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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 20, October 1874‐March 1875
Author: Various
Language: English
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                            The Catholic World

           A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science

                                 Vol. XX.

                        October 1874 to March 1875

                     The Catholic Publication House.

                                 New York

                                   1875



CONTENTS


Contents.
The Catholic World. Vol. XX., No. 115.—October, 1874.
   Matter. III.
   Hope.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
   September—Sabbath Rest.
   The Present State Of Anglicanism.
   Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.”
   Assunta Howard. III. In Extremis.
   A Discussion With An Infidel.
   A Legend Of Alsace.
   Fac‐Similes Of Irish National Manuscripts.
   Congress Of The Catholic Germans At Mayence.
   Switzerland In 1873. Lucerne.
   Roger The Rich.
   The Poem Of Izdubar.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XX., No. 116.—November, 1874.
   Church Chant _Versus_ Church Music.
   A Vision.
   On The Wing. A Southern Flight. VII. Concluded.
   The Three Edens.
   A Discussion With An Infidel.
   Destiny.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
   Fac‐Similes Of Irish National Manuscripts. Concluded.
   Annals Of The Moss‐Troopers.
   Assunta Howard. IV. Convalescence.
   Inscription For The Bell “Gabriel,” At S. Mary’s Of The Lake, Lake
   George.
   Switzerland In 1873. Lucerne. Concluded.
   A Legend Of Alsace. Concluded.
   Wind And Tide.
   Matter. IV.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XX., No. 117.—December, 1874.
   The Persecution Of The Church In The German Empire.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
   Church Chant _Versus_ Church Music.
   Assunta Howard. V. Sienna.
   Swinburne And De Vere.
   Requies Mea.
   Ontologism And Psychologism.
   Reminiscences Of A Tile‐Field.
   The Ingenious Device.
   The Rigi.
   Church Song.
   A Discussion With An Infidel.
   The Ice‐Wigwam Of Minnehaha.
   A Russian Sister Of Charity.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XX., No. 118.—January, 1875.
   The Persecution Of The Church In The German Empire.
   Christmas‐Tide.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
   Another General Convention Of The Protestant Episcopal Church.
   Assunta Howard. Concluded.
   Matter. V.
   Christmas In The Thirteenth Century.
   The Civilization Of Ancient Ireland.
   Robespierre.
   The Better Christmas.
   English And Scotch Scenes.
   The Future Of The Russian Church.
   The Leap For Life.
   The Year Of Our Lord 1874.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XX., No. 119.—February, 1875.
   Church Authority And Personal Responsibility:
   The Church In F——.
   Are You My Wife? Chapter I.
   Religion And State In Our Republic.
   Release.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
   The Brooklet.
   The Colonization Of New South Wales By Great Britain.
   A Summer In Rome.
   Matter. VI.
   Robespierre. Concluded.
   Robert Cavelier De La Salle.
   Birth‐Days.
   The Future Of The Russian Church.
   The Bells Of Prayer.
   New Publications.
The Catholic World. Vol. XX., No. 120.—March, 1875.
   Italian Documents Of Freemasonry.
   Crown Jewels.
   Are You My Wife? Chapter II.
   The Colonization Of New South Wales By Great Britain. Concluded.
   The Veil Withdrawn.
   A Bit Of Modern Thought On Matter.
   The Blind Student.
   Turning From Darwin To Thomas Aquinas.
   The Future Of The Russian Church.
   Burke And The Revolution.
   Robert Cavelier De La Salle. Concluded.
   The Log Chapel On The Rappahannock.
   New Publications.
Footnotes



                               [Cover Page]



CONTENTS.


Anglicanism, The Present State of, 41.

Annals of the Moss Troopers, 222.

Another General Convention of the P. E. Church, 465.

Are you my Wife? 596, 738.

Assunta Howard, 62, 234, 332, 474.

Bit of Modern Thought on Matter, A, 786.

Blind Student, The, 802.

Burke and the Revolution, 823.

Bussierre’s A Legend of Alsace, 91, 260.

Christmas in the Thirteenth Century, 502.

Church Authority, etc., 578.

Church Chant _vs._ Church Music, 145, 317.

Civilization of Ancient Ireland, 506.

Colonization of New South Wales by Great Britain, 650, 759.

Congress of the Catholic Germans at Mayence, 109.

Craven’s Veil Withdrawn, 15, 193, 297, 446, 630, 767.

Discussion with an Infidel, A, 73, 175, 405.

Eighteen Hundred and Seventy‐Four, 561.

English and Scotch Scenes, 529.

Fac‐Similes of Irish National MSS., 102, 213.

Future of the Russian Church, The, 544, 703, 810.

German Empire, The Persecution of the Church in the, 289, 433.

Ice‐Wigwam of Minnehaha, The, 424.

Infidel, A Discussion with an, 73, 175, 405.

Ireland, The Civilization of Ancient, 506.

Irish National MSS., 102, 213.

Italian Documents of Freemasonry, 721.

Izdubar, The Poem of, 138.

La Salle, Robert Cavelier de, 690, 833.

Legend of Alsace, A, 91, 260.

Log Chapel on the Rappahannock, The, 847.

Lucerne, 123, 245.

Matter, 1, 272, 487, 666.

Matter, A Bit of Modern Thought on, 786.

Minnehaha, The Ice‐Wigwam of, 424.

Moss Troopers, Annals of the, 222.

New South Wales, The Colonization of, 650, 759.

On the Wing, 158.

Ontologism and Psychologism, 360.

Persecution of the Church in the German Empire, The, 289, 433.

Personal Responsibility, 578.

Poem of Izdubar, The, 138.

Present State of Anglicanism, The, 41.

Protestant Episcopal Church, General Convention of the, 465.

Religion and State in our Republic, 615.

Reminiscences of a Tile Field, 374.

Rigi, The, 388.

Robert Cavelier de La Salle, 690, 833.

Robespierre, 519, 680.

Russian Church, The Future of the, 544, 703.

Russian Sister of Charity, A, 428.

Scotch Scenes, 529.

Southern Flight, A, 158.

Summer in Rome, A, 658.

Swinburne and De Vere, 346.

Switzerland in 1873, 123, 245.

Tile Field, Reminiscences of a, 374.

Tondini’s A Russian Sister of Charity, 428.

Tondini’s Russian Church, 544, 703, 810.

Veil Withdrawn, The, 15, 193, 297, 446, 630, 767.

Year of our Lord 1874, The, 561.



Poetry.


Antar and Zara, 55.

Better Christmas, The, 528.

Bells of Prayer, The, 713.

Birth‐Days, 702.

Brooklet, The, 649.

Church in F——, The, 595.

Christmas Tide, 443.

Church Song, 404.

Crown Jewels, 737.

Destiny, 192.

Episode in the Career of Pres. MacMahon, 557.

Hope, 14.

Ingenious Device, The, 387.

Inscription on the Bell Gabrielle at S. Mary’s of the Lake, Lake George,
            244.

Leap for Life, The, 557.

Release, 629.

Requies Mea, 359.

Roger the Rich, 135.

September—Sabbath Rest, 40.

Three Edens, The, 174.

Turning from Darwin to Thomas Aquinas, 809.

Vision, A, 157.

Wind and Tide, 271.



New Publications.


Alzog’s Universal History, 287.

Anecdote Biographies of Thackeray and Dickens, 143.

Augustine, S., The Works of, 575.

Avancinus’ Meditations, 714.

Bateman’s Ierne of Armorica, 720.

Bric‐a‐Brac Series, 143, 576.

Caddell’s Summer Talk about Lourdes, 288.

Catholic Family Almanac for 1875, 429.

Characteristics from the Writings of John Henry Newman, 860.

Charteris, 288.

Complete Office of Holy Week, The, 860.

Cumplido’s The Perfect Lay‐Brother, 859.

Curtius’ History of Greece, 288.

Didiot’s The Religious State, 859.

Dodge’s Rhymes and Jingles, 576.

Excerpta ex Rituali Romano, 716.

Father Eudes and his Foundations, 839.

Fleuriot’s Eagle and Dove, 575.

Greenleaf’s Testimony of the Evangelists Examined, 718.

Harper’s Peace through the Truth, 860.

Hewit’s King’s Highway, 574.

History of Greece, 288.

History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, 287.

Holland’s Mistress of the Manse, 430.

Holy Week, The Complete Office of, 860.

Ierne of Armorica, 720.

Illustrated Catholic Almanac for 1875, 429.

Katherine Earle, 288.

King’s Highway, 574.

Leguay’s The Mistress of Novices, 859.

Lessons in Bible History, 715.

Letters of Mr. Gladstone and others, 716.

Letter to the Duke of Norfolk on Gladstone’s Expostulation, 857.

Library of the Sacred Heart, 576.

Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich, 142.

Margaret Roper, 860.

Maria Monk’s Daughter, 430.

Marvin’s Philosophy of Spiritualism, 860.

Meditations on the Life and Doctrine of Jesus Christ, 714.

Meline’s Charteris, 288.

Mill’s Three Essays on Religion, 575.

Milwaukee Catholic Magazine, 720.

Mistress of Novices, The, 859.

Mistress of the Manse, 430.

Montgomery’s On the Wing, 860.

Montzey’s Father Eudes, etc., 859.

Morris’ Prisoners of the Temple, 714.

Murray’s Manual of Mythology, 287.

Newman’s Characteristics, 860.

Newman’s Letter, etc., 857.

Nobleman of ’89, The, 714.

Notes on the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore, 430.

On the Wing, 860.

Ordo Divini Officii Recitandi Missæque Celebrandæ, juxta Rubricas
            Breviarii ac Missalis Romani, Anno 1875, 719.

Oriental and Linguistic Studies, 573.

Outlines of Astronomy, 717.

Peace through the Truth, 860.

Perfect Lay‐Brother, The, 859.

Personal Reminiscences by Barham, Harness, and Hodder, 576.

Philosophy of Spiritualism, The, 860.

Prisoners of the Temple, The, 714.

Protestant Journalism, 288.

Purgatory Surveyed, 715.

Quinton’s The Nobleman of ’89, 714.

Ram’s Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich, 142.

Réglement Ecclesiastique de Pierre Le Grand, 719.

Religious State, The, etc., 859.

Rhymes and Jingles, 576.

Sadliers’ Catholic Directory for 1875, 720.

Searle’s Outlines of Astronomy, 717.

Sins of the Tongue, 718.

Smith’s Notes on the Council of Baltimore, 430.

Stewart’s Margaret Roper, 860.

Summer Talk about Lourdes, 288.

Testimony of the Evangelists Examined, etc., 713.

Three Essays on Religion, 575.

Tondini’s Réglement Ecclesiastique de Pierre Le Grand, 719.

Torrey’s Theory of True Art, 288.

Trafton’s Katherine Earle, 288.

Universal Church History, 289.

Valiant Woman, The, 718.

Walsh’s History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, 287.

Whitney’s Oriental and Linguistic Studies, 573.

Works of Aurelius Augustine, 575.

Young Catholic’s Illustrated School Series, 143.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XX., NO. 115.—OCTOBER, 1874.



Matter. III.


The plain philosophical and scientific proofs by which we have established
the _actio in distans_, although sufficient, in our judgment, to convince
every unbiassed reader of the truth of the view we have maintained, may
nevertheless prove inadequate to remove the prejudice of those who regard
the time‐honored doctrine of action by material contact as axiomatic and
unassailable. It is true that they cannot upset our arguments; but they
oppose to us other arguments, which they confidently believe to be
unanswerable. It is therefore necessary for us to supplement our previous
demonstration by a careful analysis of the objections which can be made
against it, and to show the intrinsic unsoundness of the reasonings by
which they are supported. This is what we intend to do in the present
article.

_A first objection._—The first and chief argument advanced against the
possibility of _actio in distans_ without a material medium of
communication is thus developed in the _Popular Science Monthly_ for
November, 1873 (p. 94), by J. B. Stallo:

“How is the mutual action of atoms existing by themselves in complete
insulation, and wholly without contact, to be realized in thought? We are
here in presence of the old difficulties respecting the possibility of
_actio in distans_ which presented themselves to the minds of the
physicists in Newton’s time, and constituted one of the topics of the
famous discussion between Leibnitz and Clarke, in the course of which
Clarke made the remarkable admission that ‘if one body attracted another
without an intervening body, that would be not a miracle, but a
contradiction; for it would be to suppose that a body acts where it is
not’—otherwise expressed: Inasmuch as action is but a mode of being, the
assertion that a body can act where it is not would be tantamount to the
assertion that a body can be where it is not. This admission was entirely
in consonance with Newton’s own opinion; indeed, Clarke’s words are but a
paraphrase of the celebrated passage in one of Newton’s letters to
Bentley, cited by John Stuart Mill in his _System of Logic_, which runs as
follows: ‘It is inconceivable that inanimate brute matter should, without
the mediation of something else which is not material, operate upon and
affect other matter _without mutual contact_.... That gravity should be
innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act on
another, at a distance, through a vacuum, without the mediation of
anything else by and through which their action and force be conveyed from
one to the other, is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man,
who in philosophical matters has a competent faculty of thinking, can ever
fall into it.’ ”

Before we enter into the discussion of this objection we must remark that
it is scarcely fair to allege Newton’s view as contrary to _actio in
distans_. For he neither requires a material contact of matter with matter
nor a material medium of communication; he says, on the contrary, that the
inanimate brute matter needs _the mediation of something else which is not
material_; which amounts to saying that his inanimate brute matter must
have all around a non‐material sphere of power, without which it would
never reach any distant matter. This assertion, far from being a denial of
_actio in distans_, seems rather to be a remote endeavor towards its
explanation; and it may be surmised that, had Newton been as well
acquainted with the metaphysical doctrine about the essential constituents
of substance as he was with the mathematical formulas of mechanics, he
would have recognized in his “inanimate brute matter” the potential
constituent of material substance, and in his “something else which is not
material” the formal constituent of the same substance and the principle
of its operation. The only objectionable phrase we find in the passage now
under consideration is that in which he describes action and force as
_conveyed_ from matter to matter. But, as he explicitly maintains that
this convection requires no material medium, the phrase, whatever may be
its verbal inaccuracy, is not scientifically wrong, and cannot be brought
to bear against the _actio in distans_. We therefore dismiss this part of
the objection as preposterous, and shall at once turn our attention to
Clarke’s argument, which may be reduced to the syllogistic form thus:

“A body cannot act where it is not present either by itself or by its
power. But _actio in distans_ is an action which would be exerted where
the body is not present by itself, as is evident; and where the body is
not present by its power, as there is no medium of communication.
Therefore the _actio in distans_ is an impossibility.”

The objection, though extremely plausible, is based on a false
assumption—that is, on the supposition that there can be distance from the
active power of one element to the matter of another. The truth is that,
however far matter may be distant from matter, no active power can ever be
distant from it. For no distance in space is conceivable without two
formal ubications. Now, a material element has undoubtedly a formal
ubication in space by reason of its matter, which is the centre of its
sphere of activity, but not by reason of its active power. Distances, in
fact, are always measured from a point to a point, and never from a point
to an active power, nor from an active power to a point. The matter of a
primitive element marks out a point in space, and from this point we take
the direction of its exertions; but the power of an element, as
contradistinguished from its matter, is not a point in space, nor does it
mark a point in space, nor is it conceivable as a term of distance. And
therefore to suppose that there may be a distance from the active power of
an element to the point where another element is ubicated, is to make a
false supposition. The active power transcends the predicament _ubi_, and
has no place within which we can confine it; it is not circumscribed like
matter, and is not transmissible, as the objection supposes, from place to
place through any material medium; it is ready, on the contrary, to act
directly and immediately upon any matter existing in its indefinite(1)
sphere, while its own matter is circumscriptively ubicated in that single
point(2) which is the centre of the same sphere. Prof. Faraday explicitly
affirmed that “each atom extends, so to say, throughout the whole of the
solar system, yet always retains its own centre of force”;(3) which, in
metaphysical language, means that while _the matter_ of a primitive
element occupies a single point, _the form_ constitutes around it an
indefinite sphere of power. And for this reason it was Faraday’s opinion
that the words _actio in distans_ should not be employed in science. For
although the matter of one body is distant from the matter of another, yet
the power that acts is not distant; and therefore, although there is no
contact of matter with matter, there is a _contactus virtutis_, or a
contact of power with matter, which alone is required for the production
of the effect.

We are far from supposing that the adversaries of the _actio in distans_
will be silenced by the preceding answer; as it is very probable that the
answer itself will be to many of them a source of new difficulties. Still,
many things are true which are difficult to be understood; and it would be
against reason to deny truths sufficiently inferred from facts, only on
account of the difficulty which we experience in giving a popular
explanation of them. Those who, to avoid such a difficulty, deny action at
a distance, expose themselves to other difficulties which are much more
real, as admitting of no possible solution; and if they reject actions at
a distance because their explanation appears to be difficult, they are
also bound to reject even more decidedly all actions by material contact;
for these indeed admit of no explanation whatever, as we have already
shown.(4)

To understand and explain how material elements can act at any distance is
difficult, for this one radical reason: that our intellectual work is
never purely intellectual, but is always accompanied by the working of
that other very useful, but sometimes mischievous, power which we call
imagination; and because, when we are trying to understand something that
transcends imagination, and of which no sensible image can be formed, our
intellect finds itself under the necessity of working without the
assistance of suitable sensible representations. Our imagination, however,
cannot remain inactive, and therefore it strives continually to supply the
intellect with new images; but as these, unhappily, are not calculated to
afford any exact representation of intellectual things, the intellect,
instead of receiving help from the imagination, is rather embarrassed and
led astray by it. On the other hand, the words which we are generally
obliged to use in speaking of intellectual objects are more or less
immediately drawn from sensible things, and have still a certain
connection with sensible images. With such words, our explanations must,
of course, be metaphorical in some degree, and represent the intelligible
through the sensible, even when the latter is incompatible with the
former. This is one of the reasons why, in some cases, men fail to express
intelligibly and in an unobjectionable manner their most intellectual
thoughts. True it is that the metaphysicians, by the definite form of
their terminology, have greatly diminished this last difficulty; but, as
their language is little known outside of the philosophical world, our use
of it will scarcely help the common reader to understand what it conveys.
On the contrary, the greater the exactness of our expressions, the more
strange and absurd our style will appear to him who knows of no other
language than that of his senses, his imagination, and popular prejudice.

These general remarks apply most particularly to _actio in distans_. It is
objected that a cause cannot act where it is not, and where its power is
not conveyed through a material medium. Now, this proposition is to be
ranked among those which nothing but popular prejudice, incompleteness of
conception, and imperfection of language cause to be received as
axiomatic. We have pointed out that no material medium exists through
which power can be conveyed; but as the objection is presented in popular
terms and appeals to imagination, whilst our answer has no such advantage,
it is very probable that the objection will keep its ground as long as men
will be led by imagination more than by intellect. To avoid this danger,
Faraday preferred to say that “the atom [primitive element] of matter is
everywhere present,” and therefore can act everywhere. But by this answer
the learned professor, while trying to avoid Scylla, struck against
Charybdis. For, if the element of matter is everywhere present, then
Westminster Abbey, for instance, is everywhere present; which cannot be
true in the ordinary sense of the words. In fact, we are accustomed to say
that a body is present, not in that place where its action is felt, but in
that from which the direction of the action proceeds, and since such a
direction proceeds from the centres of power, to these centres alone we
refer when we point out the place occupied by a body. Prof. Faraday, on
the contrary, refers to the active powers when he says that matter is
everywhere present; for he considers the elements as consisting of power
alone.(5) But this way of speaking is irreconcilable with the notions we
have of determinate places, distances, etc., and creates a chaotic
confusion in all our ideas of material things. He speaks more correctly in
the passage which we have already mentioned, where he states that “each
atom [element] extends, _so to say_, throughout the whole of the solar
system, yet always retaining its own centre of force.” Here the words “so
to say” tell us clearly that the author, having found no proper terms to
express himself, makes use of a metaphor, and attributes _extension_ to
the material elements in a sense which is not yet adopted in common use.
He clearly wishes to say that “each element extends _virtually_ throughout
space, though it _materially_ occupies only the central point from which
its action is directed.”

This latter answer is very good. But people are not likely to realize its
full meaning; for in speaking of material substance men frequently
confound that which belongs to it by reason of its matter with that which
belongs to it by reason of its substantial form. It is evident, however,
that if the substance had no matter, it would not mark out a point in
space; it is, therefore, only on account of its matter that a substance is
formally ubicated.

As to the substantial form (which is the principle of activity), although
it is said to have a kind of ubication on account of the matter to which
it is terminated, nevertheless, of itself, it has no capability of formal
ubication, as we have already shown. Hence the extent to which the active
power of an element can be applied is not to be measured by the ubication
of its matter; and although no cause can act where it is not virtually by
its power, yet a cause can act where it is not present by its matter.

The direct answer to the argument proposed would, therefore, be as
follows:

“A body cannot act where it is not present either by itself or by its
power.” _Granted._

“But _actio in distans_ is an action which would be exerted where the body
is not present by itself, as is evident.” _Granted._ “And where the body
is not present by its power.” _False._

To the reason adduced, that “there is no medium of communication,” we
simply reply that such a medium is not required, as the active power
constitutes an indefinite sphere, and is already present after its own
manner (that is, virtually) wherever it is to be exerted; and therefore it
has no need of being transmitted through a medium.

This is the radical solution of the difficulty proposed. But the notion of
an indefinite sphere of activity, on which this solution is grounded, is,
in the eyes of our opponents, only a whimsical invention, inconsistent, as
they think, with the received principles of philosophy. We must therefore
vindicate our preceding answer against their other objections.

_A second objection._—A sphere of power, they say, is a mere absurdity.
For how can the active power be there, where its matter is not? The matter
is the first subject of its form; and therefore the form must be in the
matter, and not outside of it. But in a primitive substance the active
power is entitatively the same thing with the substantial form;
accordingly, the active power of a primitive substance must be entirely in
its matter, and not outside of it. And the same conclusion is to be
applied to the powers of all material compounds; for in all cases the form
must be supported by the matter. How is it, then, possible to admit a
sphere of power outside of its matter, and so distant from its matter as
is the sun from the planets?

This objection, which we have often heard from men who should have known
better, is wholly grounded on a false conception of the relation between
the matter and the form of a primitive being. It is false, in fact, that
the matter _supports_ the substantial form, and it is false that the
substantial form exists in the matter as in a subject. The accidental act
requires a _subject_ already existing; but the substantial act requires
only a potential term to which it has to give the first existence. This is
evident; because if the substantial act ought to be supported by a real
subject, this real subject would be an actual substance before receiving
the same substantial act; which is a contradiction in terms. And therefore
the form is not _supported_ by the matter, but only _terminated_ to it;
and the matter is not the _subject_ of the form, though it is so called by
many, but is only the substantial _term_, to which the substantial form
gives existence. “Properly speaking,” says S. Thomas, “that which is
potential in regard to some accidental actuality is called _subject_. For
the subject gives actuality to the accident, as the accident has no
actuality except through its subject; and for this reason we say that
accidents are in a subject, whereas _we do not say that the substantial
form is in a subject_. ‘Matter,’ therefore, and ‘subject,’ differ in this:
that ‘subject’ means something which does not receive its actuality by the
accession of anything else, but exists by itself and possesses a complete
actuality (as, for example, a white man does not receive his being from
his whiteness). ‘Matter,’ on the contrary, means something which receives
its actuality from that which is given to it; because matter has, of
itself, only an incomplete being, or rather no being at all, as the
Commentator says. Hence, to speak properly, the form gives existence to
the matter; whereas the accident gives no existence to the subject, as it
is the subject that gives existence to the accident. Yet ‘matter’ is
sometimes confounded with ‘subject,’ and _vice versa_.”(6)

From this doctrine it is manifest that the matter is not the subject of
the substantial form, and consequently that the form, or the principle of
activity, is in no need of being supported by its matter. It is rather the
matter itself that needs to be supported—that is, kept in existence—by its
form; as it has no being except from it. The matter is potency, and the
form is act; now, all act is nobler than its corresponding potency. It is
not, therefore, the potency that determines the conditions of existence of
its act, but the act itself determines the conditions of existence of its
potency. And thus it is not the matter that determines the range of its
form, but it is the form that determines the being of its own matter, in
the same manner as the form of a body determines its centre of gravity.
These considerations, which will hereafter receive a greater development,
suffice to show that the range of the elementary power is not determined
or circumscribed by its material term. And thus the objection is
substantially destroyed.

Those who make this objection suppose that the activity of a material
element is entitatively enclosed, embedded, and merged in the matter as in
a physical recipient by which it must be circumscribed. This supposition
is a gross philosophical blunder. The matter of a primitive element is not
a physical recipient of the substantial form; for it is nothing physically
before it is actuated. The substantial form gives to the matter its first
being; and therefore it cannot be related to it as the enclosed to the
encloser or the supported to the supporter, but only as the determiner to
the determinable. This is an obvious metaphysical truth that cannot be
questioned. Moreover, the form can determine the existence of a material
point in space without being itself confined to that point. This is very
clearly inferred from the fact already established, viz., that a material
point acts all around itself in accordance with the Newtonian law; for
this fact compels the conception of a material element as a virtual
sphere, of which the matter is the central point, while its virtual
sphericity must be traced to the special character of the form. Now,
although the centre of a sphere borrows all its centric reality from the
sphericity of which it is the intrinsic term, yet the sphericity itself
cannot be confined within its own centre; which shows that, although the
matter of an element borrows all its reality from the substantial form of
which it is the essential term, yet the substantial form itself, on
account of its known spherical character, must virtually extend all around
its matter, and constitute, so to say, an atmosphere of power expanding as
far, at least, from the central point as is necessary for the production
of the phenomena of universal gravitation.

Nor can this be a sufficient ground for inferring, as the objection does,
that in such a case the form would be distant from its matter as much as
the sun is from the planets. The form, as such, cannot be considered as a
term of the relation of distance; for, as we have already remarked, there
is no distance without two formal ubications. Now, the form, as such, has
no formal ubication, but is reduced to the predicament _ubi_ only by the
ubication of its own matter. Hence it is impossible rationally to conceive
a distance between the matter and its form, however great may be the
sphere of activity of the material element. When the substantial form is
regarded as a principle of accidental actions, we may indeed consider it,
if not as composed of, at least as equivalent to, a continuous series of
concentric spherical forms overlying one another throughout the whole
range of activity; and we may thus conceive every one of them as
_virtually_ distant from the material centre, its virtual distance being
measured by its radius. But, strictly speaking, the radius measures the
distance between the agent and the patient, not between the agent and its
own power; and, on the other hand, as the imagined series of concentric
sphericities continues uninterruptedly up to the very centre of the
sphere, we can easily perceive that the substantial form, even as a
principle of action, is immediately and intrinsically terminated to its
own matter.

_A third objection._—What conception can we form of an _indefinite_
sphere? For a sphere without a spherical surface is inconceivable. But an
indefinite sphere is a sphere without a spherical surface; for if there
were a surface, there would be a limit; and if there were a limit, the
sphere would not extend indefinitely. It is therefore impossible to
conceive an indefinite sphere of activity.

This objection is easily answered. A sphere without a spherical _form_ is
indeed inconceivable; but it is not necessary that the spherical form
should be a _limiting_ surface, as the objection assumes. We may imagine
an indefinite sphere of matter; that is, a body having a density
continually decreasing in the inverse ratio of the squared distances from
a central point. Its sphericity would consist in the spherical decrease of
its density; which means that the body would be a sphere, not on account
of an exterior spherical limit, but on account of its interior
constitution. Now, what we say of an indefinite sphere of matter applies,
by strict analogy, to an indefinite sphere of power. Only, in passing from
the former to the latter, the word _density_ should be replaced by
_intensity_; for intensity is to power what density is to matter. And thus
an indefinite sphere of power may have its spherical character within
itself without borrowing it from a limiting surface. We may, therefore,
consider this third objection as solved.

