By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Latin Hymn-writers and Their Hymns
Author: Duffield, Samuel Willoughby
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Latin Hymn-writers and Their Hymns" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                           LATIN HYMN-WRITERS
                              THEIR HYMNS.

                              BY THE LATE
                      SAMUEL WILLOUGHBY DUFFIELD,
   Author of “The Heavenly Land,” “Warp and Woof,” “The Burial of the
         Dead,” and “English Hymns: Their Authors and History.”

                        EDITED AND COMPLETED BY
                      PROF. R. E. THOMPSON, D.D.,
                  _Of the University of Pennsylvania._

  “Et semper in hunc studiorum quare munitissimum portum ex hujus
  temporis tempestatibus lubenter confugissem.”—H. A. Daniel.

  “In diesem Sinne betrachte ich diese, uns von der Vorzeit
  überlieferten ehrwürdigen und erhabenen Kirchlichen Dichtungen als ein
  geistiges Gemeingut.”—G. A. Konigsfeld.

                          FUNK & WAGNALLS,
       NEW YORK:               1889.                LONDON:
  18 & 20 ASTOR PLACE.                          44 FLEET STREET.
                       _All Rights Reserved._

      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1889, by
                            FUNK & WAGNALLS,
    In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Editor’s Preface                                                   iii
  Introduction                                                      viii
  I The Praise Service of the Early Church                            xi
  II The Study of the Latin Hymns                                     12
  III Hilary of Poitiers and the Earliest Latin Hymns                 19
  IV Pope Damasus and the Beginning of Rhyme                          35
  V Ambrose                                                           47
  VI Prudentius, the First Christian Poet                             63
  VII Ennodius, Bishop of Pavia                                       73
  VIII Caelius Sedulius and his Alphabet Hymn                         83
  IX Venantius Fortunatus the Troubadour                              88
  X Gregorius Magnus [540-604]                                        97
  XI The Venerable Bede                                              109
  XII Rabanus Maurus, Author of the “Veni, Creator”                  114
  XIII Notker of St. Gall, Called Balbulus                           132
  XIV Walafrid Strabo                                                143
  XV Hermannus Contractus and the “Veni Sancte Spiritus”             149
  XVI Peter Damiani, Cardinal and Flagellant                         169
  XVII Hildebert and his Hymn                                        179
  XVIII Bernard of Clairvaux                                         186
  XIX Abelard                                                        194
  XX Peter the Venerable                                             214
  XXI Bernard of Cluny                                               222
  XXII Adam of St. Victor                                            227
  XXIII Thomas of Celano                                             240
  XXIV Thomas Aquinas and John Bonaventura                           255
  XXV Jacoponus and the “Stabat Mater”                               272
  XXVI Thomas À Kempis                                               283
  XXVII Francis Xavier, Missionary to the Indies (1506-52)           298
  XXVIII The Hymn-Writers of the Breviary                            316
  XXIX The Unknown and the Less Known Hymn-Writers [Fourth to
          Tenth Century]                                             347
  XXX The Unknown and the Less Known Hymn-Writers [Tenth to
          Sixteenth Century]                                         370
  XXXI Latin Hymnology and Protestantism                             401
  XXXII BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES.                                       416
  XXXIII Index to Translated Hymns                                   446
  Appendix                                                           485
          AETERNAE VITAE, LIBELLUS AUREOLUS.                         485
  Appendix II The Carmina Burana                                     495
  Appendix III The Four Crazed Brothers                              497
  General Index                                                      499
  Index to Latin Hymns Quoted or Mentioned                           507

                           EDITOR’S PREFACE.

Some months before the death of my true hearted friend, Rev. S. W.
Duffield, he wrote to express his wish that I should complete this work,
if he did not live to finish it. As I was not aware how grave, and even
hopeless, was his illness, I did not feel that I was undertaking a
serious responsibility in assenting to his wish. But his untimely death
brought to me the duty of discharging a wish which “the emphasis of
death” made imperative.

In our conferences over the book and its subject, which we had had for
three years past, I had come to appreciate Mr. Duffield’s ideas as to
its form and content, and read with much interest his preliminary
studies in the _Christian Intelligencer_, the _Sunday-School Times_, and
the _New Englander_. On coming into possession of his manuscript and
notes, I found that the greater part of the book had been carried almost
to the point of readiness for the printer, although several chapters had
not been written and all needed careful revision.

I have revised throughout the chapters Mr. Duffield left, but in doing
so I have been embarrassed by the very vitality and personal quality in
Mr. Duffield’s style. He reminds one of what Archdeacon Hare says of the
freshness and living force in a page of Luther’s. This has constrained
me to leave intact many a phrase or expression I should not have used,
but which was natural and even inevitable in him. It is my hope that I
have not sacrificed this admirable quality of his writing to any
pedantry of judgment.

The chapters on Pope Damasus (Chapter IV.) I have rewritten throughout.
That on Bernard of Cluny I have rearranged, but without much alteration.
That on Thomas of Celano I have rewritten to the top of page 252. That
on Hermann of Reichenau I should have liked to rewrite; but as I
dissented from some of its arguments, I feared to more than retouch it.
It stands as a monument of its author’s vehement conviction that in
Hermann he had found the true author of the _Veni Sancte Spiritus_.

The later chapters, from Thomas Aquinas, with the exception of those on
Jacoponus and Xavier, are the work of the editor alone. In preparing
them I have followed the author’s own plan for the book, except (1) in
treating of the less-known as well as the unknown hymn-writers in
Chapters XXX. and XXXI.; (2) in inserting a chapter on the relations of
Protestantism to Latin hymnology; and (3) in giving in the last chapter
only a selection from Mr. Duffield’s great _Index of the Latin Hymns_,
which I hope to see published complete in a separate book. Translations
not credited to any other person are the work of Mr. Duffield.

Mr. Duffield’s own idea of his book is well expressed in the
Introduction which follows this Preface. I give it as he left it,
although he had noted his purpose to prepare another which would cover
the ground more fully. It now remains to say something of the man
personally, and in this I am indebted much to the assistance of his
faithful coworker in his hymnological studies, Miss Lilian B. Day of
Bloomfield, who copied his great _Index of the Latin Hymns_, and who
prepared the indexes to both his _English Hymns_ and the present volume.

Samuel Augustus Willoughby Duffield was born at Brooklyn, on September
24th, 1843. His family was of French Huguenot extraction (Du Field), and
found a home in the North of Ireland after the Revocation of the Edict
of Nantes. Between 1725 and 1730 George Duffield, his ancestor by five
removes, settled in Lancaster County, as one of the great Ulster
emigration which was flowing into Pennsylvania. His son George graduated
at Princeton, and after several pastorates was settled in Philadelphia
in the Pine Street church. He was an ardent patriot, chaplain in
Washington’s army, and Bishop White’s associate in the chaplaincy of the
Continental Congress. Of two sons who survived him, one became a
minister, while the other took a prominent part in public life. His
grandson, Rev. George Duffield, D.D. (1796-1868) was a leader of the New
School division of the Presbyterian Church, both before and after the
separation of 1837, and while pastor at Carlisle was arraigned for
unsound teaching in his work on _Regeneration_. “Barnes, Beman, and
Duffield” were the three names most offensive to the Aristarchuses of
orthodoxy in that time. He was married to a sister of Dr. George W.
Bethune. His son, generally known in our times as Dr. George Duffield,
Jr., to distinguish him from his father, was born in 1818 at Carlisle,
graduated at Yale College in 1837, and at Union Theological Seminary.
One of his pastorates was in Brooklyn, from 1840 to 1847, during which
his son, Samuel Augustus Willoughby, was born. He is best known as a
hymn-writer, two of his hymns being known and loved wherever the English
language is spoken. They are, “Blessed Saviour, Thee I love,” and “Stand
up, stand up for Jesus,” the latter being suggested by the dying words
of Dudley Tyng in 1858.

Samuel W. Duffield was of the sixth American generation of his family.
From his youth he was a young giant, with an inborn love of active
sports, quick in movement, and apparently incapable of fatigue. His mind
showed equal vigor and freshness, and he early developed a passion for
poetry. By his tenth year he had mastered Chaucer, in spite of
difficulties much more serious to beginners in those days than in our
own. And he very early began to find expression for his own ideas in
verse. He united with the Church at the age of thirteen, when his father
was a pastor in Philadelphia, being the only one who did so at the time,
so that the act was the result of personal decision and not of a revival
excitement. He graduated at Yale in 1863; and after teaching for a
while, he began the study of theology under the care of his grandfather
and his father. Not until after he had been licensed to preach, and had
had charge of a mission in Chicago, did he present himself as a student
in Union Theological Seminary.

His first pastorate was from 1867 to 1870 at Tioga, one of the northern
suburbs of Philadelphia. As he frequently came to the office of the
_American Presbyterian_, on which I was assisting the late Dr. John W.
Mears, I then formed an acquaintance with him, which ripened into a
friendship that was to be lifelong, and I hope even longer. He was an
impressive figure, of more than the ordinary height, and yet so
massively built that he was seen to be tall only when beside another
person. His manner was cheerful, affectionate and buoyant, giving
evidence in various ways of his French descent. His character was
winning and attractive by its openness, and its entire freedom from
selfishness. He was a man out of whose heart the child never died, and
he carried the freshness of his boyhood’s years into the mature pursuits
of his manhood.

Our common love of poetry and our dawning interest in Latin hymnology—he
had translated Bernard of Cluny and was trying his hand on the _Dies
Irae_ in those days—drew us closer together and gave our friendship an
intellectual interest. When he left Tioga for Jersey City our
intercourse became more fragmentary, but during his pastorate at Ann
Arbor (1871-74) it was renewed by correspondence. He felt himself
especially at home in the university city of Michigan, with a
congregation composed largely of the students. Here he had the delight
of welcoming Dr. George Macdonald to his pulpit, when the poet visited
America in 1873. He worked hard to have me called to the Chair of
English Literature in the University of Michigan, but did not succeed.

Chicago, 1874, Auburn, 1876, Altoona, 1878, and Bloomfield, 1882, were
his subsequent pastorates; and in Bloomfield he remained until his
death. In this New Jersey suburb of New York City he seemed to find
himself especially at home. It was indeed the home of his early boyhood,
for his father had been pastor of the same church from 1847 to 1852; he
well remembered his playmates and schoolmates, and kept up his
acquaintance by correspondence and visits, until he came among them as
their pastor. He was near enough to the great city to find easy access
to its libraries, especially the Astor Library and that of Union
Seminary, and to enjoy the friendship of scholars of tastes similar to
his own, especially that of Dr. Charles S. Robinson. He found a
congenial people in his congregation. He took a lively interest in
matters relating to the welfare of the town, was an active member of the
Village Improvement Association, labored hard to establish a public
library, and helped to set on foot a good weekly paper. He became
Chaplain of the Fire Company, and preached a special sermon every year
to its members. He spoke always with enthusiasm of his new environment,
and seemed to look forward to many happy and useful years there. His
home life, I shall only say, was especially happy and helpful to him.
Among his delights was to watch the dawning powers of a daughter, who
inherits all her father’s poetic gifts.

His best poetical work is still unpublished, except such parts of it as
have appeared in the _Sunday-School Times_ and other weeklies. His first
venture was _The Heavenly Land, from the Rhythm of Bernard of Morlaix_
(New York, 1867). His second and most characteristic book was _Warp and
Woof: A Book of Verse_ (1868), in which “Undergraduate Orioles” and some
other pieces at once attracted attention by their felicitous beauty and
genuineness. Along with his father, he prepared _The Burial of the Dead_
(1882), a manual for use at funerals. In the long interval between these
two dates he was already laboring at his book on the Latin hymn-writers.
“During the years 1882-85,” writes Miss Day, “those of us who saw him
most frequently on his way to and from the New York libraries came to
recognize a large, square note-book and a green cloth bag as his
inseparable Monday companions. Something of their contents we knew, for
with his genial disposition he could not refrain from quoting snatches
of the old Latin hymns with translations into musical English. But no
one could appreciate the real worth of the knowledge concealed between
cloth and board as did the student himself, who had spent the hours of
leisure snatched from professional labors in the libraries, and among
Latin quartos and folios, in search of the materials for his book.
During the latter part of 1885 the Latin hymn-writers were laid aside
for a while to give time for his work on _English Hymns: Their Authors
and History_ (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1886),” which was suggested by
the appearance of Dr. Robinson’s _Laudes Domini_ in 1884, and is mainly
an account of the hymns included in that work, and of their authors.
When this was finished he returned to his _opus magnum_, in the
expectation of having it soon ready for the press. From our conferences
and correspondence I was led to hope for its early appearance. But this
was not to be. A failure of the vessels of the heart, evidently from
some constitutional weakness, as he had been making no special exertion
when it showed itself, was the beginning of the end. Twelve weary months
of illness, spent partly in Bloomfield and partly at a watering-place,
to which he had gone for change of air, were followed by his death on
May 12th, 1887. He died as he had lived, in the full assurance of the
Gospel, and looking for life everlasting in Jesus Christ.

The news of his death was received with grief by the whole community,
especially by the young people, with whom he had so lively a sympathy.
The Bloomfield Fire Company displayed their flag at half-mast, placed a
guard of honor over his remains during the forty hours they lay at the
church, and attended his funeral in a body. Signs of the general
mourning were seen everywhere, and the town felt it had lost a
public-spirited citizen, while his church had lost a faithful and
devoted pastor. Mingled with memoranda for his book, I find in his
note-books other indications of the breadth and energy of his work for
the spiritual and intellectual improvement of his people, especially
through his lectures before the Young People’s Society of the
Westminster Church.

In the city of the dead at Detroit, where his kindred lie buried, there
stands a memorial stone, which bears the inscription:

                          EHEU PRAEMISSUS EST
                       AEVUM LONGISSIMUM PEREGIT
                               BEATO ILLI
                               PATER UXOR
                          MULTIS CUM LACRIMIS
                               HOC MARMOR

Beside him lies now the mortal part of the much-loved father who wrote
these words. Dr. George Duffield the younger died July 6, 1888.


The study of the Latin hymns is so much a thing of its own kind that one
owes it to himself as well as to his readers to begin at the beginning.
This beginning in the present instance happened to be on the North
River, on a bright, fresh April morning in the year of grace 1882. It
was at that time, with the clear sky overhead and the hearty breeze
coming full in our faces from the Narrows, that my friend, the Rev. F.
N. Zabriskie, D.D., broached the following proposition:

It was, he said, a matter of great surprise to him that no one had done
for the Latin hymn-writers what had been done for those of later date.
We had their hymns, but for his part he confessed to a love for the
personality of the poets themselves, and for the circumstances which
conspired to produce their poems. Now, if it seemed good to myself, who
had already given time and study to the hymns, he would gladly open the
columns of the _Christian Intelligencer_ (the organ of the Reformed
Church in America) to a series of articles bearing such a character. And
there and then the book began.

But my original ideas modified greatly as I went on. In place of my
mastering the subject, the subject mastered me. My previous studies went
for but very little, and my confidence in my ability to prepare the
articles without taking much time from regular and important duties
diminished with every number. I found myself on new ground and was
perpetually referred back to the original authorities. French and German
and Latin—I had to investigate them all in order to satisfy that
insatiate creature, a scholar’s conscience. I discovered that, except
for rare and slight notices, this sort of work had neither been done nor
was likely to be done, and conferences with our best hymnologists only
made me more interested in doing it, and doing it as well as I could.
Doubtless those whose specialities lie in mediaeval days will find much
to criticise, but no one can be a severer critic than myself according
to my means of information.

These chapters, like this Introduction, will be found to be written in
the American language. Their purpose is to reach the popular desire for
better knowledge, and it would be absurd to offer these facts in any dry
or pedantic style. Yet the scholar and the hymnologist will both find
that a positive value and a careful accuracy attach to the work that has
been done. I found I could take nothing for granted, and I took nothing
for granted. Even the Archbishop of Dublin and the principal of
Sackville College have their idiosyncrasies and predilections, and a
quite easy way of writing on these topics is to copy what has been said
already. A very notable case to the contrary is Lord Selborne’s splendid
article on “Hymns” in the new _Encyclopaedia Britannica_.

Therefore life and song and color are not absent, I trust, from these
pages. I should not like to give all the authorities consulted or
rummaged through; for, indeed, I have kept no record of them. Like the
famous sun-dial I have registered none but the serene hours, and many a
time the scarce and long-sought volume before me has been jejune enough.
While, on the other hand, a book like Morison’s _Life of St. Bernard_
has turned out to be precisely the help I was seeking, bright in its
style and careful and original in its researches. I have verified its
quotations too often not to pay it at least this faint tribute of

It would be also beyond measure ungrateful in me if I did not here
acknowledge the kindnesses I have received in this quest after the
Sangreal of a true psalmody. Let me name, then, the Astor Library. Its
superintendent, Mr. Little, and its librarians, Mr. Frederick Saunders
(author of _Evenings with the Sacred Poets_), and his assistant, Mr.
Bierstadt, have been uniformly courteous and obliging. So has been the
Rev. Professor Charles A. Briggs, D.D., in whose care is the fine
theological library of Union Seminary. So have been the authorities of
the Society Library (New York), and of the Philadelphia Library, and of
the Boston Athenaeum and Public libraries.

Personally, I am deeply indebted to the culture and friendship of Miss
Marion L. Pelton, Assistant Professor of Literature in Wellesley
College, who has made for me many valuable notes; and to the assistance
and counsel of Professor F. A. March, LL.D., Professor F. M. Bird,
Professor Philip Schaff, D.D., and Judge W. H. Arnoux.

It will be readily seen that I have not concerned myself with the matter
of the host of English translations, or with that of the comparison and
criticism of the text of the hymns. These branches of hymnology are in a
scientific sense the most valuable, but in a popular sense they are the
least interesting. And I could not hope to rival, far less to equal,
such illustrious scholarship as that of Daniel or Mone. I have therefore
been content to pipe to a lesser reed, and in a more familiar and
gossiping way to attempt the history of the hymns. And for the rest I
can only add what Master Robert Burton saith in his _Anatomy of
Melancholy_: “If through weakness, folly, passion, ignorance, I have
said amiss, let it be forgotten and forgiven.... I earnestly request
every private man, as Scaliger did Cardan, not to take offence.... If
thou knewest my modesty and simplicity, thou wouldest easily pardon and
forgive what is here amiss, or by thee misconceived.”

                                             Samuel Willoughby Duffield.

Bloomfield, N. J., U. S. A.

                              LATIN HYMNS.

                               CHAPTER I.

When our Lord and His disciples “had sung an hymn” they left the place
where they had observed the passover, and went out to the Mount of
Olives. This hymn was the “Great Hallel,” consisting of Psalms 113 to
118 inclusive. The 113th and 114th were sung previous to the feast; the
others, after it. We thus know, with singular accuracy, what was the
first hymn of praise in the Christian Church. The essence of this
“Hallel” is the essence of all true psalmody—trust and thanksgiving and

It may be said, and with truth, that the _Magnificat_ of Mary, the _Nunc
Dimittis_ of old Simeon, and, above all, that the _Gloria in Excelsis
Deo_ of the angels at Bethlehem, antedate this hymn of our Lord and His
apostles. It may also be said, and with the same truth, that these
furnished to the early Christians their earliest expressions of praise.
But it appears that the Last Supper, with its pathetic union of Jewish
and Christian ideas, was also the place at which the Psalms of David and
the spiritual songs of primitive Christianity were united. The thought
that this reveals is larger than these limits will permit us to discuss.
It is in brief that as Jesus Christ came, “not to destroy, but to
fulfil,” He designed to show to His Church that gratitude, love, trust,
and adoration were to be combined in all future psalmody. The _t’hillim_
of the Jew were to become the _hymni_ of the Christian.

The noticeable fact remains that the early Church only caught the
simplest and most fervent forms of this worship. Their pure veneration
of the Lord led Pliny to write (Ep. 10:97) that they “sung alternately
among themselves a hymn to Christ as God”—_carmen Christo quasi Deo,
dicere secum invicem_. It is this loving devotion which charms us as we
read those verses which have been preserved. For the most part the
subjects are limited. We could naturally expect that, being largely
drawn from Jewish sources, they would express gratitude and
adoration—and this is correct. Chrysostom declared that the early
Christians sung at prayers in the morning, at their work, and very
usually at their meals. Jerome, writing to Marcellus, says—and we quote
Cave’s translation for its quaintness—“You could not go into the field
but you might hear the _Ploughman_ at his _Hallelujahs_, the _Mower_ at
his _Hymns_, and the _Vine-dresser_ singing _David’s Psalms_.” In fact,
Christian song was a notable feature of primitive Christianity.

The language of these hymns was either Syriac or Greek. By degrees the
Greek obtained the precedence; and as the Latin hymns did not arise
until Hilary of Poitiers (fourth century), the period between the
Ascension and that era belongs to the Greek language rather more than to
any other. We also know from the New Testament writers some very
important facts, which may properly be classified at this point.

1. There were three terms for the sacred song. It might be a _psalm_, or
a _hymn_, or a _spiritual song_, as we discover from Ephesians 5:19 and
Colossians 3:16.

2. From 1 Corinthians 14:23-33, it seems plain that the composition, as
well as the singing of these hymns and songs, might be the result of
sudden emotion or inspiration. In any case, there is no doubt (for
Tertullian decisively states it) that the “extempore,” or, more
strictly, “private” authorship of such psalmody was not uncommon. The
council of Laodicea (_circa_ A.D. 360) interdicted private persons from
this privilege. Even in Paul’s time it would appear to have produced an
effect akin to the “spirituals” of our own freedmen—much of it being
exquisite in its simple devotion, while a certain share offended good
taste, and hindered the propriety and solemnity of worship.

3. The alternation of prayer with praise was never better illustrated
than when Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25) sent up their midnight anthems
from that “inner prison,” while their feet were “made fast in the
stocks.” This alternation was—as the Fathers assure us—the order in
public worship also.

4. We have received in the very pages of the New Testament some of these
earliest hymns. To say nothing, at present, of those great leading
chants which bear the names of the angels, and of Mary, and of
Zacharias, and of Simeon—and to pass over all those of Jewish origin—we
have still left us such a strain as that in Acts 4:24-30. Here we have
an impulse which expresses itself in reply to Peter and John by sacred

Ephesians 5:14 has also been considered to be such a fragment:

  “Awake, O thou that sleepest!
  Arouse thee from the dead!
  And Christ shall give to thee

So too 1 Timothy 3:16 has been arranged by some scholars as though it
were a well-known strophe the Apostle quoted:

  “Who—for the mystery is great—
  Was manifest in body,
  Was justified in spirit,
  Was visible to angels,
  Was heralded to heathen,
  Was trusted on the earth,
  Was taken up to glory.”

Nor is this the only instance in this very Epistle, for 1 Timothy 6:15,
16, reads:

  “The king of all the kingly ones,
  The lord of all the lordly ones,
  Who only hath the power of life immortal;
  Inhabiting the unapproachable light;
  Whom never any one of men hath seen,
  Nor ever can behold;
  Let glory and eternal strength be his!

5. When, now, we complete our New Testament mention of this praise—which
clings like incense to the temple-curtains and sweetly perfumes the
place—we have only to add the earliest received anthems. These are the
_Magnificat_ (Luke 1:46-55); the _Benedictus_ (Luke 1:68-79); the
_Gloria in Excelsis Deo_ (Luke 2:18); and the _Nunc Dimittis_ (Luke
2:29-32). It will be observed that all these are derived from a single
gospel, wherein, more than in any other, the “sweet, sad music of
humanity” can most readily be found. It is natural, too, that the
painter and physician, Luke, should have a poetic ear which could
catch—as in the Acts of the Apostles—this faintest and earliest praise.
There were, indeed, in the primitive church, eight of these classic
expressions of worship. These are:

  (1) The Lesser Doxology (_Gloria Patri_),
    “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.”
  (2) The Greater Doxology (_Gloria in Excelsis_),
    “Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace,” etc.
    [This was also called the Angelical Hymn.]
  (3) The _Ter Sanctus_ (the cherubical hymn),
    “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.”
  (4) The Hallelujah.
    [This “Alleluia, Amen!” was the response of the church.]
  (5) The Evening Hymn (containing the _Nunc Dimittis_).
  (6) The _Benedicite_.
    [The “Song of the Three Children,” which is taken from the
          Apocrypha, and which appears in the service of the Episcopal
          Church (Order for Morning Prayer) as, “O all ye works of the
          Lord,” etc.]
  (7) The _Magnificat_.
    [Named—as these are all named—from the first word of the Latin
          Vulgate version.]
  (8) The _Te Deum_,
    “We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord,” etc.

We can feel quite sure that the Latin Church merely borrowed these hymns
from the earliest forms of the Greek. The _Te Deum_ was probably
translated from that language, either by Hilary of Poitiers or by an
unknown author of that date. It is, undoubtedly, a close rendering of
many phrases and expressions which are common to the Greek hymns, and,
if the learned hymnologist H. A. Daniel is to be credited (_Thesaurus
Hymnologicus II._ 289), it is a real and literal translation of an
actual chant of praise of great antiquity. His words are these: “To give
you my opinion briefly, the _Te Deum_, equally with the Angelic Hymn (to
which it is very similar in form and expression), was born in the
Eastern Church, whence it has been translated into the Latin tongue.” He
then proceeds to cite an ancient Greek hymn, five lines of which are
exact with the Latin.

In 2 Timothy 2:11-13 the “faithful saying” has been interpreted to be a
similar quotation from one of these ancient hymns:

  “For if we are dead together,
  We shall live together;
  If we serve together,
  We shall reign together;
  If we should deny Him,
  He will deny us too;
  If we should be faithless,
  He is faithful still.”

It does not, of course, absolutely follow that these are really such
fragments of hymns as scholars have supposed. The late Dr. Lyman
Coleman—a man of great practical good judgment—comments upon these
citations thus:

“The argument is not conclusive; and all the learned criticism, the
talent, and the taste, that have been employed on this point, leave us
little else than uncertain conjecture on which to build an hypothesis.”
(_Primitive Church_, p. 366.) Yet the latest scholarship tends so
strongly in this direction, and the internal evidence is so good and
fair, that it may be regarded as pretty well affirmed and accepted. No
one, for example, would think of comparing such passages as these with
the antithetic prose of Romans 3:21-23; or with the magnificent
unrhythmic utterance in Romans 8:38, 39; or with the careful
particularity of 2 Corinthians 6:4-10. They are seen and felt to be
different both in tone and in form.

In the Apocalypse, where the language is naturally exalted and poetic,
several such instances have been noted. They are: Revelation 1:4-8; 5:9,
10, 12-14; 11:15, 17, 18; 15:3, 4; 21:10-14, and 22:17. Of one of
these—the “Song of Moses and of the Lamb”—we may be reasonably certain:

  “Great are Thy works and strange,
  Lord God, Thou Ruler of all!
  And just are Thy ways, and true,
  Thou King of the nations of earth.
  For who shall not fear Thee, Lord,
  And give to Thy name the praise,
  For holy art Thou alone!—
  To Thee shall the nations come
  And worship before Thy face;
  For all of Thy righteous acts
  Shall then be openly known!”

In the same manner may be written the stanza from Revelation 22:17:

  “And the Spirit and the Bride—
  Are saying, ‘Come!’
  And he that heareth—
  Let him say, ‘Come!’
  And he that thirsteth—
  Let him come!
  And he that willeth—
  Let him receive,
  Freely, the water of life!”

We have also a positive acquaintance with the order of religious worship
in the early Church, dating back one hardly knows how far, but
definitely leading us into the custom of the first three centuries.
Public services began, and were continued, as follows:

First, _Prayer_—or, possibly, a _Salutation_ or _Invocation_, such as is
in common use to-day.

Then the _Reading of Scripture_. The Old Testament and New Testament
were both employed: the one being expounded to apply to the case of the
Christian Church; and the other for her comfort, encouragement, and

Then followed the _Hymns_ and _Psalms_. The distinction appears to have
been that the _psalms_ were those of David; the _hymns_, such as the
song of Mary, or of the angels; and the _spiritual songs_, such as were
composed by private persons, or which sprang up spontaneously in a kind
of chant. That this was liable to abuse, and might cause confusion, is
made evident by Paul’s advice to the Corinthians. Between these acts of
praise was interpolated some brief Scripture lesson. And, very likely, a
considerable portion of time was taken up by this part of the service.

Then came the _Sermon_, which was succeeded by a _Prayer_.

Another question now meets us, and one of some importance: Did the early
Christians employ any musical instruments? In reply, it can be noted
that ψάλλειν, “to make melody” (Eph.5:19), is usually taken to refer to
a musical accompaniment. In Romans 15:9 it is a quotation from Psalm
18:50, where it means, “I will _sing psalms_.” In 1 Corinthians 15:15
(“I will _sing_ with the spirit, and I will _sing_ with the
understanding also”) and in James 5:13 (“Is any merry? let him _sing
psalms_”) we have nothing decisive except that we know that the Jewish
method of “singing psalms” was to the accompaniment of musical
instruments. Thus, with all these texts before us, we are not able
either to affirm or deny the fact. The reference of Paul (1 Cor. 14:7)
to the _pipe_ (αυλός, flute) and _harp_ (κιθάρα, lute) gives us no
assistance. The “harp” of Revelation 5:8, 14:2, and 15:2, is the cithara
or _lute_ again; but neither does this tell us what the early Christians
did or did not do. The inference is pretty strong that they avoided some
things that were Jewish—and instrumental music was a marked feature in
the Jew’s worship—but it is plain that (as with the Sabbath question)
there was a great deal of blending at the edges between the two
dispensations. We are told, moreover, that the Syriac Church has always
been rich in tunes, having fully two hundred and seventy-five, while the
Greek was confined to about eight.

There is another fact which comes in just here, however, to explain what
we would otherwise find it hard to unriddle. It is the matter of the
very language of the hymns themselves.

When we observe the places where these fragments occur, or where singing
in the church is mentioned, we find that the language naturally is
Greek. No one doubts that Luke and the other New Testament writers
employed the tongue which was the educated and flexible medium of
conveying the loftiest truth; nor that Ephesians or Corinthians chanted
in Greek. “The Greek tongue,” say Conybeare and Howson (_St. Paul_,
1:10), “became to the Christian more than it had been to the Roman or
the Jew.” It lends itself most readily to that dithyrambic shape in
which highly emotional natures could best express their praise. So the
irregularity of the verse; its utter lack of metrical form (as Dr. Neale
found when he examined eighteen quarto volumes of it), and its
simplicity of diction, all combined to put the instrumental
accompaniment aside. Perhaps there was a prejudice—as Archbishop Trench
affirms—against a distinctively Jewish method. Perhaps there was a
disposition in this, as in other matters where art had perverted the
morals of men, to oppose whatever looked toward a possible laxity. Music
and banqueting, music and luxury, music and profligacy, went together so
much that the early Church reacted to the extreme of
Puritanism—forgetting that her Lord and Master had often worshipped in
the full-choired temple itself. In the catacombs, where every manner of
ordinary symbol may be found, there is neither pipe nor harp, nor any
sort of musical instrument—the lyre alone excepted. But neither is there
any condescension to beauty in form or color. Everything betokens a
rude, uncultivated simplicity—a piety which contented itself with the
barest and meagerest representations. It rose high enough to portray the
face of Christ, in the ancient cemetery of Domitilla, and in one carving
on a sarcophagus of the fourth century. And, remembering how repugnant
anything heathenish was to the souls of those who associated pipe and
tabret and harp with the bloody arena and the wild revelry of Rome, can
we doubt why they mingled only their unassisted voices in these chants
of praise? It can be positively added that Ambrose, Basil, and
Chrysostom do not include _instrumental_ music in their eulogies of the
Church’s practice upon this theme.

We are justified, however, in going one step beyond this bald statement,
that the early Christians _sang_ together. They sang _secum invicem_,
alternately. The quotations already given show the adaptation of their
hymns to this use. In this, at least, they were following the Jewish
habit of responses and part-singing, whatever other changes their
poverty or prejudices or principles or persecutions might have produced.

It remains for us to speak of the ancient hymns which have come down to
our day. We have some information as to Harmonius and Bardesanes, who
wrote Syriac hymns in the first century, but the hymns themselves are
either lost or unidentified. Ephrem Syrus (died 378) furnishes the
earliest authentic hymns in that language. One of these (Daniel,
_Thesaurus Hymnologicus_, III. 145) is on the Nativity of our Lord, and
may be thus rendered, following Zingerle’s German version:

  “Into his arms with tender love
    Did Joseph take his holy son,
  And worshipped him as God, and saw
    The babe like any little one.
  His heart rejoiced above him there,
    For now the only Good had birth;
  And pious fear upon him came
    Before this Judge of all the earth.
  Oh, what a lofty wonder!

  “Who gave me then this precious Son
    Of highest God, to be my child?
  For I against thy mother here
    Had almost been by zeal beguiled;
  And I had thought to cast her off—
    Alas, I saw not truly then
  How in her bosom she should bear
    The costliest treasure known to men,
  To make my poverty, so soon,
    The richest lot in mortal ken!

  “David, that king of ancient days,
    My ancestor, had placed the crown
  On his own head, and there it lay;
    But I sank deep and further down:
  I was no king, but in its stead
    A carpenter, and that alone.
  But now may crown my brow again
    That which befits a kingly throne,
  For here upon my bosom lies
    The Lord of lords, my very own!”

There is a trifle of doubt as to which is the very oldest Greek hymn.
One cited by Basil (died 379),

  “Φῶς ἱλαρὸν ἁγίας δοξής”—κ. τ. λ.

has been by some considered the most ancient, and is known to us as,
“Hail, gladdening Light.” It is wrongly credited to Athenagenes (died
169), for Basil explicitly denies that authorship. That which it is
safest for us to receive is one found in the works of Clement of
Alexandria, and by him ascribed to an earlier author. It was probably
composed about 200 A.D.; and while it is too long to quote, it may be
characterized as dithyrambic, and almost Anacreontic, in rhythm. It

  “Στροµίον πώλων ἀδαῶν.”—κ. τ. λ.

and is known as “Shepherd of Tender Youth,” from its best English
version, by the Rev. Dr. H. M. Dexter, of Boston. The Φῶς ἱλαρὸν is also
accessible in Longfellow’s beautiful translation in the Golden Legend,
commencing, “O gladsome light.”

As we turn the pages on which Daniel and Mone have recorded these hymns
of the earliest age of the Church, we observe that they are either in
praise of Christ or of God, or are songs of worship for the morning or
the evening. Their simplicity is admirable. Here is one called ἦχος—an
“Echo”—literally rendered:

  “We who have risen from our sleep
  Worship before thee, O Good One.
  And, of the angels the hymn
  We cry aloud to thee, thou Mighty One;
  Holy, holy art thou, O God,
  And of thy mercy have pity on us!

  “From my couch and from my sleep
  Thou hast raised me, O Lord;
  Enlighten my mind and my heart,
  And open thou my lips
  To praise thee, Holy Trinity,
  Holy, holy, holy art thou!

  “Suddenly shall come the Judge,
  And the deeds of each shall be laid bare;
  But guard us from fear in the midst of the night,
  Holy, holy, holy art thou!”

Another of these unplaced, anonymous, and possibly very ancient hymns,
may be given in full for comparison:

  “Ψυχή µου, ψυχή µου,
  Ἀνάστα, τί καθεύδεις;
  Τὸ τέλος ἐγγίζει,
  Καὶ µήλλεις θορυβεῖσθαι;

  “Ἀνάνηψον ὀυν, ἵνα
  Φείσηται σου Χριστὸς
  Ὁ Θεὸς, ὁ πανταχοῦ παρὼν
  Καὶ τὰ πάντα πληρῶν.”

  “O soul of mine, O soul of mine,
    Arise, why sleepest thou?
  The end of earth is drawing near
    And art thou fearful now?
  Be sober therefore, O my soul,
    That He who filleth space
  And filleth time, our Saviour, God,
    May spare thee by His grace.”

And this beautiful little doxology:

  “My hope is God,
  My refuge is the Lord,
  My shelter is the Holy Ghost;
  Be thou, O Holy Three, adored!”

In such sweet and simple language did the early Christians sing their
“praise to Christ, as God.” They understood the true meaning of a hymn
as Ambrose and St. Bernard also understood it—and as Gregory Nazianzen
and Adam of St. Victor never knew it at all. In 1866 Professor Coppée
could truly declare that there was no collection of sacred verse in
which this thought of adoration and of worship was “the leading
feature.” It is better now; but even to-day there is an honored place
for any book of praise in which the formal and didactic shall be done
away, and where nothing shall be found but the pure reverence of a
loving and trusting soul.

Of old, in the temple, there was kept—said the rabbins—a flute of reed,
plain and straight and simple, but of marvellous sweetness. It came down
from Moses’ day. But the king commanded his goldsmiths to cover and
adorn it with gold and gems. And, lo, the sweetness of the reed flute
was forever gone! Thus, perchance, in our later art and our foolish
wisdom, it may be we have often spoiled the ancient hymns!

                              CHAPTER II.
                     THE STUDY OF THE LATIN HYMNS.

The genealogy of the song of praise in the mediaeval and modern
Christian Church is both simple and beautiful. It begins far back, as we
have seen, in the chants and psalms of the Hebrew. Then it changes to
the Syriac and the Greek. Then it emerges into the Latin. Next it is
caught up in the old High-German poetry, and at length it becomes the
modern English hymn. The line of direct descent is like that of some
high and puissant family whose inheritance is transferred now to one
branch and now to another, but whose noble lineage is never lost.

When the reader or the worshipper is attracted to-day by some ancient
hymn-writer’s name, he naturally asks for information. He is aware that
hymnology is called a branch of study, like any other scholastic
pursuit. He is also aware that the more usual English and German hymns
have their historians, and, to a limited degree, that they have been
analyzed, classified, compared, and their text settled. Even their
impelling causes and surroundings are known, as in the case of the
touching lyrics of George Neumark and Paul Gerhardt, or the pathetic
strains of Cowper, or the stirring notes of Charles Wesley.

But occasionally a bird of strange plumage flies across this peaceful
sky or perches and sings in these religious groves. The name of some
Greek father—an Anatolius or a John of Damascus—appears as the original
author. The hymn-horizon widens out to an earlier age. When one sings
the _Te Deum Laudamus_, he discovers that it has its antecedent in the
Greek liturgy. And when he employs that fine version of Bishop Patrick,

  “O God, we praise Thee and confess,”

he is put upon a track of inquiry by which he discerns an even earlier
rendering in the oldest prayer-books, beginning—

  “We praise Thee, God, we knowledge Thee
            The only Lord to be.”

These little hints and stray gleams of outlook through the mists of
uninformation are intensely alluring. And when by some happy chance it
is learned that this old Latin sequence is traditionally ascribed to
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan; when it is accredited to the spontaneous
utterance of Augustine and his great preceptor at the time of
Augustine’s baptism; when it is noted as a derivative from that Greek
psalmody whence the holy Ambrose obtained so many of his hymns; and when
it opens thus a door into the heaven of the earlier worship of the
Church, then indeed the reader is proportionately stimulated to further

For the most part it will be found that the Latin language contains the
best of the Greek, and the inspiration of the majority of the first
German hymns. In the dead ark of the Middle Ages was kept this rod that
budded and this golden pot with its sacred heavenly food. It is amazing
that this treasure has been so well preserved, but it is none the less
certain that we now have it safely, never to be lost again.

There are no Latin hymns—let us here say—earlier than Hilary of Poitiers
(died 366). His _Hymnarium_ has perished, and all but one of the
compositions attributed to himself are doubtful. The “evening-song”
which he sent to his daughter Abra, while he was in exile among the
followers of the Eastern Church, forms the connecting link between Greek
and Latin hymnody. The true _hymn_—a different thing from the rhythmic
but unmetrical _sequence_—here takes its rise. In this small, pure
fountain-head reappear the percolating praises of the two previous
centuries. The short lines drop with a gentle tinkling melody upon the
ear. As yet there is no rhyme, although there is an occasional
lightening of the lyric by some such verbal art.

But with Ambrose the full stream begins to sweep along. There can be no
doubt that many ungathered and traditional stanzas were in his time
discoverable in the Church—much as it can be observed that phrases in
prayer or in exhortation are the inheritance of our own generation from
days of struggle and of trial among our Christian ancestors. And what
better could a beleaguered bishop do, when he was shut up in a church
“for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ,” than to collate
these old hymns? Twelve possibly—eight, or less, with moderate
certainty—can be regarded as of his own composition. The rest of the
ninety or a hundred are commonly received as “Ambrosian,” since they
share his spirit and partake in some degree of his method. The rules of
the Venerable Bede are not infallible, and modern criticism frequently
rejects what the early collectors are disposed to assign to this single
illustrious source.

Augustine wrote no actual hymns, but he was the cause of hymns in
others—as, notably, in the case of Cardinal Peter Damiani. The Ambrosian
music and the Augustinian theology served for inspiration to many later
men. Yet the assignment of these Latin hymns to their proper authors is,
at the best, a most precarious undertaking. A few, quoted or mentioned
by competent witnesses—as when Augustine quotes Ambrose—seem duly
authentic. This is, however, a rare occurrence. Generally we proceed
upon the mere _dictum_ of the first compilers—especially of Thomasius,
George Fabricius, and Clichtove.

These early compilations are sufficiently scarce. Professor Dr. H. Ad.
Daniel gives a list of some which, except for the books of “the
venerable Thilo” in the Yale Library, are beyond the reach of American
students. Dating from 1492 and running into the first decade of the
sixteenth century there were many “Expositions” of hymns, of which the
work of Clichtove (Basle, 1517) remains to us in the greatest number of
editions. Up to the middle of the present century this book was
practically indispensable to any correct knowledge of the original
texts. Since that time it, as well as every similar work, has received
attention, and its contents have been often reproduced.

Other and later laborers are such as Cardinal Thomasius (Rome, 1741),
who follows upon the traces of George Cassander, the Liberal Catholic
(Paris, 1616). We are possibly more indebted to Cassander than to
Thomasius for the correct designation of a good deal of the authorship.
Both of these editors collate the text with other versions, and thus
prepare the way for later and more accurate work. Both depend to a
notable degree upon the book of George Fabricius (Basle, 1564), which is
quite rare; although Thomasius’ works are said by Daniel to be
sufficiently uncommon in Germany, as they certainly are in America. The
recent republication of the Mozarabic Breviary in J. P. Migne’s
_Patrologia_ brings this volume, however, within easy reach.

Thus we are naturally led to speak of the sources of the hymns
themselves—sources from which these editors have secured them. As a part
of religious worship they were incorporated into the various breviaries,
of which hundreds must have been in use before the unification begun by
the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century. Besides these church books,
there were collections of hymns alone made by mediaeval schools, whose
manuscripts still exist in European libraries.

The only method by which to ascertain the number and extent of these
treasures was to gather and classify them. And strangely enough this
labor has been performed by Protestants rather than by Catholics.
Cassander’s book was forbidden at Rome, as he was what now would be
called an Old Catholic; Luther, George Fabricius, and Hermann Bonn were
in no better odor of sanctity; and for our own times the standard work
is that of Herman Adelbert Daniel, who was a Lutheran professor at
Halle, while close behind him come several others of the same religious

The necessary and highly difficult task of getting the materials
together has been exhaustively performed. Professor Daniel’s
investigations extended to the original copies in monasteries and abbeys
almost without number. But F. J. Mone enlarged even upon this. Daniel’s
_Thesaurus_ in five volumes was completed in 1856—having been several
years in course of publication—and it stands as yet unrivalled. Mone’s
_Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters_ appeared in 1853-55, and was
therefore available for the conclusion of Daniel’s great work. Its value
consists in the fact that it is derived exclusively from manuscripts and
from material hitherto untouched. The Germans, indeed, have made Latin
hymnology a special branch of study, considering that it is profitable
to them for its value religiously and historically. From old Flacius
Illyricus’ appendix to the _Catalogus Testium Veritatis_ has been
recovered the original of Bernard of Cluny’s “Jerusalem the Golden”—a
poem which would never have been known by us if this same Matthias
Flacius had not preserved it as a testimony against the corrupt state of
the Church.

We must then add the German names of Schlosser, and Simrock, and
Fortlage, and Stadelmann, and Jacob Grimm, and Königsfeld, and Bässler,
and Kayser, and Kehrein, and Morel. Wackernagel and Koch, the great
historians of German hymnology, have also done admirable service in
prefixing the Latin hymns to the earlier part of their collections and
histories of German praise. There is a host of lesser names, and there
have been some separate discoveries worthy of note. Thus the English
ritualists, under the lead of Newman and Neale, unearthed some capital
lyrics. The _Hymni Ecclesiae_ of Cardinal J. H. Newman, being half
derived from the Paris Breviary, contain hymns which are scarcely to be
found elsewhere—many of them, as our Index will show, being accessible
only in those pages. The _Sequentiae Medii Aevii_ of Dr. John Mason
Neale also bring to us texts which are extremely scarce. Archbishop
Trench, in his collection of eighty hymns, has avoided anything like
Romanism even to the occasional expurgation of a phrase; but he has
given us a few hymns which are difficult to procure. Königsfeld’s
selection of one hundred is admirable; and Bässler’s and Simrock’s
little books have made a very good choice. More recently still Professor
F. A. March, of Lafayette College, has prepared a selection of one
hundred and fifty of these hymns for the use of institutions of
learning; and this, for every purpose, is the finest and most
satisfactory series of texts at our command. The ordinary student can
learn much from this before he needs to attempt the larger and more
expensive works.

In making an exhaustive index of all the originals before us, these
collections soon dwindle into a very diminutive form. There are about
three thousand five hundred hymns in the various books. And they are of
all sorts—good, bad, and indifferent. The good are the pure and true
utterance of pious spirits—such lyrics as the _Veni, Redemptor_, and the
_Veni, Sancte Spiritus_, and the _Vexilla Regis_. The positively bad are
those which are either poor in execution—a common fault—or decidedly
defective in religious tone. Many so-called “hymns” are nothing but
plagiaries or parodies upon older compositions. Some are debased into
mere patchwork. There are a few which are macaronic, and a great many in
which poverty of phrase is helped out by wholesale pilfering. Moreover,
it is easy to find those which are highly objectionable in point of
taste and theology, to say nothing of prosody or Protestantism. And if
Protestants are principally energetic in restoring and editing these
hymns, to the frank and generous extent of overlooking what is
unpleasant in them, it ought to follow that they should not be blamed
for preferring only those lyrics in which the broad and Christian fervor
of devout souls can be observed.

Of those hymns which are upon the border line, the pathetic _Stabat
Mater_ may stand as an example. It would be bigotry to reject it from
the list—as one compiler has done—while it would certainly not be fair
to Protestants to utilize it, in any close translation, for the worship
of the Church universal.

Perhaps there are not less than from four to five hundred of these
hymns, then, to which no cause of blame can attach—which are as dear to
the Church of the Roman Catholics as to that of the Catholic
Protestants. On such common ground the heartiest sympathy and
co-operation can develop the riches which yet remain. Already it is
Caswall, the priest, and Newman, the cardinal, and Neale, the ritualist,
who have given to our daily praise the happiest versions. It is Ozanam
who has discovered several unknown hymns; and Gautier and Digby S.
Wrangham who have brought out Adam of St. Victor; and the ninety-seven
pieces of Abaelard are reprinted from Cousin’s text in Migne’s
_Patrologia_. The study of these sacred verses has been comparatively
limited in range and nationality, but it has had the incomparable
advantage of being thorough.

Thus we are to-day possessed of the text of every really fine sacred
Latin lyric. Somewhere or other it has bloomed and has been gathered by
some acute hymnologist. The text, too, is tolerably clarified.
Translations into our own tongue have been made by such men as Caswall
and Newman and Neale (who have rendered all the hymns of the Roman
Breviary), and by Mant, Chandler, Pearson, Kynaston, and many others. In
America the Rev. Dr. Washburn, Dr. Coles, and Chancellor Benedict have
been as prolific as any. Scattered renderings have obtained place in
various hymnals. And we are now prepared at last for the general and
popular interest which should be taken in this vast treasure of the
Latin tongue.

Nothing is more surprising than the utter misinformation which prevails.
A few scholars, like Dr. Schaff and Dr. William R. Williams, have
endeavored to illuminate our American darkness. But, speaking only now
of the Latin hymns, the story of their authors remains obscure and the
romantic history of their origin remains for the most part untouched.

Yet Prudentius, the Spaniard, was a classic survival in Spain. And
Damasus, the pope, was associated with certain dramatic scenes. And
Venantius Fortunatus, troubadour and bishop, furnishes us with a most
striking portrait of the times in his attachment to the abbess-queen,
Radegunda. The list presumably includes Elpis, the wife of Boethius, the
“last of the Romans;” and Coelius Sedulius, the Briton; and Gregory the
Great and the great archbishop, Rabanus Maurus, and perhaps Robert II.
of France. It calls into fresh life the histories of the Venerable Bede
and of Alcuin; of the two Bernards, the one of Clairvaux and the other
of Cluny; of Peter the Venerable and of Abaelard and Heloise; of Adam of
St. Victor, and Thomas of Celano; of Bonaventura and Aquinas and à
Kempis and Xavier. It shows us that mad Solomon, poor Jacoponus; and it
leaves us with verses from John Huss, the martyr, to be read by the
light of the Reformation’s dawn.

Thus largely does the subject of the Latin hymns traverse the ages. From
the fourth to the sixteenth centuries of the Christian era it is the one
stream which was fed from Alpine or from Pyrenean snows—a “river of God
that is full of water,” which expands into the stately movement of the
Notkerian and Gottschalkian sequence, or gently murmurs its song of
trust with the missionary Xavier as he writes the exquisite melody of
that hymn, _O Deus, ego amo te!_ To understand and to love these lyrics
is to be better fitted for this nineteenth century of praise. Not the
persecutors and the injurious, not the cruel and the cold-hearted will
then remain to us; but the _Dies Irae_ will utter its trumpet-voice
above the dead phrases of a formal service, and the _Salve caput
cruentatum_ will call us afresh to the foot of the cross.

                              CHAPTER III.

When Master Peter Abaelard was preparing his own hymns for use in the
Abbey of the Paraclete, he prefaced them with a brief treatise. There
were ninety-three of them, arranged for all the services of Heloise and
her nuns, and he answers the request of his abbess-wife by sending them,
somewhere in the neighborhood of the year 1135. “At the instance of thy
requests, my sister Heloise,” he writes, “formerly dear in the world and
now most dear in Christ, I have composed what are called in Greek,
‘hymns,’ and in Hebrew, ‘tillim.’” For it is plain that she has a vivid
recollection of his “wild, unhallowed rhymes, writ in his unbaptized
times,” and she would now have him tune his lyre, as Robert Herrick did,
to a loftier strain.

Hence he made for these gentle sisters a hymn-book of their own, and so
became the Watts or Wesley of their matins and vespers. With
characteristic self-confidence he only included what he had himself
prepared; but this introduction casts a great deal of light upon the
knowledge and piety of the time respecting hymns.

“I remember,” continues Abaelard, “that you asked me for an explanation.
‘We know,’ you said, ‘that the Latin, and especially the French Church,
have in psalms, and also in hymns, followed more a custom than an
authority.’” This was quite true; and the remark is eminently
characteristic of Heloise, whose scholarship was admirable, and whose
disposition was of a sort to crave for and cling to a stronger nature.
He then quotes for her the decree of the fourth Council of Toledo (A.D.
633), by which Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose of Milan are established
as the great fathers of Christian song in the Western Church, and by
which the praise of God in hymns is sanctioned and commended.

To much the same effect are the words of Augustine of Hippo, centuries
earlier. His beloved mother, Monica, had died, and nothing appeared to
comfort him so much as one of these same holy songs. “Then I slept, and
woke up again and found my grief not a little softened; and as I was
alone in my bed, I remembered those true verses of thy Ambrose. For thou
art the

  “‘Maker of all, the Lord
    And Ruler of the height,
  Who, robing day in light, hast poured
    Soft slumbers o’er the night,
  That to our limbs the power
    Of toil may be renewed,
  And hearts be raised that sink and cower,
    And sorrows be subdued.’”

This is the _Deus creator omnium_ of the great bishop of Milan; and
this, in consequence of Augustine’s quotation, is among the best
authenticated and earliest hymns of the Latin Church.

But there were more ancient hymns than the Ambrosian or Augustinian.
They bear the name of Hilary, and with them Latin hymnology really
begins. It is true that in the previous century—the third—Cyprian of
Carthage had written religious poetry, but he composed nothing which
could be sung. There is, indeed, nothing previous to Hilary.

And now let us go back to the creation of this first and noblest light.
For Hilary had been a heathen—a heathen of the heathen—in Roman Gaul. He
was born in Poitiers (Pictavium) about the beginning of the fourth
century. His father’s name was Francarius, whose tomb—although he must
at first have lived as an idolater—is said by Bouchet to have been “for
upward of fifteen hundred years” in the parish church of Clissonium
(Clisson, near Nantes). We are indebted to Jerome for the main facts of
Hilary’s life, and to Fortunatus for a large share in the filling up of
the outlines. Hilary was so celebrated a man that contemporary
references are more abundant and helpful in his career even than in that
of Shakespeare. In those days he was at the summit of renown, a notable
exception to the case of the prophet, “not being without honor save in
his own country.” “For who,” says Augustine, “does not know Hilary the
Gallic bishop?” And Jerome wrote to St. Eustacia that Hilary and Cyprian
were the “two great cedars of the age.”

He was doubtless well educated. His Latin was good and copious, without
possessing very great polish. His Greek was sufficient to fit him to
translate the creeds of the Eastern Church, and to become familiar with
their hymns. We have his own testimony that he lived in comfort, if not
in luxury; and the inference is plain that his family were of
consequence in the place. It was in his leisure that he took up Moses
and the prophets; and there, in that famous old town of his birth, the
mists of his idolatry thinned away. We do not know that any external
pressure was brought to bear upon his mind, or that he was led by
anything except a natural curiosity into this new learning.

Poitiers itself is a noble situation for such an intellect. It is
perched on a promontory, and surrounded on all sides by gorges and
narrow valleys. The isthmus, which joins it back to the ridge, was once
walled and ditched across. The Pictavi, and afterward the Romans,
understood the military advantages of the spot. It has always been the
abode of scholars and of warriors. Here Francis Bacon once studied. Here
Clovis, founder of the Merovingian dynasty, beat Alaric II., in 507, in
fair battle. Here Radegunda the Holy lies buried. Here Fortunatus, the
poet-bishop, dwelled. Here Charles Martel hammered the Saracens in 732.
Here, in the Cathedral of St. Pierre, rest the ashes of Richard Coeur de
Lion. Here, beneath these walls, fought Edward the Black Prince against
King John of France, in 1356, when the English had the best of the day.
For they had learned—as Bishop Hugh Latimer says that he himself was
taught—how to draw the cloth-yard shaft to a head, and let it fly with a
deadly aim. “In my tyme,” said Latimer, “my poore father was as diligent
to teach me to shote as to learne anye other thynge, and so I thynke
other menne dyd theyr children. Hee taughte me how to drawe, how to laye
my bodye in my bowe, and not to drawe with strength of armes as other
nacions do, but with strength of the bodye. I had my bowes boughte me
accordyng to my age and strength; as I encreased in them, so my bowes
were made bigger and bigger; for men shall never shoot well excepte they
be broughte up in it.” (Sixth sermon before Edward VI.) It was such
archery as this that laid the flower of France in the dust, and put
John, their king, into prison.

Poitiers is thus a noble and appropriate birthplace for one who before
the time of Charles the Hammerer was called the “Hammer of the Arians”
(_Malleus Arianorum_), and who combined fighting with praying all
through his life. Places and circumstances and the untamable blood of
heroes have more to do with the making of men than we suppose; and
Hilary was so distinctly a son of Caesar’s Gaul that he became its
large, true, and free expression, appropriate to its landscape and
harmonized to its atmosphere.

And as to his emergence from heathenism, there can be nothing more
satisfactory to us than his own story. He has recorded that when he
found, in Exodus, how God was called “I am that I am,” and when he read
in Isaiah (40:12) of a deity who “held the wind in His fists,” and again
(66:1) of Him who said, “Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool,”
then this _Deus immensus_ surpassed all his heathen conceptions of
grandeur and power. And when he read (in Ps. 138:7) how this great God
loved and cared for His children, so that one could say, “Though I walk
in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou shalt stretch forth
Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall
save me”—then he was drawn toward this mighty being by a sentiment of
confidence and trust. He also—turning the pages of the Wisdom of Solomon
(13:5) in the Apocrypha—found it written that “by the greatness and
beauty of the creatures proportionately the Maker of them is seen.” And
then, encountering the Gospel of John, its opening sentences clarified
his mind. All became plain. He accepted with calmness, firmness, and
dignity the great doctrines of the Christian faith. He was imbued with
John’s conception of that Word, “which was in the beginning” and “which
was God.” From that moment he had a theology which was as pure as
crystal and as indestructible as adamant. There is no muddiness about
his ideas from this time onward, though Arians buzz and sting, and
calamities rain upon him, and the path of duty is deep with mire and the
future is dark. Every one of these things passes away. His own language
as to this great change in his belief is as characteristic as it is
beautiful: “I extended my desires further, and longed that the good
thoughts I had about God, and the good life which I built on them, might
have an eternal reward.” Like one of his own favorite saints in the
Gospel and the Apocalypse of John, he was thus “led by the Spirit of
God” to become one of the chanting choir before the throne.

It matters very little, therefore, to us of to-day, that, in 1851, Pius
IX., himself a man of sweet and gentle temper, made Hilary a “Doctor of
the Church”—a distinction reserved for those greatest ones, like
Augustine and Chrysostom, whose learning and eloquence are
world-renowned. The dead bishop did not need this posthumous
distinction. He has long been recognized—to quote Professor Dorner—as
“one of the most original and profound,” albeit not the easiest to
understand at all times, of the great teachers of the Christian Church.
We may hereafter attach more value to his work even than we do at

This then was the man who had determined to enter upon a Christian life.
He was already married and had one daughter—Abra by name—and possessed a
certain repute as a man of reading and of affairs. His origin protected
him from a contempt of pagan learning; and his marriage protected him
from that one-sided development which has Romanized the once Catholic
Church. The period in which he lived was one of transition—from classic
literature to Christian literature, and from the Latin of far-off Virgil
and Cicero to the Latin which was to become the uniting tongue of all
scholars in that Babel of the Middle Ages. This language was now shaping
itself to its new work and becoming, like English under the genius of
Chaucer, a living speech. In the moulding hands of these first Christian
writers it became flexible, not always fluent or graceful or even
strictly grammatical, but capable at least to carry what would otherwise
have been lost. Greek was gone, and French and German and English had
not yet appeared. As a Gallo-Roman, then—a post-classic Latinist—Hilary
gives in his allegiance to Christianity, and his wife and daughter are
baptized with him into the true faith.

So far much is conjectural; and more is vague and to be derived from the
shadows cast upon the screen of history by the “spirit of the years to
come yearning to mix itself with life.” We emerge, however, into
historical certainty about the year 351. Then, on the death of their
bishop—who is thought to have been Maxentius, the brother of St. Maximin
of Trier—his townspeople clamored for Hilary. The _Histoire Litteraire
de la France_ sets this election down for the year 350; but that
authority, in this and a great many other instances, is profuse and
multitudinous and not absolutely safe. We are certainly not far out from
the correct date in saying 351.

It illustrates a condition of things which are suggestive of the
simplicity of the early Church, when we find that in spite of his being
a married man and a father—and in spite of Cyprian’s and of Tertullian’s
praises of celibacy—Hilary was heartily chosen and almost forced into
the episcopate. In this position he exhibited “all the excellent
qualities of the great bishops.” We are told that he was “gentle and
peaceable, given particularly to an ability to persuade and to
influence.” With these he joined “a holy vigor which held him firm
against rising heresies.” And Cassian says that Hilary “had all the
virtues of an incomparable man.” The fact, after all, speaks for itself
more loudly than these commendations. He was so much one of themselves
that the people of Poitiers would not have selected him, if they had not
known him to be the best man for the mitre.

From this time began that career of stainless honor which has outlasted
the very walls which echoed his voice. He was known from Great Britain
to the Indies. He ranks second only to Athanasius as a defender of the
faith; and—as we already noted—he is classed by Jerome with the great
bishop of Hippo whose portrait is given to us so vividly in Charles
Kingsley’s _Hypatia_. And to us of our century and of our convictions in
favor of charity and culture, it is particularly praiseworthy that he
never gave up his secular scholarship, and that he never flagged or
faltered in defending opinions which were as large and liberal as they
were undeniably orthodox. He was an oak which stood against the blast
unshaken, and which yet held, in the heart of its great branches, sweet
nests of singing birds and leafy coverts of shade and peace.

Hilary was not suffered to be inactive. It was the period at which the
Arian heresy was in full incandescence. No one holding the opinions of
the Bishop of Poitiers could well remain neutral. He had—in conformity
with a custom soon to become a law—separated his life from that of his
home; but he appears always to have cherished a warm love for his wife
and child. This placed him, however, in perfect freedom from other
cares, and at liberty to devote himself to the eradication of false
doctrine. Constantius, the Emperor, was an Arian, and this made the
perplexity of the position very great. An honest man might ruin all by
his blunt independence—but an honest man dare not be silent. And,
besides, Hilary had neither attended the Synod of Arles (353) nor that
of Milan (355), and was somewhat out of the ecclesiastical tide.

That he was no coward was soon shown to everybody’s satisfaction. He
prepared a letter to the Emperor as brave as it was keen, and which
touched up with a vigorous lash the cringing sycophants and shuffling
hypocrites about the court. Hilary is notably strong when he denounces
the substitution of force for reason—and perhaps his doctorate came to
him only in 1851 (when he could not well care much for it) because this
doctrine of his was not altogether what Mother Church has been in the
habit of teaching and practising! I may refer to the recent work of the
Rev. R. T. Smith upon _The Church in Roman Gaul_ as fully confirming
this statement. St. Martin of Tours is there called to bear testimony
that the Bishop of Poitiers held such opinions just as sturdily in his
days of power as in these times of trial and persecution. He was, in
short, a thoroughly sincere man, and it took him only a few years—until
355—to get into the hottest bubbling spot of all the caldron. At that
date, in company with other leaders of the church in Gaul, he drove out
a very pestilent fellow—Saturninus, the Bishop of Arles—as a seditious
and irreconcilable element in their midst. With him was cast out Valens,
and with Valens was cast out Ursacius. But of all these, Bishop
Saturninus was the angriest and the most revengeful.

A year of something like good order followed, when lo, the Arians came
to the front with a synod of their own complexion at Beziers. Here
Hilary found himself in the vocative case altogether. The tables were
turned upon him, and it was he who must now go forth a banished man. The
power was against him, and he set out with bowed head and sad heart upon
one of those pride-humbling journeys which have not seldom brought the
greatest results to religion, and which not a few of the best men have
taken in their day. In this manner Bernard went to meet Abaelard; Martin
Luther went to the diet at Worms; and John Bunyan took his way to
Bedford jail.

Principal among the causes of his sadness was that he was snatched away
from his constant and congenial duty of explaining the Scriptures to the
people of his diocese. Still he had nothing for it but to go; and so,
somewhere about 356, we find him in Phrygia. He is accompanied by
Rodanius, Bishop of Toulouse, who had plucked up considerable courage by
seeing how well Hilary took his defeat.

In 357 the Church in Roman Gaul sent him their greeting, from which that
of his own Poitiers people was not absent. And the Gallic bishops,
having perceived him to be capable of much good service in his enforced
residence abroad, bade him inform himself and them upon the creeds and
customs of the Eastern Church. This he had already, to a degree,
undertaken. And in 359, whom do we find entering a convocation of
bishops at Seleucia but our very Hilary, opposing with a strong and
unflinching philosophic power all those—and there were many there—who
denied the consubstantiality of the Word.

There were one hundred and sixty of these bishops at Seleucia, of whom
one hundred and five—a very handsome majority—were “semi-Arians.” Of the
remaining fifty-five there were nineteen classed as Anomoeans—those who
held that the Son was _unlike_ the Father in essence, or ἀνόµοιος—and
the rest were heretics of different grades of badness. It was the
natural outcome of the difficulties with Athanasius, where the royal
authority was on the side of the Arians. The Roman Catholic historians
are therefore not complimentary to this synod—or rather “double council”
of Seleucia and Rimini—and this was assuredly no very comfortable body
of Christians for a banished bishop to exhort. But he did it with
effect, and proceeded to the council at Constantinople (360) and did it
again; and presently (361) Constantius died and the Nicene Creed was

So was Hilary, who—in 360-61—returned to Poitiers, where, as soon as his
crozier was once more well in hand, he levelled Saturninus and compelled
him to abandon his diocese. He then turned upon Auxentius of Milan, who
only escaped the same or a worse fate by clinging to Valentinian, the
reigning Emperor, and was denounced by Hilary as a hypocrite for his
pains. Our bishop appears in these days to have been decidedly a member
of the Church Militant; and perhaps it was natural enough when one had
survived the reigns of Constantius, Julian the Apostate, and Jovian, for
him to be as he was. I am not commenting upon these exciting scenes; I
desire rather to go back and show how they produced the hymns of which
we are to speak.

It was in 357—at the same date with the letters from the bishops and
from the churches—that Abra, his daughter, wrote to him herself. From
this epistle we learn that her mother still lived, and we observe the
dutiful and loving daughter apparent in every line. In reply Hilary
sends a well-composed and even imaginative letter. Under the figures of
a pearl and a garment he charges her to keep her soul and her conduct
pure. He rather recommends a single life, but not in any such
extravagant eulogy of celibacy as some would have us suppose. It is more
after the style of what Grynaeus affirmed of him—that he was so moderate
in these opinions as to suffer his canons to marry—since it would be
hard for an unbiassed mind to draw any harsh conclusions from the
language; yet all this is of small consequence compared with the
enclosure—two Latin hymns, one for the morning and one for the evening,
which she may use in the worship of God. The first of these is the
_Lucis largitor splendide_; but the second is probably lost. It is said
that it was the hymn, _Ad coeli clara non sum dignus sidera_—“To the
clear stars of heaven I am not worthy,” etc. This is very doubtful
indeed, so much so that we may decline to receive it on several grounds.
It is to be found in the superb folio edition of Hilary’s works (Paris,
1693) prepared by the Benedictines of St. Maur. Yet if internal evidence
is to weigh at all we must reject it without scruple. It is not a hymn
in any true sense, and certainly has no reference to the _evening_ hour
of worship. It contains a gross phrase or two, which are not suggestive
of Hilary, who would scarcely have said that he would “despise Arius” by
“modulating a hymn” against him, nor would he have spoken of the
“barking Sabellius” or the “grunting Simon.” The verses are unpleasantly
flavored with earthliness, and to think that a young girl would be
inclined to sing ninety-six lines of an abecedary—or “alphabet-hymn”—is
absurd. Moreover, the editors of the edition of 1693 only print four
stanzas, and express their own disbelief that Hilary wrote it, based
upon these facts and upon their no less important criticism of the
style, which is _masculine_ throughout, and refers to ideas highly
inappropriate to the use intended. Mone is nearer to the correct
doctrine when he assigns it to a period between the sixth and eighth
centuries. Daniel (4:130) prints it in full and quotes Mone’s remark
that an Irish monk is likely to have been its author. It is in the metre
familiar to modern eyes in the _Integer vitae_ of Horace, but it
displays neither taste nor poetry nor any religious fervor. That it
begins each stanza with a consecutive letter of the alphabet is no proof
of anything except wasted ingenuity. So that, I repeat, we do well to
reject it and to leave it rejected.

All, then, that is left us is the _Lucis largitor splendide_—“Thou
splendid giver of the light.” The letter went back from Seleucia to
Poitiers and carried this hymn, at least, with it. Hilary had sent this
and its companion, _ut memor mei semper sis_—“that you may always
remember me.” And we may fancy the lovely high-born daughter of that
earnest and scholarly man as, daily and nightly, she sits at her
window—perchance with her gaze wistfully turned to the eastward. There
she sang these simple, beautiful hymns—she the first singer of the new
hymns of the Latin Church. Among the themes for Christian art yet left
to us there is hardly one more suggestive than this—for Abra doubtless
sang her father’s hymns to her father’s loyal people. It may even be
supposed that he gave her the tunes as well as the words, and that, by
morning and by night, the battle-scarred Poitiers re-echoed this voice
of the exiled bishop.

Of the hymn itself as much can be said in favor as we have just said
against its pretended and ill-matched companion. It breathes the
Johannean sentiments throughout. It celebrates the Light, the Son of
God, the glory of the Father, “clearer than the full sun, the perfect
light and day itself.” To one who is acquainted with the Greek hymns it
is instantly suggestive of those pellucid songs—its atmosphere is all
peace and its trust is as restful to the tired spirit as the quiet
coming of the rising day. It may easily have been a translation from the
Greek, or, even more easily, the natural up-gush of melody which was
touched into life by the frequent hearing of the Eastern hymns. Hilary
never learned it in an Arian church, nor did he find it among
controversialists. Its nest, where it was first reared, was in some
corner of a catacomb or in some nook of the Holy Land. This hymn, then,
we may safely accept as the oldest authentic original Latin “song of
praise to Christ as God.”

Whether the Bishop of Poitiers had much or little learning, he wrote a
valuable book on _Synods_, and translated for us many useful and
otherwise inaccessible confessions of faith and statements of doctrine.
Erasmus—himself no brave man, nor one likely to estimate moral courage
properly—calls this letter to Abra “_nugamentum hominis otiose
indocti_”—the trifling production of a man lazily uneducated! Well,
perhaps it would have been as well if some of that same “luxurious
ignorance” of Hilary could have secured the “laborious learning” of
Erasmus from exhibiting, at the end of life, its own inefficiency.
Jerome said that whoever found fault with Hilary’s knowledge was
compelled to concede his philosophic skill; and it reminds one of the
remark of Dante Rossetti, who said that nothing in our age could stand
comparison with a sonnet of Shakespeare, for, rough as it might seem,
_Shakespeare wrote it_. It was this manhood behind the Latin which went
for more than all Rotterdam!

Hilary is credited with a great deal, doubtless, that he never wrote. So
he is, by Fortunatus, with miracles which he never performed. Alcuin and
others assign to him the _Gloria in Excelsis_, but this was certainly
more ancient than Hilary, being quoted by Athanasius in his treatise on
Virginity. He could at best merely have translated it. This he might
also have done for the _Te Deum laudamus_. And since we know that he
prepared a _Liber Hymnorum_—the first actual hymn-book of the Western
Church—we have some reason to think that he would not have altogether
forgotten the greatest chants of the early Christians. This hymn-book is
utterly lost to us. This is not the same as the _Liber Mysteriorum_—the
book of the mysteries—and its existence, like that of its companion
work, rests upon the testimony of Jerome. Doubtless in it there were
other poems and songs from which the Hilarian authorship has been broken
or lost. It was not the ancient custom either to preserve the author’s
name, or even to retain the precise form of his hymn. He threw his
little lyric—as the Israelites did their jewelry—into the common
treasury of the Church; and in the Breviaries, where so many of these
hymns are to be discovered, a later and more critical scholarship may
identify some of them hereafter. As delicate insects are preserved in
amber, we there find much that we should otherwise have lost; but, like
that very amber, when its electricity is excited, his was that sort of
reputation which attracted many anonymous trifles—as, for example, the
_Ad coeli clara_—to itself.

Of Hilary’s other writings, with exception of his work on the Councils
of Ariminum and Seleucia, we have the full text. His commentaries on the
Psalms and on Matthew; his controversial pamphlets against Constantius;
his book of _Synods_; his twelve books _De Trinitate_—these are
accessible in the _Patrologia_ of Migne.

It was undoubtedly believed at the time of the fourth Council of Toledo
that he had written many pieces “in favor of God, and of the triumphs of
apostles and martyrs;” and both Jerome and Isidore of Seville declare
him to have been the first among the Latins to write Christian verse.
But to show how uncertain is the conjecture that is thus started, I may
mention that the _Ut queant laxis_ of Paul Winfrid, the “Deacon,” is
credited to Hilary by the _Histoire Litteraire_. The same authority also
claims for him the first _Pange lingua_ (_Pange lingua gloriosi,
praelium certaminis_), which is sometimes assigned to Claudianus
Mamertus, but is the well-authenticated composition of Venantius
Fortunatus, the troubadour and friend of Radegunda, the wife of
Clotaire. We may as well admit that a great man did not necessarily do
all the great things of his day.

Besides, the search after truth in this matter is complicated
marvellously by the trade of the hymn-tinkers, who put new bottoms and
tops and sides to a great many religious lyrics. Here is a case in point
in Mone (vol. iii., p. 633). The hymn begins _Christum rogemus et
patrem_—“We call on Christ and on the Father.” It has seven stanzas. The
_first_ stanza is from a morning hymn, supposed to be by Hilary. The
_second_ is from an Ambrosian hymn. The _third_ and _fourth_ are from
another Ambrosian hymn to the Archangel Michael. The _fifth_ is from a
very noble Ambrosian hymn—the _Aeterna Christi munera_—of which Daniel
says that it itself has been “wretchedly torn to pieces by the Church”
(_ab ecclesia miser e dilaceratum_). The _sixth_ and _seventh_ stanzas
are also Ambrosian—from the _Jesu corona virginum_. Thus this single
hymn of seven stanzas is mere patchwork, gathered from that Ambrosian
hymnody which the Breviaries supply. And finding all the rest of it
credited to Ambrose and to his century, we are inclined to doubt that
Hilary should be considered as the author of any portion at all.

Indeed the identification of Hilary’s hymns—except the _Lucis
largitor_—is purely conjectural. It rests mainly on the hymnological
acumen of Cardinal Thomasius, which may or may not be liable to error.
Kayser refuses, on one ground or another, to positively endorse any,
except the one which all now concede. Next to this in probability stands
the _Beata nobis gaudia_ (though it is doubted by Professor March), and
then the _Deus pater ingenite_, which is taken from the Mozarabic
Breviary. The _Jam meta noctis transiit_, the _In matutinis surgimus_,
and the _Jesu refulsit omnium_, have only the authority of Thomasius.
The _Jesu quadragenariae_, Daniel says, is an old hymn, but very
certainly composed later than the time of Hilary. The _Ad coeli clara_
we have already rejected. Thus we have one authentic and five
conjectural Hilarian hymns. There is, however, great doubt resting on
the _Jesu refulsit omnium_; and if I consulted merely my own judgment, I
should declare against it, if only in view of the _rhymes_—a
characteristic which it would scarcely possess if it were genuinely of
the fourth century. And while we are upon this somewhat ungrateful duty
of trying to set matters right, shall we pass over the slip which Mrs.
Charles makes in her capital little book? (_Christian Life in Song._ Am.
ed., p. 74.) For she says that “The Hilary who wrote the hymns was the
canonized Bishop of Arles.” There was, much later, a Hilary of Arles;
and there was another Hilary of Rome, and there were also others of the
same name; but none of them wrote hymns. He of Arles assuredly did not.

Of our own Hilary it may be added that the rest of his life was earnest,
but comparatively quiet. We shall find Gregory of Tours and Fortunatus
asserting that he raised the dead and healed the sick, and cast out
devils (some of them in the shape of snakes) from a boy’s stomach; but
these stories belong naturally to a credulous and superstitious age.
More to the purpose is it to find that the bishop had entered upon the
composition of tunes for his hymns, and had taken up calligraphy and the
ornamentation of manuscripts. There was a book of the Gospels found, on
which was indorsed, “_Quem scripsit Hilarius Pictavensis quondam
sacerdos_”—“which Hilary of Poitiers, formerly a priest, wrote.” A
similar book was left by St. Perpetuus, Bishop of Tours, to Bishop
Euphronius, Fortunatus’s friend. This is attested by his will, executed
in 474. “I saw,” says Christian Druthmar (ninth century), “a book of the
Gospels, written in Greek, which was said to have been St. Hilary’s, in
which were Matthew and John,” etc. But whether Hilary wrote this is
naturally an open question.

The good bishop died at Poitiers—as Jerome and Gregory of Tours
declare—but the date is still a matter of some uncertainty. Valentinian
and Valens were upon the throne, and it is safe to say that 367-68 was
the year. January 14th has also been assigned by some authorities, but
with no better reason than a generally received tradition to this
effect, and the fact that this is his day in the Roman calendar. His
body was, however, scattered rather widely. It was removed from its tomb
in the time of Clovis—a bone of his arm was in Belgium, and some other
portions of his anatomy were in Limoges. About the year 638, Dagobert is
stated to have placed his remains in the Church of St. Dionysius, and so
confident of this fact were the people of Poitiers, in 1394, that they
vehemently asserted that they had his relics there in perfect safety.
“Calvinistic heretics” were said to have burned the mortal remnants of
the great “hammer of the Arians,” and the Pictavians took this method to
meet the calumny. For aught we know to the contrary they were perfectly
right, and the dust of their bishop is still resting peacefully in their

For his works, the Paris edition of 1693 is the best; but the
_Patrologia_ of J. P. Migne contains all that any one can need or care
to see. It is the full reprint of the Paris volumes, together with
biographical and critical notes, in Latin, prepared with great diligence
and research; but, of course, from the Roman Catholic point of view.

                          THE HYMNS OF HILARY.

                           HYMNUS MATUTINUS.

  1. Lucis largitor splendide,
  Cujus sereno lumine
  Post lapsa noctis tempora
  Dies refusus panditur;

  2. Tu verus mundi Lucifer,
  Non is, qui parvi sideris
  Venturae lucis nuntius
  Angusto fulget lumine,

  3. Sed toto sole clarior,
  Lux ipse totus et dies,
  Interna nostri pectoris
  Illuminans praecordia:

  4. Adesto, rerum conditor,
  Paternae lucis gloria,
  Cujus admota gratia
  Nostra patescunt corpora;

  5. Tuoque plena spiritu,
  Secum Deum gestantia,
  Ne rapientis perfidi
  Diris patescant fraudibus,

  6. Ut inter actus seculi
  Vitae quos usus exigit,
  Omni carentes crimine
  Tuis vivamus legibus.

  7. Probrosas mentis castitas
  Carnis vincat libidines,
  Sanctumque puri corporis
  Delubrum servet Spiritus.

  8. Haec spes precantis animae,
  Haec sunt votiva munera,
  Ut matutina nobis sit
  Lux in noctis custodiam.

                            A MORNING HYMN.

  1. Thou splendid giver of the light,
    By whose serene and lovely ray
  Beyond the gloomy shades of night
    Is opened wide another day!

  2. Thou true Light-bearer of the earth,
    Far more than he whose slender star,
  Son of the morning, in its dearth
    Of radiance sheds its beams afar!

  3. But clearer than the sun may shine,
    All light and day in Thee I find,
  To fill my night with glory fine
    And purify my inner mind.

  4. Come near, Thou maker of the world,
    Illustrious in thy Father’s light,
  From whose free grace if we were hurled,
    Body and soul were ruined quite.

  5. Fill with Thy Spirit every sense,
    That God’s divine and gracious love
  May drive Satanic temptings hence,
    And blight their falsehoods from above.

  6. That in the acts of common toil
    Which life demands from us each day,
  We may, without a stain or soil,
    Live in Thy holy laws alway.

  7. Let chastity of mind prevail
    To conquer every fleshly lust;
  And keep Thy temple without fail,
    O Holy Ghost, from filth and dust.

  8. This hope is in my praying heart—
    These are my vows which now I pay;
  That this sweet light may not depart,
    But guide me purely through the day.

                           HYMNUS MATUTINUS.

  1. Deus, Pater ingenite,
  Et Fili unigenite,
  Quos Trinitatis unitas
  Sancto connectit Spiritu.

  2. Te frustra nullus invocat,
  Nec cassis unquam vocibus
  Amator tui luminis
  Ad coelum vultus erigit.

  3. Et tu suspirantem, Deus,
  Vel vota supplicantium,
  Vel corda confitentium
  Semper benignus aspice.

  4. Nos lucis ortus admonet
  Grates deferre debitas,
  Tibique laudes dicere,
  Quod nox obscura praeterit.

  5. [Et] diem precamur bonum,
  Ut nostros, Salvator, actus
  Sinceritate perpeti
  Pius benigne instruas.

                            A MORNING HYMN.

  1. Eternal Father, God,
    And sole-begotten Son,
  Who with the Holy Ghost
    Art ever Three in One.

  2. None calleth Thee in vain,
    Nor yet with empty cry
  Doth he who seeks Thy light
    Lift up his gaze on high.

  3. Do Thou, O God, behold
    With mercy them that pray;
  Receive their earnest vows
    And take their guilt away.

  4. The kindling sky forewarns
    Our souls what praise we owe
  To Him at whose command
    The night has ceased below.

  5. We ask a happy day,
    That Thou shouldst guide our ways
  In constant faithfulness,
    O Saviour, to Thy praise!

                         HYMNUS PENTECOSTALIS.

  1. Beata nobis gaudia
  Anni reduxit orbita,
  Cum Spiritus paraclitus
  Illapsus est discipulis.

  2. Ignis vibrante lumine
  Linguae figuram detulit,
  Verbis ut essent proflui,
  Et charitate fervidi.

  3. Linguis loquuntur omnium;
  Turbae pavent gentilium:
  Musto madere deputant,
  Quos Spiritus repleverat.

  4. Patrata sunt haec mystice,
  Paschae peracto tempore,
  Sacro dierum circulo,
  Quo lege fit remissio.

  5. Te nunc, Deus piissime,
  Vultu precamur cernuo:
  Illapsa nobis coelitus
  Largire dona Spiritus!

  6. Dudum sacrata pectora
  Tua replesti gratia,
  Dimitte nostra crimina,
  Et da quieta tempora!

                            WHITSUNDAY HYMN.

  1. What blessed joys are ours,
    When time renews our thought
  Of that true Comforter
    On the disciples brought.

  2. With light of quivering flame
    In fiery tongues He fell,
  And hearts were warm with love
    And lips were quick to tell.

  3. All tongues were loosened then,
    And fear, in men, awoke
  Before that mighty power
    By which the Spirit spoke.

  4. Achieved in mystic sign
    Has been that paschal feast,
  Whose sacred list of days
    The soul from sin released.

  5. Thee then, O holiest Lord,
    We pray in humble guise
  To give such heavenly gifts
    Before our later eyes.

  6. Fill consecrated breasts
    With grace to keep Thy ways;
  Show us forgiveness now,
    And grant us quiet days.

                           HYMNUS MATUTINUS.

  1. Jam meta noctis transiit,
  Somni quies jam praeterit
  Aurora surgit fulgida
  Et spargit coelum lux nova.

  2. Sed cum diei spiculum
  Cernamus, hinc nos omnium
  Ad te, superne Lucifer,
  Preces necesse est fundere.

  3. Te lucis sancte Spiritus
  Et caritatis actibus
  Ad instar illud gloriae
  Nos innovatos effice.

  4. Praesta Pater piissime
  Patrique compar unice,
  Cum Spiritu paraclito
  Nunc et per omne saeculum.

                            A MORNING HYMN.

  1. The limit of the night is passed,
    The quiet hour of sleep has fled;
  Far up the lance of dawn is cast;
    New light upon the heaven is spread.

  2. But when this sparkle of the day
    Our eyes discern, then, Lord of light,
  To Thee our souls make haste to pray
    And offer all their wants aright.

  3. O Holy Spirit, by the deeds
    Of Thine own light and charity,
  Renew us through our earthly needs
    And cause us to be like to Thee.

  4. Grant this, O Father ever blessed;
    And Holy Son, our heavenly friend;
  And Holy Ghost, Thou comfort best!
    Now and until all time shall end.

                              CHAPTER IV.

Contemporary with Hilary of Poitiers, but probably a younger man, as he
survived him by seventeen years, was Damasus of Rome. Like many other
Romans of the imperial period, he was a Spaniard by birth; or, at least,
he was the son of a Spaniard who had removed to Rome and had become a
deacon or presbyter of the church dedicated to the memory of the Roman
martyr, St. Lawrence. Of his own earlier life we know very little. An
extant epitaph records the fact that he had a sister who became a nun
and died in her twentieth year. He himself served in the Church of St.
Lawrence until his sixtieth year, when he was chosen Bishop of Rome; and
in the accepted catalogue, which begins with the Apostle Peter, he ranks
as the thirty-sixth bishop of the see.

He was chosen bishop in A.D. 366, because of the position he had taken
with reference to the controversy which then agitated the diocese, and
because of the firmness and weight of character he had displayed in the
troubles of the years before his election. The great Christological
controversy was agitating the Church of both East and West. The West was
substantially in agreement with Athanasius, against both the Arians and
the semi-Arians, and would have been entirely so but for the influence
exerted by semi-Arian or Arian emperors and the courtly bishops of their
party. Constantius, the last surviving son of Constantine the Great, was
exceedingly zealous for the semi-Arian doctrine, which rejected the
statement of our Lord’s substantial identity with His Father, but was
willing to assert His substantial likeness. It was only the difference
of an iota in a Greek word—ὁµοουσιος or ὁµοιουσιος—but if there ever was
a case in which neither jot nor tittle must be allowed to pass away, it
was this.

Liberius, who was elected Bishop of Rome in 352, was the victim of
Constantius’s policy. In 353 the East and West were united under his
rule, and that year at Arles, as in 355 at Milan, councils were called,
in which the condemnation of Athanasius was procured by imperial
blandishments. In the former the presbyter sent by Liberius to represent
the Roman see subscribed with the majority. But in the second his three
representatives obeyed their instructions, and accepted disfavor and
exile rather than subscribe. Then Liberius himself was summoned to
Milan, and the weight of imperial threats and persuasions was brought to
bear upon him. He withstood both manfully, and demanded as a preliminary
to any discussion of the charges against Athanasius, that the Nicene
Creed should be subscribed by all parties, and the banished bishops
returned to their sees. When given his choice between submission and
exile, he chose the latter.

The Emperor now sought among the Roman clergy for a man to put into
Liberius’s place. In Rome, as in most of the cities of the West, Arians
were not to be found. But in the Deacon Felix the court party obtained a
candidate who, while himself a Trinitarian, was willing to hold
communion with the Arians, and presumably to condemn Athanasius. Of the
details of his election and ordination little is known, but we find him
installed in the Roman see with the vigorous support of the civil
authority, although not with the assent of the Roman people. The great
body of the Christians in Rome are said to have refused communion with
him because he was tainted by communion with heretics; and when
Constantius came to visit the city, he was besieged by the Christian
ladies of the city with appeals for the restoration of Liberius.

In the mean time three years of exile to Thrace, where he was thrown of
set purpose into constant association with bishops of the semi-Arian
party, and isolated from his friends, had broken the spirit of Liberius.
He was not a man of strong character, and, unfortunately for the theory
of papal infallibility, he yielded. He signed a creed compiled for the
occasion, which described Christ as of _like_ substance with the Father,
and condemned Athanasius.[1] He then was allowed to return to Rome,
although Felix II. was still the recognized bishop. Constantius seems to
have foreseen the difficulties which would attend the presence of the
two bishops in the city, and he consented to the return of Liberius
unwillingly. The body of the people and of the clergy at once rallied
around Liberius, and rejected Felix altogether; and of this party was
Damasus. But while they were willing to condone his weakness in the
matter of condemning Athanasius, there was a party of more determined
Athanasians who refused to do so, and the diocese now was divided
between the three factions. That of Felix disappeared with his own death
in 360 and the death of Constantius in 361. But the extreme Athanasians,
although they did not attempt to set up a rival bishop while Liberius
lived, perpetuated their party, and they probably received aid and
comfort from a similar party which had arisen in the East, in opposition
to the wiser and more charitable policy of Athanasius himself. This
party was called the Luciferians, from Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari, in
Sardinia, who was in exile in the East at the time when this question
was raised there after the death of Constantius.

In 367 Liberius died, and the schism at once showed itself in Rome.
Damasus was chosen and ordained bishop in the regular form by the
friends of Liberius, who were the great majority. But the Deacon
Ursicinus was chosen by the Luciferian party, and ordained by bishops of
that party in the basilica of St. Sicinus. Unfortunately the prefect of
the city was a weak and ineffective man, who was quite unable to
preserve peace between the two factions. It soon came to blows between
them, and the pagan historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, tells us with what

  “Damasus and Ursinus being eager beyond measure to secure possession
  of the bishop’s seat, carried on the conflict most bitterly and with
  divisive partisanship, their supporters carrying their quarrels to the
  point of inflicting death and wounds. As Juventius was unable either
  to suppress or abate these evils, he yielded to the violence and
  withdrew to the suburbs. And in the struggle Damasus overcame, as his
  party was the more determined of the two. It is admitted that in the
  basilica of Sicinus, which is a place of assemblage for Christian
  worship, there were found in one day one hundred and thirty-seven
  corpses of those who had been done to death; and also that the
  excitement of the populace abated slowly and with difficulty after the
  affair was over.”

“See how these Christians love one another!” was a comment made by
pagans on the spirit which had prevailed in the earlier Church. They now
might have said it ironically. It is impossible to acquit Damasus of all
responsibility in the matter, as he was a man of eminent ability and
influence, and might have put an end to these scenes of violence if he
had exerted his authority. It is equally impossible to believe that he
took any part in them. Then, as in the Reformation times, what John Knox
calls “the raskill multitude” greatly enjoyed an opportunity to show how
great their zeal for religion, in any other shape but that of obeying
its precepts. “Set Jehu to pulling down idols,” said an old Puritan,
“and see how zealous he can be.”

The schism did not end with the bloody struggle around the basilica of
St. Sicinus. It is true that the civil authority now interposed and
banished the bishop of the Luciferian party. But he afterward was
allowed to return, and again the troubles revived and ceased only with
his second banishment. Even when the Emperor Gratian gave Damasus the
entire jurisdiction over the bishops and priests involved in the schism,
with a view to the final suppression of these disputes, the extremists
lingered on. After Ursicinus there was yet another Luciferian bishop of
Rome; and by a curious freak of controversial zeal the memory of Felix
was consecrated as that of an opponent of Liberius, and a mythical
account of their relations was given currency, which has resulted in the
elevation of Felix to the rank of “pope and martyr,” on the ground that
Constantius had him beheaded for his loyalty to the Nicene faith![2]

Damasus made an excellent record in his see, after the abating of the
troubles which attended his accession to it. He left no room for doubt
as to his orthodoxy. For the first time since the great controversy
broke out in Alexandria, the whole weight and influence of the great
Roman see was thrown unreservedly and effectively on the Athanasian
side. The accession of Valentinian (364-75) to the imperial authority in
the West once more threw the weight of court influence on the other
side; but intolerance was not carried to the same extent as by
Constantius. At every stage of the discussion we find Damasus outspoken
on behalf of the Nicene faith, and in support of Athanasius. In 368 he
held a synod at Rome, in which the Illyrian bishops Ursacius and Valens,
who were trying to Arianize the West, were condemned as heretics; and in
370 another in which the same condemnation was meted out to Auxentius,
the Bishop of Milan. Before he died he saw the second General Council
meet at Constantinople and lay the ban of the Church on all the
compromises with Arianism.

The see of Rome already had become a place of great splendor and
influence. “Make me Bishop of Rome,” the pagan senator Praetextatus said
to him, “and I will be a Christian to-morrow.” Damasus seems to have
enjoyed the pomp and show and opportunities for outlay and for influence
which his position secured him. But there was much in his administration
of his diocese which commends him to our sympathies and even our
admiration. He seems to have been the first to have taken a genuine
interest in the Catacombs—the great underground burial-places which are
so rich in memorials of the Church’s primitive and martyr ages. He
fostered their use as places of pilgrimage and reunion for the people of
his own diocese and pilgrims from others. He constructed the staircases
which made them accessible, the well-lights for their illumination and
ventilation, and the chapels for collective worship. Here Christendom,
in the day of its triumph, gathered to commemorate those who had been
faithful when the Church was under the cross, and Prudentius in his
_Peristephanon_ has left us a lively picture of the eager multitudes who
resorted thither on the festival days, some from Rome itself, others
from the Etrurian and Sabine villages, thronging even the great roads to
the city to their utmost capacity: “From early morn they press thither
to greet the saints. The multitude comes and goes until evening. They
kiss the polished plates of silver which cover the grave of the martyr.
They offer incense, and tears of emotion stream from the eyes of all.”

When, after long centuries of forgetfulness, the Catacombs were reopened
in 1578 by Antonio Bosio, traces of these pilgrimages were found in the
_graffiti_ or rude chalk-inscriptions left on the walls of the passages
by the Italian peasants of the fourth and fifth centuries. There also
were found the inscriptions in verse, composed by Damasus, and cut in
stone by his friend, Furius Filocalus, who devised an ornamental
alphabet for the purpose. In one of these Filocalus describes himself as
one who “reverenced and loved Pope Damasus” (_Damasi papae cultor atque

Another side of his activity has been brought into light by more recent
researches in Rome. Professor Lanciani says that to Damasus belongs also
the honor of having founded the first public library of Christendom:
“The finest libraries of the first centuries of Christendom were, of
course, in Rome.... Such was the importance attributed to books in those
early days of our faith that, in Christian basilicas, or places of
worship, they were kept in the place of honor—next to the episcopal
chair. Many of the basilicas which we discover from time to time,
especially in the Campagna, have the _apse trichora_—that is, divided
into three small hemicycles. The reason of this peculiar form was long
sought in vain; but a recent discovery made at Hispalis proves that of
the three hemicycles the central one contained the tribunal or episcopal
chair, the one on the right the sacred implements, the one on the left
the sacred books.

“The first building erected in Rome, under the Christian rule, for the
study and preservation of books and documents, was the _Archivum_
(Archives) of Pope Damasus. This just and enterprising pope, the last
representative of good old Roman traditions as regards the magnificence
and usefulness of his public structures, modelled his establishment on
the pattern of the typical library at Pergamos; of which the Palatine
Library in Rome had been the worthy rival. He began by raising in the
centre a hall of basilical type, which he dedicated to St. Lawrence,”
and which “was surrounded by a square portico, into which opened the
rooms or cells containing the various departments of the archives and of
the library.” A commemorative inscription, composed by Damasus himself,
in hexameters, seven in number, was set in front of the building above
the main entrance. The text has been discovered in a MS. formerly at
Heidelberg, now in the Vatican. The first four hexameters do not bring
out in a good light the poetical faculties of the worthy pontiff—in fact
their real meaning has not yet been ascertained; but the last three
verses are more intelligible:

  ‘Archibis, fateor, volui nova condere tecta;
  Addere praeterea dextra laevaque columnas,
  Quae Damasi teneant proprium per saecula nomen.’

“Around the apse of the inner hall there was another distich of about
the same poetical value, the text of which has been discovered in a MS.
at Verdun:

  ‘Haec Damasi tibi, Christe Deus, nova tecta levavi
  Laurenti saeptus martyris auxilio.’

“Mention of Damasus’s Archives is frequently made in the documents of
the fourth and fifth centuries. Jerome calls them _chartarium ecclesiae

But a still more lasting monument of his fame is the Latin Vulgate,
which he incited Jerome—as the English-speaking world calls Sophronius
Eusebius Hieronymus—to prepare for the Church of the West. From a very
early time Latin translations of the Scriptures from the Greek version
of the Old Testament and the Greek original of the New Testament had
been in existence. But although there were two well recognized types of
these early versions—the Italian and the African—there was so little
uniformity that there were “almost as many versions as copies.” Jerome
was a man of classical culture and a close student of the Scriptures,
which he could read in Hebrew as well as in Greek and Latin. He came to
Rome from Syria in 382, to ask the aid of Damasus in behalf of the
Luciferian schism at Antioch—a matter in which the Bishop of Rome hardly
could meddle. Even before his arrival he had been in correspondence with
Damasus and had written for him an exposition of the vision of the
Seraphim in Isaiah 6. Damasus called a synod in which the schism at
Antioch was discussed, but no result reached. It is said that in this
synod he exhorted Jerome to take up the work of giving the Church a good
Latin version of the Bible. A ninth-century writer says he put him in
charge of the _Archivum_, or public library, described by Professor
Lanciani. Later writers speak of him, without much warrant, as Damasus’s
secretary. It seems probable that Damasus regarded him as a desirable
man for the bishopric when his own death should leave it vacant. But
when his death came in 384, the Dalmatian scholar was passed over,
perhaps because he was not a Roman, and a much smaller man than either
Damasus or Jerome was chosen instead. So Jerome went back to the East
and established himself at Bethlehem. Between 382 and 404 he completed
his version of the Scriptures, which is of especial importance to the
student of Latin hymnology, as it stands in much the same relation to
the Latin hymns of the fifth and later centuries as does the English
Bible to the English hymn-writers. It controls their vocabulary and
explains their allusions.

As a poet Damasus does not take very high rank. We have seen Professor
Lanciani’s opinion of his inscriptions. Some forty poems are attributed
to him, but only a very few of these concern us here. In the Cottonian
MSS. there is a copy of rhymed “Verses of Damasus to his Friend”
(_Versus Damasi ad Amicum suum_), which would be interesting to us if we
were sure that Sir Alexander Croke is right in assuming that this is our
Damasus. But the name “Rainalde” in the first line would hardly occur in
a Latin poem by a Roman author of the fourth century.

There is no reason, however, to call in question the two hymns—one to
the Martyr Agatha and the other to the Apostle Andrew—which are ascribed
to him in the collections. And the former is especially remarkable as
being the oldest hymn in which rhyme is employed intentionally and
throughout. Of course if it were true that Hilary wrote the _Jesu
refulsit omnium_ or the _Jesu quadrigenariae_, which sometimes are
printed as his, we should be obliged to assign to him the honor thus
claimed for Damasus. But the preponderance of evidence and of
presumption is against ascribing these hymns to him. Koch assigns the
latter to the fifth century and not to the fourth. Mone ascribes the
former to one of the early Irish hymn-writers, whose name is lost to us.
He finds in it a tendency to alliterative construction, which indicates
either Celtic or Teutonic authorship; and he is decided for the former
by the mixture of Greek words, which was a favorite practice with the
Irish hymn writers. Also the metrical form is one affected by them. On
these grounds it is fair to claim that the hymn of Damasus marks the
introduction of end-rhymes into the Latin hymns.

Rhyme was by no means unknown in the poetry of the Greeks and the
Romans. But in languages which occupied that stage of grammatical
development in which the relations of words are expressed by
terminations, the resemblances in these were so numerous and so constant
that rhyme must have appeared rather a cheap form for poetry. So in this
stage we find the Southern Aryans of Europe employing the quantity of
syllables and those of Northern Europe the coincidences of initial
sounds (_stabreim_ or alliteration) and assonance in their verse. It was
when the development of languages substituted auxiliary and connecting
words for terminations that the coincidences of final sounds became so
much a source of pleasure to the ear as to justify their continuous
employment for that purpose.

But besides the occasional occurrence of rhyme in classic poetry—as in
Virgil’s famous _jeu d’ esprit_,

  “Sic vos non vobis edificatis aves,” etc.—

there seems to have existed forms of popular Latin verse in which rhyme
and accent held the place which quantity held in classic poetry. It is
this popular form of verse which the Church’s hymns began to reproduce,
just as they also in many cases are written in that _lingua rustica_, or
countrified speech of the peasantry of Italy and France, which was to
become the basis of the Romance languages. It is a matter of dispute
whether the Saturnian verse-form, to whose early prevalence and
prolonged existence among the classes not pervaded by Greek culture
Horace alludes, was based on an accentual scansion or merely on a
numbering of syllables and a rude approach to quantity. The general
consensus of scholars is that the Saturnian metres were based on accent,
and that rhyme, which is the natural and invariable product of the
accentual scansion, was also in use.[4]

So this hidden current of rhymed and accented poetry of the common
people rose to light again after many ages in the hymns of the Western
Church. Thus Damasus brings us to the parting of the ways. In Hilary,
Ambrose and his school, Prudentius, Ennodius, Fortunatus, Elpis,
Gregory, and Bede we have the perpetuation of the classic tradition of
quantitative verse in the service of Christendom and for the ear of the
cultivated classes. And while that tradition expires in the Middle Ages,
we see it revive again in the sacred poets of the Renaissance—in
Zacharius Ferrari, George Fabricius, Marcus Antonius Muretus, Famiano
Strada and the other revisers of the Roman Breviary, the two Santeuls in
the Breviary of Clugny, and Charles Coffin in the Paris Breviary. But
Damasus stands at the head of a still more illustrious line. Catching,
perhaps, from the Etruscan and Sabine peasants, who thronged the
Catacombs on the day when the Martyr Agatha was commemorated, the
accents of the popular poetry, he became the founder of the tradition
which lives in the broader current of Latin sacred song. In this line of
succession we find already a few of the Ambrosian hymns, and then a long
series in which the two Bernards, Adam of St. Victor, Thomas of Celano,
Thomas Aquinas, and Bonaventura are the most illustrious names. And as
indeed the tradition of accent and rhyme seems to have made its way into
the literature of the modern world through the Latin hymns, Dante and
all the great poets who have illustrated its power to give pleasure
might be said to belong here.

The hymn in commemoration of the Martyr Agatha—whose story of suffering
and triumph had seized on the imagination of the people as did those of
the martyrs Cecilia and Sebastian—we give with the English version of
the Rev. J. Anketell, which he has kindly permitted us to use.

  Martyris ecce dies Agathae
  Virginis emicat eximiae,
  Christus eam Sibi qua sociat,
  Et diadema duplex decorat.

  Stirpe decens, elegans specie,
  Sed magis actibus atque fide:
  Terrea prospera nil reputans
  Jussa Dei sibi corde ligans.

  Fortior haec trucibusque viris
  Exposuit sua membra flagris,
  Pectore quam fuerit valido
  Torta mamilla docet patulo.

  Deliciae cui carcer erat,
  Pastor ovem Petrus hanc recreat,
  Laetior inde magisque flagrans
  Cuncta flagella cucurrit ovans.

  Ethnica turba rogum fugiens,
  Hujus et ipsa meretur opem:
  Quos fidei titulus decorat,
  His Venerem magis ipsa premat.

  Jam renitens quasi sponsa polo,
  Pro misero rogitet Damaso,
  Sic sua festa coli faciat,
  Se celebrantibus ut faveat.

  Gloria cum Patre sit Genito,
  Spirituique proinde sacro,
  Qui Deus unus et omnipotens
  Hanc nostri faciat memorem.

  Fair as the morn in the deep blushing East,
  Dawns the bright day of Saint Agatha’s feast;
  Christ who has borne her from labor to rest,
  Crowns her as Virgin and Martyr most blest.

  Noble by birth and of beautiful face,
  Richer by far in her deeds and her grace,
  Earth’s fleeting honors and gains she despised,
  God’s holy will and commandments she prized.

  Braver and nobler than merciless foes,
  Willing her limbs to the scourge to expose;
  Weakly she sank not by anguish oppressed,
  When cruel torture destroyed her fair breast.

  Then her dark dungeon was filled with delight,
  Peter the shepherd refreshed her by night;
  Forth to her tortures rejoicing she went,
  Thanking her God for the trials he sent.

  Barbarous pagans, escaping their doom,
  Honor her virtues that brighten their gloom;
  They whom the title of faith hath adorned,
  Like her, earth’s possessions and pleasures have scorned.

  Radiant and glorious, a heavenly bride,
  She to the Lord for the wretched hath cried;
  So in her honor your praises employ,
  That ye too may share in her triumph and joy.

  Praise to the Father and praise to the Son,
  Praise to the Spirit, the blest Three in One;
  God of all might in Heaven’s glory arrayed,
  Praise for thy grace in thy servant displayed.

It will be observed that Mr. Anketell, in the second line of the sixth
verse, follows the reading preferred by Daniel: _Pro miseris supplica
Domino_, which omits the Pope’s name. But it seems much more unlikely
that this line should be altered to the line as given above, than that
the contrary change should have been made. Emendators generally pass
from the concrete to the vague, from the specific to the general.

                               CHAPTER V.

It would appear that the Ambrosian hymns obtained much of their earliest
recognition in Spain. At least so runs the statement of Cardinal
Thomasius, who edited the Mozarabic (Spanish) Breviary. He says: “It is
not doubtful that in the seventh century of the Church, when the Spanish
Church especially flourished, the Ambrosian hymns were everywhere in
vogue.” The _Concilium Agathense_ (Council of Agde in Southern France,
A.D. 506), which concerned itself chiefly with matters of discipline,
ordained that hymns should be sung morning and evening, and at the
conclusion of matins, vespers, and masses. These and similar enactments
had reference to the body of hymns which had received the name of the
Bishop of Milan. Then, as now, they formed the true fragrant cedar-heart
of the old psalmody, and it is from their structure that the Council of
Toledo (633) drew its famous definition. The Council said: “_Proprie
autem hymni sunt continentes laudem Dei. Si ergo sit laus, et non sit
Dei, non est hymnus. Si sit et laus Dei laus_ [_sic_] _et non cantatur
non est hymnus. Si ergo laudem Dei dicitur et cantatur, tunc est
hymnus._” That is to say: “Hymns properly contain the praise of God. If
therefore there be praise, but not of God, this is no hymn. If there be
praise, praise of God, but not capable of being sung, this is no hymn.
If therefore the praise of God be both composed and sung, it is then a

The author who is thus honored as the first great leader of the Church’s
praise was born at Treves, in Gaul, about the year 340 (or, as some say,
334). His father was a Roman noble who became praetorian prefect of the
province of Gallia Narbonensis; and as Hither Gaul was an important
region, it can be easily seen that the young Ambrose was reared in the
midst of wealth and power. His mother was a learned woman and he
naturally imbibed letters as he grew up. A tradition, which is probably
based on fact, assures us that even in his cradle he was marked for
fame. A swarm of bees came down upon him, and the amazed nurse saw them
clustered about his very mouth without harming him. This was the same
prodigy which had been related of Plato, and hence his parents imagined
a high destiny for the lad. It was indeed a singular and suggestive
commentary on his future life. He preserved his equanimity amid a great
deal of buzzing; and the sweetness of his speech won to him no less a
convert than the great Augustine. His entire career was worthy of the
sainted Sotheria, his ancestress, who was martyred for the faith under

He appears to us a man of both character and conscience. His education
was given him at Rome, and his brother Satyrus and himself went to Milan
to practice at the bar. His success as a pleader was great. He became
first assessor to the prefect with the rank of _Consularis_, whose
headquarters were now at Milan; and subsequently he took charge of
Liguria and Emilia. For in 369 we find him, by appointment of the
Emperor Valentinian, prefect of Upper Italy and Milan. His position is
sometimes styled that of “consular,” sometimes that of “governor,” and
sometimes that of “praetor” or imperial president, which last perhaps
the easiest designation for modern ears and carries the plainest meaning
with it.

Now Milan was the capital of Liguria and it was the business of the
praetor to preside in the stead of the Emperor over the choice of a
bishop. Auxentius, an Arian, who had held this office, died in 374 and a
new election was necessary. This was not an easy matter, for the feud
between the Catholics and the Arians was at fever-heat, and rioting and
bloodshed were very certain to occur.

The praetor called to mind the advice of Probus, prefect of Italy, who
had once charged him to administer the affairs of his region “like a
bishop.” He therefore tried to cast oil upon the waters. His genial
gravity and calm serenity of spirit aided the impression he meant to
produce. Both factions gazed upon him with delight. His attitude was so
unpartisan as to charm everybody, and it was very natural that this
eloquent representative of the Emperor should carry the suffrages of the
throng. And just when the interest was most intense and the confidence
greatest, a child cried out, “Let Ambrose be bishop,” and the crowd
caught the contagion at once.

In later days it was maliciously said that Ambrose had himself contrived
this scene with an eye to the stage effect—that for all his apparent
humility the coming bishop set store by the office and wanted to obtain
it—that, in short, his reluctance to receive it and even his precipitate
flight from the city were prearranged! More than this, it has been
asserted that the various schemes and subterfuges to avoid becoming
bishop were known to and abetted by his friends, who were of the
orthodox party and desired to have their candidate elected. The best
reply that can be given is the character of the man himself. Such a
person must have entertained the highest reverence for such an office.
In his administration of its cares and duties he showed a conscious
supremacy over every worldly consideration. In his final acceptance of
it he evinced no less of self-denial than of sincerity. And it is
incredible that so mighty a mind as that of Augustine could have been
caught by the glittering emptiness of a hypocritical or self-seeking
nature. We may well charge these calumnies to their proper
sources—those, namely, of disappointed ambition or of envious malignity.

The record of this endeavor to escape office reads singularly enough. He
first put some criminals to the torture, hoping by this means to shock
the people through his hard-hearted justice. When this would not do he
avowed philosophic rather than Christian sentiments. Having again
failed, he welcomed some very profligate persons—men and women—to his
palace in a way to invite scandal. This expedient being also detected he
actually escaped from the city by night, but lost his way and found
himself in front of the gates when morning dawned. This being his fourth
unavailing effort, he fled to a friend’s house in the country, begging
that he might lie hidden there until the first rush of feeling had been
stemmed and he could hope for calmer consideration of his refusal. But
the friend immediately betrayed him for his own good, and this
well-meant treachery fastened the mitre firmly on his brow. Basil the
Great gloried in this new coadjutor; and at the age of thirty-four or
thereabouts, he himself became convinced that he could struggle no
longer against his fate.

