have not begun to work.”

“Perhaps unawares you have all this time been preparing yourself for
work--for some appointed task that you would never have been fitted for
without the experiences of the last years.”

“Well, perhaps you are right,” assented his companion. They walked on
through the flower-beds for a few moments without speaking. Then Raymond
broke the silence: “Why should you go away again, wandering about the
Continent, and indulging in morbid memories, when you have such a
noble mission before you at home! Youth, intelligence, and a splendid
patrimony--what a field of usefulness lies before you! Is it permitted
to leave any field untilled when the laborers are so few?” The same
thought had occurred to Clide during the last twenty-four hours with
a persistency that he was not very earnest in repelling. “Indulging
in morbid memories!” That was what his step-mother was now constantly
reproaching him with. He resented it from her; but Raymond did not excite
his resentment. It was too much as if a father were expostulating with
his son. The paternal tone of the remonstrance called, moreover, for
fuller confidence on his part, and, yielding to the fascination of the
sympathy that was drawing him on and on, he resolved there and then to
give it. He told M. de la Bourbonais the history of his life from the
beginning: his loveless childhood, his boyhood, starved of all spiritual
food, his youth’s wild passion, the loneliness of his later years, and
his present dissatisfied longings. He laid bare all that inner life he
had never unfolded to any human being before. It was a touching and
desolate picture enough, and one that called out Raymond’s tenderest
interest and compassion. He listened to the story with that breathless,
undivided attention that made Sir Simon so delight in him as a listener;
answering by an inarticulate exclamation now and then, interrupting here
and there to put in a question that showed how closely he was following
every turn in the narrative, and how fully and completely he understood
and entered into every phase of feeling the speaker described. When
Clide had finished, he seemed to understand himself better than he had
ever done before. Every question of the listener seemed to throw a new
and stronger light on what he was telling him; it was like a key opening
unexpected mysteries in the past and in his own mind, showing him how
from the very starting his whole theory of life had been a mistake. Life
was now for the first time put under the laws of truth, and through
that transparent medium every act and circumstance showed altogether
differently; hidden meanings came out of what had hitherto been mere
blots, what he had called accidents and mischances; every detail had a
form and color of its own, and fitted into the whole like the broken
pieces of a puzzle. He had been learning and training all the time while
he fancied he was only suffering; he had unawares been drinking in that
moral strength that is only to be gained in wrestling with sorrow. The
revelation was startling; but Clide frankly acknowledged it, and in
so doing felt that he was tacitly committing himself to the new line
of conduct which must logically follow on this admission, if it was
worth anything. There must be an end of sentimental regrets and morbid
despondings. He must, as Raymond said, begin to practise the lesson he
had paid so dear to learn; he must begin to live and to work; he must,
by faithfulness and courage in the future, atone for the folly and
selfishness of the past.

It may appear strange, perhaps incredible, that a mere passing contact
with a stranger should have so suddenly revealed all this to Clide,
stirred him so deeply, and impelled him to a definite resolution that was
to change the whole current of his life. But which of us cannot trace to
some apparently chance meeting, some word heedlessly uttered, and perhaps
not intended for us, a momentous epoch in our lives? We can never tell
who may be the bearer of the burning message to us, nor in what unknown
tongue it may be spoken. All that matters to us is that we hearken to it,
and follow where the messenger beckons. M. de la Bourbonais had no idea
that he was performing this office to Clide; nor did anything that he
actually said justify the young man in looking upon him in the light of
a herald or an interpreter. It was something rather in the man himself
that did it; a voice that spoke unconsciously in his voice. There is a
power in truth and simplicity more potent than any eloquence; and truth
and simplicity radiated from Raymond like an atmosphere. His presence
had a light in it that impressed you insensibly with the right view of
things, and dissipated worldliness and selfishness and morbid delusions
as the sun clears away the mists. Perhaps along with this immediate
influence there was another one which acted unawares on Clide, adding to
the pressure of Raymond’s pleading the softer incentive of an ideal yet
possible reward.

TO BE CONTINUED.


DRAPER’S CONFLICT BETWEEN RELIGION AND SCIENCE.[54]

The author of this volume became known to the public of New York a little
over twenty years ago through a hand-book of chemistry, written at a
time when that science was emerging into its present maturity. Almost
simultaneously appeared from his pen a treatise on _Human Physiology_,
when it likewise was running a swift race to its splendid proportions
of to-day, impelled by the labors of Claude Bernard, Beaumont, and
Bichat. Those works were received at the time with much favor by American
teachers of both named sciences as being clear and succinct compilations
of the labors of European investigators, while containing some original
observations of undoubted scientific merit. Thus, the perception of the
influence of endosmosis and exosmosis on the functions of respiration and
circulation, and the reference of pitch, quality, and intensity of sound
to different portions of the anatomical structure of the ear, constitute
a valid claim, on Draper’s part, as a contributor to modern physiology.
As a chemist, though painstaking and observant, he failed to keep pace
with European researches, and so his book has been superseded in our
schools and colleges by later and more thorough productions. Indeed, it
may be said that his work on physiology likewise is rapidly becoming
obsolete, its popularity having ceded place to the excellent treatises of
Dalton and Austin Flint, Jr.

Had he in time recognized his exclusive fitness for experimental
chemistry and physiology, his name might rank to-day with those of Liebig
and Lehmann; but some disturbing idiosyncrasy or malevolent influence
inspired him with the belief that he was destined for higher pursuits,
and he burned to emulate Gibbon and Buckle. On the heels of the late
civil war, accordingly, appeared from his ambitious pen a book with the
pretentious title of _History of the American Civil War_, in which he
strove to prove that the agencies which precipitated that sad quarrel
dated back a thousand years; that thermal bands having separated the
North from the South, the two sections could not agree; that the conflict
is not yet over, and will be ended only when both sides recognize the
East as the home of science, and make their salam to the rising sun. We
speak not in jest; the book, we believe, is still extant, and may be
consulted by the curious in such matters. Though the _History of the
American Civil War_ did not meet with flattering success, the new apostle
of Islamism was not discouraged. No more trustworthy as a historian than
Macaulay, he lacked the _verve_ and eloquence of that brilliant essayist,
and his bantling fell into an early decline.

But there still was Buckle, in another department of intellectual
activity, whom it might be vouchsafed him to outsoar; and so,
Dædalus-like, having readjusted his wings by means of a fresh supply
of wax, he took a swoop into the _Intellectual Development of Europe_
with precisely the results which befell his classical prototype. Here
indeed was a wide field for the display of that peculiar philosophy of
his which anathematizes the _Pentateuch_ and the pope, and apotheosizes
the locomotive and the loom. Accordingly, we find the _Development_ to
be a bitter attack on the church and all ecclesiastical institutions,
with alternate rhapsodical praises of material progress and scientific
discoveries.

In the view taken by Dr. Draper the Papacy defeated the kindly intents
of the mild-mannered Mahomet; but with the death of Pio Nono or some
immediate successor the pleasant doctrines of Averroës and Buddha will
reassert themselves, and we shall all finally be absorbed in the great
mundane soul. As we have said, in alluding to the _History of the
American Civil War_, these are not mere idle words; they carry their
black and white attestation in every page of the work referred to.

But we must hasten to the volume under review. It is entitled _History
of the Conflict between Religion and Science_. The title of the book is
indeed the fittest key to its purpose. It predicates this conflict on
the first page; it assumes it from the start, and, instead of proving
its existence, interprets statements and misstatements by the light of
that assumption. Of this the reader is made painfully aware from the very
outset, and his sense of logic and fair play is constantly shocked by the
distortion of very many historical facts and the truthful presentment of
a few in support of what is a plain and palpable assumption. The book is
therefore a farrago of falsehoods, with an occasional ray of truth, all
held together by the slender thread of a spurious philosophy.

In the preface the author promises to be impartial, and scarcely has he
proceeded eight short pages in his little volume before a cynical and
sneering spirit betrays him into errors which a Catholic Sunday-school
child would blush to commit. On page 8 he says: “Immaculate Conceptions
and celestial descents were so currently received in those days that
whoever had greatly distinguished himself in the affairs of men was
thought to be of supernatural lineage.” And a little further on: “The
Egyptian disciples of Plato would have looked with anger on those
who rejected the legend that Perictione, the mother of that great
philosopher, a pure virgin, had suffered an immaculate conception.” This
is but a forestalment of the wrath held in store by our author for the
dogma proclaimed in 1854, a derisive comparison of it with the gross
myths of the superstitious Greeks. And yet how conspicuous does not the
allusion render his ignorance of the Catholic doctrine! For evidently
the reference to a pure virgin subjected to an immaculate conception
through the agency of a God reveals Draper’s belief that the Catholic
dogma of the Immaculate Conception consists in the conception of Christ
in the womb of the Virgin Mary without human intervention. Surely some
malign agent had warped his judgment when he assumed to expound Catholic
doctrine; had

    “Made the eye blind, and closed the passages
    Through which the ear converses with the heart.”

But this is not the only point concerning which we would refer persons
curious about Catholic doctrines to Dr. Draper, and those who would
like to become acquainted with Catholic tenets never promulgated
by any council from Nice to the Vatican. On two occasions, speaking
of Papal Infallibility, he distinctly avers that it is the same as
omniscience! On page 352 he says: “Notwithstanding his infallibility,
which implies omniscience, His Holiness did not foresee the issue of
the Franco-Prussian war.” And again on page 361: “He cannot claim
infallibility in religious affairs, and decline it in scientific.
Infallibility embraces all things. If it holds good for theology, it
necessarily holds good for science.” Here is Catholic doctrine _à la_
Draper! Presumptuous reader, be not deluded by the belief that the
Vatican Council expressly confines infallibility to purely doctrinal
matters; it could not have done so! Does not Dr. Draper as explicitly
affirm that the dogma of infallibility implies omniscience? His
individual experience no doubt had much to do with his extension of
the term; for, knowing himself to be a good chemist and physiologist,
he doubted not that by the same title he was a sound philosopher and
a keen-eyed observer of events. If it holds good in chemistry and
physiology, it necessarily holds good in philosophy and history. It is a
renewal of the old belief of the Stoics, as expounded by Horace, who says
that the wise man is a capital shoemaker and barber, alone handsome and a
king. But these are blemishes which assume even the appearance of bright
spots shining out by contrast with the deeper darkness which they stud.

The radical error of the book is twofold. It first confounds with the
Catholic Church a great number of singular subjects to which that
universal predicate cannot be applied, loosely and vaguely referring to
this incongruous chimera a great number of acts which cannot be imputed
to the church at all in any proper sense. It next makes the mistake of
applying the standard of estimation which is justly applicable only
to the present time to epochs long past and in many respects diverse
from it. For instance, the personal acts of prelates are referred to
the church considered as an infallible tribunal. Only an ignoramus in
theology needs to be informed that the infallible church is the body of
the episcopate teaching or defining in union with the head, or the head
of the episcopate teaching and defining, as the principal organ of the
body, that which is explicitly or implicitly contained in the revealed
deposit of faith. Administration of affairs, decisions of particular
cases, private opinions and personal acts, even official acts which are
not within the category above stated, do not pertain to the sphere of
infallibility; therefore when Dr. Draper charges against the church acts
which are worthy of censure, or which are by him so represented, and
we detect in the case the absence of some one condition requisite to
involve the church in the sense stated, we retort that he either knows
not what he says or is guilty of wilful misrepresentation. Yet his book
is an unbroken tissue of such charges. And not only are those charges
improperly alleged, but they are for the most part substantially false.

At a time, for instance, when the placid influence of Christianity had
not supplanted in men’s hearts the fierce passions which ages of paganism
had nurtured there, a band of infuriated monks murdered and tore to
pieces the celebrated Hypatia, in resentment of some real or fancied
affront offered to S. Cyril The crime was indeed unpardonable, and
perhaps S. Cyril was remiss in its punishment; but we might as well lay
to the charge of the New York Academy of Medicine the revolting deeds
perpetrated by individual members of the medical profession, as hold the
church accountable for this crime. Both organizations have repeatedly
expressed their abhorrence of what morality condemns, and it is only
fair that the one as well as the other be judged by its authoritative
teachings and practices. Yet Dr. Draper draws from his quiver on this
occasion the sharpest of arrows to bury in the bosom of that church which
could stain her escutcheon by this wanton attack on philosophy. “Hypatia
and Cyril! Philosophy and bigotry! They cannot exist together.” Do not
the melodramatic surroundings with which Draper’s graphic pen invests
the murder of this woman readily suggest an episode in the history of a
certain knight of rueful mien when he charged a flock of sheep, believing
that he saw before him “the wealthy inhabitants of Mancha crowned
with golden ears of corn; the ancient offspring of the Goths cased in
iron; those who wanton in the lazy current of Pisverga, those who feed
their numerous flocks in the ample plains where the Guadiana pursues
its wandering course--in a word, half a world in arms”? He charges,
and behold seven innocent sheep fall victims to his prowess. Flushed
with this victory, and covetous of fresh laurels, our author whets
his blade for another thrust at that most odious of doctrines--Papal
Infallibility. The management of the attack will serve as a specimen of
Dr. Draper’s mode of critical warfare; it will show how neatly he puts
forward assertion for proof, and in what a spirit of calm and dignified
philosophy he concludes the case against the church.

A compatriot of his, who had changed the homely name of Morgan for the
more resonant one of Pelagius, feeling that the confines of the little
isle which gave him birth were too narrow for a soul swelling with
polemics, hied to Rome, where his theological fervor was speedily cooled
by Pope Innocent I. Pelagius denied the Catholic doctrine of grace,
asserting the sufficiency of nature to work out salvation. S. Augustine
pointed out the errors of Pelagius and of his associate, Celestius, which
were accordingly condemned by Pope Innocent. If we accept Dr. Draper as
an authority in ecclesiastical history, a much-vexed question connected
with this very intricate affair is readily solved, and we are taught
to understand how indiscreet were the fathers of the Vatican Council
in decreeing the infallibility of the pope. He says: “It happened that
at this moment Innocent died, and his successor, Zosimus, annulled his
judgment and declared the opinions of Pelagius to be orthodox. These
contradictory decisions are still often referred to by the opponents of
Papal Infallibility.”

Now, so far from this being the case, Zosimus, after a considerable
time of charitable waiting, to give Celestius an opportunity of
reconsidering his errors and being reconciled to the church, formally
repeated the condemnation pronounced by his predecessor, and effectually
stamped out Pelagianism as a formidable heresy. But since our weight
and calibre are so much less than Dr. Draper’s as not to allow our
assertion to pass for proof, we will dwell a moment on the historical
details of the controversy. Before the death of Innocent, Celestius
had entered a protest against his accuser, Paulinus, on the ground of
misrepresentation, but did not follow up his protest by personally
appearing at Rome. The succession of the kind-hearted Zosimus and the
absence of Paulinus appeared to him a favorable opportunity for doing
this, and he accordingly wrote to Zosimus for permission to present
himself. Though the pope was engrossed at the time by the weighty cares
of the universal church, his heart yearned to bring back the repentant
Celestius to the fold of Christ, and he accorded to him a most patient
hearing. Only a fragment of Celestius’ confession remains, but we
have the testimony of three unsuspected witnesses, because determined
anti-Pelagians, concerning the part taken in the matter by the pope.
S. Augustine says: “The merciful pontiff, seeing at first Celestius
carried away by the heat of passion and presumption, hoped to win him
over by kindness, and forbore to fasten more firmly the bands placed
on him by Innocent. He allowed him two months for deliberation.”
Elsewhere S. Augustine says (_Epist. Paulin._, const. 693, _Labbé_, t.
2) that Celestius replied to the interrogatories of the pope in these
terms: “I condemn in accordance with the sentence of your predecessor,
Innocent of blessed memory.” Marius Mercator, who lived at the time of
these occurrences, says that Celestius made the fairest promises and
returned the most satisfactory answers, so that the pope was greatly
prepossessed in his favor (_Labbé_, t. 2, coll. 1512). Zosimus at length
saw through the devices of the wily Celestius, who, like all dangerous
heretics, desired to maintain his errors while retaining communion
with the church, and, in a letter written to the bishops of Africa,
formally reiterated against Pelagius and his adherents the condemnation
of the African Council. Only fragments of the letter remain, but we
know that thereafter some of the most violent Pelagians submitted to
the Holy See. With what imposing dignity Dr. Draper waves aside these
facts, and coolly asserts that Zosimus annulled the judgment of his
predecessor, and declared the opinions of Pelagius to be orthodox! But
this is only a sample of similar flagrant misstatements in which the
book abounds. For even immediately after, referring to Tertullian’s
eloquent statement of the principles of Christianity, he says that it
is marked by a complete absence of the doctrines of original sin, total
depravity, predestination, grace, and atonement, and that therefore these
doctrines had not been broached up to this time. Certainly not all of
them, for the church does not teach the doctrine of total depravity;
but the statement, being of the nature of a negative proof, possesses
no value, and only shows on how slender a peg our author is ready to
hang a damaging assertion against the church. Having thus triumphantly
demonstrated that Tertullian is not the author of the doctrine of the
fall of man, he recklessly lays it at the door of the illustrious Bishop
of Hippo. He says: “It is to S. Augustine, a Carthaginian, that we are
indebted for the precision of our views on these important points.” We
wonder did Dr. Draper ever read these words of S. Paul to the Romans:
“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death:
and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned” (Epist. Rom.
v. 12). Yet S. Paul lived before Tertullian or S. Augustine. Draper
next sententiously adds: “The doctrine declared to be orthodox by
ecclesiastical authority is overthrown by the unquestionable discoveries
of modern science. Long before a human being had appeared upon the
earth, millions of individuals--nay, more, thousands of species, and
even genera--had died; those which remain with us are an insignificant
fraction of the vast hosts that have passed away.” Admirably reasoned! A
million or more megatheria and megalosauri floundered for a while in the
marshes of an infant world, and died; therefore Adam was not the first
man to die, for through him death did not enter into the world. Had S.
Paul anticipated the honor of a dissection at the hands of so eminent
a wielder of the scalpel, he no doubt would have stated in his Epistle
that when he spoke of death entering into the world through the sin of
one man, he meant, not death to frogs and snakes, or bats and mice, but
death to human beings alone. He would thus have helped Dr. Draper to
the avoidance of one exegetical error at least. Another assertion of
illimitable reaches rapidly follows: “Astronomy, geology, geography,
anthropology, chronology, and indeed all the various departments of human
knowledge, were made to conform to the Book of Genesis”; that is to say,
ecclesiastical authority prohibits us from seeking elsewhere than in the
pages of Holy Writ such knowledge as is contained in Gray’s _Anatomy_
or Draper’s _Chemistry_ and _Physiology_. Where are your _pièces
justificatives_ for this monstrous assertion, Dr. Draper? Did not the
church, in the heyday of her temporal power, warn Galileo not to invoke
the authority of the Scriptures in support of his doctrine for the reason
that they were not intended to serve as a guide in purely scientific
matters? And here indeed is the true key to the conflict between that
philosopher and the church. Has not the same sentiment, moreover, been
explicitly affirmed by every commentator from S. Augustine himself down
to Maldonatus and Cornelius à Lapide, when considering chapter x. verse
13 of the Book of Josue? Not a single document, extant or lost, can be
referred to as justifying Draper’s extraordinary assertion that the
Book of Genesis, “in a philosophical point of view, became the grand
authority of patristic science.” Of course it is readily perceived that
the term patristic science, as used by Dr. Draper, is not the science
commonly known as patrology, but natural science, as understood and
taught by the fathers. Chief among those whose officious intermeddling in
scientific matters excites the spleen of Dr. Draper is, as before stated,
S. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. “No one,” he says, “did more than this
father to bring science and religion into antagonism; it was mainly he
who diverted the Bible from its true office, a guide to purity of life,
and placed it in the perilous position of being the arbiter of human
knowledge, an audacious tyranny over the mind of man.” The rash dogmatism
of these words scarcely consists with the spirit Draper arrogates to
himself--the spirit of calm impartiality. So far from having striven to
make Scripture the arbiter of science, S. Augustine studied to bring
both into harmony, and, with this end in view, put the most liberal
interpretation on those passages of Holy Writ which might conflict with,
as yet, unmade scientific discoveries. For this reason he hints at the
possibility of the work of creation extending over indefinite periods of
time, as may, he says, be maintained consistently with the meaning of
the Syro-Chaldaic word which stands indifferently for day and indefinite
duration. The saint’s chief anxiety is to uphold the integrity of the
Book of Genesis against the numerous attacks of pagan philosophers and
paganizing Christians. The necessity of doing this was paramount at
the time, for the Jews and their doctrines were exceedingly obnoxious
to Christian and Gentile; and since the church recognized the divine
inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures, the task of vindicating their
genuineness devolved on her theologians. But Dr. Draper overlooks this
essential fact, and places S. Augustine in the totally false light of
wantonly belittling science by making it square with the letter of the
Bible. But it is not as a censor alone of S. Augustine’s opinions that
Dr. Draper means to figure; he follows him into the domain of dogmatic
theology, and, having there erected a tribunal, cites him to its bar. He
quotes at length the African bishop’s views on the fundamental dogmas
of the Trinity and creation, having modestly substituted Dr. Pusey’s
translation for his own. The saint expresses his awe and reverence in
face of the wondrous power and incomprehensible works of the Creator,
and Dr. Draper calls him rhetorical and rhapsodical. No wonder. The mind
becomes subdued to the shape in which it works; and since the vigorous
years of Dr. Draper’s life were spent in the laboratory, investigating
secondary causes and the properties of matter, it is not to be supposed
that he can enter at once into close sympathy with souls which have fed
on spiritual truths.

    “What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?”

But the crowding errors of the book warn us to hasten forward.

Having consigned S. Augustine to never-ending oblivion, our untiring
athlete of the pen eloquently sketches step by step the progressive
paganization of Christianity. The first thing to be done, he says, was
to restore the worship of Isis by substituting for that _numen_ the
Blessed Virgin Mary. This substitution was accomplished by the Council
of Ephesus, which declared Mary to be the Mother of God, and condemned
the contradicting proposition of Nestorius. Is it proper to treat this
_niaiserie_ with irony or indignation? We will do neither, but will
respectfully refer Dr. Draper either to Rohrbacher’s _History of the
Church_, or Orsini’s _Devotion to the Blessed Virgin_, to convince
him of the priority of this devotion to the times of S. Cyril and
Nestorius. The matter is too elementary and well known to justify us in
occupying more space with its consideration. Therefore, passing over
frivolous charges of this sort, let us seize the underlying facts in
this alleged paganization of Christianity. The church does not teach
the doctrine of complete spiritual blindness, and is willing to admit
on the part of pagans the knowledge of many religious truths in the
natural order. Prominent among these is a belief in the existence of God,
the immortality of the soul, and a system of rewards and punishments
in the future life. The propositions of De Lamennais, refusing to pure
reason the power of establishing these truths, were formally condemned
by Gregory XVI. In addition, it is part of theological teaching that
certain portions of the primitive revelation made to the patriarchs
flowed down through succeeding generations, corrupted, it is true, and
sadly disfigured, yet substantially identical, and tinged the various
systems of belief in vogue among the nations of the earth. It is almost
unnecessary to point out the numberless analogies which exist between
the Hebrew doctrines and the myths of Grecian and Roman polytheism. The
unity of God was universally symbolized by the admission of a supreme
being, to whom the other deities were subject. The fall of man, a
flooded earth and a rescued ark find their fitting counterparts in the
traditions of most races. Here, then, we find one source of possible
agreement between Christianity and the pagan system without resorting to
Dr. Draper’s ingenious process of gradual paganization. If, before the
Christian revelation, human reason could have partially lifted the veil
which hides another life, and if a defiled current of tradition could
have borne on its bosom fragments of a primitive revelation, surely it is
not necessary to suppose a compromise between Christianity and paganism
by virtue of which the former finds itself in accord on certain points
with the latter. But a still stronger reason for the alleged resemblances
and analogies between the two systems may be found in the common nature
of those who accepted them. There is no sentiment in the human heart more
potent than veneration, especially as its objects ascend in the scale of
greatness. Man’s first impulse is to bow the head before the grandeur of
nature’s mighty spectacles, before the rushing cataract and the sweeping
storm, and to adore the Being whose voice is heard in the tempest, who
dwells in a canopy of clouds and rides on the wings of the wind. Filled
with this sentiment, he builds temples, he offers sacrifices, eucharistic
and propitiatory, he consecrates his faculties to the service of his
God, and applauds those of his fellows who, yielding to a still higher
reverential influence, devote themselves in a special manner to the
promotion of the divine glory and honor.

For this reason not only the Vestal Virgins themselves deemed celibacy
an honorable privilege which drew them nearer to the Deity, and gloried
in its faithful practice, if history is at all truthful; but their
self-sacrifice invested them with a special halo in the eyes of the
multitude. Had Dr. Draper shared the ennobling sentiments of these pagan
women, he would never have uttered the base slander on humanity--which
puts his own manhood to the blush, and brands the warm-blooded days of
his single life--that “public celibacy is private wickedness.”

Animated by the same sentiment of rendering all things subject to the
Divinity, men consecrated to him the fruits of the earth, and invoked
his blessing on the seedling buried in the soil. Familiar objects became
typical of divine attributes, as water of the purity of Diana, and salt
of the incorruptibility of Saturn; hence the sprinkling of the _aqua
lustralis_ among the Romans on all solemn occasions, and the use of salt
in their sacrifices. Even the scattering of a little dust on the forehead
was to them expressive of the calm and tranquillity of death succeeding
to the storms and passions of life. No doubt, had Dr. Draper recalled
those lines of Virgil:

    “Hi motus animorum atque hæc certamina tanta
    Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt,”

he would, in accordance with his peculiar logic, have perceived in the
ceremonies of Ash-Wednesday another instance of a return to paganism.
Without entering at greater length into those spontaneous expressions
of reverence towards the Deity which abound in every religious system,
and which well up from the human heart as a necessary confession of its
dependence on a higher cause, we will hasten to the conclusion, implied
in them, that there is an identity of external worship in all religions
which, so far, proclaims an identity of origin. What, therefore, Dr.
Draper pronounces to be a paganization of Christianity is nothing more
than acceptance by it of those features of older creeds which are founded
on truth, and spring from the constitution of human nature.

What though the Romans did pay homage to Lares and Penates, to river
gods and tutelary deities; should that fact stigmatize as idolatrous or
heathenish the reverence exhibited by Christians towards the Blessed
Virgin and the saints? Does not the fact rather indicate, by its very
universality, that it is part of the divine economy, and that such
worship best represents the wants of the human heart? Assuredly, this
is not intended as a vindication of pagan practices, but aimed to show
that, in the struggles of the human heart to satisfy its cravings, an
undeserting instinct guides it along a path which, however tortuous and
winding, leads in the end to truth. Draper’s charge of paganization in
all respects resembles Voltaire’s assertion that Christianity is a
counterfeit of Buddhism.

That noted infidel contended that celibacy, monasticism, mendicity,
voluntary poverty, humility, and mortification of the senses, were so
many features of Buddhism unblushingly borrowed by the Christian Church.
But, like the other misstatements of Voltaire, made through pure love of
mischief, this one has been refuted time and again. It has been shown
that the ethics of Buddha flow from the dogma that ignorance, passion,
and desire are the root of all evil, and, this principle granted,
nothing could be more natural than the moral system thence resulting.
In the Christian code, on the contrary, purity, voluntary poverty, and
mortification of the senses are practised for their own sake; not for the
purpose of enlightenment or the extirpation of ignorance, but that our
natures may thereby become purified. No matter, therefore, how strong
and striking analogies may be, the difference in principle destroys the
theories of Voltaire and Draper; for similar consequences often proceed
from widely differing premises. We see this fact impressively exhibited
in the practice of auricular confession as it exists among the followers
of Gautama. According to them, the evil tendencies of the human heart
are manifold and varied, and, to be successfully combated, must be
divided into classes. Thus the sin of sensuality admits of a division
into excess at table and concupiscence of the flesh, the latter being in
turn subdivided into lust of the eye and lust of the body, evil thoughts,
evil practices, etc. We have here in reality a true system of casuistry.
Faults should be confessed with sorrow and an accompanying determination
not to repeat them; nay, even wrongs must be repaired as far as
possible, and stolen property be restored. Such are the views which have
been firmly held by the disciples of Buddha from time immemorial. Thus
we find confession and its concomitant practices established among the
Buddhists on grounds of pure reason; and surely the fact is no argument
against the same practice in the Christian Church, nor does the existence
of the practice among Christians necessarily denote a Buddhic origin. The
explanation is still the same that practices and beliefs founded on the
wants of human nature are universal, circumscribed neither by church nor
creed. We believe, therefore, that Dr. Draper’s philosophy of gradual
paganization is not tenable; and if we strip it of a certain veneer
of elegant verbiage, we shall find a rather dull load of unsupported
assertion beneath:

    “Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne.”

The whole account of this pretended paganization breathes a spirit of
bitterness and malignity that makes one perforce smile at the title-page
of the book, on which is inscribed the name of that sweet daughter of
philosophy, Science. The reader is constantly startled by volleys of
assertions, contemptuous, blasphemous, ironical, and derisive. Indeed,
it may be said that hatred of Catholic doctrine and usages is the
attendant demon of Dr. Draper’s life, the wraith that haunts him day and
night. He says that it was for the gratification of the Empress Helena
the Saviour’s cross was discovered; that when the people embraced the
knees of S. Cyril after the Blessed Virgin was declared Mother of God,
it was the old instinct peeping out--their ancestors would have done
the same for Diana; that the festival of the Purification was invented
to remove the uneasiness of heathen converts on account of the loss
of their _Lupercalia_, or feasts of Pan; that quantities of dust were
brought from the Holy Land, and sold at enormous prices as antidotes
against devils, etc., _ad nauseam_. Through all this rodomontade we
perceive not a single attempt at proof, only an unbroken tissue of
unsupported assertion. It is said; it is openly stated; there is a belief
that--these are Draper’s usual formularies whenever an obscure but impure
and blasphemous tradition is related by him. When, however, he surpasses
himself in obscenity, he drops even this thin disguise of reasoning,
and boldly asserts. But with matter of this sort we will not stain our
pages. Indeed, these vile and obscure traditions seem to have a special
charm for our author. Worse, however, than this packing of silly and
stupid fables into his book is the implied understanding that the church
is answerable for them all. She it is who falsifies decretals, invents
miracles, discovers fraudulent relics, beholds apparitions, sanctions
the trial by fire, massacres a whole cityful, and perpetrates every
crime in the calendar. Surely, she were a very monster of iniquity, the
real scarlet lady, the beast with seven heads, were the half true of her
which Dr. Draper lays at her door. There is in it, however, the manifest
intent and outline of a crusade against the church and the institutions
she fosters; the shadowing forth of a purpose to array against her, what
is more formidable than Star Chamber or Inquisition--the feelings of
unreflecting millions who are allured by the glamour of manner to the
utter disregard of matter. But it must be remembered that Exeter Hall
fanaticism has never found a genial home on this side of the Atlantic,
and we are not afraid that the stupid conglomeration of silly charges
brought against the church by Dr. Draper, more akin to fatuous drivel
than to the dignified and scholarly arraignment of a philosopher, will do
more than provoke a pitying smile. His feeble blows fall on adamantine
sides which have oft resisted shafts aimed with deadlier intent than
these:

    “Telumque imbelle sine ictu
    Conjecit.”

But there is another explanation of the successive accumulation of
doctrines and practices in the church which will perhaps come more
within the reach of Dr. Draper’s appreciation, as it throws light on the
history of science itself, and underlies the growth of every system of
philosophy. We speak of the doctrine of development. Draper unfolded,
even pathetically, the impressive picture of science springing from
very humble beginnings, and growing dauntlessly, despite bigotry and
persecutions, into that colossal structure of to-day which, according to
him, shelters the highest hopes and aspirations of men, and assures to
them a glorious future of absorption into the universal spirit--viz.,
annihilation. “Ab exiguis profecta initiis, eo creverit ut jam
magnitudine laboret sua.” This gradual development he proclaims to be the
natural expansion and growth of science, on which theory he predicts for
it an unending career of glory--“crescit occulto velut arbor ævo.” But he
is indignant that the church did not spring into existence, like Minerva
from the brain of Jupiter, armed cap-a-pie, in the full bloom of her
maturity and charms. Because she did not do so, every advance on her part
was retrogressive, and her growth was the addition of “a horse’s neck
to a human head.” She borrowed, compromised, and substituted; so that,
if we believe Dr. Draper, no _olla podrida_ could be composed of more
heterogeneous elements than the Christian Church.

She placed under contribution not only paganism, but Mahometanism, and
filched a few thoughts from Buddha, Lao-Tse, and Confucius. The least
courtesy we might expect from Dr. Draper is that we may be allowed to
attempt to prove that Christianity, like every system entrusted to the
custody of men, is necessarily affected on its secular side by that
wardship, and so far is subject to the same conditions. But no; he
condemns in advance, and so fastens the gyves of his condemnation on
the church as apparently not to leave even a loop-hole of escape, or a
possible rational explanation of the successive events of her history.

But enough of this. Even to the most ordinary mind the thin veil of
philosophy in which Dr. Draper wraps his balderdash of paganization is
sufficiently easy of penetration. And what does he offer to the Christian
who would range himself under the new banner? In what attractive forms
does Draper present his science to win the sympathies and sentiments
of men, and make them forego the hopes of eternal happiness whispered
on the cross? Here is one: _Ex uno disce omnes_. When Newton succeeded
in proving that the influence of the earth’s attraction extended as
far as the moon, and caused her to revolve in her orbit around the
earth, he was so overcome by the flooding of truth upon his mind that
he was compelled to call in the assistance of another to complete the
proof. A pretty picture, no doubt, and a fit canonization of science.
But let us contrast it with a Xavier expiring on the arid plains of
an eastern isle, far away from the last comforting words and soothing
touch of a friend, yet happy beyond expression in the firmness of his
faith, while clasping in his dying hands the crucifix, which to him had
been no stumbling-block, but the incitement to labor through ten years
of incomparable suffering among a degraded race. Or place it beside a
Vincent de Paul, who from dawn to darkness traversed the slums of Paris,
picking up waifs, the jetsam and flotsam of society, washing them,
feeding them, dressing their sores, and nursing them more tenderly than a
mother. Or contrast its flimsy sentimentality with the motives which sped
missionaries across unknown oceans, over the Andes, the Himalayas, and
the Rocky Mountains, and into the ice-bound wildernesses of Canada, to
subdue the savage Iroquois by the mildness of the Gospel; to found a new
golden age on the plains of Paraguay; to preach the evangel of peace and
purity through the wide limits of the Flowery Kingdom; and to seal with
their blood the ceaseless toil of their lives.

    “Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena laboris?
    Quæ caret ora cruore nostro?”

Dr. Draper, evidently, has not read the _Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire_ in vain. Not only does the same anti-Christian spirit breathe
through his pages, but he has seized the stilted style of Gibbon, deemed
philosophical, which is never at home but when soaring amid the clouds.
There is a pomp and parade of philosophy, an assumption of dignified
tranquillity, a tone of mock impartiality, which vividly recall the
defective qualities of Gibbon’s work. But in studying these features
of style, which necessitate a deal of dogmatism, Draper has allowed
himself to be betrayed into numberless errors in philosophy. Perhaps
an illustration or two will help to give point to our remarks. On page
243 he writes: “If there be a multiplicity of worlds in infinite space,
there is also a succession of worlds in infinite time. As one after
another cloud replaces cloud in the skies, so this starry system, the
universe, is the successor of countless others that have preceded it, the
predecessor of countless others that will follow. There is an unceasing
metamorphosis, a sequence of events, without beginning or end.”

Is not this

    “A pithless branch beneath a fungous rind”?

Is Dr. Draper aware that Gassendi, Newton, Descartes, and Leibnitz
devoted the highest efforts of their noble intellects to the
consideration of time and space, and would long have hesitated before
thus flippantly affixing the epithet “infinite” to either? What is space
apart from the contained bodies? If it contains nothing, or rather if
there is nothing in space, space itself is nothing; it merely represents
to us the possibility of extended bodies. And if it is nothing, how can
it be infinite? The application of the word infinite to time is still
more inappropriate. There can be no such thing as infinite time. Let
us take Dr. Draper’s own successive periods, though embracing millions
of years, and we contend that there must be some beginning to them.
For if there is no beginning to them, they are already infinite in
number--that is, they are already a number without beginning or end. But
this cannot be. For we can consider either the past series of periods
capable of augmentation by periods to come; and what then becomes of
Draper’s infinity? For surely that is not infinite which is susceptible
of increase. Or we can consider the past series minus one or two of its
periods--a supposition equally fatal to the notion of infinity. Time,
then, is of a purely finite character, and is nothing else than the
successive changes which finite beings undergo. More nonsensical still
is the notion of “a sequence of events without beginning or end.” We
must discriminate here between an actual series and a potential series
of events, which Dr. Draper forgets to do; for on the distinction a
great deal depends. An actual series can never be infinite, for we can
take it at any given stage of its progress, whether at the present
moment or in the past, and consider it increased by one; but any number
susceptible of increase can be represented by figures, since it is
finite, that is, determinate. It cannot be said that it extends into the
past without beginning, for the dilemma always recurs that it is either
finite or infinite; if finite, it must be represented by figures, and
that destroys the idea of a non-beginning; and if it is infinite, it
cannot be increased, which is absurd. And if we ask for a cause for any
one event in the reputed unending series, we are referred to the event
immediately preceding, which in turn has for its cause another prior
event. If, however, we inquire for the cause of the whole series, we are
told that there is none such; there is naught but an eternal succession
of events. Is not this, as some author says, as if we were to ask what
upholds the last link in a chain suspended from an unknown height, and
should receive the answer that the link next to the last supports it, and
the third supports the two beneath, and so on, each higher link supports
a weightier burden? If then we should ask, What is it that supports the
whole? we are told that it supports itself. Therefore a finite weight
cannot support itself in opposition to the laws of gravitation; much
less can another finite weight twice as heavy as the first, and less and
less can it do so as the weight increases; but when the weight becomes
infinite, nothing is required to uphold it. The reasoning is entirely
analogous to Draper’s, who speaks of cloud replacing cloud in the skies
without beginning, without end. “Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat.”
Bacon has well said that the exclusive consideration of secondary causes
leads to the exclusion of God from the economy of the universe, while a
deeper insight reveals of necessity a First Cause on which all others
depend. This is exactly the trouble with Dr. Draper. He will not lift his
purblind gaze from the mere phenomena of nature to their cause, but is
satisfied to revolve for ever in the vicious circle of countless effects
without a cause. If we are to judge by the additional glow which pervades
what he has written concerning the nebular hypothesis, he unquestionably
considers that theory a conclusive proof of the non-interference of the
Deity in the affairs of the universe.

Now, we have no particular fault to find with the nebular hypothesis. It
is only an explanation of a change which matter has undergone. It does
not affect the question of creation whether matter was first in a state
of incandescent gas, or sprang at the bidding of the eternal fiat into
its manifold conditions of to-day. Indeed, we will grant that there is a
plausibility in the theory which to many minds renders it fascinating;
but that does not make matter eternal and self-conserving. It is entirely
consistent with the dogma of creation that God first made matter devoid
of harmonious forms and relations, and that these slowly developed in
accordance with the laws he appointed. There is nothing inconsistent in
supposing that our terrestrial planet is a fragment struck off from the
central mass, and that, after having undergone numerous changes, it at
last settled down into a fit abode for man. The church never expressed
herself pro or con; for no matter how individual writers may have felt
and written, no matter how much they may have sought to place this or
that physical theory in antagonism with revealed truth, the church never
took action, for the reason that the question lies beyond the sphere of
her infallible judgment until it touches upon the revealed doctrine.
It is Dr. Draper, therefore, who strenuously seeks to draw inferences
from modern physical theories, so as to put them in conflict, not only
with revelation, but with the truths of natural theology. After having
given an outline of the nebular hypothesis, he says: “If such be the
cosmogony of the solar system, such the genesis of the planetary worlds,
we are constrained to extend our view of the dominion of law, and to
recognize its agency in the creation as well as in the conservation of
the innumerable orbs that throng the universe.” Now, what he means by
extending our views of the dominion of law is to make it paramount
and supreme. But what is this law? If its agency is to be recognized
in the creation of the innumerable orbs that throng the universe, it
certainly must have existed prior to that event, else Dr. Draper uses
the word creation in a sense entirely novel. Now, supposing, as we
are fairly bound to do, that Dr. Draper attaches to the term creation
its ordinary signification, we will have the curious spectacle of law
creating that of which it is but the expression. We cannot perceive what
other meaning we are to extract from the saying that we must recognize
the agency of law in the creation of the universe. Law is, therefore,
the creator of the universe; that is to say, “The general expression
of the conditions under which certain assemblages of phenomena occur”
(Carpenter’s definition of law) ushered into existence the cause of
those phenomena. Can anything more absurd be conceived? But apart from
the notion of law being at the bottom of creation, how can Dr. Draper,
consistently with his ideas of “infinite space,” “infinite time,”
“sequence of events without beginning or end,” admit such a thing as
creation at all? Creation is the transition of a portion of the eternal
possibles in the divine mind from a state of possibility into one of
physical existence, at the bidding of God’s infinite power. Supposing,
then, that it is in this sense Dr. Draper uses the word creation, he must
of necessity discard the doctrine of the eternity of matter, and his
_nugæ canoræ_ concerning “the immutability of law,” “law that dominates
overall,” “unending succession of events,” become the frothings of a
distempered mind. But when a person writes in accordance with no fixed
principles, only as the intellectual caprice of the moment dictates, he
necessarily falls into glaring and fatal inconsistencies. For not many
pages after this implied admission of creation, even though it be the
inane creation by law, he says: “These considerations incline us to view
favorably the idea of transmutations of one form into another rather
than that of sudden creations. Creation implies an abrupt appearance,
transformation a gradual change.” He thus again rejects the doctrine of
creation in almost the same breath in which he spoke of it as brought
about by the agency of law. The question here occurs, Are the notions
of creation and law antipodal? Can they not coexist? For our own part,
we see nothing inconsistent in the supposition that God created the
universe, under stable laws for its guidance and conservation. The very
simplicity of the compatible existence of the two puzzles us to know what
objection to it the ingenuity of Dr. Draper has discovered. For it must
be understood that his stated incompatibility is a wearisome assumption
throughout--wearisome, for the mind, ever on the alert to find a reason
for the statement, withdraws from the hopeless task tired and disgusted.
For instance, at the close of his remarks concerning the nebular theory
he says: “But again it may be asked, ‘Is there not something profoundly
impious in this? Are we not excluding Almighty God from the world he has
made?’” The words are sneeringly written. They are supposed to contain
their own reply, and the writer passes on to something else. He does
not attempt to prove that the nebular hypothesis is at variance with
creation, except with such a view of the act as he himself entertains.
And this brings us to the consideration of his views concerning this
sublime dogma. Draper evidently supposes that creation took place by fits
and starts, as figures pop out in a puppet-show. Hence he is constantly
contrasting the grandeur of a slow development, an ever-progressing
evolution, with the unphilosophical idea of sudden and abrupt creations.
Though we fail to perceive anything derogatory to the infinite wisdom of
the Creator in supposing that he launched worlds into existence perfect
and complete, the idea of creation in the Christian sense does not
necessarily imply this. We hold that the iron logic of facts forces us
to the admission of creation in general, in opposition to the senseless
doctrine of unbeginning and unending series and sequences; and while we
do not pretend to determine the manner in which God proceeded with his
work, we likewise hold that the gradual appearance of planet after planet
of the innumerable orbs that stud the firmament, of genus after genus,
and species after species, can be far more philosophically referred to
the positive act of an infinite power than to the vague operation of law.
Draper, therefore, shivers a lance against a windmill when he sets up his
doctrine of evolution against a purely imaginary creation. While he thus
arraigns the doctrine of creation as shortsighted and unphilosophical,
it is amusing to contemplate the substitute therefor which his system
offers. On page 192 he says: “Abrupt, arbitrary, disconnected creative
acts may serve to illustrate the divine power; but that continuous,
unbroken chain of organisms which extends from palæozoic formations to
the formations of recent times--a chain in which each link hangs on a
preceding and sustains a succeeding one--demonstrates to us not only that
the production of animated beings is governed by law, but that it is by
law that it has undergone no change. In its operation through myriads
of ages there has been no variation, no suspension.” We have already
proved that whatever is finite or contingent in the actual order must
necessarily have had a beginning--a fact which Draper himself seems to
admit when he speaks of the creative agency of law; and the question
arises what it is which Dr. Draper substitutes for the creative act.
Creation by law is an absurdity, since law is but the expression of the
regularity of phenomena, once the fact of the universe has been granted.
Unbeginning and unending series are not only an absurdity, but a palpable
evasion of the difficulty. We have, therefore, according to Dr. Draper, a
tremendous effect without a cause. When we view the many-sided spectacle
of nature, the star-bespangled empyrean, the endless forms of life
which the microscope reveals, the harmony and order of the universe, we
naturally inquire, Whence sprang this mighty panorama? What all-potent
Being gave it existence? Draper’s answer is, It had no beginning, it
will have no end--_i.e._, it began nowhere, it will end nowhere. There
it is, and be satisfied. The Christian replies that it is the work of an
eternal, necessary, and all-perfect Being, who contains within himself
the reason of his own existence, and whose word is sufficient to usher
into being countless other worlds of far vaster magnitude than any that
now exist.