Let us add that in our sphere of power not only all the conditions are
fulfilled which the law of gravitation requires, but, what is still more
satisfactory, all the conditions also which befit the metaphysical
constitution of a primitive substance. We have a centre (_matter_), the
existence of which essentially depends on the existence of a principle of
activity (_form_) constituting a virtual sphere. Take away the substantial
form, and the matter will cease to have existence. Take away the virtual
sphericity, and the centre will be no more. But let the spherical form be
created; the centre will immediately be called into existence as the
essential and intrinsic term of sphericity, it being impossible for a real
sphericity not to give existence to a real centre. And although this
spherical form possesses an intensity of power decreasing in proportion as
the sphere expands, still it has everywhere the same property of giving
existence to its centre, since it has everywhere an intrinsic spherical
character essentially connected with a central point as its indispensable
term. Whence we see that the substantial form, though virtually extending
into an indefinite sphere, is everywhere terminated to its own matter.
Thus the Newtonian law and the _actio in distans_, far from being opposed
to the known metaphysical law of the constitution of things, serve rather
to make it more evident by affording us the means of representing to
ourselves in an intelligible and almost tangible manner the ontologic
relation of matter and form in the primitive substance.

_A fourth objection._—A power which virtually extends throughout an
indefinite sphere must possess an infinite intensity. But no material
element possesses a power of infinite intensity. Therefore no element
extends its power throughout an indefinite sphere. The major of this
syllogism is proved thus: In an indefinite sphere we can conceive an
infinite multitude of concentric spherical surfaces, to every one of which
the active power of the element can be applied for the production of a
finite effect. But the finite taken an infinite number of times gives
infinity. Therefore the total action of an element in its sphere will be
infinite; which requires a power of infinite intensity.

The answer to this objection is not difficult. From the fact that the
active powers virtually extend through an indefinite sphere and act
everywhere in accordance with the Newtonian law, it is impossible to prove
that material elements possess a power of infinite intensity. We concede,
of course, that in an indefinite sphere “an infinite multitude of
concentric spherical surfaces can be conceived, to every one of which the
active power of the element can be applied for the production of a finite
effect.” We also concede that “the finite taken an infinite number of
times gives infinity.” But when it is argued that therefore “the total
action of an element in its sphere will be infinite,” we must distinguish.
The total action will be infinite in this sense: that it would reach an
infinite multitude of terms, if they existed in its sphere, and produce in
each of them a determinate effect, according to their distance—this we
concede. The total action will be infinite—that is, the total effort of
the element will be infinitely intense; this we deny. The schoolmen would
briefly answer that the action will be infinite _terminative_, but not
_intensive_. This distinction, which entirely upsets the objection, needs
a few words of explanation.

In the action of one element upon another the power of the agent, while
exerted on the patient, is not prevented from exerting itself at the very
same time upon any other element existing in its sphere of activity. This
is a well‐known physical law. Hence the same element can emit a thousand
actions simultaneously, without possessing a thousand powers or a
thousandfold power, by the simultaneous application of its single power to
a thousand different terms. The actions of an agent are therefore
indefinitely multiplied by the mere multiplication of the terms, with no
multiplication of the active power; and accordingly an active power of
finite intensity may have an infinite applicability. This is true of all
created powers. Our intellect, for instance, is substantially finite, and
yet it can investigate and understand any number of intelligible objects.
This amounts to saying that, if there is no limit to possible intellectual
conceptions, there is no limit to the number of intelligible terms; but
from this fact it would be absurd to infer that a created intellect has a
power of infinite intensity. In like manner, the motive power of a
material element is substantially finite, and yet it can be applied to the
production of a number of movements which has no limit but the number of
the terms capable of receiving the motion. The infinity of the total
action is therefore grounded on an assumed infinity of terms, not on an
infinite intensity of the power.

Nor can this be a matter of surprise. For, as the motive power is not
transmitted from the agent to the patient, it remains whole and entire in
the agent, however much it may be exerted in all directions. It is not
absorbed, or exhausted, or weakened by its exertions, and, while acting on
any number of terms, is yet ready to act on any number of other terms as
intensely as it would on each of them separately. If ten new planets were
now created, the sun would need no increase of power to attract them all;
its actual power would suffice to govern their course without the least
interference with the gravitation of the other existing planets. And the
reason of this is that the power of all material elements is naturally
determined to act, and therefore needs no other condition for its exertion
than the presence of the movable terms within the reach of its activity.
The number of such terms is therefore at every instant the measure of the
number of the real actions.

We have said that the active power is not weakened by its exertions. In
fact, a cause is never weakened by the mere production of its connatural
effects, but only because, while producing its effects, it is subjected to
the action of other agents which tends to alter and break up its natural
constitution. Now, to be altered and impaired may be the lot of those
causes whose causality arises from the conspiration of many active
principles, as is the case with all the physical compounds. But primitive
causes, such as the first elements of matter, are altogether unalterable
and incorruptible with respect to their substantial being, and can never
be impaired. When we burn a piece of paper, the paper with its composition
is destroyed, but we know that its first components remain unaltered, and
preserve still the same active powers which they possessed when they were
all united in the piece of paper.

This incontrovertible fact maybe confirmed _à priori_ by reflecting that
the active principle, or the substantial form, of a primitive element, is
not exposed to the influence of any natural agent capable of impairing it.
Everything that is impaired is impaired by its contrary. Now, the active
principle has no contrary. The only thing which might be imagined to be
contrary to a motive power would be a motive power of an opposite nature,
such as the repulsive against the attractive. Motive powers, however, do
not act on one another, but on their matter only, as matter alone is
passive. On the other hand, even if one power could act on another, its
motive action would only produce an accidental determination to local
movement, which determination surely would not alter in the least the
substance of a primitive being. Hence, although two opposite actions, when
terminated to the same subject, can neutralize each other, yet two
opposite motive powers can never exercise any influence on each other by
their natural actions; and therefore, in spite of their finite entity,
they are never impaired or weakened, and are applicable to the production
of an unlimited number of actions.

_A fifth objection._—An action of infinite intensity cannot but proceed
from a power of infinite intensity. But, according to the Newtonian law,
two elements, when their distance has become infinitely small, act on one
another with an intensity infinitely great. Therefore, if the Newtonian
law hold good even to the very centre of the element, the elementary power
possesses infinite intensity.

To this we reply that the mathematical expression of the intensity of the
action, in the case of infinitesimal distances, does not become infinite,
except when the action is supposed to last for a finite unit of time. But
the action continued for a finite unit of time is not the _actual_ action
of an element; it is the integral of all the actions exerted in the
infinite series of infinitesimal instants which makes up the finite unit
of time. To judge of the true intensity of the actual exertion, it is
necessary to exclude from the calculation the whole of the past or future
actions, and to take into account the only action which corresponds to the
infinitesimal present. In other terms, the actual action is expressed, not
by an integral, but by a differential. In fact, the elements act when they
are, not when they have been, or when they will be; they act in their
present, not in their future or in their past; and the present, the _now_,
is only an instant, which, though connecting the past with the future, has
in itself neither past nor future, and therefore has a rigorously
infinitesimal duration. It is this instant, and not the finite unit of
time, that measures the actual effort of the elements. Accordingly, the
action as actually proceeding from the elements, when at infinitesimal
distance, is infinitely less than the integral calculated for a finite
unit of time; which shows that the argument proposed has no foundation.

This answer serves also to complete our solution of the preceding
objection. It was there objected that the active power of an element can
be applied to the production of an infinite multitude of _finite_ effects;
to which we answered that a finite power was competent to do this by being
applied simultaneously to an infinite multitude of terms. But now we add
that none of those effects acquire a _finite_ intensity, except by the
continuation of the action during a finite unit of time, and therefore
that the true effect produced in every instant of time is infinitesimal.
Hence the infinite multitude of such effects, as related to the instant of
their actual production, is an infinite multitude of infinitesimals, and
the total effort of a primitive element in every instant of time is
therefore finite, not infinite.

_A sixth objection._—If we admit that a material element has an indefinite
sphere of power, we must also admit that the element has a kind of
immensity. For the active power must evidently be present entitatively in
all the parts of space where it is ready to act. Accordingly, as by the
hypothesis it is ready to act everywhere, its sphere being unlimited, it
must be present everywhere and extend without limit. In other words, the
elementary power would share with God the attribute of immensity—which is
impossible.

This objection, which, in spite of its apparent strength, contains only an
appeal to imagination instead of intellect, might be answered from S.
Thomas in two different ways. The first answer is suggested by the
following passage: “The phrase, _A thing is everywhere and in all times_,
can be understood in two manners: First, as meaning that the thing
possesses in its entity the reason of its extending to every place and to
every time; and in this manner it is proper of God to be everywhere and
for ever. Secondly, as meaning that the thing has nothing in itself by
which it be determined to a certain place or time.”(7) According to this
doctrine, a thing can be conceived to be everywhere, either by a positive
intrinsic determination to fill all space, or by the absence of any
determination implying a special relation to place. We might therefore
admit that the elementary power is everywhere in this second manner; for
although the matter of an element marks out a point in space, we have seen
that its power, as such, has no determination by which it can be confined
to a limited space. And yet nothing would oblige us to concede that the
active power of an element, by its manner of being everywhere, “shares in
God’s immensity”; for it is evident that an absence of determination has
nothing common with a positive determination, and is not a share of it.

The second answer is suggested by a passage in which the holy doctor
inquires “whether to be everywhere be an attribute of God alone,” and in
which he proposes to himself the objection that “universals are
everywhere; so also the first matter, as existing in all bodies, is
everywhere; and therefore something is everywhere besides God.” To which
he very briefly replies: “Universals and the first matter are indeed
everywhere, but they have not everywhere the same being.”(8) This answer
can be applied to the active power of primitive elements with as much
reason, to say the least, as it is to the first matter. The active power
may therefore be admitted to be everywhere, not indeed like God, who is
everywhere _formally_, and “has everywhere the same being,” but in a quite
different manner—that is, by extending everywhere _virtually_, and by
possessing everywhere a different degree of virtual being. We know, in
fact, that this is the case, as the exertions of such a power become
weaker and weaker in proportion as the object acted on is more and more
distant from the centre of activity.

Yet a third answer, which may prove to be the best, can be drawn from the
direct comparison of the pretended immensity of the elementary power with
the real immensity of the divine substance. God’s immensity is an infinite
attribute, which contains in itself the formal reason of the existence of
space, and therefore eminently contains in itself all possible ubications.
By his immensity God is essentially everywhere with his whole substance,
and is as infinite and entire in any one point of space as he is in the
whole of the universe and outside of it. On the other hand, what is the
pretended immensity of the elementary power? It is unnecessary to remark
that an indefinite sphere of power does not give existence to space, as it
presupposes it; but it is important to notice that, however great may be
the expansion of that virtual sphere, the essence and the substance of the
element are absolutely confined to that single point, where its form is
terminated to its matter. Both matter and form are included in the essence
of an element; hence there only can the element be with its essence and
substance where its matter and its form are together. But they are not
together, except in a single point. Therefore the element, however great
may be the virtual expansion of its sphere of power, is essentially and
substantially present only in a single point.

From this every one will see that there is no danger of confounding the
virtual ubiquity of created power with God’s immensity. Divine immensity
has been ingeniously, though somewhat strangely, defined by a philosopher
to be “a sphere of which the centre is everywhere.” The power of an
element, on the contrary, is “a sphere of which the centre is ubicated in
a single point.” If this does not preclude the notion that the element
“shares in God’s immensity,” we fail to see why every creature should not
share also in God’s eternity, by its existence in each successive moment
of time. The objection is therefore insignificant. As to the virtual
sphere itself, we must bear in mind that its power loses continually in
intensity as the virtual expansion is increased, till millions of millions
of elements are required to produce the least appreciable effect. Hence
the virtuality of elementary powers tends continually towards zero as its
limit, although it never reaches it. And as a decreasing series, though
implying an infinity of terms, may have a finite value, as mathematicians
know, so the virtuality of the elementary powers, although extending after
its own manner beyond any finite limit, represents only a finite property
of a finite being.

From what we have said in these pages the intelligent reader will realize,
we hope, that the much‐maligned _actio in distans_, as explained by us
according to Faraday’s conception, can bear any amount of philosophical
scrutiny. The principles which have formed the basis of our preceding
answers are the three following:

1st. Motive powers have no other formal ubication than that from which
their exertions proceed;

2d. Motive powers are never distant from any matter;

3d. Motive powers are not merged or embedded in the matter to which they
belong, but constitute a virtual sphere around it.

That _actio in distans_ not only is possible, but is the only action
possible with the material agents, has been proved in our preceding
article. The embarrassment we experience in its explanation arises, not
from our reason, but from our habit of relying too much on our
imagination. “Imagination,” says S. Thomas, “cannot rise above space and
time.” We depict to ourselves intellectual relations as local relations.
The idea that a material point situated on the earth can exert its power
on the polar star suggests to us the thought that the active power of that
element must share the ubication of the polar star, and be locally present
to it. Yet the true relation of the power to the star is not a local
relation, and the exertion of the power is not terminated to the _place_
where the star is, but to the _star_ itself as to its proper subject; and
therefore the relation is a relation of act to potency, not a relation of
local presence.

There is nothing local in the principle of activity, except the central
point from which its action is directed; and there is nothing local in its
action, except the direction from that central point to the subject to
which the action is terminated. True it is that we speak of _a sphere_ of
power, which seems to imply local relations. But such a sphere is not
locally determined by the power, which has no ubication, but by the matter
to which that power is to be applied. For the necessity of admitting a
sphere of power arises from the fact that all the matter placed at equal
distance from the centre of activity is equally acted on. It is only from
matter to matter that distance can be conceived; and thus it is only from
matter to matter, and not from matter to power, that the radius of a
sphere can be traced. Abstract geometry deals with imaginary points, but
physical geometry requires real points of matter.

Power is above geometry, and therefore it transcends space; hence the
difficulty of understanding its nature and of explaining the mode of its
operation. Nevertheless, power and matter are made for one another, and
must have a mutual co‐ordination, since they necessarily conspire into
unity of essence. Hence whatever can be predicated _potentially_ of the
matter can be _virtually_ predicated of the power; and, as the matter of
an element, though actuated in a single point of space, is everywhere
_potentially_—viz., can be moved to any distant place—so also the
principle of activity, though formally terminated to a single point, is
everywhere _virtually_—that is, it can impart motion to matter at any
distance. Thus _actio in distans_ might directly be inferred, as a
necessary result, from the ontological correlation of the essential
principles of matter. But we have no need of _à priori_ arguments, as, in
questions of fact, the best arguments are those which arise from the
analysis of the facts themselves. These arguments we have already given;
and, so long as they are not refuted, we maintain that nothing but _actio
in distans_ offers a philosophical explanation of natural facts.

To Be Continued.



Hope.


Youthful hope around thee lingers;
  Soon its transient lines will fly:
Time and Death with frosty fingers
  Touch its blossoms, and they die.

Yet rejoice while hope is keeping
  Watch upon her emerald throne.
Ere thy cheek is pale with weeping,
  Ere thy dreams of love have flown.



The Veil Withdrawn.


Translated, By Permission, From The French Of Madame Craven, Author Of “A
Sister’s Story,” “Fleurange,” Etc.



XVI.


As soon as I rose from my place I perceived the young lady who had been
collecting money in the morning not far off. She was going by with her
mother without observing me, and I followed in the crowd that was making
its way to the door. But a pouring rain was falling from the clouds which
were so threatening two hours before, and a great many who were going out
suddenly stopped and came back to remain under shelter during the shower.
In consequence of this I all at once found myself beside the young lady,
who was diligently seeking her mother, from whom she had been separated by
the crowd. She observed me this time, and with a child‐like smile and a
tone of mingled terror and confidence that were equally touching, said:

“Excuse me, madame, but, as you are taller than I, please tell me if you
see my mother—a lady in black with a gray hat.”

“Yes,” I replied, “I see her, and she is looking for you also. I will aid
you in reaching her.”

We had some trouble in opening a passage, but after some time succeeded in
getting to the place where her mother had been pushed by the crowd at some
distance from the door of the church. She was looking anxiously in every
direction, and when she saw us her face lighted up, and she thanked me
with equal simplicity and grace of manner for the service I had rendered
her daughter. We conversed together for some minutes, during which I
learned that though I had met them twice that day in the same church, it
was not the one they usually attended, their home being in another quarter
of the city. The daughter had been invited to collect money at S. Roch’s
that day, and wishing, for some reason, to be at home by four o’clock,
they had returned for the afternoon service, which ends an hour earlier
there than anywhere else. This variation from their usual custom had
probably caused a misunderstanding about the carriage which should have
been at the door, and they felt embarrassed about getting to the Rue St.
Dominique, where they resided, as the violent rain prevented them from
going on foot. Glad to be able to extricate them from their embarrassment,
I at once offered to take them home in my carriage, which was at the door.
They accepted the offer with gratitude. Their manners and language would
have left no doubt as to their rank, even if I had not met them in
society. And I soon learned more than enough to satisfy me on this point.

As soon as we were seated in the carriage the elder of the two ladies
said: “I know whom I have to thank for the favor you have done me, madame,
for no one can forget the Duchessa di Valenzano who has ever seen her,
even but once, and no one can be ignorant of her name, which is in every
mouth. But it is not the same with us. Allow me, therefore, to say that I
am the Comtesse de Kergy, and this is my daughter Diana, ... who is very
happy, I assure you, as well as surprised, at the accident that has
brought her in contact with one she has talked incessantly about ever
since she had the happiness of seeing you first.”

Her daughter blushed at these words, but did not turn away her eyes, which
were fastened on me with a sympathetic expression of charming _naïveté_
that inspired an irresistible attraction towards her in return. The name
of Kergy was a well‐known one. I had heard it more than once, and was
trying to recall when and where I heard it for the first time, when, as we
were crossing the Place du Carrousel, the young Diana, looking at the
clock on the Tuileries, suddenly exclaimed:

“It is just going to strike four. We ought to feel greatly obliged to
madame, mamma for, had it not been for her, we should have been extremely
late, and Gilbert would have been surprised and anxious at our not
arriving punctually.”

Gilbert!... This name refreshed my memory. Gilbert de Kergy was the name
of the young traveller whom I had once seen at the large dinner‐party. He
must be the very person in question.... Before I had time to ask, Mme. de
Kergy put an end to my uncertainty on the subject.

“My son,” said she, “has recently made an interesting tour in the Southern
States of America, and it is with respect to this journey there is to be a
discussion to‐day which we promised to attend. I have given up my large
_salon_ for the purpose, on condition (a condition Diana proposed) that
the meeting should end with a small collection in behalf of the orphan
asylum for which she was soliciting contributions this morning—a work in
which she is greatly interested.”

“My husband, who has also travelled a great deal,” I replied, “had, I
believe, the pleasure of meeting M. de Kergy on one occasion, and
conversing with him.”

“Gilbert has not forgotten the conversation,” exclaimed the young Diana
with animation. “He often speaks of it. He told us about you also, madame,
and described you so accurately that I knew you at once as soon as I saw
you, before any one told me your name.”

I made no reply, and we remained silent till, having crossed the bridge,
we approached the Rue St. Dominique, when Diana, suddenly leaning towards
her mother, whispered a few words in her ear. Mme. de Kergy began to
laugh.

“Really,” said she, “this child takes everything for granted; but you are
so kind, I will allow her to repeat aloud what she has just said to me.”

“Well,” said the young girl, “I said the discussion would certainly be
interesting, for Gilbert is to take a part in it, as well as several other
good speakers, and those who attend will at the close aid in a good work.
I added that I should be very much pleased, madame, if you would attend.”

I was by no means prepared for this invitation, and at first did not know
what reply to make, but quickly bethought myself that there would be more
than an hour before Lorenzo’s return. I knew, moreover, that, even
according to his ideas, I should be in very good society, and it could not
displease him in the least if I attended a discussion at the Hôtel de
Kergy under the auspices of the countess and her daughter. Besides, on my
part, I felt a good deal of curiosity, never having attended anything like
a public discussion. In short, I decided, without much hesitation, to
accept the invitation, and the young Diana clapped her hands with joy. We
were just entering the open _porte‐cochère_ of a large court, where we
found quite a number of equipages and footmen. The carriage stopped before
the steps and in five minutes I was seated between Diana and her mother
near a platform at one end of a drawing‐room large enough to contain one
hundred and fifty or two hundred persons.

I cannot now give a particular account of this meeting, though it was an
event in my life. The principal subject discussed was, I think, the
condition of the blacks, not yet emancipated, in the Southern States of
America. An American of the North, who could express himself very readily
in French, first spoke, and after him a missionary priest, who considered
the question from a no less elevated point of view, though quite different
from that of the philanthropist, and the discussion had already grown
quite animated before it became Gilbert de Kergy’s turn to speak. When he
rose, there was a movement in the whole assembly, and his first words
excited involuntary attention, which soon grew to intense interest, and
for the first time in my life I felt the power of language and the effect
that eloquence can produce.

It was strange, but he began with a brief, brilliant sketch of places that
seemed familiar to me; for Lorenzo had visited them, and he had such an
aptness for description that I felt as if I had seen them in his company.
My first thought was to regret his absence. Why was he not here with me
now to listen to this discussion, to become interested in it, and perhaps
take a part in it?... I had a vague feeling that this reunion was of a
nature to render him as he appeared to me during the first days of our
wedded life, when his extensive travels and noble traits made me admire
his courage and recognize his genius, the prestige of which was only
surpassed in my eyes by that of his tenderness!... But another motive
intensified this desire and regret. The boldness, the intelligence, and
the adventurous spirit of the young traveller were, of course, traits
familiar to me, and which I was happy and proud to recognize; but, alas!
the resemblance ceased when, quitting the field of observation and
descriptions of nature, and all that memory and intelligence can glean,
the orator soared to loftier regions, and linked these facts themselves
with questions of a higher nature and wider scope than those of mere
earthly interest. He did this with simplicity, earnestness, and consummate
ability, and while he was speaking I felt that my mind rose without
difficulty to the level of his, and expanded suddenly as if it had wings!
It was a moment of keen enjoyment, but likewise of keen suffering; for I
felt the difference that the greater or less elevation of the soul can
produce in two minds that are equally gifted! I clearly saw what was
wanting in Lorenzo’s. I recognized the cause of the something lacking
which had so often troubled me, and I felt more intensely and profoundly
pained than I had that very morning.

While listening to Gilbert I only thought of Lorenzo, and, if I
reluctantly acknowledged the superiority of the former, I felt at the same
time that there was nothing to prevent the latter from becoming his equal;
for, I again said to myself, Lorenzo was not merely a man of the world,
leading a frivolous, aimless life, as might seem from his present habits.
Love of labor and love of nature and art do not characterize such a man,
and he possessed these traits in a high degree. He had therefore to be
merely detached from other influences. This was my task, my duty, and it
should also be my happiness; for I had no positive love for the world,
whose pleasures I knew so well. No, I did not love it. I loved what was
higher and better than that. I felt an immense void within that great
things alone could fill. And I seemed to‐day to have entered into the
sphere of these great things; but I was there alone, and this was torture.
All my actual impressions were therefore centred in an ardent desire to
put an end to this solitude by drawing into that higher region him from
whom I was at the moment doubly separated.

This was assuredly a pure and legitimate desire, but I did not believe
myself capable of obtaining its realization without difficulty, and
sufficiently calculating the price I must pay for such a victory and the
efforts by which it must often be merited....

While these thoughts were succeeding each other in my mind I almost forgot
to listen to the end of the discourse, which terminated the meeting in the
midst of the applause of the entire audience. The vast hall of discussion
was instantly changed into a _salon_ again, where everybody seemed to be
acquainted, and where I found the _élite_ of those I had met in other
places. But assembled together for so legitimate an object, they at once
inspired me with interest, respect, and a feeling of attraction. It was
Paris under quite a new aspect, and it seemed to me, if I had lived in a
world like this, I should never have experienced the terrible distress
which I have spoken of, and which the various emotions of the day had
alone succeeded in dissipating.

The charming young Diana, light and active, had ascended the platform, and
was now talking to her brother. Gilbert started with surprise at her first
words, and his eyes turned towards the place where I was standing. Then I
almost instantly saw them descend from the platform and come towards me.
Diana looked triumphant.

“This is my brother Gilbert, madame,” said she, her eyes sparkling. “And
it is I who have the honor of presenting him to you, as he seems to have
waited for his little sister to do it.”

He addressed me some words of salutation, to which I responded. As he
stood near me, I again observed his calm, thoughtful, intelligent face,
which had struck me so much the only time I remembered to have seen him
before. While speaking a few moments previous his face was animated, and
his eyes flashed with a fire that added more than once to the effect of
his clear, penetrating voice, which was always well modulated. His
gestures also, though not numerous or studied, had a natural grace and the
dignity which strength of conviction, joined to brilliant eloquence, gives
to the entire form of an orator. His manner was now so simple that I felt
perfectly at ease with him, and told him without any hesitation how happy
I was at the double good‐fortune that had brought me in contact with his
sister, and had resulted in my coming to this meeting where I had been
permitted to hear him speak.

“This day will be a memorable one for me as well as for her, madame,” he
replied, “and I shall never forget it.”

There was not the least inflection in his voice to make me regard his
words as anything more than mere politeness, but their evident sincerity
caused me a momentary embarrassment. He seemed to attach too much
importance to this meeting, but it passed away. He inspired me with almost
as much confidence as if he had been a friend. I compared him with
Landolfo, and wondered what effect so different an influence would have on
Lorenzo, and I could not help wishing he were his friend also....

I continued silent, and he soon resumed: “The Duca di Valenzano is not
here?”

“No; he will be sorry, and I regret it for his sake.”

“The presence of such a traveller would have been a great honor to us.”

“He was very happy to have an opportunity of conversing with you on one
occasion.”

“It was a conversation I have never forgotten. It would have been for my
advantage to renew it, but I never go into society—at Paris.”

“And elsewhere?”

“Elsewhere it is a different thing,” said he, smiling. “I am as social
while travelling as I am uncivilized at my return.”

“We must not expect, then, to meet you again in Paris; but if you ever go
to Italy, may we not hope you will come to see us?”

“If you will allow me to do so,” said he eagerly.

“Yes, certainly. I think I can promise that the well‐known hospitality of
the Neapolitans will not be wanting towards the Comte Gilbert de Kergy.”

After a moment’s silence he resumed: “You must have been absent when I was
at Naples. That was two years ago.”

“I was not married then, and I am not a Neapolitan.”

“And not an Italian, perhaps.”

“Do you say so on account of the color of my hair? That would be
astonishing on the part of so observant a traveller, for you must have
noticed that our great masters had almost as many blondes as brunettes for
their models. However, I am neither English nor German, as perhaps you are
tempted to think. I am a Sicilian.”

“I have never seen in Sicily or anywhere else a person who resembled you.”

These words implied a compliment, and probably such an one as I had never
received; and, I need not repeat, I was not fond of compliments. But this
was said without the least smile or the slightest look that indicated any
desire to flatter or please me. Was not this a more subtle flattery than I
had been accustomed to receive?... And did it not awaken unawares the
vanity I had long thought rooted out of the bottom of my heart? I can
affirm nothing positive as to this, for there is always something lacking
in the knowledge of one’s self, however thoroughly we may think we have
acquired it. But I am certain it never occurred to me at the time to
analyze the effect of this meeting on me. I was wholly absorbed in the
regret and hope it awakened.

As I was on the point of leaving, Mme. de Kergy asked permission to call
on me with her daughter the next day at four o’clock—a permission I
joyfully granted—and Diana accompanied me to the very foot of the steps. I
kissed her smiling face, as I took leave, and gave my hand to her brother,
who had come with us to help me in getting into the carriage.



XVII.


All the way from the Rue St. Dominique to the Rue de Rivoli I abandoned
myself to the pleasant thoughts excited by the events of the day. For
within a few hours I had successively experienced the inward sweetness of
prayer, the charm of congenial society, and the pleasure of enthusiasm. A
new life seemed to be infused into my heart, soul, and mind, which had
grown frivolous in the atmosphere of the world, and I felt, as it were,
entranced. Those who have felt themselves thus die and rise again to a new
life will understand the feeling of joy I experienced. In all the
blessings hitherto vouchsafed me, even in the love itself that had been,
so to speak, the sun of my happiness, there had been one element wanting,
without which everything seemed dark, unsatisfactory, wearisome, and
depressing—an element which my soul had an imperious, irresistible,
undeniable need of! Yes, I realized this, and while thus taking a clearer
view of my state I also felt that this need was reasonable and just, and
might be supplied without much difficulty. Was not Lorenzo gifted with a
noble nature, and capable of the highest things? Had he not chosen me, and
loved me to such a degree as to make me an object of idolatry? Well, I
would point out to him the loftier heights he ought to attain. I, in my
turn, would open to him a new world!...