It was thus that Ambrose finally assumed the episcopate, and it was soon
evident that this catechumen—for he had not even been previously
baptized—respected its dignities and meant that others should be of the
same mind as himself. He gave up his private fortune, selling his large
estates and personal property, and reserving from them only a proper
allowance to his sister Marcellina, who had early taken the vow of
virginity. He associated with this proceeding the most strict method of
living. “He accepted no invitations to banquets; took dinner only on
Sunday, Saturday, and the festivals of celebrated martyrs; devoted the
greater part of the night to prayer, to the hitherto necessarily
neglected study of the Scriptures and the Greek fathers and to
theological writing; preached every Sunday and often in the week; was
accessible to all, most accessible to the poor and needy; and
administered his spiritual oversight, particularly his instruction of
catechumens, with the greatest fidelity.”

This is the character, admirably condensed, of a model bishop. To its
fulfilment it requires the fervent piety of a true Christian and the
constant zeal of an acute student together with the large prudence of a
man of affairs. All these are abundantly found in Ambrose. And if it
happened that in other and worse times his assertion of the spiritual
independence of a bishop gave a foundation for what became the authority
of the pope, it may be properly retorted that for him not to have done
so then would have prevented many another better thing in later ages.

He was a more polished scholar than Hilary, and a more devout Christian
than Damasus. Hence it was that his energy and skill contributed largely
to the success of the Nicene orthodoxy in the West. Those times were
troublous, and a cheerful and sunshiny temper like that of Ambrose was a
vast auxiliary to the cause. He had been consecrated in 374, eight days
after his election; and in 382 he presided at the synod in Aquileia
which deposed Palladius and Secundianus, the Arian bishops. By so doing,
and by his general attitude, he incurred the anger of Justina, whose
son, the younger Valentinian, he always upheld and shielded. The
Empress, however, determined to deal with him a good deal as Ahab’s wife
dealt with Elijah. This comparison takes additional point from the use
which Ambrose himself made of the story of Naboth in his defence of the
Portian Church.

He had already encountered the smouldering idolatry of old Rome, headed
by the rhetorician, Symmachus; but the eloquence of Ambrose had borne
down all opposition and that conflict was now at an end. A vindictive
woman was, however, a greater danger than a clever orator, and he found
this true when Justina, the Empress-mother, allied herself with the
heretical Arians. His pious zeal was kindled in a moment. Give up
churches to such a schismatic set as these? _Never!_

It was at Easter in the year 386 that the Portian Church and its holy
vessels were demanded for the use of the other party. Then stood up both
the old Roman and the new Christian in the single person of the Bishop
of Milan. He compared the demand to that of Ahab for Naboth’s vineyard;
and it may well be supposed that with the rush of such a torrent of
speech a current of inference was also borne along which involved
Justina herself. The sermon, which has survived to us, was preached on
Palm Sunday, and in it he said that he would hold every religious
edifice against heresy to the very death. Let them take his property;
let them depose or destroy himself; let them do their worst—but for his
part he would stand there unshaken for the truth. He would not incite
riot and confusion, but he would not yield. It was the anticipation of
Luther’s “_Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders! Gott helfe mir!_” For
Ambrose proclaimed, almost in these actual words, “Here I stand, I
cannot do otherwise. God help me!”

He made one magnificent point in this discourse—the focal centre it was
of the entire outburst of eloquent declamation. It was when he quoted
what our Lord Himself had said. “Yes,” cries Ambrose, “give to Caesar
what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s. Is the Church the
property of Caesar? Never! It belongs unalterably to God. For God, then,
it shall be kept. It shall never be surrendered to Caesar.”

The fight was really a siege. The sacred character of the churches
protected their defenders. Ambrose invigorated the multitude who flocked
to help him, and who organized relief parties to keep possession by day
and by night. To relieve the monotony of their watches, he frequently
addressed them words of encouragement. His fine equanimity triumphed
over the impending disaster. He taught the people there and then the
hymns of the early Church. He composed tunes and instructed them in
singing. And when at last he was able to discover the bodies of
Gervasius and Protasius, the ancient martyrs, he kindled in the spirits
of his hearers such a fire that the popular voice was heeded even by the
throne itself, and Justina was defeated and gave up the struggle. The
court actually retreated before the authority of the Church. And from
that moment, and that other memorable moment when he arraigned
Theodosius, Ambrose delivered the power of the bishop’s crozier from any
interference coming from the Emperor’s sceptre. Those were the days when
the pastoral staff might be of wood, but the man who wielded it was of
pure gold.

This account needs the story of Theodosius to be immediately attached to
it in order to make it stand out in its true relation to the character
of Ambrose. The bishop met three great enemies during his career. First
appeared Idolatry, championed by Symmachus; then followed Heresy,
championed by Justina; and now came Despotism, behind which stood the
beloved Theodosius, the Emperor-pupil, with his hands red from the
massacre of Thessalonica. The facts were these: a tumult had arisen in
the circus at that place; Botheric, an imperial officer, had been
killed; and the Emperor had in revenge put very many people to death.
Some have even run the figures up to the incredible altitude of thirty
thousand, and the massacre has been always regarded as involving seven
thousand victims at the lowest estimate. It was a brutal and a horrible
act, and Ambrose came out as Nathan did before David and denounced it
with the most withering reproaches. The Emperor cowered and bent before
this sirocco of the truth. The speaker was poised so high above him in
the assured calm of a steady rectitude that Theodosius could do nothing
except yield. And yield he did; and for eight months he paid penance
before he was restored. It was the penance of the German Henry which
hastened the Reformation; it was the humiliation of Theodosius which
preserved both rights and dignities to the Church.

There is another side of Ambrose, and one on which Protestants will love
to dwell. While his great disciple Augustine lent the weight of his
authority to the doctrine that civil constraint might be used to bring
men to orthodox beliefs, Ambrose always denounced that. When Valentinian
II. sent him to Trier to negotiate with the rebel Maximus, in the winter
of 383-84, Ambrose—like his contemporary, Martin of Tours—refused to
have any communion with the bishops who recognized Maximus as Emperor,
not on political grounds, but because they had obtained the execution of
certain Spanish Priscillianists for heresy. This was the first
blood-stain on the white garments of the Church—the first in the long
line of such sins against the Word and Spirit of Christ. Yet Adrian VI.
appealed to it as a precedent against Luther, and described the usurper
as one of “the ancient and pious emperors.” In this he followed the
example of his infallible predecessor, Leo I., who, in 447, declared
there would be an end of all law, human and divine, if such heretics
were allowed to live!

As an orator and writer, Ambrose’s strength lay in the simple direct
plunge of his sentences, wide and grand and forceful as the launching of
a great bowlder down a mountain path. And Mr. Simcox has noticed that
the words which are used to describe his rhetorical power are almost all
derived from _eloqui_. The other assemblage of expressions, drawn from
_disertus_ and the like, refer to the logical or learned weight of an
argument. But what struck every one in the case of Ambrose was that he
let the truth come mightily, just as he felt and believed it, with a
swing and a vigor which was the outburst of his own majestic soul. It
was this which won his victories. It was this power of sincerity which
made him the counsellor of Theodosius and the instructor of Gratian as
well as the guardian of Valentinian II. It was this unshrinking
forwardness of movement which led him to oppose the rebuilding of the
Jews’ synagogue; they had denied the Lord Jesus—let their house burn!
But a victory more Christian was gained when thirty days of respite were
fixed by his intercession between the sentence and execution of
criminals. And although the defence of “Virginity,” as Ambrose conducted
it, was the mainspring of the conventual idea, and was afterward
vigorously used for that purpose, it is again plain that he advocated
what he believed and what he himself devoutly practised. He shines upon
us, from every angle of vision, as a character most pure, serene, and

The siege in the basilica at Milan had an important bearing on the whole
future of the Christian Church. Augustine tells us how his mother Monica
had followed him to Milan, and how when there “she hastened the more
eagerly to the church and hung upon the lips of Ambrose.” (_Aug. Conf._,
B. vi.) “That man,” he continues, “she loved as an angel of God because
she knew that by him I had been brought to that doubtful state of faith
I now was in.” She evidently anticipated that so eloquent a preacher
would complete the work that he had been permitted to begin. As for
Augustine himself, he felt “shut out both from his ear and speech by
multitudes of busy people whose weaknesses he served.”

How finely, by the way, this very expression illustrates the greatness
of Ambrose’s character and the unselfishness of his life! We get also a
picture of the man as a student—one whose voice would become worn by any
extended public speaking, and who therefore read to himself in his
private studies in a manner unusual apparently in that age—namely, as we
do now, without opening his lips or articulating the words. The effect
of Justina’s persecution is also given most graphically. (_Aug. Conf._,
B. ix.) For Augustine, having first told us how these heavenly voices
fell upon his ear, says that his mother “bore a chief part of those
anxieties and watchings” and “lived for prayer.” At this date, he
emphatically declares, “it was first instituted that after the manner of
the Eastern churches, hymns and psalms should be sung lest the people
should wax faint through the tediousness of sorrow; and from that day to
this the custom is retained, divers (yea, almost all) congregations
throughout other parts of the world following herein.” It is he,
moreover, who tells us that the two martyrs’ bodies were transferred to
that Ambrosian church erected in 387, and where afterward were placed
the bones of its great founder; which was spared by Barbarossa in 1162,
and which, as the church of San Ambrogio, still occupies its old site in
Milan. Thus we have the most important of contemporary testimony to some
of these troublous scenes.

Of the Ambrosian hymns themselves a great deal may be said. It is better
to confine one’s self rather, therefore, to results than to the long
processes which have led thither. But it is impossible to agree with Dr.
Neale and Archbishop Trench, who say of them that “there is a certain
coldness in them—an aloofness of the author from his subject.” This is
one of those bits of critical misapprehension which lead us to doubt the
infallibility of even so admirable a judgment as that of the warden of
Sackville College. The truth is that Dr. Neale admired gorgeousness and
the splendor of ritual. He praises the _Pange lingua_ of Aquinas
altogether too much and he praises Ambrose altogether too little. A
simple and reverent spirit cannot be said to experience, as he does, a
“feeling of disappointment” before this which he calls “an altar of
unhewn stone.” This single phrase exposes the delusion. “_Unhewn_ stone”
is not to Dr. Neale’s nor to Archbishop Trench’s churchly taste, while
it is precisely upon such an altar as that (Ex. 20:25) that God was
ready to let His flame descend. The latest judgment—that of Mr.
Simcox—(_Latin Literature_, vol. ii., 405) is decidedly preferable:
“They all have the character of deep, spontaneous feeling, flowing in a
clear, rhythmical current, and show a more genuine literary feeling than
the prose works.” To any one who is at all familiar with the Ambrosian
hymns this will at once commend itself as the better criticism.

We may pause a moment to inquire about the chants which bear his name,
but we shall have slight enough information. Four tunes are traditional:
the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixed Lydian. What these were and how
they were sung, we do not accurately know. We do know, however, that
Ambrose employed but four notes (the _tetrachord_) where we have
subdivided the various tones into the octave. The Germans do not profess
to tell us anything more definite than this.

The actual hymns are to be reckoned up in several ways. First comes the
mass of _Ambrosiani_, including hymns of Gregory the Great and of other
and much later authors. Many have been foisted into this category
because they were found in old breviaries and manuscripts. Then from
these we may separate the _presumed originals_—of which a large
proportion are now known to belong to other writers. These
misapprehensions are due to such compilers as Fabricius, Cassander,
Clichtove, and Thomasius, who were not invariably correct and who
perpetuated their designations through later works. Still a third class
are the _possible originals_, selected by the judicious but not always
accurate zeal of the Benedictines of St. Maur when they edited the
collected works of the great bishop. And last of all can be placed the
_probable originals_—those hymns which are authenticated by Augustine
and by St. Caelestin (A.D. 430), together with those in structure
closely resembling them.

For our own purposes a fifth class can even yet be formed from the last
named group—the _undoubted originals_, which will comprise only those
attested by contemporary authority.

The list would stand then in the order of authenticity, about as


  Attested by St Augustine.
    _Deus Creator omnium_,
    _Aeterne rerum conditor_,
    _Jam surgit hora tertia, Qua_
  Referred to directly by St. Caelestin.
    _Veni Redemptor gentium._

These are the _undoubted_ hymns and the only hymns to be safely assigned
to Ambrose.


  _Aeterna Christi numera, et martyrum_,
  _Illuminans altissimus_,
  _Orabo mente dominum_,
    (from _Bis ternas horas_,)
  _Splendor paternae gloriae_.

These are the _probable_ hymns.


  _Apostolorum passio_,
  _Conditor alme siderum_,
  _Consors paterni luminis_,
  _Hic est dies verus Dei_,
  _Jam lucis orto sidere_,
  _Nunc sancte nobis Spiritus_,
  _O lux beata Trinitas_,
  _Obduxere polum nubila coeli_,
  _O rex aeterne domine_,
  _Rector potens, verax Deus_,
  _Rerum Deus tenax vigor_,
  _Somno refectis artubus_,
  _Squalent arva soli pulvere multo_,
  _Summae Deus clementiae_,
  _Tristes erant apostoli_.

These have, for one reason or another, been assigned to Ambrose. It is
to be remembered that the _Tristes erant_ is a part of the _Aurora lucis
rutilat_, and that in many cases the hymns are very much intermingled. A
rigid designation is therefore impossible. The fourth class comprehends
what may be called _Ambrosiani_—the Sedulian and Gregorian and other
hymns being simply excluded from the list.


  _Aeternae lucis conditor_,
  _Agnis beatae virginis_,
  _Apostolorum supparem_,
  _A solis ortus cardine Et usque_,
  _Aurora lucis rutilat_,
  _Bis ternas horas explicans_,
  _Certum tenentes ordinem_,
  _Christe coelorum conditor_,
  _Christe cunctorum dominator alme_,
  _Christe qui lux es et dies_,
  _Christe rex coeli domine_,
  _Christe redemptor gentium_,
  _Cibis resumptis congruis_,
  _Coeli Deus sanctissime_,
  _Convexa solis orbita_,
  _Dei fide, qua vivimus_,
  _Deus aeterni luminis_,
  _Deus qui certis legibus_,
  _Deus qui claro lumine_,
  _Deus qui coeli lumen es_,
  _Dicamus laudes Domino_,
  _Diei luce reddita_,
  _Fulgentis auctor aetheris_,
  _Gesta sanctorum martyrum_,
  _Grates tibi Jesu novas_,
  _Hymnum dicamus Domino_,
  _Immense coeli conditor_,
  _Jam cursus horae sextae_,
  _Jam lucis splendor rutilat_,
  _Jam sexta sensim volvitur_,
  _Jam surgit hora tertia, Et nos_,
  _Jam ter quaternis trahitur_,
  _Jesu corona celsior_,
  _Jesu corona virginum_,
  _Jesu nostra redemptio_,
  _Magnae Deus potentiae_,
  _Magni palmam certaminis_,
  _Mediae noctis tempus est_,
  _Meridie orandum est_,
  _Miraculum laudabile_,
  _Mysteriorum signifer_,
  _Mysterium ecclesiae_,
  _Nox atra rerum contegit_,
  _Optatus votis omnium_,
  _Perfectum trinum numerum_,
  _Plasmator hominis Deus_,
  _Post matutinas laudes_,
  _Rerum creator optime_,
  _Sacratum hoc templum Dei_,
  _Saevus bella serit barbarus horrens_,
  _Stephano primo martyri_,
  _Telluris ingens conditor_,
  _Te lucis ante termium_,
  _Tempus noctis surgentibus_,
  _Ter hora trina volvitur_,
  _Ternis ter horis numerus_,
  _Tristes nunc populi, Christe redemptor_,
  _Tu Trinitatis unitas_,
  _Verbum supernum prodiens, a Patre_,
  _Victor, Nabor, Felix pii_,
  _Vox clara ecce intonat_.

While these are often known to be mere paraphrases of Ambrose’s own
homilies, or imitations of his hymns, they are as frequently found to
possess his spirit and almost the very forms of his verse. Thus Daniel
says of the _Ter hora trina_ that it is “not unworthy of Ambrose
himself.” We also find many cases where the Roman Breviary has altered
the first line as well as changed the arrangement of the stanzas.

The last class are those hymns, formerly called Ambrosian, but now known
to be the work of other hands. They are given with their authors’ names


  _Ad coenam Agni providi_.(_Ad     An ancient hymn, older possibly than
  regias Agni_.)                    Ambrose or Hilary.
  _Aeterna Christi unmera nos_.     A mediaeval patchwork.
  _Aeterna coeli gloria_.           An Abcedary of later date.
  _Agathae sanctae virginis_.       Found at Milan among Ambrosian hymns.
  _Almi prophetae progenies_.       Time of Ennodius, sixth century.
  _Amore Christi nobilis_.          Versification of Ambrose on the
                                    Incarnation, cap. 3.
  _A solis ortus cardine, Ad        “An Abcedary arranged by
  usque_.                           Sedulius.”—Neale.
  _Aurora jam spargit polum_.       “Incognitus auctor.”—Cassander.
  _Bellator armis inclytus_.        “Ein altes Lied.”—Mone.
  _Ex more docti
  _Fit porta Christi pervia_.       Part of _A solis ortus_.—Sedulius.
  _Jam Christus astra ascenderat_.  —Gregory.
  _Lucis creator optime_.           —Gregory.

Here, then, we have what may be called substantially the earliest
hymn-book of the Latin Church. Of course there were other hymns which
were very soon separated and properly assigned, but not until the
fifteenth century was any intelligent analysis attempted, and it is even
now—as can be easily seen—a matter not of dogmatic certainty, but of
scholarly authority and inherent probability. It may not be improper to
add, however, that in these hymns we find some of the purest and most
pious of praises. The _honor_ of the Virgin Mother and of the saints has
not yet been attempted. The martyrs, Stephen and Agnes and Agatha, are
alone mentioned, if we except an occasional and somewhat doubtful
tribute to others. These are hymns of worship and of prayer—of adoration
and of fellowship.

As a handful of grain from a great granary, here are four versions of
hymns counted as among Ambrose’s best:

                          DEUS CREATOR OMNIUM.

  Maker of all, the Lord,
    And ruler in the height,
  Thy care doth robe the day in peace,
    Thou givest sleep by night.

  Let rest refresh our limbs
    For toil, though wearied now,
  And let our troubled minds be calm,
    And smooth the anxious brow.

  We sing our thanks, for day
    Is gone and night appears;
  Our vows and prayers in contrite hope
    Are lifted to thine ears.

  To thee the deepest soul,
    To thee the tuneful voice,
  To thee the chaste affections turn,
    In thee our minds rejoice.

  That when black depths of gloom
    Have hid the day from sight,
  Our faith may tread no darkening path,
    And night by faith be bright.

  And let no slumber seize
    That mind which must not sleep,
  Whose faith must keep its virtue fresh,
    Whose dreams may not be deep.

  When sensual things are done
    Our loftiest thought is thine,
  Nor fear of unseen enemies
    Can break such peace divine.

  To Christ and to the Father now,
    And to the Spirit equally,
  We pray for every favoring gift,
    One God supreme, a Trinity.

                       SPLENDOR PATERNAE GLORIAE.

  O splendor of the Father’s face,
    Affording light from light,
  Thou Light of light, thou fount of grace,
    Thou day of day most bright.

  O shine upon us, perfect Sun,
    With lasting brightness shine;
  Let radiance from the Spirit run,
    Our senses to refine.

  To thee, our Father, do we pray,
    Whose glory endeth not,
  That thine almighty favor may
    Remove each sinful spot.

  He fills our deeds with heavenly strength,
    He blunts the look of hate,
  He ends our weary lot at length,
    Or gives us grace to wait.

                        HIC EST DIES VERUS DEI.

  This is the very day of God,
    Serene with holy light,
  On which the pure atoning blood
    Has cleansed the world aright.

  Restoring hope to lost mankind,
    Enlightening darkened eyes,
  Relieving fear in us who find
    The thief in Paradise.

  Who, changing swiftly cross for crown,
    By one brief glance of trust,
  Beheld God’s Kingdom shining down,
    And followed Christ the Just.

  The very angels stand amazed,
    Beholding such a sight,
  And such a trusting sinner raised
    To blessed life and light.

  O mystery beyond our thought,
    To take earth’s stain away,
  And lift the burden sin hath brought,
    And cleanse this coarser clay.

  What deed can more sublime appear?
    For sorrow seeks for grace,
  And love releases mortal fear,
    And death renews the race.

  Death seizes on the bitter barb,
    And binds herself thereto,
  And life is clad in deathly garb,
    And life shall rise anew.

  When death through earth has made her path,
    Then all the dead shall rise,
  And death, consumed by heavenly wrath,
    In groans, and lonely, dies.

                         O LUX BEATA TRINITAS.

  O blessed light, the Trinity,
    In Unity of primal love—
  Now that the burning sun has gone,
    Our hearts illumine from above.

  Thee, in the morn with songs of praise,
    Thee, at the evening time, we seek;
  Thee, through all ages we adore,
    And, suppliant of thy love, we speak.

  To God the Father be the praise,
    And to his sole-begotten Son,
  And to the Blessed Comforter,
    Both now and while all time shall run.

The closing scenes in the life of the great bishop were such as became
his past. His funeral address over his brother Satyrus is like that of
Bernard over his brother Gerard, or like that of Melanchthon above the
dead Luther. His eulogy of Theodosius, whom he survived but two years,
is conceived in a strain of lofty poetry, several paragraphs opening
with the repeated phrase _Dilexi virum illum._ I loved that man!

Ambrose died on the night after Good Friday, A.D. 397. Paulinus, his
biographer, was taking notes of the commentary pronounced by his dying
master on the 43d psalm. It was a scene like that at the deathbed of the
Venerable Bede. The failing bishop said that he heard angelic voices and
saw the smiling face of Christ; and the reverent scribe avows that the
face which looked on his own was bright, and that around that aged head
shone until the very last an aureole of glory.

Let us allow much charity to the miracles and to the superstition of
that time, but let us also remember the gravity and sweetness of the
poet-bishop. For it is no wonder that when he lay in state in the great
cathedral with quiet, upturned face, little children were moved by his
gentle dignity of countenance and men and women, affected by this holy
presence, put away their sins, and were baptized as followers of the
dead man’s faith.

                              CHAPTER VI.

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens has received rather more than his due share
of renown. His works have been edited by the most careful scholars.
There is a beautiful little “Elzevir” upon which Heinsius expended his
labor and which was printed at Amsterdam in 1667. There is an “Aldine,”
4to, Venice, 1501. But the most elegant is that of Parma (1788, 2 vols.,
4to), edited by Teoli; and the best is regarded as that of Faustinus
Arevalus, the Spaniard, Rome 1788-89, also in 2 vols. 4to. If to these
we add the most _accessible_ collection of his writings, we shall find
it in the fifty-ninth and sixtieth volumes of Migne’s _Patrologia_. The
text of these various editions is derived from what is called the Codex
Puteanus, now in the Paris Library—a manuscript dating into the fifth or
sixth century. In all, there have been nearly a dozen of them, of which
that of R. Langius (1490, 4to) is the true _princeps_—the very earliest.
And in the matter of editorship, it is worthy of note that Erasmus did
not disdain to expend his fine classical skill upon the hymns for
Christmas and the Epiphany.

If we ask Bentley his opinion of Prudentius he tells us that he is “the
Horace and Virgil of the Christians.” Milman declares that he was “the
great popular author of the Middle Ages,” and that “no work but the
Bible appears with so many glosses [commentaries] in High German.” “T.
D.,” away back in 1821, when dear old Kit North was editing _Blackwood_,
furnished that periodical with some poetical translations and remarked
that Prudentius was “the Latin Dr. Watts.” In La Rousse he obtains the
credit of being “the first Christian poet.” Among the earlier
contemporaneous, or slightly subsequent references his name is preceded
by the magic letters, “V. C.,” standing not, as some have thought, for
_Vir Consularis_, a man who had enjoyed the consulship, but for _Vir
Clarissimus_, a person of high distinction. It is reserved for the
“worthy and impartial” Du Pin to formulate a judgment more in accord
with the true facts of the case. “Prudentius,” saith Du Pin, “is no very
good poet, he often useth expressions not reconcilable to the purity of
Augustus’s Age.”

The value of his poetry turns largely upon its theological and
historical merits—both of which are considerable. It is not structurally
perfect by any means, and yet it has furnished several very lovely hymns
to the Church—graceful and delicate, rather than strong or inspiring.

In giving him his name it is safe to take that which is usually adopted:
_Aurelius Prudentius_, surnamed _Clemens_ or the Merciful. To this has
occasionally been prefixed _Quintus_ or _Marcus_, but neither has
sufficient authority in its favor. He was a Spaniard, and the main facts
concerning his life are learned from his own metrical preface to his
poems. Probably few questions have been more closely discussed by the
learned than this of his birthplace. The internal evidence is heaped up
on either side until it is seen that Calahorra [Calagurris] is probably
where he was born, while Saragossa [Caesarea-Augusta] was “his city” and
the place with which he was most identified.

He was doubtless of good family. Those industrious and microscopic
editors who have devoted themselves to his fame have laid great stress
upon the names _Aurelius_ and _Clemens_. The _Aurelii_, they say, were
distinguished and well-born people. The _Clementes_ were also of notable
memory. And there were two _Prudentii_ beside himself who obtained
rather more than ordinary distinction. Indeed, there were some five
_Prudentii_, early and late, and one of them, _Prudentius Amoenus_,
tried, indifferently badly, to climb to fame by an abridgment of his
predecessor’s history of the Old and New Testaments. In this he was so
successful that the original is now lost, the condensation alone
remains, and our Prudentius is often known as _Prudentius Major_, to
differentiate him from this troublesome _Minor_, who was a preceptor of
Walafrid Strabo. In regard to two other hymns—the _Corde natus_ and the
_Vidit anguis_—an element of doubt has been introduced by this same
person. Faustinus Arevalus was nothing if not a hymn-tinker (see
_Christian Remembrancer_, vol. xlvi., p. 125 _ff._), and it is possible
that these by such careless editorship have been incorporated into the
text of the true Prudentius from the pages of his namesake and imitator.
The hymn _Virgo Dei genitrix_ (of the fifteenth century) is ascribed to
another of the five Prudentii.

This sort of blunder is by no means unusual. We have an instance in
point with reference to the very Consul Salia in whose consulship our
poet tells us that he was born. A similarity between _Coss. Salia_ and
_Massalia_ misled the learned. They saw in this a proof that Massilia
(Marseilles) was his birthplace, and Prudentius was at once claimed for
France. But we have now unravelled and disentangled the greater part of
this obscure coil. Flavius Philippus and Flavius _Salia_ are known to
have served conjointly in the year 348, and hence the industry of Aldus
Manutius and Labbeus (Labbèe) has been thrown away and their false
conjecture has been abandoned.

Prudentius himself tells us nothing about his family, beyond what we
derive by inference. The deeper that we plunge into this labyrinth of
guesses the further we are from being settled in opinion. The
exhaustive—and, let us add, the exhausting—editor of the latest edition
finally calls a halt in the middle of his complicated Latin sentences
and avows himself utterly at a loss about the truth. There is then some
comfort left to us in cutting and untying these knots; for whatever view
we may advance has found distinguished and earnest championship already!
On the whole, Teoli appears a reliable leader, and him we have mostly
followed, as later authors, such as Professors Fiske and Teuffel, seem
to have done before us.

Let us say, then, that he was born in 348, Philippus and Salia being
consuls, at Calahorra, which lies up the Ebro and to the northwest of
Saragossa. To-day Calahorra is a small place of a few thousand
inhabitants, but it furnishes two other notable facts to history in
addition to its claim to be the birthplace of Prudentius. It was this
little fighting town which resisted Afranius, whom Pompey sent to take
it in 78 B.C., and it was then that the citizens ate their wives and
children sooner than surrender. Besides this somewhat doubtful glory it
produced Quinctilian; while Tudela, which is between it and Saragossa,
gave a name to the learned Jew, Benjamin of Tudela, whose ideas about
the Tower of Babel have become as classic as Prudentius’s hymns or as
the Maid of Saragossa herself. It may be added that paganism was very
early abandoned in all this region.

The parents of Prudentius gave him a good education. He possessed, says
Teoli, _ingenium acre, disertum, ferax_—talent that was keen, eloquent,
and fruitful. But at the rhetoricians’ schools, which he attended about
the age of seventeen, he found little that was commendable in manners or
morals. It would appear that he gave the rein to his vices and that his
life was not very rapidly turned into the ways of Christianity.

He was at first called to the bar and made judge in two towns of
considerable size, which may perhaps have been Toledo and Cordova. About
the year 400 he is supposed to have gone to Rome and to have been
favorably received by Honorius the Emperor, who then promoted him to
some sort of honorable office in his native country. At fifty-seven
years of age, as he himself tells us, he began to cultivate literature.
He had retired from active life, much as Chaucer did in later days. From
this period onward he lived in quiet; he “fled fro’ the presse and dwelt
in soothfastnesse,” like the father of English verse. He gave himself to
sacred things—to hymns in honor of God and of the saints, and to poems
against paganism and in favor of Christian duty.

His poems have Greek titles. First comes the _Psychomachia_ (the Battles
of the Soul)—in hexameter—treating of the conflict in a Christian soul
between virtue and vice. The contrasts are arranged somewhat like those
of Plutarch between the Greek and Roman leaders, only, of course, the
antithesis is decidedly against the vices. Here stand Faith opposed to
Idolatry, and Chastity facing Impurity, and Patience resisting Anger,
and Humility contrasted with Pride, and Sobriety pre-eminent over
Excess, and Liberality vanquishing Covetousness, and Concord healing the
wounds caused by Dissension. There are nine hundred and fifteen lines in
the poem.

The _Peristephanon_ (Concerning Crowns) has twelve hymns in honor of
various martyrs. Mr. Simcox notes that these are almost idyllic in form,
and that there is much made of the white dove which flies from the
burning pile about St. Eulalia and of the violets which the girls should
bring to the tombs of the virgin martyrs. It may be interesting to name
the martyrs thus celebrated. There were two from Calahorra; then
Laurentius and Eulalia; eighteen who suffered at Saragossa; Vincentius,
and finally Fructuosus and Quirinus, bishops both.

Then comes a poem on the Baptistery at Calahorra (translated in
_Blackwood_, vol. ix., p. 192), with a description of the deaths of
Cassian, Romanus, Hippolytus, Peter and Paul the apostles, Cyprian and
Agnes. These poems, it should be said, are various in metre and some are
quite long.

The _Cathemerinon_ (a Book of Hours) is the real mine whence the most of
the hymns which were composed by Prudentius are taken. In this we have
hymns for cock-crowing and morning; before and after food; at the
lighting of the lamp; and before retiring to rest. With these are joined
others for the use of those who are fasting, and at the conclusion of
the fast; for all hours and at the burial of the dead; the work ending
with hymns for Christmas and Epiphany.

The _Apotheosis_ consists of poems relating to the errors of all the
heretics that can be named—Patripassians, Arians, Sabellians,
Manichaeans, Docetae, etc. The value of this to ecclesiastical history
is easily perceived. It has more than a thousand hexameters and it
treats additionally of the nature of the soul and of sin and of the

The _Hamartigenia_ (the Origin of Evil) takes up original sin as against
Marcion; and the _Dittochaeon_ (which possibly means Double Food) is the
abridgment of Old and New Testaments. This last is a sort of religious
picture gallery ranging from Adam to the Apocalypse in hexametrical
epigrams. There is reason to doubt whether it be what Prudentius
originally composed. If he followed his usual vein of abundant verse,
there is no question but that these half a hundred epigrams would be
more popular than his very extensive poetical treatment of such

It is left us to mention the two books against Symmachus, the Roman
senator, whom Ambrose so earnestly and successfully opposed. Symmachus
had purposed to restore the idols, revive the revenues of the pagan
temples, and generally to cast out Christianity from Rome. The poetry of
Prudentius is again valuable here, for it plunges into the origin and
baseness of idolatry, describing the conversion of Rome, and presenting
a picture of the times which is invaluable to the historian. It is from
the pages of Prudentius that we learn the cruelty of the purest of the
Roman women, when

  “The modest vestal, with her down-turned thumb
  Urges the gladiator to his stroke
  Lest life may lurk in any vital place!”

One line in our author’s hymn in honor of St. Lawrence preserves an
historical fact which was not appreciated in its full significance until
our own times. He says, _Aedemque Laurenti tuam Vestalis intrat
Claudia_—“Claudia, the Vestal Virgin, enters Thy House.” In 1883 there
was discovered in the _Atrium_ of the Vestals a pedestal of a statue
dedicated to one of the heads of the order, from which her name had been
effaced purposely. Nothing of it was left except the initial C., while
there still remained the praise of “her chastity and her profound
knowledge in religious matters” (_Ob meritvm Castitatis Pvdicitiae adq.
in Sacris Religionibusqve Doctrinae Mirabilis_). The statue was erected
in the year 364, and the order was abolished by the younger Theodosius
in 394, so that her conversion must have taken place between those two
dates. The conversion of a person filling a place of such high honor in
pagan eyes, of a _Vestalis maxima_, must have been a severe blow to the
pagan party, which in Rome was making a fierce but hopeless fight for
the old worship. Yet we find no other reference to it in literature,
unless the letter of Symmachus to a Vestal, of whom he had heard that
she meant to withdraw from her order, was addressed to Claudia. See
Professor Lanciani’s _Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries_,
pp. 170-72 (Boston, 1888).

It is uncertain in what year or in what part of Spain Prudentius died.
Conjecture varies between 410 and 424 A.D. This infinitude of filmy
particulars causes one to feel as if he were walking through spider-webs
of a morning in the country. This hard, practical nineteenth century
only experiences a sense of annoyance as it encounters the elaborate
nothings of that strangely laborious, all-gathering scholarship which
prevailed in the sixteenth and seventeenth. To create any intensity of
interest to-day requires an imagination which would sacrifice truth to

But certainly, from what we can see of the man in his works, we can have
no hesitation in pronouncing a verdict highly favorable both to his
poetry and his piety. As governor of important towns he merited—or he
would scarcely have received—his title of “the Merciful.” As a close
observer of his time and a student of its thought, he has preserved for
us what we cannot spare. It is he who in the _Jam moesta quiesce
querela_ struck the first notes which were to vibrate in the _Dies
irae_. It is he again who in the _Ales die nuntius_ anticipated Henry
Vaughan and his

  “Father of lights, what sunny seed,
  What glance of day hast thou confined
  Into this bird!”

The hymn is as follows:

  “The bird, the messenger of day,
    Cries the approaching light;
  And thus doth Christ, who calleth us
    Our minds to life excite.

  “Bear off, he cries, these beds of ease
    Where lie the sick and dumb;
  And let the chaste and pure and true
    Watch, for I quickly come.

  “We haste to Jesus at his word,
    Earnest to pray and weep,
  Such fervent supplication still
    Forbids pure hearts to sleep.

  “Disturb our dream, thou holy Christ,
    Break off the night’s dark chain;
  Forgive us all our sin of old,
    And grant us light again.”

And so it is still he who casts the ray of his fancy upon Bethlehem and
upon the Transfigured Christ. Here is the _Quicumque Christum quaeritis_
in proof of his real genius:

  “O ye who seek your Lord to-day,
    Lift up your eyes on high,
  And view him there, as now ye may,
    Whose brightness cannot die.

  “How gloriously it shineth on
    As though it knew no dearth:
  Sublime and lofty, never done,
    Older than heaven and earth.

  “Thou art the very King of men,
    Thy people Israel’s King,
  Promised unto our fathers when
    From Abraham all should spring.

  “To thee the prophets testified,
    In thee their hearts rejoice—
  Our Father bids us seek thy side
    To hear and heed thy voice.”

I have changed the two last stanzas into the second person instead of
the third. Otherwise the rendering is a faithful and literal version of
the hymn. This, then, is a good proof of the genuine ring of true metal
to be found in Prudentius.

The variety and flexibility of his measures, in spite of archaic or
post-classical words and phrases, deserves our highest praise. He is a
writer of the “Brazen Age,” but he has not sunk far from the “Silver,”
nor exactly into the falchion sweep of the more brutal “Iron” time.

Here is another of his hymns, the _Nox et tenebrae et nubila_, which has
obtained a place in the Roman Breviary:

  “Night, clouds and darkness, get you gone!
    Depart, confusions of the earth!
  Light comes; the sky so dark and wan
    Brightens—it is the Saviour’s birth!

  “The gloom of earth is cleft in twain
    Struck by that sudden, solar ray;
  Color and life return again
    Before the shining face of day.

  “Thee, Christ, alone we seek to know,
    Thee, pure in mind, and plain in speech;
  We seek thee in our worship, so
    That thou canst through our senses teach.

  “How many are the dreams of dread
    Which by thy light are swept apart!
  Thou, Saviour of the sainted dead,
    Shine with calm lustre in the heart!”

The same leading idea of the analogy of the natural light with the
spiritual runs through the following:

  “Lo the golden light appears,
    Lo the darkness pales away
  Which has plunged us long in fears,
    Wandering in a devious way.

  “Now the light brings peace at last,
    Holds us purely as its own;
  All our doubts aside are cast,
    And we speak with holy tone.

  “So may all the day run on
    Free from sin of hand or tongue,
  And our very glances shun
    Every form and shape of wrong.

  “High above us One is set
    All our days to know and mark,
  And our acts he watches yet
    From the dawning to the dark.”

Prudentius undoubtedly exhibits the early traces of observances which
are peculiar to the Roman Catholic Church. In one of his hymns (the
_Cultor Dei memento_) he advises that the sign of the cross be made upon
the forehead and above the heart:

  “Frontem locumque cordis
  Crucis figura signet.”

But we have not the space, nor is this the proper occasion, to follow
him through those matters which belong to the church historian more than
to the hymnologist. We must leave him to end his days in undisturbed
quiet, a good deal after the manner of Chaucer, as indeed we have
already hinted. He is said to have died in the neighborhood of the year
405 in Spain. Our information is largely conjectural and affords us no
certainty about his closing years.

That a poet who still dwelt amid the sculptured coldness of the pagan
past should have written such hymns, is a proof of what Christianity was
then achieving. She had banished from the chilly apartments of
literature the ancient _focus_ with its feeble charcoal and its mephitic
smoke. Instead of this she had created the cheerful _hearth_, on which a
pure fire of devotion was kindled and whose ascending flame swept off
the immoral vapors of the time. Prudentius, in a word, made scholarship
and religion companions instead of enemies; and brightened classic
prosody by the presence of a living faith.

To Prudentius also more hymns have been ascribed than he ever wrote, but
after these have been weeded out, there are left:

  _Ales diei nuntius_,
  _Nox et tenebrae et nubila_,
  _Sol ecce surgit igneus_,
  _Intende nostris sensibus_,
  _O crucifer bone, lucisator_,
  _Pastis visceribus, ciboque sumpto_,
  _Inventor rutili dux bone luminis_,
  _Ades pater supreme_,
  _Cultor Dei memento_,
  _O Nazarene lux Bethlem verbum Patris_,
  _In Ninivitas se coactus percito_,
  _Christe servorum regimen tuorum_,
  _Da puer plectrum_,
  _Corde natus ex parentis_,
  _Deus ignee fons animarum_,
  _Jam moesta quiesce querela_,
  _Quid est quod arctum circulum_,
  _Quicumque Christum quaeritis_,
  _O sola magnarum urbium_,
  _Audit tyrannus anxius_,
  _Salvete flores martyrum_,
  _Qui ter quaternus denique_,
  _Felix terra quae Fructuoso vestiris_,
  _Lux ecce surgit aurea_,
  _En martyris Laurentii_,
  _Beate martyr prospera_,
  _Noctis terrae primordia_,
  _Obsidionis obvias_,
  _Hymnum Mariae Virginis_,
  _Germine nobilis Eulalia_,
  _Scripta sunt coelo duorum_,
  _Innumeros cineres sanctorum_.

                              CHAPTER VII.
                       ENNODIUS, BISHOP OF PAVIA.

Rambach says, in his Anthology, that none of the hymns of Ennodius have
been adopted by the Church. “Nor have I,” adds Daniel, “found in any
breviary a verse of Ennodius. Yet,” he continues, “since there are many
of them in the collection of Thomasius, which have been taken from the
Mozarabic Breviary, it seems to me certain that in some countries they
were formerly employed by the Church.” Some corruption has also taken
place in the text. And, in short, these hymns have never appeared either
devout or original enough to secure the suffrages of the faithful.

The reason for their emptiness is not far to seek. Their author was a
man of great celebrity but of little piety. His reputation, too, is that
of an ardent ecclesiast, who managed to climb the heights of saintship
by working in the interest of the Roman pontiff. He labored to maintain
the supremacy of the Pope—upon whom, it is said, on good authority, that
he was the first to bestow the world-wide appellation of Papa (Pope)—and
to effect the union under this one religious head of both Greek and
Roman churches. To this single cause, with its double aspect, Ennodius
gave his talents and his zeal. He was so far successful that he gained
honor and position for himself, however he was prospered in his other

He was a person of sufficient prominence for Italy and Gaul to contest
the honor of his birth. It would appear, however, that Gaul has the best
title to whatever credit his nationality may give. The works on
hymnology do not mention him, and the only notices of his life and
writings are to be found in out-of-the-way corners of books on Latin
literature and in the controversial pages of Church historians. Those
who attack and those who defend the papal claims, are in the habit of
mentioning the two embassies of Ennodius as notable points in their
argument; but the man is lost from sight in the paramount importance of
his mission. It cannot be so with us, to whom his personal character is
the topic of interest, and who care only for his circumstances as these
develop him to us upon his hymnologic side.

Ennodius has himself informed us that he regarded Arles as his native
place. We also know that he was born in 473, because he died in 521 at
the age of forty-eight. His family was highly respectable, if, indeed,
it was not actually illustrious. Our poet always shows a familiarity
with the affairs of good society; and in those times good society had
only one meaning. It was a society which educated its scions in the
polite learning of Greece and Rome, and which made much of the ability
to speak and write the Latin tongue. It is scarcely to be questioned
that this was the theory on which the early education of Ennodius
proceeded. He was sent to Milan in order to become versed in what was
called humane learning. If he is himself to be believed he acquired both
bad and good in this school. He laments with a mock humility (for so it
would appear by his later literary derelictions) that he had obtained a
great deal of wicked and ungodly information; and really no one can read
some of his nasty epigrams and doubt his assertion. For, whether it was
permissible to a saint or not, it is a fact, that the editors of his
works have not scrupled to print some exceedingly profane and improper
pieces which are undoubtedly the product of his pen.

His aunt, who was bearing the cost of this admirable instruction, died
in 489—that is, when he was sixteen—and he was left without means to
proceed with his studies. He avows that he had come to detest the very
name of liberal education, and this, under the circumstances, cannot
well be regarded as anything very surprising. We soon after find him
married to a lady who is described as of a “most noble” and therefore
highly appropriate family. She was, moreover, “very rich”—another
satisfactory point. With this wealthy and fashionable wife, Ennodius
rapidly obtained a view of earth, and what earth can give, which was so
far limited in that the money did not equal the desires of the married
pair. It ran low and the bitterness of financial perplexities mingled
with the cup of their happiness. Judging the husband by his epigrams he
was pretty fairly exhausted by the speed of their career, and was quite
ready to shake off the encumbrance of a family and devote himself to the
lofty purpose of being supported by somebody else. An unprejudiced mind
fails to see in this any particular “admonition” or “example” to his
age. It is merely the selfish escape of a worldly but embarrassed man.
Divorces were not available then with the ease with which a less
scrupulous and more intellectual generation can now procure them. The
proper, and, indeed, the meritorious way, was to slip into a cloister
and become one of that vast army which was soon to be the tower of
strength of the Pope. He himself ascribes this step to a serious illness
in which he had been healed through the miraculous interposition of St.
Victor, after the doctors had given up his case.

Ennodius now attached himself to the person and fortunes of Epiphanius,
the Bishop of Pavia. He was placed under the tutelage of one Servilio,
who taught him theology according to the methods and opinions then in
vogue. His wife meanwhile had made the best of it after the same
fashion, and had gone into a convent, where all trace of her vanishes in
that monotone of gray walls, chanted services, and ceaseless devotion.
At least no individuality resembling her ever henceforth emerges from
that uniform procession which passes by us, in this and later centuries,
as the long line of hooded figures moves athwart Dante and Virgil in the

But the career of Ennodius now begins. He is the bishop’s chosen
companion, the associate of his expedition to Briançon in Burgundy in
behalf of certain prisoners; for in those days the spiritual hand was
often laid with a mighty grip on the secular arm. The poet was by this
time a deacon, having been ordained thereto by his kind friend the
bishop. And the duties of this private secretaryship were so pleasant
that it is evident no one would willingly surrender them for a cold cell
and matins early in the morning. The glimpses which we get of Ennodius
do not encourage us to esteem him an ascetic, or to think him lacking in
zeal for personal comfort. He was the literary adjunct of a remarkably
amiable prelate, with whom he was on terms of intimacy which made his
own life no care at all, and his meat and drink no problem whatever!
From 494, then, he continued still to occupy this post of trust and
ease. We are told that the bishop persuaded him to it, but there can be
no reasonable objection to our believing that the bishop had no
unwilling listener.

The literary capacity of Ennodius next attracts attention. His patron
(who must not be confused with the great Bishop of Salamis, the author
of the famous _Heresies_, who belongs to the previous century) died
before 510. Maximus III. had succeeded Epiphanius, and after his death
our Ennodius, in 510 or 511, was selected for the vacant diocese. The
name of this episcopate was Ticinum, or, as we now style it, Pavia. It
is plain that the bestowal of this dignity was hastened by the fact that
our scholar while still a deacon had defended Pope Symmachus before the
Roman synod called “Palmare,” and so effectually that the discourse was
entered on the acts of the council, where it still appears. The Pope had
been charged with crimes, and a synod convoked by the heretical
Theodoric was to decide the case. The date was October, 501. The place
was a portico of the church of St. Peter at Rome to which this name of
Palmare was usually given. And the speech is historic inasmuch as it is
the earliest recorded instance of that assertion of supremacy on the
part of the Roman pontiff which frees him from any responsibility to
earthly rulers. Ennodius thus became the advocate of this dogma, and
upon the broad wings of papal favor he soared to the high station which
his patron Epiphanius had quitted.

This burst of declamatory eloquence did not come without preparatory
training. Ennodius had been exercised in the art of declamation in his
youthful days and, as a deacon, he was able to utilize his knowledge. In
510 or 511, not long after his elevation to the mitre, he wrote the life
of his friend and predecessor. And this he followed with divers
performances of a literary character which were generously applauded. He
became a sort of hero in the world of letters, and whatever he was
pleased to compose was heartily commended.

In 515 it was natural that such an advocate of the absolute domination
of the Roman pontiff should be selected to help in the effort to reunite
the Eastern Church to the Western. The ambassadors were himself, the
Bishop of Pavia; Fortunatus, Bishop of Catania; Venantius, a presbyter;
Vitalis, a deacon, and Hilarius, a notary and scribe. These names
themselves reveal a not infrequent source of confusion to students of
that distressingly barren period, when it was regarded as a very
pleasant compliment to call the son of a nobody by the distinguished
appellation of some great person in the Church. In this manner Hilary
and Fortunatus suffered then, and modern scholars have been often vexed
and perplexed since, especially when dates come near together. It hardly
needs to be added that these wearers of illustrious names have only that
meed of renown, such as it is.

The purpose of the embassy was to obtain from the Byzantine Emperor
Anastasius, at that time a man of great age, the recognition of
Hormisdas, the ruling Pope, as the supreme religious head of both
empires. It was a delicate negotiation, and it demanded a perfectly
incorruptible adherence to the interests of Rome. In this respect
Ennodius stood pre-eminent as what Mosheim styles an “infatuated
adulator of the Roman pontiff,” and as a master of the style then
required in a diplomat. He had (in 503) eulogized Pope Symmachus,
calling him “one who judged in the place of God” (_vice Dei judicare_)
and again (in 507) he had published a panegyric on Theodoric, the Gothic
King of Italy, which had all the absurd flattery of that species of
composition. To crown these he was the obedient occupant of the see of
Pavia. He was therefore just the man to do the work of the relentless
and uncompromising Pope.

Caelius Hormisdas was a man who never yielded, never forgot, and never
relaxed a purpose. Such men, backed by a sufficient power, wring from a
reluctant world about all that they have determined to secure. But to
the obstinate will of the Pope was opposed the no less obstinate will of
the old Emperor—now fully eighty-five years of age—and quite as grim in
his methods as any Hormisdas. It was to be a battle of giants and the
intermediates might look for little favor. The opportunity for the
negotiation itself happened to occur in an unusual way. Vitalianus,
commander of the Imperial Byzantine cavalry, had taken arms against the
Emperor; had defeated and put to death Cyril, the opposing general, and
had then marched to the very gates of Constantinople. The victor was
proposing to color his rebellion by a pleasant pretext of helping the
orthodox; and the old Emperor, therefore, turned the edge of his own
humiliation by agreeing to a correspondence with the Pope.

Anastasius began to carry out his share of this unpleasant business by
appointing a council to meet at Heraclea, in Thrace, on July 15th, 515,
and asking for commissioners to be sent from Rome. The venerable fox
knew perfectly well that he had not allowed time enough for the proper
instruction of these delegates, nor for them to make the long journey.
But Pope Hormisdas appointed them, and they proceeded to the imperial
court, utterly indifferent as to the time of the council, and without
any apologies for their delay which history deigns to record. They went,
indeed, in a very haughty spirit, and did not even commence their
expedition before August 12th.

When they reached the Emperor they asked, or rather demanded, that he
should assent to the letter of Pope Leo, who was the first to claim this
submission from the East. They insisted, furthermore, that this
heterodox monarch should accept the definitions of the famous Council of
Chalcedon, A.D. 451, which relate to the nature and personality of
Christ. The schism between East and West had now lasted for thirty-one
years, and a certain Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople, who had been a
most persistent opponent of the demands of Leo the Great, was still a
thorn in the Roman pontiff’s side.

But Anastasius received the ambassadors with just as proud a spirit as
they had shown to him. He would neither yield to Leo nor to Chalcedon,
nor would he anathematize Acacius. Ennodius and his companions returned
to Rome without accomplishing their mission, and the Emperor sent
letters after them by Theopompus and Severianus, principal men of his
court. When these reached Rome they were badly received by Hormisdas,
and found that nothing would answer except the excommunication of
Acacius. With this _ultimatum_ they got back, somewhat crestfallen; and
poor Acacius (who was not half so bad as his papal foe) was once more
threatened with banishment to eternal fires.

Anastasius, however, was not at all inclined to hand over his bishop to
the mercies of Hormisdas. He stoutly refused and continued to refuse
throughout the ensuing correspondence. About two hundred monks and
archimandrites (heads of monasteries) sent from Syria a letter to the
Pope which was directed against the patriarch of Antioch, Severus by
name, and which gave in their own allegiance to the Western Church.
Nevertheless, the Emperor still maintained the cause of Acacius,
although he must have seen that the Pope was as determined as ever to
carry his point and that there was now a great deal which was working in
favor of the papal plans. When the Syrians addressed their letter to the
“Most holy and blessed Hormisdas, Patriarch of the whole earth, holding
the see of Peter the prince of the apostles,” it spoke volumes for what
the Pope had been able to effect by his agents and representations in
the East. But the Emperor would not yield the point and act upon the
conciliatory policy of the heretical Theodoric of Italy, which was that
they might settle religious matters in their own fashion, provided they
honored absolutely his temporal sway.

A second embassy was set on foot consisting of Ennodius and Peregrinus,
Bishop of Misenum. By these ambassadors letters were sent renewing the
old conditions and avowing that nothing would be satisfactory short of
the complete banishment of that pestilent wretch Acacius. This was too
much for the Emperor to bear. He angrily dismissed the legates, shipping
them off in an old and leaky vessel, and giving a special order to
Demetrius and Heliodorus to see that they did not set foot in his
dominions after they had once sailed for home. Behind the flying
ambassadors followed a document which expressed the royal mind with
force and vigor. After comparing the conduct of the Pope very
unfavorably with that of Jesus Christ, the Emperor proceeds to say: “We
shall give you no further trouble, it being in vain for us to pray or
entreat you, since you are obstinately determined not to hearken to our
prayers and entreaties. We can bear to be despised and affronted, but we
will not be commanded.”

This was dated July 11th, 517, and reveals an unexpected dignity in the
old Emperor, and it makes us glad to record that, while he lived, the
Bishop of Constantinople was at least preserved in a salvable state.

But when Anastasius died, then Hormisdas began again upon Justin, his
successor, and never stopped until Acacius was struck from the roll of
bishops and until the East acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the
West. That the victory was of no long continuance or of any enormous
value, does not prevent us from noticing that it gave to Magnus Felix
Ennodius his permanent place in the Roman calendar, and did everything
for his literary and ecclesiastical comfort. He was well rewarded for
his devotion to the cause.

Anastasius reigned 491-518, and Hormisdas, who had once been married and
had a son, who also became Pope, ruled in his sphere from 514 to 523.
Thus he had nearly five years wherein to rejoice over his obstinate dead
enemy. And Ennodius possessed his soul in peace and turned his attention
once more to polite literature.

Of the writings which he has left to us, the principal are the life of
Epiphanius; another of Antonius of Pannonia, a hermit at Lake Como and
then a monk at Lerins; together with a _Eucharisticum de Vita sua_ and
the apology and panegyric mentioned above. Add to these nine books of
letters, “weighed down with emptiness,” and various itineraries,
declamations, and poetical pieces, and you have all he did. The letters
are most unsatisfactory when we remember that he was the friend, and
perhaps the relative, of men like Boethius, Faustus, Avienus, Caesar of
Arles, Aurelian, and of bishops and other prelates without number, and
lived in Italy under the great Theodoric. He is utterly lacking in
contemporary portraits, and his accounts of his three journeys give us
nothing valuable. All is stilted, unnatural, and dull. He was not much
of a traveller at best. A trip into Burgundy, another across the Po to
see his sister, and one from Rome by sea, make up the list of which he
kept any trace in his writings. He is in no haste to detail the sayings
and doings at Constantinople! But it should be said that these
performances with the pen were previous to his elevation to the mitre.
Afterward he doubtless composed only hymns and epigrams—the hymns being
decent and the epigrams very much the reverse. The German scholar
Teuffel looks upon his productions as an “important source of history”
for some enigmatic reason of his own, but Simcox very justly scouts
them; and the Romanist Berington asserts that he rises “with weariness”
from their perusal. I must personally declare that they exhibit neither
skill, taste, nor information. They are jejune and empty to a marvellous
degree; and for complication of sentences and unclassical phraseology,
they are equal to the stupidest books of a later day. And nothing worse
than this can be said by any critic.

The _Eucharisticum_ is an insincere sort of thanksgiving for his
restoration to health, and very far behind the style of Augustine which
it copies. It gives us a few particulars of his personal history, but it
is prosaic and Pharisaic, and full of a mock humble glorification of the
blessed Victor the Martyr, by whose intercession he is now convalescent.

The hymns are a trifle more hopeful, and really merit our notice. They
are by no means the “dozen tame hymns” of which Simcox speaks so
contemptuously. There are sixteen of them and three are quite good.
Here, for instance, is the _Christe lumen perpetuum_:

  “O Christ, the eternal light
    Of every sun and sphere,
  Illumine thou our mortal night
    And keep our spirits clear.

  “Let nothing evil smite,
    Nor enemy invade;
  And let us stainless be, and white,
    By nothing base betrayed.

  “Guard thou the hearts of all,
    But chiefly of thine own;
  And hold us, that we may not fall,
    Through thy great might alone.

  “That so our souls may sing,
    When favoring light they see;
  And every vow and tribute bring
    To God in Trinity.”

The _Christe precamur_ is quite as good:

  “To thee O Christ we ever pray
    And blend our prayer with tears;
  Thou pure and holy One, alway
    Protect our night of years!

  “Our hearts shall be at rest in thee;
    In sleep they dream thy praise,
  And to thy glory, faithfully,
    They hail the coming days.

  “Give us a life that shall not fail;
    Refresh our spirits then;
  Let blackest night before thee pale,
    And bring thy light to men!

  “Our vows in song we pay thee still,
    And, at the evening hour,
  May all that we have purposed ill
    Be right through sovereign power!”

There is yet one more hymn which seems worthy of a place in our regard.
It is the _Christe salvator omnium_:

  “O Christ, the Saviour of all,
    Thou Lord of the heavens above;
  We ask thy glorious aid
    Before the day shall remove.

  “The sun is hastening down;
    His light is sunk in the west;
  He hideth the world in gloom,
    According to God’s behest.

  “Do thou, most excellent Lord,
    As we thy followers pray,
  To us, all weary with toil,
    Grant quiet night on our way.

  “That day, from our darkening hearts,
    May never withdraw her light;
  But, safe in thy guardian grace,
    Thy love illumine our night.”

The poetical and spiritual range of these lyrics is not extensive, of
course, but it is a vast improvement on those “uncleanly imitations of
Martial,” or such involved and heartless tricks of verse as he sometimes
essays. But he became a saint, and that must suffice! His life has been
written by Sirmond; and his times and life together have occupied the
attention of Fertig (Passau, 1855). He died at Padua, as we are credibly
informed, on July 17th (XVI. Kal. Aug.), 521, and this date is assigned
to him in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. His epitaph, according
to Despont, who wrote in 1677, was still to be found in the church of
St. Michael, and testimonies to his services are among the acts of the
Fifth Synod of Rome, and are included in the public papers of Hormisdas.

When you break open the important historical facts with which he was
identified, then like the toad from the stone, comes forth Ennodius. And
like that toad, though “ugly and venomous,” he yet “wears a precious
jewel in his head.”

                             CHAPTER VIII.

Latin hymnology gives a distinguished place to a hymn of twenty-three
stanzas, each stanza containing four lines and beginning with a letter
of the alphabet in regular order. Thus from A to Z all the letters
appear except J, U, and W. Caterva is spelled Katerva, to answer for K.
Y is represented by _Ymnis_, which is another form of _Hymnis_. And at
last _Zelum_ concludes the list. The author struggles with a difficulty
when he takes _Xeromyrrham_ to answer for X, but otherwise the ideas and
versification are so excellent as to have made the hymn classic. The
Roman Breviary uses two selections from it. One commences _A solis ortus
cardine, ad usque_, and the other, _Hostis Herodes impie_. The general
subject is the Nativity, but the poem soon proceeds to the Miracles of
our Lord, and closes with an ascription of praise for His Resurrection.

There can be no doubt about the authorship. Old manuscript codices, and
the tradition of the Church, assign it definitely to Caelius
Sedulius—sometimes called Caius Caelius Sedulius—who flourished near the
middle of the fifth century. But his personal history is much harder to
come at, and the few facts which we possess only stimulate our curiosity
to know more. And besides, he is so entangled with another Sedulius—also
a poet, also a celebrated author, also a Scot, and also involved in much
obscurity—that nearly every notice of his name contains more or less of
error. This second Sedulius, however, wrote no hymn which has survived,
and therefore needs no further mention. He is always named Sedulius
_Scotus_, to distinguish him from our Sedulius, who is invariably called
_Caelius_ Sedulius. He flourished somewhere between 721 and 818, while
the best ascertained date of his predecessor’s life appears to be 434.

Our sources of information regarding Sedulius are Isidore of Seville and
Fortunatus of Poitiers. Jerome (Hieronymus) left a catalogue of authors
from the time of St. Peter to his own day. This was continued by
Gennadius, as Notker of St. Gall tells us, and then it was still further
extended by Isidore. Neither Jerome nor Gennadius mention our poet; the
first because he died in 420, before Sedulius had achieved distinction,
and the second possibly for the same reason, as his death occurred about
496 at Marseilles. Isidore (who died 636) then undertook to supply the
deficiencies of the catalogue and inserted a brief note respecting

Earlier than Isidore, however, is Fortunatus (530-609), who names our
author as one of the five first Christian poets. Juvencus he dates at
330 A.D.; Sedulius flourished in the first half of the fifth century;
Prudentius was converted in 405; Paulinus died in 458, and Arator was at
his zenith in 560. This would seem to fix pretty closely the period to
which Sedulius belongs.

References in the manuscripts are of no additional value. They tell us
that he was a “Gentile layman,” or, in other words, a person not of
Italian birth; that he learned philosophy in Italy; was converted and
baptized by Macedonius, a presbyter; and that he wrote his theological
works in Arcadia, or, as some say, Achaia. The Vatican “Codex of the
Queen of Sweden” calls him a “verse-maker” and “teacher of the art of
heroic metre.” Another codex adds that he also taught other varieties of
metrical composition, and that all this happened in the days of the
younger Theodosius, son of Arcadius, and of Valentinian, son of
Constantine. Of his specific writings still another codex states that he
“put forth in Achaia this book against error and composed in verse a
commendation of the Christian faith.”

Some Sedulius, “notable for his writings,” appears to have found his way
into Spain where, in the year 428, Isicius, a Palestine monk, who had
become Bishop of Toledo, detained him for his good fellowship at Toledo.
With him is said to have tarried a certain Bishop Oretanus, and the
inference is that these three worthies held numerous symposia upon
theology and literature. But the story is denied by Nicolaus Antonius,
the historian of old Spanish scholarship.

Those minute and laborious investigators, the Benedictines, have, with
ant-like patience, threaded every corner of the labyrinth in which these
stray facts are gathered. They assert that Macedonius probably received
him after he had been baptized by some one else. And while we do not
know under what master he studied theology, nor even where the school
was located, we know that Sedulius became presbyter in a church whose
bishop’s name was Ursinus, and where Ursicinus, Laurentius, and
Gallicanus were his co-presbyters.

Ussher relates that the epithet _Scotigena_—the Scot—was frequently
applied to him. Trithemius gives us to understand that he was led by
love of learning to visit France, then Italy, then Asia, and then
Achaia, and that his reputation was gained in the city of Rome. Sixtus
Senensis compares him to Apollonius of Tyana in his zealous pursuit of
wisdom; and enlarges the list of countries which he traversed by adding
Britain and Spain. Under Theodosius and at Rome, he too declares
Sedulius to have been famous in prose and verse. But Ussher first
claimed him for Britain; and Ussher it was who maintained that he was a
pupil of that Hildebert who ranks among the earliest of the Irish
bishops. It must not be forgotten that somewhere in Britain in those
days there was the light of Christianity, for in 432 St. Patrick set out
from Scotland “to convert Ireland.” Nor can we omit to notice that
Ussher styles Sedulius “Scotus Hybernensis,” thus originating the
expression “Scotch-Irishman,” but using it in exactly the reverse of its
modern sense.

So far as these partial facts and conjectures go we are safe in
affirming that Sedulius was a learned and studious person, probably an
Irishman—for at that time Scot and Irishman were synonymous—and that he
gained renown about the year 434, having studied in Italy, travelled
extensively, and been a resident in Achaia. The temptation is, however,
irresistible to make him Irish rather than Scotch, upon the strength of
the most ancient “bull” on record. It is found in the Alphabet Hymn and
reads thus:

  “Quarta die jam foetidus
  Vitam recepit Lazarus,
  Cunctisque liber vinculis
  Factus superstes est sibi.”

  “Upon the fourth day Lazarus
  Revived, though all malodorous;
  And freed from the enchaining ground
  Himself his own survivor found!”

The writings of Sedulius are more numerous than might be supposed. Those
which have been preserved are nine, two in verse and the rest in prose.
The most elaborate is a commentary on the four Gospels, dedicated to the
abbot Macedonius and to which he prefixed his _Carmen Paschale_. He also
wrote on the Pauline Epistles, as did his namesake of the ninth century.
To Theodosius he addressed a book. He wrote treatises on the books of
Priscian and Donatus, the grammarians. He also treated of the miracles
of Christ in prose and sent out many “epistles of Sedulius Scotigena.”
His poetry is comprised in the Alphabet Hymn; in the _Carmen Paschale_
whence we get nothing for hymnology except the hexameter _Salve Sancta
Parens enixa_ (_puerpera regem_); and in the Elegy, from which comes the
_Cantemus socii_.

The _Carmen Paschale_ is an epic in the Virgilian style. The Elegy is an
exhortation to the faithful. But the Alphabet Hymn has enriched the
Church with two lyrics, one on the Nativity and one on the Slaughter of
the Innocents. By placing the first stanza side by side with the first
stanza of the famous Ambrosian hymn, it is easily seen that they are the


  “A solis ortus cardine
  Et usque terrae limitem
  Christum canamus principem
  Natum Mariae virginis.”


  “A solis ortus cardine
  Ad usque terrae limitem
  Christum canamus principem
  Natum Maria virgine.”

But this is no unusual occurrence in days when the language of the
Psalms was employed in the Ambrosian hymns, and when the Ambrosian hymns
themselves furnished a convenient foundation for the later praises of
the Church. Not only did Sedulius imitate them closely, but Ennodius,
Fortunatus, Gregory, Bede, Rabanus, and Damiani—with many other unknown
writers—studied and copied their metre and expression. A curious
instance of this same copying and following can be found in our own
hymn. In it the stanza, _Ibant magi quam viderant_, contains two lines
which have been inserted bodily in a production of the fourteenth or
fifteenth century. It is true that they are very suggestive and
beautiful, but when Sedulius wrote

  “Stellam sequentes praeviam
  Lumen requirunt lumine,”

he wrote what was original with him, but which was sheer theft in the
hands of the author of _Hymnis laudum preconiis_, who nevertheless takes
the couplet to grace the feast of the Three Kings.

Latin hymns are by no means all beautiful or all graceful. The earlier
pieces appear and reappear—fragments from the better workmanship of the
past—throughout the Dark Ages. And here we must leave Sedulius. If he
was indeed the companion of Hildebert, his story belongs to that
fabulous age of the British Church when bishops were but simple pastors
and when great purity and truth prevailed. In the Alphabet Hymn there
are references to the direct Scripture narrative; to the “enclosed John”
who greets the Saviour; to Him fed with a little milk, who Himself feeds
the birds; to the great Shepherd revealed to shepherds; to Herod who
seems to fear a King who does not covet earthly dignities; to the Magi
who seek their Light from the light; to the healing of the sick and the
raising of the dead; to the water that blushes into wine, as perhaps
Crashaw had read; to Peter who fears by nature and walks the wave by
faith; to Lazarus “his own survivor;” to Judas the _carnifex_ who
professed peace by his kiss which was not in his soul; to Him who
triumphing over Tartarus returned of Himself to heaven. Such is the
hymn, and upon reading it one is not surprised that Fortunatus called
its author _Sedulius dulcis_—the sweet Sedulius. Nay, Rudolph of
Dunstable goes so far as to perpetrate a pun, and declares that Sedulius
_sedulously_ sings of things that are old and new. And the dear man of
God, Dr. Martin Luther of blessed memory, who had no relish for
Ambrose’s hymns, called our Irishman a _poeta Christianissimus_, and
translated into his massive German both the hymns the Breviary had
extracted from his chief poem.

                              CHAPTER IX.

Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus was a man not satisfied with
four names. In jest or earnest he assumed another, Theodosius. In point
of time he had an interesting position; in regard to residence his story
becomes really valuable; and when we add that he gave to the Church
several of her best-known hymns, he appears before us as a person
unfamiliar, but highly attractive.

If, as we have reason to think, he came into France in 566 or 567, at
the age of thirty-five or thirty-six, we must suppose him to have been
born about 531. He was an Italian of Treviso, which is not far northwest
of Venice and northeast of Padua. Of his parentage and early education
(except the fact that he was trained at Ravenna) we are ignorant; but he
is said to have been acquainted with Boethius, a thing hard to believe,
for the philosopher perished in 524. We are left in some doubt whether
he had set forth from Italy because the Lombards were about to invade
his part of it, or whether religious motives were at the bottom of this
“exile,” as he is very ready to call it.

Judging his unknown past by his better-known later history, he was a man
of affable and genial character, who could pay for all favors in the
small coin of panegyric, and whose pen filled his pocket and procured
him the hospitality of the rich and the great of the earth. We know he
could sing, for he says so himself; and he could also turn verses so
sweet and mellow that even the poorest of them were learned by his
admirers and recited again with much delight. Now it happened that his
eyes were affected, and his friend Gregory of Tours sent him some of the
blessed St. Martin’s holy lamp-oil. When this was rubbed upon them—and
it was doubtless good oil, and therefore not an objectionable
ointment—he was greatly helped. He consequently showed his gratitude in
two ways: by making a pilgrimage to the blessed St. Martin’s own town,
and by writing the blessed St. Martin’s biography. This last he
accomplished to the extent of four books of verse, employing, without
any apparent scruple, the much more classic and elaborate treatise of
Sulpicius Severus as the groundwork of his own. It was this journey
which raises the question whether he was avoiding the Lombards or
performing a pious vow when he entered France. Perhaps in this, as in
other events of his life, the religious garment covered the secular

From his native country, then, he made his way into another and less
cultivated region. There was a Gallo-Roman society at the time, very
much as there now are groups of educated persons in Siberia, or in the
seaboard cities of China. A certain freemasonry of intelligence passed a
literary man along from castle to cloister and from cloister to court.
It was a period when classic learning was at its lowest ebb, and when
the Romance tongues, like the second growth of a forest, were thickly
clustering in upon the few survivors of the ancient groves of
literature. The sixth century was removed from the past, but had not
attained to much on its own account.

Yet we must not think that this century was barren of beginnings. The
Merving kings—Clovis, and Childebert, and Clotaire the First, and
Charibert—had now given place to Chilperic on the throne of France.
Indeed, some writers are inclined to make this sixth century the true
commencement of the Middle Ages, and it is very certain that we can see
a great deal in the story of Fortunatus which is mediaeval. Moreover,
Mohammed was born in 570, at Mecca, while our future bishop was
traversing Gaul. And nearly contemporary with our author’s birth—that
is, in 533—comes the announcement of the supremacy of the Roman bishop,
which culminated in 590 in the strong administration of Gregory the
Great. Fortunatus lived, therefore, in days when Latin Christianity was
taking shape, and when the most aggressive of false religions was
springing up. We have indeed said, in effect, that the Western Empire
was at an end, and that the Monarchy of France had begun in 476.

Thus, as he looked backward, the Italian refugee could recall the
successive blows of barbarian swords—the swords of Alaric, and Genseric,
and Attila, and Odoacer—under which Rome had fallen. When Alboin started
his raid from Pannonia in 568, with Lombards (Longobardi) and Gepidae
and twenty thousand Saxons, it was surely enough to make a troubadour
take refuge at Tours.

Our materials for the biography of Fortunatus from this point in the
story become more available. He kept an itinerary, which was lost; but
he wrote often to Gregory of Tours, and this seems to be the only
correspondence which he conducted in a natural and ordinary manner. From
it we learn that he crossed the mountains in a “snowy July,” and had
written either “on horseback or half asleep.” He passed some time at
Metz and Rheims. His days and nights were spent in travelling and
feasting and in preparing songs and odes, to the consternation of his
modern biographer, Luchi, who does not find much evidence of piety in
these proceedings.

Fortunatus is his own exponent, and his language, literally translated,
gives us a vivid picture of the way in which he made friends with
everybody. “Travelling among the barbarians” (he writes to Gregory), “on
a long journey, either weary of the way or drunk beneath the icy chill,
at the exhortation of the muse (I know not whether more cold or sober),
a new Orpheus I gave voices to the wood, and the wood replied.” The
sentence illustrates not merely his experience but also his style of
composition, which is turgid and frequently obscure. His panegyrics, for
example, abound in the most fulsome flattery, arrayed bombastically in a
string of nouns, verbs, and adjectives half a page long. The real idea
walks within much of his Latin, like a pigmy in a great court train,
ridiculously small and ridiculously pretentious.

Sometimes these same expressions of our poet betoken a convivial
familiarity with his friend Gregory of Tours, which is not precisely
canonical. Many post-classical words appear, and phrases which no
grammarian would easily justify. The man is full of sly hints of good
eating and drinking, and has a high-flown style of compliment, as when
he writes to Lupus, “As often as I put together the parts of your
discourse, I thought that I reclined upon ambrosial roses.” To Sigismund
and Aregesles, two brothers, he declares that, “This sweet letter
reveals to me the names of friends. Here is the brilliant Sigismund, and
here is the modest Aregesles. After Italy, O Rhine, thou givest me
parents, and by the coming of these brothers I shall be no longer a
stranger.” In fact, he picked up “brothers” and “parents” with charming
facility, and had a dexterity in drawing a corner of the mantle of royal
favor over him which any courtier might covet.

Thus he went—we cannot well detect in what order or by what method, but
pretty conclusively as a troubadour might have done—all through France.
Like Chamisso, he proposed to

  “Take his harp in his hand
  And wander the wide world over,
  Singing from land to land.”

With Sigebert, King of Austrasia, he contracted quite a friendship, and
being at Poitiers when Gelesuintha was put to death, he lamented her in
verses which pleased Sigebert, her brother-in-law and avenger, greatly.
He also became well acquainted with Euphronius of Tours, nephew of St.
Gregory, the bishop, and thus laid a good foundation for ecclesiastical
preferment. But it was to Poitiers that he gradually drifted, and there
circumstances fixed him for the most of his life.

We may safely conclude that Tours, which is not a great distance off,
first attracted his wandering feet. He had a duty to the blessed St.
Martin’s holy lamp and to the blessed St. Martin’s holy memory, and
these devout proceedings were more than sufficient to commend him to a
hospitable bishop. Contemporary accounts of him are lacking, if we
except the brief notice of Paul the Deacon, which cannot properly be
called contemporary, as it is in his history of the Lombards, which was
prepared in the first half of the eighth century. But Fortunatus again
comes to our rescue with quite a goodly supply of verses and with some
epistles which show that the life of that period was a curious resultant
between the Roman and barbarian ideas. It ought in honesty to be added
that Brunehilda was no saint, and that the court of the Merovingians was
so barbaric that it stood by and saw her torn to death, at eighty, at
the heels of a wild horse; and this was later even than Fortunatus’s

By this time Treviso (Trevisium) had been regularly attacked by the
Lombards, and the pilgrimage, which had changed to a pleasure-trip,
changed again to a residence. He speaks of himself later as having been
“for nine years an exile from Italy,” and his only reference to his
family that is discoverable is when he tells the Abbess Agnes that she
is as dear to him as his own sister Titiana. He is a poet driven like a
leaf before the storm, and he is whirled first into Tours and then into
the safe eddy of Poitiers, which he celebrates reverently in song as the
home of the great Hilary.

His royal friendships are made apparent by _epithalamia_—especially that
on the marriage of Sigebert and Brunehilda—and by various odes. But now
comes the real romance of our poet’s life. Clotaire the First had
married a fair woman named Radegunda, whose piety gave him not a little
trouble. She was determined to keep all her vigils and fasts and to
exert herself in works of charity, even to the scrubbing of the base of
the altar with her own hands. It was one of her greatest pleasures to
take leprous women in her arms and kiss them, and when one of the lepers
said to her, “Who will kiss you after you embrace us?” she “answered
benevolently, that if others will not kiss me, it is truly no affair of

It would be beneath the dignity of this narrative, if it were not a
portion of her own life in the Latin, for us to record the incident
which helped to cause her separation from her husband. She had arisen at
night and came back thoroughly chilled, and with her feet properly cold.
Clotaire growled out that he would sooner have a nun for a wife
(_jugalem monacham_) than such a queen. So she took him at his word,
founded a convent at Poitiers, and distinguished herself to later
generations by many noble works.

Over this convent she placed her maid Agnes, and served her former
servant with profound humility and obedience, albeit she must always
have been herself the ruling spirit of the place. With Fortunatus she
formed a close friendship. And as this is the beginning of the
conventual and ecclesiastical side of his career, we may as well bring
the story up to its parallel point in current history.

Gregory, Archbishop of Tours and historian of France, always addresses
his friend Fortunatus as _presbyter Italicus_. That Fortunatus embraced
the monastic life at Aquileia (about 558-59) has been maintained, and
the opinion is also fairly defended that he was enrolled as a “cleric”
at Poitiers, although he was _novus_, or a “new-comer,” there. He had
evidently some _quasi_ ecclesiastical connection, and those were days
when the celibacy of the clergy was much mooted, but when the wandering
monks had not yet been held to the stringencies of the monastic orders.
If we ask Fortunatus why he remained in Gaul, he replies that Radegunda
retained him there “by her prayers and vows.” It is conjectural that he
was first chaplain to the convent, and it is certain that then he was
elevated to the rank of Bishop of Poitiers.

To this daughter of Berthar, King of the Thuringi, our troubadour now
paid his devoirs. Often at “the convivial banquets of the barbarians” he
had “poured forth his verses.” He was now to become the devoted cavalier
of a queen and an abbess, and to furnish literature with some very
unique specimens of religio-amatory verse.

The life of Radegunda, written by Fortunatus and amplified by the nun
Bandonivia, furnishes many interesting facts about this holy woman. She
took her final resolution to separate from her husband after he had
unjustly put her brother to death. On this she went to St. Medard and
declared her intention of celibacy, and thence to the church of St.
Martin, at Tours, where she made her formal vows. From this she retired
to her villa called Suedas, near Poitiers, which she turned into a
convent. Thither in 569 the Emperor Justinus (Justin II.) sent rich
presents, one being a portion of the true cross. This inspired
Fortunatus with a new song, and he broke out in the _Vexilla Regis_,
which is surely one of the most stirring strains in our hymnology.

The following version expresses literally and without modification the
ideas set forth in the Latin:

                       “VEXILLA REGIS PRODEUNT.”

  The royal banners forward fly;
  The cross upon them cheers the sky;
  That cross whereon our Maker hung,
  In human form, by anguish wrung.

  For he was wounded bitterly
  By that dread spear-thrust on the tree,
  And there, to set us free from guilt,
  His very life in blood he spilt.

  Accomplished now is what was told
  By David in his psalm of old,
  Who saith,[5] “The heathen world shall see
  God as their King upon the tree.”

  O tree, renowned and shining high,
  Thy crimson is a royal dye!
  Elect from such a worthy root
  To bear those holy limbs, thy fruit.

  Blessèd upon whose branches then
  Hung the great gift of God to men;
  Whose price, of human life and breath,
  Redeemed us from the thrall of death.

  Thy bark exhales a perfume sweet
  With which no nectar may compete;
  And, joyful in thine ample fruit,
  A noble triumph crowns thy root.

  Hail, altar! and thou, Victim, hail!
  Thy glorious passion shall not fail;
  Whereby our life no death might lack,
  And life from death be rendered back.

  O Cross, our only hope, all hail!
  In this the time when woes assail,
  To all the pious grant thy grace,
  And all the sinners’ sins efface!

At this time Fortunatus also composed a long poem of thanks to Justin
and Sophia for gifts sent to himself, by which it would appear that he
was tolerably well identified with the interests of Radegunda and her

From this date onward his friendship with Agnes and Radegunda exposed
both him and them to very considerable comment. He even refers to it in
one of his poems, addressed to the abbess, in which he protests the
purity of his conduct. But it is not hard to see how his expressions
might be misunderstood. They are frequently fervid beyond the courtesies
of compliment, and they remind us all the while of those singers of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries who begin with William, Count of this
very city of Poitiers (1071-1127), and who have made the name of
“troubadour” synonymous with the praise of love and beauty. Fortunatus
calls on Christ, and Peter, and Paul, and Mary to witness the entire
propriety of his love for Agnes and Radegunda, but he follows it with
lines which Bertrand de Born or Alain Chartier might have composed.

Really there is a great deal of this exuberant poetry in the worthy
chaplain. He wrote every sort of odd acrostic on the holy cross,
reminding us in more ways than one of Damasus, or of the later cavalier
poets of England. He tells Radegunda, who seems his principal star, that
everything is alike when he does not see her; that although the sky is
cloudless, yet, if she is absent, “the day stands without a sun.” He
excuses himself in other verses for sending her violets instead of
lilies and roses. Any incident in which Radegunda plays a part is enough
to turn the poetic stream upon the mill-wheel of his verse. If there are
flowers on the altar; if there are flowers sent by her to himself; if
she has retired from the world to perform her vows; if she has returned
again to the public gaze, and especially if he has been at a little
dinner or has received some agreeable little dishes—then the bard
strings his harp!

It is quite amusing to read some of these effusions. He advises
Radegunda, as Paul did Timothy, to drink wine on occasion. And when the
queen and the abbess conspire to make his life pleasant he has plenty of
metrical gratitude to offer. They send him butter (_butyr_) in a lordly
dish; they furnish chestnuts in baskets woven by their own hands; they
provide milk, and prunelles, and olives, and eggs. For all these he
renders thanks in kind. Never were eggs and butter sung in a loftier
strain! But sometimes the poet descends a trifle from his elevated
phrases. He says pathetically in one of these effusions that they sent
him “various delicacies for his full stomach” (_tumido ventre_), and
that he got asleep after it and failed to furnish the appropriate
verses. He laments this in proper metre, declaring that he had opened
his mouth and shut his eyes (the old gormandizer!) and had eaten on,
regardless of his duty. And for this he craves forgiveness from his
_beata domnia_ [it ought to be _domina_] _filia_—his blessed
queen-daughter. But be good enough to observe that his own gifts in
return are very small, and that he is always apologizing and hoping that
they may not be rejected. Truly this was such a man as Sir Walter Scott
has sung, for

  “The best of good cheer and the seat by the fire
  Was the undenied right of the barefooted friar.”

Only it may be safely questioned whether our Fortunatus was any more of
an ascetic than Damasus himself. One almost wishes for an historical
picture—and it should be a good theme, by the way—in which Fortunatus
and his two friends appear. It should be that celebrated feast which he
describes [J. P. Migne: _Patrologia_; _Opera Fortunati_, Lib. xi., cap.
ii.], where Agnes had adorned the tables and the apartment with “every
species of blossoming plant;” where the rich wines, and the generous
fare, and the crystal, and the gold, and the flowers should brighten the
fine hall of the chateau; and where, perhaps, the ecclesiastic should
take his small harp and strike its strings with a delicate hand, while
the fair face of Agnes and the darker beauty of Radegunda should inspire
his song.

One traces to this mellow undercurrent of human life the swing of his
best lyrics—the _Pange lingua gloriosi praelium certaminis_ and those
hymns to the Virgin of which he was the earliest promoter. No ene can
doubt the influence of these women upon the _Ave maris stella_ or the
_Quem terra pontus aethera_. Say what we please about his piety, he has
written what will live with the best. And to compare him to the
melancholy Cowper, as Mrs. Charles has done, can only be characterized
as a most amusing misconception.

We know nothing of him as bishop further than the fact that the office
became vacant in 599, and he was an available as well as distinguished
candidate. Surviving Radegunda, who passed away in 587, he died about
609, full of years and honors—the last of the classics and the first of
the troubadours; the connecting link between Prudentius and the Middle
Ages; the biographer of some of the saints and the interested collector
of many legends of their miracles; and, finally, the first of Christian
poets to begin that worship of the Virgin Mary which rose to a passion
and sank to an idolatry. Venantius Fortunatus was neither a bad man nor,
in the highest sense, a holy man. But he was a poet in spite of his
barbaric Latin, and a writer of hymns which live to-day, long after the
particulars of his career are forgotten.

                               CHAPTER X.
                      GREGORIUS MAGNUS [540-604].

The materials which are at hand for the life of Gregory the Great are,
if anything, too numerous. In their original form they include all that
Paul the Deacon (quoted by the Venerable Bede) and John the Deacon
(quoted by everybody) have chosen to relate. And these have been so
anxious to do entire justice to the great Pope that they fill their
pages with miracles, wonders, and signs, as well as with the authentic
facts of history. But Gregory carved for himself such a niche in the
temple of fame that we are not likely to go very far astray in searching
for the proper estimate of his work.

It may be safely assumed that from this pontificate dates the supremacy
of the Roman see. It was Gregory whose missionary spirit opened the
doors of Britain to the truth. It was he who, without asserting any
superior claim, opposed successfully the encroachments of the Greek
patriarchs. And it was again he who gave to the Church her sacred

He was born, says Paul the Deacon, in the city of Rome, of a father
named Gordianus and a mother named Sylvia. These people were of the
Anician family and were also of distinguished religious descent.
Felix—fourth of the name and Pope under the title of Felix III.—was his
_atavus_, or great-great-great-grandfather. The very name Gregorius our
worthy deacon declares to be the Greek equivalent of the word

The child of such a house would be well nurtured in all the learning of
the time. Hence, he was trained in grammar, rhetoric, and dialectics—the
ancient _trivium_ or complete course of liberal education. Naturally,
too, he became an excellent scholar. And when he grew up he was called
to an important post in Roman civil affairs. He became praetor of the
city—a city which was subject to Byzantium and exposed to incursions of
various barbarian invaders. The Lombards, indeed, attacked it during his

At this period of his life his love for display was as remarkable as his
subsequent simplicity. He delighted in rich attire and surrounded
himself with the pomp and circumstance of his position. A rich man and a
rich man’s son, he was thoroughly in sympathy with passing affairs, and
as Rome bloomed the more vigorously above her own decay, he was himself
one of those “flowers of evil” whose gaudy hues brightened the scene.
But at the same time he became accustomed to the management of large
affairs, and his administration secured to him the good will of his
associates and subordinates. It can often be noticed that these early
Fathers came to their power in the Church after having been strictly and
carefully trained in the world. Hilary and Ambrose were as conspicuous
examples of this foreordination as was Gregory the Great.

Not long previous to this time—for it had been about the year of
Gregory’s birth—Benedict had reformed the monastic order. His work, to
put it briefly, consisted in guarding the entrance to monasticism and in
regulating the hours, habits, and customs of those celibates who
professed such a vocation for the religious life. From his wise and
systematic arrangements, which have been but little improved upon though
often reinforced by “reformations,” monasticism derived that adaptation
to the active and practical life of the West, which it had lacked in the
preceding centuries. Indeed, he so far reacted against the contemplative
idleness of the East, as to aim rather at an industrial than a learned
order. But his successors corrected this defect, and gave the order the
literary and educational character which has been its greatest claim to
the gratitude of Christendom. Thus it came to be that the Benedictine
Fathers became the order of scholars, the editors of the Fathers, of the
_Acta Sanctorum_, and of the _Histoire Litteraire de France_. The
permanent revenues, the fixity and quiet of these monastic lives, the
slow coral-building of these unknown workers, have resulted in gathering
for us all that the mediaeval historian can desire upon the religious
side. And it is here that, delving amid the dust of these mountainous
masses of literature, the student of Latin hymnology will find his
rarest delight. For these acute scholars have literally picked up and
printed, yea, and what is more to the purpose, they have indexed and
classified—whatever he can wish in the way of productions in prose and
verse by any known author. The old MSS. are strained through into
readable type. Their contents are sorted and sifted. And he who pores
over these pages will rise from them at length with a profound
conviction that the scholarship of the Latin Church, and particularly
the Benedictine Order, deserves well from the world of letters and
merits the admiration of the Church Universal.

Into such an order as this—an order of which he was to be one of the
most illustrious lights—a divine impulse was pressing Gregory. He grew
more closely attached to the Benedictines of Monte Cassino. His
religious relatives encouraged his evident zeal. And thus after
vibrating like a bee between the odorous rose and the honey-giving
clover, he settled upon the humbler and sweeter flower and let the world
go by.

The Arian Lombards had encamped upon that region which we after their
name now call Lombardy. The Roman bishops were already the prop of the
heathen state against the semi-Christian invaders; but with Lombards,
and those whose religion was only a fiction, their influence was
deplorably slight. Yet as Christianity increased, according to George
Herbert’s simile,

  “Like to those trees whom shaking fastens more,”

the Church became doubly influential through the skill of Gregory. He
felt religion to be the source of the truest strength and thus he turned
his wealth and his life into its treasury.

In the year 575 he took his great revenues and endowed six new
monasteries in Sicily. Then he established a seventh, devoting it to the
honor of St. Andrew; and this was at Rome, in his own palace on the
Coelian hill. The populace who had seen him in silk and jewels now
beheld him, a poor monk of the Benedictine Order, serving the beggars at
the gate. In humility of demeanor and in simplicity of food he became a
model to his fellow-monks. He attended the sick in his new hospital. He
ate only the dried corn, or pulse, which his mother sent to him already
moistened in a silver bowl. This bowl or porringer was the only relic of
his departed splendor, and we are told that he did not keep even this,
but gave it at last to a shipwrecked sailor for whom he had no money,
and who begged importunately from him when he was writing in his cell.

The intensity of his devotion led him into great austerities of fasting
and prayer and study of the Scriptures. He outdid the others in his
abstinence from food and ended by ruining his health, so that he entered
the papacy with a broken constitution. When he most needed the support
of a vigorous body it was therefore denied to him.

The history of his gradual elevation is suggestive. Pope Benedict I.
made him one of the seven cardinal deacons, and gave him charge of one
of the seven principal divisions of the city. Pelagius II. chose him to
head an embassy to Constantinople in 578 to congratulate Tiberius on his
accession to the throne. For six years he remained abroad on this and
similar service, and returned to Rome to be elected abbot of St.
Andrew’s monastery. Here he was perfectly happy. In his _Dialogues_ he
speaks of the serene life and death of several of his brethren, and his
latest biographer (Rev. J. Barmby) is never tired of relating how the
great Pope perpetually looked back with regretful love to those quiet
and happy days of peace with God and man.

It was then that the famous incident occurred which has made historic
his missionary zeal, and has handed down three Latin puns as a proof
that a man can be witty as well as earnest.

The slave market at Rome had received some new captives—alas! when was
it not the scene of fresh wretchedness in those awful times? But these
were of remarkable beauty and fairness of skin, and John the Deacon
shall tell us of them in his own words:[6]

“Perceiving among the rest certain boys for sale, white of body, fair in
form, and handsome in face, distinguished moreover by the brightness
(_nitore_) of their hair, he asked the merchant from what country he had
brought them. He answered, ‘From the island of Britain, whose
inhabitants all display a similar beauty (_candore_) of face.’ Gregory
said, ‘Are those islanders Christians or do they yet hold to their pagan
errors?’ The merchant replied, ‘They are not Christians, but are
entangled in their pagan delusions’ (_laqueis_). Then Gregory, groaning
deeply, said, ‘Alas! for shame! that the prince of darkness should own
those splendid faces; and that such glorious foreheads (_tantaque
frontis species_) should express a mind vacant of the inward grace of
God!’ Then he asked the name of their tribe. The merchant responded,
‘They are called Angli.’ Then he said, ‘They are well called Angli, as
though they were angels (_angeli_) for they have angelic faces; and such
as these should be fellow-citizens of the angels in heaven.’ Again,
therefore, he inquired what was the name of their province. The merchant
told him ‘Those provincials are called Deiri.’ Then Gregory said, ‘They
are well called Deiri, for they must be snatched from wrath (_de ira_)
and gathered to the grace of Christ. The king of that province,’ he
continued, ‘how is he named?’ The merchant replied, ‘He is called
Aelle.’ And Gregory, alluding to the name, said, ‘It is well that the
king is called Aelle. For _Alle_luia in praise of the Creator must be
sung in those parts.’”

Such was the commencement of that Christianizing process which
eventually brought Anglo-Saxon monks to Rome for education—not that Rome
was the chief source and centre from which the work of Christianizing
the English was effected. That strangely organized Church, which Patrick
had established in Ireland and Columcille (Columba) had propagated to
Celtic Scotland, was the missionary Church of that age. Its zeal carried
the faith to Scandinavia in the person of its royal converts, the two
Olafs, besides Christianizing the Norsemen of Ireland and the lesser
islands. Its missionaries poured southward across the lines that
sundered Saxon from Celt, and co-operated mightily with the more languid
efforts of the Kentish Church established by Augustine. And up to the
Synod of Whitby in 664, Patrick rather than Peter was the saint who
stood the highest in the esteem of English Christians.

Yet it would be unfair to rob Gregory and Augustine of the honor of
having begun the work, and begun it on a higher and more permanent level
than was possible to the Irish Church. After all, Rome stood for a wider
conception of Church and social order and a broader Christian culture.
It is to her victory that we owe Bede and the great Churchmen, who
adapted the learning and lore of the Latin world to the needs of English
Christendom. And so in Augustine’s mission we may see the apostolic
succession, in a broader sense of the word than the technical, carried
to England, to be transmitted in turn to America. England acknowledged
the gift in the establishment of the tax called “Peter’s Pence” for the
care and support of pilgrims to Rome, and the support of clerics, who
went to study in the Saxon school established in Rome. To this we may
trace, perhaps, the spread of hymn-writing from Rome to England, whose
results are gathered into the Missals and Breviaries of Sarum, York, and
Hereford, and that elaborate compilation, “The Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon
Church,” which Rev. J. Stevenson edited for the Surtees Society.

The mission of Augustine led to far-reaching consequences. One was that
the higher classes of Great Britain turned toward Rome as the centre of
the world, and one of the remoter consequences of this missionary
expedition was the recognition of the papal supremacy. But in his
highest flight of authority Gregory the First never assumed nor felt the
consciousness of power which caused Gregory the Second to write to Leo,
the Isaurian: “All the lands of the West have their eyes directed upon
our humility; by them we are considered as a God upon earth.” No, nor
did he press his claims as did his other successor, Gregory VII., some
times known as Hildebrand.

Indeed, Gregory I. in his desire to save these beautiful captives
offered himself to Pope Pelagius as a missionary, and even obtained his
consent to the expedition. But we are informed that the people
surrounded the pontiff on his way to St. Peter’s and begged him to
recall their favorite. So that Gregory had gone but three days’ journey
before he was overtaken and brought back, almost forcibly, to his
monastic home. The scheme of saving Britain was thus deferred but not
given up; and when the cardinal-deacon became Pope it was again revived,
and with success.

In the year 590 Pelagius II. died of the plague. His chair was no sooner
empty than Gregory was seen to be the choice of everyone—senate and
people and clergy. He was accordingly elected, and then—for such was the
feeling in those days—he resisted the honor with all his might. Like
Ambrose he fled from the city; he disguised himself; he even wandered in
the woods. But it was one of the old principles that the more the elect
refused the more their calling and election were to be made sure to
them. And therefore, he was found at last, after a thorough search, and
was led, literally in tears, back to Rome. He had begged the Emperor
Maurice not to confirm this appointment, but it was to no effect that he
pleaded for release. His quiet, peaceful days were over, and he was
placed at the helm of the ship of the Church to steer her, and the
commonwealth which was her freight, through floods of barbarians and
into safer seas. I am using his own figure: “I am so beaten by the waves
of this world,” he wrote, to his friend Leander, “that I despair of
being able to guide to port this rotten old vessel with which God has
charged me. I weep when I recall the peaceful shore which I have left
and sigh in perceiving afar what I cannot now attain.”

He took his seat in the midst of the plague. Eighty persons in the
processions which he organized at seven points in the city to pray at
the church of Santa Maria-Maggiore for its cessation, died of the
disease during their very progress. Each procession met the others at
this church of St. Mary. One consisted of secular clergy; another of
abbots and monks; a third of abbesses and nuns; a fourth of children; a
fifth of laymen; a sixth of widows, and a seventh of matrons. And thus
arose the story about the angel whom Gregory believed that he saw above
the summit of the Mole of Hadrian, and who there stood and sheathed his
sword. This legend gave to that structure the name of the Castello di
San Angelo, the Castle of the Holy Angel.

The Lombards were Gregory’s first care. He corresponded with
Theodolinda, their queen, and she became his constant friend and his
advocate with the king. He finally obtained from King Agilulf (her
second husband) a special truce for Rome and its neighboring territory—a
most delightful relief from the terrors of the last thirty years.

Moreover, he directed his attention—as Hormisdas had done before him—to
the struggle which was never at rest between the Greek and Roman
churches. The Patriarch of Constantinople was determined to assert his
own superior claims to the veneration of the faithful. Hormisdas had
avowed—but never vindicated—the supremacy of the Pope. But his title of
_Papa_ was the result of mere adulation and never of general consent.
And the patriarch happened to be at this time the strong-willed John the
Faster—an austere and pugnacious man. It was natural therefore that he
should claim the title of Universal Bishop, and it was equally natural
that Gregory, without demanding anything especial for himself, should
resist John.

In this controversy—and in those others where his works bear testimony
to his literary and political skill—we see Gregory at his best. He is
not deficient in satire; occasionally he indulges in playful humor; but
he never forgets principle nor flinches from the prosecution of his
cause. It cannot be said of him that he proposes to overrule the civil
authorities, but he unquestionably tells them some exceedingly plain
truths. To the Emperor Maurice he wrote remonstrating against his
refusal to allow a soldier to become a monk: “To this by me, the last of
His servants and yours, will Christ reply, ‘From a notary I made thee a
count of the body-guard; from a count of the body-guard I made thee a
Caesar; from a Caesar I made thee an emperor; nay, more, I have made
thee also a father of emperors; I have committed My priests into thy
hand; and dost thou withdraw thy soldiers from My service?’ Answer thy
servant, most pious lord, I pray thee, and say how thou wilt reply to
thy Lord in the judgment, when He comes and thus speaks.” In this style
he alternately appealed and remonstrated in his dealing with the powers
that be.

To John the Faster, however, he administered gall and honey—sometimes
separately and sometimes mixed together. “Your holy Fraternity,” he
says, on one occasion, “has replied to me, as appears from the signature
of the letter, that you were ignorant of what I had written about. At
which reply I was mightily astonished, pondering with myself in silence,
if what you say is true, what can be worse than that such things should
be done against God’s servants and he who is over them should be
ignorant?” Two monks had in fact been beaten with cudgels for heresy and
finally resorted to Rome in defiance of John, where Gregory pardoned and
restored them. The Pope continues: “But, if your holiness did know both
what subject I wrote about and what had been done, either against John,
the Presbyter, or against Athanasius, monk of Isauria and a presbyter,
and have written to me, ‘I know not,’ what can I reply to this, since
Scripture says, ‘The mouth that lies slays the soul?’ I ask, most holy
brother, has all that great abstinence of yours come to this, that you
would, by denial, conceal from your brother what you know to have been

If we are, in spite of this plainness, disposed to be severe upon
Gregory’s subservience to the civil power of the Byzantine Court, we
shall find an instance in his behavior toward Phocas. This man had
murdered the Emperor Maurice, gouty and helpless as he was; and had
previously put his six sons to death before his eyes. The good old
emperor died like a hero, repeating the words of the psalm, “Thou, O
Lord, art just, and all Thy judgments are right.” And we need only to
turn to Gregory’s writings to prove that the dead man was his friend and
had done him many a kindness.

Notwithstanding these gracious and excellent memories of the late
emperor, the Senate and people had hailed the advent of Phocas with
rapturous delight. His image and that of his wife had been sent to Rome,
and now, with the uproar rising to his windows, Gregory descended to the
common level of detestable approbation, and caused these images to be
carried into the oratory of the Lateran palace. “This,” says one of his
biographers, “is the only stain upon the life of Gregory. We do not
attempt either to conceal it or to excuse it.” True, Maurice had been a
vexatious old man, and his piety, while it was undeniable, was
nevertheless somewhat acrid. But the Bishop of Rome should have had
sufficient strength at least to repress any tumultuous joy over an act
of murderous ambition and hateful selfishness. This, however, is the
weakness of many a prelate. In the hour of trial he bends like a reed to
the blast, when we should expect him to be an oak, and trust to his
roots to grapple him safely down to the firm earth of principle. This
great blot, conceded by all candid historians, remains upon his memory.

It is a better picture for us to view when, forsaking his trust in the
mercy of barbarians or the senility of despotic power, Gregory looked
outward to the new nations and sought to furnish the Roman Church with
fresh vigor and vital help from this unwasted source of strength. He
corresponded with Childebert II., the unfortunate young King of
Austrasia, the son of the notorious but intellectual Brunehilda. With
him and with the French bishops he labored to secure the destruction of
“simony,” by which was meant the bargain and sale of ecclesiastical
positions. He also strove to prevent laymen from being elevated to the
episcopate, though he should have remembered that Hilary of Poitiers was
a notable argument against his fears.

He also attended to the religious matters of Spain. This province had
ceased to be Arian in 587 with the accession of Recared; and with it and
with Istria he was entirely successful in his methods of unity and
peace. He also overcame the Donatist party in Africa, who had for years
been ordaining their own bishops side by side with the regular
succession, and sometimes in actual alternation with them.

To crown all, he organized a mission to the distant island of the
fair-faced Angli in 596, the very date at which the young Childebert
perished by poison in the twenty-sixth year of his age. Then it was that
Augustine, after one recoil which showed that he was not quite up to the
mark of Gregory’s zeal, finally set out in earnest with forty
companions. The month was July. The mission was almost an embassy. It
went through the intervening kingdoms endorsed to and by their kings.
And it went to cheer the little feeble remnant of the Celtic Christians
who had escaped the Saxon sword, and to draw from the Venerable Bede his
grateful tribute to the man who had already well deserved the title of
great. “For,” says Bede, “if Gregory be not to others an apostle, he is
one to us, for the seal of his apostleship are we in the Lord.”

When we remember, also, his secular services in saving Rome from sack
and pillage, we cannot but perceive that he was laying, broad and deep,
the foundations of that temporal authority which the Pope of Rome was
soon to claim. The revenues of the Roman bishop were growing enormously.
He had in Sicily and elsewhere his agents and stewards (_defensores_).
He was rapidly arising to a position of almost independent dignity. His
deference to kings was only that of Christian courtesy and love. In
another man some of this might have been disfigured by self-seeking and
moral obliquity of purpose. In Gregory we find, throughout his career, a
noble integrity which was certainly austere enough, but which was in the
main pure and free from spot. His weakness was that of overconciliation,
of which the case of Phocas is a flagrant example. But his strength was
in his just judgment and in his masterful manipulation of the materials
before him.

In his way, too, he saved Christian art as well as Christian music. He
condemns the Bishop of Marseilles (Massilia) for having broken some
statues of the saints. And while his remonstrance may perhaps be quoted
in favor of image-worship, it certainly cannot be quoted for that blind
iconoclasm which would destroy pagan beauty before the shrine of
Christian ugliness. In the association of his name with the Gregorian
chant he did almost as great a kindness to the Church as did Ambrose
when he brought to her services the Greek hymns of the East.

He was a sick man while he labored at these matters of devotion and
duty. Rheumatic gout attacked him and crippled his joints. We must add
to this that he was not without enemies, and not without many a little
sting and thrust of vicious tongues and pens. But he endured to the end,
and he probably was sincere when he wrote himself down as _Servus
servorum_—though there have been other popes since his day to follow the
custom, and who were the “servants of servants” only according to the
“devil’s darling sin, the pride that apes humility.”

Thirteen years he held the keys of St. Peter. Busy until the last
moment, he wrote or dictated the correspondence which was required. But
the disease which was upon him steadily increased until, on March 12th,
604, he was released from suffering and from care. His portrait shows
him as a man with high and wrinkled forehead; a thin beard around the
cheeks and chin; large, deep-set eyes; straight and manly nose, and a
singular lock—almost like that in the conventional portrait of Father
Time—upon his brow. There are a great many doctors of divinity who do
not a little resemble him to-day. It is a good face, but a somewhat
stern and severe one—of the sort to make credible the story that he had
a special whip for his choristers, and used it when it was needed.

His works fill several volumes in the _Patrologia_. His _Morals_, a
commentary upon Job, is the very best of his books; but he was probably
ignorant of both Hebrew and Greek, and hence his comments on Scripture
are rather more homiletical and practical than scholarly. The _Pastoral
Rule_ was translated into Saxon by King Alfred, who admired its
practical wisdom, and sent a copy to every bishop in his kingdom; under
Charles the Great also it was much esteemed in France. His _Letters_ are
the great mine of information upon his personal opinions and methods.
The _Dialogues_ were addressed to Theodolinda, and in these we find some
superstition; and indeed a fondness for saints’ miracles and a weakness
for relics were characteristic of his otherwise sensible conduct. He
wrote but nine hymns which are authentically traceable to his pen. They
are the _Primo dierum omnium_; the _Nocte surgentes vigilemus_; the
_Ecce jam noctis_; the _Lucis Creator optime_; the _Clarum decus
jejunii_; the _Audi benigne Conditor_; the _Magno salutis gaudio_, the
_Jam Christus astra ascenderat_, and the _Rex Christe, factor omnium_.
With a lesser degree of probability he has been named as the author of
the _Aeterne Rex altissime_; the _En more docti mystico_; the _Lignum
crucis mirabile_; the _Noctis tempus jam praeterit_; the _Nunc tempus
acceptabile_; and the _Summi largitor praemii_.

Of these the _Rex Christe, factor omnium_ delighted Luther so much that
he declared it in his impetuous way “the best hymn ever written”—an
opinion which he would find few nowadays to endorse. Gregory disliked
pagan literature and cultivated the style and prosody of Ambrose. It is
possible, therefore, that among the Ambrosian hymns there may be those
which he has written and which are credited to an earlier date. But the
cause of hymnology suffers little by the loss. He was not a poet; but as
the man who made the papacy a thing and not a name—as the man who
evangelized Britain—and as the man who gave the Gregorian tones to the
praises of the Church, he will be held in kindly and lasting
remembrance. There was in him a vein of peculiar sarcasm as well as of
deep earnestness and of great sagacity, yet his literary merits are not
to be weighed against those words and actions written viewlessly on the
air, but which still effectually vibrate through the polity of the Roman
Catholic Church.

                              CHAPTER XI.
                          THE VENERABLE BEDE.

It happened with Bede as with some other Latin hymn-writers—there were
several persons who had the same name as himself. Hilary and Fortunatus
and Notker are not the only cases of confusion, for there were certainly
three Bedes, and they were not long removed from each other in point of
time. Beda Major—the elder or greater Bede—was a presbyter and monk of
Lindisfarne, commemorated by his more celebrated namesake. Another was a
holy man of the time of Charles the Great. But our own Beda or Bedan was
a presbyter and monk of Jarrow, and is distinguished from the rest by
the title of “Venerable,” which he shares with Peter the Venerable of

There are few finer figures in early English history. Sprung from pagan
and utterly illiterate ancestry, he has taken his place as an historian,
a scholar, a natural philosopher, and a poet; and in every department of
this varied knowledge he has shown his ability and industry. English
literature recalls him; English history praises him; English scholarship
has elaborately edited his writings, and English patriotism has
affectionately honored his memory.

Cuthbert, his disciple, who wrote his life, begins his narration in the
following words:

“The presbyter Beda, venerable and beloved of God, was born in the
province of Northumbria, in the territory of the monasteries of the
Apostles Peter and Paul, which is in Wearmouth and at Jarrow, in the
year of our Lord’s incarnation the six hundred and seventy-seventh,
which is the second year of the solitary life of St. Cuthbert.” It also
was the ninth year after the reduction of Saxon England to the Roman
obedience at the Synod of Whitby.

Bede himself relates that when he was seven years of age the care of his
education was committed by his relatives to the Abbot Benedict and
afterward to the Abbot Ceolfrid. He adds that from that date to the time
at which he prepared the accompanying list of his works he had spent his
days in the same place. His existence was passed in meditating upon the
Holy Scriptures; and he “found it sweet,” in the midst of his observance
of the conventual discipline and daily chanting in the church, “either
to learn, or to teach, or to write.” The choice of this word “sweet”
(_dulce_) is significant, for no man could more carefully have mingled
the sweet with the useful. A gentle spirit breathes across his studious
pages, as over the rough beards of the yellow grain a breeze moves and
sways them, harsh though they are, in graceful waves. For he loved
learning with a perfect avidity. His works reveal his desire to
accumulate it—to teach it again in plain and simple fashions—and this
benevolent desire redeems many a tedious discourse.

This life of his was devoid of personal incident. He includes nothing of
his individual history in the little notices which he makes of
contemporary events, and he is singularly silent even about the affairs
of which we should think he would naturally speak. The light which we
get upon his surroundings and circumstances we must, therefore, derive
from other sources, but fortunately these are at hand. We know, for
example, that Benedict Biscop, who founded those twin monasteries in
which Bede dwelled all his life, was himself a remarkable person. He was
of noble birth, and gave up place and ambition in the court of the king
to proceed to Rome, there to be trained as a monk, and then to return
and found Wearmouth in 674 and Jarrow in 682. To the second of these
religious establishments, situated upon the Tyne, Bede was transferred
under Ceolfrid, its first abbot, and there thenceforth he remained. We
are even able to determine his usual food as a school-boy, for, says his
latest biographer, Rev. G. F. Browne, “we have a colloquy in which a boy
is made to describe his daily food in his monastery. He had worts
(_i.e._, kitchen herbs), fish, cheese, butter, beans, and flesh meats.
He drank ale when he could get it, and water when he could not; wine was
too dear.” There is, indeed, in these Saxon monasteries the honest and
hearty food which belonged to their age and people. Cedric the Saxon, in
Sir Walter Scott’s novel of _Ivanhoe_, represents very fairly the
popular feeling on the subject. Chaucer, too, can be quoted upon this
same profusion and the generosity of the time. Of the Franklin he says:

  “It snowed in his house of meat and drink.”

With such a patron as Biscop the monasteries never lacked any good
thing. He brought back from the Continent the best matters of the
period—books, pictures, relics, skilled mechanics, makers of stained
glass, and choir-masters. He saw before him a land in which the monk was
to be the conservator and promoter of learning. And in carrying out this
purpose he did more than plant a monastery, for he planted and reared a
man. We have the word of that historian whose life and death so nearly
approach those of his favorite author, when we declare that “prose took
its first shape in the Latin history of Baeda.” For John Henry Greene
closed his history of the English people much as Bede ended his own
career, weary with his labor and yet completing what he had begun.