Throughout the whole book are scattered references to this supremacy of
law over creation, and the inference is constantly deduced that every
curse which has befallen humanity, every retarding influence placed in
the way of human progress, has proceeded from the doctrine of creation.
Creation alone can give color to the doctrine of miracles, and creation
renders impossible the safe prediction of astronomical events. For these
reasons Draper condemns it, not only as an intellectual monstrosity, but
as morally bad. While we admit that the possibility of miracles does
depend on the admission of an intelligent Cause of all things, it by no
means follows that the same admission invalidates the safe prediction
of an eclipse or a comet. Draper’s words touching the matter are such
a curiosity in their way that we cannot forbear quoting them. On page
229 he says: “Astronomical predictions of all kinds depend upon the
admission of this fact: that there never has been and never will be any
intervention in the operation of natural laws. The scientific philosopher
affirms that the condition of the world at any given moment is the direct
result of its condition in the preceding moment, and the direct cause of
its condition in the subsequent moment. Law and chance are only different
names for mechanical necessity.”

Parodying the words of Mme. Roland, we might exclaim, O Philosophy! what
follies are committed in thy name. Just think of it, reader, because God
is supposed to superintend, by virtue of his infinite intelligence, the
processes of universal nature, with the power to derogate from the laws
he himself appointed, he must be so capricious that constancy, harmony,
and regularity are strangers to him. Supposing we take for granted the
possibility of miracles, it does not ensue that God is about to disturb
the regularity of the universe at the bidding of him who asks. The
circumstances attending the performance of a miracle are so obvious that
there can be no room for doubting the constancy of law operation. Thus
the promotion of an evidently good purpose, which is the prime intent
of a miracle, precludes the caprice which alone could render unsafe
the prediction of a physical occurrence. As well might we question the
probable course a man of well-known probity and discretion will pursue
under specified circumstances, with this difference: that as God is
infinitely wise, in proportion is the probability great that he will not
depart from his usual course, except for most extraordinary reasons.
And if the safety of a prediction depending on such circumstances is
not as great as that which depends on mechanical necessity, we must
base our scepticism on very shadowy grounds. Father Secchi can compute
the next solar eclipse as well as Dr. Diaper; and if he should add,
as he undoubtedly would, D. V., nobody will therefore be inclined to
question the accuracy of his calculations or doubt the certainty of the
occurrence. In preference, however, to the admission of a free agency in
the affairs of the universe, he subscribes to the stoicism of Grecian
philosophy, which subjects all things to a stern, unbending necessity,
and makes men act by the impulse and determination of their nature.
“This system offered a support in their hour of trial, not only to
many illustrious Greeks, but also to some of the great philosophers,
statesmen, generals, and emperors of Rome--a system which excluded chance
from everything, and asserted the direction of all events by irresistible
necessity to the promotion of perfect good; a system of earnestness,
sternness, austerity, virtue--a protest in favor of the common sense of
mankind. And perhaps we shall not dissent from the remark of Montesquieu,
who affirms that the destruction of the Stoics was a great calamity to
the human race; for they alone made great citizens, great men.” Men can
therefore be great in Draper’s sense when they can no longer be virtuous;
they can acquire fame and win the gratitude of posterity when they can
no longer merit; in a word, mechanical necessity; the same inexorable
fatality which impels the river-waters to seek the sea, which turns the
magnet to the north, and makes the planets run their destined courses,
presides over the conduct of men, and elevates, ennobles their actions.
Free-will is chance; Providence an impertinent and debasing interference;
and virtue the firmness, born of necessity, which made Cato end his days
by his own hand. Such is Draper’s substitute in the moral order for the
teachings of Christianity--a system inevitably tending to build a Paphian
temple on the site of every Christian church, and to revive the infamies
which the pen of Juvenal so scathingly satirized, and for which S. Paul
rebuked the Romans in terms of frightful severity and reprobation. For
what consideration can restrain human passions, if men deem their actions
to be a necessary growth or expansion of their nature, if the good and
bad in human deeds are as the tempest that wrecks, or the gentle dews
that fructify and animate the vegetable world? His whole book is a
cumbersome and disjointed argument in favor of necessity, as opposed to
free agency; of law, as opposed to Providence. The manner of his refuting
the existence of divine Providence is so far novel and original that
we are tempted to reproduce it for those of our readers who prefer not
to lose time by perusing the work in full. On page 243 he says: “Were
we set in the midst of the great nebula of Orion, how transcendently
magnificent the scene! The vast transformation, the condensations of a
fiery mist into worlds, might seem worthy of the immediate presence, the
supervision, of God; here, at our distant station, where millions of
miles are inappreciable to our eyes, and suns seem no bigger than motes
in the air, that nebula is more insignificant than the faintest cloud.
Galileo, in his description of the constellation of Orion, did not think
it worth while so much as to mention it. The most rigorous theologian of
those days would have seen nothing to blame in imputing its origin to
secondary causes; nothing irreligious in failing to invoke the arbitrary
interference of God in its metamorphoses. If such be the conclusion
to which we come respecting it, what would be the conclusion to which
an Intelligence seated in it would come respecting us? It occupies an
extent of space millions of miles greater than that of our solar system;
we are invisible from it, and therefore absolutely insignificant. Would
such an Intelligence think it necessary to require for our origin and
maintenance the immediate intervention of God?” That is to say, we are
too insignificant for God’s notice, because larger worlds roll through
space millions of miles from us, and God would have enough to do, if at
all disposed to interfere, in looking after them, without occupying his
important time with terra and her Liliputian denizens.

It is evident from this passage that Draper’s mind can never rise to
a grand conception. It would not do to tell him that the Intelligence
which superintends and controls the universe “reaches from end to end
powerfully, and disposes all things mildly”; that his infinite ken
“numbers the hair of our heads,” notes the sparrow’s fall, and sweeps
over the immensity of space with its thronging orbs, by one and the same
act of a supreme mind. The furthest is as the nearest, the smallest as
the greatest, with Him who holds the universe in the hollow of his hand,
and whose omnipotent will could create and conserve myriad constellations
greater than Orion. In the passage just quoted Dr. Draper commits the
additional blunder of confounding creation in general with a special view
conveniently entertained by himself. His objection to creation, as before
remarked, proceeds on the notion that creation is necessarily adverse to
slow and continuous development, such as the facts of nature point out as
having been the course through which the world has reached its present
maturity. He does not seem able to understand that, creation having
taken place, the whole set of physical phenomena which underlie recent
physical theories may have come to pass, as he maintains; only we must
assign a beginning. His whole disagreement with the doctrine of creation
is founded on this principle of a non-beginning, though he vainly strives
to make it appear that he objects to it as interfering with regular,
progressive development. On page 239 he says: “Shall we, then, conclude
that the solar and the starry systems have been called into existence
by God, and that he has then imposed upon them by his arbitrary will
laws under the control of which it was his pleasure that their movements
should be made?

“Or are there reasons for believing that these several systems came into
existence, not by such an arbitrary fiat, but through the operation of
law?” The shallowness of this philosophy the simplest can sound. As well
might we speak of a nation or state springing into existence through the
operation of those laws which are subsequently enacted for its guidance.
Prayer and the possibility of miracles are equally assailed by Draper’s
doctrine of necessary law. His argument against the former is very
closely akin to J. J. Rousseau’s objection to prayer. “Why should we,”
says the pious author of _Emile_, “presume to hope that God will change
the order of the universe at our request? Does he not know better what is
suited to our wants than our short-sighted reason can perceive, to say
nothing of the blasphemy which sets up our judgment in opposition to the
divine decrees?” The opposition of Draper and Tyndall to prayer proceeds
exactly on the same notion--the absurdity, namely, of supposing that our
petitions can ever have the effect of changing the fixed and unalterable
scheme of the universe. Tyndall went so far as to propose a prayer-gauge
by separating the inmates of a hospital into praying and non-praying
ones, and seeing what proportion of the two classes would recover
more rapidly. Those three distinguished philosophers evidently never
understood the nature and conditions of prayer, else they would not
hold such language. God changes nothing at our instance, but counts our
prayer in as a part of the very plan on which the universe was projected.
In the divine mind every determination of our will is perceived from
eternity, as indeed are all the events of creation. But we admit a
distinction of logical priority of some over others. Thus God’s knowledge
of our determination to act is logically subsequent to the determination
itself, since the latter is the object of the divine knowledge, and
must have a logical precedence over it. Prayer, then, is compatible
with the regularity of the universe and infinite wisdom, because God,
having perceived our prayer and observed the conditions accompanying it,
determined in eternity to grant or to withhold it, and regulated the
universe in accordance with such determination. Our prayers have been
granted or withheld in the long past as regards us, but not in the past
as regards God, in whom there is no change nor shadow of a change. It is
evident from this how absurd is Tyndall’s notion of testing the efficacy
of prayer in the manner he proposed, and how unjust is Draper’s constant
arrow-shooting at shrine-cures and petitions for health addressed to God
and to his saints. Nor does the granting of a prayer necessarily imply a
departure from the natural course of events. The foreseen goodness and
piety of a man can have determined God to allow the natural order and
sequence of events to proceed in such a manner as to develop conformably
to his petition. In this there is no disturbance of the natural order,
since the expression means nothing else than the regularity with which
phenomena occur in their usual way--a fact entirely consistent with the
theory of prayer.

It is true, however, that the history of the church exhibits many
well-authenticated examples of prayers being granted under circumstances
which implied the performance of a miracle or a suspension of the effects
of law. To this Draper opposes three arguments: first, the inherent
impossibility of miracles; secondly, the capricious disturbance of the
universe which would ensue; and, thirdly, the impossibility of discerning
between miracles and juggling tricks or the marvellous achievements
of science. To the first argument we would return an _argumentum ad
hominem_. While Dr. Draper sneeringly repudiates a miracle which implies
a derogation from physical law, he unwittingly admits a miracle tenfold
more astounding. The argument was directed against Voltaire long years
ago, and has been repeatedly employed since.

Suppose, then, that a whole cityful of people should testify to the
resurrection of a dead man from the grave; would we be justified in
rejecting the testimony on the sole ground of the physical impossibility
of the occurrence? We would thereby suppose that a whole population,
divided into the high and low born, the ignorant and the educated, the
good and the bad, with interests, passions, hopes, prejudices, and
aspirations as wide apart as the poles, should secretly conspire to
impose on the rest of the world, and this so successfully that not even
one would reveal the gigantic deception. History abounds in instances
of the sort, in recitals of sudden cures witnessed by thousands, of
conflagrations suddenly checked, of plagues disappearing in a moment;
and if we are pleased to refuse the testimony because of the physical
impossibility, we are reduced to the necessity of admitting, not a
miracle, but a monstrosity in the moral order. It is true that Dr. Draper
quietly ignores this feature of the case, and is satisfied with the
objection to the possibility of miracles on physical grounds, without
taking the pains to inquire whether circumstances can be conceived
in which this physical possibility may be set aside. Complacently
resting his argument here, the “impartial” doctor, whose lofty mind
ranges in the pure ether of immaculate truth, accuses the church of
filling the air with sprites whose duty it is to perform miracles every
moment. Recklessly and breathlessly he repeats and multiplies the old,
time-worn, oft-refuted, and ridiculous stories which stain the pages of
long-forgotten Protestant controversialists, and which well-informed
men of to-day not in communion with the church would blush to repeat,
as likely to stamp their intelligence with vulgarity and credulity.
Not so with Dr. Draper; for not only does he rehash what for years we
have been hearing from Pecksniffs and Chadbands _usque ad nauseam_,
but he introduces his stale stories in the most incongruous manner.
Shrine-cures, as he calls them, he finds to have gone hand in hand with
the absence of carpeted floors, and relic-worship with smoky chimneys,
poor raiment, and unwholesome food. No doubt his far-seeing mind has
been able to discover a necessary relation between those things which
the ordinary judgment would pronounce most incongruous and dissonant.
Draper not only refuses to recognize the long and laborious efforts of
the church to ameliorate the condition of the masses, to lift them from
the misery and insanitary surroundings into which they had sunk during
the night of Roman decadence, and in which the internecine feuds of the
robber barons and princes, of feudal masters and vassals, had left them,
but he impudently charges the church with being the author of their
wrongs and wretchedness. It is true the same charge has been made before
by vindictive and passionate writers, and it receives no additional
weight at the hands of Dr. Draper by being left, like Mahomet’s coffin,
without prop or support. Since Maitland’s work first disabused Englishmen
of the opinions they had formed concerning mediæval priest-craft and
church tyranny, no writer has had the hardihood to revive the exploded
slanders of Stillingfleet and Fletcher, till this latest anti-papist felt
that he had received a mission to do so.

Draper’s belief that the admitted possibility of miracles would tend to
disturb the regular succession of natural phenomena is simply puerile;
for miracles occur only under such circumstances as all men understand
to preclude caprice and irregularity. Thus the daily-recurring mystery
of transubstantiation still takes place upon our altars, and, so far as
that tremendous fact is concerned, we might all cling to the idea of
necessary, immutable law; for no order is disturbed, no planet fails
to perform its accustomed revolution. As for its being impossible for
Catholics to distinguish between real miracles and juggleries, it is
very evident that, in keeping with his general opinion of believers in
miracles, he must rate their standard of intelligence at an exceedingly
low figure. A miracle supposes a derogation of the laws of the physical
world, and is never accepted till its character in this sense has been
thoroughly proved. A Protestant writer of high intelligence, who not long
since was present in Rome at an investigation into the evidence adduced
to prove the genuineness of certain miracles attributed to a servant
of God, in whose behalf the title of venerable was demanded, remarked
that, had the same searching scrutiny been employed in every legal case
which had fallen under his observation, he would not hesitate to place
implicit confidence in the rigid impartiality of the judge, the logical
nature of the evidence, and the unimpeachable veracity of the witnesses.
Dr. Draper, therefore, supposes, on the part of those whom he claims
to be incapable or unwilling to discriminate between miracles, in the
sense defined, and mere feats of legerdemain, an unparalleled stupidity
or contemptible roguery. Since, however, he constitutes himself supreme
judge in the case, we will place in juxtaposition with this judgment
another, which will readily show to what extent his discriminating sense
may be trusted. On page 298 he says: “The Virgin Mary, we are assured
by the evangelists, had accepted the duties of married life, and borne
to her husband several children.” As this is a serious accusation, and
the doctor, in presenting it, desires to maintain his high reputation
as an erudite hermeneutist and strict logician by adducing irrefragable
proofs in its support, he triumphantly refers to S. Matt. i. 25. “And he
knew her not till she brought forth her first-born.” We are reluctant to
mention, when it is question of the accuracy of so learned a man as Dr.
Draper, that among the Hebrews the word _until_ denotes only what has
occurred, without regard to the future; as when God says: “I am till
you grow old.” If Draper’s exegesis is correct concerning S. Matt. i.
25, then we must infer that God as surely implies, in the words quoted,
that he will cease to exist at a specified time, as he explicitly states
he will exist till that time. But, not satisfied with this display of
Scriptural erudition, he refers, in support of the same statement, to
S. Matt. xiii. 55, 56; and, because mention is there made of Jesus’
brethren and sisters, the latest foe to Mary’s virginity concludes that
these were brothers and sisters by consanguinity. What a large number of
brothers and sisters our preachers of every Sunday must have, who address
by these endearing terms their numerous congregations! If, however,
Dr. Draper desires to ascertain who these brethren and sisters were,
he will find that they were cousins to our divine Saviour; it being a
favored custom among the Jews thus to style near relatives. S. Matt,
xxvii. 56 and S. John xix. 25 will define the exact relation the persons
in question bore to the Saviour. Such are the penetration, profundity,
and erudition of the man who brands as imbeciles, dupes, and rogues the
major part of Christendom! But perhaps it may be said that hermeneutics
are not Draper’s _forte_, owing to his supreme contempt of the New
and Old Testaments, and that he has won his laurels in the field of
philosophy. We have already hinted that his perspicuity in philosophical
discussions is in advance of his subtlety, for the reason that he keeps
well on the surface, and exhibits a commendable anxiety not to venture
beyond his depth. At times, however, an intrepidity, born of ignorance,
overcomes his native timidity, and, with amazing confidence, he plays
the oft-assumed _rôle_ of the bull in a china-shop. Mixing himself up
with the Arian dispute concerning the Blessed Trinity, he inclines to the
anti-Trinitarian view, because a son cannot be coeval with his father!
The carnal-minded Arius thus reasoned, and it is no wonder Dr. Draper
agrees with him. Had Dr. Draper taken down from his library shelf the
_Summa_ of S. Thomas, the great extinguisher of Draper’s philosophical
beacon, Averroës, he would have received such enlightenment as would have
made him blush to concur in a proposition so utterly unphilosophical. The
Father, as principle of the Son’s existence, is co-existent with him as
God, and logically only prior to him as father, just as a circle is the
source whence the equality of the radii springs; though, given a circle,
the equality of the radii co-exists, and, if an eternally existing circle
be conceived, an eternal equality of radii ensues. The priority is
therefore one of reason, viz., the priority of a cause to a co-existing
effect. But we have said _satis superque_ concerning Draper and his book.
We deplore, not so much the publication of the volume, as the unhealthy
condition of the public mind which can hail its appearance with welcome.
As an appetite for unnatural food argues a diseased state of the bodily
system, so we infer that men’s minds are sadly diseased when they take
pleasure in what is so hollow, false, and shallow as Dr. Draper’s latest
addition to anti-Catholic literature. We have been obliged to suppress
a considerable portion of the criticisms we had prepared on particular
portions of this rambling production, in order not to take up too much
space. We consider it not to be worth the space we have actually given
to its refutation. And yet, of such a book, one of our principal daily
papers has been so unadvised or thoughtless as to say that it ought to
be made a _text-book_. To this proposition we answer by the favorite
exclamation of the wife of Sir Thomas More: “TILLEY-VALLEY!”


STRAY LEAVES FROM A PASSING LIFE.

CHAPTER II.

A DINNER AT THE GRANGE--A PAIR OF OWLS.

As we passed up the gravel walk of the Grange a face was trying its
prettiest to look scoldingly out of the window, but could not succeed.
When the eyes lighted upon my companion, face and eyes together
disappeared. It was a face that I had seen grow under my eyes, but it
had never occurred to me hitherto that it had grown so beautiful. Could
that tall young lady, who did the duties of mistress of the Grange so
demurely, be the little fairy whom only yesterday I used to toss upon
my shoulder and carry out into the barnyard to see the fowls, one hand
twined around my neck, and the other waving her magic wand with the
action of a little queen--the same magic wand that I had spent a whole
hour and a half--a boy’s long hour and a half--in peeling and notching
with my broken penknife, engraving thereon the cabalistic characters
“F. N.,” which, as all the world was supposed to know, signified
“Fairy Nell”? And that was “Fairy” who had just disappeared from the
honeysuckles. Faith! a far more dangerous fairy than when I was her
war-horse and she my imperious queen.

I introduced my companion as an old school-fellow of mine to my father
and sister. So fine-looking a young man could not fail to impress my
father favorably, who, notwithstanding his seclusion, had a keen eye
for persons and appearances. How so fine-looking a young man impressed
my sister I cannot say, for it is not given to me to read ladies’
hearts. The dinner was passing pleasantly enough, when one of those odd
revulsions of feeling that come to one at times in the most inopportune
situations came over me. I am peculiarly subject to fits of this nature,
and only time and years have enabled me to overcome them to any extent.
By the grave of a friend who was dear to me, and in presence of his
weeping relatives, some odd recollection has risen up as it were out of
the freshly-dug grave, and grinned at me over the corpse’s head, till I
hardly knew whether the tears in my eyes were brought there by laughter
or by grief. Just on the attainment of some success, for which I had
striven for months or years, may be, and to which I had devoted every
energy that was in me, while the flush of it was fresh on my cheek and in
my heart, and the congratulations of friends pouring in on me, has come
a drear feeling like a winter wind across my summer garden to blast the
roses and wither the dew-laden buds just opening to the light. Why this
is so I cannot explain; that it is so I know. It is a mockery of human
nature, and falls on the harmony of the soul like that terrible “ha! ha!”
of the fiend who stands by all the while when poor Faust and innocent
Marguerite are opening their hearts to each other.

“And so, Mr. Goodal, you are an old friend of Roger’s? He has told me
about most of his friends. It is strange he never mentioned your name
before.”

“It is strange,” I broke in hurriedly. “Kenneth is the oldest of all,
too. I found him first in the thirteenth century. He bears his years
well, does he not, Fairy?”

My father and Nellie both looked perplexed. Kenneth laughed.

“What in the world are you talking about, Roger?” asked my father in
amazement.

“Where do you think I found him? Burrowing at the tomb of the Herberts,
as though he were anxious to get inside and pass an evening with them.”

“And judging the past by the present, a very agreeable evening I should
have spent,” said Kenneth gayly.

“Well, sir, I will not deny that you would have found excellent company,”
responded my father, pleased at the compliment. “The Herberts. ..” he
began.

“For heaven’s sake, sir, let them rest in their grave. I have already
surfeited Mr. Goodal with the history of the Herberts.” Kenneth was about
to interpose, but I went on: “A strangely-mixed assembly the Herberts
would make in the other world; granting that there is another world, and
that the members of our family condescend to know each other there.”

“Roger!” said Nellie in a warning tone, while my father reddened and
shifted uneasily in his chair.

“If there be another world and the Herberts are there, it is impossible
that they can live together _en famille_. It can scarcely be even a
bowing acquaintance,” I added, feeling all the while that I was as rude
and undutiful as though I had risen from my chair and dealt my father a
blow in the face. He remembered, as I did not, what was due to our guest,
and said coldly:

“Roger, don’t you think that you might advantageously change the subject?
Mr. Goodal, I am very far behind the age, and not equal to what I suppose
is the prevailing tone among clever young gentlemen of the present day. I
am very old fogy, very conservative. Try that sherry.”

The quiet severity of his tone cut me to the quick. The spirit of
mischief must have been very near my elbow at that moment. Instead of
taking my lesson in good part, I felt like a whipped school-boy, and,
regardless of poor Nellie’s pale face and Kenneth’s silence, went on
resolutely:

“Well, sir, my ancestors are to me a most interesting topic of
conversation, and I take it that a Herbert only shows a proper regard for
his own flesh and blood if he inquire after their eternal no less than
their temporal welfare. What has become of all the Herberts, I should
dearly like to know?”

“I know, sir, what will become of one of them, if he continues his silly
and unmannerly cynicism,” said my father, now fairly aroused. He was very
easily aroused, and I wonder that he restrained himself so long. “I
cannot imagine, Mr. Goodal, what possesses the young men of the present
day, or what they are coming to. Irreverence for the dead, irreverence
for the living, irreverence for all that is worthy of reverence, seems
to stamp their character. I trust, sir, indeed I believe, that you have
better feelings than to think that life and death, here and hereafter,
are fit subjects for a boy’s sneer. I am sure that you have that respect
for church and state and--and things established that is becoming a
gentleman. I can only regret that my son is resolved on going as fast as
he can to--to--” He glanced at Nellie, and remained silent.

“I know where you would say, sir; and in the event of my happy arrival
there, I shall beyond doubt meet a large section of the Herberts who
have gone before me--that is, if church and things established are to
be believed. When one comes to think of it, what an appalling number of
Herberts must have gone to the devil!”

“Nellie, my girl, you had better retire, since your brother forgets how
to conduct himself in the presence of ladies and gentlemen.”

But Nellie sat still with scared face, and, though by this time my heart
ached, I could not help continuing:

“But, father, what are we to believe, or do we believe anything? Up
to a certain period the Herberts were what their present head--whom
heaven long preserve!--would call rank Papists. Old Sir Roger, whose
epitaph I found Mr. Goodal endeavoring to decipher this afternoon, was a
Crusader, a soldier of the cross which, in our enlightenment and hatred
of idolatry, we have torn down from the altar where he worshipped, and
overturned that altar itself. Was it for love of church and things
established, as we understand them, that he sailed away to the Holy Land,
and in his pious zeal knocked the life out of many an innocent painim?
Was good Abbot Herbert, whose monumental brass in the chancel of S.
Wilfrid’s presents him kneeling and adoring before the chalice that he
verily believed to hold the blood of Christ, a worshipper of the same
God and a holder of the same faith as my uncle, Archdeacon Herbert, who
denies and abhors the doctrine of Transubstantiation, although his two
daughters, who are of the highest High-Church Anglicans, devoutly believe
in something approaching it, and, to prove their faith, have enrolled
themselves both in the Confraternity of the Cope, whose recent discovery
has set Parliament and all the bench of bishops abuzz? Is it all a humbug
all the way down, or were the stout, Crusading, Catholic Herberts real
and right, while we are wrong and a religious sham? Does the Reformation
mark us off into white sheep and black sheep, consigning them to hell and
us to heaven? If not, why were they not Protestants, and why are we not
Catholics, or why are we all not unbelievers? Can the same heaven hold
all alike--those who adored and adore the Sacrament as God, and those who
pronounce adoration of the Sacrament idolatry and an abomination?”

My father’s only reply to this lengthy and irresistible burst of eloquent
reasoning was to ask Nellie, who had sat stone-still, and whose eyes were
distended in mingled horror and wonder, for a cup of coffee. My long
harangue seemed to have a soothing effect upon my nerves. I looked at
Goodal, who was looking at his spoon. I felt so sorry that I could have
wished all my words unsaid.

“My dear father, and my dear Kenneth, and you too, Nellie, pardon me. I
have been unmannerly, grossly so. I brought you here, Kenneth, to spend
a pleasant evening, and help us to spend one, and some evil genius--a
_daimon_ that I carry about with me, and cannot always whip into good
behavior--has had possession of me for the last half-hour. It was he that
spoke in me, and not my father’s son, who, were he true to the lessons
and example of his parent, would as soon think of committing suicide as
a breach of hospitality or good manners. Now, as you are antiquarians,
I leave you a little to compare notes, while I take Fairy out to trip
upon the green, and console her for my passing heresy with orthodoxy and
Tupper, who, I need not assure you, is her favorite poet, as he is of
all true English country damsels. There is the moon beginning to rise;
and there is a certain melting, a certain watery, quality about Tupper
admirably adapted to moonlight.”

The rest of the evening passed more pleasantly. After a little we all
went out on the lawn, and sat there together. The moonlight nights of the
English summer are very lovely. That night was as a thousand such, yet it
seemed to me that I had never felt the solemn beauty of nature so deeply
or so sensibly before. S. Wilfrid’s shone out high and gray and solemn
in the moon. Through the yew-trees of the priory down below gleamed the
white tombstones of the churchyard. A streak of silver quivering through
the land marked the wandering course of the Leigh. And high up among the
beeches and the elms sat we, the odors of the afternoon still lingering
on the air, the melody of a nightingale near by wooing the heart of the
night with its mystic notes, and the moonlight shimmering on drowsy trees
and slumbering foliage that not a breath in all the wide air stirred.

“There is a soft quiet in our English nights, a kind of home feeling
about them, that makes them very lovable, and that I have experienced
nowhere else,” said Kenneth.

“Oh! I am so glad to hear you say that, Mr. Goodal.”

“May I ask why, Miss Herbert?”

“Well, I hardly know. Because, I suppose, I am so very English.”

“So is Tupper, and Fairy swears by Tupper. At least she would, if she
swore at all,” remarked her brother, whose hair was pulled for his pains.

“Were you ever abroad, Miss Herbert?”

“Never; papa wished to take me often, but I refused, because I suppose
again I am so very English.”

“Too English to face sea-sickness,” said her brother.

“I believe the fault is mine, Mr. Goodal,” said her father. “You see the
gout never leaves me for long together. I am liable at any time to an
attack; and gout is a bad companion on foreign travel. It is bad enough
at home, as Nellie finds, who insists on being my only nurse; and I am so
selfish that I have not the heart to let her go, and I believe she has
hardly the heart to leave me.”

“Oh! I don’t wish to go. Cousin Edith goes every year, and we have such
battles when she comes back. She cannot endure this climate, she cannot
endure the people, she cannot endure the fashions, the language is too
harsh and grating for her ear, the cooking is barbarous--every thing is
bad. Now, I would rather stay at home and be happy in my ignorance than
learn such lessons as that,” said honest Nellie.

“You would never learn such lessons.”

“Don’t you think so? But tell us now, Mr. Goodal, do not you, who have
seen so much, find England very dull?”

“Excessively. That is one of its chief beauties. Dulness is one of our
national privileges; and Roger here will tell you we pride ourselves on
it.”

“Kenneth would say that dulness is only another word for what you would
call our beautiful home-life,” said the gentleman appealed to.

“Dulness indeed! I don’t find it dull,” broke in Nellie, bridling up.

“No, the dairy and the kitchen; the dinner and tea; the Priory on a
Sunday; the shopping excursions into Leighstone, where there is nothing
to buy; the garden and the vinery; the visits to Mrs. Jones and Mrs.
Knowles; to Widow Wickham, who is blind; to Mrs. Staynes, who is deaf,
and whose husband ran away from her because, as he said, he feared that
he would rupture a blood-vessel in trying to talk to her; the parish
school and the charity hospital, make the life of a well-behaved young
English lady quite a round of excitement. There are such things, too, as
riding to hounds, and a ball once in a while, and croquet parties, and
picnics, and the Eleusinian mysteries of the tea-table. Who shall say
that, with all these opportunities for wild dissipation, English country
life is dull?”

“Roger wearies of Leighstone, you perceive,” said my father. “Well, I
was restless once myself; but the gout laid hold of me early in life, and
it has kept its hold.”

“Now, Mr. Goodal, in all your wanderings, tell me where you have seen
anything so delightful as this? Have you seen a ruin more venerable than
S. Wilfrid’s, nodding to sleep like a gray old monk on the top of the
hill there? Every stone of it has a history; some of them gay, many of
them grave. Look at the Priory nestling down below--history again. See
how gently the Leigh wanders away through the country. Every cottage and
farm on its banks I know, and those in them. Could you find a sweeter
perfume in all the world than steals up from my own garden here, where
all the flowers are mine, and I sometimes think half know me? All around
is beauty and peace, and has been so ever since I was a child. Why, then,
should I wish to wander?”

Something more liquid even than their light glistened in Fairy’s eyes, as
she turned them on Kenneth at the close. He seemed startled at her sudden
outburst, and, after a moment, said almost gravely:

“You are right, Miss Herbert. The beauty that we do not know we may
admire, but hardly love. It is like a painting that we glance at, and
pass on to see something else. There is no sense of ownership about it. I
have wandered, with a crippled friend by my side, through art galleries
where all that was beautiful in nature and art was drawn up in a way
to fascinate the eye and delight the senses. Yet my crippled friend
never suffered by contrast; never felt his deformity there. Knowledge,
association, friendship, love--these are the great beautifiers. The
little that we can really call our own is dearer to us than all the
world--is our world, in fact. An Italian sunset steals and enwraps the
senses into, as it were, a third heaven. A London fog is one of the most
hideous things in this world; yet a genuine Londoner finds something in
his native fog dear to him as the sunset to the Italian, and I confess
to the barbarism myself. On our arrival the other day we were greeted by
a yellow, dense, smoke-colored fog, such as London alone can produce. It
was more than a year since I had seen one, and I enjoyed it. I breathed
freely again, for I was at home. You will understand, then, how I
appreciate your enthusiasm about Leighstone; and if Leighstone had many
like Miss Herbert, I can well understand why its people should be content
to stay at home.”

Nellie laughed. “I am afraid, Mr. Goodal, that you have brought back
something more than your taste for fogs and your homely Saxon from Italy.”

“Yes, a more rooted love for my own land, a truer appreciation of my
countrymen, and more ardent admiration of my fair countrywomen.”

“Ah! now you are talking Italian. But, honestly, which country do you
find the most interesting of all you have seen?”

“My own, Miss Herbert.”

“The nation of shop-keepers!” ejaculated I.

“Of Magna Charta,” interposed my father, who, ready enough to condemn
his age and his country himself, was Englishman enough to allow no other
person to do so with impunity.

“Of hearth and home, of cheerful firesides and family circles,” added
Nellie.

“Of work-houses and treadmills,” I growled.

“Of law and order, of civil and religious liberty,” corrected my father.

“Which are of very recent introduction and very insecure tenure,” added I.

“They formed the corner-stone of the great charter on which our English
state is built--a charter that has become our glory and the world’s envy.”

“To be broken into and rifled within a century; to be set under the
foot of a Henry VIII. and pinned to the petticoat of an Elizabeth; to
be mocked at in the death of a Mary, Queen of Scots, and a Charles; to
be thrown out of window by a Cromwell. Our charters and our liberties!
Oh! we are a thrifty race. We can pocket them all when it suits our
convenience, and flaunt them to the world on exhibition-days. Our charter
did not save young Raymond Herbert his neck for sticking to his faith
during the Reformation, though I believe that same charter provided above
all things that the church of God should be free; and a Chief-Justice
Herbert sat on the bench and pronounced sentence on the boy, not daring
to wag a finger in defence of his own flesh and blood. Of course the
Catholic Church was not the church of God, for so the queen’s majesty
decreed; and to Chief-Justice Herbert we owe these lands, such of them
as were saved. Great heaven! we talk of nobility--English nobility; the
proudest race under the sun. The proudest race under the sun, who would
scorn to kiss the Pope’s slipper, grovelled in the earth, one and all of
them, under the heel of an Elizabeth, and the other day trembled at the
frown of a George the Fourth!”

I need not dwell on the fact that in those days I had a particular
fondness for the sound of my own voice. I gloried in what seemed to me
startling paradoxes, and flashes of wisdom that loosened bolts and rivets
of prejudice, shattered massive edifices of falsehood, undermined in a
twinkling social and moral weaknesses, which, of course, had waited in
snug security all these long years for my coming to expose them to the
scorn of a wondering world. What a hero I was, what a trenchant manner
I had of putting things, what a keen intellect lay concealed under that
calm exterior, and what a deep debt the world would have owed me had
it only listened in time to my Cassandra warnings, it will be quite
unnecessary for me to point out.

“I suppose I ought to be very much ashamed of myself,” said Kenneth
good-humoredly; “but I still confess that I find my own country the most
interesting of any that I have seen. It may be that the very variety,
the strange contradictions in our national life and character, noticed
by our radical here, are in themselves no small cause for that interest.
If we have had a Henry VIII., we have had an Alfred and an Edward; if we
have had an Elizabeth, we have also had a Maud; if our nobles cowered
before a woman, they faced a man at Runnymede, and at their head were
English churchmen, albeit not English churchmen of the stamp of to-day.
If we broke through our charter, let us at least take the merit of having
restored something of it, although it is somewhat mortifying to find that
centuries of wandering and of history and discovery only land us at our
old starting-point.”

“I give in. Bah! we are spoiling the night with history, while all
nature is smiling at us in her beautiful calm.”

“Ah! you have driven away the nightingale; it sings no more,” said Fairy.

“Surely some one can console us for its absence,” said Kenneth, glancing
at Nellie.

“I do not understand Italian,” she laughed back.

“Your denial is a confession of guilt. I heard Roger call you Fairy.
There be good fairies and bad. You would not be placed among the bad?”

“Why not?”

“Because all the bad fairies are old.”

“And ride on broomsticks,” added I.

Unlike her brother, who had not a note of music in him, Fairy had a
beautiful voice, which had had the additional advantage of a very careful
cultivation. She sang us a simple old ballad that touched our hearts; and
when that was done, we insisted on another. Then the very trees seemed
to listen, the flowers to open as to a new sunlight, and shed their
sweetness in sympathy, as she sang one of those ballads of sighs and
tears, hope and despair and sorrowful lamentation, caught from the heart
of a nation whose feelings have been stirred to the depths to give forth
all that was in them in the beautiful music that their poet has wedded to
words. The ballad was “The Last Rose of Summer,” and as the notes died
away the foliage seemed to move and murmur with applause, while after a
pause the nightingale trilled out again its wonderful song in rivalry.
There was silence for a short time, which was broken by Kenneth saying:

“I must break up Fairy-land, and go back to the Black Bull.”

But of this we would not hear. It was agreed that Kenneth should take
up his quarters with us. The conversation outlasted our usual hours at
Leighstone. Kenneth sustained the burden; and with a wonderful grace and
charm he did so. He had read as well as travelled, and more deeply and
extensively than is common with men of his years; for his conversation
was full of that easy and delightful illustration that only a student
whose sharp angles have been worn off by contact with the world outside
his study can command and gracefully use, leaving the gem of knowledge
that a man possesses, be it small or great, perfect in its setting. Much
of what he related was relieved by some shrewd and happy remark of his
own that showed him a close observer, while a genial good-nature and
tendency to take the best possible view of things diffused itself through
all. It was late when my father said:

“Mr. Goodal, you have tempted me into inviting an attack of my old enemy
by sitting here so long. There is no necessity for your going to-morrow,
is there, since you are simply on a walking tour? Roger is a great
rambler, and there are many pretty spots about Leighstone, many an old
ruin that will repay a visit. Indeed, ruins are the most interesting
objects of these days. My walking days, I fear, are over. A visitor is a
Godsend to us down here, and, though you ramblers soon tire of one spot,
there is more in Leighstone than can be well seen in a day.”

Thus pressed, he consented, and our little party broke up.

“Are you an owl!” I asked Kenneth, as my father and sister retired.

“Somewhat,” he replied, smiling.

“Then come to my room, and you shall give your to-whoo to my to-whit. I
was born an owl, having been introduced into this world, I am informed,
in the small hours; and the habits of the species cling to me. Take that
easy-chair and try this cigar. These slippers will ease your feet. Though
not a drinking man, properly so called, I confess to a liking for the
juice of the grape. The fondness for it is still strong in the sluggish
blood of the Norse, and I cannot help my blood. Therefore, at an hour
like this, a night-cap will not hurt us. Of what color shall it be? Of
the deep claret tint of Bordeaux, the dark-red hue of Burgundy, or the
golden amber of the generous Spaniard? Though, as I tell you, not a
drinking man, I think a good cigar and a little wine vastly improves the
moonlight, provided the quantity be not such as to obscure the vision of
eye or brain. That is not exactly a theory of my own. It was constantly
and deeply impressed upon me by a very reverend friend of mine, with whom
I read for a year. Indeed I fear his faith in port was deeper than his
faith in the Pentateuch. The drunkard is to me the lowest of animals,
ever has been, and ever will be. Were the world ruled--as it is scarcely
likely to be just yet--by my suggestions, the fate of the Duke of
Clarence should be the doom of every drunkard, with only this difference;
that each one be drowned in his own favorite liquor, soaked there till
he dissolved, and the contents ladled out and poured down the throat of
whoever, by any accident, mistook the gutter for his bed. You will pardon
my air; in my own room I am supreme lord and master. Kenneth, my boy,
I like you. I feel as though I had known you all my life. That must
have been the reason for my unruly, ungracious, and unmannerly explosion
down-stairs at dinner. I have an uncontrollable habit of breaking out in
that style sometimes, and the effect on my father, whom I need not tell
you I love and revere above all men living, is what you see.”

He smoked in silence a few seconds, and then, turning on me, suddenly
asked:

“Where did you learn your theology?”

The question was the last in the world that would have presented itself
to me, and was a little startling, but put in too earnest a manner for
a sneer, and too kindly to give offence. I answered blandly that I was
guiltless of laying claim to any special theology.

“Well, your opinions, then--the faith, the reasons, on which you ground
your life and views of life. Your conversation at times drifts into a
certain tone that makes me ask. Where or what have you studied?”

“Nowhere; nothing; everywhere; everything; everybody; I read whatever
I come across. And as for theology--for my theology, such as it is--I
suppose I am chiefly indebted to that remarkably clever organ of opinion
known as the _Journal of the Age_.”

A few whiffs in silence, and then he said:

“I thought so.”

“What did you think?”

“That you were a reader of the _Journal of the Age_. Most youngsters who
read anything above a sporting journal or a sensational novel are. I have
been a student of it myself--a very close student. I knew the editor
well. We were at one time bosom friends. He took me in training, and I
recognized the symptoms in you at once.”

“How so?”

“The _Journal of the Age_--and it has numerous admirers and
imitators--is, in these days, the ablest organ of a great and almost
universal worship of an awful trinity that has existed since man was
first created; and the name of that awful trinity is--the devil, the
world, and the flesh.”

I stared at him in silent astonishment. All the gayety of his manner, all
its softness, had gone, and he seemed in deadly earnest, as he went on:

“This worship is not paraded in its grossest form. Not at all. It is
graced by all that wit can give and undisciplined intellect devise. It
has a brilliant sneer for Faith, a scornful smile for Hope, and a chill
politeness for Charity. I revelled in it for a time. Heaven forgive me! I
was happy enough to escape.”

“With what result?”

“Briefly with this: with the conviction that man did not make this world;
that he did not make himself, or send himself into it; that consequently
he was not and could never be absolutely his own master; that he was
sent in and called out by Another, by a Greater than he, by a Creator,
by a God. I became and am a Catholic, to find that what for a time I had
blindly worshipped were the three enemies against whom I was warned to
fight all the days of my life.”

“And the _Journal of the Age_?”

“The editor cut me as soon as he found I believed in God in preference to
himself. He is the fiercest opponent of Papal Infallibility with whom I
ever had the honor of acquaintance.”

“I cannot say that your words and the manner in which you speak them
do not impress me. Still, it never occurred to me that so insignificant
a being as Roger Herbert was worthy the combined attack of the three
formidable adversaries you have named. What have the devil, the world,
and the flesh to do with me?”

“Yes, there is the difficulty, not only with Roger Herbert, but with
everybody else. It does seem strange that influences so powerful and
mysterious should be for ever ranged against such wretched little beings
as we are, whom a toothache tortures and a fever kills. Yet surely man’s
life on earth is not all fever and its prevention, toothache and its
cure, or a course of eating, doctoring, and tailoring. If we believe at
all in a life that can never end, in a soul, surely that is something
worth thought and care. An eternal life that must range itself on one
side or the other seems worthy of a struggle between the powers of good
and evil, if good and evil there be. Nay, man is bound of his own right,
of his own free will, of his very existence, to choose between one and
the other, to be good or be bad, and not stumble on listlessly as a thing
of chance, tossed at will from one to the other. We do not sufficiently
realize the greatest of our obligations. We should feel disgraced if we
did not pay our tailor or our wine-merchant; but such a thought never
presents itself to us when the question concerns God or the devil, or
that part of us that does not wear clothes and does not drink wine.”

He had risen while he was speaking, and spoke with an energy and
earnestness I had never yet witnessed in any man. Whether right or
wrong, his view of things towered so high above my own blurred and
crooked vision that I felt myself crouch and grow small before him. The
watch-tower of his faith planted him high up among the stars of heaven,
while I groped and struggled far away down in the darkness. Oh! if I
could only climb up there and stand with him, and see the world and all
things in it from that divine and serene height, instead of impiously
endeavoring to build up my own and others’ little Babel that was to
reach the skies and enable us to behold God. But conversions are not
wrought by a few sentences nor by the mere emotions of the heart; not by
Truth itself, which is for ever speaking, for ever standing before and
confronting us, its mark upon its forehead, yet we pass it blindly by;
for has it not been said that “having eyes they see not, and having ears
they hear not”?

“Kenneth,” I said, stretching out my hand, which he clasped in both of
his, “the subject which has been called up I feel to be far too solemn
to be dismissed with the sneer and scoff that have grown into my nature.
Indeed, I always so regarded it secretly; but perhaps the foolish manner
in which I have hitherto treated it was owing somewhat to the foolish
people with whom I have had to deal from my boyhood. They give their
reasons about this, that, and the other as parrots repeat their lesson,
with interjectory shrieks and occasional ruffling of the poll, all after
the same pattern. You seem to me to be in earnest; but, if you please, we
will say no more about it--at least now.”

“As you please,” he replied. “Here I am at the end of my cigar. So
good-night, my dear boy. Well, you have had my to-whit to your to-whoo.”