Such were the thoughts, aspirations, and dreams my heart was filled with
on my way home. As I approached the Rue de Rivoli, however, I began to
feel uneasy at being out so much later than I had anticipated, lest
Lorenzo should have returned and been anxious about my absence. I was
pleased to learn, therefore, on descending from the carriage, that he had
not yet come home, and I joyfully ascended the staircase, perfectly
satisfied with the way in which I had spent the morning.

I took off my hat, smoothed my hair, and then proceeded to arrange the
_salon_ according to his taste and my own. I arranged the flowers, as well
as the books and other things, and endeavored to give the room, though in
a hotel, an appearance of comfort and elegance that would entice him to
remain at home; for I had formed the project of trying to induce him to
spend the evening with me. I seemed to have so many things to say to him,
and longed to communicate all the impressions I had received! With this
object in view I took a bold step, but one that was authorized by the
intimacy that existed between us and the friends whose guests we were to
have been that day—I sent them an excuse, not only for myself, but my
husband, hoping to find means afterwards of overcoming his displeasure,
should he manifest any.

Having made these arrangements, I was beginning to wonder at his continued
absence when a letter was brought me which served to divert my mind for a
time from every other thought. It was a letter from Livia which I had been
impatiently awaiting. We had corresponded regularly since our separation,
and I had begun to be surprised at a silence of unusual length on her
part. It was not dated at Messina, but at Naples, and I read the first
page, which was in answer to the contents of my letter, without finding
any explanation of this. Finally I came to what follows:

                  ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

“I told you in my last letter that I had obtained my father’s consent, but
on one condition—that he should have the choice of the monastery I must
enter on leaving home. What difference did it make? As to this I was, and
am, wholly indifferent. I should make the same vows everywhere, and in
them all I should go to God by the same path. In them all I should be
separated from the world and united to him alone. And this was all I
sought. The convent my father chose is not in Sicily. It is a house known
and venerated by every one in Naples. I shall be received on the second of
September. Meanwhile, I have come here under Ottavia’s escort, and am
staying with our aunt, Donna Clelia, who has established herself here for
the winter with her daughters. So everything is arranged, Gina. The future
seems plain. I see distinctly before me my life and death, my joys and
sorrows, my labors and my duty. I am done with all that is called
happiness in the world, as well as with its misfortunes, its trials, its
conflicting troubles, its numberless disappointments, and its poignant
woes.

“Therefore I cannot make use of the word _sacrifice_. It wounds me when I
hear it used, for I blush at the little I have to give up in view of the
immensity I am to receive! Yes; I blush when I remember it was suffering
and humiliation that first made me raise my eyes to Him whom alone we
_should_ love, and whom alone I now feel I _can_ love. If I had not been
wholly sure of this, I should never have been so bold as to aspire to the
union that waits me—the only one here below in which the Bridegroom can
satisfy the boundless affection of the heart that gives itself to him!...

“But to return to you, my dear Gina. Are you as happy as I desire you to
be, and as you deserve to be? Your last letter was sad; and the calmer and
better satisfied I feel about my own lot, the more I think of yours.
Whatever happens, my dearest sister, do not forget that we both have but
one goal. Your way is longer and more perilous than mine, but the great
aim of us both should be to really love God above all things, and, _in
him_ and for him, to cherish all the objects of our affection. Yes, even
those whom we prefer to all other creatures on earth. I am not using the
language of a religious, but simply that of truth and common sense. If
this letter reaches you on your return from some gay scene, at a time when
you will not feel able to enter into its meaning, you must lay it aside.
But if you read it when your mind is calm, and you are at leisure to
listen to your inner self, you will understand what your Livia means by
writing you in this way. Whatever happens, whether we are near each other
or are widely separated, we shall always be united in heart, my dear
sister. The convent grates will not separate me from you. Death itself
cannot divide us. One thing, and one alone, in the visible or invisible
world, can raise a barrier between us and really separate us. And rather
than behold this barrier rise, I would, as I have already told you, my
beloved sister, rather see you dead. Gina, I love you as tenderly as any
one ever loved another. I will pray for you on the second of September
(Sunday). Probably when you read this I shall already have left the world.
But I shall not have left you, dear sister. I shall be nearer you than
when distance alone separated us. Besides, I am at Naples, to which you
will soon return, and you will find that the grates will neither hide my
face, nor my thoughts, nor my heart, nor my soul from you....

“Gina, let me once more repeat that there is only one way of attaining
real happiness—there is only one object worthy of our love. Let me beseech
you not to desire any other passionately. But, no; you would not
understand me; you would not believe me now....”

                  ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Everything added to the effect of this letter—its date, and the day, the
hour, and the moment in which it was received. The deed my sister had
accomplished that very day had brought us nearer together, as she said.
Had not a breath of the purer air she breathed reached me already and
preserved me through the day from the aimless frivolity of my usual life?

“Happiness,” it has been said, “is Christian; pleasure is not.” Had I not
profoundly realized the force of this saying for one day? Had I not
experienced a happiness as different as possible from the pleasure I
enjoyed in the world? And did I not feel desirous this very instant of
attaining the one at the expense of the other, and not only of taking a
different view of life myself, but of imparting this desire to

“Him who ne’er from me shall separate.”(9)

The day was beginning to decline, and I gradually sank into a short,
profound slumber such as is usually attended by confused dreams. In mine
most of those who had occupied my thoughts during the day passed
successively before me—Livia first, covered with a long white veil, and
next to her was the pleasant, smiling face of Diana.... Then I was once
more at the Hôtel de Kergy, listening again to some parts of Gilbert’s
address. But when I was on the point of calling Lorenzo to hear him also,
it no longer seemed to be Gilbert, but Lorenzo himself, on the platform,
repeating the same words with an air of mockery, and gazing at me, in
return, with the penetrating look so peculiar to him.... Then everything
changed, and I found myself at twilight at the fork of a road in the
country, and, while I was hesitating which path to take, I saw Gilbert
beside me. He was familiar with the way, he said, and offered to be my
guide; but I repulsed his arm, and made a violent effort to overtake
Lorenzo, whom I suddenly perceived at a distance on the other road....
Then Livia seemed to be beside me, and give me her hand to help me along.
Finally I saw Lorenzo just before me again, but he did not look like the
same person; he was poorly clad, and his face was pale and altered. I
recognized him, however, and sprang forward to overtake him, when I awoke
breathless, and with the painful feeling of uneasiness that such sleep
generally produces when terminated by such an awakening....

My heart throbbed.... I found it difficult at first to recall what had
occupied my mind before I fell asleep. I soon came to myself, however, and
was able to account for the utter darkness that surrounded me. I hastened
to ring the bell and, when a light was brought, I looked at the clock with
a surprise that gave way to anxiety. At that instant I heard the bell that
announced Lorenzo’s return at last. I heard him enter the ante‐chamber,
and I ran to open the drawing‐room door myself. But I stopped short. It
was not Lorenzo; it was Landolfo Landini, and he was alone. I drew back
with a terrified look without daring to ask a question. But he smiled, as
he closed the door behind him, and, taking my hand, said: “Do not be
alarmed, my dear cousin, I beg. Nothing in particular has happened to
Lorenzo—nothing, at least, which you are not prepared to hear after what
occurred last night.”

I breathed once more.... I know not what other fear crossed my mind, but I
said with tolerable calmness:

“That means he has been playing again, or at least betting at the races,
and has lost?”

“Yes, cousin, frightfully. There—I ought not to have told you, but I see
no reason for concealing it from you; and as I have this opportunity of
speaking privately to you, I will profit by it to give you another piece
of advice more serious than any I have yet given you. Immediately make use
of all the influence you still have over him to persuade him to leave
Paris. There is some fatality about this place, as far as he is concerned.
He is more prudent everywhere else, and will become so here once more. The
fever he has been seized with again must absolutely be broken up. The
deuce!” continued he, “two or three more relapses like this would lead to
consequences that would test all your courage, _ma belle duchesse_, and
bring you, as well as him, to extremities you are ill fitted to bear. That
is what I am most anxious about, you will allow me to say; for, without
making you the shadow of a declaration, I find you so beautiful, so good,
and so adorable that the mere thought of you some day....”

“Keep to the point, Lando, if you please,” said I with an impatient air.
“Where is Lorenzo? Why did he not return with you, and why have you come
to tell me what he would probably tell me himself?”

“Tell you himself? He will take care not to do that. I have already told
you I am betraying his confidence, but it is for his good as well as
yours. It is best for you to know that the sum he has lost today surpasses
the resources he has on hand, and in order to make the necessary
arrangements to pay at once the debt he has incurred, he is obliged to
write to his agent at Naples or Sicily. He went directly to the club for
this purpose, and commissioned me to tell you it was for nothing of
importance, and beg you to attend the dinner‐party without him, and
present his excuses to your friends. He will join you in the evening.”

Everything now seemed easily arranged according to my wishes, and of
itself, as it were.

“That is very fortunate,” said I eagerly, telling him of the excuse I had
sent for us both. “Therefore, Lando, go back to the club, I beg; or
rather, I will write Lorenzo myself that he can arrange his affairs at his
leisure, and return when he pleases to dine with me. I shall wait till he
comes.”

I hastily seized my pen to write him, but Lando resumed:

“Oh! as to that, cousin, you will only waste your trouble; for seeing how
late it was, and that he could not possibly be here in season to accompany
you, he accepted an invitation to dine with an acquaintance of his (and
yours also, I suppose) whom he met at the races to‐day.”

“An acquaintance of his?...” I repeated, my heart filling with a keen
anguish that made me turn pale without knowing why.

Lando perceived it. “Do not be alarmed,” said he, smiling. “It is not Mme.
de B——, though she was at the races also, and made a fruitless effort to
divert Lorenzo’s mind from what was going on. Really, in your place,”
continued he with his usual levity, “I should regret she did not succeed.
That would have been much better than ... Come, ... do not frown. I am
joking. To be serious, Lorenzo is not going to dine with her to‐day, but
with a lady from Milan who has just arrived, and whom you doubtless know.
It is Donna Faustina Reali, the Marquise de Villanera!...”

Faustina Reali!... This name seemed to justify the strange presentiment I
had just had, and I was tempted to exclaim with Hamlet,

“O my prophetic soul!”

thou hast not deceived me!... I had at that moment a sudden intuition of
the past, the present, and the future. I saw clearly before me a life in
which I should no longer be able to influence Lorenzo, or even to guide
myself!...

I controlled my agitation, however, by a powerful effort, and Lando soon
left me, renewing his first injunctions, and persuaded he had fully
reassured me on other points. I gave him my hand with a smile as he left
the room, and as soon as I found myself alone I covered my face with my
hands, and exclaimed:

“O my dreams! my pleasant dreams! Where have they vanished?”



XVIII.


Faustina Reali!... That was the never‐to‐be‐forgotten name I had read on
the card Lorenzo snatched so violently from my hands at Naples! I had
never seen it again, never heard it pronounced, but I remembered only too
well the expression of my husband’s face when he saw it, and the way in
which he tore up the card on which it was written!...

I endeavored to lead the conversation at another time back to this
circumstance, but at once desisted, frightened at the manner in which he
imposed silence on me, and a certain impression of both mystery and danger
remained associated with the name.

As soon as I became calmer, however, I acknowledged that I really knew
nothing, absolutely nothing, to cause the violent emotion I had just
experienced. It had an imaginary cause, then, and might simply be owing to
my mind, so recently lost in vague dreams, and perhaps a little too high‐
flown, being suddenly recalled to a painful and unpleasant, as well as
very commonplace reality. I had imagined I was going to transform, as by
the stroke of a wand, my husband’s habits, tastes, occupations—nay, his
entire life—but was brought to my senses by learning he had just lost an
enormous sum at the races, and his mind, for the moment, was absorbed in
the necessary complications for paying the debt. I had planned spending
several hours alone with him that evening, during which, away from the
bustle of the world, I would give him a minute account of my recent
impressions, and tell him of all the wishes, projects, and ardent desires
of which he was the object. I would rouse a nobler pride in his soul, and
appeal to a thousand sentiments that were dormant, but not extinct; and I
believe I expected to see them awakened at the mere sound of my voice!...
Instead of this, ... I was alone, and he was with another.... And what
other?... Who was this Faustina, whose name had so suddenly appeared in my
life, and who, at the very hour when I was aiming at so pure and elevated
an influence over him, came thus, like an evil genius, to thrust herself
between us?... I reminded myself in vain that Lorenzo had no idea of the
plans I had, unbeknown to him, formed for the evening, but supposed me at
this very moment to be with my friends, where he had promised to join me;
but nothing could calm the sudden agitation of my heart, nothing could
check the flood of thoughts that sprang from my anxiety, jealousy, and
misconceptions, and my excitement became more intense in proportion to the
lateness of the hour. Would he never come?...

And what would he say when he should arrive?... I was sure he would try to
conceal his interview with Donna Faustina, and perhaps I ought to hide my
knowledge of that as well as everything else, and feign ignorance of all
that had occurred, in order not to betray Lando’s indiscretion.... But
what should I do when his eyes, so accustomed to interpret every
expression of my face, should be fastened on me? How could I practise any
dissimulation with him? It was not, indeed, my place to do anything of the
kind. I had no cause to blush or be intimidated. And should he discover,
after all, that I was not deceived, so much the better; and should he be
displeased, so much the worse for Lando.

I had arrived at this point in my reflections when I heard the bell
ringing loudly in the next room. Then there was a quick step, which this
time was really his, and Lorenzo entered the room. He was pale and
appeared excited, but said in a sufficiently calm tone:

“I have just come from M——’s, where I supposed I should find you; but I
learned that, in sending my apology, you also excused yourself, and I did
not remain an instant. What is the matter, Ginevra?... Are you ill?... Why
did you not go? Why did you remain at home alone in this way?”

His expression was singular. It was at once affectionate and troubled. He
looked earnestly at me, as he gave me his hand, and put back my hair in
order to see my face more distinctly.

My cheeks were burning. The traces of the tears I had shed were visible,
and, with his scrutinizing eyes upon me, I felt it hardly possible to
restrain those that still filled my own.... He took my head between his
two hands, and held it a moment against his breast in silence. The
throbbing of his heart perhaps equalled that of mine. I was touched,
speechless and disarmed, and less than ever in a condition to dissimulate
anything, when he suddenly said:

“Why have you been crying, Ginevra? I must know.”

Raising my still tearful eyes towards him, and looking confidingly in his
face, I replied: “I have been crying, Lorenzo, because I heard Donna
Faustina is here, and that you had gone to see her.”

He started, and, though accustomed to the variations of his mobile face, I
was struck with the effect my words had produced. His face reddened, then
turned paler than before, and for some moments he was incapable of making
any reply, and even seemed to forget my proximity. He seated himself
beside the table, and remained silent. I looked at him with amazement and
anxiety. At length he said:

“Who has told you anything about Donna Faustina, and what do you know of
her?”

“No one has told me anything about her, and all I know of her you have
told me yourself by the very emotion you show at her name.”

He was again silent for a moment, and then resumed in his usual tone, as
if he had triumphed over all hesitation:

“Well, Ginevra, even if you had not known of her being in Paris, or had
never heard of her name or existence, I had resolved to speak to you about
her this very evening. Listen to me. It is not, after all, a long story.”

He had perfectly recovered his self‐control, and yet he continued with
some effort:

“It is not for you to be jealous of her, Ginevra. It is she who has reason
to be jealous of you. She has done you no wrong; whereas, without
suspecting it, you have done her a great and irreparable injury.”

I opened my eyes with surprise.

“It is not necessary to tell you when and where I met her for the first
time, but perhaps it is right I should acknowledge that I was inspired
with a passion for her such as a man willingly imagines he can never feel
but once in his life.”

I could not repress a start.

“Wait, Ginevra; hear me to the end. She was married and virtuous. I left
her, ... but I had just learned she was free, and was about to go to see
her when I was called to Sicily by the lawsuit on which my property
depends. You know the rest.... The sight of you effaced the impressions of
the past. I was still free—free from any promise that bound me to her,
though perhaps she was expecting me to return to Milan....”

“You forgot her, and offered me your hand?...” I exclaimed with mingled
pity and almost reproach.

He replied with some emotion:

“Yes, Ginevra, and without any scruple; for after passing a month in your
vicinity, I felt I loved her no longer, and _at that time_ ... I did not
know she loved me.”

His brow grew dark. He stopped an instant, and then rapidly continued:

“At a later day I ascertained, ... I had reason to believe, ... beyond a
doubt, that the feeling she had succeeded in hiding from me existed
really, profoundly, ... and that she had suffered.... Ginevra! in the
intoxication of my new happiness I could not feel any regret, but I
acknowledge I had a moment of remorse. Yes; I never wished to hear her
name again, never to see her or hear anything that would recall her.... I
was almost irritated at Naples at finding her card among those left on
your arrival there.... I was angry with her, poor Faustina, when I should
have been grateful as well as you.”

“What do you mean?”

“It was at Naples, which she happened to be passing through, that the news
of our marriage reached her. And when we arrived just after, she wished to
show, by leaving her card, that she should henceforth only consider
herself my friend and yours. But at that time I did not regard it in this
way, and I was unjust as well as ungrateful.”

“And now, Lorenzo?” I said with many commingled feelings I could not have
defined.

“Now, Ginevra, I think she was generous, and it would be well for you to
be so in your turn. She wishes to know you, and I come to ask you to
receive her to‐morrow.... You hesitate!... I do not suppose, however,”
said he a little loftily, as he frowned, “that you think me capable of
making such a proposition to my wife, if the Marquise de Villanera had not
a spotless reputation, and I were not certain that there is no reason why
you should not grant her the favor I beg.”

Lorenzo was perfectly sincere at the moment he uttered these words. But as
I write the account of that day by the light of events that followed, I do
not feel the same assurance I did at the time he was talking. All he then
affirmed was true; but he did not tell me everything. He did not, for
instance, explain how he happened to learn, at a time when he had better
have never known them, the sentiments that had hitherto been concealed
from him. Still less did he tell me the effect this revelation produced on
him. But with regard to this he doubtless did not deceive me any more than
he did himself. Meanwhile, it was not possible to give more heed to a
vague, inexplicable presentiment it would have been impossible to justify,
than to what he said. I therefore consented, without any further
hesitation, to the interview he proposed, and gave him my hand. He kissed
it and held it lightly in his; then gave me a new proof of his confidence
as well as unexpected satisfaction by the following words:

“This interview, Ginevra, will not commit you to any great extent at the
most, as, for many reasons it would be useless to give you, I wish, if not
too great a disappointment for you, to leave Paris—sooner than we
intended. We will go in a week.”

He saw the ray of joy that flashed from my eyes, and looked at me with an
air of surprise. I was afraid of compromising poor Lando by betraying my
knowledge of the danger that rendered this departure so opportune. I was
also afraid he would regard it as a new proof of the jealous distrust he
had just allayed, and hastened to speak of Livia’s letter and my desire to
return to Naples, where I had just learned I should find my sister. He
accepted this explanation, and the day full of so many different causes of
excitement ended more tranquilly than I had anticipated two hours before.
It was difficult, however, when I once more found myself alone, to collect
my troubled thoughts. A confused crowd of new impressions had replaced
those of the morning. The projects inspired by the lofty eloquence of
Gilbert de Kergy all at once seemed chimerical. My hopes had fled beyond
recall. And yet I could not account for my apprehension. Anxiety, a vague
anxiety, persistently prevailed over everything. I only succeeded in
regaining my calmness at last by two considerations: we were to leave
Paris, and it was Lorenzo himself who proposed our departure.



XIX.


The following day, for some reason or other I did not explain to myself, I
gave unusual attention to my toilet. I generally read while my waiting‐
maid was arranging my hair according to her own fancy, but that day I
turned more than once towards the mirror. I observed with pleasure the
golden lustre of my hair in the morning sunlight, and suggested myself the
addition of a bow of ribbon of the same color as my belt. After I was
dressed I gave, before leaving my room, a scrutinizing look in a large
glass where I could see myself from head to foot. It seemed to me I was
becomingly attired, and I felt pleased.

My satisfaction was confirmed by an exclamation that escaped Lorenzo as
soon as he caught sight of me. He was already seated at the breakfast‐
table, which stood at one end of the room.

“You are charming this morning, Ginevra!” said he, smiling. He then grew
thoughtful. After remaining silent a few moments, he resumed, perhaps to
divert my mind from another thought he supposed it occupied with:

“I was sorry to leave you alone so long yesterday. How did you while away
the time during the long afternoon?”

If he had asked this question the evening before at the imaginary
_tête‐à‐tête_ I had planned, what a minute, animated account should I have
given him! How readily the thoughts which then occupied my mind would have
sprung to my lips! He regarded me as a child, but I was no longer one; and
beholding me all at once in the new aspect of an energetic, courageous
woman, capable of aiding him with a firm hand in ascending to higher
regions, he would have been surprised and touched; the passing gleam that
sometimes manifested itself in his eyes would perhaps have been less
transient this time, and I should have succeeded in kindling a flame of
which this light was a mere emblem!... Lorenzo, if you had only been
willing! If you had only listened to me then, entered into my feelings,
and read my heart, what a life ours might have been!... Ah! happiness and
goodness are more closely allied in this world than is usually supposed.
If virtue sometimes does not escape misfortune, it is sure there is no
happiness without it! But the impetus by which I hoped to attain my aim at
a single bound had been suddenly checked, and I no longer remembered now
what I longed to say the evening before, or the motive I then had in view.
I therefore answered my husband’s question with the utmost coolness
without interrupting my breakfast:

“I went to S. Roch’s. It rained in torrents, and, finding the Comtesse de
Kergy and her daughter at the door without any carriage, I took them
home.”

“I am glad you did. There is no family more respected, and Kergy is one of
the most intelligent of travellers.”

“Yes, so I should suppose. I have heard him speak of his travels. There
was a meeting at the Hôtel de Kergy yesterday at four o’clock, which I was
invited to attend, and he made an address.”

“And spoke very ably, I have no doubt. I have heard him, and can judge.”

“You have heard him?”

“Yes, a fortnight ago.... Though scarcely acquainted, we are the founders
and chief supporters of a review devoted to art and scientific subjects,
the acting committee of which summoned a meeting of its members to draw up
some resolution, and at this meeting he spoke.”

“He is very eloquent, is he not?”

“Very eloquent indeed, but, on the whole, visionary.”

“Visionary?”

“Yes, visionary, and sometimes incomprehensible even. He soars to such
vague heights that no one can follow him. But in spite of this, he is a
fellow of great talent, and has a noble nature, I should think.”

Lorenzo rose while speaking, and drew a memorandum‐book from his pocket:

“I will write down the address of the Hôtel de Kergy, that I may not
forget to leave my card.”

“Mme. de Kergy and her daughter,” said I, “are coming to see me to‐day
about four o’clock.”

He was silent a moment, and then said:

“And till that time?”

“Till then,” I replied, turning red, “I shall be at home and alone.”

“Very well,” rejoined he, taking up a newspaper, while I silently went to
a seat near the open window.

I compared the conversation which had just taken place with the one I
imagined the evening before. I remembered the effect of the very name of
her whose visit I was now expecting, and I felt inclined to both laugh and
cry. In a word, I was nervous and agitated, and doubtless manifested my
uneasiness and irritation more than I wished.

Lorenzo raised his eyes, and looked at me a moment.

“What are you thinking of, Ginevra?”

“Are you quite sure,” said I abruptly, “that this Donna Faustina is not a
_jettatrice_?”

He rose and somewhat impatiently threw his paper on the table. But quickly
overcoming himself, he said calmly:

“Do you find any evidence in what I related last evening that she ever
brought ill‐luck to any one?”

“If it is not she,” I exclaimed quickly, “I hope, at least, you do not
think....”

I was about to add, “that it is I,” but I stopped on seeing the cloud that
came over his face.

“Come, Ginevra,” said he, “you are really too childish! You are joking,
doubtless, but no one knows better than you how to point a jest. But you
shall tell me yourself what you think of the Marquise de Villanera after
seeing her. As for me, I am going away. It is not necessary to have a
third party when she comes. I will go meanwhile to see Kergy. But,” added
he, as he was leaving the room, “as you have consented to receive her,
remember I depend on your doing so politely.”

He went away, leaving me in a frame of mind by no means serene. I felt
angry with him, and at the same time dissatisfied with myself. Everything
went contrary to what I had hoped, and I awaited my visitor with a mixture
of anguish and ill‐humor.

I felt a kind of uneasiness analogous to that experienced when there is
thunder in the air. I tried to apply myself to something, but, finding
this impossible, I ended by returning to the window, where, book in hand,
I rose from time to time to see what was going on in the street or the
garden of the Tuileries.

At length, about two o’clock, I saw a small _coupé_ coming around the
corner from the Rue St. Florentin. I had seen an endless number pass while
I stood there, but I watched this one without a shadow of doubt as to the
direction it would take. It was but a moment, indeed, before I saw it stop
at the door of the hotel. We were not, to be sure, the only occupants, but
it never occurred to me that the person in the carriage would ask for any
one but myself. I returned to the drawing‐room, therefore, and had taken
the seat I usually occupied when I received callers, when the Marquise de
Villanera was announced in a loud voice.

I rose to meet her. There was a moment’s silence, doubtless caused by an
equal degree of curiosity on both sides. It was only for an instant that
passed like a flash, but nevertheless each of us had scanned the other
from head to foot.

At the first glance she did not seem young. I was not twenty years old
myself then, and I judged as one is apt to at that age. In reality, she
was not thirty. She was tall and fine‐looking. Her form was noble and
graceful, her features delicate and regular, her hair and eyebrows black
as jet, her complexion absolutely devoid of color, and her eyes of a
lively blue. This somewhat too bright a color gave a cold, hard look to
her eyes, but their expression changed as soon as she began to speak, and
became sweet, caressing, beseeching, irresistible. She was dressed in
black, apparently with extreme simplicity, but in reality with extreme
care.

I had not time to wonder how I should break this silence. It was she who
spoke first, and her very first words removed the timidity and
embarrassment that rendered this interview still more painful. What she
said I am really unable to remember, and I cannot comprehend now the
effect of her words; but I know they wrought a complete transformation in
the feelings I experienced the evening before at the very mention of her
name!

Women often wonder in vain what the charm is by which other women succeed
in pleasing, and, as Bossuet says, in “drawing after them captive souls.”
In their eyes, at least, this charm is inexplicable. But this is not
always the case; for there are some women who, while they reserve for one
the absolute ascendency of their empire, like to feel able to exert it
over every one. Such was Donna Faustina. However deep the strange, secret
warning of my heart might be, it was beyond my power to resist her. While
she was talking I felt my prejudices vanish like snow before the sun, and
it could not possibly have been otherwise, perhaps; at least without a
penetration I was not endowed with, a distrust I was wholly incapable of,
and an experience I did not then possess.

Did she really feel a kind of attraction towards me that rendered her
sincere at this first interview? I prefer to think so. Yes, I prefer not
to believe that deceit and perfidy could disguise themselves to such a
degree under an appearance of cordiality, simplicity, artlessness, and
sincerity. I prefer to hope it was not wholly by consummate art she won my
confidence while seeming to repose unlimited confidence in me.

She very soon learned all she wished concerning me, and in return gave me
her whole history; and however singular this sudden frankness on the part
of a stranger ought to have appeared to me—and, indeed, was—the grace of
her manner and the charm of her language prevented any doubt or criticism
from crossing my mind. Young, without position or fortune, she had married
a man three times as old as herself, with whom she lived in strict
retirement. Her meeting with Lorenzo (but how this happened she did not
explain) had been the only ray of joy in her life. She did not hide from
me either the grief his departure caused her or the extent of her
disappointment when she vainly awaited his return after she was left free.
But all these feelings, she said, belonged to the past. Nothing remained
but a friendship which she could not give up. The death of the aged
Marquis de Villanera had of course left her free again, but it had also
taken away her only protector. She felt alone in the world now, and begged
me, in the midst of my happiness, to consider her loneliness and take pity
on her.