That which lies before us is what Greene finely styles “the quiet
grandeur of a life consecrated to knowledge.” It was no hoarding,
avaricious, trilobite life to be fossilized for future ages in the dead
strata of ecclesiastical records. Instead, it concerned itself with all
learning; and though it perished in the blackness of a general
ignorance, it is a source of light and force to-day.

But let us return to Bede’s brief points of change. While he was still a
boy, the monastery was desolated by one of the great plagues which
followed the Synod of Whitby, and every monk who knew how to sing in the
choir, except the Abbot and Bede, were among the victims. Unaided these
two struggled with the double task of teaching the others to sing and
keeping up the monastic services in the mean time. The antiphons they
had to abandon, but they struggled through the Psalms, often weeping and
sobbing as they sang. At nineteen—six years before the usual age—he
became a deacon; at thirty he was a priest; at fifty-nine he died. He
acquired his Greek through the agency of Archbishop Theodore, who had
come from Paul’s city of Tarsus in Cilicia. There were many in England
who actually spoke in that tongue, owing to his encouragement of it. And
Bede was no mean nor small factor in its diffusion, for he taught at
Jarrow a school of six hundred monks, besides an uncounted number of
strangers who sought his instruction. The genealogy of school masters is
truly suggestive. From Bede to Alcuin, from Alcuin to Rabanus Maurus,
from Rabanus and his liberal methods on to the times of Abelard and the
free inquiry; so the torch of learning passes down the generations. And
when we remember Alcuin’s commendation of Bede and Rabanus Maurus’s
instruction by Alcuin, we cannot doubt the close connection of these
three earliest names. Abelard really revived the bolder and broader
style which had been opposed at first in the Abbey of Fulda.

How the monk ever found time for his accomplishment of study and writing
among his constant labors—his chanting and his teaching and his frequent
preparation of homilies—it is indeed hard to discover. But he wore away
the thin scabbard of the body by the keen edge of his sheathed and
unsheathed mind, until he died before his days were truly done. How
often must we lament the incredible monotony and weary routine of these
noble lives! How much more, we say to ourselves, they could have
achieved under better and freer conditions! But perhaps not. Perhaps
this very constriction was a source of strength; and perhaps the severe
stress which finally broke this noble student was, after all, the
creator of his best powers and the director of his finest energy.

Did he ever visit Rome? Monks from the Anglo-Saxon monasteries went on
pilgrimage back and forth, but if he went with them neither he nor they
have mentioned it. Yet there is a letter of Pope Sergius to Ceolfrid
which hints at such a journey, and might easily furnish a ground for the
opinion. On the whole, we must consider Bede as an unflickering light,
burning itself away at Jarrow, but illuminating all England with its
rays. It is not because of deficiency in acquirement that we deny these
traditions. He knew all that was then current. His writings are an
encyclopaedia of universal learning. Honorius of Autun says of him,
_scripsit infinita_—he wrote incalculably much. Lanfranc cites his
_Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation_. Alcuin compares him to
the Younger Pliny, and quotes him with great delight as “Magister Beda.”

The hymns ascribed to the Venerable Bede, on what appears to be good
authority, are the following:

  _Adesto, Christe, vocibus_,
  _Apostolorum gloriam_,
  _Emitte, Christe, Spiritum_,
  _Hymnum canamus gloriae_,
  _Hymnum canentes martyrum_,
  _Illuxit alma seculis_,
  _Nunc Andreae sollemnia_,
  _Praecessor almus gratiae_,
  _Praecursor altus luminis_,
  _Primo Deus coeli globum_,
  _Salve tropaeum gloriae_.

Also, but more doubtfully:

  _Apostolorum passio_,
  _Inter florigeras_.

His Ascension hymn,

  _Hymnum canamus gloriae_,

in its abbreviated form, spread beyond the bounds of English use, and
found favor with the Churches of the Continent. It has simplicity and
directness, if not much poetic force and is too prolix for Church use in
its original form. Mrs. Charles’s version, “A hymn of glory let us
sing,” is well known. Next to it stands his

  _Hymnum canentes martyrum_,

known to English readers by the admirable version in _Hymns Ancient and
Modern_, which begins, “A hymn for martyrs sweetly sing.” A third
notable hymn is that to the Cross:

  _Salve tropaeum gloriae_,

in which he embodies the beautiful legend of St. Andrew’s death.

The notable thing about all Bede’s hymns is the influence which the old
forms of Teutonic poetry—the alliterative staff-rhyme—have exerted on
their construction. We can even trace an approximation to alliteration
in his verses, while rhyme is rather an accident than an object. The
verses of Beowulf and of Caedmon were in his mind when he wrote. That he
could use the classic metres also, we see from his poem in hexameters on
the life of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, the great Scoto-Irish saint, whose
deeds still filled the North with their echoes.

                              CHAPTER XII.

None of the great Latin hymns is more regarded than the _Veni, Creator
Spiritus_. The _Dies Irae_ may be grander; the _Veni, Sancte Spiritus_
may be sweeter; the _Ad perennis vitae fontem_ may be lovelier; the
_Stabat mater_ may be more pathetic, but, after all, the _Veni, Creator_
holds a place of equal honor in the estimation of the Church. The Church
of England, while rejecting every other Latin hymn from her services,
nevertheless retained this in the offices for the ordering of priests
and consecration of bishops. This is only the carrying out, indeed, of
the account given by the famous but unknown monk of Salzburg who
rendered so many of the Latin hymns into the old High-German tongue. He
says, “Whoever repeats this hymn by day or by night, him shall no enemy
visible or invisible assail.” This has always been the repute of the
hymn, and there is no doubt that this attended it on its journey down
the ages in the worship of the Church.

Its authorship, however, has been less carefully preserved than its
text, which is notably free from mutilation and obscurity. It is really
singular to find a hymn which has been so universally employed, and
which has escaped in such a marvellous manner from the profane meddling
of prosaic or bigoted revisers. Its doxologic final stanza is one which
is not often to be found elsewhere—as though the hymn had taken and
maintained a place apart. If it were the product of the Ambrosian age
this would not be likely to have occurred, for all those doxologies are
formal and interchangeable to a marked degree. But this is the
appropriate conclusion of a unique ascription of praise to the third
person of the Trinity.

Its date is thus, to some extent, fixed for us. We cannot refer it to
the days of Ambrose, and, since it is found in nearly all the twelfth to
fourteenth-century breviaries, we are unable to attribute it to the
period of the Renaissance. Its very verse would prevent this, if nothing
else did. The word _spiritalis_ is a barbarism—an altogether
post-classical expression. The true usage is that in which the genitive
case is employed, thus “spiritual delight” would be _animi felicitas_,
not _spiritalis_ (or _spiritualis_) _felicitas_. _Perpetim_ is also a
word which purists of the new classic revival would avoid if they could.
So, too, there is a certain amount of stress to be put upon the scanning
of _Paraclitus_—where the _i_ is long, though Prudentius in the fifth
century and Adam of St. Victor in the twelfth both make it short. It has
therefore been said that the hymn was composed by a person who was
skilled in the Greek language. This altogether depends on the question
whether he pronounced the word by accent or by quantity. But still it is
not to be denied that the prosody of the poet gives us reason to think
that he did pronounce the word with the accent on the η. If this be so,
it would follow that he was a man of rare and fine scholarship in
comparison with the contemporaneous learning.

Another criticism is purely theological and aids in fixing the date by
the history of doctrine itself. At the Council of Toledo A.D. 589, the
word _filioque_ was added to the Creed to indicate the faith of the
Church in the procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the
Son. This hymn preserves this point of the orthodox belief with such
care that there can be no doubt of its being subsequent in time to the
date of that council.

In coming more particularly to the various authors who have been
credited with its composition, it may be well to attend to each claim as
it is put forward in some sort of chronologic order.

George Fabricius of Chemnitz (1564) was ready enough to ascribe it to
Ambrose himself. The only ground for this conjecture is the structure of
the verse. And this is no more a proof of authorship than that a hymn
written in what we call “long metre” must be, because of that fact
alone, the production of Isaac Watts. On the other hand, it is plain
that the theological allusion and the doxology, when taken together,
remove the hymn far enough away from the days of the great Bishop of

In later times of more critical scholarship the learned and accurate
Professor Hermann Adalbert Daniel has devoted much study to the hymn,
and has reached the conclusion that it belongs to that king whom the
Germans are never tired of praising—Charles the Great (Karl der Grosse),
by the French called Charlemagne. Led by his illustrious opinion the
compilers and translators have, without another question, set it down
for Charles’s work. So it has gone; the minor German collators, like
Königsfeld and others, following peacefully in the rear of an original
investigator. This was not true, however, of men who hunted for proof on
their own account, as, for instance, Mone and Wackernagel. But it is
distinctly true of the English scholars, among whom Archbishop Trench
appears to carry the most prevalent influence. They usually assent
without a murmur to this conjecture of Daniel indorsing Thomasius, who
was, so far as can be discovered, the parent of the opinion. The only
real exception is the Scotch hymnologist, Dr. H. M. MacGill, who doubts,
but conforms to the opinion which is in vogue.

The grounds of this general confidence in Charles’s authorship it may be
proper to mention here in brief. We know it is said that he was a patron
of learning, a friend of scholars, and a devout believer in the orthodox
theology. In the year 809 he took an active part in a synod at
Aquisgranum which affirmed the doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeded
from both the Father and the Son. There is, furthermore, a statement,
quoted by Cardinal Thomasius from the _Acta Sanctorum_, which goes in
the direction of a positive assertion. In the life of the Blessed Notker
it is said that this hymn was composed by Carolus Magnus.

Now it has never been established that Charles was even a ready writer
of prose, to say nothing of verse. Berington, following Einhard,
Charles’s secretary, says in his _History of the Literature of the
Middle Ages_ (1814), that Charles was not a literary man. “He seems
never to have acquired the easy practice of writing,” is his strong
language (p. 102). The hymn, on the contrary, bears the evident marks of
accustomed skill and practice in the art of verse as well as the
accuracy of a mind trained in theologic discriminations. Moreover, if
Maitland (he of the Dark Ages) is to be credited, then this life of the
Blessed Notker, by Ekkehard Junior, is full of errors, of ignorance, and
wilful design. It naturally celebrates whatever is likely to add to the
credit of St. Gall. Hence we need not be astonished when it tells us
that Notker composed the sequence, _Spiritus Sancti adsit nobis gratia_,
and sent it to Charles the Great, receiving in return his composition
the _Veni, Creator Spiritus_. Nor should we be surprised when this turns
out (as it is now conceded to be) a mere legend without any historic
basis. When Thomasius follows this story, and Daniel follows Thomasius,
and Trench follows Daniel, and the compilers follow Trench, it really
appears that but little independent judgment has been exercised on the

Notker died in 912, and as Charles the Great was dead in 814, the absurd
anachronism of the Ekkehard legend is clear to a glance. It should
perhaps be added that Trench, although allowing Charles as author,
believes the hymn to be possibly of earlier date.

Mone takes a new departure when he gives up the common opinion and
announces that the hymn ought to be assigned to Gregory the Great
(540-606). In his first volume he taxes Daniel with having been
altogether too prompt to agree to the cardinal’s dictum. He finds no
reason to give the hymn to Charles, but he regards the classical style
of its composition to be very fitting to the culture and well-known
powers of Gregory. He rejects the doxology _Sit laus_, etc., and
considers, very justly, that the stanza _Per te sciamus_, etc., is the
true conclusion of the hymn.

Wackernagel agrees with Mone. He thinks that the only way in which
Charles could have secured the authorship would have been by getting the
composition effected by the intervention of Alcuin. He therefore
believes that Gregory was the poet of the _Veni, Creator_, and so
publishes it in his exhaustive work upon the German church hymns.
Professor March, always careful and scholarly in his assignments, adopts
this opinion also.

Against the Gregorian authorship, supported as it is by such eminent and
independent scholars, one must be slow to contend. But in fact there is
no great similarity between the hymn before us and those of Gregory. The
great Pope is not a great poet. He has not written one hymn which has
really endured. The _Audi benigne Conditor_ is quoted freely, and the
_Rex Christe, factor omnium_ received Luther’s highest approbation. But
these and other hymns from his pen are imitations of Ambrose—almost
slavish imitations. The lofty and grand largeness of the _Veni, Creator_
is wanting to them all. The argument, good as it may seem, is only
negative. The inference is that the hymn was written by him—nothing
more. On the same grounds we might as well go back to old George
Fabricius and give it into the hands of Ambrose as he did. The truth is
that Gregory’s writings do not contain it, and why they should not, if
he were its actual author, it is hard for any one to understand.

But we are not at the end of the inquiry yet. We positively know certain
facts. These are: That the earliest mention of the hymn is in the
_Delatio S. Marculfi_, A.D. 898; that it is found in the breviaries of
the twelfth to fourteenth centuries; that its author was a skilled
theologian and probably a master of the Greek language; that he was a
poet in the true sense and therefore quite certain to have written other
hymns and poems; that it was so soon and so generally adopted as to
prevent any corruption of its text; that all these ascriptions of it to
this or that person are nothing but tradition; and, finally, that the
hymn has such spiritual worth and power as to mark it for the production
of a devout as well as scholarly mind. All these requirements are met in
Rabanus Maurus, Bishop of Mainz, pupil of Alcuin, and laureate after
Alcuin and Theodulphus.

There was a certain Christopher Brower, a Jesuit and a profoundly
learned scholar, who was born in 1559 at Arnhem in Gelderland. In the
year 1580 he went to Cologne in pursuit of his studies. Then he studied
philosophy at Trier, and eventually became rector of the college at
Fulda. Here he wrote four books upon antiquarian topics. His diligent,
exhaustive style can be judged by the fact that he spent thirty years
upon a history of Trier. His _Antiquitates_ were printed in 1612, but in
1603 he had edited the writings of Fortunatus, and this book was
reissued in 1617, the year of his death, by Joannes Volmar at Cologne.
This edition has an appendix of 150 pp. 4to., in which is contained the
entire series of hymns and other poetical compositions which were due to
the aforesaid Bishop of Mainz, Rabanus Maurus. It was edited from a very
old MS. of undoubted veracity, and it contains the _Veni, Creator_ in
the precise text which we now employ. It is to be noticed that it does
not recognize the doxology _Sit laus_, etc., and this Mone assures us
was composed at a later period by Hincmar of Rheims, and is, as we have
said, unique. But it accents Paraclitus upon the second _a_ and not upon
the _i_.

The stanza _Da gaudiorum_, etc., was rejected some time ago by the best
scholars. It is from a hymn of later date. And we therefore find the
version which appears in Brewer’s editions of the poems of Rabanus
Maurus to be consonant with the most intelligent criticism of the text
of the _Veni, Creator_.

The hymn itself we can assign with very considerable certainty to the
author in whose pages it again is apparent, and we may believe in the
accuracy and scholarly acuteness of the Jesuit antiquarian.

It will not be amiss if we set our reasons in order, for a
long-established delusion is as hard to overthrow sometimes as the
stubbornest fact. They are such as the following:

1. The hymn is found in the writings of Rabanus Maurus, in a codex which
Brower calls “very ancient and well approved.”

2. It is the precise paraphrase of the learned bishop’s chapter on the
Holy Spirit. Thus he begins the chapter with an assertion of the
procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son. He then
calls this Spirit _donum Dei_, and several times repeats the phrase. He
argues that the Spirit is coequal and coeternal God. He then discusses
the term _Paraclete_, and proceeds to speak of the _septiformis_ nature
of His power. Next follows a most significant and unusual
expression—namely, that the Holy Spirit is _digitus Dei_—the finger of
God. And the consecution and coincidence of thought is still further
increased by an allusion to the grace which bestowed the gift of
tongues. He then speaks of the Spirit as fire—which accords with the
word _accende_—and then he explains the simile of water, which
corresponds with the word _infunde_ and with the previous phrase _fons
vivus_. He also quotes from the Gospel of John to show that this “living
water” means no more nor less than the Holy Spirit. These coincidences
are doubly remarkable, for they not only exhibit the same ideas—some of
which, by the way, are quite uncommon—but they also set them forth in
the precise order in which the good bishop employs them in his hymn. It
is as if, being aroused and animated by his great and noble theme, he
had turned to verse as an appropriate medium of lofty praise and had
sung from his heart this immortal hymn.

3. To these reasons we may add a third—that the internal structure of
the hymn shows its author to have been a person of theological
soundness, spiritual insight, scriptural knowledge, genuine scholarship,
and a natural poetical capacity. These facts again agree with what we
know to have been the talents and learning of Rabanus Maurus.

4. If Gregory had written this hymn it would have appeared at an earlier
date and would have been undoubtedly attributed to its illustrious
author; whereas it is not in his carefully compiled writings nor is it
accredited to him by Thomasius or any hymnologist before the time of
Mone and Wackernagel.

5. Charles the Great had not the learning, and both he and his grandson,
Charles “the Bald,” are named on the strength of a long-exploded and
always anachronistic tradition.

6. Ambrose is out of the question by the theological limitation of the
stanza _Per te sciamus_, etc.

7. Finally, we have the right to believe that a man whose other hymns
have been so extensively, though anonymously, introduced into the
worship of the Church, was entirely competent to frame this present

This last point is worthy of more than this terse remark. Rabanus
composed the hymns, _Adest dies sanctus Dei_, _Festum nunc celebre_,
_Fit porta Christi pervia_, _Tibi Christe splendor Patris_, _Christe
Redemptor omnium_, and _Jesu Salvator saeculi_, all of which display
great powers of sacred poetry and two of which are beyond any possible
doubt his authentic productions. Of the twenty-nine hymns found in
Brewer’s codex there are two which have been credited to Ambrose beside
the _Veni, Creator_, and there are seven which are classed by Daniel and
Fabricius as belonging between the tenth and fourteenth centuries and to
unknown authorship. The codex adds to our previous list eight entirely
new poems, and two others which raise a question on which we may pause
for a moment before conceding the current opinion.

The first of these hymns is the _Altus prosator_, of which the codex
gives us a much fuller and longer version. It is called ordinarily the
“Hymn of St. Columba,” and was reprinted by Dr. Todd from the _Liber
Hymnorum_ of old Irish hymns in the library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Our present line of inquiry would lead us to assign it to Rabanus, and
thus do away with the mere conjecture which makes Columba its author.

The second hymn is that usually credited to Elpis, the wife of Boethius.
But the designation of this hymn is as fanciful as the other. Brower in
his loyalty to the Church will not impugn the authorship which is
commonly received, but he is constrained to admit that a stanza is
appended which the popular version entirely omits. It seems far more
reasonable to think that Rabanus composed the whole hymn than that he
only added a few verses at the end. What Rabanus Maurus really did was
to construct an _hymnodia_ which had an appropriate sacred song for
every season. He was a poet and he lauded the verses of Hilary and of
Ambrose. Had he intended to make selections he would not have omitted
them. But he has certainly put his own compositions into this list.
Therefore it follows that he may well have included more than was at
first supposed. And when it is plain—for the index of hymns makes it
plain—that not one single hymn of the twenty-nine is the undoubted and
absolute property of any other poet, we are safe in assuming that they
all are what the codex declares them to be—the actual productions of the
Bishop Rabanus.

The hymn _Fit porta Christi pervia_ occurs in the midst of the Ambrosian
_A solis ortus cardine, et usque_, and was there inserted by the
Benedictines of St. Maur. Daniel says it is an entire hymn as it stands.
And so say we who find it standing alone in the codex of Brower.

At once, then, Rabanus Maurus ascends from comparative obscurity to a
front rank among hymn-writers. And we are ready for all the light upon
his personal history which we can obtain.

                        VENI, CREATOR SPIRITUS.

  Veni, Creator Spiritus,
  Mentes tuorum visita,
  Imple superna gratia
  Quae tu creasti pectora.

  Qui Paraclitus diceris,
  Donum Dei altissimi,
  Fons vivus, ignis, charitas,
  Et spiritalis unctio.

  Tu septiformis munere,
  Dextrae Dei tu digitus,
  Tu rite promissum Patris,
  Sermone ditans guttura.

  Accende lumen sensibus,
  Infunde amorem cordibus,
  Infirma nostri corporis,
  Virtute firmans perpetim.

  Hostem repellas longius,
  Pacemque dones protinus,
  Ductore sic te praevio
  Vitemus omne noxium.

  Per te sciamus da Patrem
  Noscamus atque Filium,
  Te utriusque Spiritum,
  Credamus omni tempore.

  O Holy Ghost, Creator, come!
    Thy people’s minds pervade;
  And fill with thy supernal grace
    The souls which thou hast made.

  Thou who art called the Paraclete,
    The gift of God most high;
  Thou living fount, and fire, and love,
    Our spirit’s pure ally;

  Thou sevenfold Giver of all good;
    Finger of God’s right hand;
  Thou promise of the Father, rich
    In words for every land;

  Kindle our senses to a flame,
    And fill our hearts with love,
  And through our bodies’ weakness, still
    Pour valor from above!

  Drive farther off our enemy,
    And straightway give us peace;
  That, with thyself as such a guide,
    We may from evil cease.

  Through thee may we the Father know,
    And thus confess the Son;
  For thee (from both the Holy Ghost),
    We praise while time shall run.

Rabanus Maurus, teacher and Abbot of Fulda and Archbishop of Mayence
(Mainz), was commonly called the “foremost German of his time.” Though
the centuries have somewhat obscured the lustre of his renown, they have
not deprived him of his place in history, nor have they dissociated his
name from that of his instructor, prototype, and model, the great
pedagogue Alcuin.

Of the birthplace of Rabanus we have no certain knowledge. Some have
said that he was Scotch or English, others that he was French; but the
more reliable authorities are convinced that he was a German, born
either at Fulda or Mainz. The epitaph written by himself affords
probably the solution of the question. It was composed at Mainz while
its author was archbishop, and contains these words:

  “Urbe quidem hac genitus sum, ac sacro fonte renatus,
  In Fulda post haec dogma sacrum didici.”

That is, he was born at the place where he was writing these verses—most
likely Mainz—and there he was baptized. Afterward he was educated in
Fulda. An additional reason for this belief is that his father was of a
family known in the records of Mainz.

Trithemius says that Rabanus was born in 788 _quarto nonas Februarii_,
the second of February. Mabillon adds, “I do not know whence he got the
day; the year is probably pretty close.” But the year itself, on the
strength of internal evidence found in the man’s writings and in the
monastic rules regarding the holding of office before the attainment of
a fixed age, Mabillon places at 776. This extension of twelve years is a
very important affair since it makes Rabanus a monk of thirty-three at
the date of the Council of Aquisgranum (Aix-la-Chapelle or Aachen),
called by Charlemagne to reannunciate the doctrine of the procession of
the Holy Spirit.

The name of Rabanus’s father was Ruthard and his mother was christened
Aldegunde. “She was a woman of the most honest conversation,” as
Trithemius declares, the fit helpmeet of a man “rich and powerful, who
for a long time served in the wars under the Frank princes.” There was a
brother, doubtless an elder brother, called Tutin, a person “noble among
the first,” and perhaps the father of a nephew, Gundram, whom Rabanus
mentions as the royal chaplain of Lewis of Germany.

The lad Raban—“the raven”—took on his dark garments at nine years of age
and went to be a little shaveling monk at Fulda. There he continued,
patiently toiling on at his studies according to the methods of a
benighted time, and it is plain that he progressed so well as to get the
favor of his abbot, Ratgar. Since Ratgar took office in 801 or 802, and
Alcuin died in May, 804, it must have been at or about the twenty-fifth
year of his age that Rabanus was directed to put himself under the care
of Alcuin. A record which has been preserved shows that in 801 our poet
had been made a deacon at Fulda, and it is natural for us to look upon
this journey to the monastic school of St. Martin at Tours as an honor
given to one who had already earned some distinction in scholarship.

Be this as it may it is certain that nearly the latest work of Alcuin’s
life was the preparation of the successor to his own ideas who should
hold high the torch of knowledge to his land and generation. To
him—though the old eyes at Tours should not see it—was to succeed
Walafrid Strabo, and to Walafrid Strabo were to be added the scholars of
St. Gall, and notably the marvellous cripple Herman of Reichenau. Ratgar
now was busy building a great church, and architectural notions befogged
his brain. But he had built better than he was aware when he sent off
Rabanus and Hatto to sit at the feet of the man who had brought the
system of Bede the Venerable into Gaul, and who was to commit his own
enthusiasm for learning to a greater scholar than Paul Winfrid, the

This Hatto was not the infamous bishop of the Rat Tower whom Southey has
immortalized in blood-curdling verses. That notorious prelate was indeed
Abbot of Fulda and Bishop of Mainz, but he died in 969 or 970, and the
swarming rats which devoured him for his avarice in keeping the corn
from the poor owe their original celebrity to those curious volumes, the
_Centuries of Magdeburg_. So far as we can discover, the Hatto who
accompanied Rabanus became neither famous nor infamous, unless it be
something to have obtained the abbacy of Fulda when his friend laid it

In 804 Rabanus returned to Fulda. He had profited by the instruction he
had received, and was now the fittest person to be put at the head of
the school in the cloisters. To his original name the old teacher had
affixed the honorable title Maurus, and to this again Rabanus himself
added the descriptive adjective Magnentius. So that Rabanus Maurus
Magnentius is the full appellation of the man henceforth to be styled
with the largest truth, _Primus Germaniae preceptor_. This giving of
names was one of the features of those times. Alcuin was called Albinus
Flaccus, Paul Winfrid was known as Bonifacius, and Ratbert, the advocate
of transubstantiation, became Paschasius. Besides this, the spelling of
proper names was very much at sea. Thus, to the R of Rabanus there was
prefixed or suffixed a Greek “rough breathing,” making it HRabanus or
Rhabanus, precisely as we some times find HLudovicus or HLotharius.

It is at this time that the true skill and ability of Rabanus appear
before us. He was the first person to establish a school in Germany
which had in it the promise of modern education. He allowed pupils to
attend and be trained in the cloisters who had no vocation for a
monastic life. In point of fact he was the real founder of the school
system of Germany, and his fellow-countrymen have not been slow to
accredit him with the achievement. His life and accomplishments have
employed the pens of Buddeus, Schwarz, Dahl, Bach, Kunstmann, Spengler,
Köhler, Richter, and other writers on the history of _paedagogik_.[7] It
is beyond debate that the school at Fulda was a most remarkable place.

Rabanus was not the only teacher in the school. He was assisted by his
faithful friend Samuel of Worms, a fellow pupil under Alcuin. Together
these men developed and enlarged the minds of many of the future nobles
of Germany, and laid in Bible study and in the advanced opinions which
they announced, the foundations for a nation the most scholarly of any
on the earth. In these classes were to be seen such disciples of the new
learning as Walafrid Strabo, Servatus Lupus, Einhard (who subsequently
sent thither his son Wussin), and Rudolf who wrote the life of his

Leaving the manner of that ancient school life for the present, we are
struck with astonishment at the broad and liberal tone of the
instruction. Rabanus followed Bede in providing an encyclopaedia of
human knowledge for his pupils. He entitled it _De Universis_ and based
it on the previous work of Isidore of Seville. Additionally he abridged
the grammar of Priscian, a treatise which furnished, even as late as the
days of Richard Braythwaite and his _Drunken Barnabee_, the suggestive

  “Fregi frontem Prisciani.”

  “I’ve broke Priscian’s forehead mainly.”

He also furnished a text-book in arithmetic, drawn mostly from Boethius,
and an etymology in which he depends to some extent on Isidore. He
utilized Bede for chronology, and Gregory for ecclesiastical forms, and
Augustine for doctrine, and Cassiodorus for commentary and exegesis.

Moreover, he was free from much of the superstition of his age. He
objected to giving the liver of a mad dog to one who had been bitten by
it—that being then held a perfect cure. His letters show an independent
and almost an audacious mind. In all religious discussion his motto was,
“When the cause is Christ’s, the opposition of the bad counts for
naught.” In statecraft—for ecclesiastics were chief movers in these
affairs—he held with Ludwig the Pious. He wrote a great deal in the way
of Scripture commentary, and his intellect was of a mystical order. He
delighted in allegories, in enshrining the bones of saints and
confessors, and in making the most marvellous and intricate anagrams and
arrangements of verses and letters upon the subject of the Holy Cross,
whose praise he has elaborately set forth. Wimpfeling may well style
this production a “wonderful and highly elaborate work.” It dates from
the year 815, and no modern reader can view it without dismay at its
enormous expenditure of labor.

A man like this in the teacher’s seat of Fulda would not be long in
obscuring by his manifest talents the feebler light of his abbot. So
Ratgar found, and devoted himself and his monks with mistimed zeal to
the erection of a great addition to the cloister church. He grudged the
time given to the studies of the school. He would much prefer to have
had the full control of all that was passing in the cloisters, but this
was plainly impossible. So he devised a very satisfactory way of
interrupting the success of Rabanus. He took the books from the scholars
and he even forbade them to the teacher. This was the cause of some
pathetic verses in which Rabanus sets forth his petition for their
return. “Let thy clemency,” he exclaims, “concede me books, for the
poverty of knowledge suffocates me.” One grates his teeth in reading
farther on the words, “Whether you do this or not, yet let the divine
power of the Omnipotent always afford you all good things and complete a
good fight with an honest course, that you may ever be with Christ in
the height of heaven.”

Ratgar was a tyrant; there was no doubt of that. The only question was
how long this tyranny would survive the loss of students and the
defection of the monks, who had already begun to complain and resist.
There was not any hope, however, that this line of conduct would be
materially altered, and here again we have verses of Rabanus, lamenting
in moving terms the loss of scholars and the demoralization of the
school. It is not at all unlikely that the praises of the Holy Cross
were the solace of the poor pedagogue who had lost his favorite volumes.
He could scarcely otherwise have found the leisure for this elegant

The poem just mentioned is imperfect. It breaks off abruptly and the
conclusion is missing. What it may have had to do with the outcome of
Ratgar’s tyranny we therefore cannot say, but the times upon which the
monastery had fallen were very grievous; and in 807 there was a
pestilence which depleted the list of monks from four hundred down to
one hundred and fifty, and these must, of course, have been more pressed
by the manual labor than ever. They toiled as did Israel in bondage, and
yet the end had not come. It was a period of the worst sort of misrule,
paralleled later at Cluny and not unknown in other conventual
establishments. In 814 Rabanus was ordained priest on December 23d, and,
as is supposed, after his withdrawal for a time from the monastery to
the refuge offered by a friend’s house. From a passage in one of his
commentaries it has been inferred that he used this suspense of his
labors to make a journey to Palestine.

In 811 there was, says Dahl, a great confusion (_Verwirrung_) in the
cloister. A libel was sent to Charles the Great criticising the conduct
of Ratgar—“libel” being used in its old sense of “little treatise.”
Nothing, as it would seem, was done about this, although the ordination
of Rabanus may have been a link in the chain.

But when Ludwig the Pious (Ludwig der Fromme) came to the kingdom Ratgar
was summarily deposed, and Egil, a kindly, book-loving man, created
abbot in his stead. This occurred in 817, three years after Ludwig began
to reign. All difficulties were now over. The school was reopened with
greater prosperity than before. The library was increased. The secular
scholars were taught outside the walls, for the number of students
surpassed the accommodation. And, in a word, Ratgar had merely held back
a constantly augmenting torrent which now poured itself in in an
intrepid tide. When Martin Luther, centuries later, cries out for
intelligent instruction and for the extension of the school system of
Germany, he is but repeating the cry which swelled in the ears of Ratgar
and drove him before it with execration from his abbacy.

In 822, when Egil died, by common consent Rabanus was invested with the
dignity of abbot. For a time things went smoothly enough, and such
scholars as Walafrid Strabo, Servatus Lupus, and Otfried of Weissenberg
were the glory of the Fulda schools. But the pendulum swung too far in
the rebound from Ratgar’s illiterate policy. The monks were kept at
writing and teaching with too little discrimination as to their tastes
and capacities. They began to grumble that the material interests of the
monastery were neglected, and that Fulda might be growing rich in books
and in bookworms, but was in danger of becoming poor in everything else.
The disaffection found a support in Archbishop Otgar of Mainz, a busy
political prelate, who seems to have become jealous of the prominence of
Rabanus. As a supporter of Lothar and of the policy of imperial unity,
he was in politics on the other side from Rabanus. Our abbot was a
Nationalist and a Home Ruler. He wished to foster the cultivation of the
German tongue and to maintain the distinctness of the German nation. He
had stood by poor, weak Ludwig the Pious, whose sorrow it was to have
succeeded to the work of Charles the Great. He addressed to him a letter
of consolation in his troubles, and wrote a treatise: _De Reverentia
Filiorum erga Patres et Subditorum erga Reges_, to recall his unfilial
children to a sense of their duty. In Ludwig the German he recognized
the most dutiful of the three. So when the Emperor Ludwig died in 840,
he supported the younger Ludwig in the demand for virtual German
independence against the high-handed imperialism of his elder brother
Lothar. He thus shared in the triumph of the victory at Fontanetum,
followed by the Compact of Verdun (843), which practically put an end to
Karling imperialism, and secured the national independence of France and
Germany. But in the mean time Otgar enabled the illiterate party at
Fulda to drive Rabanus into exile, and when he came back he found the
brethren had chosen another abbot, Hatto, in his stead. Waiving his own
rights, and laying aside all grudges, he betook himself to his books in
a priory or something of the sort on Mount St. Peter, not far off, and
resumed the work of teaching. Here he is thought to have composed his
great philosophical treatise on the All, which marks a distinct advance
in the development of mediaeval metaphysics and logic. Indeed, there was
but one thinker of the ninth century who surpassed him in penetration
and learning—the wonderful Irish monk, John Scotus Erigena, who wrote
Latin but thought in Greek and was filled with all the wisdom of the
Hellenes, from Plato to Dionysius the Areopagite.

In 847 Archbishop Otgar died, and Ludwig the German elevated his friend
Rabanus to the see of Mainz, the metropolitan see of Germany. Since
Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon “Apostle of Germany,” who had succeeded to
this dignity a century earlier, there had been no man of such eminence
at the head of the German Church, nor have any of his successors
surpassed him. His first care was the restoration of the discipline,
which had decayed under the confusions of those dark days of civil war.
A great synod met at Mainz in October, Rabanus having been consecrated
in June. Besides the prelates, abbots and monks of all orders attended,
and the canons adopted had reference to stricter life as the obligation
of the clergy.

The year was not over before news of fresh trouble reached him. One of
his own pupils at Fulda, the monk Gottschalk, a man of restless
intellect, was reported as spreading an exaggerated version of
Augustine’s doctrine of absolute predestination, and one which
threatened to overturn the very idea of human responsibility. Gottschalk
evidently was one of the people who love to walk on the fence rather
than in the road—to carry every principle with ruthless logic to its
remotest conclusion. The first news of his extravagances reached Rabanus
in a letter from Italy setting forth the doctrines his former pupil was
teaching. He at once responded in a letter (or rather a treatise) taking
the same ground as the semi-Pelagians had done in the controversy with
the school of Augustine, ground sanctioned by Gregory the Great, Beda,
and Alcuin, although thought unsafe when first defended by Gennadius and
John Cassian. Gottschalk seems to have accepted the reply as a sort of
challenge. The next year, 848, he made his way to Mainz, and when
Rabanus called together an assembly of churchmen and laymen—not a
regular synod—he appeared before it with a confession of his faith in
which he replied to the arguments of Rabanus. The assembly failed to
convince him of his being in error, and at the king’s suggestion a
pledge was exacted of him that he would never return to Germany. Hincmar
of Rheims, the metropolitan of the Church of France, made sure of his
keeping this pledge. As Gottschalk was handed over to him by King
Ludwig, with a letter of explanation from Rabanus, he had him condemned
by the Synod of Quiercy (853) to deposition from the priesthood,
corporal chastisement until he should burn his confession with his own
hands, and lifelong imprisonment. So ended, in 867, this Calvinist of
the ninth century, without much credit to anybody who had a hand in his
fate, but with least of discredit to Rabanus.

In 852, by order of King Ludwig, another synod convened at Mainz, to
discuss, it is supposed, the doctrine of transubstantiation, which
Paschasius Radbertus of Corbie had been setting forth in his treatise,
_De Corpore et Sanguine Christi_. Our Rabanus resisted the new dogma,
declaring that the participation of the Lord’s body and blood in the
sacrament is “not carnal but spiritual.” Nor is this the only point of
his agreement with Protestant teaching. Especially in his assertion that
the Bible is a book for every Christian, and clear and intelligible as a
rule of faith, he anticipates Luther.

In 850 a great famine desolated Germany, in whose course people were
driven to the terrible deeds which sometimes characterize such times.
Rabanus did his possible to relieve the terrible needs of his flock.
Three hundred of these poor people were fed daily from his resources as
archbishop, and his heart went out in pity to the multitudes he could
not aid. Pitiful scenes he must have witnessed. One poor woman fell dead
as she staggered to his threshold, with a babe at her breast. His
charity was too late to save her, but her child was rescued.

He lived six years more, seeing his diocese recover from the desolation
of that terrible winter, cherishing the literary and educational work of
the monasteries on the lines laid down in his _De Institutione
Clericorum_, keeping his clergy up to the ideal of the priestly life as
defined in his _De Disciplina Ecclesiastica_, and civilizing the rude
people of his great diocese. He died in 856, in his eightieth year, and
was buried in St. Alban’s church in Mainz. In the era of the Reformation
his bones were transferred to St. Maurice’s church in Halle. As Rome has
not inscribed the opponent of transubstantiation in the list of her
saints, they are allowed to rest together in peace, instead of being
distributed through a long series of churches as relics.

He had composed for himself an epitaph, as was the fashion of those
days, but it is pleasanter to read than some of those exaggeratedly
humble and prosaic treatises concerning which we hardly know whether
most to stand amazed at the badness of the Latin or the meanness of the
piety. Rabanus avoids these objectionable features. His language is that
of a poet and his sentiments those of a sincere Christian. Particularly
there are two lines which are notable because they give us a glimpse of
his personality:

  “Promptus erat animus, sed tardans debile corpus;
  Feci quod poteram, quodque Deus dederat.”

  “Quick was my mind, but slow was my body through weakness;
  That which I could I have done, and what the Lord gave me.”

One of his latest bequests was that of his books, which he devised, like
a true scholar, partly to his old abbey of Fulda and partly to the
monastery of St. Alban at Mainz.

John Trithemius eulogizes him in words which may, perhaps, be
transferred into our pages from their original Latin as a specimen of
the praise which Rabanus has always received—praise that is indeed
worthy of the man who wrote the _Veni, Creator_.

“Rabanus was first among the Germans; a scholar universally erudite;
profound in science; eloquent and strong in discourse; in life and
conversation he shone as most learned, religious, and holy; he was
always a prelate dignified, affable, and acceptable before God.”

This same Trithemius gives us a little notion of the bishop’s
appearance. In body, he says that he was tolerably robust; of a
sanguine, bilious temperament; rather fleshly in person than inclined to
meagreness (_macilentus_); with a “courageous and great” head; and of a
well-proportioned figure.

Of the other writings of Rabanus it is sufficient for us to name his
compendium of the grammar of Priscian; his great work upon _The
Universe_; his treatise upon the _Praises of the Holy Cross_, and his
elaborate commentaries upon the various books of the Bible. He also
prepared homilies and sundry compositions relative to ecclesiastical
matters. In the _Patrologia_ of Migne it requires six closely-printed
volumes to cover his contributions to sacred literature. Especially we
have occasion to note his theological writings, as it is in these that
his spiritual character is most apparent.

His works mostly are dead enough to modern interest, but not all. German
philology honors in him a great churchman who shared Charles the Great’s
respect for German speech and culture, and at whose feet Otto of
Weissenburg, the poet of the _Krist_, sat. German pedagogics recognizes
in him the first _Praeceptor Germaniae_, who transplanted to Fulda the
generous plans of education which Charles conceived, and which Alcuin
executed at Tours. German philosophy recognizes in him the first
forerunner of the great series of her metaphysicians. But to us he is
Rabanus the poet, who acquired the art of verse under Alcuin, who used
it at times to little purpose as in his _De Laudibus Sanctae Crucis_,
but who in a happy hour wrote the _Veni, Creator Spiritus_.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

In the life of Notker, written by Ekkehard (Eckhardt) the Younger, who
was Dean of St. Gall in 1220, we have a perfect mine of garrulous gossip
and of chattering, pleasant romance. It has been called “one of the most
delightful of mediaeval memoirs;” though we are very little disposed to
accept a large share of it as solid fact. There is in it much confusion,
both of dates and names. From one of its stories came the designation of
Charles the Great (“the Emperor Charles”) as the author of the _Veni
Creator_, a point which we have treated more fully in the chapter upon
Rabanus Maurus. The copyist is mainly accountable for these blunders,
some of which are so grossly anachronistic as to be at once corrected by
their reader; and others are so puerile that no one can easily be

Since it is to Notker that we owe the “sequence” in its full
development, it may be as well for us to let Ekkehard sketch his
character at full length. The biography is in one of the April volumes
of the _Acta Sanctorum_ of the Bollandist Fathers—a great white-covered
folio which displays the immense research of its editors. For those who
are less inclined to the Latin language in its monkish form, there is
the admirable abridgment by Baring-Gould, known as the _Lives of the
Saints_—a compilation which must be always distinguished from the work
of the same title by Alban Butler. From these sources a great deal of
truth and falsehood, fact and fiction, real record and unreal romance,
have flowed forth upon the world. We cannot but speak reverently and
kindly of such noble endeavors as those of Dr. Neale, but here, at the
very outset, it must be understood that he has been altogether too much
swayed by peculiar opinions for his ideas upon sequences—and upon Notker
also—to have the weight of absolute authority.

Notker himself is to be discriminated from another Notker of the same
religious house of St. Gall, who is generally known as “the Physician.”
This one is Balbulus, or “the Stammerer,” who is sometimes called
“Vetustior,” the Elder, to distinguish him from his nephew, Notkerus
Junior. He came, Ekkehard asserts, of noble and even royal parentage,
being probably born about the year 850. At an early age he entered the
monastery of St. Gall, in Switzerland, which had been founded by Gallus,
the Irish saint, a disciple of Columbanus, in the seventh century. This
celebrated man died, A.D. 640, at the age of ninety-five, and his life
was written by Walafrid Strabo in two books; the martyrology recording
his death upon October 16th. St. Gall itself is now a town of some
fifteen thousand inhabitants, and the capital of the canton to which it
has given its own name. But the abbey was suppressed in 1805, though the
library, filled with valuable manuscripts, still remains. From these
ancient parchments P. Gall Morel, Librarian at Einsiedeln, has
resuscitated many sequences and hymns formerly employed in their

The Sangallensian poets are not, however, very numerous. Hartmann was
probably the earliest composer of a “sequence”—a style of sacred poem
which we shall consider presently. Then came Notker Balbulus, who has
the greater renown. Tutilo and Ratpert and Walafrid Strabo complete the
list. St. Gall was for years a noted centre of learning. It is well
situated, and from its towers the waters of the Boden-See (from which it
is distant but a few miles) can be readily discerned.

Here, then, Notker began his religious life. He had probably seen the
light in the green and fertile Thurgau not far away from St. Gall. And
his talents were soon so noticeable that he rapidly advanced in the
esteem of his associates. Meanwhile—for the Irish and Scottish monks
made this a thoroughfare on their pilgrimages to Rome—there came along
an Irish bishop named Mark, whose nephew, Maengal, strongly aroused the
admiration of Notker. Maengal’s music especially affected him, and he
devoutly prayed God to let the Irishman tarry with them at St. Gall.
This indeed happened, and Maengal, rechristened Marcellus, remained in

This good tutor now undertook the musical training of Notker, Ratpert,
and Tutilo. And from this beginning arose the choral school of St. Gall.
Ekkehard’s history of it is most suggestive. It was originally begun, he
says, for the study of the Gregorian tones, but these Swiss people had
by degrees lost the sweetness of the old Pope’s music. And he borrows
the language of John the Deacon, in his life of Gregory, to satirize the
“thundering voices” with which such “Alpine bodies” failed to secure the
proper modulation. I borrow Baring-Gould’s idiomatic rendering of this
significant passage. It runs as follows:

“The barbarous hugeness of those tippling throats, when endeavoring to
utter a soft song full of inflections and diphthongs, makes a great
roar, as though carts were tumbling down steps headlong; and so, instead
of soothing the minds of those who listen, it agitates and exasperates
them beyond endurance.”

Such was the character of church music when the song school of St. Gall
was started. The monks had already been so fortunate as to secure one of
the two Gregorian antiphonaries sent by Pope Adrian to the Emperor
Charles the Great. The occurrence was curious enough to be chronicled,
and the story merits our own repetition. Metz had been the German music
centre, but when the French music clashed with that which was considered
the correct and Gregorian method, Charles again solicited from the Pope
two priests who were thorough musicians, and should put Metz and her
school above criticism. These two men, by name Peter and Romanus, set
out thereupon, but took a heavy cold between them at Lago Maggiore
(_aere Romanis contrario quaterentur_). Peter soon recovered, but
Romanus advanced from a mere cold into an actual fever, and remained at
St. Gall with one of the antiphonaries, while the disgusted Peter, who
claimed both copies, was forced to proceed alone and with a single
manuscript to Metz.

St. Gall was sufficiently attractive to Romanus for him to make no
effort to leave it when he grew convalescent. And these compositions and
melodies of his were the foundation upon which, in later years, Notker
and Hartmann and the others built their sequences. That which Maengal
now effected was the real beginning of that system of music which is so
elaborately treated by Dr. Neale in his preface to the second volume of
Daniel’s _Thesaurus_. Perhaps more has been made of it there than it
really deserves. It is certainly too far out of the line of this inquiry
of ours for us to discuss the point technically. One of the best
definitions of the sequence is, however, that of Mabillon, who calls
such compositions “rhythmical prayers” (_rythmicae preces_).

Notker became easily—so Ekkehard asserts—the finest musician about the
abbey. He was also a bright and rather witty man. When Augustine was
asked what God was doing before He created the world, he replied that He
“was building hell for such vain and frivolous spirits” as that of his
questioner. The chaplain of Charles the Fat put a similar inquiry to
Notker, and got quite as brief a retort. He asked, “What is God doing
now?” And Notker stammered out, “Just what He has always done and always
will do; He is putting down the proud and exalting the humble!”

There is another of these queer anecdotes which will serve to show that
the old monks were by no means destitute of a sense of humor. A certain
young Salomon, son of the Count of Ramsweg, was a student of the abbey
school, and something of a snob among his fellow-scholars. Notker,
Ratpert, Tutilo and Hartmann were of as good family as he, and they did
not enjoy his behavior. Finally, through favoritism, Salomon came to be
abbot of six monasteries and Bishop of Constance in addition. But in
spite of these dignities he had a singular predilection for the Abbey of
St Gall, and was accustomed to put on a surplice and go about the place
attending the offices like a regular monk—which, by the way, he had no
right to do. His old friends found this out, and raised so much of a
stir about it that he ceased from the practice. But at night he still
persisted in entering the abbey and aiding in the services.

Rudiger, one of the confederates, was therefore set to watch for the
coming of the intruding bishop, and when Salomon slipped along toward
the church in the darkness the watcher suddenly thrust a light in his
face and saw who it was. Then this valiant Rudiger swore the largest
oath permitted in those sacred precincts, for he asseverated “by St.
Gall” that no stranger in their conventual habit should be around the
cloisters at night. Salomon offered endless apologies, and promised to
secure permission from the abbot before he wore the surplice again. And
he even turned his discomfiture into a partial victory by begging
Rudiger to present this request in his behalf. The petition, so voiced,
came duly before the “senate” of that monkish republic, which happened,
unfortunately for the avaricious and rapacious Salomon, to include his
four opposers—“Hartmann, who composed the melody to the _Sanctus humili
prece_; Notker the Stammerer, who made _Sequences_; Ratpert, who wrote
_Ardua spes mundi_, and Tutilo, who was the author of _Hodie
cantandus_.” These men finally allowed him to come in as usual, provided
he would entirely demit his canon’s raiment, and be nothing but a
Benedictine monk while within the walls.

Somehow Salomon conceded even this, and one day brought a splendid
gift—a gold box encrusted with jewels and containing relics—which he
offered to the abbey. All this looked in the direction that the monks
feared; and they therefore rejected his present with some scorn. But it
did not take long to lift Salomon the Simonist to the Abbacy of
Reichenau, and then Archbishop Sfortto contrived at length to secure the
wealthy St. Gall for his favorite. Thus Salomon, the detested, became,
in spite of all opposition, the abbot of that celebrated cloister.

But St. Gall itself had always prospered, apparently as the sun does
according to the theories of some astronomers, for it had been
continually receiving cometary accessions that dropped into it
unexpectedly. One such was an antiphonary, which, on the principle that
“to him that hath shall be given,” fell into the hands of these musical
monks through the burning of the Abbey of Jumieges in 851. This was the
true origin of the “sequence.” It solved the problem of Notker in a
novel manner when he finally examined it, for he had been puzzled at the
immense prolongation of the final syllable _ia_ in the _Alleluia_, which
was sung to cover the retreat of the deacon as he ascended to the
rood-loft to chant the Gospel. This _Alleluia_ came between the Epistle
and the Gospel, and as the deacon had some space to traverse, the _ia_
was nearly interminable; for even a very few seconds became on such an
occasion a most perceptible and wearisome interval of time.

This Jumieges antiphonary, in which words were fitted to the Gregorian
tones, suggested another treatment of the difficulty. Notker
consequently composed the _Laudes Deo concinat_, and afterward the
_Coluber Adae male suasor_. Iso, his master, approved of them, and
Maengal afterward gave him considerable help. The “sequence” in its
standard form had a “note to each syllable,” as in modern church music.
And this was the beginning of that Book of Sequences perfected by him in
887, and which has gained a merited prominence for the name of Notker

Ekkehard tells certain legends (which may or may not be trustworthy)
regarding the suggestion whence some of these sprung. The droning
rotation of a slow mill-wheel gave rise, he says, to the sequence
_Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia_; and this is far more credible than
the additional information that Notker sent it to “the Emperor” Charles
and got back the famous _Veni Creator Spiritus_—a story which Mabillon
utterly confutes. This Emperor was certainly _not_ Charles the Great—who
was long ago dead—and it _might_ have been Charles “the Bald” or Charles
“the Fat” (the usurper), or Charles “the Simple,” but there seems an
antecedent improbability that any such nickname could belong to the
grave and great poet of that splendid hymn. And, indeed, we are now
positive that it is the composition of Rabanus Maurus, Bishop of Mayence
(Mainz), who died in 856.

There is probably some show of reason in the idea that the groaning
machinery of a mill should have helped to originate the extended notes
of the sequence. The picturesqueness of the story is really its best
claim to our notice. I well remember a mill by which I used often to
pause in the stillness of night, listening to the wailing protracted
cadences of the huge wheel which slowly turned in its bed as the buckets
successively filled from the shut, but leaky gates. Hearing this, and
comparing it with the “sequence” of the Catholic service, or with the
long-drawn tones of a German choral, it is impossible not to be struck
by the resemblance.

Then there is another story—indeed, there are several in the Latin which
could scarcely be inserted here—but there is certainly one other which
both Baring-Gould and Maitland have had sufficient geniality to extract.
It refers to the manner in which Notker, Ratpert, and Tutilo—“the three
inseparables”—attended to the eavesdropping of one of Abbot Salomon’s
spies. This spy was Sindolf, the _refectorarius_, or steward, a
sour-visaged, crab-appleish kind of man, who was never so happy as when
he had an evil speech to retail. He particularly delighted in fretting
the temper of the abbot with reference to these poets and musicians, but
they suspected his design and “set a watch because of him.”

One evening after “lauds” the three were in the “writing-room”
(_scriptorium_) where the manuscripts were prepared and kept, busy with
their conversation and having thereto the permission of the prior.
Sindolf sniffed scandal in the air, and flattened his ear against the
opaque glass, where a convenient crack suffered him to listen to their
words. It was night, and Tutilo, a shrewd, lively fellow (_homo
pervicax_), was glad enough to get this occasion against the slinking
traitor. In the _Acta Sanctorum_, and again in Mabillon, copied into the
one hundred and thirty-first volume of Migne, we have old Ekkehard’s
grim report of this monkish fun.

“There he is with his ear to the glass,” cried Tutilo. “Do you, Notker,
because you are a timid little chap (_timidulus_), go away into the
church. But Ratpert, my friend, take down the whip that hangs in the
chimney corner and run out-doors. And then comfort my heart (_cor meum
confortare_) by laying on to him with all your might (_esto robustus_).
For I, when you get close enough, will throw open the window in a hurry,
catch him by the hair and hang on with a will” (_ad me pertractum
violenter tenebo_). Off went the timorous Notker; out slipped the
cheerful Ratpert; open went the window, and the vigorous Tutilo clutched
Sindolf by ears and hair together! Then Ratpert rained on the lashes (_a
dorso ingrandinat_), and Sindolf twisted and howled and kicked, and
lights began to fly around, and the brethren came running. But Tutilo
held on and called for a light and shouted that he had caught the devil;
while Ratpert vanished into the night and Notker had entirely
disappeared in the church. “Where are Notker and Ratpert?” was the first
question. “Oh, they smelled the devil and ran away to ask succor from
heaven,” said Tutilo. “And here was I, left to do the best I could with
this thing that walks in darkness. And I believe an angel has been sent
to chastise him in the rear!”

The sneaky Sindolf was completely abashed, but his temper did not
improve under the chastisement. Even Salomon, his patron, laughed at him
along with the others, which made the matter worse. So one day, finding
a beautiful copy of the Canonical Epistles in Greek which Liutward,
Bishop of Vercelli, had sent as a present to Notker, what does the
malicious wretch do but cut it to pieces with his knife! Ekkehard adds
that the mutilated copy could still be seen in the library of St. Gall.

These two worthies, Ratpert and Tutilo, heartily deserve the place which
Ekkehard accords them in his life of Notker. Ratpert walked usually
between Notker and Tutilo; a very punctual, studious man who “wore out
two pairs of shoes in the year;” a man who seldom left the abbey walls,
and who regarded “expeditions” as being to the full “as dangerous as
kisses;” a negligent fellow about the offices and masses, claiming that
he taught them often enough to his pupils; and finally, a composer of
good litanies; dying October 25th, A.D. 900.

Tutilo was a capital companion; genial and ingenious; capable of music
on all sorts of pipes and fiddles; who told a good story and made many a
good joke; active and agile in his figure, and withal a fine carver,
painter, and goldsmith. Some of his ivory carving still exists in the
town library of St. Gall—so one historian records in a foot-note—and he
was evidently a most skilful musician, whose hymn tunes, composed on the
_rota_, or small harp (the minstrel’s instrument in those days), were
always acceptable. He wrote _Hodie cantandus_, _Omnium virtutum gemmis_,
and _Viri Galilaei_. This last he sent to “King Charles,” who himself
composed a tune to which Tutilo set words called _Quoniam Dominus_. His
royal patron liked him well. “Curse the man,” he said one day, “he is
altogether too good a fellow to be a monk!” Ekkehard adds to this list
of compositions the sequence _Gaudete et cantate_ as a specimen of
Tutilo’s ability in a slightly different direction of music, declaring
that “any one who understands music” will notice and appreciate the

Hartmann was abbot after Salomon; a most learned man, and one who
perhaps contributed more to the development of the “sequence” than we
are now able to prove.

Of Notker it is only fair to say that he gave to himself the name
_Balbus_, or Stammerer, which was changed, owing apparently to his small
stature, into the diminutive, _Balbulus_. When Innocent III. asked
Uadalric, then Abbot of St. Gall, what rank Notker had held in the
convent, the abbot replied that he was only “a simple monk,” but was
born of noble parents and was thoroughly holy and well educated. On
which the Pope declared that they were wretched and wicked people
(_nequissimi_), and would suffer for it (_infelices eritis_) if they did
not celebrate the festival of this man who had been “so full of the Holy
Spirit.” Julius II. commanded Hugo, Bishop of Constance, to inquire into
the matter. The result established him as a beatified confessor, and so
distinguished him by the prefix “Blessed” from Notker “the Abbot,” who
was his nephew, and died 973; Notker “the Physician,” who died 1033;
Notker “of Liege,” who died 1007, and Notker “Labeo,” who died 1022. B.
Notker Balbulus himself died in 912. Salomon, who was then his abbot,
died in 919, and in 921 Hartmann succeeded to the dignity.

It would not be difficult to add to this account several superstitious
stories; how Notker broke his staff over a dog-devil which went howling
through the church; how he had some difficulty with another demon who
intermeddled with pen and ink; how he severely handled a flagitious
monk; and, generally, how he proved to be a moderate worker of miracles
and a pleasant colleague to the other cenobites.

But we turn with a peculiar interest to that little sequence which has
made his name immortal. This _Media vita in morte sumus_ is the one
which meets us in the Burial Service of the Protestant Episcopal Church:

  “In the midst of life we are in death:
    Of whom may we seek for succor
  But of thee, O Lord,
    Who for our sins art justly displeased?”

It is there found in connection with a passage from the Book of Job, and
is followed by the _Sancte Deus; Sancte fortis; Sancte et misericors
Salvator, Amarae morti ne tradas nos_; which is in our translation,
“Yet, O Lord most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful
Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.” All
that Notker originally composed is that which is first mentioned above.
The rest came about as we shall presently see.

The Rev. F. Proctor, in his _History of the Book of Common Prayer_,
states that this brief sequence—of which he does not appear to know the
origin—“was formed from an antiphon which was sung at Compline during a
part of Lent.” There is also a singular misapprehension by which the
“samphire gatherers” hanging over the cliffs of England at their
“dreadful trade” were credited with the suggestion. It was formerly
supposed that Notker watched them during their dangerous toil, and so,
by another equally strange inadvertence, the fact was taken as a proof
that he must have been himself a native or resident of Britain. This,
like the other legend of the twenty-year debate upon sequences, proves
on inquiry to have no foundation in fact. The story itself is a
sufficient explanation without any coloring whatever. It reveals to us
the poetic spirit of the devout man who beheld his fellow-creatures
poised between life and death, and wrote this short and exquisite
meditation thereon.

“The holy Notker,” says Canisius, “made the ‘prose’ of the following
lament when the bridge [over the chasm] at Martinstobel was being
constructed in a precipitous and most dangerous place. But who added the
‘verses’ I do not know. I have quoted it from a most ancient codex,
where it is set to modern notes.” He then proceeds to give it in the
ordinary form. It is, as he says, a _prose_, and must be distinguished
from _verses_ of regular metre:

“Media vita in morte sumus, quem quaerimus adjutorem, nisi te, Domine,
qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris.”

Thus far Notker. Then occur the “verses” in three stanzas:

  “Ah homo, perpende fragilis,
  Mortalis, et instabilis,
  Quod vitare non poteris
  Mortem, quocunque ieris.
  Aufert te, saepissime,
  Dum vivis libentissime.
      Sancte deus.

  “Vae calamitas inediae,
  Vermis fremit invidiae,
  Dum audit flentem animam
  Mortalis esse utinam!
  Nec Christi fati gladius,
  Transiret, et non alius,
      Sancte fortis.

  “Heu nil valet nobilitas
  Neque sedis sublimitas,
  Nil generis potentia,
  Nil rerum affluentia,
  Plus pura conscientia
  Valet mundi scientia.
  Sancte et misericors Salvator,
      Amarae morti ne tradas nos.”

It is perfectly plain, then, that this “third sequence”—the _Media vita_
being the second—is derived from the “verses” whose authorship Canisius
cannot discover, and the date of which cannot be far from the fourteenth

But when we imagine the good monk watching the workmen from the brink of
the Goldach, which hurries down through St. Gall toward the Boden-See,
we can bring to mind the whole picture. The present bridge is one
hundred and sixteen feet long and fully one hundred in height from the
swift little stream. It is of wood, and was constructed in 1468. Here,
dizzily balancing in mid-air, tradition says that a man, even as Notker
gazed, lost his footing and plunged into the abyss. The eternities came
together! A spark from the infinite kindled within the poet’s soul.
Heaven from on high beheld this single life suddenly hurled to ruin.
Earth from beneath reached up and seized upon the thing of earth. And
thus it was with us every moment! In the midst of life we were in death,
and from none could we seek for help save from God alone—that God,
displeased at sinners, who is the sinner’s only hope!

Standing once before the graves at Gettysburg, the tall gaunt figure of
Abraham Lincoln paused upon such an eternal edge. His soul took in at
one sweep the heroic past and the historic future. And those words which
came, so men assure us, almost without premeditation from his lips are
the noblest utterance of our time. That compact, terse, brief expression
is the essence of national strength. The phrases are vivid with a
supernatural brightness: “Government of the people, for the people, by
the people must not perish from the earth.” It was so with Notker; and
now, wherever that beautiful service is uttered above the dead, the
forgotten monk of St. Gall speaks with a voice which touches unaltering
humanity, and utters that grave, great thought, preciously protected in
its small casket of language, that death is beneath and God is above,
and that all our hope must come from Him!

                              CHAPTER XIV.
                            WALAFRID STRABO.

Among the pupils of Rabanus Maurus was a boy afflicted with strabismus.
He was cross-eyed, or crooked-eyed in some manner, and this fixed upon
him the name of Strabo the “squinter.” Like many another monk in that
age, he has so sunk himself into his service as to have become a man
without a country and almost without parentage. Some therefore contend
that he was an Anglo-Saxon, once a monk in London and afterward educated
at St. Gall, Reichenau, and Fulda. An obscure tradition even makes him a
relative of the Venerable Bede. Another story assigns him to Haymo’s
family. Now, Haymo was a monk of Fulda about 850, a man of very liberal
opinions, learned, and truly catholic, especially in his denial of the
universal authority of the Pope and the doctrine of transubstantiation.
It is something of an honor to have been this man’s brother, and it is
no discredit to have been related to Bede. At any rate these guesses—for
they are little else—serve to show us the repute in which Walafrid
Strabo was held.

More accurate investigation reveals a sentence in the preface to the
life of St. Gall which seems conclusive. In it Walafrid speaks of “us
Germans or Suabians.” Suabia is thus designated as his birthplace, and
we find his name among the list of those scholars who did credit to
their teacher Rabanus.

His period is the middle of the ninth century, for in 842 he became
Abbot of Reichenau in the diocese of Constance, and he died in 849.
Dates like these are not hard to verify, for we have many chronicles and
records in which the Dark Ages laid the foundations of authentic
history. Here lie away in their narrow niches of brief reference many
illustrious people. And the work of the hymnologist consists often
enough in the same sort of research as secular history demands. Now and
then on the dead breast there is a little withered flower ready to
crumble into dust.

That curious, peering Trithemius—to whom we are indebted for such
laborious inquiries concerning the men of this time—maintains that
Walafrid was “rector” of the school in the monastery of Hirschfeld. If
this be so it only confirms what we note again and again, that Alcuin
and Rabanus were the real instigators of German scholarship. And the
work from which we shall presently quote becomes more interesting to us
for this reason.

Walafrid left a long catalogue of works behind him. He wrote a valuable
antiquarian treatise on the divine offices and usages of the Church.
Besides, he is accredited as the author of the lives of St. Gall, St.
Othmar, St. Blaithmac, St. Mamma, and St. Leudegaris. He also composed
various poems; a preface to the Life of Ludwig the Pious, and a
condensation of Rabanus Maurus’s Commentary on Leviticus. He compiled
the famous _Glossa Ordinaria_, which remained the standard commentary on
the Bible throughout the Middle Ages. He began the annals of Fulda,
which have since been continued by competent hands, notably those of
Christopher Brower. He has been called a “pretty good poet for his
age”—by which is meant that there was a scanty supply of poetry in the
ninth century—a fact which no one is competent to dispute.

It goes without saying that his life was the life of an ecclesiast,
restricted to a Chinese minuteness of ritual, and permitting only such
visits and journeys as religious business justified. His death occurred
on one of these infrequent expeditions. It was in France, whither he had
gone—as we are expressly told—in order to hasten some ecclesiastical

These are the meagre and unentertaining facts connected with the name of
Walafrid Strabo. He would not have deserved, nor would he have received
our notice if two of his hymns (the _Laudem beatae martyris_ and the
_Gloriam nato cecinere_) had not been preserved. These entitle him to
mention, and he promptly rises to genuine importance if we can agree
with Kellner (see _Bibliotheca Sacra_, January, 1883, p. 154), that a
recently discovered “diary” is from his pen. It is probable that,
whether it be authentic or not, it is strictly accurate in its relation
of the studies pursued in those schools. And if we assume it to be
credible we can revise our dates to correspond.

Thus his school life began in 816, and after its close he went to Fulda,
thence to return to his old monastery in 842 as its abbot. These dates
are afforded by the document itself, which was originally published in
1857, as a part of the educational report of the Benedictine school of
St. Maria of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. It appears to me that its tone
and composition are not such as to justify the value which Kellner sets
upon it. Walafrid’s name was a convenient one, and this is doubtless no
more nor less than a clever historical romance. But it has been composed
in the very neighborhood of the scenes it depicts, and the advantages of
all the ancient MSS. and traditions have been incalculably great.

The narrative is introduced by a modern preface which speaks of St.
Meinrad, the founder of Einsiedeln, as a contemporary of Walafrid. Then
we have a statement which tersely exhibits the plan and purpose of the

“In the dark hour when the Roman imperial throne collapsed on which
Theodoric the Goth had just seated his teacher Avitus, Manlius Boethius
committed his spiritual wealth to the Goth Cassiodorus, who transmitted
it to the sons of St. Benedict,” etc.

“The seed of Christian instruction had been inherited by the sons of St.
Benedict from the age of martyrs and holy fathers. Great seminaries were
opened at Fulda, Weissenberg in the bishopric of Speyer, St. Alban in
Mainz, St. Gall, Reichenau in the bishopric of Constance, St. Maximin,
and St. Matthias in Trier, etc. To these establishments the sons of the
nobility resorted, while the Benedictines were their teachers and
fathers. Whoever saw one of these schools saw them all as to everything
essential. Accordingly, it is our purpose to describe one of
them—namely, the school of Reichenau, from which came the founder of
Einsiedeln, St. Meinrad, and Walafrid Strabo, who was his schoolmate in
Reichenau, and who, four years after him, assumed the Benedictine

Then follows an assurance to the “intelligent reader” that this account
“is not mere poetry,” but is “sustained by authoritative documents,”
among which are named the writings of Walafrid himself, of Bede, Alcuin,
Rabanus, and the collections of Pez, Metzler, and others. It is plain,
then, that Kellner has been misled, and that Professor J. D. Butler, of
Madison, Wis., who has made this clever translation from the German, has
been likewise deceived. Yet the historical importance of the “diary”
remains, and the writings of Alcuin, Bede, and Rabanus, with those of
Walafrid, give the original particulars and can be cited in proof.
Professor Butler adds a few pleasant details about Reichenau. It was
founded in 724, earlier than any neighboring convent except St. Gall. It
is on an island in the Lake of Constance, whose lake-girt limits are
about two miles by three. It became so rich that it acquired many other
properties, and its abbot could journey to Rome and never sleep a night
outside of his own domain. The old tower, built by Henry the Black, is
still standing, and among the cherished relics of the abbey is a piece
of green glass weighing twenty-eight pounds given by Charlemagne, who
thought it to be an emerald. There is also a supposititious water-pot
from Cana of Galilee, which evidently came from Palestine and shows the
mediaeval intercourse with the Holy Land. The revenues of the abbey were
not sequestrated until the year 1799. Such is a brief sketch of this
religious house which we shall again encounter in the story of Hermannus

Walafrid’s narrative begins with the year 815. He saw the vast buildings
with surprise and was greeted by a throng of future schoolmates. His
teacher had several boys under his care to teach them to read. This he
did by the help of a wax tablet—the old Roman method. The letters were
scratched on the wax and erased by the blunt end of the pointed “style.”
Along with this elementary work came Latin, together with a German
primer—in both of which the boys were expected to read.

At harvest time there was a short vacation. The boys rambled through the
fields and picked fruit and enjoyed themselves generally.

The second year’s work was the learning of conversational Latin. This
was the language of daily intercourse and was employed to express all
wants. The grammar of Donatus was studied under a pupil-teacher, and the
cases and tenses were rigidly committed to memory. The rod was the
penalty for misbehavior. German phrases were translated into Latin and
some portion of biblical history was repeated to the scholars at night,
which they were obliged to tell again in the morning.

Then follows a description of the dedication of the minster and of the
solemn effect of the great High Mass, at which time Walafrid resolves to
become a monk.

The year 817 was occupied with grammar and orthography, and the use of
Latin was compulsory. Hitherto there had been a trifle of laxity and a
few lapses into German were forgiven. Now there was no exception to
scholars of this advancement. They wrote from dictation upon their
tablets, and the Psalter was in this manner transcribed and memorized.

The fourth year (818) was signalized by the planting of the first
grape-vine on the island. Doubtless the fact itself is authentic, and is
here introduced owing to its date. And in this year the scholars attack
prosody. They study Alcuin (who wrote many verses), and the distichs of
Cato, and Bede’s _De Arte Metrica_. The earlier Christian poets—Prosper
and Juvencus and Sedulius—are mentioned. It is strange that the author
does not name Prudentius, who was far more of a classic than any or all
of these three. But it is quite correct to mention Virgil as a permitted
book, and the exercises in poetry in which all were engaged.

In 819, the fifth year, the boys became pupil-teachers themselves. They
were further instructed in rhetoric, with illustrations from the Bible
to be paralleled from Statius and Lucan, whose works they were studying.
Other scholars again were set to work as scribes and copyists. The
amusements were the running of foot-races, quarter-staff playing, and
“dice,” by which we are probably to understand the very ancient game of
backgammon. And again, it is strange that no mention is made of the
games of ball, which were decidedly common in those days.

The year 820 is consumed with rhetoric—with Cicero, Quintilian, and the
histories of Bede, Eusebius, Jerome, and others. The classic authors
were Sallust and Livy, with Virgil and (at last) Prudentius and

In 821 comes Boethius, attended by more of Cassiodorus, and the pleasant
pastime of “dialectics,” or debating. In these debates the enthusiasm
was kindled for future controversies. And in other lines—as, for
example, in studies of the current legal codes, of the Salic and
Ripuarian Franks and Lombards—those who were to be rulers were
diligently trained. Here (for this is the exact account of that ancient
instruction) we see how the Church held sway over her former pupils, and
how the pupils became by and by the exponents of religious opinions and
subservient to ecclesiastical decrees.

With 822 we have mention of rhetoric and logic, with oral and written
exercises, and in 823 the scholars took up and pursued the studies of
geometry and geography according to the light of that period. Then came
music with the various instruments, as organ, harp, flute, or trombone.
Finally, Walafrid is supposed to record his initiation into the reading
of Greek. From the MS. of Homer the boys were instructed, and the
account closes abruptly with a reference to the study of astronomy.

Subsequent to this year, 825, Walafrid is believed to have passed
considerable time at Fulda with Rabanus Maurus.

These were the ideas and educational methods of that period. Outside of
the monasteries and abbeys there was nothing that went on in the way of
learning. It needed special establishments, with great wealth, the
protection of kings and nobles, and the indefinable terrors of religious
authority to perpetuate scholarship. We may despise, as some writers
freely do despise, the bigotry and intolerance which obliterated fine
manuscripts of the classics to make room for monkish trifles. But we
cannot fail to discover the germs of the new poetry of the Church in
these unpromising times. Fortunatus and Prudentius were no bad
preceptors after all. And even if Walafrid Strabo was not much of a
poet, he has served our occasion as a pupil when he might not have
gained notice as a writer of hymns.

                              CHAPTER XV.

One of the surprises of history is the long-delayed honor which comes to
the modest and the meek. The notable and prominent attract to themselves
much of the repute of any age. They even gain the credit of achievements
to which they never put a finger. But by and by the “whirligig of time
brings in his revenges,” and they that were last become first.

Thoughts like these are sure to come to us when we encounter such a name
as this of the poor cripple of Reichenau. Whatever fame he had in his
own day gradually disappeared and he has been only a shadowy figure for
many years. It is true that Ersch and Gruber, in their great
encyclopaedia, say of him that he is “one of the most meritorious men of
the eleventh century.” It is also true that Ussermann—himself an almost
forgotten authority—has labored to give Hermann his proper meed of
praise; and that the Benedictines have patiently collated many little
particulars concerning him. Yet he still remains locked up in Latin or
in German or in French; and English readers can be pardoned for being
utterly ignorant of him and of his works.

This man merits no small share of our notice. He came of good blood, for
his father was the Count of Vöhringen in Suabia. He traced his kinship
to the famous St. Udalric, whose sister, named Leutgarde, is mentioned
(971) in the saintly bishop’s pages. Her son was Reginbald, slain in
battle against the Hungarians in 955. This Reginbald had a daughter
Bertha, who married Wolfrad, Count of Vöhringen, and died in 1032.
Wolfrad, dying in 1010, had a son Wolfrad, who married a lady named
Hiltrude and became the father of fifteen children—one of whom was
Hermann. This is the simplest form of a genealogy, which the learned
chronicler protracts in a marvellous manner, to the great confusion of
the modern mind. I have not cared to follow him into the remoter
affinities and alliances which add distinction to the poor little
paralytic child, who at seven years of age was carried to the great
school at St. Gall.

I have said that Hermann was a cripple. He was so completely helpless,
indeed, that he could not move without assistance; and his days and
nights were full of pain. He was “hump-backed and bow-breasted, crippled
and lame.” (_Gibosus ante et retro, et contractus, claudus_. Pertz:
_Monumenta: Scriptores:_ V., 268.) But his mind triumphed over these
infirmities. A pathetic legend concerning him assures us that in the
visions of the night the Virgin stood before him, radiant and beautiful.
As in the old story about the choice of Hercules—which was probably the
origin of this—she offers him strength of body combined with ignorance
and weakness of mind; or wisdom and ability in a body which should be
deficient and sickly to the day of his death. This “second Hercules”—as
the chronicler admiringly calls him—promptly chose the last.

He had been born (for his ancestral records and his own _Chronicon_ help
us to exactness) on July 18th, 1013. He was admitted to school,
probably, though not certainly, at St. Gall, on September 15th, 1020.
Hitherto his education had been absolutely neglected. He could not go
about alone nor even speak intelligibly (_Annales Augustani_ [1042-55].
In Pertz: _Mon. Ger._, VII., 126) owing to his paralysis. But he had a
devouring desire for knowledge, and rapidly mastered Latin, Greek,
Arabic, and (probably) Hebrew, so that he possessed them equally well
with his vernacular speech. The convent was the only place for such a
poor little waif as he, and thus, within the learned cloisters of St.
Gall, he followed reverently upon the shining path of Notker and Tutilo
and Ratpert and Hartmann, and added his name to theirs in the
development of the sequences and antiphons of the Church.

Nor was this all. He became an excellent historian, a distinguished
musician, and a renowned philosopher and theologian. In mathematics he
was equally skilled and ingenious. He is considered by some to have
invented the astrolabe, the first instrument by which the height and
distances of stars were calculated. Assuredly he wrote an exhaustive
treatise upon its use, whether he originated it or not; and it is said
that he added to his scientific studies the making of clocks and
watches. He has left us essays upon the monochord, on the squaring of
the circle, on computation and physiognomy and metrical rules and
astronomy. These are marked by the inferior attainments of the age, as
we might expect, but they display an amount of original research for
which we are unprepared.

He was also an excellent scribe, and the library of St. Gall still
contains a copy of a work ascribed to Anselm of Canterbury written by
him in the fulfilment of a vow. He resembled the Venerable Bede in the
universality of his knowledge, and, like Alcuin and Rabanus Maurus, he
is one of the great teachers of his time. Always, during these darkening
years, there appears to have been some ministering priest in the temple
of education—some self-devoted, God-fearing man, who patiently kept the
altar-fire burning, and spent his life, to the utmost verge, in climbing
those altar-steps with fresh fuel for the flame.

We do not know how much of this work was begun or completed during his
life at St. Gall. We are able to say that he translated Aristotle’s
Poetics and Rhetoric from the Arabic language, and this of itself should
award to him the very highest renown. It is impossible in a single
sentence to do justice to this achievement and we must take it more at

The dictator Sylla brought the works of the great Greek philosopher,
together with his library, to Rome, in the year B.C. 147. This was on
the capture of Athens, and these writings were still comparatively
unknown in Greece. The philosophy of the Peripatetic school was, of
course, familiar to their countrymen; but it was by and through the
Latin race and not the Greek, that the “Master of Syllogisms” was to
become most potent. Aristotle’s was the controlling system of the Middle
Ages. His rules of logic were imperative. They governed theology, and
indeed every other form of metaphysics. They restrained with an iron
grip the expanding ideas of men. It was against Aristotle, in the person
of William of Champeaux, future Bishop of Chalons and founder of the
school of St. Victor, that Peter Abelard laid his lance in rest. Even to
the days of Dean Swift these ideas bore sway, and when that brilliant
man sought his degree from Trinity College, Dublin, he was met by the
question whether he reasoned according to Aristotle. And his reply, that
he did well enough in his own fashion, was held to be little less than
atheism. Nor is this the only comparison which might be aptly instituted
between Swift and Abelard.

So Aristotle had his authority and held his sceptre down almost to our
own time. But at the commencement his writings were either used in the
Greek language or in the Arabic. In the twelfth century the schools of
the Moors in Spain were the true centre of philosophy. They first
applied his teachings to theology, and to these schools resorted many
scholars from other parts of the continent. But such translations as
these travelling students brought home were probably of a sort to make
intricacy and subtlety more intricate and subtle. A fog had gathered
over Europe, and the Dark Ages are indeed no myth. There were few points
of light anywhere, and among these few were the bright spots called St.
Gall and Reichenau.

Charles Jourdain asserts that only a part of Aristotle was known before
1200 A.D., and that this was through the translation of Boethius. (See
Ueberweg: Hist. Philos., I., 367.) So that if Hermannus Contractus
translated Aristotle at so early a date, it shows that his rendering was
in advance of most, if not of nearly all those which were used in the
Western schools. He had a brother, or uncle, Manegold, who died in
Palestine. He had another brother Werner, who afterward became a legate
to Gregory VII. (Hildebrand) in the fierce struggle between Pope and
Emperor in 1077. And he was further well placed both by his family
connections and his situation at a centre of learning, to secure the
best manuscripts and the best Arabic instruction. (See an elaborate
dissertation in Wegelin: _Thes. Rerum Suevicarum_, II., p. 120.) It
evinces decided wisdom and toil on his part to have undertaken and
completed this translation; and there is no doubt that the humble
paralytic from his bed of suffering influenced materially the scholastic
movements of the coming centuries. Could he have seen the swarming
thousands who built the abbey of the Paraclete; could he have witnessed
in vision the uprising of such schools as St. Victor in France and
Oxford in England; could he have heard Roger Bacon confess his
indebtedness to those pages; could he have foreseen the infinite
consequences both to the preservation and the hindrance of human
thought, with what strange zeal he would have traced each painful line!

But he could not know it. He had removed at thirty years of age to his
perpetual celibacy at Reichenau—Augia the Rich, as it is called in the
Latin tongue. It is built on an island in the western arm of the Lake of
Constance. And there, with great mountains to gaze upon and fair waters
to catch for him the rosy light of evening; with the brethren of the
convent laboring cheerfully in their fields or toiling in their cells,
Hermann of Vöhringen, Hermann of Reichenau, Hermannus Contractus,
Hermann der Gebrechliche, Hermann the Cripple, spent his uneventful

Here he wrote the legends of some of the saints, and here he prepared
his valuable compendium of universal history. He calls it a _Chronicon_,
and condensed into its records the story of the world from A.D. 1 to the
year 1054, the date of his own death. It is very brief through the first
portion of its account of “the Six Ages.” Then its statements are
fuller. When it reaches contemporaneous events it becomes exceedingly
important to the historical student, for it is in the nature of a
chronicle. Here also the man’s own personality occasionally appears. He
speaks of Reichenau as _Augia nostra_ and mentions the basilica which
Henry III. (“the Black”) has erected to “our patron, St. Mark the
Evangelist.” This establishes the fact that Reichenau was his true
residence, and gives us the standpoint of the little isle in Lake from
which to look out across the dark-green and sometimes stormy waters upon
the confusions of the time. These were the days when the Truce of God
(1041 A.D.) was necessary in order to prevent the bloody feuds of the
barons during Advent, Lent, and from Wednesday evening of each week
until the following Monday morning. Yet amid all these conflicts Hermann
the Paralytic remained secure, guarded by religion and surrounded by the
peaceful lake. And like that lake the Rhine stream of secular affairs
flowed always through his life clear and undisturbed.

It is during these closing scenes that a touching entry is made in the
pages of the _Chronicon_. Under the year 1052 the crippled hand slowly
traces these words: “At the same time, on January 9th, my mother
Hiltrude, the wife of the Count Wolfrad, a pious, meek, generous, and
religious woman, and one who was as devoted to and happy in her husband
and her seven surviving children as any person could be, closed the last
day of her life in about the sixty-first year of her age and the
forty-fourth of her marriage, and was buried at the Villa of Altshausen,
in a sepulchre under the chapel of St. Udalric which she had herself
constructed.” And then follows a brief poem in which the merits and the
love of this dear mother are affectionately told.

Hermann, on the best of testimony, was a person of just this amiable and
beautiful spirit. He is called _hilarissimus_, as if to show his great
cheerfulness. He was always a strict vegetarian in his diet. He hated
injustice; scorned every sort of vice—and Heaven alone knows how much
there then was of nameless wickedness!—and finally, he was thoroughly
free from all envy and malice. It is a curious testimony to his breadth
of mind that one of his biographers says of him (quoting the old adage),
that he regarded nothing human as alien to his search.

He preserved this calmness and sweetness of temper to the farthest limit
of his days. Not long before he died he said to his faithful friend,
Berthold of Constance, “Do not, I say, do not ask me about this; but
rather attend to what I will tell you, for in you I do not a little
confide. I shall die doubtless in a very short time. I shall not live. I
shall not get well.” He added that he was so “seized with an ineffable
desire and delight toward that intransitory world and that eternal and
immortal life,” that all things of this passing existence seemed empty
and vain and dropped like motes (_flocci_) from him, in the breath of
that heavenly air.

And then he proceeded to detail a vision in which he fancied himself
reading and rereading the Hortensius of Cicero. His mind was clear; his
hopes for religion and for education were high; but all was now over and
he must depart. Therefore he quietly and pathetically ends by saying,
“_Taedet quidem me vivere_”—indeed it is wearisome to me to live. And
thus, on September 24th, 1054, he ceased from earth—in his forty-second
year, and having carried the story of the world down to the end of his
own career.

But his works follow him. I do most firmly believe him—and not Robert
the Second—to have been the author of the _Veni Sancte Spiritus_.

The first person to attribute this hymn to the King of France is Durand,
(_Rationale Divinorum Officiorum_, Lib. IV.) His book treats of
ceremonial observances and is among the rarest of printed volumes. The
splendid copy upon vellum in the Astor Library is not only beautiful in
itself, but it is extremely valuable as the _third_ specimen of
typography in existence. Only two works—one of them the Bible and
another the Psalter of Mainz—had been previously printed from movable
types. I have personally verified the reference and its English
rendering is as follows:

  “Notker, Abbot of St. Gall, in Germany, first composed sequences with
  notes of his own in the _Alleluia_. And Nicholaus the Pope [Nicholas
  II., 1059-1061] granted that they should be sung at masses. But
  Hermannus Contractus, a German, inventor of the astrolabe, composed
  these sequences: _Rex omnipotens_ and _Sancti Spiritus_ and _Ave
  Maria_ and the antiphons _Alma redemptoris mater_ and _Simon Barjona_.
  Peter, Bishop of Compostella, made the _Salve regina_. And the King of
  France, Robert by name, composed the sequence, _Veni Sancte Spiritus_
  and the hymn _Chorus novae Hierusalem_.”

It is hard to crowd into a paragraph more errors than are in this.
Notker was _not_ Abbot of St. Gall. Innocent III. was very severe upon
Udalric of St. Gall, because such a spiritual and able man had lived and
died unhonored among them; a simple monk whose labors and death received
no special attention in their religious year.

Nor did Hermann write the _Sancti Spiritus adsit_; for this, on the best
of testimony, was Notker’s. It was so sung at Rome under Innocent III.;
and Ekkehard the Younger, in his history of Notker, pointedly claims it
for him.

It is very doubtful whether Hermann invented the astrolabe for measuring
the distances of stars. His two treatises are upon its use, and he is
evidently very familiar with it. But it was first made serviceable in
navigation by the Portuguese—if we are to believe Evelyn (in his
_Navigation_)—and the study of astronomy was greatly cultivated by the
Arabic schools in Spain and elsewhere about this period. J. A. Fabricius
indeed mentions that the astrolabe was “commonly employed in the days of

The _Ave Maria_ is supposed by Koch to belong to the thirteenth century
and some have ascribed it to Adam of St. Victor. It is, perhaps, by
Heribert of Eichstettin (died 1042). Hermann wrote the _Ave praeclara
maris stella_, which might have been mistaken for this other.

The _Salve regina_ is assigned by Durand to Peter of Compostella.
Gerbert names several possible authors, but evidently follows the
leadership of Durand. (_De Cantu, etc._, II., 27.) And yet Trithemius,
with every really critical scholar, credits it to Hermann. It is
exhaustively considered by Wegelin and definitely conceded to him.
(_Thes. Rerum Suevicarum_, II., p. 120 _ff._)

Robert the Second cannot claim the _Chorus novae Hierusalem_. It is the
production of Fulbert of Chartres (died 1029), and is included without
question in every complete edition of his works.

Thus the absolute authority of Durand is much shaken. He was a lawyer in
the thirteenth century, who studied at Bologna and taught at Modena; a
legate of Pope Martin IV.; dean of the church at Chartres, and Bishop of
Mende. The fact that he was dean of Chartres, and yet ascribes the
_Chorus Novae_, not to Fulbert but to Hermannus, is suggestive, but not

So Durand was the first person to affix the name of Robert II. to the
_Veni Sancte_. Trithemius comes next in order; the Abbot of Spanheim;
historian and scholar; indefatigable in researches, but erratic and
prejudiced; born 1462 and dying 1516. His true name is Johann von
Trittenheim and we derive this, and other information about authors and
their works, from his _Liber de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis_—a
biographical dictionary like those of Jerome, Gennadius, and Isidore, to
whose works he really furnishes an Appendix. Egon (sometimes known as
Ego) in his account of Reichenau’s distinguished men (_De Viris
illustribus Augiae divitis_, quoted by Pez: _Thesaurus Anecdotorum_, I.,
3; 68. Cf. Migne, 143) declares that Trithemius was “unjustly hostile to
the monks of Reichenau” in asserting that “our Hermannus” was from St.
Gall, when even Metzler conceded, on behalf of his own convent, that
Hermann had changed his residence from St. Gall to Reichenau. Be this as
it may, the positive statement of Trithemius, which gives the _Veni
Sancte_ to Robert II. instead of to Hermann, has been generally
accepted. Cardinal Bona (1677), Louis Archon (1704-11), and others agree
with him.

But there is a break in the continuity of faith. Clichtove—an authority
much esteemed—expresses no opinion about the author of the _Veni Sancte_
further than to say _quisquis is fuerit_—whoever he was.

Rambach, in his _Anthology_, comes now to the rescue. (_Anthologie_, I.,
227.) He says it is “_ganz unstreitig von Robert;_” and all the German
critics, with the single exception of Daniel, have followed this
authority blindly. Whatever the Germans said has usually been enough for
the English. Therefore the _Veni Sancte_ is in every collection
attributed, without a shadow of doubt, to Robert the King.

There should have been less positiveness about this if the accurate
Daniel had been noticed more carefully. He praises the language of
Clichtove, who says that the author, “whoever he was,” must have been
“inwardly filled with light,” and he italicizes the _quisquis is
fuerit_. But as Robert, with only three others, appears to have escaped
the wreck of the sequences in the sixteenth century, even Daniel allows
the _Veni Sancte_ to him; and Archbishop Trench finds that “there exists
no good reason why we should question” that Robert wrote it.

We may dismiss any conjectures about Innocent III. having been its
author, although great efforts have been made to credit this hymn to his
pen. Dom Remy Cellier and Migne seem the most strongly partisan, but
their remarks and references are weak. (_Scriptores Ecclesiastici_, vol.
xiii., p. 109, note. Also _Patrologia_, 141; 901.)

A sample of the general looseness of citation can be found in Kehrein
(No. 125), who announces that Gerbert “holds Hermannus Contractus to be
the author” of the _Veni Sancte_. Gerbert does nothing of the kind. He
names Hermann _with others_. It is quite true, though, that he does
_not_ name Robert.

Setting aside Innocent III. for cause—although Brander of St. Gall, in
his _Index Sequentiarum_, grants this to him—the authorship of the hymn
rests between the king and the monk. I say “for cause,” since Innocent
was at the summit of temporal power, and his position was a very
tempting one to posthumous flattery. He is credited with the _Ave mundi
spes Mariae_. He did not write the _Stabat Mater_, nor did he compose
the _Veni Sancte_. Let any one examine the _Ave mundi_ and he will
renounce all hope that the man who prepared this could ever have written
the others, or either of them. Besides, Wrangham is likely to be correct
when he assigns this latter sequence to Adam of St. Victor. It is
precisely in Adam’s style of metrical composition; it is not found
before the fourteenth century, and its tone is modern. It can therefore
be said that Innocent deserves no place among the Latin hymn-writers.

Now, Robert II. is much in the same condition as Innocent III. His is a
shining name to which to affix popular hymns. He has been credited with
the _Ave maris stella_—the parent of all hymns to the Virgin. The
sequence _Sancti Spiritus adsit_ is not his, on the testimony already
adduced; but in the year 1110 the “ancient customs of Cluny,” collected
by St. Udalric (Hermann’s ancestor) gives us this “at Pentecost”
(D’Achery: _Spicilegium_, I., 641), with the “response,” _Spiritus
sanctus_. This would serve to show that such praise to the Holy Spirit
was usual. With the _Chorus Novae_ we have already dealt. And the _Rex
omnipotens_ belongs to Hermann though it is ascribed to Robert—another
instance of inaccuracy, which casts a ray of light upon the present

Those sequences of which Robert was the possible author are printed in
Migne’s _Patrologia_ (141, 959 _ff._). Only one of them merits a word of
notice. It is the _Te lucis auctor personent_. Daniel assigns this to
the fourteenth or fifteenth century, but Mone and Koch to the fifth.
These last are probably right. It is early found in the Anglo-Saxon
Church and is among the old Vatican MSS. and the hymns collected by G.
Cassander. It is scarcely possible that it comes down as late as the
eleventh century.

Robert’s other sequences are six in number and of no importance. His
personal history is pathetic enough. He was the son of Hugh Capet; born
at Orleans in 970 and died at Melun, July 20th, 1031, having been sole
king since 996, though he had been crowned in 988. His first wife was
Susanne, an Italian princess; and we learn from his contemporary, Richer
of Rheims, that one of his first public acts was to repudiate her on the
plea that she was too old for him, and that he refused to restore her
dowry. His next marriage was with his distant cousin Bertha—a cousin
four times removed—the widow of the Count of Blois. This marriage was
inconvenient to the Emperor Otho, as it would have brought the House of
Capet into the line of succession to certain lordships in the old
Kingdom of Burgundy. So Pope Gregory V., the kinsman of Otho, required
Robert to give up Bertha, not because Susanne was still alive, but
because the Church forbade the marriage of cousins in even the fourth
degree. At first Robert refused, but when his kingdom was laid under an
interdict, he showed as little manhood in standing by his second wife as
he had shown humanity and justice to his first. Such a ban was too
severe to be borne and the king yielded, though Baronius says he tried
to take back his wife Bertha in spite of it all. His life and kingship
belong to French history, and can be found there. His disposition was
that of a monk and not of a monarch. He founded four monasteries and
built seven churches. He supported three hundred paupers entirely and a
thousand in part. His reign lasted—thanks to ecclesiastical
influence—for thirty-four years. It was troubled and not especially
pleasant; and for his third wife the king had married the handsome shrew
Constance, the daughter of William Count of Arles. Pious and excellent
man that he is reputed to have been, he had a natural son, Amauri, who
was great-great-grandfather to Simon de Montfort. Truly, when all is
said and done, Robert II. is hardly the author in whom we would like to
believe with all our hearts when we sing—

  “Holy Spirit, come and shine
  Sweetly in this heart of mine.”

_Per contra_, Hermann of Reichenau grows more interesting the more he is
studied. He has been so unfortunate as to be confused with other persons
in two or three cases. By Brander he is identified with Hartmann of St.
Gall, and the sequence _Rex omnipotens_ is taken from him.[8] The pretty
little sequence, _Veni Sancte Spiritus et reple_, which Königsfeld
thinks to be his, is doubtless no earlier than the fourteenth century
and by some anonymous composer who has merely imitated the great

Beside the _Rex omnipotens_ he composed the _Ave praeclara maris
stella_, where his name gains another misprint and becomes “Heinricus,
monachus San Gallensis.” This poem was thought worthy of the authorship
of Albertus Magnus (Albert von Regensburg), and to him accordingly
Wackernagel and Koch credit it. Mone has vindicated the claim of Hermann
which is set forth in Migne. (_Patrologia_, 143; 20 _ff._) So that we
are again sure of a piece which has been meritorious enough to be

Then comes the antiphon _Simon Barjona_, which Du Meril calls _Simon
Baronia_ and of which no trace remains. Two other sequences are,
however, extant, and are beyond any question or debate. They are the
_Salve regina_, which Daniel calls a “most celebrated antiphon,” and the
_Alma redemptoris mater_, the refrain of which Chaucer used in that
“Prioress’s Tale,” which Wordsworth has modernized.

In addition we must observe that the _Veni Sancte_ is attributed to
Hermann simultaneously and by the same authority as that which credits
him with the other sequences. Two pieces—_Vox haec melos pangat_ and
_Gratus honos hierarchia_—are lost. But the _Salve regina_ was worth
contending for; and Gerbert names Gregory II., Peter of Compostella, St.
Bernard, and “Adhemar, Episcopus Podiensis” (Bishop of Puy and his own
candidate) together with Hermannus Contractus. Nevertheless, Trithemius,
Gerbert, and, indeed, everybody are heard to declare that Hermann was
“the marvel of the age,” the best man of his time in music and the
author of a work on metrical rules. He is known as Doctor Egregius, and
it is beyond any peradventure that he was _capable_ of writing the _Veni

The only arguments that are employed to prove that Robert was the author
are very weak. The _first_ is that there was no sufficient competitor.
But surely Hermannus Contractus is now a competitor of real merit and
importance. Then, too, the king was a kind of religious pet, and such
persons receive more than their due. But the _second_ argument is weaker
still. It amounts in brief to the harmony displayed in the poem between
the king’s life and his lovely verses. It strikes one, however, that an
invalid like Hermann might have had fully as deep a religious experience
as any such king. Moreover—and this is a vital fact—the _Veni Sancte_ is
found in the _German_ hymnaries almost exclusively. This point was
insisted upon in the controversy about the _Veni, Creator_; and Charles
the Great in this respect had the advantage over Gregory the Great,
until the claim of Rabanus Maurus, another German, was thoroughly
examined. But among all the sources carefully edited by Kehrein from
Daniel, Mone, and elsewhere, the French collections do not present
themselves. On the contrary, in this elaborate list we find St. Gall,
Kreuzlingen, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Mainz, Ebersberg, Rome (1481), Venice
(1497), with later examples printed at Cologne, Prague, Eichstettin,
Lubeck, and Basel. Brander also found the hymn in the earliest codices
of the three great neighboring cloisters of St. Gall, Einsiedeln, and
Reichenau. Meanwhile the only notice of it in France comes from the
Paris Breviary, which is of recent date.

There is but one consideration further. I trust that I have established
the perfect possibility that Hermannus Contractus might have been the
author equally as well as Robert. The men lived in the same period to
which, on the testimony of the best critics, the hymn is considered to
belong. They were alike in possibilities of Christian experience and of
musical and poetical temperament. But here they begin to diverge; and
the preference is decidedly in favor of Hermann, whose hymn is found in
the three oldest codices of his own neighborhood; of St. Gall, where he
studied; of Einsiedeln, where it is possible that he was a resident; and
of Reichenau, where he certainly lived from the age of thirty until his
death. He could scarcely have gone about very much in his helpless and
crippled condition; and these three conventual establishments are within
a moderate distance of each other. From his seventh year he was to be
discovered always somewhere in that vicinity, and the historians of St.
Gall and of Reichenau positively claim the _Veni Sancte_ as his.

It is only left for us to lay the _Salve regina_ side by side with the
_Veni Sancte_. A man who wrote upon metre ought to possess some
excellence in the art of which he wrote, and these pieces placed
together display a graceful and ingenious versification which is not at
all usual in that century. It is not claimed that either Robert or
Hermann wrote other hymns in the identical stanza form of the _Veni
Sancte_. Therefore nothing is available for direct comparison. But as to
the spirit of each there can be no debate. Robert never composed
anything else like the _Veni Sancte_, and it certainly seems as if
Hermann did compose a sequence which bears a passing resemblance; and
which I have endeavored to translate with its occasional rhymes and

  Salve regina, mater misericordiae
  Vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
  Ad te clamamus exules filii Hevae.
  Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle.
  Eia ergo advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos
  Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui nobis post hoc exilium
  O clemens, O pia, O dulcis virgo Maria.

  Hail O queen, mother of pitifulness!
  Life and delight and our confidence, hail!
  To thee we exiles, children of Eve, are crying.
  To thee we aspire, groaning and moaning in this the vale of our
  Lo, thou therefore, our advocate, turn upon us those pitiful eyes of
  And after this exile show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb,
  O merciful, O pious, O sweet Virgin Maria.

This is another of his sequences, the _Rex regum Dei agne_, found by
Brander among the antiquities of St. Gall:

  King of kings, Lamb of God, mighty Lion of Judah,

  The death of sin by the merit of the cross and the life of justice;
              giving the fruit of the tree of life for the taste of
              wisdom; the medicine of grace for the loss of glory,

  Since thy blood restrained the might of the sword of flame, opening
              the garden of paradise, the seed of obedience, the
              medicine of grace.

  This day is illustrious to the Lord; peace is on the earth, lightning
              to the shades below and light to the saints above; the day
              of the double baptism of law and gospel.

  Christ is the passover to man; while the old passes the new arises;
              rejoice my heart, freed from ferment, full of the bread

  Since the enemy are overwhelmed, with stained door-posts eat the
              sacrifice on the paschal night, at home, with the bitter
              herb of the field,

  Let your loins be girt and your shoes bound on, have the staff in the
              hand, and eat the head with the legs and the purtenance

  Wash us this day, O Christ, cleansing us with hyssop; and make us
              worthy of this mystery, drying the sea, boring the jaw of
              Leviathan with a mighty hook.

  Rejoice us with the cup and fill us; arouse us, drinking from the
              brook in the way, thou our propitiation, thou priest and
              sacrifice, thou wine-press and stone of offence and grape!

        O fragrant flower of the virgin rod,
        O light full of sevenfold dew,
        Fairer in beauty than the juice of the grape,
        The blush of the rose, the candor of the lily.

  How camest thou with such pity to bend to the help of this little
              world; that thou mightest share our sorrows and be our
              Redeemer from the birthmark of sin, bearing the curse of

  O Lord, Kinsman of thy servants,

  The hope of the first and of the last resurrection,

  Confirm thy covenant to the seed of Abraham, and us, O Leader
              immortal, reviving with thyself, who are dead with thee to
              our old father Adam, strengthen, joining us to thy
              mightier members.

  Give us the paschal feast of the life eternal, thou Paschal Lamb!

The question before us is not one of theology but of literature. Did the
man who wrote those verses write these also?

    Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
  Et emitte coelitus
  Lucis tuae radium.
  Veni, pater pauperum,
  Veni, dator munerum,
  Veni, lumen cordium;

    Consolator optime,
  Dulcis hospes animae,
  Dulce refrigerium:
  In labore requies,
  In aestu temperies,
  In fletu solatium.

    O lux beatissima,
  Reple cordis intima
  Tuorum fidelium!
  Sine tuo numine
  Nihil est in homine,
  Nihil est innoxium.

    Lava quod est sordidum,
  Riga quod est aridum,
  Sana quod est saucium;
  Flecte quod est rigidum,
  Fove quod est frigidum,
  Rege quod est devium!

    Da tuis fidelibus
  In te confidentibus
  Sacrum septenarium;
  Da virtutis meritum,
  Da salutis exitum,
  Da perenne gaudium!

  Come Holy Spirit,
  And send forth the heavenly
  Ray of thy light.
  Come, Father of the poor;
  Come, giver of gifts;
  Come, light of hearts.

  Thou best consoler,
  Sweet guest of the soul,
  Sweet coolness;
  In labor, rest;
  In heat, refreshment;
  In tears, solace.

  O blessedest light,
  Fill the inmost parts
  Of the heart of thy faithful!
  Without thy divinity
  Nothing is in man,
  Nothing is harmless.

  Wash what is base;
  Bedew what is dry;
  Heal what is hurt;
  Bend what is harsh;
  Warm what is chilled;
  Rule what is astray.

  Give to thy faithful,
  In thee confiding,
  Thy sevenfold gift.
  Give the reward of virtue;
  Give the death of safety;
  Give eternal joy.

This very singular construction of clauses is apparent to the eye at
once. Let it be remembered that Robert uses it nowhere else, and that
the most of Hermann’s writings are gone. This chance for the “higher
criticism” is therefore taken from us. If it could be shown, however,
that this was a method employed by the monk of Reichenau in his prose
works, the case might be regarded as absolutely proven, in so far as it
demonstrates that the bulk of the presumptive evidence is in his favor.

But here we are at fault. We can only add probability to probability and
leave all absolute demonstration alone. Pez has preserved not merely
Egon’s account of Hermann’s life, but he has edited Hermann’s treatises
on the astrolabe (_Thes. Anecdot. Tom._, III., pt. 2, p. 94) from a MS.
codex in the monastery of St. Peter at Salzburg. His musical treatise is
reprinted by Gerbert. (_Scriptores Eccl. de Musica_, vol. ii., p. 124.)
The didactic poem reciting the combat of the Sheep and the Flax—always
recognized as the production of Hermann—is in Migne’s _Patrologia_ and
also in Du Meril’s _Poesies Populaires_. Unfortunately none of these
writings are of a sort to help us. We cannot by their assistance make
any headway in critical analysis.

It is noticeable that J. A. Fabricius in his great work on the Middle
Age and later Latin writers, allows Hermann to be the author of the
_Veni Sancte_, following the testimony of Egon and Metzler. And it is
more than noticeable that Du Meril—himself a Frenchman—should also
apparently concede the hymn to this German.[9]

I have made an exhaustive search for everything bearing upon the life
and writings of Hermannus Contractus. I have pursued him and Robert
through the _Quellen_ of German history; through the writings and
compilations of Canisius and Despont and Urstitius and Martene and
Mabillon and D’Achery and Pertz and the _Monumenta Germaniae Historica_
of the “Society for Opening the Sources of German History.” In these and
in the encyclopaedias of La Rousse and Ersch-Gruber and the great
_Patrologia_ of Migne, I have investigated every by-path and blind
alley. It is abundantly clear that he was the most distinguished man of
his region, and, likely, of his period. Usserman and Possevin have
devoted attention to him. (_Prodromus Germ. Sacr. Tom._ I., p. 145
_sqq._, _De Apparatu_.) His didactic poem on the “Eight Principal Vices”
is in Haupt’s _Zeitschrift_, vol. xiii. His lives of Conrad and of Henry
III. have not been preserved. That he was a very voluminous writer is
also evident. After giving the names of some of his sequences Metzler
adds that there were _cetera mille alia_—a thousand more. So also speaks
Trithemius; and indeed this testimony is universal.

A single line of inquiry has been left to the American student. We have
lists of the MSS. in the various libraries of Europe. If it were only
possible to examine these with reference to the _Veni Sancte_ the matter
could be definitely settled. The Rheinau (Reichenau) library is rich in
hymnaries. Haenel’s “No. 53”—whose library number is 91—is, for
instance, a _Liber hymnorum_ of the tenth to the twelfth centuries.
There are several others—breviaries and collections of hymns—dating to
the twelfth century; and one book, “No. 124” (Lib. No. 75), which is
marked _Sequentiae propriae_, etc., and which is likely to have the
_Veni Sancte_. In the eleventh century at St. Gall they have “No. 381”
(St. Gall No. 486) which is a _codex insignis_—a very beautiful
MS.—containing the “earliest collection of hymns and poems of writers
dwelling at St. Gall.” In this same century appears the Anselm, which is
noted as a _codex nobiliter scriptus ab Herimanno, qui se hoc libri
decus ex voto perfecisse testatur_ (_pag._ 6), a manuscript elegantly
written by Hermann [“Herimann” is his own spelling of his name in the
_Chronicon_, by the way], who says on page 6 that he has accomplished
this excellent volume in pursuance of a vow. Among these St. Gall MSS.
can be found the _Salve regina_, bearing the date 1437. If it were made
a point of investigation it might be discovered that in both Reichenau
and St. Gall the _Veni, Sancte Spiritus_ is in codices which utterly
remove it from the perplexity of its authorship, and positively join it
to the name of Hermann.

One can sum up the whole discussion in a few sentences. Robert wrote no
other valuable hymns; Hermann did write several. Robert was not
specially skilled in metrical science; Hermann was the author of a
treatise on the subject. Robert was a poet and a musician; Hermann was
his superior in both departments. Robert had trouble and sorrow and
Christian experience; Hermann must certainly have had as much as he, and
more. Robert has had poems attributed to him which have failed of proof,
and none of his own verses seem ever to have been misappropriated or
missing; Hermann has had more taken from him than given to him.

In the matter of authority we are to note:

1. That the historians of St. Gall and of Reichenau claim for Hermann
the _Veni Sancte_.

2. That the hymn is found in the earliest codices of both places; and of
Einsiedeln, which is in the neighborhood.

3. That Clichtove is in doubt and Daniel is in doubt; that J. A.
Fabricius and Du Meril incline toward Egon’s statement; that Trithemius
is not entirely unprejudiced; and that Migne, gathering nearly
everything (as I have verified from the originals), leaves a strong
presumption in Hermann’s favor.

I may appear to make a good deal too much of this matter of mediaeval
jealousy. But no student of those times needs to be told that the
jealousy between the various cloisters was excessive. There is a letter
of the Reichenau monk Gunzo, written in 960. (_Martene_, I., 296.) It is
addressed to the “holy congregation at Reichenau” and describes his
journey to St. Gall. The distance was great enough to exhaust the
learned brother; he was lifted off of his beast and carried in by
hospitable hands. Notwithstanding which he vents his indignation upon
their methods and their lack of scholarship. They are self indulgent;
they are a fraud on the face of the earth. _Nihil inde sed fraudis
molamina parabantur_—they do nothing there except contrive a great mass
of deception, says the angry Gunzo. They attacked him on his grammar;
and he attacked them in turn on their loquacity. The epistle is grimly
humorous at this distance of time; but the bitterness was altogether too
genuine to be pleasant.

Far away from the most of these noises—separated by the waters of the
lake from the trampling pilgrim-bands who went to and fro between the
East and West—Hermann of Reichenau passed his quiet hours. His convent
was rich. Its abbot was said to be able to journey to Rome and not sleep
anywhere on the way except upon his own soil. It had been founded in 724
under the auspices of Charles Martel. Such was the admirable situation
of this religious house—sufficient to itself in the midst of all

They buried Hermann in his ancestral tomb at Altshausen. In 1631 “three
bones” of him were exhumed and carried “by force” to the monastery of
Ochsenhausen, but who took them and who resisted the taking of them, we
are not told. These are the meagre particulars of a life gentle,
patient, and unassuming—the life of a scholar and of a poet—who mastered
great obstacles by the genius of faith.

Three hundred years before Christ there came into Ceylon the Buddhist
missionary Mahinda. The king received him kindly and built for him and
his monks a convent on the hill Mihintale, to the east of the royal
city. On the western face of this hill Mahinda had his own retreat cut
out from the living rock. Still can be seen—though after two thousand
years—this study in which the great teacher of Ceylon “sat and thought
and worked through the long years of his peaceful and useful life.”
Under the cool shadow of his rock, with his stone couch on which to
repose, and with the busy plain, so far removed from him, sending its
faint noises up from below, there wrought the sage. And there he died at
last and was buried in the neighboring Dagāba. Modern times have nearly
forgotten him, but no story of that valley or that island is complete
without his name.

And so, in this later manner, lived and died Hermann Count of Vöhringen,
who laid down earthly honors to take up the pursuit of heavenly glory;
who overcame peevishness of mind and weakness of body by faith and hope
and love; who looked out upon his times from this serene distance, and
who went to his last sleep beneath the shadow of the rock.

Note.—I am not ignorant that Jourdain (_Recherches critiques sur l’Age
et l’Origine des Traductions latines d’Aristote_. Paris, 1819 and 1843)
has attacked the ascription of translations of Aristotle from the Arabic
to our Hermann, denying that the cripple of Reichenau possessed any
knowledge of that tongue. Briefly stated his arguments are these: 1.
That Trithemius followed Jacobus of Bergamo in ascribing to H.
Contractus a knowledge of Arabic. 2. That Metzler (whom he calls
_Mezler_) has added the statement about the Poetics and Rhetoric. 3.
That every one else has followed these two authorities. 4. That “H.
Alemannus” wrote in _Toledo_, to which the other Hermann could not have
journeyed. 5. That the translations were by this “H. Alemannus” (Hermann
the German) who flourished in the first half of the thirteenth century.