And so a strange day ended. I sat thinking some time over our
conversation. Kenneth’s observations opened quite a new train of thought.
It had never occurred to me before that life was a great battle-field,
and that all men were, as it were, ranged under two standards, under the
folds of which they were compelled to fight. Everything had come to me
in its place. A man might have his private opinions on men and things,
as he collects a private museum for his own amusement; but in the main
one lived and died, acted and thought, passed through and out of life,
in much the same manner as his neighbor, not inquiring and not being
inquired into too closely. Life was made for us, and we lived it much
in the same way as we learned our alphabet, we never knew well how, or
took our medicine, in the regulation doses. Sometimes we were a little
rebellious, and suffered accordingly; that was all. Excess on any side
was a bore to everybody else. It was very easy, and on the whole not
unpleasant. We nursed our special crotchets, we read our newspapers,
we watched our children at their gambols, we chatted carelessly away
out on the bosom of the broad stream along which we were being borne so
surely and swiftly into the universal goal. Why should we scan the sky
and search beneath the silent waters, trembling at storms to come and
treacherous whirlpools, hidden sand-banks, and cruel rocks on which many
a brave bark had gone down? Chart and compass were for others; a pleasant
sail only for us. There was a Captain up aloft somewhere; it was his duty
and not ours to see that all was right and taut--ours to glide along in
slumbrous ease, between eternal banks of regions unexplored; to feast
our eyes on fair scenes, and lap our senses in musical repose. That was
the true life. Sunken rocks, passing storms, mutinies among the crew,
bursting of engines--what were such things to us? Had we not paid our
fares and made our provision for the voyage, and was not the Captain
bound to land us safely at our journey’s end, if he valued his position
and reputation?

The devil, the world, and the flesh! What nightmare summoned these
up, and set them glaring horribly into the eyes of a peaceful British
subject? What had the devil to do with me or I with the devil? What
were the world and the flesh? Take my father, now; what had they to do
with him? Or Fairy? Why, her life was as pure as that sky that smiled
down upon her with all its starry eyes. Let me see; there were others,
however, who afforded better subjects for investigation. Whenever
you want to find out anything disagreeable, call on your friends and
neighbors. There was the Abbot Jones, now; let us weigh him in the
triple scale. How fared the devil, the world, and the flesh with the
Abbot Jones? He was, as I said to Kenneth, a very genial man; he had
lived a good life, married into an excellent family, paid his bills,
had a choice library, a good table, was an excellent judge of cattle,
and a preacher whom everybody praised. Abbot Jones was faultless! There
was not a flaw to be found in him from the tip of his highly-polished
toe to the top of his highly-polished head. He had a goodly income,
but he used it cautiously; for Clara and Alice were now grown up, and
were scarcely girls to waste their lives in a nunnery, like my cousins,
the daughters of Archdeacon Herbert, who adored all that was sweetly
mortifying and secluded, yet, by one of those odd contradictions in
female and human nature generally, never missed a fashion or a ball. Yes,
Abbot Jones was a good and exemplary man. To be sure, he did not walk
barefoot or sandal-shod, not alone among the highways, where men could
see and admire, but into the byways of life, down among the alleys of
the poor, where clustered disease, drunkenness, despair, death; where
life is but one long sorrow. But then for what purpose did he pay a
curate, unless to do just this kind of dirty, apostolic work, while the
abbot devoted himself to the cares of his family, the publication of an
occasional pamphlet, and that pleasant drawing-room religion that finds
its perfection in good dinners, sage maxims, and cautious deportment? If
the curate neglected his duty, that was clearly the curate’s fault, and
not the abbot’s. If the abbot were clothed, not exactly in purple, but
in the very best of broadcloth, and fasted only by the doctor’s orders,
prayed not too severely, fared sumptuously every day of his life, he paid
for every inch of cloth, every ounce of meat, every drop of that port
for which his table was famous; for he still clung to the clerical taste
for a wine that at one time assumed a semi-ecclesiastical character,
and certain crumbs from his table went now and then to a stray Lazarus.
Yes, he was a faultless man, as the world went. He did not profess to
be consumed with the zeal for souls. His life did not aim at being an
apostolic one. He had simply adopted a profitable and not unpleasant
profession. If a S. Paul had come, straggling, footsore, and weary, into
Leighstone, and begun preaching to the people and attacking shepherds
who guarded not their fold, but quietly napped and sipped their port,
while the wolves of irreligion, of vice and misery in every form,
entered in and rent the flock from corner to corner, the abbot would
very probably have had S. Paul arrested for a seditious vagrant and a
disturber of the public peace.

Take my uncle, the archdeacon; what thought he of the world, the flesh,
and the devil? As for the last-named enemy of the human race, he did
not believe in him. A personal devil was to him simply a bogy wherewith
to frighten children. It was the outgrowth of mediæval superstition, a
Christianized version of a pagan fable. The devil was a gay subject with
Archdeacon Herbert, who was the wittiest and courtliest of churchmen. His
mission was up among the gods of this world; his confessional ladies’
boudoirs, his penance an epigram, his absolution the acceptance of an
invitation to dinner. He breathed in a perfumed atmosphere; his educated
ear loved the rustle of silks; he saw no heaven to equal a coach-and-four
in Rotten Row during the season. It was in every way fitting that such a
man should sooner or later be a bishop of the Church Established. He was
an ornament to his class--a man who could represent it in society as well
as in the pulpit, whose presence distilled dignity and perfume, and whose
views were what are called large and liberal--that is to say, no “views”
at all. What the three enemies had to do with my uncle I could not see.
I could only see that he would scarcely have been chosen as one of The
Twelve; but then who would be chosen as one of The Twelve in these days?

I went to the window and looked out. The moon was going down behind S.
Wilfrid’s, and Leighstone was buried in gloomy shadow. Down there below
me in the darkness throbbed thousands of hearts resting a little in
peaceful slumber till the morning came to wake them again to the toil
and the struggle, the pleasure and the pain, the good and the evil, of
another day. The good and the evil. Was there no good and evil waiting
down there by the bedside of every one, to face them in the morning, and
not leave them until they returned to that bedside at night? Was there
a great angel somewhere up above in that solemn, silent, ever-watchful
heaven, with an open scroll, writing down in awful letters the good and
the bad, the white and the black, in the life of each one of us? Were we
worth this care, weak little mortals, human machines, that we were? What
should our good or our evil count against the great Spirit, whom we are
told lives up above there in the passionless calm of a fixed eternity?
Did we shake our puny fists for ever in the face of that broad, bent
heaven that wrapped us in and overwhelmed us in its folds, what effect
would it have? If we held them up in prayer, what profited it? Who of men
could storm heaven or search hell? And yet, as Kenneth said, a life that
could not end was an awful thing. That the existence we feel within us is
never to cease; that the power of discriminating between good and evil,
define them, laugh at them or quibble about them as we may, can never
die out of us; that we are irresistibly impelled to one or the other;
that they are always knocking at the door of our hearts, for we feel them
there; that they cannot be blind influences, knowing not when to come or
when to go, but the voices of keen intelligences acting over the great
universe, wherever man lives and moves and has his being; that they are
not creations of our own, for they are independent of us; we may call
evil good and good wicked, but in the end the good will show itself, and
the evil throw off its disguise in spite of us--what does all this say
but that there is an eternal conflict going on, and that, will he or will
he not, every man born into the world must take a share in it?

That being so, search thine own heart, friend. Leave thy uncle, leave
thy neighbor, and come back to thyself. Let them answer for their share;
answer thou for thine. Which is thy standard? It cannot be both. What
part hast thou borne in the conflict? What giants killed? What foes
overcome? Hast thou slain that doughty giant within thee--thine own self?
Is there no evil in thee to be cast out? No stain upon the scutcheon of
thy pure soul? No vanity, no pride, no love of self above all and before
all, no worship of the world, no bowing to Mammon or other strange gods,
not to mention graver blots than all of these? Let thy neighbor pass till
all the dross is purged out of thee. There is not a libertine in all the
world but would wish all the world better, provided he had not to become
better with it. Thy good wishes for others are shared by all men alike,
by the worst as by the best. Begin at home, friend, and root out and
build up there. Trim thy own garden, cast out the weeds, water and tend
it well. The very sight of it is heaven to the weary wayfarer who, having
wandered far away from his own garden, sinks down at thy side, begrimed
with the dust of the road and the smoke of sin. You may tear him to
pieces, you may lacerate his soul, you may cast him, bound hand and foot,
into the outer darkness, yet never touch his heart. But he will stand
afar off and admire when he sees thy garden blowing fair, and all the
winds of heaven at play there, all the dews of heaven glistening there,
all the sunshine of heaven beaming there; then will he come and creep
close up to thee, desiring to take off the shoes from his feet, soiled
with his many wanderings in foul places. Then for the first time he feels
that he has wandered from the way, will see the stains upon him, and with
trembling fingers hasten to cast them off, and, standing barefoot and
humble before Him who made thee pure, falter out at length, “Lord, it is
good for us to be here.”

TO BE CONTINUED.


CALDERON’S AUTOS SACRAMENTALES.

CONCLUDED.

II.


I. BALTASSAR’S FEAST.[55]

Of all Calderon’s _autos_, this is the one which has been the most
generally admired, both on account of its intense dramatic power and
popular character.

It has been translated several times into German (see note at end of
previous article on the _autos_), and into English by Mr. MacCarthy.

The latter says in his preface: “This _auto_ must be classed with those
whose action relates directly to the Blessed Sacrament, because it puts
before us, in the profanation of the vases of the Temple by Baltassar, a
type of the desecration of the Holy Sacrament, and symbolizes to us, in
the punishment that follows this sacrilege, the magnitude and sublimity
of the Eucharistic Mystery. Although this immediate relation between the
action of the _auto_ and the sacrament becomes only manifestly clear
in the last scene, nevertheless all the preceding part, which is only
preparing us for the final catastrophe, stands in immediate connection
with it, and, through it, with the action of the _auto_. The wonderful
simplicity of this relation, and the lively dramatic treatment of the
subject, allow us to place this _auto_, justly, in the same category
with those that, comparatively speaking, are easy to be understood, and
which, like _The Great Theatre of the World_, have especial claims upon
popularity, even if many of its details contain very deep allusions, the
meaning of which, at first sight, is not very intelligible.”

The _auto_ opens in the garden of Baltassar’s palace with a scene between
Daniel and Thought, who, dressed in a coat of many colors, represents
the Fool.

After a long description of his abstract self he states that he has this
day been assigned to King Baltassar’s mind, and ironically remarks that
he, Thought, is not the only fool, and apologizes for his rudeness in not
listening to Daniel:

    “It were difficult to try
    To keep up a conversation,
    We being in our separate station,
    Wisdom thou, and Folly I.”

Daniel answers that there is no reason why they should not converse, for
the sweetest harmony is that which proceeds from two different chords.

Thought hesitates no longer, and informs Daniel that he is thinking of
the wedding which Babylon celebrates this day with great rejoicings. The
groom is King Baltassar, son and heir of Nabuchodonosor; the happy bride
the fair Empress of the East, Idolatry herself.

That the king is already wedded to Vanity is no hindrance, as his law
allows him a thousand wives.

Daniel breaks forth in lamentations for God’s people and the unhappy
kingdom; while clownish Thought asks if Daniel himself is interested in
the ladies, since he makes such an outcry over the news, and insinuates
that envy and his captivity are the causes of his grief.

With a flourish of trumpets enter Baltassar and Vanity at one side,
and Idolatry, fantastically dressed, at the other, with attendants,
followers, etc.

The king courteously welcomes his new wife, who replies that it is right
that she should come to his kingdom, since here first after the Flood
idolatry arose.

The king declares that his own idea, his sole ambition, has been to unite
Idolatry and Vanity, and then suddenly becomes absorbed in thought while
fondly regarding his wives; to their questions as to the cause of his
suspense he answers that, fired by their beauty, he wishes to relate the
wondrous story of his conquests.

Wonderful indeed is the story which follows, extending, in the original,
through three hundred and fifty uninterrupted lines.

In the introduction the king relates the strange fate of his father,
Nabuchodonosor, whose worthy successor he declares himself to be, and
describes his vaulting ambition, which will not be satisfied until he is
the sole ruler over all the region of Senaar, which beheld the building
of the Tower of Babel; this leads to an account of the Deluge, so
poetical and characteristic that we give its finest portion here:[56]

    “First began a dew as soft
    As those tears the golden sunrise
    Kisseth from Aurora’s lids;
    Then a gentle rain, as dulcet
    As those showers the green earth drinks
    In the early days of summer;
    From the clouds then water-lances,
    Darting at the mountains, struck them;
    In the clouds their sharp points shimmer’d,
    On the mountains rang their but-ends;
    Then the rivulets were loosened,
    Roused to madness, ran their currents,
    Rose to rushing rivers, then
    Swelled to seas of seas. O Summit
    Of all wisdom! thou alone
    Knowest how thy hand can punish!
    … Then a mighty sea-storm rushed
    Through the rents and rocky ruptures,
    By whose mouths the great earth yawns,
    When its breath resounds and rumbles
    From internal caves. The air
    … Roared confined, the palpitation
    Of its fierce internal pulses
    Making the great hills to shake,
    And the mighty rocks to tremble.
    The strong bridle of the sand,
    Which the furious onset curbeth
    Of the white horse of the sea
    With its foam-face silver fronted,
    Loosened every curbing rein,
    So that the great steed, exulting,
    Rushed upon the prostrate shore,
    With loud neighing to o’errun it.”

The ark alone is saved, and Nimrod resolves to anticipate a second
Deluge, and erect a more ambitious refuge. The building of the Tower of
Babel and the Confusion of Tongues then follow, and the king closes his
long monologue with the determination to rebuild Nimrod’s tower, urged to
the task by the opportune conjunction of Idolatry and Vanity.

These express their gratification at this lofty scheme, and offer to
perpetuate the fame of his great deeds.

The king, exulting, exclaims: “Who shall break this bond?”

Daniel, advancing, “The hand of God!” and returns the same answer to the
king’s angry question, “What can save thee from my power or defend thee?”

Baltassar is profoundly moved, but spares Daniel because Vanity loathes
the captive and Idolatry disdains his religion.

In the fourth scene the prophet addresses the Most High, and cries: “Who
can endure these offences, these pretences of Vanity and displays of
Idolatry? Who will end so great an evil?”

“I will,” answers Death, who enters, wearing a sword and dagger, and
dressed symbolically in a cloak covered with figures of skeletons.

      DANIEL. “Awful shape, to whom I bow
    Through the shadowy glooms that screen thee,
    Never until now I’ve seen thee:
    Fearful phantom, who art thou?”

Death’s answer in the following monologue is most impressive and
beautiful. Our space, unfortunately, will let us quote but a part:

    “Daniel, thou Prophet of the God of Truth,
    I am the end of all who life begin,
    The drop of venom in the serpent’s tooth,
    The cruel child of envy and of sin.
    Abel first showed the world’s dark door uncouth,
    But Cain threw wide the door, and let me in;
    Since then I’ve darkened o’er life’s checker’d path,
    The dread avenger of Jehovah’s wrath.
    … The proudest palace that supremely stands,
    ’Gainst which the wildest winds in vain may beat;
    The strongest wall, that like a rock withstands
    The shock of shells, the furious fire-ball’s heat--
    All are but easy triumphs of my hands,
    All are but humble spoils beneath my feet;
    If against _me_ no palace-wall is proof,
    Ah! what can save the lowly cottage-roof?
    Beauty, nor power, nor genius, can survive,
    Naught can resist my voice when I sweep by;
    For whatsoever has been let to live,
    It is my destined duty to see die.
    With all the stern commands that thou mayst give,
    I am, God’s Judgment, ready to comply;
    Yea, and so quickly shall my service run
    That ere the word is said the deed is done!”

Death then recounts some of his past achievements to prove his readiness
to inflict punishment on the king.

Daniel, however, expressly forbids him to kill Baltassar, and gives him
leave only to awaken him to a sense of coming woe and the fact that he is
mortal.

This Death does by appearing to the king and showing him a small book
lost by him some time before (_i.e._, the remembrance of his mortality,
which he had forgotten), in which is written his debt to Death.

He leaves the terror-stricken monarch with an admonition to remember his
obligation.

Thought, hovering between Vanity and Idolatry, soon, however, effaces the
impression left by the terrible visitor.

The king and Thought, lulled by their combined flatteries, fall asleep,
while Death enters and delivers the following monologue, which, as Mr.
MacCarthy truly says, “belongs unquestionably to the deepest and most
beautiful poetry that has ever flown from the pen of Calderon”:

      DEATH. “Man the rest of slumber tries,
    Never the reflection making
    That, O God! asleep and waking,
    Every day he lives and dies;
    That a living corse he lies,
    After each day’s daily strife,
    Stricken by an unseen knife,
    In brief lapse of life, not breath,
    A repose which is not death;
    But what is death teaches life:
    Sugared poison ’tis, which sinks
    On the heart, which it o’ercometh,
    Which it hindereth and benumbeth.
    And can a man, then, live who poison drinks?
    ’Tis forgetting, when the links
    That gave life by mutual fretting
    To the Senses, snap, or letting
    The imprisoned Five go free,
    They can hear not, touch, or see;
    And can a man forget this strange forgetting?
    It is frenzy, that which moves
    Heart and eyes to taste and see
    Joys and shapes that ne’er can be:
    And can a man be found who frenzy loves?
    ’Tis a lethargy that proves
    My best friend; in trust for me,
    Death’s dull, drowsy weight bears he,
    And, by failing limb and eye,
    Teaches man the way to die:
    And can a man, then, seek this lethargy?
    ’Tis a shadow, which is made
    Without light’s contrasted aid,
    Moving in a spectral way,
    Sad, phantasmal foe of day:
    And can a man seek rest beneath such shade?
    Finally, ’tis well portrayed
    As Death’s Image: o’er and o’er
    Men have knelt its shrine before,
    Men have bowed the suppliant knee,
    All illusion though it be:
    And can a man this Image, then, adore?
    Since Baltassar here doth sleep,
    Since he hath the poison drank,
    Since he treads oblivion’s blank,
    Since no more his pulses leap,
    Since the lethargy is deep,
    Since, in horror and confusion,
    To all other sights’ exclusion,
    He has seen the Image--seen
    What this shade, this poison, mean,
    What this frenzy, this illusion:
    Since Baltassar sleepeth so,
    Let him sleep, and never waken:
    Be his body and soul o’ertaken
    By the eternal slumber.”

(He draws his sword, and is about to kill him.)

Daniel rushes in and saves the sleeper, who is dreaming a mysterious
vision, which is visibly represented to the spectators.

The king on awakening is captivated, as usual, by Idolatry, who proposes
to him a magnificent feast, in which shall be used the sacred vessels
carried away from Jerusalem.

The feast is prepared; the table is brought in, on which are displayed
the sacred vessels; the attendants begin serving the banquet, while
Thought plays the court-fool.

In the midst of the revelry Death enters, disguised as one of the
servants, and, when the king calls for wine, presents him with one of the
golden goblets from the table, with a mysterious aside referring to the
Lord’s Supper, where the cup contains both death and life, as it is drunk
worthily or unworthily.

The king rises and gives the toast: “For ever, Moloch, god of the
Assyrians, live!”

A great clap of thunder is heard, darkness settles on the feast, and a
fiery hand writes upon the wall the fatal “MANE, THECEL, PHARES.”

Idolatry, Vanity, and Thought in turn fail to interpret the mysterious
words, and the first named suggests that Daniel should be summoned.[57]

The prophet comes and explains the hidden meaning of the words, declaring
that God’s wrath has been aroused by the misuse of the sacred vessels,
which, until the law of grace reigns on earth, foreshow the Blessed
Sacrament.

Baltassar and his wives tremble at the solemn words. Thought, an
expression of the reproaches of his master’s conscience, turns against
the king, who laments the desertion of his friends in the hour of need.

Death, during this scene, has been approaching nearer and nearer, and now
draws his sword and stabs the unhappy monarch, who cries:

    “This is death, then!
    Was the venom not sufficient
    That I drank of?”

      DEATH. “No; that venom
    Was the death of the soul; the body’s
    This swift death-stroke representeth.”

The king, struggling with Death, is forced to confess:

    “He who dares profane God’s cup,
    Him he striketh down forever;
    He who sinfully receives
    Desecrates God’s holiest vessel!”

These are his last words. Idolatry awakens from her dream, and longs to
see the light of the law of grace now while the written law reigns.

Death declares that it is foreshadowed in Gedeon’s fleece, in the manna,
in the honey-comb, in the lion’s mouth, and in the shew-bread.

    DANIEL. “If these emblems
    Show it not, then be it shown
    In the full foreshadowing presence
    Of the feast here now transformed
    Into Bread and Wine--stupendous
    Miracle of God; his greatest
    Sacrament in type presented.”

The scene opens to the sound of solemn music; a table is seen arranged
as an altar, with a monstrance and chalice in the middle, and two wax
candles on each side.

The _auto_ closes with Idolatry’s declaration that she is transformed
into _Latria_, and the usual personal address to the audience.


II. THE PAINTER OF HIS OWN DISHONOR.

We have already remarked that the _auto El Pintor de su Deshonra_ is a
_replica_ of a secular play bearing the same title.

It will not be out of place to give a short analysis of the latter,
premising that it is one of the greatest of Calderon’s tragedies.

In the first act the Governor of Gaeta welcomes to his residence his
friend Don Juan Roca, whose young wife, Seraphine, soon becomes intimate
with the governor’s daughter, Portia, to whom she reveals the secret that
she has been ardently loved by Portia’s brother, Don Alvaro, whose love
she has as ardently returned.

News, however, was received of his shipwreck and death, and she finally
yielded to her father’s urgent requests, and gave her hand to Don Juan.

The unhappy lady faints while reciting her griefs, and Portia hastens for
aid. At this moment a stranger enters, perceives the unconscious lady,
and bends over her with an expression of the warmest interest. Seraphine
opens her eyes, and with the cry “Alvaro!” faints again.

Her old lover, saved from the waves, has returned to find her another’s
wife.

From this moment begins a struggle between love and duty, depicted with
all the tenderness and power of which the poet was capable.

Seraphine attempts with all her strength to master her love for Alvaro,
and tells him, with forced coolness, how much she is attached to her
husband by duty and inclination.

During this interview a cannon is heard--the signal announcing the
approaching departure of Don Juan’s ship. Seraphine withdraws to follow
him to their home in Spain, and leaves Alvaro in a state of utter
hopelessness.

The second act reveals to us Don Juan (an enthusiastic lover of art) in
his home in Barcelona, painting his wife’s portrait.

The remembrance of the past seems banished from Seraphine’s heart, and
everything indicates a state of peace and happiness.

Don Juan withdraws a moment, when a sailor enters the room.

It is Don Alvaro, who, unable to forget his love, has followed Seraphine
to Barcelona. He overwhelms her with his affection; but she shows him
so firmly and eloquently that his pleading is in vain that he in turn
resolves to conquer his passion and leave her for ever.

He still lingers near, but makes no attempt to approach her again.

One day, during the Carnival, Don Juan’s villa takes fire. Seraphine is
borne insensible from the house by her husband, who confides her to Don
Alvaro, whom he does not, of course, recognize, and returns to help the
others who are in danger.

Don Alvaro, meanwhile, is left with Seraphine in his arms. His love
revives stronger than ever in the terrible temptation, and he bears the
still insensible Seraphine to his ship, and makes sail with the greatest
haste.

Don Juan does not return until the ship is under way, discovers too late
that he has been deceived, and throws himself into the sea in order to
overtake the fugitives.

In the last act we find Don Juan at Gaeta, disguised as an artist, in
order to obtain more easily access into private houses, and discover who
has stolen his wife.

He is introduced to Prince Urbino, who commissions him to paint the
portrait of a beautiful woman whom he has seen at a neighboring
forester’s house, which he visits in order to meet Portia secretly.

The same place has been chosen by Don Alvaro to conceal Seraphine, who is
the beautiful lady who has attracted the prince’s attention.

Don Juan repairs to the appointed spot, and erects his easel near a
window, through the blinds of which he can see, unnoticed, the fair one.

The artist discovers, with feelings which can be imagined, his wife
asleep in the garden. She murmurs words which prove her innocence. But
this cannot save her; she must be sacrificed to remove the stain on her
husband’s honor.

Don Juan expresses his feelings in a most powerful soliloquy, when
Alvaro enters and embraces the sleeping Seraphine. At that instant two
shots are heard, and the innocent and guilty fall bleeding to the ground.

The _auto_ founded on the above play is, in the opinion of no less a
critic than Wilhelm Val Schmidt, the first of its class, and withal much
less technical than is usual with these plays.

The _dramatis personæ_ include the Artist, the World, Love, Lucifer, Sin,
Grace, Knowledge, Nature (_i.e._, human nature at first in a state of
innocence), Innocence, and the Will (_i.e._, free-will).

The first car represents a dragon, which opens and discloses Lucifer,
whose first speech proves the trite remark about the devil quoting
Scripture; for he immediately proceeds to cite Jeremias and David, who
alluded to him as the dragon.

He then summons Sin, and repeats to her his partly-known history, which
contains some singular ideas.

He was the favorite of the Father in his former home, where he saw,
before the original existed, the portrait of so rare a beauty that,
inflamed with love, and to prevent the Prince from marrying her, he
rebelled, and, placing himself at the head of the other discontented
spirits, was defeated and doomed to perpetual exile and darkness.

So far Sin is acquainted with the story; but from this point all is new
to her.

The greatest of Lucifer’s sufferings arises from his envy of the
Prince, who is all that is wise and lovely: a learned theologian,
legislator, philosopher, physician, logician, astrologist, mathematician,
architect--“witness the palace of the world”--geometrician, rhetorician,
musician, and poet.

But none of these qualities so enrages and astonishes Lucifer as the
Prince’s talent for painting. He has already been engaged six days on
a landscape. At the beginning the ground of the canvas was so bare and
rough that he only drew on it the outline in shadowy figures. The first
day he gave it light; the second day he introduced heaven and earth,
dividing the waters and the firmament; the third day, seeing the earth so
arid and bare, he painted flowers in it and fruits, and the fourth day
the sun and moon. He filled, the fifth day, the air and waters with birds
and fishes; and this sixth day he has covered the landscape with various
animals.

Nothing of all this astonishes Lucifer so much as the Prince’s intention
to embody in a palpable form the ideal which was the cause of Lucifer’s
fall.

The divine Artist has himself chosen the colors and selected clay and
occult minerals, which Lucifer fears a breath may animate: “Since if a
breath can dissipate dust, I suspect, I lament, I fear, that dust may
live by the inspiration of a breath.”

Animated by this fear, Lucifer has summoned Sin to aid him in destroying
this image, so that the Prince may be The Painter of his own Dishonor.

A palace appears, and near the entrance the painting on an easel. Lucifer
and Sin retire; for the Artist, accompanied by the Virtues, comes to put
a careful hand to his work.

Sin knows not where to conceal herself. Lucifer bids her hide in a cave
in the bank of a stream.

Sin answers that she is afraid of the water, because she foresees that it
is to be (in the water of baptism) the antidote to sin.

The flowers, grain, and vine all terrify her, before which, as symbols of
some unknown sacrament, she reverently bows.

She at last conceals herself in a tree, which Lucifer calls from that
moment _the tree of death_.

The Artist enters, Innocence bearing the palette, Knowledge the
mall-stick, and Grace the brushes.

He declares his intention to show his power in the portrait his love
wishes to paint, and asks the attendant Virtues to add their gifts to
Human Nature.

He proceeds to work, while the Virtues call upon the sun, moon, etc., to
praise the Lord.

The Artist finishes his work by breathing the breath of life into it.
The picture falls, and in its place appears Human Nature, who expresses
most vividly her wonder at her creation, and joins in the general anthem,
“Bless the Lord.” Lucifer confesses that he and Sin are _de trop_, and
they depart to seek some disguise in which to return and carry out their
undertaking. While the chorus repeats the praises of the Lord, Human
Nature naïvely asks, “How can I bless him, if I do not know him? Who will
tell me who He is or who I am?”

The Artist advances and answers her question. Nature demands who _he_
is. “I am who am, and have been, and am to be; and since thou hast been
created for Love’s spouse, let thy love be grateful.”

“What command dost thou lay on me, my Love? I will never break it.”

“All that thou seest here is thine; that tree alone is mine.”

Nature asks who can ever divert her love, and is answered, “Thy
Free-will.”

“What new spirit and force was created in my new being by that word,
which told me that there was something in me besides myself? Voice, tell
me, who is Free-will.”

Free-will appears as a rustic, and answers, “I.”

Nature then proceeds to name the various objects about her, accompanying
each name with some appropriate remark, and is led quite naturally to
indulge in some boasting at her dominion over such a beautiful and varied
kingdom.

This is the moment Lucifer and Sin select to appear in the disguise of
rustics. The latter remains concealed in the tree; the former introduces
himself to Human Nature as a gardener, and says very gallantly that he
lost his last place on her account.

Nature hastens to turn a conversation becoming somewhat personal by
asking what he is cultivating.

“That beautiful tree.”

“It is extremely lovely.”

“There is something more singular about it than being merely lovely.”

“What?”

“Earth, who brought it forth, can tell thee.”

“I am earth, since I was formed of earth; so I will tell the Earth to
keep me no longer in suspense.”

“Then speak to her, and thou shalt see.”

“Mother Earth, what is this hidden mystery?”

SIN. “Eat, and thou shalt be as God.”

Then follow the Fall and a powerful scene depicting Nature’s confusion
and grief, as she is dragged off by Satan as his slave, while Sin claims
Free-will as her prey.

The Artist enters and finds Knowledge, Innocence, and Grace in tears; the
latter informs him of the Fall.

He thus reproaches his creation for her ingratitude: “What more could
I do for thee, my best design, than form thee with my own hands? I gave
thee my image, a soul that cost thee nothing, and yet thou desertest me
for my greatest enemy.”

He then pronounces the curse upon Mankind and the Serpent, and declares
he will blot out the world, the scene of their sin.

The clouds break and the sea bursts its limits; the Earth trembles and
struggles with the waves, and in agony calls on the Lord for mercy.

In the midst of this confusion of the elements Human Nature is heard
crying for help.

LUCIFER. “Why callest thou for aid, if I, the only one whom it behooves
to give it, delight in seeing thee annihilated?”

Sin also makes the same declaration. The World alone attempts to save its
queen.

At last the Artist casts her a plank, saying, “Mortal, again see whom
thou hast deserted, and for whom; since he whom thou hast offended saves
thee, and he whom thou lovest abandons thee! One day thou wilt know of
what this plank, fragment of a miraculous ark, is symbol.”

The World, Nature, and Free-will are saved; the latter enters, bound with
Sin, who declares that Sin and Human Nature are so nearly the same that
one cannot go anywhere without the other.

We have said anachronisms are frequent; the poet here even makes his
characters jest about it.

HUMAN NATURE. “Since here there are no real persons, and Allegory can
traverse centuries in hours, it seems to me that the salute the angels
are singing to this celestial aurora declares in resounding words…”

MUSIC. “In heaven and on earth peace to man and glory to God.”

FREE-WILL. “The story has made a fine jump from the Creation to the
Flood, and I think there is going to be another, if I understand that
song aright--from the Deluge to the Nativity!”

The chant continues, to the infinite discomfort of Lucifer and Sin, who
at last determine in their rage to disfigure Human Nature so that her
Creator himself could not recognize her.

Lucifer holds her hands, while Sin brands upon her brow the sign of
slavery.

Lucifer then commands the World to remain on guard, and let no one enter
without careful scrutiny, for fear lest the Artist may attempt to avenge
the wrong done him.

The Artist enters, accompanied by Divine Love.

They are soon discovered by the World, who exclaims: “Who goes there?”

“Friends.”

“Your name?”

“A Man.”

“And the World, the faithful sentinel of Sin, does not know how thou hast
entered here?”

“I did not come that Sin should know me.”

“_I_ do not know thee.”

“So John will say.”

“By what door didst thou enter?”

“By that of Divine Love, who accompanies me.”

“What is thy office?”

“I was once an Artist in a certain allegory, and must still be the same.”

“Artist?”

“Yes, since I came to retouch a figure of mine which an error has
blotted.”

“Since thou art a painter thou canst do me a favor.…”

“What is it?”

The World then informs him that there is a certain Spouse who has been
carried away from her husband, and is now in the power of a Tyrant, who
is endeavoring to force her to accompany him to another world, the seat
of his rule.

The Artist weeps, because he remembers his own Spouse, whose fate is
similar to that of this one.

The world begs the Artist to make a portrait of this fair disconsolate
one, that he (the World) may wear it on his breast.

The Artist consents, and conceals himself in order to work unobserved.

The World goes in search of Human Nature, while the Artist looks about
for some hiding-place. Love points to a cross near by, and says that as
the first offence was committed in a tree, this one will witness his
vengeance.

The Artist calls for his colors, and Love presents him with a box, in
opening which his hands are stained a bloody red.

“Take this!”

“It is all carmine.”

“I have no other color.”

“Do not let it afflict thee, Love, that blood must retouch what Sin has
blotted. The brushes!”

Love hands him three nails--“Here they are!”

“How sharp and cruel! What can be the canvas for such brushes!”

Love gives him a canvas in the shape of a heart--“a heart.”

“Of bronze?”

“Yes.”

“How I grieve to see it so hardened, when I intended to form in it a
second figure! Give me the mall-stick.”

Love presents him with a small lance. “Here it is.”

“The point is steel! Less cruel instruments Innocence, Grace, and
Knowledge once gave me!”

“Be not astonished if these are more cruel than those; for then thou
didst paint as God, and now as Man!”

While the Artist is working Nature, Free-will, and Sin enter, and later
Lucifer, who, wearied of Nature’s continual lamentation, comes to drag
her to his realm.

ARTIST. “Why should I delay my vengeance, seeing them together? Give me,
Love, the weapons which I brought for this occasion!”

“Thy voice is the lightning, this weapon only its symbol; but I deliver
it to thee with sorrow!”

“When my offended honor is so deeply concerned?”

“I am Love, and _she_ is weeping; but I will direct my gaze to thy
wrongs, and without fail shall hit the mark.”

“My hand cannot err, traitrous adulterers, who conspired against me; the
honor of an insulted man obliges me to this! I am the Painter of his own
Dishonor; die both at one stroke!” (Fires. Lucifer and Sin both fall.)

LOVE. “Thou hast hit Sin, and not Human Nature!”

The Artist answers that it cannot be said that his shot has failed, since
by this tree Nature lives, and Lucifer and Sin are killed.

The Artist points to a fountain of seven streams, and the Virtues, and
invites Human Nature to bathe in the blood from his side, and be restored
to her original condition.

The _auto_ closes with an expression of gratitude from Nature, and the
usual allusion to the Sacrament in whose honor the present festival is
celebrated.


I AM THE DOOR.

“To him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

    Truly, I see Thou art!--with nails hinged fast:
      Yet faster barred and locked with bolts of love.
    I, treasure seeking, through Thee would go past.
      Than lock or hinges must I stronger prove?

    “A knock will do’t.” A knock! Where durst I, Lord?
    “Knock at my heart; there all my wealth is stored.”


THE TRAGEDY OF THE TEMPLE.

CONCLUDED.

While the so-called King of France was thus subjected to the fierce and
brutal caprice of one man, there were thousands of loyal hearts beating
in pity for him, and longing to liberate and crown him, even at the price
of their blood. The faithful army of La Vendée was fighting for him,
and with a courage and determination that caused some anxiety among the
good patriots as to the possible issue of the campaign. The movement
was held up to ridicule; the young prince was mockingly styled King of
La Vendée. Nevertheless, the republicans were alarmed, and the hopes of
the royalists were reviving. The Simons were discussing these matters
one evening over the newspaper, when Simon, looking at the forlorn,
broken-spirited little monarch, whose cause was thus creating strife and
bloodshed far beyond his dungeon’s walls, exclaimed sneeringly: “I say,
little wolf-cub, they talk of setting up the throne again, and putting
thee in thy father’s place; what wouldst thou do to me if they made thee
king?” The boy raised his dim blue eyes from the ground, where they were
now habitually fixed, and replied: “I would forgive thee!” Mme. Simon, in
relating this incident long after, said that even her husband seemed for
a moment awed by the sublime simplicity of the answer.

They were both of them sick and tired of their office by this time; she
of the cruel work it involved, he of the close confinement to which
it condemned them. He tried to get released from his post, and after
some fruitless efforts succeeded. On the 19th of January, 1794, they
left the Temple. The patriot shoemaker died six months afterwards on
the guillotine. He had no successor, properly speaking, in the Tower;
in history he has neither successor nor predecessor; he stands alone,
unrivalled and unapproachable, as a type of the tiger-man, a creature
devoid of one humane, redeeming characteristic. Other men whose names
have become bywords of cruelty or ferocious wickedness have at least had
the excuse of some all-absorbing passion which, stifling reason and every
better instinct of their nature, carried them on as by some overmastering
impulse; but Simon could not plead even this guilty excuse. His was no
mad delirium of passion, but a cold-blooded, deadly, undying, unrelenting
cruelty in the execution of a murder that he had no motive in pursuing
except as a means of adding a few coins more to his salary. He entered on
his task of lingering assassination with deliberate barbarity; he was not
stimulated by the sense of personal wrong, by a thirst for revenge, by
any motive that could furnish the faintest thread of extenuation. He rose
every morning and went to his victim as other men rise and go to their
studies or their work. He devoted all his energies, all his instincts, to
coolly inflicting torture on a beautiful, engaging, and innocent little
child. No, happily for the world, he has no prototype in its history;
nor, for the honor of humanity, has he ever found an apologist. He is
perhaps the only monster of ancient or modern times who has never found
a sceptic or a casuist to lift a voice in his behalf. Nero and Trajan,
Queen Elizabeth and Louis XI., have had their apologists; nay, even Judas
has found amongst the fatalists of some German school an infatuated
fellow-mortal to attempt a defence of the indefensible; but no man has
yet been known to utter a word of excuse for the brutal jailer of Louis
XVII.

And yet his departure, though it rid the helpless captive of an active,
ever-present barbarity, can hardly be said, except negatively, to have
bettered his position. The Convention decreed that it was essential
to the nation’s life and prosperity that the little Capet should be
securely guarded; and as if the insane precautions hitherto used were
not sufficient to secure a feeble, attenuated child, he was removed to
a stronger and more completely isolated dungeon, where henceforth his
waning life might die out quicker and more unheard of. There was only
one window to the room, and this was darkened by a thick wooden blind,
reinforced by iron bars outside. The door was removed, and replaced by a
half-door with iron bars above; these bars, when unlocked, opened like a
trap, and through this food was passed to the prisoner. The only light at
night was from a lamp fastened to the wall opposite the iron grating.

Mme. Royale thus describes the state of her brother in this new abode, to
which he was transferred--whether by accident or design we know not--on
the anniversary of his father’s death, January 21: “A sickly child of
eight years, he was locked and bolted in a great room, with no other
resource than a broken bell, which he never rang, so greatly did he dread
the people whom its sound would have brought to him; he preferred wanting
any and every thing to calling for his persecutors. His bed had not been
stirred for six months, and he had not strength to make it himself; it
was alive with bugs and vermin still more disgusting. His linen and his
person were covered with them. For more than a year he had no change of
shirt or stockings; every kind of filth was allowed to accumulate about
him and in his room; and during all that period nothing had been removed.
His window, which was locked as well as grated, was never opened, and
the infectious smell of this horrid room was so dreadful that no one
could bear it for a moment. He might indeed have washed himself--for he
had a pitcher of water--and have kept himself somewhat more clean than
he did; but overwhelmed by the ill-treatment he had received, he had not
resolution to do so, and his illness began to deprive him of even the
necessary strength. He never asked for anything, so great was his dread
of Simon and his other keepers. He passed his days without any kind
of occupation. They did not even allow him light in the evening. This
situation affected his mind as well as his body, and it is not surprising
that he should have fallen into a frightful atrophy. The length of time
which he resisted this treatment proves how good his constitution must
have originally been.”

While the boy-king was slowly telling away his remnant of miserable life
in the dark solitude of the Tower, thousands were being daily immolated
on the public places, where the guillotine, insatiable and indefatigable,
despatched its cartloads of victims. On the 10th of May Mme. Elizabeth,
the most revered and saintly of all the long roll of martyrs inscribed on
that bloody page, was sacrificed with many other noble and interesting
women, amongst them the venerable sister of M. de Malesherbes, the
courageous advocate of the king. She was seventy-six years of age. By a
refinement of barbarity the municipals who conducted the “batch” obliged
Mme. Elizabeth to wait to see her twenty-five companions executed before
laying her own head on the block. Each of them, as they left the tumbrel,
asked leave to embrace her; she kissed them with a smiling face, and said
a few words of encouragement to each. “Her strength did not fail her to
the last,” says Mme. Royale, “and she died with all the resignation of
the purest piety.”

Mme. Royale was henceforth left in perfect solitude like her brother. She
thus describes her own and the Dauphin’s life after the departure of her
beloved aunt, of whose death she was happily kept in ignorance for a long
time: “The guards were often drunk; but they generally left my brother
and me quiet in our respective apartments until the 9th Thermidor. My
brother still pined in solitude and filth. His keepers never went near
him but to give him his meals; they had no compassion on this unhappy
child. There was one of the guards whose gentle manners encouraged me to
recommend my brother to his attention; this man ventured to complain of
the severity with which the boy was treated, but he was dismissed next
day. I, at least, could keep myself clean. I had soap and water, and
carefully swept out my room every day. I had no light.… They would not
give me any more books, but I had some religious works and some travels,
which I read over and over.”

The fall of Robespierre, which rescued so many doomed heads from the
guillotine, and opened the doors of their prison, had no such beneficent
effect on the fate of the two royal children. It gave rise, however,
to some alleviation of their sufferings. Immediately on the death of
his cowardly and “incorruptible” colleague, Barras visited the Tower,
and dismissed the whole set of commissaries of the Commune, who were
forthwith despatched to have their heads cut off next day, while a single
guardian was appointed in their place.

Laurent was the man’s name. He had good manners, some education, and,
better than all, a human heart. The lynxes of the Temple eyed him
askance; he was not of their kin, this creole with the heart of a man,
and they mistrusted him. It was not until two o’clock in the morning that
they conducted him to the presence of his charge. He tells us that when
he entered the ante-room of the dungeon he recoiled before the horrible
stench that came from the inner room through the grated door-way. Good
heavens! was this the outcome of the reign of brotherhood which talked
so mightily of universal love and liberty? It was in truth the most
forcible illustration of the gospel of Sans-culottism that the world had
yet beheld. “Capet! Capet!” cried the municipals in a loud voice. But
no answer came. More calling, with threats and oaths, at last brought
out a feeble, wailing sound like the cry of some dying animal. But
nothing more could threats, or even an attempt at coaxing, elicit. Capet
would not move; would not come forth and show himself to the new tutor.
Laurent took a candle, and held it inside the bars of the noxious cage;
he beheld, crouching on a bed in the furthest corner of the dungeon, the
body which was confided to his guardianship. Sickened with the sight, he
turned away. There was no appliance at hand for forcing open the door or
the grating. Laurent at once sent in an account of what he had seen, and
demanded that this remnant of child-life, that he was appointed to watch
over, should be examined by proper authority. The next day, July 30, some
members of the Sûreté Générale came to the Tower. M. de Beauchesne tells
us what they saw: “They called to him through the grating; no answer.
They then ordered the door to be opened. It seems there were no means of
doing it. A workman was called, who forced away the bars of the trap so
as to get in his head, and, having thus got sight of the child, asked
him why he did not answer. Still no reply. In a few minutes the whole
door was broken down, and the visitors entered. Then appeared a spectacle
more horrible than can be conceived--a spectacle which never again can
be seen in the annals of a nation calling itself civilized, and which
even the murderers of Louis XVI. could not witness without mingled pity
and fright. In a dark room, exhaling a smell of death and corruption,
on a crazy, dirty bed, a child of nine years old was lying prostrate,
motionless, and bent up, his face livid and furrowed by want and
suffering, and his limbs half covered with a filthy cloth and trowsers
in rags. His features, once so delicate, and his countenance, once so
lively, denoted now the gloomiest apathy--almost insensibility; and his
blue eyes, looking larger from the meagreness of the rest of his face,
had lost all spirit, and taken, in their dull immovability, a tinge of
gray and green. His head and neck were eaten up (_rongés_) with purulent
sores; his legs, arms, and neck, thin and angular, were unnaturally
lengthened at the expense of his chest and body. His hands and feet were
not human. A thick paste of dirt stuck like pitch over his temples, and
his once beautiful curls were full of vermin, which also covered his
whole body, and which, as well as bugs, swarmed in every fold of the
rotten bedding, over which black spiders were running.… At the noise of
forcing the door the child gave a nervous shudder, but barely moved,
not noticing the strangers. A hundred questions were addressed him; he
answered none of them. He cast a vague, wandering, unmeaning look at his
visitors, and at this moment one would have taken him for an idiot. The
food they had given him was still untouched; one of the commissioners
asked him why he had not eaten it. Still no answer. At last the oldest
of the visitors, whose gray hairs and paternal tone seemed to make an
impression on him, repeated the question, and he answered in a calm but
resolute tone: ‘Because I want to die!’ These were the only words which
this cruel and memorable inquisition extracted from him.”