While thus speaking she fixed upon me her large, blue eyes bathed in
tears. And as I listened to her, tears also streamed down my cheeks. I
almost reproached myself for being happy. Lorenzo’s inconstancy weighed on
my heart like remorse, and all that was generous in my nature responded to
her appeal. Consequently, before our interview was over I embraced her,
calling her my dear Faustina, and she clasped me in her arms, calling me
for the twentieth time “her lovely, darling Ginevra.”

My _naïveté_ may seem astonishing. I was, indeed, _naïve_ at that time,
and it would have been surprising had I not been. People of more
penetration than I would have been blinded. Lorenzo himself was at that
time. When he found us together at his return, and comprehended the result
of our interview from the very first words he heard, he turned towards me
with eyes lit up with tenderness and gratitude.

His first, and probably his only, feeling at meeting again the woman to
whom he thought he had been ungrateful and almost disloyal, had been a
kind of humiliation. To get rid of this feeling, he had sought some means
of repairing this wrong, and, thanks to my docility to him and my
generosity towards her, he persuaded himself he had found a way.

In the state of affairs at that moment I had the advantage. I gained that
day a new, but, alas! the last, triumph over my rival!



XX.


Lorenzo accompanied the marchioness to her carriage, and then returned an
instant to inform me she would dine with us that evening, and that he had
invited Lando to join us. He embraced me affectionately before he went
away, looking at me with an expression that caused me a momentary joy, but
which was followed by a feeling of melancholy as profound as if his kiss
had been an adieu.

But though my apprehensions of the evening before were allayed, I could
not get rid of a vague uneasiness impossible to overcome—perhaps the
natural result of the hopes that, on the one hand, had been disappointed
since the previous day, and, on the other, the fears that had been
removed. But my mind was still greatly troubled, and though the atmosphere
around me had apparently become calm and serene, I felt, so to speak, the
earth tremble almost insensibly beneath my feet, and could hear the
rumbling of thunder afar off.

My interview with Donna Faustina lasted so long that I had not been alone
half an hour before Mme. de Kergy and her daughter were announced. This
call, which, under any circumstances, would have given me pleasure, was
particularly salutary at this moment, for it diverted my mind and effected
a complete, beneficial change of impressions. After the somewhat feverish
excitement I had just undergone, it was of especial benefit to see and
converse with these agreeable companions of the evening before. I breathed
more freely, and forgot Donna Faustina while listening to their delightful
conversation. My eyes responded to Diana’s smiling looks, and her mother
inspired me with a mingled attraction and confidence that touched me and
awakened in my soul the dearest, sweetest, and most poignant memories of
the past. Mme. de Kergy perceived this, and likewise noticed, I think, the
traces of recent agitation in my face. She rose, as if fearing it would be
indiscreet to prolong her visit.

“Oh! do not go yet,” I said, taking hold of her hand to detain her.

“But you look fatigued or ill. I do not wish to abuse the permission you
gave me.”

“You do me good, on the contrary. I have a slight headache, it is true,
but it is soothing to talk with you.”

“Truly?”

“Yes, truly.”

“Well, then, let me propose, in my turn, a drive in my carriage. The
weather is fine to‐day. Come and take the air with us. It will do you
good, and afford us great pleasure.”

I felt quite disposed on my part to accept the sympathy manifested by Mme.
de Kergy, and at once accepted her invitation. I took a seat in her
_calèche_, and, after an hour’s drive with her and her daughter, I had not
only recovered from the nervous agitation of the morning, but we had
become fully acquainted, and for the first time in Paris I ceased to feel
myself a stranger.

“What a pity you are going away so soon!” exclaimed Diana.

“Yes, indeed,” said her mother; “for it seems to me you would find some
resources at my house you have not found elsewhere, and we might reveal
Paris under a different—perhaps I may say under a more favorable—aspect
than it generally appears to strangers, even in the fashionable world,
which is, I imagine, nearly the same everywhere.”

I made no reply, for the regret she expressed awoke a similar feeling in
my heart, and aroused all the recollections of the evening before. I once
more felt for an instant an ardent desire to take refuge in a different
sphere. I longed more earnestly than ever to escape from that in which
some vague peril seemed to threaten me. We were, it is true, to leave
Paris, but for what a motive!... What a pitiful aspect the life Lorenzo
wished to escape from took in comparison with the one so different which
Mme. de Kergy had just given me a glimpse of!... The thought of this
contrast embittered the joy I felt in view of our departure.

We agreed, however, as we separated, to meet every day during this last
week, and Mme. de Kergy promised to take me, before my departure, through
various parts of the unknown world of charity in Paris, whose existence
she had revealed to me, that I might, at least, have a less imperfect idea
of it before leaving France.

On my return I found Lando as well as Lorenzo in the drawing‐room, and
learned that, as the weather was fine, they had decided we should dine at
some _café_ I do not now remember, in the Champs Elysées, and afterwards,
instead of returning home, we should take seats under the trees, and
quietly listen in the open air to the music of one of the famous
orchestras. The hotel the Marquise de Villanera stopped at was on the way;
we could call for her, and she would remain with us the rest of the
evening.

This new programme did not displease me. I rather preferred this way of
meeting the marchioness again, instead of the one I anticipated after
Lorenzo told me she would dine with us. In spite of the favorable
impression she produced, this prospect annoyed me. The arrangement now
proposed suited me better. I unhesitatingly assented to it, but could not
help thinking, as I did so, how much I should have preferred passing the
evening alone with him!... I longed for solitude—but shared with him! My
heart was full of things I wished to give utterance to, and it seemed as
if a kind of fatality multiplied obstacles around us, and kept us absorbed
in matters wholly foreign to the sentiments I found it impossible to
awaken during the too brief moments in which we were together. My heart
was filled with these desires and regrets while I was preparing to
accompany him, and they cast a shade over the evening I am giving an
account of.

Lando took a seat in front of us, and our carriage soon drew up at the
door of the marchioness, who followed us in her little _coupé_. She
descended when we arrived at our place of destination, and Lorenzo, as was
proper, gave her his arm. I took Lando’s, and we proceeded towards the
room that had been reserved for us, traversing on our way the principal
coffee‐room, which was filled with people. Every eye turned towards us.

I saw that Lando’s vanity was more gratified than mine by the observations
that reached our ears. I looked at Lorenzo; he too seemed to be proud of
the effect produced by the one leaning on his arm, and for the first time
did not appear to notice the flattering murmur of which I was the object.
I noticed this, and it did not increase my good‐humor. But after we
arrived at the little dining‐room that was ours for the time, Faustina
seemed wholly occupied with me. We took off our bonnets, and while I was
silently admiring her magnificent tresses, which made her resemble some
antique statue, she went into open ecstasy about my “golden hair,” my
form, and my features; but while she was thus going on, evidently
supposing it was not displeasing to me, Lorenzo stopped her.

“Take care, marchioness,” said he, smiling, “you do not know Ginevra. Do
not take another step in that direction. No one can venture on that ground
_but myself alone_.”

He uttered these last words with an accent that made my heart beat and
rendered Faustina silent. An expression flashed from her blue eyes quicker
than the sharpest lightning, and seemed to give them a terrible
brilliancy. However, she soon resumed her playfulness and graceful ease of
manner. Like most Italian ladies, she had that naturalness, that total
absence of affectation, which often gives to their conversation an
originality without parallel, and makes all wit which is less spontaneous
than theirs seem factitious and almost defective. It has an inexpressible
charm which fascinates, enchants, sets every one at ease, and gives to
their very coquetry an appearance of artlessness.

We were full of liveliness and gayety at the table. Never was a dinner
more agreeable. Donna Faustina had an uncommon talent for relating things
without appearing to try to win attention. She could mimic other women
without any appearance of malice, and even sound their praises with an
earnestness that made her more charming than those of whom she was
speaking. Sometimes, too, she would change her tone, and, after making the
room ring with our laughter, she would entertain us with some serious
account which displayed a powerful, cultivated mind, with all her
exuberant gayety. In short, when she was present, nothing was thought of
but her, and even those whom she wittingly or unwittingly threw into the
shade could not deny the charm by which they were eclipsed.

It was, however, with some surprise I recalled after dinner the
conversation that had affected me so strongly some hours before, and I
asked myself if this was the melancholy, forsaken woman whose fate had
moved me to tears.

She seemed to have almost read my thoughts; for, as we were returning to
the open air, she left Lorenzo’s arm, and came to take mine.

“Ginevra,” said she in a low voice, “you find me gay and happy as a child
this evening. It is because I no longer feel alone. I have found, not only
friends, but a sister!... I am filled with love and gratitude to you.”

The Champs Elysées were illuminated. We could see each other as distinctly
as by daylight. She seemed much affected and sincere. Perhaps she spoke
the truth at that moment.... Perhaps she had only looked deep enough into
her own heart to feel persuaded that the romantic friendship she wished to
make me believe in was real. However this may be, the illusion did not
last long either for her, or Lorenzo, or myself.

The music was delightful, and I listened to it for some time in silence.
Faustina had taken a seat at my right hand. Lorenzo sat next her, and
Lando beside me.

“Bravo! Cousin Ginevra,” said the latter in a low tone as soon as the
first piece was ended. “Thank heaven, your influence is still all it ought
to be!... I am delighted, but not surprised!”

So many things had occupied my mind since my last conversation with him
that I was at a loss to know what he referred to.

“You have persuaded Lorenzo to leave Paris?”

“No; he proposed going of his own accord.”

“Indeed! When was that?”

“Last evening.”

“And when are you to leave?”

“Next Monday.”

“A whole week! It is a long time.... In spite of my personal regret to
lose you, I wish your departure could take place sooner.”

“And I also,” I murmured without knowing why, for at that moment I was not
at all preoccupied with the cause of Lando’s anxiety.

“Endeavor, at least, to make him pass every evening like this. Your friend
is pleasing; she amuses him, and may be able to divert him from other
things.”

“Lando, stop!” I exclaimed with a vehemence I could not repress. He
uttered a slight exclamation of surprise, and I hastily continued, lest he
might have comprehended me:

“Yes, be quiet, I beg, while they are playing the _Marche du Prophète_. I
wish to hear it undisturbed.”

But I did not listen to the _Marche du Prophète_. I only listened to—I
only heard—the voices beside me. Lorenzo and his companion at first
continued to converse in an animated manner on subjects apparently
indifferent, but concerning people and places I was entirely ignorant
of.... Recollections of the past were recalled which I knew nothing about.
A long silence soon intervened, and when at last they resumed the
conversation, it was in so low a tone I was unable to follow it.

Lorenzo and Lando returned on foot, and I took Donna Faustina home. Before
separating we embraced each other once more, saying _au revoir_; but after
leaving her I thought without any regret that before another week I should
bid her a long farewell, and perhaps even then I should not have been
sorry were it for ever.



XXI.


During the following week, that looked so long to Lando, and was indeed
long enough to affect my whole life, what transpired?... Apparently
nothing very different from the evening I have just described; nothing
that did not seem the natural consequence of the intimacy so suddenly
formed between Donna Faustina and myself, the recent date of which I alone
seemed not to have forgotten. But little by little, I might say hour by
hour, I felt a secret, powerful, subtle influence growing up around me,
and the deepest instincts of my heart, for a moment repressed, were
violently roused, causing me to suffer all the pangs of doubt, anxiety,
and the most cruel suspicion. But as nothing new seemed to justify these
feelings, I forced myself to conceal them, for fear of rendering myself
odious in Lorenzo’s eyes and losing the charm of my generous confidence.
Moreover, did not my continuing to manifest this confidence oblige him to
merit it?... And could Faustina be treacherous while I was redoubling my
cordiality and affection, and confiding in her as a friend? Was I not in a
certain manner protecting myself by obliging both of them in honor not to
deceive me?

But honor, we know, in such cases—honor alone, without the holy restraints
imposed by conscience—is a feeble barrier and a mere mockery. Those who
imagine they have not overstepped this barrier sometimes make it recede
before them, and believe themselves still within its limits when they are
already far beyond the line it first marked out....

A barrier so easily changed soon trenches on the enemy’s ground, and the
honor that is purely human—insufficient guardian of vows the most
solemn—after violating the most sacred obligations, often becomes subject
to some imaginary duty, and, according to a barbarous code that keeps pace
with that of the Gospel amid all our civilization, persuades him whose
sole guide it is that he would be disloyal if he ceased to be a traitor!

This is a sad, commonplace occurrence in the world, which does not excite
anything more than a smile or a shrug of the shoulders on the part even of
those who would tremble with indignation if any one should think them
capable of betraying the confidence of a friend—what do I say?—even of a
stranger or an enemy!

I will not undertake to follow Lorenzo in this obscure phase of his life.
Neither will I try to penetrate into the soul of Faustina. I will only
speak of the influence her crossing my path had on my life; for the
account I have undertaken is one of bitter trials and formidable dangers,
and the extraordinary grace I derived therefrom!

During the last week of our stay in Paris my time was strangely divided
between Mme. de Kergy, who came every morning to take me on the proposed
rounds, and Donna Faustina, with whom I unfailingly found myself every
evening. I thus daily went from one world to another exactly opposite, and
seemed to undergo a periodical transformation, becoming, according to the
hour, as different as the two women with whom I thus became simultaneously
connected, but whom I never beheld together.

Every day I appreciated more fully the beneficial intimacy, that had
commenced at the same time as the other intimacy, to which I already
hesitated to give its true name, and I found more and more salutary the
happy influences of the morning, which always diverted my mind from the
annoying recollections of the evening before. Mme. de Kergy’s simple
dignity and sweetness of manner were allied with a noble mind and a large
heart. Though somewhat imposing, every one felt at ease with her, because
she entered into every one’s feelings, criticised nobody, and only gave
others the lesson of her example. I considered myself fortunate to see her
so often, and wished I could always remain under her guidance.

I accompanied her in her charitable rounds through Paris, and at the sight
of the misery I thus witnessed I felt I had never understood before to
what an extent both misery and charity can extend. And yet poverty and
humanity are to be found in all countries and in all climes. Certainly, we
also have the poor amongst us, and Southern Italy is called, _par
excellence_, the land of beggars and wretchedness. Nevertheless, when my
imagination transported me to the gates of the convent where Don Placido
daily distributed alms, without any great discernment perhaps, but
accompanied with pious words, received by those to whom they were
addressed as alms of almost equal value, I asked myself if this did not
somewhat counter‐balance the excessive poverty and the lack of a more
rigid and discriminating way of alleviating it. And when I witnessed the
profound misery at Paris, augmented by the climate, and often embittered
by hatred; when I saw this vast number greedy for the things of this
world, but without any hope of those in a better, I asked myself if any
possible compensation in the world could be given the poor who are
deprived of the precious faith that would console, sustain, and ennoble
them. Yes, _ennoble_ them; the word is not too strong to express the
living exemplification of the Gospel I had often observed in accompanying
Livia and Ottavia to the miserable habitations where they were welcomed so
cordially. “Ah! signora,” these so‐called wretched creatures would
sometimes say, looking at us with an air of compassion, “yes, we will pray
for you, and our Lord will hear us; for, after all, _we poor_ are his
favorites. He chose to take upon himself our likeness, and not that of the
rich.”

A thousand expressions of the same nature crossed my mind while
accompanying my noble, saintly friend to the places where she exercised,
and taught her young daughter to exercise, a double mission of charity.
One day in particular, seeing the charming Diana kneeling beside the bed
of a poor old woman whose infirmities were incurable, but who was without
religion, I recalled the words that fell from the lips of a poor woman at
Naples who had implored the cure of her malady through the intercession of
some saint, _and had obtained it_, “Ah! mia cara signora, doctors are for
the rich; as for us, we have the saints.”

“You must relate all this to Gilbert,” said Mme. de Kergy, listening to me
with a beaming face. “In spite of the absorbing interest he takes in
discoveries and inventions of all kinds, he is not incapable of
comprehending this solution—the highest and most simple of all—of the
great problem repeated under so many different forms. He would readily
acknowledge that, viewed in this light, the inequalities of social life
assume a wonderfully different aspect.”

This was not the first time I had heard her speak in this way of Gilbert
de Kergy since we had daily met. Among other things, she explained, on one
occasion, the object of various associations of which he was an active
member.

“He could explain all this much better than I,” she added; “but I have
urged him in vain to accompany us in our explorations through what I call
his domain. He absolutely refuses, and, though I am accustomed to his
uncivilized ways, they afflict me, because he often yields to them to the
injury of others as well as himself.”

One day, however, I found his card at my door when I returned home; but I
had seen him only once since the meeting at the Hôtel de Kergy.

Saturday arrived, the day but one before our departure, and I was to take
my last drive with Mme. de Kergy. I was suffering from a thousand
conflicting emotions, agitated and melancholy, and sorry to be separated
from her, and yet happy and impatient to leave Paris, where I now seemed
to behold nothing but two large blue eyes following me everywhere. On the
other hand, however, a strange, inexplicable regret weighed on my heart
when I thought of the world into which I had not yet penetrated, except in
imagination, but where I longed to be transplanted with Lorenzo, that our
lives might bring forth better fruit. While conversing with Mme. de Kergy
such a life seemed less chimerical. I felt my wishes might easily be
realized if ... I could not wholly define my thought, but it was there,
alive, actual, and poignant, and the recollection of its source added a
degree of tenderness to the affectionate farewell I bade Mme. de Kergy
when her carriage stopped to leave me at my door. My eyes were filled with
tears. I found it difficult to tear myself away. She, on her part, pressed
my hand, and, fastening her softest look on me, finally said:

“My dear Ginevra” (I had some time before begged her to call me so),
“would it be indiscreet to ask you to come and dine with us to‐morrow, and
spend your last evening with us?”

“O madame!” I exclaimed with a joy I did not try to conceal, “how happy I
should be to come!”

“Then I shall depend on seeing you—both of you; for of course my
invitation extends likewise to the Duca di Valenzano.”

I felt my face turn red simply at these words. Alas! why? Because I was at
once terrified at the thought of conveying an invitation to Lorenzo which,
ten days before, he would have eagerly accepted. Now I felt if he replied
in the affirmative, it would be a triumph for me; if in the negative, a
painful defeat.

All this rapidly crossed my mind, and made me silent for a moment. Finally
I replied:

“I do not know whether my husband has any engagement for to‐morrow or not;
but as for me, I hope nothing will prevent my coming. At all events, you
shall have my reply in a few hours.”

This reply was despatched at a late hour that same evening, and was to
this effect: “That important business would oblige my husband to be absent
the whole day, and I alone should be able to accept Mme. de Kergy’s
invitation.”

What it cost me to write this note Mme. de Kergy never imagined. And yet,
when I hastily wrote these lines, I had no positive reason for doubting
the truth of the excuse assigned for Lorenzo’s absence—no reason except
the promptings of my own heart, to which I was less able than ever, within
a few hours, to impose silence.

But to relate what took place from the time I left Mme. de Kergy till I
wrote her the above note:

That evening, as usual, I was to meet Donna Faustina, but not her alone.
Our friends were to assemble to bid us farewell, and it was at this
_soirée_ I saw her for the first time in all the _éclat_ of a brilliant
toilet. And, though I was far from foreseeing it, it was there I spoke to
her for the last time!... And I was still further from foreseeing in what
place and in what way I should afterwards find myself beside her for an
instant!...

We both attracted much attention that evening. Which of us was the more
beautiful I cannot tell. As to this, I was indifferent to the opinion of
all but one. What he thought I longed to know, and I now watched him in my
turn. As I have said, he had good reason to pride himself on his
penetration; but that was a faculty by no means lacking on my part, and
one, it may be remarked _en passant_, that Sicilians of both sexes are
said to be rarely devoid of. In this respect we were well matched. I knew
every line in his forehead, and understood every movement of his mouth and
the slightest change in his mobile, expressive face, and during the whole
evening, when for the first time I was able to observe them together
without attracting his attention, I used as much art in studying him as he
knew how to use in studying others. I followed them with my eyes around
the room; whereas, separated from me by the crowd, he forgot my presence,
and, by some phenomenon akin to that of second sight, every word they
uttered seemed to resound distinctly in my ears!... It was with reluctance
I gave her my hand when I left her. It was she, and not Lorenzo, who was
at that moment the object of the resentment that burned in my heart.

I had doubtless overcome some of my faults at that time, but far from all.
I was not so frivolous as is usually the case at my age. I loved
everything great and noble. But with all this, I was impetuous, wilful,
and jealous, and, though not occupied about my appearance, I was with
myself. The happiness I had an indisputable right to was menaced. All
means of defending my rights seemed allowable, but to use address,
prudence, and management would have amounted almost to insincerity in my
eyes.

Pretexts, and even excuses, are seldom wanting for yielding to the impulse
of the moment. Therefore I yielded to mine when I again found myself alone
with Lorenzo, breaking a long silence which he did not notice, or would
not ask the reason of, with a violent outburst I afterwards regretted, but
which, at the moment, it seemed impossible to repress.

“I have tried to please you, Lorenzo, and must still believe in your
sincerity, which it would kill me to doubt; but I can no longer have any
faith in the false, perfidious friendship of that woman.... My heart, my
whole soul, revolts against her.... God forgive me, Lorenzo, I really
believe I hate her, and feel as if I could never see her again!...”

Such were a few of the hasty, incoherent words that escaped from my lips.
Lorenzo, with folded arms, compressed brow, and a cold, ironical look of
surprise, listened without interrupting me.

As I gazed at him, I felt my impetuosity die away and give place to
intolerable anguish. My heart swelled, and I should have burst out into
sobs had not a certain pride hindered me from responding to the icy
coldness of his smile with tears. He did not excuse himself, and by no
means tried to defend her whom I thus attacked. He made neither
protestations nor reproaches.

“As you please, _cara mia_,” said he with a calmness that seemed a
thousand times more cruel than anger. “I will not attempt to oppose the
furious fit of jealousy I see you are in. Indulge in it at your
leisure.... Nothing is easier than to find some excuse for not spending
to‐morrow evening with Donna Faustina—and the day after, _ma belle
Ginevra_,” continued he with a sarcastic look that was more marked than
his words. “You seem to forget we are both going away, and very probably
you will never see her again.... This is a reassuring circumstance, and
ought to have sufficed, it seems to me, to prevent you from making so
absurd a scene as this.”

His manner and words completely disconcerted me. I now felt painfully
mortified at my outburst, and an earnest desire to repair it. And yet the
sensation caused by his injustice still raged in my heart. But I repressed
this by degrees, and when Lorenzo was on the point of leaving the room, I
said in a low tone:

“Forgive me; I was too hasty. But I have suffered more than you may have
supposed.”

He made no reply, and his coldness restored my self‐control.

“It is not necessary to seek any pretext to avoid meeting Donna Faustina,”
continued I with a _sang‐froid_ nearly equal to his own. “Mme. de Kergy
has invited me, and you also, to dine there to‐morrow, and pass the
evening.”

“Very well, go; nothing could be more fortunate. As for me, I shall not go
with you. I have business I am obliged to finish before my departure. To‐
morrow I shall be absent all the morning, and shall not return in season
to accompany you.”

I knew through Lando what business he referred to. I knew he was to settle
the next day the important accounts I had learned about the preceding
Sunday. I recollected likewise that he was afterwards to dine with
Lando....

It was not, then, an imaginary excuse I had to transmit to Mme. de Kergy,
and yet, when I wrote the note before mentioned, it was with a trembling
hand and a heart heavier than it had ever been in my life!

To Be Continued.



September—Sabbath Rest.


Most holy of the numbers, sacred Seven!
    Which reverently the ancient sages held,
    And by thy hidden charm the music swelled
Of rare old prophecies and songs of heaven,
We wonder, yet the secret have not riven
    (So closely are the mysteries sentinelled),
    If only by the calendar(10) compelled,
Thy sign of grace unto this month was given.
Rather, we think, a fair connection lies
    Between the blessedness of Sabbath peace,
    When all of labor finds divine surcease,
The while rich incense rises to the skies,
    And that sweet rest from summer’s burdened days,
    Which makes the ripe year now yield sevenfold praise!



The Present State Of Anglicanism.


A bill for the regulation of public worship, prepared by Dr. Tait,
Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, and which after certain modifications
has passed through Parliament, is causing the state church to undergo
another of those feverish crises which for about thirty years past have
marked with a new feature its internal as well as its external
disorganization.

Before that period it had been the chief boast of that church, in every
section of her members, whether “High” or “Evangelical,” to have
repudiated the “blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits” of the ancient
faith from which she had apostatized, the ancient unity from which she had
severed herself, and the ancient doctrines which she denounced.

Since that period, however, a change has come over a portion of the
Establishment, by the formation in its bosom of a new party, differing
from all its predecessors, and possessing, moreover, its own scale of
belief, graduated _ad libitum_.

The thoughtful and earnest writers of the _Tracts for the Times_, becoming
painfully conscious of the want of consistency of belief, and also of the
need of a spiritual head or centre of authority in their own communion,
sought anxiously into the details of its origin and history, and also into
the past and present of the ancient church, from whose venerable features
they removed the veil of obloquy and misrepresentation which had been
thrown over them. Their search proved that to be a merely human
institution which they had regarded as divine, and the unveiling of that
long‐hidden countenance revealed to them the divine lineaments of the one
true Mother who for three weary centuries had been to England a “Mother
out of sight.”(11)

Most of those men transferred their allegiance whither alone it was due;
having dug to the foundations of their edifice to find them giving way at
every corner, they took refuge in the city against which so often the
“hail descended, and the wind blew, but it fell not; for it was built upon
a rock.” But they did not fail to leave an abiding impression upon the
communion they abandoned. Many who forbore to follow their example were
yet unable to deny the truth of the principles which had found their
ultimate resolution in this exodus, although they persuaded themselves and
others that it was their duty to remain in order to solidify and adorn
that structure which they designate the “church of their baptism,” slow to
believe that it is a house “built on the sand.”

Thus, during the last thirty years or so, it has been the aim of a small
but increasing number of Anglicans to claim consideration for their
communion on higher grounds than its founders would by any means have
approved, and, becoming suddenly shy of its state parentage, to declare it
to be a “Branch” and a “Sister” of that church which the creators of their
own moved heaven and earth, or rather the gates of hell, to destroy.

In order to support their claim, they find it necessary to distort the
meaning of their formularies in the vain endeavor to coax or to force them
into some resemblance to the teaching of the Council of Trent, those which
are hopelessly irreconcilable being left out of the account as little
differences which it is inconvenient to remember. In numerous cases they
are practically set aside, or contradicted, notwithstanding the fact that
at their “ordination” the ministers of the Church of England solemnly bind
themselves to teach in accordance with these very formularies.

Moreover, finding their own mutilated communion service insufficient, and
yet claiming and professing to “say Mass,” which they were never intended
to say, and which in their present position they are utterly incapable of
celebrating, the ritualistic ministers are in the habit of supplementing
the deficiencies of their own liturgy by private interpolations from the
Roman Missal, which, in case they are questioned on the subject, they
designate as “prayers from ancient sources,” a statement less honest than
true. One thing after another do they imitate or claim as their own, now a
doctrine, now a practice, which for three hundred years their communion
has emphatically disowned: vestments, lights, prayers for the dead,
confession, transubstantiation, in some “extreme” quarters intercession of
the saints; here a gesture and there a decoration, which only has its
fitness and meaning in the ancient church and her venerable ritual, but
which with them can claim no title but that of doctrinal, disciplinary,
and decorative disobedience—however great may be the pains they take to
force the false to simulate the true, and however pertinaciously they may
dare, as they do, to appropriate to themselves and to their chaotic schism
the very name of the Catholic Church, out of whose fold they are content
to remain in hereditary apostasy.

Among the four principal sections of “High,” “Low,” “Broad,” and “No”
church, into which the Anglican communion is divided, the “Low” or (so‐
called) “Evangelical” school is the sternest opponent of the new “Extreme”
or “Ritualistic” party, which it very mistakenly honors with the name of
_Romanizers_. We say mistakenly, because, however they may imitate
according to their various shades of opinion the outward ceremonial of the
church, or adopt, at choice, more or less of her doctrines, yet all this
in their case is but a double development of Protestantism (to say nothing
of the effect it produces of making them rest satisfied with the shadow
instead of seeking the substance);(12) for none are so bitter as they
against the church they are so desirous to resemble, and also none are so
practically disobedient to their own ecclesiastical superiors, in spite of
reiterated professions to the contrary. It is this persistent disobedience
which has brought about the present crisis.