It is enough of a reply to say: 1. That the concluding words of a
manuscript relate, not to its author, but to its transcriber. The MS.
mentioned by Jourdain and the other MS. in the Bibliotheque Royale of
the fifteenth century (viz., _Doctrina Matumeti, quae apud Saracenos
magnae auctoritatis est, ab Hermanno latine translata._ Cod. MS., No.
6225) are both later than their original date. This second MS. may be by
Hermann de Schildis, a monk of the thirteenth century. 2. Every one has
not “followed” the authority of Metzler and Trithemius. The “Anonymus
Mellicensis” (twelfth century) enumerates treatises by Hermannus
Contractus upon Computation, Astronomy, Physiognomy and Poetry, which at
least imply that Aristotle had largely affected his studies. 3. It is
notable also to find H. _Alemannus_ quoting Cicero in his two
introductions, when we know H. _Contractus_ to have been very fond of
Cicero. 4. H. Alemannus says that he has met great “impediments” and
“difficulties” in accomplishing this translation, and that the
difference between Latin and Arabic poetry forbade a poetical rendering.
Which would coincide with H. Contractus’s personal obstacles and with
his natural desire as a poet to attempt a rendering in verse. 5. H.
Alemannus refers to “Johannes Burgensis” (John of Burgau, in Suabia) as
a bishop and the king’s chancellor and his personal friend and the
promoter of this work. I cannot find “John of Burgau;” but H. Contractus
was a Suabian, and Suabia is very near to Reichenau. H. Contractus was
also closely associated with Conrad and Henry III., whose lives he

It is a curious question this. It is only another proof of the neglect
into which a great man has fallen. For Hermann is called “nostri
_miraculum_ seculi” by the next generation who came after him. And there
is no _absolute_ proof that, “without lexicon or grammar” (for so
Jourdain puts it), he could not have mastered Arabic. Observing the
topics of his other writings cognate to those of Aristotle, I am
therefore not in the least inclined to yield to even M. Charles

                              CHAPTER XVI.

It is not every poet who begins by keeping the swine and ends by wearing
the red hat and purple robe of a cardinal-bishop. Nor is it every poet
who commences as a forlorn and deserted foundling, to whom it is a great
mercy to have even swine to keep by way of getting his daily bread. But
all this and more befell Damiani.

We are not informed about his parentage, except that he had a mother who
abandoned him, and a brother (or, more probably, an uncle) who took pity
on him. He was born in Ravenna. Some authorities say it was in 988;
others that it was in 1007. A modern hymnologist, anxious to be right
(though he is frequently wrong), sets it at 1002. But 1007 has the
greatest weight of evidence.

This brother, or uncle, had compassion on the lad, and poor little
outcast Peter was sent by him “into his fields to feed swine,” a much
more honorable employment of course in Italy than in Palestine, and one
which he shared with Nicholas Brakespeare, the English pope, Hadrian IV.
What was his previous history we cannot discover, though the _Acta
Sanctorum_ for February 23d is full of legendary accounts. We only know
that his natural abilities attracted the notice of another relative
(brother, some say), who was an archdeacon at Ravenna. He it was who
advanced Peter to the opportunities of education, and who proved so fast
a friend that the boy took his patron’s name for his own. As Eusebius
called himself Eusebius Pamphili (Pamphilus’s Eusebius), so Peter became
Peter Damiani, “Damian’s Peter,” and this designation has adhered to him
ever since. It is amusing to read now and then of _Peter Damianus_, as
if Damiani were an Italian nominative case instead of a Latin genitive.

His birth was too obscure to lead any person to interfere with him. He
therefore quietly studied and improved, to the edification of his
fellow-pupils and the admiration of his teachers. His school-training
was, first of all, in Faenza. Thence he was sent to Parma, and
eventually he returned to Ravenna, where he taught with distinction and
popular approval, until he was nearly or quite thirty years old.

The age was barbarous and good professors were scarce. It seems to have
been expected that brilliant minds would go on shining like those
exhaustless lamps which are fabled to have been found in the tombs of
the old magicians. If such was the case, with the intense intellect of
Damiani he must have tapped some source of real spiritual power early in
his course, for he burns brightly even now as we read his vivid
truthfulness and peruse some of his lovely verses, out from which leap,
nevertheless, tongues of flaming scorn for hypocrites and simonists.

Yes, the age was barbarous, and therefore Peter Damiani was soon a
professor, with many students and an abundance of fees. Knowledge in
those days not only meant power but wealth, and he was fast growing rich
in Ravenna. It was a delightful life, but it did not suit him. He was,
in fact, the “spiritual kinsman, and in many respects the pioneer” of
Gregory VII. Hildebrand came to be, after awhile, his personal friend,
his _sanctus Sathanas_, his Mephistopheles, his instigator and
stimulant. Of a sudden, then, he departed from Ravenna to take up his
abode with the hermits of Fonte Avellana, near Gubbio. Here he was known
by the name of Frater Honestus, and surely he deserved the title, for he
was a swift witness against every sort of sin. Guy, the abbot, persuaded
him to undertake the instruction of the brethren, and thus he found
himself back at his old work of teaching once more.

It was not long before the new monk became prior of the convent. Then,
in 1041, he rose to be abbot. And then, in 1047, he indited to Pope Leo
IX. his famous _Liber Gomorrhianus_. This _Gomorrah Book_ is just what
its name implies. It is one of the earliest protests uttered within the
Church against the awful wickedness which was everywhere prevalent.

The subject is far too unpleasant for me to deal with it at any length.
And yet this disagreeable topic forces itself upon the notice of the
student of that period wherever he may turn. Most ingenious and
sophistical distinctions were made in those days relative to sin. This
thing, for instance, was wrong; but that other was not half so wrong as
this was. Such an offence was to be condoned by a trifling penance, and
such another was to be only met by years of contrition. Against all this
hypocritical nastiness Damiani set his pen. No more scathing book was
ever written. And the only wonder is that it has evaded the vigilance of
the men who suffered by it, and has made its escape into type, never
again to be in peril of its existence. Bayle—who may be safely accounted
unapproachable in such abstruse inquiries—has given us the whole story
of this book. It was a terrible scourge to the vices of the clergy, and
even Baronius allows that it was not written one moment too soon.

The pope to whom this remarkable document was addressed was a man of
appropriate spirit. He was the third in the series of five able German
popes, who labored so hard in the cause of disciplinary reform. At
Hildebrand’s advice, he had laid aside the papal insignia, which he
donned at his election, and came to Rome as a barefooted pilgrim in
1048. He aimed to put down simony, to stop the barter and sale of
benefices, and to secure the celibacy of the clergy. To this end he used
the synods with vigor, and was ready for almost any proposed reform
which fell in with his line of operations. He was of the German, not the
ultramontane party, and therefore was quite liberal in his construction
of the great text, “Thou art Peter,” and went so far as to say that the
Church should first of all be built upon the true rock, which was
Christ. To him, then, the _Gomorrah Book_ went, and it made a stir.

The next four popes occupied among them no longer period of
ecclesiastical rule than from the year 1054 to the year 1061. Matters
were unsettled. No one continued in office. But the finger of Hildebrand
the cardinal was mightier than the hand of any pope. Nicholas II. was
guided by him, and Alexander II., who came forward in 1061, was
unquestionably under his control. And when Alexander appeared, it seemed
that the _Gomorrah Book_ was still an element of unrest and disturbance,
at a time when the claims of an Antipope (Honorius II.) had been set up
by the Imperialist party, and it was necessary for even Hildebrand’s
friends to give as little offence as possible to the clergy. For the
election of Alexander was clearly irregular, because it was in defiance
of the rules laid down by Nicholas II. at a Lateran Synod in 1059. With
a genial and suave manner the new pontiff now borrowed the work for the
ostensible purpose of having it copied by the help of the Abbot of St.
Saviour. That was the last that Damiani saw of it for some little while.

If Alexander thought that the hermit abbot of Fonte Avellana would
submit to this method of suppression he flattered his soul in vain.
Damiani, after a reasonable delay, appealed to his friend Hildebrand.
The book was like a part of himself, and he had no desire to have it
treated with neglect. One cannot here follow the windings of the story
further than to say that Damiani got his book again, and now we have it

I am surprised at the blindness which prevents some writers from seeing
in this Peter de Honestis a most noble and consistent character. Morheim
only pays him a merited compliment when he says that his “genius,
candor, integrity, and writings of various kinds, entitle him to rank
among the first men of the age, although he was not free from the faults
of the times.” But how could one easily avoid the extreme of severity
who was confronted by the grossest sins that ever carried a hissing
sibilant in front of their names! Flagellation was a natural reaction
from those fleshly lusts that warred against the soul.

Somehow Hildebrand took a great fancy to this genuine reformer. His own
great schemes were ripening, and Damiani was just the man to be made of
value in the office of cardinal. In 1057, then, the abbot had been
created cardinal-bishop of Ostia by Pope Nicholas II., and in the year
following deacon of the holy college. At first he strenuously resisted
the honor, but was forced to assume it by the Pope’s command. In 1059 he
had acted as papal legate to the semi-independent Ambrosian Church of
Milan. Here he obtained pledges from them that they would conduct their
affairs with purity and agree to receive the authority of the Roman

He did not remain among the cardinals very long. His convent allured
him, and the display requisite to his proper duties was both irksome and
repugnant to him. Therefore he went home again, ardently devoted to
Hildebrand, but devoid of all ambition, and ready to denounce the Pope
or anybody else when it appeared that the rights of the Church were

In 1062 Alexander II. found use for him as legate to France, and he
influenced Cluny in favor of Alexander II. In 1068-69 we find him again
a legate in Germany, impressing on young Henry IV. the importance of
submission to Rome. This, too, he effected; and in 1072—the last year of
his life—he appears in the same capacity at the age of sixty six, busy
with the reform of the Church in his native Ravenna.

This is the outline of his story, and it bears no great marks of
difference from others which have been commemorated in ecclesiastical
history. Upon these services, and upon his relations to Hildebrand, a
claim to considerable repute might be established for him. These facts,
however, would not keep him in mind to-day so well as his doctrine of
flagellation and the melody of his two grand hymns.

This matter of flagellation was older than Damiani’s time. It was
permitted in the convents to give five “disciplinary strokes.” Starting
at this point Peter the Honest asks, “Why may we not give the sixth, for
the same reason?” If these five have been inflicted on the unwilling
victim, why should he not secure some credit to himself by taking a
sixth, a seventh, an eighth? The ice once broken, it is easy to see how
the new custom would be seized upon by the ascetic hermits of Fonte
Avellana. The argument is curious, as a specimen of that specious
reasoning to which the ecclesiastic mind was tending, and which, later
on, comes into full bloom among the Jesuit fathers.

Damiani inquires “if our Saviour was not beaten; if Paul did not
receive, on several occasions, forty stripes save one; if all the
apostles were not scourged; and whether the martyrs had not received the
same punishment. Did not St. Jerome say that these were scourged by
order of God? And who dares deny that they were scourged for others and
not for themselves? Hence, if one undertakes this discipline, willingly,
for himself, he must be doing a good thing.” (See Fleury: _Hist.
Ecclesiastique_, XII., p. 107, _Anno_ 1062.) He then adds the example of
Guy, his predecessor, who died 1046, and of Poppo, a contemporary, who
had died in 1048. The date of his own advocacy of this doctrine is about

Monte Cassino took up the practice with vigor; but in Peter’s own
convent the most consummate example of flagellation was speedily
developed, and his disciple, Dominic of the Cuirass (_Dominicus
Loricatus_), carries off the palm from all posterity. The method
proposed by Damiani was that the psalter should be recited to the
accompaniment of the blows of the scourge. Every psalm called for one
hundred strokes; the whole psalter for fifteen thousand. By this
spiritual arithmetic three thousand equalled one year of purgatory, and
therefore the complete psalter answered for five years of purgation
removed from either one’s self or one’s neighbor. But Dominic was an
inebriate in his flogging and set himself tasks of stupendous size. He
also improved the art in several respects. He used both hands with
dreadful facility, and frequently lashed his face until it was covered
with blood, singing his psalms the while in a harsh, cracked, and
terrible voice. In the forty days of one Lent he recited the psalter two
hundred times, and inflicted what one reckless calculator calls “sixty
million stripes” upon himself. The true number is three million, which
is clearly sufficient.

At another occasion he literally flogged himself “against time,”
apparently just to see what could be done by a determined man in
twenty-four hours. At the end of that period he had gone through the
psalter twelve times and a fraction over, and had given himself one
hundred and eighty-three thousand stripes, working away with both hands
(as a caustic writer suggests) “in the interest of the great sinking
fund of the Catholic Church.”

Flagellation, like the dancing mania and the strange parades of the
Turlepins and Anabaptists in the Middle Ages, has its root in nervous
excitement and morbid devotion. Under Anthony of Padua, about 1210, all
Perugia lashed themselves through the streets. Justin of Padua relates
that great disorders and indecency attended the processions. The madness
spread like wildfire through Rome and Italy. In 1260 and in 1261 the
custom was again revived after some decadence, in the same town of
Perugia and under one Rainer. And at this date thousands went out into
Germany led by priests with banners and crosses. Again fading from
public notice, the flagellants reappeared during the progress of the
plague in 1349. Hecker and Cooper supplement the account given by
Boileau. The affair was itself an epidemic. The company marched and sang
hymns—among which was the _Stabat Mater_—and bore tapers and magnificent
banners. They finally became a regular nomadic tribe, separating into
two portions, one of which went to the south and the other to the north.
The Church was powerless, and those _pro_ and _anti_ flagellationists,
who happened to be in ecclesiastical authority, solemnly excommunicated
each other!

The wild license of these scenes was far from aiding either morality or
religion. Clement VI. (1332-52) issued his bull against them. And,
inasmuch as these fanatics had failed to restore a dead child to life in
Strasburg, the malediction of Rome had some effect, and once more the
harsh custom died out.

Then there was another upheaval under Venturinus, a Dominican of
Bergamo, and ten thousand persons joined the order. Like a perennial
plant it again perished and again sprang up in 1414, when these awful
orgies were renewed under the leadership of a person named Conrad. But
now the Inquisition interfered, and among the testimony taken to show
the lengths to which the fanaticism went is the sworn evidence of a
citizen of Nordhausen who, in 1446, asserted that his wife wanted to
have the children scourged just as soon as they had been baptized!

Once more, in the sixteenth century the Black and Gray Penitents
appeared in France. In 1574 the Queen-mother put herself at the head of
the black band in Avignon, and the disorders, indecency, and general
depravity of manners which followed would scarcely be believed even if
it was proper to mention them.

From that date to the present time more or less of this old insanity
occasionally reappears. It affords a singular commentary on our boasted
advance beyond those dark ages, for us to know that the _Penitentes_ of
our own Californian coast do precisely every year what Dominic of the
Cuirass and Anthony of Padua and Conrad and Rainer all did centuries

And this frightful enginery of fanaticism was set in motion by the man
who wrote one of the loveliest hymns in the Latin language!

I make no attempt to analyze the feelings that have prompted this
strange austerity. Isaac Taylor has already done this in a most masterly
fashion in his _Fanaticism_. But the essence of it is that wild delusion
which leads men (and even women) to fancy that they can vicariously
atone for others’ sins and “make merit,” as the heathen do, for those
who are less bold than themselves. They have fastened themselves down
like the poor wretched geese doomed to furnish _pattes-de-fois-gras_.
They are before the hot fire of zeal and gorged upon indigestible
dogmas. Hence their charity becomes as abnormal as the livers of the
geese, and the moral epicure, alas, finds in them dainties suitable for
his depraved taste!

It would be a grievous injustice to a good man if Damiani should only
bear with us the character of an ardent zealot and not of a Christian
poet. In this last guise he is at his best. Doubtless he often offends
by his Mariolatry, but he will as often charm by the music of his verse.
He may serve also as a convenient example of this worship of Mary, for
in one of his prayers he has given us the pith and core of that peculiar
devotion. It runs thus:

“O queen of the world, stairs of heaven, throne of God, gate of
paradise, hear the prayers of the poor and despise not the groans of the
wretched. By thee our vows and sighs are borne to the presence of the
Redeemer, that whatsoever things are forbidden to our merits may obtain,
through thee, place in the ears of divine piety. Erase sins, relieve
crimes, raise the fallen, and release the entangled. Through thee the
thorns and shoots of vice are cut down, and the flowers and ornaments of
virtue appear. Appease with prayers the Judge, the Saviour, whom thou
didst produce in unique childbirth, that He who through thee has become
partaker of our humanity, through thee may also make us partakers of His
divinity. Who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and
reigneth, world without end. Amen.”

I have given this as an example of his prose. Here is a petition
“against a stormy time,” composed in that “leonine and tailed rhyme” in
which Bernard of Cluny, a century later, wrote the _De Contemptu mundi_.
It commences,

  “_O miseratrix, O dominatrix, praecipe dictu!_
  O thou that pitiest, O thou the mightiest, hark to our crying;
  Lest we be beaten down, lest we be smitten down when hail is flying.
  Thine is a priestly breast, O thou that succorest, mother eternal
  Therefore we pray to thee, lest we be stayed from thee, by storm
  Quiet the tempest-wrack! Give us the sunshine back for our fair
  Lend us clear light again, make the stars bright again where the
              clouds feather!
  Virgin, oh cherish thy friends lest we perish by sickness or anger;
  Drive all these ills away, thou whose love stills away thunder’s mad

By far the greater part of his hymns are addressed to the Virgin and to
the saints, but there are some others—the _Paule doctor Egregie_, the
_Paschalis festi gaudium_, the _Christe sanctorum gloria_, and the two
powerful judgment hymns, _Gravi me terrore_ and _O Quam dira, quam
horrenda_—which are worthy of note. This _Gravi me terrore_ of the
eleventh century ranks with the _Apparebit repentina_ of the seventh
century. These, together with the _Dies Irae_ of the fourteenth century,
form the great judgment triad of Latin psalmody.

Yet of all the hymns of that or any later time, nothing approaches the
beauty of the _Ad perennis vitae fontem_, of which this Peter Damiani
sings. It is born of Augustine’s thoughts and dreams of the heavenly
land, and some of its phrases are exquisite beyond the possibility of
translation. When Frater Honestus on February 23d, 1072, forever left
that convent of Fonte Avellana, whither Dante went upon his last
recorded journey, then that noble landscape might preserve these
sixty-one lines of Latin verse among the choicest treasures of its dell
and grove. This was no lark that sang against the sun with clarion notes
calling us to such praise as rings through the ancient morning hymn of
Hilary. It was the nightingale of Faenza, sending out those thrilling
tones from the midst of the walls which beheld the eager scholar and to
which the weary cardinal had returned to die. Upon his fame it is set
therefore not like the lark’s song, but the nightingale’s, not as the
flashing diamond, but (in Daniel’s very words) “as a precious pearl for
our treasury.” Mrs. Charles has rendered it into English with grace and
success. Mr. Morgan appends this autograph note to the version in the
copy of his book which is in my possession: “N. B.—This hymn was printed
without revision. If reprinted the metres will be made _equal_.” He has
not attempted to follow the versification of the original. I know of no
other translation except that of R. F. Littledale in _Lyra Mystica_.

Another beautiful hymn which was suggested by the prose of Augustine,
and is ascribed to Peter Damiani by Anselm of Canterbury, who was his
younger contemporary, is the _Quid tyranne, quid minaris_. It is
commonly called


  What are threats of thine, O tyrant,
    How can any torture move,
  When, for all of thy contriving,
    Nothing yet can equal love.

  Sweet it is to suffer sorrow,
    Futile is the force of pain;
  I had sooner die than borrow
    Any spot that love to stain.

  Heap the fagots as thou pleasest,
    Do what evil hearts approve,
  Add the sword and cross together,
    Nothing yet can equal love.

  Pain itself is quite too gentle,
    One poor death too brief must be,
  I would suffer thousand tortures—
    Every woe is light to me!

                             CHAPTER XVII.
                        HILDEBERT AND HIS HYMN.

Those who love the “Golden Legend” of Longfellow will remember how
effectively he has there used the Latin songs and hymns. Friar Paul is
so very like the famous Friar John of Rabelais, that he is probably
copied from that worthy. Indeed his _Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum_, with
its dog-Latin and its broad satire on the habits of the monks, was a
most effective weapon in the hands of the reformers. There were a great
many learned men who were by no means equally as pious, and who found
their bodily contentment in the cloister. Against these and all like
them came the constant shafts of ridicule or reproach.

But now, when this same Friar Paul “tunes his mellow pipe” to a
bacchanalian solo in the refectory, we can almost forgive him, forasmuch
as he sings in such capital measure. There is a _Gaudiolum_—a regular
merry-making of monks—down in the cellar; in which, by the way, Lucifer,
disguised in the gray habit, takes his appropriate place. And when Friar
Paul begins on the praise of good liquor, he parodies the metre and
rhyme of the current religious sequences. Listen to him:

  “Felix venter quem intrabis,
  Felix guttur quod rigabis,
  Felix os quod tu lavabis,
  Et beata labia!”

Or, as we may express it in our own language:

  “Blessed stomach which thou warmest,
  Blessed throat which thou reformest,
  Blessed mouth whose thirst thou stormest,
  Blessed lips to taste of thee!”

Here and there Professor Longfellow introduces also into this “Golden
Legend” his own renderings from the Latin, in little transcriptions
which are exquisitely felicitous. But presently, in sharp contrast to
the ribald Paul and the dissolute Cuthbert and the rest of the noisy
crew in the refectory, he allows us to hear the song of the pilgrims.
They are chanting the Hymn of Hildebert of Lavardin, Archbishop of

  Me receptet Sion illa,
  Sion David, urbs tranquilla,
  Cujus faber auctor lucis,
  Cujus portae lignum crucis,
  Cujus claves lingua Petri,
  Cujus cives semper laeti,
  Cujus muri lapis vivus,
  Cujus custos Rex festivus.”

It is the hope of the Holy City of which they are telling:

  “Me, that Sion soon shall pity—
  David’s Sion, peaceful city!
  Whose designer made the morning;
  Whose are gates, the cross adorning;
  Whose keys are to Peter given;
  Whose glad throng are saints in heaven;
  Whose are walls of living splendor;
  Whose a royal, true Defender!”

These pilgrims, every now and then, break in with some snatch of melody
from this fine old anthem. And yet there are doubtless those who never
have gone back to see for themselves whence all this beauty has been
taken. But the Hymn of Hildebert would well repay them if they did.

It is the composition of a man who was the Admirable Crichton of his
time—Hildebert of Lavardin, a student under Berenger and Hugo of Cluny.
This is the same poet who, with Wichard of Lyons, is mentioned by
Bernard of Cluny in his preface to the _Hora Novissima_. He says there,
that even these eminent versifiers had never dared to attempt the
measure of his own three thousand lines. And we have abundant other
testimony that Hildebert was an accomplished orator, a successful
controversialist, a brilliant rhetorician, a poet of ten thousand lines,
and the author of this majestic and beautiful composition. He was born
in the year 1057 (or 1055) at Lavardin, near Vendôme, in France, was
first head-master of a school, then an archdeacon, then instructor in
theology and Bishop of Le Mans (1097), and finally (1125), Archbishop of
Tours, from which he derives his name of “Turonensis.” He was of humble
origin and not connected with the celebrated family of Lavardia, except
through the accident of his birthplace being in their vicinity.

Perhaps—if we follow one scurrilous old biographer—we may fancy the holy
Hildebert to have been very little of a saint in his early days.
Baronius indeed lends color to the assertion (made originally by
Godfrey, the Dean of Le Mans) that the vices which Hildebert afterward
attacked were matters of personal experience with himself. A certain
coarse assault was undoubtedly made upon him; but envy and malignity
went even to greater lengths then than now—and they are not noticeably
moderate or truthful at present. He was a “wise and gentle prelate,”
says Trench, “although not wanting in courage to dare, and fortitude to
endure, when the cause of truth required it.” Neander’s estimate of his
character (_The Life of St. Bernard_) is also kind. I doubt, therefore,
whether any such statements can be maintained. But we all know too well
what that age was, for us to be over-enthusiastic in the defence of our
favorites. And still it can truly be said that Hildebert established his
innocence there and then. He finally died in 1134, and his works, with
those of Marbod, were collected and published in Paris by the
Benedictines, at the comparatively recent date of 1708. His hymn,
_Oratio devotissima ad tres Personas Sanctissimae Trinitatis_, first
appeared in the Appendix to Archbishop Ussher’s _De Symbolis_ (1660),
and again was published by the Norman Jacques Hommey in 1684.

The poem is, as Chancellor Benedict has well said, almost epic in its
completeness. And I can do no better than to summarize it in his own
words—for he linked his name to it by a translation which he published
in 1867: “Its beginning [is] the knowledge of God—_Fides orthodoxa_—the
true creed, as to the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity, exhibiting
their attributes as the foundation of the Christian character; its
middle, the weakness, the trials, and the temptations of the Christian
life, in its progress to perfect trust and confidence in God and
assurance of His final grace; its end, the joys and glories of the
heavenly home of the blessed.” It has been greatly neglected, as any one
will find who looks for it outside of the most recent collections of
sacred Latin poetry. Why this has been so, except because the praise of
Mary and of the saints was more congenial to collectors than a lofty and
pure spiritual fervor, it is not easy to discern. Hugo of St.
Victor—Hildebert’s contemporary—does actually quote six lines, but calls
the author _quidam_, or, as we would say, “somebody,” in referring to
these half dozen verses extracted to give point to his own discourse.
Yet Hildebert was in his day a most important personage, not below the
persecution of a king of England, and not above a quarrel with a king of
France. But he and the king were reconciled at last, and with honor.

That Professor Longfellow is not indebted to Trench’s text for his
little quotations, is shown by a curious fact. The _Sacred Latin Poetry_
of Archbishop (then Dean) Trench was first published in 1849, and the
“Golden Legend” appeared in Boston in 1851—the time seeming to indicate
that the poet had been reading in the small book of the prelate. But
Professor March has very acutely noticed that the Church of England, in
the person of its editor, did a great deal of expurgation, and that the

  “Cujus claves lingua Petri,
  Cujus cives semper laeti,”

are not included by Trench at all! It was not proper, the Dean thought,
to encourage Romish superstitions, and so Peter and his keys were
omitted. It is not impossible that Longfellow took his text from a
little volume published at Auburn, N. Y., in 1844, which contains “The
Hymn of Hildebert and the Ode of Xavier, with English Versions,”
probably by Dr. Henry Mills, professor in the Theological Seminary at
Auburn, who also published a volume of translations of German hymns
(1845 and 1856). Dr. Mills reprints the entire hymn from Ussher, but
ignores in his translation the lines

  “_Deus pater tantum Dei_
  _Virgo mater est, sed Dei._”

The book is memorable as the first American publication in this field.
Besides the American translations by Dr. Mills and Chancellor Benedict,
there are English versions by Crashaw, by John Mason Neale, and, best of
all, by Herbert Kynaston in the _Lyra Mystica_ (London, 1869), copied
from his _Occasional Hymns_.

Further to speak of Hildebert, it can be said that he, like others, took
his share of imprisonments, confiscations, and exiles.

Trench quotes from his poetry two compositions in hexameter and
pentameter—classic in language, but not always classic in prosody; and
two complete poems, one of which is the famous hymn, and which commences

  “_A et Ω magne Deus._”

The other is a vision and lament over the Church of Poitiers. Of this
the editor says: “I know of no nobler piece of versification, nor more
skilful management of rhyme in the whole circle of Latin rhymed poetry.”
It begins

  “_Nocte quadam, via fessus_”—

an important hint for a person who wishes to find anything in the German
anthologies, where, as a rule, the indexing is hideous and the
arrangement is heartrending, and the poems are designated, hit-or-miss,
by their initial line.

The poem _De Exilio Suo_, beginning

  “_Nuper eram locuples, multisque beatus amicis_,”

is an example of the classic measures into which I have tried to shape
my own rendering, although I have copied Hildebert even in his
inaccuracies and repetitions:

                            UPON HIS EXILE.

  Once I was rich and blessed with friends beyond measure,
    And, for awhile, Fortune was prosperous too.
  You would have said that the gods had heard my petition,
    And that success had taught me to conquer anew.
  Often I said to myself: “What means this wealthy condition?
    What does it claim, this swift great store of my gain?”—
  Woe to myself! for faith and confidence perish;
    Even my property teaches how I have heaped it in vain!
  Lightly the wing sweeps men and the things that they cherish,
    And from the highest station ruin pours down to the plain.
  What you possess to-day, perchance you will lose by to-morrow,
    Or, indeed, as you speak, it ceases perhaps to be yours.
  These are the tricks of our fate; and haughtiest kings to their
    And humblest slaves shall find that no future endures.
  Lo, what is Man! and what has he right to inherit?
    What is the thing that his wretchedness claims as its own?
  This, this only is man; the years press down on his spirit
    Always in saddest condition to utter his final groan.
  It is man’s lot to have nothing—in nakedness coming; and going
    Back to his mother’s breast to bear her no riches again.
  It is man’s lot to decay, his dust on the desert bestowing,
    And by sad steps to climb to the pyre of his pain.
  Such is his heirship of good, and here upon earth he may gather
    Nothing more certain than these, the spoils of a vanishing fate.
  Riches and honor may greet him, yea, be his servants the rather;
    Wealthy at morn though his station, poor shall at night be his
  Nor can a man discern the permanent law of possession
    Save as he seeks to discover the nature of mortal affairs.
  Yet does God give them their law, conferring them through his
    Unto the weak by his grace; and their going and coming he shares.
  He by himself alone provides for and manages solely,
    Nor does he doubt to provide nor vary in management still.
  For what he sees to be done he does, and his ruling is wholly
    Laborless, fixing the form and the time and the bounds of his will.
  Yea, through his zeal for our growth he places our limits and changes
    These by his occult laws, himself remaining the same.
  Himself remaining the same, while sickness and health he arranges,
    Swaying the world and showing how hope must be set on his name.
  If it be right to trust thee, then, all that thou doest or takest
    He is behind it, O Fortune, and he is the source of thy strength.
  Nay, I affirm, O Fortune, however thou fixest or shakest
    Thou canst not grieve me, nor overmuch cheer me at length.
  He is almighty and tender, the concord and trust of my treasure;
    I shall be his forever, when all his purpose is through!

It may perhaps be well for us to observe the characteristics of
Hildebert as we discover them in his hymn. They will be found to be
those of an oratorical repetition, and indeed of that “fatal
octosyllabic” fluency, demonstrated in later times by Skelton, by
Butler, and by Scott. To a certain degree the verse is incapable of
anything large or exultant. But it is admirable for the purpose to which
he puts it. Indeed, I knew no better way, when Hildebert’s best admirer
passed from this to a nobler world, than to express my own sadness in
similar Latin; and I venture to close this chapter with the closing
lines of that tribute. Mr. E. C. Benedict made it his happiest
recreation to turn the strains of these ancient singers into modern
verse. And it seemed fitting that he should be commemorated in the very
rhythm he loved so well:

  “Vir honeste, vir praeclare!
  Tibi quidvis possim dare
  His versiculis confeci;
  Hic, coronam superjeci.
  Autem, illic, lux perennis
  Proferet floresque pennis
  Aves pictis puro die;—
  Nihil deest, O tu pie!
  Tu qui terra serus abis
  Christum unice laudabis.
  Vale! quia non moraris;
  Ave! quia nunc laetaris!”

  “Unto thee sincere and worthy
  Here I bring a tribute earthy.
  In these verses I have pressed it;
  Here upon thy tomb I rest it.
  But thyself, in light eternal
  Seest flowers; and birds supernal
  Brightly flit through sunny portals—
  Thou dost lack no joy of mortals!
  Thou who late from us dost sever
  There shall praise the Lord forever!
  Farewell! for thou wilt not linger;
  Hail! for thou art there a singer!”

Yes, when once these old monks “soared beyond chains and prison”—when
they dreamed by night and talked by day of the land that is very far
off—they drew to them all loving hearts from the most distant ages.
Doubtless Hildebert knew—and rejoiced in knowing—that his aspirations
had been caught in a modern city and by a weary lawyer, who found rest
and peace in their strain. And doubtless in the perfectness of the
present rejoicing they both see and love what they once sighed to

                             CHAPTER XVIII.
                         BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX.

There is no lack of material for a copious account of Bernard of
Clairvaux. He was a man to become distinguished in any age of the world,
and he took and maintained the highest place of his time. His faults are
as patent as his virtues. But, if he had not these faults, he would
never have enjoyed certain kinds of success. His very austerity was a
merit when it held his keen intellect steadily to its mark. And his
intolerance, narrowness, ambition, and love of dialectics, were
themselves a part of the great demand which his generation made upon

I shall be responsible here simply for a condensation and compilation of
facts, a very different proceeding from that which is usually needed. In
the case of almost all these hymn-writers the materials are so slight
and meagre as to require large research; in this case one is overwhelmed
with riches. I do not profess to say how many lives of Bernard have been
written, but I know of a goodly number; and no history of his time has
failed to give attention to so prominent a figure in religion and in

He was singularly situated in point of time and place. Born in Burgundy,
not far from Dijon, of a fighting family, who owned a castle and were
well represented in the wars, he saw the light in 1091. His father
Tesselin was a man who had learned in the school of Christ to be more
careful not to wrong his neighbor than not to be wronged by him. His
mother Alith was the model chatelaine of the times, full of kindness to
the poor and helpfulness to the needy. He was born at the _omphalos_ and
centre of the Middle Ages. Peter the Hermit whirled along his wild
battalions almost beside his very cradle. The little lad of four years
must have seen the strange excited throngs, with their red crosses and
their banners, and in the dust of their passing and in the chants of
their praise, he must have been conscious of a certain enthusiasm which
was to run throughout his life.

For several years this news was to men the staple of all conversation.
The body of their own duke was finally brought back from Palestine to
his ancient heritage, and laid, by his own desire, in the cemetery of
the poor monks of Citeaux. There, in this comparatively recent monastery
near Dijon, he had selected his last home, in preference to many more
opulent and renowned establishments. The son of Burgundy’s vassal
Tesselin beheld this and other incidents. His brothers went to the wars
with the next duke, but he himself grew less and less inclined toward
such pursuits. Books formed his world. His cell was afterward said to be
stored with them; and he obtained easily the credit of being the best
instructed person of his time in the Bible and in the works of the
fathers of the Church.

And already these tendencies were aroused in the youth of eighteen or
nineteen years who had begun the old-fashioned austerities on his own
account. We are not surprised to find him neck-deep in ice-water; stung
into intellectual vigor by the recent victory of Abelard over William of
Champeaux; aroused into an actual preaching fervor, in which he
denounces the sins of the age; continually mindful of his dead mother
Alith’s prayers, and finally resolved upon entering the monastic order
and upon carrying all his friends and relations with him.

That singular mastery of other minds, which was his at every period
henceforth, now displayed itself. It did not matter that his brother
Guido had a wife and family; nor that his brother Gerard loved to fight
a good deal better than he loved to pray. Into the cloister they must
go! Gerard indeed was something after the manner of Lot’s wife, disposed
to look back. But his brother touched him on the side, and by some
strange prescience or happy guess, predicted to him a spear-wound, which
actually happened. On being thus remarkably warned, the soldier relented
as they carried him wounded off the field, and cried, “I turn monk, monk
of Citeaux.” This was the Gerard over whom, long afterward, Bernard
delivered that touching sermon, where he branched out from the Song of
Solomon (1:5) to declare that this body “is not the mansion of the
citizen, nor the house of the native, but either the soldier’s tent or
the traveller’s inn;” and then poured forth his full heart in a tide of
uncontrollable and lofty grief.

So the youth marched into the poor monastery of Citeaux, where scanty
food, rough clothing, harsh surroundings and occasional epidemic
disorders had nearly disheartened and broken up the company of monks.
Stephen Harding, their English abbot, was proudly indifferent to all
patronage; but he was not so blind as not to perceive that Bernard, with
thirty captives of the bow and spear of his eloquence, was a valuable
addition to a depleted community.

These Cistercians, then and always, were rigidists. Up they got at two
in the morning to prayer and “matins;” and for full two hours were busy,
in a cold dark chapel, over them. Then, with the first dawn of light,
out again to “lauds.” Before this service, and after it, the monk’s time
was fairly his own; but at two o’clock he dined, at nightfall he had
“vespers,” and at six or eight (according to the season) came
“compline,” and then immediately the dormitory and bed. Such was the
life, with a little more of it on Sundays, and with sermons interspersed
at intervals. There is no mention of breakfast or supper!

And in such a life the ecstatic, mystical character of Bernard rose into
visions and prophecies. His body was nearly subjugated, and his taste,
and, indeed, all his senses, appeared to have deserted him. He watched,
he dug, he hewed and carried wood; he kept the very letter, and more
than the letter of his monastic rule. And yet, as Morison acutely
observes, this very abstraction from people and things gave him that
delight in nature from which, so often in the future, he was to catch
the illustration or the inspiration of his discourse. “Beeches and
oaks,” he said, “had ever been his best teachers in the Word of God.”

But now Citeaux (suddenly become prosperous) must colonize; and who so
fit to lead the swarm from the gates and found the new hive as this same
Bernard? Into his hands Abbot Stephen puts the cross, and he and his
twelve companions march solemnly across the interdicted boundaries of
their little Cistercian home, and nearly a hundred miles to the
northward. There he chooses a place which exhibits, as Bernard’s actions
generally do, the far-sighted sagacity which takes mean and worthless
matters and makes them what, with right handling, they are able to
become. It is a valley—the “Valley of Wormwood.” It is grown up with
underbrush and is a haunt of robbers. But here, with the river Aube
winding down between the hills, with the hills themselves capable of
culture, and with the future of this little vale revealed to his
prophetic eye, he sets his cloister and calls it Clairvaux—“Fair
Valley,” or “Brightdale.”

I wish that I could quote the beautiful picture that Vaughan (_Hours
with the Mystics_, Book V., chap. 1) has given of this fine enterprise.
We should see Bernard and his monks chopping and binding fagots;
planting vines and trees of goodly fruit; rearing their cloistral
buildings, when the time arrived, out of the very materials about them,
and so steadily transforming purgatory into paradise. There should we
see the river bending its great shoulders to the wheels that drive
fulling-mill and grist-mill; or toiling for them in their tannery, or
filling their _caldarium_. We should see the monks at vintage or at
harvest; pressing the clusters from yonder hill, or gathering the hay
from yonder meadow. And everywhere throughout this busy, energetic life,
we should behold the wasted figure of their chief—austere, sincere,
severe. And we should feel that unaccountable personality—that
intrinsic, magnetic, controlling quality which made this the man above
all others to be the opposer of schismatics, the counsellor of kings,
the establisher of popes, and the preacher of the Second Crusade.
Clairvaux was his kingdom, and from Clairvaux he ruled the mediaeval

His personal appearance was in keeping with this idea—it was the evident
cause of an evident effect. He was taller than the middle height and
exceedingly thin. His complexion was “clear, transparent,
red-and-white;” and always he had some color in his wasted face. His
beard was reddish, and—according to his ancestral derivation, called
_Sorus_ or “yellow-haired”—his own hair was light and perhaps tawny.
This beard grows whiter in the course of years, and these hollow cheeks
glow with the enthusiasm of the orator as he speaks. Then he is at his
best! He flings aside all feebleness; he disregards every consideration
except the truth; he flashes and glitters as the tremendous squadrons of
his brilliant logic, or still more brilliant exhortation, press down
upon the listening soul. He had indeed a perfect confidence in himself,
in his methods, and in his ultimate success. He was like a modern ocean
steamer, iron-hulled, steam-driven, sharp-prowed, cutting through all
storms without detention, and riding the wildest waves in his triumphant
course to victory.

There is in Bernard of Clairvaux a most singular combination of the
dreamer and the man of affairs. Vaughan has too admirably condensed the
story of these interruptions and occupations, for me to avoid quoting,
at least this much, from his capital monograph:

“Struggling Christendom,” he says, “sent incessant monks and priests,
couriers and men-at-arms to knock and blow horns at the gate of
Clairvaux Abbey; for Bernard, and none but he, must come out and fight
that audacious Abelard; Bernard must decide between rival popes, and
cross the Alps, time after time, to quiet tossing Italy; Bernard alone
is the hope of fugitive Pope and trembling Church; he only can win back
turbulent nobles, alienated people, recreant priests, when Arnold of
Brescia is in arms at Rome, and when Catharists, Petrobrusians,
Waldenses and heretics of every shade, threaten the hierarchy on either
side the Alps; and at the preaching of Bernard the Christian world pours
out to meet the disaster of a new crusade.”

Yet with all this he is a profound scholar, and his comments on
Scripture are of a mystical, and often of a serenely spiritual and
thoughtful kind, as though no intrusion could jar the harmony and poise
of his soul. His was that strange contradiction of nature which found
its calm in tumult and its ecstasy in conflict. Obstructions pass away.

Like that later mystic, Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg), there are no
hindrances in his communion with the unseen world; he could, perhaps, do
as Novalis did when Sophie Kühn died. For the poor fellow records in his
diary: “Much noise in the house. I went to her grave and had a few wild
moments of joy.” And of him also Just declares: “No spirit-dream was too
high, no business detail too low;” for Novalis in 1799 was “Assessor and
Law-adviser to the Salt Mines of Thuringia.” Pegasus in harness appears
no worse a contradiction than a mystic in a salt-pan, or a Bernard
epistolizing the Count of Champagne about a drove of stolen pigs.

Prose and poetry, poetry and prose! And yet the brain and soul that can
do good work in the one are by no means disqualified for the other; and
your truest mystics are not likely to wear long hair and talk raving
nonsense among impractical neologists. For Bernard, even though he made
converts wherever he went, and drew increasing numbers into cloister
walls, exerted a potent and prevalent influence upon his time. He is one
of the lighthouses, as we sail down the coast of the Middle Ages; and
not until we pass him and his compeers, do the real darkness and the
dull ignorance, the shoals and the unmarked rocks appear, ready to wreck
the ventures of the mind. How gladly one would linger over these
fascinating incidents in this remarkable career! The man’s life was
expressed in some of his own aphorisms. They are such as these:

“There is no truer wretchedness than a false joy.” “He does not please
who pleases not himself.” “You will give to your voice the voice of
virtue if you have first persuaded yourself of what you would persuade
others.” “Hold the middle line unless you wish to miss the true method.”

These are the maxims of an orator as well as of a statesman. And the
junction of imagination, analysis, logic, fervor, and faith, made this
man what he was. Already he had tried his wings in preaching to his own
monks at morning and evening; and they had listened to him as though he
had come from another world. He dealt with the great and vital questions
of the moral nature. Like the best of our modern preachers, he aimed to
sustain the soul, to arouse and to cheer it, and to bid it press forward
to a victory which he himself foresaw. He might have said of such
aspiring saints as surrounded him what Roscoe says:

  “I see, or the glory blinds me
    Of a soul divinely fair,
  Peace after great tribulation
    And victory hung in the air.”

He felt, with Lacordaire, that the Gospel had a new meaning, when he
discovered that it was intended for the comfort of the human heart. He
was at one with his monks; and as he reached out toward the social life
about him, and toward the turbid torrents of politics and
ecclesiasticism over which he must throw the bridge of charity or of
faith, he simply transferred the Clairvaux method into the affairs of

It was an age of destruction, and into it he was casting the salt of the
Gospel, hoping at least to make it salvable. Around his life needless
legends and superstitious traditions have combined to cluster, but the
real Bernard is distinct from both. He never relaxed his grip upon
himself or upon others. And while this is not yet the place to speak of
the famous controversy with Abelard, it may be properly said that
Bernard saw tendencies in that philosophy which were genuinely
dangerous; and that he defeated them because truth (however narrow and
selfishly employed) is always stronger than error. Such was also his
power in preaching the crusade in 1145, when he was about fifty-five
years of age. It sprang from the quenchless fire of his zeal, as when at
Vezelai, standing by the side of Louis VII., he caused such enthusiasm
in the crowd beneath, that he did nothing so long as he remained in the
town but make crosses for them to wear in sign of their holy purpose.

He had lived to see the Knights Templars, which had received his own
especial approval, become one of the most famous orders on the globe.
The Knights Hospitallers had been incorporated in 1113, and the Templars
were founded in 1118 by Hugo de Paganis and others. But in 1128, at the
Council of Troyes, there were but nine of them, all told, to keep their
vow of “chastity, obedience, and poverty,” to “guard the passes and
roads against robbers,” and to “watch over the safety of pilgrims.” Hugo
then appealed to Bernard, and by his influence the council recognized
this weak thing, destined so soon to be a mighty force, and which
combined two of the strongest of our instincts—that to fight and that to
pray. And now as in his old age he saw the corruption which was creeping
into it and into other agencies on which his heart had been set, he
relaxed no atom of his vigilance. He had seen the failure of his
crusade, but it did not much affect him. His thoughts were now of
heaven, and his watching was that he might be prepared to enter its
gates. His principal friends had all died; Suger, in 1150, Theobald of
Champagne, in 1152, and Pope Eugenius, his loved disciple, in 1153.

It was in this year that Bernard also made himself ready to go. On
January 12th he said the Lord’s Prayer, and then, raising up what his
admirers were wont to call his “dove-like” eyes, he prayed that God’s
will might be done. And so, quietly and peacefully, he passed away. He
has left behind him much as an ecclesiast, but more as a poet. I hold
Bernard to be the real author of the modern hymn—the hymn of faith and
worship. The poetry of Faber, which is now so near to the heart of the
Church, is peculiarly in this key. The _Salve Caput cruentatum_ came to
us through Paul Gerhardt, and has become (through the translation of Dr.
J. W. Alexander, a man of kindred spirit with Bernard) our

  “O sacred head, now wounded.”

Gerhardt’s own hymn-writing—the most efficient, except Luther’s, in the
German tongue—is wonderfully affected by Bernard. The _Jesu dulcis
memoria_ was rendered by Count Zinzendorf and became famous among those
spiritual souls, the Moravians. And Edward Caswell’s translations—as I
have already noticed—are supremely fine in spirit and in expression. I
shall not attempt here what has been so capitally done already. The
Church universal has made Bernard her own; and the very translations of
his verses have been half-inspired. And while we sing,

  “Jesus, the very thought of thee
  With sweetness fills my breast,”

we shall sing “with the spirit and with the understanding,” the very
strain that the Abbot of Clairvaux was sent on earth to teach! They
canonized him in 1174—but it is better to have written a song for all
saints than to be found in any breviary.

                              CHAPTER XIX.

From the foreground of the waving banners and the flashing arms of the
Crusaders, of the dark throng of the chanting monks, and of feudal
pageantry and glitter—and from that background of dead uniformity which
equally characterized those mediaeval times—emerges a figure unique and
notable. It is that of a man in the prime and pride of life—lofty in
stature, handsome in face, captivating in address. He is already a tried
debater and an unsurpassed logician. He has Aristotle at the tip of his
tongue; he has read much and thought a little, and his ambition is

Such a man came one day into the lecture hall of William of Champeaux at
Paris. It was in the early part of the twelfth century, and William was
the most celebrated teacher of the period, his “doctrine of universals”
being accepted almost as though it were inspired. But this morning,
while the master lectured and the disciples drank in his words without
criticism or debate, the visitor stirred uneasily in his place. When the
lecture closed he availed himself of the usual freedom to ask some
questions. To William’s dogmatic answers the stranger in his turn
proposed shrewd difficulties. It was no longer the harmony of teacher
and taught, but the clash of two rival minds maintaining opposite
systems of logic. And in that short struggle William the Archdeacon went
down before the free lance of Peter Abelard, the rustic challenger from
Palais (Le Pallet) in Brittany. And from that agitation went out the
widening circles whose story we are now to note, and whose latest
ripples break faintly on a tomb in Père-la-Chaise visited by thousands
of modern tourists. Few tales are sadder or more suggestive.

The name of Abelard is variously spelled. It appears in divers
authorities as Abelard, Abaelard, Abaielardus, Abailard, Abaillard,
Abelhardus, and Abeillard. The true name (on the authority of Ch. de
Rémusat) was, however, not Abelard, but Beranger or Berenger; and the
future controversialist was christened Pierre or Peter. His birthplace
is near Nantes, the house being represented a few years ago by a square
brier-grown ruin back of the church. The date of his birth is given as
1079—a period when the world was feudal and military. But this lad was
born for debate and not for battle. It may even be seriously doubted if
he ever possessed much physical courage of a sort to stand the rough
shock of actual warfare. He preferred the method of those who
intermeddle among metaphysical subtleties to those who must keep sword
edges sharp and armor furbished. His delight was to dispute, to be
engaged in undertakings

        “Whose chief devotion lies
  In odd perverse antipathies;
  In falling out with that or this
  And finding somewhat still amiss.”

In those days not to be a warrior was to be—almost of compulsion—a monk.
But Abelard’s independence forbade the second as his disputatious spirit
had forbidden the first. He would neither risk his neck in the wars nor
his opinions in the cloister. Instead of these he preferred the
irregular combats of the scholar, and Bayle—with a touch of
poetry—beholds him as he comes shining out of Brittany “darting
syllogisms on every side.” Such was Peter Abelard—vain, handsome,
opinionated, bound to swear by no master, a mighty voice crying in the
desert of the Dark Ages for “free speech and free thought.”

The expedition to Paris hurt neither his reputation nor his purse. He
arrived at perihelion as quickly as a comet. William of Champeaux—having
first pushed him off and forced him to lecture on his own account at
Melun and Corbeil—found that he returned like a cork thrust under water.
The man’s buoyant, aggressive self-reliance, not to say self-conceit,
was never contented with an inferior place. And while Alberic and
Littulf and some of the older and more staid of his pupils held with
William, it was plain that the popular favor inclined to the other side.
The younger men were all for Abelard. The “doctrine of universals” was
exploded as if with some of Friar Bacon’s “villainous saltpetre,” and
doubtless the loss was small enough to mankind. His principal fort being
taken, there was nothing left for the opposing general but a masterly
retreat. Hence, by a convenient arrangement, combining several
advantages, Guillaume des Champeaux became Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne.
And it was, of course, beneath the dignity of a bishop to hold lectures
or to engage in logical controversies!

But, as generally happens, a sand-bag substitute was put in the bishop’s
place; and Abelard came back to open a school on Mt. St. Genevieve and
to bombard this professor. The battle was short and decisive, for the
next we learn of this nameless champion of a defeated cause, he is
absolutely enrolled as a humble follower of the great logician. This is
but a fair sample of the general success which attended the new ideas.
Everywhere they gained currency, attracting inquiry, arousing envy,
awaking ecclesiastical suspicion, and inflaming the hatred of his
defeated opponents.

About this time of inception and premonition, say 1113, Abelard
undertook to examine the instruction given by William’s teacher, Anselm
of Laon, who there vegetated as dean of the cathedral church. We must
not confuse his name with that of the great Archbishop of Canterbury,
whose method and science have outlasted the most of his contemporaries,
and whom Neander styles “the Augustine of the twelfth century.” Had he
been the teacher and Abelard the pupil, history might have made a
different record. A profounder and a more reverent line of thought might
have affected the acute and daring mind of the rising dialectician. And,
above every other consideration, the new philosophy might have contained
those elements of religion whose absence neutralized for centuries that
wholesome independence which held mere dogmatism cheap as compared to
the sacred light of truth. It would, indeed, have been well if such an
Anselm had been at Laon, but the dean was a weak and futile person. And
so it was inevitable that Abelard should again be in trouble and almost
in disgrace, but even in his pathetic _Historia Calamitatum_ the pupil
did not forget to satirize his master. “He was that sort of a man,” he
says, “that if any went to him being uncertain he returned more
uncertain still.... When he lit a fire he filled his house with smoke,
but he did not brighten it with light.” He adds, sarcastically, that
Anselm’s philosophy always suggested to his mind the story of the
fig-tree that our Lord cursed because it bore plenty of leaves and no

Abelard himself, however, was a genuine educator, and many bishops and
other ecclesiastics, with nineteen cardinals and two popes, came from
the ranks of his pupils. He loved liberty, although he loved it to that
extent to which his own will—and no other authority, human or
divine—restricted it. In this he differed from Anselm of Canterbury, who
loved liberty, not according to license but according to law. Mere
freedom to inquire, to complain, or to theorize, does not invariably
carry with it profitable results. And Abelard—whose very freedom was in
itself a noble revelation to the shackled intellects of his
age—committed the grave error of supposing that the sweep of a free hand
would certainly give lines of beauty and forms of grace. Something
deeper than the mere distaste of false opinions is needful for this.
Art, meditation, truth—all must lie beneath the O of Giotto or the
masterly strokes of Apelles. And our rhetorician would have done well to
have confined himself to the _Trivium_—grammar, rhetoric, and
dialectics. When he undertook theology he first quarrelled with Anselm
of Laon, and next he encountered all Christendom and Bernard of
Clairvaux. His was the fatal blunder of every “free inquirer” who
forgets reverence, and who, in his pride of intellect, may likely fall
as the angels fell. Surely no Lucifer ever plunged more swiftly down
from heaven’s battlements than did poor Peter Abelard from the dizzy
height of his sudden success.

This is no place to criticise his “system,” if system it can be properly
called. The _Sic et Non_—“Yes and No”—his most famous work, is really a
mere challenge. He quotes the Bible against the Fathers and the Fathers
against the Bible, touching on deep tideways and bogs and quicksands
which he never attempts to ford, fathom, or bridge. The Arians,
Sabellians, Nestorians and Pelagians are resuscitated in these pages. He
flings their doubts before us like a gauntlet cast into the arena of
debate. One may choose which side he will take. Such a man, arising in
the nineteenth century and claiming sympathy with Christianity, would be
by some suspected as a secret enemy and his vanity would loosen his
armor for the entrance of many a venomed shaft. His genuine ardor would
be misunderstood and his opinions would be heavily attacked before they
could deploy at their full strength. If this be true to-day how
infinitely more true must it have been of an age narrower, more
illiterate, and with an arm which wielded not in vain the sword of
excision against heretics!

This, then, was the man who in the prime of manhood and at the topmost
peak of prosperity found himself with money in his pocket, in Paris, and
his own master. He had not yet said of the dogmas of Mother Church as
Luther said of Tetzel, “By God’s help I will go down and beat a hole in
your drum.” Hitherto he had safely kept to Aristotle—at once the
blessing and the bane of Middle-Age reasoners—and he had the
vainglorious sense that five thousand students hung breathless on his
words. He considered himself upon the firmest footing that one could
desire, and behold, he fell!

The “damned spot” of Abelard’s character is that which, after all, has
insured his fame. And, since it is indispensable, a few sentences must
exhibit it in its repulsive ugliness. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we
do not need the help of any other biographer than his own bitter soul.
His _Historia Calamitatum_ is the sufficient history. In this he tells
us that his life had been previously irreproachable and of the strictest
moral correctness. Now, however, he began to “let himself go”—how far,
or how fast, it is of no use for us to investigate. But Fulbert, the
Canon of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, had a perfect Hypatia for a niece,
and to this lady Abelard’s gaze was turned.

She was eighteen, and there was an irresistible charm about her, as of
some fragrant white lily. She was a woman fit to lend grace and beauty
to prosaic surroundings. And Abelard has the unspeakable audacity to
declare that he, a man of thirty-eight, deliberately selected this pure
and perfect flower and meant to take it for himself. Not to marry; for
the truth demands that we should perceive his own thorough appreciation
of the fact that marriage would sink him out of the ranks of scholars
into those of tradesmen and would be the death-blow to his ambition. Not
to marry; for it was a bad age, and sin sometimes clothed itself in the
cowl of the monk and the robe of the prelate, and such a sin was better
forgiven than such a blunder. Let all contemporaneous history bear
witness! For every account of the lives of Heloise and Abelard reveals
the impossibility of passing these unpleasant facts without notice or
comment. On this pivot turns the golden world of that deathless love.

So the avaricious Fulbert took Abelard to dwell in his own house, and
gave his niece’s education entirely into his care, and, as her teacher
himself expresses it, delivered her “like a lamb to a hungry wolf.”

Heloise was probably the better educated of the two. She was the child
of unknown parents. Bayle asserts that she was the daughter of a priest,
and his facilities and laboriousness respecting such abstruse
particulars no one will question. The authority from which he is
possibly quoting, says that this priest was John “Somebody” (_nescio
cujus_) and a canon of the same cathedral with Fulbert at Paris.
Doubtless the trace of her ancestry is utterly lost to us beyond these
meagre items. Even Fulbert’s alleged relationship has been questioned.
But the scholarship of Heloise speaks for itself in a terse, sparkling
Latin style, which is as pleasant beside Abelard’s lumbering sentences
as a bright mountain brook beside a turbid and turbulent stream. Count
de Bussy-Rabutin—no mean critic—has put on record that he never read
more elegant Latin. She also understood Greek and Hebrew, with neither
of which, strange to say, was Abelard acquainted. And at first blush it
would seem that the teacher should have been the pupil.

Absolute justice requires that the ugly and disgraceful slurs in the
_Historia Calamitatum_, and even in the correspondence, should not be
overlooked. Here is what will serve for a fair example. He says of her,
_Quae cum per faciem non esset infima, per abundantiam litterarum erat
suprema_—while she was not exactly the worst-looking of them, she was
the best educated; and therefore he selected her! The _spretae injuria
formae_ never went further than this. But this is by no means the
solitary instance of that low snarl in which the currish nature of the
Breton rustic now and then indulged.

What, then, could have been the spell by which this charming woman drew
Christendom after her? Popes and bishops called her “beloved daughter,”
priests entitled her “sister,” and all laymen laid claim to her as
“mother.” If she were not so beautiful as some authorities positively
state, she must certainly have been marvellously captivating. But
chiefest of her many graces was her crowning loyalty and love. It showed
itself in perfect sympathy, in entire self-devotion. Michelet, indeed,
has observed that the legend of Abelard and Heloise is all that has
survived in France out of the story of the Middle Ages.

Nor has the unanimity of literary judgment upon these lovers been less
remarkable than the interest which they have inspired. With one voice
Abelard is condemned and with one voice Heloise is extolled. “She was,”
says a brilliant writer, “a great, heroic woman, one of those formed out
of the finest clay of humanity.” “With the Grecian fire,” says another,
“she had the Roman firmness.” And even the rude picture which the
mechanical touch of Alexander Pope has painted, leaves to us in the
“Epistle of Heloise” a trace of the same beauty, and affords one line—

  “And graft my love immortal on thy fame”—

which only needs to be reversed in order to be prophetic. Morison’s
tribute is both nobler and more acute, for he testifies, “She walked
through life with ever-reverted glances on the glory of her girlish
love.” It was the same thought which Dante—after Boethius—puts into the
lips of Francesca—

  “There is no greater sorrow
  Than to be mindful of the happy time
  In misery, and that thy Teacher knows.”

Nay, it is even the very cameo out of Tennyson:

  “As when a soul laments, which hath been blessed,
    Desiring what is mingled with past years,
  In yearnings that can never be expressed
    By sighs, or groans, or tears.”

This is the heart which Abelard won. Winning it he won, and forever
held, the woman whose it was. From that moment she merged her whole
existence in his with a complete and utter abandonment of self, to the
perfectness of which let her epistles from the Paraclete bear testimony.
Across this story of undeviating devotion Abelard’s vanity, pride, and
coarseness are written with smears and stains, like an illiterate monk
who blots his comments upon a precious missal full of saints and angels.
For, first of his offences, he revealed this love of his by really
becoming a troubadour. He composed verses in the Romance tongue,
recounting their loves, and set them to such stirring tunes that all the
world was soon singing them. Hence grew the legend that the “Romance of
the Rose” (_Roman de la Rose_) was his composition. It undoubtedly
contains their story, but it was not his work; it belongs to William de
Loris and Jean de Meung. But, as for Heloise, she was delighted. What
would have been a crown of sorrow to other women was to her a crown of
joy. She even announced to Abelard “with the utmost exultation” the
advent of that unhappy being christened Astrolabe and destined to pass
his forsaken and lonely existence shut up in a cloister. That people
sang of this love; that it went to the ends of the earth; that nothing
could prevent its being known—these were the happinesses of Heloise. Of
the merit of the songs we cannot ourselves decide. They were originally
anonymous, and only those familiar with the crabbed French of that
period may hope to find them again.

Meanwhile, though the lectures suffered, and the students saw, and all
Paris smiled, Fulbert was totally in the dark. This condition of affairs
was predestined to come to an end, and it came in storm and anger.
Abelard saw himself forced, against his will, to marry secretly. It was
a sting to his egotism that ever rankled. It served, though, to pacify
Fulbert and the rest of the relations; and being too glad and too
loose-tongued to keep this handsome alliance from the public they
presently told everybody. Heloise, thereupon, fearing for Abelard’s
ambitious schemes, did not shrink from a point-blank falsehood. She
denied the marriage. She had been in Brittany and was now at Argenteuil,
of which she was by and by to become the abbess. And she added to her
denial the self-abnegating sentiment that Abelard, who was created for
all mankind, ought not to be sacrificed by “bondage to a woman.” It was
worthy of her who so admired the “philosophic Aspasia,” and whose tutor
and lover had done what he could to make her as “free from superstition”
as himself. Her moral ideas were what he taught her, and he could not
unteach them.

Among the complaisant and agreeable nuns of Argenteuil she now resided.
It was but a few miles from Paris. Her husband frequently went thither,
and in a short time thereafter she was enrolled as a novice. The fact
aroused her relatives, and their mutterings became ominous; Fulbert,
especially, taking this act in high dudgeon, as though it meant the
premeditated repudiation of his niece. Their anger did not stop at
words, but, knowing Abelard’s popularity, and fearing to attack him
during the day, they bribed his valet and assaulted him by night in his
own apartment.

It was this blow which flung Abelard from heaven to hell. His hitherto
impregnable attitude; his fierce zeal for his opinions; his hopes of a
new philosophy which should make his name immortal, all vanished before
it as spider-webs break before a sword. And when, conscious that he was
no more a god and a hero, but an insulted and defeated man, he rose from
his bed of pain, the prospect was not improved. The outpoured
indignation of bishops and canons and clergy—the lamentations of the
women and the students—did not appease him. A whisper was in his soul
like that of Haman’s wife. Mordecai, the despised, was coming to the
kingdom and the Agagite was doomed.

There were reasons which led him to think of seeking aid from the Pope
against his enemies. But Fulk of Deuil, his good friend, advised him not
to try it. “You have no money,” said honest, plain spoken Fulk, “and
what can you do at Rome without money?” It was bitter truth. Yet the
Abbé Migne, forgetting the much worse things Bernard had said of the
Roman Curia in the treatise _De Consideratione_, exscinds the passage
from Fulk’s letter on the ground that it would cause “scandal to
Catholic ears.” Edification first, truth afterward, if at all!

Therefore, with a poisoned soul, he sought the Abbey of St. Denis to
hide himself from the gaze of the world. To a man so proud a life
without imperial power was a living death. Yet from those walls he
issues his edict that Heloise shall take the veil. His vanity led him to
carry out the original cause of hostility even to its unalterable
result. But Heloise, whatever she might have thought or felt, marched
with lofty resignation to her fate. Quoting aloud—as his confession
pitifully recalls—the words of Cornelia to Pompey from the “Pharsalia”
of Lucan, she takes the vows. Never was there less of religion in such a
ceremony! Henceforth she walks like the moon in distant brightness,
coming to meet us down the ages as comes the Queen Louise of Gustav
Richter’s superb picture. She is transfigured by her self-forgetting
love, and “all that is left of her,” in the best and truest sense, is
now “pure womanly.”

For Abelard at St. Denis the case was different. He found the monks
worldly and dissolute and he reproved them. The effect was similar to
the case of Lot—the reformer departed with all his belongings. He then
renewed his old lectures. His scholars followed him to Maisoncelle,
where, in their avidity of knowledge, they overcrowded every resource of
shelter and food. He offered them that fascinating combination,
dialectics and divinity. Like the saltpetre and the charcoal these were
harmless when apart and explosive when together, particularly if you add
the sulphurous heart which now smoked in his bosom. A harsh and
vindictive tone was given to his disposition, and it was natural that he
should be, at least tentatively, a heretic. These moral bruises are
worse than any or all physical injuries; the man who has felt them can
never be again what he was before. And now Anselm and William and
Fulbert and everybody that he had bullied or taunted or threatened
turned upon him. The gates to the black cavern of the winds were open
and the blasts of fate were icy cold.

The papal legate Conan held a council at Soissons in 1121. The opinions
of Abelard were received with disfavor. They humiliated the poor wretch
among them and made him burn his own book, and then mumble through a
_credo_ amid his “sobs and sighs and tears.” These words are his own,
and his is also the statement that he was put into the custody of the
Abbot of St. Medard and there he was lectured, and even lashed by the
convent whip, until he exhibited proper submission. Poetical justice had
befallen him. For he confesses, to his shame, that he had coerced and
even struck Heloise. Now he, too, was coerced, and he, too, was struck.

Then back again to St. Denis, with more hatred and hard speeches than
ever. But Suger, the new abbot, an easy-going lover of bric-à-brac and
good living, set him free, a “masterless man” past forty years of age,
with Heloise out of reach and the spears of exultant enemies bristling
in every hedge. Is it a wonder that he took to the banks of the Ardusson
near Troyes, wattled himself a rude hut and resolved to be a hermit? But
even there in the desert the people thronged him and built a village of
huts about his own. His misfortunes became a portion of his strength.
And there they erected for him a church and a cloister which he
dedicated to the Paraclete, a daring innovation, since it was then
considered highly heterodox thus to distinguish one person of the
Trinity from the other two.

Under such storms and heat the nature of the man had been seriously
warped. He became suspicious, gloomy, and weakly unstable. His
correspondence with Heloise had been completely broken off. He went into
the monotonous Champagne, then out into the bleak Brittany, and finally
(1125) he received the abbacy of St. Gildas. His friends, perhaps,
desired to save him from homelessness and so from the dangers which the
relentless malice of his old enemies was constantly piling up. But their
choice of a refuge reveals how little their ecclesiastical influence was
worth. The monks of St. Gildas lived in open sin, and the people around
the cloister were semi-barbarians. It may be that they were ready to
welcome Abelard because they supposed he would be charitable to their
peccadilloes, but if they fancied this, their mistake was great. He
really measured himself against their vices and suffered a predestined
defeat. At St. Gildas he touched the nadir of his fate as at Paris he
had reached its zenith. The monks conspired against him. They sought to
poison him, contaminating with their drugs even the cup of the
Eucharist. When his life was not fear it was horror, and when it was not
horror it was despair.

At this time, too, for calamity never comes singly, Suger had succeeded
in routing from Argenteuil the Abbess Heloise with all her nuns. He had
complained to Rome that the lands of Argenteuil were the chartered right
of St. Denis and that the nuns were very scandalous. So Abelard roused
himself sufficiently to hand the deserted abbey of the Paraclete over to
his wife; to confirm it by every possible act and deed against invasion;
and to secure, in the despite of Bernard of Clairvaux, who was his
presumptive enemy, a special bull of Innocent II. to make all this
permanent. To these walls Heloise therefore removed. They were doubly
dear to her for Abelard’s sake. She had no true “vocation” for her
office, but the Pope called her and her sisterhood his “dear daughters,”
and it was the best that they could do. Abelard prepared their forms of
service for them, and thus again, after all these years, communication
existed and letters passed between them.

These forms brought on a controversy with Bernard, who did not like
them. The letters also are still extant, often translated, but never in
anything except the original Latin, speaking out the real nature of the
writers. On the part of Heloise they reveal the depth of an unending
love. On the part of Abelard they are as cold and occasionally as cruel
as anything to which a translator can turn his pen. After a careful
survey of their contents the conclusion is irresistible that Heloise is
a woman whose lofty love carries with it unhesitatingly the mind, the
will, the senses—everything. Her faults are the faults of her time and
of her teaching, not of her soul. But, by the survival of its most
forcible elements, Abelard’s character has been developed into a selfish
coldness both unnatural and ungrateful. As a man, at this stage of his
career, one abhors and pities him.

Presently upon the dead colorlessness of this “burned-out crater healed
with snow,” the red light of a new controversy is cast. In this final
struggle the redoubtable force of the splendid debater flashed up once
more. But he was defeated by Bernard at Sens (1140), and whether this
defeat was by fair logic or by the hostile spirit of the age it does not
matter. Defeated he was, and he rushed out declaring that he would
appeal to Rome. Happily his way led him through Cluny, and there good,
large-hearted, and large-bodied Peter the Venerable took him in. For the
first time, perhaps, in all his life he came into close relations with a
man genuinely great. And Peter of Cluny himself wrote to the Pope;
detaining Abelard meanwhile by kind assiduities, in that genial cloister
whose humanity cherished neither bigotry nor license. Later he even
reconciled the two disputants, and the broken and weary debater died at
last (April 21st, 1142) at St. Marcel, whither he had been sent for
change of climate by the care of his hospitable friend.

There is a painting—a true artist’s conception, but a mere daub in
fact—which hangs in a New York village and which represents a dead
knight stretched upon the ground. He lies upon his back on the sodden
earth in the melting snow. The sky above him is of a dull and awful
gray, and the carrion birds are flying in a long, hurrying line to join
those already at the feast. A broken sword is strained in his right
hand, his armor is hacked and darkly spotted with mire and blood, and
his feet have fallen into a little stream. So would have fallen Abelard
but for the charity and mercy of Peter the Venerable. Remembering all
that he had been it is somewhat comforting to read of his last days. For
certain letters passed between Peter of Cluny and Heloise, and these,
too, are extant and accessible.

The abbot says to her, after describing the daily life of Abelard, “How
holily, how devoutly, in what a catholic spirit he made confession,
first of his faith and then of his sins! ... Thus Master Peter finished
his days, and he who for his knowledge was famed throughout the world,
in the discipleship of Him who said, ‘Learn of Me, for I am meek and
lowly in heart,’ persevered, in meekness and humility, and, as we may
believe, passed to the Lord.” It is in such language that this
benevolent man addresses his “venerable and very dear sister,”
concerning, as he tenderly puts it, her “first husband in the Lord.” And
doubtless this same Abelard became, at the last, a little child, who
through much tribulation had unlearned his haughty and selfish temper,
and had gone back from subtleties and logic to say in all simplicity,
Abba, Father! And it is not less interesting for us to discover in the
second epistle of Heloise to Peter of Cluny, that the mother’s heart
yearns over her boy, and that she commends Astrolabe to the care and
protection of his father’s benefactor, a trust which, in his next
letter, Peter accepts and promises to discharge.

Of the poetry of Abelard much has unquestionably been lost. His
troubadour ballads may have been conveniently suppressed; it is often
the fate of wise men’s lighter productions. And his hymns were for long
years untraced, except in the instance of the _Mittit ad virginem_ and
of another upon the Trinity, which was ascribed to him, but is now
accredited to Hildebert. A very pretty poem, _Ornarunt terram germina_,
preserved by Du Meril (_Poesies Populaires Lat._, p. 444) is given in
the collection of Archbishop Trench and again in that of Professor
March. Even in English its grace and daintiness do not entirely escape
us, and they show how possible it was for him to have written the
love-songs which celebrated Heloise.

  The earth is green with grasses;
    The sky is filled with lights—
  Sun, moon, and stars. There passes
    Vast use through days and nights.

  On either hand upbuilded,
    Arouse, O man, and see!
  Those heavenly realms are gilded
    By help which shines for thee.

  The suns of winter cheer thee
    For lack of fire below;
  While the bright moon draws near thee,
    With stars, thy path to show!

  Leave pride her ivory spaces;
    The poor man on the grass
  Looks up, from fragrant places
    By which the song-birds pass.

  The rich, with wasteful labor,
    (For vaulted domes shall fall,)
  Mocking his poorer neighbor,
    Paints heaven within his hall.

  But in that open chamber
    Where all things fairest are,
  Let the poor man remember
    How God paints sun and star.

  So vast a work and splendid
    Is nature’s more than man’s!
  No pains nor cost attended
    Those age-enduring plans!

  The rich man keeps his servant,
    An angel guards the poor,
  And God sends stars observant
    To watch above his door!

At length the adage of Buddha was fulfilled that “Hatred does not cease
by hatred; hatred ceaseth by love.” This is an old rule. For in 1836 his
romantic story secured an editor for the scholar’s works in the person
of Monsieur Victor Cousin, who at that date, and again in 1849,
republished them. They had been issued in 1616 by Francis d’Amboise at
Paris, and the city of his fame and sorrow appropriately witnessed their
reappearance. But even then there were no more verses, and the editors
of the twelfth volume of the _Histoire Litteraire de la France_ also
regarded those productions as hopelessly lost. Yet they had been in
Paris, and when the _Patrologia_ of Migne reached “Tom. 178” they had
been actually recovered. The story is of the same pattern as the
author’s life—the man and his works had infinite vicissitudes.

When Belgium was occupied by the French, these ninety-three hymns,
written for the abbey of the Paraclete between 1125 and 1134, were lying
hid in _codice quincunciali_, whatever this may mean. The account seems
to require a _box_ of about five inches in height, rather than an
ordinary _codex_ or bound volume. This _codex_ was brought to Paris and
there remained during the days of Napoleon Bonaparte. When his Empire
fell, the box and its contents returned to Belgium. They bore the seals
of the Republic and of the Empire and they also had the stamp of the
Royal Library of Brussels. They were indeed a catalogued part of that
library’s treasures, but their value was unguessed. One day, after their
return, a German student named Oehler, while rummaging through the
_codex_ found in it the _libellus_, or little book, which contained
these three series of hymns. Like the “hymnarium” of Hilary they were
known to have been in existence, and hence he immediately inferred their
authorship. They embraced, to his delight, a complete collection for all
the religious hours and for the principal festivals of the Church.

It is strikingly characteristic of the superficial nature of many
studies in Latin hymnology, that Oehler apparently thought of nothing
else that might be in the _codex_, but proceeded at once to publish
eight of the recovered hymns. These, attracting the notice of Monsieur
Cousin, he purchased a full transcript of the _libellus_ at a “fair
price” from the discoverer. It was, however, reserved for Émile Gachet,
a Belgian, to “give a not unlucky day to paleography” in the course of
which he lighted upon this same _codex_ and found it still to contain
the larger part of an epistle treating of Latin hymnology, addressed to
Heloise, and announcing the hymns of which it was the preface. Thus the
identification was perfect, and the introductions and the hymns are
again joined with the other works of their authors. In 1838 a set of
_Planctus_—“Lamentations”—had been found in the Vatican Library. They
are moderate in merit, and these new pieces were therefore invaluable in
determining Abelard’s rank as a poet. In the main, his hymns are
didactic and cold. But there is at least one which has held its place
anonymously in the service of the Church and upon this his reputation
may safely rest. It was translated by Dr. Neale from the imperfect text
of a Toledo breviary, and it can be found in _Hymns, Ancient and Modern_
(No. 343), and in Mone (_Lat. Hym. des Mittelalters_, I., 382). In the
Paraclete Breviary it is “xxviii., _Ad Vesperas_.”

  O quanta, qualia sunt illa sabbata,
  Quae semper celebrat superna curia!
  Quae fessis requies, quae merces fortibus,
  Cum erit omnia Deus in omnibus.

  Vere Jherusalem illic est civitas
  Cujus pax jugis est summa jucunditas,
  Ubi non praevenit rem desiderium,
  Nec desiderio nimis est praemium.

  Quis rex! quae curia! quale palatium!
  Quae pax! quae requies! quod illud gaudium!
  Hujus participes exponant gloriae
  Si, quantum sentiunt, possint exprimere.

  Nostrum est interim mentem erigere,
  Et totis patriam votis appetere,
  Et ad Jherusalem a Babilonia,
  Post longa regredi tandem exilia.

  Illic, molestiis finitis omnibus,
  Securi cantica Syon cantabimus,
  Et juges gratias de donis gratiae
  Beata referet plebs tibi, Domine.

  Illic ex sabbato succedet sabbatum,
  Perpes laetitia sabbatizantium,
  Nec ineffabiles cessabunt jubili,
  Quos decantabimus et nos et angeli.

  Oh what shall be, oh when shall be, that holy Sabbath day,
  Which heavenly care shall ever keep and celebrate alway;
  When rest is found for weary limbs, when labor hath reward,
  When everything, forevermore, is joyful in the Lord?

  The true Jerusalem above, the holy town, is there,
  Whose duties are so full of joy, whose joy so free from care;
  Where disappointment cometh not to check the longing heart,
  And where the soul in ecstasy hath gained her better part.

  O glorious King, O happy state, O palace of the blest!
  O sacred peace and holy joy and perfect heavenly rest.
  To thee aspire thy citizens in glory’s bright array,
  And what they feel and what they know they strive in vain to say.

  For while we wait and long for home, it shall be ours to raise
  Our songs and chants, and vows and prayers, in that dear country’s
  And from these Babylonian streams to lift our weary eyes,
  And view the city that we love descending from the skies.

  There, there, secure from every ill, in freedom we shall sing
  The songs of Zion, hindered here by days of suffering,
  And unto thee, our gracious Lord, our praises shall confess
  That all our sorrow hath been good, and thou by pain canst bless.

  There Sabbath day to Sabbath day sheds on a ceaseless light,
  Eternal pleasure of the saints who keep that Sabbath bright;
  Nor shall the chant ineffable decline, nor ever cease,
  Which we with all the angels sing in that sweet realm of peace.

The rhythm of the Trinity, previously mentioned, is so good that it is
usually, and, it may be, correctly, ascribed to Hildebert of Lavardin;
and the _Planctus Varii_ have really something more than that
“inconsiderable merit” which Archbishop Trench allows to them. They are
irregular in form and metre, and their subjects (which evidently reflect
their author’s feelings) are: The Wail of Dinah; Jacob’s Lament over
Joseph and Benjamin; The Sorrow of the Virgins over Jephthah’s Daughter;
The Israelites’ Dirge over Samson; The Grief of David over Abner and his
Elegy upon Saul and Jonathan. Abelard also composed a long poem to
Astrolabe, giving him plenty of good counsel in fair pentameter, but in
rather prosaic phrases. Some of it sounds like Lord Chesterfield’s
worldly wisdom, and there are portions of the production which are
plainly affected by the soured and saddened spirit of the author. “There
is nothing,” he tells the poor, forsaken lad, “better than a good woman,
and nothing worse than a bad one,” and, “as in all species of rapacious
birds,” the female is the most to be dreaded!

Thus the poems which we possess number one hundred and two all told. But
for ordinary readers not more than five—if we exclude the present
correct Latin form of the _O quanta qualia_—are available in the
original, and these are scattered through three or four collections. An
unkind fate has still pursued these poor relics of the man who took
shelter under the broad wing of Peter the Venerable, and who, by having
escaped into such sanctuary, has barred out from thenceforth all
uncharitable thoughts. It may be added that of Heloise also we have a
reputed hymn, _Requiescat a labore_, but Königsfeld and Daniel both deny
the authorship. In this they are doubtless correct.

We may best remember the great controversialist when he is lying dead in
his new-found peace and childlikeness. At the request of Heloise, Peter
of Cluny delivered up his body to be buried within the walls of the
Paraclete, in defiance of any misconstruction or of any sneer. He
accompanied the act with the absolution which she asked. It reads thus:

“I, Peter, Abbot of Cluny, who received Peter Abelard as a Cluniac monk,
and who have granted his body to be delivered secretly [_furtim
delatum_, wrote the big-hearted bishop] to Heloise, the abbess, and to
the nuns of the Paraclete, by the authority of the Omnipotent God and of
all saints, do absolve him in virtue of my office from all his sins.”
This was to have been engraved upon a metal plate and fastened above the
tomb of the dead rhetorician, but for some reason—perhaps connected with
the _furtim delatum_—the plan was never carried out. But the absolution
was probably attached to the tomb for a short time in order to make it

“Women,” says Mrs. Browning, “are knights-errant to the last.” For a
score of years, Heloise went each evening to that tomb to weep and pray.
She remembered and observed nothing of those unpleasant traits which
later times have noticed. If she ever cursed any one it must have been
Fulbert, or others of the dead man’s enemies, and

  “A curse from the depths of womanhood
    Is very salt and bitter and good.”

At length, like every watching and every waiting, this, too, came to an
end, and she died on May 17th, 1164, precisely at his age of sixty-three
years. And they laid her beside him in the same grave, as was meet and

But evil fate still flapped a raven wing above the pair. Even in death
they have scarcely rested in peace. In 1497 the tomb was opened from
religious motives and the bodies were removed and placed in separate
vaults. In 1630 the Abbess Marie de Rochefoucauld placed them in the
chapel of the Trinity. In 1792 they were again removed to Nogent, near
Paris. In 1800, by order of Lucien Bonaparte, they were transferred to
the garden of the “Musée des Monumens Français.” This being destroyed in
1815, they were again entombed in Père-la-Chaise. M. Lenoir, keeper of
the Museum, had constructed the present Gothic sepulchre out of the
ruins of the abbey of the Paraclete, uniting with these an ancient tomb
from St. Marcel in which Abelard had at first been laid. Pugin says that
this was transferred from the Musée grounds. The monument reared at the
Paraclete and ornamented with a figure of the Trinity, perished in 1794
during the confusion of the Revolution. General Pajol, the subsequent
owner of the grounds, placed a marble pillar above the stone sarcophagus
which yet existed, but the lead coffin had already been taken to Paris.
The tomb in Père-la-Chaise has been recently repaired, and there the
sentimental of all nations have brought flowers and scrawled names and
scribbled verses. Even at the present day a curious collection of wire
crosses, immortelles, and visiting-cards can be seen constantly upon it.

The principal inscription was composed by the Academie des Inscriptions
in 1766, at the instance of Marie de Roucy de Rochefoucauld, Abbess of
the Paraclete, like her namesake of 1497; and it was carved at her cost
upon the stone.

Nor is this all. The story of Abelard and Heloise has a literature of
its own. We have no authentic portraits, if we except the fine pictures
of Robert Léfèbvre engraved by Desnoyers, which rest upon I know not
what of possible likeness. But the Englishman, Berington; the Germans,
Brucker and Carriere and Fessler and Schlosser and Feuerbach; the
Frenchmen, De Rémusat and Cousin and Guizot and Delepierre and Lamartine
and Dom Gervaise; the Italian, Tòsti; the Americans, W. W. Newton,
Wight, and Abby Sage Richardson, and a host of other authors and
essayists and reviewers, have in one form or another told the sad, sweet
legend of this love. It has never lacked its audience, and its perpetual
charm has been the character of Heloise. Like the fair and unfortunate
maid of Astolat, who so pathetically loved Launcelot, it may be said of
her devotion that she “gave such attendance upon him, there was never a
woman did more kindlyer for man than shee did.” It was a rare exhibition
of that precious jewel, an unselfish, loyal, and flawless heart!

                              CHAPTER XX.
                          PETER THE VENERABLE.

It serves to illustrate the meshes which held the highest men of the
twelfth century together, when we encounter Peter the Venerable, Abbot
of Cluny. His true name was Pierre Maurice de Montboisier and he was
from Auvergne—“one of the noblest and most genial natures,” says
Morison, “to be met with in this or in any time.” What a fine old man he
was! Under him as abbot, Bernard of Cluny was prior, and the loving care
of Peter prepared an epitaph for that bravest and sweetest of singers.
It was he who bearded the other Bernard in his very den, and who came
out of many contests against that almost invincible ecclesiast with more
honor than before. Few could say this of a battle with the Abbot of
Clairvaux; and to no one but Peter does Morison, the biographer of
Bernard, concede any such victory.

It was also this admirable Peter who took Peter Abelard under his
protection. With a large and patient generosity he developed the better
nature of that headstrong, conceited, unhappy man; and when Abelard died
he wrote to Heloise the really warmhearted and tender letter, with a
great deal of humanity about it, which I have quoted already. And thus,
to whomsoever it may fall to consider the history of France in the
twelfth century; or of Abelard and the new philosophy; or of Bernard and
ecclesiastical polity; or of the other Bernard and the Latin hymns, it
is inevitable that the name of Peter the Venerable shall arise and stand
high above the throng of those by which he is surrounded.

His mother’s name was Raingarde, and her death, long after he had
attained his wide reputation, was deeply felt by him as that of one of
the best of women and dearest of mothers. For Pierre de Montboisier, in
those days when the stagnation and corruption of thought and morals were
not felt as they were felt later on, was a man as well as a monk. But
when, at last, the religious people became monks and not men; when they
were stupid, uninteresting, fat-fleshed and gross in life; when they had
no courage or piety; then they neither did the world any good nor made
their own souls ripe for heaven. And as sportsmen tell us that the
mellow “bob-o-link” ceases to sing and is only fit for slaughter when he
becomes the “rice bird” of the South, so it was with them. Latin
hymnology almost ceases to be interesting after this century. And Peter
the Venerable, while he wrote but little himself, is too fine a factor
in the arousing of others for us to forget him and his work.

He must have been born in 1092 or 1094—the earlier date being more
probable; and when he was sixteen or seventeen (1109) he became a monk
of Cluny. These were the “black” monks;—as the Cistercians of Citeaux
and Clairvaux were the “white.” He had six brothers, most of whom took
similar vows. What else indeed was there to do? You must either hack and
hew your way with a battle-axe, and risk your neck and your castle, or
you must become a monk. There was no middle course. Peace-loving,
studious people—those who aimed to help the world up toward God—had no
other choice. Nowadays we should find plenty of room for Peter; but he
did what was then best, and entered Cluny.

At thirty years of age he was its abbot. This was in 1122. It happened
by reason of Pontius, the former abbot, a self-sufficient and imperious
man, being forced to resign his office and go on pilgrimage to
Palestine; he even promised not to come back at all. Then the monks of
Cluny elected another abbot; and as he died almost immediately, they
were compelled to choose a third, namely Peter. But it was in a hard
seat that they placed him; he had a mismanaged property, and a body of
men who needed a good deal of attention.

Let us picture him to us in the fashion and habit of his appearance. He
had a “happy face,” a “majestic figure,” and “plenty of those other
unfailing signs of virtues” which justified his name “The Venerable.” It
was such a big-hearted, big-bodied style of man who now undertook this
reformation. By the help of Matthew, Prior of St. Martin in the Fields,
near Paris, he effected it in about three months. Then there was a
period of peace. But, all of a sudden, here comes Pontius, with soldiers
at his heels, when Peter is absent, wanting his old place again. He
bursts in the gates, forces the monks who remain to swear allegiance,
carries off crosses and candlesticks and whatever was worth anything for
melting down into money, and plays robber-baron over all the
neighborhood. Peter himself tells the story: “He came in my absence....
With a motley crowd of soldiers and women rushing in together, he
marched into the cloisters. He turned his hand to the sacred things....
He raided the villages and castles around the abbey, and, trying to
subdue the religious places in a barbaric way, he wasted with fire and
sword all that he could.” It was certainly a very serious matter.

Peter did the best he could with it—this resulting in Honorius II.
despatching a legate from Rome with a great curse, ready-baked and
smoking-hot, for the soul’s benefit of that “sacrilegious, schismatic,
and excommunicate usurper,” Pontius. I have not read the curse; but I am
positively certain that Pontius and Pontius Pilate must have been
elaborately compared in its sentences. Such anathemas were supposed to
dry the blood and wither the brain. Pontius trembled and restored his
ill gotten gains and vanished to his own place. And Peter had peace at

There had already been a controversy with St. Bernard about Robert,
Bernard’s cousin, who liked the cordiality of Cluny a good deal better
than the thin-visaged and almost fierce zeal of Clairvaux. For this
reason he changed his allegiance. Consequently Bernard wanted him sent
home. And by this time he was, according to strict rule, actually
restored. However, Clairvaux chuckled very much at the confusion in
Cluny; and Bernard was ungenerous enough to take this time, of all
others, to publish quite an elaborate and even brilliant disparagement
of the Cluniac rule. I shall let this also pass for the present, for it
will meet us again, only saying that Peter seems to have gone on wisely
about his own business and avoided any reply—a quite unusual proceeding
in a controversial age. In 1126 he had taken up again his previous line
of administration; and when this “apology” came out in 1127 he was
practically meeting its objections in the best manner. As Frederick
Maurice says of him, “The Abbot of Cluny would have wished the monk to
be rather an example to men of the world of what they might become, than
the type of a kind of life which was in opposition to theirs. He feared
that a grievously stringent rule would lead ultimately to a terrible

In 1130 Pope Honorius died. Pierre de Leon (Peter Leonis), calling
himself Anacletus, got himself illegally elected, and seized the control
at Rome. Cardinal Gregory of San Angelo, who was the rightful but weaker
claimant, assumed the title of Innocent II., and forthwith set out to
secure the help of the great abbeys of France. Now Anacletus had been a
Cluniac; and Bernard, Peter’s and Cluny’s opponent, favored Innocent.
But when Innocent, in 1132, appeared at Cluny, he was hailed as the true
and genuine Pope—a piece of magnanimity which he had no right to expect.

And from this time Peter’s allegiance was undoubted; although, like a
great many persons in the world, Innocent II. conceded more to the stern
will of Bernard than to the generous conduct of the Abbot of Cluny.
Indeed, he did but very little in the way of privilege for Peter’s
abbey; and he turned nearly all his gifts and favors toward Bernard.
This so exalted the Cistercians that Peter protested. It is a blot upon
Innocent that such a protest was needed. For Peter had been the first to
welcome him, sending him “sixty horses and mules, with everything which
could be wanted by a pope in distress.”

Many a man would have wheeled around and left the ingrate. But Peter’s
revenge was handsome and characteristic. He summoned a general chapter
of his order; and it was held at the time that Innocent, recognized at
length, was going away to Rome. There were “two hundred priors and a
thousand ecclesiasts,” delegates from France, England, Spain, Germany,
and Italy. These cheerfully and promptly agreed to accept a more
stringent rule in all their religious houses. And thus Innocent, and his
Warwick of a Bernard, could see for themselves the strength and the
charity, and the sincere purpose of the man whom they were setting
aside. I feel that I must here add the exact words in which Morison, St.
Bernard’s best biographer, justifies this estimate of the character of
Peter the Venerable. “The relations between Peter and Bernard throughout
their lives,” he says (p. 222, _note_), “give rise to contrasts little
favorable to the latter. Peter nearly always is gentle, conciliating,
and careful not to give offence, even when as here (in the case of the
Bishop of Langres) sorely provoked. Bernard too often made return by
hard and even violent language and conduct.”

With such a stately and well-balanced person in our mind’s eye, we
cannot be surprised to find that he had plenty of solid pluck, that he
was “mild as he was game, and game as he was mild.” In 1134, returning
from the Council of Pisa against Anacletus, he and his followers were
attacked by robbers. The abbot tucked up his sleeves, and took the sword
of the Church militant on the spot. Perhaps he was glad to let his big
thews and sinews have full play. At all events he so dashed and smote
these ungodly men, that he beat them actually back, and had therefrom
considerable glory. I never read that he or his abbey was much meddled
with afterward.

About this date his visits to Spain drew his attention to the Koran. He
was struck by the religious efficiency of it, and in order to meet it
better he prepared for a full translation of it. Peter of Toledo,
Hermann of Dalmatia, and an Englishman named Robert Kennet, or perhaps
(says the _Histoire Litteraire_) de Retines, were selected for this
duty. To them were added an Arab scholar and Peter of Poitiers, the
abbot’s favorite private secretary. They were to render the Koran into
Latin directly; and at it they went, accomplishing their task between
1141 and 1144, at the time of an epidemic in the monastery. Then Peter
himself joined with them in a refutation of its errors—albeit his
Latinity was not first-rate, being rather that of a man of affairs than
of a student. There was another Latin refutation of the Koran by Brother
Richard, a Dominican who lived in the thirteenth and into the fourteenth
century. Luther translated that into German in 1542.

What a warm-blooded, good, hearty fellow Peter must have been! He had
only found three hundred monks at Cluny in 1122; but Hugo of Cluny, his
successor, was entitled to take rule, there and elsewhere, over ten
thousand. Mount Tabor, the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and Constantinople
were among the places where the “black” monks were well established. And
a large share of this was due to the sagacity and statesmanship of
Peter. In proof of this fine humanity, take his behavior to Abelard. The
full story comes properly in another place; for Abelard himself was a
writer of hymns, and worthy of more than transient reference. But when
poor Abelard was repudiated, disgraced, shamefully mutilated, and nearly
at despair’s edge, wearied out with St. Gildas and his refractory monks,
and finally defeated by the purer and higher logic of Bernard, then,
indeed, do we see Peter of Cluny at his best. He received the
disappointed and broken man with “the welcome of an unutterably
guileless and sympathetic heart.” Cluny’s gates opened wide to take him
in. Cluny’s genial, restful spirit closed in about his own like the
feathers of the mother bird around her callow, shivering brood.

And when he dies, it is Cluny’s abbot who details with the loving
particularity, which would most help the sore heart of Heloise, all his
last doings. He speaks even to the kinship of every age when, after this
long and tender letter, whose Latin glows with a deep fervency, he
closes in this wise: “May God, in your stead, comfort him in his bosom;
comfort him as another you; and guard him till through grace he is
restored to you at the coming of the Lord, with the shout of the
archangel and the trump of God descending from the heavens.”

It is time that we speak of his writings, of which a full edition was
published at Paris in 1522, one of the Cluniac monks being its compiler.
Frequently, during the next two hundred years, they are republished in
whole or in part. They are thus by no means inaccessible, though their
merit is not so great. One of the important works is directed against
the Jews, for whom he had a most pious dislike. Others are in the nature
of epistles or of controversial replies, valuable only for their time
and their spirit.

Of his verse, however, we have left us but about fourteen specimens. One
of these is against the detractors of the poetry of Peter of Poitiers,
who were nearer right than he supposed them to be. Another is a rhymed
epistle to a certain Raimond, of some sixty-four lines. Then we have a
“prose,” the word being cognate to _prosody_, in honor of Jesus Christ.
Its structure, except for the additional short syllable, is identical
with the “leonine and tailed rhyme” of Bernard of Morlaix, his prior:

  “A patre mittitur, in terris nascitur, Deus de virgine
  Humana patitur, docet et moritur, libens pro homine.”

It celebrates Him, sent from the Father, born on the earth, God from a
virgin, wearing our mortal shape, teaching and tarrying with us, and
atoning for our sins. The best, perhaps, of all his poems is what Trench
and March quote:

  “Mortis portis fractis, fortis
  Fortior vim sustulit,”—

the real original of those splendid lines:

  “Now broken are the bars of Death,
  And crushed thy sting, Despair!”—

which we find in Bishop Heber’s resurrection hymn, commencing, “God is
gone up with a merry noise.” There is a life to these verses which one
must understand their author in order to appreciate. They follow, in the
best attire that I can give them. They are exultant rather than
illustrious. It is the man and not his measures whom we celebrate!
Daniel does not think it worth his while to include him at all.
Archbishop Trench takes his own text from the _Bibliotheca Cluniacense_,
Paris, 1614:

                    ON THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD.

  The gates of death are broken through,
    The strength of hell is tamed,
  And by the holy cross anew
    Its cruel king is shamed.
  A clearer light has spread its ray
    Across the land of gloom
  When he who made the primal day
    Restores it from the tomb.
  For so the true Creator died
    That sinners might not die,
  And so he has been crucified
    That we might rise on high.

  For Satan then was beaten back
    Where he, our Victor stood;
  And that to him was deathly black
    Which was our vital good.
  For Satan, capturing, is caught,
    And as he strikes he dies.
  Thus calmly and with mighty thought
    The King defeats his lies,
  Arising whence he had been brought,
    At once, to seek the skies.

  Thus God ascended, and returned
    Again to visit man;
  For having made him first, he yearned
    To carry out his plan.
  To that lost realm our Saviour flew,
    The earliest pioneer,
  To people Paradise anew
    And give our souls good cheer.

Peter the Venerable died on December 25th, 1156; but how or with what
surroundings we are not told. He was buried beside his old comrade,
Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, within the walls of the church
which Innocent II. consecrated upon his memorable visit to Cluny. And
the _Histoire Litteraire_ breaks out into an unusual eulogy; and
declares that in his case the title of “Venerable” was no less honorable
than that of “Saint.” They did not make “saints” out of such men as
Peter—and I don’t quite see why they should. There was too much
flesh-and-blood reality about him, too little of musty theology and
altogether too little bigotry. But somehow the broad-faced happy sun
proves himself to be the “greater light;” while the moon goes palely on,
a ghost in an unaccustomed sky.

                              CHAPTER XXI.
                           BERNARD OF CLUNY.

In the twelfth century—the time of the great Crusades—we find the
noblest and purest of Latin hymns. It is the age of Hildebert, Abelard,
Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter of Cluny, and Adam of St. Victor. But among
them all I find no one who has inspired a deeper and more lovely desire
for the heavenly land than Bernard of Cluny.

The information about him is very meagre. He was born at Morlaix in
Brittany, of English parents. He seems to have attained to no
ecclesiastical dignity—such men seldom care for baubles and trinkets.
But his is as true a soul as ever burned like a star on a summer night,
against the warm, obscure, palpitating heaven of eternal hope. The date
of his prominence is fixed by the fact that Peter the Venerable was his
abbot, and it is therefore included between 1122 and 1156. I have (in
_The Heavenly Land_) myself assigned the _Laus Patriae Coelestis_—his
famous and only poem, which is addressed to Abbot Peter, to 1145 or

His single up-gush of melody is a lamentation over the evil condition of
the times in which he lives. They were indeed days to sadden the soul of
the saint; and he called his poem _De Contemptu Mundi_; for he despised
the _immundus mundus_—the foul world in which he was forced to remain.
It consists of some three thousand lines of dactylic hexameter, and was
first published (so says Trench, who is its step-parent) by Matthias
Flacius Illyricus in his scarce and little known supplement to the
_Catalogus Testium Veritatis_. In this “Catalogue of Witnesses to the
Truth” he gathers all those who have testified against the papacy, and
the supplement, _Varia doctorum piorumque Virorum de Corrupto Ecclesiae
Statu Poemata_ (1556), is made up of hymns and poems in which the pious
_within_ the Church, as well as without her walls, sorrowed over her

Bernard’s poem is sometimes known, therefore, by his own title, _De
Contemptu Mundi_, and sometimes by that given by Trench to his cento of
about one hundred lines, _Laus Patriae Coelestis_, the “Praise of the
Heavenly Land.” From this cento one would derive altogether an erroneous
idea of the whole; but Dr. Neale, who wrote with the full text before
him, although he paraphrased but part of it, tells us that the poem, in
great part, is a bitter satire on the fearful wickedness of the times.
It was the part Trench passed by for which Matthias Flacius Illyricus,
its first editor, cared the most. The sins and greediness of the Court
of Rome are the theme of the eighty-five lines he has embodied in the
text of the _Catalogus_ itself. By both that and the poems of his
supplement, he sought to justify the Protestant Reformation on the side
of Christian discipline and morals.[10]

The translators have had a hard problem in Bernard’s poem, and but few
have attempted to “bend the bow of Ulysses.” Dr. Neale has achieved the
most popular and useful result, in the version from which “Jerusalem the
Golden” has been extracted, but he does not pretend to literalness. “My
own translation,” he says, “is so free as to be little more than an
imitation.” Dr. Coles has gone straight away from the dactyls and made a
version in anapests—a metre which does not do justice to Bernard.
Archbishop Trench has rendered a few lines in the same measure as the
original. I have myself followed (in 1867) the exact metre and rhyme of
the original poem; but such a version is rather curious than useful. The
translation signed by “O. A. M., Cherry Valley,” is in its typography,
while fine and clear, affectedly antique. The metrical power of this
version is inferior. It is dactylic but not fluent, and does not at all
represent the original. That by Mr. Gerard Moultrie is praised by Dr.
Trench as metrically close and poetically beautiful. I have no
hesitation in saying it is the best version which has appeared in
English. It seems to keep both to the spirit and the letter of the
original, and is in all respects a remarkable achievement. It, however,
omits the double rhyme, and thus avoids the chief difficulty of a
reproduction of the form of the original. That by Rev. Jackson Mason
(1880) will not stand a comparison with Mr. Moultrie’s, as it halts and
breaks in its measure and produces an effect on the ear far from

The difficulty of translation is due entirely to the character of the
verse. Bernard himself declares “unless that spirit of wisdom and
understanding had been with me, and flowed in upon so difficult a metre,
I could not have composed so long a work.” Not that this form of verse
was original with him. Peter Damiani has used it in one of his hymns to
our Lord’s mother:

  “O miseratrix, O dominatrix, praecipe dictu
  Ne devastemur, ne lapidemur, grandinis ictu.”

And, to go farther back still, a certain Theodulus, who lived in the
reign of the Emperor Zeno (474-91) wrote a poem of nine hundred lines on
Bernard’s own theme, _De Contemptu Mundi_, in the same metre:

  “Pauper amabalis et venerabilis est benedictus
  Dives inutilis insatiabilis, est maledictus.
  Qui bona negligit et mala diligit intrat abyssum;
  Nulla pecunia, nulla potentia liberat ipsum.”

A glance will show the nature of this trouble which the patient Bernard
encountered. Take the two lines:

  “Hora _novíssima_, tempora _péssima_ sunt, _vigilémus!_
  Ecce _minaciter_, imminet _árbiter_, ille _suprémus_.”

That is:

  “These are the _látter_ times,
  These are not _bétter_ times,
    Let us stand _waiting!_
  Lo, how with _áwfulness_,
  He, first in _láwfulness_,
    Comes, _arbitrating!_”

Of course it is infinitely harder to the translator who is restricted,
than to the composer who can eddy around his subject—led by the rhyme as
much and as freely as he will. And this is what Bernard always does. His
verses are ejaculations, desires, lamentations, longings—measured out by
the “leonine hexameter” which he employs. To show the beauty still
untranslated, as well as to exhibit more of the structure of the poem, I
append four of these lines:

  “Pax ibi florida, pascua vivida, viva medulla,
  Nulla molestia, nulla tragoedia, lacryma nulla.
  O sacra potio, sacra refectio, pax animarum
  O pius, O bonus, O placidus sonus, hymnus earum.”

Thus Englished, closely:

  “Peace is there flourishing,
  Pasture-land nourishing,
    Fruitful forever.
  There is no aching breast,
  There is no breaking rest,
    Tears are seen never.
  O sacred draught of bliss!
  Peace, like a waft of bliss!
    Sustenance holy!
  O dear and best of sounds,
  Heard in the rest of sounds,
    Hymned by the lowly!”

Or thus, less closely and more according to the spirit of the poem:

  “Peace doth abide in thee;
  None hath denied to thee
    Fruitage undying.
  Thou hast no weariness;
  Naught of uncheeriness
    Moves thee to sighing.
  Draught of the stream of life,
  Joy of the dream of life,
    Peace of the spirit!
  Sacred and holy hymns,
  Placid and lowly hymns,
    Thou dost inherit!”

So strange and subtle is the charm of this marvellous poem, with its
abrupt and startling rhythm, that it affects me even yet, though I have
but swept my fingers lightly over a single chord. I seem to myself to
have again taken into my hand the old familiar harp, whose strings I
have often struck in times of darkness or of depression of soul, and to
be tuning it once more to the heavenly harmony which the old monk tried
to catch. Perhaps some day, when the clouds are removed, I shall see
him, and understand even better than now the glory that lit his lonely
cell, and made him feel that

  “Earth looks so little and so low
  When faith shines full and bright.”

                             CHAPTER XXII.
                          ADAM OF ST. VICTOR.

The school of St. Victor, in Paris, was founded by William of Champeaux,
the teacher and rival of Abelard, at the commencement of the twelfth
century. It is known to history as having been the abode of three
distinguished scholars, Hugo, Richard, and Adam. Hugo and Richard of St.
Victor were mystics, and Vaughan, in _Hours with the Mystics_, has set
them before us. From this and other sources, we grow more and more
amazed to find the immense influence of such a school. A century from
its foundation showed St. Victor to be the parent of thirty abbeys and
of more than eighty priories. Here in these cells, like bees in a hive,
the busy monks were laying up the only honey of the Dark
Ages—multiplying manuscripts, delving into remote philosophies, muddling
their brains over abstruse questions, but now and then leaving behind
them something to benefit mankind. Theology and dialectics were their
great and indeed their only pursuits. Like the swirls of a sluggish
stream beneath its banks, they occasionally caught and kept fresh some
broken flower from the shore. Thus, one may, for example’s sake, put a
certain pretty idea of Hugo of St. Victor into modern verse:

  “Hugo, St. Victor’s prior—a man
    Gentle and sweet, contemplative and wise,
  Makes mention in his fine and mystic plan
    Of three great steps by which our spirits rise:
    First, _Cogitation_—when we turned our eyes;
  Then, _Meditation_—when our minds began
  With hovering wing the kindled thought to scan;
    Last, _Contemplation_—which all doubt defies.
  Yea, and he saith that, in the greenest wood
    Of stubborn souls, this glory kindleth so
    That the pure flame against the sap will glow
  And be by nothing finally withstood—
    The smoke itself be parted to and fro,
  Until clear light shall shine in constant good.”

Richard was the disciple and successor of this gentle-spirited Hugo. In
1114 the priory became an abbacy, and when Richard was prior in 1162, he
had for abbot no very godly person, since under Ervisius all discipline
was relaxed, and scandal and sensuality began to rule. But Richard stood
out stoutly and with good judgment; and he lived to see the old harmony
and glory return again. In his day and in that of Adam, which was
contemporaneous with his, the school represented the dialectical and
theologic, rather than the spiritual and mystical side of religion; and
yet it did good work, as a peacemaker, for the truth. It gives us little
enough, however, with which to fall in love. Massive it may be, and
intricate in its curious ability respecting useless pieces of
chop-logic, but the profound piety which belongs to every age and clime
did not find much to comfort it at St. Victor. These men dug shafts and
tunnels, they did not open foundations and sink wells down to living

Adam of St. Victor, as I have said, lived in those days, and they
produced their natural effect upon his mind and upon his writings. He
died somewhere between 1172 and 1192; and while he was celebrated as the
expositor of St. Jerome’s prefaces to the books of the Bible, and was
known as the composer of “sequences, rhythms, and other writings,” his
fame rests upon his modern rediscovery by Monsieur Gautier. The history
of the preservation of his hymns is itself a suggestive commentary on
the difficulties of Latin hymnology, and so I give it entire.

Clichtove, a Flemish theologian of the period between 1500 and 1550,
undertook to help his brethren to comprehend the offices of the Church.
His _Elucidatorium Ecclesiasticum_ was first published in Paris in 1515,
and then at Basle in 1517 and 1519. There were four subsequent
editions—that of Paris (1556) being the best, and that of Cologne (1732)
being the latest. Now this book was the great mine for Latin hymns
before Daniel, Trench, Mone, Königsfeld, March, and others made them
accessible. And of Adam of St. Victor he gives thirty-six specimens,
which were supposed to be all that had remained, with one or two
possible exceptions.

In 1855 J. P. Migne published in his _Patrologiae Cursus_, in volume
196, these thirty-six hymns of Adam of St. Victor. Archbishop Trench,
who is such an admirer of our poet, has doubtless been indebted to the
many helpful Latin notes, with which the excellent editor of the
_Patrologia_ has enriched the obscurity of his author. At least so it
seems to a person who compares Trench’s own notes with that Latin.

Monsieur Gautier, however, determined to look further, the result being
that he published the _Oeuvres Poetiques d’ Adam de St. Victor_ in 1858
at Paris. This gives us one hundred and six hymns—of which Trench says
that some of them were well known but anonymous; and others are strictly
new, and fully equal to his best compositions. From this source, then,
the two great admirers of Adam of St. Victor—Archbishop Trench and Dr.
Neale—have drawn their originals.

I am not surprised that theologians should enjoy such a poet as Adam. He
is so terse, so dialectically subtle, so metaphysically accurate, so
allegorically copious. In a line he often makes a reference which his
editor struggles to catch in a foot-note a page long. And you must
comprehend the reference in order to comprehend the poem! As I read the
eulogy of Trench, I find him saying that when we remember Adam of St.
Victor’s theologic lore, his frequent and admirable use of Scripture,
his art and variety in versification, his “skill in conducting a story,”
and his own personal feeling which permeates his poems, we must put him
“foremost among the sacred Latin poets of the Middle Ages.” Dr. Neale,
too, calls him “the greatest of mediaeval poets.” And so, “what shall he
do that cometh after the King?” For, in spite of this mighty
commendation, and in spite of the praise which these didactic hymns have
obtained, _we cannot and do not sing any of them_. Even Dr. Neale cannot
make them singable, though he would probably do it if he could.

I must confess—and take the risk of being charged with stupidity and
ignorance—that I cannot place Adam of St. Victor where they have set
him. Southey’s ballads and poems are legion, as we know, and they are
learned beyond all cavilling; but they will not live like the two or
three little things of Motherwell. And Adam’s vast congeries of
sequences, composed for all the saints and festivals of the calendar,
cannot stand an instant against the sweetness of Bernard of Clairvaux,
or the grandeur of Peter Damiani’s judgment hymn. These others, it is
true, wrote less, but they wrote _subjectively_, and hence they appealed
to the heart of the Christian in every age. For _verse_ alone, however
skilful, is not _poetry_; and the celebration of saints and angels,
however beautifully accomplished, ministers nothing to “a mind
diseased.” We need to feel a genius which kindles its watch-fire in the
line of signal—as did Helena’s watchers between Jerusalem and
Constantinople. Then, as this flame flares up into the night, we know
that it speaks to us of the discovery of the true cross.