Barras, the stuttering, pleasure-loving noble of Provence, “a terror
to all phantasms, being himself of the genus Reality”--Barras, who had
stood, like a bewildered, shipwrecked man while the storm-wind was
whirling blood-waves round about him, now enters and beholds the royal
victim whom it has taken nearly eighteen months of Simon the Cordwainer’s
treatment “to get rid of”--perishing, but still alive in his den of
squalor, darkness, and fright. His knees were so swollen that his ragged
trowsers had become painfully tight. Barras ordered them to be cut
open, and found the joints “prodigiously swollen and livid.” One of the
municipals, who had formerly been a surgeon, was permitted to dress the
sores on the head and neck; after much hesitation a woman was employed
to wash and comb the child, and at Laurent’s earnest remonstrance a
little air and light were admitted into the damp room; the vermin were
expelled as far as could be, an iron bed and clean bedding replaced
the former horrors in which the boy had lain so many months, and the
grated door was done away with. These were small mercies, after all,
and to which the vilest criminal had a right. All the other rigors of
his prison were maintained. He was still left to partial darkness and
complete solitude. Laurent, after a while, wearied the municipals into
giving him leave to take him occasionally for an airing on the leads. The
indulgence was perhaps welcome, but the child showed no signs of pleasure
in it; he never spoke or took the smallest notice of anything he saw.
Once only, when on his way to the leads, he passed by the wicket which
conducted to the rooms that his mother had occupied; he recognized the
spot at once, gazed wistfully at the door, and, clinging to Laurent’s
arm, made a sign for them to go that way. The municipal who was on guard
at the moment saw what the poor little fellow meant, and told him he
had mistaken the door; it was, he said, at the other side. But the child
had guessed aright. The kind-hearted Laurent began soon to feel his own
confinement, almost as solitary as the prince’s, more than he could
bear. He petitioned to have some one to assist him in his duties, and,
owing to some secret influence of the royalists, a man named Gomin, who
was at heart devoted to their cause, was appointed. The only benefit
which the young prisoner derived from the change of his jailers was that
civility and cleanliness had replaced insolence and dirt. For the rest,
he was still locked up alone, never seeing any one except at meal times,
when the two guardians and a municipal were present, the former being
often powerless to control the insulting remarks and gratuitous cruelty
of the latter. So the wretched days dragged on, silent, monotonous,
miserable. Meanwhile, Paris was breathing freely after the long night
of Terror. The Fraternity of the Guillotine was well-nigh over, and the
_Jeunesse dorée_ had flung away the red caps and the _Carmagnole_, and
was disporting itself with a light heart in gaudy attire of the antique
cut. Fair _citoyennes_ discarded the unbecoming and therefore, even to
the most patriotic among them, odious costume of the republic, and decked
themselves out in flowing Greek draperies, binding their hair with gold
and silver fillets like Clytemnestra and Antigone, and replacing the
_sabots_ of the people with picturesque sandals, clothing their naked
feet only in ribbons, despite the biting cold of this memorable winter.
The death-beacons one by one had been quenched, not by nimble hands,
like the lights of the ballroom or the gay flame of the street, but in
blood dashed freely over their lurid glare. Terrified men were emerging
from their holes and hiding-places; nobles were returning from exile;
there was a sudden flaming up of merriment, an effervescence of luxury,
an intoxicating thirst for pleasure, a hunger to eat of the good things
of life, of which the reign of _sans-culottism_ had starved them. There
were gay gatherings in all ranks; in the highest the _bals des victimes_,
where the guests wore a badge of crape on their arm, as a sign that they
had lost a near relative on the guillotine--none others being admitted.
So, while the waltzers spun round to the clang of brass music and in
the blaze of wax-lights, and all the world was embracing and exchanging
congratulations, like men escaped from impending death, the tragedy in
the Tower drew to its end unheard and unheeded. The King of La Vendée
ate his dinner of “_bouilli_ and dry vegetables, generally beans”; the
same at eight o’clock for supper, when he was locked up for the night,
and left unmolested till nine next morning. One day there came a rough,
blustering man to the prison, who flung open the doors with much noise,
and talked like thunder. His name was Delboy. He chanced to arrive at
the dinner-time. “Why this wretched food?” cried the noisy visitor.
“If _they_ were still at the Tuileries, I would help to starve them
out; but here they are our prisoners, and it is unworthy of the nation
to starve them. Why these blinds? Under the reign of equality the sun
should shine for all. Why is he separated from his sister? Under the
reign of fraternity why should they not see each other?” Then addressing
the child in a gentler tone, he said, “Should you not like, my boy, to
play with your sister? If you forget your origin, I don’t see why the
nation should remember it.” He reminded the guardians that it was not the
little Capet’s fault that he was his father’s son--it was his misfortune;
he was now only “an unfortunate child,” and the “nation should be his
mother.” The only advantage the unfortunate child derived from this
strange visit was that the lamp of his dungeon was lighted henceforth
at dark. Gomin asked this favor on the spot, and it was granted. The
commissioners were continually changed--a circumstance which proved a
frequent cause of suffering and annoyance to the captive, who was the
victim of their respective tempers, often fierce and cruel as those of
his jailers of the earlier days. These accumulated miseries were finally
wearing out his little remnant of strength. The malady which for some
time past gave serious alarm to his two kind-hearted friends, Laurent
and Gomin, increased with sudden rapidity, and in the month of February,
1795, assumed a threatening character. He could hardly move from extreme
weakness, and had lost all desire to do so. When he went for his airing,
Laurent or Gomin had to carry him in their arms. He let them do so
reluctantly; but he was now too apathetic to resist anything. The surgeon
of the prison was called in, and certified that “the little Capet had
tumors on all his joints, especially his knees; that it was impossible
to extract a word from him; that he never would rise from his chair or
his bed, and refused to take any kind of exercise.” This report brought
a deputation of members of the Sûreté Générale, who were so horrified at
the state of things they found that they drew up the following appeal
to their colleagues: “For _the honor of the nation_, who knew nothing
of these horrors; for that of the Convention, which was, in truth, also
ignorant of them; and even for that of the guilty municipality of Paris
itself, who knew all and was the cause of all these cruelties, we should
make no public report, but only state the result in a secret meeting of
the committee.” This confession is revolting enough; but it might find
some shadow of excuse, if, after hiding the cruelties for the sake of
shielding the wretches who had sanctioned them, these deputies had taken
steps to repair the wrong-doing, and to alleviate the position of the
victim; but, as far as the evidence goes, nothing of the sort was done.

The tomb-like solitude to which the young prince had so long been
subjected, added to the chronic terror in which he had lived from the
time of his coming under Simon’s tutelage, had induced him to maintain
an obstinate, unbroken silence. He could not be persuaded to answer a
question, to utter a word. Yet it was evident enough that this did not
proceed from stupidity or insensibility, but that his faculties still
retained much of their native vivacity and sensitiveness. Gomin was so
timid by nature that, in spite of his affection for his little charge,
he seldom ventured on any outward expression of sympathy, afraid he
should be detected and made, like so many others, to pay the penalty of
it. One day, however, that he chanced to be left quite alone with him,
he felt safe to let his heart speak, and showed great tenderness to the
child; the boy fixed a long, wistful look on his face, and then rose and
advanced timidly to the door, his eyes still fastened on Gomin with an
expression of entreaty too significant to be misunderstood. “No, no,”
said Gomin, shaking his head reluctantly; “you know _that_ cannot be.”
“_Oh! I must see her_,” cried the poor child. “_Oh! pray, pray let me
see her just once before I die!_” Gomin made no answer but by his look
of pity and regret, and, going up to the child, led him gently from
the door. The young prince threw himself on the bed with a gesture of
despair, and remained there, senseless and motionless, so long that
his guardian at one moment, as he confessed afterwards, feared he was
dead. Poor child! The longing to see his mother had of late taken the
shape of a hope, and he had been busy in his mind as to how it could
possibly be realized; this had been an opportunity, he thought, and the
disappointment overwhelmed him. Gomin said that, for his part, the sight
of the boy’s grief nearly broke his heart. The incident, he believed,
hastened the crisis, that was now steadily advancing. A few days after
this occurrence a new commissary came to inspect the prisoner, and, after
eyeing him curiously, as if he had been a strange variety of animal, he
said out loud to Laurent and Gomin, who were standing by, “That child
has not six weeks to live!” Fearing the shock these words might cause
the subject of them, the guardians ventured to say something to modify
their meaning; the commissary turned on them, and with a savage oath
repeated, “I tell you, citizens, in six weeks he will be an idiot, if he
is not dead!” When he left the room, the young prince gazed after him
with a mournful smile. The sentence, brutally delivered as it was, had
no fears for him; presently a few teardrops stole down his cheeks, and
he murmured, as if speaking to himself, “And yet I never did any harm to
anybody.”

A new affliction now awaited him. The kind and faithful Laurent left
him. His post in the Tower, repulsive from the first, had become utterly
insupportable to him of late, and on the death of his mother he applied
to be liberated from it. When he came to bid farewell to the unhappy
child, whose lot he had endeavored to soften as far as his power
admitted, the prince squeezed his hand affectionately, _looked_ his
regret at him, but uttered no word.

Laurent was replaced by a man named Lasne, formerly a soldier in the
old Gardes Françaises, now a house-painter. For the first few weeks
after his arrival the young prince was mute to him, as he had been to
his predecessor, until the latter’s persevering kindness had disarmed
timidity and mistrust. A trifle at last broke the ice. Lasne was in the
habit of talking to his little charge, making kindly remarks, or telling
stories that he thought might amuse him, never waiting for any sign of
response. One day he happened to tell him of something that occurred
when he, Lasne, had been in the old guard, and, being on guard at the
Tuileries, had seen the Dauphin reviewing a regiment of children which
had been formed for his amusement, and of which he was colonel. The boy’s
countenance beamed with a sudden ray of surprise and pleasure, and he
exclaimed in a whisper, as if afraid of being overheard, “And didst thou
see me with my sword?” Lasne answered that he had, and from this forth
they were fast friends. Bolder, though scarcely more sympathizing, than
either Laurent or Gomin, Lasne determined to apply at headquarters for
some decisive change in the prince’s treatment. He induced his colleague
to join him in signing a report to the effect that “the little Capet was
indisposed.” This was inscribed on the Temple register; but no notice was
taken, and in a few days they both again protested in stronger terms:
“The little Capet is seriously indisposed.” No notice being taken of
this, the brave men wrote a third time: “The life of little Capet is in
danger!” This finally brought a response. M. Desault, one of the first
physicians in Paris, was sent to visit the young prince. He had come too
late, however; the malady which had carried off the elder Dauphin had
taken too deep a hold on the child’s life to be now arrested or overcome.
Nothing could induce the prince to answer a question or speak a word to
the doctor or in his presence; and it was only after great difficulty,
and at the earnest entreaties of his two guardians, that he consented
to swallow the medicines prescribed. By degrees, however, as it always
happened, the persistent kindness and sympathizing looks and words of M.
Desault conquered his suspicions or timidity; and though he never plucked
up courage to speak to him, the municipals being always present, he would
take hold of the doctor’s coat, and thus express a desire for him to
prolong his visit. This lasted three weeks.

Among the commissaries there was a M. Bellenger, an artist, who was
deeply touched by the pitiable condition of the child, and one day,
thinking to give him a moment’s diversion, he brought a portfolio of
drawings, and showed them to him while waiting in his room for M. Desault
to come. The novel amusement seemed to interest him very little. He
looked on listlessly, as M. Bellenger turned over the sketches for his
inspection; then, as the doctor did not appear, the artist said, “Sir,
there is another sketch that I should have much pleasure in carrying
away with me, if it were not disagreeable to you.” The deferential
manner, coupled with the title “monsieur,” so long a foreign sound to the
captive’s ear, startled and moved him. “What sketch?” he said, for the
first time breaking silence. “Your features, if it were not disagreeable
to you, it would give me great pleasure.” “Would it?” said the child and
he smilingly acquiesced. M. Bellenger completed his sketch, and still
no doctor appeared; he took leave of the prince, saying he would come
at the same hour the following day. He did so; but M. Desault was again
unpunctual. The time for his visit elapsed, and he neither came nor sent
a message. The commissary suggested that some one should be despatched
to inquire the reason of his absence; but even so simple a step as this
Lasne and Gomin dared not venture on without direct orders. They were
discussing what had best be done, when a new commissary arrived and
satisfied all inquiries: “There is no need to send after M. Desault;
he died yesterday.” This sudden death was the signal for the wildest
conjectures. It was rumored that the physician had been bribed to poison
the prince, and then in remorse had poisoned himself. In times like
those such a report was eagerly accepted, fed as it was by the mystery
which surrounded the inmate of the Tower, and the vague stories afloat
concerning the character of the ill-omened dungeon and the people who now
ruled there.

But there was no foundation for the story in actual facts. M. Desault
was a man of unimpeachable integrity, whose entire life gave the lie to
so odious a suspicion. “The only poison which shortened my brother’s
life,” says Mme. Royale, “was filth, made more fatal by cruelty.” The
death of the kind and clever physician, from whatever cause it arose, was
a serious loss to the forsaken sufferer in the Temple. He remained for
several days without medical care of any sort, until, on the 5th of June,
M. Pelletan, surgeon of one of the large hospitals, was named to attend
him. It would seem as if the race of tigers was dying out, except in the
ranks of the patriot municipals; for all who by accident approached the
poor child in these last days were filled at once with melting pity,
and found courage to give utterance to this feeling aloud. M. Pelletan
remonstrated with the utmost indignation on the darkness and closeness
of the room where his patient was lodged, and on the amount of bolting
and barring that went on every time the door was opened or shut, the
violent crash being injuriously agitating to the child. The guardians
were willing enough to do away with the whole thing, but the municipals
observed that there was no authority for removing the bars or otherwise
altering the arrangements complained of. “If you can’t open the window
and remove these irons, you cannot at least object to remove him to
another room,” said the doctor, speaking in a loud and vehement tone, as
he surveyed the horrible precincts. The prince started, and, beckoning
to this bold, unknown friend, forgot his self-imposed dumbness, and
whispered, drawing M. Pelletan down to him: “Hush! If you speak so loud,
_they_ will hear you; and I don’t want them to know I am so ill; they
would be frightened.” He was alluding to the queen and Mme. Elizabeth,
whom he believed still living in the story above. Every one present
was moved by the tender thoughtfulness the words betrayed, and the
commissary, carried away by sympathy for the unconscious little orphan,
exclaimed: “I take it upon myself to authorize the removal, in compliance
with Citizen Pelletan’s instruction.” Gomin, nothing loath, immediately
lifted the patient in his arms, and carried him off to a bright room in
the little tower, which had been formerly the drawing-room of the keeper
of the archives, and was now hurriedly prepared for the accommodation of
this new inmate. His eyes had been so long accustomed to the gloom that
they were painfully dazzled by the sudden change into the full sunshine.
He hid his face on Gomin’s shoulder for a while, but by degrees he became
able to bear the light, and drew long breaths, opening out his little
hands as if to embrace the blessed sunshine, and then turned a look of
ineffable happiness and thanks on Gomin, who still held him in his arms
at the open window. When eight o’clock came, he was once more locked up
alone.

Next day M. Pelletan came early to see him; he found him lying on his
bed, and basking placidly in the sunny freshness of the June air that
was streaming in upon him. “Do you like your new room?” inquired the
doctor. The child drew a long breath. “Oh! yes,” he said, with a smile
that went to every heart. But even at this happy crisis the sting of the
old serpent woke up, as if to remind the victim that it was not dead.
At dinner-time a new commissary, a brute of the name of Hébert, and full
worthy of that abominable name, burst into the room, and began to talk in
the coarse, boisterous tones once so familiar to the captive. “How now!
Who gave permission for this? Since when have _carabins_ governed the
republic? This must be altered! You must have the orders of the Commune
for moving the wolf-cub.” The child dropped a cherry that he was putting
to his lips, fell back on his pillow, and neither spoke nor moved till
evening, when he was locked up for the night, and left to brood alone
over the terrible prospect which Hébert’s threats had conjured up.

M. Pelletan found him so much worse next day that he wrote to the Sûreté
Générale for another medical opinion; and M. Dumangier was ordered to
attend. Before they arrived the prince had a fainting fit, which lasted
so long that it terrified his guardians. He had, however, quite recovered
from it when the physicians came. They held a consultation; but it was a
mere form. Death was written on every lineament of the wasted body. All
that science could do was to alleviate the last days of the fast-flitting
life. The two medical men expressed surprise and anger at the solitude
to which the dying child was still subjected at night, and insisted on a
nurse being immediately provided. It was not worth the “nation’s” while
to refuse anything now. The order for procuring the nurse was at once
given; but that night the old rule prevailed, and the patient was again
locked up alone. He felt it acutely; the merciful change that had been
effected in so many ways had revived his hopes--the one hope to which
his young heart had been clinging in silence, fondly and perseveringly.

When Gomin said good-night to him, he murmured, while the big tears ran
down his face, “Still alone, and my mother in the other tower!” He was
not to be kept apart from her much longer. When Lasne came next morning,
he thought him rather better. The doctors, however, were of a different
opinion; they found him sinking rapidly, and despatched a bulletin to the
Commune to this effect.

At 11 in the forenoon Gomin came to relieve Lasne by the bedside of the
captive. They remained a long time silent; there was something solemn
in the stillness which Gomin did not like to break, and the child
never was the first to speak. At last Gomin, bending tenderly towards
him, expressed his sorrow at seeing him so weak and exhausted. “Oh! be
comforted,” replied the prince in a whisper; “I shall not suffer long
now.” Gomin could not control his emotion, but dropt on his knees by the
bedside, and wept silently; the child took his hand and pressed it to
his lips, while Gomin prayed. This was the only ministry the son of S.
Louis was to have on his deathbed--the tears of a turnkey, the prayers
of a poor, ignorant son of toil; but angels were there to supplement
the unconsecrated priesthood of charity, weeping in gentle pity for the
sufferings that were soon to cease. Bright spirits were hovering round
the prisoner’s couch, tuning their harps for his ears alone.

Gomin raising his head from its bowed attitude, beheld the prince so
still and motionless that he was alarmed lest another fainting fit had
come on. “Are you in pain?” he asked timidly. “Oh! yes, still in pain,
but less; the music is so beautiful!” Gomin thought he must be dreaming.
There was no music anywhere; not a sound was audible in the room. “Where
do you hear the music?” he asked. “Up there,” with a glance at the
ceiling. “Since when?” “Since you went on your knees. Don’t you hear it?
Listen!” And he lifted his hand, and his large eyes opened wide, as if
he were in an ecstasy. Gomin remained silent, in a kind of awe. Suddenly
the child started up with a convulsive cry of joy, and exclaimed, “I hear
my mother’s voice amongst them!” He was looking towards the window, his
lips parted, his whole face alight with a wild joy and curiosity. Gomin
called to him, twice, three times, asking him to say what he saw. He did
not hear him; he made no answer, but fell back slowly on his pillow, and
remained motionless. He did not speak again until Lasne came to relieve
Gomin. Then, after a long interval of silence, he made a sign as if he
wanted something. Lasne asked him what it was.

“Do you think my sister could hear the music?” he said. “How she would
like it!” He turned his head with a start towards the window again, his
eyes opening with the same expression of joyous surprise, and uttered
a half-inarticulate exclamation; then looking at Lasne, he whispered:
“Listen! I have something to tell you!” Lasne took his hand, and bent
down to hear. But no words came--would never more come from the child’s
still parted lips. He was dead.

So ended the tragedy of the Temple. There is nothing more to tell. Why
should we follow the ghastly story of the stolen heart, deposited in the
“vase with seventeen stars,” then surreptitiously abstracted by the
physician’s pupil, until all faith in the authenticity of the alleged
relic evaporates?

Neither is it profitable to discuss the controversy which arose over
the resting-place of the martyred child; for even in his grave he was
pursued by malignant disputations. Enough for us to hear and to believe
that the son of the kings of France was accompanied to the grave by a few
humane municipals and by his faithful friend Lasne; and that his dust
still reposes in an obscure spot of the Cemetery of S. Margaret, in the
Faubourg St. Antoine, undisturbed and undistinguished under its grassy
mound beneath the shadow of the church close by.


SUBSTANTIAL GENERATIONS.

II.

It is customary with most of the peripatetic writers to assume that the
Aristotelic hypothesis of substantial generations, as understood by
S. Thomas and by his school, cannot be rejected without upsetting the
whole scholastic philosophy. Nothing is more false. Suarez, than whom no
modern writer has labored more successfully in defending and developing
the scholastic philosophy, rejects the fundamental principle of the
Aristotelic theory, and maintains that no generation of new compound
substances is possible, unless the matter which is destined to receive a
new form possess an entity of its own, and be intrinsically constituted
of act and potency, contrary to the universal opinion of the peripatetic
school. “The first matter,” says he, “has of itself, and not through its
form, _its actual entity of essence_, though it has it not without an
intrinsic leaning towards the form.”[58] And again: “The first matter has
also of itself and by itself _its actual entity of existence_ distinct
from the existence of the form, though it has it not independently of
the form.”[59] That these two propositions clash with the Aristotelic
and Thomistic doctrine we need not prove, as we have already shown that
neither S. Thomas nor Aristotle admitted in their first matter anything
but the mere potency of being; and although Aristotle sometimes calls the
first matter “a substance” and “a subject,” he expressly warns us that
such a substance is in potency, and such a subject is destitute of all
intrinsic act.[60] Hence it is plain that the first matter of Suarez is
not the first matter of the peripatetics; whence it follows that the form
which is received in such a matter is not a strictly substantial form,
since it cannot give the first being to a matter having a _first_ initial
being of its own. Hence the Suarezian theory, though full of peripatetic
spirit, and formulated in the common language of the peripatetic school,
is radically opposed to the rigid peripatetic doctrine, and destroys its
foundation. “If the first matter,” says S. Thomas, “had any form of its
own, it would be something in act; and consequently such a matter would
not, at the supervening of any other form, acquire its first being, but
it would only become such or such a being; and thus there would be no
true substantial generation, but mere alteration. Hence all those who
assumed that the first subject of generation is some kind of body, as air
or water, taught that generation is nothing but alteration.”[61] This
remark of the holy doctor may be well applied to the Suarezian theory;
for in such a theory the first matter is “something in act” and has “a
form of its own.” And, therefore, whoever adopts the Suarezian theory
must give up all idea of truly substantial generations. Yet no one who
has a grain of judgment will pretend that Suarez, by framing his new
theory, upset the scholastic philosophy.

The truth is that, as there are two definitions of the substantial form
(_quæ dat primum esse materiæ: quæ dat primum esse rei_), so also there
are two manners of understanding the so-called “substantial” generation;
and, whilst Aristotle and his followers _assumed_ without any good
proof[62] that the specific form of a generated compound gives the
first being to the matter of the compound, and is, therefore, a strictly
substantial form, the modern school _demonstrates_ from the principles
of the scholastic philosophy, no less than from positive science, that
the specific form of a physical compound does not give the first being
to the matter of the compound, but only to the compound nature itself;
and, therefore, is to be called an _essential_ rather than a truly and
strictly substantial form.[63]

The primitive material substance, which is constituted of matter and
substantial form, cannot but be physically simple--that is, free from
all composition of parts--though it is metaphysically compounded, or (as
we would prefer to say) _constituted_ of act and potency. This being the
case, it evidently follows that all substance physically compounded must
involve in its essential constitution something else besides the matter
and the substantial form; for it must contain in itself both that which
gives the first being to the physical components, and that which gives
the first being to the resulting physical compound.

Hence in all substance which is physically compounded of material parts
there are always two kinds of formal constituents. The first kind belongs
to the components, the second to the compound. The first consists of
the substantial forms by which the components are constituted in their
substantial being; which forms must actually remain in the compound;
for the substantial being of the components is the material cause of
the physical compound, and is the sole reason why the physical compound
receives the name of substance. The second is the principle by which
the first components, or elements, are formed into a compound specific
nature. In other terms, the specific compound is “a substance,” because
it is made up of substances, or primitive elements, constituted of matter
and _substantial_ form; whilst the same specific compound is “a compound”
and is “of such a specific nature,” owing to the composition, and to
such a composition, of the primitive elements. This composition is the
_essential_ form of the material compound.

We may here remark that the substantial forms of the component elements,
taken together, constitute what may be called the _remote_ formal
principle of the compound essence (_principium formale quod, seu
remotum_), whilst the specific composition constitutes the _proximate_
formal principle of the same compound essence (_principium formale quo,
seu proximum_). For, as each primitive element is immediately constituted
by its substantial form, so is the physically compound essence
immediately constituted by its specific composition.

It is hardly necessary to add that the matter which is the subject of the
specific composition is not the first matter of Aristotle, but a number
of primitive substances, and that these substances are endowed with
real activity no less than with real passivity, and therefore contain
in themselves such powers as are calculated to bind together the parts
of the compound system, in this or in that manner, according to the
geometric disposition and the respective distances of the same. For,
as the power of matter is limited to _local_ action, it is the _local_
disposition and co-ordination of the primitive elements that determines
the mode of exertion of the elementary powers, inasmuch as it determines
the special conditions under which the Newtonian law has to be carried
into execution. On such a determination the specific composition and the
specific properties of the compound nature proximately depend.

The composition of matter with matter is confessedly an accidental
entity, and arises from accidental action. It would, however, be a
manifest error to pretend that such a composition is an _accidental
form_ of the compound nature. For nothing is accidental to a subject but
what supervenes to it; whereas the composition does not supervene to
the compound, but enters into its very constitution. On the other hand,
the composition does not deserve the name of _substantial form_ in the
strict sense of the word, since it does not give the first being to the
matter it compounds. We might, indeed, call it a substantial form in a
wider sense; for in the same manner as a compound of many substances is
called “a substance,” so can the form of the substantial compound be
called “substantial.” But to avoid the danger of equivocation, we shall
not use this epithet; and we prefer to say that the specific composition
is the _natural_ or the _essential_ form of the material compound, so
far at least as there is question of compounds _purely_ material. This
essential or natural form may be properly defined as _the act by which a
number of physical parts or terms are formed into one compound essence_,
or, more concisely, _the act which gives the first being to the specific
compound_; which latter definition is admitted by the schoolmen, though,
as interpreted by them, it leads to no satisfactory results, as we shall
see presently.

The first physical compound which possesses a permanent specific
constitution is called “a molecule.” Those physicists who assume matter
to be intrinsically extended and continuous, by the name of molecule
understand a little mass filling the space occupied by its volume,
hard, indivisible, and unchangeable, to which they also give the name
of “atom.” But this opinion, which is a relic of the ancient physical
theories, is fast losing ground among the men of science, owing to the
fact that molecules are subject to internal movements, and therefore
composed of discrete parts. Such discrete parts must be simple and
unextended elements, as we have demonstrated. Hence a molecule is nothing
but _a number of simple elements_ (some attractive and some repulsive)
_permanently connected by mutual action in one dynamical system_. We
say _permanently connected_; because no system of elements which lacks
stability can constitute permanent substances, such as we meet everywhere
in nature. Yet the stability of the molecular system is not an absolute,
but only a relative, unchangeableness; for, although the bond which
unites the parts of the molecular system must (at least in the case of
primitive molecules) remain always the same _in kind_, it can (even in
the case of primitive molecules) become different _in degree_ within
the limits of its own kind. And thus any molecule can be altered by
heat, by cold, by pressure, etc., without its specific constitution
being impaired. A molecule of hydrogen is specifically the same at two
different temperatures, because the change of temperature merely modifies
the bond of the constituent elements, without destroying it or making
it specifically different; and the same is true of all other natural
substances.

The _material_ constituent of a molecular system is, as we have said,
a number of primitive elements. These elements may be more or less
numerous, and possess greater or less power, either attractive or
repulsive; on condition, however, that attraction shall prevail in the
system; for without the prevalence of attraction no permanent composition
is possible.

The _formal_ constituent of a molecular system, or that which causes
the said primitive elements to be a molecule, is the determination by
which the elements are bound with one another in a definite manner, and
subjected to a definite law of motion with respect to one another. Such a
determination is in each of the component elements the resultant of the
actions of all the others.

The matter of the molecular system is _disposed_ to receive such a
determination, or natural form, by the relative disposition of the
elements involved in the system. Such a disposition is local; for the
resultant of the actions by which the elements are bound with one another
depends on their relative distances as a condition.

The _efficient cause_ of the molecular system are the elements
themselves; for it is by the exertion of their respective powers that
they unite in one permanent system when placed under suitable mechanical
conditions. The original conditions under which the molecules of the
primitive compound substances were formed must be traced to the sole will
of the Creator, who from the beginning disposed all things in accordance
with the ends to be obtained through them in the course of all centuries.

Molecules may differ from one another, both as to their matter and as to
their form. They differ in matter when they consist of a different number
of primitive elements, or of elements possessing different degrees of
active power or of a different proportion of attractive and repulsive
elements. They differ as to their form, when their constitution subjects
them to different mechanical laws; for as the law of movement and of
mutual action which prevails within a molecule is a formal result of its
molecular constitution, we can always ascertain the difference of the
constitution by the difference of the law.

It is well known that the law according to which a system of material
points acts and moves can be expressed or represented by a certain
number of mathematical formulas. The equations by which the mutual
dynamical relations of the elements in a molecular system should be
represented are of three classes. Some should represent the _mutual
actions_ to which such elements are subjected at any given moment of
time; and these equations would contain differentials of the second
order. Other equations should represent the _velocities_ with which such
elements move at any instant of time; and these equations would contain
differentials of the first order. Other equations, in fine, should
determine the _place_ occupied by each of such elements at any given
moment, and consequently the figure of the molecular system; and these
last equations would be free from differential terms. The equations
exhibiting the mutual actions must be obtained from the consideration of
positive data, like all other equations expressing the conditions of a
given problem. The equations exhibiting the velocities of the vibrating
elements can be obtained by the integration of the preceding ones. The
equations determining the relative position of the elements at any moment
of time will arise from the integration of those which express the
velocities of the vibrating points. Had we sufficient data concerning
the internal actions of a molecule, and sufficient mathematical skill to
carry out all the operations required, we would be able to determine with
mathematical accuracy the whole constitution of such a molecule, and all
the properties flowing from such a constitution. This, unfortunately, we
cannot do as yet with regard to the molecule of any natural substance in
particular; and, therefore, we must content ourselves with the general
principle that those molecular systems are of the same kind whose
constitution can be exhibited _by mathematical formulas of the same
form_, and those molecules are of a different kind whose constitution
is represented _by mathematical formulas of a different form_. This
principle is self-evident; for the formulas by which the mechanical
relations of the elements are determined cannot be of the same form,
unless the conditions which they express are of the same nature; whereas
it is no less evident that two molecular systems cannot be of the same
kind when their mechanical constitution implies conditions of a different
nature.

Two molecules of the same kind may differ _accidentally_--that is, as
to their mode of being--without any essential change in their specific
constitution. Thus, two molecules of hydrogen may be under different
pressure, or at a different temperature, without any specific change. In
this case, the mechanical relations between the elements of the molecule
undergo an accidental change, and the equations by which such relations
are expressed are also accidentally modified, inasmuch as some of the
quantities involved in them acquire a different value; but the form
of the equations, which is the exponent of the specific nature of the
substance, remains unchanged.

From these remarks four conclusions can be drawn. The first is that
molecules consisting of a different number of constituent elements always
differ in kind. For it is impossible for such molecules to be represented
by equations of the same form.

The second is that a molecule is _one_ owing to the oneness of the
common tie between its constituent elements, and to their common and
stable dependence on one mechanical law. Hence a molecule is not _one
substance_, but _one compound nature_ involving a number of substances
conspiring to form a permanent principle of actions and passions of a
certain kind. In other terms, a molecule is not _unum substantiale_, but
_unum essentiale_ or _unum naturale_.

The third is that the specific form of a molecule admits of different
degrees within the limits of its species. This conclusion was quite
unknown to the followers of Aristotle; and S. Thomas reprehends Averroës
for having said that the forms of the elements (fire, water, air,
and earth) could pass through different degrees of perfection, whilst
Aristotle teaches that they are _in indivisibili_, and that every change
in the form changes the specific essence.[64] Yet it is evident that
as there can be circles, ellipses, and other curves having a different
degree of curvature, while preserving the same specific form, so also can
molecules admit of a different degree of closeness in their constitution
without trespassing on the limits of their species. So long as the
changes made in a molecule do not interfere with the conditions on which
the form of its equations depends, so long the specific constitution
of the molecule remains unimpaired. Mathematical formulas are only
artificial abridgments of metaphysical expressions; and their accidental
changes express but the accidental changes of the thing which they
represent. On the other hand, it is well known that the equations by
which the specific constitution of a compound system is determined can
preserve the same form, while some of the quantities they contain receive
an increase or a decrease connected with a change of merely accidental
conditions.

The fourth conclusion is that a number of primitive molecules of
different kinds may combine together in such a manner as to impair more
or less their own individuality by fixing themselves in a new molecular
system of greater complexity. Likewise, a molecular system of greater
complexity is susceptible of resolution into less complex systems. These
combinations and resolutions are the proper object of chemistry, which is
_the science of the laws, principles, and conditions of the specific
changes of natural substances_, and to which metaphysicians must humbly
refer when treating of substantial generation, if they wish to reason on
the solid ground of facts.

We have thus briefly stated what we hold to be the true scientific and
philosophic view of the constitution of natural substances; and as we
have carefully avoided all gratuitous assumptions, we feel confident that
our readers need no further arguments to be convinced of its value as
compared with the hypothetical views of the old physicists. As, however,
the conclusions of the peripatetic school concerning the constitution
and generation of natural substances have still some ardent supporters,
who think that the strictly substantial generations and corruptions are
demonstrated by unanswerable arguments, we have yet to show that such
pretended arguments consist of mere assumption and equivocation.

The first argument in favor of the old theory may be presented under
the following form: “Every natural substance is _unum per se_--that
is, substantially one. Therefore no natural substance implies more
than _one_ substantial form.” The antecedent is assumed as evident,
and the consequent is proved by the principle that “from two beings in
act it is impossible to obtain a being substantially one.” Hence it is
concluded that all natural substances, as water, flesh, iron, etc., have
a substantial form which gives to the first matter the being of water, of
flesh, of iron, etc.

This argument, instead of proving the truth of the theory, proves its
weakness; for it consists of a _petitio principii_. What right has the
peripatetic school to assume that every natural substance is _unum per
se_ substantially? A substance physically simple is, of course, _unum
per se_ substantially; but water, flesh, iron, and the other natural
substances are not physically simple, since they imply quantity of mass
and quantity of volume, which presuppose a number of material terms
actually distinct, and therefore possessing their distinct substantial
forms. No compound substance can be _unum per se_ as a substance; it can
be _unum per se_ only as a compound essence; and for this reason every
natural substance contains as many _substantial_ forms as it contains
primitive elements, whereas it has only one _essential_ form, which gives
the first being to its compound nature. This _one_ essential form is, as
we have explained, the specific composition of its constituent elements.

The principle “From two beings in act it is impossible to obtain a being
_substantially_ one” is perfectly true; but it will be false if, instead
of “substantially,” we put “essentially”; for all essences physically
compounded result from the union of a certain number of actual beings,
and yet every compound essence is _unum per se_ essentially, though not
substantially. For, as _unum per accidens_ is that which has something
superadded to its essential principles, so _unum per se_ is that which
includes nothing in itself but its essential principles; and consequently
every essence, as such, is _unum per se_, whether it be physically simple
or not--that is, whether it be one substance or a number of substances
conspiring into a specific compound. Hence flesh, water, iron, and every
other natural substance may be, and are, _unum per se_, notwithstanding
the fact that they consist of a number of primitive elements and contain
as many substantial forms as components.

It is therefore manifest that this first argument has no strength. No
ancient or modern philosopher has ever proved that any natural substance
is _substantially_ one. To prove such an assertion it would be necessary
to show that the physical compound is physically simple; which, we
trust, no one will attempt to show. Even Liberatore, whose efforts to
revive among us the peripatetic theory have been so remarkable, seems to
have felt the utter impossibility of substantiating such an arbitrary
supposition by anything like a proof, as he lays it down without even
pretending to investigate its value. “True bodies,” says he--“that is,
bodies which are substances, and not mere aggregates of substances--are
essentially constituted of matter and substantial form.”[65] Indeed, if
a body is not an aggregate of substances, it must be evident to every
one that the essence of that body is exclusively constituted of matter
and substantial form. But where is a body to be found which is not an
aggregate of substances--that is, of primitive elements? The learned
author omits to examine this essential point, clearly because there are
neither facts in science nor arguments in philosophy by which it can
be settled favorably to the peripatetic view. Thus the whole theory of
substantial generations, understood in the peripatetic sense, rests on a
mere assumption contradicted, as we know, by natural science no less than
by metaphysical reasoning.

The second argument of the peripatetic school is as follows: When the
matter has its first being, all form supervening to it is accidental; for
the matter which has its first being cannot receive but a being _secundum
quid_--that is, a mode of being which is an accident. But the natural
substance cannot be constituted by an accidental form. Therefore the
form of the natural substance does not supervene to any matter having
its first being, but itself gives the first being to its matter, and
therefore is a strictly substantial form.

Our answer is very plain. We admit that, when the matter has its first
being, all supervening form is accidental _to it_; and we admit, also,
that the composition of matter with matter is an accidental entity,
and gives to the matter an accidental mode of being. This, however,
does not mean that the specific composition is an _accidental form_
of the compound nature. Composition, as compared with substance, is
an accident; but, as compared with the essence of the compound, is an
_essential_ constituent, as we have already remarked; for it is of the
essence of all physical compounds to have a number of substances as their
matter, and a specific composition as their form. In other terms, the
essence of a physical compound involves substance and accident alike;
but what is an accident of the component substances is not an accident
of the compound essence. Hence the proposition, “The natural substance
cannot be constituted by an accidental form,” must be distinguished. If
“natural substance” stands for the primitive substances that constitute
the matter of the compound nature, the proposition is true; for all
such substances have their strictly substantial forms, as is obvious.
If “natural substance” stands for the compound nature itself, inasmuch
as it is a compound of a certain species, then the proposition must
be subdistinguished. For, if by “accidental form” we understand an
accident of the component substances, the proposition will be false;
for, evidently, the compound nature is constituted by composition, and
composition is an accident of the components. Whilst, if the words
“accidental form” are meant to express an accident of the compound
nature, then the proposition is true again; for the composition is not an
accidental, but an essential, constituent of the compound, as every one
must concede. Yet “essential” is not to be confounded with “substantial”;
and therefore, though all natural substances must have their essential
form, it does not follow that such a form gives the first being to the
matter, but only that it gives the first being to the specific compound
inasmuch as it is such a compound. Had the peripatetics kept in view,
when treating of natural substances, the necessary distinction between
the essential and the strictly substantial forms, they would possibly
have concluded, with the learned Card. Tolomei, that their theory was “a
groundless assumption,” and their arguments a “begging the question.”
But, unfortunately, Aristotle’s authority, before the discoveries of
modern science, had such a weight with our forefathers that they scarcely
dared to question what they believed to be the cardinal point of his
philosophy. But let us go on.

A third argument in favor of the old theory is drawn from the
constitution of man. In man the soul is a substantial form, the root of
all his properties, and the constituent of the human substance. Hence
all other natural substances, it is argued, must have in a similar
manner some substantial principle containing the formal reason of their
constitution, of their natural properties, and of their operations. “The
fact that man is composed of matter and of substantial form shows,” says
Suarez, “that in natural things there is a substantial subject naturally
susceptible of being informed by a substantial act. Such a subject (the
matter) is therefore an imperfect and incomplete substance, and requires
to be constantly under some substantial act.”[66] Whence it follows that
all natural substance consists of matter actuated by a substantial form.

This argument, according to Scotus and his celebrated school, is based
on a false assumption. Man is not _one substance_, but _one nature_
resulting from the union of two distinct substances, the spiritual and
the material; and to speak of a _human substance_ as one is nothing less
than to beg the whole question. Every one must admit that the human
soul is the _natural_ form of the animated body, and that, inasmuch as
it is a substance and not an accident, the same soul may be called a
“substantial” form; but, according to the Scotistic school, to which we
cannot but adhere on this point, it is impossible to admit the Thomistic
notion that the soul gives the first being to the matter of the body,
so as to constitute _one substance_ with it; and accordingly it is
impossible to admit that the soul is a strictly “substantial” form in
the rigid peripatetic sense of the word; and thus the above argument,
which is based entirely on the unity of human _substance_, comes to
naught.

This is not the place to develop the reasons adduced by the Scotists
and by others against the Thomistic school, or to refute the arguments
by which the latter have supported their opinion. We will merely remark
that, according to a principle universally received, by the Thomists no
less than by their opponents (_Actus est qui distinguit_), there can be
no distinct substantial terms without distinct substantial acts; and
consequently our body cannot have distinct substantial parts, unless it
has as many distinct substantial acts. And as there is no doubt that
there are in our body a great number of distinct substantial parts (as
many, in fact, as there are primitive elements of matter), there is no
doubt that there are also a great number of distinct substantial acts.
It is not true, therefore, that the human body (or any other body) is
constituted by _one_ “substantial” form. The soul is not defined as the
_first act of matter_, but it is defined as _the first act of a physical
organic body_; which means that the body must possess its own _physical_
being and its _bodily_ and _organic_ form before it can be informed by
a soul. And surely such a body needs not receive from the soul what it
already possesses as a condition of its information; it must therefore
receive that alone in regard to which it is still potential; and this is,
not the first act of being, but the first act of life. But if the soul
were a strictly “substantial” form according to the Thomistic opinion, it
should be _the first act of matter_ as such, and it would have no need
of a previously-formed physical organic body; for the position of such
a form would, of itself, entail the existence of its substantial term.
We must therefore conclude that the human soul is called a “substantial”
form, simply because it is a substance and not an accident,[67] and
because, in the language of the schools, all the “essential” forms have
been called “substantial,” as we have noticed at the beginning of this
article. We believe that it is owing to this double meaning of the
epithet “substantial” that both S. Thomas and his followers were led to
confound the natural and essential with the strictly substantial forms.
They reasoned thus: “What is not accidental must be substantial”; and
they did not reflect that “what is not accidental may be _essential_,”
without being substantial in the meaning attached by them to the term.

But since we cannot here discuss the question concerning the human soul
as its importance deserves, let us admit, for the sake of the argument,
that the human soul gives the first being to its body, and is thus a
strictly substantial form in the sense intended by our opponents. It
still strikes us that no logical mind can from such a particular premise
draw such a general conclusion as is drawn in the objected argument. Is
it lawful to apply to inanimate bodies in the conclusion what in the
premises is asserted only of animated beings? Or is there any parity
between the form of the human nature and that of a piece of chalk? The
above-mentioned Card. Tolomei well remarks that “such a pretended
parity is full of disparities, and that from the human soul, rational,
spiritual, subsistent, and immortal, we cannot infer the nature of those
incomplete, corruptible, and corporeal entities which enter into the
constitution of purely material things.”[68]

That “all natural substances must have some substantial principle” we
fully admit. For we have shown that in every natural compound there are
just as many substantial forms as there are primitive elements in it, and
therefore there is no doubt that each point of matter receives its first
being through a strictly substantial form. But these substantial forms
are the forms of the components; they are not the _specific form_ of the
compound. Nor do we deny that the properties of the compound must be
ultimately traced to some substantial principle; for we admit the common
axiom that “the first principle of the being is the first principle of
its operations”; and thus we attribute the activity of the compound
nature to the substantial forms of its components. But we maintain that
the same components may constitute different specific compounds having
different properties and different operations, according as they are
disposed in different manners and subjected to a different composition.
This being evident, we must be allowed to conclude that the proximate and
specific constituent form of a compound inanimate nature is nothing else
than its specific composition.

Our opponents cannot evade this conclusion, which annihilates the whole
peripatetic theory, unless they show either that there may be a compound
without composition, or that in natural things there is no material
composition of substantial parts. The first they cannot prove, as a
compound without composition is a mere contradiction. Nor can they prove
the second; for they admit that natural substances are extended, and it
is evident that there can be no material extension without parts outside
of parts, and therefore without material composition.