In the Evangelical party there exists a society calling itself the “Church
Association,” of which one principal object is to watch over the
principles of the reformation,(13) and to keep a jealous eye upon the
movements of tractarianism in all its varied developments.

Chiefly in consequence of the representations of this society, and also of
the determination of the High‐Church clergy not to obey the decision that
has been given against various of their practices in the “Purchas
judgment,” until they should have obtained a redecision from another court
to which they had appealed, Dr. Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, laid
before the Houses of Parliament a bill entitled the “Public Worship
Regulation Bill,” of which the object is to secure the suppression of all
the illegal practices in which Ritualists habitually indulge, and also to
secure obedience to their legally and ecclesiastically constituted
authorities. Rightly or wrongly, all the innovations or changes that have
been gradually rousing “the Protestant feeling of the country,” and which
are in fact, if not in intention, imitations of Catholic ritual, were to
be put down. The bill requires that in each diocese a local court should
be established, before which any church‐warden, or three parishioners,
“having cause of complaint against the incumbent, as failing to observe
the directions contained in the Book of Common Prayer, relating to the
performance of the services, rites, and ceremonies of the said book, or as
having made or permitted unlawful addition to, alteration of, or omission
from such services,” etc., etc., shall be empowered to lay their complaint
against the said incumbent, who is to be allowed the space of fourteen
days in which to give his answer. Should no answer be given, it will be
considered that the charges laid against him are true, and proceedings
will be taken accordingly. Should an unsatisfactory answer be given, “the
bishop may, if he think fit, within six months after he has received a
representation in the manner aforesaid, proceed to consider the same in
public, with the assistance of the chancellor of the diocese or his
substitute, ... and the bishop shall, after due consideration, pronounce
judgment in regard to such representation.”

To this an amendment was suggested by Lord Shaftesbury, which was adopted,
namely, that instead of a local bishop, a secular judge, to be selected by
the two Archbishops of Canterbury and York, should be appointed, under the
title of “Judge of Public Worship,” and whose office it should be to
assist the bishop of any diocese where his services might be required for
the hearing of cases, after which not the bishop, but the judge, should,
in conclusion, pronounce sentence according to law.

Upon this, the _Spectator_, a leading periodical of the Broad Church
party, observes: “So far as the bill is intended to ascertain and enforce
the existing law of the church in relation to public worship, the change
(namely, from a bishop to a secular judge) makes the whole difference
between a tribunal which Englishmen will respect and trust and one which
they would hardly have taken the trouble even to consult, so deep would
have been, in general, their distrust of the oracle consulted.... Lord
Shaftesbury having provided a genuine judge, the complainant who prefers a
bishop will not often get his antagonist to agree with him, and such
complainants will be few.”

Of this general mistrust of the Anglican bishops we have more to say, but
for the present we keep to the consideration of the bill.

Lord Shaftesbury’s suggestion was followed by one from Dr. Magee, Bishop
of Peterborough, which, although not adopted, is too remarkable a specimen
of Episcopal counsel to be unnoticed. (_The Church Times_ respectfully
designates it as “one of the prettiest bits of log‐rolling ever seen”!)
Bishop Magee proposed, and his proposal was “powerfully seconded by the
Lord Chancellor,” that there should be “neutral regions of ritual laid
down by the bill, within which a variety of usages as practised in many
churches at the present time should _all_ be admissible, even though the
actual directions of the rubric against some of them be explicit.”
Whereupon the _Spectator_ goes on to suggest that a varied selection of
“concessions” should be made, suitable to the divergent or opposite tastes
of Extreme, High, Low, Broad, and No Churchmen; such as, for instance, the
optional reading or omission of the words as to the regeneration of the
child by the act of baptism, as a concession acceptable to the
Evangelicals. For its own part it would like an optional reading or
omission of the Athanasian Creed, and so on, and, “to make the compromise
a thoroughly sound one,” the laity of each parish, it considers, ought to
be consulted as to the usage to be adopted. It is hard to imagine anything
better calculated to make “confusion worse confounded” than plans like
these, at a time, too, when all the Anglican parties alike confess that
“in no day has there been so wide a variety of tendency, opinion, and
belief in the Church of England as now.”

One of the great features in the checkered progress of this bill has been
the speech of the late premier, the negative and destructive character of
which it is difficult adequately to estimate, and which, upon its
delivery, to quote the words of the _Westminster Gazette_, “produced an
ecclesiastical conflagration.” Even Mr. Gladstone’s late colleagues hold
aloof from his propositions, and the outcry that was raised soon
indisposed his humbler followers to agree with him; yet he laid bare many
real difficulties and told many plain truths which might make the friends
of the archbishop’s bill reasonably hesitate. But as it is, this speech
has only fired the zealous determination of the great majority of the
House, both liberal and conservative, to strike a blow at the external
manifestations of ritualism, come what may, and has set the “Protestant
feeling of the country” on horseback.

The bill is doubtless peculiarly vulnerable, and Mr. Gladstone did not
spare its weak points, amply demonstrating its dangerous scope and
character, and the extreme probability of its leading to convulsions far
more serious to the welfare of the Established Church than what he termed
any panic about Ritualism. It enforces the observation of the rubrics with
a rigidity dependent only upon episcopal discretion in the use of a
certain dispensing power. The bishops may protect whom they please,
provided they are ready with written reasons for vetoing the proceedings
against the accused, which is certainly an adroit expedient for catching
obnoxious ritualists and letting offenders of another class escape. All
might work well if only bishops will be discreet.(14) Mr. Gladstone
showed, however, that he entertained profound doubts of the discretion of
twenty‐seven or twenty‐eight bishops. But, whether his fears are well
grounded or not, many minds would agree with him in recoiling from such
slippery legislation, although, on the other hand, he launches himself
into a course of which it would be difficult to foresee the results. In
his six remarkable resolutions he not only reduces the bill so that it
should only effect its real objects, but he explicitly asserts the
impolicy of uniformity in the matter of enforcing the rubrics. It is
really little less than the repeal of the Act of Uniformity, and the six
resolutions involve the abolition of that religious settlement which has
prevailed in England for more than two centuries. Finding them rejected by
an overwhelming majority, Mr. Gladstone withdrew them; “but they may yet
furnish a fruitful contribution to the discussion of the position of the
Church of England.”

But if, as we have seen, the Broad‐Church section openly proclaims its
deep mistrust of its ecclesiastical rulers, and one object of the
Evangelical “Church Association” is declared to be “to teach them the
law,” it is reserved for the organs of the extreme ritualistic party to
treat their bishops, week after week, to an amount of supercilious
insolence, which is occasionally varied by invective and abuse,
unsurpassed in the annals of even Puritan polemics. In the _Church Times_
for May 22 we find a lengthy monition, headed in double‐sized capitals,
“What the Bishops ought to do,” and which, in a tone of mock compassion,
thus commences: “It has been a hard time lately for our Right Reverend
Fathers‐in‐God.... According to their wont, their lordships have seemed,
with one noble exception, to give their support to Dr. Tait’s plan for
stamping out ritualism.” “The gods have evidently a spite against the
primate, or he would scarcely have committed such blunders, etc.” “The
poor archbishop has, however, excuse enough for his peevishness.” “We have
been compelled repeatedly, in the interests of truth, etc., to point out
what their lordships ought not to do; unfortunately the occasions which
necessarily call forth such remarks occur too frequently; it is therefore
only right that we should also give the bishops the benefit of our own
experience, and explain to them how they might hope to gain that respect
which they certainly do not now possess.” And further on the same modest
writer requests his ecclesiastical superiors to remember that they are
immensely inferior to many of their clergy in natural gifts, mental
culture, and parochial experience, adding: “Take, for instance, the
question of confession. It is evident from their lordships’ utterances
respecting it that they are in the darkest ignorance both as to its
principles and practice, ... and this though there are plenty of clergymen
who, by long experience in the confessional, are well qualified to
instruct their lordships about it.”

Now, this is too unreasonable! As if an Anglican bishop ought fairly to be
expected to trouble himself about an obsolete custom that had practically
disappeared from the Anglican Prayer‐Book, of which there is no mention in
the Catechism, and none in the communion service but one ambiguous phrase
which may mean anything!(15)

But to return to the _Church Times_, which with its compeers of the
“extreme” school seems to do its best to expose the Babel of confusion in
which it dwells, and which its own voice does its little utmost to
increase. From this we learn that “it is now decided by archiepiscopal
authority, and illustrated by archiepiscopal example, that truth is not
one, but two.”

Why only _now_, we should like to know, when no true successor of the
archapostate Cranmer could consistently teach otherwise—Cranmer, of whom
his biographer, Alexander Knox, writes as follows:

“To form a church by any sharply defined lines was scarcely Cranmer’s
object.... He looked more to extension than to exactness of periphery.”
And this man, “whose life was the incarnation of theological and moral
contradictions, and whose creed was only consistent in its gross
Erastianism, left these as his double legacy to the national
Establishment, of which he was the principal contriver.”(16) The same
writer (Knox) demonstrates the success of Cranmer’s idea in another place,
where he describes the constitution of the Anglican communion in the
following remarkable words: “In England, as I have already been
endeavoring to show, all is peculiar. In the Establishment, the theology
common to Luther and Melanchthon was adopted in the Articles, but the
unmixed piety of the primitive church was retained in the daily liturgy
and occasional offices. Thus our church, by a most singular arrangement of
Providence, has, as it were, a Catholic soul united to a Lutheran body of
best and mildest temperament.... May we not discover traces of the All‐
wise Hand in these principles of liberality, which are implanted in the
very bosom of our Establishment by the adoption of articles that are
deemed by different men to countenance their different opinions?” And
Bishop Burnet, in the Introduction to his _Commentary on the Articles_,
declares that “when an article is conceived in such general terms that it
can admit of different senses, yet even when the senses are plainly
contrary one to another, both (_i.e._ persons of opposite opinions) may
subscribe to the Articles with a good conscience, and without any
equivocation.” Well indeed did Dr. Newman describe these articles as the
“stammering lips of ambiguous formularies.” After these confessions of
Anglicans themselves, what reason have they to be surprised if their
present archiepiscopal authority decides that truth is not one, but two?

The same ritualistic organ we have been quoting speaks of a certain
proposal as one which could only be made “by a madman or a bishop.” In the
_Church Times_ for June 12, under the title of “The Worship Bill in the
Lords,” we find the following courteous, charitable, and refined
observations: “The scheme devised by Archbishops Tait and Thompson for
harrying the ritualists, and nearly pulling down the Church of England in
order to do so, like that lord chief‐justice in China who burnt down his
town‐house to roast a sucking‐pig, is not going quite as its authors
hoped,” etc. Again: “But Dr. Tait has been contented to remain to the
present hour in entire ignorance of the laws, usages, and temper of the
Church of England, and therefore it is impossible for the most charitable
critic to give him credit for religious motives. The best that can be said
of him is that he has a creed of some kind, which is Erastianism, and
therefore prefers the English Establishment to the Scottish, as the
wealthier and more dignified of the two. [The bishops] have collectively
betrayed their trust, and convinced churchmen that the episcopal seats in
the House of Lords are a weakness and not a strength to the church.” “This
misconduct of the bishops will do much to destroy the unreal glamour which
their official position has enabled them to throw over the eyes of the
moderate High‐Church clergy, who now learn that no considerations of
faith, honor, and duty have the least weight with their lordships when any
personal questions intervene, and therefore their wings will be clipped
pretty closely when,” etc. “But there is, we are thankful to say, a deep‐
rooted distrust of the bishops,” and “even archiepiscopal mops and brooms
cannot drive back the waters of ritualism!” With specimens such as these
before us, we do not wonder that Dr. Pusey, who is a gentleman as well as
a Christian, thought it advisable at the opening of his speech before the
recent ritualistic meeting at S. James’ Hall, against the archbishop’s
bill, to express his hope that the words of S. Paul would not be
forgotten, “Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of my people.”

Before quitting this part of the subject there is one thing we wish to
say. Let these men be content to settle their own quarrel with each other
and with their bishops as best they may, but let them, if they will not
hear S. Paul, remember a command that was given amid the thunders of
Sinai: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”; and let
them, if they can, refrain from “evil speaking, lying, and slandering” not
only against the Catholic Church in general, but also against the noble
church in France in particular, whose close union and devoted filial
obedience to her Head, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, they appear to regard
with a peculiar and malignant envy. Would that it were a holy emulation
instead!

These men dare to say that the church in France has been “brought to
ruin”: that it is “Rome and its agents who have procured that ruin,” and
by means which they “will expose on a future occasion.” They aver that
there is not a canonical authority, but “an absolute despotism,” “a
hateful absolutism” exercised by “the bishops over the inferior clergy”
(in which statement we cannot but perceive a reflection of the perpetual
episcopal nightmare which troubles the ritualistic dreams at home); the
said inferior clergy being described as “veritable pariahs, who from one
day to another, at the caprice of a bishop, can be reduced to become
crossing‐sweepers or cab‐drivers”—a “reduction” which we are allowed to
suppose must be very common from the additional declaration that “it is a
principle with the bishops to crush the wills of their clergy,” while they
themselves, “being merely the prefects of the Pope, have in their turn to
submit to a tyranny no less painful,” the Pope making himself “lord and
master more and more”; in fact, “the only person who is free in the Roman
Church, ever since the Council of Trent, is the Pope.”(17)

Elsewhere in this same exponent of reckless ritualism we find the
following singular justification of the tone so habitually adopted by that
party towards their spiritual superiors: “We hear a good deal about the
reverence of the elder tractarians for bishops and dignitaries, but we
fail to see the merit of their conduct when we reflect that it cost us a
disastrous exodus Romewards.” An apparently unconscious testimony to the
inevitable tendency and final result of respect for lawful authority.

But we will no longer detain the reader over specimens of High‐Anglican
journalism, further than to remark the admiring sympathy expressed by this
party for the self‐styled “Old Catholic” movement, and especially for the
apostate Reinkens—a sympathy to be expected from men who, instead of
escaping from schism, seek to justify it, and, feeling themselves
strengthened by the rebellion of others, applaud each fresh example of
revolt.

Thus a long and laudatory notice on the new German schismatics commences
as follows: “The text of the Old Catholic Declaration at Bonn, on reform
in general, ... is published, and is, on the whole, extremely
satisfactory. At present the movement bears a remarkable resemblance to
the ideal English Reformation; and we pray that it may keep a great deal
nearer to its theory than we have been able to do.”

As a pendant to the above we will mention two “resolutions” moved at a
meeting of the “Society for the Reunion of Christendom,” recently held in
S. George’s Hall, the first of which was as follows: “That the only
adequate solution for the internal distractions of the English Church, as
of Christendom generally, is to be found in the restoration of corporate
unity in the great Christianity commonwealth.”

The second stood thus: “That the marriage of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh
to the daughter of the Czar affords hope of such mutual understanding
between the English and Russian churches as may facilitate future
intercommunion.”

Alas, poor Church of England! Within the breast of many of her more
earnest members is lovingly cherished the delusive dream of the “corporate
reunion” of what they are pleased to call the “three branches of the
church.” Wearied of their long isolation, they stretch out their hands—to
whom? On the one side, to a schism about double the age of their own, but
too free from many of their errors and too devoted to the Ever Blessed
Mother of God to give easy welcome to so dubious an ally as the creation
of Cranmer and his king; and, on the other side, to a schism of a few
months old, to which they equally look forward to join hand in hand, and
thus, by adding schism to schism, fondly expect Catholic unity as the
result!

But what, then, is their attitude with regard to the ancient church?
Opposition, strengthened by jealous fear. There is in the Church of
England an hereditary antipathy to the Catholic Church, which is evinced
in its Articles, more fully developed in its _Homilies_, and sustained in
the writings not only of the first reformers, but of all the succession of
Anglican divines, with scarcely an exception, no matter how much they may
have differed among themselves in their several schools of religious
opinion. Nor is the spirit dead within it now. For instance, was there
ever a more gigantic commotion than that which was raised all over
England, in every corner of the land, and among clergy and laity alike,
than that which followed upon the simple act of Pope Pius IX., when,
within the memory of the present generation, he exchanged the government
of the Catholic Church in England by vicars‐apostolic for that of a
regular and established hierarchy?

“The same animus exists even among the less Protestant and more eminent of
its champions in the present day, among whom we need only mention the
names of Dr. Wordsworth, Mr. Palmer, and the Dean of Canterbury among
moderate High Churchmen.” It manifests itself also quite as plainly in the
Tractarian, Ritualistic, and “Extreme” schools of High‐Church development;
for instance, F. Harper quotes a letter published and signed by an “Old
Tractarian,” in which the Catholic bishops are described as “the present
managers of the Roman schism in England,” and a clergyman of the same
school, well known at Oxford, on one occasion observed to the writer of
the present notice: “We are the Catholics; you are simply Romanists; that
is to say, Roman schismatics.”

Dr. Pusey, in his recent speech before the meeting at St. James’ Hall
against the archbishop’s bill, expresses as emphatically as ever his
assured conviction of the Catholicity of his own communion, in spite of
the many difficulties to be overcome before that view can be accepted by
ordinary minds. After speaking of the “undivided church of Christ,” he
goes on to say: “We are perfectly convinced ... that we are standing
within her own recorded limits, and are exponents of her own recorded
principles,” adding, “The Church of England is Catholic” (great cheering),
“and no power on earth can make the Church of England to‐day a Protestant
society.... Her limits we claim to be those of the Catholic Church.” And,
wonderful as it may seem, the venerable doctor is convinced of the truth
of these affirmations, his nature being too noble and sincere wilfully to
exaggerate. His speech, which is in condemnation of the archbishop’s bill
as being aimed against those charged with making unlawful additions to
their church’s ritual, while those who make unlawful omissions from it are
likely to be left unmolested, concludes with these words: “If dark days
_do_ come, ... I mean to stand just where I am, within the Church of
England” (loud and prolonged cheering).... “I mean to resist the voices
from without and from within that will call on me to go to Rome; but still
to endeavor, by active toil, by patient well‐doing, and by fervent
charity, to defend and maintain the catholic nature of the Church of
England.”(18)

There is one Voice which may yet _will_ to be heard “_within_,” and which
may at the same time confer grace, that he who has taught so many souls
the way to their true and only home may himself also find his own true
Mother and his Home at last.

Meanwhile, what is the condition of this “Catholic” Church of England!
Never was there a “house” more notoriously “divided against itself;” and
every effort of the Tractarian party to force sound doctrine upon her or
elicit it from her has resulted in a more deliberate annihilation of truth
on her part, by the formal declaration that on fundamental doctrines her
ministers, according to their respective tastes, are free to teach two
opposite beliefs. It was thus when the “Gorham judgment” ruled that
baptismal regeneration was “an open question” in the church of England.
Her ministers are equally allowed to teach that it is a true doctrine or
that it is a false one. Truth is made not only “two,” but antagonistic to
itself. A subsequent judgment did the same thing with regard to the
doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, which is taught in a
variety of ways by the clergy of the Tractarian schools, sometimes as
consubstantiation, and by some as transubstantiation itself, although this
doctrine is explicitly repudiated by the Anglican formularies. By the
decision pronounced in the case of Mr. Bennett of Froome Selwood, the Real
Presence in the Eucharist was, equally with the doctrine of its opposite,
which might be truly designated as the “real absence,” authorized to be
believed and taught.

It thus not unfrequently happens that the adoration of the consecrated
elements practised and inculcated in one parish by the Rev. Mr. A. is in
the very next parish denounced as idolatry by his neighbor the Rev. Mr.
B.;(19) and in cases where the one gentleman happens to be appointed to
succeed the other in either parish, what must be the confusion of ideas
produced in the minds of the hapless parishioners with regard to the only
two sacraments which their catechism teaches them are “generally necessary
to salvation”?

Every judgment given by the authorized tribunals of the Establishment on
matters of doctrine recognizes by implication that the real strength of
the Church of England lies in the indifference of the English people to
dogmatic truth. We quote the words of Mr. Wilberforce: That which
dishonors the Church of England in the judgment of all other Christians,
whether Catholic or Protestant, is its great merit in the eyes of its own
members. They want to profess their various religions, from Calvinism to
semi‐popery, without impediment, and the Church of England is the only
community in the world in which they can do it. Even professed unbelievers
desire to maintain that institution for the same reason. A church which
teaches nothing is in their judgment the next best thing to no church at
all; thus the _Pall Mall Gazette_ often writes against Christianity, but
never against the Church of England. What unbelievers fear is a church
which claims to be divine and which teaches only one religion. “We have a
regard,” says the rationalistic _Saturday Review_, “selfish it may be, but
very sincere, for the Church of England as an eminently useful
institution. If the Liberation Society chuckles over the revelation of a
‘divided church,’ the only way to check‐mate it is to make all varieties
of doctrine equally lawful, though they are mutually contradictory.”

Again: when such a man as Lord Selborne says that the opposition to the
archbishop’s bill is based on the idea that “every clergyman is to be his
own pope,” and Lord Hatherley that “every one was determined to have his
own way,” and the Bishop of Peterborough that “those clergymen who were so
loud in crying out against the tyranny of the bishops arrogated to
themselves a right to do exactly what they pleased”; “every clergyman
wishing that there should be _excipienda_ in favor of the practices in
which he himself indulged, but objected to include those of his neighbor
in the list,” and that “every one was equally anxious to be himself
exempted from prosecution, and equally jealous of the power of prosecuting
his neighbor”—the real character of the so‐called “Catholic revival” in
the Protestant Church of England was acknowledged by the most eminent
partisans of that institution. Ritualism, they perceive, is simply
Protestantism and the right of private judgment in their extremest form.
How vain it is to exorcise such a spirit in a sect founded on the right of
revolt, and so utterly indifferent to positive truth that, as the Bishop
of Peterborough frankly confessed, the word compromise is written all over
the pages of the Anglican Prayer‐Book, was undesignedly admitted by Lord
Salisbury. “There were,” he said, “three parties in the church, which
might be described as the Sacramental, the Emotional, and the
Philosophical, and the great problem to be solved was how to reconcile
their views.” The problem, he knows, is insoluble. The very men who
profess to revive Catholic dogma can only suggest a “considerate
disagreement,” which in plain words is an arrangement to betray God’s
revealed truth by an impious compromise with error.

Before closing this rapid and imperfect notice of the present state of the
Anglican Communion, a reflection suggests itself upon which we must say a
few words. It may reasonably be asked, What is the authority which the
ritualistic party professes to obey? They refuse the right of the state,
to which their community owes its being, to rule them in matters
ecclesiastical; they refuse obedience _practically_, whether professedly
or not, to their bishops, for whom they appear to have neither affection,
confidence, nor respect; and they not only refuse submission to her whom
they themselves acknowledge to be the “Mother and Mistress of all
churches,” but they openly express their sympathy and admiration for those
who rebel against her authority, invariably taking the part of the
revolted against the Catholic Church. “Is there, then, any authority upon
earth to which they allow themselves responsible, and if so, where is it
to be found?”

We give the answer in the words of the able writer quoted above:(20)

“Anglicans having destroyed, as far as their influence extends, the whole
authority of the living church, they affect, since they must obey
something, to reserve all their obedience for what they call the primitive
church. The late Dean Mansel tells us that some of the worst enemies of
revealed truth employed the same pretext. ‘The earlier deists,’ he says
(naming five notorious ones), ‘carried on their attack under cover of a
reverence for primitive Christianity;’ and he goes on to ask, ‘Has such a
supposition ever been made, except by wicked men desirous to find an
excuse for their transgression of the law?’ Now, this is exactly the
attitude of Anglicans towards the authority of the church. They exalt her
prerogatives, and admit that she is ‘infallible’; but they deny in the
same breath that she has the power to teach or to ‘pass decrees,’ because
that would imply the obligation of obedience, and they are resolved to
obey nothing but themselves, and therefore they have invented the theory
of the Christian Church which may be enunciated in the following terms:


    “ ‘The church of God, though destined by her Founder to a divine
    life, has become by degrees a mere human thing. In spite of the
    promises, her decay began with her existence, since even the
    apostolic sees all “erred in matters of faith.”(21) She was
    designed to be One, but is now divided. She was intended to be
    universal, but ... it is far more convenient that she should be
    simply national. She still has a voice, but cannot use it. Her
    decrees would be irreformable if she had not lost the power to
    make any. She is theoretically infallible, but her infallibility
    may be corrected by any intelligent Christian who feels qualified
    for the task. She has a right to enjoin obedience, but everybody
    has a right to refuse it; for though obedience was once a
    Christian duty, yet, since there is no longer anything to obey,
    this particular virtue has lapsed, and every one is a law to
    himself. It is no doubt her office to correct the errors of
    others, but unfortunately she has not yet succeeded in detecting
    her own. “Every tongue that resisteth her in judgment she shall
    condemn,” but meanwhile it is quite lawful for every tongue to
    condemn _her_..... Unity is her essential mark, by which she was
    always to be recognized, but as it has no centre it is now purely
    chimerical. The great teachers of Christendom fancied the Pope was
    that centre, but this was evidently delusion. It was in the
    beginning a condition of salvation to “hear the church,” but as
    she has lost her voice nobody can be expected to hear her now, and
    the conditions of salvation are changed. It used to be her
    business to impose terms of communion, but it is the peculiar
    privilege of modern Christians to substitute others for them. The
    defection of millions in the earlier ages, who became Arians or
    Donatists, did not in the least affect her unity or impair her
    authority; but the rebellion of certain Englishmen—whose fathers
    had obeyed her for a thousand years, or of Russians, who have
    invented a local religion and do not even aspire to an universal
    one—is quite fatal to both. Of all former apostates it was rightly
    said, “They went out from us because they were not of us,” but no
    one would think of saying this of men who live under the British
    Constitution, because they have a clear right to “go out” whenever
    they please.’ ”


Such is the Anglican theory, ... in the face of which the Anglican
prophets go to their temples, and loudly proclaim, “I believe in One,
Holy, Catholic Church.” The natural result of such teaching is that a
majority of Englishmen have long ceased to believe in anything of the
kind.

Nor is the Anglican theory about the Catholic Church a more impossible
absurdity than what they profess to believe, and apparently do believe,
about their own, although they do not state their belief in the bare and
unambiguous manner in which we will state it for them.

That sect “existed,” they tell us, “before the so‐called Reformation,
which was only a trivial episode in its history. It left the Church of
England exactly what it was before, and only made it a little more
Catholic. If its founders called the Mass a ‘blasphemous fable,’ they must
have intended that it was the most sacred rite of the Christian religion.
If, whenever they altered their new Prayer‐Book (which they did very
often), it was always to make it less Catholic, this was probably in the
hope that its doctrine would improve in quality as it lessened in
quantity. If its bishops for many generations persecuted Catholics to
death or tortured them as ‘idolaters’ this was only a quarrel of brothers,
and they were as deeply enamored of the Catholic faith as those whom they
murdered for professing it. If for more than a hundred years they gave the
highest dignities to men who had never received episcopal ordination, that
fact proved nothing against their reverence for the apostolic succession,
or their conviction that they possessed it themselves. In like manner
their casting down altars (in some cases making them into paving‐stones),
and substituting a ‘wooden table,’ in no way affect our constant
declaration that the doctrine of the Christian sacrifice was always most
firmly held and taught in the Anglican Church. That they allowed their
clergy every variety of creed may have been one way of testifying their
conviction that truth is one. Their constant execration of the Catholic
faith must be interpreted as meaning something quite opposite; in the same
way, if you suppress the Homilies and reverse the Articles, which for some
sagacious reason were written as they are, you will find the genuine
theology of our founders.

“Finally, if the Church of England pretended to be fiercely Protestant for
three centuries, this was only to take the world by surprise about the
year 1870, and thus secure the ‘Catholic revival’ which will hasten the
time when Dr. Tait will be universally recognized as the legitimate
successor of S. Anselm—particularly in his religious views—and the
Anglican reformation justly appreciated as a noble protest against the
noxious errors of Protestantism, with which it accidentally coincided in
point of time, but had nothing in common in point of doctrine.”