I am thus compelled to dissent from the _cultus_ which has grown up
about this brilliant, epigrammatic, and altogether admirable Adam. For
he attracts by his obscurity and he surprises by his intricacy; and the
interest excited is that of the scholar and of the translator, rather
than that of the popular approval of the Christians of to-day. And I am
glad to support this opinion, not merely by the rather caustic comment
of Professor March, but by the word of Mrs. Charles, where she speaks of
“his elaborate system of Scriptural types occasionally chilling the
genuine fire of his verse into a catalogue of images.” And I must add,
for my own justification, that this “fire” is the fire of the orator,
and not altogether that of the poet. It is objective and not subjective;
for though there be two kinds of poetry in the world, we cannot doubt
which kind it is that “permanently pleases and takes commonly with all
classes of men”—for this was Aristotle’s unequalled definition.

It is time that we should take a glance at this laureate of St. Victor,
whose monumental plate of copper remained, down to the date of the first
Revolution, near the door of the choir in that ancient cloister. The
epitaph upon it was mainly drawn from his own work. It breathes the same
contempt of earth and derision of its vanities, which we find so common
in that age.

  _“Vana salus hominis, vanus decor, omnia vana;_
  _Inter vana nihil vanius est homine.”_

  “Vain is the welfare of man and his fashion, for all things are
  And, in the midst of vanity, nothing is vainer than man.”

It was a later hand than his own which, after selecting those ten lines
from Adam’s own writings, added four very inferior verses to complete
the inscription. These state that:

  “I who lie here, the unfortunate and wretched (_miser et miserabilis_)
  Adam, ask one prayer as my highest reward: I have sinned; I confess; I
  seek pardon; spare the contrite. Spare me, father; spare me, brethren;
  spare me, God.”

He was born in Brittany, to the best of our information. He studied in
Paris, and finally entered the walls of St. Victor, never to leave it.
It is a very brief record, but it illustrates the monotony and dead
sameness of that mediaeval monastic life. The Dark Ages were mud-flats,
from which the tide had gone out. And yet I think that Adam of St.
Victor had another side to him, which Trench and Neale might well have
developed—a power of livelier rhythm than is often suspected. The little
stranded fish perchance gambolled a trifle in its small sea-water pool.

The poem which I quote is found in Migne and Gautier. It differs from
another sequence upon a similar theme—one which Dr. Neale has
translated. It is “The Praise of the Cross.”

This poem, it will be seen, is abrupt, irregular, and altogether
inferior, in some features, to the usually finished and elegant diction
of its author. For this very reason I have selected it; it exhibits Adam
of St. Victor when he dashes off the stanzas without revision, fired by
the glow of his theme. Only on this account do I render it, trying
merely to carry its dash and spirit into the English version.

  Salve, Crux, arbor
  Vitae praeclara.
    Vexillum Christi,
  Thronus et ara.
    O Crux, profanis
  Terror et ruina,
    Tu Christianis
  Virtus es divina
    Salus et victoria.
  Tu properantis
    Contra Maxentium
  Tu praeliantis
    Juxta Danubium
    Constantini gloria.
  Favens Heraclio
  Perdis cum filio
    Chosroe profanum.
  In hoc salutari
  Ligno gloriari
    Decet Christianum.
  Crucis longum, latum,
    Sublimè, profundum,
  Sanctis propalatum
    Quadrum salvat mundum
  Sub quadri figura
    Medicina vera.
    Christus in statera
    Crucis est distractus,
    Pretiumque factus,
  Solvit mortis jura.
  Crux est nostrae
  Libra justitiae
    Sceptrum regis,
  Virga potentiae.
    Crux, coelestis
  Signum victoriae.
    Belli robur
  Et palma gloriae.
    Tu scala, tu vatis
    Tu crux desperatis
  Tabula suprema.
    Tu de membris Christi
    Decorem traxisti
  Regum diadema.

  Ter te nobis Crux beata
  Crux, cruore consecrata
  Sempiterna gaudia
  Det superna gratia.

  Hail, thou Cross, splendid
    Tree, of life’s own place;
  Christ’s very standard,
    Altar and throne-place.
  Thou to the heathen
    Ruin and terror;
  Thou to the Christian
    Bringing joy nearer—
    Health and success!
  Thou when Maxentius
    Swiftly defied—
  Thou when the Danube
    Flowed at his side—
  Gavest to Constantine
    Glory no less!
  Yea, and Heraclius’
    Fight thou hast won
  When the proud Chosroes
    Fell, with his son.
  So should a Christian tongue
    Boast of the worth
  Of this most wonderful
    Tree of the earth.
  This the true medicine
    Of the whole land
  Four-square and perfect
    As it shall stand;
  Four-square in breadth and height,
    Depth and length, ever;
  Shown to the saints of God,
    Cure for life’s fever.
  Christ in such balances,
    Poised on the cross,
  Maketh death lightest,
    Saveth from loss!
  Yea, the cross truly—
    Justest of scales!—
  For a king’s sceptre
    And priest’s rod avails.
  Cross thou art surely
    Our heavenly sign,
  Strength of our battle
    And guerdon divine.
  Ladder and life-raft
    And plank on the wave—
  Those that are drowning,
    O cross, thou canst save!
  Thou that hast carried
    The Saviour of men,
  Hadst the best honor
    Of royalty, then.

  Blessed cross, may there be given,
  Through that blood, our way to heaven—
  Unto us eternal place
  Unto us celestial grace!

Adam’s peculiarities are very marked in this production. He alludes, as
you perceive, to the Cross in the air which Constantine took as his sign
in which to conquer. He refers to Chosroes, King of Persia, who, after
great successes and the conquest of Jerusalem itself, was finally
overcome by Heraclius, the Eastern Emperor, about 622-29 A.D.; and he
also drags in a piece of mystical imagery about the “four-squareness” of
the earth, which is hard enough to understand without a key. The key is
one with many wards. It includes the “breadth, depth, length, and
height” of the love of Christ; it suggests the appearance of the
heavenly city of John’s vision; it reminds us of the temple in Ezekiel’s
prophecy, and of the account of the actual structure in 1 Kings; it
recalls the classical geographers’ notions about the shape of the earth
and about the “four quarters,” which we still call east, west, north,
south; it finally symbolizes all these things by the four arms of the
Cross! Is it any wonder that Adam of St. Victor is a difficult poet to
translate, and that his verses are not fitted to be sung?

Yet it must not be forgotten that the _Heri mundus exultavit_ (St.
Stephen’s Day) and the _Veni, Creator Spiritus, Spiritus Recreator_, are
both his. Nor must it escape notice that Dr. Neale’s _Mediaeval Hymns_
contains eleven versions of Adam of St. Victor; while Dr. Washburn,
Chancellor Benedict, and other translators have quite made the old
schoolman’s “sequences” and “proses” familiar to the most careless eye.
Recently also we have the three volumes of Mr. Digby S. Wrangham
(London, 1881) in which our poet is translated entire, the Latin and
English being placed upon opposite pages. He has attained such an
eminence as Drummond of Hawthornden, who has come back to us because he
knew Ben Jonson and had kept and stratified the spirit of his age.

To me the man is always fascinating, always suggestive. He appears to
challenge the best that we moderns can do. His very terseness is a
defiance. And here, in this strange symmetry, I fancy that I see the
alertness and skill of that wise insect which takes hold with her hands
in kings’ palaces. The web of this precise and unvarying artisan often
sparkles with the morning dew of a pure devotion. The lines and stays
and braces and fashioning of these illustrious verses are as accurate as
the spider’s spinning. I look up toward the light and, yonder, upon some
Corinthian capital of the song of songs—or over there in a corner of the
gate called Beautiful through which Ezekiel walks—or again, high amid
the wisdom of that Solomon’s Porch of the Apocalypse where stands the
serene John—there I see how Adam of St. Victor has stretched his web.
And if, now and then, some dead fly of an obscure allusion, or some
desiccated bit of monasticism, offends the sight, I strive to think only
of the art that has spread the fabric—and God’s glorious sunshine
brightens, upon His own temple, His little creature’s toil!

                         VERBUM DEI, DEO NATUM.

  He, the Word of God, the fated
  Son, unmade and uncreated
    Came from heaven to be with men.
  John beheld him, touched him truly,
  Brought him in this gospel newly
    Back to dwell with us again.

  Where those early streams were flowing,
  Purely from pure fountains going,
    John breaks forth in fuller tides,
  Pouring for the thirsty nations
  Those life-giving, sweet libations
    Which the throne of God provides.

  Heaven he trod, wherein the golden
  Sun of truth by him beholden
    Filled his soul’s most secret space.
  Dreaming, with his spirit lifted
  To the seraphim, whose shifted
    Wings revealed God’s very face.

  There he heard in circle seated
  Harpers harp their oft-repeated
    Praise, with elders near the throne:
  By the seal of Godhead placing
  On our very speech the tracing
    Of the thoughts of God alone.

  As an eagle, unmolested
  Where each seer and prophet rested,
    Far he flies above them all:
  Never yet was mortal smitten
  By such secret truths unwritten,
    Truths which never fail or fall.

  There the King, in vesture splendid
  Seen, but yet uncomprehended,
    Passes to his palace gate;
  To his bride, from his dominion,
  He has sent on eagle’s pinion
    Tidings of that mystic state.

  Speak thou then her bridegroom’s splendor,
  Tell of rest most deep and tender,
    Bear thy message to the bride.
  Tell what angels’ food resembles,
  At what feasts all heaven assembles,
    Where their King shall still abide.

  Tell again what bread is given,
  Purchased by that side once riven—
    Christ’s own bread, himself alone.
  How that company upraises
  To the Lamb its lofty praises,
    When we sing before the throne.

                          SIMPLEX IN ESSENTIA.

  Single in essential place,
  But of sevenfold power and grace,
    May the Spirit shine on us:
  May the light divinely shown
  For all gloom of heart atone,
    And temptations perilous.

  Law in symbols went before us,
  Dark with threats of judgment o’er us,
    Ere we saw the gospel rays:
  May the spirit of the sages
  Hidden in their lettered pages
    Venture forth in open ways!

  Law, men heard from mountain peaks;
  Unto few the New Grace speaks
    Softly, in a room above:
  Thus the spot itself is teaching
  Which are best within our reaching—
    Works of law or words of love.

  Flame and trumpet sounding loud
  Thunder through the smoky shroud:
    Sudden-flashing lightnings—those
  Strike a terror to the soul;
  Nourishing no sweet control
    Which the Spirit’s gift bestows.

  Thus the sundered
  Sinai thundered,
    Fixing law and guilty man.
  Law most fearful
  And uncheerful,
    Crushing sin by rigid plan.

  But the fathers long selected,
  And to power divine directed
    How they loose the bonds of sin!
  Words refreshing, threats astounding
  Through new tongues in concord sounding
    Thus their miracles begin.

  Showing care for them that languish,
  Sparing man they spare not anguish
    In pursuit of evil things.
  Smiting sinners, and reminding,
  Only loosing, only binding
    By the power which freedom brings.

  Type of Jubilee returning
  Is that day (if thou art learning
    Mysteries of holy time)
  On the which three thousand hearing,
  Came in faith, no longer fearing,
    And the Church sprang up sublime.

  Jubilee, for so they knew it,
  Who were changed and succored through it,
  Since it freely called unto it
    Debts and doubts, and set them right.
  May the loving kindness spoken
  Unto us distressed and broken,
  Give release, and as a token
    Make us worthy of the light.

                         ZYMA VETUS EXPURGETUR.

  Purge away the ancient leaven,
  Let a paschal joy be given,
    For our Lord is risen again.
  This the day of better vision,
  This the day of vast decision,
    By the Word of God to men.

  This despoiled Egyptian spoilers,
  This set free the Hebrew toilers
    From the bonds in which they lay,
  Where, in iron furnace fastened,
  Tyrants all their labor hastened
    In cement and straw and clay.

  Now in praise of holy living,
  Holy triumph, godlike giving,
    Let the free voice sound its strain.
  This the day the Lord created,
  This our grief has terminated,
    Comfort bringing to our pain.

  Things to come let law betoken,
  Christ shows promises unbroken,
    Still appearing all in all.
  Through his blood the sword though awful
  Blunted droops—our way is lawful,
    And the prohibitions fall.

  He who gave us cause of laughter,
  (Since the rescue followed after)
    Glad of heart is Isaac still;
  Joseph from the pit is lifted,
  As from death our Lord, through rifted
    Clouds that veiled the heavenly will.

  Thus that serpent-rod, surprising
  Malice in its worst devising,
    Swallowed all the other rods.
  Thus the brazen serpent vying
  With the poison, when the dying
    Trusted God instead of gods.

  Through the jaw, with hook and cable
  Christ to seize the foe is able;
    On the cockatrice’s den
  He, the weanèd child, is sitting,
  While afar in fear is flitting
    That old enemy of men.

  They who laughed at good Elias
  Feel the cursing of the pious
    Struck by vengeance undeferred;
  While King David feigning madness,
  And the goat that bears our sadness
    Flee as does the sacred bird.

  Samson with a jawbone merely
  Slays a thousand foes, and clearly
    Spurns alliance to their name.
  Samson breaking Gaza’s portal,
  Bears it off, as life immortal
    Bursts the gate of deathly shame.

  Thus does Judah’s Lion ever
  Burst the bonds that none may sever,
    When the third day glimmers on;
  At his Father’s voice awaking,
  To the Church’s bosom taking
    Many a dear and ransomed son.

  Jonah stayed when he was flying—
  This true Jonah signifying—
  Marks a day when safe, through dying,
    Christ from depth of earth arose.
  Now the cypress blossom brightens,
  Now the cluster spreads and heightens,
  Now the churchly lily whitens,
    Waving over Jewish foes.

  Death and life together striving
  Hinder not the Christ reviving,
  And with him are saints deriving
    Resurrection through his blood.
  Morning new and full of gladness,
  How it cheers our every sadness;
  God hath conquered Satan’s madness
    In this time of joy and good!

  Jesus, victor, who hast given
  Life; our Only Way to heaven;
  Who by death our death hast shriven,
  Bid us to thy feast, nay, even
    Grant us faith with which to come.
  Living bread, fount unabated,
  Vine of truth, with fruit unsated,
  Feed thou us thy new-created,
  That from death reanimated
    By thy grace we gain our home!

                       PLAUSU CHORUS LAETEBUNDE.

                  (Translated by Dr. A. R. Thompson.)

  With abounding joy applauding,
  Now, the men our songs are lauding,
    Who rung out the gospel sound.
  Like the sun’s outstreaming glory
  Chasing night away, their story
    Carries life the world around.

  For his flock the Shepherd careth,
  And his law for them prepareth,
    In a fourfold gift of love.
  All the world shall know the healing
  Of his law of life, revealing
    Strength and beauty from above.

  Toward the truth, complete in splendor,
  Each a service has to render,
    Given to him specially.
  This is shown from forms created,
  As it were anticipated
    In a vivid prophecy.

  Piercing through the clouds low lying,
  John, upon an eagle flying,
    Looks the very sun upon.
  Rising to the height of heaven,
  In the Father’s bosom even,
    He beholds the Eternal One.

  Face and form of man betoken
  Matthew, for by him are spoken
    Words, which tell that to our race
  God himself has now descended,
  And the God and Man, now blended,
    Takes in David’s line his place.

  Ox with open mouth, assigns he
  Unto Luke, by him designs he
    Christ a Victim to display.
  Cross for altar he receiveth,
  There our peace his death achieveth,
    Olden rites have passed away.

  Face of rugged, roused up lion
  Is for Mark—’tis his to cry on
    With an all-pervading sound,
  Of the Christ, raised up victorious
  By the Father’s power all-glorious,
    With immortal splendor crowned.

  In this fourfold way of wonder
  To the world God cometh; under
    Vestments such the ark is borne.
  Forth from paradise are flowing
  These new streams of mercy, going
    To refresh the world forlorn.

  Never will the house fall, surely,
  Built on fourfold wall securely,
    Thus the house of God doth rest.
  In this house, oh wondrous story!
  Dwells the Blessed in his glory,
    God with man in union blessed.

                             CHAPTER XXIII.
                           THOMAS OF CELANO.

Hymnologists have their favorites among the sacred singers of the Middle
Ages, but all concede the first place to the poet who gave the world the
_Dies Irae_, the great sequence or “prose” sung in the service for the
dead of the Latin Church. It has attracted more attention than any other
single hymn. Whole books have been written about it. It is indissolubly
associated in the history of music with Mozart’s wonderful “Requiem,”
and in that of literature with the concluding scenes of the first part
of “Faust.” More translations have been made of it than of any other
poem in the Latin language, or perhaps in any language. All Christendom
rejoices in it as a common treasure, the gift of God through a devout
Italian monk of the thirteenth century.

It was in an age full of vitality that this “hymn of the giants” was
written—the most interesting century in the history of Christendom,
Matthew Arnold says. In all directions we encounter the play or
collision of great forces. The Papacy, the Empire, the Crusades, the
Mendicant Orders, and even, in its way, the Inquisition, give evidence
of the working of a spirit of energy and movement, which places the
century in sharp contrast to the less explicit development which had
preceded, and the age of comparative exhaustion which followed. Nowhere
was this more visible than in the characters of the great Churchmen of
the thirteenth century. Popes like Innocent III. and Gregory IX.,
founders of orders like Dominic and Francis, theologians like Aquinas
and Bonaventura, may excite our admiration or our censure, but they are
men of such magnitude as are not to be found in other centuries in the
same number. They were live men, and they have made a lasting impression
upon the world by the force of their vitality.

Two of these, Aquinas and Bonaventura, we shall meet again as
hymn-writers. But first we have to deal with one whose chief claim to
recollection is a single great hymn. Thomas of Celano was an Italian at
a time when Italy was stirred by the great battle of Pope with Emperor
into an intellectual life, which was to culminate in Dante at the close
of the century. Exactly in its last year the writing of the _Divina
Commedia_ was to begin. The troubles of his time must have come very
close to Thomas. His native city of Celano, a town of the old Marsians,
was one of the first to suffer under the hand of Frederick II. In 1223
it was forced to capitulate by the Count of Acerra, Thomas of Aquinas,
the warlike uncle and namesake of the great theologian. The inhabitants
were compelled to leave their houses, taking all their movables, and the
place was burned to the ground, only the church of St John being left
standing among the ruins. The people, to punish their disloyalty to the
Emperor, were transported to Sicily, Malta, and Calabria, whence they
returned to rebuild their town after their enemy’s death. How old Thomas
was at the time of this calamity, and whether it had anything to do with
his becoming a monk of the Order of Francis of Assisi, we do not know.
But certainly it is not impossible that the spectacle of this _dies
irae_, when the sanctities of his boyhood’s home were left desolate, or
even the news of its occurrence in his absence, may have left a
permanent impression upon his mind, and may have suggested more or less
directly his great hymn.

Celano lay in the northern end of the Kingdom of Naples, as it was
afterward called, across the Apennines from Rome and slightly north of
it. It was not far from the northern boundary of Frederick’s hereditary
dominions, across which lay the Umbrian region, where Assisi is
situated. At some time and in some way Thomas made his way to Assisi,
and came under the influence of the wonderful man whose personality has
made the mountain town a place of pilgrimage even for those who are not
of the Latin communion.

Francis of Assisi is one of the strangest, if also one of the most
beautiful figures in the history of Christendom. Protestants vie with
Catholics, Karl Hase and Margaret Oliphant with Frederic Ozanam and
Joseph Goerres, in depicting this devout and childlike spirit, who took
poverty for his bride and set himself to realize in the utmost
literalness the command to go forth to preach repentance and forgiveness
of sins, taking neither scrip nor purse, and possessing no more than the
absolute necessaries of human existence. At first he had no thought of
founding an order, but only of helping the poor and the suffering for
Christ’s sweet sake. But the divine fire of loving humility and
childlike simplicity in the man drew others inevitably to his side,
until there arose in his mind the sense of a great vocation to gather
men into a new form of brotherhood. “Fear not,” he said to his earliest
disciples, “in that ye seem few and simple-minded. Preach repentance to
the world, trusting in Him who hath overcome the world, that His Spirit
speaks through you. You will find some to receive you and your word with
joy, if still more to resist and mock you. Bear all that with patience
and meekness. Take no heed for your simplicity or mine. In a short time
the wise and the noble will come to preach with you before princes and
people, and many will be turned to the Lord. He has shown it to me, and
in mine ears there is a sound of the multitude of disciples who are to
come to us out of every people. The French are on the way; the Spaniards
are hurrying; the Germans and English run; and a multitude of other
tongues hasten hither.” So Thomas of Celano records his words in his
biography of the saint, which is the freest from exaggerations and the
most trustworthy of them all.

As Thomas survived Francis some thirty years, there is no reason to
regard him as one of the group of the first disciples who began to
gather around the founder as early as 1209. He is not named among “the
twelve apostles” who came first. But the relation between the two men
seems to have been more than usually close and intimate. Perhaps it was
the more so as being founded on contrasts rather than on resemblances in
their characters. For Francis was distinguished from other teachers of
his age by the bright and cheerful views he entertained of God and His
love to mankind. This was the theme of his sayings and his songs; this
he preached to the poor when they streamed out of the Italian cities to
welcome him as one who brought comfort and joy to the downcast. They
emphasized their sense of the difference between him and the ordinary
preachers by saying, “He hears those whom even God will not hear!”
Thomas, on the other hand, seems to have been constitutionally
predisposed to look at the darker side of things, to sing of judgment
rather than of mercy. But he, too, found comfort in the heart-sunshine
of his master. “His words were like fire,” he says, “penetrating the
heart.” “How lovely, splendid, glorious he appeared in innocence of
life, in simplicity of speech, in purity of heart, in divine delight, in
brotherly love, in constant obedience, in loving harmony, in angelic
aspect.” He found in Francis the most perfect realization of the
Christian ideal that he or his century could conceive of; and shall we
not admit with George Macdonald that a perfect monk is a very fine thing
in his way, although much less so than a perfect man?

Their sympathies as poets must have drawn them together. Francis, as
Joseph Goerres well says, was a troubadour as well as a saint. In his
youth he had won distinction as a singer of worldly songs in the
provençal French, which was then the language of literature in Northern
Italy. After his conversion he burst out singing the praises of God in
this same foreign and exotic tongue. But as he became more directly
interested in the welfare of his fellow-men, he began to use his gift of
song in his native Italian. How many of the poems that are printed under
his name are really his own, and how many are the work of his disciple,
Jacopone da Todi, is matter of dispute. But even Father Affo (1777), the
most negative of critics on this point, does not deny his authorship of
the wonderful “Song of the Sun,” also called the “Song of the
Creatures,” in which the childlike delight of the saint in God’s works
finds such charming expression, that Matthew Arnold has singled it out
as the utterance of what is most exquisite in the spirit of his century.
Thomas, too, it was known, had the poetic gift, and indeed was
recognized by his brethren as the man of most literary power in the
order. Upon him they laid the duty of compiling the founder’s biography,
and of writing the “legend” of his life, which should be read in the
breviary service on the day of his commemoration.

Yet he also was recognized as possessing practical gifts. The order had
spread into Germany as well as in the other directions of which Francis
had prophesied. The first attempts to establish it north of the Alps,
made in 1216, were not happy. The Italians sent on this mission knew
only one German word, “Ja!” “Are you heretics?” (_Sind Sie Ketzer?_) was
the first question put to them on Teutonic soil; and knowing nothing
else to say, they said “Ja!” So they were marched across the frontier
again in disgrace. But brethren better provided in the matter of their
Ollendorff had been sent five years later, and now Thomas of Celano was
one of those who had been selected for the German mission, to give
stability and unity to the work there. He was made “custos” of the
monasteries at Mainz, Worms and Koeln (Cologne), and even took charge of
the whole province when its head returned to Assisi. We find Thomas
himself back in Assisi by 1230, where Jordan, the “custos” of the
Thuringian monasteries, came to see him.

Francis had died in 1226, but whether Thomas was actual witness of his
last days, or derived his knowledge of them from others, his is
recognized as the authentic account of the saint’s departure. His own
death is said to have occurred in 1255, but what events filled up the
meantime, besides the biographic labors we have mentioned, is not known.
Perhaps it was in those years that he composed his great sequence, as
his mind, when less directly brightened by the influence of his master,
would be more likely to revert to those trains of thought which
corresponded to his natural disposition. Possibly it was as his own life
was drawing to a close, and the shadows of the Great Day gathered nearer
him, that he poured out his soul in his great hymn—the greatest of all
hymns, unless we except the _Te Deum_.

Besides the _Dies Irae_, there are ascribed to Thomas two other

  _Fregit victor virtualis_


  _Sanctitatis nova signa_,

both in commemoration of Francis. As the founder of the Minor Friars was
canonized two years after his death by Gregory IX., there was a demand
very early for the hymns of this character. And as there was no one
better fitted to write them than the poet who had known Francis so well,
and whom the Pope had directed to prepare a life of the saint, there is
no inherent improbability in the tradition which ascribes them to him.
But they do not take rank beside the _Dies Irae_. They are poems written
to order, not the spontaneous outpouring of the mind of the singer in
the presence of the overwhelming realities of the spiritual universe.

There are no less than nine persons for whom the honor of the authorship
of the _Dies Irae_ has been claimed. Two of these are excluded as having
lived too early to have written a poem of its structure and metrical
character; they are Gregory the Great and Bernard of Clairvaux. Two
others, Augustinus Bugellensis (ob. 1490) and Felix Hammerlein (ob.
1457) are excluded by the fact that the hymn is mentioned in a work
written in 1285. This leaves four rivals to Thomas of Celano in his own
century, viz., John Bonaventura (ob. 1274), his brother Cardinal, Latino
Frangipani, a Dominican (ob. 1294), Humbert, a French Franciscan, who
became the fifth general of his order (ob. 1277), and Matthew of
Acqua-Sparta in Umbria, a Franciscan, who became Bishop of Albano and
cardinal (ob. 1302). But it is to be noticed that for not one of these
is there a witness earlier than the sixteenth century. The first and
last are named as having had the authorship ascribed to them by Luke
Wadding, the historian of the Franciscans in 1625; but he ascribes it to
Thomas of Celano. The other two are named by the Jesuit, Antonio
Possevino (1534-1611) and the Dominican, Leandro Alberti (1479-1552),
the latter, of course, claiming the hymn for the Dominican cardinal, as
to whom there is not the smallest evidence that he ever wrote any poetry
whatever. Besides this, the _Dies Irae_ is a Franciscan, not a Dominican
poem. It deals with the practical and the devotional, not the doctrinal
elements in religion. Had a Dominican written it, he would have been
anxious only for correct doctrinal statement.

Thomas’s claim to its authorship does not rest on the weakness of rival
pretensions. In the year 1285, when Thomas had been dead about thirty
years and Dante was twenty years old, the Franciscan Bartholomew of Pisa
wrote his _Liber Conformitatum_, in which he drew a labored parallel
between the life of Francis of Assisi and that of our Lord. Having
occasion to speak of Celano in this work, he goes on to describe it as
“the place whence came Brother Thomas, who by order of the Pope wrote in
polished speech the first legend of St. Francis, and is said to have
composed the prose which is sung in the Mass for the Dead: _Dies irae,
dies illa_.”[11] This testimony out of Thomas’s own century is confirmed
by parallel evidence. Wadding, whose big folios in clumsy Latin give us
the tradition which prevailed within the order, says: “Brother Thomas of
Celano sang that once celebrated sequence, _Sanctitatis nova signa_,
which now has gone out of use, whose work also is that solemn one for
the dead, _Dies irae, dies illa_, although others wish to ascribe it to
Brother Matthew of Acqua-Sparta, a cardinal taken from among the
Minorites.” Elsewhere Wadding says: “Thomas of Celano, of the province
of Penna, a disciple and companion of St. Francis, published ... a book
about the _Life and Miracles of St. Francis_ ... commonly called by the
brethren the _Old Legend_. Another shorter legend he had published
previously which used to be read in the choir...; three sequences, or
rhythmic proses, of which the first, in praise of St. Francis, begins,
_Fregit victor virtualis_. The second begins, _Sanctitatis nova signa_.
The third concerning the dead, adopted by the Church, _Dies irae, dies
illa_. And this Benedict Gonon, the Coelestine [in 1625] rendered into
French verse and ascribed to St. Bonaventura. Others ascribe it to
Brother Matthew, of Acqua-Sparta, the cardinal; and others yet to other

These direct testimonies are confirmed by local tradition in the
province of Abruzzi, in which Celano is situated, and the Franciscan
origin of the hymn by its existence as an inscription on a marble tablet
in the church of St. Francis at Mantua, where it was seen by David
Chytraeus, a German Lutheran, who visited Italy in 1565. That the author
was an Italian is indicated by the peculiar three-line stanza, which
approximates to the _terza-rima_ structure of their poetry, but is not
found in poetry of the Northern nations, except in later imitations.

The statement of Bartholomew of Pisa, that already in 1285 the _Dies
Irae_ was employed in the service for the dead, shows how early it made
its way into church use. In earlier times there was no sequence in that
service, for the reason that the “Hallelujah,” which the sequence always
followed, being a song of rejoicing, was not sung in the funeral
service. This enables us to form an opinion on the controversy as to
whether it was written directly for church use, or adapted for that
after being written as a meditation on the Day of Judgment for private
edification. It would seem most probable that it was the wonderful
beauty and power of the hymn which led the Church to break through its
rule as to the sequence following a Hallelujah necessarily. The _Dies
Irae_ was not written to fill a place, but when written it made a place
for itself.

This controversy connects itself with another as to the genuineness of
certain verses which are prefixed or added to the eighteen of the text
in the Missal. There are, in fact, three texts of the hymn: (1) That of
the Missal, which is generally followed, and will be found at the end of
this chapter. (2) That of the Mantuan marble tablet, which prefixes four

  1. Cogita, anima fidelis,
  Ad quid respondere velis
  Christo venture de coelis.

  2. Cum deposcit rationem
  Ob boni omissionem,
  Ob mali commissionem.

  3. Dies illa, dies irae,
  Quam conemur praevenire
  Obviamque Deo ire.

  4. Seria contritione,
  Gratiae apprehensione,
  Vitae emendatione.

After these come in the Mantuan text the first sixteen verses of the
Missal text, with slight and unimportant variations, but the seventeenth
and eighteenth are omitted, and the following conclusion substituted:

  17. Consors ut beatitatis
  Vivam cum justificatis,
  In aevum aeternitatis. Amen.

(3) The Hammerlein text, so called because found among the manuscripts
of Felix Hammerlein after his death, which occurred about 1457. This
also contains the first sixteen verses of the Missal text, but with far
more variations than the Mantuan text shows, although not such as
commend themselves by their merits. Then it proceeds, altering and
expanding the seventeenth and eighteenth into three and adding five

  17. Oro supplex a ruinis,
  Cor contritum quasi cinis;
  Gere curam mei finis.

  18. Lacrymosa die illa,
  Cum resurget ex favilla
  Tanquam ignis ex scintilla,

  19. Judicandus homo reus,—
  Hinc ergo parce Deus,
  Esto semper adjutor meus.

  20. Quando coeli sunt movendi,
  Dies adsunt tunc tremendi,
  Nullum tempus poenitendi.

  21. Sed salvatis laeta dies;
  Et damnatis nulla quies,
  Sed daemonum effigies.

  22. O tu Deus majestatis,
  Alme candor Trinitatis,
  Nunc conjunge cum beatis.

  23. Vitam meam fac felicem,
  Propter tuam genetricem,
  Jesse florem et radicem.

  24. Praesta nobis tunc levamen,
  Dulce nostrum fac certamen,
  Ut clamemus omnes: Amen!

That neither of these additions at the beginning and end are parts of
the original sequence, will be evident to any one who feels the
terseness and power of the original. They are feeble, lumbering
excrescences, and are fastened to it in such an external way as to
destroy the unity of the poem, if left as they stand. The text in the
Missal gives us a new conception of the powers of the Latin tongue. Its
wonderful wedding of sense to sound—the _u_ assonance in the second
stanza, the _o_ assonance in the third, and the _a_ and _i_ assonances
in the fourth, for instance—the sense of organ music that runs through
the hymn, even unaccompanied, as distinctly as through the opening
verses of Lowell’s “Vision of Sir Launfal,” and the transitions as
clearly marked in sound as in meaning from lofty adoration to pathetic
entreaty, impart a grandeur and dignity to the _Dies Irae_ which are
unique in this kind of writing. Then the wonderful adaptation of the
triple-rhyme to the theme—like blow following blow of hammer upon anvil,
as Daniel says—impresses every reader. But to all this the supplementary
verses add nothing.

Of the use of the hymn in literature I have spoken already. Sir Walter
Scott introduces a vigorous and characteristic version of a portion into
his “Lay of the Last Minstrel” (1805). Lockhart, writing of the great
Wizard’s death-bed, says of his unconscious and wandering utterances:
“Whatever we could follow him in was some fragment of the Bible, or some
petition of the Litany, or a verse of some psalm in the old Scotch
metrical version, or some of the magnificent hymns of the Romish ritual.
We very often heard distinctly the cadence of the _Dies Irae_.” So the
Earl of Roscommon, in the previous century, died repeating his own
version of the seventeenth stanza:

  “Prostrate, my contrite heart I rend;
  My God, my Father, and my Friend,
  Do not forsake me in my end!”

Dr. Samuel Johnson never could repeat the tenth stanza without being
moved to tears—the stanza Dean Stanley quotes in his description of
Jacob’s Well. Goethe makes Gretchen in “Faust” faint with dismay and
horror as she hears it sung in the cathedral, and from that moment of
salutary pain she becomes another woman. Meinhold in his “Amber-Witch”
(_Die Bernsteinhexe_), represents the very same verses as bringing
comfort and assurance to a more stainless heroine in the hour of her
sorest distress. Carlyle shows us the Romanticist tragedian Werner
quoting the eighth stanza in his strange “last testament,” as his reason
for having written neither a defence nor an accusation of his life:
“With trembling I reflect that I myself shall first learn in its whole
terrific compass what I properly was, when these lines shall be read by
men; that is to say, in a point of time which for me will be no time; in
a condition in which all experience will for me be too late:

  ‘Rex tremendae majestatis,
  Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
  Salva me, fons pietatis!!!’”

Justus Kerner, in his _Wahnsinnige Brüder_, depicts the overwhelming
power of the hymn upon minds hardened by long continuance in sin, but
suddenly awakened to reflection by its thunders of the Day of Reckoning.
Daniel well compares it to the picture of the Day of Judgment, which was
the means of converting the King of the Bulgars to Christianity.

The translations of our hymn into modern languages, especially into
German and English, have been numbered by the hundred. Partly no doubt
this is due to the entirely Evangelical type of its doctrine, its
freedom from Mariolatry, its exaltation of divine mercy above human
merit, and its picture of the soul’s free access to God without the
intervention of Church and priest. Lisco (1840 and 1843) was able to
specify eighty-seven German versions. Michael (1866) brought this number
up to ninety, of which sixty-two are both complete and exact; and Dr.
Philip Schaff says he can increase the list beyond a hundred without
exhausting the number. Among the German translators are Andreas Gryphius
(1650), A. W. Schlegel (1802), J. G. Fichte (1813), A. L. Follen (1819),
J. F. von Meyer (1824), Claus Harms (1828), J. Emmanuel Veith (1829), C.
J. C. Bunsen (1833), H. A. Daniel (1839), F. G. Lisco (1840), besides
partial versions by J. G. von Herder (1802) and J. H. von Wessenberg

The translations into English begin with one by Joshua Sylvester in
1621, that of Richard Crashaw in 1646 coming second. There are four of
that century and two of the next, the most notable being the Earl of
Roscommon’s in 1717. In the first thirty years of the nineteenth century
there are but four, the notable being the partial version by Sir Walter
Scott in 1805, and Macaulay’s in 1826. Since Isaac Williams published
his in 1831, there has been a steady succession of versions, bringing
the number for the United Kingdom in this century up to fifty-one. Of
these the most noteworthy are by John Chandler (1837), Henry Alford
(1844), Richard C. Trench (1844), William J. Irons (1848), Edward
Caswall (1849), Frederick G. Lee (1851), John Mason Neale (1851),
William Bright (1858), Elizabeth R. Charles (1858), Herbert Kynaston
(1862), Richard H. Hutton (1868), Dean Stanley (1868), William C. Dix
(1871), and Hamilton McGill (1876).

In point of numbers at least America surpasses England and approaches
Germany. Since 1841, when two anonymous versions appeared in this
country, there have been at least ninety-six complete versions by
American translators, bringing the total of enumerated versions in the
language up to one hundred and fifty-four. Of American translators may
be named William R. Williams (1843), H. H. Brownell (1847), Abraham
Coles (1847 and later), William G. Dix (1852), S. Dryden Phelps (1855),
John A. Dix (1863 and 1875), Marshall H. Bright (1866), Edward Slosson
(1866), E. C. Benedict (1867), Margaret J. Preston (1868), Philip Schaff
(1868), Samuel W. Duffield (1870 and later), John Anketell (1873),
Charles W. Elliot (1881), Henry C. Lea (1882), M. W. Stryker (1883), H.
L. Hastings (1886), and W. S. McKenzie (1887). This certainly, both by
the length of the list and the weight of many of the names, constitutes
a tribute to the power of the _Dies Irae_ such as never has been offered
to any other hymn! Only Luther’s _Ein’ feste Burg_, of which there are
eighty-one versions in English alone, can compare with it.[13]

Of these English versions, those by Rev. W. J. Irons and Dean Stanley in
England, and those of General John A. Dix and Mr. Edward Slosson in
America, have enjoyed the most popularity. They certainly are excellent,
but every translator seems somewhere to fail of complete success. Nor do
those who have returned again and again to the attempt seem to
accomplish their own ideal of a perfect translation. Dr. Abraham Coles,
who has made some sixteen or seventeen renderings, is no better off than
when he began. Nor do I think my own sixth version has carried me one
inch beyond my first. The truth is that not even the _Pange lingua
gloriosi_, which Dr. Neale calls the most difficult of poems, is in this
respect the equal of this alluring and baffling hymn. But the reader,
who has had no access to the hymn except through the poorest version,
has the means to discern the fact that in it a great mind utters itself
worthily on one of the greatest of themes.

It happened to me once to enter a crowded church, where presently a
distinguished German divine arose to speak. Others had addressed the
audience in English; but he, turning to his fellow-countrymen, began to
pour forth a trumpet-strain of lofty eloquence in his native tongue. He
spoke of the “better valley,” of a happy and peaceful land. He seemed to
see its broad and gentle river and to hear the chiming of its Sabbath
bells. He peopled the air with its lovely citizens and created about us
the presence of its glorious joy. Faintly and brokenly, as now and then
he uttered some familiar words, I could catch glimpses of that _besseres
Thal_, and its brightness and beauty, and the awe of its holy calmness
came upon me—upon me, the stranger and the foreigner, in whose speech no
word was said.

But they who were of the lip and lineage of the land, they whose country
was brought so near and whose hopes were raised on such strong and
familiar wings—they truly were moved to the soul. I saw tears in their
eyes; I heard their suppressed and laboring breath; I beheld their eager
faces; and the glory of that land fell on them even as I gazed. So,
though we cannot here perceive the fulness of the Franciscan’s hymn, yet
do we discern the stately splendor of Messiah’s throne, and

  “Catch betimes, with wakeful eyes and clear
  Some radiant vista of the realm before us.”

This alone can justify another attempt—the resultant of four previous
versions—to express something of the grandeur of this majestic hymn:

  1. Dies irae, dies illa
  Solvet saeclum in favilla,
  Teste David cum Sybilla.

  2. Quantus tremor est futurus,
  Quando judex est venturus,
  Cuncta stricte discussurus!

  3. Tuba mirum sparget sonum
  Per sepulcra regionum,
  Coget omnes ante thronum.

  4. Mors stupebit et natura,
  Quum resurget creatura,
  Judicanti responsura.

  5. Liber scriptus proferetur,
  In quo totum continetur,
  Unde mundus judicetur.

  6. Judex ergo cum sedebit,
  Quidquid latet, apparebit,
  Nil inultum remanebit.

  7. Quid sum miser tunc dicturus,
  Que, patronum rogaturus,
  Dum vix justus sit securus?

  8. Rex tremendae majestatis,
  Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
  Salva me, fons pietatis!

  9. Recordare, Jesu pie,
  Quod sum causa tuae viae;
  Ne me perdas illâ die!

  10. Quaerens me sedisti lassus,
  Redemisti cruce passus:
  Tantus labor non sit cassus!

  11. Juste judex ultionis,
  Donum fac remissionis
  Ante diem rationis!

  12. Ingemisco tanquam reus,
  Culpa rubet vultus meus:
  Supplicanti parce, Deus!

  13. Qui Mariam absolvisti,
  Et latronem exaudisti,
  Mihi quoque spem dedisti

  14. Preces meae non sunt dignae.
  Sed tu bonus fac benigne,
  Ne perenni cremer igne.

  15. Inter oves locum praesta,
  Et ab haedis me sequestra,
  Statuens in parte dextrâ.

  16. Confutatis maledictis,
  Flammis acribus addictis,
  Voca me cum benedictis.

  17. Oro supplex et acclinis,
  Cor contritum quasi cinis,
  Gere curam mei finis.

  18. Lachrymosa dies illa,
  Qua resurget ex favilla
  Judicandus homo reus;
  Huic ergo parce, Deus!

  1. Day of wrath, thy fiery morning
  Earth consumes, no longer scorning
  David’s and the Sibyl’s warning.

  2. Then what terror of each nation
  When the Judge shall take his station
  Strictly trying his creation!

  3. When that trumpet tone amazing,
  Through the tombs its message phrasing,
  All before the throne is raising.

  4. Death and Nature he surprises
  Who, a creature, yet arises
  Unto those most dread assizes.

  5. There a written book remaineth
  Whose sure registry containeth
  That which all the world arraigneth.

  6. Therefore when the Judge is seated
  Each deceit shall be defeated,
  Vengeance due shall then be meted.

  7. With what answer shall I meet him,
  By what advocate entreat him,
  When the just may scarcely greet him?

  8. King of majesty appalling,
  Who dost save the elect from falling,
  Save me! on thy pity calling.

  9. Be thou mindful, Lord most lowly,
  That for me thou diedst solely;
  Leave me not to perish wholly!

  10. Seeking me thy love outwore thee,
  And the cross, my ransom, bore thee;
  Let not this seem light before thee!

  11. Righteous Judge of my condition,
  Grant me, for my sins, remission
  Ere the day which ends contrition.

  12. In my guilt for pity yearning,
  With my shame my face is burning—
  Spare me, Lord, to thee returning!

  13. Mary’s sin thou hast remitted
  And the dying thief acquitted;
  To my heart this hope is fitted.

  14. Poorly are my prayers ascending
  But do thou, in mercy bending,
  Leave me not to flames unending!

  15. Give me with thy sheep a station
  Far from goats in separation—
  On the right my habitation.

  16. When the wicked meet conviction
  Doomed to fires of sharp affliction,
  Call me forth with benediction.

  17. Prone and suppliant I sorrow,
  Ashes for my heart I borrow;
  Guard me on that awful morrow!

  18. O, that day so full of weeping
  When, in dust no longer sleeping,
  Man must face his worst behavior!
  Therefore spare me, God and Saviour!

                             CHAPTER XXIV.

In Southern Italy, about midway between Rome and Naples, the road which
connects these two cities passes near the site of the ancient city of
Aquinum. It was a stronghold of the Volscians, although not mentioned in
the account of their wars with the Romans. As a Roman municipality it
rose to greater importance than the other cities of the district, and
became the birthplace of the satirist Juvenal and other eminent men. But
in the seventh century it was destroyed by the Lombards, and the site
never re-occupied. What were left of its inhabitants found another site,
more capable of defence in those wild days, and built Aquino on a
mountain slope. It runs along the cliff in a single street, like our own
Mauch Chunk, and the remains of its oldest buildings show that its
mediaeval architects drew freely upon still earlier structures for their

In one of these old structures, still known as the _Casa Reale_ or royal
house, lived the noble family who were the lords of Aquino. Here Thomas
Aquinas was born in the year 1225, being one of the five children of
Count Landulf of Aquino, and his wife, Theodora Caraccioli, Countess of
Teano. The family was not a royal house, but it was connected by
intermarriage with the royal caste of Europe. It is said, but I have not
been able to verify the statement, that Thomas’s grandfather had married
a sister of the Emperor Barbarossa. His mother was descended from the
Tancred of Hauteville, whose sons, Roger and Robert Guiscard, effected
the Norman conquest of the two Sicilies. Sibylla, Queen of the Tancred
who ended the first line of Norman sovereigns, is said to have been a
daughter of the family. But the real importance of the lords of Aquino
was due to their strategic position on the northern frontier of Apulia
and to their military spirit. Richard of Aquino, the grandfather of
Thomas, was the mainstay of Tancred’s cause on the mainland of Italy,
and merited, by his treachery and barbarity, the cruel death the Emperor
Henry VI. inflicted on him after the final conquest of the two Sicilies.
His father, Landulf, seems to have been a man of less warlike character;
but his uncle, Thomas of Aquinas, who succeeded Richard in the countship
of Acerra, was the ablest of the Ghibelline chiefs of Southern Italy,
and one of Frederic the Second’s most trusted captains. That emperor
enlarged the dominions of the family, and gave ample scope to their
fighting propensities in his wars with the popes. And Thomas’s two
brothers, who were older than himself, embraced the opportunity of a
military life. His sisters formed illustrious alliances with the noble
families of Southern Italy. Pope Honorius III. is said to have been his

Thomas’s youth seems to have been uneventful, with the exception of the
calamity by which he lost a younger sister, who was killed by lightning
while sleeping by his side. In his fifth year his education began. Less
than five miles away, as the bird flies, lay the Monte Casino, the
greatest and first of the monasteries of the Benedictine order. Here it
was that Benedict of Nursia in 529 laid the foundation of the first
great order of Western Christendom. And although Monte Casino had shared
in the calamity of Aquino at the hands of the Lombards, and had lain
desolate for a hundred and fifty years, it had been rebuilt with new
splendor, and was at this time the grandest ecclesiastical establishment
outside the city of Rome. And here, in 1227, Landulf Sinibald, himself
of the Aquino family, had become abbot, thus attaining one of the
highest dignities open to a Churchman. To his care the young Thomas was
intrusted, and on Monte Casino he spent the next seven years of his
life, undergoing the discipline and receiving the instruction for which
the schools of the Benedictine fathers had always been famous. Probably
it was the hope of the family of Aquino that the young man would enter
the order and rise to the same dignity as his uncle, becoming a prince
of the Church, and thus more powerful and wealthy than any of his uncles
or brothers.

In 1239 the second outbreak of hostilities between the Pope and the
Emperor led to the conversion of Monte Casino into a great fortress, in
which were left but eight monks to carry on the routine of monastic
services. The rest found a home in other Benedictine houses, the schools
were suspended, and Thomas returned home. But the same year he seems to
have proceeded to Naples to study in the university which Frederic had
established in 1224, and amply endowed with wealth and privileges, and
had revived in 1234, after its suspension during his first war with the
papacy. He had forbidden his Italian subjects to leave the kingdom to
attend foreign universities, and he had used every available means to
make them contented with that of Naples, one of these being the
employment of the ablest teachers he could secure in all the sciences
then recognized as belonging to the higher education. We are told that
Thomas pursued his studies two years in Naples, when the influence of
his Dominican teachers led him to form the purpose to become a Dominican
friar,[14] and to put on the garb of a novice. This step was a most
momentous one. Whether his family looked forward to his becoming a
Benedictine monk and abbot, or contemplated his embracing the offers of
promotion in the civil service of the kingdom, which Frederic II. had
held out to the graduates of his pet university, they could not but
regard his adoption of the life of a mendicant friar with indignation
and disgust. To be a Benedictine _Pater_ was to be a gentleman and a
scholar, to have a share in the influence, wealth, and power of the
order, and possibly to rise to the dignity of the _Dux et Princeps
omnium Abbatum et Religiosorum_, the Abbot of Monte Casino. But the
Mendicant orders were affairs of yesterday, with all the rawness if also
the effusive enthusiasm of youth. Francis of Assisi died within a year
of Thomas’s birth; Dominic, five years earlier. And the mendicant mode
of life was most offensive to the proud Italian nobles, who must have
recoiled from the idea that one of their race should carry the beggar’s
wallet in his turn, and live always upon alms. In this respect the
requirements of the orders were far stricter and more humiliating than
in later times, when the practice, if not the rule, was relaxed. Those
who were unaffected by their enthusiasm thought of the Mendicants as the
average man thinks of the Salvation Army, or thought of the Methodists
at the middle of the last century.

No notice was sent to Aquino of the step Thomas had taken. The monks
always had their share of the wisdom of the serpent, and they were to
show it in this case. But some of the vassals of the family had
recognized the young novice under his Dominican garb on the streets of
Naples or in the church; and through them the news reached his family.
Landulf seems to have been dead; I can find no mention of him later than
1229. But the Countess Theodora hastened, with all a man’s energy, to
rescue her son from the career of a mendicant. The friars learned of her
coming and hurried their novice off to Rome, and to Rome his mother
pursued him. To avoid her he was sent forward to France, but he had to
pass the lines of the imperial army then engaged in the war with the
Lombards. The influence of the powerful Ghibelline family roused the
vigilance of the imperial authorities. At Acquapendente, on the
frontiers of Tuscany, Thomas and the friars who escorted him were
arrested, and the young noble was sent back to his family at Aquino.

Every means, foul as well as fair, seems to have been used to break him
from his purpose to join the Dominicans, while he remained a prisoner at
Aquino, or in some of the mountain castles of the family. But Thomas was
assured of his vocation, and he had a fund of obstinacy in his character
which showed to good purpose. It is said that the Pope interfered in his
behalf, but this is hardly probable, as the Pope was waging war at the
time on the Emperor and his vassals, the Lords of Aquino. At last the
countess and her children abandoned the attempt to influence him, and at
least connived at his escape to Naples, where he took the vows of
obedience, celibacy, and poverty, which sealed his connection with the
Dominican order, in 1243.

We have looked at this step through the eyes of his family, and seen its
offensiveness. But if we regard it more impartially, we are impressed
with its wisdom. It was among the Dominicans, not the Benedictines, that
Thomas could serve his day and generation the best. The Benedictines, in
the new age which the era of the Crusades opened to Europe, had fallen
behind the times. It was because of this that that century saw the rise
of the two great orders founded by Dominic and by Francis, and their
rapid growth, until “a handful of corn on the top of the mountains”
shook like the forests which clothe Lebanon. The Dominican order was
still in the blossom of youth; the Benedictine had rather “gone to
seed.” Thomas felt the difference when he met the Dominicans as
professors of theology in the Studium at Naples. Scholarship rather than
thought had been the strong point with the Benedictines. They would be
apt to meet the questions which welled up in the mind of the eager youth
by an inapposite quotation from some Church father, or to repress them
altogether, as tending to vanity. What, indeed, could Abbot Landulf and
his brethren on the hill-top do with a deep-eyed boy, who went from one
to another with the question, “What _is_ God?” But at Naples, and in
contact with the more lively intellectual life of his age, his acute and
alert intellect found a satisfaction and an encouragement which the
Benedictines could not give him. He was encouraged to ask questions
instead of being snubbed. There were opened to him vistas of research
and speculation, which could not but attract a hungry and active mind
like his. The Dominicans were the order which had undertaken to face and
answer the questions of the age, and in Thomas these questions were
craving a solution. What wonder if he fell in love with the preachers,
and they with him! They discovered what capacity lay in the young noble,
and knew that they had better use for him than his hum-drum uncle on the
hills and among the hawks. And any scruples as to his admission to the
novitiate without the consent or against the will of his family were set
aside by the belief that his “vocation” was directly from God, and
therefore set aside all merely human authority.

Having secured their prize, the Dominicans showed that they knew how to
use it. The order was, on one side of it, a great educational
institution to select and train young men to fight the intellectual
battles of the Church. The young Dominican at once put on the yoke of
the “course of study” (_Ordo Studiorum_), which had been prescribed by
the General Chapter, and proceeded as far toward the highest dignities
and responsibilities of learning as his abilities were thought to
warrant. The decision on this point rested with the General of the
Order, who at this time was John of Germany, the fourth in the
succession begun by Dominic. He selected for Thomas as his best teacher,
Albert of Bollstadt, better known as Albert the Great (Magnus), who was
teaching in the monastic school at Koeln (Cologne), and who had the
reputation of having absorbed all that Aristotle knew, and worked up his
teaching into a harmony of Christian theology with Greek philosophy.
According to his biographers generally, Thomas was sent at once to Koeln
in 1245, and accompanied Albert when he proceeded to Paris in that same
year to take his degree as Doctor of Theology, returning with him in
1248. Dr. Heinrich Denifle, however, assigns 1248 as the year when
Thomas came to Koeln from Italy, and limits their intercourse as master
and scholar to the two years required by the rules of the order. Whether
their relations as such extended over five years or were limited to two,
they were enough for the formation of a life-long friendship based on
mutual respect and admiration. Strangely enough the young Italian from
the garrulous South was noted more for silence than for speech among the
students at Koeln. He had found a teacher whom he thought worth hearing
in silence, and he heard to better purpose than his associates. _Bos
mutus_, a dumb ox, they called him. Albert foretold that “the sound of
his bellowing in doctrine would yet go through the whole world.”

In 1250, the year when Frederic II. died, Thomas proceeded to Paris by
direction of the General of the Order. In that mother university of
Christendom the Dominicans were allowed by their rule to receive the
doctorate—in that and no other. For one year the candidate must hear and
dispute in the Dominican school on St. Jacques Street; for another he
must teach, but without ascending the cathedra, from which authoritative
decisions were expected. But in Thomas’s case these two years of his
Parisian apprenticeship were prolonged to seven. The university
quarrelled with the representatives of the Mendicant orders just as
Thomas was about to take his degree, and in the five years’ struggle
which ensued all ordinary relations and procedures were suspended. For
some time, indeed, the university itself was dissolved, to evade the
bull of excommunication which the Pope aimed at it in the interest of
the Mendicants.

In 1656 William of St. Amour sent the Pope his treatise _Concerning the
Dangers of these Last Times_ (_De Periculis Novissimorum Temporum_), in
which he pleaded the cause of the university against the Mendicants, and
told some home-truths about the greediness, the lawlessness, and the
encroachments of the friars, but in an angry and excited tone, which
harmed his cause. Both the assailed orders put forward their ablest men
to make answer. For the Franciscans spoke John Fidanza, better known as
John Bonaventura, who had come to Paris in the heat of the conflict, and
had been delayed, as Thomas was, in obtaining his degree.

John was older than Thomas by several years, having been born in 1221.
He had been recovered from an apparently mortal illness through the
prayers of Francis of Assisi in his third year, and then received the
name Bonaventura from the good man’s own lips. He entered the order in
his twenty-second year, and studied in Paris under Alexander of Hales
and John of Rochelle. The devout humility of the man, and his purity of
character, produced as deep an impression upon his teachers as Thomas
had produced upon his by the force and keenness of his intellect.
Alexander used to say that “in Brother Bonaventura Adam seems not to
have sinned.” John was probably the most perfect exemplar of the spirit
of Francis of Assisi that was to be seen in the second generation of the
order. Not by intellectual force, but by humble ministry to the
commonest human needs, by the infection of an all-embracing love and the
close imitation of our Lord’s humanity, he would save the world from its
wanderings. Thomas and he were the best possible representatives of
their respective orders, and it speaks well for both men that their
differences only bound them more intimately in friendship. Each
reverenced what was strongest in the other. When Thomas asked to see the
books by whose help John had acquired his Christian erudition, the
Franciscan pointed him to a crucifix, and said that from that he had
learned all that he ever knew.

Their answers to William of St. Amour reflect the character of the men.
Bonaventura defended the mendicant form of the monastic life as an
ideal; but without admitting the truth of the dark picture William had
drawn, he conceded that serious abuses had crept in, and that already
there was need of a reformation unless matters were to be let grow
worse. Thomas makes no concessions whatever. He entitles his book
_Against those who Assail the Worship of God and the Monastic Life_
(_Contra Impugnantes Dei Cultum et Religionem_). William and all who
hold with him are the enemies of God and of His Church. The critics of
the Mendicant rule are standing in the way of the forces which are sent
of God to win the world to Christ. The monk, and especially the
mendicant friar, is the only thorough Christian who keeps to the
“counsels of perfection” our Lord gave His disciples, as well as to the
precepts of obedience obligatory upon all. William uttered false and
damnable doctrine when he tried to limit them to a purely ascetic life.
They have the right to teach as well as to pray and mourn, and the Pope
has power to open to them the doors of every secular college by his

The controversy was brought to an end in 1257, when Pope Alexander IV.
at Anagni formally condemned the book of William of St. Amour, and bound
the plenipotentiaries of the university by an oath to admit the
Mendicants to their former footing in the university. And to signalize
the victory of the friars, Thomas and Bonaventura were admitted to the
doctorate on the same day, October 23d, 1257.

From the masters the head of the school in St. Jacques Street was chosen
by the General of the Order, and naturally the choice fell on Thomas.
Usually the place was held for a year only, and its occupant then
transferred to some other field of labor. Thomas held it for four years,
lecturing, preaching at least every Lent in the adjacent church, and
exercising the discipline of the order over its students. The number who
heard his lectures must have been great. The school at Paris, unlike
that at Koeln, being a branch of the university, its lectures were open
to all comers, and the renown of the Italian who had been more than a
match for the ablest of the secular doctors would draw hearers. And
those who came once, if they had any love for the play of pure
intelligence and the fearless handling of great questions, would come
again. Thomas, with all his orthodoxy, was a pretty thorough
rationalist. He had full faith in the capacity of the human
understanding to deal fruitfully and safely with the deepest mysteries.
If his conclusions always are with the Church, it is not because he has
shrunk from attending to, and even suggesting, what might be said
against the doctrine under consideration. It is because he has satisfied
himself that the balance of logical argument, after all objections have
been weighed, is on the side of orthodoxy. In this respect his writings
represent the highest point reached by the rationalistic tendency in the
Middle Ages, just as Abelard represents its initiation. We find Duns
Scotus, his great Franciscan rival, shrinking from his rationalism, and
removing some of the mysteries of theology out of the field of logical

Of course, his most devoted hearers were the young men of the order. Of
these some ninety were sent up every year from the schools in the
provinces outside France; and in addition to these picked men, who came
for the master’s degree, Paris had the training of all the students of
Northern France. Some of the former were from Spain, where the order was
engaged in combatting the Mohammedan doctors. Their needs drew Thomas’s
attention to the subject of his first systematic work, the _Summa contra
Gentiles_. Thomas puts himself upon the level of one who has no
Christian convictions, but argues simply from principles of philosophic
truth and of natural religion accepted by both parties. Besides these
and other literary labors he attended the annual General Chapters of his
order at Valenciennes in 1259, where he and Albrecht drew up the new
order of studies for the young Dominicans.

In 1261 Michael Palaeologus, the Greek Emperor of Nicea, conquered
Constantinople, and thus put an end to the Latin Empire established by
the Fourth Crusade. But the wily Greek feared a general movement in
Latin Christendom to recover the city from him, and to gain time by
diplomacy he opened negotiations for the reconciliation of Eastern and
Western Christendom with Urban IV., then newly chosen to the papacy. The
Pope summoned Thomas Aquinas from Paris to Rome, to aid in these
negotiations by his erudition and acuteness. The subject was one into
which his previous studies had not conducted him, but a scholastic
philosopher must be prepared to write on any topic. _De omni scibili_
was his scope. So Thomas wrote his _Treatise against the Errors of the
Greeks_ (_Opusculum contra Errores Graecorum_) by the papal order. In
its preparation he became at once the victim and the instrument of one
of the most memorable forgeries in ecclesiastical literature. The
Dominicans had followed the Latin Empire into the East, but found
themselves at a loss for authorities to prove to the Greeks that the
autocratic papacy was a venerable, much less a primitive institution, of
the Christian Church. One of them conceived the bright thought of
manufacturing a supply. So he sent to Urban IV. a long _catena_ of
quotations from the Greek fathers, especially the two Cyrils and the
Council of Chalcedon, in which the papal authority and infallibility
were set forth with a boldness never used even in the West. The Pope
fully believed in their genuineness and handed them over to Thomas, who
incorporated many of them into his _opusculum_, besides using them in
his greater work. He knew too much about the teachings of the Greek
fathers not to be staggered by the quotations as to the Procession of
the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, and he expressed his doubts
in a letter to Urban. But he was not staggered by the forger’s showing
that the Greeks accepted the universal jurisdiction and infallible
authority of the papacy. In this way the notion of a universal
episcopate and an infallibility in the Bishop of Rome, from being the
audacious whim of a few canonists, passed into the dogmatic theology of
the Church, and came to be made an article of faith in our own time.
(See Acton-Döllinger-Huber’s book, _Janus, or the Pope and the Council_,
chap, iii., section 18.)

Urban IV. having brought Thomas to Italy, Clemens IV. kept him there as
long as he lived, making him a professor in the university established
by Innocent IV. within the Roman Curia, and as such carried him about
from city to city as the Papal Court removed, and had him lecture on
theology wherever the Court was staying. He also set him to the work of
writing commentaries on part of the Scripture: Job, the Psalms,
Canticles, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Paul’s Epistles, besides his _catena_
of comments on the Gospels gathered from the Latin fathers. Most
important of all for our purposes, he asked him to prepare the service
for Corpus Christi Day—a festival established in 1264. It was for this
that Thomas wrote four of the hymns which have given him his place in
the annals of hymnology, and those are his finest. And it is said that
he also began his _Summa_ in these years, but that I doubt. But in 1269
Clemens died, and it was two years before another Pope was elected.
Thomas took the opportunity to escape out of the throng and noise of the
Curia, and made his way back to France and to his old manner of life. He
came back to Paris and lectured in St. Jacques Street, but not as the
head of the school. At Paris he now found critics as well as admirers.
His doctrine that individuality is dependent upon matter was censured as
involving a denial of immortality, and in 1269 he wrote a treatise,
_Contra Averroistas_, to show that this was not a necessary or even a
fair inference. In the same year we find him in London attending a
Chapter General of his order.

In 1271 the vacancy in the papacy ended with the selection of Gregory
X., one of the best of the popes. Thomas was recalled to Italy and
offered the Archbishopric of Naples, doubtless at the suggestion of
Charles of Anjou, whose hands were red with the blood of the young
Conradin. Thomas wisely declined it, and when, in 1272, he agreed to go
to Naples as a teacher of theology, it was with the reservation that
this should not bring him into close relations with the Court. Enough of
his Ghibelline traditions clung to him to make him abhor the murderer of
his kinsman. So in Naples he taught, and wrote at his _Summa_, and
prayed and saw visions—his biographers say—until one day the Pope
summoned him to a General Council at Lyons, with the view of proclaiming
a new crusade. He obeyed the summons, but when he reached the Cistercian
monastery of Fossa Nuova, on the hills above the Pontine Marshes, below
Rome, he fell ill and died, March 7th, 1274. Of course the Italians knew
he was poisoned, and even Dante countenances the report. The Pontine
Marshes in spring are so wholesome that no other hypothesis could
account for his death! His friend Bonaventura reached Lyons, but died
during the sessions of the council. His earlier friend and master,
Albert the Great, although his senior by thirty years, outlived him by
six, dying in 1280.

The position of Thomas Aquinas in history is determined by the fact that
he is the greatest of the scholastic philosophers. What his master and
other earlier thinkers had attempted, he more nearly did than ever has
been done by any one else. He took the two great bodies of knowledge,
secular and sacred, and fused them into a system more nearly consistent
with itself than any other. On the one side was the encylopaedic
philosophy of Aristotle, and the parallel but less perfect tradition of
Platonic speculation; on the other the Scriptures, the dogmatic
decisions of the councils and popes, and the teachings of the recognized
authorities among the ecclesiastical writers, especially as these had
been summarized by Peter Lombard. To blend these into one great system
of theology, to subsidize the weapons of the Greek philosophy in defence
of Christian truth, and to draw the line with accuracy between what
reason can prove and faith accepts without proof—this was what he
undertook in the _Summa_. And never was a more acute intellect employed
on the great task of reconciling faith with reason. If he failed, it is
not because he shrank from anticipating any and every kind of objection
to the truths he was defending; his works are a perfect storehouse of
such objections. If he failed, it was not from any want of confidence in
the powers of the human mind to deal with the highest subjects of
thought. No modern rationalist ever surpassed him in that respect. He
failed because neither then nor now do the materials exist for such a
work, and because his truths lost and his errors gained force by being
worked into a system.

It would take a whole chapter even to describe the _Summa_. Of its three
parts, the first, concerning God, and the second concerning man, were
completed in the four years he gave to the work. In the third, which
treats of the God-Man, he got no farther than the ninetieth question,
and the discussion was completed by extracts from his commentary on
Peter Lombard. But the completed part contains nearly _two million_
Latin words, or with the supplement, two million one hundred thousand.
It is six times as large as Calvin’s _Institutio_, or four times as
large as the Latin Bible! And the _Summa_ fills only two of the
seventeen folios of his works, all written within the space of
twenty-six years by a man actively engaged in teaching, lecturing, and
advising popes and princes.

That so much of the formative period of his life was spent in a
controversy, in which he was the applauded spokesman of a party whose
cause he regarded as the cause of God, could not but affect his
intellectual character. Professor Maurice thinks the delay in obtaining
the master’s degree worked in the same direction. The master in those
days was expected to pronounce decisions; those who had not attained
that rank were occupied in disputations only. “Thus our author was a
trained arguer,” and “the old habits remained with him when his
decisions were most accepted as authorities. From first to last he was
thinking of all that could be said on both sides of the question he was
discussing.” I believe that he was conscious of the narrowing and
dwarfing tendency of this habit of mind, even though he did not detect
the source of the evil. We read of his seeking to prepare himself for
his work by humble devotion. But to the last line of his last work the
controversial habit and attitude of mind clings to him. It is only in
his catechetical expositions, written before he left Koeln for Paris,
that you find a different atmosphere, and escape the heretic-crushing
Aristotelian dialectic of the scholastic disputant.

Even in his few hymns, which constitute his title to rank among the
sacred poets, he is the great scholastic doctor, with his eye on the
heresies which may distract the believer. He writes with the full
panoply under his singing robes. All his hymns are concerned with the
greatest of the Christian sacraments. It was in 1215, a year before the
confirmation of the Dominican Order, and twelve years before Thomas was
born, that the fourth Lateran Council made the transubstantiation of the
elements into the body and blood of Christ an article of faith. But a
Belgian ecstatic, Juliana of Liege, had a vision which called for a
special annual festival in honor of the mystery. Urban IV. complied with
this request in 1261, by requiring that the Thursday next after Trinity
Sunday should be observed as Corpus Christi Day. This involved the
preparation of an additional services for the Missal and Breviary, with
suitable prayers and hymns, and the work was laid upon Thomas. For the
Missal he wrote the sequence

    _Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem;_

and for the Breviary the three hymns

    _Pange, lingua, gloriosi Corporis mysterium,_
    _Sacris solemniis juncta sint gaudia,_


    _Verbum supernum prodiens, Nec Patris._

The Paris Breviary connects a fifth hymn of his with the same festival,

    _Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas,_

assigning it for late (_serotinas_) services in the octave of Corpus
Christi. So Newman; but Daniel declares he finds it in none of the
breviaries of modern use, and in the missals only as a part of the
priest’s private preparation for saying Mass. Even this rank has not
been attained by the sixth hymn ascribed to him, the beautiful

    _O Esca viatorum,_

which Dr. Ray Palmer has made familiar to American worshippers by his
exquisite version, first published in the _Andover Sabbath Hymn-Book_:

    O Bread to pilgrims given.

Moll denies that Thomas wrote this, and says it is by a Jesuit poet,
which is most probable. March calls it “a happy echo” of the undisputed
hymns of Thomas Aquinas. But the echo is softened; the hymn is less
masculine. _Lympha fons_ alone would serve as a note to show that
Aquinas never wrote it.

It has been said by Dr. Neale that the

    _Pange, lingua, gloriosi_

“contests the second place among those of the Western Church, with the
_Vexilla Regis_, the _Stabat Mater_, the _Jesu dulcis memoria_, the _Ad
Regias Agni Dapes_, the _Ad Supernam_, and one or two others, leaving
the _Dies Irae_ in its unapproachable glory.” But this judgment is the
prejudiced one of a High Churchman, sufficiently in sympathy with the
Roman doctrine of the sacraments to relish keenly Thomas’s concise and
vigorous statement of that doctrine, and to mistake the relish for
critical appreciation of the poetry. Dr. Neale even praises Thomas’s
treatise _On the Venerable Sacrament of the Altar_ as the finest
devotional treatise of the Middle Ages, finer therefore than the
_Imitation_ itself! A calmer estimate will put the hymn decidedly below
Bernard’s exquisite _Jesu dulcia memoria_, or the _Veni, Creator
Spiritus_ of Rabanus Maurus, or the _Veni, Sancte Spiritus_ of Hermann
Contractus. It is true that it excels all these in its peculiar
qualities, its logical neatness, dogmatic precision, and force of almost
argumentative statement; but these qualities are not poetical. In this
respect it is not altogether unlike Toplady’s “Rock of Ages,” a hymn in
which the intellect has cut a channel for the emotions to flow. That was
written as a tail-piece to a controversial article in which Toplady
discussed John Wesley’s doctrines in the matter of faith and works, and
is a terse statement of theological discriminations on that point.

The _Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem_, as it is a much longer hymn, gives more
scope for the exposition of the Roman doctrine. For this reason Martin
Luther abhorred it, probably also because he had no good opinion of
Thomas himself. He accuses him of perverting the Scripture in this hymn,
“as though he were the worst enemy of God, or else an idiot.” But this
harsh judgment did not succeed in expelling the hymn from the use of the
Lutheran churches, and since the Oxford revival it has found its way
into other Protestant churches. But the sixth, seventh and eighth verses
express the doctrine of transubstantiation so distinctly, that one must
have gone as far as Dr. Pusey, who avowed that he held “all Roman
doctrine,” before using their words in any but a non-natural sense. In
the fine version made by Dr. A. R. Thompson, first published in the
_Sunday-School Times_ in 1883, and included in Dr. Robinson’s _Laudes
Domini_, only half the hymn is given, those verses being taken which
deflect least from the general current of Christian thought about the
sacrament. By the author’s kind permission, we give it here with his
latest revision:

  “Sion, to thy Saviour singing,
  To thy Prince and Shepherd bringing
    Sweetest hymns of love and praise,
  Thou wilt never reach the measure
  Of his worth, by all the treasure
    Of thy most ecstatic lays.

  “Of all wonders that can thrill thee,
  And with adoration fill thee,
    What than this can greater be,
  That himself to thee he giveth?—
  He that eateth, ever liveth—
    For the bread of life is he.

  “Fill thy lips to overflowing
  With sweet praise, his mercy showing,
    Who this heavenly table spread.
  On this day so glad and holy,
  To each longing spirit lowly
    Giveth he the living Bread.

  “Here the King hath spread his table,
  Whereon eyes of faith are able
    Christ our Passover to trace.
  Shadows of the law are going,
  Light and life and truth inflowing,
    Night to day is giving place.

  *   *   *   *   *

  “Lo, this angels’ food descending
  Heavenly love is hither sending,
    Hungry lips on earth to feed!
  So the paschal lamb was given,
  So the manna came from heaven,
    Isaac was his type indeed.

  “O good Shepherd, Bread life-giving,
  Us, thy grace and life receiving,
    Feed and shelter evermore!
  Thou on earth our weakness guiding,
  We in heaven with thee abiding,
    With all saints will thee adore.”

Thomas’s Franciscan friend, John Fidenza, better known by his nickname
of John Bonaventura, was a hymn-writer also, but he did a good many
other things better. To many Protestants his name has been made
offensive through its association with the _Psalter of Our Lady_, a
travesty of the Book of Psalms, with which he had nothing to do, and
which was made in a later century. Indeed, as Martin Chemnitz pointed
out three centuries ago, Bonaventura protested against the excessive
reverence for the Virgin, which had already become common, as likely to
lead to idolatry. That he was called the Seraphic Doctor shows that men
felt in him a warmth of heart and a tenderness of devotion, which they
missed in his greater contemporary, Thomas Aquinas, the Angelical
Doctor. Indeed he was the incarnation of the Franciscan spirit of love
and helpfulness, as Thomas of the Dominican spirit of theological
research and orthodox defence. Yet Bonaventura’s _Breviloquium_ has been
praised by good judges as the best compend of Christian doctrine that
the Middle Ages have left us.

Bonaventura’s Latin poems are rather devout meditations than hymns. They
are not the voice of the Christian congregation in song, but of the monk
meditating before his crucifix. To him is sometimes ascribed the
Christmas hymn,

    _Adeste fideles,_

but not on sufficient authority. His best known hymns are the

    _Christum Ducem, qui per crucem,_


    _Recordare sanctae crucis,_

of which latter we have English versions by Dr. Henry Harbaugh, Dr. J.
W. Alexander, and E. C. Benedict. Five other hymns are ascribed to him
in the collections. They all have the Franciscan note; they turn on our
Lord’s human sympathy and sufferings. This explains the ascription to
him of a long hymn on the members of our Lord’s body as affected by the
passion, which is found in Mone (I., 171-74), but which is more
frequently and quite as erroneously ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux. It
is not worthy of either, although Mone thinks the ascription to
Bonaventura “worthy of attention.” The hymn furnishes the point of
contact of the Latin hymnology with that of the later Moravians, the
Franciscans of Protestantism.

So we leave the two great scholars, thinkers, doctors, and poets, each
representing one of the two chief streams of spiritual influence in the
Church of the thirteenth century. “They were lovely and pleasant in
their lives, and in death they were not divided.”

                              CHAPTER XXV.
                   JACOPONUS AND THE “STABAT MATER.”

Jacoponus, known to us sometimes as Jacobus de Benedictis, and sometimes
as Jacopo di Benedetto, or as Giacopone da Todi from his Italian
birthplace, is a most quaint and singular singer. The name Jacoponus is
a mere title of reproach, and signifies either “Big James” or “Silly
James.” It was called after him on the street and he adopted it in a
spirit of humility and as a badge of self abnegation. The man himself
was an Italian jurist and nobleman, who lived in the thirteenth century.
He led a wild life, lost his property, and eventually regained it by
industry and ability. Evidently he neither cared nor scrupled about his
ways of making money. A crisis came in his life in consequence of his
wife’s sudden death. She was killed at the city games of Todi in the
year of grace 1268, where with other women she had been watching the
sports from a scaffold of wood. It was insecure and fell, killing her
instantly. Poor Benedetto, on hurrying to the spot, found that beneath
her garments she had been wearing a hair girdle next to the
skin—according to the harsh custom of the time—and he was deeply
affected by this evidence of her anxiety to please God. In those days
such an action spoke volumes for the victim’s piety, and no one was more
open to conviction than this erratic, sensitive, and brilliant man.

But it would seem that for a long time he struggled against his
feelings, since we have a record that by 1298 he had been a religious
person about twenty years. Indeed, there is a story that he was not
received at once by the Minorites, and that he finally produced certain
poems before they grew satisfied to take him in. However, when he was
fairly within their walls he outdid all the other Franciscans in
austerity. He had given up his position as Doctor of Laws and had
surrendered his property; now it would appear that he was determined to
advance beyond the rest in ascetic devotion. His penances and prayers
were greatly in excess of prescribed rules, and he must have proved as
sore a trial to any easy-going brother, as Simeon Stylites was when he
too led the whole convent to denounce his ascetic habits. There is small
doubt that the brain of Jacoponus was decidedly off its balance, even in
these earliest days, and his subsequent conduct gave full evidence of
his insanity. Still, we find in this self-abasement of his nothing that
looks like pride or egotism. Where others display a complacency which is
very Pharisaic, he only shows the monomania of a gifted soul. Some of
his expressions are remarkable for their spiritual depth and power. Thus
when he was pressed to explain how a Christian can be sure that he loves
God, he replied, “I have the sign of charity; if I ask God for
something, and He refuses me, I love Him notwithstanding; and when He
opposes me I love Him twice as much.” “I would,” he says, “for the love
of Christ, suffer with a perfect resignation all the toils of this life,
every grief, anguish, pain, which word can express or thought conceive.
I would also readily consent that, on leaving life, the demons should
bear my soul into the place of tortures, there to endure all the
torments due to my sins; to those of the just who suffer in purgatory,
and even of the reprobates and demons if this could be; and that until
the day of the last judgment, and longer still, according to the good
pleasure of the Divine Majesty. And, above all, it would be to me a
great pleasure and supreme satisfaction that all those for whom I should
have suffered should enter heaven before me, and, finally, if I came
after them that all should agree to declare to me that they owe me
nothing.” Surely no modern theologian has ever stated the doctrine of
“self-emptiness” in any shape which at all compares with this!

Nor was he deficient in wit. “I enjoy the realm of France,” he once
said, “more than does the King of France; for I take part in all the
happiness that comes to him and I haven’t the care of his business.” At
another time he entered the market-place on all fours naked, a saddle on
his back and a bit between his teeth, for what symbolic purpose no one
has ever explained. Again, he literally tarred and feathered himself,
covering his body with a sticky oil and then rolling in feathers of
various colors and kinds. In this elegant wedding attire he made his
appearance at his brother’s house to honor the marriage of his niece.
The guests, as might be expected, departed in confusion and disgust. But
to all remonstrances upon his conduct he retorted, “My brother thinks to
illumine our name by his magnificence; I shall do it by my folly.” He
was really a leaf taken out of Rabelais or Boccaccio—a jester whose
folly and wisdom were mingled unequally, much in the fashion of that
Wamba son of Witless, immortalized for us in the pages of _Ivanhoe_.

The man’s great mind had doubtless been shaken by his affliction and by
the gloomy theology of his time. Otherwise these performances, so
inconsistent with his genius, could never have taken place. The
irregularity of his productions, sometimes delicate as the most graceful
stanzas of the troubadours, and some times as coarse and rough as Villon
at his worst, are in exact proof of this assertion.

In theology he was, to quote Ozanam, “no longer a dogmatic but a
mystic.” He really became the leader of a band of pure and elevated
minds which continued, by direct genealogy, through Hugo and Richard of
St. Victor, and Tauler down to St. Theresa, Madame Guyon, Fénelon, and
our own Thomas C. Upham. It is an honor of no slight consequence to have
inspired so much of the spirit of the Apostle John into that turbid
current of mediaeval religion. And it does not surprise us, therefore,
to find the _Cur mundus militat_ of Jacoponus credited to Bernard of
Clairvaux, nor the _Jesu, dulcis memoria_ of Bernard attributed to
Jacoponus. The two men were very similar, but the opportunities of the
French abbot were infinitely superior to those of the Italian monk. And
after a very careful inquiry I remain convinced, like other
hymnologists, that these two great hymns have already been properly
assigned. It is certainly a staggering piece of testimony when the
latter is found in an old MS. of Jacoponus’s poems, precisely in the
form in which it appears in the most critical edition of the writings of
Bernard. And it is equally unsettling for us to come upon the _Cur
mundus militat_ in the works of the saint, when we know, on no doubtful
evidence, that this was the passport of the sinner into his Franciscan
convent. Once more it is worth our while to repeat the warning that any
positive designation of Latin hymns by their authors’ names must rest
upon a firmer foundation than the mere fact that they can be discovered
in this man’s or that man’s printed works.

Jacoponus also interests us in view of his Protestant spirit. He never
fancied Boniface VIII., and when that pope had a dream in which he saw a
great bell without a tongue, and consulted the keen-witted friar upon
its meaning, he received the reproof valiant, “Know, your holiness,”
said the undaunted monk, “that the great size of the bell signifies the
pontifical power which embraces the world. But take heed lest the tongue
be that good example which you will not give.” For this and other
liberties which he took it is no wonder that he presently found himself
in prison, where he suffered everything patiently, and announced that he
would go out when Boniface was ready to come in. And this, indeed,
actually occurred. He was excommunicated, too, but from this sentence
Benedict XI. released him on December 23d, 1303.

I cannot refrain from quoting some more of his religious aphorisms and
meditations which instinctively suggest to us the pious musings of À
Kempis. Here is one: “I have always thought, and I think now, that it is
a great thing to know how to enjoy God. Why? Because in these hours of
joy, humility is exercised with respect. But I have thought, and I think
now, that the greatest thing is to know how to rest deprived of God.
Why? Because in these hours of trial, faith is exercised without
evidence, hope without attempt at fulfilment, and charity without any
sign of the divine benevolence.” And here is a fragment from his last
poem: “Love, I see that thou art transfiguring me, and making me become
Love like thee, so that I dwell no longer in my own heart and that I
know no longer how to find myself again. If I perceive in a man any
evil, or vice, or temptation, I am transformed and I enter into him; I
am penetrated with his pain.”

It must not be supposed that these poems were in the Latin language in
every instance. Very few of the entire number are truly within our own
sphere of research, and all those composed in Italian are accessible to
us only through a French prose translation. But his “Praise of Poverty”
deserves a place even in these pages, for it reveals the nature of the
poet and helps us to comprehend the pathos and tenderness of his
unregulated genius:

  “Sweet Poverty, how much in truth
      Should we love thee!
  For, child, thou hast a sister named
  A common bowl, for food and drink,
      Is all thy need;
  Bread, water, and a few poor herbs,
      Suffice indeed.

  “And, if a guest should come, she adds
      A pinch of salt;
  She travels fearless, and no foe
      Can bid her halt;
  Thieves do not plunder her; she dies
      At length in peace;
  She makes no will; no grasping hands
      Clutch her increase.

  “Poor little thing! Behold thou art
      Heaven’s citizen;
  No vulgar earthly wishes draw
      Thee down to men;
  Thine is the greatest sceptre, thine
      The kingdom here,
  For what thou carest not to seek
      Still crowdeth near.

  “O science most profound and deep!
      For thus we rise,
  And gain our freedom by the things
      We most despise!
  O gracious Poverty, supplied
      With joy and rest,
  Thine is the plenty of the heart,
      And that is best!”

It is strangely incongruous with this almost idyllic gentleness for us
to find such a man hanging a coveted bit of meat in his cell until the
odor of its putrefaction disgusted the rest of the monks, as well as put
an end to his own craving for the forbidden dainty. Then, too, we have
several other anecdotes of his grim humor and bold denunciation of sin.
Take, for example, the story told of his peculiar half-satirical conduct
in an instance which Wadding, the historian of the Franciscan Order,
relates with great gusto. A citizen of Todi, a relative of the poet, had
bought a pair of chickens, and not wishing to be inconvenienced by them,
he said to Jacoponus, “Take them and carry them for me, if you please; I
don’t care to burden myself with them.” To which Jacoponus answered,
“Trust me! I’ll carry your chickens home.” He then went direct to the
church of Fortunatus, in which his own monument was afterward placed,
and pulling up a gravestone he thrust the chickens in and replaced the
slab. The worthy citizen on his return of course found no chickens, and
therefore at once hunted out Jacoponus in the public square and
reproached him. “I took them to your house,” retorted the Franciscan.
“But I have just come from it and my wife says she has not seen you,”
the Tudescan asserted. Thereupon Jacoponus took him to the church and
having removed the stone, said to him: “Friend, isn’t that your home?”
The citizen, says Wadding, took his chickens, being a man evidently of
frugal mind, and, “not without fear, went his way absorbed in thought.”

This mad Solomon is at times so keen in his denunciations of the
corruption of the Church, and so evidently sincere in his own religion,
that more than one hymnologist has thought that his folly was largely
assumed as a guise under which he had greater freedom. The court fool
was a “chartered libertine” as to his language, and when we read the
epitaph of Jacoponus it seems as if he had reversed the saying of
Shakespeare and had stolen Satan’s livery to serve Heaven in. There is
no question but that this satirical freedom actually cost the poor
jester some considerable share of imprisonment, and this heightens the
likelihood that he was playing Brutus in order to abolish Caesar.
Boniface VIII., whom he had very plainly rebuked, was the one who
imprisoned him, and he was not released before the case—as he had indeed
predicted—was precisely reversed. Let me record my own conviction, based
upon the poem of which I append a translation, and upon the other facts
of his life, that this view of his career has much in its favor. Those
days and these are not to be compared in respect to liberty. Where
Bernard of Cluny swung his sling about his head and let the pebbles fly
to right and left with no very tangible result, Jacoponus took bow and
arrows and drove his shaft into the target. No one meddled with Bernard;
but Jacoponus, a century later, was a Tell for the ecclesiastical

Of the _Stabat Mater Dolorosa_, carried by the Flagellants into every
corner of Europe as they flogged themselves in public to its anthem, it
can be said that it is one of the very greatest hymns—if not actually
the greatest—of the Roman Catholic Church. The _Dies Irae_, the _Veni,
Sancte Spiritus_, and the Hymn of Bernard of Cluny, are catholic rather
than Roman. This is Roman rather than catholic. It is full of
Mariolatry. Take a stanza from a prose translation by way of example:

“Virgin of virgins, illustrious, be not now bitter to me, make me mourn
with thee, make me carry about the death of Christ, make me a sharer in
His passion, adoring His suffering.” And again: “O Christ, when I go
hence, give me, through Thy mother, to attain the palm of victory,” etc.

For this reason the Protestant metrical versions of the _Stabat Mater_
are few in number and generally accompanied by disclaimers of one kind
or another. Of course the music, on whose wings the hymn has now flown
world-wide, will need no word of mine. If the _Stabat Mater_ itself
receives commonly the second rank among hymns, it follows that Rossini,
Pergolesi, Palestrina and Haydn have not detracted from its glory. And
though in the terse language of one of our best hymnologists, we say,
“It is simple Mariolatry, most of it,” the human pathos of the verses
appeals strongly to those who refuse the added errors of the poem.

Of the _Stabat Mater Speciosa_ I confess to a decided doubt. It is in
the nature of a paraphrase, almost of a parody. It is unworthy of the
brain that formed the _Mater Dolorosa_, and the jester must have gone
beyond common folly if he descended to this imitation of himself. It is
more likely—and there is good ground for the opinion—that it is the work
of some later hand. Archbishop Trench, by the way, will not include
either of them in his collection.

Of the other writings of Jacoponus it may be interesting to say that he
composed hymns and satires in great abundance, both in Latin and in
Italian, which were collected by Franciscus Tressatus, a Minorite
brother, and published in seven books. The _Cur mundus militat_ (which
Wadding quotes at length) meets this editor’s highest praise. Of the
Italian poems we can say that they are now regarded by Symonds and
others as the fountain-head of Italian literature, and that they
contained many of the crude expressions of the common people mixed with
an elegance of phraseology to which Dante and Petrarch were accustoming
their mother tongue. Indeed, I know no other similar poet, unless it be
John Skelton, rector of “gloomy Dis” in England, who about a century
later shot the same kind of shafts at the same manner of target and with
much the same bitter, gibing wit.

But of all the compositions of our mad monk which I have seen, I am most
especially interested in this _Cur mundus militat_. Its attractiveness
consists, first of all, in its dactylic measure and in its singular
adaptation to the character of Jacoponus. It is hard, in the
translation, to catch that strange jingle of the cap and bells and that
tossing of the fool’s bauble which accompany the exhortation. Only in
the last stanza does it appear as if he deigned to be serious. All that
precedes this is the quaint world-weariness of the man too wise for his
time, and who is therefore well pleased to be _stultus propter
Christum_—a “fool for Christ’s sake.”

                          THE VANITY OF EARTH.

  Why should this world of ours strive to be glorious
  Since its prosperity is not victorious?
  Swiftly its power and its beauty are perishing
  Like to frail vases which once we were cherishing.

  Trust more to letters carved fair on some frostiness
  Than to this brittle world’s empty untrustiness.
  False in her honors, in semblance of purity,
  Never as yet had she time for security.

  More should be trusted to glass, which is treacherous,
  Than to Earth’s happiness wretched and venturous—
  Filled with false vanities, lured by false madnesses,
  Worn with false knowledges, sick of false gladnesses.

  Where now is Solomon, once so pre-eminent?
  Where is that Samson, so valiantly prominent?
  Where the fair Absalom, stalwart and beautiful?
  Where the sweet Jonathan, lovely and dutiful?

  Whither went Caesar, that monarch illustrious?
  Or the proud Dives, at table industrious?
  Tell me of Tullius, lofty in eloquence;
  Or Aristoteles, first in grandiloquence.

  So many heroes, such spacious activity,
  Dancers and mountebanks, kingdoms and levity;
  Rulers of earth who were tyrannous o’er us all—
  Swift as a glance they are gone from before us all!

  What a short holiday this of Earth’s best estate!
  Joys, which to man are like dreams that attest his fate;
  Which, the rewards of eternity banishing,
  Lead him through paths where his comfort is vanishing.

  Food of the worm thou art—clod of the common clay!
  O dew! O vanity! Why praise thy common way?
  Thou who art ignorant whether the morrow come!
  Do good to all ere the time of thy sorrow come.

  Much though we value this glory of earthiness,
  Scripture declareth, as grass, its unworthiness;
  Like the light leaf, by the mighty wind hurried off,
  So is this life, by the darkness soon carried off.

  Nothing is thine which thy spirit may lose again—
  What this world gave it intendeth to choose again;
  Lift up thy thought where the heart hath its treasure-house—
  Happy art thou to despise this Earth’s pleasure-house!

We are not to imagine that these stirring verses, whether in Latin or in
Italian, went unnoticed. In the various productions of his muse the
humble monk enjoyed a popularity like that of Abelard. Numerous
manuscripts of his writings were scattered through Italy, France, and
Spain, and translations in these different languages helped to increase
his fame. Between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries at least eight
editions appeared. But for critical purposes they are not so valuable as
might be supposed, since there are interpolations by other hands which
confuse and deter the investigator. They were supplemented in 1819 by
the publication of a number hitherto unknown, which were edited by
Alessandro da Mortara.

Of the Latin poetry ascribed to him the _Jesu dulcis memoria_ is
certainly Bernard’s, for Morel discovered it in an Einsiedeln MS. “older
than 1288.” There are two hymns—_Crux te, te volo conqueri_ and _Ave
regis angelorum_—of which we merely know the opening lines and have no
accessible originals. The _Verbum caro factum est_, the _Ave fuit prima
salus_, and the _Cur mundus militat_ are doubtless his own. The _Mater
Speciosa_ I take the liberty to discredit because of its gross
Latinity—a point which Ozanam concedes in spite of his belief in its
genuine character. The _Mater Dolorosa_ itself has not escaped question,
for Benedict XIV. declared it to be the work of Innocent III., to whom,
with about the same amount of truth, has also been attributed the _Veni,
Sancte Spiritus_.

In the year 1306, after imprisonment and excommunication had both passed
over his head and spent their force harmlessly, the aged Jacoponus drew
near his end. His companions urged him to ask for the final sacrament,
but he was in no haste. He would wait, he said, for John of Alvernia,
his true friend, and from his hands only would he receive it. They
considered this another proof of his untamed and rebellious nature, and
loudly lamented around his bed. But the dying man gave no heed to their
weakness. He raised himself upon his arm and with lifted face began to
chant the _Anima benedetta_—the song of a blessed soul. Scarcely had his
voice uttered the closing words ere two men were seen hastening across
the field. One was that very John of Alvernia, moved by some strange
presentiment to visit his friend. He entered the room and greeted
Jacoponus with a kiss of peace. Then he administered the sacrament of
the Eucharist. And thereupon the failing singer, his desire being at
last fulfilled, sang the _Jesu nostra fidanza_ and relapsed into silence
for a time. Then he exhorted those about him to live holy lives, and,
lifting his hands toward heaven, gently expired. It was on Christmas eve
and, in the neighboring church, the choir had just begun to chant the
_Gloria in Excelsis_.

Two hundred and ninety years after his death his tombstone and its
inscription were placed. The words, when rendered from Latin into
English, are these:

“The bones of the blessed Jacoponus de Benedictis of Todi, who, a fool
for Christ’s sake, deluded the world by a new art and took heaven by

There is in the Lenox Gallery a small picture by Zamacois, which
represents a jester leaning against a head of Pan. The rude, broken bust
stands on an antique pedestal, its mouth, in its half-tragic, half-comic
curves, appearing to whisper into the ear of its companion. He,
scarlet-clad and with his bauble swinging idly in his hands, inclines
his head toward it and seems in a sad gravity to listen to its words.
There, indeed, do I see Jacoponus! The eager heart of the great
misunderstood, inconsistent, vain, and empty World tells him of its
nothingness—a broken and abandoned deity deserted in its garden of Eden.
An inexpressible sadness comes over me. Quietly I put by the _Stabat
Mater_; I do not love it!—but I close the page softly over the poor mad
prophet who rests his weary head on the steps of Solomon’s throne.

                             CHAPTER XXVI.
                            THOMAS À KEMPIS.

The contributions of Holland to the devotional poetry of Christendom
have not been extensive; but in the Middle Ages she could show several
Latin hymn-writers. The best known of these, however, is by far more
famous for his prose works. Thomas Hemerken, called afterward Thomas à
Kempis, was not by birth a Hollander. He was born in 1379 or 1380 at
Kempen, a small city in the diocese of Koeln (Cologne), not far from
what became the boundary line between the two nations. But in those
days, and, indeed, until the Peace of Westphalia, Holland, like
Switzerland, was reckoned a part of Germany. His father, John Hemerken,
was an artisan of the poorer class, probably a silversmith; and both his
parents were devout and God-fearing people. His elder brother John had
gone to Deventer to obtain an education, after the fashion of the times,
when boys wandered from city to city in search of instruction, and
supported themselves by singing, begging, and sometimes by thieving. But
at Deventer John had fallen in with some good people who had pity upon
these wandering scholars, and had made arrangements to furnish them
lodgings and copying-work in addition to what they would earn by singing
in the choir.

The chief person in this group was Gerard Groote, a man of wealthy
family and some strange vicissitudes in life. He had studied at the
universities of Paris and Prague, and had taken minor orders to qualify
himself to hold the two canonries family influence secured to him, but
without giving any indication of a vocation to the sacred office. He
seems even to have led a dissolute life. Then a great change came over
him, chiefly through the influence of a friend of his youth named Henry
Eger, now the prior of a Cistercian convent at Munkhuisen. Gerard
resigned his benefices, and spent five years in a monastic retreat, from
which he emerged as a zealous preacher of the Gospel to the clergy and
people of what now is Holland, using both Latin and Dutch as occasion
served. He especially dwelt on the utter worldliness of that dreary
time, when priests, nobles, and tradesmen alike had lost all idea of
serving God and men, and had set up gain and pleasure as the recognized
ends of life. His sharp rebukes, and his exaltation of humility,
simplicity, and poverty, attracted the lower classes, but roused the
opposition of both the burghers and the Mendicants against him. After a
brief and stormy career he was silenced by the Archbishop of Utrecht,
and was obliged to find vent for his zeal in some other channel.

His purity and unworldliness had gathered around him, in his native
Deventer, men and women like-minded with him, who, according to the
tendency of the time, drifted naturally into a kind of monastic life.
Brother-houses and sister-houses were organized, and they became known
as the Brethren and Sisters of the Common Life. They took no vows, and
yet practised celibacy, common ownership and labor, and obedience to the
rector of the house. They adopted no common dress, but came to wear the
simplest gray robe of the same cut. Both laymen and clergy lived
together in the brother-houses, and each took his turn in the common
services of the brotherhood. They observed no canonical hours beyond
what the Church exacted of the priests among them. They assumed none of
the professions of the monks, and yet they realized the monkish ideal
better than did the monks themselves. The four principles which governed
Gerard’s own life and became the four corner-stones of this fraternity,
were “contempt of the world and of self, imitation of the lowly life of
Christ, good-will, and the grace of devoutness” (_contemptus mundi et
sui ipsius, imitatio humilis vitae Christi, bona voluntas, gratia
devotionis_). All this was summed up in the phrase _moderna devotio_,
used both by the brethren and the outside world to designate the
distinctive character of the order.

The experience Christendom had had of the results of mendicancy led
Groote and his associates to base the new brotherhood on honest labor.
The shape this took reflects his own character. He was a great
book-lover—_semper avarus et peravarus librorum_, he says himself. When
in peril of his life in a storm by sea, he managed to save the six books
he had with him. He possessed a considerable library, and when the
brotherhood came to adopt the principle of community of goods, he and
the rest put their books into the common stock. And all who were able to
write were to labor in copying books for sale—the clergy in Latin, the
laymen in Dutch. It was this employment he extended to the poor scholars
of the Deventer school. Indeed, it seems not improbable that he began it
with them, and that the first brotherhood was composed of young friends
of this class, who had grown to manhood in this employment. It is
certain that in Deventer, in Zwolle, and for all we know in the other
cities where the brotherhood took root, near by the brother-house stood
a poor-scholars’ house, in which the boys attending the school of the
city were lodged, kept under discipline, and to some degree given work
also. But the Brethren of the Common Life were not an educating body, as
has been very generally supposed. They aimed only at saving boys from
the moral injury which too often attended their homeless life, at
keeping good discipline over them, and at imparting moral and religious
training. They aimed to do for the school-boys what the founders of
colleges in the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Paris tried to do
for the myriads of students who lived like vagrants in those seats of

But before Gerard Groote died the question was raised whether it would
not be advisable to establish a strictly monastic order of life for
those of the brethren who felt a vocation to it. To this he agreed, but
dissuaded his friends from adopting the severe rules of the Cistercians
and the Carthusians for the new order. Rather he suggested that of the
Canons Regular under the rule of St. Augustine as preferable, since it
would be more in keeping with the spirit of the brotherhood, and would
bind on no one too heavy burdens. This advice marks an advance upon
Dominic, Francis, and the “reformers” of the Benedictine and Mendicant
orders, in an evangelical direction. They all sought progress to
perfection in deeper austerity. In his case the preference perhaps was
caused by his friendship for the monastery of Canons Regular at
Groenendal, in Flanders, whose prior was Jan Rusbroek, the great Flemish
mystic. Gerard made several visits to Groenendal after his conversion,
and translated two of his friend’s books into Latin.

Gerard Groote was carried off by the great pestilence of 1384, in his
forty-fourth year. But he left the work in good hands, for a Deventer
priest named Florens Radewinzoon succeeded him as rector of the
brother-house, and proceeded with the building of the new monastery at
Windesheim, near Deventer. It was opened in 1386, and John à Kempis, who
had become a member of the brotherhood, was one of the six who first
assumed the monastic vows.

It was six years later, in 1392, that Thomas set out to seek his brother
at Deventer; for although the distance was not much over a hundred
miles, he had heard nothing of John’s profession at Windesheim, so
uncertain and irregular were the means of communication. On learning
what had happened, he proceeded to Windesheim, where his brother
welcomed him warmly. But there was no school at Windesheim, and John
advised him to return to Deventer to attend the city school and place
himself under the care of Florens. He did so and became an inmate of the
poor-scholars’ house, which had been given to the brotherhood by a
devout matron of the city. Here he lived for six years, attending school
under Master Johann Boehme, singing in the choir of the church of which
Florens was vicar, and earning a little money by copying books for him.
The good rector showed him very great kindness, and in 1398, when his
school studies were complete, he received him into the brotherhood. The
year before this another pestilence had visited Deventer, carrying off
Johann Kessel, the saintly cook of the brother-house, and prostrating
Thomas himself, who recovered with difficulty. Indeed, it seemed as
though the brotherhood would become extinct, and Florens and six others
withdrew for a time from the plague-smitten city to guard against this

In 1399 Thomas, at Florens’s instance, decided to assume the monastic
vows. A second house of the order had been established at Agnietenberg
(or Mount St. Agnes) near the city of Zwolle. Of this John à Kempis had
been made the second prior in 1398, and held that office until 1408.
Thither Thomas proceeded in 1399, stopping at Zwolle to obtain the
indulgence lately proclaimed by the Pope for the benefit of a new church
in that city. After a novitiate of seven years he took the vows in 1406,
and in 1414 was ordained to the priesthood.

The monastic life is studiously and intentionally monotonous. It aims at
the exclusion of all that gives zest and interest to ordinary existence,
and at the reduction of life’s employments to a routine. Its variety and
color are to be sought in the inner life of its members, and that of
Thomas was not wanting in these elements. If his inner experience be
reflected in his _Soliloquy of the Soul_, he passed through those
shifting seasons of gloom and gladness which characterize the experience
of an introverted religion. His religious character was formed on the
lines of the modern devotion, as defined by Gerard Groote, and as
reflected in the lives and the writings of Florens Radewinzoon, Gerard
Zerbolt, Johann Mande, Gerlach Peterszoon, and Johann Brinckerinck, the
earlier notable men of the brotherhood or of the Windesheim
congregation. His was not a bold and originative mind to strike out new
paths for himself. He had not even those gifts of practical
administration for which Florens, John à Kempis, and others of the order
were notable. Even when he had attained recognition as the most eminent
man at Agnietenberg, his brethren twice passed him by in selecting their
prior, and never gave him any dignity higher than the sub-priorate,
which probably was a sinecure. An early biographer goes so far as to
describe him as sitting silent whenever ordinary and worldly matters
were discussed, because of his ignorance of the very terms used at such
times. But this is an exaggeration. His _Chronicle of the Monastery of
Mt. St. Agnes_ shows him taking a mild and not unintelligent interest in
the secular side of the monastic life, and sharing the joy of his
brethren in the fine apple-crop or the large take of fish, and the like.
But this _Chronicle_ shows how limited his range of vision and interest.
He lived through the Papal Schism, the Asiatic conquests of Timour, the
Council of Constance, the Hussite wars, Henry the Fifth’s invasion of
France, the exploits of Jeanne d’Arc, the Council of Basle, the rise of
the Medici in Florence, and of the Duchy of Burgundy, the Council of
Florence, the exploits of Scanderberg and Hunyadi Janos, the Wars of the
Roses, the revival of letters, the invention of printing, the fall of
Constantinople, the Florentine Academy, the Portuguese discoveries in
the Atlantic, and much more that might be thought likely to be discussed
even within the walls of a Dutch monastery. But the record is silent as
to all these things; for the most part they are part of the doings of
that “world” which the disciples of the modern devotion trained
themselves to despise.

No doubt the great question of the Papal Schism was of interest at
Agnietenberg, and also the two great councils which brought it to an
end. At the Council of Constance the Brethren of the Common Life were
arraigned by a zealous Mendicant as violating Church law by observing
the three rules of the monastic life without belonging to any recognized
order. But this Mendicant notion was declared heretical, thanks to two
great French doctors, Pierre d’Ailly and John Gerson, the second of whom
was to be associated so closely with Thomas in a famous controversy.

In 1427 the troubles of the outside world did reach the convent at
Agnietenberg and its associates. There had been a disputed election to
the princely diocese of Utrecht, then one of the largest and wealthiest
in Latin Christendom. The Pope recognized one candidate and the people
of the cities another. To break down their obstinacy the diocese was
laid under an interdict, which put an end to every act of public
worship. Thereupon the brotherhood and the order were given their choice
by the citizens, either to go on with their services as usual in church
and chapel, or to leave the diocese. With one consent they chose the
latter alternative, and in 1429 they distributed themselves among the
associated brother-houses and monasteries outside the diocese. The
twenty-four clerical and lay brethren of Agnietenberg found a home at
Luvenkerk in Friesland, in a disordered monastery which had been placed
under the rule of the Windesheim congregation, and which they used this
opportunity to reform. After three years of exile they were allowed to
return, a new Pope having yielded to the people. But Thomas did not
return so soon, for he had been called away to Arnheim to the death-bed
of his brother John, the brother he had found at Windesheim instead of
Deventer, and under whose priorship at Agnietenberg he took the vows.

In 1451 Deventer was visited by a great Churchman and notable thinker,
the Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa, who, like Thomas, was born east of what is
now the German frontier, but had received his schooling in Deventer,
where he learned to love and honor the Brethren of the Common Life. He
came now as papal legate to reform the abuses which had arisen in the
churches of Germany during the great schism; and when he came to his
loved Deventer he hastened to indicate his especial regard for his old
friends. He granted a special indulgence to both the brotherhood and the
order, and permitted the Windesheim congregation to establish a second
congregation, with equal privileges, to accommodate the rapidly
increasing number of convents of Canons Regular.

Thomas survived his brother by nearly forty years. His cloister life
moved on through three decades with the external monotony of an
existence subjected to rule. Five years of the forty were years of
pestilence and popular distress, which he duly chronicles. But the only
real interruption of his routine which still has a living interest was
his acquaintance with young Johan Wessel, who came to pursue his studies
in Zwolle, being drawn by the charm of the _Imitation_ into the
neighborhood of its author. This probably was about 1460, when he sought
and made Thomas’s acquaintance, and often conversed with him upon the
greatest of themes. But the earliest biography of Wessel belongs to the
next century, and is by a Protestant pastor in Bremen; so the statements
that Wessel found Thomas and his brother monks all too superstitious,
and rebuked the Mariolatry of the author of the _Imitation_, are open to
doubt. That Wessel, the forerunner of Luther, influenced Thomas in the
writing of the _Imitation_ is a palpable absurdity.

For a short time he was procurator or steward of the monastery, a task
which must have been uncongenial to him, but which he would discharge
with his best diligence, as his first biographer, Jodocus Badius
Ascensius, says he did. Then he was sub-prior a second time in 1448.

The chronicle of Mount St. Agnes ends with January 17th, 1471; its
author died July 26th of the same year. His health had been singularly
good, but toward the close of his life he suffered from dropsy. His
eyesight never failed him, and he retained all his faculties in full
vigor to the last. As the end drew near, the sense of all he had been to
his brethren as a friend and counsellor deepened in them at the prospect
of losing him. All that their love could do and his ascetic principles
would permit, they did to lighten the burdens and relieve the pains of
his illness. He died in his ninety-second year, after having been
sixty-three years in the order and fifty-eight in the priesthood.

He was buried within the cloisters of the monastery. There his bones
continued to rest even after the dissolution of the monastery at the
Reformation in 1573, and thence they were disinterred in 1672 and placed
in a shrine. But no miracles were wrought at his grave or by his bones.
Whatever the faults of the Brethren of the Common Life, it was not in
the atmosphere of the modern devotion that men learned to crave after
such evidence of sanctity in the servants of God. So the brotherhood and
its affiliated order have made no contributions to the list of Roman
Catholic saints. There is room in that long and motley list for Giovanni
da Capistrano, the cruel and implacable inquisitor, whose path across
Europe was marked with blood and fire. But none has been found for the
gentle and loving Thomas à Kempis, who has wooed millions of souls to a
closer communion with his Master, and whose own life preached humility,
patience, gentleness, renunciation of the world, conformity to the will
of God, and likeness to Christ, as distinctly as does his great book.
Well, he is content. _Ama nesciri_—love to be unknown—was a precept
often on his lips and illustrated in his life. Of small matter to him
would have been the attempt to deny his authorship of the _Imitation_,
and the controversy of two centuries’ duration it provoked. Of no
greater moment the refusal of the name of saint to one whose only
miracles were wrought upon the spirits of his brethren. But the Church
catholic says of him, “Surely this was a holy man of God.”

While the copying of books was the general employment of the brotherhood
and of the order, there was from the first a good deal of independent
authorship among them, and always on the lines of the “modern devotion.”
Groote himself labored chiefly by preaching and correspondence. But some
of his letters are tracts in that form, and had a wide circulation as
such. Florens was not much even of a letter-writer, but he wrote one
devotional tract which has been discovered. It was in Gerard Zerbolt of
Zutphen, his _altera manus_, that he found a fit organ for the
expression of his ideas in writing. To us Protestants Zerbolt is
memorable as the author of a treatise asserting the right and duty of
unlearned men to have good books—the Bible and their prayer-books
included—in their own tongue. But he was much better known by his
writing certain widely circulated books of devotion—modern, of course.
Hendrik Mande, the Seer, was a Windesheim monk whose mysticism took the
bolder and more ecstatic flight of Rusbroek, and like Rusbroek he found
his native tongue more suitable than Latin. Lastly, Gerlach Peterszoon,
sometimes called “the second Thomas à Kempis,” although he died in 1411,
before Thomas himself had become an author, wrote in both Latin and
Dutch sundry works, one of which still is reprinted for edification even
by Protestants. Through all this literature runs the same strain of
thought and feeling, in spite of personal differences. They all insist
on a deeper renunciation of the world than is satisfied by any external
monastic compliances. They all hold forth the imitation of Christ’s
humility and meekness as the essence of the Christian life. They all
insist on devotion to the will of God and good-will to men as the two
essential channels in which the Christian life must run.