As to the passage of Suarez objected in the argument, two simple remarks
will suffice. The first is that “the fact that man is composed of matter
and substantial form does _not_ show that in other natural things there
is a substantial subject naturally susceptible of being informed by a
substantial act”; unless, indeed, the epithet “substantial” be taken in
the sense of “essential,” as we have above explained. But, even in this
case, there will always be an immense difference between such essential
forms, because the form of a human body must be a substance, whilst
the form of the purely material compounds can be nothing else than
composition. The second remark is that, as the first matter, according to
Suarez, has its own entity of essence and its own entity of existence,
“the substantial subject naturally susceptible of being informed” has
neither need nor capability of receiving its _first_ being; whence it
follows that such a substantial subject is never susceptible of being
informed by a truly and strictly substantial form. We know that Suarez
rejects this inference on the ground that the entity of matter, according
to him, is incomplete, and requires to be perfected by a substantial
form. But the truth is that no strictly substantial form can be conceived
to inform a matter which has already an actual entity of its own; for
the substantial form is not simply that which _perfects the matter_ (for
every form perfects the matter), but it is that which _gives to it the
first being_, as all philosophers agree. On the other hand, it might be
proved that the matter which is a subject of natural generations is not
an _incomplete_ substantial entity, and that the intrinsic act by which
it is constituted, is not, as Suarez pretends, an act _secundum quid_,
but an act _simpliciter_; it being evident that nothing can be in act
_secundum quid_ unless it be already in act _simpliciter_; whence it is
manifest that the _first_ act of matter cannot be an act _secundum quid_.

It would take too long to discuss here the whole Suarezian theory. Its
fundamental points are two: The first, that the matter which is the
subject of natural generations “has an entity of its own”; the second,
that “such an entity is substantially incomplete.” The first of these two
points he establishes against the peripatetics with very good reasons,
drawn from the nature of generation; but the second he does not succeed
in demonstrating, as he does not, and cannot, demonstrate that an act
_secundum quia_ precedes the act _simpliciter_. For this reason we
ventured to say in our previous article that the first matter of Suarez
corresponds to our primitive elements, which, though unknown to him, are,
in fact, the first physical matter of which the natural substances are
composed. What we mean is that, though Suarez intended to prove something
else, he has only succeeded in proving that the matter of which natural
substances are composed is as true and as complete a substance as any
primitive substance can be. And we even entertain some suspicion that
this great writer would have held a language much more conformable to
our modern views, had he not been afraid of striking too heavy a blow
at the peripatetic school, then so formidable and respected. For why
should he call “substantial” the forms of compound bodies, when he knew
that the matter of those bodies had already an actual entity of its own?
He certainly saw that such forms were by no means the substantial forms
of S. Thomas and of Aristotle; but was it prudent to state the fact
openly, and to draw from it such other conclusions as would have proved
exceedingly distasteful to the greatest number of his contemporaries?
However this may be, it cannot be denied that the Suarezian theory,
granting to the matter of the bodies an entity of its own, leads to the
rejection of the truly substantial generations, and to the final adoption
of the doctrine which we are maintaining in accordance with the received
principles of modern natural science. But let us proceed.

The fourth argument in favor of the old theory is the following: If the
components remain _actually_ in the compound, and do not lose their
substantial forms by the accession of a new substantial form, it follows
that no new substance is ever generated; and thus what we call “new
substances” will be only “new accidental aggregates of substances,” and
there will be no substantial difference between them. But this cannot be
admitted; for who will admit that bread and flesh are _substantially_
identical? And yet who can deny that from bread flesh can be generated?

We concede most explicitly that no new “substance” is, or can be, ever
generated by natural processes. God alone can produce a substance, and
he produces it by creation. To say that natural causes can destroy the
substantial forms by which the matter is actuated, and produce new
substantial forms giving a new _first_ being to the matter, is to endow
the natural causes with a power infinitely superior to their nature. The
action of a natural cause is the production of an accidental act; and
so long as “accidental” does not mean “substantial,” we contend that no
substantial form can originate from any natural agent or concurrence of
natural agents. It is therefore evident for us that no “substance” can
ever arise by natural generation.

But, though this is true, it is evident also that from pre-existing
substances “a new compound nature” can be generated by the action of
natural causes. These new compound natures are, indeed, called “new
substances,” but they are the _old_ substances under a _new_ specific
composition; that is, they are not new as substances, though they form
_a new specific compound_. To say that such a compound is “a merely
accidental aggregate of substances” is no objection. Were we to maintain
that _one single substance_ is an accidental aggregate of substances,
the objection would be very natural; but to say, as we do, that _one
compound essence_ is an aggregate of substances united by accidental
actions, is to say what is evidently true and unobjectionable. Yet we
must add that the composition of such substances, accidental though it be
to them individually, is _essential_ to the compound nature; for this
compound nature is a special essence, endowed with special properties
dependent proximately on the special composition, and only remotely on
the substantial forms of the component substances.

That there may be “no substantial difference” between two natural
compounds is quite admissible; but it does not follow from the argument.
It is admissible; because a different specific composition suffices to
cause a different specific compound; as is the case with gum-arabic
and cane-sugar, which consist of a different combination of the same
components. Yet it does not follow from the argument; because the
specific composition of different compounds may require, and usually
does require, a different set of components--that is, of substances;
which shows that there is also a _substantial_ difference between natural
compounds, although their essential form be not the substantial form of
the peripatetics.

Lastly, we willingly concede that bread and flesh are not substantially
identical; but we must deny that their substantial difference arises
from their having a different substantial form. Bread and flesh are
different specific compounds; they differ essentially and substantially,
or formally and materially, because they involve different substances
under a different specific composition. To say that bread and flesh are
_the same matter_ under two different substantial forms would be to give
the lie to scientific evidence. This we cannot do, however much we may
admire the great men who, from want of positive knowledge, thought it the
safest course to accept from Aristotle what seemed to them a sufficient
explanation of things. On the other hand, is it not strange that our
opponents, who admit of no other substantial form in man, except the
soul, should now mention a substantial form of flesh? To be consistent,
they should equally admit a _substantial_ form of blood, a _substantial_
form of bone, etc. Perhaps this would help them to understand that
the epithet “substantial,” when applied to characterize the forms of
material compounds, has been a source of innumerable equivocations, and
that the schoolmen would have saved themselves much trouble, and avoided
inextricable difficulties, if they had made the necessary distinction
between _substantial_ and _essential_ forms.

The arguments to which we have replied are the main support of the
peripatetic doctrine; we, at least, have not succeeded in finding any
other argument on the subject which calls for a special refutation. We
beg, therefore, to conclude that the theory of strictly substantial
generations, as well as that of the constitution of bodies, as held by
the peripatetic school, rest on no better ground than “assumption,” or
_petitio principii_, as Card. Tolomei reluctantly avows. There would
yet remain, as he observes, the argument from authority; but when it is
known that the great men whose authority is appealed to were absolutely
ignorant of the most important facts and laws of molecular science, and
when it is proved that such facts and laws exclude the very possibility
of the old theory,[69] we are free to dismiss the argument. “Were S.
Thomas to come back on earth,” says Father Tongiorgi, “he would be a
peripatetic no more.” No doubt of it. S. Thomas would teach his friends a
lesson, by letting them know that his true followers are not those who
shut their eyes to the evidence of facts, that they may not be disturbed
in their peripateticism, but those who imitate him by endeavoring to
utilize, in the interest of sound philosophy, the positive knowledge of
their own time, as he did the scanty positive knowledge of his.

But we have yet an important point to notice. The ancient theory is
wholly grounded on the possibility of the eduction of new substantial
forms out of the potency of matter; hence, if no truly substantial
form can be so educed, the theory falls to the ground. We have already
shown that true substantial forms giving the first being to the matter
cannot naturally be educed out of the potency of matter.[70] This would
suffice to justify us in rejecting the peripatetic theory. But to
satisfy our peripatetic friends that we did not come too hastily to such
a conclusion, and to give them an opportunity of examining their own
philosophical conscience, we beg leave to submit to their appreciation
the following additional reasons.

First, all philosophers agree that the matter cannot be actuated by a
new form, unless it be _actually_ disposed to receive it. But actual
disposition is itself an accidental form; and all matter that has an
accidental form has also _a fortiori_ a substantial form. Therefore
no matter is actually disposed to receive a new form, but that which
has actually a substantial form. But the matter which has actually a
substantial form is not susceptible of a new substantial form; for the
matter which has its first being is not potential with regard to it, but
only with regard to some mode of being. Therefore no new form truly and
strictly substantial can be bestowed upon existing matter.

Secondly, if existing matter is to receive a new substantial form, its
old substantial form must give way and disappear, as our opponents
themselves teach, by natural corruption. But the form which gives
the first being to the matter is not corruptible. Therefore no truly
substantial form can give way to a new substantial form. The minor of
this syllogism is easily proved. For all natural substances consist
of simple elements, of which every one has its first being by a form
altogether simple and incorruptible. Moreover, the substantial form of
primitive elements is a product of creation, not of generation; the term
of divine, not of natural, action; it cannot, therefore, perish, except
by annihilation. The only form which is liable to corruption is that
which links together the elements of the specific compound; but this is a
natural and essential, not a strictly substantial, form.

Thirdly, the form which gives the first being to the matter is altogether
incorruptible, if the same is not subject to alteration; for alteration
is the way to corruption. But no form giving the first being to the
matter is subject to alteration. For, according to the universal
doctrine, it is the matter, not the form, that is in potency to receive
the action of natural agents. The form is an active, not a passive,
principle; and therefore it is ready to act, not to be acted on; which
proves that substantial forms are inalterable and incorruptible. We are
at a loss to understand how it has been possible for so many illustrious
philosophers of the Aristotelic school not to see the open contradiction
between the corruption of strictly substantial forms and their own
fundamental axiom: “Every being acts inasmuch as it is in act, and
suffers inasmuch as it is in potency.” If the substantial form is subject
to corruption, surely the substance suffers not only inasmuch as it is in
potency, but also, and even more, inasmuch as it is in act. We say “even
more,” because the substance would, inasmuch as it is in act, suffer the
destruction of its very essence; whereas, as it is in potency, it would
not suffer more than an accidental change. It is therefore manifest that
the corruption of substantial forms cannot be admitted without denying
one of the most certain and universal principles of metaphysics.

Fourthly, if the natural agents concerned in the generation of a new
being cannot produce anything but accidental determinations, nor
destroy anything but other accidental determinations, then, evidently,
the form which is destroyed in the generation of a new thing is an
accidental entity, as also the new form introduced. But the efficient
causes of natural generations cannot produce anything but accidental
determinations, and cannot destroy anything but other accidental
determinations. Therefore in the generation of a new being both the
form which is destroyed and the form which replaces it are accidental
entities. In this syllogism the major is evident; and the minor is
certain, both physically and metaphysically. For it is well known that
the natural agents concerned in the generation of a new substance have
no other power than that of producing local motion; also, that the
matter acted on has no other passive potency than that of receiving
local motion. Hence no action of matter upon matter can be admitted
but that which tends to give an accidental determination to local
movement; and if any cause be known to exert actions not tending to
impart local movement, we must immediately conclude that such a cause is
not a material substance. On the other hand, all act produced belongs
to an order of reality infinitely inferior to that of its efficient
principle; so that, as God cannot efficiently produce another God, so
also a contingent substance cannot efficiently produce another contingent
substance; and a substantial form cannot efficiently produce another
substantial form; but as all that God efficiently produces is infinitely
inferior to him in the order of reality, so all act produced by a created
substance is infinitely inferior to the act which is the principle of
its production.[71] It is therefore impossible to admit that the act
produced, and the act which is the principle of its production, belong
to the same order of reality; in other terms, they cannot be both
“substantial”; but while the act by which the agent acts is substantial,
the act produced is always accidental. And thus it is plain that no
natural agent or combination of natural agents can ever produce a truly
substantial form.

A great deal more might be said on this subject; but we think that our
philosophical readers need no further reasonings of ours to be fully
convinced of the inadmissibility of the Aristotelic hypothesis concerning
the constitution and the generation of natural substances. Would that the
great men who adopted it in past ages had had a knowledge of the workings
of nature as extensive as we now possess; their love of truth would have
prompted them to frame a philosophical theory as superior to that of the
Greek philosopher as fact is to assumption. As it is, we must strive to
do within the compass of our means what they would have done much better,
and would do if they were among the living, with their gigantic powers.
We cannot hold in metaphysics what we have to reject in physics. To say
that what is true in physics may be false in metaphysics is no less an
absurdity than Luther’s proposition, that “something may be true in
philosophy which is false in theology.”


THE MODERN LITERATURE OF RUSSIA.[72]

The history of Russia, during the course of the last twenty years, has
entered upon a new era. It also has had its 19th of February,[73] its
day of emancipation; and from the hour when it was permitted to treat
of the times anterior to the reign of the Emperor Nicholas, although
still maintaining a certain reserve, it has lost no time in profiting by
the benefit of which advantage has been eagerly taken. A multitude of
writings, more or less important, which have since then been published,
prove that, in order to become fruitful, it only needed to be freed from
the ligatures of the ancient censure; and it is wonderful to note the
large number of publications with which the history of the last century
finds itself enriched in so short a space of time, besides the documents
of every description that were never previously allowed to see the light
of day, but from which the interdict has been removed that for so long
had condemned them to the dust and oblivion of locked-up archives.

Nor has this been all. The riches of this new mine were sufficiently
plentiful to supply matter for entire collections. Societies were formed
for the purpose of arranging and publishing them without delay, in order
to satisfy the legitimate desire of so many to know the past of their
country, not only from official digests, but from the original sources of
information. It will suffice to name the principal collections created
under the inspiration of this idea, such as the _Russian Archives_, and
also the _XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries_, of M. Bartenev, guardian of the
Library of Tcherkov; the _Old Russian Times_ (_Russkaïa Starina_), of
M. Semevski; the _Historical Society of the Annalist Nestor_, formed at
Kiev, under the presidency of M. Antonovitch; the _Collection of the
Historical Society of St. Petersburg_, under the exalted patronage of the
czarovitch; without enumerating the periodical publications issued by
societies which were already existing, as at Moscow and elsewhere.

To arrange in some degree of order the rapid notice which is all we must
permit ourselves, and laying aside for the present any consideration of
periodical literature, we will mention, in the first place, the works
upon Russian history in general, ecclesiastical and secular; then the
various memoirs and biographies; concluding with bibliography, or the
history of literature.

I. GENERAL HISTORY OF RUSSIA.--Amongst the works which treat of this
subject, that of M. Soloviev indisputably occupies the first place.
His _History of Russia from the Earliest Times_ (_Istoria Rossiis
drevneichikh vremen_) advances with slow but steady pace, and has at this
time reached its twenty-third volume, embracing the second septennate
of the Empress Elizabeth, which concludes with the year 1755--a year
memorable in the annals of Russian literature, as witnessing the
establishment of the first Russian university, namely, that of Moscow.
It is not surprising that this subject has inspired the author, who is
a professor of the same university, to write pages full of interest.
With regard to what he relates respecting the exceedingly low level of
civilization to which the Russian clergy had at that time sunk, other
authors have made it the subject of special treatises, and with an
amplitude of development which could not have found place in a general
history. M. Soloviev’s method is well known--_i.e._, to turn to the
advantage of science the original documents, for the most part inedited,
and frequently difficult of access to the generality of writers. But does
he always make an impartial use of them? This is a question. The manner
in which he has recounted the law-suit of the Patriarch Nicon--to cite
this only as an example--does not speak altogether favorably for the
historian; besides, his history is too voluminous to be accessible to the
generality of readers; and when it will be finished, who can divine?

For this reason a complete history, in accordance with recent
discoveries, and reduced to two or three volumes, would meet with a warm
welcome. That of Oustrialov is already out of date; the little abridgment
of M. Soloviev is too short; and the work of M. Bestoujev-Rumine remains
at its first volume, the two which are to follow, and which have been
long promised, not having yet appeared.

M. Kostomarov, who has just celebrated the 25th year of his literary
career, is also publishing a _History of Russia, Considered in the Lives
of its Principal Representatives_,[74] of which the interest increases
as the period of which it treats approaches our own. Two sections have
already appeared. The first, which is devoted to the history of the house
of S. Vladimir, embraces four centuries; the second, as considerable as
its predecessor in amount of matter, comprises no more than the interval
of about a century--that is to say, the reigns of Ivan the Terrible, his
father, and his grandfather (1462-1583). Faithful to the plan he has
adopted, the author relates the life and deeds of the most remarkable
men, whether in the political or social order: thus, in the second
section, after the historical figures of Ivan III., Basil, and Ivan IV.,
we have the Archbishop Gennadius, the monk Nilus Sorski, whom the Russian
Church reckons among her saints: the Prince Patrikeïev, the celebrated
Maximus, a monk of Mt. Athos, and, lastly, the heretic Bachkine with his
sectaries. The first volume will be terminated by the third section,
which will conclude the history of the house of Vladimir.

This history meets with a violent opponent and an implacable judge in the
person of M. Pogodine, the veteran of Russian historians. The antagonism
of these two writers, M. Pogodine and M. Kostomarov, is of long standing.
But never have polemics taken a more aggressive tone than on the present
occasion; and the aggression is on the part of M. Pogodine, who accuses
his adversary of nothing more nor less than mystifying the public and
corrupting the rising generation; of having arbitrarily omitted the
origin and commencement of the nation; of throwing, by preference, into
strong relief all the dark pages of the history; and, lastly, declares
him to be guilty of venality. To these charges M. Kostomarov replies
that his censor is playing the part of a policeman rather than of a
critic; that his arguments, like his anger, inspire him with pity; and
that the most elementary rules of propriety forbid him to imitate his
language. Coming to historical facts, he explains the reasons for his
silence on the _pagan_ period of Russian history; for treating the call
of Rurik as a fable, together with a multitude of other stories of the
ancient chronicles; for seeing in the Varangian[75] princes nothing
but barbarians, and the pagans of this period the same. He also brings
proofs to show that Vladimir Monomachus was really the first to seek
allies among the tribes of the Polovtsis; that Vassilko caused the whole
population of Minsk to be exterminated; and that Andrew Bogolubski
was not by any means beloved by the people, as had been stated by M.
Pogodine--these three subjects being among the principal points of
dispute.

But we have no desire to pursue any further details which cannot
in themselves have any interest for the public, although, taken in
connection with the histories of the antagonistic authors, they may
be suggestive. For instance, it is not easy to forget what the ardent
professor of Moscow relates of himself with reference to certain of his
fellow-countrywomen who had embraced the Catholic faith. Being at Rome,
he tells us (and his words depict in a lively manner the character of his
zeal) that he felt himself strongly tempted to _seize by the hair_ two
Russian ladies[76] whom he saw crossing the Piazza di Spagna to enter
a Catholic church. He is said to be at this time preparing a _Campaign
against Adverse Powers_, in which he combats “historic heresies.”

But the services rendered by M. Pogodine to the national history are
undoubtedly great. We may notice a new one in his _Ancient History of
Russia before the Mongolian Yoke_,[77] in which, after grouping the
Russian principalities around that of Kiev as their political centre
anterior to the invasion of the Mongols, he also gives the separate
history of each. In the second volume the church, literature, the state,
manners, and customs, are treated upon in turn, and form a series
of pictures traced by a skilful hand, closing with a terribly-vivid
description of the Tartar invasion.

II. PARTICULAR OR INDIVIDUAL HISTORY.--It is about two years since
historical science in Russia sustained a loss in the death of M.
Pékarski, who had scarcely reached his forty-fifth year. This laborious
and learned writer, who, in so short a space of time, produced an unusual
number of important works,[78] died after having just completed his
_History of the Academy of Sciences_. This work contains about eighteen
hundred pages. After a solid introduction there follow the biographies
of the first fifty members of the Academy, all of whom were foreigners,
to which succeed those of Trediakovski and Lomonosov. In glancing over
these biographies one is struck with the preponderance of the German
element, the Academy, at its commencement, being almost exclusively
composed of learned men of that nation. With the reign of Elizabeth the
Russian party began to take the lead, and it was Lomonosov, the son of a
fisherman of Archangelsk, who was the life and soul of it, as a learned
man, an historian, and a poet. Pékarski mentions some curious details
respecting the correspondence between Peter I. and the Sorbonne, touching
the reunion of the Russian Church with Rome. It is to be wished that
the documents treating of this matter, and which are preserved in the
archives of the academy, might be published.

III. ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.--After the _History of the Russian Church_,
by Mgr. Macarius, the present Metropolitan of Lithuania, which has
just reached its seventh volume, the first place is due to that by M.
Znamenski, entitled _The Parochial Clergy in Russia, subsequent to the
Reform of Peter I._[79] In presence of the Protestant reforms which
are in course of introduction into the official church by the Russian
government, M. Znamenski’s book offers an eminently practical interest,
and it is greatly to be wished that those in power would profit by its
serious teaching. The author advances nothing without producing his
proofs, drawn from official documents, which he has taken great pains to
search for and consult wherever they were to be found.

His work is divided into five chapters, the first of which treats of the
“Nomination of the Parochial Clergy.” Down to the middle of the XVIIIth
century its members were chosen on the elective system; it is the ancient
mode of nomination, which existed also in the Catholic Church. But from
the middle of the XVIIIth century this gave place, in Russia, to the
_hereditary_ system, which has become one of the distinctive features of
the Russian communion,[80] and in which may be found the cause of the
separation and the spirit of caste which from that time began to isolate
the clergy from the rest of society, and made them in all respects a body
apart.

This spirit of caste still subsists, though not in so perceptible a
degree as formerly. One inevitable consequence of this Levitism was the
difficulty of quitting the caste when once a person belonged to it, as
the author develops in his second chapter (pp. 176-354). In the third,
he treats of the “Civil Rights of the Clergy,” and there depicts the
revolting abuses in which the secular authorities allowed themselves with
regard to the unfortunate clergy. The arbitrary injustice to which they
were subjected during the whole of the XVIIIth century, and of which the
still vivid traces remained in the time of the Emperor Alexander I.,
appears almost incredible. For instance, a poor parochial incumbent,
having had the misfortune to pass before the house of the principal
proprietor of the place without having taken off his hat to that
personage, who was on the balcony with company, was immediately seized,
thrust into a barrel, and thus rolled from the top of the hill on which
the seignorial dwelling was situated, into the river which flowed at
its base. His death was almost instantaneous. Justice, as represented
in that quarter, being informed of this new species of murder, found
itself unequal to touch the little potentate, and hushed up the affair.
Similar horrors were by no means rare in the XVIIIth century. In the
fourth chapter (pp. 507-617) the author speaks of the “Relations of the
Clergy with the Ecclesiastical Authorities”; and although the picture he
draws is somewhat less sombre than the preceding, still it is melancholy
enough. Venality the most systematic, and rigor that can hardly be said
to fall short of cruelty, were, for more than half a century, the most
prominent features of the ecclesiastical government. No post, however
small or humble, could be obtained without the imposition of a purely
arbitrary tax; and these taxes formed in the end a very considerable
amount. As for the spirit of the government, its fundamental maxim was
to _hold down_ the lower clergy _in humility_ (_smirenié_)--a formula
which was imprinted on the very bodies of the unfortunate victims.
The slightest fault or error on their part was punished by corporal
chastisements so severe that the sufferer sometimes expired under the
blows. Priests were treated by their chief pastors as beings on a level
with the meanest of slaves. One of these _vladykas_ (which is the name by
which the Russian bishops are designated) condemned his subordinates to
dig fish-ponds on his estate, which ponds were to be so shaped as to form
on a gigantic scale the initials (E. B.) of his lordship’s name.[81]

The failure of resources, so materially diminished by the cupidity of
their superiors, forced the parochial clergy to contrive for themselves
an income by means more or less lawful. Besides the legal charges, they
invented various small taxes on their own behalf; or, when all else
failed, they begged their bread from their own parishioners, who were
apt to be more liberal of reproaches than of alms. The well-being of the
secular clergy being one of the questions under consideration by the
present government, the author has devoted to it much of his last chapter.

Such is the general plan of this book, which must be read through to give
an idea of the humiliating degradation to which the hapless clergy were
for more than a century condemned, thanks to the anomaly of institutions
still more than to the abuses practised by individuals. When the source
is corrupt, can the stream be pure?

But all this relates to the “Orthodox” of the empire. That which is
more directly interesting to the Catholic reader will be found in works
respecting the Ruthenian[82] Church, which is at this time attracting the
attention of the West.

The _History of the Reunion of the Ancient Uniates of the West_,[83] by
M. Koïalovitch, Professor of the Ecclesiastical (Orthodox) Academy of the
capital, repeats the faults of all the numerous writings, whether books,
pamphlets, or articles, which have issued from his pen in the course of
the last ten years, and which are painfully remarkable for their spirit
of partiality, their preconceived ideas, their self-contradictions,
and their hatred of the Catholic faith. An organ of the press of St.
Petersburg has expressed a desire that the documents upon which this
author professedly rests three-fourths of his last book, while purposely
neglecting all extraneous sources whatever, whether political or
diplomatic, should be given to the public, which would then be enabled
to judge for itself how far the statements based upon them are to be
trusted. Nor can any obstacle exist in the way of such publication,
as was shown by the work of Moroehkine on the reunion of the Uniates
in 1839, equally compiled from official documents of unquestionable
importance, which were then edited for the first time.

It is impossible not to be struck with the strange coincidence of so many
publications upon union with the painful events which are taking place at
the present time in the Diocese of Khelm, and which had evidently been
preparing long beforehand. Books have their _raison d’être_--a reason
for their appearance at particular periods. It is said, even, that M.
Koïalovitch is at the head of a school of opinion, and that his disciples
can be pointed out without difficulty. Thus, Rustchinski is the author
of a study on the _Religious Condition of the Russian People according
to Foreign Authors of the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries_; Nicolaïevski has
written on _Preaching in the XVIth Century_; Demaïanovitch, on _The
Jesuits in Western Russia, from 1569 to 1772_, at which latter year
the thread of their history is taken up and continued by Moroehkine;
Kratchkovski, on the _Interior State of the Uniate Church_ (1872); and
Stcherbinski has given the history of the Order of S. Basil. But we must
not prolong the catalogue, which, however, is by no means complete. Never
has so much literary activity been known in the “Orthodox” communion as
now, if, perhaps, we except the first times of the union.

But before passing on to another head we must not fail to mention, as
one of the principal representatives of the literary movement of the
XVIth century, the celebrated namesake and predecessor of the present
Metropolitan of Mesopotamia, _i.e._, Archbishop Macarius, to whom we
are indebted for the monumental work known as the _Great Menology_, and
which is a species of religious encyclopædia, containing, besides the
lives of the saints for every day in the year, the entire works of the
early fathers, as well as ascetic, canonical, and literary treatises.
The Archæographic Commission of St. Petersburg has undertaken the
republication, in its integrity, of this colossal work, of which only
three quarto volumes in double columns have at present appeared.

IV. BIOGRAPHIES.--As we have already remarked, it is interesting to
observe the eagerness with which the Russian people welcome everything
that tends to throw light upon their past. For instance, what is usually
drier than a catalogue? And yet the one compiled by M. Méjov has already
reached four thousand copies. It is true that his _Systematic Catalogue_
(of original documents) combines various qualities that are somewhat rare
in publications of this description. It is not, however, desirable that a
taste for the mere reproduction of inedited manuscripts should be carried
too far; the interests of science demanding rather that they should be
made use of in the production of works aspiring to greater completeness,
and suited to meet the requirements of modern criticism.

A certain number of works have already been written in accordance with
this idea. That of M. Tchistovitch, entitled _Theophanes Procopovitch
and his Times_, may be given as a model, as may also the excellent study
of M. Ikonnikov on Count Nicholas Mordinhov, one of the remarkable men
who flourished in the reign of the Emperor Alexander I. and Nicholas.
Various memoirs of this personage had previously appeared in different
collections, but no one before the young professor of Kiev had taken
the trouble to study the original sources upon which alone an authentic
life could be written, to reduce them to system, and give them a living
form. It is not only the opinions and theories of the count which are
given, but those also of contemporary society and the persons by whom
he was surrounded, those of the latter being occasionally too lengthily
developed. M. Ikonnikov was also, some years ago, the author of an
interesting work, entitled _The Influence of Byzantine Civilization
on Russian History_ (Kiev: 1870). And this leads us to mention a book
recently published by M. Philimonov, vice-director of the Museum of Arms,
on _Simon Ouchakov and the Iconography of his Time_.

The name of this artist has scarcely been heard in the West. Born
in 1626, he early evinced a talent for painting, and at the age of
twenty-two was admitted into the number of iconographists appointed by
the czar; his specialty consisting in making designs, more particularly
for the gold-work appropriated to religious uses. Of his paintings,
the earliest bears the date of 1657. M. Philimonov passes in review
all his later productions, accompanying each with a short but careful
notice, and dwelling chiefly upon the two which he considers the
masterpieces of Russian iconography at that period, namely, the painting
of the Annunciation and that of Our Lady of Vladimir. Besides these
two principal paintings, Ouchakov left a quantity of others, most of
which bear his name, with the date of their completion, although these
indications are not needed, his pictures being easily recognizable. He
may, in fact, be considered as at the head of a new school of painting,
taking the middle line between the conventional Muscovite iconography
and the paintings of the West; between the inanimate and rigid formalism
of the one and the living variety of the other; and thus inaugurating
the new era in religious art which manifested itself in Russia with
the opening of the XVIIth century, and permitting the introduction of
a realism which the ancient iconographers were wholly ignorant of,
and would have considered it detrimental to Oriental orthodoxy to
countenance. Ouchakov was ennobled, in honor of his talents, and died in
1656, at the age of sixty, in the full enjoyment of public esteem.

In connection with the subject of art, we may add that M. Philimonov has
just issued an elegant edition of the _Guide to Russian Iconography_,
which teaches the correct manner in which to represent the saints. The
text of this work, which is for the first time published in Russian, has
been furnished by three of the most ancient manuscripts known to exist,
one of which formerly belonged to the Church of S. Sophia of Novogorod.
Fully to comprehend the text, however, it is necessary to have together
with it, for constant reference, some pictorial guide, as, for instance,
the one published by M. Boutovski. The two works explain and complete
each other, as both alike refer to about the same period; but, also, both
should be consulted in subordinate reference to the Greek _Guide_, if the
reader is to be enabled to separate the Byzantine element from that which
is specially characteristic of Russian iconography.

In connection with general literature mention must be made of the
fabulist, Khemnitzer, whose complete works and correspondence have
been edited by Grote, together with a biography, composed from
previously-unpublished sources. After the vast labor of editing the works
of Derjavine, those of Khemnitzer would be in comparison a mere amusement
to the learned and indefatigable academician.

V. JOURNALS AND MEMOIRS.--The _Journal of Khrapovski_ (1782-1793),
published by M. Barsoukov, who has enriched it with a biographical notice
and explanatory notes, appears for the first time in its integrity,
and accompanied by a _catalogue raisonné_ of all the personages who
find themselves mentioned in the text. This journal derives its special
interest and value from the position of the author, who for ten years
was attached to the _personal_ service of the Empress Catherine II.
(_Chargé des Affaires Personnelles_), and who, being thus admitted into
the interior and home-life of the court, noted down day by day, and
sometimes hour by hour, all that he there saw or heard. This is certainly
not history; but an intelligent historian will sometimes find there, in a
sentence spoken apparently at random, the germ of great political events
which were accomplished later.

The _Journal of Lady Rondeau_, wife of the English resident-minister at
the court of the Empress Anne, is the first volume of foreign writers on
the Russia of the XVIIIth century, edited with notes by M. Choubinski.
The idea of publishing the accounts of foreigners on the Russian Empire
merits encouragement, and, if well carried out, will shed new light on
numberless points which an indigenous author would leave unnoticed, but
which have a real interest in the eyes of a stranger. If it should be
objected that foreigners judge superficially and partially, it is none
the less true that the worth of their impressions arises precisely from
the diversity of country and point of view. Besides, all strangers could
not, without injustice, be alike charged with lightness and inexactitude.
The memoirs of Masson on the court of Catherine II. and of Paul I. are
quoted by the Russians themselves as a striking proof to the contrary;
no single fact which he mentions having been disproved by history. The
merit of Lady Rondeau’s book is increased by the notice, in form of an
appendix, which is added by her husband, on the character of each of the
principal personages of the court.

We conclude this rapid and imperfect summary by mentioning the _Catalogue
of the Section of Russica_, or writings upon Russia in foreign
languages--a work of which the initiation is due to the administrators of
the Public Library of St. Petersburg, and forming two enormous volumes.
To give some idea of the riches accumulated in the section of _Russica_,
perhaps unique in the world, and of which the formation commenced in
1849, it will suffice to say that the number of works enumerated in the
catalogue reaches the figures 28,456, _without reckoning_ those composed
in Lithuanian, Esthonian, Servian, Bulgarian, Greek, and other Oriental
languages, which will together form a supplementary volume. Besides
original works, the catalogue indicates all the translations of Russian
books, and enumerates all the periodicals which have appeared in Russia
in foreign languages.

The works are arranged in alphabetical order; but at the end of the
second volume we find an analytical table, commencing with history, the
historical portion being the most considerable one in the section of
_Russica_. Thus the literary treasures possessed by the principal library
of the empire are henceforward made known with regard to each branch of
the sciences in relation to Russia. If to this we add the _Systematic
Catalogue_ of M. Méjov, mentioned above, we possess the historic
literature of Russia in its completeness.


THE FIRST JUBILEE.

Almighty God, who has “ordered all things in measure and _number_ and
weight” (Wisd. xi. 21), and who teaches us, under the guidance of his
church, to observe sacred times and seasons, has brought around again the
Holy Year of Jubilee, during which an extraordinary indulgence is granted
by the Pope, that sinners being led to repentance, and the just increased
in grace, each one can hear it said to himself: “In an _acceptable time_
I have heard thee” (Is. xlix. 8).

We will not touch here upon the nature or doctrine of indulgences,
more than to give a definition of our Jubilee, viz., a solemn plenary
remission of such temporal punishment as may still be due to divine
justice after the guilt of sin has been forgiven, which the Sovereign
Pontiff, in the fulness of apostolic power, makes at a stated period to
all the faithful, on condition of performing certain specified pious
works; empowering confessors to absolve for the nonce in reserved cases
and from censures not specially excepted, and to commute all vows not
likewise excepted into other salutary matter. Our Holy Father, Pius
IX., by an Encyclical Letter dated from S. Peter’s on the vigil of last
Christmas, has announced that, the year 1875 completing the cycle of
time determined by his predecessors for the recurrence of the Jubilee,
he declares it the Holy Year, and sets forth the conditions of the same,
with other circumstances of ecclesiastical discipline usual on so rare an
occasion of grace.

The origin of the word _jubilee_ itself is uncertain. It is a Hebrew
term that first occurs in the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus: “And
thou shalt sanctify the fiftieth year, … for it is the year of Jubilee.”
Josephus (_Antiquit._, iii. 11) says that it means _liberty_, by which
his annotators understand that discharge among the Jews from debts
and bondage, and restitution to every man of his former property, as
commanded by the law. The more common opinion derives it from _jobel_,
a ram’s horn, because the Jubilee year was ushered in by the blasts
of the sacred trumpets, made of the horns of the ram. Pope Boniface
VIII. is erroneously supposed by many to have instituted the Christian
Jubilee; for he only restored what had already existed, and reduced it
substantially to its present form; inasmuch as there had been from an
early period a custom among Christians of visiting Rome at the turn of
every succeeding century, in the hope of obtaining great spiritual favors
at the tomb of S. Peter, and perhaps also with the idea of atoning in
some measure for the superstitious secular games which during the reign
of Augustus the _Quindecimviri_ (a college of priests) announced as
having been given once in every century in memory of the foundation of
the Eternal City, and which, after consulting the Sibylline books in
their care, they prevailed upon the emperor to celebrate again. Mgr.
Pompeo Sarnelli, Bishop of Bisceglie in 1692, treats of the secular year
of the heathen Romans and the Jubilee of their Christian descendants
together, as though one were in some respect a purified outgrowth of
the other. He says: “But the Christians, to change profane into sacred
things, were accustomed to go every hundredth year to visit the Vatican
basilica, and celebrate the memory of Christ, who was born for the
redemption of the world; so that the Holy Year was the sanctification
of the profane centenary in the lapse of time; but in its spiritual
benefits it perfected the effects of the Jubilee kept by the Jews every
fiftieth year for temporal advantages” (_Lettere Ecclesiast._, x. 50).
Macri also, in his _Hiero-lexicon_ (1768), says: “We believe that the
popes who have always endeavored (when the nature of the thing permitted)
to alter the vain observances of the Gentiles into sacred ceremonies for
the worship of God, in order to eradicate the superstitious secular year
of the Romans, established our Holy Year of Jubilee, and enriched it
with indulgences.” Of the connection between our Jubilee and that of the
Jews Devoti (_Inst. Can._, ii. p. 250, note) remarks that their fiftieth
year “aliquo modo imago fuit Jubilæi, quem postea Romani Pontifices
instituerunt--” was in some wise a figure of that Jubilee which, at a
later period, the Roman pontiffs instituted.

Benedetto Gaetani of Anagni (Boniface VIII.) had been elected pope
at Naples on Dec. 24, 1294, and was residing in Rome at the close of
the century, when he heard towards Christmas that many pilgrims were
approaching the city, who came, they said, to gain the indulgence which
an ancient tradition taught could be obtained there every hundredth
year, at the beginning of a new century. Although search was made in the
pontifical archives for some record of a concession of special indulgence
at such a period, none was found; but witnesses of established veracity
assured the pope that they had heard of this indulgence, and that it was
connected with a visit to the tomb of S. Peter.

Brocchi in his _Storia del Giubbileo_, page 6, mentions among the
venerable persons examined before the pope and cardinals one man 107
years old, and another--a noble Savoyard--over 100 years old, who both
made deposition that as children they had been brought to Rome by their
parents, who had often reminded them not to omit the pilgrimage of the
next century, if they should live so long. Two very aged Frenchmen
from the Diocese of Beauvais also deposed to having come to Rome on
the strength of a like centennial tradition of which they had heard
their fathers speak. The chronicler William Ventura of Asti (born in
1250) writes that at the beginning of the year 1300 an immense crowd
of pilgrims, coming to Rome from the East and from the West, used to
throng about the pope and cry out: “Give us thy blessing before we die;
for we have learnt from our elders that all Christians who shall visit
on the hundredth year the basilica where rest the bones of the apostles
Peter and Paul can obtain absolution of their sins and the remission
of any penance that might still be due for them” (apud Muratori, _Rer.
Ital. Script._, xi. 26). Boniface VIII. then called a consistory, and on
the advice of the cardinals determined to issue a bull confirming the
grant of indulgence, did such really exist; and in any case offering a
plenary indulgence to all who, contrite, should confess their sins and
visit at least once a day for thirty days--not necessarily consecutive,
if Romans; if strangers, only for fifteen days in the same manner--the
two basilicas of the holy apostles SS. Peter and Paul during the course
of the year 1300. This interesting bull, which is usually cited by its
opening words, _Antiquorum habet fida relatio_, and may be seen in any
collection of canon law among the _Extravagantes Communes_ (lib. v.
De Pœn. et Rem., c. 1), is short and elegantly condensed--for which
reason, perhaps, an old glossarist calls it “epistola satis grossè
composite”--and, although written before the revival of Latin letters,
compares favorably with the verbose composition of later documents. It
was probably drawn up by Sylvester, the papal secretary, who is named
as writer of the circular-letter sent in the pope’s name to all bishops
and Christian princes to acquaint them with the measure taken, and
invite them to exhort the faithful of their dioceses and their loyal
subjects to go on the pilgrimage Romeward. The pope published his bull
himself on the 22d of February, 1300, being the feast of S. Peter at
Antioch, by reading it aloud from a richly-draped _ambon_ erected for the
occasion before the high altar in S. Peter’s, which had a very different
appearance from the domed and cross-shaped structure that we now admire,
as lovers of architectural elegance; for as antiquarians we must regret
the venerable building which was a _basilica_ in form as well as in name.
When Boniface had finished, he descended, and went up in person to the
altar to deposit upon it the bull of indulgence in homage to the Prince
of the Apostles, whose successor he was, and not unworthily maintained
himself to be. Then returning to his former place, while the cardinals
stood with bended head around it and beneath him, he gave his solemn
blessing to an immense number of pilgrims, who, filling the church and
overflowing into the square in front, reverentially knelt to receive it.
Truly, the hearts of the people were with that man, although the hands
of princes were against him. A most interesting memorial of this very
scene has been preserved to us through sack and fire for nearly six
hundred years in the shape of a painting by the celebrated Giotto--a
portrait, too, and not a fancy sketch--which is the only portion saved
of the beautiful frescos with which he ornamented the _loggia_ built by
Boniface at S. John Lateran. It represents the pope in the act of giving
his benediction to the people between two cardinals (or, as some critics
think, two prelates), one of whom holds a document in his hand--evidently
meant for the bull of Jubilee by an artist’s license, to specify more
distinctly the circumstance; for it was then actually on the altar--while
the other looks down upon the crowd over the hanging cloth on which the
Gaetani arms are emblazoned. This specimen of higher art of the XIVth
century was for a long time preserved in the cloister of S. John, until
a representative of the Gaetani (now ducal) family had it carefully set
up against one of the pilasters of the church, and protected with a glass
covering, in 1786, where it may still be seen, although it is not often
noticed according to its merits.

Our chief authorities for the details of this Jubilee are the pope’s
nephew, James Cardinal Stefaneschi; the Chronicler of Asti (generally
quoted as _Chronicon Astense_); and the Florentine merchant and Guelph
historian, John Villani, who died of the plague in 1348. All were
eye-witnesses.

The cardinal wrote on the Jubilee in prose and verse. His work, _De
centesimo, seu Jubilæo anno Liber_, is published in the _Biblioth. Max.
Patrum_, tom. xxv. He is the earliest writer to use the word _jubilee_,
which is not found in the pope’s bull, but must have been common at
the period, for others use it. A sententious specimen of the cardinal
deacon’s prose style may be interesting; it contains a good sentiment,
and is not bad Latin, although the German Gregorovius, in his _History
of Rome in the Middle Ages_, speaks of “die barbarische Schrift des
Jacob Stefaneschi”--“that barbarous opuscule of James Stefaneschi”:
“Beatus populus qui scit Jubilationem; infelices vero qui torpore, vel
temeritate, dum alterius sibi forsan ævum Jubilæi spondent, neglexerint”
(cap. xv.)--“Blessed is the people that profiteth by this season of
remission; but unhappy are the slothful and presumptuous ones who,
promising themselves another Jubilee, neglect it.” His hexameters,
however, are undoubtedly execrable; for instance:

    “Discite, centeno detergi crimina Phœbo, (!)
    Discite, si latebras scabrosi criminis ora
    Depromunt, contrita sinu, dum circulus anni
    Gyrat, perque dies quindenos exter, et Urbis
    Incola tricenos delubra patentia Patrum
    Ætherei Petri, Pauli quoque gentibus almi
    Doctoris subeant, ubi congerit urna sepultos.”

Cardinal James of the Title of S. George _in Velabro_ was one of the
most distinguished men of Rome; “famous,” as Tiraboschi says (_Letterat.
Ital._, v. 517), “not less for his birth than for his learning.” His
mother was an Orsini. He died in 1343.

As soon as the grant of this great indulgence was noised abroad an
extraordinarily large number of pilgrims set out from all parts of Italy,
from Provence and France, from Spain, Germany, Hungary, and even from
England, although not very many from that country, which was then at
war. They came of every age, sex, and condition: children led by the
hand or carried in the arms, the infirm borne in litters, the knightly
and those of more means on horseback, while not a few old people were
seen, Anchises-like, supported on the shoulders of their sons. _The
Chronicle of Parma_ (quoted by Gregorovius, _Geschichte der Stadt Rom im
Mittelalter_, v. p. 549) says that “every day and at all hours there was
a sight as of a general army marching in and out by the Claudian Way,”
which brought the pilgrims into the city after joining the Flaminian Way
at the gate now represented by the Porta del Popolo; and the Chronicler
of Asti has to use the words of the Apocalypse to describe the throngs
that gathered about the roaring gates. “I went out one day,” he says,
and “I saw a great crowd which no man could number.” The whole influx of
pilgrims, including men and women, during the year, was computed by the
Romans at over two millions; while Villani, who was a careful observer,
writes that about thirty thousand people used to enter and leave the city
every day, there being at no time less than two hundred thousand within
the walls over and above the fixed population. But the pilgrimage was
especially one of the poor to the tomb of the Fisherman; and all writers
on it have remarked, in noticing the fervent enthusiasm of the common
people, the cold reserve and absence of their royal masters. Only the
Frenchman Charles Martel, titular King of Hungary, came; it is presumable
more to obtain the pope’s good-will in the dispute about the succession
to the throne than from piety. The nearest approach to royalty after him
was Charles of Valois, who came accompanied by his family and a courtly
retinue of five hundred knights, and doubtless hoped to receive the crown
of Sicily from Boniface, if he could expel the usurping Aragonese.