But of what avail is all this? Ritualists succeed in revealing the
disorganization of their sect, only to show that it is incurable, and yet
are able to persuade themselves that such a sect as this, which exists
only to “neutralize” the revelation of the Most High, is an integral part
of that majestic and inflexible “Church of the living God,” upon which he
has lavished all the highest gifts which even divine munificence could
bestow.

Speaking of some recent conversions to the Catholic Church, the _Church
Herald_ says: “From what we hear from quarters which are well informed,
there can be little doubt that another large and influential exodus in the
same direction is imminent.” If Anglicans are not converted now, the case
does indeed seem hopeless. But they need more than ever at this moment a
solemn warning. They may begin to desire reconciliation, and to flee from
the house of bondage; but, if they think they can criticise the church as
they have been in the habit of criticising their own sect; if they propose
to teach instead of to learn; to command instead of to obey; if they do
not seek her pardon and blessing in the loving spirit of penance,
humility, and submission, let them remember that the church of God is no
home for the lawless and self‐sufficient.

But to all those who in humility and sincerity are seeking the truth, We
would say with all possible intensity of entreaty: “Let him that is
athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,”
for “the SPIRIT and the BRIDE say, COME.”



Antar And Zara; Or, “The Only True Lovers.”


An Eastern Romance Narrated In SONGS.

By Aubrey De Vere.

Part VI.

They Sang.

I.

The people met me at the rescued gate,
  On streaming in the immeasurable joy,
Warriors with wounds, gray priests, old men sedate,
  The wife, the child, the maiden, and the boy.

Then followed others—some as from a tomb,
  Their face a blank, and vacant; blinded some;
Some that had whitened in the dungeon’s gloom;
  Some, from long years of lonely silence, dumb.

Anatomies of children with wild glare,
  Like beasts new caught; and man‐like spectres pale;
And shapes like women, fair, or one time fair
  (Unhappiest these), that would not lift the veil.

Then saw I what is wrought on man by men:
  Then saw I woman’s glory and her shame:
Then learned I that which freedom is—till then
  The soldier, not of her, but of her name.

The meaning then of Country, Virtue, Faith,
  Flashed on me, lightning‐like: I pressed my brow
Down on the wayside dust, and vowed till death
  My life to these. _That_ was my bridal vow.

II.

A dream was mine that not for long
  Our joy should have its home on earth;
That love, by anguish winged, and wrong,
  Should early seek its place of birth;

That all thy hand hath done and dared
  Should scantlier serve our country’s need
Than some strange suffering ’twixt us shared
  Her last great harvest’s sanguine seed.

I saw false friends their treaties snap
  Like osiers in a giant’s hand;
Saw sudden flames our cities wrap;
  Saw, drowned in blood, our Christian land.

I saw from far the nations come
  To avenge the lives they scorned to save,
Till, ransomed by our martyrdom
  Our country carolled o’er our grave!

III.

Still to protect the lowly in their place,
  The power unjust to meet, defiant still,
Is ours; and ours to subjugate the base
  In our own hearts to God’s triumphant will.

We, playmates once amid the flowers and rills,
  Are now two hunters chasing hart and hind,
Two shepherds guarding flocks on holy hills,
  Two eaglets launched along a single wind.

What next? Two souls—a husband and a wife—
  Bearing one cross o’er heights the Saviour trod;—
What last? Two spirits in the life of life
  Singing God’s love‐song under eyes of God.

IV.

I dreamed a dream when six years old:—
  Against my mother’s knee one day,
Protected by her mantle’s fold,
  All weary, weak, and wan I lay.

Then seemed it that in caverns drear
  I roamed forlorn. The weeks went by
From month to month, from year to year:
  At last I laid me down to die.

An angel by me stood, and smiled;
  He wrapt me round; aloft he bore;
He wafted me o’er wood and wild;
  He laid me at my mother’s door.

How oft in sleep with heart that yearned
  Have I not seen that face! Ah! me,
How slowly, seeing, I discerned
  That likeness strange it bears to thee!

V.

If some great angel thus bespake,
  “Near, and thy nearest, he shall be,
Yet thou—a dreamer though awake—
  But thine own thought in him shalt see”;

If some great angel thus bespake,
  “Near, and his nearest, thou shalt be,
Yet still his fancy shall mistake
  That beauty he but dreams, for thee”;

If, last, some pitying angel spake,
  “Through life unsevered ye shall be,
And fancy’s dreams suffice to slake
  Your thirst for immortality”;

Then would I cry for love’s great sake,
  “O Death! since truth but dwells with thee,
Come quick, and semblance substance make—
  In heaven abides Reality.”

VI.

Upon my gladness fell a gloom:
  Thee saw I—on some far‐off day—
My husband, by thy loved one’s tomb:
  I could not help thee where I lay.

Ah! traitress I, to die the first!
  Ah! hapless thou, to mourn alone!
Sudden that truth upon me burst,
  Confessed so oft; till then unknown.

There _lives_ Who loves him!—loves and loved
  Better a million‐fold than I!
That Love with countenance unremoved
  Looked on him from eternity.

That Love, all Wisdom and all Power,
  Though I were dust, would guard him still,
And, faithful at the last dread hour,
  Stand near him, whispering, “Fear no ill!”

VII.

“Fear not to love; nor deem thy soul too slight
  To walk in human love’s heroic ways:
Great Love shall teach thee how to love aright,
  Though few the elect of earth who win his praise.

“Fear not, O maid! nor doubt lest wedded life
  Thy childhood’s heavenward yearnings blot or blur;
There needs the vestal heart to make the wife;
  The best that once it hoped survives in her.

“All love is Sacrifice—a flame that still
  Illumes, yet cleanses as with fire, the breast:
It frees and lifts the holier heart and will;
  A heap of ashes pale it leaves the rest.”

Thus spake the hermit from his stony chair;
  Then long time watched her speeding towards her home,
As when a dove through sunset’s roseate air
  Sails to her nest o’er crag and ocean’s foam.

VIII.

“We knew thee from thy childhood, princely maid;
  We watched thy growing greatness hour by hour:
Palm‐like thy Faith uprose: beneath its shade
  Successive every virtue came to flower.

“Good‐will was thine, like fount that overflows
  Its marge, and clothes with green the thirsty sod:
Good thoughts, like angels, from thy bosom rose,
  And winged through golden airs their way to God.

“To Goodness, Reverence, Honor, from the first
  Thy soul was vowed. It was that spiritual troth
That fitted maid for wife, and in her nursed
  The woman’s heart—not years nor outward growth.

“Walk with the holy women praised of old
  Who served their God and sons heroic bore:—”
Thus sang the minstrels, touching harps of gold
  While maidens wreathed with flowers the bridal door.

IX.

“Holy was love at first, all true, all fair,
  Virtue’s bright crown, and Honor’s mystic feast,
Purer than snows, more sweet than morning air,
  More rich than roses in the kindling east.

“Then were the hearts of lovers blithe and glad,
  And steeped in freshness like a dew‐drenched fleece:
Then glittered marriage like a cloud sun‐clad
  Or flood that feeds the vale with boon increase

“Then in its innocence great love was strong—
  Love that with innocence renews the earth:
Then Faith was sovran, Right supreme o’er wrong:
  Then sacred as the altar was the hearth.

“With hope’s clear anthem then the valleys rang;
  With songs celestial thrilled the household bowers:—”
Thus to the newly wed the minstrels sang
  As home they paced, while children scattered flowers.

X.

Circling in upper airs we met,
  Singing God’s praise, and spring‐tide new:—
On two glad spirits fell one net
  Inwoven of sunbeams and of dew.

One song we sang; at first I thought
  Thy voice the echo of mine own;
We looked for nought; we met unsought:
  We met, ascending toward the Throne.

XI.

Life of my better life! this day with thee
  I stand on earthly life’s supremest tower;
Heavenward across the far infinity
  With thee I gaze in awe, yet gaze in power.

Love first, then Fame, illumed that bygone night:
  How little knew I then of God or man!
Now breaks the morn eternal, broad and bright;
  My spirit, franchised, bursts its narrow span.

Sweet, we must suffer! Joys, thou said’st, like these
  Make way for holy suffering. Let it come.
Shall that be suffering named which crowns and frees?
  The happiest death man dies is martyrdom.

Never were bridal rites more deeply dear
  Than when of old to bridegroom and to bride
That Pagan Empire cried, “False gods revere!”—
  They turned; they kissed each other; and they died.

XII.

Fair is this land through which we ride
  To that far keep, our bridal bower:
A sacred land of strength and pride,
  A land of beauty and of power.

A mountain land through virtue bold,
  High built, and bordering on the sun;
A prophet‐trodden land, and old;
  Our own unvanquished Lebanon!

The hermit’s grot her gorges guard—
  The patriarch’s tomb. There snowy dome
And granite ridges sweet with nard
  O’er‐gaze and fence the patriot’s home.

No realm of river‐mouth and pelf;
  No traffic realm of corn and wine;
God keeps, and lifts her, to Himself:—
  His bride she is, as I am thine.

When down that Moslem deluge rolled,
  The Faith, enthroned ’mid ruins, sat
Here, in her Lebanonian hold,
  Firm as the ark on Ararat.

War still is hers, though loving peace;
  War—not for empire, but her Lord;—
A lion land of slow increase;
  For trenchant is the Moslem sword.

XIII.

Alas! that sufferer weak and wan
  Whom, yester‐eve, our journey o’er,
Deserted by the caravan,
  We found upon our gallery floor!

How long she gasped upon my breast!
  We bathed her brows in wine and myrrh;—
How death‐like sank at last to rest
  While rose the sun! I feared to stir.

All night I heard our bridal bells
  That chimed so late o’er springing corn:
Half changed they seemed to funeral knells—
  She, too, had had her bridal morn!

Revived she woke. The pang was past:
  She woke to live, to smile, to breathe:
Oh! what a look was that she cast,
  Awaking, on my nuptial wreath

XIV.

High on the hills the nuptial feast was spread:
  Descending, choir to choir the maidens sang,
“Safe to her home our beauteous bride is led,”
  While, each to each, the darkening ledges rang.

From vale and plain came up the revellers’ shout:
  Maidens with maidens danced, and men with men;
Till, one by one, the festal fires burned out
  By lonely waters. There was silence then.

Keen flashed the stars, with breath that came and went,
  Through mountain chasms:—around, beneath, above,
They whispered, glancing through the bridal tent,
  “We too are lovers: heaven is naught but love!”



Assunta Howard. III. In Extremis.


How slowly and drearily the time drags on, through all the weary length of
hours and days, in a household where one has suddenly been stricken down
from full life and health to the unconscious delirium of fever—when in
hushed silence and with folded hands the watchers surround the sufferer
with a loving anxiety; whose agony is in their helplessness to stay for
one moment the progress of the disease, which seems possessed of a fiend‐
like consciousness of its own fatal power to destroy; when life and death
hang in the balance, and at any moment the scale may turn, and in its
turning may gladden loving hearts or break them; and, oh! above and beyond
all, when through the clouding of the intellect no ray from the clear
light of faith penetrates the soul, and the prostrate body, stretched upon
its cross, fails to discern the nearness of that other cross upon this
Calvary of suffering, from which flows in perennial streams the fountain
of salvation! Oh! if in the ears, heedless of earthly sounds and words,
there could be whispered those blessed words from Divine lips, “This day
thou shalt be with me,” what heart that loves would not rejoice even in
its anguish, and unselfishly exclaim, “Depart, O Christian soul! I will
even crush down my poor human love, lest its great longing should turn thy
happy soul away from the contemplation of its reward, exceeding great—to
be in Paradise, to be with Christ”? But, alas! there were two crucified
within reach of those precious, saving drops, and one alone said, “Lord,
remember me.”

When the family of Mr. Carlisle first realized that the master of the
house had indeed been prostrated by the fever which had proved so fatal in
its ravages, they were stunned with surprise and grief. It was just the
calamity, of all others the least expected, the heaviest to endure.

Mrs. Grey’s affection for her brother was the deepest sentiment of her
superficial nature, and for the time she was bowed down with sorrow;
which, however, constantly found vent in words and tears. She would rise
from it soon, but not until the emergency had passed. She lived only in
the sunshine; she lost herself when the clouds gathered. Assunta was the
first to recover her calmness and presence of mind. Necessity made her
strong; not so much for the sake of the sick man—that might come by and
by—but for his sister, who clung to the young girl as to the last plank
from the shipwreck of her bright, happy life. The physician was in
constant attendance, and at the first he had proposed sending a nurse. But
the faithful Giovanni had pleaded with so much earnestness to be allowed
the privilege of attending his master that he was installed in the sick‐
room. And truly no better choice could have been made, for he combined the
physical strength of the man with the gentleness of woman, and every
service was rendered with the tenderness of that love which Mr. Carlisle
had the rare power of inspiring and retaining in dependents. But only
Assunta was able to quiet his wandering mind, and control the wild
vagaries of delirium. It was a painful duty to strive to still the ringing
of those bells, once so full of harmony, now “jangled, out of tune, and
harsh.” But, once recognizing where her duty lay, she would have performed
it at any cost to herself.

Her good and devoted friend, F. du Pont, came to see her the second day of
the illness, and brought sympathy and consolation in his very presence.
She had so longed for him that his coming seemed an echo of her earnest
wish—his words of comfort an answer to her prayers.

“Father,” she said at length, “you know all—the past and the present
circumstances. May I not, in the present necessity, and in spite of the
past, forget all but the debt of gratitude I owe, and devote myself to my
dear friend and guardian? You know,” she added, as if there were pain in
the remembrance, “it was Mr. Carlisle’s care for me that exposed him to
the fever. I would nurse him as a sister, if I might.”

“My dear child,” replied the priest, “I do not see how you could do less.
From my knowledge of Mrs. Grey, I should consider her entirely unfit for
the services of a sick‐room. It seems, therefore, your plain duty to
perform this act of charity. I think, my child, that the possible nearness
of death will calm all merely human emotion. Give that obedient little
heart of yours into God’s keeping, and then go to your duty as in his
sight, and I am not afraid. The world will probably look upon what it may
consider a breach of propriety with much less leniency than the angels.
But human respect, always bad enough as a motive, is never so wholly bad
as when it destroys the purity of our intention, and consequently the
merit of our charity, at a time when, bending beneath the burden of some
heavy trial, we are the more closely surrounded by God’s love and
protection. Follow the pillar of the cloud, my child. It is leading you
away from the world.”

“Father,” said Assunta, and her voice trembled, while tears filled her
eyes, “do you think he will die? Indeed, it is not for my own sake that I
plead for his life. He is not prepared to go. Will you not pray for him,
father? Oh! how gladly would I give my life as the price of his soul, and
trust myself to the mercy of God!”

“And it is to that mercy you must trust him, my poor child. Do you, then,
think that his soul is dearer to you than to Him who died to save it? You
must have more confidence. But I have not yet told you the condition I
must impose upon your position as nurse. It is implicit obedience to the
physician, and a faithful use of all the precautions he recommends. While
charity does sometimes demand the risk or even the sacrifice of life, we
have no right to take the matter into our own hands. I do not apprehend
any danger for you, if you will follow the good doctor’s directions. I
will try to see him on my way home. Do you promise?”

“Yes, father,” said Assunta, with a faint smile; “you leave me no
alternative.”

“But I have not yet put a limit to your obedience. You are excited and
worn out this afternoon, and I will give you a prescription. It is a
lovely day, almost spring‐like; and you are now, this very moment, to go
down into the garden for half an hour—and the time must be measured by
your watch, and not by your feelings. Take your rosary with you, and as
you walk up and down the orange avenue let no more serious thoughts enter
your mind than the sweet companionship of the Blessed Mother may suggest.
You will come back stronger, I promise you.”

“You are so kind, father,” said Assunta gratefully. “If you knew what a
blessing you bring with you, you would take compassion on me, and come
soon again.”

“I shall come very soon, my child; and meanwhile I shall pray for you, and
for all, most fervently. But, come, we will walk together as far as the
garden.” And summoning the priest who had accompanied him, and who had
been looking at the books in the library during this conversation, they
were about to descend the stairs, when Mrs. Grey came forward to meet
them.

“O F. du Pont!” she exclaimed impetuously, “will you not come and look at
my poor brother, and tell me what you think of him? They say priests know
so much.” And then she burst into tears.

F. Joseph tried to soothe her with hopeful words, and, when they reached
the door of the darkened chamber, she was again calm. The good priest’s
face expressed the sympathy he felt as they entered softly, and stood
where they would not attract the attention of those restless eyes. Mr.
Carlisle was wakeful and watchful, but comparatively quiet. It was pitiful
to see with what rapid strides the fever was undermining that manly
strength, and hurrying on towards the terrible moment of suspense when
life and death confront each other in momentary combat. With an earnest
prayer to God, the priest again raised the heavy damask curtain, and
softly retired, followed by Mrs. Grey.

“Will he recover?” was her eager question.

“Dear madam,” replied he, “I think there is much room for hope, though I
cannot deny that he is a very sick man. For your encouragement, I can tell
you that I have seen many patients recover in such cases when it seemed
little short of miraculous. It will be many days yet before you must think
of giving up good hope. And remember that all your strength will be
needed.”

“Oh!” said Mrs. Grey impulsively, “I could not live if it were not for
Assunta. She is an angel.”

“Yes, she is a good child,” said the priest kindly; “and she is now going
to obey some orders that I have given her, that she may return to you more
angelic than ever. Dear madam, you have my deepest sympathy. I wish that I
could serve you otherwise than by words.”

The two priests bade Assunta good‐by at the garden gate. F. Joseph’s heart
was full of pity for the young girl, whose act of sacrifice in
surrendering human happiness for conscience’ sake had been followed by so
severe a trial. But, remembering the blessed mission of suffering to a
soul like hers, he prayed—not that her chalice might be less bitter, but
that strength might be given her to accept it as from the hand of a loving
Father.

And so Assunta, putting aside every thought of self, took her place in the
sick‐room. She had a double motive in hanging her picture of St.
Catherine, from which she was never separated, at the foot of the bed. It
was a favorite with Mr. Carlisle, and often in his delirium his eyes would
rest upon it, in almost conscious recognition; while to Assunta it was a
talisman—a constant reminder of her mother, and of those dying words which
now seemed stamped in burning letters on her heart and brain.

Mrs. Grey often visited the room; but she controlled her own agitation so
little, and was so unreasonable in the number of her suggestions, that she
generally left the patient worse than she found him. Assunta recognized
her right to come and go as she pleased, but she could not regret her
absence when her presence was almost invariably productive of evil
consequences.

The first Sunday, Assunta thought she might venture to assist at Mass at
the nearest church; it would be strength to her body as well as her soul.
She was not absent from the house an hour, yet she was met on her return
by Clara, in a state of great excitement.

“Assunta, we have had a dreadful time,” she said. “Severn woke up just
after you left, and literally screamed for help, because, he said, a great
black cross had fallen on you, and you would be crushed to death unless
some one would assist him to raise it. In his efforts, he was almost out
of bed. I reasoned with him, and told him it was all nonsense; that there
was no cross, and that you had gone to church. But the more I talked and
explained, the worse he got; until I was perfectly disheartened, and came
to meet you.” And with the ready tears streaming down her pretty face, she
did look the very picture of discouragement.

“Poor Clara,” said Assunta, gently embracing her, “it is hard for you to
bear all this, you are so little accustomed to sickness. But you ought not
to contradict Mr. Carlisle, for it is all real to him, and opposition only
excites him. I can never soothe him except by agreeing with him.”

“But where does he get such strange ideas?” asked the sobbing Clara.

“Where do our dreams come from?” said Assunta. “I think, however, that
this fancy can be traced to the night when we visited the Colosseum, and
sat for a long time on the steps of the cross in the centre. You know it
is a black one,” she added, smiling, to reassure her friend. “And now,
Clara, I really think you ought to order the close carriage, and take a
drive this morning. It would do you good, and you will not be needed at
all for the next two or three hours.”

Mrs. Grey’s face brightened perceptibly. It was the very thing for which
she was longing, but she would not propose it herself for fear it would
seem heartless. To _seem_, and not to _be_, was her motto.

“But would not people think it very strange,” she asked, “and Severn so
sick?”

“I do not believe that people will know or think anything about it,”
answered Assunta patiently. “You can take Amalie with you for company, and
drive out on the Campagna.” And having lightened one load, she turned
towards her guardian’s room.

“Are you not coming to breakfast?” said Mrs. Grey.

“Presently.” And Assunta hastened to the bedside. Giovanni had been
entirely unable to control the panic which seemed to have taken possession
of Mr. Carlisle. He continued his cries for assistance, and the suffering
he evidently endured showed how real the fancy was to him.

“Dear friend,” said the young girl, pushing back the hair from his burning
forehead, “look at me. Do you not see that I am safe?”

Mr. Carlisle turned towards her, and, in sudden revulsion of feeling,
burst into a wild laugh.

“I knew,” he said, “that, if they would only come and help me, I should
succeed. But it was very heavy; it has made me very tired.”

“Yes, you have had hard work, and it was very kind in you to undertake it
for me. But now you must rest. It would make me very unhappy if I thought
that my safety had caused any injury to you.”

And while she was talking, Assunta had motioned to Giovanni to bring the
soothing medicine the doctor had left, and she succeeded in administering
it to her patient, almost without his knowledge, so engrossed was he in
his present vagary.

“But there was a cross?” he asked.

“Yes,” she answered, in a meaning tone, “a very heavy one; but it did not
crush me.”

“Who lifted it?” he asked eagerly.

“A powerful hand raised its weight from my shoulders, and I have the
promise of His help always, if I should ever be in trouble again, and only
will cry to Him.”

“Well, whoever he is,” said Mr. Carlisle, “he did not hurry much when I
called—and now I am so tired. And Clara said there was no cross; that I
was mistaken. I am _never_ mistaken,” he answered, in something of his
old, proud voice. “She ought to know that.”

Assunta did not answer, but she sat patiently soothing her guardian into
quiet at least, if not sleep. Once he looked at her, and said, “My
precious child is safe;” but, as she smiled, he laughed aloud, and then
shut his eyes again.

An hour she remained beside the bed, and then she crept softly from the
room, to take what little breakfast she could find an appetite for, and to
assist Mrs. Grey in preparing for her drive.

With such constant demands upon her sympathy and strength, it is not
strange that Assunta’s courage sometimes failed. But, when the physician
assured her that her guardian’s life was, humanly speaking, in her hands,
she determined that no thought or care for herself should interfere with
the performance of her duty.

Mrs. Grey’s drive having proved an excellent tonic, she was tempted to
repeat it often—always with a protest and with some misgivings of
conscience, which were, however, set aside without difficulty.

It was a singular coincidence that Mr. Sinclair should so often be found
riding on horseback in the same direction. A few words only would be
exchanged—of enquiry for the sufferer, of sympathy for his sister. But
somehow, as the days went by, the tone in which the words of sympathy were
expressed grew more tender, and conveyed the impression of something held
back out of respect and by an effort. The manner, too—which showed so
little, and yet seemed to repress so much—began to have the effect of
heightening the color in Mrs. Grey’s pretty face, and softening a little
the innocent piquancy of her youthful ways. It was no wonder that, loving
the brightness and sunshine of life, and regarding with a sort of dread
the hush and solemnity which pervade the house of sickness, and which may
at any moment become the house of mourning, she should have allowed her
anxiety for her brother to diminish a little under the influence of the
new thought and feeling which were gaining possession now, in the absence
of all other excitement. And yet she loved her brother as much as such
hearts can love—as deeply as any love can penetrate in which there is no
spirit of sacrifice—love’s foundation and its crown. If the illness had
lasted but a day, or at the most two, she could have devoted herself with
apparent unselfishness and tender assiduity to the duties of nursing. But,
as day after day went on without much perceptible change in Mr. Carlisle,
her first emotion subsided into a sort of graceful perplexity at finding
herself out of her element. And by the time the second week was drawing
towards its close—with the new influence of Mr. Sinclair’s sympathy
seconding the demands of her own nature—she began to act like any other
sunflower, when it “turns to the god that it loves.” And yet she continued
to be very regular in her visits to the sick‐room, and very affectionate
to Assunta; but it may be greatly doubted whether she lost many hours’
sleep. Surely it would be most unjust to judge Clara Grey and Assunta
Howard by the same standard. Undine, before and after the possession of a
human soul, could hardly have been more dissimilar.

It was the fifteenth day of Mr. Carlisle’s illness when Assunta was
summoned from his bedside by Mrs. Grey, who desired to see her for a few
moments in her own room. As the young girl entered, she found her sitting
before a bright wood‐fire; on her lap was an exquisite bouquet fresh from
fairy‐land, or—what is almost the same thing—an Italian garden. In her
hand she held a card, at which she was looking with a somewhat perturbed
expression.

“Assunta, love,” she exclaimed, “I want you to tell me what to do. See
these lovely flowers that Mr. Sinclair has just sent me, with this card.
Read it.” And as she handed her the dainty card, whose perfume seemed to
rival that of the flowers, the color mounted becomingly into her cheeks.
There were only these words written:

“I have brought a close carriage, and hope to persuade you to drive a
little while this afternoon. I will anxiously await your reply in the
garden. Yours, S——.”

“Well?” questioned Clara, a little impatiently, for Assunta’s face was
very grave.

“Dear Clara,” she replied, “I have no right to advise you, and I certainly
shall not question the propriety of anything you do. I was only thinking
whether I had not better tell you that I see a change in your brother this
afternoon, and I fear it is for the worse. I am longing for the doctor’s
visit.”

“Do you really think he is worse?” exclaimed Clara. “He looks to me just
the same. But perhaps I had better not go out. I had a little headache,
and thought a drive might do me good. But, poor Severn! of course I ought
not to leave him.”

“You must not be influenced by what I say,” said Assunta. “I may be
entirely mistaken, and so I should not alarm you. God knows, I hope it may
be so!”

“Then you think I might go for an hour or two, just to get a breath of
air,” said Mrs. Grey. “Mr. Sinclair will certainly think I have found it
necessary to call a papal consistory, if I keep him much longer on the
promenade.”

Poor Assunta, worn out with her two weeks of watching and anxiety, looked
for a moment with a sort of incredulous wonder at the incarnation of
unconscious selfishness before her. For one moment she looked “upon this
picture and on that”—the noble, devoted brother, sick unto death; and that
man, the acquaintance of a few days, now walking impatiently up and down
the orange avenue. The flush of indignation changed her pale cheeks to
scarlet, and an almost pharisaical thanksgiving to God that she was not
like _some_ women swept across her heart, while a most unwonted sarcasm
trembled on her lips. She instantly checked the unworthy feeling and its
expression; but she was so unstrung by care and fatigue that she could not
so easily control her emotion, and, before the object of unusual
indignation had time to wonder at the delay of her reply, she had thrown
herself upon the sofa, and was sobbing violently. Mrs. Grey was really
alarmed, so much so that she dropped both card and flowers upon the floor,
and forgot entirely her waiting cavalier, as she knelt beside the excited
girl, and put her arms about her.

“Assunta dear, what is the matter? Are you ill? Oh! what have I done?” she
exclaimed.

“My poor guardian—my dear, kind friend, he is dying! May God have mercy on
him and on me!” were the words that escaped Assunta’s lips between the
sobs.

A shudder passed through Mrs. Grey at this unexpected putting into words
of the one thought she had so carefully kept from her mind; and her own
tears began to flow. Just at this moment the physician’s step sounded in
the hall, and she went hastily to summon him. He took in the whole scene
at a glance, and, seating himself at once upon the sofa beside Assunta, he
put his hand gently and soothingly upon her head, as a father might have
done.

“Poor child!” said he kindly, “I have been expecting this.”

The action expressing sympathy just when she needed it so much caused her
tears to flow afresh, but less tumultuously than before. The remains of
Mrs. Grey’s lunch were standing on a side‐table, and the good doctor
poured out a glass of wine, which Assunta took obediently. Then, making an
effort at self‐control, she said:

“Please do not waste a moment on me. Do go to Mr. Carlisle; he seems very
ill. I have been weak and foolish, but I will control myself better next
time.”

“I have just left Mr. Carlisle’s room,” replied the doctor. “I will not
deceive you. He is, as you say, very ill; but I hope we may save him yet.
You must call up all your courage, for you will be much needed to‐night.”