Thomas à Kempis’s works as a whole fit into the writings of this group
of disciples of Gerard Groote, just as his _Imitation of Christ_ fits
into the rest of his works. He simply is the best writer they had, as
the _Imitation_ is the best thing he ever wrote. If none of the many
manuscripts of the _Imitation_ bore his name, as nearly all of them do;
and if none of the contemporaries who knew him had certified to his
authorship of it, as so many of them do; and if none of the printed
editions bore his name, as twenty-one of the fifteenth century and forty
of the sixteenth do, we still would have been obliged to ascribe it to
him. No other century than his could have produced it. It reflects the
ideas of no other group than that of the disciples of Gerard and
Florens. The very title, _De Imitatione Christi, et de Contemptu Omnium
Vanitatum Mundi_, expresses the twofold aspect of the _moderna devotio_
of which Gerard and Florens were the sponsors. Among those disciples
there is no one but the author of the _Soliloquy of the Soul_ and the
_Valley of Lilies_, to whom we could give it. It differs no more in
point of worth from Thomas’s other books than does the _Pilgrim’s
Progress_ from Bunyan’s other writings, _Grace Abounding_ always

While it is by his formal hymns Thomas à Kempis acquires his right to a
place here, it is true at the same time that the _Imitation_ itself is a
great Christian poem, not only in substance but in form. A Belgian, who
was his contemporary, says he had written the book _metrice_, or in
rhythm and rhyme. As it was printed always as prose until our own times,
this statement was somewhat puzzling, as was the title, _Musica
Ecclesiastica_, found in some of the manuscripts. But Rev. Karl Hirsche,
Lutheran pastor in Hamburg, has vindicated both expressions by showing
that Thomas has followed such models as the sequence, _Victimae
paschali_, in the composition of his work. And he has given us an
edition based on Thomas’s autograph of the year 1441, in which this
peculiarity is made visible.[15] It is true that this way of writing
what we may call rhymed and rhythmical prose is not confined to Thomas
or to the _Imitation_ among his works. Among others Jan van
Schoonhooven, a Belgian disciple of Jan Rusbroek’s, uses this form
frequently; and Pastor Hirsche has pointed out its frequency in others
of Thomas’s works. But in no other book approaching the _Imitation_ in
length is the restriction of rhythm and rhyme so steadily accepted. As
an instance, take this brief passage from the fifth chapter of the third

  “Amans volat, currit, et laetatur;
  Liber est, et non tenetur
  Dat omnia pro omnibus,
  Et habet omnia in omnibus;
  Quia in uno summo super omnia quiescit
  Ex quo omne bonum fluit et procedit.
  Non respecit ad dona
  Sed ad donantem se convertit super omnia bona.
  Amor modo saepe nescit,
  Sed super omnem modum fervescit.
  Amor onus non sentit,
  Labores non reputat;
  Plus affectat quam valet;
  De impossibilitate non causatur
  Quia cuncta sibi posse et licere arbitrator.”

Or in Rev. W. Benham’s admirable version: “He who loveth flyeth,
runneth, and is glad; he is free and not hindered. He giveth all things
for all things, and has all things in all things, because he resteth in
One who is high above all, from whom every good floweth and proceedeth.
He looketh not for gifts, but turneth himself to the Giver, above all
good things. Love oftentimes knoweth no measure, but breaketh out above
all measure; love feeleth no burden, reckoneth not labors, striveth
after more than it is able to do, pleadeth not impossibility, because it
judgeth all things which are lawful for it to be possible.”[16]

The _Imitation_ has obtained a place next to the Bible in the devotional
literature of Christendom. The fact that the author was a Roman Catholic
and that the fourth book is a preparation for the devout reception of
the Eucharist in accordance with the Roman Catholic theory of its
nature, has not prevented stanch Protestants from translating and
commending it. Dr. Chalmers wrote a commendatory preface to a Scotch
reprint of John Payne’s translation. And in Germany, Holland, and
England the Protestant versions have far exceeded those made by Roman
Catholics. The first Protestant version was that from the mediaeval into
Ciceronian Latin, by Sebastian Castellio (Basle, 1556); the second was
into German by the great and good John Arndt. But the book has achieved
a still more notable conquest than this. In Corneille’s metrical version
(1651) it was a favorite with Auguste Comte, who recommended it to the
Benthamist, Sir William Molesworth, as well worth reading. It has
obtained a sort of recognition among Comtists as a canonical work, and
selections from it often are read at the Positivist services. And
English readers will remember the passage in which George Eliot, writing
in Comte’s spirit, describes its effect on the sensitive spirit of
Maggie Tulliver:

“She knew nothing of doctrines and systems—of mysticism or quietism; but
this voice out of the far-off Middle Ages was the direct human
communication of a human soul’s belief and experience, and came to
Maggie as an unquestioned message.

“I suppose that is the reason why the small, old-fashioned book, for
which you need pay only sixpence at a book-stall, works miracles to this
day, turning bitter waters into sweetness, while expensive sermons and
treatises, newly issued, leave all things as they were before. It was
written down by a hand that waited for the heart’s prompting; it is the
chronicle of a solitary hidden anguish, struggle, trust, and triumph—not
written on velvet cushions to teach endurance to those who are treading
with bleeding feet on the stones. And so it remains to all time a
lasting record of human needs and consolations; the voice of a brother
who, ages ago, felt and suffered and renounced, in the cloister,
perhaps, with serge gown and tonsured head, with much chanting and long
fasts, and with a fashion of speech different from ours, but under the
same silent, far-off heavens, and with the same passionate desires, and
with the same strivings, the same failures, the same weariness.”—_The
Mill on the Floss, Book IV., chap._ 3.

All true; but less than the truth; for Thomas’s power lies not in these
negations, but in his personal relation to “the supreme, invisible
Teacher, the pattern of sorrow, the source of all strength,” from whom
Marian Evans turned away to fill up her life with “yearnings and
strivings and failures,” while her only comfort was in the consideration
that she had stilled her pain by no “false anodynes.”

It is a little uncertain at what time the _Imitation_ was written. It
seems not improbable that it was begun in Thomas’s youth, when he had
assumed or was about to assume the responsibilities of the priesthood. A
lofty regard for the sanctity of that office was one of the traditions
of the brotherhood. Groote himself, in view of the stains of his earlier
life, never would assume it, although his ordination would have enabled
him to resume his work of preaching through the Archdiocese of Utrecht.
He never was more than deacon, and the order which silenced him merely
forbade deacons to preach without especial permission. It is not
impossible that in the case of Thomas, as in that of Luther, the
responsibility seemed greater than he could bear, and that it drove him
into a closer and more consecrated fellowship with his Master, which
bore fruit in the first book of this wonderful manual. He was ordained
priest in 1414; there seems good reason to believe that this first
book—the _Imitation_ proper—was known and read at Windesheim, and even
translated into Dutch by Jan Scutken, as early as the year 1420; and
that the other three were written, each as an independent work, before
1425, and then united as one manual of devotion.[17] The oldest
manuscript of the Latin still in existence bears the date 1425, and
testifies to his authorship. The oldest in Thomas’s own handwriting was
made in 1441, and forms part of a series of his works, which he then
collected probably for the first time.

Of Thomas’s purely poetical works, besides a few hortatory poems and
anagrams on the names of the saints, there were known until recently
sixteen _Cantica Spiritualia_, to wit:

    _Adversa mundi tolera_,
    _Agnetis Christi virginis_,
    _Ama Jesum cum Agnete_,
    _Ave florens rosa_,
    _Christe Redemptor omnium, Vere salus_,
    _Christe sanctorum gloria, Et piorum_,
    _Cives coeli attendite_,
    _En virginis Caeciliae_,
    _Gaude, mater Ecclesia, De praecursoris_,
    _Jesu Salvador seculi_,
    _O dulcissime Jesu_,
    _O Jesu mi dulcissime, Spes et solamen_,
    _O qualis quantaque laetitia_,
    _O vera summa Trinitas_,
    _Tota vita Jesu Christi_,
    _Vitam Jesu stude imitari_.

In 1882 Father O. A. Spitzen found in a manuscript in Zwolle ten other
_Cantica Spiritualia_, which he published that year as the work of
Thomas à Kempis, to wit:

    _Angelorum si haberem_,
    _Creaturarum omnium merita_,
    _Cum sub cruce sedet moerens_,
    _Jerusalem gloriosa_,
    _Mirum est si non lugeat_,
    _Nec quisquam oculis vidit_,
    _O quid laudis, quis honoris_,
    _Quanta Mihi cura de te_,
    _Serve meus noli metuere_,
    _Ubi modo est Jesus, ubi est Maria_.

Six of these had already appeared in Mone’s collection, and credited to
a fifteenth century manuscript found at Carlsruhe, a fact which does not
militate against Spitzen’s view of their authorship. The latter found
them along with the hymns generally ascribed to Thomas in a MS. which
had belonged to the brother-house in Zwolle, and had been written in the
latter half of that century, probably between 1477 and 1483. Most of
them bear the ear-marks of Thomas’s style, and have a congruity with the
matter of his works which lends probability to Father Spitzen’s

Of all these hymns two only have attained any recognition as
contributions to the sacred songs of Christendom. These two are the

    _Adversa mundi tolera_,

which is rather an exhortation in the tone of the _Imitation_ than a
hymn; and the

    _O qualis quantaque laetitia_,

better known, through the general omission of its first verse, as the

    _Adstant angelorum chori_.

Dr. Trench well says that the whole of our author’s poetry will not
yield a second passage at all to be compared in beauty with this.
Indeed, most of Thomas’s poetry lacks the inspiration which
characterizes his best prose. He is a poet in prose and a prosy poet,
and writes in verse because he has been required to fill up some empty
place in the hymn-list of his monastery. His acquaintance with the
hymn-writer’s art is bounded by his daily familiarity with the hymns of
his breviary, and he betrays the fact by starting from the first lines
of well-known hymns in his own work. But in this hymn on the joys of
heaven he for once struck the right key, although even here he shows
some stiffness of the joints, like a monk more used to a seat in the
Scriptorium than to the saddle of Pegasus. The hymn is known to English
readers by the admirable version of Mrs. Charles:

  “High the angel choirs are raising
  Heart and voice in harmony.”

                             CHAPTER XXVII.

No man, since the days of the Apostles, has been more commended for his
zeal than Xavier. He has been the moon of that “Society of Jesus” of
which Ignatius Loyola was the guiding sun. His privations, heroism, and
success have been the constant theme of the Roman Catholic Church. And
it is impossible to study his life without a conviction that there was
in it a devout and gallant purpose to bless the world.

Our limits and our line of thought alike demand of us that we shall not
attempt, in any exhaustive form, to treat of Francis Xavier from the
theologic or controversial side. He interests us, apart from his
personal character, simply because two Latin hymns have been accredited
to his pen. These have the same opening line,

    “_O Deus ego amo Te_,”

but, after this exordium, they proceed quite differently. The second of
them, as we find it placed in Daniel’s collection, has received the
greatest share of esteem, and is known to the entire world of
English-speaking Christians by the admirable translation of Mr. Caswall:

  “My God, I love thee, not because
  I seek for heaven thereby,” etc.

There is good reason to discredit its authorship, if this be a question
of accuracy with us. Schlosser’s language (Vol. i., p. 407) would
indicate that he regarded it as “generally conceded” to be the
“love-sigh [_Liebesseufzer_] of the holy Francis Xavier.” But no proof
has yet been offered which positively identifies this hymn with its
reputed composer. Its spirit—and that of its companion lyric—is
precisely his own. But so, it may be added, is the spirit of that
touching poem,

  “I am old and blind—
  Men point to me as stricken by God’s frown,”

the same as that of John Milton, its once reputed author. No true
student of Milton’s times or of Milton’s language was ever deceived by
it; and the innocent and amiable Quaker lady of our own century, who
wrote it, was perfectly guileless in this impersonation of his grief.
But, nevertheless, it passed current for a long time on the strength of
some one’s literary sagacity.

This species of argument is a very common inheritance to the editors of
Latin hymns, from Thomasius and Clichtove downward. But it is quite as
unsafe as to assign

  “I am dying, Egypt, dying,”

to the actual Mark Antony when we know it to have been written by
William Henry Lytle, an American, born in 1829 and dying in 1863.
Therefore, it is scarcely proper authoritatively to accredit these hymns
to Xavier, or, indeed, to any other poet. The utmost that we can say for
them is that no one can prove the converse of the proposition, and that
their style and form are appropriate to the period at which he lived. He
is not known to have written other verses. These may have been the only
exudations of that bruised and wounded spirit which have hardened into
amber and thus have become precious to us. And we would prefer to
believe that he truly appears in these lines in such an exquisite mystic
apotheosis rather than to intermeddle with lower questions, and so,
perhaps, prevent any discussion of himself in these pages at all.

We have been prohibited by much the same destructive analysis from
treating of Augustine, who never wrote a hymn, and to whom the _Ad
perennis vitae fontem_ has been wrongly ascribed, for we know it now to
be the undoubted composition of St. Peter Damiani. In this and in other
similar cases where there is any literary question concerned, it may be
worth our while to investigate with great carefulness. As a rule,
however, the internal evidence offered in the hymns themselves will set
us on the true path. They range in structure from the lowest _corundum_
up to the choicest diamond, and are as various as any gems in their
prosodic form and spiritual color. Like these gems, also, they are
notable for varieties of crystallization—the Dark Ages showing imperfect
angles and crude attempts, and the Renaissance exhibiting again the old
sharp-cut classicism of a time anterior even to Hilary and Ambrose.

From the higher critical standpoint, then, these hymns are not
unacceptable as Xavier’s own work. They _feel_ as if they belonged to
his age and to his life. They are transfused and shot through by a
personal sense of absorption into the divine love, which has fused and
crystallized them in its fiercest heat. It is proper to inquire,
moreover, if Xavier did _not_ write them, who _did_? Their author must
have been as much superior to his own circumstances and surroundings as
Xavier was to his; and he must also have been as much possessed by this
same holy zeal. It is absolutely incredible that, with these qualities
given, he should not have been known to us in other relations, and,
sooner or later, identified as the true source of their being. The
sixteenth century was a time when literary knowledge was closer and
keener than it had been in the twelfth, and a hymn of that period could
not be attributed to Heloise without exposing its own fallacy; for in
the _Requiescat a labore_ we have such a comparatively modern lyric,
which Daniel rightly tests and finds wanting. “It seems to me,” he says,
“that this song is the production of a later age.” And he might well say
it, for its crystallization, so to speak, is too accurate, too
many-sided, for it to belong in the twelfth century and to the sad
Abbess of the Paraclete.

One cannot, however, declare this so positively of Xavier’s two hymns.
In style and composition the first is inferior to the second; but both
have a simplicity and directness of utterance which may easily secure
that pardon which their rhythm is faulty enough to require. If one were
to assign any special date to them, it would naturally be in the
neighborhood of that pathetic little petition which comes from the
prayer-book of Mary Queen of Scots. The _Domine Deus, speravi in Te_ is
pitched in the same key with these. And as Mary lived from 1542 to 1587,
and Xavier from 1506 to 1552, there is certainly room for these two
compositions to have been prepared by another hand, in the days of
enthusiasm over his triumphant successes and of sorrow over his early

With these arguments for and against the authenticity of the hymns, we
must rest content. Bartoli and Maffei, in their Life of Xavier, are
silent upon the subject; and the careful Königsfeld enters the better
hymn in his collection as anonymous. If we retain the reputed authorship
ourselves, it must be, therefore, rather as Christians than as scholars.

But, having done so, we are entitled to speak of Francis Xavier, and of
his life and his work. The date of his birth is apparently fixed by a
manuscript note in Spanish in a family record possessed by the Xaviers,
which places it upon April 7th, 1506. His father was Don John Giasso, a
man of legal acquirements and of good social position. He was at one
time auditor of the royal council under King John III. For a wife he
chose Donna Maria d’Azpilqueta y Xavier, and the child Francis was born
at the castle of Xavier, a few miles distant from Pampeluna in Navarre,
on the southern slope of the Pyrenees. He was the youngest of a large
family, and the castle where he saw the light gave to him the patronymic
by which he is always known. The family were originally called Asuarez,
but altered their name to Xavier when King Theobald gave them this
property. The mother’s title was thus perpetuated in one of her sons,
but there seems to be some confusion still remaining, for a brother of
the missionary was Captain John Azpilqueta, who also apparently had
exchanged his father’s name of Giasso for one of the designations borne
by his mother.

The biographies of Francis Xavier are naturally of a kind to excite the
critical instincts of a scholar. They are, from the original life by
Torsellini, to the latest Jesuit compilation, remarkable for their
enthusiasm and unlimited credulity. It is only in such calmer treatises
as those of Nicolini, Stephen, Venn, and others, that we get the more
just conception of his character. But to be entirely fair to him we
should take him from the picture painted by his co-religionists,
refusing only those things which are manifestly incongruous or absurd.
The work of Bartoli and Maffei may, for example, be regarded as entirely
safe in its general statements.

From the portraits left to us and preserved in the pages of Nicolini and
Mrs. Jameson, we derive a vivid impression of the man’s personal
intensity. His eyes are deep and thoughtful; his nose strong, rather
blunt, and withal sagacious; and his face is that of a mystic. He is
usually represented as gazing upward in religious rapture and his lips
are parted. His features are more rugged and forcible than refined. They
indicate a rude strength of body and of will rather than a delicate and
sensitive nature. Should we have met him personally, he would have given
us the impression of an enthusiast, deeply affectionate and profoundly
loyal to anything like a military organization. These opinions would
have been approved by the fact.

We read that his parents desired to educate him as a cavalier, and that
he was at first instructed at home in the usual topics. But as he showed
zeal and intelligence he was sent, in his eighteenth year, to the
College of Ste. Barbe at Paris. Here he completed the study of
philosophy, received the degree of Master, and began to give instruction
to others. His most intimate friend was Peter Faber, afterward to become
one of the earliest adherents of Ignatius Loyola. And the biographers
are unwearied in their eulogy of Xavier’s and Faber’s purity of life and
morals in the midst of the great temptations of a corrupt city.

To these two young men, ardent of mind and eager in their ambition, now
enters the influence which shapes their destiny. Faber was a Savoyard,
poor and of humble birth, while Xavier was well-to-do and possessed the
haughty spirit of a Spanish grandee. They were, however, kindling each
other up to some scheme of future glory when Ignatius Loyola made his
way to Paris. He had been converted a few years before this and had
already begun to gather proselytes to his opinions. His purpose in
visiting Paris was not merely to avail himself of better facilities for
study, but also to secure more followers. It is not strange to us that
Loyola, with his great sagacity, should have singled out the two
companions and have set himself to win them. Faber’s allegiance, indeed,
it was an easy matter to obtain. But Xavier did not so readily fall in
with the wishes of the great general of the Jesuits.

Faber’s conversion was rapidly accomplished. He was supplied with the
_Spiritual Exercises_, which is, of all books, the best adapted to
produce the proper self-abandonment and plastic condition of soul which
befit the neophyte of the Society of Jesus. And this work, composed, say
the Roman Catholic authorities, in the cavern of Manresa with the help
of the Virgin Mary, may be regarded as the keenest instrument by which
men’s lives were ever carved into the patterns designed by a superior
will. We have no space for a discussion of Jesuitism further than to
indicate its methods when they affect the subject before us, but Faber’s
behavior undoubtedly had its weight upon Xavier. The Savoyard took to
fasting with a perfect fury. In his debilitated condition he was the fit
vehicle for spiritual impressions, for ecstasies, and for mystical
dreams. He would kneel in the open court in the snow, and sometimes
allow himself to be covered with icicles. His bundle of fuel he made
into a bed and slept upon it for the few hours of what one biography
“scarcely knows whether to call torture or repose.” In fact, he so
outran the instruction of Loyola, that that keen observer checked him
and prevented what would have reacted against his own designs. “For,”
saith quaint Matthew Henry, speaking of another subject, “there is a
great deal of doing which, by overdoing, is altogether undone.”

Xavier was, however, more important to Loyola than Faber. And Xavier was
of tougher material and harder to reach. Upon him the intense Loyola
bent the blow-pipe flame of his own spirit. He had failed to touch him
by texts or by austerities. He therefore changed his tactics altogether
and began to soften him by praise, by judicious cultivation of his
sympathies, by procuring new scholars for him, and even by attending his
lectures and feigning a deep interest in whatever he did. In short, he
applied flattery and deference in such a way that he insinuated himself
very soon into the confidence of Xavier, and allowed the haughty Don to
recognize the high birth and good breeding which he could also claim.
This was a master stroke. Faber was after all only a Savoyard; but
Loyola was born in a castle, had been a page at the court of Ferdinand,
and had led soldiers into the deadliest places of battle. He had also
the advantage of being Xavier’s senior by fully fourteen years, for his
birth had been contemporaneous with Columbus’s expedition in search of
the new world.

Here, then, the influence of this strong, undaunted, unflinching spirit
began to focus itself upon the young teacher of philosophy. “Resistance
to praise,” says the bitter La Rochefoucauld, “is a desire to be praised
twice.” And to so acute a student of human nature as Loyola it soon grew
evident that he was making progress. This was proved even by the modesty
of Xavier. Therefore he redoubled his energies and utilized that
marvellous power of adaptation, which was his chief legacy to his order,
in obtaining a definite result. He gained ground so fast that Michael
Navarro, a faithful servant of the young scholar, became determined to
break off this dangerous fascination, and even attempted to kill Loyola
in his private apartments. But he, too, was dealing with a brain which
never relaxed its vigilance and with a magnetic personality which felt a
danger, and moved safely, cat-like, through the dark. He was halted and
challenged by the man he came to kill, and being crushed down in
confusion was thereupon treated with magnanimity, and went away
revolving many things in his mind.

This was the power of Loyola—a power which sprang, first of all, from
his peculiar constitution, and, second, from his fanatical ambition. It
has been the key by which the Jesuit has ever since unlocked the doors
of palaces and contrived to whisper in the ears of kings. Its extent has
been that of the civilized and uncivilized world. In the matter of
organization no human fraternity has ever equalled the Society of Jesus.
The germs which we behold at Ste. Barbe in Paris have grown into a tree
whose roots have taken hold on every soil, and whose fruit has dropped
in every clime. The order has invariably employed strategy, intrigue,
ingenuity, and perfect combination to secure its ends. It is, as a
system, far from being either dead or insignificant. And its real
vitality has always sprung from its maxim that its associated members,
vowed to celibacy and to the accomplishment of its purposes, should be
_Perinde ac si cadavera_—absolutely subordinate and dead to any other
will—in the hands of the “general” who is at the head of its affairs. It
has worked, first for itself, second for the Roman Catholic Church, and
third for the proselytizing of the heathen and the heretics. It has
never neglected to procure in every manner the information it needed to
the full extent or to employ its principle that the end to be gained
justifies the means that are taken to gain it. Thus it is the legitimate
outgrowth of the soldier-courtier-fanatic mind of its founder. And this
was the mind which was now spending its splendid resources upon Xavier,
playing with him like a trout upon the hook, until it should land him, a
completely surrendered man, within its own control.

In another sphere and under other influences, Xavier might have been a
far different person. He, at least, was sincere in his devotion to the
cause. He identified Jesuitism with Christianity and Loyola with Jesus
Himself. Hence his character and labors have blinded many persons to the
methods which he used and to the results which he sought.

It must be sufficient for us that Ignatius Loyola had now gotten the
mastery of Francis Xavier so perfectly that he could be “applied to the
_Spiritual Exercises_, the furnace in which he [Loyola] was accustomed
to refine and purify his chosen vessels.” A sister of the future
missionary had become one of the Barefooted Clares, and had aided in
dissuading her father from interference. And now we behold Xavier
praying with hands and feet tightly bound by cords; or journeying with
similar cords about his arms and the calves of his legs until
inflammation and ulceration ensued. There were now nine of these
converts, but this man outdid the others in his austerities, and finally
travelled on foot with them to meet Loyola at Venice in 1537. The
society had really been formed on August 15th, 1534, at Montmartre near
Paris, and this was but its natural outward movement.

At Venice, on January 8th, 1537, they again met their leader and were
assigned for duty to the two hospitals of the city. That of the
“Incurables” fell to Xavier’s share, and we read that with the morbid
devotion characteristic of a devout student of the _Exercises_, he
determined now to conquer his natural repugnance to disease. In the
course of his duties he had an unusually hideous ulcer to dress for one
of the patients. And the authentic history relates that “encouraging
himself to the utmost, he stooped down, kissed the pestilent cancer,
licked it several times with his tongue, and finally sucked out the
virulent matter to the last drop.” (Bartoli and Maffei, p. 35.) There
could be nothing worse than that certainly. And a man who had resolutely
sounded this deepest abyss of self-abandonment was marked for the
highest honor that the new society could bestow. We cannot doubt
Xavier’s sincerity, but the gigantic horror of this performance is of a
sort to place the man who has achieved it upon an eminence apart from
less daring minds. It was Loyola’s way of facing human nature and
forcing it to concede the supreme self-devotion of his followers. The
world looks with amazement upon such actions, but when it sees them, it
yields a kind of stupefied allegiance to those who have thus rushed
beyond the bounds. And to a close analysis there is as much concealed
spiritual pride about this nastiness as there is an unnecessary shock
given to the sense of decency. Thus, as Mozoomdar says, in his _Oriental
Christ_, “Instead of abasing self, in many cases it serves the opposite
end.” It “imposes a sort of indebtedness upon Heaven” (p. 66). Yet the
poor wretch who felt those lips upon his awful wound could not but
worship the frightful hero who plunged into such nauseous contact with
his loathsomeness.

Yes, this was and is the power of it all. It was and it is the key-note
of much that is potent with the world. When Victor Hugo pictures Jean
Valjean in the toils of the Thenardiers laying that white, hot, hissing
bar of iron upon his arm and calmly standing before them while they
shrink—ogres as they are—from the stench and the sight, he merely uses
this same element. Whatever, in short, among us brings out the old
savage nature; whatever plunges outside of the conventionalities, the
proprieties, or even the common decencies of life; whatever defies the
lightning, or dares the volcano, or tramples upon the coiled serpent,
that is the thing which controls the world.

It is worthy of note that this is not a Christian but a Jesuit act. It
is born of that exaggerated sentimentalism which chooses to go beyond
Christ and His apostles in its fallacious abnegation of self. But
wherever such acts are performed they rank as the marks of saintship and
as the _stigmata_ of a crucifixion which proudly places itself on the
same Golgotha with another and nobler cross. The records, not merely of
Xavier’s life, but of the lives of the saints, swarm with these
creeping, slimy frogs of Egypt, raised up by enchanters of the human
mind to make Pharaoh believe them to be equal to a far higher
Providence. And if we say little in these pages about such strange
developments and morbid growths of piety, it need not be forgotten that
they existed, and that they have been fostered and encouraged by the
Roman Church. The Breviary, for instance, commends a roll of
self-flagellators who used the whip upon their naked backs, and Xavier
heads the list with his iron flail. Cardinal Damiani, who wrote one of
our loveliest hymns, introduced this fashion of scourging in 1056, and
the holy nun, St. Theresa, after such exercises and an additional repose
upon a bed of thorns, was “accustomed to converse with God.” [_Aliquando
inter spinas volutaret sic Deum alloqui solita._] This topic, with its
allied suggestions, is altogether out of our present scope; but in order
to see Xavier as he was, we must appreciate to what extent his spirit
was subdued before his belief.

This was the man, tested and edged and tempered, to whom was now
committed the “salvation of the Indies.” It was during the papacy of
Paul III., the same Pope who excommunicated Henry VIII. of England. And
Xavier, who had practised many austerities both in life and in behavior,
was at first sent to Bologna, while Loyola, with Faber and Laynez, went
to Rome. It was subsequently at Rome that Xavier had his famous vision,
in which he awoke crying, “Yet more, O Lord, yet more!” for he fancied
that—as the Apostle Paul once did—he had beheld his future career and
was glorying in trials and persecutions. Especially did he often have a
dream in which he seemed to be carrying an Indian on his shoulders and
toiling with him over the roughest and hardest roads. And when at last
Govea, the Rector of the College of Ste. Barbe, happened to be in Rome,
Ignatius and his companions were brought by him to the notice of John
III. of Portugal, and the king desired to have six of them for use in
India. The Pope did not show any special desire to secure their
services, and when the question came up he referred it to Ignatius to
decide it as he pleased. That sagacious general objected to taking six
from ten and leaving only four to the rest of the world, for his
ambition now extended to the orb of the earth. He accordingly chose
Rodriguez and Bobadilla for India, men who were evidently well selected,
for the first became a great propagandist in Portugal, and the other was
a decided obstacle to the Reformation in Germany. When Rodriguez,
however, fell ill with an intermittent fever Xavier naturally occurred
to Loyola as the proper substitute. He therefore commissioned him for
the service, and the worn and wasted ascetic patched up his old coat,
said farewell to his friends, and having craved the Pope’s blessing, set
off from Rome with the Portuguese Ambassador, Mascarenhas, on March
16th, 1540. He started in such poverty that Loyola took his own
waistcoat and put it upon him, and he left behind him a written paper of
consecration to the society, expressing in it his desire that Loyola
should be its head, with Faber as alternate, and in which he took the
vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the order under whose
auspices he was going forth.

At the Portuguese Court in Lisbon, both Xavier and his companion were
diligent in their religious work. The morals of the capital were quite
reformed, and when it came time for the ships to sail to the East the
king would only spare Xavier and detained Rodriguez, by the advice of
Loyola, further to improve the affairs at home.

Xavier now sailed as Nuncio with papal commendation and with a poverty
of outfit which had its due effect upon his companions on board the
ship. The vessel itself was one of those great galleons of Spanish or
Portuguese origin, carrying often a thousand persons, and having from
four to seven decks. They were huge, unwieldy constructions and were
generally freighted with large amounts of rich merchandise. The course
was that pursued by Vasco da Gama—around the Cape of Good Hope and into
the Indian Ocean—and the voyage often lasted beyond eight months. It is
quaintly related of travellers by these precarious sea-paths that they
used to take their shrouds and winding-sheets with them in case they
died by the way.

The company on shipboard was as bad as the provisions, which were often
execrable. The peninsular sailors never had the art either of discipline
or of storing a ship and supplying what was needful for a voyage, as the
English sea-kings had it. Hence their vessels were great floating
caravansaries of human beings, full of the scum and offscouring of
society—with lords and ladies on the quarter-deck, and robbers and
murderers, harlots and gamblers down below. The crew was as prompt as
that of Jonah’s ship to cry upon their gods whenever the wind blew. Such
inventions as the ship’s pump, the chain-cable, and the bowsprit were
not known to them. And when we see Sir Richard Grenville in the little
Revenge fighting fifteen great Dons for as many hours, or Sir John
Hawkins beating his way out of the harbor of Vera Cruz when the _Jesus_
of Lubec was lost by Spanish treachery, we see how utterly cumbrous and
awkward these galleons were when compared with English vessels.

Sickness also, in the form of fevers and scurvy, was very frequent. And
there was such laxity of discipline that a six months’ voyage generally
turned the great hulk into a hell of misery and riot. Here, therefore,
Xavier was in his element. He slept on the deck; he begged his own
bread, and the delicacies pressed upon him by the captain he divided
among the neediest of the poor sufferers; he invented games to amuse
those who were inclined toward amusement; and by degrees he commingled
his sympathy and friendly offices with the necessities of the crew and
passengers until they called him the “holy father.” He constantly
preached, taught, and labored in this manner until he finally succumbed
to an epidemic fever which broke out when they were not far from
Mozambique. Here he was landed and for a time was in hospital, at length
completing his voyage to India in a different ship from that in which he
had first embarked.

Scattered through his story, both then and afterward, we have accounts
of various miracles, of his exhibition of a spirit of prophecy, and
eventually of his raising the dead. These demand a moment’s
consideration. He is said, for instance, to have predicted the loss of
the _San Jago_, in which he sailed from Portugal and which was wrecked
after he left her. He did the same with one or two other vessels and
assured several persons of their own impending death or misfortune.
Sometimes he was observed to speak as though he were holding
conversation with unseen companions, and he was apparently conscious of
events which were afterward found to have occurred at the very time in
distant places. There is also a series of phenomena connected with the
“gift of tongues” in his case, by which this power appears to have been
intermittent, or at least dependent to a great degree upon a remarkable
intensity of scholarship and keenness of analysis combined with a
powerful memory. It is not claimed that he exercised this gift in such a
manner as “to converse in a foreign tongue the moment he landed in this
foreign country.” And then there is a further class of remarkable
experiences connected with fevers and diseases and the raising of the

Of these latter miracles it may be well to treat first. He is said to
have raised up Anthony Miranda, an Indian, who had been bitten by a
cobra; to have restored four dead persons at Travancore; to have
resuscitated a young girl in Japan and a child in Malacca, and to have
actually brought to the ship, alive and well, a lad who had fallen
overboard and been apparently lost. These incidents are related with
great gravity by the biographers and are accepted by the faithful as
being strictly true. To impugn them is as if one impugned the
Scriptures. Nevertheless there is an opening for scepticism in sundry
cases, and it may be that we shall do well to agree with the saint’s own
statement made to Doctor Diego Borba. “Ah, my Jesus!” he answered, “can
it be said that such a wretch as I have been able to raise the dead?
Surely, my dear Diego, you have not believed such folly? They brought a
young man to me whom they supposed to be dead; I commanded him to arise,
and the common people, who make a miracle of everything, gave out the
report that a dead man had been raised to life.” For the rest, we may
well believe that the same exaggeration and lack of scientific attention
to details have accompanied the various accounts, in some such manner as
appears in the little sketch of his personal characteristics which a
young Coquimban named Vaz has given to us. This enthusiastic admirer
describes his going afoot with a patched and faded garment and an old
black cloth hat. He took nothing from the rich or great unless he
applied it to the uses of the poor. He spoke languages fluently without
having learned them, and the crowds which flocked to hear him often
amounted to five or six thousand persons. He celebrated Mass in the open
air and preached from the branches of a tree when he had no other
pulpit. But of this healing of the sick and raising of the dead we are
not offered any better testimonials than the “Acts of his Canonization.”
Moreover, in a manner quite contrary to the experiences recorded in the
Gospels, these various miracles seem to be looked upon as the decisive
stroke of Christian policy. Upon their occurrence tribes and kingdoms
bow before the truth—a thing which did not happen at the tomb of
Lazarus, or before the walls of Nain, or within the house of Jairus. In
those cases the evangelists are content to tell us that the influence
was limited and confined to a very moderate area.

Yet when we come to the cures of sick people, to the singular
predictions, and to the exalted condition into which Xavier must often
have been lifted, we must allow to the man a very high degree of
mystical and mesmeric and even clairvoyant power. We are wise enough
nowadays to observe the influence of a devoted personality, as when
Florence Nightingale traverses the hospital wards at Scutari, or David
Livingstone moves through savage tribes, to his dying hour at Lake
Lincoln. And when profound Church historians will not altogether
discredit the miracles of the Nicene Age which Ambrose and Augustine
relate, it causes us to be charitable even toward the miracles of
Bernard of Clairvaux, who recorded at large his own sense of uneasiness
respecting his power of curing the sick. But it somewhat relieves the
mind when the very chapters which relate these experiences of St.
Francis Xavier, mention also that a crab came out of the sea and brought
him his lost crucifix, and that after he had lived in a certain house
two children and a woman fell out of the window at different times and
received not so much as a single bruise, though they dropped from an
immense height upon the sea-wall. The credulity which includes such
palpable absurdities must surely have exposed itself to misstatements
and exaggerations in other directions.

It is far pleasanter for us to follow Xavier from his arrival at Goa,
May 6th, 1542, to the fisheries of Cape Comorin; thence to Malacca, and
so to the Banda Islands, Amboyna, and the Moluccas in 1546; again to
Malacca in 1547; to Ceylon and back to Goa in 1548, and finally to
Japan. In 1551 he planned a visit to China, but was disappointed, and at
the moment when he was hoping to accomplish a great purpose he died on
the island of San Chan, December 22d, 1552, at the early age of
forty-six years.

Closely studying himself and his methods we find him greatly and always
devout, his breviary, however, being his Bible. He prayed much and
labored incessantly. His charity to small and great was untiring. He
would go through the streets ringing a little bell and calling people to
come to religious worship, being frequently attended by a throng of
children who seem to have loved him and been beloved by him. He had
noble and sweet and modest traits in his character. But we often notice
the reliance he places on baptism—sometimes conferring this rite until
his arm dropped from weariness. And we observe how much of the wisdom of
the serpent can be discerned in his ways with the people whom he desired
to secure.

The indefatigable exertions of Xavier are above all praise. He never
appears to have slackened in his zeal, nor does he ever show hesitation,
doubt, or uncertainty of any kind. On one occasion when roused by a
great crisis he displayed a military authority worthy of Loyola himself.
He stood once in front of an invading host of Badages and forbade them
to attack the Paravans, shouting to them, “In the name of the living God
I command you to return whence you came.” No wonder that the
semi-barbarous people were affected by this fearless and singular
presence, and spoke of Xavier as a person of gigantic stature dressed in
black and whose flashing eyes dazzled and daunted them.

But upon other occasions he was gentle and amenable to every agreeable
trait in his companions. He could even take the cards from a broken
gamester, shuffle them to give him good fortune, and send him back to
try his luck with fifty reals borrowed from another passenger. The man’s
success is thereupon made a basis for his penitence. And so with the
wicked cavalier of Meliapore, whose friendship he gained by being
unconscious of his vices until the time for exhortation arrived. In
these and similar instances we cannot fail to observe a thorough
knowledge of human nature, and a Jesuit’s keen power of using it for his
own purposes.

He was not always prospered in his enterprises. Once at least he
literally shook off the dust from his shoes against an offending tribe.
At another time he was wounded by an arrow. But, as a rule, he had a
complete moral victory in whatever he undertook. In one of his letters
he speaks of the people being maliciously disposed and ready to poison
both food and drink. But he will take no antidotes with him, and is
determined to avoid all human remedies whatsoever. It is in such superb
examples of his absolute trust in God that he presents to us the really
grand side of his character. He did not know what fear was, and as for
death, he was too familiar with daily dying to be concerned at it. His
personal faith was such as to beget faith in others, as when an
earthquake interrupted his preaching upon St. Michael’s Day, and he
announced that the archangel was then driving the devils of that unhappy
country back to the pit. This was said so earnestly as to produce a
profound conviction of its truth and to remove all alarm from his

But when we are asked to believe that the two Pereiras ever beheld him
elevated from the earth and actually transfigured, or when it is stated
that he lifted a great beam as though it had been a lath, we must be
excused for being doubtful of the statement. There is nothing more
destructive of religion than superstition, and nothing which kills faith
like credulity. Xavier, with all his false notions, was a most sincere
and even majestic figure—a hero of the faith, who shows us the power of
a thoroughly devoted spirit unencumbered by any earthly tie and
unobstructed by any earthly want. The entire self-immolation of this
career constitutes its amazing power. It is the missionary spirit
carried to its loftiest height.

Perhaps one of his most ingenious ways to secure the good-will of his
companions was by endeavoring to excite their benevolence. He would
encourage them to little acts of kindness and would repay these by
similar favors and services. Particularly he used persuasion rather than
denunciation, and personal efforts rather than general harangues. He was
“all things to all men,” going “privately to those of reputation,” as
Paul, his great model, was wont to do. He once wrote: “It is better to
do a little with peace than a great deal with turbulence and scandal.”

On April 14th, 1552, he set sail from Goa for Malacca where a pestilence
was raging. This delayed him awhile from China, and he was held back
still longer by the envious quarrellings of those who aspired to the
honor of attending him on his voyage. Xavier was reduced to the
necessity of producing the papal authority which constituted him Nuncio,
and of threatening with excommunication Don Alvaro Ataïde, the most
troublesome person. In addition to this difficulty he found himself
insulted and reviled in the open street, but accepted everything with
meekness and patience; which, however, did not prevent his finally
excommunicating Ataïde in the regular form. The vessel on which he
embarked was manned mostly by those in the pay of Ataïde, but he did not
shrink from the voyage. The voyage itself is decorated with many
legends, as might be expected. The saint is reported to have changed
salt water into fresh; to have rescued a child from death in a
miraculous manner, and to have become suddenly so much taller and larger
than those about him as to have been compelled to lower his arms when he
baptized the converts. They sailed from Chinchoo to San Chan, an island
in which the Portuguese had some trading privileges. It was here that
Xavier uttered a prediction which may serve to explain other singular
occurrences. He would seem to have possessed more than an ordinary
amount of medical skill in diagnosis, and looking earnestly upon an old
friend named Vellio, he bade him prepare for death whenever the wine he
drank _tasted bitter_. This might easily be from either of two
causes—poison, or a disorganized state of the system. And it is recorded
that the result fulfilled the prophecy. Nor is there much doubt that
Vellio’s entire faith in the prediction helped on his death.

From San Chan Xavier now proposed to cross to China. He arranged to be
smuggled thither in a small boat, but the residents of San Chan, English
as well as Portuguese, became alarmed at the consequences which they
foresaw from this desperate scheme of intrusion into the forbidden
empire. And to crown all his woes he fell sick with a fever, from which,
however, he convalesced in a fortnight. He was now more anxious than
ever to go on with his project. But all the Portuguese ships had sailed
back again except the Santa Cruz, on which he had arrived. And now he
was truly deserted and neglected. He had scarcely the bare necessaries
of life, sometimes being deprived entirely of food. The sailors were
mostly in Ataïde’s pay and inimical to his purpose. At length he became
convinced that he would himself soon die, and so would often walk in
meditation and prayer by the seashore gazing toward the prohibited

At this time the young Chinese Anthony was his only hope as an
interpreter; and he was now deprived of the services of the merchant and
his son who had agreed to row him over to Canton. They had deserted him,
and only Anthony and one more young lad remained true to the dying
missionary. On November 20th the fever again seized him after he had
celebrated Mass. He was taken to a floating hospital, but being
disturbed by its motion he begged to be landed. This was done and he was
left upon the beach in the bleak wind. A poor Portuguese named George
Alvarez then took pity on him and removed him to his own hut of boughs
and straw. Rude medical care was given him, but on December 2d, about
two o’clock in the afternoon, he had reached the limit of his life. His
latest words were, _In te, Domine, speravi—non confundar in aeternum_—O
Lord, I have trusted in Thee, I shall never be confounded, world without

Thus died Francis Xavier, for ten years and seven months a missionary in
the most dangerous and deadly regions of the earth. At the date of his
death he was of full and robust figure in spite of his privations, with
eyes of a bluish-gray, and hair that had changed its dark chestnut color
somewhat through his toils and sufferings. His forehead was broad, his
nose good, and his expression pleasant and affable. His beard, like his
hair, was thick, and his temperament was nearly a pure sanguine.

They buried him first at San Chan, then removed him to Goa, where in
solemn procession they conducted his mortal body to its final rest. But
his right arm was taken off and it is to be observed that “the saint
seems not to have been pleased at the amputation of his arm,” which,
however, did not prevent the Jesuit, General Claude Acquaviva, from
insisting upon the mutilation.

Down to the present time his memory has received many honors. Churches
have been erected, prayers have been offered, and much religious worship
has been transacted in his name. But to us who are looking upon him from
another angle altogether, there are apparent in him a piety, a zeal, a
courage, and a “hot-hearted prudence” (to quote F. W. Faber’s words)
which arouse our admiration. And in the two hymns which bear his name we
are able to discover that fine attar which is the precious residuum of
many crushed and fragrant aspirations, which grew above the thorns of
sharp trial and were strewn at last upon the wind-swept beach of that
poor Pisgah island from which he truly beheld the distant Land.

                          O DEUS, EGO AMO TE.

  O Lord, I love thee, for of old
    Thy love hath reached to me.
  Lo, I would lay my freedom by
    And freely follow thee!

  Let memory never have a thought
    Thy glory cannot claim,
  Nor let the mind be wise at all
    Unless she seek thy name.

  For nothing further do I wish
    Except as thou dost will;
  What things thy gift allows as mine
    My gift shall give thee still.

  Receive what I have had from thee
    And guide me in thy way,
  And govern as thou knowest best,
    Who lovest me each day.

  Give unto me thy love alone,
    That I may love thee too,
  For other things are dreams; but this
    Embraceth all things true.

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.

There are three principal liturgical books in use in the Roman Catholic
Church. Originally there were two: the Ritual, which contained all the
sacramental offices, and the Breviary, which contained the rest. But for
convenience the eucharistic office in its various forms now has a book
to itself called the Missal, and the other six sacraments recognized in
the Church of Rome make up the Ritual.

It is with the Breviary, however, that hymnology is especially
concerned, as it is in it that the hymns of the Church are mostly to be
found, while the sequences belong to the Missal. It contains the prayers
said in the Church’s behalf every day at the canonical hours by the
priests and the members of the religious orders. Originally there were
only three of these canonical hours, and they were based on Old
Testament usage. These were at the third, sixth, and ninth hour of the
Scriptures (nine o’clock, noon, and three in the afternoon), and in the
Western Church are called Tierce, Sext, and Nones, for that reason. The
number afterward was increased to five and then to seven. To these three
day hours were added three night hours, with two at the transition from
night to day (Prime), and from day to night (Vespers). But to get up
thrice in the night was too much for even monastic discipline, so they
said two night services together at midnight, and then they slept till
dawn. As this daily service differs in its contents according to the
seasons of the Church year, and also is adapted to the commemoration of
the saints of the Calendar, the Breviary is the most voluminous
prayer-book known to Christendom. It generally is published in four
substantial volumes, one each for the four natural seasons. It is used
in such public services as are not accompanied by a celebration of any
sacrament and in the choir service of the religious houses. In theory,
however, the Church is present even at the solitary recitation of the
hours by a secular priest; and when two say them in company they must
say them aloud.

Hymns were not in the services of the Breviary from the beginning. As
late as the sixth century there was a controversy as to admitting
anything but the words of Scripture to be sung. We find a Gallic synod
sanctioning their use, and a Spanish synod taking common ground with our
Psalm-singing Presbyterians. But in the next century even Spain, through
the Council of Toledo (A.D. 633), appeals to early precedent in behalf
of hymns, and decides that if people may use uninspired words in prayer,
they may do the same in their praises—_Sicut ergo orationes, ita et
hymnos in laudem Dei compositos nullus vestrum ulterius improbet_—which
went to the core of the question and silenced the exclusive
Psalm-singers. Twenty years later another Council of Toledo required of
candidates for orders that they should know both the Psalter and the
hymns by heart. Yet in the Roman Breviary no hymns were introduced
before the thirteenth century, when Haymo, the General of the Franciscan
Order, reformed it in 1244 with the sanction of Gregory IX. and Nicholas

In the view of Roman Catholic liturgists, the Psalms set forth the
praise of God in general, while hymns are written and used with
reference to some single mystery of the faith, or the commemoration of
some saint. This harmonizes with their use in the Breviary, and their
division into hymns _de tempore_ for the festivals of the Church year,
or the days of the week, or the hours of the day; and hymns _de sanctis_
for the days of commemoration in the Church Calendar. Even when the same
hymn is used on a series of days, its conclusion is altered to give it a
special adaptation to each of these days. This classification, of
course, does not describe the whole body of the Latin hymns. Some few
even of those in the Breviary, as, for instance, the _Te Deum_, have to
be classed as psalms, and are called Canticles (_Cantica_); and many
outside it will not fit into any such definition of what a hymn is. But
it illustrates the general character and purpose of the hymns of the
Roman and other breviaries, as designed for a special temporal or
personal application by way of supplement to the Psalter.

At present the Roman Breviary, prepared with the sanction of the Council
of Trent, has driven nearly all the others out of use. But at the era of
the Reformation there was a great number of breviaries, every diocese
and religious order having a right to its own. Panzer enumerates no less
than seventy-one which were printed before 1536, some of them in several
editions.[18] Even now the Roman Breviary is supplemented by special
services in honor of the saints of each order or country, and by
services of a more general kind which are peculiar to some localities.
But in Luther’s time the endless variety in breviaries and missals
formed a striking feature of the confusion which to his mind
characterized the Church of Rome.

With the development of a more fastidious taste, through the study of
the Latin classics as literary models, there arose in the sixteenth
century, and even before the Reformation, a demand for a reformation of
the Breviary. Besides its defects of form, such as violations of Latin
grammar, the constant use of terms which grated on the ears of the
humanists, and the use of hymns in which rhyme rather added to the
offence of want of correct metre, the contents of the Breviary were
found faulty by a critical age. The selections from the Fathers to be
read by way of homily were in some cases from spurious works; and the
narratives of saints’ lives for the days dedicated to them were not
always edifying, and in some cases palpably untrue. It became a
proverbial saying that a person lied like the second nocturn office of
the Breviary, that being the service in which these legends are found.
But the badness of the Latin and the metrical faults of the hymns
counted for quite as much with the critics of that day. We hear of a
cardinal warning a young cleric not to be too constant in reading his
Breviary, if he wished to preserve his ear for correct Latinity.

As might have been expected, it was the elegant Medicean Pope Leo X. who
first put his hand to the work of reform. He selected for this purpose
Zacharia Ferreri, Bishop of Guarda-Alfieri, a man of fine Latin
scholarship and some ability as a poet. By 1525 Ferreri had the hymns
for a new Breviary ready, and published them with the promise of the
Breviary itself on the title-page.[19] Clement VII., also of the house
of Medici, was Pope when the book appeared, and he authorized the
substitution of these new hymns for the old, but did not command this.

The book is furnished with an introduction by Marino Becichemi, a
forgotten humanist, who was then professor of eloquence at Padua. It is
worth quoting as exhibiting the attitude of the Renaissance to the
earlier Christian literature. He praises Ferreri as a shining light in
every kind of science, human and divine, prosaic and poetical. He cannot
say too much of the beauty of his style, its gravity and dignity, its
purity, its spontaneity and freedom from artificiality. “That his hymns
and odes, beyond all doubt, will secure him immortality, I need not
conceal. Certainly I have read nothing in Christian poets sweeter,
purer, terser, or brighter. How brief and how copious, each in its
place—how polished! Everywhere the stream flows in full channel with
that antique Roman mode of speech, except where of full purpose it turns
in another direction.” That means how Ciceronian Ferreri’s speech,
except where he remembers that he is a Christian poet and bishop writing
for Christian worshippers. “More than once have I exhorted him that it
belonged to the duty and dignity of his episcopal (_pontificii_) office
to make public these Church hymns.”

“You know, my reader, what hymns they sing everywhere in the temples,
that they are almost all faulty, silly, full of barbarism, and composed
without reference to the number of feet or the quantity of the
syllables, so as to excite educated persons to laughter, and to bring
priests, if they are men of letters, to despise the services of the
Church. I say men of letters. As for those who are not, and who are the
gluttons of the Roman curia, or who have no wisdom, it is enough for
them to stand like dragons close by the sacred ark, or to drift about
like the clouds, to live like idle bellies, given over to the pursuit of
sleep, good living, sensual pleasures, and to gather up the money by
which they make themselves hucksters in religion and plunderers of the
Christian people and practice their deceits upon both gods and men
equally, until the vine of the Lord degenerates into a wild plant.”

The Italianized Greek would see no difference between a Tetzel and a
Ferreri. But there still were sincerely good people who relished the old
hymns better than the polished paganism of the Bishop of Guarda-Alfieri.
Ferreri’s hymns struck no root in spite of the favor of two Medicean
popes. They seem never to have reached a second edition. Their frankly
pagan vocabulary for the expression of Christian ideas seems to have
been too much for even the humanists.

Bishop Ferreri does not seem to have lived to prepare his shorter and
easier Breviary after the same elegant but unsuitable fashion as his
hymns. So Clement VII. put the preparation of a new Breviary into the
hands of another and a better man, Cardinal Francesco de Quiñonez. He
was a Spanish Franciscan, had been general of his order, and was made
Cardinal by Clement in acknowledgment of diplomatic services. He enjoyed
the confidence of the Emperor Charles V., and used it to rescue the Pope
from his detention in the Castle of San Angelo, when he was besieged
there after the taking of Rome by the Imperial troops in 1529. This is
hardly the kind of record which would lead us to look for a reformer
under the red hat of our cardinal. But, so far as the Breviary was
concerned, he proved himself too rigorous a reformer, if anything. His
work was governed by two leading principles. The first was to simplify
the services by dropping out those parts which had been added last. The
second was to use the space thus obtained to insert ampler Scripture
lessons and more Psalms, so that, as in earlier times, the Bible might
be read through once a year and the Psalter once a week. It is this last
feature which has elicited the praise of Protestant liturgists, and it
is known that the Breviary of Quiñonez furnished the basis for the
services of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, excepting, of course,
the Communion Service. But unfortunately hymnologists are not able to
join in this praise. To get the Psalms said or sung through once a week,
he dealt nearly as ruthlessly with the hymns as if he were a Seceder.

His Breviary appeared in 1535,[20] and for thirty-three years its use
was permitted to ecclesiastics in their private recitation of the hours.
It appeared in a large number of editions in different parts of Europe,
so that its use must have been extensive. But it did not pass
unchallenged. The doctors of the Sorbonne at Paris hurried into the
arena with their condemnation of it before the ink was fully dry on the
first copies. They declared it a thing unheard of to introduce into
Church use a book which was the production of a single author, and he—as
they wrongly alleged—not even a member of any religious order.
Furthermore, he had so shortened and eviscerated the legends for the
saints’ days, besides omitting many, that nobody could tell what virtues
and what miracles entitled them to commemoration. Above all he had
omitted Peter Damiani’s Little Office of the Blessed Virgin! Much better
founded was the objection to the omission of parts long established in
use, such as the antiphons and many of the hymns. Here we must side with
the Sorbonne against Quiñonez.

It was not until 1568 that the present Roman Breviary appeared. When the
Council of Trent met in its final session in 1562, the first drafts of a
reformed Breviary and Missal were transmitted to the Fathers by Pius
IV.; but they were too busy with questions of discipline to do more than
return these with their approbation. The work was published by Pius V.
in July, 1568, and its use was made obligatory upon all dioceses which
had not had a Breviary of their own in use for two hundred years
previously. This is in substance the Breviary now in use throughout the
Roman Catholic Church. It underwent, however, two further revisions.
That under Clement VIII., finished in 1602, was by a commission in which
Cardinals Bellarmine, Baronius, and Silvius Antonianus were members.
That under Urban VIII., completed in 1631, concerns us more directly,
and especially the part of it which was effected by three learned
Jesuits: Famiano Strada, Hieronimo Petrucci, and Tarquinio Galucci, who
had in their hands the revision of the hymns.

The three revisers, all of them poets of some distinction, and the first
famous for his history of the wars in the Low Countries, had to steer a
middle course in the matter of revision. None of them were radical
humanists after the fashion of Zacharia Ferreri; that fashion, indeed,
had gone out with the rise of the counter-reformation and of the great
order to which they belonged. Yet in the matter of “metre and Latinity,”
of which Ferreri boasted on his title page a hundred years before, the
revival of classical scholarship had established a standard to which the
old hymns even of the Ambrosian period did not conform. The revisers
profess their anxiety to make as few changes as possible; but Pope
Urban, in his bull _Psalmodiam sanctam_ prefixed to the book, announces
that all the hymns—except the very few which made no pretension to
metrical form—had been conformed to the laws of prosody and of the Latin
tongue, those which could not be amended in any milder way being
rewritten throughout. Bartolomeo Gavanti, a member of the Commission of
Revision, but laboring in another department, tells us that more than
nine hundred alterations were made for the sake of correct metre, with
the result of changing the first lines of more than thirty of the
ninety-six hymns the Breviary then contained; that the three by Aquinas
on the sacrament, the _Ave Maris stella_, the _Custodes hominum_, and a
very few others, were left as they were.

This, then, is the genesis of the class of hymns designated in the
collections as traceable no farther back than the Roman Breviary. Some
of them are original, being the work of Silvius Antonianus, Bellarmine,
or Urban VIII. himself, or of authors of that age whose authorship has
not been traced. But the greater part are recasts of ancient hymns to
meet the demands of the humanist standards of metre and Latinity.

It is not easy to give a merely English reader any adequate idea of the
sort of changes by which Strada and his associates adapted the old hymns
to modern use. But for those who can read Latin some specimens are worth
giving. Take first the great sacramental hymn of the eighth or ninth

  Ad coenam Agni providi
  Et stolis albis candidi,
  Post transitum maris Rubri
  Christo canamus principi,

  Cujus corpus sanctissimum
  In ara crucis torridum,
  Cruore ejus roseo
  Gustando vivimus Deo

  Protecti paschae vespero
  A devastante angelo
  Erepti de durissimo
  Pharaonis imperio.

  Jam pascha nostrum Christus est
  Qui immolatus agnus est,
  Sinceritatis azyma
  Caro ejus oblata est.

  O vera digna hostia
  Per quam fracta sunt tartara
  Redempta plebs captivata,
  Reddita vitae praemia

  Cum surgit Christus tumulo
  Victor redit de barathro,
  Tyrannum trudens vinculo,
  Et reserans paradisum

  Quaesumus, auctor omnium
  In hoc paschali gaudio:
  Ab omni mortis impetu
  Tuum defende populum.

  Ad regias Agni dapes
  Stolis amicti candidis
  Post transitum maris Rubri
  Christo canamus principi:

  Divina cujus charitas
  Sacrum propinat sanguinem,
  Almique membra corporis
  Amor sacerdos immolat

  Sparsum cruorem postibus
  Vastator horret angelus:
  Fugitque divisum mare
  Merguntur hostes fluctibus.

  Jam Pascha nostrum Christus est
  Paschalis idem victima,
  Et pura puris mentibus
  Sinceritatis azyma

  O vera coeli victima
  Subjecta cui sunt tartara,
  Soluta mortis vincula,
  Recepta vitae praemia

  Victor subactis inferis
  Trophaea Christus explicat,
  Coeloque aperto, subditum
  Regem tenebrarum trahit.

  Ut sis perenne mentibus
  Paschale, Jesu, gaudium:
  A morte dira criminum
  Vitae renatos libera.

Now it is impossible to deny to the revised version merits of its own.
Not only does it use the Latin words which classic usage requires—as
_dapes_ in poetry for _coena_, _recepta_ for _reddita_, _inferis_ for
_barathro_—but it brings into clearer view the facts of the Old
Testament story which the hymn treats as typical of the Christian
passover. The (imperfect) rhyme of the original is everywhere sacrificed
to the demands of metre, which probably is no loss. But the gain is not
in simplicity, vigor, and freshness. In these the old hymn is much
superior. The last verse but one, for instance, presents in the old hymn
a distinct and living picture—the picture Luther tells us he delighted
in when a boy chorister singing the Easter songs of the Church. But in
the recast the vividness is blurred, and classic reminiscence takes the
place of the simple and direct speech the early Church made for itself
out of the Latin tongue.

Take again the first part of the dedication hymn, of which _Angulare
fundamentum_ is the conclusion:

  Urbs beata Hierusalem
  Dicta pacis visio
  Quae construitur in coelis
  Vivis ex lapidibus
  Et angelis coronata
  Ut sponsata comite

  Nova veniens e coelo
  Nuptiali thalamo
  Praeparata, ut sponsata
  Copulatur domino,
  Plateae et muri ejus
  Ex auro purissimo

  Portae nitent margaritis
  Adytis patentibus,
  Et virtute meritorum
  Illuc introducitur
  Omnis, qui pro Christi nomine
  Hoc in mundo premitur

  Tunsionibus, pressuris
  Expoliti lapides
  Suis coaptantur locis
  Per manum artificis,
  Disponuntur permansuri
  Sacris aedificiis.

  Coelestis urbs Jerusalem
  Beata pacis visio
  Quae celsa de viventibus
  Saxis ad astra tolleris,
  Sponsaeque ritu cingeris
  Mille angelorum millibus.

  O sorte nupta prospera,
  Dotata Patris gloria,
  Respersa Sponsi gratia
  Regina formosissima,
  Christo jugata principi
  Coelo corusca civitas.

  Hic margaritis emicant
  Patentque cunctis ostia,
  Virtute namque praevia
  Mortalis illuc ducitur
  Amore Christi percitus
  Tormenta quisquis sustinent.

  Scalpri salubris ictibus
  Et tunsione plurima,
  Fabri polita malleo
  Hanc saxa molem construunt,
  Aptisque juncta nexibus
  Locantur in fastidia.

Daniel in his first volume prints fifty-five of these recasts in
parallel columns with the originals, and to that we will refer our
readers for further specimens. It is gratifying to know that not all the
scholarship of that age was insensible to the qualities which the
revisers sacrificed. Henry Valesius, although only a layman and a lover
of good Latin—as his versions of the historians of the early Church
show—uttered a fierce but ineffectual protest in favor of the early and
mediaeval hymns. And the Marquis of Bute, a convert to Catholicism, who
published an English translation of the Breviary in 1879, says that the
revisers of 1602 “with deplorable taste made a series of changes in the
texts of the hymns, which has been disastrous both to the literary merit
and the historical interest of the poems.” He hopes for a further
revision which shall undo this mischief, but in other respects return to
the type furnished by the Breviary of Quiñonez.

The translations from the hymns of the Roman Breviary have been very
abundant. Those by Protestants have been due to the fact that the texts
even of ancient hymns were so much more accessible in their Breviary
version than in their original form. Among Roman Catholics, of course,
other considerations have weight; and in Mr. Edward Caswall’s _Lyra
Catholica_ and Mr. Orby Shipley’s _Annus Sanctus_ will be found some
very admirable versions. The latter book is an anthology from the Roman
Catholic translators from John Dryden to John Henry Newman.

From the Breviary text Mr. Duffield has made the following translations
of two hymns by Gregory the Great:

                         JAM LUCIS ORTO SIDERE.

  Now with the risen star of dawn,
    To God as suppliants we pray,
  That he may keep us free from harm,
    And guide us through an active day.

  May he, restraining, guard the tongue,
    Lest it be found to strive and cry,
  And, lest it drink in vanities,
    May he protect the wayward eye.

  Let all our inmost thoughts be pure,
    And heedlessness of heart be gone;
  Let self-denying drink and food
    Hold pride and flesh securely down,

  That when the day at length is past,
    And night in turn has come to men,
  Through abstinence from earth, we may
    Give thee the only glory then.

  To God the Father be the praise,
    And to his sole-begotten Son,
  And to the Holy Paraclete,
    Now and until all time be done.


  Lo, now, the shadows of the night are breaking,
    While in the east the rising daylight brightens,
  Therefore with praises will we all adore thee,
            Lord God Almighty!

  How doth our God, commiserating mortals,
    Drive away sorrow, offering them safety,
  Since he shall give us, through paternal kindness,
            Rule in the heavens!

  This let the blessed Deity afford us,
    Father and Son and equal Holy Spirit,
  Whose through the earth be glory in all places
            Ever resounding.

Also this translation of the Breviary recast of the _Urbs beata
Hierusalem_ of the seventh or eighth century:

                       COELESTIS URBS JERUSALEM.

  O heavenly town, Jerusalem,
    Thou blessed dawn of peace,
  How lofty from the living rock
    Thy starry walls increase,
  Where thousand, thousand angels stand,
    And praises never cease.

  O bride, whose lot is aye serene,
    The Father’s state is thine;
  Thou art the ever-fairest queen
    Adorned with grace divine;
  United unto Christ, thy Head,
    Thy heavenly form doth shine.

  How softly gleam thy pearly gates
    Which open wide to all,
  Here virtue entered long ago,
    And unto men doth call,
  Who loved the Lord through mortal pain,
    And fought and did not fall.

  Thy beauty came by chisel stroke
    And many a hammer-blow;
  The workman’s hammer wrought the stone
    Which buildeth thee below;
  And joined with bonds of aptest skill
    Thy splendid turrets glow.

  Then honor unto God most high
    As it was due of yore;
  And thus the Father’s only Son
    And Spirit we adore,
  To whom be glory, power, and praise
    Through ages evermore.

To these Dr. A. R. Thompson permits us to add, as a specimen of the
later hymns of the Latin Church, his translation of

                      CUR RELINQUIS, DEUS, COELUM.

  O God, why didst thou put aside
    For this vile earth thy heaven above?
  Didst thou expect there would betide
    Thee here the ministry of love?
  That earth had honor, Lord, for thee?
  Honor and love! nay, verily,
  Lying in wickedness, earth knows
  Not how to love thee, but thy foes.

  Bethlehem proved what love for thee
    This present evil world hath, when
  She shut against thee cruelly
    The doors left wide for other men,
  And forced thee to the hovel, where—
  Wide open to the winter air—
  The very beasts could scarcely live;
  No other shelter would she give.

  Come, Jesus, from that hovel cold,
    Exposed to all the winds that blow,
  Chilled by discomfort manifold,
    From the poor couch all wet with snow.
  My all a couch for thee I make,
  My heart the shelter thou shall take.
  I give it all, I give my best,
  That were for thee a better rest.

  My heart to love thee, Lord, desires,
    And, loving, proffers love’s warm kiss.
  The kiss, to give which she aspires,
    Honor and adoration is.
  Take thou from me this honor true;
  Take thou the love which is thy due;
  For this, my loyal offering,
  Out of my very heart I bring.

  My heart, all burning with the fire
    Of love to thee, would cherish thine;
  But thou that love canst kindle higher,
    And thou wilt rather cherish mine.
  For thou art Love, and canst inflame
  The hearts of them that love thy name
  With thine own self, and not with wood;
  Thou art the very Fire of God.

  Come, then, O Fire of God, to me!
    Come, Love, and never more depart!
  Enter the place prepared for thee,
    The shelter of my loving heart!
  I’ll spread thee there a couch of rest,
  And deem myself supremely blest,
  If I may evermore abide
  Loving, belovèd, at thy side.

While we have to treat rather of hymns than of hymn-writers in dealing
with the Roman Breviary, there is much of personal interest attaching to
the Breviary of Paris, its great rival in hymnological interest. A
slight revision of the hymns of this Breviary was effected in 1527—of
which the _Urbs Jerusalem beata_ is a type—and only with the idea of
correcting corruptions of the text. But the Roman revision of 1568-1631
affected the Gallican Church’s services very slightly. In no part of the
Roman Catholic world were the rights of the national Church guarded so
carefully as in France, until Napoleon bargained them away by the
Concordat of 1801. The French bishops and monastic orders continued to
retain their old service-books long after uniformity had been
established, under plea of unity, in other parts of the Church; and they
made such alterations in them as they thought necessary to the
edification of their people.

It was the Order of Cluny which first took steps toward the substitution
of new hymns for those whose use had been sanctioned by long tradition.
The general chapter of that branch of the great Benedictine family in
1676-78 charged Paul Rabusson and Claude de Vert with the preparation of
a new Breviary. On Rabusson, who was teaching theology in the monastery
of St. Martin des Champs in Paris, the labor chiefly fell. He applied to
Claude Santeul, a pensioner of the ecclesiastical seminary attached to
the Abbey of St. Magloire, asking him to prepare the new hymns. Claude
Santeul (_Santolius Maglorianus_) agreed to do so, and made some
progress in the work. He finished six hymns, which were inserted in the
new Breviary, and at his death (1684) he left two manuscript volumes of
unfinished hymns among his papers. But he found that his being selected
had excited the jealousy of his younger brother, Jean Santeul, a canon
of the monastery of St. Victor (_Santolius Victorinus_), who already was
recognized as the finest, but by no means the most edifying of the Latin
poets of the France of his time.

Claude gladly gave place to his brother—who was accepted by the Cluny
Fathers—in the hope that the work of writing hymns would divert him from
the pagan poetizing, which was regarded as unbecoming to his cloth. Jean
Santeul is the oddest figure in the annals of Latin hymnology, which is
saying a good deal. He is “a man of whom it is hard to speak without
falling into caricature,” Sainte-Beuve says (_Causeries de Lundi_, XII.,
20-56). He combined the talent of a poet of nature’s making with the
simplicity of a child and the vanity and wit of a genuine Frenchman. He
recalls La Fontaine by many of his traits, and, under the name of
“Theodas,” he has furnished La Bruyère with the materials for one of the
cleverest portraits in the _Caractères_ (1687). His mode of life was a
scandal to De Rance and other severe Churchmen, who were laboring for
the restoration of strict monastic discipline. His love of good living
and the charm of his society and his talk carried him off from his
monastery and his hours, sometimes for weeks together. His Latin
inscriptions, which adorned the fountains, bridges, and public monuments
of Paris, at once gave him recognition as the poet laureate and
pensioner of the _grande monarque_, and as a priest whose poetry dealt
more in the pagan deities than in any distinctively Christian
references. He was not an immoral man in any gross sense. Even as a _bon
vivant_, he does not seem to have transgressed what were recognized as
the bounds of sobriety, and his poetry is as free as was his life from
licentiousness. But he was frivolous, gay, reckless, and as worldly as
was consistent with his being a grown-up child. Everybody, even severe
and silent De Rance at La Trappe, liked him, but everybody shook his
head over the inconsistency of his life with his monastic vocation, and
none more sorrowfully than his good brother Claude at St. Magloire.

Now at last there seemed to be the opportunity to reclaim him by
occupying his mind and his art with serious subjects, and by bringing
him into edifying associations with good men. That he was not enough of
a theologian to discharge the task satisfactorily of himself, was rather
an advantage from this point of view. The eloquent and learned
Jansenist, Nicolas le Tourneux, undertook the work of coaching him. The
partnership worked reasonably well. Of course hymns produced by this
kind of division of labor, in which one took care of the sense and
another of the expression, have the defects of their method. But Le
Tourneux was as careful of the poet as of his verse. His severe eye
detected the play of Santeul’s vanity even in the work of writing hymns.
“Reflect, my dear brother,” he wrote, “that while in the visible and
militant Church one may sing the praises of God with an impure heart and
defiled lips, it will not be so in heaven. You have burnt incense in
your verse, but there was strange fire in the censer. Vanity furnishes
your motive where it ought to be charity.” He objects to Santeul’s
calling himself “the poet of Jesus Christ,” while he admits that vain
glory leads him to write hymns. “If you and I were all we ought to be,”
wrote the severe Jansenist, “we would quake with fear at having dared,
you to sing and I to preach of the holiness of God, without a right
sense of it. We shall be only too happy if He pardon our sermons and our
verses.” Perhaps the severity was needed and did good.

So Le Tourneux suggested and all but wrote the prayer in which Santeul
dedicated his hymns to our Lord: “Receive what is Thine; forgive what is
mine. Thine is whatever I have uttered that is good and holy. Mine that
I have handled Thy good things unworthily, and not from desire to please
Thee, but from an undue pride of poetry, of which I am ashamed. Thou
hast given me songs to praise Thee. Give me prayers, give me tears to
wash away the stains of a life less than Christian.”

His hymns must have circulated in manuscript before their publication,
for we find De Rance in 1683 praising those in commemoration of St.
Bernard, while noticing that the old hymns, if less excellent as
literature, had a more reverential spirit. In 1685, a year in advance of
the new Breviary, Santeul published them in the first collection he made
of them.[21] Their merits made a much deeper impression than their
defects. Scholars and Churchmen alike were struck by their rhetorical
vigor, the frequent boldness of their conception, the beautiful
succession of sentiments and images, the exquisite clearness of the
sense, and not by the factitious character of their enthusiasm, as
Sainte-Beuve puts it, or the frequent monotony in the treatment of
cognate themes. The Breviary, in fact, had ceased to be the voice of the
Christian congregation. The supersession of Latin by the national
languages of Western Europe had made it the prayer-book of a class
educated to relish only the classic forms of Latin verse, and to regard
the simplicity of the early hymn-writers as barbarous. Santeul wrote for
priests whose tastes had been formed on Horace and Virgil, and he
brought into these rigid forms as much of genuine Christian feeling and
doctrine as the age required. He was all the happier in these respects,
as Le Tourneux, who himself contributed to the new Breviary, was of that
Jansenist school in which religion, belittled by the pettiness and the
casuistry of the Jesuits, once more presented itself in its grandeur and
its severity.

The excellence of Santeul’s hymns at once created a demand for their
introduction in other churches and dioceses, and for his services as a
hymn-writer. Several of the best were introduced by Archbishop Harlay
into the later editions of his revised Paris Breviary, which had
appeared in 1680. So the bishops of many other French dioceses—Rouen,
Sens, Narbonne, Massillon of Clermont, and others—adopted his hymns into
their breviaries after his death. And as he gallantly said, he had the
pleasure while still living of hearing them “sung by the angels at Port
Royal.” Other orders begged him to commemorate their founders and their
especial saints; dioceses and churches in other parts of France invoked
his good offices. Hence it is that of his two hundred and twenty-eight
hymns not one in five is occupied with the great festivals of the Church
year, but are specific or general hymns to the honor of the saints,
martyrs, and doctors of the Church of France especially.

The rush of popularity—not unaccompanied by solid rewards, for the good
fathers of the Cluny Order gave him a pension—seems to have turned
Santeul’s not very well-balanced head. Le Tourneux’s admonitions were
forgotten. He ran from church to church to hear his hymns sung, and
scandalized congregations by his demonstrations of delight or disgust as
the music was appropriate or otherwise; he declaimed them in all sorts
of places, suitable and unsuitable, to extort the admiration he loved so
dearly. He did not forget to tell that even the severe De Rance had
written from La Trappe to thank him for his hymn on St. Bernard, but
that for his own part he valued the general hymn on the Doctors of the
Church above any other. Naturally he had little good to say of the hymns
his were to displace. If anything could make a pagan of him, it would be
the bad grammar of those old monkish poets, who sacrificed sense and
grammar alike to their stupid rhymes. And so he would run on by the hour
to anybody who would listen, with an egotism whose very childishness and
frankness made it inoffensive.

Of course he claimed the distinction of being the best Latin poet in
France. French poetry he despised, as being written in a language
incapable of the terse elegance of Latin. But in Latin verse he would
hear of no rival. Du Périer, who had quite as much vanity, with only a
fraction of his genius, challenged his pretensions. The two poets wrote
verses on the same theme, and then set out to find an arbiter. The first
friend to whom they appealed was Ménage, who evaded the responsibility
by declaring them equally excellent. The next they met was Racine. He
first got possession of the stakes and deposited them in the poor’s box
at the door of a church near by, and then gave the poets a round
scolding for their absurd rivalry!

The hymns of Santeul are best known to English readers through _Hymns
Ancient and Modern_, which contain some very fine versions, original and
selected. Not included there is that which Sainte Beuve pronounces his
finest hymn, and for whose retention in the Breviary he pleads against
the crusaders, who in the name of antiquity insist on replacing Santeul
and Coffin by Strada and Galucci. Out of respect for the greatest of
modern critics, we reprint it, with a translation from the pen of Dr. A.
R. Thompson. It commemorates the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.

  Stupete gentes, fit Deus hostia:
  Se sponte legi Legifer obligat:
  Orbis Redemptor nunc redemptus:
  Seque piat sine labe mater.

  De more matrum, Virgo puerpera
  Templo statutos abstinuit dies.
  Intrare sanctam quid pavebas,
  Facta Dei prius ipsa templum?

  Ara sub una se vovit hostia
  Triplex: honorem virgineum immolat
  Virgo sacerdos, parva mollis
  Membra puer, seniorque vitam.

  Eheu! quot enses transadigent tuum
  Pectus! quot altis nata doloribus,
  O Virgo! Quem gestas, cruentam
  Imbuet hic sacer Agnus aram.

  Christus futuro, corpus adhuc tener,
  Praeludit insons victima funeri:
  Crescet; profuso vir cruore,
  Omne scelus moriens piabit.

  Sit summa Patri, summaque Filio,
  Sanctoque compar gloria Flamini:
  Sanctae litemus Trinitati
  Perpetuo pia corda cultu.

  Wonder, ye nations! divine is the sacrifice.
    Lo, his own law the Lawgiver obeys!
  Now the Redeemer redeemed is, and purifies
    Herself the mother pure. Look with amaze!

  All the days set by the law for a mother,
    She from the temple of God hath delayed.
  Why should she stay without, as might another,
    She who the temple of God hath been made?

  At the one altar threefold is the sacrifice.
    Mother, who offers her pure virgin heart;
  Babe, his fair body that in her fond arms lies;
    Aged saint, life, ready now to depart.

  Oh but what sword through her heart shall be going!
    Oh to what sorrow is born her fair child!
  Over what altar his blood will be flowing!
    He whom she bears, the Lamb holy and mild.

  Christ, in his infantile body so tender,
    Spotless in purity, here hath foreshown,
  Sign of the sacrifice he shall yet render,
    Dying the sin of the world to atone.

  Now to the Father in glory supernal,
    Now to the Son, and the Spirit above,
  Now to the Triune, all holy, eternal,
    Worship be ever in faith and in love!

As a poet Santeul fell from grace in 1689, when he fell back on his
pagan divinities in a poem addressed to the keeper of the royal gardens.
Bossuet made a great ado over it, but Fénelon and others judged him more
gently. Next year he goes to see La Trappe, and writes a fine poem on
Holy Solitude (_Sancta Solitudo_), which extorted fresh praise from De
Rance, and afterward from Sainte-Beuve. But four years later he got into
the worst scrape of his life by a flattering epitaph on the great
Arnauld, who died in 1694. Santeul always had been more or less
associated with the Jansenist party, a fact which was not forgotten when
his hymns were expelled from the churches of France in our own century.
There is preserved an account of a visit he paid to Port Royal, in which
he chattered to the nuns with equal freedom of his own hymns and of
their virtues. But he was not of the stuff of which martyrs are made.
The Jesuits had the king’s ear, and he was a pensioner of the king’s
bounty. They assailed him for his eulogy of the arch-Jansenist, and
threatened him with the disfavor of Louis XIV.; and he hastened to make
amends in a poetical epistle, of which he made two copies. By the adroit
change of the tense of a single word he made the copy for the Jesuits
retract his praises of his great friend, while that for the general
public did nothing of the sort. As a consequence he came off with no
credit on either side. Both Jesuits and Jansenists resented his
duplicity, and a fine shower of squibs and pamphlets fell on him from
both the hostile forces, until he was forced to cry for quarter, and
Bourdaloue made his peace.

He died in 1697 in Burgundy, whither he had accompanied the younger
Condé to the meeting of the Estates. St. Simon has told a very
unpleasant story of the cause of his death. He ascribes it to Condé’s
having made him drink a bowl of wine into which he had emptied his
snuff-box, “just to see what would come of it.” But the prince of
scandalmongers has been disproven on this point. Santeul’s death was due
to no such cause, but to an inflammation of the bowels and to the
malpractice of his doctors, who gave him emetics under the false
impression that he was suffering from a surfeit. He made a good end,
dying with resignation, and begging pardon for the scandal his life had

His hymns were not without their critics in his own age. Jean Baptiste
Thiers, a parish priest of great learning and bad temper, assailed the
Breviary of Cluny (in his _Commentarii de novo Breviario Cluniacensi_,
Brussels, 1702), and did not spare Santeul’s hymns, which he declared to
be much inferior to those which had come down from the earlier days of
the Church. He declared that Santeul had a greater abundance of words
than of sense, that he had almost no powers of thought, and that some of
his images, such as that in which he wreathes a garland of stones for
the martyr Stephen, were simply ridiculous. He was answered not by
Rabusson, but by his associate, Claude de Vert, after what fashion I do
not know.

It was in 1736 that the Breviary of the Diocese of Paris was published
in its third and final revision by a commission of three ecclesiastics:
François-Antoine Vigier, François-Philippe Mesengui, and Charles Coffin.
It is a significant fact that the second belonged to that Jansenist
party in the Church which the relentless efforts of the Pope, the
hierarchy, and the kings of France had not been able to exterminate.
Archbishop de Vintimille was as eager to accomplish that as his
predecessors had been, and he was ably seconded by that pious and
orthodox prince, Louis XV. But this revision, like that of 1670-80, was
a concession to the historical criticism which the Jansenists had
brought to bear upon the Church books both as to the legends of the
saints and the extravagances of the growing devotion to the Mother of
our Lord. Mesengui had been dismissed from the post Coffin had given him
in the University of Paris for his opposition to the bull _Unigenitus_,
which condemned Quesnel’s Jansenist _Reflections on the New Testament_.
Coffin’s sympathies lay in the same direction.

Charles Coffin is the man of the three who chiefly concerns us here.
Born at Buzancy, hard by Rheims, in 1676, he very early distinguished
himself as a Latin poet and an educator. He graduated at Paris in 1701,
and became a teacher in the College of Dormans-Beauvais, and then its
principal in 1713. Five years later he was chosen to succeed Rollin as
Rector of the University of Paris. He at once showed his force of
character by revolutionizing the relation of the university to the
public through abolishing the fees exacted of the students. To replace
them he extended and developed the system of posts and messages, which
the university had established in the thirteenth century and which
coexisted with the post-office system of the government, of which it was
the forerunner. He devoted its revenues to the support of the colleges.
He must have been a character of great administrative capacity, as his
plans had entire success, and probably did much to foster the
development of the post-office system of France. After remaining rector
for three years, he went back to his place at the head of the
Dormans-Beauvais College, and remained there till his death.

It was in 1727 that Charles Coffin published his first volume of Latin
poetry. The most notable piece in the collection was a fine ode in
praise of Champagne. So much were the people of the Champagne country
pleased with it, that they sent him a hamper of every vintage as long as
he lived, which was twenty-two years. He also had a hand in carrying
Cardinal de Polignac’s great poem, _Anti-Lucretius_, to the state of
completeness in which it was given to the public in 1745, three years
after its author’s death. He undertook the work of revising the old
hymns and preparing new with great reluctance, yielding only to the
entreaties of the archbishop.

It was in 1736 that the Breviary Commission finished their labors and
the archbishop gave to the diocese the new Breviary, which was adopted
by more than fifty French dioceses. Its general character does not
concern us here. It is with its hymns alone we have to do. About seventy
of the primitive and mediaeval hymns still held their place in the
Breviary of 1680, nearly half of them the work of Ambrose and his
school. The revisers spared very few of these. Only twenty-one hymns of
the earlier period were left, while eighty-five of Jean Santeul’s,
nearly a hundred by Coffin himself—including some recasts of old
hymns—and ninety-seven by other authors, chiefly Frenchmen of later
date, were inserted. There were eleven by Guillaume de la Brunetière, a
friend of Bossuet’s; six each by Claude Santeul, Nicolas le Tourneux,
and Sebastian Besnault, a priest of Sens; five by Isaac Habert, Bishop
of Vabres; four by the Jesuit Jean Commire; two each by the Jesuit
Francis Guyet and Simon Gourdan of the Abbey of St. Victor; one each by
Marc Antoine Muretus, Denis Petau, and Guillaume du Plessis de Geste;
one (or three) by M. Combault, a young friend of Charles Coffin’s. This
was modernism with a vengeance! New hymns were nearly thirteen to one in
proportion to those from the great storehouse of the ages before the
Reformation. It is not wonderful that so extreme a policy called forth a
reaction as soon as the Romanticist movement, with its juster
appreciation of the Middle Ages, had reached France. But by the end of
the eighteenth century the old Latin hymns were banished practically
from France.

As compared with Jean Santeul, Charles Coffin displays much less poetic
audacity than his predecessor. You do not feel that poetry filled the
same place in his intellectual existence, or that he was under the same
necessity to write it. He has less genius, but a great talent for verse.
And—what the critics of that age valued the most—he was more correct in
his handling of the vocabulary and the metre of Latin versification.
Santeul found classic Latin, much as he admired it, something of a
fetter to the free movement of his genius. It was a dead language he was
trying to put intense life into—an old bottle for his new wine—and at
times the bottle burst. Just because Charles Coffin’s wine is not so
new, his inspiration not so fresh, the bottle holds out better. And then
he had the greater advantage of a closer familiarity with the ideas he
wished to embody in his hymns, and with their sources in the Scriptures,
and a more practical capacity for the application of his powers to the
object in hand. His hymns are always in place; they are hymns of the
Breviary, not brilliant poems on Breviary subjects by a poet writing for
glory. I do not say that Charles Coffin was the better man; God only
knows; and I must confess to a liking for “the gay canon of St. Victor”
which the rector of the university does not inspire in me. There is a
Burns-like humanity in him and his harmless vanities which wins our love
still, as it did that of his contemporaries. But Charles Coffin had a
certain suitableness to his work which Jean Santeul lacked. He was an
eminently dignified, respectable, and useful character, who impressed
himself upon a whole generation of young Frenchmen, many of whom rose to
eminence at the bar, in the public service, and even in the army. They
all looked back to him with great respect. I wonder if they loved him as
Mark Hopkins and George Allen are loved by those who studied under them.
And in Charles Coffin’s hymns you meet the same admirable traits as in
his public work. He is a man of enlightenment, dignity, devoutness, and
eminent usefulness, without a touch of Rabelaisian _abandon_ to remind
you of Béranger’s saying: “All we _Français_ are children of the great
François.” Of that he reminds you only in his sparkling, effervescent
ode to Champagne, in reply to Bénigne Grenan’s overpraise of Burgundy.
It was to be expected that when the advocates of liturgical uniformity
made their attack upon the Paris Breviary, beginning with Gueranger’s
_Institutions Liturgiques_ (1840-42), it was Santeul whom they
especially attacked, although not he but Coffin was responsible for its

Charles Coffin’s hymns have a high level of excellence, which makes it
difficult to anthologize among them. Certainly not the worst are the
four Advent hymns (_Instantis adventum Dei_; _Jordanis oras praevia_;
_Statuta decreto Dei_; and _In noctis umbra desides_); that for
Christmas (_Jam desinant suspiria_) and the Vesper hymn (_O luce qui
mortalibus_); the Passion hymn (_Opprobriis Jesu satur_); the fine
series of seven hymns for the nocturn services throughout the week,
based on the seven days of Creation; and the hymn for Epiphany (_Quae
stella sole pulchrior_). These and most of his acknowledged hymns are
known to us in the translations of Williams, Chandler, and Mant, and
several of these are in _Hymns Ancient and Modern_.

As an editor he altered and even tinkered, as well as adapted and wrote
hymns. Even Jean Santeul did not escape his hand. One of the hymns
ascribed to him in the Paris Breviary is a cento from no less than
twelve of his own hymns. From the wrath he showed when such changes were
made in his lifetime, we may infer that he would have liked this as
little as did John Wesley. And the older hymns were handled in the same
way. A good example of Charles Coffin’s method of recasting old hymns is
furnished by his version of the _Ad coenam Agni providi_, which already
has been given in its original shape and in that of the Roman Breviary.
With these the reader may compare Coffin’s revision, which will be seen
to vary very widely from the old text of the ninth century:

  Forti tegente brachio,
  Evasimus Rubrum mare,
  Tandem durum perfidi
  Jugum tyranni fregimus.

  Nunc ergo laetas vindici
  Grates rependamus Deo;
  Agnique mensam candidis
  Cingamus ornati stolis.

  Hujus sacrato corpore,
  Amoris igne fervidi,
  Vescamur atque sanguine:
  Vescendo, vivimus Deo.

  Jam Pascha nostrum Christus est,
  Hic agnus, haec est victima
  Cruore cujus illitos
  Transmittit ultor angelus.

  O digna coelo victima,
  Mors ipsa per quam vincitur,
  Per quam refractis inferi
  Praedam relaxant postibus.

  Christi sepulchri faucibus
  Emersus ad lucem redit;
  Hostem retrudit tartaro,
  Coelique pandit intima.

  Da Christe, nos tecum mori
  Tecum simul da surgere:
  Terrena da contemnere;
  Amare da coelestia.

It will be observed that while the ideas, and even to some extent the
phraseology of the old hymn are retained in the first six verses, their
order is so changed as to suggest that we have an original hymn before
us, if we do not look closely. But the last verse is altogether
different. The old poet prayed that the paschal joy might be made
unending through the deliverance of the regenerate from the death
eternal. The modern prays that we may share mystically in the death and
resurrection of Christ, and learn thereby to set our affections on
things above. Similar are his recasts of the _Salvete flores Martyrum_
of Prudentius, and the Ambrosian _Jam lucis orto sidere_.

Mr. Duffield has left only one completed version of a hymn from the
Paris Breviary, and that one whose authorship I am unable to determine.
It attracted him as one of the surprisingly few hymns in which the
comparison of the Christian life to a warfare, so frequently used by our
Lord and the Apostle Paul, is employed as a leading idea. His interest
in such hymns no doubt was first awakened by his father’s admirable and
popular one:

  “Stand up, stand up for Jesus,”

suggested by the dying words of Dudley Tyng. We give both the Latin and
his English version:

  Pugnate, Christi milites,
  Fortes fide resistite:
  Immensa promisit Deus
  Pio labori praemia.

  Non ille fluxas ac leves
  Palmas dabit vincentibus;
  Sed lucis aeternae decus,
  Et pura semper gaudia.

  Mentes beatas excipit
  Formosa coelitum domus:
  Hic turba, coelis altior,
  Subjecta calcat sidera.

  Caduca vobis praemia
  Offert levis mundi favor:
  Vultus ad astra tollite;
  Hic ipse fit merces Deus.

  Qui nos coronat, laus Patri,
  Laus qui redemit, Filio;
  Alma juvans nos gratia,
  Sit par tibi laus, Spiritus.

  Fight on, ye Christian soldiers,
    And bravely keep the faith,
  For great reward shall follow,
    As God’s own promise saith.

  Not palms that wave and flutter
    Shall be the victor’s crown,
  But grace of light eternal,
    And joy of pure renown.

  That blessed heavenly mansion
    Shall take each happy soul;
  Their throng, high raised in glory,
    Shall tread the starry pole.

  Earth’s honor is but failing,
    Her gifts are light as air;
  Lift up your eyes to heaven,
    For God’s reward is there.

  Praise God, who crowns the battle,
    And Christ, who comes to save,
  And praise the Holy Spirit,
    Whose grace our spirits crave.

By kindness of Dr. A. R. Thompson we add two translations from Charles
Coffin’s hymns:

                       QUA STELLA SOLE PULCHRIOR.

  What star is this whose glorious light
        Outshines the morn,
  The herald of the King new-born!
        Its radiance bright,
        A heavenly sign,
  Streams o’er the cradle of the Babe divine.

  Faith, standing with the prophets old,
        Sees down the skies
  The promised Star from Jacob rise.
        The sign foretold
        She knows full well,
  And straightway seeks the wondrous spectacle.

  The lustrous star gives warning fair
        To all the earth,
  But chiefly men of Eastern birth,
        With pious care,
        The warning heed,
  And seeking Christ upon their journey speed.

  Their eager love knows no delay;
        Danger nor toil
  Their purpose resolute can foil.
        They haste away
        From home and kind,
  And country, at God’s call, the Christ to find.

  O Christ our Lord, thy star of grace
        Leads us to thee!
  Help these dull hearts of ours to be
        First at the place,
        Intent to prove
  To thee, O Lord, our faith and hope and love.

                           LABENTE JAM SOLIS.

  Now with the declining sun,
  Day to night is passing on.
  So doth mortal life descend
  Swiftly to its destined end.

  From the cross, thine arms spread wide
  Fold the world, O Crucified!
  Help us love the cross. In thy
  Dear embrace help us to die!

  Glory to the Eternal One,
  Glory to the only Son,
  Glory to the Spirit be,
  Now and through eternity.

Of the other writers of the Breviary only a few need detain us. Most of
them are poets of the conventional sort, whose verse evidences the care
taken with their education rather than their possession of any native
genius, although Jean Commire (1625-1702) was of wide reputation in his
day. Even of good Claude Santeul the best that can be said is that
several of his hymns have passed for the composition of his brother, and
that the two Trinity hymns (_Ter sancte, ter potens Deus_ and _O luce
quae tua lates_) and the three on Lazarus (_Redditum luce, Domino
vocante, Panditur saxo tumulus remoto_, and _Intrante Christo Bethanicam
domum_) deserve the honor. They make us regret the loss of these two
manuscript volumes. An unfinished translation of one of these, left by
Mr. Duffield, has been completed for us by Dr. A. R. Thompson. The
asterisk marks the transition from the one translator to the other—

                         O LUCE QUAE TUA LATES.

  O hidden by the very light,
    O ever-blessed Trinity,
  Thee we confess, and thee believe,
    With pious heart we long for thee!

  O Holy Father of the saints,
    O God of very God, the Son,
  O Bond of Love, the Holy Ghost,
    Who joinest all the Three in One!

  That God the Father might behold
    Himself, *coeval was the Son;
  Also the Love that binds them both;
    So, God of God, the perfect One.

  Complete the Father in the Son,
    The Son, the Father in complete,
  And the full Spirit in them both;
    The Father, Son, and Paraclete.

  As is the Son, the Spirit is.
    Each as the Father, verily.
  The Three, One all transcendent Truth,
    One all transcendent Love, the Three.

  Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost
    Eternally, let all adore;
  Who liveth and who reigneth, God,
    Ages on ages, evermore!

Next we have Nicolas le Tourneux (1640-1686), the severe Jansenist,
whose preaching drew such crowds in Paris that the King asked the
reason. “Sire,” replied Boileau, “your Majesty knows how people run
after novelty; this is a preacher who preaches the Gospel. When he
mounts the pulpit, he frightens you by his ugliness, so that you wish he
would leave it; and when he begins to speak, you are afraid that he
may.” It was his _Année Chrétienne_ which suggested the _Christian Year_
to John Keble. We have seen how he coached Jean Santeul both as to the
matter of his hymns and the right spirit for a Christian poet. But the
great preacher’s own hymns are _sermoni propriores_, “properer for a
sermon,” to borrow Lamb’s mistranslation. Verse was a fetter to him, not
a wing. His best are the Ascension hymn, _Adeste, Coelitum chori_, and
that on the Baptist, _Jussu tyranni pro fide_. The former we give in the
excellent translation of Rev. A. R. Thompson, D.D.:

                         ADESTE COELITUM CHORI.

  Hither come, ye choirs immortal,
    Singing joyful canticles!
  Christ hath passed the grave’s dark portal,
    With the dead no more he dwells.

  All in vain doth malice station
    Watchful guards the tomb before,
  All in vain the faithless nation
    Sets the seal upon the door.

  Fruitless terror, from this prison
    None have stolen him away,
  But by his own strength arisen,
    Victor, ends he death’s dread fray.

  Prisoned, and the seal unbroken,
    He can leave at will the tomb,
  As at first—behold the token—
    He could leave the Virgin’s womb.

  When he on the tree hung dying,
    Raving men, who round him stood,
  “Come down from the cross,” were crying,
    “Then we own thee Son of God.”

  But, his Father’s will obeying
    Even unto death, he dies;
  Priest and Victim, ’tis the slaying
    Of the world’s great Sacrifice.

  Nay, the cross was not forsaken;
    Dead, yet greater thing did he,
  By himself, his life retaken
    Proved him Son of God to be.

  With thee dying, with thee rising,
    Grant, O Christ, that we may be,
  Earthly vanities despising,
    Choosing heaven all lovingly!

  Praise be to the Father given,
    To the Son, our Leader. He
  Calleth us with him to heaven;
    Spirit, equal praise to thee!

A man of very different powers is the Abbé Sebastian Besnault, of whom
nothing is told us except that he was chaplain of the parish of St.
Maurice in Sens, and died in 1726. The six hymns ascribed to him in the
Paris Breviary are among the finest in that collection. Three are hymns
on the Circumcision (_Debilis cessent elementa legis_; _Felix dies, quam
proprio_; and _Noxium Christus simul introivit_); one is an Ascension
hymn (_Promissa, tellus, concipe gaudium_), and two are Dedication hymns
(_Ecce sedes hic Tonantis_ and _Urbs beata, vera pacis_), the latter
being a recast of the _Urbs beata Hierusalem_. Quite justly does A.
Gazier (in his thesis _De Santolii Victorini Sacris Hymnis_, Paris,
1875) say that if Besnault equalled Jean Santeul in the volume of his
hymns, he would not rank below him as a sacred poet, since he quite
equals him in his Latinity and is his superior as a spiritual writer. We
give Dr. A. R. Thompson’s version of his recast of the _Urbs beata

                        URBS BEATA, VERA PACIS.

  Blessed city, vision true
    Of sweet peace, Jerusalem,
  How majestic to the view
    Rise thy lofty walls, in them
  Living stones in beauty stand,
  Polished, set, by God’s own hand.

  Every several gate of thine
    Of one pearl effulgent is,
  Golden fair thy wall doth shine,
    Blended lustrously with this,
  And thy wall doth rest alone
  Upon Christ the Corner-stone.

  Thy sun is the martyred Lamb,
    God thy temple. Angels vie
  With the saints, a joyful psalm
    Ever lifting up on high,
  And the Holiest worshipping,
  Holy, Holy, Holy sing.

  Evermore stand open wide,
    Heavenly city, all thy gates.
  But, who would in thee abide,
    Who thy walls to enter waits,
  Must, that meed of life to win,
  Agonize to conquer sin.

  To the Father, to the Son,
    Endless adoration be!
  Spirit, binding both in One,
    Endless worship unto thee!
  Hallowed by thy chrism divine,
  We become thy living shrine.

Along with Coffin should be named one of his friends, a young advocate
named Combault, who possessed something of the spirit and energy of Jean
Santeul. How far he contributed to the Breviary of 1736 I am unable to
say, but a well-founded tradition designates him as the author of a
splendid rhetorical hymn in commemoration of the Apostles Peter and Paul
(_Tandem laborum gloriosi Principes_), which has been much admired.
Combault died in 1785.

The whole impression which this school of hymn-writers makes upon us is
like that of the Greco-French architecture of our own age. Both reflect
the critical and useful, but somewhat exclusive spirit of the
Renaissance. Both are capable of fine effects, great structural beauty,
and a certain grandeur not of the highest order. But a Greco-French
church will not bear comparison with Notre Dame; and the hymns of
Santeul and Coffin will hardly better endure a comparison with the
Christian singers who wrote when Notre Dame was new.

                             CHAPTER XXIX.
                       [Fourth to Tenth Century.]

The known is but a fragment broken from the unknown. This is eminently
true as regards the authorship of the Latin hymns. When we have dealt as
tenderly as the historical conscience will permit with the traditions
which assign hymns to this and that author, we still find ourselves
unable to affix any name to the great majority. And while it is true
that the most part of the very great hymns are not left in this plight
of anonymity, it is true that no small number of the best are on the
record like Melchizedek—“without father or mother,” and many of them
also “without beginning of years,” for we can determine only
approximately the century of their origin. Nor is this at all
surprising. Fame was neither the object nor the expectation of the
writers of the Latin hymns of the early and Middle Ages. Their utmost
expectation, probably, was to be valued a little by their brethren in
their own and their sister monasteries as the author of a fine sequence
or an appropriate hymn for a yearly festival. It was enough for that
purpose that the report of their authorship passed from mouth to mouth
in the choir, without any record made of it. The love of glory as a
literary motive, came in, as Mr. Symonds reminds us, with the
Renaissance, which borrowed it from the old pagans. Many a devout singer
of the centuries before that practised the wisdom of à Kempis’s saying,
_Ama nesciri_, “Love to be unknown.” They wrote not for gain in renown,
but for use in the edification of their brethren and of the Church. And
to live for use rather than gain is to live Christianly, for, as
Swedenborg says, “The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of uses.”

This and the next chapter we shall give partly to some of these orphaned
hymns, touching only on the greatest. And as we come down the centuries
we shall speak also of the less notable hymn-writers, some of them not
less notable as men or as Churchmen, but such as have made less of a
mark in hymnology.

At the outset we are met by two of the greatest of the sacred songs of
the Church, which are none the less hymns although classed technically
as canticles. Who wrote the _Gloria in Excelsis_ and the _Te Deum
laudamus_? As everybody knows, the opening words of the former are the
song of the angels who brought the good news to the shepherds—words
which authenticate their heavenly origin by their simplicity, beauty,
and force—“a master-song,” as Luther says, “which neither grew nor was
made on earth, but came down from heaven.” But the much longer
supplement, which evidently reflects the situation of the Church in the
days of the Arian controversy, must either have originated in the fourth
century and in the East, or must have been altered to adapt it to that
time. The original still exists in Greek, but in three forms, which
differ somewhat; and the Latin version is defective in that it follows a
later form than that which is given in the so-called _Apostolical
Constitutions_; and, of course, the English follows the Latin, except in
the part taken from the Gospel, where “good will to men” takes the place
of “to men of good will” (_hominibus bonae voluntatis_), the latter
being the reading adopted by the English translators of 1611, but
rejected by the revisers of 1883.[22]

Who made the Latin version? An untrustworthy tradition ascribes it to
Telesphorus, who was Bishop of Rome in 128-38. It is possible that he
prescribed the chanting of the Scripture words in the Church service;
but the whole hymn is of later date in Latin. There is much more
likelihood that it was, according to a tradition recorded by Alcuin in
the ninth century, the work of Hilary of Poitiers, the first Latin

The _Te Deum laudamus_ has some claims to be regarded as the greatest of
Christian hymns. Like the _Gloria in Excelsis_ it belongs to that first
period of Christian hymn-writing, when the Hebrew psalms still furnished
the models for Christian poets, and the same free movement of rhythmical
prose was all that was required or even tolerated. There is no mention
of it in Church literature before the sixth century, when the monastic
rules of both Caesarius of Arles (_c._ 527) and of Benedict of Nursia
(_c._ 530) prescribe its use, and the Council of Toledo mentions it. As
it uses the words of the Vulgate in verses 22-25 and 27 to the end, it
cannot, as it now stands, be much more than a century older than this,
as the date of the Vulgate is 382-404. Yet a tradition recorded by Abbot
Abbo of Fleury in the ninth century, ascribes this hymn also to Hilary
of Poitiers, who died fifteen years before Jerome put his hand to the
work of revising the Latin Bible. Daniel thinks to reconcile the
discrepancy by ascribing it to Hilary of Arles, who was born the year
before Jerome had finished his work, and by regarding it as a
translation from the Greek, as verses 22-26 certainly are. They are
found in the Appendix to the Alexandrian manuscript of the Greek New
Testament, where they follow the _Gloria in Excelsis_ with the
interruption only of an Amen. But is it not possible to regard the last
eight verses as a separate hymn, made up, with the exception of the
strong verse—

   26. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire—

of verses from the Scriptures? These last verses have no internal
connection with the first twenty-two, and they differ decidedly in
style, form, and source. Those contain no Scripture quotations, except
the _Ter-Sanctus_ in verses 5 and 6, which is not taken from the Vulgate
version,[23] but apparently from the Itala. If, therefore, we consider
those twenty-two verses as a hymn by themselves, this may have been the
work of Hilary of Poitiers, and there is no necessity for assuming that
it was not an original Latin hymn. This becomes more probable if we drop
out verse 13, which interrupts the flow of the Christological thought,
and evidently was interpolated to make the hymn complete from a
Trinitarian point of view. When the _Gloria in Excelsis_ and the _Te
Deum_ were composed, it was the relation of the Son to the Father which
occupied the mind of the Church. Both hymns are the expression of “the
present truth” on that subject; the mention of the Holy Spirit in both
is probably by interpolation at a later date.

As the form, and in some places the meaning of the _Te Deum_ is
misrepresented in the current version, it may be worth while to
reproduce the original in a more literal version:

  1. Thee as God we praise,
    Thee as Lord we own,

  2. Thee as eternal Father all the earth doth worship,

  3. Thee all the angels—
    To thee heaven and all its powers,

  4. To thee cherubim and seraphim with unceasing voice cry aloud,

  5. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth,

  6. The heavens and the earth are full of the majesty of thy glory!

  7. Thee the glorious choir of the apostles,

  8. Thee the praiseworthy company of the prophets,

  9. Thee the white-robed army of the martyrs praiseth.

  10. Thee, through the circle of the lands, the Holy Church confesseth

  11. Father of unbounded majesty;

  12. Thy adorable, true and only Son.

  13 (14). Thou King of glory, O Christ,

  14 (15). Thou of the Father art the Son eternal.

  15 (16). Thou, to deliver us, tookest manhood,
        Thou didst not dread the Virgin’s womb.

  16 (17). Thou, since thou hast overcome the sting of death,
        Hast opened to believers the kingdom of heaven.

  17 (18). Thou, at the right hand of God, sittest in the glory of the

  18 (19). As our judge thou art believed to be coming.

  19 (20) Thee therefore we beg,
        Assist thy servants whom thou hast redeemed with precious blood.

  20 (21). Cause us to be gifted, among thy saints, with eternal glory.


There are no other unfathered hymns known to be of this century, and few
less notable hymn-writers. To Jerome is ascribed a hymn, _Te Bethlehem
celebrat_, which is not in any of the collections. His great
contemporary, Augustine of Hippo, has had more than one fine hymn
assigned to him, probably because his works have furnished the
suggestion for so many. Notably Peter Damiani and Hildebert of Tours
drew upon him. But the great theologian was not a poet, as we can see
from his one essay in that form, viz., his “psalm” against the
Donatists, in which he gives a popular and metrical exposition of the
parable of the net (Matt. 13:47-50). It is quite enough to prove that he
did not write the _Ad perennis vitae fontem_ (Damiani), or the _Quid,
tyranne, quid minaris_ (Damiani), or the _O gens beata coelitum_, or
even the _Domine Jesu, noverim me_, all of which have been given to him
at times.

To the fifth century—the century of Prudentius and Ennodius—we may
ascribe the earlier in the large group of hymns classed as Ambrosian,
which are the work of a series of writers who may be described as
constituting a school. It is one of the hardest problems in Latin
hymnology to distinguish between Ambrose’s own work and that of his
imitators, and to arrange the hymns composed by the latter between the
fifth and the eighth century in any chronological order. What can be
said positively has been shown in Chapter V. The chief authorities on
the subject are the early collectors, Clichtove, Cassander, and
Thomasius. Of considerable importance is the MS. given by Francis Junius
in the seventeenth century to the University of Oxford, and published in
1830 by Jacob Grimm. It contains a collection of twenty-six hymns by
Ambrose and the Ambrosians, with a translation into old High German,
probably made at St. Gall in the ninth century. But these do not exhaust
the list. Others have been pointed out by Mone and other collectors, as
proving their kinship to the school by their metrical form or their
contents and style. Schletterer enumerates ninety hymns of the school,
and of these he assigns fifteen to Ambrose himself.

Closely related to the group, and yet not assigned to it, are several
hymns to which a very early date is assigned by Mone at least. To this
fifth century he gives the _Unam duorum gloriam_, which he also claims
as of German origin, and describes as one of the oldest hymns of the
German Church. It is in commemoration of two martyrs, to whose honor a
church near Münster was dedicated, and is strictly classic in metre.
Here also he assigns the _Christi caterva clamitat_, an Advent hymn of
classic metre and primitive tone. He probably would agree with
Wackernagel in selecting the same century for the hymn on Stephen, the
protomartyr, _Primatis aulae coelicae_, in which he finds reminders of
the style of Prudentius. Lastly, he assigns this date to the Paschal
hymn, _Te lucis auctor personat_, which became obsolete when its special
reference to Easter as the time of the baptism of adult catechumens lost
its significance. It was used in France and probably other countries.

To the same fifth century belongs Paulinus, Bishop of Nola (353-431),
who has many better claims to remembrance than his hymns. He was one of
those men of whom their contemporaries cannot speak without enthusiasm,
and as Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose are among his eulogists we may
assume that the praise was not undeserved. He came of a noble Gallic
stock; he inherited wealth and acquired from the teaching of the poet
Ausonius all the culture of his time; he filled high office in Italy and
Spain; he spent the last twenty-two years of his life in administering
with a faithful laboriousness the affairs of a Campanian bishopric. He
did not receive baptism until his thirty-fifth year, so that he may have
been brought up a pagan, although the inference is not necessary. In 378
he was made Roman consul to fill an unexpired term (_consul suffectus_),
and was sent into Campania at the end of the year. There he was so
deeply impressed by a festival in honor of the martyr Vincent of Nola,
that his affections were drawn strongly to the city. But soon after he
married a Spanish wife and went to live first at Bordeaux and then at
Barcelona. At the former in 389 he was received into the membership of
the Church; at the latter he and his wife, after the death of their
infant son, resolved to renounce the “secular” life and to give
themselves to asceticism and charity. He was ordained to the priesthood
in response to a general demand of the people during the Christmas
festivities. He removed to Nola, where he and his wife lived in the
service of the poor, in an age when the incursions of Goths and Vandals
were producing frightful wretchedness. He seems to have held right views
of the responsibility of property, and instead of divesting himself of
it at once, he kept it to use for his brethren. Nor did he separate from
his wife after the fashion of Ennodius and others of the age. They
labored together to the end. About 409 he was elected Bishop of Nola,
and occupied that see until his death. Among his gifts to his people was
a new aqueduct to supply their town with pure water, an evidence of his
breadth of mind and genuine humanity. When he died he was added to the
list of the recognized saints, and few with better right.

His literary achievement was not great, although everything he has
written has its interest. His epistles and poems are reflections of both
his excellence and his faults. They show at once the good heart of the
man and his proneness to superstition. But his contemporaries thought
his poems wonderful, and even some of the moderns have re-echoed this
estimate. Erasmus calls him “the Christian Cicero,” a title more
frequently assigned to Lactantius. Caspar Barth, in his _Adversaria_
(1624), declines to rank any other Christian poet above him. His poems
exhibit the decadence of Latin verse, in that quantity is often
neglected and accent used to replace it. Only a few of them are hymns in
any sense, and these are narrative or reflective rather than lyric.
Bjorn gives two of them in his collection.

This fifth century also brings us the first woman among the Christian
singers. Elpis, identified by a somewhat doubtful tradition with Helpes,
the first wife of the pagan philosopher Boethius, has left a florid hymn
in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul, which holds its place in
modified form in the Roman Breviary, and is divided into two hymns. She
employs accentuated verse, while the verses in Boethius’s classic work,
_De Consolatione Philosophiae_, conform to the quantitative prosody of
classic poetry. Another hymn on the same Apostles, _Felix per omnes
festum mundi cardines_, is ascribed to her and also to Paulinus of Nola.
The Breviary hymn, _Miris modis repente liber_, is a recast of part of

There are several poems and chronicles which are ascribed to Prosper
Tyro, whom some identify with Prosper of Aquitaine (403-65), the Gallic
champion of strict Augustinian orthodoxy against the semi-Pelagian party
in that province—John Cassian, Vincent of Lerins, etc. This is the more
likely, as Prosper loved to “drop into poetry” even in his controversial
treatises. George Cassander includes a hymn from Prosper Tyro’s works in
his collection.