So many thousands of pilgrims, citizens and strangers, went day and
night to S. Peter’s that not a few were maimed, and some even trampled
to death, in the struggling crowd of goers and comers that met at the
crossing of the Tiber over the old Ælian bridge leading to the Leonine
city. To obviate such disasters in future, the wide bridge was divided
lengthwise by a strong wooden railing, thus forming two passages, of
which the advancing and returning pilgrims took respectively the one
on their right. The poet Dante, who is strongly supposed to have been
in Rome for the Jubilee, although there is no proof either in the
_Divine Comedy_ or the _Vita Nuova_ that he was, may have written as an
eye-witness when he describes this very scene of the passing but not
mingling streams of human beings in the well-known lines:

    “Come i Roman, per l’esercito molto,
      L’anno del giubbileo, su per lo ponte
      Hanno a passar la gente modo tolto;
    Che dall’ un lato tutti hanno la fronte
      Verso’l castello, e vanno a Santo Pietro--
      Dall’ altra sponda vanno verso’l monte.”[84]

    --_Inferno_, xviii.

The castle here mentioned is, of course, Sant’ Angelo; and the hill is
probably Monte Giordano, in the heart of the city, which, although, from
the grading of the surrounding streets, is now only a gentle rise graced
by the Gabrielli palace, was a high and strongly-fortified position in
the XIVth century. Among all the relics seen by the pilgrims in Rome,
the Holy Face of our Lord, or Cloth of Veronica, which is preserved
with so much veneration in S. Peter’s, seems to have attracted the most
attention. By order of the pope it was solemnly shown to the people
on every Friday and on all the principal feasts throughout the year of
Jubilee. The great Tuscan has also sung of this, which he possibly saw
himself:

    “Quale è colui che forse di Croazia
      Viene a veder la Veronica nostra,
      Che per l’antica fama non si sazia,
    Ma dice nel pensier, fin che si mostra;
      Signor mio Gesù Cristo, Dio verace,
      Or fu sì fatta la sembianza vostra?”[85]

    --_Paradiso_, xxxi.

A modern economist might wonder how a famine was to be averted, with
such a sudden and numerous addition to the population of the city. The
foresight of the energetic pope, whose family also was influential in
the very garden of the Campagna, among those hardy laborers of whom
Virgil sung, “Quos dives Anagnia pascit,” had early in the year caused
an immense supply of grain, oats, meat, fish, wine, and other sorts
of provision for man and beast to be collected from every quarter and
brought into the city, where it was stored and guarded against the
coming of the pilgrims. The provisions were abundant and cheap. The
Chronicler of Asti, it is true, complains of the dearness of the hay or
fodder for his horse; but as he thought _tornesium unum grossum_ (equal
to six cents of our money) too high for his own daily lodging and his
horse’s stabling, without bait, we must think either that the means
of living in Italy in those days were incredibly low, or that Ventura
was very parsimonious. It is the testimony of all the writers on this
Jubilee that, except an inundation of the Tiber, which threatened for a
few days to cut off the train of supplies for the city, everything was
propitious to the comfort and piety of the faithful. The roads through
Italy leading to Rome were safe, at least to the pilgrims, to whom a
general safe-conduct was given by the various little republics and
principalities of the Peninsula; and if the Romans did grow rich off of
the strangers, there was good-humor on both sides, and not the slightest
collision. Indeed, the Romans (who perhaps gained the Jubilee before the
great body of the pilgrims had arrived; at least we know that those out
of the northern parts of Europe timed their departure from home so as to
avoid the sweltering southern heat) seem to have shown some indifference
to the spiritual favors offered; as Gregorovius--who, however, is
anti-papal--with a quiet sarcasm says: “They left the pilgrims to pray
at the altars, while they marched with flaunting banners against the
neighboring city of Toscanella”; and Galletti, in his _Roman Mediæval
Inscriptions_ (tom. ii. p. 4), has published a curious old one on this
martial event, the original of which is now encased in one of the inside
walls of the Palazzo dei Conservatori (this name may have been changed
by the present usurpers) on the Capitoline hill, where it was set up
under Clement X. in 1673. As it is most interesting for its synchronism
with the first Jubilee, and the insight it gives us into the mixed sort
of fines imposed by the descendants of the conquerors of the world upon
a subjugated people in the middle ages--bags of wheat, a bell, the city
gates, eight lusty fellows to dance while their masters piped, and a
gentle hint that there was _no salt sown_--we think it might well appear
(doubtless for the first time) in an American periodical. The original
being in the abbreviated style of the XIVth century, we have modernized
it to make it more intelligible to the reader:

    “Mille trecentenis Domini currentibus annis
    Papa Bonifacius octavus in orbe vigebat
    Tunc Aniballensis Riccardus de Coliseo
    Nec non Gentilis Ursina prole creatus
    Ambo senatores Romam cum pace regebant
    Per quos jam pridem tu Tuscanella fuisti
    Ob dirum damnata nefas, tibi dempta potestas
    Sumendi regimen est, at data juribus Urbis
    Frumenti rubla bis millia ferre coegit
    Annua te Roma vel libras solvere mille
    Cum Deus attulerit Romanis fertilitatem
    Campanam populi, portas deducere Romam
    Octo ludentes Romanis mittere ludis--
    Majori pœna populi pietate remissa.
    Sunt quoque communis servata palatia Romæ
    Dummodo certe ruant turresque palatia muri
    Si rursus furere tentent fortassis in Urbem
    Vel jam prolata nolint decreta tenere
    In æde reponatur sacra pro tempore guerræ
    Tempore vel caro servanda pecunia prorsus.”

The meaning of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth lines is that, since
the Romans have land enough to give them their daily bread, but do not
object to any amount of _quattrim_ (coin), if the vanquished should
prefer, they may pay once for all a thousand pounds in money, instead of
the annual tribute of two thousand sacks of grain--with freight charges
to destination; and the last lines signify that a sum is laid up in the
chapel to be used to carry on another war if the Tuscanellans should
again machinate against the City--as Rome was proudly called--or refuse
to fulfil the stipulations.

The pilgrims of the Jubilee generally made a small offering at the altars
of the two basilicas, although no alms were required as a condition of
gaining the indulgence; and it is particularly from a _naïve_ passage of
one of them in his valuable chronicle that Protestants and Voltaireans
have taken occasion to deride the Jubilees as mere money-making affairs;
and even the Catholic Muratori (_Antichità Italiane_, tom. iii. part ii.
p. 156) carps at the inimitable description of so Romanesque a scene as
that of two chatting clerics raking in the oblations of the _forestieri_;
but Cenni, the annotator of this great work of the Modenese historian
in the Roman edition of 1755, which we use, aptly remarks here that if
writers will look only at the bad side of the many and almost innumerable
events that have occurred in this low world of ours, and illogically
conclude from a particular to the universal, they will discover that art
of putting things whereby what has generally been considered good and
laudable will appear thereafter worthy only of censure. The Chronicler
of Asti, certainly with no great thought of what people would think five
hundred years after he was mouldering in his grave, simply writes of the
pilgrims’ donations: “Papa innumerabilem pecuniam ab eisdem recepit, quia
die ac nocte duo clerici stabant ad altare sancti Petri, tenentes in
eorum manibus rastellos rastellantes pecuniam infinitam.”

Although we believe that the honest Chronicler of Asti deserves credit
for taking notes at the Jubilee, yet this very passage, read in
connection with the other one about the dearness of his living, shows us
that he was one of those pious but penurious souls who, if he had lived
in our day, and a gentleman called on him for a subscription, would beg
to be permitted to wait until the list got down very low. The Protestant
Gregorovius has shown that these exaggerated offerings “were for the most
part only small coin, the gift of common pilgrims”; while the Catholic
Von Reumont (_Geschichte der Stadt Rom_, vol. ii. p. 650) has calculated
that this “infinite amount of money” was only after all equal to about
two hundred and forty thousand Prussian thalers, which would make no more
than one hundred and seventy-five thousand, two hundred dollars. When the
pope knew how generous were the offerings of the faithful, he ordered the
entire sum to be expended on the two basilicas, in buying property to
support the chapter of the one and the monastery attached to the other,
and in those thousand and more other expenses which only those who have
lived in Rome can understand to be necessary to support the majesty of
divine worship within such edifices. Surely, it was better, in any case,
that the money of the pilgrims should go for the glory of the saints
and the embellishment of God’s temples than be exacted at home by cruel
barons and ruthless princes to carry on their petty wars or strengthen
their castles.

Mr. Hemans (no friend to our Rome), in his _Mediæval Christianity and
Sacred Art_ (vol. i. p. 474), says, after mentioning these “heaps of
coins”: “If much of this went into the papal treasury, it is manifest
that the expenditure from that source for the charities exercised
throughout this holy season must also have been great.” This is a lame
statement; because, although on the one hand the large subventions of the
pope to the poor pilgrims are certain, on the other there is no proof
whatever that _any_ alms they gave went into his “treasury.” The pope,
indeed, having at heart the comfort of the strangers and the beauty of
the city, put up many new buildings and made other improvements, such as
the beautiful Gothic _loggia_ of S. John of Lateran, which the greatest
painter of the age was commissioned to decorate with frescos (Papencordt,
_Rom im Mittelalter_, p. 336). It is perhaps from a traditionary
knowledge of these architectural propensities of the pope during the
Jubilee year, and of his endowments to the basilicas, that so many
people have quite erroneously believed the sombre but picturesque old
farm-buildings of Castel Giubileo, which crown the green and lonely hill
where more than two thousand years ago the Arx of Fidenæ stood a rival
to the Capitol of Rome, to be a memorial of, and to get its designation
from, this Jubilee of A.D. 1300. Even Sir Wm. Gell (_Top. of Rome_, p.
552) repeats the old story. But the more careful Nibby (_Dintorni di
Roma_, vol. ii. p. 58) has demonstrated, with the aid of a document in
the archives of the Vatican basilica, that the name of this place between
the Via Salaria and the Tiber, five miles from Rome, is derived from that
of a Roman family which acquired the site (previously called Monte Sant’
Angelo) and built the castle in the XIVth century; and that it did not
come into the possession of the chapter of S. Peter until the 16th of
December, 1458, when it was bought for the sum of three thousand golden
ducats. So much for an instance of jumping at conclusions from a mere
similarity of name, put together with something else, which is so common
a fault of antiquaries.


GREVILLE AND SAINT-SIMON.

Mr. Charles Greville was not a La Bruyère,[86] but, as he appears in
his _Memoirs_, he might have sat very well for that portrait of Arrias
which the inimitable imitator of Theophrastus has drawn in his chapter
on society and conversation: “Arrias has read everything, has seen
everything; at least he would have it thought so. ’Tis a man of universal
knowledge, and he gives himself out as such; he would sooner lie than
be silent or appear ignorant of anything.… If he tells a story, it is
less to inform those who listen than to have the merit of telling it.
It becomes a romance in his hands; he makes people think after his own
manner; he puts his own habits of speaking in their mouths; and, in fine,
makes them all as talkative as himself. What would become of him and of
them, if happily some one did not come in to break up the circle and
contradict the whole story?”

This exact picture of the late clerk of H.B.M. Privy Council might have
been written the morning after his _Memoirs_ appeared in the London
bookstores, instead of nearly two hundred years ago. It is at once a
proof of the penetrating genius of La Bruyère, and a photograph every one
will recognize of the author of the journal which has lately made so much
noise in society. This clever Newmarket jockey--_rebus Newmarketianis
versatus_, as he says of himself--to whom every point of the betting book
is familiar, carelessly refreshes his jaded intellect with the _Life
of Mackintosh_, as he rides down in his carriage to the races. With
affable profusion he scatters broadcast to the mob of readers scraps of
Horace and Ovid, mingled with the latest odds on the Derby. He has seen
everything from S. Giles’s to S. Peter’s, and, with the _blasé_ air of a
man at once of genius and fashion, proclaims “there is nothing in it.” He
knows everything, from the most questionable scandal of the green-room to
the best plan of forming a cabinet; such second-rate men as Melbourne,
Palmerston, and Stanley he sniffs at with easy disdain; and if at times
he gently bemoans a few personal deficiencies, it is with a complacent
conviction that it needed only a little early training to have made him a
Peel, a Burke, or a Chatham! That he would “sooner lie than be silent,”
one needs only remember his infamous stories about Mrs. Charles Kean and
Lady Burghersh; his calumnies against George IV. and William IV.--the
masters whose gracious kindness he repaid by bribing their _valets_
for evidence against them--his unfounded attacks upon Peel, Stanley,
O’Connell, and Lyndhurst; his slanders even against obscure men, like
Wakley and others. As to his habit of “making people think after his own
manner,” and putting “his own mode of speaking in their mouths,” the
profanity and vulgarity which disfigure his pages are the best evidence.

That this is a true estimate of the merits of _The Greville Memoirs_
is now generally admitted. The most respectable critical exponents of
English opinion have united in condemning the bad taste and breach of
trust which made either their composition or publication possible. It
needs no refinement of reasoning to prove that the expressions everywhere
so freely quoted from this journal are such as could not honorably be
uttered by any gentleman holding the office Mr. Greville did. Readers
will easily be found for them, either from a love of sensation or because
of the illustration they offer of the character of the persons described
or the writer; but nothing can condone their real offensiveness. Such,
however, was far from being the first opinion of the press. The leading
English journal, in two lengthy reviews such as rarely appear in its
columns, handled Mr. Greville’s work with a delicacy, an admiration,
a regretful and half-tender daintiness of touch for the author, that
promised everything to the reader. This criticism was followed by a
general outburst of applause on the part of the press, which soon began
to waver, however, when it was found that the best section of English
society regarded the book with disapproval.

So conscious, indeed, were the American publishers of its intrinsic
lack of interest or literary merit that one firm has presented it to
the public with nearly all the political portions left out and the
private gossip retained. “It is said,” says the _Saturday Review_ not
long ago, “that an American compiler has published a pleasant duodecimo
volume containing only those passages which may be supposed to gratify a
morbid taste.” The London critic intended, no doubt, to be pungent and
satirical; but how innocuously does such satire fall upon the head of the
average “compiler”!

If Mr. Greville has not made good his claim to stand among the masters
of his craft, least of all is he to be named in the same day with the
prince of memoir-writers--Saint-Simon; unless, indeed, it be to point
the moral that more is needed for excellency in such an art than an
inquisitive mind and a biting pen. Yet Mr. Greville’s opportunity was
great--greater, probably, than will happen to any other memoir-writer for
some generations to come. Like Saint-Simon, he began active life in an
age of great events and great men. Whatever may be said of the pettiness
of the regency, of its profligacy and mock brilliancy, no one can forget
that those were days of great perils; of vast struggles, military and
civil; of giants’ wars, and of a race of combatants not unworthy to take
part in them. Nor were the twenty years succeeding--which make up, as
we may roughly say, that portion of his journal now printed--wanting
in great interests and momentous events. The age which gave birth to
Catholic Emancipation and the Reform Bill, while it still numbered
among its chiefs the veterans of the great Continental war, could not
fail to offer subjects for treatment that would be read eagerly by all
succeeding times. If Saint-Simon witnessed the culmination of the glories
of the reign of Louis XIV., and saw De Luxembourg and Catinat, the last
survivors of that line of victorious marshals beginning with the great
Condé and Turenne, who had carried the lilies of France over Europe,
not less was it Greville’s fortune to converse familiarly with the great
duke who, repeating the triumphs of Marlborough, had beaten down the arms
of the empire in a later age. And if Saint-Simon lived also to see the
disasters, the weakness, the desolation, and bankruptcy of his country
which succeeded the long splendor of his youth, Greville too looked on as
a spectator, almost, one might say, as a registrar, at the hardly less
terrible civil struggles and social depression which threatened to rend
the kingdom asunder.

Both were of noble families, although the Duc de Saint-Simon was the head
of his house, and Mr. Greville only a cadet of his. Both were courtiers;
and although Saint-Simon’s position as a peer of France lifted him far
above Greville’s in his day, who was rather a paid servant of the crown
than strictly a courtier, yet the very office of the latter gave him
advantages which the elder memoir-writer did not always possess. Here,
however, all parallel ceases. The radical incapacity of Mr. Greville’s
mind to lift him above the common race of diarists prevents all further
comparison. He had neither the genius of assimilation nor description
to make the portraits of men and manners live, like Saint-Simon’s, in
the gallery of history. His informants are _valets_, his satire mere
backbiting, his reflections trivial, his descriptions a confused mass of
petty details.

It is not proposed here to weary the reader with long quotations from a
work which so many already have read or skimmed over. Nor do we intend,
on the other hand, to follow the fashion of some critics, and carefully
gather up all the points which might be woven into an indictment against
Mr. Greville’s honor or candor or wit. Such a task would be endless; it
would take in almost every other page of his volumes. But that it may be
seen that the unfavorable opinion which, after a careful examination, we
have been led--much to our disappointment--to entertain of his work is
not misplaced, we shall proceed to give some passages that sustain, in
our judgment, the correctness of the view we have taken.

Charles C. F. Greville was, as his editor, Mr. H. Reeve, informs us, the
eldest son of Mr. Charles Greville, grandson of the Earl of Warwick,
and Lady Charlotte Bentinck, daughter of the Duke of Portland. He was
born in 1794. At the age of nineteen he was appointed private secretary
by Earl Bathurst, and almost at the same time family influence procured
for him a clerkship in the Board of Trade. Both offices had comfortable
salaries attached to them; neither of them any duties. Thus at the outset
of his career, fortunate in his family influence and his friends, Mr.
Greville was started, fairly equipped, on the road of life. Unencumbered
by any responsibility, nor weighed down by that sharp and bitter load
of poverty that men of humbler birth have commonly to carry on their
galled shoulders, while they strive to gain an insecure foothold on
the slippery road to fame or fortune, he had every incentive and every
advantage to secure success. A subject for thanksgiving, shall we say, to
this accomplished sinecurist? By no means! Years afterwards he bemoans
the fact that he had nothing to do, no spur to honorable ambition. He
forgot that at the same or an earlier age Saint-Simon, whom he appears
to have read only to copy his sometimes coarse language, was handling
a pike as a volunteer in the service of his king, and carrying sacks
of grain on his shoulders to the starving troops in the trenches at
Namur, disdaining those little offices into which Greville insinuated
himself as soon as he left college. Or if it be said--what no man could
then (1812) predict--that the war was nearly over, and there was little
prospect of another, what was there to prevent him from seeking a place
in Parliament--not hard to gain with his family influence--and there
carving out for himself a place like that of Burke, to whom he sometimes
lifts his eyes? The truth is, to use a vulgar phrase, Mr. Greville had
“other fish to fry.” He knew well he had other easier and more profitable
game to follow. He was scarcely of age when the influence of his uncle,
the Duke of Portland, obtained for him the sinecure office of Secretary
of Jamaica, a deputy being allowed to reside in the island; better still,
the same influential relative secured him the reversion of the clerkship
of the Council! Henceforward not the camp nor parliamentary struggles
occupied Mr. Greville’s mind; the glorious task of “waiting for a dead
man’s shoes,” varied by the congenial study of the stables, occupied that
powerful intellect which, in these _Memoirs_, looks down with contempt
on all the names most distinguished in European statesmanship during
the first half of this century. The office fell to him in 1821, and he
continued to hold it for nearly forty years. The net income of the two
offices, we are elsewhere informed, amounted to about four thousand
pounds; and as he died worth thirty thousand pounds, the charitable
supposition of the _Quarterly Review_ is that “probably he was a gainer
on the turf.” He died in 1865.

The bent of Mr. Greville’s genius was early shown.

    “Sunt quos curriculo pulverem Olympicum
    Collegisse juvat.”

The clerk of the Council was one of them. The blue ribbon of the turf,
not parliamentary honors or the long vigil of laborious nights--except
over the card-table--was the centre around which his ambition and
aspirations circled. Early smitten by the betting fever, he became as
nearly a professional turfman as the security of his office would permit;
and there is something ludicrous in those expressions of regret, which
have drawn such tender sympathy from his critics, that he gave himself up
to the passion instead of becoming the scholar or statesman he is always
hinting he might have been. Mr. Greville, in fact, makes the blunder of
supposing that the craving for fame is equivalent to the faculty for
winning it. Not the turf, but original defect of capacity, hindered him
from being more than he was--a clerk with a taste for gambling, held
in check by a shrewd eye for the odds. His contemporary, the late Lord
Derby, whom he seldom lets pass without a sneer in these _Memoirs_, was
an example showing that, had true genius existed, a taste for the turf
without participation in gambling, need not have prevented him from
becoming both an accomplished scholar and a brilliant statesman.

An early entry in Mr. Greville’s journal gives the measure of the man.
Under date of February 23, 1821, he says:

“Yesterday the Duke of York proposed to me to take the management of his
horses, which I accepted. Nothing could be more kind than the manner in
which he proposed it.”

“March 5.--I have experienced a great proof of the vanity of human
wishes. In the course of three weeks I have attained the three things I
have most desired in the world for years past, and upon the whole I do
not feel that my happiness is increased.”

This is a good example, but far from the best of its kind, of that vein
of apparently philosophical reflection running here and there through his
journal, with which Mr. Greville deliberately intended, we believe, to
hoodwink the critics, and in which anticipation he has been wonderfully
successful. Coolly examined, it resolves itself as nearly as possible
into a burlesque. His reflections, as La Bruyère says elsewhere of a like
genius, “are generally about two inches deep, and then you come to the
mud and gravel.” What were the three highest objects of human ambition in
the mind of this ardent young man of twenty-seven, with the world before
him to choose from? 1st. A berth in the civil service to creep into for
the rest of his life. 2d. The place of head jockey and trainer in the
prince’s stables. 3d. Unknown.

Alas! poor Greville, that the bubble of life should have burst so soon,
leaving thee flat on thy back in a barren world, after having thus airily
mounted to such imperial heights! Had either Juvenal or Johnson known thy
towering ambition and thy fall, he would have placed thee side by side
with dire Hannibal or the venturous Swede “to point a moral or adorn a
tale”!

It is wonderful, however, how easily the diarist lays aside his
philosophic tone to take up the more congenial _rôle_ of a spy upon the
kings whose names are so ostentatiously displayed on his title-page, and
from whose service alone he derived all the consideration he had.

On January 12, 1829, Lord Mount Charles comes to him for some
information. Thereupon, under the guise of friendship and confidence,
he avows with a curious shamelessness that he proceeded to interrogate
his visitor about George IV.’s private life and habits. When he has got
all he wants out of the unsuspecting Mount Charles, he sets it down in
his journal and winds up with this reflection, everywhere quoted: “A
more contemptible, cowardly, selfish, unfeeling dog does not exist than
this king.” These were strong words to apply to a sovereign whose bread
he was eating, and who had always personally treated him with marked
confidence and kindness. Perhaps those who read Mr. Greville’s journal
with attention, and note the slow portrait he therein unconsciously draws
of himself, will be better able to judge where the terms more aptly
apply. As a work of art, indeed, the journalist’s picture of himself is
far superior to anything else in his book. Touch by touch he elaborates
his own character. It is not a flattering one; it was never revealed to
the artist. How pitiably does this coarse generalization of Greville’s
compare with the fine but vigorous and indelible strokes of Saint-Simon’s
pencil in his portrait of Louis XIV.! It is not a character, but a gross
and clumsy invective.

But Mr. Greville had already plumbed a lower depth of baseness in his
prurient eagerness for details.

August 29, 1828.--“I met Bachelor, the poor Duke of York’s old servant,
and now the king’s _valet de chambre_, and he told me some curious things
about the interior of the palace. But he is coming to call on me, and I
will write down what he tells me then.” On the 16th of September he sent
for Bachelor, and had a long conversation with him, drawing out all he
could from the valet about his master’s habits.

May 13, 1829.--“Bachelor called again, telling me all sorts of details
concerning Windsor and St. James.”

What a picture for the author of Gil Blas! It reminds one of some of
those Spanish interiors the novelist has so deftly painted, where valet
and adventurer put their heads together, scheming how best to open some
rich don’s purse-strings, or ensnare his confidence before beginning some
villanous game at his expense. If these be the springs of history, Clio
defend us against her modern sister!

What makes all this prying the more indefensible is that Mr. Greville was
without need of it even for the composition of these _Memoirs_. Elsewhere
he boasts of the “great men” he has known. And it is true that he knew
them; and had his ability equalled his opportunity, enough sources of
information were honorably open to him to have made his journal valuable
and interesting. But the truth is, Mr. Greville loved to dabble in dirty
waters, as he has elsewhere plainly shown in his book.

A large part of these volumes--the major part of them, indeed--is taken
up with political gossip. It would not be correct to give it any higher
title. Its weight as a contribution to history, to use La Bruyère’s
illustration, would be about two ounces. It consists chiefly of what he
gathered at the council-table. But disloyal as this tampering with his
oath may have been, his singular inaptitude to gather what was really
important hardly offers even the poor excuse of interesting his readers
in its results. The consideration of the eccentricities and sarcasms of
his _bête noir_, the chancellor (Lord Brougham), during a large portion
of the time covered by this journal, generally puts to flight in Mr.
Greville’s mind all other topics. The rest of his political reminiscences
are made up of conversations with the actors in the parliamentary scenes
here presented; but even these lose the greater part of their value from
his inveterate habit of confounding his own opinions and language with
those of the person he happens to be “interviewing.” This confusion in
Mr. Greville’s mind between what he thought and said and what others
thought and said has been fully exposed by the numerous letters which
have been drawn forth in England from the survivors of the persons named
in his _Memoirs_ or from their friends. Mr. Greville adds very little to
our knowledge of the events of the period he treats of. Nearly everything
of importance in his journal has been anticipated. The correspondence of
William IV. and Lord Grey, the life and despatches of Wellington, and the
lives of Denman, Palmerston, and others, have left little to be supplied
of this era of English history.

One of the most curious features--we might almost say the distinguishing
feature--in a work full of curious traits of levity, conceit, and
immature judgment, is the universal tone of depreciation in which the
author speaks of the men of his acquaintance. This is not confined to
ordinary personages who lived and died obscure, but embraces, as we
have heretofore said, a large number of the names most illustrious in
statesmanship and diplomacy in his times. Lord Althorpe, Melbourne, the
late Earl Derby, Graham, Palmerston, O’Connell, Guizot, Thiers--one
scarcely picks out a single name of eminence that he has not attempted to
belittle. His opinions and prophecies have been in every instance flatly
contradicted by events. Of Palmerston especially--of his stupidity, his
ignorance, his lightness, his general want of capacity, and the certainty
that he would never rise to be anybody--he is never done speaking
slightingly. It is true that the late English premier passed through many
years of obscurity in office, making, perhaps, some sort of excuse for
Mr. Greville’s blindness; but this example is not an isolated one. The
late Lord Derby comes in for an almost equal share of it, although he is
allowed the possession of some brains--a claim denied to his after-rival.
Mr. Greville is equally impartial in discoursing about crowned heads
and plain republicans. His neat and finely-pointed satire stigmatized
the king whose paid servant he was as a “blackguard,” a “dog,” and a
“buffoon”; and he held his nose, as in the case of Washington Irving, did
any “vulgar” American democrat come “between the wind and his nobility.”

Those of Mr. Greville’s subjects who have virtues are imbeciles; those
who have talent are adventurers or knaves. He appears to have centred
all the admiration of which he was capable upon Lord de Ros, a young
nobleman absolutely unknown outside a small English circle. Mr. Greville
seems, in fact, to have been one of those men who seek, and sometimes
gain, a certain reputation for sagacity by depreciating everybody around
them. Of the late Lord Derby he says: “He (Stanley) must be content with
a subordinate part, and act with whom he may, he will never inspire real
confidence or conciliate real esteem.” In another place, in summing up a
conversation with Peel, he accuses him (Stanley), by direct implication,
of being “a liar and a coward,” although he puts these ugly words in
another’s mouth. How far these predictions and this estimate were just
history has already decided. High and low all dance to the same music
in Mr. Greville’s journal. On September 10, 1833, speaking of a speech
of William IV.--not very wise, perhaps, but natural enough under the
circumstances--he says: “If he (William IV.) was not such an ass that
nobody does anything but laugh at what he says, this would be important.
Such as it is, it is nothing.”

The circumstances that influenced his pique are sometimes of the most
trivial character. Under date September 3, 1833, he notes that the king
complained that no one was present to administer the oath to a new
member of the Privy Council whom Brougham had introduced. “And what is
unpleasant,” he says, “the king desires a clerk of the council to be
present when anything is going on.” _Inde iræ._ A few days afterwards, in
a notice of the prorogation of Parliament, he thus revenges himself for
the king’s implied censure:

“He (William IV.) was coolly received; for there is no doubt there
never was a king less respected. George IV., with all his occasional
popularity, could always revive the external appearance of loyalty when
he gave himself the trouble.” Thus one master, who was a “dog,” is made
to do duty on occasion against an other who was an “ass.” But this is not
all he has to say of the same monarch. At page 520, vol. ii., summing up
his character after his death, he says:

“After his (William IV.’s) accession he always continued to be something
of a blackguard and something more of a buffoon. It is but fair to his
memory at the same time to say that he was a good-natured, kind-hearted,
and well-meaning man, and that he always acted an honorable and
straightforward, if not always a sound and discreet, part.”

That this statement, that “never was there a king less respected,”
was false, it needs hardly the popular verdict about William IV. to
prove. Mr. Greville contradicts himself on page 251 of the same volume,
where he notes the “strong expressions of personal regard and esteem”
entertained for the king by such competent witnesses as two of his
ministers, Wellington and Lord Grey. Even their testimony is not needed.
Whatever may have been William IV.’s private weakness and foibles, the
regret felt for him was general, and the esteem for his character as a
popular sovereign publicly expressed. In any case, the indecency in Mr.
Greville’s mouth of the expressions he makes use of is too plain to need
argument. Speaking, in one place, of Lord Brougham and referring to the
chancellor’s habit of sarcasm, he says:

“He reminds me of the man in _Jonathan Wild_ who couldn’t keep his hand
out of his neighbor’s pocket, although there was nothing in it, nor
refrain from cheating at cards, although there were no stakes on the
table.”

This description is true enough, in another sense, of Mr. Greville
himself. A Sir Fretful Plagiary, he could see no man succeed without
carping at him, nor resist criticising another’s performance for the sole
reason that he had no hand in it. Noting the appearance of a political
letter by Lord Redesdale, he says: “There is very little in it.” This
single phrase gives the key to his character and the tone of his journal.
At page 69, vol. ii., he sums up the whole subject of Irish national
education in the profoundly-disgusted remark that there is nothing more
in it than “whether the brats at school shall read the whole Bible or
only parts of it.”

Page 105, vol. ii.: “O’Connell is supposed to be horribly afraid of the
cholera.” “He dodges between London and Dublin” to avoid it, “shuns
the House of Commons,” and neglects his duties. On pages 414-15: “He
(O’Connell) is an object of execration to all those who cherish the
principles and feelings of honor”--a high-toned remark, coming from a
man of such delicate honor that, according to his own confession, he had
no scruple in greasing the palm of a king’s valet for the secrets of his
master’s bed-chamber; who avows without a blush that he deliberately led
Lord Mount Charles, and Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence into confidences he
there and then meant to betray; who in these _Memoirs_ is continually
invading the privacy of homes in which he was a guest; and who, finally,
takes advantage of his official position under oath to disclose
the conversations of the Privy Council! Surely, no juster piece of
self-satire was ever written!

“’Tis a man of universal knowledge,” says La Bruyère. His familiarity
with constitutional law would lead him to unseat the bench. Judges Park
and Aldersen, famous lawyers, known to all the courts, are “nonsensical”
in a decision they come to about the sheriff’s lists. Mr. Justice Park is
“peevish and foolish.”

His loose way of damaging private character is not less remarkable. To
give a single instance: he gives a _bon mot_ about a certain Mr. Wakley,
a parliamentary candidate of the day, who was forced to bring an action
against an insurance company, which resisted the claim on the ground
that the plaintiff was concerned in the fire. No further information is
given--the verdict of the jury or the judgment. But Mr. Greville thus
coolly concludes:

“I forget what was the result of the trial; but that of the evidence was
a conviction of his instrumentality.” A “conviction” by whom? By Mr.
Greville--who “forgets the result of the trial”! There is nothing to show
that the friends or family of this Mr. Wakley are not still living to
suffer from this unsupported libel. “Jesters,” says a French humorist,
“are wretched creatures; that has been said before. But those who injure
the reputation or the fortunes of others rather than lose a _bon mot_,
merit an infamous punishment; this has not been said, and I dare say it.”

His “blackguards” are not all seated on a throne. His hatred of the “mob”
was greater, if possible, than his envy of his superiors. “Odi profanum
vulgus et arceo” is the head-line of all his pages. Look at this entry,
where the whole character of the man breaks forth irresistibly:

“Newmarket, October 1, 1831.--Came here last night, to my great joy, to
get holidays, and leave reform and politics and cholera for racing and
its amusements. Just before I came away I met Lord Wharncliffe, and asked
him about his interview with radical Jones. This _blackguard_ considers
himself a sort of chief of a faction, and one of the heads of the
_sans-culottins_ of the present day.”

From radical Jones to Washington Irving is but a step for Mr. Greville’s
nimble pen. The one is--what he says; the other, essentially “vulgar.”
The same “vulgarity” offends his delicate taste in Thiers, Macaulay, and
a score of others “the latchet of whose shoes he was unworthy to loose.”
Is it to be wondered at that the venerable pontiff Pius VIII. (page 325,
vol. i.) fails to satisfy this fastidious critic? The pope, however,
escapes tolerably well. As a matter of course, “there is nothing in him”;
but the distinguished urbanity and refined wit of the condescending Mr.
Greville is satisfied to pronounce him a good-natured “twaddle.” These
large airs of superior wisdom and refinement, this tone of pitying
kindness, which Mr. Greville adopts towards the most illustrious men in
Europe of his day, remind us of nothing so much as the majestic demeanor
of the _burgo_, or great lord of Lilliput, who harangued Capt. Gulliver
the morning after his arrival in that island. “He seemed to me,” says
Capt. Gulliver, “to be somewhat longer than my middle finger. He acted
every part of an orator, and I could observe many periods of threatening,
and others of promises, pity, and kindness.”

The distinguished author of these _Memoirs_ was not always, however,
as we have seen, in the same amiable mood that the _burgo_ afterwards
manifested. After lashing each one of the persons he has known,
separately and in turn, in the words which we have quoted, in another
passage his acquaintances are all collected in a group and dashed off
with graphic effect.

October 12, 1832.--Immediately after an entry giving a conversation with
the accomplished Lady Cowper, he says: “My journal is getting intolerably
stupid and entirely barren of events. I would take to miscellaneous and
private matters, if any fell in my way. But what can I make out of such
animals as I herd with and such occupations as I am engaged in?” A week
after, at Easton, besides Lady Cowper, he names some other “animals”:
“The Duke of Rutland, the Walewskis, Lord Burghersh and Hope--the usual
party,” he exclaims with a sigh. Sad fate! The adventurous Capt. Gulliver
elsewhere, in a letter to his cousin Sympson, says: “Pray bring to your
mind how often I desired you to consider, when you insisted on the
motive of Public Good, that the Yahoos were a species of animals utterly
incapable of amendment by precept or example.”

Such appear to have been the melancholy reflections forced upon the mind
of Mr. _Houyhnhnm_ Greville by the _Yahoos_ he tells us he was compelled
to “herd with”! Ever and anon he turns a regretful eye to the nobler
race he was suited to, and lets us into the secret of the company and
occupations that relieved him from the desolating _ennui_ of uncongenial
society.

“June 11, 1833.--At a place called Buckhurst all last week for the Ascot
races. A party at Lentifield’s; racing all the morning; then eating,
drinking, and play at night. I may say with more truth than anybody,
_Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor_.”

“Not at all,” it might have been answered. “A jockey and gamester _ab
ovo usque ad mala_. Fortune has now placed thee in the rank kind nature
fitted thee to adorn, had not a too avid uncle snatched thee therefrom,
and dry mountains of crackling parchment and red tape crushed thy
yearning ardor for the loose boxes and the paddock!”

“March 27.--Jockeys, trainers, and blacklegs are my companions, and it
is like dram-drinking: having once entered upon it, I cannot leave it,
although I am disgusted with the occupation all the time.” Truly a long
and fond “disgust,” since it lasted from his eighteenth year until his
death!

“While the fever it excites is raging and the odds are varying, I can
neither read nor write nor occupy myself with anything.”

Let us not be unjust to Mr. Greville. Kings, pontiffs, statesmen, and
authors may have been “blackguards” or “vulgar buffoons,” the most
refined society of both sexes in England a “herd” of _Yahoos_; but that
he was not insensible to real merit, that he had a true appreciation of
the good and the beautiful when he found it, one single example, shining
out in these many pages of depreciation, proves beyond peradventure. In
the flood of universal cynicism that pours over them, one man there is at
least who lifts his head above the waters--one other gentle Houyhnhnm,
fit companion for Mr. Greville, possessing all that wisdom and discretion
denied to the rest of the world, and, more wonderful still, that elegant
taste the fastidious critic finds nowhere else. This phenomenon is Mr.
John Gully, prize-fighter retired! “Strong sense,” “discretion,” “reserve
and good taste”--these are the encomiums heaped upon him; to crown all,
“remarkably dignified and graceful in his manners and actions.” Ah! poor
Macaulay, or thou, gentle Diedrich Knickerbocker, where wanders now thy
ghost, condemned for thy “vulgarity” to pace the borders of the sluggish
Styx, while the “champion heavy-weight” is ferried over to immortality by
this new Charon of gentility?

We decline to soil our pages with any of Mr. Greville’s impure stories.
Those who have seized on the book for the purpose of reading them must
have been sadly disappointed if they hoped to find in them a doubtful
amusement. Not a scintilla of wit relieves their baseness. Their vileness
is equalled only by their dulness. They are simply falsehoods from
beginning to end. Where Mr. Greville, with a singular depravity, does
not himself admit them to be false while wilfully publishing them, they
have been elsewhere fully and indignantly disproved. In a single word, as
Mrs. Charles Kean aptly says in her letter published in the _Times_, “the
grossness was in Mr. Greville’s mind,” not in the conduct of those he
slanders.

If it be said that our criticism upon these volumes and their author has
been too unsparing; that the old saying, _De mortuis nil nisi bonum_,
should have inspired a smoother tone, the answer is given by Mr. Greville
himself. “Memoirs of this kind,” he said in a conversation held some time
before his death with his editor, Mr. Reeve, “ought not to be locked up
till they had lost their principal interest by the death of all those
who had taken any part in the events they describe.” In other words, the
diseased vanity and cynicism which made him rail at everybody while
he lived made him unwilling to lose the pleasure by anticipation of
wounding everybody after his death. The shallow eagerness to have himself
talked about after he was gone made him insensible to those ideas which
seem to have animated Saint-Simon, who was content to look forward to
an indefinite time for the publication of his _Memoirs_, desiring them
rather to be a truthful and interesting contribution to history than a
hasty means of venting his passing spleen. Mr. Greville has indeed been
talked about sufficiently; but that the conversation would be pleasing to
him, could he hear it, is more doubtful.

One thing at least is to be commended in Mr. Greville--his style. This,
for certain uses, is admirable. It is easy and plain. He is a master
of that part of the art of writing which Horace describes in the 10th
_Satire_:

    “Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus atque
    Extenuantis eas consulto.”

His is “the language of the well-bred man,” the pure English of the
society in which he lived. We do not take account here of his occasional
coarseness, and even oaths--these were of the character of the man, not
of his style. The latter, for purposes of correspondence, or even a short
diary, might generally be taken for a model. Any single page will be read
with pleasure. But as, on the other hand, he neglects the other side of
the Venusian’s advice, seldom rising to “support the part of the poet or
rhetorician,” these closely-printed volumes eventually become tiresome to
the reader. Even good English will grow monotonous if it has nothing else
to sustain it.

Little room is left to speak of the greatest of French memoir-writers,
or perhaps of any literature--Saint-Simon. A few remarks may be jotted
down, having reference chiefly to the points of contrast suggested by the
Greville _Memoirs_. Of the substance and texture of Saint-Simon’s great
and voluminous work, as it unrolls itself slowly before us--the opening
splendor, the daring, the eccentricities, the wit, and the vices of the
courts under which he lived; the prodigies of baseness and monuments of
heroic virtue that rear themselves opposed in that marvellous age; the
long line of portraits, dark, lurid, threatening, radiant, gentle, so
full of surprises to the student of history as ordinarily written; the
turning of the fate of campaigns by the caprice of an angry woman; the
crippling of fleets by the jealousy of a minister; the desolation of
whole provinces by the corruption of intendants; the closing scenes of
profligacy and bankruptcy under the regency--many pages would be required
to give even an outline. The analysis of his genius and character would
make a distinct essay. Sainte-Beuve and other masters of criticism have
labored in the field; yet the soil is so rich that humbler students
will still find enough to repay them. We indicate the landmarks of the
country, without entering on it. Nor would we be supposed to endorse or
give our sanction to many of the opinions and sentiments Saint-Simon so
freely gives utterance to. His Gallicanism, which he shared with the
court; his sympathy with the Jansenist leaders, if not with their heresy;
his violent hatred of the Jesuits--these are blots on his work that cover
many pages.

The Duc de Saint-Simon was born in 1675. During the lifetime of his
father he bore the name of the Vidame de Chartres, and in a subsequent
passage of his _Memoirs_, relating to the birth of his own eldest son,
he gives a highly characteristic account of the title. At his first
appearance at court the king was already privately married to Mme. de
Maintenon, the widow Scarron, whose character and astonishing fortunes
are nowhere more vividly described than in the pages of Saint-Simon.
Louis XIV. was at the summit of his glory. Henceforward, though none
could then foresee it, the course was all down-hill. Saint-Simon in his
first campaigns accompanied the king into Flanders. Some discontent about
promotion, to which he believed himself entitled, caused him to retire
from the service. Henceforward he continued to live chiefly at court,
having already begun the composition of his _Memoirs_. On the death of
his father, the confidential adviser of Louis XIII., even under the
ministry of the famous Cardinal Richelieu, he succeeded to the title and
the government of Blaye. At this early age he was accustomed secretly to
visit the monastery of La Trappe for meditation and retreat. His gravity
and seriousness of mind are everywhere felt through his _Memoirs_,
although these qualities do not lessen the pungency of his style, nor
blunt the _bon mots_ of the court, or his graphic description of the
surprising adventures of the men of his day. He married Mlle. de Durfort,
the daughter of Marshal de Durfort. This union was one of singular
happiness, interrupted only by her death.

The death of the Dauphin, the pupil of Fénelon, destroyed the hopes
that were opening up before Saint-Simon of becoming the chief minister
of the next reign. Under the regency he continued to be the intimate
and sometimes confidential adviser of the Duke of Orleans, although
supplanted in state affairs by Cardinal Dubois. His embassy to Madrid to
negotiate the marriage of the young king, Louis XV., with the Infanta of
Spain, is well known. After the death of the regent he retired to his
château of La Ferté-Vidame, where chiefly he continued henceforward to
live in retirement, composing his immortal _Memoirs_. He died in Paris
in 1755. Having known the subtle sway of a Maintenon, he lived to see
the audacious empire of the Pompadour; and having served in his first
campaigns under Luxembourg, he witnessed before his death the Great
Frederick launch his thunderbolts of war, and the rise of Prussia among
the great powers of Europe.

To attempt, in these few concluding remarks, to give any criticism of
Saint-Simon’s great work would be a hopeless task. Its character is so
many-sided, even contradictory, that any single judgment about it would
be deceptive. We were impelled to connect the author’s name with that of
the later memoir-writer by the contrasts which irresistibly suggested
themselves.

Stated broadly, the main distinction between Saint-Simon and such writers
as Greville and his kind is this: that Saint-Simon presents a connected
narrative, flowing on largely, fully, evenly, abundantly, like a majestic
river sweeping slowly past many varieties of scenery; while Greville
gives nothing more than a hodge-podge diary, with no connection except
the illusory one of dates, a jumble of short stories, petty details,
and ill-natured remarks, bubbling like a noisy brook over stones and
shingle, often half lost in the mud and sand, and not unlikely to end
in a common sewer. It follows that, while it is difficult to remember
particular events or conversations in Greville’s journal, many scenes
from Saint-Simon remain for ever fixed in the memory. Take, for instance,
one--not the most striking--that of the death of Monseigneur. Who
can forget the picture of the old king, in tears, only half-dressed,
hastening to the bedside of his son; the sudden terror of the prince’s
household; the flight of La Choin, hastily gathering up her jewelry; the
row of officers on their knees in the long avenue, crying out to the king
to save them from dying of hunger; the well-managed eyes of the courtiers
at Marly!