He knew by the effect that he had touched the right chord, so he
continued: “And now, Miss Howard, I am going to ask of you the favor to
send one of your servants to my house, to notify my wife that I shall not
return to‐night. I will not leave you until the crisis is
passed—successfully, I hope,” he added with a smile.

Assunta went at once to give the desired order, relieved and grateful that
they would have the support of the physician’s presence and skill; and yet
the very fact of his remaining discouraged the hope he had tried to
inspire. When she had gone, he turned to address a few comforting words to
Mrs. Grey, when, suddenly recollecting himself, he said:

“By the way, Mrs. Grey, I forgot to tell you that I met Mr. Sinclair down‐
stairs, and he begged me to inquire if you had received a message from
him. Can I be of service in taking him your reply?”

“O poor man! I quite forgot him,” exclaimed the easily diverted Clara, as
she stooped to pick up the neglected flowers. “Thank you for your kind
offer, but I had better run down myself, and apologize for my apparent
rudeness.” And, hastily wiping her eyes, she threw a shawl over her
shoulders and a becoming white _rigolette_ about her head, and with a
graceful bow of apology she left the room.

“Extraordinary woman!” thought the doctor. “One would suppose that a dying
brother would be an excuse, even to that puppy Sinclair. I wish he had had
to wait longer—it wouldn’t have hurt him a bit—he has never had half
enough of it to do. And what the devil is he coming here for now, anyhow?”
he added to his former charitable reflections, as he went to join Assunta
in her faithful vigil beside the unconscious and apparently dying man.

Mr. Sinclair met Mrs. Grey at the foot of the stairs with an assumption of
interest and anxiety which successfully concealed his inward impatience.
But truly it would have been difficult to resist that appealing face, with
its traces of recent tears and the flush caused by excited feeling.

As a general thing, with all due deference to poetic opinion, “love is
(_not_) loveliest when embalmed in tears.” But Mrs. Grey was an exception
to many rules. Her emotion was usually of the April‐shower sort, gentle,
refreshing, even beautifying. Very little she knew of the storm of
suffering which desolates the heart, and whose ravages leave a lasting
impression upon the features. Such emotions also sometimes, but rarely,
leave a beauty behind them; but it is a beauty not of this world, the
beauty of holiness; not of Mrs. Grey’s kind, for it never would have
touched Mr. Sinclair as hers did now.

“My dear Mrs. Grey,” he said, taking her hand in both his, “how grieved I
am to see you showing so plainly the results of care and watching!
Privileged as he must be who is the recipient of such angelic
ministrations, I must yet protest—as a friend, I trust I have a right to
do so—against such over‐exertion on your part. You will be ill yourself;
and then who or what will console me?”

Mr. Sinclair knew this was a fiction. He knew well enough that Mrs. Grey
had never looked fresher or prettier in her life. But the _rôle_ he had
assigned to himself was the dangerously tender one of sympathy; and where
a sufficient occasion for displaying his part was not supplied, he must
needs invent one.

Clara was not altogether deceived, for, as she put her lace‐bordered
handkerchief to her eyes, from which the tears began again to flow, she
replied:

“You are mistaken, Mr. Sinclair. I am quite well, and not at all fatigued;
while dear Assunta is thin and pale, and thoroughly worn out with all she
has done. I can never be grateful enough to her.”

Had the lady raised her eyes, she might have been astonished at the
expression of contempt which curled Mr. Sinclair’s somewhat hard mouth, as
he rejoined:

“Yes; I quite understand Miss Howard’s _motive_ in her devotion to her
guardian, and it is not strange that she should be pale. How do you
suppose I should look and feel if the dearest friend I have in the world
were at this moment lying in her brother’s place?”

Mrs. Grey might have received a new light about the young girl had she not
been rendered obtuse to the first part of this speech by the very pointed
allusion to herself afterwards, that was accompanied by a searching look,
which she would not see, for she still kept her handkerchief before her
eyes. Mr. Sinclair placed her disengaged hand upon his arm, and gently
drew her towards the garden. Had she been able to look down into the heart
of the man who walked so protectingly beside her, she would doubtless have
been surprised to find a disappointment lurking in the place where she had
begun to feel her image was enshrined. She would have seen that Assunta’s
face had occupied a niche in the inner sanctuary of the heart of this man
of the world, before which he would have been content to bow; that pique
at her entire indifference to his pretensions, and the reserve behind
which she always retreated in his presence, had led him to transfer his
attentions to the older lady and the smaller fortune; and that his jealous
observation had brought to his notice, what was apparent to no one else,
the relations between Assunta and her guardian.

All this would not have been very flattering to Mrs. Grey, so it was
perhaps as well that the gift of clairvoyance was not hers; though it is a
sad thought for men and angels how few hearts there are that would bear to
have thrown on them the clear light of unveiled truth. The day is to come
when the secrets of all hearts are to be revealed. But Mr. Sinclair, even
if he knew this startling fact, would not have considered it worth while
to anticipate that dread hour by revealing to the lovely lady at his side
any of those uncomfortable circumstances which would inevitably stand in
the way of the consummation of his present wish. So he bravely undertook
the noble enterprise of deceiving a trusting heart into believing in a
love which did not exist, but which it was not so very difficult to
imagine just at that moment, with the little hand resting confidingly on
his arm, and the tearful eyes raised to meet his.

In a broken voice, Mrs. Grey said: “Mr. Sinclair, I came down myself to
thank you for the beautiful flowers you sent me, and to excuse myself from
driving with you this afternoon. Poor Severn is worse, they think. Oh! if
he should not recover, what will become of me?” And as she spoke, she
burst into renewed weeping, and threw herself upon a seat beneath a group
of orange‐trees, whose perfume stole upon the senses with a subtle yet
bewildering influence. Mr. Sinclair sat down beside her, saying gently:

“I hope, dear Mrs. Grey, it is not so serious as that. I am confident that
you have been needlessly alarmed.”

The world will, no doubt, pardon him—seeing that Mammon was his chosen
master—if the thought was not altogether unpleasing that, should Mr.
Carlisle die now, before Assunta could have a claim upon him, it would
make an almost princely addition to the dowry of his sister. Nor on this
account were his words less tender as he added:

“But, even so, do you not know of one heart waiting, longing to devote
itself to you, and only with difficulty restrained from placing itself at
your feet by the iron fetters of propriety? Tell me, Clara, may I break
these odious chains, and say what is in my heart?”

“Mr. Sinclair, you must not speak such words to me now, and my poor
brother so ill. Indeed, I cannot stay to hear you. Thank you very much for
your kind sympathy, but I must leave you now.”

“Without one word of hope? Do I deserve this?” And truly the pathos he put
into his voice was calculated to melt a heart of stone; and Clara’s was
much more impressible. She paused beside him, and, allowing him still to
retain in his the hand he had taken, continued:

“I think you take an unfair advantage of my lonely position. I cannot give
you a favorable answer this afternoon, for I am so bewildered. I begin to
think that I ought not to have come down at all; but I wanted to tell you
how much I appreciated the bouquet.”

“I hope you read its meaning,” said Mr. Sinclair, rising. “And do you not
see a happy omen in your present position, under a bower of orange
blossoms? It needs but little imagination to lower them until they
encircle the head of the most lovely of brides. Will you accept this as a
pledge of that bright future which I have dared to picture to myself?” And
as he spoke he put up his hand to break off a cluster of the white
blossoms and dark‐green leaves, when Giovanni appeared at the gate.

“Signora,” he said, “will you please to come up‐stairs? The Signorina is
very anxious to see you.”

“I am coming,” she replied. “Pardon me, Mr. Sinclair, and forget what has
been said.” And she walked towards the house.

“Do you refuse the pledge?” he asked, placing the flowers in her hand,
after raising them to his lips.

“Really,” answered Clara, almost petulantly, “I am so perplexed, I do not
know what to say. Yes, I will take the flowers, if that will please you.”
Saying which, she began to ascend the stairs.

“And I take hope with me,” said Mr. Sinclair, in a tender tone. But as he
turned to go he mentally cursed Giovanni for the interruption; “for,”
thought he, “in one minute more I would have had her promise, and who
knows but now that brother of hers may recover and interfere?”

Assunta met Mrs. Grey just outside the door of Mr. Carlisle’s room, and
drew her into the library, where she sat down beside her on the sofa, and,
putting her arm affectionately about her, began to speak to her with a
calmness which, under the circumstances, could only come from the presence
of God.

“I thought, dear Clara, that I had better ask you to come here, while I
talk to you a little about your brother, and what the doctor says. We must
both of us try to prepare.” Here her voice broke, and Mrs. Grey
interrupted her with,

“Tell me, Assunta, quickly, is he worse?”

“I fear so, dear,” replied Assunta; “but we must help each other to keep
up what courage and hope we may. It is a common sorrow, Clara, for he has
been more than a brother to me.”

“But, Assunta, I do not understand. You are so calm, and yet you say such
dreadful things. Does the doctor think he will die?” And once again she
shuddered at that word, to her so fearful and so incomprehensible.

“I dare not deceive you, dear—I dare not deceive myself. The crisis has
come, and he seems to be sinking fast. O Clara, pray for him!”

“I cannot pray; I do not know how. I have never prayed in my life. But let
me go to him—my poor, dear Severn!” And Mrs. Grey was rushing from the
room, when Assunta begged her to wait one moment, while she besought her
to be calm. Life hung upon a thread, which the least agitation might snap
in a moment. She could not give up that one last hope. Mrs. Grey of course
promised; but the instant she approached the bed, and saw the change that
a few hours had made, she shrieked aloud; and Assunta, in answer to the
doctor’s look of despair, summoned her maid, and she was carried to her
own room in violent hysterics, the orange blossoms still in her hand.
Truly they seemed an omen of death rather than of a bridal. The doctor
followed to administer an opiate, and then Assunta and himself again took
up their watch by Mr. Carlisle. Hour after hour passed.

Everything that skill could suggest was done. Once only Assunta left the
room for a moment to inquire for Mrs. Grey, and, finding that she was
sleeping under the influence of the anodyne, she instantly returned. She
dared not trust herself to think how different was this death from that
other she remembered. She could not have borne to entertain for one moment
the thought that this soul was going forth without prayer, without
sacrament, to meet its God. She did everything the doctor wished, quietly
and calmly. The hours did not seem long, for she had almost lost her sense
of time, so near the confines of eternity. She did not even _feel_ now—she
only _waited_.

It was nearly twelve when the doctor said in a low voice:

“We can do nothing more now; we must leave the rest to nature.”

“And to God,” whispered Assunta, as she sank on her knees beside the bed;
and, taking in both hers her guardian’s thin, out‐stretched hand, she
bowed her head, and from the very depths of her soul went up a prayer for
his life—if it might be—followed by a fervent but agonized act of
resignation to the sweet will of God.

She was so absorbed that she did not notice a sudden brightening of the
doctor’s face as he bent over his patient. But in a moment more she felt a
motion, and the slightest possible pressure of her hand. She raised her
head, and her eyes met those of her guardian, while a faint smile—one of
his own peculiar, winning smiles—told her that he was conscious of her
presence. At last, rousing himself a little more, he said:

“_Petite_, no matter where I am, it is so sweet to have you here.” And,
with an expression of entire content, he closed his eyes again, and fell
into a refreshing sleep.

“Thank God!” murmured Assunta, and her head dropped upon her folded hands.

The doctor came to her, and whispered the joyful words, “He will live!”
but, receiving no answer, he tried to lift the young girl from her knees,
and found that she had fainted. Poor child! like Mary, the Blessed Mother
of Sorrows, she had _stood_ beneath her cross until it was lightened of
its burden, She had nerved herself to bear her sorrow; she had not counted
on the strength which would be needed for the reaction of joy.

“Better so,” said the doctor, as he placed her upon the couch, “She would
never have taken rest in any other way.”

To Be Continued.



A Discussion With An Infidel.



XI. Primeval Generation.


_Reader._ I should like to hear, doctor, how “primeval generation” can
afford you an argument against the Mosaic history of creation, and against
the necessity of a Creator.

_Büchner._ “There was a time when the earth—a fiery globe—was not merely
incapable of producing living beings, but was hostile to the existence of
vegetable and animal organisms” (p. 63).

_Reader._ Granted.

_Büchner._ “As soon as the temperature permitted it, organic life
developed itself” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ Not too much haste, doctor. The assertion that “life developed
itself” presupposes that life already existed somewhere, though
undeveloped. How do you account for this assumption?

_Büchner._ “It is certain, says Burmeister, that the appearance of animal
bodies upon the surface of the earth is a function which results with
mathematical certainty from existing relations of forces” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ It is impossible to believe Burmeister on his word. You know
that he is a short‐sighted philosopher. A man who says that “the earth and
the world are eternal,” that “eternity belongs to the essence of matter,”
and that matter nevertheless “is not unchangeable,” forfeits all claim to
be trusted in speculative questions. I, therefore, cannot yield to his
simple assertion; and if what he says is true, as you believe, I think
that you are ready to assign some reason for it, which will convince me
also.

_Büchner._ Nothing is easier, sir. For “there is exhibited (in the
terrestrial strata) a constant relation of the external conditions of the
surface of the earth to the existence of organic beings, and a necessary
dependence of the latter on the condition of the earth” (p. 64). “It was
only with the present existing differences of climate that the endless
variety of organic forms appeared which we now behold.... Of man the
highest organic being of creation, not a trace was found in the primary
strata; only in the uppermost, the so‐called alluvial layer, in which
human life could exist, he appears on the stage—the climax of gradual
development” (p. 65).

_Reader._ How does this show that “organic life developed itself” and was
a mere result of the development of the earth? It seems to me that your
answer has no bearing on the question, and that it is, on your lips, even
illogical. For you say somewhere: “It is certain that no permanent
transmutation of one species of animals into another has as yet been
observed; nor any of the higher organisms was produced by the union of
inorganic substances and forces without a previously existing germ
produced by homogeneous parents” (p. 68). This being _certain_, as you
own, I ask: If every organism is produced by parents, whence did the
parents come? Could they have arisen from the merely accidental
concurrence of external circumstances and conditions, or were they created
by an external power? In your theory, they must have arisen from external
circumstances, and therefore they had no parents; whilst you affirm that
without homogeneous parents they could not naturally be produced.
Moreover, if the first parents arose from a concurrence of external
conditions, why does not the same happen today?

_Büchner._ “This question has ever occupied philosophers and naturalists,
and has given rise to a variety of conflicting opinions. Before entering
upon this question, we must limit the axiom _Omne vivum ex ovo_ to that
extent that, though applicable to the infinite majority of organisms, it
does not appear to be universally valid” (p. 69).

_Reader._ Then you evidently contradict yourself.

_Büchner._ “At any rate, the question of spontaneous generations is not
yet settled” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ Do you mean that living organisms can be produced without
previously existing homogeneous parents, or germs, merely by the
concurrence of inorganic elements and natural forces?

_Büchner._ Yes, sir; and “although modern investigations tend to show that
this kind of generation, to which formerly was ascribed an extended sphere
of action, does not exactly possess a scientific basis, it is still not
improbable that it exists even now in the production of minute and
imperfect organisms” (p. 70).

_Reader._ You are cutting your own throat, doctor. For you own that your
theory has no scientific basis; and what you say about the non‐
improbability of some spontaneous generations has no weight whatever with
a philosophical mind.

_Büchner._ Indeed “the question of the first origin of all highly
organized plants and animals appears at first sight incapable of solution
without the assumption of a higher power, which has created the first
organisms, and endowed them with the faculty of propagation” (p. 71).

_Reader._ “At first sight,” you say. Very well. I accept this confession,
which, on your lips, has a peculiarly suggestive meaning.

_Büchner._ “Believing naturalists point to this fact with satisfaction.
They remind us, at the same time, of the wonderful structure of the
organic world, and recognize in it the prevalence of an immediate and
personal creative power, which, full of design, has produced this world.
‘The origin of organic beings,’ says B. Cotta, ‘is, like that of the
earth, an insoluble problem, leaving us only the appeal to an unfathomable
power of a Creator’ ” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ Cotta is more affirmative than you. He recognizes that the
problem is incapable of solution without a Creator, and does not add “at
first sight.” What do you reply?

_Büchner._ “We might answer these believers, that the germs of all living
beings had from eternity existed in universal space, or in the chaotic
vapors from which the earth was formed; and these germs, deposited upon
the earth, have there and then become developed, according to external
necessary conditions. The facts of these successive organic generations
would thus be sufficiently explained; and such an explanation is at least
less odd and far‐fetched than the assumption of a creative power, which
amused itself in producing, in every particular period, genera of plants
and animals, as preliminary studies for the creation of man—a thought
quite unworthy of the conception of a perfect Creator” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ I am afraid, doctor, that all this nonsense proceeds from cold‐
hearted maliciousness more than from ignorance. For how can you be
ignorant that, if there be anything odd and far‐fetched in any theory of
cosmogony, it is not the recognition of a creative power, but the
assumption of eternal germs wandering about from eternity amid chaotic
vapors? Your preference for this last assumption is an insult to reason,
which has no parallel but the act of passionate folly by which the Jews
preferred Barabbas to Christ. The Creator, as you well know, had no need
of “preliminary studies”: yet he might have “amused himself,” if he so
wished,(22) in making different genera of plants and animals, just as
noblemen and princes amuse themselves, without disgracing their rank, in
planting gardens, and petting dogs, horses, and birds. But this is not the
question. You pretend that the germs of all living beings had from
eternity existed in universal space. This you cannot prove either
philosophically or scientifically; and we have already established in a
preceding discussion that nothing changeable can have existed from
eternity.

_Büchner._ “But we stand in need of no such arguments” (p. 72).

_Reader._ Why, then, do you bring them forward?

_Büchner._ “The facts of science prove with considerable certainty that
the organic beings which people the earth owe their origin and propagation
solely to the conjoined action of natural forces and materials, and that
the gradual change and development of the surface of the earth is the
sole, or at least the chief, cause of the gradual increase of the living
world” (p. 72).

_Reader._ This is another of your vain assertions. For you confess that
“it is impossible at present to demonstrate with scientific exactness” the
gradual development of organic beings from mere material forces; and you
had previously affirmed that “there _must_ have existed individuals of the
same species, to produce others of the same kind” (p. 68). Where are,
then, to be found the facts of science which “prove with considerable
certainty” the contrary of what you acknowledge to be the fact? Is your
method of reasoning a mere oscillation between contradictories?

_Büchner._ “We may hope that future investigations will throw more light
on the subject” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ Very well. But, if this is the case, surely no “fact of science”
proves, as yet, the spontaneous evolution of life from inorganic matter.
And you may be certain that the future investigations of science will not
give the lie to the investigations of the past.

_Büchner._ “Our present knowledge is, however, sufficient to render it
highly probable, nay, perhaps morally certain, that a spontaneous
generation exists, and that higher forms have gradually and slowly become
developed from previously existing lower forms, always determined by the
state of the earth, but without the immediate influence of a higher power”
(_ibid._)

_Reader._ All this I have already answered; and I am rather tired, doctor,
of repeating the same remarks over and over again. Why should you make
these empty assertions, if you had real arguments to produce? And, if you
have no arguments, what is the use of saying and gainsaying at random, as
you do, the same things? Why do you assert that “the immediate influence
of a higher power” has nothing to do with the origin of life, when you
know that your assertion must remain unproved and can easily be refuted?
If “our present knowledge renders it highly probable, nay, perhaps,
morally certain, that a spontaneous generation exists,” why did you say
the contrary just a few lines before? It is inconceivable that a thinking
man should be satisfied with such a suicidal process of arguing.

_Büchner._ “The law of a gradual development of primeval times is
impressed upon the present living organic world” (p. 75). “All animal
forms are originally so much alike, that it is often impossible to
distinguish the embryo of a sheep from that of a man, whose future genius
may perhaps revolutionize the world” (p. 76).

_Reader._ What does it matter if it is impossible for us to distinguish
the embryo of a sheep from that of a man? Is it necessary to see with our
eyes what distinguishes the one from the other in order to know that they
are different? If we are reasonable, we must be satisfied that their
different development proves very conclusively their different
constitution.

But let this pass. Your line of argument requires you to show that the
first eggs and the first seeds are spontaneous products of blind inorganic
forces, without any immediate interference or influence of a higher power.
While this is not proved, nothing that you may say can help you out of
your false position. You may well allege with Vogt “the general law
prevalent through the whole animal world, that the resemblance of a common
plan of structure which connects various animals is more striking the
nearer they are to their origin, and that these resemblances become
fainter in proportion to the progress of their development and their
subjection to the elements from which they draw their nourishment” (p.
76). We know this; but what of it? The question is not about the
development of life from a germ, but about the development of a germ from
inorganic forces; and this is what you try constantly to forget. You say:
“The younger the earth was, the more definite and powerful must the
influence of external conditions have been; and it is by no means
impossible to imagine that the _same_ germs might, by very different
external circumstances, have conduced to very heterogeneous developments”
(p. 77). Were this as true as it is false, it would not advance your cause
by one step; for you here assume the germs as already existing.

_Büchner._ “The comparatively greater force of nature in former periods is
manifested in the singular forms of antediluvian animals as well as in
their enormous size” (p. 78).

_Reader._ Were those animals the product of merely inorganic forces?

_Büchner._ So it is believed.

_Reader._ On what ground?

_Büchner._ “If the contemplation of surrounding nature strikes us so much
by its grandeur that we cannot divest ourselves of the idea of a direct
creative cause, the origin of this feeling is owing to the fact that we
contemplate as a whole the united effects of natural forces through a
period of millions of years; and, thinking only of the present, and not of
the past, cannot imagine that nature has produced all this out of itself.
The law of analogies; the formation of prototypes; the necessary
dependence upon external circumstances which organic bodies exhibit in
their origin and form; the gradual development of higher organic forms
from lower organisms; the circumstance that the origin of organic beings
was not a momentary process, but continued through all geological periods;
that each period is characterized by creatures peculiar to it, of which
some individuals only are continued in the next period—all these relations
rest upon incontrovertible facts, and are perfectly irreconcilable with
the idea of a personal almighty creative power, which could not have
adopted such a slow and gradual labor, and have rendered itself dependent
upon the natural phases of the development of the earth” (pp. 84, 85).

_Reader._ If this is your ground for asserting the origin of organic
beings from the mere forces of matter, all I can say is that you should
learn a little philosophy before you venture again to write a book for the
public. Were you a philosopher, you would know that, independently of “the
united effects of natural forces through a period of millions of years,”
every grain of dust that floats in the air affords us a sufficient proof
of the existence of “a personal almighty creative power”; your “law of
analogies” would suggest to you the thought of a primitive source of life;
“the formation of prototypes” would compel you to ask, Who formed them?
and how could they be formed without an archetypal idea, which matter
could not possess? You would see that nothing can be gained by asserting,
as you do, that “the gradual development of the higher organic forms from
lower organisms rests upon incontrovertible facts,” while you cannot cite
a single one in support of your assertion. You would take care not to
attribute to the Creator an imaginary waste of time in “the slow and
gradual labor” of peopling the earth with organic beings, nor entertain
the absurd notion that he would have rendered himself “dependent upon the
natural phases of the development of the earth,” merely because his action
harmonized with the order of things he had created. Lastly, you would have
kept in view that the fact of which you were bound to give an explanation
was not the development of new organisms from existing organisms, but the
origin of the first organisms themselves from inorganic matter. Why did
you leave aside this last point, than which no other had a greater need of
demonstration?

_Büchner._ I may not be a philosopher; but certain it is that “science has
never obtained a greater victory over those who assume an extramundane or
supernatural principle to explain the problem of existence, than by means
of geology and petrifaction. Never has the human mind more decisively
saved the rights of nature. Nature knows neither a supernatural beginning
nor a supernatural continuance” (p. 88).

_Reader._ How stupid indeed! Your Masonic science cannot stand on its
legs, and you boast of victories! Do you not see, doctor, the absurdity of
your pretension? When did science attack religion, and was not defeated? I
speak of your infidel science, mind you; for true science has no need of
attacking religion. Your science tries “to explain the problem of
existence by means of geology and petrifaction” without a supernatural
principle. But is the origin of existence a problem? and can it be solved
by geology and petrifaction? Historical facts are no problems. You may
blot out history, it is true, as you might also put out the light, and
remain in the dark to your full satisfaction. Thus everything might become
a problem. But can you call this a scientific process? Why do you not
appeal to geology and petrifaction to explain, say, the origin of Rome,
and thus obtain “a great victory” over history? Yet it would be less
absurd to believe that Rome is a work of nature than to believe that life
originated in dead inorganic matter. The origin of life and of all other
things is a primitive fact, which lies outside the province of geology
altogether. Philosophy alone can account for it; and philosophy proclaims
that your infidel theory of primeval generation is a shameless imposture.

_Büchner._ This is a severe remark, sir.

_Reader._ I will take it back when you shall have proved that the first
organic germs originated in inorganic matter without supernatural
intervention.



XII. Design In Nature.


_Reader._ Everything in nature speaks of God; but you, doctor, seem quite
insensible to the eloquence of creation.

_Büchner._ I deny the eloquence of creation. Indeed, “design in nature has
ever been, and is still, one of the chief arguments in favor of the theory
which ascribes the origin and preservation of the world to a ruling and
organizing creative power. Every flower which unfolds its blossoms, every
gust of wind which agitates the air, every star which shines by night,
every wound which heals, every sound, everything in nature, affords to the
believing teleologist an opportunity for admiring the unfathomable wisdom
of that higher power. Modern science has pretty much emancipated itself
from such empty notions, and abandons these innocent studies to such as
delight in contemplating nature rather with the eyes of the feeling than
with those of the intellect” (p. 89).

_Reader._ This is no reason why you should blind yourself to the evidence
of the facts. Every one knows that Masonic science hates teleology. No
wonder at that. This science emancipates itself, not from empty notions,
as you say, but from the very laws of reasoning. Free thought would cease
to be free, if it did not emancipate itself from logic. Yet, since free‐
thinkers “abandon to us the innocent study” of teleology, would it not be
prudent in them to avoid talking on what they are unwilling to study? How
can they know that we contemplate nature “rather with the eyes of the
feeling than with those of the intellect”? Do they suppose that order and
design are objects of the feeling rather than of the intellect?

_Büchner._ I will tell you what our conviction is. “The combination of
natural materials and forces must, in giving rise to the variety of
existing forms, have at the same time become mutually limited and
determined, and must have produced corresponding contrivances, which,
superficially considered, appear to have been caused by an external
power.” Our reflecting reason is the sole cause of this apparent design,
which is nothing but the necessary consequence of the combination of
natural materials and forces. Thus, as Kant says, “our intellect admires a
wonder which it has created itself” (p. 90).

_Reader._ Beware of blunders, doctor! You have just said that our notion
of design in nature was caused by our feeling, not by our intellect; but
you now say that the sole cause of that notion is our reflecting reason,
and maintain, on Kant’s authority, that the same notion is a creation of
our intellect. Can contradiction be more evident?

Again, if our reflecting reason is the sole cause of our perception of
design in nature, surely we are right in admitting that there is design in
nature, and you are wrong in denying it. For, if the design were only
_apparent_, as you pretend, imagination might be fascinated by it, but
“reflecting reason” would never cause us to perceive it. On the other
hand, if you distrust “reflecting reason,” what else will you trust in its
stead?

Moreover, how did you not observe that Kant’s proposition, “Our intellect
admires a wonder which it has created itself,” contains a false
supposition? The intellect cannot create to itself any notion of design;
it can only perceive it in the things themselves: and it would never
affirm the existence of design in nature, unless it perceived its
objective reality. Hence our intellect admires a wonder which it
perceives, not a wonder which it creates.

Furthermore, you wish us to believe that what we term design “is nothing
but a necessary consequence of some combinations.” But why did you omit
that all such combinations presuppose definite conditions, and that these
conditions originally depend on the will of the Creator? Your book on
_Force and Matter_ is nothing but a necessary consequence of a combination
of types, ink, and paper. Does it follow that the book is not the work of
a designing doctor? You see how defective your reasoning is. You have
nearly succeeded in proving the contrary of what you intended.