Many of the finest of Ambrosian hymns, which have taken rank among the
favorites of Western Christendom, as sharing the noble spirit and the
torrent-like power of utterance of the great Bishop of Milan, are
credited by the hymnologists to the sixth century—the age of Benedict of
Nursia, Caesarius of Arles, Belisarius, and Gregory the Great. We give
Mr. Duffield’s translation of two of the finest, regretting that he did
not live to translate others which he had marked with that view in his

                        CHRISTE QUI LUX ET DIES.

  Christ who art the light and day,
  Drive the shades of night away,
  Thou, who art the Light of light,
  Make our pathway glad and bright.

  Now we pray thee, holy Lord,
  Keep us safely by thy word;
  Night and day at peace in thee
  May our spirits rested be.

  Let no evil dream appear,
  Let no enemy draw near,
  Let us bow to thee alone,
  Thou who pitiest thine own!

  While in sleep we close our eyes,
  May our hearts forever rise
  Unto thee, whose mighty hand
  Keeps thine own in every land.

  Look upon us, our Defence!
  Drive all lurking traitors hence,
  Rule thy children, O most Good,
  Who are purchased with thy blood.

  Be thou mindful of our state,
  In this body profligate;
  Guard our minds, and ever be
  Near us, Lord, as we to thee.

                       TELLURIS INGENS CONDITOR.

  Thou mighty Maker of earth’s frame,
  Who gavest land and sea their name,
  Hast swept the waters to their bound,
  And fixed for aye the solid ground.

  That soon upspringing should be seen
  The herb with blossoms gold and green,
  And fruit which ripely hangeth there,
  And grass to which the herds repair.

  Relieve the sorrows of the soul!
  Our wounded spirits make thou whole,
  That tears may sinful deeds allay,
  And cleanse all baser lusts away.

  Let us be swayed by thy decree,
  From many evils set us free;
  With goodness fill the waiting heart,
  And keep all fear of death apart!

To the same sixth century belong some notable hymns which have not even
a school to which to assign their paternity. The most famous of these is

    _Ad coenam Agni providi_,

which has been twice rewritten in conformity with the laws of classic
prosody, reappearing in the Roman Breviary as the _Ad regias Agni
dapes_, and in the Paris Breviary as the _Forti tegente brachio_. In
English there have been at least twelve versions since 1710. The great
merit of the hymn is the vigorous and terse way in which the mystical
correspondence of the Christian sacrament to the Jewish passover, and of
our deliverance from the yoke of Satan to the Jewish deliverance from
the Egyptian bondage, are worked out. As Daniel suggests, its first
stanza refers to the old usage that the catechumens, who had received
baptism just before Easter, partook of the other sacrament on the first
Sunday after Easter (_Dominicus in albis_), wearing the white robes of
their baptism (_stolis albis candidi_). Another notable but fatherless
hymn of this age is the _Sanctorum meritis inclyta gaudiis_—a beautiful
commemoration of the martyrs whose sufferings were still so vividly
remembered by the Church. Quite worthy of mention also is the Lenten
hymn, _Jam Christe, sol justitiae_, which expresses the early Christian
attitude toward God’s works, connecting the looked-for Easter with the
renewal of the world by the spring—

  “Dies venit, dies tua
  In qua reflorent omnia.”

The hymn for All Saints Day, _Psallat plebis sexus omnis voce corde
carmina_, is notable not only for its own vigor, but as being one of the
oldest in which the alliterative principle of the early Celtic and
Teutonic verse is employed in Latin. It therefore comes from the North
of Europe, with the chances in favor of Ireland.

Of known but less important hymn-writers of the sixth century we have
only two, Columba and Flavius. The former is the great Irish missionary
known to his countrymen as Columcille (the Dove, or the Dove of the
Church), who lived A.D. 521 to 597. He was one of the O’Donnells of
Donegal, whose chiefs, something more than seventy years before his
birth, had offered especial opposition to Patrick’s preaching. He
studied in the great school founded at Clonard, on the upper waters of
the Boyne, by Finnian, the first of those teachers who made the Ireland
of this and the following centuries “the land of schools,” to which
students flocked from Great Britain and even the Continent. Finnian sent
him to Clonfad to obtain ordination as a bishop; but the bishop, who was
ploughing in the field when he came, made a mistake and gave him
ordination as a priest. And he never rose higher than this in
hierarchical dignity. Not that it mattered much in the very elastic
system of Church government Patrick had established in Ireland. The
tribal or sept system was copied in the Church arrangement. At the head
of each church sept stood a _coarb_, who might be a woman, and
frequently was a priest or deacon. Under this jurisdiction the bishops
took the same relative place that the bards held to the chiefs in the
civil tribes. Sometimes there would be a dozen of these right reverend
fathers in God in one small Irish town, all under the direction of a
female _coarb_, miscalled an abbess by later authors, as the Church sept
has been miscalled a monastery.

As a penance for having been the cause of a faction fight or civil
war—one hardly knows which to call it—over the ownership of a psalter,
Columba banished himself from Ireland and took up his abode at Iona (or
Hy), from which centre he preached the Gospel to the Scots (_i.e._,
Irish) and Picts (_i.e._, Welsh) of the Highlands and the Western
Islands. The former had conquered this region in the fifth century and
were yet to give their name to the whole country, although up to A.D.
1198 there is no instance of Scotus meaning Scotchman rather than
Irishman. But while Christianity had penetrated even the wilds of
Donegal in Ireland, these Irish of Scotland and their Cymric subjects
still were pagans. So as Patrick was Scotland’s gift to Ireland,
Columcille was Ireland’s to Scotland. He was the type of those
persuasive and successful missionaries which the Church of Patrick sent
through Great Britain and to the Continent. He used the power of song
very freely in his missionary labors, confounding the Druids and
attracting the people by the grave, sweet melody of the Church’s chants.
Like Whitefield and Summerfield, he had a wonderful, because pure voice
and could sing so as to be heard a mile away. He, too, was a poet of no
mean merit. The sorrows of his voluntary exile from the land of his
birth—the land which exercises such a weird fascination over her
children that all other lands are to her what prose is to poetry or
water to wine—seem to have wakened in him the gift of song. Less
beautiful than these patriotic elegies is the abecedarian hymn on the
spiritual history of our world, _Altus prositor, vetustus dierum, et
ingenitus_, which is given in the Appendix to the _Lyra Sacra Hibernica_
(Belfast, 1879) and in the second part of Dr. J. H. Todd’s _Liber
Hymnorum_. It is written in a very rude Latinity, and is intended for
instruction and edification rather than lyric expression. But it is an
interesting monument of the faith of the great missionary, as it brings
us nearer him than does the wonderful biography by Abbot Adamnan, his
seventh successor at Iona. It was first printed in 1657 by the Irish
scholar Colgan, and with it two other and shorter hymns (_In Te,
Christe, credentium_ and _Noli, Pater, indulgere_), which also may be

Flavius was Bishop of Chalons in the year 580, and has left one hymn,
_Tellus et aeth’ra jubilent_, which Daniel calls an excellent poem
(_carmen eximium_). Its theme is our Lord’s washing the feet of the
Apostles, and for this reason it was commonly sung after meals in some

Of the seventh century, the century of Heraclius and Mahomet, there is
not one great hymn-writer known as such, but there are some great hymns.
The greatest is the _Urbs beata Hirusalem, dicta pacis visio_, of which
the _Angulare fundamentum_ is a part, and which is of the seventh or
eighth century. Daniel, however, with the support of Schlosser, regards
this hymn as not certainly older than the tenth century, and has Neale’s
support in asserting that the last two verses are a later addition to
give it suitableness for singing at a dedication of a church.[24] The
earliest mention of its use in the tenth century is in the church of
Poitiers at the annual blessing of the font on Easter Sunday, which
tends to confirm the supposition that two verses have been added. He
thinks it of Spanish origin, as the metrical form is one usual in the
Mozarabic Breviary. In later days it underwent three revisions. In the
old Paris Breviary of 1527 it becomes the _Urbs Jerusalem beata_; in the
new Breviary of 1736 it becomes the _Urbs beata, vera pacis visio_ under
the hands of Abbé Besnault (_ob._ 1726). In the Roman Breviary of 1631
it is the _Coelestis Urbs Jerusalem_, the form, as usual, best known to
modern readers and translators, but not the best worth knowing. Along
with the _Urbs beata_ we may place the _Gloriosa Jerusalem_, probably of
Spanish origin, and of the same century as well as similar in contents,
but unequal in beauty and poetic worth.

Next in worth is the abecedarian judgment hymn, _Apparabet repentina
dies magna Domini_, which Neale speaks of as containing the germ of the
_Dies Irae_. It is little more than a rehearsal in a trochaic metre of
our Lord’s prediction of the Day of Judgment. It follows the Scripture
text much more closely than does Thomas of Celano. Bede mentions it in
the next century. Mrs. Charles has translated it.

To this seventh century or the next Mone refers the _Salvator mundi,
Domine_, which is most probably an Anglo-Saxon hymn, although of the
Ambrosian school. It reappears in the Anglican _Orarium_ of 1560 and the
_Preces Privatae_ of 1564, and is said to have been familiar to Sir
Thomas Browne and Bishop Ken through its use at Wykeham’s school in
Winchester. It, along with the _Te lucis ante terminum_, also sung at
Winchester, may have suggested both Bishop Ken’s “Glory to thee, my God,
this night,” and Browne’s “The night is come, like to the day,” given in
his _Religio Medici_. To the seventh century we also may refer the
_Quicunque vultesse salvus_, a hymn better known as the Athanasian

Besides these there are two groups of hymns whose temporal limits do not
lie within the seventh century on either side, but which may be as well
discussed here as anywhere. The first are the early Spanish
hymn-writers. We know by name three of the seventh century. The first is
Isidore, Archbishop of Seville (570-636), the scholar of encyclopaedic
range, who did so much to adapt the learning of the Romans to the wants
of the Gothic community in Spain. To him are ascribed, somewhat
doubtfully, three ballad-hymns in honor of as many martyrs and two
abecedarian poems on repentance. More certainly authentic are three or
four ascribed to his contemporary Eugenius, who was Archbishop of Toledo
from 646 to 657. He has left us thirty-two Latin poems in classic
metres, none of which, strictly speaking, are hymns, but his _Rex Deus
immense_ has found its way into the collections. In his day he worked
hard to improve the singing and other services of the Church. Lastly,
there is the Spanish magistrate Cyxilla, who built a church in honor of
the martyr Thyrsus of Toledo, and wrote a hymn for the dedication,
though some say he got Isidore to do it for him. Daniel (I., 190) gives
it in full from the Mozarabic[25] Breviary. But far more important are
the anonymous hymns of that Breviary, which constituted the hymnary of
the old Spanish Church at the date of the conquest of the country by the
Saracens (711-14), and which through the temporary prostration of the
Church’s energy was preserved from additions and alterations. The
collection therefore is interesting as containing nothing of later date
than the eighth century, and probably very little that is later than the
seventh. Besides a large number of hymns traceable to other authors,
from Hilary to Gregory—most of them from Ambrose and his school—there
are forty-eight hymns peculiar to this ancient Breviary. Of these the
best known are the _Alleluia piis edite laudibus_, the _Cunctorum rex
omnipotens_, the _Jesu defensor omnium_, the _O Dei perenne Verbum_ of
Bishop Arturus Serranus of Toledo, the _Sacer octavarum dies_, the
_Sacrata Christi tempora_, and the _Surgentes ad Te, Domine_. It is well
known that the hymns of Ambrose and his school enjoyed great repute in
Spain. These unnamed writers evidently have studied at his feet, their
mode of dealing with the great themes of Christian praise having much in
common with his. The country, however, which gave Seneca, Lucan, and
Quinctilian to Latin literature was under no necessity merely to imitate
an Italian model; and we find these Spanish poets departing widely from
Ambrose’s school as regards the form of their verse. The four-lined
stanza, with four iambic feet (u -) in each line—a line used by the
tragedian Seneca before it was adopted by the Christian poets—is the
form of verse employed almost exclusively by the Ambrosian school. The
Mozarabic writers also use it (_Convexa solis orbita_), but they also
employ as a substitute a trochaic verse of eleven syllables (_Lucis
auctor clemens, lumen immensum_) and more complex choriambic forms
(_Alleluia piis edite laudibus_, etc.). But their hymns, as a whole,
lack pith and force; not one of them has earned a place by itself in the
affections of Latin Christendom.

The second national group is that of the early Irish writers of Latin
hymns. There are not so many of these, and still fewer names have been
preserved. But they deserve notice as monuments of that aggressive
Church whose missionary labors rendered such grand service in the
Christianization of Western Europe. Of Caelius Sedulius there is enough
said in the chapter devoted to him and his acrostic hymn. Of Columcille
and the _Altus Deus prositor_ we have spoken above. The next name which
meets us is that of Ladkenus or Lathacan, an Irishman of the seventh
century, to whom is ascribed a hymn of the class called in Irish
_Luireach_ (or _lorica_), meaning a shield. There are two hymns of this
class ascribed to Patrick and to Columcille. The former, best known by
James Clarence Mangan’s version,

  “At Tara to-day, in this awful hour,
    I call on the holy Trinity!”

is probably not the work of the Apostle of Ireland; but as it, like that
of Columcille, is in Irish, it need not detain us here. The latter

  “Alone am I upon the mountain,
  O King of heaven, prosper my way,
  And then nothing need I fear,
  More than if guarded by six thousand.”

That of Lathacan, while possessing the same general character, as aiming
at a Christian substitute for the Druidical charms of the pagans, is on
a lower level both religiously and poetically. No less than eleven of
its twenty-three quatrains are occupied with the enumeration of the
parts of the human body, which are placed under divine protection, and
these may be not without interest to the students of the history of
physiological knowledge.

Many of the early Irish hymns are in the national language, which was at
that time the vehicle of a vigorous native poetry. Of those in Latin the
most beautiful is the Communion hymn,

  “Sancti venite,
  Christi corpus sumite,”

which both Daniel and Neale praise for its noble simplicity. An old
Irish legend, to which we need not pin our faith, represents Patrick and
his nephew Sechnall as hearing the angels sing it first, during the
offertory before the communion, and adds, “So from that time to the
present that hymn is chanted in Erinn when the body of Christ is
received.” Singing at the communion was not unusual in the early Church,
and Gregory of Tours has preserved an antiphon used at that sacrament
which closely resembles the Irish hymn. But it is now disused.

The hymn is found in the Bangor Antiphonary, an old Irish manuscript of
the seventh century, first published by Muratori in his _Anecdota_
(1697-98). From Bangor it had been carried to Bobbio, the famous
monastery founded on Italian soil by the Irish missionary Columbanus
after he had been driven out of Burgundy by the reigning powers. From
Bobbio it made its way to the Ambrosian Library at Milan, where Muratori
found it. It is one of the most interesting monuments of the early Irish
Church, and its hymns are given or indicated by Daniel in his fourth
volume. The first is a series of quintains, each for one of the
canonical hours. Then the _Hymnum dicat turba fratrum_, which already
Beda described as _hymnus ille pulcherrimus_, is found in a mutilated
form in the Antiphonary, and ascribed to Hilary. It is a terse rehearsal
of the facts of our Lord’s birth, life, passion, and resurrection.
Daniel suggests that it is one of the primitive hymns of the martyr-ages
of the Church to which Pliny refers, and brought into Latin from the
original Greek by some scholarly Briton or Irish man. Then a hymn in
commemoration of the Apostles (_Precamur Patrem_), of which also Daniel
thinks that Irish scholarship may have rendered from the Greek. Then a
morning hymn based on the Constantinopolitan creed (_Spiritus divinae
lucis gloriae_); and another in honor of the martyrs (_Sacratissimi
Martyres summi Dei_); the _Lorica_ of Lathacan; and two hymns in honor
of St. Patrick, one by Sechnall and the other by Fiacc. Daniel gives
only the former, which is an abecedary hymn. Both are full of the
marvellous—an element not wanting even in the contemporary documents of
Patrick’s life, and quite abundant in those of later date.

Besides these there are four other hymns which Mone has shown to be of
Irish authorship. The first is the _Jesus refulsit omnium_, which has
been ascribed to Hilary, but is shown not to be his not only by the
rhyme, but by the alliteration which marks it as originating in the
North of Europe. It is found in manuscripts, German and English, of the
eleventh century; but Mone ascribes it to an Irish author both because
of the strophe employed and because of the mixture of Greek words with
the Latin, the Irish being the best Greek scholars of the West, and
being not disinclined to show off their erudition in this way. Another
is an abecedary hymn, _Ad coeli clara non sum dignus sidera_, famous as
having been supposed by some stupid critic to be the lost evening hymn
which Hilary sent from the East to his daughter along with the _Lucis
largitor splendide_. It probably is as old as the sixth or seventh
century, both the structure of the verse and the allusions to pagan
beliefs and Christian heresies indicating that antiquity. The use of
alliteration and other peculiarities indicate an Irish author, but
probably a monk of Bobbio, as the accentuated Sapphic verse was in use
in that country. Here are seven of its most characteristic stanzas:

  To the clear stars of heaven I am not worthy
    The base eyes of my most sad behavior
  Even to lift: weighed down with sorrows earthy,
        Spare me, O Saviour.

  Boon which I ought to show I have neglected,
    Evil I did: no limit might resist me;
  Crime by no secret conscience was rejected;
        O Christ, assist me.

                    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

  Leave me, O Lord, alone with my repenting,
    Me from my birth all evil who inherit,
  Give me but tears from depths of my consenting
        Penitent spirit.

  Mine, as I think, are vices so appalling
    That the worst torments still will not withhold me,
  Save as thy pity on a wretch is calling,
        Glad to enfold me.

                    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

  Rescue of earth, the only hope of mortals,
    Equal with Father and with Holy Spirit
  Three, and yet one beyond those viewless portals
        Save by thy merit.

                    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

  Xrist have I ever, in the faith most holy,
    Praised with my lips and made a true confession;
  Purely I spurned all heresy, nor slowly
        Wrought my profession.

  HYmns have I sung in Arius’s derision,
    Barking Sabellian dog I have not favored,
  Simon the swine, whose covetous base vision
        Mine never favored.

                                                                S. W. D.

Besides this we have the _Cantemus omni die concenentes variae_, which
furnishes a remarkable combination of sustained rhyme with a free use of
alliteration; and two hymns in honor of Michael the Archangel, of which
the first is an abecedary, and has the same structural peculiarity.
Besides these there are other hymns in the _Leabhur Jomann_, or “Book of
Hymns,” in honor of St. Brigid (often confounded with the St. Birgitta
of Sweden) and other Irish saints—some in Latin and some in Irish. They
have been edited for the Irish Archaeological Society by Dr. J. H. Todd
(Dublin, 1855-69).

To the eighth century, the age of the Iconoclasts, of John of Damascus
and of Beda, we trace but few anonymous hymns. As we have said, the
_Urbs beata Hirusalem_ (with the _Angulare fundamentum_) may belong
here, and so may some in the Mozarabic Breviary. But as only the
manuscripts we have named and the “Psalter of the Queen of Sweden”—so
called because it once was the property of Queen Christine—go back to
this time, we can only guess which of the hymns marked as “very old” in
manuscripts of the eleventh and later centuries date back to this.
Niebuhr found in a tenth-century manuscript the pilgrim hymn _O Roma
nobilis, orbis et domina_, and published it in the _Rheinisches Museum_
(1829), and traced its accentual form of verse back to the old
folk-songs of Rome, such as the Roman soldiers may well have sung at the
triumph of Camillus, and certainly did so behind the golden triumphal
chariots of Caesar and Aurelian.

To this century some ascribe the hymn for martyrs, _Sanctorum meritis
inclyta gaudia_, which holds its place in a recast in the Roman
Breviary, and has occupied the attention of at least four English
translators. In the history of theology it is memorable as giving
Gottschalk a point by its use of the phrase _trina deitas_, to which
Archbishop Hincmar strongly objected.

Of the less notable hymn-writers of this century three belong to the
group of literary men whom Charles the Great gathered at his court or
employed in his administration. That Charles himself was a poet in any
sense we have no evidence, much less that he wrote the _Veni, Creator
Spiritus_. His biographer, Eginhard, tells us that although he spoke
Latin fluently—his native language, of course, being German—he never
fully acquired the art of writing, although he kept a tablet under his
pillow for the sake of practising. He was a keen lover of learning and a
generous patron of education. In one of his trips to Italy he
encountered at Parma an Englishman, chief of the Cathedral school at
York, and then on his way to Rome to obtain the _pallium_ for Archbishop
Eanbald. Charles offered him sufficient inducement to remove to the
Continent, and for fourteen years (782-96) Alcuin of York (735-804) was
Charles’s minister of education and head of the palace school, in which
both the king and his children studied. He was rewarded with various
abbacies, and in 796 he retired to one of them—that of St. Martin at
Tours—withdrawing from the not very admirable court of his patron to
spend his eight last years in study and devotion. He was succeeded by an
Irishman named Clemens, who brought over the Irish preference for Greek
philosophy, especially that of Plato, to Alcuin’s keen annoyance. In the
collections there are some half-dozen hymns ascribed to Alcuin, none of
which have made any marked impression. He was an honest, plodding,
unimaginative Englishman, such as still writes Latin verses at Eton or
Harrow, _invitâ Minervâ_, and as a matter of duty, not of necessity.

More notable for personal qualities was the Lombard, Paul Warnefried
(730-96), better known as Paul the Deacon (_Paulus Diaconus_), who had
witnessed the overthrow of the Lombard kingdom by Charles in 774, and
then withdrew to Monte Casino, where he became a Benedictine monk. He
attracted Charles’s attention in 781 by a poetical petition in behalf of
his brother Arichis, who had been carried beyond the Alps as a prisoner;
and the king invited him to his court. He returned to Monte Casino in
787. His most important work, the _De Gestis Longobardorum Libri Sex_,
is marked by a lively and patriotic interest in the legends, habits, and
fortunes of his own people. He has preserved for us much early Teutonic
lore, such as the poetical explanation of the origin of the name
“Lombard,” which Kingsley has worked into a poem in _Hypatia_. A Frank
he never became, and the rough soldiers of Charles’s court proposed to
cut off his hands and put out his eyes by way of resenting this. “God
forbid,” replied Charles, “that I should thus treat so excellent a poet
and a historian.” There are but two hymns which bear Paul Warnefried’s
name: one in commemoration of John the Baptist, and the other on the
miracles of Benedict of Nursia. The former, which frequently is divided
into three parts for different services on St. John’s day, is a hymn of
much merit, and still holds its place in the Roman Breviary. Its widest
fame is in connection with the history of music, as from its first verse
we derive the ordinary names of our musical notes. The verse runs,

  _Ut_ queant laxis
  _Re_sonare fibris
  _Mi_ra gestorum
  _Fa_muli tuorum,
  _Sol_ve polluti
  _La_bii reatum,
  Sancte Johannes.

The tune composed for the hymn in the Middle Ages, or adapted to it, had
the peculiarity that each half verse began on one of the bars of the
staff, and each a note higher than the last. This suggested, possibly to
Guido of Arezzo in the eleventh century, the possibility of using these
first syllables as a mnemonic device to fix the pitch of each note on
the memory of those who were learning to sing. Guido, in a letter to his
friend Michael, describes the device in terms which suggest that it was
his own. But there is no warrant for the assumption often made in this
connection that he devised the musical staff. That was in use in England
as early as 1016, while Guido wrote about 1067.

A third of Charles’s _protégés_ was Paulinus, whom he made patriarch of
Aquileia (726-804), and who is specified by George Cassander as the
author of three extant hymns. One of these, the _Refulgit omnia luce
mundus aurea_, is thought by Mone to belong to the sixth or seventh
century. It is in the ornate style of his namesake of Nola and his
imitator Elpis, so that it may be the work of the older Paulinus. It
possesses a philological interest as being written in the _lingua
rustica_, or provincial and countrified Latin, out of which the Romance
languages were developed. Paulinus of Aquileia was a German, who took an
active part in the controversies of his times, as may be seen from his
prose works. Walafrid Strabo in the next century speaks of him as a
hymn-writer; but it is impossible to say how many, if any, of the hymns
which stand in his name are his work.

The ninth century is much more fertile in hymns than either the seventh
or the eighth. It is the age of Charles the Great as Emperor, of Rabanus
Maurus and Hincmar, and of John Scotus Erigena; and it witnessed the
founding of the school of sequence-singers at St. Gall. To this century
has been traced the beautiful paschal sequence _Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani_, one of the few which hold their place in the Roman
Missal. Kehrein, on what seems to him good authority, ascribes the
sequence to Wipo, the Burgundian chaplain of the Emperor Conrad II., and
the tutor of Henry II., who has left us several poems on historical
events of his time, besides a prose life of Conrad and two didactic
poems for the edification of Henry. He was a man of unusual acquaintance
with classical literature, which probably led to his selection as tutor
to the young prince. All this makes Kehrein’s ascription of the sequence
to him have an air of probability, which, however, is weakened, if not
destroyed, by a comparison of this with his undoubted poems. These
employ both the classic hexameter and the rhymed verse of his own age;
but in neither does he show the fine ear for rhythm which the author of
the _Victimae paschali laudes_ must have possessed. The sequence was one
of those Easter hymns in which Luther took such delight, and which he
describes in general terms in his _House-Postill_: “In the time of
popery many fine hymns were sung! He that broke up hell, and overcame
the very Devil therein, therewith the Lord redeemed his Christendom.”
Elsewhere in the same book he calls this “a very beautiful hymn,”
especially finding delight in the second verse, _Mors et Vita duello
conflixere mirando: Dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus_. “Make it who will,
he must have had a high and Christian understanding to have painted this
picture with such fine gracefulness.” In his commentary on Hosea, he
again quotes it with especial praise.

To this ninth century Koch assigns the _Virginis proles opifexque
matris_, which still holds its place in the Roman Breviary in a revised
form. Less offensive to Protestant ears is the brief and beautiful
sequence, probably of this century, _Quod chorus vatum_, which Mr. Blew
has translated for his _Church Hymn and Tune-Book_ (1855), and the
editor of the _Lyra Messianica_ has copied. Here also belongs the _Ad
Dominum clamaveram_, which is one of the earliest attempts at a metrical
treatment of the Psalms. It consists largely of extracts from the
fifteen Psalms of Degrees. Here also belongs the _Iste confessor
Domini_, which still holds its place in the Roman Breviary.

Of the less-known hymn-writers we may name the younger Prudentius, who,
like his greater namesake, was a Spaniard by birth, his family probably
being one of the many which took refuge in France from the rule of the
Saracens. Indeed, he assumed the name out of compliment to the elder
poet—a practice very reprehensible in the eyes of hymnologists, as
increasing the amply sufficient confusion which hangs around the
identity of hymn-writers. He was one of the most learned men of his
time, and had the manliness to defend the Augustinian doctrine of
predestination against Hincmar of Rheims, at the time when Gottschalk
had brought it into ill repute by his paradoxical statement of it. But
he and Hincmar found common ground in opposing John Scotus Erigena, who
asserted that the whole controversy grew out of the ascription of
temporal existence to the divine and eternal mind. His hymns are lost to
us, those ascribed to him being certainly not of his authorship, unless
perhaps the _Virgo Dei genetrix_.

Servatus Lupus (805-63), abbot of Ferrières, was one of the many pupils
of Rabanus Maurus, who rose to eminence in the Church of this age, and
were employed by the Karling kings in public affairs. His best monument
is his letters, which give us a vivid picture of a time of disorder, and
of a man of genuine capacity and honest purpose. His hymns in praise of
St. Wigbert are of less worth.

Much more important is Theodulph of Orleans (_ob._ 821), the author of a
single hymn, which has preserved his memory not less by its own merits
than by its association with a beautiful but unhistorical legend of its
authorship. He, too, was of Spanish birth and Gothic stock. He was
honored and trusted by Charles the Great, and was one of the witnesses
to his will. He was strongly imperialist in his politics, both before
and after Charles’s death opposing the inevitable separation of France
from Germany, especially in his poems to Charles and his sons, which are
among the best of that age. In 818, however, he was implicated justly or
unjustly in the rebellion of Bernard, King of Italy, against his uncle
the emperor, and was imprisoned three years. While in prison he
composed, tradition says, the hymn for Palm Sunday, _Gloria, laus et
honor_, together with other poems, as the pastime of weary hours. The
story runs that it was to the hymn he owed his liberation. On Palm
Sunday of 821 the Emperor Lewis the Pious was at Angers, where the
Bishop of Orleans was imprisoned in a monastery. Through an open window,
when the emperor was within hearing, he sang the hymn, which so moved
his heart that he gave orders to set the prisoner at liberty. Another
version of the story is that he had taught it to the children of the
church, who sang it before the emperor. The legend is discredited by the
fact that in 821 there was a general amnesty for political offenders,
which must have given him his liberty. He died within the year, by
poison it is said.

To make the list complete we add the names of Ermanrich (_ob._ 840),
abbot of Ellwangen in Würtemberg; Drepanius Florus (_ob._ 860), deacon
of the church of Lyons; Eric, a monk at Saint-Germain at Auxerre, and
Paul Alvarez of Cordova (_ob._ 861)—all of whom have left us hymns in
commemoration of saints.

In the chapter on Notker a full account has been given of the three
principal singers of St. Gall—Notker Balbulus, Tutilo, and Hartmann.
There are two lesser sequence-writers of that monastery who belong to
the same (ninth) century—Ratpert and Waltram. Ratpert (_ob._ 900), like
Notker, was a pupil of the Irishman Möngal. He was of noble family and
born in the neighborhood of Zurich, and made such proficiency that he
was entrusted with the oversight of the outer school at St. Gall. His
“proses” were composed especially for processional use and for
pilgrimages, and therefore are not sequences in the strict sense. To
adapt them to this use he fitted them with refrains, which might be
caught up by those who had little familiarity with Latin. The _Rex
sanctorum angelorum_ is the best known of them. But most important is
his position as the first in point of time of the German hymn-writers.
He wrote a German hymn in honor of St. Gall (_fecit carmen barbaricum
populo in laude Sancti Galli canendum_), of which unfortunately we have
only Ekkehard’s Latin translation, made a century later.

Waltram never rose above the rank of deacon at St. Gall. He was more
famous for his poems on secular themes, written to the music of the
sequences, than for sequences proper. But one of the latter is ascribed
to him.

                              CHAPTER XXX.
                     [Tenth to Sixteenth Century.]

The tenth century—the century of the Danes, of the Normans, of the
Othos, of the Olafs, of Dunstan, and of Cordova as a centre of
philosophic and scientific culture—saw the general establishment of
Christianity among the Teutonic peoples of Northern Europe. It was not
rich in great Churchmen, great men of letters, or great hymn-writers. We
find in it no name great enough to deserve a separate chapter. Yet Odo
of Cluny and Fulbert of Chartres, the two Ekkehards, and Rupert of St.
Gall are enough to show that it was not altogether barren.

This dark age was a time when the worship of Mary and the saints,
already on the increase in previous ages, made rapid advances. The
practice of formal canonization of the saints dates from 993. Perhaps
the most characteristic hymn of the century is the _Ave Maris stella_,
which has been ascribed to Venantius Fortunatus of the sixth century,
but cannot be older than the tenth. Daniel’s final judgment was that a
St. Gall MS. proves it to belong here, although he formerly had thought
it might be as early as the sixth century. Moll and Mone, however, would
put it even later, on the theory that it borrows from one of Hermann of
Reichenau’s sequences. It is one of the favorite hymns of the Roman
Catholic Church, being found in all the breviaries, and assigned for use
not only at the Annunciation, to which it properly belongs, but to
others of the many festivals in honor of our Lord’s mother. In the
following version Mr. Duffield has given the easy form of the original:

  Hail, thou star of ocean,
    God’s own mother mortal,
  Virgin ever perfect,
    Heaven’s own blessed portal.

  Bright with such a message,
    Gabriel gave thee greeting;
  Grant us, then, thy favor,
    Eve’s defeat defeating.

  Loose the prisoner’s bondage,
    Give the blind their vision,
  Drive all evils from us,
    Pray for our condition.

  Show thyself our mother,
    Let thy prayer avail us
  With thy Son, our Saviour,
    Born that naught should fail us.

  Virgin pure and only,
    Mild among all others,
  Make us free from sinning,
    Meek beyond our brothers.

To this century or later we must assign the _Martyr Dei qui unicum_,
which (as _Invicte Martyr unicum_) still holds its place in the Roman
Breviary; and the _Jesu Redemptor omnium_, which is similarly honored.

Odo of Cluny (879-943) is the first of the three poets who have adorned
that famous monastic house. He was dedicated before his birth to St.
Martin, by his father, a courtier of the Duke of Aquitaine, and became a
monk at Tours in fulfilment of this vow. He got such education as the
times furnished, going to Paris for the sake of finding the best
schools. He then joined the congregation of three monasteries recently
founded by Bernon, who was abbot of them all. At the death of Bernon he
became the second abbot of Cluny, and it speaks ill for either Bernon or
the age that he found his work to be that of a monastic reformer even in
a young monastery. He was the most considerable figure in the French
Church of his time, and his advice and mediation were sought on all
sides. As his name was a very usual one, a long series of books he did
not write has been fathered on him, what he really left being a
collection of addresses to his monks (_Collationes_), some sermons, and
a few hymns, about four in all. Of these Dr. Neale has translated the
_Lauda, mater ecclesiae, lauda Christi_, and Mr. Chambers the _Aeterni
Patris unice_. They commemorate Mary Magdalene, identifying her, of
course, with Mary of Bethany, as Church tradition does.

Fulbert of Chartres (950-1028) was to France, in the second half of this
century of disorder and transition, what Odo was in the first. He also
was from Aquitaine, and possibly of a noble family, although he seems to
contradict his biographers on that point when he says,

            “non opibus nec sanguine fretus
  Conscendi cathedram, pauper, de sorde levatus.”

He studied at Rheims under the great scholar Gerbert, afterward Pope
Sylvester II.—“a pope,” as Dr. Döllinger says, “who was held in great
honor as the most learned scholar and the most enlightened spirit of his
time,” but afterward was regarded as an expert in the black art, and
even as having sold himself to Satan. From him Fulbert at least learned
no black arts. Transferred in 968 to Chartres as chancellor of the
cathedral, with charge of its school, he made the place a centre of
attraction to students from three nations. His scholars called him “the
Frankish Socrates,” and frequent is the reference in writers of the next
generation to the delightful fellowship they had with this bright-minded
and devout master, who taught the science of both natural and divine
things, entering into right human relations with each of them, and
pointing them to that knowledge which is life eternal. Even after Robert
II. elevated him to the bishopric of Chartres, in 1007, he found time to
take part in the work of teaching, which he so much loved. He died in

His letters are his chief monument, and they give us an unattractive
picture of his age. One of them denounces bishops who have become
soldiers as unworthy of the name. Others tell of the murder, in the very
porch of the cathedral, of a priest he had made the sub-dean of the
cathedral at Sens. The friends of a rival candidate killed him, with the
alleged connivance of the bishop of Sens! In yet another he takes to
task Constance, the shrew whom a just Providence awarded to Robert II.
as his last wife. His sermons are less notable, and much given to
Mariolatry. His hymns are few in number, but one of them, the _Chorus
novae Hirusalem_, is a Whitsunday hymn of much beauty, yet it has not
commended itself to the compilers of the Roman Breviary. Mone remarks
that it unites classic metre with rhyme, which is true also of his hymn
in commemoration of Martin of Tours, _Inter patres monachalis_.

The fifth abbot of Cluny, Odilo (962-1048), was a dear friend of
Fulbert’s, and lamented his death. He continued the work of monastic
reform begun by Odo, which made Cluny the centre of monastic energy and
life in this age. Especially was the severity of the restored rule of
Benedict, as practised at Cluny, opposed to the laxer order established
by the Irish monks in Germany. So absorbed was he in this work that he
refused to be made Archbishop of Lyons. Fulbert called him “the
archangel of the monks.” He also wrote hymns, but there are none that we
can attach with certainty to his name.

The same is true of Salvus, abbot of a cloister in the Christian kingdom
of Navarre. Heriger, abbot of Lobbes (940-1009), a Flemish Benedictine
and hagiologist, of great renown as an educator and a scholar, has left
one hymn, _Ave per quam_, and two antiphons, in honor of the Apostle
Thomas. Theodoric of Monte Casino wrote a hymn in honor of St. Maurus.

To the eleventh century we owe the beginnings of many things—rag paper,
Gothic architecture, our modern musical notation, the crusades, the
troubadours, the peace of God, the Norman rule in England. It is the
century of Hildebrand, of Peter Damiani, of Anselm of Canterbury, of the
great struggle to establish the celibacy of the clergy and to abolish
lay patronage in the Church. It is not rich in hymn-writers, but it has
some minor names and anonymous hymns worthy of notice.

To this century belongs the manuscript collection of old English hymns
in Latin which the Rev. Joseph Stevenson edited for the Surtees Society
in 1851 (_Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, with an Interlinear
Saxon Gloss. From a manuscript of the Eleventh Century in Durham
Library_). While many of them are found equally in the breviaries and
hymnaries of the Continent, there is a large number which seem to be
peculiar to the English Church, and have not been traced to any
continental source. None of these are very great hymns, and their
importance to us is partly from our interest in the work of our English
ancestors, and partly from the preference shown to them by modern
English translators. But such work as _Annis peractis mensibus_ and
_Nuntium nobis fero de supernis_ is more than respectable. In this
manuscript is found the beautiful hymn for Septuagesima and succeeding
Sundays, _Alleluia, dulce carmen_, which therefore may be an old English
hymn. It was written in accordance with the old usage that “Alleluia!”
should be sung frequently on that and the following Sundays in
preparation for Lent. To this century Koch assigns the abecedarian hymn,
_A patre unigenitus_, which gets almost through the alphabet in twenty
lines, but is better than this would indicate, or Mr. Chambers would not
have translated it. Here belongs the _Audi, tellus, audi_, which
unfortunately is only partly preserved in its original and unexpanded
form. It is a judgment hymn, but not one of the greatest. The Lutherans
used it for some time after the Reformation, and Dr. Washburn has
translated it. The enlarged form recalls the _Cur mundus militat_ of
Jacoponus. Du Méril has published a Christmas hymn of this century,
_Congaudeat turba fidelium_, whose first six verses indicate its popular
use by their refrain, “In Bethlehem!” It bears a close resemblance to
many of the fifteenth century, and may have been their model. To the
same editor we owe the terse and spirited Easter hymn of this same
century, _Mitis agnus, leo fortis_, which has found several English
translators. To this century or, at latest, to the next, we must assign
the very beautiful hymn in commemoration of Stephen the Protomartyr,
_Sancte Dei pretiose_, whose popularity seems to have made it especially
tempting to the hymn-tinkers of the Middle Ages. It is found in two
other forms, both of them much watered; “but nobody likes inspiration
and water,” as Lowell says.

To Anselm of Canterbury, the great archbishop and theologian, seven
hymns are assigned in the collections. They are so much below the level
of the _Cur Deus Homo_, the _Monologion_, and the _Prosologion_ of that
great master, as to suggest that they are the work of one of the lesser
Anselms—for the name was a common one in that age—and that they have
been assigned to him by the eagerness of his editors to swell his works,
as has been done with many prose treatises. One of the best is a long
“Prayer to the Lord and all His Saints,” beginning _Deus, pater
credentium_, of which Mr. Duffield says, in a manuscript note, that it
“contains many excellent stanzas.” There is another, “To Mary and all
the Saints,” nearly as long, which shows the author’s training in a
French school by its use of the assonance. Yet another on Mary
alone—_Lux quae luces in tenebris_—which has been broken into eight
brief hymns for the canonical hours. Christ as the Son and Mary herself
are invoked in alternate verses.

Better than any of these is a little hymn which is his in the sense of
being based on a fine passage of his prose meditations. This “second
Augustine,” like the first, was happier as an occasion of poetry in
other men, than in his own verses. Here it is:

                          TO THE HOLY SPIRIT.

  Veni jam veni
  Dolentis animiae
  In opportunatibus
  Et tribulationibus

  Veni fortitude fragilium,
  Relevator labentium

  Veni doctor humilium
  Destructor superborum,
  Pius pater orphanorum,
  Dulcis vindex viduarum.

  Veni spes pauperum,
  Refocillator deficientium!

  Veni navigantium

  Veni omnium viventium
  Singulare decus,
  Unica salus,
  Veni Sancte Spiritus!

  Come, yea and quickly come,
    Thou gentlest guest,
  To them of sorrowing mind,
    Consoler blest!
  Thou swiftest help and guide
    In every chance,
  And in our sharp distress

  Come, courage of the coward breast,
  Who raisest them that sink oppressed!

  Come, teacher of the humble, thou
    Who bringest pride to dust,
  Thou Father of the fatherless,
    The widow’s stay and trust.

  Come, thou hope of poverty,
  Reviving from despondency.

  Come, thou of sailing souls
          The Star;
  Come, thou the port of them
    Which shipwrecked are!

  Come, thou the one renown
    Of all that live;
  Come, thou the single trust
    Which death can give;
  Come, Holy Spirit!

Another Anselm of this century is the Bishop of Lucca, who died 1086,
and to whom is ascribed a long meditative poem on our Lord’s life, in a
kind of rhymed verse which is much more frequently met in the narrative
or humorous poems of the next century, called Goliardic. It does not
belong to the lyric poetry of the Church, although a spirited hymn has
been extracted by Herbert Kynaston from the passage given by Trench.
(See _Lyra Messianica_, pp. 283, 284.) Anselm was a weak man caught in
the storm of the controversy over investitures, and would have ended his
days as a monk of Cluny, if Gregory VII. had not forbidden him. It is
said that, although he had written in defence of the claims of Gregory
against the anti-pope Guibert, he finally joined Guibert’s party before
his death.

Godefroy or Geofroy, Abbot of Vendome, is another hymn-writer who was
mixed up in that controversy, but remained steadfast on the papal side.
He belongs both to this and the next century, having been made abbot in
1094, and lived on till 1129 at least. Twelve times he crossed the Alps
in the interest of the papacy, and was rewarded for his zeal by a
cardinalate. His letters still preserve for us the picture of a zealous
ultramontane churchman; but his four “proses”—one about our Lord’s
mother and three on Mary Magdalene—are of less importance.

To Heribert (_ob._ 1042), Bishop of Eichstetten, in modern Baden
(anciently part of Swabia), Migne (_Patrologia_, 141) ascribes a number
of hymns, which previously had borne no other name in the collections.
His dominant tendency as a hymn-writer is shown by the fact that he
wrote five hymns beginning _Ave Maria, gratia plena_, none of which,
however, is the well-known hymn beginning with those words. That belongs
to a later century. The best of his hymns are that to all saints, _Omnes
superni ordines_, and that to the cross, _Salve crux sancta, salve mundi
gloria_, of which Prior Aylward has furnished a spirited version to Mr.
Shipley’s _Annus Sanctus_. Of the author we can learn nothing more than
his date and location.

The succession of sequence-writers in Southern Germany was kept up
through this century by Gottschalk and the fourth Ekkehard of St. Gall.
Of Gottschalk we know little more than that he studied under a master,
Heinrich, in an unnamed monastery of South Germany, to whom Schubiger
(_Die Sängerschule St. Gallens_, 1858) assigns the _Ave praeclara Maris
stella_ (see p. 163), on the authority of a manuscript he believes to be
older than Hermann Contractus. Of Gottschalk’s own sequences there are
but three which certainly are his, and they all are prosy. If he and not
some French Gottschalk of this century be the author of the _O Deus,
miseri misereri servi_, which Daniel (IV., 173) copies from Du Méril, it
is better than any of his sequences. Du Méril inclines to ascribe it to
the Gottschalk of the ninth century, whom we met in the history of
Rabanus Maurus. Ekkehard IV. is memorable only for his Latin version of
the German hymn by Ratpert in honor of St. Gall, of which the original
is lost.

The twelfth century is that of the great Crusades, of Bernard and
Abelard, and Peter the Venerable, and Hildebert and Adam of St. Victor.
The age also of Thomas Becket, Peter Lombard, and Saladin. The Civil Law
was rediscovered at Amalfi; the Canon Law digested by Gratian; the
age-long conflict of Guelphs and Ghibellines began, to end only with the
political ruin of Germany and the dismemberment of the Empire.

It was a time of great intellectual activity in Western Europe. The
universities took their rise now, although not known by that name till
the next century. In the national literatures of France and Germany it
was the springtime of a new age—the age of the troubadours and the
trouvères, of the Minnesingers, and the popular romances. In Latin
hymnology no century was more fertile in great things than this.

Of the anonymous hymns traced to this century there are several of great
beauty. The hymn on the Apostles, _Exultet coelum laudibus_, holds its
place in the Roman Breviary in a much diluted revision. It shows a close
study of Scripture and great command of terse expression. The Easter
hymn, _Finita jam sunt praelia_, generally is given with a double
Alleluia prefixed. Daniel refers it to this century; Neale to the next.
It is known to English readers by the versions of Rev. Francis Pott
(“The strife is o’er, the victory won!”) and of Dr. Neale (“Finished is
the battle now”), both of great merit. Exactly the same difference of
authorities we find as to the date of the _O filii et filiae_, another
Easter hymn of great beauty and still more honored by the preferences of
the translators, but ignored by the collectors, Professor March
excepted. The Passion hymn, _Patris Sapientia, veritas divina_, has been
bandied about among many supposed authors, two popes of the fourteenth
century included. It is in the “Goliardic” metre we find in Anselm of
Lucca, which was widely used in the satirical poetry of this century. It
therefore probably belongs here, and may be the work of the “Egidius
Episcopus” specified in one copy of the hymn. A third Easter hymn, the
_Surrexit Christe hodie_, may be as old as this century, as there is a
German hymn of this century which borrows from it, _Christus ist
erstanden_. In its Latin, indeed, lies the germ of many later Easter
hymns, including that of Charles Wesley, “Christ the Lord is risen
to-day.” It is itself the simplest and truest expansion of the Easter
morning greeting of the early Christian Church, when its members, as
they met each other on the street on that Sunday, substituted “Christ is
risen!” for the usual “Peace be with you!” That was the word of
confession by which the Church’s Easter joy in the triumph of good over
evil, light over darkness, the spiritual springtide over spiritual
winter, was proclaimed to a joyless and despairing world.

To this century also belongs the Advent sequence, _Veni, veni Emmanuel!_
So Dr. Neale thinks, but Professor Daniel hesitates. It undoubtedly is
based on the eight “Greater Antiphons,” which were sung at the Vesper
service on the eight days preceding Christmas (_O Sapientia_, etc.), of
which a metrical version by Lord Nelson and others is in the Hymnal of
the Episcopal Church. At least as old as this century is the very
beautiful sequence on the life of Christ, _In sapientia disponens
omnia_, which Mone found in a MS. of this century, and Trend (_Lyra
Mystica_) and Crippen have translated. The two halves of the sequence
differ in a marked way in their metrical structure.

Of the lesser hymn-writers of the century, Marbod is the most
productive. Like Fulbert and Odilo, he might as well be credited to the
last century as to this. He was the son of a fur dealer at Angers, named
Robert, became Bishop of Rennes, and died a monk at St. Aubin in 1123.
He had the fighting qualities of the Angevins, whose churches are full
of the tombs not of saints, but of armed warriors, Michelet says. He
took such an active and aggressive part in a dispute over the election
of a bishop of Angers that the other party made him their prisoner and
carried him out of the _mélée_. But it was his eminence as a Latin poet
for which his age most valued him. When he died the monks of St. Aubin
announced the fact in a circular letter, and Ulger, Bishop of Angers,
anticipated the extravagance of Dryden’s epigram on Milton in his
praises of his friend:

  “Cessit ei Cicero, cessit Maro
            Junctus Homero.”

Beaugendre in 1708 collected his poems and published them along with
those of his contemporary, Hildebert of Tours. They are mostly versified
legends of the saints, with a long poem, _De Gemmis_, interesting and
curious as showing the “mystical” associations of the mediaeval mind
with precious stones. From this Mone gives the interpretation of the
precious stones in the heavenly Jerusalem, beginning _Cives coelestis
patriae_. More hymn like in character is the _Deus-Homo rex coelorum_,
which Chancellor Benedict has translated from Trench’s anthology:

  Deus-Homo, Rex coelorum,
  Miserere Miserorum;
  Ad peccandum proni sumus,
  Et ad humum redit humus;
  Tu ruinam nostri fulci
  Pietate tua dulci.
  Quid est homo, proles Adae
  Germen necis, dignum clade.
  Quid est homo nisi vermis,
  Res infirma, res inermis.
  Ne digneris huic irasci,
  Qui non potest mundus nasci
  Noli Deus, hunc damnare,
  Qui non potest non peccare;
  Judicare non est equum
  Creaturam, non est tecum;
  Non est miser homo tanti,
  Ut respondeat Tonanti.
  Sicut umbra, sicut fumus,
  Sicut foenum facti sumus;
  Miserere, Rex coelorum,
  Miserere miserorum.

  Thou God-man in heaven above us,
  Look upon us, Lord, and love us.
  We to sin are always tending,
  Earth with earth is always blending.
  Thou, O Lord, from ruin save us
  Through the hope thy goodness gave us.
  What is man from Adam springing?
  Born of sin, destruction bringing.
  What is man but worm degraded,
  Weak and helpless when unaided?
  Make not him thy wrath inherit,
  Who cannot thy favor merit.
  Born to be a sinful being;
  Damn him not, thou God all-seeing.
  To condemn thy helpless creature
  Is not worthy of thy nature;
  Wretched man is not sufficient,
  Lord, to answer the omniscient.
  Made like smoke and shadow fleeting,
  Like the hay the tempest meeting,
  Pity, Lord in heaven above us,
  Wretched sinners! save and love us.

There are two notable sequences attributed to the nun Hildegard of
Bingen (1104-78), a visionary and prophetess who commanded the respect
of Bernard and his pupil, Pope Eugenius, by her castigations of the
disorders of Christendom, as did Birgitta of Sweden and Catherine of
Sienna in a later period. There is extant a letter of hers to Bernard,
written during his visit to Germany to preach the second crusade, in
which she explains in very imperfect Latin the nature of her gift. Her
life was begun by Gottfried and finished by Theodorich, monk of Trier. A
comparison of her works—the _Scivias_ and the _Liber Divinorum
Operum_—with the letter to Bernard on the one hand, and Theodorich’s
part of the biography on the other, makes it very evident that the monk
wrote her works as well as her life; and how much of her genuine
prophecies he worked into them we are unable to say. It therefore is not
decisive as to her authorship that the _O ignis Spiritûs Paracliti_ and
the _O virga ac diadema_ are found in the manuscripts of her works, and
that Theodorich vouches for the former. The author of these sequences
had no acquaintance with the metrical principles of the school of St.
Gall, and seems to have taken the Latin psalter as a model. Dr.
Littledale, in his version of the former, substitutes a stricter
metrical form.

Pierre de Corbeil was successively teacher of theology at Paris—where he
had Innocent III. among his pupils—Bishop of Cambray, and in 1200
Archbishop of Sens. Innocent employed him on important missions, and he
was a man of note in the Church and State of his age. A manuscript still
preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris contains a satire on
married men which is ascribed to him (_Satyra adversus eos qui Uxores
ducunt_). But it is a very different kind of poem which entitles him to
mention here, his hymn

                       TRINITAS, UNITAS, DEITAS.

          Trinity, unity, Deity
          Majesty, potency, purity

  Stone and mountain, rock and fountain,
        Breath and bridge most certain,
              Travelled way;
  Sun and light and brightness, snowy peak in whiteness,
              Perfect day!

      Thou art lover and giver,
      Creator, receiver,
          And door unto life;

      Thou art favor and fitness
      And splendor and brightness
      And fragrance,
          Where deadness is rife.

      Thou art highest and nighest;
      Of monarchs the king, and of statutes the spring,
      And the judge—
          Whom angels adore:

      These laud thee, applaud thee,
      And chant in their song, as they praise loud and long,
      Whom they love—
          Thy saints evermore.

      Thou art greatness and oneness—
      The flower as it shineth, the rose as it twineth;
      Then rule us and save us
          And bring us before thee
                In glory
          And joy, we implore thee.

      Thou art God in thy justice
      And trueness and goodness;
      Thou art wholly and solely
          The Lord!—
      To thee be the glory
          Which saints, in the highest, accord.

Pietro Gonella, a Franciscan monk of Tortona in Piedmont, is the reputed
author of a long meditative poem on the miseries and follies of life and
the certainty of death and judgment, which Du Méril found in a
manuscript of this century. If he be not mistaken as to the date of the
manuscript, of course, Eug. de Levis (_Anecdota Sacra_, Turin, 1789) is
wrong in ascribing it to Pietro, as there were no Franciscans in the
twelfth century. The chronology is important because of the relation of
the poem to the _Dies Irae_. In point of metrical form they differ only
in this _Heu! Heu! mala mundi vita_ (better known as the _Cum revolvo
toto corde_, from the opening line of its second part), having four
lines to the verse instead of three. In point of sense the resemblances
are so striking as to suggest that Thomas of Celano has ploughed with
the heifer of his earlier countryman. In proof of this take these

  Terret me dies terroris,
  Irae dies et furoris,
  Dies luctus et moeroris,
  Dies ultrix peccatoris.

      Veniet Judex de coelis,
      Testis verax et fidelis,
      Veniet et non silebit,
      Judicabit nec timebit.

  Expavesco quidem multum
  Venturi Judicis vultum,
  Cui latebit nil occultum,
  Et manebit nil inultum.

      Juste quidem judicabit,
      Nec personam acceptabit,
      Pretio non corrumpetur,
      Sed nec precibus flectetur.

  Et quis nostrûm non timebit,
  Quando Judex apparebit,
  Ante quem ignis ardebit,
  Peccatores qui delebit.

      Judicabit omnes gentes
      Et salvabit innocentes,
      Arguet omnes potentes
      Et deliciis fluentes.

Especially notable are the stanzas:

  Dies illa, dies vitae,
  Dies lucis inauditae,
  Et mors ipsa morietur,
  Qua nox omnis destruetur.

      Jam festinat rex coelestis,
      Judex noster atque testis,
      Festinanter apparebit,
      Omnis caro quem videbit.

  Ecce Rex desideratus
  Et a justis expectatus
  Jam festinat exoratus,
  Ad salvandum praeperatus.

      Apparebit nec tardabit,
      Veniet et demonstrabit
      Gloriam, quam praestolantur,
      Qui pro fide tribulantur.

If nothing whatever had been known as to the date of the two poems, we
should have pronounced this an expansion of the _Dies irae, dies illa_
by a later poet, who had two objects in view: the first, to sharpen to
the conscience of his readers the warnings of the impending judgment;
the second, to complete the poem by bringing the joys of the judgment
more prominently into view. And with all respect for Edelestand du
Méril’s judgment, we would like to have more light on the date of his

A manuscript still preserved at Liege in Belgium contains the letters of
Guido of Basoches, which is either Bas-oha, a village near that city,
or, as Mone thinks, a place near Châteaudun in France. Among these
letters are given a number of hymns, which he sends to his
correspondents. They show some power of versification, but nothing more,
and are defaced by conceits and puns. Thus he puts the name of Stephen
through the six cases of the Latin grammar in as many verses of a hymn.

There are five writers of this century, each of whom is credited with a
single hymn. Rudolph of Radegg, a schoolmaster of Einsiedeln, wrote a
hymn in honor of St. Meinrad, which begins _Nunc devota silva tota_. To
Thomas Becket is ascribed the _Gaude Virgo, Mater Christi, Quia..._. It
is said to be his in a manuscript of the fifteenth century. To another
Englishman, Bertier, is ascribed the only Latin hymn in the collections
which relates directly to the Crusades, _Juxta Threnos Jeremiae_. It
first appears in the chronicle of Roger of Hoveden, with the statement
that Bertier wrote it in 1188. Last is Aelred (1104-66), who seems to
have been a lowland Scotchman by birth, and to have shared the education
of Henry, son of King David of Scotland. King David wished to make him a
bishop, but he preferred the life of a monk. He made his way to the
Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx in Yorkshire (not Revesby in
Lincolnshire, as some say), and there spent his days, becoming abbot in
1146. That he was a most lovable man we must infer from his sermons to
his monks. He is one of the few preachers in Dr. Neale’s _Mediaeval
Preachers and Preaching_ (London, 1856), of whom we wish for more. His
epitaph likens him, among others, to Bernard of Clairvaux, and the
comparison is apposite. He was an English Bernard, with less personal
force and grasp of intellect, but with the same gentleness and
friendliness. His one hymn is the _Pax concordat universa_, which is
found in his works, but not in any of the collections. The theme is

The thirteenth century, the century of Francis and Dominic, of Aquinas
and Bonaventura, of Thomas of Celano and Jacoponus, is the age of the

Its anonymous hymns worthy of special mention are few in number. One of
the most beautiful is the Easter hymn, _Cedit frigus hiemale_, in which
the coincidence of Easter with spring furnishes the starting-point. It
is probably French. The _Ave quem desidero_ is a rosary hymn, which
rehearses our Lord’s life, with a verse for each of the beads, which
surely is better than the usual _Ave Marias_. The use of rosaries is
very ancient—pre-Christian even—but it was with the rise of the
Dominican Order in this century that it became a sanctioned practice.
The _Jesu Salvator seculi_ and the _O Trinitas laudabilis_ have been
traced no further back than to this age; but they preserve the tone and
style of the school of Ambrose. So the _Mysteriorum signifer_, in honor
of the Archangel Michael, recalls an earlier age, while the _Jesu dulce
medicamen_ suggests the school of Bernard. This beautiful hymn has both
thoughtfulness and unction to commend it. It represents the sounder
tradition of Christian teaching in the mediaeval Church, and has been
neglected unduly by Protestant translators. Mr. Crippen is the only one
who has rendered it, and also the _Juste judex Jesu Christe_, a hymn of
the same age and much the same character. Notable Marian hymns are the
_Gaude virgo, stella Maris_, _Salve porta chrystallina_, and the _Verbum
bonum et suave_; with which may be named that to St. John, _Verbum Dei
Deo natum_, often ascribed to Adam of St. Victor, and certainly of his
school. Also of that school is the vigorous hymn in commemoration of St.
Paul, _Paulus Sion architecta_. We add the terse and forceful hymn in
commemoration of Augustine of Hippo, _Salve pater Augustine_, and the
still finer in commemoration of the martyrs of the Church, _O beata
beatorum martyrum certamina_, which has found translators in both Dr.
Neale and Mr. Chambers. It is defective, as making them and not Christ
the central theme.

St. Edmund, the archbishop who gave up the see of Canterbury because his
heart was broken between the demands of the Pope and the exactions of
the king, and died (1240) an exile in a French monastery, is credited
with two Marian hymns, one of which is a “psalter,” or hymn of one
hundred and fifty stanzas. They are not of great importance. Another is
ascribed to Robert Grosstete, Bishop of Lincoln (died 1253), one of the
great Churchmen who spoke the truth to the see of Rome. He was the
friend of Simon de Montfort and of the Friars, and the foremost
Churchman of England in his time, as zealous for the reformation of the
clergy of his diocese and the maintenance of the Church’s rights against
the King as for its relative independence of the Roman curia. The _Ave
Dei genetrix_ ascribed to him exists only in a revised and not improved
shape. Its twelve verses each begin with a word from the angelic
salutation. The author seems to have borrowed from a hymn of Peter

To Hugo, a Dominican monk, who was Bishop of Strasburg toward the close
of the century, and had taught theology with success, is ascribed the
_Ave mundi domina_, in which Mary is greeted as a fiddle—_Ave dulcis

The fourteenth century, like the seventh, furnishes us with the name of
not a single hymn-writer of real eminence, and of very few who are not
eminent. Yet this century and the next exceed all others in the number
of the hymns, which either certainly were written in this age, or can be
traced no farther back. But the quality falls short as the quantity
increases. Mary and the saints are the favorite themes; and those two
great repositories of perverted praise, the second and third volumes of
Mone’s collection, bear emphatic witness to the extent to which the
hierarchy of saints and angels had come to eclipse the splendors of the
White Throne and even of the Cross. There is not a single hymn of the
highest rank which we can ascribe to these centuries of decay, when the
Middle Ages were passing to their death, to make way for the New
Learning and the Reformation. But the great revival, which first swept
over Italy and then reached Germany about 1470, which showed its power
in the revival of “strict observance” in the mendicant orders, in the
multiplication of new devotions and pilgrimages, and the accumulation of
relics—that revival which laid such a powerful grasp on young Martin
Luther and made a monk of him—bore abundant fruit in hymns both in Latin
and the vernacular languages. It is a sign of the new age that the
language consecrated by Church use no longer has a monopoly of
hymn-writing, but men begin to praise as well as to hear in their own
tongues the wonderful works of God.

The reverence for the Virgin reaches its height in the _Te Matrem
laudamus_ and the _Veni, praecelsa domina_, parodies of the _Te Deum_
and the _Veni, sancte Spiritus_, which have nothing but ingenuity and
offensiveness to commend them to Protestant readers. Of genuine poetical
merit are the _Regina coeli laetare_ and _Stella maris, O Maria_. Of the
deluge of hymns in commemoration of the saints, we notice only the
_Nardus spirat in odorem_, which indicates the growing worship of our
Lord’s grandmother, by which Luther was captivated; the _Collaudemus
Magdalena_ of the Sarum Breviary, which Daniel calls “a very sweet hymn”
(_suavissimus hymnus_). From it is extracted the _Unde planctus et
lamentum_, of which Mr. Duffield has made the following translation.
Both Mr. Chambers and Mr. Morgan have translated the whole hymn.

                       UNDE PLANCTUS ET LAMENTUM.

  Whence this sighing and lamenting?
    Why not lift thy heart above?
  Why art thou to signs consenting,
    Knowing not whom thou dost love?
  Seek for Jesus! Thy repenting
    Shall obtain what none might prove.

  Whence this groaning and this weeping?
    For the purest joy is thine;
  In thy breast thy secret keeping
    Of a balm, lest thou repine;
  Hidden there whilst thou art reaping
    Barren care for peace divine.

In the _Spe mercede et corona_ we have the Churchly view of Thomas
Becket’s career and its bloody end; and the _O Rex, orbis triumphator_
and _Urbs Aquensis, urbs regalis_ represent the German effort to raise
Charles the Great to a place among the saints of the calendar.

Hymns which deal with much greater themes are the metrical antiphon,
_Veni, sancte Spiritus, Reple_, whose early translations hold a high
place in German hymnology; the _Recolamus sacram coenam_, which Mone
well characterizes as a side-piece to the great communion hymn of Thomas
Aquinas, _Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem_. Like that, it aims at stating the
doctrine of Transubstantiation in its most paradoxical form (_stat esus
integer_). The century furnishes several pretty Christmas hymns—_En
Trinitatis speculum_, _Dies est laetitiae_, _Nunc angelorum gloria_,
_Omnis mundus jucundetur_, and _Resonet in laudibus_—all of German
origin seemingly and early known to the German people by translations.
This is the festival which the childlike and child-loving Teutons always
have made the most of; and these hymns, with others of the next century,
are among the earliest monuments of the fact. To this, or possibly the
next century, belongs the mystical prayer-hymn, _Anima Christi,
sanctifica me_, which came to be ascribed to Ignatius Loyola, because it
was a favorite with him.

The most notable hymn-writer of the century is Conrad, prior of Gaming,
a town in Lower Austria, where he lived during the reign of Charles IV.
(1350-78). We have his manuscript collection in a copy made in the next
century and preserved at München. It contains thirty-seven hymns which
probably are his, and many of them certainly so. Some certainly are
recasts of earlier hymns. Thus he has tinkered Hildebert’s great hymn,
without at all improving it. Most of his hymns relate to Mary, the
apostles, and the other saints of the Church. His hymns show a certain
facility in the use of Latin verse, but no force of original
inspiration. They are correct metrically and, from the standpoint of his
Church, theologically. The _O colenda Deitas_ is the most notable.

From the same quarter of Germany and the banks of the same Ems River,
Engelbert, Benedictine abbot of Admont in Styria (died 1331), offers us
a Marian psalter, which has been ascribed to Thomas Aquinas, but of
which two verses content even Mone. Aegidius, Archbishop of Burgos in
Spain, from 1295 to 1315, has written a hymn to the alleged portrait of
Christ impressed on the handkerchief of Veronica. It is in the
rollicking Goliardic metre, but the subject is handled with skill and
success. It has been conjectured that he is the author of the _Patris
sapientia_ in the same metre, which some put back to the twelfth century
and others ascribe to Pope Benedict XII., who died in 1342. This is one
of the many hymns to whose recitation an indulgence was attached.

That the fifteenth century saw the invention of printing is a cardinal
fact for the hymnologist. It was especially in the service of the Church
that the new art found employment, and more missals, breviaries, and
other Church books were printed between its discovery, in 1452, and the
beginning of the Reformation, than of any other class of books. From
this time, therefore, we have to deal with both written and printed
sources, and printing was the means of saving a multitude of good hymns
and sequences which else might have been lost utterly. The century also
witnesses that great revival of learning to whose advancement printing
contributed greatly, and which in its turn prepared men for the
Reformation. We have seen in the chapter on the two breviaries how it
affected the editing of old hymns and the writing of new. But this does
not begin until the sixteenth century.

As in the case of the preceding century, we are embarrassed by the
abundance of bad, mediocre, and middling good hymns, by the fewness of
those which are really good, and the absence of such as would be
entitled to take the highest rank. The best of the anonymous which we
can trace farther back than to the printed breviaries are the
continuation of the series of German Christmas hymns, whose beginning we
noticed in the fourteenth century. Such are the _In natali Domini_, the
_Nobis est natus hodie_, the _Quem pastores laudavêre_, the _Puer nobis
nascitur_, the _Eia mea anima_, the _Verbum caro factum est_, and the
_Puer natus in Bethlehem_. Of the last, Dr. A. R. Thompson’s translation
is as follows:

                        PUER NATUS IN BETHLEHEM.

  The child in Bethlehem is born,
  Hail, O Jerusalem, the morn!

  Here lies he in the cattle-stall
  Whose kingdom boundless is withal.

  The ox and ass do recognize
  This Child, their Master from the skies.

  Kings from the East are journeying,
  Gold, frankincense, and myrrh they bring.

  Who, entering in turn the place,
  The new King greet with lowly grace.

  Seed of the woman lies he there,
  And no man’s son, this Child so fair.

  Unwounded by the serpent’s sting,
  Of our own blood comes in the King.

  Like us in mortal flesh is he,
  Unlike us in his purity.

  That so he might restore us men
  Like to himself and God again.

  Wherefore, on this his natal day,
  Glad, to our Lord, we homage pay.

  We praise the Holy Trinity,
  And render thanks, O God, to thee!

What Ruskin remarks of the disposition of the art of the time to dwell
on the darker side of things—to insist on the seeming preponderance of
darkness over light, death over life—is seen also in its hymns. The
Advent hymn, _Veni, veni, rex gloriae_, is as gloomy a lucubration as
ever was associated with a Church festival. The _Homo tristis esto_,
which is a study of the Lord’s passion apart from His resurrection, is
hardly more gloomy. But other poets have more joyful strains. In the
_Haec est dies triumphalis_ we have an Easter hymn, and an Ascension
hymn in the _Coelos ascendit hodie_, which are fittingly joyful; and in
the _Spiritus sancte gratia_ an invocation of the Comforter more prosaic
than its great predecessors, but with its own place in the presentation
of that great theme. A rather fine Trinity hymn is the _O Pater, sancte,
mitis atque pie_, written in a sort of sapphic verse with iambic feet
before the caesura, and trochaic following it, the feet in each case
being determined by accent, not quantity. Mr. Chambers and Mr. Hewett
both have translated it.

Of the innumerable hymns and sequences to the saints, we notice that our
Lord’s grandmother comes in for an increasing share. Mone in his third
volume gives twenty-five, of which sixteen belong to this century and
eight to the fourteenth. It is significant that one of them, _O stella
maris fulgida_, is a hymn to Mary, which was altered to the new devotion
to her mother. She is hailed in others as the “refuge of sinners”
(_peccantibus refugium_), and declared immaculate (_Anna labe carens_),
and exalted in a way which suggests that the other members of the
genealogical line which connects our Lord with Adam have been neglected
most unfairly. Why stop with His grandmother and exclude His
grandfather? It was in the next century that the cult of Joseph came to
the front. Of the Marian hymns of this time the _Virginis in gremio_ is
about the best, and the _Ave hierarchia_ comes next. The _Ave Martha
gloriosa_, in commemoration of Martha of Bethany, is a fine hymn in
itself, and interesting as one of a group of hymns composed in Southern
France in honor of this particular saint. A Church myth brings her to
Provence to kill the monster (_τερας_) from which Tarascon takes its
name, and the Church at Arles still bears a sculptured representation of
the victory. Her real function in Provence was to take the place of the
Martis or Brito-Martis, who was the chief loyal deity, and from whom
Marseilles probably took its name. She was either of Cretan or
Phoenician origin, and corresponded to the Greek Artemis, her name
meaning Blessed Maiden. So her myth was transferred to the over-busy
woman of Judea

    _Per te serpens est subversus,_

which saved a great deal of trouble.

A hymn to the crown of thorns, _Sacrae Christi celebremus_, is quite in
the manner of Adam of St. Victor; the same marvellous ingenuity of
allusion to remote Scripture facts, and the same technical mastery of
flowing verse. The _Novum sidus exoritur_ is the oldest Transfiguration
hymn—that being now a Church festival—and by no means the worst.

The sequence on the Three Holy Kings (or Magi), who brought offerings to
the infant Saviour, which begins _Majestati sacrosanctae_, is referred
by some critics to the next century. But as it occurs in the list of
sequences which Joachim Brander, a monk of St. Gall, drew up in 1507 for
Abbot Franz von Gaisberg of that monastery, it probably belongs to the
fifteenth century. Brander enumerates three hundred and seventy-eight
sequences, specifying their subjects and authors, the latter not always
successfully, and closes with that which Franz von Gaisberg composed in
honor of Notker Balbulus. His list will be found in Daniel’s fifth
volume. Of this, in commemoration of the three kings, whose relics are
supposed to rest in the cathedral at Koeln (Cologne), he says that it is
beautiful and one of the best. Mr. Duffield has left a translation of

  “A threefold gift three kings have brought
  To Christ, God-man, who once was wrought
      In flesh and spirit equally;
  A God triune by gifts adored—
  Three gifts which mark one perfect Lord,
      Whose essence is triunity.

  “They bring him myrrh, frankincense, gold;
  Outweighing wealth of kings untold—
      A type in which the truth is known.
  The gifts are three, the emblems three:
  Gold for the king, incense to deity,
      And myrrh, by which his death is shown.”

Of hymn-writers, the most prolific is Jean Momboir, generally known by
his Latin name Johannes Mauburnus. He was born in 1460 and died in 1503,
and was a Canon Regular in the congregation founded by the Brethren of
the Common Life in the Low Countries. He lived for a time at Mount St.
Agnes, which makes his emphatic testimony as to the authorship of the
_De Imitatione_ of especial importance. His huge ascetic work, the
_Spiritual Rosegarden_ (_Rosetum spirituale_) made him famous, and he
was invited to France to reform the Canons Regular, according to the
strict observance used in the Low Countries. He was thus, like John
Staupitz, a representative of the current revival of that age, which
tended to greater austerity, not to faith and joy. He spent the last six
years of his life in this labor, dying at Paris in 1503. He was the
friend and correspondent of Erasmus. His hymns generally begin with an
O, and seem to be written on a system like that of the scholastic
treatises. Indeed, his _Rosegarden_, both by its bulk and its method,
suggests a _Summa_ of Christian devotion. From his poem, _Eia mea
anima_, given, there has been extracted the pretty Christmas hymn, _Heu
quid jaces stabulo_, which has been translated several times into
English and German.

Next to him comes Casimir, Crown Prince of Poland, whose _Omni die dic
Mariae_ is a Marian hymn in one hundred and twenty six verses. Father
Ragey, however, asserts in _Les Annales de Philosophie Chretienne_ for
May and June, 1883, that Casimir is not the author but the admirer of
these verses, that they are an extract from a poem in eleven hundred
verses, and that Anselm of Canterbury is the probable author. On this he
bases an argument for the reconciliation of England to the Church, which
is devoted to the cult of our Lord’s mother. The poem, whosoever wrote
it, is a fine one—too good, Protestants will think, for the theme, and
too good to take its place among the other verses ascribed to Anselm of
Canterbury. Here also there is room to ask a close examination of the
manuscripts to which Father Ragey appeals, with reference to their
dates. The controversy over the antiquity of the _Quicunque vult salvus
esse_ and the authorship of the _Imitation_ suggest caution in taking
the _ipse dixit_ of diplomatists.

To an unknown Babo, and to Jacob, schoolmaster of Muldorf, are
attributed Marian hymns of no great value. More important is Dionysius
Ryckel (1394-1471), a Belgian Carthusian, the character of whose
multitudinous writings is indicated by his title, _Doctor Ecstaticus_.
He wrote a _Comment on Certain Ancient Hymns of the Church_ (_Enarratio
in Hymnos aliquot veteres ecclesiasticos_), which puts him next to
Radulph de Rivo (_ob._ 1403) among the earliest of the hymnologists. To
Dionysius is ascribed also the long poem on the Judgment, from which
Mone has given an extract—_Homo, Dei creatura_, etc.—by way of
comparison with the _Dies Irae_ and the _Cum revolvo toto corde_. It
evidently has been influenced by the former, but is devoted to a picture
of eternal torment.

To John Huss we owe the beautiful Communion hymn, _Jesus Christus,
noster salus_, which shows that his alleged heresies did not touch the
Church doctrine on this point.

To Peter of Dresden, schoolmaster of Zwickau in 1420, and afterward
described as a Hussite or a Waldensian, is ascribed the

  “In dulci jubilo
  Nu singet und seit fro,”

which is the type of the mixed hymns of this age. It was his purpose to
secure the introduction of hymns in the vernacular into the Church
services, as his friend Jakob of Misa sought to do in Bohemia. In mixed
hymns of this kind he seems to have tried to find the sharp end of the
wedge. Some ascribe to him the _Puer natus in Bethlehem_, which also
exists in the mixed form. Both hymns long stood in the Lutheran
hymn-books in the mixed form,—for instance, in the _Marburg Hymn-Book_,
which was used by the Lutherans of Colonial Pennsylvania.

The invention of printing from movable types, about 1452, by Johann
Gutenberg of Mainz marks an era in Latin hymnology, because of the
prompt use of the new method to multiply the Church books in use in the
various dioceses. In every part of Western Europe, from Aberdeen, Lund,
and Trondhjem, on the north, to the shores of the Mediterranean, the
missals, breviaries, and hymnaries were given to the early printers,
with the result of bringing to light many fine hymns and sequences whose
use had been merely local. The Sarum Breviary and Missal and those of
Rome and Paris were printed more frequently than any other. To the Sarum
Breviary we owe the fine Transfiguration hymns—_Coelestis formam
gloriae_ and _O nata lux de lumine_ and _O sator rerum reparator aevi_,
which Anglican translators have made into English hymns; to the Missal
the fine sequence on the crown of thorns, _Si vis vere gloriari_, of
which Dr. Whewell published a translation in _Frazer’s Magazine_ for
May, 1849. To the York Processional (1530) we owe the four “proses”
which begin _Salve festa dies, toto venerabilis aevo_, which suggest to
Daniel that “in England also there was no lack of those who celebrated
the divine majesty in very sweet hymns.”

To the Breviary and Missal of Trondhjem (Drontheim, anciently Nidaros)
we owe some of the finest hymns and sequences recovered at this time. Of
these the _Jubilemus cordis voce_ is the most characteristic and perhaps
the most beautiful—full of local color and characteristic love of
nature. Mr. Morgan has translated it; but the dedication hymn, _Sacrae
Sion adsunt encaenia_, has found more favor with Anglican translators,
and commends itself by scriptural simplicity. Of course this breviary
has fine hymns to St. Olaf, the king who did so much to make Norway a
Christian country, although hardly so much as his neglected predecessor,
Olaf Tryggveson. Similarly the Swedish missals honor King Eric and St.

The German Church books yield less that is novel probably because the
earlier German sources have been so much more thoroughly explored. The
breviaries of Lubec, of Mainz, of Koeln, and of Meissen furnish most,
but chiefly in praises of the Mother of our Lord and the saints. The
_Gloriosi Salvatoris nominis praeconia_ of Meissen is an exception, and
has found many admirers and several translators. From Mainz comes the
fine hymn in honor of the apostles, _Qui sunt isti, qui volant_, and
that for the martyrs, _O beata beatorum_, and the Passion hymn, _Laus
sit Regi gloriae, Cujus rore gratiae_.

It is different with the French Church books and those of Walloon
Belgium. From the Breton see of Rennes, and those of Angers, Le Mans,
and Poitiers in the adjacent provinces of Northwestern France come some
of the best hymns of this class. From Rennes comes the pretty and
fanciful sequence on the Saviour’s crown of thorns, _Florem spina
coronavit_; from Angers the Christmas hymn, _Sonent Regi nato nova
cantica_, which shows how far the French lag behind the Germans of the
same age in handling this theme; also the Advent sequence, _Jubilemus
omnes una_, which suggests Francis’s “Song of the Creatures,” but lacks
its tenderness. From Le Mans the _Die parente temporum_, which Sir Henry
Baker has made English in “On this day, the first of days.” From
Poitiers the fine Advent sequence, _Prope est claritudinis magnae dies_,
translated by Mr. Hewett. From Noyon, in Northeastern France, the two
Christmas hymns, _Lux est orta gentibus_ and _Laetare, puerpera_, whose
beauty is defaced by making the Mother and not the divine Child the
central figure.

From the Missal of Belgian Tournay we have the Easter sequence, _Surgit
Christus cum tropaeo_, and the transfiguration sequence, _De Parente
summo natum_, which have found and deserved translators. From that of
Liege several sequences, of which the best is that for All Saints Day,
_Resultet tellus et alta coelorum machina_. In the South it is the
breviaries of Braga, in Portugal, and Piacenza, in Italy, which have
furnished most new hymns.

From the breviaries of the great monastic orders come many hymns, those
of the Franciscans furnishing the greater number. That of the
Cistercians furnishes the _Domine Jesu, noverim me, noverim Te_, one of
the many hymns suggested by passages in the writings of Augustine of

This notice of the early printed Church books, which Daniel, Neale,
Morell, and Kehrein have brought under requisition, carries us over into
the century of the Reformation, which also is that in which the
Renaissance began to affect the matter and manner of hymn-writing.
Already in the fifteenth century we have hymns of the humanist type by
Aeneas Sylvius (Pope Pius II.); by Adam Wernher of Themar, a friend of
Johann Trithemius, a jurist by profession, and the instructor of Philip
of Hesse in the humanities; and by Sebastian Brandt, the celebrated
author of the “Ship of Fools.” All these give careful attention to
classic Roman models in the matter of both prosody and vocabulary. If we
were to put Brandt’s _Sidus ex claro veniens Olympo_ alongside the _Puer
natus in Bethlehem_, we should see how little of the life and force of
simplicity and reality there was in the new poetry.

The sixteenth century begins with the hymns of the humanist Alexander
Hegius, a pupil of the school at Deventer and a _protégé_ of the
Brethren of the Common Life, who may have known Thomas à Kempis, as he
was born in 1433, or at latest in 1445. He died in 1498, but his hymns
appeared in 1501 and 1503. He was the friend of Rudolph Agricola and of
Erasmus, and introduced the new learning, especially Greek, into
Holland. His hymns are pagan in their vocabulary, although in accord
with the orthodoxy of the time. Two lines of his,

  “Qui te ‘Matrem’ vocat, orbis
  Regem vocat ille parentem,”

might have suggested two of Keble’s, which have given no small offence,

  “Henceforth, whom thousand worlds adore,
  He calls thee ‘Mother’ evermore.”

To Zacharias Ferrari ample reference has been made in the chapter on the
Breviaries. Specimens of his work may be found in Wackernagel’s first
volume, as also of the hymns of Erasmus (1467-1536), of Jakob Montanus
(1485-1588), of Helius Eobanus Hessus (1488-1540), and Marc-Antonius
Muretus. To these Roman Catholic humanists—Eobanus Hessus afterward
became a Lutheran—might have been added J. Ludovicus Vives (1492-1540),
Marc-Antonio Flaminio (1498-1550), and Matthias Collinus (_ob._ 1566).
Wackernagel does add Joste Clichtove (_ob._ 1543), and Jakob Meyer
(1491-1552), who did not attempt original hymns, but recast in classic
forms those already in use. Clichtove was a Fleming, and one of the
earliest collectors.

The series of Protestant hymn-writers joins hard on to that of the Roman
Catholic humanists. In the main they belong to the same school. Their
hymns are not, like the Protestant German hymns, the spontaneous and
inevitable outpouring of simple and natural emotion—a quality which puts
Luther and Johann Herrmann beside Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas of
Celano. They are the scholastic exercises of men singing the praise of
God in a tongue foreign to their thought. Even the best of them, George
Fabricius of Chemnitz, whose edition of the early Christian poets has
laid us under permanent obligations, although the most careful to avoid
paganisms in his hymns, and the most influenced by the earlier Latin
hymns, never impresses us with the freedom and spontaneity of his verse.
The series runs: Urbanus Rhegius (_ob._ 1541), Philip Melanchthon
(1497-1572), Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563), Joachim Camerarius
(1500-74), Paul Eber (1511-69), Bishop John Parkhurst of Norwich
(1511-74), Johann Stigel (1515-71), George Fabricius (1516-71), George
Klee, or Thymus (_fl._ 1548-50), Nicholas Selneccer (1530-92), Ludwig
Helmbold (1532-98), Wolfgang Ammonius (1579), and Theodore Zwinger
(1533-88). Recasts of old hymns both as to literary form and theological
content we have from Hermann Bonn (1504-48), Urbanus Rhegius, George
Klee, and Andreas Ellinger (1526-82). The last-named was a German
physician who graduated at Wittemberg in 1549. His _Hymnorum
Ecclesiasticorum Libri Tres_ (1578) is described by Daniel as the most
copious collection he has seen, but worthless as an authority in its
first and second books, as the hymns in these are altered for metrical
reasons. Hermann Bonn was a Westphalian, who became the first Lutheran
Superintendent in Lubeck, and introduced the Reformation into Osnabruck.
He published the first hymn-book in Platt-Deutsch in 1547.

To a later generation belongs Wilhelm Alard (1572-1645), the son of a
Flemish Lutheran, who fled to Germany from the Inquisition. Wilhelm
studied at Wittemberg, and became pastor at Crempe in Holstein, and
published two or perhaps three small volumes of original Latin hymns.
Dr. Trench has extracted from one of these two hymns. Of that to his
Guardian Angel, Chancellor Benedict, Dr. Washburn, and Mr. Duffield have
made translations. This is Mr. Duffield’s:

                        CUM ME TENENT FALLACIA.

  When specious joys of earth are mine,
    When bright this passing world doth shine,
  Then in his watchful heavenly place
    My angel weeps and veils his face.

  But when with tears my eyes o’errun
    Deploring sin that I have done,
  Then doth God’s angel, set to keep
    My soul, rejoicing, cease to weep.

  Far hence be gone, ye fading joys,
    Which spring from earth’s too brittle toys!
  Come hither, tears! for I would show
    That penitence by which ye flow.

  I would not be in evil glad,
    Lest he, my angel, should be sad;
  Rise then, my true, repentant voice,
    That angels even may rejoice.

Another on the Eucharist Mr. Duffield alone has translated:

                       SIT IGNIS ATQUE LUX MIHI.

  When I behold thy sacred blood,
    Thy body broken for my good;
  O blessed Jesus, may they be
    As flame and as a light to me.

  So may this flame consume away
    The sins which in my bosom stay,
  Destroying fully from my sight
    All vanity of wrong delight.

  So may this light which shines from thee
    Break through my darkness utterly,
  That I may seek with fervent prayer,
    Thine own dear guidance everywhere.

A very different group are the hymn-writers of the Jesuit Order, to whom
we owe many hymns which have been ascribed to mediaeval authors,
although they have marked characteristics which betray their authorship.
Thus the _Eia Phoebe, nunc serena_ has been ascribed to Innocent III.,
the _O esca viatorum_ to Thomas Aquinas, the _O gens beata coelitum_ to
Augustine, the _Pone luctum, Magdalena_ to Adam of St. Victor; while the
later Middle Ages have been credited with the _Angelice patrone_, the
_Ecquis binas columbinas_, the _Jesu meae deliciae_, and the _Plaudite
coeli_. The London _Spectator_ ascribes a very early origin to the
_Dormi, fili, dormi_. All these are Jesuit hymns, collected by Walraff
(1806) out of the _Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum a Patribus
Societatis Jesu_. The title of that collection (_Psalteriolum_) is
suggestive of the contents. As the critics of the Society long ago
remarked, there is a mark of pettiness on the literature, the art, the
architecture, and the theology of the Jesuits. In both prose and poetry
they tend to run into diminutives. No hymn of theirs has handled any of
the greatest themes of Christian praise in a worthy spirit. The charge
made against them by the Dominicans that in their labors to convert the
Chinese and other pagans they concealed the cross and passion of our
Lord, and presented Him as an infant in His mother’s arms, whether
literally true or not, is not out of harmony with their general tone.
Christ in the cradle or on the lap of His mother is the fit theme of
their praises. In their hands religion loses its severity and God His
awfulness. To win the world they stooped to the world’s level, and
weakened the moral force of the divine law by cunning explanations,
until, through Arnauld and his fellow-Jansenists, “Christianity appeared
again austere and grave; and the world saw again with awe the pale face
of its crucified Saviour.”

Some of the Jesuit hymns are very good of their kind. The _Dormi, fili,
dormi_ anticipates the theme of Mrs. Browning’s “The Virgin Mary to the
Child Jesus,” and of Dr. George Macdonald’s “Babe Jesus Lay on Mary’s
Lap.” It is beautiful in its way, but betrays its Jesuit origin by its
diminutives. The _Ecquis binas columbinas_ is a very graceful poem, and
the best passion hymn of the school, but is below the subject. The
_Tandem audite me_ is a hymn based on the false interpretation of
Solomon’s Song, but is very pretty. The _Pone luctum, Magdalena_ is
perhaps the greatest of all Jesuit hymns, and has found nine Protestant
translators to do it into English. It is rather a fine poem than a fine
hymn. The _Parendum est, cedendum est_ is a death-bed hymn whose length
and ornateness rob it of a sense of reality. Of the _Altitudo, quid hic
jaces_ and the _Plaudite Coeli_ Mr. Duffield has left versions which
will enable our readers to judge of their worth for themselves:

                       ALTITUDO, QUID HIC JACES?

  Majesty, why liest thou
      In so low a manger?
  Thou that kindlest heavenly fires
      Here a chilly stranger!
            O what wonders thou art doing,
                  Jesus, unto men;
            By thy love to us renewing
                  Paradise again!

  Strength is made of no account;
      Space is here contracted;
  He that frees in bonds is bound;
      Time’s new birth enacted.
            Yes, thy little lips may touch
                  Mary’s spotless bosom;
            Yes, thy bright eyes weep for men
                  While heaven’s joy shall blossom.

                            PLAUDITE COELI!

  Lo! heaven rejoices,
    The air is all bright,
  And the earth gives her voices
    From depth and from height.
  For the darkness is broken,
    Black storm has passed by,
  And in peace for a token
    The palm waves on high.

  Spring breezes are blowing,
    Spring flowers are at hand,
  Spring grasses are growing
    Abroad in the land.
  And violets brighten
    The roses in bloom,
  And marigolds heighten
    The lilies’ perfume.

  Rise then, O my praises,
    Fresh life in your veins,
  As the viol upraises
    The gladdest of strains.
  For once more he sees us
    Alive, as he said;
  Our holy Lord Jesus
    Escaped from the dead.

  Then thunder ye mountains,
    Ye valleys resound,
  Leap forth, O ye fountains,
    Ye hills echo round.
  For he alone frees us,
    He does as he said,
  Our holy Lord Jesus
    Alive from the dead.

The later additions to the stock of Latin hymns are important only to
the student of Roman Catholic liturgies, as connected with the new
devotions sanctioned from time to time by the Congregation of Sacred
Rites. Thus the devotion to the Sacred Heart led to the writing of the
hymn _Quicunque certum quaeritis_, which the Roman Breviary has copied
from the Franciscan, and whose translation by Mr. Caswall has found its
way even into Protestant hymn-books. And the crowning sanction of the
extravagant reverence for our Lord’s mother, the declaration that she
was conceived without sin, and the institution of the feast of the
Immaculate Conception, caused Archbishop John von Geissel of Koeln to
write, in 1855, a new sequence for the Missal service, _Virgo virginum

Last in the series of the Latin hymn-writers stands the present pope,
Leo XIII., who is the third pope in the long series to whom any hymn can
be ascribed with any degree of certainty, the other two being Damasus
and Urban VIII. In his Latin poems, published in 1881, there are three
hymns in honor of two bishops of Perugia who suffered martyrdom in the
early age of the Church. They are not remarkable for poetical
inspiration, although they show that his Jesuit masters imbued him with
the rules of classic verse and expression. All his poems have been
reprinted in this country (Baltimore, 1886), with an English version by
the Jesuits of Woodstock College.

In any other field of Christian hymnology we should close our account of
the past by the expression of confidence in the fertility of the future.
But as regards Latin hymnology, we feel that the period of greatest
value has passed by, and the record is sealed. While it is true that

  “Generations yet unborn
    Shall bless and magnify the Lord,”

as Rouse sings, we feel that it will not be in the medium of a dead
language, but in the tongues “understanded of the people.” The attempt
to maintain Latin as the language—as the exclusive speech of Christian
worship in Western Europe, is one of those parts of the Roman Catholic
system which are already condemned by results. The comparative
barrenness of Latin hymnology for the past hundred years is evidence
enough that this is not the channel in which Christian inspiration now
flows; and the attention paid even by Roman Catholic poets to
hymn-writing in the national languages is fresh evidence of the
readiness of that communion to adapt itself to new conditions as soon as
this is seen to be inevitable.

                             CHAPTER XXXI.

It has been asked by both Roman Catholics and Protestants—and not
unfairly—whether the interest shown for the last half century by
Protestant writers in the hymns of Latin Christendom, is a legitimate
one. It is said by the former: “You are poaching on our preserves. All
this you admire so much is what your fathers turned their backs upon
when they renounced the Roman obedience. You cannot with any consistency
attempt to naturalize in your churches and their services, hymns which
have been written for a worship which differs in idea and principle, not
in details merely, from your own. At best you can pick out a little here
and a little there, which seems to suit you. But even then you are in
danger of adopting what teaches doctrine which your Protestant
confessions and their expositors denounce as idolatry, as when the
compilers of the hymnal in use by American Presbyterians adopted Mr.
Caswall’s English version of

    _Quicunque certum quaeritis,_

ignoring its express reference to the devotion to the Sacred Heart. This
is a gross instance of what you are doing all the time. If it lead you
back to the bosom of the Catholic Church we shall be glad of it. But it
grates on Catholic nerves to see you employing the phrase which we
regard as a serious statement of doctrinal truth, as though it were a
mere purple patch of rhetoric.”

This leads us to ask what the Reformation was in the idea of the
Reformers themselves. They never took the ground that the religious life
of Protestant nations and churches was out of all relation to the life
of the nations and churches of Western Europe, as these were before
Luther began his work. With all their regard for the Scriptures, they
never assumed that out of these could be created a Christian Church upon
ground previously held by Antichrist and him alone. Luther declared that
the elements of the Church for whose upbuilding he was laboring were
just those in which he had been educated. As he expressed it, these were
found in the Catechism taught to every child in Germany, and which
embraced the creed, the commandments, the sacraments, and the Our
Father. What he had learned from study of the New Testament was to give
these elements their due prominence, and to disengage them from the
additions and corruptions by which they had been obscured. It was not a
destructive revolution, but a change of doctrinal perspective for which
he was contending. He never lost his relish for the good things he had
learned in the Church of his childhood. While he rendered the service
into the German speech of the people, he followed in the main the old
order of the service in his _Deutsche Messe_. He also rendered into
German sixteen old hymns, twelve from the Latin, from Ambrose down to
Huss, and four from the old German of the Middle Ages. In his
_House-Postil_ he speaks with great enthusiasm of the hymns and
sequences he had learned to sing in church as a boy; and in his _Table
Talk_, while he censures Ambrose as a wordy poet, he praises the _Patris
Sapientia_, but above all the Passion hymn of Pope Gregory the Great,
_Rex Christe factor omnium_, as the best of hymns, whether Latin or

Melanchthon’s gentler spirit more than shared in Luther’s reverence for
the good in the mediaeval Church. The antithesis to Melanchthon, the
representative of the extreme party among Protestants, is Matthias
Flacius Illyricus, a man of Slavic stock and uncompromising temper. Yet
he also searched the past for witnesses to the truth which Luther had
proclaimed. He appeals to a hymn in the Breviary of the
Premonstratensian Order, as old, he thinks, as the twelfth century,
which testifies against saint worship:

  Adjuvent nos eorum merita,
  Quos propria impediunt scelera?
  Excuset eorum intercessio,
  Quos propria accusat actio?
  At tu, qui eis tribuisti
  Coelestis palmam triumphi,
  Nobis veniam non deneges peccati.

In the same spirit he and his associates edited the first great
Protestant work on Church history—the _Magdeburg Centuries_ (1559-74, in
thirteen folio volumes). The first Protestants had no more idea of
surrendering the history of the Church to the champions of the Roman
Catholic Church, than of giving up to them the New Testament. They held
that down through all the ages ran a double current of pure Christianity
and scholastic perversion of that, and that the Reformation succeeds to
the former as the Tridentine Church to the latter. This especially as
regards the great central point in controversy, the part of grace and of
merit in the justification of the sinner. And they found the proof of
this continuity especially in the devotions of the early Church. They
found themselves in that great prayer of the Franciscan monk, which the
Roman Missal puts into the mouth of her holiest members as they gather
around the bier of the dead:

  Quid sum miser tunc dicturus,
  Quem patronum rogaturus,
  Quum vix justus sit securus?

  Rex tremendae majestatis,
  Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
  Salve me, fons pietatis!

“Whenever in the Middle Ages,” says Albrecht Ritschl, “devotion, so far
as it has found articulate expression, rises to the level of the thought
that the value of the Christian life, even where it is fruitful of good
works, is grounded not upon these as human merits, but upon the mercy of
God ... then the same line of thought is entered upon as that in which
the religious consciousness common to Luther and Zwingli was able to
break through the connection which had subsisted between Catholic
doctrine and the Church institutions for the application of
salvation.... Whenever even the Church of Rome places herself in the
attitude of prayer, it is inevitable that in the expression of her
religious discernment, in thanksgiving and petition, all the benefits of
salvation should be referred to God or to Christ; the daily need for new
grace, accordingly, is not expressed in the form of a claim based upon
merits, but in the form of reliance upon God.”[26]

That the Latin hymns of those earlier centuries show a steadily
increasing amount of unscriptural devotion to the mother of our Lord and
to His saints, and of the materializing view of our Lord’s presence with
His Church in the Communion, is undeniable. But even in these matters
the hymns of the primitive and mediaeval Church are a witness that these
and the like misbeliefs and mispractices are a later growth upon
primitive faith and usage.

The first generation of Protestants, to which Luther, Melanchthon, and
Zwingli belong, had been brought up on the hymns of the Breviary and of
the Missal, and they did not abandon their love for these when they
ceased to regard the Latin tongue as the only fit speech for public
worship. They showed their relish for the old hymns, by publishing
collections of them, by translating them into the national languages, by
writing Latin hymns in imitation of them, and even by continuing their
use in public worship to a limited extent.

As collectors and editors of the old Latin hymns, the Protestants of the
sixteenth century surpassed the Roman Catholics of that age. Over
against the names of Hermann Torrentinus (1513 and 1536), Jacob
Wimpheling (1519), Joste Clichtove (1515-19), Jacob van Meyer (1535),
Lorenzo Massorillo (1547), and George Cassander (1556), the Roman
Catholic hymnologists of the half century which followed the
Reformation, we may place the anonymous collector of Basel (1538),
Johann Spangenberg (1545), Lucas Lossius (1552 _et seq._, with Preface
by Melanchthon), Paul Eber (1564), George Fabricius (1564), Christopher
Corner (1568), Hermann Bonn (1569), George Major (1570), Andreas
Ellinger (1573), Adam Siber (1577), Matthew Luidke (1589), and Francis
Algerman (1596). All these, with the possible exception of the first,
were Lutherans, trained in the humanistic school of Latin criticism and
poetry; but only two of them found it needful or desirable to alter the
hymns into conformity with the tastes of the age. The collections of
Hermann Bonn, the first Lutheran superintendent of Lubeck, and that of
George Fabricius, are especially important, as faithfully reproducing
much that else might have been lost to us.

The work of translating the old Latin hymns fell especially to the
Lutherans. Roman Catholic preference was no stronger for the original
Latin than that of the Reformed for the Psalms. Of the great German
hymn-writers from Luther to Paul Gerhardt, nearly all made translations
from the storehouse of Latin hymnody, Bernard of Clairvaux being the
especial favorite with Johann Heermann, John Arndt, and Paul Gerhardt.
And even in hymns which are not translations, the influence of the Latin
hymns is seen in the epic tone, the healthy objectivity of the German
hymns of this age, in contrast to the frequently morbid subjectivity of
those which belong to the age of Pietism.

More interesting to us are the early translations into English. The
first are to be found in the _Primer_ of 1545, a book of private
devotions after the model of the Breviary, published in Henry VIII.’s
time both in English in 1545 and again in Latin (_Orarium_) in 1546. In
the next reign a substitute for this in English alone was prepared by
the more Protestant authorities of the Anglican Church, in which,
besides sundry doctrinal changes, the hymns were omitted. But the scale
inclined somewhat the other way after Elizabeth’s accession. The English
_Primer_ of 1559 and the Latin _Orarium_ of 1560 are revised editions of
her father’s, not of her brother’s publications. The parts devoted to
the worship of Mary are omitted, but the prayers for the dead and the
hymns are retained. These old versions are clumsy enough, but not
without interest as the first of their kind. Here is one with the
original text from the _Orarium_, differing from any other authority
known to us:

  Rerum Creator omnium,
  Te poscimus hoc vesperi
  Defende nos per gratiam
  Ab hostis nostri fraudibus.

  Nullo ludamur, Domine,
  Vel somnio vel phasmate:
  In Te cor nostrum vigilet,
  Nec dormiat in crimine.

  Summe Pater, per Filium
  Largire quod Te poscimus:
  Cui per sanctum Spiritum
  Aeterna detur gloria. Amen.

  O Lord, the Maker of all thing,
  We pray thee now in this evening
  Us to defend, through thy mercy,
  From all deceit of our enemy.

  Let us neither deluded be,
  Good Lord, with dream nor phantasy.
  Our heart waking in thee thou keep,
  That we in sin fall not on sleep.

  O Father, through thy blessed Son,
  Grant us this our petition;
  To whom, with the Holy Ghost, always
  In heaven and earth be laud and praise. Amen.

It is not wonderful that when the Anglo-Catholics sought to revive the
_Primer_ as “the authorized book of Family and Private Prayer” on the
same footing as the Prayer book, they took the liberty of substituting
modern versions of the hymns for these “authorized” translations.[27]
But the _Primer_, whatever its authority, never possessed that much more
important requisite to success—vitality. A very few editions sufficed
for the demand, and Bishop Cosin’s attempt to revive it in Charles I.’s
time only provoked a Puritan outcry against both him and it. Rev. Gerard
Moultrie has attempted to revive it in our own time, as “the only book
of private devotion which has received the sanction of the English
Church,” and has not achieved even thus much of success. No Prynne has
assailed him.

In the Book of Common Prayer, besides such “canticles” as the _Gloria in
Excelsis_ and the _Te Deum_, there is but one hymn, an English version
of the _Veni, Creator Spiritus_ in the Ordination Service. It is the
wordiest of all known versions, rendering one hundred and five Latin by
three hundred and fifty-seven English words, but is not without its
old-fashioned felicities. The revisers of 1661 cut it down by omitting
just half of it, and modernized the English in a number of places. Its
very verbosity seems to have suggested Bishop Cosin’s terse version,
containing but four more words than the original, which, however, it
somewhat abridges. This was inserted in 1661 as an alternate version.
The author of the paraphrase in the Prayer-Book is unknown. It is not
Bishop Coverdale, as his, although translated at second-hand from
Luther, as, indeed, all his hymns are from some German source, is far
closer and less wordy.[28] It also was adopted into the old Scottish
Psalter of the Reformation, where it appears in the appendix, along with
a metrical version of the Apostle’s Creed and other “uninspired

From the Reformation until about fifty years ago, there was among
English-speaking people no interest in Latin hymnology worth speaking
of. A few Catholic poets, like Crashaw and Dryden, honored their Church
versions from the hymns of the Breviary. But even John Austin, a
Catholic convert of 1640, when he prepared his _Devotions in the Ancient
Way of Offices_ after the model of the Breviary, wrote for it hymns of
his own instead of translating from the Latin. Some of these (“Blessed
be Thy love, dear Lord,” and “Hark, my soul, how everything”) have
become a part of our general wealth. Of course some versions of a homely
sort had to be made for Catholic books of devotion, and I possess _The
Evening Office of the Church in Latin and English_ (London, 1725), in
which the Vesper hymns of the Roman Breviary are closely and roughly
versified. It is notable that “the old hymns as they are generally sung
in churches”—_i.e._, the hymns as they stood before the revision of
1631, are printed as an appendix to the book, showing how slow English
Catholics were to accept the modernization of the hymns which the papacy
had sanctioned nearly a century before.

Mr. Orby Shipley, in his _Annus Sanctus_ (London, 1884), gives a large
number of these early versions from the Roman Catholic _Primers_ of
1619, 1684, 1685, and 1706; from the _Evening Office_ of 1710, 1725, and
1785; and from the _Divine Office_ of 1763 and 1780. The translations of
1619 have been ascribed to William Drummond, of Hawthornden, and those
of 1706 to Dryden. Drummond was the first Scotchman who adopted English
as the language of literature, and although a Protestant, he belonged to
the Catholicizing party represented by William Forbes, the first
Protestant bishop of Edinburgh. Three hymns are given in Sir Walter
Scott’s edition of Dryden on the authority of English Roman Catholic
tradition, the best known being his version of the _Veni Creator
Spiritus_. These three are found in the _Primer_ of 1706, along with
versions of the other hymns of the Roman Breviary sufficiently like them
to suggest that they are all by the same hand. But this judgment is

Among Protestants the neglect was as great. So profuse a writer of hymns
for the Christian year as George Wither translated only the _Te Deum_
and the _Veni, Creator Spiritus_ into English verse.[29] Tate and Brady,
in their _Supplement_ (1703) to their _New Version of the Psalms_
(1696), published a translation of the _Veni, Creator Spiritus_. But
Bishop Symon Patrick was the only hymn-writer of that age who may be
said to have given any special attention to Latin hymns. His hymns were
chiefly translations from that source, especially Prudentius, and Lord
Selborne mentions that of _Alleluia, dulce carmen_, as the best.

The Methodist revival, which did so much to enrich our store of hymns,
and which called attention anew to those of Germany, accomplished
nothing for us as regards Latin hymns. The Earl of Roscommon’s
translation of the _Dies Irae_ (1717), and Dr. Johnson’s affecting
reference to the stanza,

    _Quaerens me sedisti lassus, ..._

stand almost alone in that age. It was not until the Romantic movement
in Germany and then in England broke the bonds of a merely classic
culture, taught the world the beauty of Gothic art, and obliged men to
revise their estimate of the Middle Ages, that the singers of the
praises which sounded through those earlier centuries had a fair chance
to be judged at their real worth. The forerunner of that movement was
Johann Gottfried von Herder, who indeed may be said to have anticipated
the whole intellectual movement of the past century, Darwinism not
excepted. From his friend and master Hamann, “the Magus of the North,”
he had learned “the necessity for a complete and harmonious expression
of all the varied faculties of man,” and that “whatever is isolated or
the product of a single faculty is to be condemned.” This made him as
much discontented with the eighteenth century and its literature and
philosophy of the enlightened understanding, as Hamann himself was. It
was the foundation for that Catholic taste which enabled him to
appreciate the excellence of all those popular literatures which are the
outflow of the life of whole peoples. His _Voices of the Peoples_ did
for the Continent what Bishop Percy’s _Reliques_ did for England, and
did it much better. He saw that “the people and a common sentiment are
the foundations of a true poetry,” and the literature of the schools and
that of polite society are equally condemned to sterility. For this
reason he had small respect for that classic Latin literature at whose
bar every modern production was impleaded. He found far more genuine
life and power in the Latin poems of the Jesuit father, Jacob Balde, and
still more in the hymns of the Latin Church. His _Letters for the
Promotion of Humanity_ (1794-96) contain a passage of classic

  “The hymns which Christianity introduced had for their basis those old
  Hebrew Psalms which very soon found their way into the Church, if not
  as songs or anthems, at any rate as prayers.... The songs of Mary and
  of Zacharias, the Angelic Salutation, the _Nunc Dimittis_ of Simeon,
  which open the New Testament, gave character more immediately to the
  Christian hymns. Their gentler voice was more suitable to the spirit
  of Christianity than even the loud trumpet note of that old jubilant
  Hallelujah, although that note was found capable of many applications,
  and was now strengthened with the words of prophet or psalmist, now
  adapted to gentler strains. Over the graves of the dead, whose
  resurrection was already present to the spirit’s vision, in caves and
  catacombs, first were heard these psalms of repentance and prayer, of
  sorrow and hope, until after the public establishment of Christianity,
  they stepped out of the dark into the light, out of solitude into
  splendid churches, before consecrated altars, and now assumed a like
  splendor in their expression. There is hardly any one who can listen
  to the _Jam moesta quiesce querula_ of Prudentius without feeling his
  heart touched by its moving strains, or who can hear the funeral
  sequence _Dies irae, dies illa_, without a shudder, or whom so many
  other hymns, each with its own character—_e.g._, _Veni, Redemptor
  gentium_; _Vexilla Regis prodeunt_; _Salvete flores Martyrum_; _Pange,
  lingua, gloriosi_, etc., will fail to be carried into that frame of
  feeling which each seeks to awaken, and with all its humility of form
  and its churchly peculiarities, never fails to command. In one there
  sounds the voice of prayer; another could find its accompaniment only
  in the harp; in yet another the trumpet rings, or there sounds the
  thousand-voiced organ, and so on.

  “If we seek after the reason of this remarkable effect, which we feel
  in hearing these old Christian hymns, we find it somewhat peculiar. It
  is anything but the novelty of the _thoughts_ which here touches and
  there shakes us. Thoughts in these hymns are found but sparingly. Many
  are merely solemn recitations of a well-known story, or they are
  familiar petitions and prayers. They nearly all repeat each other. Nor
  is it frequently surprisingly fine and novel sentiments with which
  they somehow permeate us; the novel and the fine are not objects in
  the hymns. What, then, is it that touches us? _Simplicity_ and
  _Veracity_. Here sounds the speech of a general confession of one
  heart and one faith. Most of them are constructed either so as to be
  fit for use every day of the year, or so as to be used on the
  festivals of the various seasons. As these come round there comes with
  them in constant recurrence their rehearsal of Christian doctrines.
  There is nothing superfine in the hymns as regards either emotion, or
  duty, or consolation. There reigns in all of them a general popularity
  of content, expressed in great accents. He who seeks novel thoughts in
  a _Te Deum_ or a _Salve Regina_ looks for them in the wrong place. It
  is just what is every day and always known, which here is to serve as
  the garb of truth. The hymn is meant to be an ambrosial offering of
  nature, deathless like that, and ever returning.

  “It follows that, as people in these Christian hymns did not look for
  the grace of classic expression or the pleasurable emotion of the
  instant—in a word, what we expect from a work of art, they produced
  the strangest effects at once after their introduction. Just as
  Christian hands overthrew the statues and temples of the gods in honor
  of the unseen God, so these hymns contained a germ which was to bring
  about the death of the pagan poetry. Not only were those hymns to gods
  and goddesses, heroes and geniuses, regarded by the Christians as the
  work of unbelievers or misbelievers, but the germ from which they
  sprang, the poetic and sportive fancy, the pleasure and rejoicing of
  the peoples in their national festivals, were condemned as a school of
  evil demons; yes, even the national pride, to which those songs
  appealed, was despised as a perilous though splendid sin. The old
  religion had outlived its time, the new had won its victory, when the
  absurdity of idol-worship and pagan superstitions, the disorders and
  abominations which attended the festivals of Bacchus, Cybele, and
  Aphrodite, were brought to the light of day. Whatever of poetry was
  associated with these was a work of the devil. There began a new age
  for poetry, music, speech, the sciences, and indeed for the whole
  direction of human thought.”

As the Romanticist movement gained ground in Germany, attention to the
early hymns increased. Even Goethe, the _weltkind_ among the prophets,
was influenced. Hence his use of the _Dies Irae_ in the first part of
_Faust_, although he was pagan enough to care for nothing at Assisi
except the Roman remains. A. W. Schlegel made a number of translations
for the _Musen-Almanach_. Then came the long series of German
translators, of whom A. J. Rambach, A. L. Follen (brother of Professor
Charles Follen of Harvard), Karl Simrock (1850 and 1866), and G. A.
Koenigsfeld (1847 and 1865) are the most notable. Much more important to
us are the German collectors: G. A. Björn (a Dane, 1818), J. C. von
Zabuesnig (1822 and 1830), H. A. Daniel (_Blüthenstrauss_, 1840;
_Thesaurus_, 1841-56), F. J. Mone (1853-55), C. B. Moll (1861 and 1868),
P. Gall Morel (1866), Joseph Kehrein (1873). To the unwearied
thoroughness of these editors, more than of any other laborers in this
field, we owe our ampler access to the treasures of Latin hymnody. But
what field of research is there in which the scholarship of Germany has
not laid the rest of the world under obligations?