Greville is cynical or satirical by dint of the child’s art of using hard
words. Saint-Simon seldom, comparatively speaking, puts on the garb of
a cynic; but his narrative, with scarcely any obtrusion of the writer,
often becomes a satire as terrible as that of some passages of Tacitus,
or, in another vein, of Juvenal.

Many of the historical characters introduced into these works are no
favorites of ours; but our purpose in this article has been, not to
discuss them, but rather the capacity and good taste, or otherwise, of
their critics.

Sainte-Beuve, in one of his felicitous periods, expresses the wish that
every age might have a Saint-Simon to chronicle it. As a paraphrase of
this remark, it might be said that it is to be wished no other age may
have a Greville to slander it.


DOM GUÉRANGER AND SOLESMES.[87]


I.

The church in France has just sustained a severe loss in the death of
Dom Guéranger, the illustrious Abbot of Solesmes, who, on the 30th of
January last, rendered up his soul to God in the noble abbey which he had
restored at the same time that he brought back the Benedictine Order to
France; and where, during the last forty years of his life, he had lived
in the practice of every monastic virtue, and in the pursuit of literary
labors which have rendered him one of the oracles of ecclesiastical
learning.

We are not about to enter into details of the religious life of the
venerable abbot. It belongs rather to those who have been its daily
witnesses to trace its history; but we feel that it may be of interest
to touch upon certain features of the character and public works of this
humble and patient religious, this vigorous athlete, the loss of whom is
so keenly felt by the Holy Father, whose friend and counsellor he was,
and by the church, of which he was the honor and the unwearied defender.

Dom Guéranger, in mental temperament, belonged to that valiant generation
of Catholics who, after 1830, energetically undertook the cause of
religion in their unhappy country, more than ever exposed to the attacks
of the Revolution. The university had become a source of antichristian
teaching; the press everywhere overflowed with evil and daring scandals
of every kind were rife. A new generation of Jacobins had sprung from
the old stock, and were eager to invade everything noble, venerable, and
sacred; legal tyranny threatened to do away with well-nigh all liberty of
conscience, while the government, either not daring or not desiring to
sever itself from the ambitious conspirators to whom it owed its being,
allowed free course to the outrages and persecutions against the church.
It was the most critical and ominous period of the century, and French
society was rapidly sinking into an abyss.

One man, who had foreseen all this evil, and whose genius would have
probably sufficed victoriously to combat it, had he only possessed
the virtue of humility, was M. de Lamennais. Happily, the pleiades
of chosen minds whom he had gathered around him did not lose courage
after the melancholy defection of their brilliant master. The three
most illustrious of these shared among them the defence of the faith
against the floods of unbelief that threatened to overwhelm the country.
Montalembert remained to defend the church in the public assemblies;
Lacordaire adopted as his own the words of S. Paul to his disciple,
_Prædica verbum, insta opportune, importune_,[88] and succeeded so
effectually that he brought back the robe of S. Dominic into the
pulpit of Notre Dame, amid the applause of the conquered multitude;
Guéranger felt that prayer and sound learning were the two great wants
of society. The number of priests was insufficient for the labors of the
sacred ministry. The needs of the time had indeed called forth some few
weighty as well as brilliant apologists; but deep and solid learning
as yet remained buried in the past, and the patient study so necessary
for the polemics of the present and the future threatened indefinitely
to languish. It was to this point, therefore, that the Abbé Guéranger
directed his especial attention, and he it was who was chosen of God to
rekindle the expiring, if not extinguished, flame.

He was led to this sooner than he himself had perhaps anticipated, and
by a circumstance which rather appeared likely to have disturbed his
projects. Solesmes, which, up to the Revolution, had been a priory
dependent on S. Vincent de Mans, had just been sold to one of those
“infernal bands” who in the course of a few years destroyed the greatest
glories of France. Everything was to be pulled down: the cloister of
eight centuries and the church, renowned for the admirable sculptures now
doomed to fall beneath the “axe and hammer”; the authorities of the time
doing nothing to check the devastation effected by the bandits who were
rifling their country after having assassinated her.

The Abbé Guéranger could not endure to witness the annihilation of so
much that was sacred and venerable; besides, the ruins of Solesmes were
especially dear to him, and had been the favorite haunt of his early
childhood and youth, so much so that from this and other characteristic
circumstances he was at that period known among his school comrades
at Le Sablé as _The Monk_. In concert with Dom Fontaine and other
ecclesiastics of the neighborhood he rescued the abbey from the hands
of its intending destroyers. It had already suffered considerably from
the Revolution, but remained intact in all essential particulars. He
spent the winter of 1833 at Paris, going about the city in his monk’s
habit--which at that time had become a novelty--and knocking at every
door, without troubling himself about the religious opinions or belief of
those to whom he addressed himself. The sceptical citizens of the time
amused themselves not a little at his expense; but the learned world
received with distinction the energetic young priest who was so bent
upon giving back the Benedictine Order to France. He never once allowed
any obstacles to hinder or discourage him in the prosecution of his
undertaking. In 1836 he repaired to Rome, there to make his novitiate;
and, after a year passed in the Benedictine Abbey of San Paolo Fuora
Muri, he pronounced his solemn vows, and occupied himself in preparing
the constitutions of Solesmes. These, on the 1st of September, 1837, were
approved by Pope Gregory XVI., who at the same time raised the Priory of
Solesmes into an abbey, and authoritatively nominated Dom Guéranger to be
its first abbot.

Solesmes and the grand Order of S. Benedict were thus restored to France.
The new abbot was soon surrounded by men nearly all of whom have taken
a distinguished rank in learning and science, and during forty years
the austere discipline and deep and extensive studies of the sons of S.
Benedict flourished under his able rule.

Dom Guéranger, moreover, restored Ligugé, the oldest monastery in
France, built in 360 by S. Martin of Tours. He also founded the Priory of
S. Madeleine at Marseilles, and at Solesmes the Abbey of Benedictine Nuns
of S. Cecilia.

The attention he bestowed upon these important foundations did not hinder
this indefatigable religious from amassing the treasures of erudition
which he dispensed with so much ability in defence of the truth and of
sound doctrine. To the end of his life his pen was active either in
writing the numerous works which have rendered his name so well known,
or in correcting the errors of polemics and answering his adversaries
when the interests of religion required it; habitually going straight
to the point in his replies, fearlessly attacking whatever was false or
mistaken, and never allowing any approach to a compromise with error. The
defence of the church was his constant and engrossing thought, and no
important controversy arose but he was sure to appear with the accuracy
of his learning and the always serious but unsparing process of a logic
supported by a thorough acquaintance with doctrine and facts.

The Abbot of Solesmes was endowed with a large amount of prudence and
good sense. When his former companions of La Chesnaie undertook to
popularize “liberal Catholicism,” the precise creed of which has never
yet been ascertained, and the unfailing results of which have been
scandal and division, he undertook to bring back the church in France to
unity of prayer by writing his book entitled _Institutions Liturgiques_,
which, exhibiting in all their beauty the forgotten rites and symbols,
succeeded in securing for them the appreciation they merit; so that
from that time the liturgy in France began to disengage itself from the
multiplicity of particular observances.

In this matter Dom Guéranger had engaged in no trifling combat, his
opponents being many and powerful; but he energetically defended his
ground, and did not die until he had seen his undertaking crowned with
full success by the restoration of the Roman liturgy in France.

Besides these liturgical labors, which chiefly occupied him, and his
_Letters_ to the Archbishops of Rheims and Toulouse, as likewise to Mgr.
Fayet, Bishop of Orleans, in defence of the _Institutions_, he undertook
the _Liturgical Year_, which, unfortunately, was left unfinished at
his death. His _Mémoire_ upon the Immaculate Conception was included
among those memorials sent to the bishops by the Sovereign Pontiff on
the promulgation of the dogma. His _Sainte Cécile_, remarkable for
its historical accuracy, as well as for its excellence as a literary
composition, is a finished picture of Christian manners during the
earliest centuries.

When the Vatican Council was sitting, Dom Guéranger appeared for the
last time in the breach. Confined a prisoner by sickness, but intrepid
as those old captains who insist on being borne into the midst of the
fight, he wished to take part in the great debate which was being carried
on in the church. He fought valiantly, and answered the adversaries
of tradition by his work on _The Pontifical Monarchy_, defending Pope
Honorius against the attacks of an ill-informed academician.

We are unable to give a complete list of the writings of Dom Guéranger,
numerous articles having been published by him in the _Univers_--notably
those on Maria d’Agreda and the reply to an exaggerated idea of M.
d’Haussonville on the attitude of the church under the persecution of
the First Bonaparte. We will only name, in concluding this part of the
subject, his _Essais sur le Naturalisme_, which dealt a heavy blow to
free-thinking; his _Réponses_ upon the liturgical law to M. l’Abbé David,
now Bishop of St. Brieuc; and a _Défense des Jesuites_.

Should it be asked how the Abbot of Solesmes could find the time for so
many considerable works, the answer is given in the _Imitation_: _Cella
continuata dulcescit_. He had made retreat a willing necessity for
himself, and, being in the habit of doing everything in its proper time,
he had time for everything without need of haste.

From the day that he became Abbot of Solesmes he was scarcely ever seen
in the world, never absenting himself without absolute necessity or from
obedience. Of middle height, decided manner, with a quick eye and serious
smile, Dom Guéranger attracted those who came to him by the simplicity
and kindness of his reception, and those who sought his advice by the
discerning wisdom of his counsels. High ecclesiastical dignities might
have been his had he not preferred to remain in the seclusion of his
beloved abbey.

He leaves behind him something far better than even his books, in
bequeathing to the church and to society a family of monks strongly
imbued with his spirit, and destined to perpetuate the holy traditions
which he was the first to revive in his native land.

The imposing ceremonies of the funeral of Dom Guéranger, which took
place on the 4th of February at the Abbey of Solesmes, were conducted by
the Bishops of Mans, Nantes, and Quimper; there were also present the
Abbots of Ligugé, La Trappe de Mortagne, Aiguebelle, and Pierre-qui-Vire,
besides more than two hundred priests of La Sarthe.

The remains of the reverend father, clothed in pontifical vestments,
with the mitre and crozier, were exposed in the church from the evening
of the 30th (Saturday) for the visits of the faithful, crowds of whom
came from all the country round, in spite of the exceeding inclemency of
the weather, to pay their last respects and to be present at the funeral
of the illustrious man, who, during his forty years’ residence among
them, had made himself so greatly beloved. Just before the close of the
ceremony, when the Bishop of Mans invited those present to look for the
last time upon the holy and beautiful countenance of the departed abbot,
who had been a father to many outside as well as within the cloister
walls, a general and irrepressible burst of sobs and tears arose from the
multitude which thronged the church.

Among those present were many noble and learned friends of the deceased,
besides the mayor and municipal council of Solesmes, and also of Sablé
(Dom Guéranger’s native place), a deputation of the marble-workers of the
district, and people of every class.


II.

    “La voyez vous croitre,
    La tour du vieux cloitre?”

Before concluding our notice we must devote a page or two to the “Old
Cloister Tower,” which is discernible from a considerable distance, with
its four or five stories and its heraldic crown rising above the walls of
the ancient borough of Solesmes. The abbey itself next appears in sight,
majestically seated on the slope of a wide valley, through which flows
the Sarthe, on a level with its grassy borders.

The locality, which is pleasing rather than picturesque, is fertile,
animated, and cheerful. Besides several châteaux of recent construction,
which face the abbey from the opposite side of the river, may be seen, at
some distance off, the splendid convent of Benedictine Nuns, built some
years ago by a lady of Marseilles, and on the horizon appears the Château
of Sablé, with its vast terraces and (according to the country-people)
its three hundred and sixty-five windows.

The Abbey of Solesmes, founded about the year 1025, has preserved, in
spite of several reconstructions, the architectural arrangement, so
suitable for community life, copied by its first monks from the Roman
houses of the order. The enclosure consists of a quadrangle, with an
almost interminable cloister, out of which are entrances into the
church, the chapter-house, the refectory, the guest-chamber, and all the
places of daily assembly. There silence and recollection reign supreme.
Excepting only during the times of recreation, no sound is to be heard
save the twittering of birds, the sound of the _Angelus_ or some other
occasional bell, or the subdued voice of a monk who, with some visitor,
is standing before a sculptured saint, or examining the fragments of some
ancient tomb.

It is chiefly the abbey church which attracts the curiosity and interest
of artists and antiquaries. There is not an archæologist who has not
heard of the “Saints of Solesmes,” as the groups of statues and symbolic
sculptures are called which fill the chapels of the transept from roof
to pavement. These wonderful works, executed for the most part under the
direction of the priors of Solesmes, form one of the finest monuments of
mediæval sculpture to be found in France. They are mystic and somewhat
mannered in style, but of bold conception, vigorously expressed.

A multitude of personages, sacred, historical, or allegorical,
intermingle with coats-of-arms, heraldic devices, bandrols, and all the
details of an ornamentation of which the skilfully-studied arrangement
corrects the redundance, which would otherwise be confused. This,
however, is but the purely decorative portion; the principal works being
enshrined in deep niches or recesses, in which may be seen groups of
seven or eight figures, the size of life, and wonderfully effective in
attitude and action.

In a low-vaulted crypt resting on pillars, to the right, is represented
the Entombment. This group, which is the earliest in date, having been
executed in 1496 under the direction of Michel Colomb, “habitant de Tours
et tailleur d’ymaiges du roy,” is the most considerable, and perhaps also
the most striking. All the figures, ten in number, have impressed on
their countenances and movements the feeling of the dolorous function in
which they are engaged. Most of them are represented in the costume, and
probably with the features, of persons of the time. Joseph of Arimathea
in particular has the look and bearing of the lord of the place, or, it
may be, of the prior of the monastery. But nothing attracts the attention
more than a little statue with features so refined that it might have
descended from the canvas of Carlo Dolci. It is the Magdalen, seated in
the dust; the elbows supported on the knees, the hands joined, the eyes
closed. All her life seems concentrated in her soul; and that is absorbed
in penitence and prayer, grief, love, and resignation--she is as if still
shedding her sanctified odors at the Saviour’s feet.

The left transept is devoted to the honor of the Blessed Virgin. She has
fallen asleep in the Lord, surrounded by the apostles. Then follow her
burial, her Assumption, and finally her glorification. She tramples under
foot the dragon, who, with bristling horns and claws, vainly endeavors
to reach her. He is bound for a thousand years. This subject, rarely
attempted, is here powerfully treated; all these heads, with horrible
grimaces, appear to be howling and blaspheming in impotent fury--_Et
iratus est draco in mulierem_[89]--but the Woman is raised on high, and
with her virginal foot tramples on the enemy of mankind. Facing this
subject are the patriarchs and prophets, in niches royally decorated.
This work was executed in 1550 by Floris d’Anvers, after the plan given
by Jean Bouglet, Doctor of the Sorbonne, and Prior of Solesmes.

But time would fail us to describe all these remarkable sculptures,
which so narrowly escaped destruction or desecration at the hands of the
revolutionists. The First Napoleon had the idea of transporting them
to some museum as curiosities of art. It would have been a sacrilege,
and one which, alas! has been too often perpetrated in other countries
besides France. But what Catholic that visits the garden even, to say
nothing of the museum, of the ancient monastery of Cluny (now Musée de
Cluny, at Paris), is not pained at seeing saints and virgins, angels and
apostles, more or less shattered and dismembered, torn from their places
in the sanctuary, and figuring as statues on the lawn, or mere groups of
sculpture picturesquely placed to assist the effect of the gardener’s
arrangement of the shrubs and flower-beds?

Bonaparte, however (after testing with gimlet and saw the hardness of the
stone), found himself obliged to leave the “Saints of Solesmes” where
they were, as, unless the whole were to be ruined, the entire transept
would have had to be transported all in one piece, every part of this
immense sculptured fresco being connected and, as it were, enwound with
the other portions, and each detail having only its particular excellence
in the completeness of the rest.

It is amid the ceremonies of Solesmes that those who enter into the
spirit of Christian art can penetrate more deeply into the meaning of the
vast poem carved upon the walls of the church. During the simple recital
of the psalms, as in the most solemn and magnificent ceremonies, there is
a striking harmony between the decoration and the action, the one being a
commentary on the other. The monks, motionless in their carven stalls, or
disposed on the steps of the altar, seem to make one with the Jerusalem
in stone, while the saints in their niches may almost be imagined to sing
with the psalmody and meditate during the solemn rites at which they are
present. At the most solemn moment of the Mass, when clouds of incense
are filling the holy place, the mystic dove descends, bearing between
her silver wings the Bread of Heaven, and, when it is deposited in the
pyx, mounts again into her aerial shrine, which is suspended from a lofty
cross.

This custom of elevating the tabernacle between heaven and earth was not
the only one in which the venerable abbot exactly copied the ancient
rites. The ceremonies of Solesmes are full of the spirit of the church’s
liturgy, and the community formed by his teaching and example will not
fail to perpetuate the pious and venerable observances which he was the
first to restore in France.


LEGEND OF THE BLUMISALPE.

There was a time when around this mountain, now covered with perpetual
snow, swarms of bees produced aromatic honey; fine cows, pasturing the
entire year in the green fields, filled the dairy-women’s pails with rich
milk; and the farmer by trifling labor obtained abundant harvests. But
the inhabitants of this fertile country, blinded by the splendor of their
fortune, became proud and haughty. They were intoxicated with the charms
of wealth; they forgot that there are duties attached to the possession
of wealth--the duties of hospitality and of charity. Instead of using
their treasures judiciously, they employed them solely in ministering to
a more luxurious idleness, and in a continual succession of festivities.
They closed their ears to the supplications of the unfortunate, and sent
the poor from their doors; and God punished them.

One of these proud, rich men built on the verdant slopes of the
Blumisalpe a superb château, intending to reside there, surrounded by
his unworthy associates. Every morning their baths were filled with the
purest milk.

The terraced steps of the gardens were made, according to the legend, of
finely-cut blocks of excellent cheese. This Sardanapalus of the mountains
had inherited all his father’s vast domains, and, whilst he revelled in
this manner in his rich possessions, his old mother was living in want in
the seclusion of the valley. One day the poor old woman, suffering from
cold and hunger, supplicated his compassion. She told him that she was
living alone in her cabin, unable to work; indigent, without assistance;
infirm, without support. She begged him to grant her the fragments of
his feast, a refuge in his stables; but, deaf to her entreaties, he
ordered her to leave. She showed him her cheeks, wrinkled by grief more
than by age; her emaciated arms, that had carried him in his infancy; he
threatened to command his attendants to drive her away.

The poor woman returned to her cabin, overwhelmed with grief by this
cruel outrage. She tottered through his beautiful grounds with bowed
head, and sighs that she could not restrain burst from her oppressed
heart, and bitter tears streamed from her eyes. God counted the mother’s
tears.

She had scarcely arrived at her hut when the avenging storm came.

The château of the ignominious son was struck by lightning, his treasures
were consumed by the flames, from which he himself did not escape, and
his companions perished with him.

Those fields, that once yielded so abundantly, are now covered with
a mass of snow that never melts. On the spot where his mother vainly
implored his compassion, the rent earth has opened a frightful abyss;
and where her tears then flowed now, drop by drop, fall the tears of the
eternal glaciers.


NEW PUBLICATIONS

    THE YOUNG CATHOLIC’S ILLUSTRATED FIFTH READER. Pp. 430, 12mo.
    THE YOUNG CATHOLIC’S ILLUSTRATED SIXTH READER AND SPEAKER.
    By Rev. J. L. Spalding, S.T.L. Pp. 477, 12mo. New York: The
    Catholic Publication Society, 9 Warren Street. 1875.

These books have been prepared with great care and rare tact. We have
examined, from time to time, the various Readers which are used in this
country, and the Young Catholic’s Series is certainly the best which we
have seen. But the Fifth and Sixth Readers of this series are especially
good, and we are confident that they are destined to become the standard
Readers of the Catholic schools of the United States. They are indeed
more than reading-books: they are collections of choice specimens of
English literature, in prose and poetry, so arranged as to present every
variety of style, that opportunity may be given to the pupil to cultivate
all the different forms of vocal expression.

In the Fifth Reader the attention of the young Catholic is called to the
history of the church in the United States by the attractive biographical
notices of some of the most distinguished bishops and archbishops of
this country; and, as an introduction to the Sixth, we have a brief but
exhaustive treatise on elocution. We have not the space to enter into
a minute criticism of these books; but we have expressed our honest
conviction of their excellence, and we are quite sure that their own
merits will open for them a way into Catholic schools throughout the land.

    PAX. THE SYLLABUS FOR THE PEOPLE: A Review of the Propositions
    condemned by His Holiness Pope Pius IX., with Text of the
    Condemned List. By a Monk of S. Augustine’s, Ramsgate, author
    of _The Vatican Decrees and Catholic Allegiance_. New York: The
    Catholic Publication Society. 1875.

This is an almost necessary complement to the publications forming the
Gladstone controversy, the original being so frequently referred to by
Mr. Gladstone and his reviewers.

We cannot do better than quote the editor’s preface, by way of comment:

“The Syllabus of Pius IX. has been the subject of so many misconceptions
that a plain and simple setting forth of its meaning cannot be useless.
This is what I have tried to do in the following pages. A vindication or
defence of the Syllabus was, of course, out of the question in so small
a compass; but I think that more than half the work of defence is done
by a simple explanation. During the ten years just completed since its
promulgation, much has occurred to show the wisdom that dictated it.
The translation I have given is the one authorized by His Eminence the
Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin.”

    POSTSCRIPT TO A LETTER ADDRESSED TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF
    NORFOLK, ON OCCASION OF MR. GLADSTONE’S RECENT EXPOSTULATION,
    AND IN ANSWER TO HIS “VATICANISM.” By John Henry Newman, D. D.,
    of the Oratory. New York: The Catholic Publication Society.
    1875.

In this _Postscript_ Dr. Newman pulverizes the different statements of
Mr. Gladstone’s rejoinder, one by one. The blunders of the ex-Premier are
not surprising, seeing that he attempts to write about matters in which
he is not well informed, but they are certainly very gross. Dr. Newman
has taken him by the hand with a very gentle smile on his countenance,
but he has broken his bones as in a vise.

    PERSONAL REMINISCENCES. By Moore and Jerdan. Edited by Richard
    Henry Stoddard. New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Company. 1875.

This small and dainty-looking little volume is one of the “Bric-a-Brac”
Series. Its two hundred and eighty-eight pages profess to give us the
“personal reminiscences” of Moore and Jerdan. They give nothing more
than such extracts from the original as have taken the fancy of the
editor. Whether that fancy has always been wise in its choice is fairly
open to question. There is much of Moore’s reminiscences omitted that
might have been very profitably inserted, at least in exchange for many
things which have found their way into the volume. It is Moore “bottled
off,” so to say, and given out in small doses. The experiment is not
very satisfactory. Moore suffered irretrievably in his biographer, Lord
John Russell, of whose “eight solid volumes,” as Mr. Stoddard says, “the
essence is here presented to the reader.” Lord Russell will be credited
with many blunders in after time, and very grave ones some of them; but
never did he make a more exasperating mistake than in undertaking the
editing of Moore’s _Memoirs, Journal, and Correspondence_, in rivalry
of Moore’s own admirable biography of Byron. Readers of _Personal
Reminiscences_ must be prepared to meet with a vast quantity of nonsense
and trash. But much of this constitutes the chief value of such works. In
the jottings down of daily journals no one expects to meet with profound
reflections and labored thoughts. They are rather, in the hands of such
men as Moore, “the abstract and brief chronicle of the time” in which
they are made. Moore’s witty and graceful pen was just adapted to such
work as this. Whoever or whatever was considered worth seeing in the
world in which he lived and moved as one of its chief ornaments, he saw,
and set down in his private journal. Bits of this Mr. Stoddard gives us
in the present volume; but those who care for this kind of literature
at all will prefer the whole to such parts as have pleased the editor;
and the whole does possess an intrinsic value to which the present
volume does not pretend. Mr. Stoddard’s preface is not encouraging. He
seems to write under protest that his valuable time should be consumed
in this kind of work. “I cannot put myself in the place of a man who
keeps a journal in which he is the principal figure, and in which his
whereabouts, and actions, and thoughts, and feelings are detailed year
after year,” says Mr. Stoddard; and the obvious comment is: “Very
probably; but no one has asked Mr. Stoddard to do anything so foolish.”
Persons who keep “journals,” however, are not in the habit of keeping
them for other people. “I cannot put myself in the place of Moore,”
insists Mr. Stoddard, with unnecessary pertinacity, “who seems to have
never lost interest in himself.” The comment again is very obvious:
Mr. Stoddard is a very different man from Mr. Moore. The truth is, Mr.
Stoddard does not like either Moore or his poetry. “The reputation which
had once been his had waned.” “A new and greater race of poets than the
one to which he belonged had risen.” “_Lalla Rookh_ was still read,
_perhaps_, but not with the same pleasure as _The Princess_ or _The Blot
on the Scutcheon_. Moore had ‘ceased to charm.’” Such statements as these
Mr. Stoddard would seem to consider self evident facts of which no proof
is needed. And he would be astonished were some one to ask him to point
out the “new and greater race of poets” which has arisen since Moore’s
death. Still more would he be astonished if asked to point out, not “a
race of poets,” but a single member of the race whose writings are more
read, whose name and fame are better known, who is “greater,” than Moore.
He would be thunderstruck were he informed that for a hundred who had
read _Lalla Rookh_ not twenty had read _The Princess_, knew its author
or of its existence, and not ten knew even of the name of the other
poem mentioned. Altogether, though Mr. Stoddard’s preface is short,
it is certainly not sweet, and both himself and the reader are to be
congratulated at his not having extended it.

    OUR LADY’S DOWRY; or, How England Gained and Lost that Title. A
    compilation by the Rev. T. E. Bridgett, of the Congregation of
    the Most Holy Redeemer. London: Burns & Oates. 1875. (New York:
    Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)

This book is among the most delightful and the most valuable which it has
been our good-fortune to meet with. It establishes not only the fact of
England having been called “throughout Europe Our Lady’s Dowry,” but her
right to the glorious title.

Those who imagine what is known to-day as Catholic devotion to Our Lady
a thing of comparatively modern growth, or, again, that it can only
bloom luxuriantly in the sunny climes of Spain and Italy, will find both
illusions dispelled in these pages. The old Anglo-Saxon love of Mary was
as warm and tender as any of which human hearts are capable. And instead
of finding our English ancestors behind us in this devotion, we must
rather own ourselves behind them.

We would gladly give our readers an analysis of Father Bridgett’s
“compilation,” but this cannot be done except in an elaborate review.
Suffice it to say that never was a “compilation” (as the author modestly
calls it) less like what is ordinarily understood by the term--we mean in
point of interest and style.

We subjoin a passage from Chapter V. on “Beads and Bells” (p. 201). We
think the information it contains will be new to almost all:

“The word ‘bead’ has undergone in English a curious transformation of
meaning. It is the past participle of the Saxon verb _biddan_, to bid,
to invite, to _pray_. Thus in early English it is often used simply for
_prayers_, without any reference whatever to their nature or the mode
of reciting them. To ‘bid the beads’ is merely to say one’s prayers.
‘Bidding the beads’ also meant a formal enumeration of the objects of
prayer or persons to be prayed for. Beadsmen or beads-women are not
necessarily persons who say the Rosary, but simply those who pray for
others, especially for their benefactors.

“But as a custom was introduced in very early times of counting prayers
said, by the use of little grains or pebbles strung together, the name
of prayer got attached to the instrument used for saying prayers; and in
this sense the word beads is commonly used by Catholics at the present
day.

“Lastly, the idea of prayer was dropped out altogether in Protestant
times, and the name of ‘beads’ was left attached to any little perforated
balls which could be strung together merely for personal adornment,
without any reference to devotion.”

    BULLA JUBILÆI 1875; seu, Sanctissimi Domini nostri Pii Divina
    Providentia Papæ IX. Epistola Encyclica: Gravibus Ecclesiæ, cum
    Notis, Practicis ad usum Cleri Americani. Curante A. Konings,
    C.SS.R. Neo-Eboraci: Typus Societatis pro Libris Catholicis
    Evulgandis. MDCCCLXXV.

The reverend clergy will be grateful to Father Konings for this
convenient and beautiful edition of the text of the bull announcing the
present Jubilee, and for the accompanying notes.

    SEVEN STORIES. By Lady Georgiana Fullerton. Baltimore: Kelly,
    Piet & Company. 1875.

This is a handsome reprint of a work the English edition of which was
noticed, on its first appearance, in these pages.

    READINGS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT. Arranged with Chronological
    Tables, Explanatory Notes, and Maps. For the Use of Students.
    By J. G. Wenham, Canon of Southwark. London: Burns & Oates.
    1875. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)

The title of the work is almost a sufficient description of its contents.
The primary object of the book is to give a consecutive history of the
events related in the Old Testament, in the words of Holy Scripture. It
includes a history of the patriarchs from the beginning to the birth
of Moses; of the Israelites from the birth of Moses to the end of the
Judges; of the Kings from the establishment of the kingdom to its end;
and of the Prophets from B.C. 606 to the birth of Christ, embracing an
account of the prophetic writings.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XXI., No. 123.--JUNE, 1875.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by Rev. I. T.
HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington D. C.


SPECIMEN CHARITIES.

Charity is generally acknowledged to be, particularly by those who do
not practise it, the greatest of the virtues. Judged by this standard,
everything connected with it ought to command a special interest. Among
ourselves the most practical form of it is exhibited in the institutions
provided for the care of that large section of society that may be
classed as the unfortunate. It is only natural to suppose, then, that
the reports of these institutions would be caught up and studied with
avidity by the public, who in some shape or form pay for and support
them. Nothing, however, is further from the truth. It is safe to say
that not one man out of every hundred ever sees a report of any single
institution, or ever dreams even of the existence of such a thing.

This indifference to how our money goes is one of the chief causes of
the gross peculations and frauds that startle and shock the public mind
from time to time. Where scrutiny is not close and constant, the conduct
of those who have reason to expect scrutiny is apt to be proportionately
loose and careless. There is no intention in saying this to arraign the
managers of public institutions with loose and careless conduct in the
discharge of their duties and the dispensing of the large sums of money
confided to their care. All that we would say is that the public is too
inert in the matter. A sharp lookout on officials of any kind never does
harm to any one. It will be courted by honest men, while it hangs like
the sword of Damocles over the heads of the dishonest. At all events, it
is the safest voucher for activity, zeal, and honesty on all sides.

The reports of several of the institutions best known to the public in
this city have been examined, and the result of the investigation will
be set forth in this article. It may be said here that perhaps a chief
reason for the general apathy of the public regarding these reports is
due to the reports themselves. As a rule, they seem to be drawn up with
the express purpose of giving the least possible information in the most
roundabout fashion. The very sight of them warns an inquirer off. While
he is solely intent on finding out what such and such an institution
does for its inmates, what it has done, what it purposes doing, how
it is conducted, what it costs, what it produces, what success it can
point to in plain black and white, and not in general terms, he is
almost invariably treated to homilies on charity; to dissertations on
the growing number of the poor and the awfulness of crime; to tirades
on the public-school question; to highly-colored opinions on the duty
of enforcing education; to extracts from letters that, for all he can
determine, date from nowhere and are signed by no one. Such is a fair
description of the average “report” of any given charity or public
institution, as any conscientious reader who is anxious for a sleepless
night and morning headache may convince himself by glancing at the first
half-dozen that come in his way.

This is much to be regretted. Little more than a year ago public inquiry
was stimulated by the public press to examine into the record of the
institutions that for years and years have been absorbing vast sums of
money, with no very apparent result. Grave charges were then made and
substantiated by very ugly figures, showing that the cost of the majority
of institutions was enormously in excess of the good effected. It was
charged that the statistics were not clear, that the managers shirked
inquiry, that the salaries were enormously disproportionate to the work
done--in a word, that the least benefit accrued to those for whom the
institutions were founded, erected, and kept a-going. Suspicion speedily
took possession of the public mind that what went by the name of public
charity was nothing more nor less than a system of organized plunder.

That opinion is neither endorsed nor gainsaid here. The result of such
investigations as have been made of reports drawn up for the past year
have been simply set forth, so that every reader may judge for himself
as to the benefits accruing to the public from the institutions in their
midst which every year absorb an aggregate of several millions of public
and private funds.

The institutions whose reports have been examined are for children of
both sexes and of all creeds. Some of them are more, some less, directly
under State control. All, at least, are under State patronage. Their aim
and purport is to relieve the State of a stupendous task--the care and
future provision for children who, without such care and provision, would
in all probability go astray, and become, if not a danger, at least a
burden, to the State. On this ground the State or city, or both together,
make or makes to each one certain apportionments and awards of the public
moneys. Those apportionments and awards are not in all cases equal either
in amount or in average. It is not claimed here that they are necessarily
bound to be equal either in amount or in average. The gift is practically
a free gift on the part of the State, although between itself and the
institutions the award made partakes of the nature of a contract. So
much is allowed for the care of State wards. What may be fairly claimed,
however, is that the awards of the State should be regulated by justice
and impartiality. Most money ought to be given where it is clear that
most good is effected by it. This system of award does not prevail.

Again, as these institutions undertake the entire control of their
inmates, and to a great extent their disposal after leaving, they are
charged with the mental, moral, and physical training of those inmates. A
vast number of the children are in all cases of the Catholic faith.

As the general question of religion in our public institutions was
dealt with at length in the April number of THE CATHOLIC WORLD, there
is no need of returning to it here further than to remind our readers
that the moral training of Catholic children in public institutions is
utterly unprovided for. Our main questions now are: What do our public
institutions do for the public? What do they do for the inmates? How much
does it cost them to do it? Whence does the money that sustains them
come, and whither does it go?

It is far easier to put these questions than to obtain a satisfactory
answer to them. Of the fitness of putting them and the importance of
answering them fully and fairly no man can doubt. They are equally
important to the public at large, to the State, and to the institutions
themselves. It is fitting and right that we know which institutions do
the best work in the best way; which merit the support of the public and
of the State; which, if any, are concerned chiefly about the welfare of
their inmates; which, if any, are concerned chiefly about the welfare of
their officers and directors. Let us see how far the _Fiftieth Annual
Report of the Managers of the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile
Delinquents_ may enlighten us on these interesting points.

In this institution there were received during the year (1874) seven
hundred and twenty-four children, of whom six hundred and thirty-six
were new inmates. The total number in the institution for the year was
one thousand three hundred and eighty-seven. The average figure taken
on which to calculate the year’s expenditure is seven hundred and
forty. Whence the children come may be inferred from the words of the
superintendent’s report (page 38): “By its charter the House of Refuge
is authorized to receive boys under commitment by a magistrate from the
first three judicial districts, and girls from all parts of the State.
The age of subjects who may be committed is limited to sixteen years.[90]
State Prison Inspectors have power to transfer young prisoners from
Sing Sing prison, under seventeen years of age, to this institution, if
in their judgment they are proper subjects for its discipline.… Prior
to 1847 this was the only place, except the prisons, in the State,
authorized to receive juvenile delinquents. At that time the Western
House of Refuge was organized at Rochester, and boys from the fourth,
fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth judicial districts were directed, by
the act under which that institution was organized, to be sent there.
The State Prison Inspectors may transfer young prisoners from the State
prisons of Auburn and Dannemora to the Western House, the same as from
Sing Sing here. The United States courts, sitting within the State,
may commit youthful offenders under sixteen years of age to either
institution. The expense for the support of these is paid by the United
States government. Girls from all parts of the State are sent to this
house, there being no female department at the Western House.”

The expenses for support of the (average) seven hundred and forty
children for 1874 amounted to $103,524 23, according to the
superintendent’s report. To defray this, there was contributed in all
$74,968 61 of public moneys, in the following allotments:

    By Annual Appropriation,                  $40,000 00
    By Balance Special Appropriation,          10,500 00
    On account Special Appropriation, 1874,    10,000 00
    By Board of Education,                      7,468 61
    By Theatre Licenses,                        7,000 00
                                             -----------
                                              $74,968 61

There is one remark to be made on these figures, which have been copied
item by item from the report. They do not tally with the report of the
State Treasurer. In his report the award to the society is set down as
$66,500. There is evidently a mistake somewhere. A small item of $6,000
is missing from the report of the society. Where can it have gone?
The president himself, Mr. Edgar Ketchum, endorses the figures of the
superintendent and treasurer. He tells us (page 14) that the receipts for
1874, “from the State Comptroller, annual and special appropriations,”
are $60,500; but there is that page 34 of the annual report of the State
Treasurer, which sets it down plumply at $66,500. There will doubtless be
forthcoming an excellent explanation of this singular discrepancy between
the reports. The State Treasurer may have made the mistake; but, if not,
one is permitted to ask, is this the kind of arithmetic taught in the
Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents?

The remaining deficit is covered by “labor of the inmates”--which is
rated at $41,594 48--sale of waste articles, etc. There is no mention
whatever made of private donations. With an exception that will be noted,
there is not a hint at such a thing throughout the sixty-eight pages of
the report. If private donations were received at this institution during
the year, the donors will search the fiftieth annual report in vain
for any account of them. Attention is called to this point, because in
every other report examined the private donations have been ample, duly
acknowledged, and accounted for; but the managers of the Society for the
Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents observe silence on this subject.

Looking to see how the money went, we find the largest item of the
expenses set down as $44,521 62, for “food and provisions.” The next
largest item is $34,880 52, for salaries--as nearly as possible one-third
of the whole expense. This is a very important item. One-third of the
entire expenses, and considerably over half the net cost for the support
of the institution during the year, was consumed in salaries. Into the
various other items it is not necessary to go, as in these two by far
the largest portion of the expenses is accounted for. The sum of the
remainder for “clothing,” “fuel and light,” “bedding and furniture,”
“books and stationery for the schools and chapel,” “ordinary repairs,”
and “hospital,” amounts only to $27,555 84, or over $7,000 less than the
salaries; while “all other expenses not included” in what has already
been mentioned amount only to $23,339 23.

As this is the fiftieth annual report, the managers of the institution
have thought it a fitting time to publish a review of the work done
during the last half-century and of the cost of its doing. The “financial
statement for fifty years” informs us that “the cost for real estate
and buildings for the use of the institution, including repairs and
improvements,” was $745,740 31. This amount was paid “in part by private
subscriptions and donations”--the solitary mention to be found of
anything of the kind throughout the report--and the remainder “by money
received for insurance for loss by fires, money received from sale of
property in Twenty-third Street, New York, and by State appropriations.”
The amount of private subscriptions and donations was $38,702 04; thus
leaving $707,038 27, by far the greater portion of which, it is to be
presumed, was paid by State appropriations.

So far for the real estate and buildings for fifty years. Let us now look
at the cost of support for the same period.

Including every item of expense, except for the grounds and buildings,
the sum total is $2,106,009 16. Of this $767,189 31 was paid from labor
of the inmates and sale of articles; the remaining $1,338,819 85 was
paid “from moneys received from appropriations made by the State and by
the city of New York, from the licenses of theatres, from the excise and
marine funds.” In short, with the exception of the $38,702 04 already
mentioned as coming from private subscriptions and donations, of the
money received from sale of property in Twenty-third Street, New York,
and the amount earned by the inmates, the State has covered the entire
expenses of the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents
since its founding, fifty years ago. Those expenses, according to their
own showing, were $2,045,868 12. Thus it is within the truth to say that
this society has received $2,000,000 from the State within the last fifty
years, one-third of which amount, if the figures for last year be a fair
gauge, was consumed in salaries.

Such has been the cost--a weighty one. What is the result? What has been
achieved by this immense outlay?--for immense it is. We are informed (p.
39) that “when a child is dismissed from the house, an entry is made
under the history, giving the name, residence, and occupation of the
person into whose care the boy or girl is given. Pains are taken, by
correspondence and otherwise, to keep informed of their subsequent career
as far as possible, and such information when received, whether favorable
or unfavorable, is noted under the history.”

The result may be given briefly: Fifteen thousand seven hundred and
ninety-one children have passed through the institution in fifty years.
Of these thirty-eight per cent. have been heard from “favorably,”
fourteen per cent. “unfavorably,” while forty-eight per cent. are
classified as “unknown.” Thus it is seen that not nearly one-half have
turned out well; a very considerable number have turned out badly; and of
a larger number than either--of almost half, in fact--nothing is known.
And it has taken about three millions of dollars (a far higher figure if
the private donations, of which no account is given, ranked for anything)
to achieve this magnificent result!

We have only one comment to offer. If, with the practically unlimited
means at their disposal, the managers of the society can do nothing
better for and with the children than they have done after fifty years
of trial, the experiment is, to say the least, a costly failure. Indeed,
it is not at all extravagant to assert that, taking into consideration
the migratory habits of our people and the ups and downs of life, these
children, if allowed to run their own course, would, were it possible
to follow up their histories, probably show as high a percentage of
“favorable” as this society has been able to show. In the proud words of
the superintendent’s report, “The results of half a century of labor in
the cause of God and humanity are now before us!”[91]

An institution similar to the one just examined is the New York Juvenile
Asylum, whose _Twenty-second Annual Report_ is published. Unlike its
predecessor, it acknowledges “the readiness with which the necessary
funds, beyond those received from the public treasury, are supplemented
by private beneficence.” It has a Western agency, whose business it is
to “procure suitable homes for children placed under indenture, and
conduct the responsible work of perpetuated guardianship, which forms the
distinguishing feature of our chartered obligations” (_Report_, p. 12).
We are informed that “an analysis of the treasurer’s report confirms the
uniform experience of the board, that the appropriations from the city
treasury of $110, and from the Board of Education of about $13 50, per
annum, for each child, are inadequate to the support of the institution
on its present required scale of superior excellence.”

The treasurer’s report is a study. The expenses for the year (1874) were
$95,976 83. Of this sum $67,452 05 is set down plumply as for “salaries,
wages, supplies, etc., for Asylum.” How much of it was devoted to
“salaries,” how much to “wages,” how much to “supplies,” and how much to
“etc.,” whatever that financial mystery may mean, is left to conjecture.
A similar entry for the House (connected with the asylum) amounts to
$16,875 59; and a third, for the Western agency, to $5,303 18. By this
happy arrangement there only remain some two thousand odd dollars to be
accounted for, and the balance-sheet pleasantly closes, leaving the
reader as wise as ever on the important query, Who gets the lion’s share
of the money, the children or the managers?

To cover the expenses of the year, the corporation gave $68,899 40; the
Board of Education, $8,833 23. Thus public moneys covered the great bulk
of the annual expense. The carefully-confused figures of the treasurer
make it impossible to say whether or not a judicious paring of the
“salaries, wages, etc.,” might not have enabled the same moneys to cover
it all and still leave a balance in the bank.

As it is hopeless to investigate how the money went, item by item, let us
turn to the children for whose benefit it was given.

The whole number in the Asylum and House of Reception at the beginning of
the year was 617; received during the year, 581; discharged, 585; average
for the year, 617. Of the discharged, 9 were indentured, 103 sent to the
Western agency, 466 discharged to parents and friends.

The managers are very strongly in favor of placing the children in
“Western homes,” and doubtless most persons interested in the question
of caring for these children would agree with them, could satisfactory
evidence only be given of the actual advantages of the plan. But such
evidence is not furnished by any of the reports we have examined. This
asylum, for instance, has been sending children West year after year, and
yet the superintendent informs us, as a piece of special news, that “in
the early part of November last the superintendent went to Illinois, for
the purpose of becoming better acquainted with the practical workings of
the agency, and visiting the children sent West in their new homes.”
This is given as an event in the workings of the institution. In other
words, the children sent out were left absolutely to the Western agent,
who may have been a very worthy and conscientious person, or who may have
been nothing of the kind. The amount expended on the Western agency would
not seem to indicate any very extensive or arduous labors. The result
of the superintendent’s trip was a visitation of twenty-five children,
and, on the strength of that very limited number of visits and the
representations of the agent, he states that “it was evident that great
care was taken and good judgment exercised in providing children with the
best of homes and looking after their general welfare.”

The Western agent himself reports: “For sixteen years the Asylum has
been sending to Illinois, and placing in families as apprentices,
those who have become permanently its wards, and during that time two
thousand three hundred and ninety-nine have been thus cared for. Their
employers have been required to make a legal contract in writing, binding
themselves to provide suitably for their physical comfort during their
minority, instruct them in a specified trade, allow them to attend school
four months in each year, _give them moral and religious training_,
and make a stipulated payment of clothing and money at the expiration
of their apprenticeship.… The Asylum is required by its charter to see
that the terms of every contract are faithfully performed throughout the
entire period of the apprenticeship.”

Of course these conditions are very favorable to the children, provided
only that they are carried out. That they are always carried out is
doubtful, and the number of complaints made by both children and
employers, mentioned incidentally, tend to strengthen this doubt. Then as
regards the “moral and religious training”: What in the case of Catholic
children such training is likely to be may be inferred from the fact that
the Catholic religion is proscribed in the Asylum and House, as also from
the fact mentioned by the agent himself (p. 42) that among the employers
“prejudiced against indentures,” “occasionally one objects to them _on
the ground of conscientious scruples_;” “but,” he adds, “it rarely occurs
that they cannot be prevailed upon to comply with our regulations in this
particular.”

What the Western “Home” is may be judged from the following pregnant
sentence of the agent’s report: “I am not instructed by the committee,
nor would it be well to make it an attractive rendezvous, and the
children are neither drawn to it by factitious allurements nor encouraged
to make a protracted stay.” The unsolicited testimony on this point may
be taken as unimpeachable. He admits that “instances of wrongs frequently
come to our knowledge, and doubtless many others exist of which we
have not been made aware.” Accordingly, “to prevent such abuses,” “an
additional agent has _recently_ been engaged, who will be employed
exclusively as a visitor.” This additional agent commenced service
“about five weeks” from the date of the Western agent’s report; but
“unprecedentedly stormy weather and difficult travelling have rendered it
impossible for him to enter upon his special work.” And such is all the
practical information furnished us concerning the Western branch of this
institution, notwithstanding that “every employer and every apprentice is
_written to_ at least once annually.”

The report of the agent tells us really little or nothing. Indeed, its
tone is not at all sanguine. His “time has been too fully occupied to
accomplish much in the way of gathering statistics of what is, in my
belief, a demonstrable fact: that, with as few exceptions as occur among
other children, asylum wards become reputable and prosperous citizens.”
No doubt; proof will be given afterwards that this belief is well
founded, but not as regards the institution in question. In its case,
unfortunately, the demonstration is the one thing wanting.

The total number of children admitted to the institution from 1853 to
1873 is 17,035, of whom 12,975 were of native, 3,820 of foreign birth.
Ireland contributed 2,006; France, 71; Spain, 6; Italy, 75; South
America, 5; Austria, 5; all of whom may be safely classed as Catholics.
Of the native-born New York alone contributed eleven thousand five
hundred and seventy-one, all the other States together adding only one
thousand three hundred and ninety-six. The number of native-born children
of Irish parents in the State of New York within the last twenty years
may be left to easy conjecture. One thing is certain: that the faith of
all the Catholic children admitted to this institution was, while they
remained in it, and as long as they remained under its supervision,
proscribed, while they were compelled to conform to the Church
Established in Public Institutions. There is no financial statement for
the twenty years.

The Children’s Aid Society has also published its _Twenty-second Annual
Report_. This is one of the most extensive organizations in the city,
and has quite a net-work of homes, lodging-houses, and industrial
schools connected with it, as well as a Western agency similar in its
office to that already noticed. Although not, in the accepted sense, a
“public institution,” it depends in a great measure on State aid for its
support. It professes to be superior in its mode of work to any public
institution. That point is too extensive to enter upon here. We merely
pursue our plan of searching its own record to see what it has done.
One of its chief aims may be gathered from the following statement of
the report (page 4): “The plan which this society has followed out so
persistently during twenty-two years, of saving the vagrant and neglected
children of the city, by placing them in carefully-selected homes in
the West and in the rural districts, is now universally admitted to be
successful. It has not cost one-tenth part of the expense which a plan
demanding support in public institutions would have done, and has been
attended by wonderfully encouraging moral and material results.”

As it is impossible within present limits to examine every detail of
this extensive report, which fills 96 pages, we pass at once to the
treasurer’s figures. The expenses for the past year amount to $225,747
92. To cover this the city and county of New York contributed $93,333
34; the Board of Education, $32,893 95; being a total of $126,227 29
contributed from the public moneys. The rest is made up by private
donations, legacies etc.

As an illustration of the difficulties to be met with in trying to
extract the gist of the various reports, the following sentence from the
one in hand may serve. In describing “the year’s work” the superintendent
says (p. 8): “The labors of charity of this society have become so
extended and multifarious that it is exceedingly difficult to give any
satisfactory picture of them.” If this is his opinion, what is ours
likely to be? However, we will make such use of the limited means at our
disposal as may tend to give some idea of the workings of this society.

The “industrial schools” constitute a prominent feature of it. There are
twenty-one of them and thirteen night schools. They give occupation to
eighty-six salaried teachers and a superintendent, and to a volunteer
corps of seventy ladies in addition. The volunteers, we are informed,
“produce results of which they have no adequate idea themselves.” The
industries taught in these “industrial schools” are not brought out very
prominently. The army of teachers, regulars and volunteers together,
have acted upon “an average number” of 3,556, and an aggregate number
of 10,288. Dropping the volunteers, that gives each of the eighty-six
“salaried teachers” just 41 and the 30/86th part of a child to devote his
or her sole attention to during the year. It is for these schools that
the Board of Education awarded the $32,893 95 already mentioned.

The schools alone consume of the whole expenses of the society for the
year $70,509 88, which is divided in the following pleasing manner:

    Rent of school-rooms,                         $11,455 25
    Salaries of superintendent and 86 teachers,    39,202 33
    Food, clothing, fuel, etc.,                    19,852 30

That is to say, the salaries of the school superintendent and 86 teachers
for 3,556 children cost considerably more than rent, food, clothing,
fuel, children, and everything else put together. This is worse even
than the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, whose
officers were modestly contented with a good third of the whole amount
of money spent on the institution. But here at the present ratio more
than one-half is absorbed in salaries. The public seems to labor under an
idea that the institutions which they so cheerfully support are intended
chiefly for the benefit of poor children. It is to be hoped that their
eyes may at last be opened to their fatal mistake. At all events, in
the present instance it is clear that the schools are less intended to
instruct the children than to support the teachers. The very liberal
allowance granted to these schools by the Board of Education falls
miserably below the teachers’ salaries.

The cheerfulness with which these figures are contemplated by the
officers of the society is positively exhilarating. We are informed (p.
45) that “the annual expense of twenty-one day and thirteen evening
schools, with salaries of superintendent and eighty-six teachers,
would be an intolerable burden to the society, did not the city pay
semi-annually a certain sum for each pupil, as allowed by law.” The
number of pupils paid for by the city is, of course, 10,288--“a gain over
last year of 704.” Here is a sample of how the list is made up:

                                 No. on   Average
                                 Rolls.  Attend’ce.
    Fifty-third Street School,   1,212     260
    Fifty-second Street School,    561     199
    Park School,                   807     301
    Phelps School,                 417      80
    Girls’ Industrial School,      298      91
    Fourteenth Ward School,        650     219
    Water Street School,           101      31

And so they go on. Comment is unnecessary. It is to be taken for granted
that the average attendance here given by the society is not likely to
be below the mark. Taking it then as correct, it may be left to honest
men to judge whether half the number of teachers would not be amply
sufficient. As to the question of salaries, it is needless to remark
further upon that. Who can resist the piteous appeal of the treasurer
after closing the account of the “thirty-four” schools? “Surely, then,”
he says, “this branch of the society’s work may claim the merit of
economy when considered in detail, although the aggregate cost is large.”

Mention of salaries occurs twice after. Five “executive officers” are
paid $8,944 14; five “visitors,” $3,944 06. The total “current expenses”
are set down at $174,821 38. Thus, as seen, salaries already absorb more
than a quarter of the current expenses, and the chief salaried officers
of the institution, as well as another small army of inferior officials,
remain to be portioned off. No mention is made of them in the treasurer’s
figures. Nor will it do to average the salaries of the superintendent
and eighty-six teachers of the schools, setting them down at the modest
allowance of $450 a head, granting, as seems incredible, considering
the number of pupils, that the number of teachers is accurately given.
The point is plain to all men: There is no need for such a number of
teachers. Some of them, it is to be presumed, are only employed in
the night-schools; consequently their salaries would be considerably
diminished. The salaries are not all equal, and, even were they all
equal, the amount of work done would be too costly at the price. To say
that twenty-one schools and eighty-seven teachers, with a contingent of
seventy volunteers, are needed for 3,446 children is simple nonsense.

Judging by what we have seen, if one-fourth the moneys spent on the
Children’s Aid Society is devoted exclusively to the children, both
children and public are to be congratulated on the self-denial of the
management. It is for those who support the society to consider how long
this state of things is to continue.

Among other benevolent works undertaken by the society is an Italian
school, for the special benefit of the poor little Italian children
decoyed from their homes to labor and beg for _padroni_ and such like in
this city and elsewhere throughout the country. There can be no doubt
about the religion of these children. The report informs us that this
school is under the care of the “Italian School Young Men’s Association.”
Their “collection of books has been enlarged by the contributions of
friends, and the reading-room will soon contain a large assortment of
Italian books forwarded by the Italian government, who, with provident
care, watches over our work and furthers the benevolent purposes of the
Children’s Aid Society.”

The object of organizing such a school is evident. There is no incentive
so effective with the large majority of Protestant hearts, nothing so
well calculated to draw contributions from their pockets, as the hope to
“convert to Christianity” Papist children. This school is intended for
just such a purpose, and the society would be the last in the world to
deny it. “The increase of _newly-arrived_ children attests the popularity
of the school. The benevolence of our patrons continues to make itself
unceasingly felt in various ways, more especially at the Christmas
festival, when the congregation of _the First Presbyterian Church_--Dr.
Paxton’s--come almost in a body to gladden our children with useful and
substantial gifts, and an outpouring of unmistakable Christian sympathy”
(page 32).

The Western agency of this society is on a par with that already
examined. The number of miles travelled by the agents is given, as
also the number of children placed out. The very names of the agents
bristle with activity. They are: Messrs. Trott, Skinner, Fry, Brace, and
Gourley. The warm temperament of Mr. Fry, “the resident Western agent,”
may be judged from the opening of his report. He writes from St. Paul,
Minnesota, under date October 18, 1874, to tell us: “I am up among the
saints, and ought to feel encouraged; but it seems such a hopeless task
to convey to others the happiness and contentment I witness in my rounds
of visitation that I always commence my annual report with a degree of
hesitation.”

There are many passages of equal beauty with this, but unfortunately Mr.
Fry’s pious enthusiasm is not exactly what is called for. What we want
to know is what has actually been done with the 1,880 boys and the 1,558
girls whom we are informed by the report “have been provided with homes
and employment” during the year. Men and women to the number of 242 and
305 respectively were sent out also during the year. Of the entire 3,985,
657 were Irish, 28 French, 13 Italian, 8 Poles, 10 Austrians--all of whom
may be set down as Catholics. The “American born” were 1,866, the German,
879. Of these also a fair percentage were probably Catholic. What has
become of them and of all? What has become of the 36,363 who have been
sent out in the same manner by the same society since 1853? How many
prospered? How many failed? How many died? How many turned out well? How
many ill? What was done for the Catholic portion of the emigrants? It is
absurd to put such questions to Mr. Fry, who is “up among the saints,”
“wrapped in the third heaven” of S. Paul. A man in such an exalted state
of terrestrial beatitude cannot be expected to descend to such sublunary
matters as those presented. Consequently, Mr. Fry contents himself with
vague generalities and a few specimen letters of the kind characterized
at the beginning of this article.

However, “Mr. Macy and his clerks in the office have kept up, as usual,
a vast correspondence with the thousands of children sent out by us. We
unfortunately can have room but for a few of the numerous encouraging
letters that have been received.” We may be permitted to give one, which
will explain itself and also what is in store for the Catholic children
cared for by this society. Needless to say, it does not find a place in
the report which we have been examining. It is, however, an authentic
copy, as Mr. Macy himself will testify, if necessary.

Mr. Macy’s letter, or the letter signed by him, needs a little
explanation, most of which will be supplied by the letter from the
“American Female Guardian Society,” which is also given. The story in
brief concerns two Catholic children, a boy and girl, whose mother
was dead and whose father was called away to the late war. They fell
into the hands of the Female Guardian Society, who handed them over to
the Children’s Aid Society to be “provided with homes in the West” or
elsewhere. The boy was sent to a Protestant in Dubuque, Iowa, the girl
to a Methodist family in the State of New York. After returning from the
war and coming out of hospital the father was anxious to learn something
of his children. His efforts were futile until, as said in the letters,
he interested the Society of S. Vincent de Paul in the matter. After such
trouble as may be imagined the society succeeded in gaining possession of
the children. _They had both become, or rather been made, Protestants_,
and hated the very mention of their religion. The following letters are
exact copies of the originals:

                    AMERICAN FEMALE GUARDIAN SOCIETY,
                           29 E. 29th Street,
                                   and
                         HOME FOR THE FRIENDLESS
                          30 E. 30th St., N. Y.

                                                      May 14th, 1874.

    Mr. Wilson:

    DEAR SIR: Very unexpectedly to us, a few days since the father
    of Edward Nugent, came to the Home, to inquire about his
    children, we had not seen him for six years, and as he had not
    even written during that time, we supposed he was dead; he has
    been in the Hospital it appears most of the time, is lame,
    having been injured in the feet during the war, he is not able
    to take care of his children, yet still claims he has a right
    to know where they are, though _we_ do not feel after all these
    years he has any claim at all, but we learned something of
    importance yesterday, which explains why he wants to know the
    children’s whereabouts, it seems he is a Catholic, and has been
    to the priests with his story about us whom they call heretics,
    and the priests have influenced him to demand the children, so
    we felt it our duty to let you know how the matter stands, for
    they are very persistent, and may send some one in that part
    of the country to ask the neighbours around there, if such a
    boy is in that neighbourhood, and if they can get him, no other
    way they will steal him, so if you have become attached to the
    child, and would desire to save his soul from the power of the
    destroyer of souls, we would say to you it would be better for
    you to send the boy away for a year from you, that you could
    say truthfully you do not know where he is; _when fourteen_
    he can choose his own guardian, then if he chooses you, no
    power can take him from you. Had he been fully committed to
    us they would have no right to interfere, but as he was not,
    they will do all in their power to get him from you, we would
    feel very sorry to have them find him, as we dread Catholic
    influence more than the bite of the rattle-snake, for that only
    destroys the body while the other destroys the immortal soul,
    too precious to be lost; if you have become attached to that
    dear boy, save him from the power of the fell-destroyer, and
    the conscious approving smile of your Heavenly Father will be
    your reward. I cannot say what course they will pursue, but if
    you wish the child, you must be very guarded how you act, and
    must _not_ confide in anyone, not even your own brother what
    your plans are, act cautiously, but decidedly. Please write
    immediately on receipt of this, and let us know what your
    course will be, as we feel the deepest interest in the matter.
    Yours truly,

                                (Signed)

                                                 MRS. C. SPAULDING,
                                                 For “Home Managers.”

    Please send Mr. Wilson’s first name.

    [Verbatim copy, even to italics and punctuation.]


LETTER NO. II.

                         CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY,
                         No. 19 East Fourth St.,

                                            NEW YORK, May 19th, 1874.

    [Writing to Mr. Williams, who had charge of the boy Edward
    Nugent, in relation to the father of the boy.]

    “He has recently called at the Home for the Friendless for
    information in relation to Eddie and has interested the Society
    of St. Vincent de Paul to hunt up and return Eddie. They have
    begun to look into the matter and I presume that you will hear
    from them one of these days. We wrote to you some time ago that
    you had better have Eddie bound to you by the authorities and
    hope that you did so. I feel that Eddie has a good home and do
    not care to have him disturbed. It would be cruel to him and
    wrong by you and so I trust you will do what you can to prevent
    it. Please let me hear from him and you.”

                              Yours truly,

                                       (Signed) J. MACY, Asst. Sec’y.

To comment on the letter of the “Female Guardians” or the easy
conscience of the “Children’s Aid Society” would be “to gild refined
gold”; certainly, in the case of Mrs. C. Spaulding, “to paint the
lily.” Honest-minded men of any creed may now understand why it is that
Catholics who have any faith in their religion at all, who believe it
in their conscience to be the only true religion, demand in the name of
justice that associations and institutions of this character be thrown
open to the ministers of their religion, or that the State, to prevent
all that is shameful and horrible in proselytism, imitate all civilized
states, and adopt the denominational system of charities, which, as will
be shown in the case of Catholics at least, will not only not cost it a
penny more, but considerably less, and with results astounding in their
contrast.

We have now examined three of our principal institutions with a view to
their cost and results. With the exception of the two letters quoted, no
information has been used which is not presented in public reports. It
is seen that the Society for Juvenile Delinquents expends one-third of
its resources in salaries; the Children’s Aid Society, as far as it is
possible to base an opinion on its loose and incomplete figures, perhaps
three-fourths; while the figures of the Juvenile Asylum are too confused
to allow of any judgment in the matter at all. The results as affecting
the children, in the first instance, are avowedly far from satisfactory;
in the second and third instances no attempt is made to give such
results, though the inferences to be drawn from such evidence as is given
are far from hopeful. And so, unless a radical change is effected in
the training and management of the institutions, matters are likely to
continue. The excuse of inexperience in the management cannot hold here
with half a century at the back of one and over twenty years at the back
of the other two. The moral training of the children is in all instances
distinctly and avowedly Protestant. As shown sufficiently in a previous
article, there is no such thing possible as a religious education which
is “non-sectarian.” Consequently, Catholic children, who form a large
contingent of the inmates of these institutions, are subjected to a
course of instruction and moral training which is a gross and persistent
violation of the rights of conscience and of the constitution of the
State, and to this training have they been subjected ever since the
institutions were first founded. The only means of adjusting this grave
difficulty, of righting this great wrong, is to follow out the plan
which prevails in every civilized country with the exception of our own,
of either adopting the denominational system, or at least of allowing
free access to the clergymen of the religious denomination professed by
the children. The means of adjusting the salaries so as to bear a more
rational proportion to the work done is for the public to consider.

The effects of the denominational system are exemplified in the New
York Catholic Protectory, which has just presented its _Twelfth Annual
Report_. An examination of its working cannot fail to be instructive,
inasmuch as it was founded expressly to meet the difficulty noticed
above concerning the Catholic inmates of public institutions. From the
beginning it has been looked on rather as an enemy than a friend by those
who work the engine of the State. At the very least it was regarded as
a suspicious intruder into ground already occupied. It was Catholic,
therefore sectarian; therefore not a State institution, and consequently
not to be supported by the State. State funds could not go to teach
Catholic doctrine. But we need not repeat the arguments against it. They
are too well known, and are met once for all by the provision in the
constitution allowing liberty of conscience and freedom of worship to all
members of the State. If moral and religious training be provided for
children in all our public institutions, it is against all conscience,
law, right, and the spirit of the American people at large to convert
that moral and religious training into a system of proselytizing, no
matter to what creed. In the case of Catholic children such a system, as
known and shown, has prevailed from the beginning; and the first step
in the reformation of a Catholic child has been to seek by every means
possible to make it a renegade from its faith.

At the opening of the year there were in the Protectory 1,842 children;
during the year 2,877; average (entitled to per capita contributions),
1,871. To their support all that was contributed of public moneys was
the _per capita_ allowance for each child, which is common to all the
children of the institutions examined. Nothing was allowed by the Board
of Education, although the children are educated; nothing by “special
appropriations”; nothing from “theatre licenses”; nothing from “excise
funds”--nothing in a word, from any source at all, save the bare _per
capita_ allowance.

This is not an exceptional instance, but the normal relation between
the Catholic Protectory and the State. Within the twelve years of its
existence the whole amount of State aid received by it, through share of
charity fund, special grants, or from whatever source, has amounted to
$93,502 08--that is to say, at not $8,000 per annum--while its entire
grant for building purposes was $100,000.

The current expenses for the past year were $211,349 87. This includes
all outlays, except for the construction of buildings or other permanent
improvements. The _per capita_ allowance, received from the comptroller
covered $192,339 22 of this amount. It is to be borne in mind that this
allowance would have been paid for the children in any case, whatever
institution they had entered. Consequently, it is no favor at all to
the Protectory. The remaining $19,010 65 had to be met by the charity
of private individuals or not met at all. Of course the labor of the
inmates and the produce of the farm covered a considerable sum; but the
age of the children admitted to the Protectory is limited to fourteen
years, and the vast majority of them are considerably under fourteen,
and consequently cannot contribute by their labor so efficiently as the
inmates of the Society for Juvenile Delinquents, whose average age runs
so much higher.

But the expenses by no means ended here. The Protectory is still
really in course of erection. The aggregate expenditures during the
past year for buildings and permanent improvements, “all of which were
indispensable for the carrying out of the mandate of the State in the
shelter and protection of its wards,” were $107,491 65. To this heavy
sum State and city contributed nothing at all. The bare _per capita_
allowance was the only public money received to aid in the sheltering,
educating, clothing, and feeding of these wards of the State; while to
all other public institutions, even to institutions not strictly public,
liberal special grants or appropriations from special funds were made.
The Catholic Protectory alone was left to meet a bill of $126,502 30 as
best it might.

In its struggle for existence the Protectory has had little in the
shape of aid for which to thank the State. There was great fear even
within the present year that the _per capita_ allowance would also be
withdrawn, avowedly because the Protectory was a Catholic institution,
and consequently without the range of assistance from public funds. This
is highly conscientious, no doubt. But the report of the State Treasurer
for the past year shows grant after grant to seminaries and “sectarian”
(to use the orthodox word) institutions of every kind, with the sole
exception of those professing the Catholic faith. A glance at the whole
work done by the Protectory and the aid afforded it by the State shows
the following:

It has been twelve years in existence. Within that period it has
“sheltered, clothed, afforded elementary education, and given instruction
in useful trades” to 8,771 children. This work cost in the aggregate
for current, expenses $1,257,189 41. To this sum the State contributed
through the comptroller out of the city taxes $1,057,578 66. This was
merely the _per capita_ allowance still. There remained, consequently,
for current expenses $199,610 75 to be paid by whatever means possible.

But the Protectory had to be built. Land had to be purchased, buildings
to be erected, and so on. In a word, the Protectory, like all other
institutions, had to grow, while there was a ravenous demand, as there
continues to be, for admission within its walls. In these twelve years
the outlays for land, buildings, and other permanent improvements
amounted to $806,211 74. The amount of contracts now being carried to
completion on the girls’ building, new gas-house, etc., is over $100,000.
To help to meet this necessary sum of $906,211 74 the State made a
munificent grant for building purposes of $100,000; while all its other
grants, of whatever kind, amounted to just $93,502 28. This left another
little bill for the Protectory to meet of $912,320 21 by the best means
it could. Is it to be wondered at that there rests on the institution a
floating debt of some $200,000, which seriously threatens its existence?
Our wonder is, with the encouragement which it has received from the
State and city, that it continues to exist at all. Private charity has
been its mainstay thus far; but private charity has always an abundance
of pressing demands on it, and may at any time give out, for the very
best of reasons, in a case where there is really no great call for
private charity at all. The children thus cared for, for whom these
vast sums have been paid, would have had in any case to be supported
by the State, and would have proved a costlier burden than in their
present hands. All we urge is that the State be just; that it assist this
institution in the same manner in which it assists other institutions,
by grants from the same funds, by appropriations from the same sources,
without cavil about religion or no religion. The crime of instructing
these children in their own religion is evidenced in the results
achieved. Of the 8,771 who have passed through the Protectory since
its opening, _exactly two have turned out badly_. So much for Catholic
education and mental and moral training.

We have reserved for the last an examination of the salaries. The entire
amount expended on salaries for the officers and employés of every
branch of the institution is $20,736 51; that is, between one-tenth and
one-eleventh of the sum total of the current expenses of the year. This
is the year’s pay of all officials and employés of an institution which
cared for and sheltered within its walls for that period 2,877 children.
Contrast this with the $34,880 52 paid the officials and employés of the
Society for Juvenile Delinquents for the care during the same period of
1,387 children, and the $39,202 33 paid by the Children’s Aid Society for
the teachers of 3,556 children. Contrast the result of the labors of each
society. Then contrast the sums lavished by city and State from special
appropriations and funds on societies whose chief claim for such special
grants consists in their devoting so large a portion of their means
to salaries, with their persistent deafness to the urgent appeals of a
society which has only good to show everywhere and an army of workers
such as the Brothers and Sisters, whose salary is embraced in their food
and dress. Let us look at these things, and blush at our pretensions
to justice and liberality. Why, it is not even honesty. We are too
conscientious to grant a penny out of the educational fund to Catholic
children educated by Catholics, while we give thousands freely for the
stowing away of Catholic children in asylums that pervert them and can
give no account of their stewardship. It is time to drop “conscience,”
that counterfeit so recently and so admirably described by Dr. Newman,
and fall back on common-sense. Of the institutions here examined the
Catholic Protectory combines beyond comparison the greatest economy with
the most extraordinarily successful results as affecting the wards of
the State. Such an institution has a solemn and the truest claim on the
heartiest co-operation and favor of the State.


THE BLIND BEGGAR.

    I cannot pass those sightless eyes,
      Or, if I pass them, I return,
    Led by resistless sympathies
      Above their rayless orbs to yearn,
    And place within the outstretched palms
    The patiently-awaited alms.

    Then, as my footsteps homeward speed.
      I dare with moving lips to pray
    That God, who knows my inmost need,
      May guide me on my darkened way,
    And place within my outstretched palms
    The patiently-awaited alms.


ARE YOU MY WIFE?

BY THE AUTHOR OF “PARIS BEFORE THE WAR,” “NUMBER THIRTEEN,” “PIUS VI.,”
ETC.

CHAPTER V.

Angélique was having a field day of it, and there was nothing she liked
better. It was an event when Sir Simon dropped in at The Lilies toward
supper-time, and announced his intention of staying to take pot-luck;
but this evening’s entertainment was a very different affair from these
friendly droppings-in, and Angélique was proportionately flurried. Like
most people who have a strong will and a good temper, she was easy to
live with; her temper was indeed usually so well controlled that few
suspected her of having one. But on occasions like the present they
were apt to find out their mistake; it was not safe to come in her way
when she had more than one extra dish on hand. Franceline knew this;
and after such interference in the way of whipping the eggs and dusting
the glass and china as Angélique would tolerate, she took herself off
to the woods for the remainder of the afternoon. There was a cleared
space where the timber had been cut down in spring, and here she settled
herself on the stem of a felled tree, and opened her book. It can hardly
have been a very interesting one; for, after turning over a few pages,
she began to look about her, and to listen to the contralto recitative
of a wood-pigeon with as much attention as if that familiar _dilettante_
performance had been some striking novelty. It was not long, however,
before sounds of a very different sort broke on her ear. Some one was
crying passionately, filling the wood with shrieks and sobs. Franceline
started to her feet and listened; she could distinguish the shrill
treble of a child’s voice, and, hurrying on in the direction from whence
it proceeded, she soon came upon a little girl, the daughter of a poor
woman of the neighborhood, called Widow Bing. The child was lying in a
heap on the ground, her basketful of school-books and lunch spilt on the
grass beside her, while her little body and soul seemed literally torn to
pieces by sobs.

“Why, Bessy, what’s the matter?” cried Franceline. “Have you hurt
yourself?”

“No-o-o-o!” gasped Bessy, without lifting her head.

“Have you broken something?”

“No-o-o-o!”

“Has anything happened to mammy?”

“No-o-o, but something’s a-goin to.” And the child raised her head for a
louder scream, and let it drop again with a thud on the ground.

“What’s going to happen to her? Tell me, there’s a good child,” coaxed
Franceline, crouching down beside the little, prostrate figure, and
trying to make it look up. “If it hasn’t happened, perhaps it will never
happen. I might prevent it, or somebody else might.”

A dim ray of consolation apparently dawned out of this hypothesis on
Bessy’s mind; she lifted her head, and, after suppressing her sobs,
exclaimed: “Mammy’s a-goin’ to be damned, she is!”

“Good gracious, child, what a dreadful thing for you to say!” exclaimed
Franceline, too much shocked by the announcement to catch the comical
side of it at once. “Who put such a naughty thing into your head?”

“It’s Farmer Griggs as said it. He says as how he knows mammy’s a-goin’
to be damned!” And the sound of her own words was so dreadful that it
sent Bessy into a fresh paroxysm, and she shrieked louder than before.

“He’s a wicked man, and you mustn’t mind him,” said Franceline; “he knows
nothing about it!”

“Ye-e-es he does!” insisted Bessy. “He-e-s not wicked; … he prea-a-a-ches
every Sunday at the cha-a-a-pel, he does.”

“Then he preaches very wicked sermons, I’m sure,” said Franceline, who
saw an argument on the wrong side for Farmer Griggs’ sanctity in this
evidence. “You must leave off crying and not mind him.”

But Bessy was not to be comforted by this negative suggestion. She went
on crying passionately, until Franceline, finding that neither scolding
nor coaxing had the desired effect, threatened to tell Miss Bulpit, and
have her left out from the next tea and cake feast; whereupon Bessy
brightened up with extraordinary alacrity, gathered up her books and
her dry bread and apple, and proceeded to trot along by the side of
Franceline, who soothed her still further by the promise of a piece of
bread and jam from Angélique, if she gave up crying altogether and told
her all about mammy and Farmer Griggs. An occasional sob showed every now
and then that the waters had not quite subsided; but Bessy did her best,
and before they reached The Lilies she had given in somewhat disjointed
sentences the following history of the prophecy and what led to it. The
widow Bing--who, for motives independent of all theological views, had
recently joined the Methodist Connection, of which Farmer Griggs was
a burning and shining light--had been laid up for the last month with
the rheumatism, and consequently unable to attend the meeting; but last
Sunday, being a good deal better, though still unequal to toiling up-hill
to the chapel, which was nearly half an hour’s walk from her cottage,
she had compromised matters by going to church, which was within ten
minutes’ walk of her. This scandal spread quickly through the Connection,
and was not long coming to Farmer Griggs’ ears, who straightway declared
that the widow Bing had thrown in her lot with the transgressors, and
was henceforth a castaway whose name should be blotted out. This fearful
doom impending over her mother had just been made known to Bessy by
Farmer Griggs’ boy, who met her tripping along with her basket on her
arm, and singing to herself as she went. The sight of the child’s gayety
under such appalling circumstances was not a thing to be tolerated; so
he conveyed to Bessy in very comprehensible vernacular the soothing
intelligence that her mother was “a bad ’un as was gone over to the
parson, as means the devil, and how as folk as was too lazy to come to
chapel ’ud find it ’arder a-goin’ down to the bottomless pit, where there
was devils and snakes and all manner o’ dreadful things a-blazin’ and
a-burnin’ like anythink!”

All this Franceline contrived to elicit from Bessy by the time they
reached The Lilies, where they found Miss Merrywig sitting outside the
kitchen-window in high confabulation with Angélique, busy inside at her
work. The day was intensely hot, and the sun was still high enough to
make shade a necessity of existence for everybody except cats and bees;
but there sat Miss Merrywig under the scorching glare, with a large
chinchilla muff in her lap.

“A muff!” cried Franceline, standing aghast before the old lady. “Dear
Miss Merrywig, you don’t mean to say you want it on such a day as this!
Why, it suffocates one to look at it.”

“Yes, my dear, just so. As you say, it suffocates one to look at it,”
assented Miss Merrywig, “and I assure you I didn’t find it at _all_
comfortable carrying it to-day; but I _only_ bought it yesterday, and I
wanted to let Angélique see it and hear her opinion on it, you see. I
went in to Newford yesterday, and they were selling off at Whilton’s, the
furrier’s, and this muff struck me as _such_ a bargain that I thought I
could _not_ do better than take it. Now, what _do_ you think I gave for
it? Don’t _you_ say anything, Angélique; I want to hear what mademoiselle
will say herself. Now, just look well at it. Remember how hot the weather
is; as you say, the sight of fur suffocates one, and that makes _such_
a difference. My dear mother used to say--and she _was_ a judge of fur,
you know; she made a voyage to Sweden with my father in poor dear old Sir
Hans Neville’s yacht, and that gave her such a knowledge of furs--you
know Sweden _is_ a great place for all sorts of furs--well, she used to
say, ‘If you want the value of your money in fur, buy it in the summer.’
I only just mention that to show you. But you can see for yourself
whether I got the full value in this one. You see it is lined with
satin--and such splendid satin! As thick as a board, and _so_ glossy! And
it’s silk all through. I just ripped a bit here at the edge to see if it
was a cotton back; but it’s all pure silk. The young man of the shop was
so _extremely_ polite, and _so_ anxious I should understand that it _was_
a bargain, he called my attention to the quality of the satin--which was
_really_ very kind of him; for of course that didn’t matter to _him_.
But they are wonderfully civil at Whilton’s. I remember buying some
swan’s-down to trim a dress when I was a girl and I was bridesmaid to
Lady Arabella Wywillyn--they lived at the Grange then--and it _was_,
I must say, a most excellent piece of swan’s-down, and cleaned like
new. I asked the young man if he remembered it--I meant, of course, the
marriage. Dear me, what a sensation it did make! But he did not, which
was of course natural, as it was long before he was born; but I thought
he might have heard the old people of the place speak of it. Well, now
that you’ve examined it, tell me, what _do_ you think I gave for it?”

Franceline was hovering on the brink of a guess, when Angélique, who had
returned to her saucepans, suddenly reappeared at the window, and, spying
Bessy’s red face staring with all its eyes at the chinchilla muff--which
looked uncommonly like a live thing that might bite if the fancy took it,
and was best considered from a respectful distance--called out: “What’s
that child doing there?” Franceline, thankful for the timely rescue,
began to pour out volubly in French the story of Farmer Griggs and the
widow Bing.

“It’s a shame these sort of people _should_ be allowed to terrify the
poor people,” said Miss Merrywig when she had taken it all in. “I
_wonder_ the vicar does not do something. He _ought_ to take steps to
stop it; there’s no saying what _may_ be the end of it. But dear Mr.
Langrove is _so_ kind and so _very_ much afraid of annoying anybody!”

While Miss Merrywig was delivering this opinion Angélique was making good
the bread-and-jam promise for Bessy, who stood watching the operation
with distended eyes through the open window, and saw with satisfaction
that the grenadier was laying on the jam very thick.

“Now, you’re not going to cry any more, and you’re going to be a good
girl?” said Franceline before she let Bessy seize the tempting slice that
Angélique held out to her.

Bessy promised unhesitatingly.

“Stop a minute,” said Franceline, as the child stretched up on tiptoe
to clutch the prize. “You must not repeat to poor, sick mammy what that
naughty boy said to you. Do you promise?” But the proximity of bread
and jam was not potent enough to hurry Bessy into committing herself
to this rash promise. What between the sudden vision of “devils and
snakes a-blazin’ and a-burnin’” which the demand conjured up again, and
what between the dread of seeing the bread and jam snatched away by the
grenadier, who stood there, brown and terrible, waiting a signal from
Franceline, her feelings were too much for her; there was a preparatory
sigh and a sob, and down streamed the tears again.

“I’d better go home with her, and tell the poor woman myself,” said
Franceline, appealing to Miss Merrywig.

“Yes, you come ’ome and tell mammy!” sobbed the child, who seemed to have
some vague belief in Franceline’s power to avert the threatened doom.

“I dare say that will be the safest way, and I’m sure it’s the kindest,”
said Miss Merrywig; “but it _will_ be a dreadfully hot walk for you on
the road, my dear, with _no_ shelter but your sunshade. I had better go
_with_ you. I don’t mind the heat; you see I’m _used_ to it.” Franceline
could not exactly see how this fact of Miss Merrywig’s company would
lessen the heat to her; but it was meant in kindness, so she assented.
The meadowlands went flowering down to the river, richly planted with
fine old trees, and only separated from the garden and its adjoining
fields by an invisible iron rail, so that the little cottage looked as if
it were in the centre of a great private park. A short cut through the
fields took you out on the road in a few minutes, and the trio had not
gone far when they saw Mr. Langrove walking at a brisk pace on before
them, his umbrella tilted to one side to screen him from the sun, that
was striking him obliquely on the right ear. Franceline clapped her hands
and called out, and they soon came up to him.

“What are you doing down here, may I ask? Having your face burned, eh?”
said the vicar familiarly.

Franceline burst out with her story at once. The vicar made a short,
impatient gesture, and they all walked on together, Bessy holding fast by
Franceline’s gown with one hand, while the other was doing duty with the
bread and jam.

“Really, my _dear_ Mr. Langrove,” broke in Miss Merrywig, “you _ought_
to take steps; excuse me for saying so, but you _really_ ought. It’s
quite dreadful to think of the man’s frightening the poor people in this
way. You really _should_ put a stop to it.”

“My good lady,” replied the vicar, “if you can tell me how it’s to be
done, there’s nothing will give me greater pleasure.”

“Well, of course you know best; but it seems to me something ought to
be done. The poor people are all falling into dissent as fast as they
can; it’s quite melancholy to think of it--it _really_ is. You’ll excuse
me for saying so--for it must be _very_ painful to your feelings, and I
never _do_ interfere with what doesn’t concern me; though of course what
concerns you, as our pastor, and the Church of England, _does_ concern
us, all of us--but I really think you _are_ too forbearing. You ought to
enforce your authority a _little_ more strictly.”

“Authority!” echoed the vicar with a mild, ironical laugh. “What
authority have I to enforce? Show me that first!”

“Dear _me_! But an ordained minister of the church, the church of the
realm--surely, _that_ gives you authority?”

“Just as much as you and other members of the church choose to accredit
me with, and no more,” said Mr. Langrove, with as much bitterness in
the emphasis as he was capable of. “If Griggs thinks fit to set himself
up as a preacher, and every man, woman, and child in my parish choose
to desert me and go over to him, I can no more prevent them than I can
prevent their buying their sugar at market instead of getting it from the
grocers.”

“And who is Monsieur Greegs?” inquired Franceline, who was backward in
gossip, and knew few of the local notabilities except by sight.

“Monsieur Griggs is a very respectable farmer, a shrewd judge of cattle,
who knows a great deal about the relative merits of short-horns and the
Devonshire breed, and all about pigs and poultry,” said the vicar with
mild sarcasm.

“And he is a minister too!”

“After a fashion. He elected himself to the office, and it would seem
he has plenty of followers. He started services on week-days when he
found that I had commenced having them on Fridays, and drew away the
very portion of the congregation they were specially intended for; and
he preaches on Sundays. You have a sample of his style here,” nodding at
Bessy, who was licking her fingers with great gusto, having finished her
last mouthful.

“Is it not dreadful!” exclaimed Miss Merrywig. “And the people _are_ so
infatuated; they actually tell me that they understand this man better
than their clergymen, that he speaks plainer to them, and understands
better what they want, and that sort of thing. They don’t care about
doctrine, you see, or controversy; they like to be talked to in a kind
of conversational way by one of their own class who speaks bad grammar
like themselves. They tell you to your face that they don’t understand
the clergyman--I assure you they do; that his sermons are too learned,
and only fit for gentle folk. You see they _are_ so ignorant, the poor
people! It’s very melancholy to think of.”

“They like better to be told they’ll go to hell and be damned, if they
go to their own church; they ought not to be allowed to go to hear such
things. I’ll speak to widow Bing, and make her promise me she’ll never go
there again,” said Franceline peremptorily.

“No, no, my dear child; you mustn’t do anything of the kind,” said the
vicar quickly. “No one has a right to meddle with the people in these
things; if she likes to go to the dissenters, no one can prevent her.”

“But if she was fond of going into the gin-shop and getting tipsy, you’d
have a right to meddle and to prevent her, would you not?” inquired
Franceline.

“That’s a different thing,” said the vicar, who in his own mind thought
the parallel was not so very wide of the mark.

“I can’t see it,” protested Franceline with an expressive shrug. “If you
have a right to prevent their bodies from getting tipsy, and killing
themselves or somebody else perhaps, why not their souls?”

The vicar laughed a complacent little laugh at this cogent reasoning of
his young friend. “Unfortunately,” he said, “we have no authority for
interfering with people in the management of their souls in this country.
Such a proceeding would be quite unconstitutional; the state only
legislates for the salvation of their bodies.”

“Dear me, just _so_!” ejaculated Miss Merrywig. “I remember my dear
mother telling me that a very clever man--I’m not sure if he _wasn’t_
a member of Parliament, but anyhow he made speeches _in_ public--and
he said--I really think it _was_ an electioneering speech just at the
time the Catholic Emancipation bill was being passed--that in this
_free_ country every man had a right to go to the devil his _own_ way.
How exceedingly shocking! To think of people’s going to the devil at
all! But that’s just it. They prefer to go their _own_ way, and, as you
say, the law can’t prevent them. It’s entirely a question of personal
influence, you see.”

“Then perhaps Sir Simon could do something,” suggested Franceline; “he’s
master here, and he makes everybody do what he likes. Why don’t you speak
to him, monsieur?”

“He might do something, perhaps, if anybody could; but, unfortunately, he
does not see it,” observed the vicar.

“I’ll speak to him. I’ll make him see it,” said Franceline, who flew with
a woman’s natural instinct to arbitrary legislation as the readiest mode
of redressing wrongs, and had, moreover, a strong faith in her own power
of making Sir Simon “see it.”

“But is this not rather--of course you know best, only it _does_ strike
me that it is a case for the bishop’s interference _rather_ than the
squire’s,” said Miss Merrywig. She was a remnant of the old times when a
bishop could hold his own; that was before ritualism came into vogue.

“Yes,” cried Franceline, with sudden exultation, “of course it’s the
bishop who must do it. You ought to write to him, monsieur!”

Mr. Langrove smiled. “The bishop has no more power to interfere with the
proceedings of my parishioners than you have.”

“Then what has he power to do? What are bishops good for?” demanded the
obtuse young Papist.

But Mr. Langrove, being a loyal “churchman,” was not going to enter
on such slippery, debatable ground as this. He was happily saved from
the disagreeable process of beating about the bush for an answer by
the fact of their being close by widow Bing’s door, from which there
issued distinctly a twofold sound as of somebody crying and somebody
else exhorting. Bessy no sooner caught it than she swelled the chorus of
lamentation by breaking forth into a loud cry. If there was any weeping
to be done, Bessy was not the one to be behindhand. And now she was
resolved to do her very best; for perhaps the prophecy was already coming
true, and mammy was beginning to be a prey to the snakes and devils.

“Stay here and keep that child quiet,” said the vicar hastily. “I hear
Miss Bulpit’s voice. I had better go in alone.”

“He is greatly to be pitied, poor Mr. Langrove! I think,” said
Franceline, as she turned back with Miss Merrywig. “I think you all ought
to write to the bishop for him.”

“Oh! that _would_ be a scandal! Besides, you heard him say the bishop
could not help him,” said the old lady.

“What a blessed thing it is to be a Catholic!” exclaimed Franceline,
laughing. “_We_ have no farmers’ boys or anybody else meddling with our
priests; but then we have the Pope, who settles everything, and everybody
submits. You ought to invite the Pope to come over and deliver you from
all your troubles!”

       *       *       *       *       *

The table was spread on the grass-plot in front of the cottage.
Franceline had made it pretty with ferns and flowers, and then sat down
under the porch, in her white muslin dress and pink sash, to converse
with her doves while waiting for Sir Simon and his two friends. Her
doves were great company to her; she had been so used to talking to them
ever since she was a child, complaining to them of her small griefs and
telling them of her little joys, that she came to fancy they understood
her, and took their plaintive coo or their little crystal laughter as
an intelligible and sympathetic response. One of the soft-breasted,
opal-winged little messengers is upon her finger now, clutching the
soft white perch sharply enough with its coral claws, and answering
her caresses with that low, inarticulate sighing that sounds like the
yearning of an imprisoned spirit. Franceline took some seed out of a box
on the window-sill beside her, and began to feed it out of her hand,
watching the little, pearly head bobbing on her palm with a smile of
tenderest approval. At the sound of footsteps crunching the gravel at the
back of the cottage she rose, still feeding her dove, to go and meet the
gentlemen. But there was only one.

“I fear I am before my time,” said Mr. de Winton, “but I expected to find
the others here before me.” (O Clide, Clide! what prevarication is this?)
“They went out about half an hour ago, and told me to meet them in the
Beech walk, where we were to come on together. Have I come too soon?”

“Oh! not at all,” said the young girl graciously; “my father will come
out in a moment, and I am not very busy, as you see!”

“You are fond of animals, I perceive.”

“Animals! Oh! don’t call my sweet little doves animals,” retorted
Franceline indignantly. “That’s worse than papa. When they coo too much
and disturb him, and I take their part, he always says: ‘Oh! I’m fond
of the birds, but they are noisy litt