In English literature the Romanticist movement begins properly with Sir
Walter Scott. Himself a Presbyterian, he was brought up on the old
Scotch Psalm-book, for which he entertained the same affection as did
Burns, Edward Irving, Campbell, Carlyle, and Archdeacon Hare. He opposed
any attempt to improve it, on the ground that it was, “with all its
acknowledged occasional harshness, so beautiful that any alterations
must eventually prove only so many blemishes.” But his literary tastes
led him to a lofty appreciation of the Anglican liturgy—a circumstance
which has led many to class him as an Episcopalian—and equally for the
poetry of the mediaeval hymns. His vigorous version of a part of the
_Dies Irae_ inserted in _The Lady of the Lake_ (1805) gives him his
smallest claim to mention in the history of hymnody. It was the new
atmosphere he carried into the educated world, his fresh and hearty
admiration of admirable things in the Middle Ages, which had been
thought barbarous, that makes him important to us. He gave the English
and Scottish people new weights and measures, new standards of critical
judgment, which emancipated them from narrow, pseudo-Protestant
traditions. He made the great Church of undivided Western Europe
intelligible. No doubt many follies resulted from this novel lesson, the
worst of all being contempt for Luther and his associates in the
Reformation. The negations which attend such revolutions in opinion
always are foolish exaggerations. It is the affirmations which are
valuable and which remain. And Romanticism for more than half a century
has been affecting the religious, the social, the intellectual life of
Great Britain and America in a thousand ways, and with, on the whole,
positive and beneficial results. Its most powerful manifestation was in
the Oxford movement,[30] but both in its causes and its effects it has
transcended the limits which separate the divided forces of

Naturally the Oxford movement was the first to turn attention to the
hymns of the Middle Ages, or what it regarded as such. We use this
qualified expression because its leaders at the outset were much better
poets than hymnological scholars, and welcomed anything in the shape of
a Latin hymn as “primitive,” no matter what. Isaac Williams, in the
_British Magazine_ in 1830, published a series of translations of
“primitive hymns” which he gathered into a volume in 1839. They were
from the Paris Breviary, of whose hymns only one in fourteen were older
than 1685, and most of them not yet a hundred years old. Rev. John
Chandler, in his _Hymns of the Primitive Church_ (1837), drew on Santeul
and Coffin with equal freedom, evidently supposing he was going back to
the early ages for his originals. Bishop Mant, in his _Ancient Hymns
from the Roman Breviary_ (1837), did a little better, although not
half-a-dozen hymns in that Breviary are unaltered from their primitive
forms, and many are no older than the fifteenth or sixteenth century.
Rev. Edward Caswall, an Oxford convert to the Church of Rome, naturally
confined his _Lyra Catholica_ (1849) to the Breviary hymns,
supplementing those of Rome with some from Paris. The first collection
published by Dr. Newman (_Hymni Ecclesiae_, Pars I., 1839) was confined
to the Paris Breviary, but with the notice that they “had no equal claim
to antiquity” with “the discarded collections of the ante-reform era.”
But he claimed on rather slight ground that they “breathe an ancient
spirit, and even where they are the work of one pen, are the joint and
indivisible contribution of many ancient minds.” This is an opinion of
the work of Santeul and Coffin in which neither Cardinal Newman nor the
Gallican Church would agree to-day.

In fact, these English scholars, with their constant habit of making
Latin verse after classic models from their school-days, and their
entire want of familiarity with post-classic Latin, found what pleased
them best in the two Breviaries of Rome and Paris. With that they seemed
likely to stop. It was Dr. John Mason Neale (1851-58) who, among
translators, first broke these bounds, went to the older sources, and
introduced to English readers, both by his collections and his
translations, the great hymns of the Western Church. As a translator he
leaves much to be desired. His ideas as to faithful reproduction of the
form of his originals are vague. His hymns too often might be said to be
based on the Latin text rather than to reproduce it. But they are
spirited poems, whose own vigor and beauty sent readers to the original,
and they were not disappointed.

From that time we have had a series of excellent workers in this
field—John Keble, Rev. W. J. Blew (1855), Mr. J. D. Chambers (1857 and
1866), Rev. J. W. Hewett (1859), Sir Henry Baker (1861 and 1868), Rev.
Herbert Kynaston (1862), Rev. J. Trend (1862), Rev. P. S. Worsley
(1863), Earl Nelson (1857 and 1868), Rev. Richard F. Littledale (1867),
R. Campbell, of the Anglo-Catholic party; and Dean Stanley, Mrs. Charles
(1858 and 1866) and Dr. Hamilton Magill (1876) outside its ranks. Theirs
have been no inconsiderable part of those labors which have made the
last thirty years the golden age of English hymn-writing, surpassing
even the era of the Methodist revival.

In America the work was begun in 1840 with a modest little volume
published at Auburn, in New York, and ascribed by Mr. Duffield to Dr.
Henry Mills of Auburn Theological Seminary, who in 1856 also published a
volume of translations of German hymns. His earlier book was _The Hymn
of Hildebert and the Ode of Xavier, with English Versions_, and
contained thirty-five duodecimo pages. Next in order came Dr. John
Williams, Bishop of Connecticut, with _Ancient Hymns of the Holy Church_
(1845). Dr. William R. Williams of New York, in his address on “The
Conservative Principle in our Literature,” delivered in 1843, made a
reference to the _Dies Irae_, which gave him the occasion to publish in
an Appendix the literary history of the great hymn, giving the text
along with Dr. Trench’s version and his own. This seems to have given
the impulse which has made America so prolific in translations of that
hymn, only Germany surpassing us in this respect. Dr. Abraham Coles may
be said to have led off with his volume, containing thirteen
translations in 1847. But it was not until after the war for the Union
that the productive powers of American translators were brought into
play. Much, no doubt, was due to foreign impulse, especially from Dr.
Trench and Dr. Newman; but it is notable that in America far more work
has been done outside than inside the Episcopalian communion.

Dr. Coles again in 1866, Mr. Duffield in 1867, Chancellor Benedict in
1869, Hon. N. B. Smithers in 1879 and 1881, and Mr. John L. Hayes in
1887 published volumes of translations. But far more numerous are the
poets whose versions of Latin hymns have appeared in various periodicals
or in collections like Professor Coppée’s _Songs of Praise_ (1866), Dr.
Schaff’s _Christ in Song_ (1869), Odenheimer and Bird’s _Songs of the
Spirit_ (1871), Dr. H. C. Fish’s _Heaven in Song_ (1874), Frank
Foxcroft’s _Resurgit_ (1879), and Dr. Schaff and Arthur Gilman’s
_Library of Sacred Poetry_ (1881 and 1886). Of these contributing poets
we mention Dr. E. A. Washburn, whose translations have been collected in
his posthumous volume, _Voices from a Busy Life_ (1883); Dr. Ray Palmer,
our chief sacred singer, whose versions of the _O esca viatorum_ and the
_Jesu dulcis memoria_ are as classic as his “My faith looks up to Thee;”
Dr. A. R. Thompson, to whom the present volume is under great
obligations; Rev. J. Anketell, another of its benefactors; Rev. M.
Woolsey Stryker, Rev. D. Y. Heisler, Rev. Franklin Johnson, D.D., and
Rev. W. S. McKenzie, D.D. Besides these we may mention the anthology of
translations published by the Rev. F. Wilson (1859), of texts by
Professor F. A. March (1874 and 1883), and of both texts and
translations by Judge C. C. Nott (1865 and subsequent years).

It is not, however, only as literature, but in the actual use of the
American churches, that the Latin hymns have made a place for
themselves. Since 1859, when the Andover professors published the
_Sabbath Hymn and Tune-Book_, with original translations furnished by
Dr. Ray Palmer, there has been a peaceful revolution in American
hymnology. Every one of the larger denominations and many of the smaller
have provided themselves with new hymn-books, in which the resources of
English, foreign, and ancient hymnology have been employed freely, and
with more exacting taste as to sense and form, than characterized the
hymn-books of the era before the war. While the compilers have drawn
freely upon Caswall, Neale, Chandler, and the Anglican _Hymns Ancient
and Modern_ (1861), in many cases original translations were given, as
in _Hymns of the Church_ for the (Dutch) Reformed Church, of which Dr.
A. R. Thompson was one of the editors; and Dr. Charles Robinson’s
_Laudes Domini_ (1884), to which Mr. Duffield contributed. And there is
evidence that the hymns thus brought into Church use from the storehouse
of the earlier Christian ages have helped thoughtful Christians to
realize more fully the great principle of the Communion of the saints—to
realize that all the faithful of the present are bound in spiritual
brotherhood with those who held to the same Head and walked in the light
of the same faith in bygone centuries, even though it was with stumbling
and amid shadows, from which our path by God’s good providence has been
set free.

                             CHAPTER XXXII.
                         BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES.

The first sources of the Latin hymns and sequences are the manuscript
and printed breviaries and missals of the Western Church. Both these
have been explored by the collectors from Clichtove to Kehrein, although
it cannot be said that the examination has been exhaustive either as
regards the manuscripts or the printed books.

The following is an approximate list of the printed breviaries which
have been examined by modern collectors:

                              LOCAL BREVIARIES.
  Aberdonense,      Aberdeen,     1509-10,    Daniel.
  Ambrosianum,      Milan,        1557,       Neale, Morel, Zabuesnig.
  Argentinense,     Strasburg,    1520,       Neale.
  Basiliense,       Basel,        1493,       Morel.
  Bracharense,                    1494,       Neale.
  Caduncense,       Cahors,                   Neale.
  Coloniense,       Koeln,        1521,       Zabuesnig.
  Constantiense,    Konstanz,     1504, 1516, Morel, Daniel.
  Cordubiense,      Cordova,      1583,       Morel.
  Cracoviense,      Krakau,       1524,       Morel.
  Curiense,         Kur,          c. 1500,    Morel.
  Eboracense,       York,                     Neale, Newman.
  Erfordense,       Erfurt,       1518,       Daniel.
  Friburgense,      Freiburg,                 Daniel.
  Gallicum,         France,       1527,       Morel.
  Halberstadtense,  Halberstadt,  1515,       Daniel.
  Havelbergense,    Havelberg,    1518,       Daniel.
  Herefordense,     Hereford,     1505,       Neale.
                    Lengres,                  Daniel.
  Lundense,         Lund,         1517,       Daniel.
  Magdeburgense,    Magdeburg,    1514,       Daniel.
  Merseburgense,    Merseburg,    1504,       Daniel.
  Mindense,         Minden,       1490,       Daniel.
  Misniense,        Meissen,      1490,       Daniel.
  Mozarabicum,      Old Spanish,  1775,       Daniel.
  Parisiense vet.,  Paris (old),  1527,       Neale.
  Parisiense,                     1736,       Newman, Zabuesnig.
  Pictaviense,      Poitou,       1515,       Daniel.
  Placentinum,      Piacenza,     1503,       Morel.
  Romanum vet.,     Rome (old),   1481,       Kehrein.
                                  1484, 1520,
                                  1497,       Daniel.
                                  1543,       Morel.
  Romanum,          Rome (new),   1631,       Zabuesnig, Daniel.
  Roschildense,     Roeskild,     1517,       Daniel.
  Salisburgense,    Salzburg,     1515,       Neale, Daniel.
  Sarisburense,     Salisbury,    1555,       Neale, Daniel, Newman.
  Slesvicense,      Schleswig,    1512,       Daniel.
  Spirense,         Speier,       1478,       Zabuesnig.
  Tornacense,       Tournay,      1540,       Neale.
  Tullense,         Toul,         1780,       Daniel.

                              MONASTIC BREVIARIES.
  Augustinianorum,          1557,                Morel, Zabuesnig, Neale.
  Benedictinorum,           1518, 1543,          Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Canonum Reg. Augustini,                        Zabuesnig.
  Carmelitarum,             1759,                Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Carthusianorum,           1500,                Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Cisterciensium,           1510, 1752,          Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Franciscanorum,           1481, 1486, 1495,    Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Humiliatorum,             1483,                Neale.
  Praemonstratensium,       1741,                Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Praedicatorum,            1482,                Daniel, Zabuesnig.
  Servorum Mariae,          1643,                Daniel, Zabuesnig.

                                LOCAL MISSALS.
  Aboense,           Abo,          1488,        Daniel, Neale.
  Ambianense,        Amiens,       1529,        Neale.
  Aquiliense,        Aquileia,                  Daniel.
  Argentinense,      Strasburg,    1520,        Neale.
  Athanatense,       St. Yrieix,   1531,        Morel.
  Atrebatense,       Arras,        1510,        Neale.
  Augustense,        Augsburg,     1510,        Kehrein.
  Brandenburgense,   Brandenburg,  C., 1500,    Daniel.
  Bursfeldense,      Bursfeld,     1518,        Kehrein.
  Coloniense,        Koeln,        1504, 1520,  Daniel, Kehrein.
  Eychstadense       Eichstädt,    1500,        Daniel.
  Frisingense,       Freysingen,   1514,        Daniel.
  Hafniense,         Copenhagen,                Neale.
  Halberstatense,    Halberstadt,  1511,        Kehrein.
  Herbipolense,      Würzburg,     1509,        Neale, Kehrein.
  Leodiense,         Liege,        1513,        Neale.
  Lubecense,         Lubeck,       C., 1480,    Wackernagel.
  Magdeburgense,     Magdeburg,    1493,        Wackernagel.
  Mindense,          Minden,       1515,        Daniel, Kehrein.
  Moguntinum,        Mainz,        1482, 1497,  Mone, Wackernagel.
                                   1507, 1513,  Kehrein, Neale.
  Morinense,                                    Neale.
  Narbonense,        Narbonne,     1528,        Neale.
  Nidriosense,       Trondhjem,    1519,        Neale.
  Noviemsense,       Noyon,        1506,        Neale.
  Numburgense,       Naumburg,     1501, 1507,  Wackernagel, Daniel.
  Parisiense vet.,   Paris (old),  1516,        Neale.
  Parisiense,                      1739,        Newman.
  Pataviense,        Padua,        1491,        Daniel.
  Pictaviense,       Poitou,       1524,        Neale.
  Pragense,          Prag,         1507, 1522,  Neale, Daniel, Kehrein.
  Ratisbonense,      Regensburg,   1492,        Daniel, Neale.
  Redonense,         Rennes,       1523,        Neale.
  Salisburgense,     Salzburg,     1515,        Neale.
  Sarisburense       Salisbury,    1555,        Neale.
  Spirense,          Speier,       1498,        Neale.
  Strengnense,       Strengnaes,   1487,        Neale.
  Tornacense,        Tournay,      1540,        Neale.
  Trajectense,       Utrecht,      1513,        Neale.
  Upsalense,         Upsal,        1513,        Neale.
  Verdense,          Verden,       1500,        Neale.
  Xantonense         Saintes,      1491,        Neale.

                             MONASTIC MISSALS.
  Benedictinorum,                1498,                Neale, Kehrein.
  Cistercensium,                 1504,                Daniel.
  Franciscanorum,                1520,                Kehrein.
  Praemonstratensium,            1530,                Daniel.
  Praedicatorum,                 1500,                Zabuesnig.

Of lesser church-books Zabuesnig has used the _Processionale_ of the
Dominicans or Preachers, and Newman that of the Church of York. Morel
has drawn upon the Paris _Horae_ of 1519, and Daniel on the _Cantionale_
of Konstanz of 1607.

Yet this shows that either only a minority of the printed church-books
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries have been examined, or else
that the majority yielded nothing new in return for such examination.

We proceed with the bibliography of the collections and the historical
treatises and discussions which bear on Latin Hymnology, together with
the most important volumes of translations. These we shall give in
chronological order, and where the initials S. W. D. are appended to the
comments, it will be understood that these are by Mr. Duffield, not by
his editor. The numbers marked with an asterisk (*) indicate works
employed in the preparation of the present volume.

1. Sequentiarum Textus cum optimo Commento. (S. l. e. a.)

        Printed at Koeln (Cologne) by Henry Quentell in 1492 or 1494.
        The following is bound up with the early editions of this as a
        kind of appendix, but afterward frequently printed by itself.

2. Expositio Hymnorum cum notabili [_seu_ familiari] Commento. (S. l. e.

        Also printed at Koeln by Henry Quentell in 1492 or 1494, and
        1506. Later editions are: Hagenau, 1493; Basil, 1504; Koeln,
        1596; and many others.

        For the full reference, _vide_ Daniel, I.: xvii. There were many
        of these, and the most famous was long regarded as indispensable
        to the study of the Latin hymns. It is that of Clichtove. S.W.D.

3. _Liber hymnorum in metra noviter redactorum. Apologia et defensio
    poeticae ac oratoriae maiestatis. Brevis expositio difficilium
    terminorum in hymnis ab aliis parum probe et erudite forsan
    interpretatorum per Henricum Bebelium I ustingensem edita poeticam
    et humaniores litteras publice profitentem in gymnasio Tubingensi.
    Annotationes eiusdem in quasdam vocabulorum interpretationes
    Mammetracti. Thubingen,_ 1501.

        Henry Bebel was a humanist, and became professor at Tübingen in
        1497. Zapf published a biography of him at Augsburg in 1801.

4. _Hymni et Sequentiae cum diligenti difficillimorum vocabulorum
    interpretatione omnibus et scholasticis et ecclesiasticis cognitu
    necessaria Hermanni Torrentini de omnibus puritatis lingue latine
    studiosis quam optime meriti.—Coloniae, MCCCCCXIII_.

        Daniel says that a second edition (1550, 1536?) has so closely
        followed Clichtoveus that the first edition only is worthy of

        Hermann Torrentinus was a native of Zwolle, and belonged to the
        Brotherhood of the Common Life. He was professor at Groningen
        about 1490, and lived until about 1520. He was one of the group
        which gathered around John Wessel Gansfort, in whom Luther
        recognized a kindred spirit.

5. _De tempore et sanctis per totum annum hymnarius in metra ut ab
    Ambrosio, Sedulio, Prudentio ceterisque doctoribus hymni sunt
    compositi. Groningen phrisie iam noviter redactus incipit

6. _Psalterium Davidis adiunctis hymnis felicem habet finem opera et
    impensis Melchior Lotters ducalis opidi Liptzensis concivis Anno
    Milesimo quingentesimo undecimo XVIII die Aprilis_ [1511].

7.* Iodoci Clichtovaei Elucidatorium ecclesiasticum ad Officium
    Ecclesiae pertinentia planius exponens et quatuor Libros
    complectens. Primus Hymnos de Tempore et Sanctis per totum Annum.
    Secundus nonnulla Cantica, Antiphonas et Responsaria. Tertius ea
    quae ad Missae pertinet Officium, praesertim Praefationes. Quartus
    Prosas quae in sancti Altaris Sacrificio dicuntur continet. Paris,
    1515; Basil, 1517 and 1519; Venice, 1555; Paris, 1556; Koeln, 1732.

        The best book of its time on the subject, and long indispensable
        to the hymnologist. Josse Clichtove was a Flemish theologian. He
        studied at Paris under the famous Lefevre d’Etaples, and enjoyed
        the friendship of Erasmus. He was a zealous opponent of Luther.
        He died in 1543. The Venice edition of his _Elucidatorium—Hymni
        et Prosae, quae per totum Annum in Ecclesiâ leguntur_—is much
        altered, and contains additional hymns from Italian, French, and
        Hungarian Breviaries, while it also omits others given by

8. _Hymni de tempore et de sanctis in eam formam qua a suis autoribus
    scripti sunt denuo redacti et secundum legem carminis diligenter
    emendati atque interpretati. Anno Domini, MDXIX._

        Jacob Wimpheling is the editor. He was an eminent theologian and
        humanist of Strasburg, and the first to edit Rabanus Maurus’s
        _De Laudibus Sanctae Crucis_. Already in 1499 he had published a
        tract: _De Hymnorum et Sequentiarum Auctoribus Generibusque
        Carminum quae in Hymnis inveniuntur_. One authority gives 1511
        as the date of his _Hymni_.

9. _Sequentiarum luculenta interpretatio nedum scholasticis sed et
    ecclesiasticis cognitu necessaria per Ioannem Adelphum physicum
    Argentinensem collecta. Anno Domini, MDXIX._

10. Jakob van Meyer: Hymni aliquot ecclesiastici et Carmina Pia.
    Louvain, 1537.

11. Liber ecclesiasticorum carminum, cum alijs Hymnis et Prosis
    exquisitissimis a sanctis orthodoxae fidei Patribus in usum piorum
    mentium compositis. Basil, B. Westhemerus, 1538.

12. Laurentius Massorillus: Aureum Sacrorum Hymnorum Opus. Foligni,

13.* _Hymni ecclesiastici praesertim qui Ambrosiani dicuntur multis in
    locis recogniti et multorum hymnorum accessione locupletati. Cum
    Scholiis opportunis in locis adjectis et Hymnorum indice Georgii
    Cassandri. Et, Beda de Metrorum generibus ex primo libra de re
    metrica. Coloniae Anno MDLVI._

        This was reprinted in Cassander’s Works (Parisiis, 1616).
        Cassander was a Catholic, who sympathized with the Reformation,
        and his book was prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church. “_In
        Romana ecclesia liber est vetitus_,” says Daniel. With the
        drawback that his knowledge and opportunities were limited by
        the age in which he lived, it can still be said that this is a
        very valuable and helpful collection—the scholarly work of an
        earnest man. S. W. D.

14. Cantiones Ecclesiasticae Latinae ac Synceriores quaedam praeculae
    Dominicis & Festis Diebus in Commemoratione Cenae Domini, per totius
    Anni Circulum cantandae ac perlegendae. Per Johannem Spangenbergium
    Ecclesiae Northusianae inspectorem. Magdeburg, 1543.

15_a_. Carmina vetusta ante trecentos scripta, quae deplorant inscitiam
    Evangelii, et taxant abusus ceremoniarum, ac quae ostendunt
    doctrinam hujus temporis non esse novam. Fulsit enim semper et
    fulgebit in aliquibus vera Ecclesiae doctrina. Cum Praefatione
    Matthiae Flacii Illyrici. Wittemberg, 1548.

15_b_. Pia quaedam vetustissima Poemata, partim Anti-Christum, ejusque
    spirituales Filiolos insectantia, partim etiam Christum, ejusque
    beneficium mira spiritus alacritate celebrantia. Cum praefatione
    Matthiae Flacii Illyrici. Magdeburg, 1552.

15_c_. Varia Doctorum Piorumque Virorum de Corrupto Statu Ecclesiae
    Poemata. Ante nostram aetatem conscripta, ex quibus multa historiae
    quoque utiliter ac summa cum voluptate cognosci possunt. Cum
    Praefatione Matthiae Flacii Illyrici. Magdeburg, 1556. Reprinted

        These three collections are of importance to the hymnologist.
        From the first Wackernagel has extracted a number of fine hymns.
        The third contains Bernard of Cluny’s _De Contemptu Mundi_.

16. Hymni aliquot sacri veterum Patrum una cum eorum simplici
    Paraphrasi, brevibus argumentis, singulis Carminum generibus, &
    concinnis Melodijs ... Collectore Georgio Thymo. Goslar, 1552.

17. Psalmodia, hoc est Cantica Sacra veteris Ecclesiae selecta. Quo
    ordine & Melodijs per totius anni curriculum cantari vsitate solent
    in templis de Deo, & de filio ejus Iesv Christo, ... Et de Spiritv
    Sancto.... Jam primum ad Ecclesiarum, & Scholarum vsum diligenter
    collecta, et brevibus et pijs Scholijs illustrata per Lucam Lossium
    Luneburgensem. Cum Praefatione Philippi Melanthonis. Wittemberg,
    1552 and 1595; Nuremberg, 1553 and 1595.

Die Hymni, oder geistlichen Lobgeseng, wie man die in der Cystertienser
    orden durchs gantz Jar singet. Mit hohem vleis verteutschet durch
    Leonhardum Kethnerum. Nurnberg, 1555.

18. Hymni et Sequentiae, tam de Tempore quam de Sanctis, cum suis
    Melodijs, sicut olim sunt cantatae in Ecclesia Dei, & jam passim
    correcta, per M. Hermannum Bonnum, Superintendentem quondam
    Ecclesiae Lubecensis, in vsum Christianae juventutis scholasticae
    fideliter congesta & euulgata. Lubeck, 1559.

19. _Pauli Eberi, Psalmi seu cantica in ecclesia cantari solita.
    Witteburgiae_, 1564.

20.* _Poetarum Veterum Ecclesiasticorum Opera Christiana et operum
    reliquiae atque fragmenta. Thesaurus catholicae et orthodoxae
    ecclesiae et antiquitatis religiosae ad utilitatem iuventutis
    scholasticae, collectus, emendatus, digestus et commentario quoque
    expositus diligentia et studio Georgii Fabricii Chemnicensis.
    Basileae per Ioannem Oporinum MDLXIIII._

        A second edition in 1572. George Fabricius, of Chemnitz, besides
        editing this important book, was the most prolific writer of
        Latin hymns the Lutheran Church possessed.

21. Johann Leisentrit: Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen der alten
    Apostolischer recht und warglaubiger Christlicher Kirchen. 2 parts.
    Budissin, 1567.

        Used by Wackernagel. Although Leisentrit was the Roman Catholic
        dean of Budissin, his first part seems to have been censured as
        of Protestant tendency. The second is made up of hymns to Mary
        and the Saints. This part was reprinted in 1573 and 1584.

22. _Cantica Selecta Veteris Novique Testamenti cum Hymnis et Collectis
    seu orationibus purioribus quae in orthodoxa atque catholica
    ecclesia cantari solent. Addita dispositione et familiari
    expositione Christophori Corneri. Lipsiae cum privilegio MDLXVIII._
    A second edition in 1571, and a third in 1573.

23. Cantica ex sacris literis in ecclesia cantari solita cum hymnis et
    collectis, etc., recognita et aucta per D. Georgium Maiorem.
    Wittemberg, 1570.

23_b_. Hymni et Collectae, item Evangelia, Epistolae, etc., quae diebus
    dominicis et festivis leguntur. Koeln, 1573.

24. Psalterium Davidis, etc., cum lemmatibus ac notis Adami Siberi.
    Accesserunt Hymni festorum dierum insignium. Lipsiae, Iohannes
    Rhamba excudebat Anno MDLXXVII.

25. _Hymnorum Ecclesiasticorum ab Andrea Ellingero V. Cl. emendatorum
    libri III, etc. MDLXXVIII. Francofurti ad moenum._

        Daniel calls this the most ample of all the collections, but he
        criticises the first two volumes severely for their arrangement,
        and the changes in text made for metrical reasons. The third
        volume he was able to use, but he felt unsafe in the others
        except when the editor positively stated in his notes what he
        considered the original and genuine text. S. W. D.

26. Joh. Holthusius: Compendium Cantionum ecclesiasticarum. Augsburg,

27. _In hymnos ecclesiasticos ferme omnes Michaelis Timothei Gatensis
    brevis elucidatio. Venetiae_, 1582.

28. Hymni et Collectae. Koeln, 1585.

29. Lorenza Strozzi: In singula totius Anni Solemnia Hymni. Florence,

        These hymns were adopted into the service-books of several
        dioceses, and were translated into French by Pavillon, and set
        to music by Maduit. The author was a Dominican nun of the famous
        Strozzi family.

30. Collectio Hymnorum per totum Annum. Antwerp, Plantin, 1593.

31. Francis Algermann: Ephemeris Hymnorum Ecclesiasticorum ex Patribus
    selecta. Helmstadt, 1596.

        With German translations.

32. Vesperale et Matutinale, hoc est Cantica, Hymni & Collectae, seu
    Precationes ecclesiasticae quae in primis et secundis vesperis,
    itemque matutinis Precibus, per totius Anni circulum, in ecclesiis,
    & religiosis piorum congressibus cantari solent. 1599.

        The author, Matthew Luidke, was deacon of the Church in
        Havelberg, and aimed at the naturalization of the methods of the
        old church books among Lutherans. Daniel gives this book the
        palm among the Lutheran collections of the Latin hymns. Its
        author also published a _Missale_, and died in 1606.

33. _Divorum patrum et doctorum ecclesiae qui oratione ligata
    scripserunt Paraphrases et Meditationes in Evangelia dominicalia e
    diversis ipsorum scriptis collectae a. M. Ioach. Zehnero ecclesiae
    Schleusingensis pastore et Superintendente. Lipsiae_, 1602,
    _sumptibus Thomae Schureri._

        “_Liber utilissimus_,” Daniel. The author was a Protestant, and
        a diligent student of the old hymns. S. W. D.

34.* Bernardi Morlanensis Monachi ordinis Cluniacensis De Vanitate
    Mundi, et Gloriâ Caelesti, Liber Aureus. Item alij ejusdem Libri
    Tres Ejusdem fermè Argumenti, Quibus cum primis in Curiae Romanae &
    Cleri horrenda scelera stylo Satyrico carmine Rhithmico Dactylico
    miro artificio ante annos fermè quingentos elaborato, gravissime
    invehitur. Editi recens, et plurimis locis emendati, studio & opera
    Eilh. Lubini. Rostochii, Typis Reusnerianis, Anno MDCX.

        One hundred and twenty unnumbered pages in duodecimo, of which
        three are filled by a dedicatory letter to Matthias Matthiae,
        Lutheran pastor at Schwensdorf. Professor Lubinus gives no
        account of the sources of his edition, but says of Bernard:
        “Vixit hic Bernardus Anno Christo 1130. Scripsit colloquium
        Gabrielis & Mariae. Item hosce, quos jam edimus, & non paucis
        locis correximus, libros.”

35. _Card. Ioannis Bonae, de divina Psalmodia, tractatus, sive
    psallentis Ecclesiae Harmonia._ Rome, 1653; Antwerp and Koeln, 1677;
    Paris, 1678; Antwerp, 1723.

        Also in his _Opera_, Turin, 1747.

36. Charles Guyet: Heortologia, sive de Festis propriis Locorum et
    Ecclesiarum: Hymni propriae variarum Galliae Ecclesiarum revocati ad
    Carminis et Latinitatis Leges. Folio. Paris, 1657; Urbino, 1728;
    Venice, 1729.

37_a_. David Greg. Corner: Grosz Katholisch Gesangbuch. Furth bei Ge.,

37_b_. D. G. Corner: Cantionale. 1655.

37_c_. D. G. Corner: Promptuarium Catholicae Devotionis. Vienna, 1672.

37_d_. D. G. Corner: Horologium Christianae Pietatis. Heidelberg, 1688.

        Contain many old Latin hymns. The third is used by Trench.

38. Andreas Eschenbach: Dissertatio de Poetis sacris Christianis.
    Altdorf, 1685. (Reprinted in his _Dissertationes Academicae_.
    Nuremberg, 1705.)

39. C. S. Schurzfleisch: Dissertatio de Hymnis veteris Ecclesiae.
    Wittemberg, 1685.

40. Lud. Ant. Muratori: Anecdota quae ex Ambrosianae Bibliothecae
    Codicibus nunc primum eruit, notis et disquisitionibus auxit. 2
    vols. in quarto. Milan, 1697-98.

        Contains the Bangor Antiphonary and the hymns of Paulinus of

41. Hymni spirituales pro diversis Animae Christianae Statibus. Paris,

42_a_. Polycarp Leyser: Dissertatio de ficta Medii Aevi Barbarie,
    imprimis circa Poesin Latinam. Helmstadt, 1719.

42_b_. Pol. Leyser: Historia Poetarum et Poematum Medii Aevi. Halle,

42_c_.* J. G. Walch: De Hymnis Ecclesiae Apostolicae. Jena, 1737.
    (Reprinted in his Miscellanea Sacra: Amsterdam, 1744.)

43.* _Josephi Mariae Thomasii S.R.E. Cardinalis Opera omnia.—Rome_,
    1741, in 6 vols., folio, and 1747 et seq. in 12 vols., 4to. (The
    Hymnarium is found in pages 351-434 of Vol. II., in the 4to

        “This book,” remarks Daniel, “is sufficiently rare in Germany,
        but the editor of sacred hymns can by no means do without it.”
        The reason is that Thomasius had access to the Vatican MSS., and
        was therefore able to unearth many rare and valuable texts. He
        also designated the probable authorship of a goodly number of
        the hymns—not always correctly, but usually with considerable
        truth. S. W. D.

44. Peter Zorn: De Hymnorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum Collectoribus. In
    his Opuscula Sacra, Altona, 1731 and 1743.

44_b_. D. Galle: De Hymnis Ecclesiae veteris. Wittemberg, 1736. Pp. 16,

45. _I. H. a Seelen, de poesi Christ. non a tertio post. Chr. nat.
    seculo, etc., deducenda.—Lubecae_, 1754.

46. J. G. Baumann: De Hymnis et Hymnopoeis veteris et recentioris
    Ecclesiae. Bremen, 1765.

47_a_. Mart. Gerbert: De Cantu et Musica Sacra, a prima Ecclesiae aetate
    usque ad praesens tempus. 2 vols., 4to. St. Blaise, 1774.

47_b_. Mart. Gerbert: Scriptores Ecclesiastici de Musica Sacra,
    potessimum ex variis Italiae, Galliae et Germaniae Manuscriptis
    collecti, et nunc primum publicâ luce donati. 3 vols., 4to. St.
    Blaise, 1784.

        This product of unwearied research contains, _inter alia_,
        treatises by Alcuin, Notker Labeo, Odo of Cluny, Guido of
        Arezzo, Hermann the Lame, Engelbert of Admont. Martin Gerbert
        (1720-93) was prince-abbot of St. Blaise in the Black Forest.

48_a_. Faustino Arevalo: Hymnodia Hispanica ad Cantus Latinitatis,
    Metrique leges revocata et aucta; praemittitur Dissertatio de Hymnis
    ecclesiasticis eorumque correctione atque optima constitutione;
    Accedunt Appendix de festo conversionis Gothorum instituendo;
    Breviarii Quignoniani fata, etc. Rome, 1786.

48_b_. Faustino Arevalo: Poetate Christiani: Prudentius, Dracontius,
    Juvencus, et Sedulius. 5 vols., quarto. Rome, 1788-94.

        The former of these works has been much used by Neale and

49. (Walraff:) Corolla Hymnorum sacrorum publicae devotioni
    inservientium. Veteres electi sed mendis quibus iteratis in
    editionibus scatebant detersi, strophis adaucti. Novi adsumpti,
    recentes primum inserti. Koeln, 1806.

        Taken chiefly from the _Psalteriolum Cantionum_ of the Society
        of Jesus, of which the sixteenth edition had appeared in 1792 in
        the same city.

50. _F. Münter: Ueber die älteste Christliche Poesie.—Kopenhagen_, 1806.

51.* Anthologie christlicher Gesänge aus allen Jahrhunderten der Kirche
    nach der Zeitfolge geordnet und mit geschichtlichen Bemerkungen
    begleitet. Von Aug. Jak. Rambach. 6 vols. Altona, 1817-33.

        The first volume is occupied with the early and Middle Ages of
        the Church, especially the Latin Hymns, the texts being given
        with translations and notes. It merits the high praise Daniel
        gives it: _studia praeclara Rambachii_. S. W. D.

52. M. F. Jack: Psalmen und Gesänge, nebst den Hymnen der ältesten
    Kirche, uebersetzt. 2 vols. Freiburg, 1817.

        Other German-Catholic translators are George Witzel (1550), a
        Mönch of Hildesheim (1776), F. X. Jahn (1785), F. J. Weinzerl
        (1817 and 1821), J. Aigner (1825), Casper Ett (1837), A. A.
        Hnogek (1837), Deutschmann (1839), R. Lecke (1843), M. A. Nickel
        (1845), H. Bone (1847), J. Kehrein (1853), G. M. Pachtler
        (1853), H. Stadelmann (1855), a Priest of the diocese of Münster
        (1855), J. N. Stoeger (1857), Theodor Tilike (1862), G. M.
        Pachtler (1868), P. J. Belke (1869), and Fr. Hohmann (1872).
        Silbert, Zabuesnig, Simrock, and Schlosser are given in their
        proper places in this list.

53.* G. A. Bjorn: Hymni veterum poetarum Christianorum ecclesiae latinae
    selecti. Copenhagen, 1818.

        Bjorn was the Lutheran pastor of Vemmetofte, in Denmark. His
        selection is confined to the very early writers: Victorinus,
        Damasus, Ambrose and his school, Prudentius (the
        _Kathemerinon_), and Paulinus of Nola. He has a good
        introduction and notes.

54.* Adolf Ludewig Follen: Alte christliche Lieder und Kirchengesänge
    teutsch und lateinisch, nebst einem Anhange. Elberfeld, 1819.

        Chiefly hymns of the later Middle Ages or by the Jesuits. The
        author, who was a brother of Professor Follen of Harvard,
        ascribes the _Dies Irae_ to Malabranca, 1278, Bishop of Ostia,
        and accepts the _Requiescat a labore_ as a funeral hymn actually
        sung by Heloise and her nuns over Abelard.

        Other German-Protestant translators, besides those given in this
        list at their proper places, are H. Freyberg (1839), Ed. von
        Mildenstein (1854), H. von. Loeper (1869), H. F. Müller (1869),
        J. Linke (1884), and Jul. Thikotter (1888).

55. J. P. Silbert: Dom heiliger Sanger, oder fromme Gesänge der Vorzeit.
    Mit Vorrede von Fr. von Schlegel. Vienna and Prague, 1820.

56. F. J. Weinzerl: Hymni sacri ex pluribus Galliae diocesium Brevariis
    collecti. Augsburg, 1820.

57. Poetae ecclesiasticae Latini. 4 vols., in 12mo. Cambray, 1821-26.

        Embraces Fortunatus, Prudentius, Cherius, Tertullian, Cyprian,
        Juvencus, Sedulius, Belisarius, Liberius, Prosper, Arator,
        Lactantius, and Dracontius.

58.* Johann Christoph von Zabuesnig: Katholische Kirchengesänge in das
    Deutsche übertragen mit dem Latein zur Seite. 3 vols. Augsburg,

        A second edition, with a Preface by Carl Egger, Augsburg, 1830.
        The collection is a large one, made from fourteen breviaries,
        three missals, and other church-books and private collections,
        besides one manuscript antiphonary. Although a Catholic priest,
        Zabuesnig selects (from Christopher Corner, 1573) and translates
        hymns by Melanchthon and Camerarius.

59_a_. Gottl. Ch. Fr. Mohnike: Kirchen- und Literar-historische Studien
    und Mittheilungen. Stralsund, 1824.

59_b_. Gottl. Chr. Fr. Mohnike: Hymnologische Forschungen. 2 vols.
    Stralsund, 1831-32.

60.* Ludwig Buchegger: De Origine sacrae Christianorum Poeseos
    Commentatio. Freiburg, 1827.

61.* Sir Alexander Croke: An Essay on the Origin, Progress, and Decline
    of Rhyming Latin Verse; with many Specimens. Oxford, 1828.

62.* Jakob Grimm: Hymnorum veteris Ecclesiae XXVI Interpretatio
    Theotisca nunc primum edita. 4to, pp. 1830.

        Grimm’s “Habilitationsschrift” on entering on his professorship
        at Göttingen. It is from the manuscript presented in the
        seventeenth century by Francis Junius to the University of
        Oxford, which contains twenty-six hymns by Ambrose and his
        school, with a prose version in Old High German of the eighth or
        ninth century. Four of the hymns had never appeared in any
        previous collection.

63_a_. Rev. Isaac Williams: Thoughts in Past Years. London, 1831. A
    sixth edition in 1832.

        Contains twelve versions of Ambrosian and other primitive hymns.

63.* Hoffmann von Fallersleben: Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenliedes
    bis auf Luther’s Zeit. Hannover, 1832. Second edition, 1854; third
    edition, *1861.

        Shows the transition from Latin to German in popular use, and
        discusses the history of forty-five Latin hymns in this

64. F. Martin: Specimens of Ancient Hymns of the Western Church,
    transcribed from an MS. in the University Library of Cambridge, with
    Appendix of other Ancient Hymns. Pp. 36, octavo. Norwich, 1835.

        Privately printed in fifty-six copies.

65.* J. C. F. Bähr: Die Christlichen Dichter und Geschichtschreiber
    Roms. Eine literärhistorische Uebersicht. Carlsruhe, 1836. New
    edition, 1872.

66_a_.* Rev. John Chandler: The Hymns of the Primitive Church, now first
    collected, translated, and arranged. London, 1837.

        Contains 108 Latin hymns with Chandler’s translation, several of
        which were adopted by the editors of _Hymns Ancient and Modern_.
        Mr. Chandler died, July 1st, 1876.

66_b_.* Bishop Richard Mant: Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary.
    London, 1837. New edition, 1871 (272 pages).

        Dr. Mant was Bishop of Down and Connor in the Irish Established
        Church, and died November 2d, 1848. He was an original Latin
        poet of some note, and a writer of English hymns.

67.* (J. H. Newman:) Hymni Ecclesiae. Pars I., e Breviario Parisiensi;
    Pars II., e Breviariis Romano, Sarisburiensi, Eboracensi et aliunde.
    Oxford, 1838.

        A new edition, London, 1865.

        This collection, sometimes known as the Oxford Hymns, was
        prepared by Cardinal Newman while he was still a presbyter of
        the Anglican Church, and exhibits everywhere his cultivated
        taste. Many of the hymns it includes are not to be found in
        other collections. This is especially true of the hymns from the
        Paris Breviary of 1736, which make up half the book. S. W. D.

68.* Rev. Isaac Williams: Hymns translated from the Paris Breviary.
    London, 1839.

        These translations had already appeared in _The British
        Magazine_ about 1830. Mr. Williams takes rank next after Keble
        among the poets of the Tractarian movement. He died in 1865.

69.* Ioseph Kehrein: Lateinische Anthologie aus den christlichen
    Dichtern des Mittelalters. Für Gymnasien und Lyceen herausgegeben
    und mit Anmerkungen begleitet. Erster Theil. Die acht ersten
    christlichen Jahrhunderte. Frankfurt a. M., 1840.

        An anthology prepared with great labor and small judgment by a
        prosaic scholar. S. W. D.

70_a_.* Friedrich Gustav Lisco: Dies Irae, Hymnus auf das Weltgericht.
    Als Beitrag zur Hymnologie. Pp. 156. Great 4to. Berlin, 1840.

70_b_. Friedrich Gustav Lisco: Stabat Mater. Hymnus auf die Schmerzen
    Mariä. Nebst einem Nachtrage zu den Uebersetzungen des Hymnus Dies
    Irae. Zweiter Beitrag zur Hymnologie. Great 4to. Pp. 58. Berlin,

71.* (Professor Henry Mills:) The Hymn of Hildebert, and the Ode of
    Xavier, with English Versions. Auburn, 1840.

72.* Hermann Adalbert Daniel: Hymnologischer Blüthenstrauss aus dem
    Gebiete alt-lateinischer Kirchenpoesie. 12mo. Halle, 1840.

        Professor Daniel’s first appearance in a field in which he still
        is the highest authority. Besides his Thesaurus and this little
        precursor to it, and the dissertation mentioned below, he
        labored in German hymnology, editing an _Evangelisches
        Kirchen-Gesangbuch_ in 1842, and Zinzendorf’s hymns in 1851. He
        also took part in the preparation of the standard German
        hymn-book of the Eisenach Conference, which is intended to put
        an end to the unlimited variety of hymn-books in the local
        churches of Germany. For Ersch and Gruber’s huge _Encyclopädie_,
        he wrote the article “Gesangbuch,” which is reprinted in his
        _Zerstreute Blätter_ (Halle, 1840). And besides all this he
        published in 1847-53 a _Codex Liturgicus Ecclesiae Universae_,
        and was a leading authority in Pedagogics and in Geography.

73.* Ferdinand Wolf: Ueber die Lais, Sequenzen und Leiche. Ein Beitrag
    zur Geschichte der Rhythmischen Formen und Singweisen der
    Volkslieder und der Volksmässigen Kirchen- und Kunstlieder im
    Mittelalter. Mit VIII Facsimiles und IX Musikbeilagen. Heidelberg,

74.* Hermann Adalbert Daniel: Thesaurus Hymnologicus sive hymnorum
    canticorum sequentiarum circa annum MD usitatarum collectio
    amplissima. Carmina collegit, apparatu critico ornavit, veterum
    interpretum notas selectas suasque adiecit. V Tomi. Leipzig,

        Still the chief text-book for the student of Latin hymnology.
        Vols. I. (1841) and IV. (1855) contain the Hymns. Vols. II.
        (1844) and V. (1856), the Sequences. Vol. III. (1846), Hymns of
        the Greek and Syrian Churches. To Vol. V. Dr. Neale contributes
        a Latin introduction on the nature of the Sequence.

        In the two last volumes Daniel uses freely and with
        acknowledgment the labors especially of Mone and Neale. The
        fifth volume contains also indices to all five volumes by first
        lines, and also a topical index. The worst defect of the book is
        the poorness of this latter. Next to that is its author’s very
        insufficient preparation for his work when he published his two
        first volumes; but that probably was unavoidable. Vols. IV. and
        V. show how much he had grown in his mastery of his field of
        labor. But his learning and his care give his book a place
        inferior to none.

75.* K. E. P. Wackernagel: Das Deutsche Kirchenlied von Martin Luther
    bis auf Nicolaus Herman und Ambrosius Blaurer. Stuttgart, 1841.

        Wackernagel’s first and shorter work. Recognizing in the Latin
        hymns the starting-point of German hymnology, he begins his book
        with thirty-seven pages of Latin hymns and sequences, taken
        mostly from Lossius and Rambach, with some from the _Hymni et
        Collectae_ of 1585.

75_b_. A. D. Wackerbarth: Lyra Ecclesiastica: a Collection of Ancient
    and Godly Latin Hymns, with an English Translation. Two series.
    London, 1842-43.

76_a_.* Edélestand du Meril: Poesies populaires latines anterieures au
    douzième siècle. Paris, 1843.

        This book, like the similar work of Thomas Aldis Wright,
        contains the popular Latin poetry of the Middle Ages previous to
        the twelfth century. But it also contains the first part of the
        hymns of Abelard, and it is from this volume that Trench and
        March took their examples of his poetry. The later discovery of
        the entire hymnarium prepared for the Abbey of the Paraclete
        emphasizes the importance of De Meril’s researches. S. W. D.

76_b_. Edélestand du Meril: Poesies populaires latines du Moyen Age.
    Paris, 1847.

        A continuation of his first work of 1843. Both are used freely
        by Daniel in his later volumes and by Mone.

77.* Jacques Paul Migne: Patrologiae Cursus Completus, sive Bibliotheca
    Universalis, Integra, Uniformis, Commoda, Oeconomica omnium Patrum,
    Doctorum Scriptorumque Ecclesiasticorum qui ab Aevo Apostolico ad
    Innocentii III Tempora floruerunt. CCXXI Tomi Paris, 1844-55. New
    edition begun in 1878.

        For the Christian Poets, see the following volumes: Abelard,
        168; Adam of St. Victor, 196; Alan of Lisle, 210; Ambrose, 16
        and 17; Anselm of Canterbury, 158; Bede, 94; Bernard of
        Clairvaux, 184; Damasus, 13; Drepanius Florus, 61; Elpis, 63;
        Ennodius, 63; Eugenius, 87; Florus, 110: Venantius Fortunatus,
        88; Fulbert, 141; Godeschalk, 141; Gregory the Great, ——; the
        Emperor Henry, 140; Heribert of Eichstetten, 141; Hilary, 10;
        Hildebert, 171; Hincmar, 125; Innocent III., 217; Isidore, 83;
        John Scotus Erigena, 122; Juvencus, 19; Claudianus Mamertus, 53;
        Marbod, 171; Notker, 131; Odo of Cluny, 142; Paulinus of Nola,
        61; Peter Damiani, 145; Peter of Cluny, 189; Prudentius, 59;
        Rabanus Maurus, 112; Robert II, 141; Ratpert of St. Gall, 87;
        Coelius Sedulius, 19; Walafried Strabo, 114; Tutilo of St. Gall,
        87; Paul Warnefried, 95.

        Anonymous poems as follows: IId and IIId centuries, 2; IVth
        century, 7; Vth century, 61; VIIth century, 87; IXth century,
        98; XIth century, 151; XIIth century, 190.

78.* C. Fortlage: Gesänge Christl. Vorzeit. Auswahl der vorzüglichsten
    aus den Griechischen und Lateinischen übersetzt. Berlin, 1844.

78_a_.* (John Williams): Ancient Hymns of Holy Church. Pp. 128, 12mo.
    Hartford, 1845.

        Contains original translations of forty Latin hymns, mostly
        Ambrosian and other early hymns in the abbreviated versions of
        the Roman Breviary. Twenty-two of Isaac Williams’s translations
        of hymns from the Paris Breviary are appended. The author was at
        the time rector of St. George’s church in Schenectady, and in
        1851 became bishop of Connecticut.

79.* K. I. Simrock: Lauda Syon, altchristliche Kirchenlieder und
    geistliche Gedichte, lateinisch und deutsch. Köln, 1846.

        A second edition in 1868. One of the most eminent Germanists,
        and an extremely felicitous translator (1802-76).

80.* G. A. Königsfeld: Lateinische Hymnen und Gesänge aus dem
    Mittelalter, deutsch, unter Beibehaltung der Versmasse. Nebst
    Einleitung und Anmerkungen; unter brieflicher Bemerkungen und
    Uebersetzungen von A. W. Schlegel. Bonn, 1847.

        An admirably done piece of work. Specimens from twenty-five
        authors, with twenty anonymous hymns chiefly of the Jesuit
        school. A second series in 1865.

81.* Richard Chenevix Trench: Sacred Latin Poetry. London, 1849. Second
    edition, 1864; third edition, 1878.

        Archbishop Trench’s little book has had a wide popularity, and
        many persons have been induced by it to take a deeper interest
        in the subject. But it is disfigured by its arrangement, which
        excludes everything that cannot be safely employed by
        Protestants. Lines are omitted from Hildebert; the _Stabat
        Mater_ of Jacoponus is absent, and the _Pange lingua_ of Aquinas
        is also missing. Moreover the notes, which have been easily
        prepared from Latin sources, are scarcely satisfactory. Yet,
        take it for all in all, it is a volume that may be highly
        commended, for the archbishop is a poet, and has a poet’s
        appreciation of the beautiful. We are indebted to him for hymns
        from Marbod, Mauburn, W. Alard, Balde, Pistor, and Alan of
        Lisle, which are not readily found. S. W. D.

        There is much in the recent biography of Archbishop Trench which
        is of interest to hymnologists, especially his correspondence
        with Dr. Neale.

82_a_.* Edward Caswall: Lyra Catholica: containing all the Hymns of the
    Roman Breviary and Missal, with others from various Sources. London,
    1849; New York, 1851. New edition, London, 1884.

        Mr. Caswall was one of the clergymen who left the Church of
        England for the Roman communion with Dr. Newman. Some of his
        translations, especially of Bernard of Clairvaux, are among the
        most felicitous in the language. The American edition has an
        Appendix of “Hymns, Anthems, etc., appropriate to particular
        occasions of devotion.” It is this edition which has been
        abridged in the first volume of the _Hymns of the Ages_ (1858).

82_b_. J. R. Beste: Church Hymns in English, that may be sung to the old
    church music. With approbation. London, 1849.

83.* D. Ozanam: Documents inedits pour servir a l’Histoire litteraire de
    l’Italie depuis le VIIIe Siecle jusq’au XIIIe. Paris, 1850.

        Pages 221-57 is an account of a collection of two hundred and
        forty-three Latin hymns found in a Vatican manuscript, which he
        assigns to the ninth century, and to the Benedictines of Central
        Italy. He prints those not found in Daniel. Reprinted in Migne’s
        _Patrologia_: 151; 813ff.

84. Hymnale secundum Usum insignis et praeclarae Ecclesiae
    Sarisburiensis. Littlemore, 1850.

85.* Hymnarium Sarisburense, cum Rubricis et Notis Musicis. Variae
    inseruntur lectiones Codicum MSS. Anglicorum, cum iis quae a Geo.
    Cassandro, J. Clichtoveo, J. M. Thomasio, H. A. Daniel, e Codd.
    Germanis, Gallicis, Italis, erutae sunt. Accedunt etiam Hymni et
    Rubricae e Libris secundum usus Ecclesiarum Cantuariensis,
    Eboracensis, Wigornensis, Herefordensis, Gloucestrensis, aliisque
    Codd. MSS. Anglicanis excerpti. Pars prima. London and Cambridge,

        Gives hymns and various readings from twenty-six English

86.* Joseph Stevenson: Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church; with an
    Interlinear Anglo-Saxon Gloss, from a Manuscript of the Eleventh
    Century in Durham Library. Edited for the Surtees Society. London
    and Durham, 1851.

        Of some value as showing what hymns were used in the early
        English Church, before the Norman Conquest. The gloss is not
        Northumbrian, as might be supposed from its being found in the
        Library of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, but West-Saxon,
        probably from Winchester.

86_b_. Boetticher: Hymns of the old Catholic Church of England. Halle,

87.* Joh. F. H. Schlosser: Die Kirche in ihren Liedern durch all
    Jahrhunderte. 2 vols. Mainz, 1851-52. Second edition. Freiburg,

        Translations without texts, but some valuable notes, especially
        to later hymns. The first volume is devoted to the Latin hymns,
        and contains the beautiful fragment of a lost sequence which
        Schlosser heard from his brother in 1812. It represents the
        Apostle Paul weeping over the grave of Virgil at Puteoli:

        Ad Maronis mausoleum
        Ductus, fudit super eum
        Piae rorem lachrymae:
        Quantum, inquit, te fecissem,
        Vivum si te invenissem,
        Poetarum maxime.

        Dean Stanley has translated it.

88_a_.* J. M. Neale: Hymni Ecclesiae e Brevariis et Missalibus
    Gallicanis, Germanis, Hispanis, Lusitanis, desumpti. Oxford, 1850.

88_b_.* J. M. Neale: Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences, translated into
    English. London, 1851. A second edition in 1863.

88_c_.* J. M. Neale: Sequentiae ex Missalibus Germanicis, Anglicis,
    Gallicis, aliisque Mediaei Aevi collectae. London, 1852.

88_d_.* J. M. Neale and Thos. Helmore: A Hymnal Noted; or Translations
    of the Ancient Hymns of the Church set to their proper Melodies.
    London, 1852.

        These four volumes are the first of Dr. Neale’s; but in the
        pages of the _Ecclesiologist_, both before and after this, he
        was collecting and publishing unnoticed sequences from English
        and Continental sources.

89.* Card. Angelo Mai: Nova Patrum Bibliotheca. 6 vols. Rome, 1852-53.

        Vol. I. (Part II, pp. 199 et seq.) contains unpublished hymns
        supplementary to Thomasius.

90.* F. J. Mone: Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters, aus Handschriften
    herausgegeben und erklärt. In Drei Bände: I, Gott und die Engel; II,
    Marienlieder; III, Heiligenlieder. 3 Vols. Freiburg, 1853.

        Mone’s book appeared while Daniel’s Thesaurus was in process of
        publication. The value of it is in its arrangement, for it
        groups the hymns, “To God and the Angels,” “To Mary,” and “To
        the Saints,” in three separate volumes, and with some regard to
        dates. It also furnishes many hymns and sequences never
        previously published. It is deficient in taste, and very Roman
        Catholic in its ideas. Several of the best known hymns—for
        example, the _Dies Irae_—are not found in it. Daniel 5:5 gives
        in a footnote a list of these delinquencies, embracing sixty of
        the most ancient and celebrated hymns and sequences. Aside from
        this, Mone is a careful and admirable editor. His pages are well
        printed, and the notes are in German instead of Latin. Mone was
        “Director of Archives” at Carlsruhe, and died March 12th, 1871.
        S. W. D.

91.* Cl. Frantz: Geschichte der geistlichen Liedertexte vor der
    Reformation mit besonderer Beziehung auf Deutschland. Halberstadt,

92.* Felix Clément: Carmina e Poetis Christianis excerpta. Parisiis
    (Gaume Fratres), 1854. 564 pp.

        Latin texts from the fourth to the fourteenth century, with
        French notes.

93.* Kauffer: Jesus Hymnen. Sammlung altkirchlicher lateinischer Gesänge
    mit freier deutscher Uebersetzung. Leipzig, 1854.

        Small, but good. The selections are admirable. S. W. D.

94.* H. N. Oxenham: The Sentence of Kaires, and other Poems. London,

        Contains important translations, as does the following:

95. W. J. Blew: A Church Hymn and Tune Book. London, Rivingtons, 1855.

96.* J. H. Todd: Leabhar Imnuihn. The Book of Hymns of the Ancient
    Church of Ireland. Edited from the original Manuscript in the
    Library of Trinity College, Dublin, with Translation and Notes.
    Dublin (Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society), 1855 and 1869.

97.* John David Chambers (Recorder of New Sarum): Lauda Syon: Ancient
    Latin Hymns of the English and other Churches, translated into
    corresponding metres. II. Parts. London, 1857. New edition, 1866.

97_a_.* Earl Nelson and others: The Salisbury Hymn-Book. London, 1857.

98.* A. F. C. Vilmar: Spicilegium Hymnologicum, continens I, Hymnos
    veteres ineditos et editorum lectionis varietatem; II, Hymnorum
    veterum qui apud Evangelicos in Linguam Germanicam versi usu
    venerunt Delectum. Marburg, 1857.

99.* (Mrs. E. R. Charles:) The Voice of the Christian Life in Song; or
    Hymns and Hymn-Writers of Many Lands and Ages. London, 1858; New
    York, 1859.

        Very interesting—and not always accurate. There are no Latin
        texts. Several of the translations are excellent. Six of the
        fourteen chapters are given to the Latin hymns. S. W. D.

100.* Ferd. Bässler: Auswahl altchristlicher Lieder vom 2-15sten Jahrh.
    Berlin, 1858.

        Well chosen and good. S. W. D.

101. Ans. Schubiger: Die Sängerschule St. Gallens vom achten bis
    zwölften Jahrhundert. Ein Beitrag zur Gesanggeschichte des
    Mittelalters. Mil vielen Facsimile und Beispielen. Einsiedeln und
    New York, 1858.

        Sixty texts with the old music and fac-similes.

102. Gautier: Oeuvres poetiques de Adam de St. Victor. Paris, 1858-59.

103.* John Mason Neale: The Rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, Monk of Cluny,
    on the Celestial Country. London, 1858. Sixth edition, 1866.

        The translation is reprinted by Judge Mott, and by Schaff and
        Gilman in the _Library of Religious Poetry_.

104.* Ebenezer Thomson: A Vindication of the Hymn Te Deum Laudamus from
    Errors and Misrepresentations of a Thousand Years. With Translations
    into various Languages, ancient and modern. And a Paraphrase in Old
    English, now first printed from the original MS. London, 1858.

105.* Frederick Wilson: Sacred Hymns; chiefly from Ancient Sources.
    Arranged according to the Seasons of the Church. Philadelphia, 1859.

106.* Dies Irae in Thirteen Original Versions by Abraham Coles, M.D.,
    Ph.D. New York, 1859. Fourth edition, 1866.

        Dr. Coles is a practising physician of Newark, N. J., who has
        translated the _Dies Irae_ some sixteen or seventeen times, and
        has also given versions of the _Stabat Mater_, the _Rhythm_ of
        Bernard of Cluny, and other hymns. The merit of these
        translations is slight; but one of the renderings of the _Dies
        Irae_ was introduced into the _Plymouth Collection of Hymns and
        Tunes_, and two stanzas gained currency through Mrs. Stowe’s
        novel of _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. Dr. Coles has also compared the
        Mantuan and Roman texts of the _Dies Irae_, and has given the
        results of his investigation. His book has passed through four
        or five editions. S. W. D.

107.* (John William Hewett:) Verses. By a Country Curate.
    Ashby-de-la-Zouche and London, 1859.

108.* Rev. Sir Henry W. Baker and others: Hymns Ancient and Modern for
    use in the Services of the Church. London, Novello (1861).

        New edition in 1868, with an Appendix, which increased the
        number of hymns from two hundred and seventy-three to three
        hundred and eighty-six. Revised and enlarged edition in 1874. An
        edition annotated by Rev. L. C. Biggs in 1867.* See No. 132.

109.* (C. B. Moll:) Hymnarium. Blüthen lateinischer Kirchenpoesie.
    Halle, 1861.

        An improved edition, with biographical notices of the authors,
        in 1868.*

110_a_. Eucharistic Hymns: now first translated. Edited by a Committee
    of Clergy. London, 1862.

110_b_. Prayers and Meditations on the Passion. Edited by a Committee of
    Clergy. London, 1862.

        Contain translations of Latin hymns by L.

111. H. Trend: A Hymnal for Use in the Services of the Church of
    England. London, Rivington, 1862.

        Translations from the Latin by Dr. Trend and Mr. I. C. Smith.

112. Herbert Kynaston: Occasional Hymns. London, 1862.

113_a_. The Divine Liturgy. Edited by the Rev. Orby Shipley. London,
    Masters, 1863.

113_b_.* Lyra Eucharistica: Hymns and Verses on the Holy Communion,
    Ancient and Modern; with other Poems. Edited by the Rev. Orby
    Shipley. London, 1863.

113_c_.* Lyra Messianica: Hymns and Verses on the Life of Christ,
    Ancient and Modern; with other Poems. Edited by the Rev. Orby
    Shipley. London, 1864.

        A second edition, revised and enlarged, in 1865.*

113_d_.* Lyra Mystica: Hymns and Verses on Sacred Subjects, Ancient and
    Modern. Edited by the Rev. Orby Shipley. London, 1869.

        These four books, compiled while Mr. Shipley was still a
        clergyman of the English Church, contain many original
        translations, besides selections from other authors. Some are
        excellent, but many are mediocre. S. W. D.

114. P. S. Worsley: Poems and Translations. Edinburgh, Blackwood, 1863.

115.* Philipp Wackernagel: _Das deutsche Kirchenlied von der ältesten
    Zeit bis zu Anfang des siebenzehnten Jahrhunderts_. 5 vols. Leipzig,

        This is the greatest work except Koch’s (which is more recent)
        upon German hymns. In the first volume, which contains Latin
        hymns only, we find many originals, and some texts which have
        been printed from MSS. sources. Hymns by Protestants are
        included. The order is chronological. The notes are extremely
        valuable. S. W. D.

116.* Edward Hobein: Buch der Hymnen. Aeltere Kirchenlieder, aus dem
    Lateinischen übertragen. Schwerin, 1864.

        The Latin text (sixty-seven hymns) at the foot of the page. The
        order is chronological. A second edition in 1870.

117.* G. A. Königsfeld: Lateinische Hymnen und Gesänge aus dem
    Mittelalter. Bonn, 1865.

        This, with the selection of 1847, contitutes a most admirable
        anthology of texts translated into German verse, and with notes
        and brief biographies. Königsfeld is substantially accurate, but
        he does not attempt anything very deep or original. The second
        volume contains a commendatory letter from the Emperor of
        Germany. S. W. D.

118_a_.* Abraham Coles: Stabat Mater: Hymn of the Sorrows of Mary,
    translated. New York, 1865.

118_b_.* Abraham Coles: Old Gems in new Settings, comprising the
    choicest of the Mediaeval Hymns, with original Translations. New
    York, 1866.

        Contains Dr. Trench’s cento from Bernard of Cluny, the _Veni,
        sancte Spiritus_, the _Veni, Creator Spiritus_, the _Apparebit
        repentina_, and the _Cur Mundus militat_, with versions. These
        two books and the author’s versions of the _Dies Irae_ appeared
        in one volume in New York, 1867.

119.* Seven Great Hymns of the Mediaeval Church. New York, 1865.

        This collection, made by Judge Noyes, includes Dr. Neale’s
        translation from Bernard of Cluny, English versions of the _Dies
        Irae_, the _Mater Speciosa_, the _Stabat Mater_, the _Veni
        Sancte_, the _Veni Creator_, and the _Vexilla Regis_. The
        originals are given. The book, though quite small, has been
        extremely popular, and there have been some seven editions. S.
        W. D.

120_a_. Th. J. Michael: Dissertatiuncula de Hymno “Te Deum laudamus,”
    praemissis paucis de Poeseos hymnicae veteris Historiâ. Zittau,

120_b_.* Th. J. Michael: Dissertatio de Sequentia Mediae Aetatis “Dies
    Irae, Dies Illa.” Quarto. Zittau, 1866.

121.* Songs of Praise and Poems of Devotion in the Christian Centuries.
    With an introduction by Henry Coppée, Professor of English
    Literature in the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, E. H.
    Butler & Co., 1866.

        Notable for translations made by the late Rev. E. A. Washburn,
        D. D., an accomplished and elegant scholar, whose versions are
        among the best. S. W. D.

122.* John Mason Neale: Hymns on the Glories and Joys of Paradise.
    Translated or edited. London, 1865. Second edition, 1866.

123.* H. N. Schletterer: Uebersichtliche Darstellung der Geschichte der
    kirchlichen Dichtung und geistlichen Musik. Nördlingen, 1866.

124. J. Kayser: Beiträge zur Geschichte und Erklärung der Kirchenhymnen.
    Drei Hefte. Paderborn, 1866-69.

125.* Ed. Emil Koch: Geschichte des Kirchenlieds und Kirchengesangs der
    christlichen, inbesonders der deutschen evangelischen Kirche. Third
    edition. 8 vols. Stuttgart, 1866-69.

        It is in this last edition that Koch gives considerable space to
        the Latin hymns, which got about fifty pages in his second
        edition, in 4 volumes, 1852-53.

126.* Samuel W. Duffield: The Heavenly Land, from the De Contemptu Mundi
    of Bernard de Morlaix, monk of Cluny (XIIth century), rendered into
    corresponding English verse. New York, 1867.

        This was the first attempt to render the cento prepared by
        Trench into the rhythm of the original.

127.* Erastus C. Benedict: The Hymn of Hildebert and other Mediaeval
    Hymns, with Translations. New York, 1867.

        Chancellor Benedict (_ob._ 1878) was a judge in New York,
        equally respected for his attainments as a jurist and his
        character as a man and a Christian. This volume contains
        seventeen hymns, with translations, including three of the _Dies
        Irae_. He contributed many others to the columns of the
        _Christian Intelligencer_, including a translation of the long
        hymn, or rather series of hymns, on the Epiphany by Prudentius.

128.* Hermann Adalbert Daniel: Die Kirchweih-Hymnen Christe cunctorum
    Dominator alme. Urbs beata Hirusalem. Pp. 24, great quarto. Halle,

        A defence of his view that the former hymn was not written for a
        church dedication, but had been converted to that use by adding
        three verses. It is in reply to a dissertation by Professor Hugo
        Lämmer, who had published a dissertation: _Coelestis Urbs
        Ierusalem: Aphorismen nebst Beilage_. Breslau, 1866.

129.* _P. Gall Morel: Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters,
    grösstentheils aus Handschriften Schweizerischer Klöster, als
    Nachtrag zu Hymnensammlungen von Mone, Daniel und Andern
    herausgegeben.—Einsiedeln, New York und Cincinnati, Benzigers_,

        Based on an examination of one hundred and thirty-six
        manuscripts, chiefly from Rheinau, Einsiedeln, and Engelberg.
        Edited in the style of Mone, who indeed suggested the work, but
        without annotations of any extent.

129_b_. P. Baur: Cantiones selectae ex vetere Psalteriola Rev. Patrum
    Societatis Jesu, cum Modis musicis. Aachen, 1868.

129_c_. J. Pauly: Hymni Breviarii Romani. Zum gebrauche für Kleriker
    übersetzt und erklärt. 3 parts. Aachen, 1868-70.

130.* T. G. Crippen: Ancient Hymns and Poems. Chiefly from the Latin.
    Translated and Imitated. London, 1868.

131. Karl Bartsch: Die lateinische Sequenzen des Mittelalters in
    musicalischer und rhythmischer Beziehung dargestellt. Rostock, 1868.

        Karl Friedrich Bartsch was a philologist equally eminent in the
        Germanic and the Romance fields, and was professor at Rostock.
        He died in 1888.

132.* Rev. Sir Henry Baker and others: Hymns Ancient and Modern, for use
    in the Services of the Church; with Annotations, Originals,
    References, Authors’ and Translators’ Names, etc. Re-edited by Rev.
    Louis Coutier Biggs. London, 1868.

133.* A. Thierfelder: De Christianorum Psalmis et Hymnis usque ad
    Ambrosii Tempora. Leipzig, 1868.

134.* Philip Schaff: ΙΧΘΥΣ, Christ in Song. Hymns of Immanuel. Selected
    from all Ages, with Notes. New York, 1869.

        Contains translations of seventy-three Latin hymns by various
        authors, some of them by the editor.

135.* H. M. Schletterer: Geschichte der geistlichen Dichtung und
    kirchlichen Tonkunst vom Beginne des Christenthums bis zum Anfange
    des elften Jahrhunderts. Mit einer Einleitung über die Poesie und
    Musik der alten Völker. Hannover, 1869.

        Meant to be the first part of a history coming down to our own
        times, but not continued. The author was a musician by
        profession—_Kapellmeister_ at Augsburg—so his interest is
        chiefly in the musical history. But he gives a good deal of
        information about the hymns and their writers, and appends
        translations of one hundred and twenty-seven by various German

136.* J. Keble: Miscellaneous Poems. London and New York, 1869.

137.* Lateinische Hymnen aus angeblichen Liturgien des Tempelordens.
    Kritisch und exegetisch bearbeitet von Dr. Hermann Hoefig. Parchim,

        A curiosity. The eleven hymns are partly church hymns, adapted
        to the alchemico-mystical ideas which pervaded the order of the
        Templars in its last years, and partly lamentations over the
        fall of Jerusalem and other calamities of the kingdom of

138.* David T. Morgan: Hymns of the Latin Church. Translated; with the
    originals appended. Privately printed (London), 1871.

        My own copy was presented by the author in autograph to James
        Appleton Morgan, and bears the latter’s book-plate. The range of
        selections is moderate; the execution of the versions is fair,
        and the text is well edited. There are numerous corrections and
        improvements made in the author’s handwriting. S. W. D.

139.* Charles Buchanan Pearson: Sequences from the Sarum Missal. London,

        In the preface is a good description of the Sequence and its
        origin. The book is useful and well edited. S. W. D.

140. Cl. Brockhaus: Aurelius Prudentius Clemens in seiner Bedeutung für
    die Kirche seiner Zeit. Nebst Uebersetzung des Gedichtes
    _Apotheosis_. Leipzig, 1872.

141.* W. H. Odenheimer and Fred. M. Bird: Songs of the Spirit. New York,

        Twenty-three translations of Latin hymns, with a much larger
        number of English.

142.* Joseph Kehrein: _Lateinische Sequenzen des Mittelalters aus
    Handschriften und Drucken.—Mainz_, 1873.

        This latest collection of the original texts of the hymns is
        prepared by one of the most patient and laborious of scholars.
        But there is scarcely to be found in it a single spark of the
        divine fire. It is filled, on the contrary, with the scoriae and
        ashes of monastic illiteracy. It contains eight hundred and
        ninety-five hymns—few of which are familiar and many of which
        are strictly unnecessary. The classification and especially the
        glossary of mediaeval Latin words can be highly commended. It is
        confined to “sequences,” but this word is used in so loose a
        sense as to include many regularly formed hymns along with the
        rhythmical proses. S. W. D.

143.* Edward Caswall: Hymns and Poems, Original and Translated. Second
    edition, 1873.

144. S. G. Pimont: Les Hymnes du Brévaire romaine. Études critiques,
    littéraires et mystiques. III. Tomes. Paris, 1874-84.

145.* Ad. Ebert: Allgemeine Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters im
    Abendlande. 3 vols. Leipzig, 1874-87.

        See especially the third book of Vol. I.; and Vol. II., which
        embraces the age of Charles the Great and his successors. S. W.

146.* F. A. March: Latin Hymns, with English Notes. For use in schools
    and colleges. New York, 1875 and 1883.

        This is the first volume of the “Douglass Series of Christian
        Classics for Schools and Colleges.” Professor March’s text is
        carefully edited; his selections are wisely made, and his notes
        are judicious. This is the cheapest, fullest, and best work, if
        the Latin texts are desired. It contains no translations, and it
        so far mistakes its scope and purpose as to give space to Mr.
        Gladstone’s version of _Rock of Ages_, and Philip Buttmann’s
        rendering of Luther’s _Ein’ feste Burg_. S. W. D.

147. J. Hümer: Untersuchungen über den iambischen Dimeter bei den
    christlichen-lateinischen Hymnendichtern. Vienna, 1876.

148.* (Rich. F. Littledale:) The People’s Hymnal. London, 1877.

149.* Lyra Sacra Hibernica, compiled and edited by Rev. W. MacIlwaine,
    D.D. Belfast (1878). Second edition, 1879.

        An unusually poetic and capital volume. It embraces several
        translations of early hymns, and contains the Latin of the Hymn
        of Columba, the _Lorica_ S. Patricii in a Latin version, the
        _Sancti Venite_, and the Hymn of Sedulius. S. W. D.

150.* Frank Foxcroft: Resurgit: A Collection of Hymns and Songs of the
    Resurrection. Edited with Notes. With an Introduction by Andrew
    Preston Peabody, D.D. Boston and New York, 1879.

151. J. Hümer: Untersuchungen über die ältesten lateinischen
    christlichen Rhythmen. Vienna, 1879.

152_a_. E. Dummler: Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini. Berlin, 1880-84. 2

        Contains also hymns. II., p. 244-58.

152_b_. E. Dummler: Rythmorum Ecclesiasticorum Aevi Carolini Specimen.
    Berlin, 1881.

153.* Philip Schaff and Arthur Gilman: A Library of Religious Poetry. A
    Collection of the best Poems of all Ages and all Tongues. With
    Illustrations. Pp. 1036, lexicon octavo. New York, 1880.

        Contains many of the finest translations of the Latin hymns.

154.* Digby S. Wrangham: The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor. 3
    vols. London, 1881.

        Mr. Wrangham has compiled—principally from Gautier—the various
        poems attributed to this author. He has given translation and
        text upon opposite pages, but adds nothing to our knowledge by
        any special scholarship. S. W. D.

155.* Joh. Kayser: Beiträge zur Geschichte und Erklärung der Ältesten
    Kirchenhymnen. Second edition. Paderborn, 1881 (477 pp.).

        This is the latest German contribution to the criticism of the
        earliest hymns. It is a series of monographs on these and their
        authors. It comes down only to the sixth century, and closes
        with Fortunatus. See also his article, “Der Text des Hymnus
        _Stabat Mater Dolorosa_,” in the Tübingen _Theologische
        Quartalschrift_ for 1884, No. I., pp. 85-103. S. W. D.

156.* (N. B. Smithers:) Translations of eight Latin Hymns of the Middle
    Ages. Dover, Del., 1881.

157.* Josef Sittard: Compendium der Geschichte der Kirchenmusik mit
    besonderer Berüchsichtigung des kirchlichen Gesanges. Von Ambrosius
    zur Neuzeit. Stuttgart, 1881.

157. O. Zardetti: Die kirchliche Sequenz. Freiburg, 1882.

158_a_. J. B. Haureau: Melanges poëtiques d’Hildebert de Lavardin.
    Paris, 1882.

158_b_. J. B. Haureau: “Poëmes latines attribues a St. Bernard.” In the
    _Journal des Savants_, Febr.-Juli, 1882.

159_a_. “Mediaeval Hymns” in the _Quarterly Review_ for 1882. Reprinted
    in Littell’s _Living Age_ of same year.

159_b_. N. MacNeil: “Latin Hymns of the Celtic Church,” in the _Catholic
    Presbyterian_ for 1883.

160. Anselm Salzer: Die christliche römische Hymnenpoesie. Brünn, 1883.

161.* (W. W. Newton:) Voices from a busy Life; or Selections from the
    Poetical Works of the late Edward A. Washburn, D.D. New York, 1883.
    Pp. 122-86: “Ancient Christian Hymns.”

162.* Johannes Linke: Die Hymnen des Hilarius und Ambrosius verdeutscht.
    Bielefeld und Leipzig, 1884.

        This little volume of 194 pages, 12mo, is intended to be the
        first of a series furnishing translations (with the Latin texts
        _en regard_) of the hymns of the Early Church. In the preface
        Dr. Linke announces his purpose to bring out a new _Thesaurus
        Hymnorum_, based on the labors of Daniel, Neale, Mone, and
        Morel, and on an examination of about a hundred unused
        manuscripts. He regards Wackernagel as the best editor of the
        texts, and as characterized by the finest critical instinct in
        determining authorship. As he and Wackernagel agree in assigning
        the _Ad coeli clara_ to Hilary, there is room for a difference
        of opinion.

163.* Annus Sanctus. Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year.
    Translated from the Sacred Offices by various Authors, with Modern,
    Original and other Hymns, and an Appendix of Earlier Versions.
    Selected and Arranged by Orby Shipley, M.A. Vol. I. Seasons of the
    Church: Canonical Hours: and Hymns of our Lord. Pp. 443, 12mo.
    London and New York, 1884.

        Important for the translations by English Roman Catholics from
        the Reformation to our own times.

164.* The Catholic Hymnal; containing Hymns for Congregational and Home
    Use, and the Vesper Psalms, the Office of the Compline, the
    Litanies, Hymns at Benediction, etc. The Tunes by the Rev. Alfred
    Young, priest of the Congregation of St. Paul. The Words original
    and selected. New York Catholic Publication Co., 1884.

165.* The Roman Hymnal. A Complete Manual of English Hymns and Latin
    Chants for the Use of Congregations, Schools, Colleges and Choirs.
    Compiled and arranged by Rev. J. B. Young, S. J. New York and
    Cincinnati, Fr. Pustet & Co., 1884.

166. A. Meiners: Die Tropen, Prosen und Präfationsgesänge des
    feierlichen Hochamtes im Mittelalter. Aus drei Handschriften der
    Abteien Prüm und Echternach. Luxemburg, 1884.

167. Bonif. Wolff and others: Studien und Mittheilungen aus dem
    Benedict.-Orden. Since 1884.

168_a_. Leo XIII: Carmina. Rome, 1885.

168_b_.* Leo XIII: Latin Poems done into English Verse, by the Jesuits
    of Woodstock College. Published with the Approbation of his
    Holiness. Baltimore, 1886.

169. J. Linke: Specimen hymnologicum de Fontibus Hymnorum Latinorum
    Festum Dedicationis Ecclesiae celebrantium. Pp. 24, great 8vo.
    Leipzig, 1886.

170. J. Hümer: “Zur Geschichte der mittellateinischen Dichtung” in the
    _Romanische Forschungen_ for 1886.

171. P. Ragey: Sancti Anselmi Mariale seu Liber Precum Metricarum ad
    beatam Virginem, primum ex manuscriptis codicibus typis manadatum.
    London, 1886.

172. Aug. Rösler: Der katholischer Dichter Aurelius Prudentius Clemens.
    Ein Beitrag zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte des vierten und
    fünften Jahrhunderten. Freiburg, 1886.

173. G. E. Klemming: Hymni, sequentiae et piae cantiones in Regno
    Sueciae olim usitatae. Pp. 186, 8vo. Stockholm, 1886.

174. Guido Maria Dreves: Analecta hymnica Medii Aevi. I. Cantiones
    Bohemicae: Leiche, Lieder und Rufe des 13., 14., und 15.
    Jahrhunderts, nach Handschriften aus Prag, Jistebnicz, Willingau,
    Hohenfurt und Tegernsee. II. Hymnarius Moissiacensis: Das Hymnar der
    Abtei Moissac im 10. Jahrhundert, nach einer Handschrift der
    Rossiana. Im Anhang: (_a_) Carmina scholarium Campensium, (_b_)
    Cantiones Vissegradenses. III. Conradus Gemnicensis: Konrads von
    Haimburg und seiner Nachamer, Alberts von Prag und Ulrichs von
    Wessobrun, Reimgebete und Leselieder. IV. Liturgische Hymnen des
    Mittelalters aus handschriftlichen Brevarien, Antiphonalien und
    Processionalien. Four volumes. Leipzig, 1886-1888.

175.* Corolla Hymnorum Sacrorum, being a Selection of Latin Hymns of the
    Early and Middle Ages. Translated by John Lord Hayes, LL.D. Pp. 211.
    Boston, 1887. (With the texts _en regard_.)

176. H. Breidt: De Aurelio Prudentio Clemente Horatii Imitatore.
    Heidelberg, 1887.

177. Ad. Meiners: Unbekannte Tropen-gesänge des feierlichen Messamtes im
    Mittelalter, nebst einigen Melodien der Kyrientropen. Gesammelt aus
    ungefähr fünfzig Handschriften des 10-13ten Jahrhunderten in den
    Bibliotheken zu Paris, Brüssel, London, und A. Luxemburg, 1887.

178. N. Gihr: Die Sequenzen des römischen Messbuches dogmatisch und
    ascetisch erklärt. Freiburg, 1887.

179.* F. W. E. Roth: Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters. Als Nachtrag
    zu den Hymnensammlungen von Daniel, Mone, Vilmar und G. Morel, aus
    Handschriften und Incunabeln herausgegeben. Pp. 175, great 8vo.
    Augsburg, 1888.

180. J. Linke: “Rundschau auf dem Gebiete der Lateinischen Hymnologie”
    in four articles in his and Dr. A. F. W. Fischer’s periodical,
    _Blätter für Hymnologie_. Leipzig, 1888.

                            CHAPTER XXXIII.
                       INDEX TO TRANSLATED HYMNS.

Among the labors of preparation which Mr. Duffield undertook as
preliminary to this book, the most unique was his manuscript “List of
the Latin Hymns,” as found in all the collections accessible to him,
from Clichtove to Kehrein, with references to the authorship, the age,
and the sources of each; together with notes of the names of English
translators. It was his intention that the list should form an integral
part of his book; but as it contains between four and five thousand
references by first lines, it would make a book of itself, and it is the
hope of the editor to secure its separate publication in that form. The
work cost so much patient labor, and is in itself so valuable to
hymnological students, that it would be a pity if it were not made still
more complete, and given to the public at an early date.

It seemed best not to include the list in all its bulk in this work, but
to make from it a selection of those hymns which have found favor in the
eyes of English translators, and to print them with the names of the
translators. These are not one in five of the whole number of Latin
hymns, but they constitute the best of them, and they are those which
are most likely to be of use and interest to our readers. These eight
hundred and seventy hymns, recasts of hymns, and portions of hymns which
translators have treated as wholes, are a body of sacred song which will
bear comparison with any other in the world, either as regards loftiness
of devotion, weight of thought, or excellence as poetry. And in no
respect has our English hymnody been more enriched during the last fifty
years than by the felicitous versions made by British and American
translators, from Chandler’s to our own days.

It will be observed that the name of the author, or the source, or at
least the date of each hymn, is given on the left side of the list. This
is followed by the first line of the hymn, and where several hymns begin
nearly alike, enough is given to identify each. After this comes the
reference to the source where the hymn is to be found, if this be known
to the editor. Where it is given in any volume of Daniel’s great work,
that is referred to by Roman and Arabic numerals simply, without
repetition of his name. In every case where it is to be found in
Newman’s _Hymni Ecclesiae_, or Trench’s _Sacred Latin Poetry_, or
March’s _Latin Hymns_, this is indicated, as these are the collections
most accessible to American students generally. Then follow in _Italics_
the names of the translator or translators, either on the same line, or
on the lines below. The use of an asterisk (*) indicates that this is a
recast of an older hymn.

The chapter of “Bibliographical Notes” will furnish the proper reference
to the sources of the translations in most cases. It is necessary to
specify a few which are not given there.

Rev. John Anketell’s translations are given mostly in _The Church
Review_ for 1876 and 1877. For those of Dr. Benson, H. R. B., C. I.
Black, E. L. Blenkinsopp, W. C. C., J. M. H., Dr. Littledale, M., A. M.
M., O. C. P., J. G. Smith, H. Thompson, J. S. Tute, R. E. E. W., see Mr.
Orby Shipley’s three _Lyras_. For translations by Prior Aylward, Mr. J.
R. Beste, Lord Braye, John Dryden (?), and other versions from the old
Catholic _Primers_ and _Evening Offices_, J. C. Earle, Provost
Husenbeth, Charles Kent, Cardinal Newman, Professor Potter, Father
Ryder, A. D. Wackerbarth, and Dr. Wallace, see Mr. Shipley’s _Annus
Sanctus_. For translations by Dr. Littledale, B., F., D. L., A. L. P.,
F. R., and B. T., see _The People’s Hymnal_ (1877); for those of Mr.
Singleton, see _The Anglican Hymn-Book_ (1868); for those of Mr. Blew,
see his _Church Hymn and Tune Book_ (1851 and 1855); for those of Rev.
W. J. Copeland, see his _Hymns for the Week and for the Seasons_ (1848).
For Mr. A. J. B. Hope’s, see his _Hymns of the Church Literally
Translated_ (1844), an attempt to substitute classic metre for rhyme.

H. A. M. stands for _Hymns Ancient and Modern_, which is specified where
the translation is materially altered by the compilers, as well as where
an original version has been supplied. H. A. stands for the _Hymnarium
Anglicanum, or the Ancient Hymns of the Church of England Translated
from the Salisbury Breviary_ (1844).

Of Dr. A. R. Thompson’s hymns several were contributed to Dr. Schaff’s
“Christ in Song,” but they have not appeared separately in book form.
The same is true of Dr. W. S. McKenzie’s, which have appeared chiefly in
the columns of two Boston weeklies—_The Beacon_ and _The Watchman_. We
are glad to learn that they are to be collected. To Mr. Anketell, Dr.
Thompson, Dr. McKenzie, Professor S. Hart, of Hartford, Mr. Stryker and
Mr. C. H. A. Esler, I am indebted for lists of their translations.

 Early Irish        Ad coeli clara non sum      IV. 127, 368.
                    dignus.                     March.—_Duffield_ (part),
 Ambrosian          Ad coenam Agni providi.     I. 88, IV. 73, 353.
                                                March.—_Chambers, Neale, H.
                                                A. M., Charles, Morgan,
 Prudentius         Ades, Pater supreme.        Bjorn.—_Bp. Patrick, Neale._
 Nic. le Tourneux   Adeste coelitum chori.      Newman.—_Chambers, Campbell,
                                                Blew, A. R. Thompson,
                                                Littledale, Chandler, I.
 XVth or XVIth      Adeste fideles.             Briggs.—_Caswall, Campbell,
 Century.                                       Oakeley, Mercer, Neale,
                                                Earle, Anketell, Schaff,
                                                Chandler, H. A. M., Esling._
 Jean Santeul       Adeste sanctae conjuges.    Newman.—_Chambers, I.
 XIVth Century      Adesto sancta Trinitas.     IV. 234.—_Chambers, Neale,
 Paris Breviary     Adeste sancti plurimo.      Zabuesnig.—_Caswall._
 XIIIth Century     Ad laudes Salvatoris.       V. 149.—_S. M._
 Guill. de la       Ad nuptias Agni Pater.      Newman.—_Chambers, I.
 Brunetière.                                    Williams._
 Thos. Aquinas      Adoro Te devote, latens     I. 255. March.—_Caswall,
                    Deitas.                     Chambers, Neale, Woodford,
                                                Hewett, Aylward, O’Hagan,
                                                Walworth, William Palmer, I.
                                                Williams, Anketell._
 Peter Damiani      Ad perennis vitae fontem.   I. 116, IV. 203. March,
                                                Trench.—_Anon._ 1631,
                                                _Anon._ 1679, _Sylvester,
                                                Caswall, Neale, Kynaston,
                                                Charles, Littledale, Morgan,
                                                Hayes, Wackerbarth,
                                                Anketell, Banks, J. Dayman._
 Roman Breviary*    Ad regias Agni dapes.       I. 88. Newman, March.—_Bp.
                                                Williams, Caswall, Oxenham,
                                                Campbell, H. A. M., Potter,
                                                Husenbeth, A. R. Thompson,
                                                Esling, Benedict, Mant,
                                                Copeland, Singleton._
 Paris Breviary     Adsis superne Spiritus.     Newman.—_Blenkinsopp, I.
 Thos. à Kempis     Adstant angelorum chori.    Trench, March.—_Charles,
                                                Washburn, McGill, H. M. C.,
 VIth-IXth Century. Adsunt tenebrae primae.     I. 199, IV. 57.—_Blew._
 Chas. Coffin       Ad templa nos rursus vocat. Newman.—_I. Williams, Wm.
                                                Palmer, Chandler, Caswall,
 Thos. à Kempis     Adversa mundi tolera.       II. 379. March.—_Benedict,
                                                Anketell, Duffield, Caswall._
 XIVth Century      Aestimavit ortolanum.       I. 312. Newman.—_Neale._
 Roman Breviary*    Aeterna Christi munera,     I. 27.—_Caswall, F. R.,
                    Apostolorum.                Hope, Chambers, Neale, Mant,
 Ambrosius          Aeterna Christi munera, Et  I. 27. March,
                    martyrum.                   Trench.—_Chambers, McGill,
                                                Copeland, Campbell,
 Ambrosian          Aeterna coeli gloria.       I. 55, IV. 40.—_Primer_,
                                                1545 and 1559, _Mant,
                                                Caswall, Campbell, Newman,
                                                H. A., Bp. Williams._
 Acta Sanctorum     Aeterna coeli gloria.       —_Chambers, Copeland,
                    Aeterna lux, divinitas.     II. 369.—_Caswall, L._
 Rob. Bellarmine    Aeterne Rector siderum.     IV. 306.—_Mant, Caswall,
                                                Copeland, Morgan._
 Ambrose            Aeterne rerum Conditor.     I. 15, IV. 3. March.—_Mant,
                                                Caswall, Chambers, Charles,
                                                Hewett, McGill, Copeland, H.
                                                A., Bp. Williams._
 Gregory            Aeterne Rex altissime.      I. 196, IV. 79,
                                                353.—_Dryden_ (_?_), _Mant,
                                                Neale, Chambers, Caswall, H.
                                                A. M., Copeland, P. C. E._
 Odo of Cluny       Aeterni Patris unice.       I. 287, IV. 244.—_Chambers._
 Fortunatus         Agnoscat omne saeculum.     I. 159, IV. 176.—_Chambers,
 Copenhagen Missal  Agnus Dei collaudetur.      V. 230.—_Moultrie._
 Prudentius         Ales diei nuntius.          I. 119, IV. 39.
                                                March.—_Primer_, 1545 and
                                                1559, _Mant, Caswall,
                                                Chambers, Campbell,
                                                Duffield, Copeland, Banks,
                                                Bp. Patrick, H. A., Morgan,
                                                McGill, Anketell._
 XIIth Century      Alleluia! alleluia! finita  II. 363.—_Neale, Pott_ (_H.
                    jam sunt praelia.           A. M._), _Hewett, Bp.
 XIth Century       Alleluia dulce carmen.      I. 261, IV. 152, V. 51.
                                                March.—_Patrick, Neale,
                                                Keble, Chambers, Campbell,
                                                Singleton, Chandler, H. A.
                                                M., Edersheim, H. B.,
                                                Morgan, Anketell._
 XVth Century MS.   Alleluia nunc decantet.     V. 335.—_D. L._
 Mozarabic Breviary Alleluia piis edite         IV. 63. March.—_Chambers,
                    laudibus.                   Neale, Ellerton, Crippen,
 Hermann Contr.     Alma Redemptoris mater.     II. 318.—_Wordsworth,
                                                Caswall, Oxenham, Esling._
 Old Roman Missal   Alma virgo Christum regem.  Neale.—_H. R. B._
                    Almo supremi numinis in     —_Caswall._
                    Almum flamen, vita mundi.   II. 368.—_Caswall._
 Hildebert          Alpha et O, magne Deus.     Trench, March.—_Crashaw,
                                                Mills, Neale, Kynaston,
                                                McGill, McKenzie, Benedict._
 Jesuit             Altitudo, quid hic jaces.   II. 341.—_Washburn, McGill,
                                                Morgan, Hayes, McKenzie,
                                                Duffield, Edersheim._
 Roman Breviary*    Alto ex Olympo vertice.     I. 240.—_Mant, Caswall._
 XII-XVth Century   Amorem sensus erige.        I. 274, IV. 261.—_Morgan._
 Bernard of         Amor Jesu dulcissimus.      Wackernagel.—_Caswall, H. A.
 Clairvaux                                      M._
 XIVth Century MS.  Amor Patris et Filii,       V. 203.—_Littledale._
 French Breviary    A morte qui Te suscitans.   Neale.—_Chambers, J. G.
                    Angele qui meus es custos.  —_Chambers._
 Jesuit             Angelice patrone.           II. 376.—_Caswall, Morgan._
 VII-VIIIth Century Angulare Fundamentum.       I. 239.—_Benson, Neale,
                                                Hewett, Chandler, H. A. M.,
                                                I. Williams, Singleton, A.
                                                R. Thompson._
 XIV-XVth Century   Anima Christi, sanctifica   I. 345.—_O. C. P._ (_Lyra
 (Spanish)          me.                         Euch._), _Chadwick, Anon._
 Anglo-Saxon        Anni peractis mensibus.     Stevenson.—_Chambers._
 XIV-XVth Century   Annue Christe, saeculorum   I. 273. Newman.—_Chambers,
                    Domine.                     Neale, F. K._
 Paul Warnefried    Antra deserti teneris.      I. 209.—_Chambers, Caswall._
 XIth Century (K.)  A Patre unigenitus.         I. 234. Newman.—_Chambers,
                                                A. L. P._
 VIIth Century      Apparebit repentina magna   I. 194, IV. 11. March,
                    dies Domini.                Trench.—_Neale, Charles,
                                                Benedict, Morgan, McKenzie,
                                                Anketell, Banks, Hart, Bp.
 Pietro Gonella     Appropinquet enim dies.     IV. 200.—_F. R._
 Jean Santeul       Ardet Deo quae femina.      Newman.—_I. Williams,
 C. Sedulius        A solis ortu cardine Ad     I. 143, IV. 144.
                    usque.                      March.—(_Luther_), _Dryden_
                                                (_?_), _Chambers, Caswall,
                                                Esling, Bp. Williams,
                                                Schaff, Copeland,
                                                MacIlwaine, A. L. P._
 Ambrosian          A solis ortu cardine Et     I. 21, IV. 58. March.—_Mant,
                    usque.                      Schaff, Copeland._
 Roman Breviary     Aspice infami Deus ipse     —_Caswall, Wallace, Blew._
 Roman Breviary     Aspice ut Verbum Patris a   —_Caswall, Wallace._
 Roman Breviary     Athleta Christi nobilis.    IV. 301.—_Caswall._
 XVI-XVIIth Century Attolle paulum lumina.      II. 345.—_Neale, Pott, H. A.
 Roman Breviary     Auctor beati saeculi.       IV. 311.—_Caswall, Potter,
                                                Husenbeth, Sarum Hymnal._
 Anglo-Saxon        Auctor salutis unice.       I. 236.
 IXth Century       Audax es, vir juvenis.      IV. 132.—_Crippen._
 Gregory            Audi, benigne Conditor.     I. 178, IV. 121.
                                                March.—_Primer of_ 1685,
                                                _Caswall, Campbell, Kent,
                                                Husenbeth, Mant, Potter,
                                                Hewett, Chambers, Anketell,
                                                Chandler, Copeland, Neale,
                                                H. A. M., Bp. Williams, I.
 Chas. Coffin       Audimur: almo Spiritus.     Newman.—_Chambers,
                                                Calverley, Chandler, Wm.
                                                Palmer, I. Williams._
 XIth Century       Audi nos, Rex Christe.      IV. 171.—_Neale._
 Anglo-Saxon        Audi, Redemptor gentium.    Stevenson.—_Chambers._
 XIth Century MS.   Audi, tellus, audi.         I. 350, IV. 291.—_Washburn._
 Prudentius         Audit tyrannus anxius.      I. 124. Newman.—_Caswall,
                                                Copeland, McGill, Esling,
 Elpis              Aurea luce et decore roseo. I. 156. March.—_Chambers._
 Roman Breviary*    Aurora coelum purpurat.     I. 83.—_Dryden_ (_?_),
                                                _Caswall, Chandler, Mant,
                                                Campbell, A. R. Thompson,
                                                Esling, McGill, Copeland._
 Adam of St. V.     Aurora diem nuntiat.        Wrangham.—_Wrangham._
 Ambrosian          Aurora jam spargit polum.   I. 56, IV. 40.—_Mant,
                                                Caswall, Campbell, Chambers,
                                                Copeland, H. A., Bp.
                                                Williams, Neale._
 Nic. le Tourneux   Aurora lucis dum novae.     Newman.—_Chambers, Cooke, I.
 Ambrosian          Aurora lucis rutilat.       I. 83, IV. 72.
                                                March.—_Chambers, Neale, Van
                                                Buren, Braye, Tute,
                                                Washburn, Charles, Anketell,
                                                Bp. Williams, H. A. M.,
 Jean Santeul       Aurora quae solem paris.    IV. 339.—_Caswall._
 Gregory XI         Ave caput Christi gratum.   Mone, 121.—_Chambers._
 XVIth Century      Ave caro Christi.           —_A. M. M._
 XIVth Century MS.  Ave caro Christi cara.      I. 344.—_Chambers, M._
 Prague Missal      Ave caro Christi Regis.     V. 211.—_A. M. M._
                    Ave, Carole sanctissime.    —_Caswall._
 XIVth Century MS.  Ave Christi corpus verum.   Mone, 219.—_L._
 Anglo-Saxon        Ave colenda Trinitas.       Stevenson.—_Chambers, H. A.
                    Ave crucis dulce lignum.    V 183.—_Morgan, M._
 XIV-XVIth Century  Ave Jesu, qui mactaris.     Koenig.—_Ryder._
 Xth Century        Ave, maris stella.          I. 204, IV. 136.
                                                March.—_Caswall, Chambers,
                                                Hewett, Duffield, Charles,
                                                Anketell, Oxenham, Walworth._
 Paris Missal       Ave, plena gratiâ, Cujus.   Newman.—_Copeland._
 Franciscan         Ave regina coelorum.        II. 319.—_Caswall._
 XIVth Century MS.  Ave Rex, qui descendisti.   Mone, 206.—_L._
 XVth Century MS.   Ave rosa spinis puncta.     Mone, 136.—_Washburn._
                    Ave solitudines.            —_Caswall._
 MS. of 1440        Ave Verbum incarnatum.      II. 328.—_A. M. M._
 XIVth Century MS.  Ave verum corpus natum.     II. 327.—_Caswall._
                    Ave vulnus lateris nostri   —_Chambers._
 Bonaventura        Beata Christi passio.       IV. 220. March.—_Chambers,
 Ambrosian          Beata nobis gaudia.         I. 6, IV. 160.
                                                March.—_Dryden_ (_?_),
                                                _Caswall, Campbell, Aylward,
                                                Chambers, Anketell, Blew,
                                                Esling, Bp. Williams, Hope,
 Roman Breviary*    Beate pastor Petre.         I. 156.—_Caswall._
                    Belli tumultus ingruit.     —_Caswall._
 Ambrosian          Bis ternas horas explicans. I. 23, IV. 13.—_Copeland._
                    Cantant hymnos coelites.    —_Caswall._
 Notker             Cantemus cuncti melodum     II. 52. March.—_Neale._
                    nunc Alleluia.
 Old French (XIV)   Cedant justi signa luctus.  II. 362.—_Kynaston, Kennedy._
 Hereford Hymnal    Celsorum civium inclyta     IV. 287.—_Neale._
 Fulbert            Chorus novae Jerusalem.     I. 222, IV. 180.—_Neale,
                                                Keble, Chambers, Campbell,
                                                Braye, Hewett, Thompson, H.
                                                A. M., Anketell, Copeland,
                                                D. L., Singleton._
 Mozarabic Breviary Christe, coelestis          I. 198.—_Priest’s
                    medicina.                   Prayer-Book._
 Ambrosian          Christe, cunctorum          I. 107. March.—_Chambers._
 Jean Santeul       Christe, decreto Patris     Newman.—_I. Williams,
                    institutus.                 Hewett._
 VIth Century       Christe fili Jesu summi.    IV., 184.—_Moultrie._
 Innocent III       Christe, fili summi Patris. —_G. W. Cox., M._
 Anglo-Saxon        Christe, hac hora tertia.   Stevenson.—_Chambers._
 Ennodius           Christe, lumen perpetuum.   I. 151.—_Duffield._
 Guill. de la       Christe, pastorum caput.    Newman.—_Chambers, I.
 Brunetière                                     Williams._
 Ennodius           Christe, precamur annue.    I. 151.—_Duffield._
 Ambrosian          Christe, qui lux es et      I. 33, IV. 54.
                    dies.                       March.—_Chambers, Aylward,
                                                McGill, Duffield, McKenzie,
                                                Charles, Wedderburn, A. L.
                                                P., Copeland, H. A. M._
 Jean Santeul       Christe, qui sedes Olympo.  Newman.—_Woodford_ (_?_),
                                                _Cooke and Webb’s Hymnary,
                                                Chandler, H. A. M., Wm.
                                                Palmer, I. Williams._
 Ambrosian          Christe, Redemptor gentium. I. 78.—_Chambers._
 Rabanus Maurus     Christe, Redemptor omnium,  I. 256, IV. 143,
                    Conserva.                   369.—_Chambers, Baker, F.
                                                R., Hewett._
 Ambrosian          Christe, Rex coeli.         I. 46.—_Woodford_ (_?_),
 Mozarabic Brev.    Christe rex, mundi creator. IV. 117.—_F._
 Ennodius           Christe Salvator omnium.    I. 152.—_Duffield._
 Rabanus Maurus     Christe, sanctorum decus    I. 218, IV. 165, 371.—_Mant,
                    angelorum.                  Caswall_ (_bis_), _Chambers,
                                                Hewett, Copeland, Anketell._
 Vth Century (Mone) Christi caterva clamitat.   IV. 119.—_Onslow._
 Anselm (?)         Christi corpus, ave.        II. 328.—_A. M. M., L._
 Chas. Coffin       Christi martyribus debita.  Newman.—_I. Williams,
 XVth Century MS.   Christi miles gloriosus.    Newman.—_Chambers._
                    Christi nam resurrectio.    —_Trend._
 Jean Santeul       Christi perennes nuntii.    Newman.—_Mant, Caswall,
                                                Chandler, H. A. M., I.
 Roman Breviary*    Christo profusum sanguinem. I. 27.—_Caswall._
 Bonaventura (Ko)   Christum ducem, qui per     I. 340, IV. 219.
                    crucem.                     March.—_Chambers, Oakeley,
                                                Anketell, Edersheim._
 XVth Century MS.   Christus lux indeficiens.   Mone, 204.—_Chambers, L._
                    Christus pro nobis passus   Wackernagel,
                    est.                        476.—_Wedderburn, in “Guid
                                                and Godlie Ballatis.”_
 Jean Santeul       Christus tenebris obsitam.  Newman.—_Chambers, Chandler,
                                                I. Williams, Campbell._
 Marbod             Cives coelestis patriae.    Mone, 637.—_Neale._
 Nic. le Tourneux   Clamantis ecce vox sonans.  Newman.—_Chambers, Chandler,
                                                I. Williams._
 Cisterc. Brev.,    Clarae diei gaudiis.        Zabuesnig.—_Caswall._
 Ambrosian          Claro paschali gaudio.      I. 84.—_Neale._
 Gregory (?)        Clarum decus jejunii.       I. 178, IV. 180.—_Chambers,
                                                Hewett, Copeland, P. C. E._
 Fr. Lorenzini      Coelestis Agni nuptias.     IV. 303.—_Caswall._
 Jean Santeul       Coelestis ales nuntiat.     Newman.—_I. Williams, A. C.
                                                C., Chambers._
 Jean Santeul       Coelestis aulae principes.  Newman.—_Chambers, I.
                                                Williams, Baker, Chandler._
 Jean Santeul       Coelestis aula panditur.    Newman.—_Chambers, I.
 Sarum Breviary     Coelestis formam gloriae.   I. 290, IV. 279.—_Chambers,
                                                Neale, H. A. M., Calverley._
 Paris Breviary     Coelestis, O Jerusalem.     Newman.—_I. Williams._
 Roman Breviary*    Coelestis urbs Jerusalem.   I. 239.—_Dryden_ (_?_),
                                                _Caswall, Copeland,
                    Coeli choris perennibus.    Neale.—_Onslow._
 Ambrosian          Coeli Deus sanctissime.     I. 60, IV. 51. March.—_Mant,
                                                Caswall, Chambers, Benedict,
                                                Bp. Williams, H. A.,
                                                Copeland, Hope._
 Godeschalk         Coeli ennarant gloriam Dei. II. 44.—_Neale._
 Roman Breviary     Coelitum Joseph decus       IV. 296.—_Caswall._
                    atque nostrae.
 Jean Santeul       Coelo datur quiescere.      Newman.—_Chambers, I.
                                                Williams, A. L. P._
 Jean Santeul       Coelo quos eadem gloria.    Newman.—_I. Williams, Pott._
 Roman Breviary     Coelo Redemptor praetulit.  IV. 308.—_Caswall, H. M. C._
 XVth Century       Coelos ascendit hodie.      I. 343. March.—_Neale,
                                                Hewett, Anketell._
 Peter the          Coelum gaude, terra plaude. Trench.—_Onslow._
 Peter Damiani      Coelum, terra, pontus,      Migne.—_Neale._
 XIIth Century      Coenam cum discipulis.      II. 230, V. 159.—_Neale._
                    Coetus parentem Carolum.    —_Caswall._
 XIVth Century      Collaudemus Magdalena.      I. 311, IV. 245,
                                                371.—_Chambers, Morgan,
                                                Moultrie, Duffield_ (_part_).
 Ambrosius          Conditor alme siderum.      I. 74, IV. 118,
                                                368.—_Chambers, Hewett,
                                                Aylward, Braye, Neale, H. A.
                                                M., H. A., Edersheim, F.,
                                                Copeland, Anketell._
 Italian            Congregavit Deus aquas.     IV. 342.—_Hayes._
 Ambrosius          Consors paterni luminis.    I. 27, IV. 37.—_Primer_,
                                                1545 and 1559, _Mant,
                                                Caswall, Newman, Copeland,
                                                H. A., Chambers._
 Roman Breviary     Cor arca legem continens.   II. 361.—_Caswall,
                                                Mulholland, Anon._
 Prudentius         Corde natus ex parentis.    I. 122, IV. 176.
                                                March.—_Chambers, Neale,
                                                Keble, Baker, Schaff, Hope,
                                                H. A._
                    Cor meum Tibi dedo.         II. 370.—_Palmer, Priest’s
 Roman Breviary     Corpus domas jejuniis.      IV. 310.—_Caswall._
 Roman Breviary*    Creator alme siderum.       I. 74.—_Primer_, 1685,
                                                _Mant, Caswall, Newman,
                                                Potter, Husenbeth, Campbell,
                                                Copeland, Bp. Williams, Wm.
 Bonaventura        Crucem pro nobis subiit.    IV. 220. March.—_Charles,
 Roman Breviary*    Crudelis Herodes Deum.      I. 147.—_Primer_, 1685,
                                                _Mant, Husenbeth, Potter,
                                                Aylward, Caswall, Esling,
                                                Copeland, Hope, Singleton,
                                                Bp. Williams._
 Jesuit             Crux, ave benedicta.        II. 349, IV. 322. March,
                                                Trench.—_Benedict, Worsley,
 Fortunatus         Crux benedicta nitet.       I. 168, IV. 152.
                                                March.—_Charles, Washburn,
 Fortunatus         Crux fidelis inter omnes.   I. 164.—_Caswall, Oakeley._
 Braga Breviary     Crux fidelis, terras        IV. 276.—_Hewett._
 Peter Damiani      Crux mundi benedictio.      Neale.—_Neale._
 Jean Santeul       Crux, sola languorum Dei.   Zabuesnig.—_M._ (_Lyra
 Prudentius         Cultor Dei memento.         I. 129, IV. 207.—_Chambers,
                                                Keble, Copeland, H. A.,
 Wm. Alard          Cum me tenent fallacia.     Trench.—_Washburn, Benedict,
 Pietro Gonella     Cum revolvo toto corde.     IV. 199. Trench.—_Crippen,
 Mozarabic Breviary Cunctorum Rex omnipotens.   IV. 57.—_I. G. Smith._
 Jacoponus          Cur mundus militat.         II. 379, IV. 288. March,
                                                Trench.—_Tusser, Washburn,
                                                Hayes, Duffield, Stone_
                                                (_Catholic World_), _Banks._
                    Cur relinquis, Deus,        IV. 347.—_A. R. Thompson,
                    coelum.                     Hayes._
 Rob. Bellarmine    Custodes hominum psallimus  II. 375.—_Caswall, I.
 (?)                angelos.                    Williams._
 Prudentius         Da, puer, plectrum;         Bjorn. March.—_Bp. Patrick._
 Seb. Besnault      Debilis cessent elementa    Newman.—_Chambers, H. A. M.,
                    legis.                      I. Williams._
 Roman Breviary*    Decora