_Büchner._ But “how can we speak of design, knowing the objects only in
one form and shape, and having no idea how they would appear to us in any
other? What natural contrivance is there which might not be imagined to be
rendered more perfect in design? We admire natural objects without
considering what an infinite variety of other contrivances and forms has
slumbered, and is still dormant, in the lap of nature. It depends on an
accident whether or not they will enter into existence” (p. 90).

_Reader._ I apprehend, doctor, that your notion of design is neither clear
nor correct. The “form and shape” of the objects is not what _we_ call
design. Design, in nature, is _the ordination of all things to an end_. It
is therefore the natural aptitude of things to a definite end, and not
their form or shape, that reveals the existence of design in nature. It is
not even the absolute perfection of a thing that reveals design: it is
only its relative perfection, that is, its proportion to the end for which
it is created. Hence we have the right to admire natural objects for their
adaptation to certain ends, without considering the infinite variety of
other contrivances slumbering in the lap of nature. For, if the existing
contrivances are proportionate to their ends, there is design, whatever we
may say of the possibility of other contrivances, and even of other words.

_Büchner._ “Numbers of arrangements in nature, apparently full of design,
are nothing but the result of the influence of external natural
conditions” (p. 90).

_Reader._ Yes; but these natural conditions are themselves the result of
design, since they are all controlled by a superior mind.

_Büchner._ “Animals inhabiting the north have a thicker fur than those of
the south; and likewise the hair and feathers of animals become thicker in
winter and fall out in summer. Is it not more natural to consider these
phenomena as the effect of changes in the temperature, than to imagine a
heavenly tailor who takes care of the summer and winter wardrobes of the
various animals? The stag was not endowed with long legs to enable him to
run fast, but he runs fast because his legs are long” (p. 91).

_Reader._ These remarks are puerile, doctor, and I might dispense with
answering them; yet I observe that, as cold does not foster vegetation, it
is not in the north, but in the south, that the fur of animals should grow
thicker. At any rate, the “heavenly tailor,” who clothes the lilies of the
field, does not forget the wardrobe of animals, whether in the north or in
the south, in summer or in winter; for his is the world, and from his hand
the needs of every creature are supplied. As to the stag, you are likewise
mistaken. “He runs fast because his legs are long”; but how does it follow
from this that he was not endowed with long legs to enable him to run
fast? Does the one exclude the other? Would you say that your works are
known because they have been published, and therefore they have not been
published to make them known? Your blunder is evident.

_Büchner._ “Things are just as they are, and we should not have found them
less full of design had they been different” (p. 91).

_Reader._ This, if true, would prove that our “reflecting reason” cannot
exclude design from creation. If things had been different, the design
would have been different. Even conflicting arrangements may be full of
design; even the destruction of the best works of nature may be full of
design: for the Author of nature is at liberty to do with it as he
pleases. If, for instance, all the new‐born babies were hereafter to be
males, we could not escape the consequence that the Author of nature
designed to put an end to human generation. Whatever may be the order of
things, we cannot deny design without insulting the wisdom of our Maker
and Lord.

This consideration suffices to answer all your queries and objections.
“Nature,” you say, “has produced a number of beings and contrivances in
which no design can be detected” (p. 94). What of that? Can you deny that
men act with some design, only because you cannot detect it? There are
beings, you add, “which are frequently more apt to disturb than to promote
the natural order of things” (_ibid._) This merely shows that the natural
order of things is changeable—a truth which you had the courage to deny
when speaking of miracles.

“The existence of dangerous animals has ever been a thorn in the side of
theologians, and the most comical arguments have been used to justify
their existence” (_ibid._) This is not true. No theologian has ever denied
that dangerous animals fulfil some design in nature. And as to “comical
arguments,” I think, doctor, that it is in your pages that we can best
find them. “We know, on the other hand, that very innocent, or even
useful, animals have become extinct, without nature taking any means to
preserve their existence” (p. 95). This proves nothing at all. If God’s
design could be fulfilled with their extinction, why should they have been
preserved? “For what purpose are the hosts of diseases and of physical
evils in general? Why that mass of cruelties and horrors which nature
daily and hourly practises on her creatures? Could a being acting from
goodness and benevolence endow the cat, the spider, and man with a nature
capable of these horrors and cruelties?” (p. 96). This is the dark side of
the picture; and yet there is design in all this. If I wished to make a
“comical argument,” I might say that “the hosts of diseases” are, after
all, very profitable to the M.D., who cannot live without them. But the
true answer is, that the present order of things, as even the pagan
philosophers recognized, is designed as a period of probation preparatory
to a better life. We now live on a field of battle, amid trials calculated
to stir up our energies and to mend or improve our character. We sow in
tears, that we may reap in joy. Such is the design of a Being “acting from
goodness and benevolence.” You do not understand this; but such is the
truth. As to cats and spiders, you must bear in mind that they are not
worse than the wolf, the tiger, or other animals providing for their own
subsistence by the destruction of other living beings. If this be
“cruelty,” how can you countenance it yourself by allowing the appearance
at your table of killed animals?

Your other remarks are scarcely worthy of being quoted, as they prove
nothing but your impertinence and presumption. You seem to put to God the
dilemma: “Either let Büchner know all the secrets of your providence, or
he will rebel against you, and even deny your existence.” You ask, Why
this and why that? And because your weak brain fails to suggest the
answer, you immediately conclude that things happen to be what they are,
without a superior mind controlling their course. This is nice logic
indeed! “Why should the vertebral column of man terminate in an appendage
perfectly useless to him?” “Why should certain animals possess the organs
of both sexes?” “Why are certain other animals so prolific that in a few
years they might fill the seas and cover the earth, and find no more space
or materials for their offspring?” “Why does nature produce monsters?”
These questions may or may not be answered; but our ignorance is not the
measure of things, and the existence of design in nature remains an
unquestionable fact. Is not the very structure of our own bodies a
masterpiece of design? A physician, like you, cannot plead ignorance on
the subject.

_Büchner._ Yet nature cannot have a design in producing monstrosities. “I
saw in a veterinary cabinet a goat fully developed in every part, but born
without a head. Can we imagine anything more absurd than the development
of an animal the existence of which is impossible from the beginning?
Prof. Lotze of Göttingen surpasses himself in the following remarks on
monstrosities: ‘If the fœtus is without a brain, it would be but
judicious, in a force having a free choice, to suspend its action, as this
deficiency cannot be compensated. But, inasmuch as the formative forces
continue their action, that such a miserable and purposeless creature may
exist for a time, appears to us strikingly to prove that the final result
always depends upon the disposition of purely mechanical definite forces,
which, once set in motion, proceed straight on, according to the law of
inertia, until they meet with an obstruction.’ This is plain language” (p.
99). Again, monstrosities “may be produced artificially by injuries done
to the fœtus or to the ovum. Nature has no means of remedying such an
injury. The impulse once given is, on the contrary, followed in a false
direction, and in due time a monstrosity is produced. The purely
mechanical process, in such cases, can be easily recognized. Can the idea
of a conscious power acting with design be reconciled with such a result?
And is it possible that the hand of the Creator should thus be bound by
the arbitrary act of man?” (pp. 101, 102).

_Reader._ That nature “cannot have a design in producing monstrosities” is
a groundless assertion, as nature tends always to produce perfect beings,
though sometimes its work is marred by obstacles which it has no power to
remove. You saw “a goat fully developed in every part, but born without a
head.” Here the design is evident. Nature wished to produce a perfect goat
as usual, but failed. “If the fœtus is without a brain, it would be
judicious, in a force having a free choice, to suspend its action.” This
is another groundless assertion; for, if by _force_ you mean the forces of
matter, they have no free choice, and cannot suspend their action; and if
by _force_ you mean God, you presume too much, as you do not know his
design. A fœtus without a brain, like a goat without a head, proclaims the
imperfection of natural causes; and this very imperfection proclaims their
contingency and the existence of a Creator. Thus, a fœtus without a brain
may be the work of design; for God’s design is not to raise nature above
all deficiencies, but to show his infinite perfection in the works of an
imperfect nature. That “the hand of the Creator should be bound by the
arbitrary act of men” is a third groundless assertion. Man may injure the
fœtus, and God can restore it to a healthy condition; but nothing obliges
him to do so. If he did it, it would be a miracle; and miracles are not in
the order of nature. It follows that, when monstrosities are produced,
they are not merely the result of mechanical forces, but also of God’s
action, without which no causation is possible.

But you ask, “Can the idea of a conscious power acting with design be
reconciled with such a result?” I answer that it can be reconciled very
well. In fact, those effects which proceed directly from God alone, must
indeed be perfect according to their own kind, inasmuch as God’s working
is never exposed to failure; but those effects which do not proceed
directly from God alone, but are produced by creatures with God’s
assistance, may be imperfect, ugly, and monstrous. You may have a
beautiful hand; but, if you write with a bad pen, your writing will not be
beautiful. You may be a great pianist; but, if your instrument is out of
tune, your music will be detestable. Whenever two causes, of which the one
is instrumental to the other, concur to the production of the same effect,
the imperfection of the instrumental cause naturally entails the
imperfection of the effect. God’s action is perfect; but the action of his
instruments may be imperfect; and it is owing to such an imperfection that
the result may be a monstrosity.

But, to complete this explanation, it is necessary to add that, in the
production of their natural effects, creatures are more than instrumental.
The primary cause, God, and the secondary causes, creatures, are both
_principal_ causes of natural effects; though the latter are subordinate
to the influence of the former. Both God and the creature are total
causes; that is, the effect entirely depends on the secondary, as it
entirely depends on the primary cause, though in a different manner; for
the influx of the primary cause is general, while that of the secondary
cause is particular. Hence these two causes bear to the effect produced by
them the same relation as two premises bear to their conclusion. God’s
influence is to the effect produced what a general principle or a major
proposition is to the conclusion; whilst the creature’s influence is to
the same effect what a minor proposition or the application of the general
principle is to the conclusion. Take, for instance, the general truth,
“Virtue is a rational good,” as a major proposition. This general truth
may be applied in different manners, and lead to different conclusions,
good or bad, according as the application is right or wrong. If you
subsume, “Temperance is a virtue,” you will immediately obtain the good
conclusion that “Temperance is a rational good.” But, if you subsume,
“Pride is a virtue,” you will reach the monstrous conclusion that “Pride
is a rational good.” Now, this conclusion, however monstrous, could not be
drawn without the general principle; and yet its monstrosity does not
arise from the general principle, but only from its wrong application.
Thus the general principle remains good and true in spite of the bad and
false conclusion. And in the same manner the influence of the first cause
on natural effects remains good and perfect, though the effects
themselves, owing to the influence of the secondary causes, are imperfect
and monstrous.

You now understand, I hope, how the exceptional production of
monstrosities can be reconciled with the idea of a conscious power acting
with design.



XIII. Brain And Soul.


_Reader._ And now, doctor, please tell me what is your doctrine on the
human soul.

_Büchner._ The human soul is “a product of matter” (p. 132)—“a product of
the development of the brain” (p. 197).

_Reader._ Indeed?

_Büchner._ “The brain is the seat and organ of thought; its size, shape,
and structure are in exact proportion to the magnitude and power of its
intellectual functions” (p. 107).

_Reader._ What do you mean by _thought_?

_Büchner._ Need I explain a term so universally known?

_Reader._ The term is known, but it is used more or less properly by
different persons. Our minds may deal with either sensible or intellectual
objects. When we have seen a mountain, we may think of it, because we have
received from it an impression in our senses which leaves a vestige of
itself in our organism, and enables us to represent to ourselves the
object we have perceived. In this case our _thought_ is an exercise of our
imagination. When, on the contrary, we think of some abstract notion or
relation which does not strike our senses, and of which no image has been
pictured in our organic potencies, then our _thought_ is an exercise of
intellectual power. In both cases our brain has something to do with the
thought. For in the first case our thought is an act of the sensitive
faculty, which reaches its object as it is pictured, or otherwise
impressed, in our organic potencies, of which the headquarters are in the
brain. In the second case our thought is an act of the intellectual
faculty, which detects the intelligible relations existing between the
objects already perceived, or between notions deduced from previous
perceptions; and this act, inasmuch as it implies the consideration of
objects furnished to the mind by sensible apprehension, cannot but be
accompanied by some act of the imaginative power making use of the images
pictured in the organic potencies. Now, doctor, when you say that “the
brain is the seat and organ of thought,” do you mean that both the
intellectual and the imaginative thought reside in the brain and are
worked out by the brain?

_Büchner._ Of course. For “comparative anatomy shows that through all
classes of animals, up to man, the intellectual energy is in proportion to
the size and material quality of the brain” (p. 107).

_Reader._ You are quite mistaken. The brain is an organ of the
imagination, not of the intellect. And even as an organ of imagination it
is incompetent to think or imagine, as it is only the instrument of a
higher power—that is, of a soul. To say that the brain is the organ of
intellectual thought is to assume that intellectual relations are pictured
on the brain; which is evidently absurd, since intellectual relations
cannot be pictured on material organs. Every impression made on our brain
is a definite impression, corresponding to the definite objects from which
it proceeds. If our intellectual thought were a function of the brain, we
could not think, except of those same definite objects from which we have
received our definite impressions. How do you, then, reconcile this
evident inference with the fact that we conceive intellectually
innumerable things from which we have never received a physical
impression? We think of justice, of humanity, of truth, of causality,
etc., though none of these abstractions has the power to picture itself on
our brain. It is therefore impossible to admit that the intellectual
thought is a function of the brain. With regard to the working of the
imagination, I concede that the brain plays the part of an instrument; but
how can you explain such a working without a higher principle? If our soul
is nothing but “a product of matter,” since matter is inert, our soul must
be inert, and since matter has only mechanical powers, our soul must be
limited to mechanical action, that is, to the production of local
movement. Now, can you conceive imagination as a merely mechanical power,
or thought as the production of local movement?

_Büchner._ Yes. “Thought,” says Moleschott, “is a motion of matter” (p.
135).

_Reader._ It is perfectly useless, doctor, to make assertions which cannot
be proved. Moleschott is no authority; he is a juggler like yourself, and
works for the furtherance of the same Masonic aims. Let him say what he
likes. We cannot but laugh at a thinker who can mistake his thought for
local motion.

_Büchner._ You, however, cannot deny that, while we are thinking, our
brain is doing work. But how can it do work without motion?

_Reader._ I do not deny that, while we are thinking, our brain is doing
work. I merely deny that the movements of the brain are thoughts. As long
as we live, soul and body work together, and we cannot think without some
organic movements accompanying the operation. This every one admits. But
you suppress the thinking principle, and retain only the organic
movements. How is this possible? If thought consists merely of organic
movements of the brain, how does the motion begin? The brain cannot give
to itself a new mode of being. To account for its movements you must point
out a distinct moving power, either intrinsic or extrinsic, either a
sensible object or the thinking principle itself. When the motion is
received from a sensible object, the movements of the brain determine the
immediate perception of the object; and when the motion results from the
operation of the thinking principle, the movements of the brain determine
the phantasm corresponding to the object of the actual thought. Thus
immediate perception, and thought, or recollection, are both rationally
explained; whilst, if the thinking subject were the brain itself, how
could we recollect our past ideas? When the movement caused by an object
has been superseded by the movement caused by a different object, how can
it spontaneously revive? Matter is inert; and nothing but a power distinct
from it can account for the spontaneous awakening of long‐forgotten
thoughts.

_Büchner._ Matter is inert, but is endowed with forces, and wherever there
are many particles of matter they can communicate movement to one another.
Hence, “in the same manner as the steam‐engine produces motion, so does
the organic complication of force‐endowed materials produce in the animal
body a sum of effects so interwoven as to become a unit; and is then by us
called spirit, soul, thought” (p. 136).

_Reader._ Pshaw! Are _spirit_, _soul_, and _thought_ synonymous? Do
thoughts think? When you perceive that two and two make four, is this
thought the thinking principle? And if the soul is “a sum of _mechanical_
effects so interwoven as to become a unit,” how can you avoid the
consequence that the soul consists of nothing but local movement? But if
the soul is local movement, it has no causality, and cannot be the
principle of life; for local movement is only a change of place, and has
nothing to do with perception, judgment, reasoning, or any other operation
of the thinking principle. Can local movement say, _I am_? _I will?_ _I
doubt?_ Can local movement recollect the past, take in the present,
foresee the possible and the future? Can local movement deliberate, love,
hate, say _yes_ or _no_? To these and such like questions science, reason,
and experience give an unequivocal answer, which the president of a
medical association should have carefully meditated before venturing to
write on the subject.

_Büchner._ Yet “the mental capacity of man is enlarged in proportion to
the material growth of his brain, and is diminished according to the
diminution of its substance in old age” (p. 110). “It is a fact known to
everybody, that the intelligence diminishes with increasing age, and that
old people become childish.... The soul of the child becomes developed in
the same degree as the material organization of its brain becomes more
perfect” (p. 111). “Pathology furnishes us with an abundance of striking
facts, and teaches us that no part of the brain exercising the function of
thought can be materially injured without producing a corresponding mental
disturbance” (p. 119). “The law that brain and soul are necessarily
connected, and that the material expansion, shape, and quality of the
former stands in exact proportion to the intensity of the mental
functions, is strict and irrefutable, and the mind, again, exercises an
essential influence on the growth and development of its organ, so that it
increases in size and power just in the same manner as any muscle is
strengthened by exercise” (p. 122). “The whole science of man is a
continuous proof in favor of the connection of brain and mind; and all the
verbiage of philosophical psychologists in regard to the separate
existence of the soul, and its independence of its material organ, is
without the least value in opposition to the power of facts. We can find
no exaggeration in what Friedreich, a well‐known writer on psychology,
says on this point: ‘The exhibition of power cannot be imagined without a
material substratum. The vital power of man can only manifest its activity
by means of its material organs. In proportion as the organs are manifold,
so will be the phenomena of vital power, and they will vary according to
the varied construction of the material substratum. Hence, mental function
is a peculiar manifestation of vital power, determined by the peculiar
construction of cerebral matter. The same power which digests by means of
the stomach, thinks by means of the brain’ ” (pp. 124, 125).

_Reader._ Your manner of reasoning, doctor, is not calculated to bring
conviction, as every one of your arguments contains a fallacy. Your first
argument is: The brain is the measure of the thinking power; and therefore
the thinking power, or the soul, is a result of organic development. The
second is: Brain and mind are necessarily connected; and therefore the
soul cannot have a separate existence. The third is: The vital power of
man can only manifest its activity by means of its material organs; and
therefore the soul needs to be supported by a material substratum. Such
substantially is the drift of your argumentation. Now, I maintain that the
three arguments are merely three sophisms.

First, the brain is not the measure of the thinking power. The mental
capacity of man, and the thinking power of the soul, are not exactly the
same thing. The first implies both soul and body, the second regards the
soul alone; the first presents to us the musician with his instrument, the
second exhibits only the musician himself. The brain is the organ, the
soul is the organist. You cannot reasonably pretend that the musical
talent, genius, and skill of an organist increase and decrease with the
number and quality of the pipes which happen to be in the organ. All you
can say is that the musical talent of the organist will have a better
chance of a favorable show with a rich rather than with a poor instrument.
The organ, therefore, is not the measure of the ability of the organist,
and the brain is not the measure of the thinking power. Hence from the
fact that the mental capacity of man is enlarged, as you say, in
proportion to the material growth of his brain, we have no right to
conclude that the thinking principle, the soul, grows with the brain; the
right conclusion is that the soul, being in possession of a better
instrument, finds itself in better conditions for the exercise of its
intrinsic power. The organ is improved and the music is better; but the
organist is the same.

Secondly, brain and mind are at present necessarily connected. Does it
follow that therefore the soul cannot have a separate existence? By no
means. If this conclusion were logical, you might on the same ground
affirm also that the body cannot have a separate existence; for the body
is as necessarily connected with the soul as the soul is with the body.
The reason why your conclusion cannot hold is that the connection of body
and soul is necessary only inasmuch as both are indispensable for the
constitution of the human nature. But the human nature is not immortal;
the soul must quit the body when the organism becomes unfit for the
operations of animal life; and therefore the connection of the soul with
the body is not absolutely, but only hypothetically, necessary. The soul
has its own existence distinct from the existence of the body, for the
soul is a substance no less than the body; and therefore it is no less
competent to have a separate existence. You deny, I know, that the soul is
a substance distinct from the body; but what is the weight of such a
denial? What you speculatively deny in your book, you practically admit in
the secret of your conscience whenever you say _I am_. It is not the body
that says _I_; it is the soul: and it is not an accident that perceives
self; it is a substance.

Thirdly, the vital power of man, as you say, can manifest its activity
only by means of its material organs. This is true; for, so long as the
soul is in the body, it must work together with it, according to the
axiom, “Every agent acts according as it is in act.” But does the work of
the vital power in the material organs warrant your conclusion that the
soul needs to be supported by a material substratum? Quite the contrary.
For, what needs a material substratum is an accident, and no accident is
active; and therefore the vital power, whose activity is manifested in the
material organs, is no accident, and therefore needs no material
substratum, and, while existing in the material organs, exists no less in
itself. Had you considered that the soul, which manifests its activity by
means of its material organs, exercises the same activity within itself
also, you would have easily discovered that the soul has a being
independent of its material organs, and that these organs are the organs
of sensibility, not of intelligence.

But I am not going to make a dissertation on the soul, as my object is
only to show the inconclusiveness of your reasoning. Your chapter on
“Brain and Soul,” with its twenty‐eight pages of medical and physiological
erudition, offers no proof of your assumption beyond the three sophisms I
have refuted. All the rest consists of facts which have not the least
bearing on the question. “The whole science of man,” as you say, “is a
continuous proof in favor of the connection of brain and mind.” This is
what your facts demonstrate; but your object was to show that “the soul is
a product of the development of the brain”; and this your facts do not
demonstrate, as is evident from your need of resorting to fallacies to
make them lie to truth. It is on the strength of such fallacies that you
make bold to despise your opponents, forgetting all your shortcomings, and
committing a new blunder in the very act of assailing the spiritualistic
philosophers. According to you, “the whole science of man is a continuous
proof in favor of the connection of brain and mind; and all the verbiage
of philosophical psychologists in regard to the separate existence of the
soul and its independence of its material organ is without the least value
in opposition to the power of facts.” You should be ashamed, doctor, of
this style of reasoning.

_Büchner._ Why, if you please?

_Reader._ Because, first, the connection of brain and mind, as proved by
“the whole science of man,” does not authorize you to deny the separate
existence of the soul and its substantial independence of the material
organs. Secondly, because to call “verbiage” those reasonings which all
the great men of all times have, after careful scrutiny, considered as
unanswerable, to which they gave their fullest assent, and against which
you are incapable of advancing a single argument which has not already
been answered by philosophers, is on your part an implicit confession of
philosophical ignorance. Thirdly, because it is extremely mean to proclaim
your own victory, while you have carefully avoided the combat. You have,
in fact, prudently dissembled all the reasons by which the substantiality
and spirituality of the human soul are usually proved in psychology; and,
to give yourself the appearance of a champion, you have set up a few
ridiculous sophisms—as, “the material simplicity of the organs of thought”
(p. 125)—to figure as philosophical objections, which they have never
been, and never will be; thus reminding us of the great Don Quixote
fighting against the wind‐mill. Fourthly, because, while boasting of the
support which some physiological facts seem to lend to your materialistic
theory, you have entirely ignored all those other facts of the
intellectual life which were calculated to expose your sophistry and
overthrow your conclusions. This is dishonest, doctor; for you cannot
plead ignorance in excuse.

_Büchner._ We proceed from opposite principles, sir; hence we must
disagree in our conclusions. It is a law “that mind and brain necessarily
determine each other, and that they stand to each other in inseparable
causal relations” (p. 139).

_Reader._ This goes against you; for, if the mind determines the brain,
the mind must be a special substance.

_Büchner._ “As there is no bile without liver, no urine without kidneys,
so is there no thought with out a brain. Mental activity is a function of
the cerebral substance. This truth is simple, clear, easily supported by
facts, and indisputable” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ Oh! oh! have you forgotten my previous answer? So long as matter
remains inert, it is vain to pretend that matter is the thinking
principle.

_Büchner._ “Matter is not dead, unquickened, and lifeless, but, on the
contrary, full of the most stirring life” (p. xcix.)

_Reader._ A great discovery!—if true.

_Büchner._ “Not an atom of it is without motion, but in constant
uninterrupted movement and activity. Nor is matter _gross_, as simple
philosophers often call it, but, on the contrary, so infinitely fine and
complicated in its composition as to surpass all our conceptions. Nor is
it _worthless_ or vile, but rather the most precious thing we know of; it
is not _without feeling_, but is full of the most acute sensibility in the
creatures it brings forth; nor, lastly, is it _devoid of spirit_ or
_thought_, but, on the contrary, develops in the organs destined thereto
by the peculiar kind and delicacy of their composition the highest mental
potencies known to us. What we call life, sensibility, organization, and
thought, are only the peculiar and higher tendencies and activities of
matter, acquired in the course of many millions of years by well‐known
natural processes, and which in certain organisms or combinations result
in the self‐consciousness of matter. Wherefore matter is not unconscious,
as is often proclaimed” (pp. xcix., c.)

_Reader._ Enough! enough of such nonsense. Do not ruin what little
reputation you still enjoy as a scientific man. What will the world say
when it discovers that you know nothing about the inertia of matter, which
is the basis of physics and mechanics? or when it hears that you confound
movement with activity, and activity with life? Every one knows that life
implies movement, because the more perfect implies the less perfect; but
who ever heard that mechanical movement implies life? Is a stone living
because it falls to the ground? Again, how would any one who is not an
idiot consider the matter on which we tread “the most precious thing we
know of”? Would you sell your honor for a cup of coffee and a pound of
sugar? That matter is _not without feeling_, _not without spirit_, and
_not without thought_, is a demonstrated blunder, of which I need not
repeat the refutation. But who can hear without merriment that
sensibility, organization, and thought are “tendencies” of matter? and
that they have been acquired by matter “in the course of many millions of
years”? and that this acquisition was brought about “by _well‐known_
natural processes”? I repeat, doctor, that such trash will ruin your
reputation. Buffoons and charlatans may be allowed to indulge in any
amount of absurdities; but a doctor has not the same privilege. Hence it
is not safe for you to speak of _well‐known_ processes, by which matter
becomes “conscious” of itself, when the whole scientific world knows
nothing of such processes, and may challenge you to substantiate your
foolish assertion.

I will tell you what is really _well known_. It is what a celebrated
writer teaches about the immateriality of the soul. “There is nothing,” he
says, “in this lower world that can account for the origin of our souls;
for there is nothing in our souls which admits of mixture or composition,
nothing which arises from the earth or is made of it, nothing which
partakes of the nature of air, or water, or fire. For nothing is to be
found in these natural things which has the power of remembering, of
understanding, or of thinking—nothing which can hold the past, forecast
the future, or embrace the present. The power of doing this is divine, and
its possession by man can never be accounted for, unless we admit that it
is derived from God himself. Accordingly, the soul is a distinct nature,
and has nothing common with the material things with which we are
acquainted.”(23) What do you think of this passage?

_Büchner._ It smacks of ultramontanism.

_Reader._ Just so! Bravo! Marcus Tullius Cicero an ultramontane!!

To Be Continued.



A Legend Of Alsace.


From The French Of M. Le Vicomte De Bussierre.

“I do love these ancient ruins.
We never tread upon them but we set
Our foot upon some reverend history.”

—_Webster’s Duchess of Malfy._



I.


Six leagues from Strasbourg a high mountain, pyramidal in form, rises
abruptly over the chain of the Vosges. On its summit are some antique
churches and chapels and an old convent. The fertile country at its foot
is peopled by a great number of smiling villages and several small towns.
Its sides are covered with fine forests, in the midst of which may be seen
the ruined walls of old monasteries, the crenellated and picturesque
towers of several mediæval castles, and the _débris_ of an ancient wall of
pagan times. This mountain, called in ancient times Altitona or
Hohenbourg, was once the principal bulwark of Alsace. In the VIIth century
it received the name of Mount St. Odile, and became a celebrated resort
for pilgrims.

A shady pathway, and not of difficult ascent, leads to the top of Mount
St. Odile, which commands a view as remarkable for extent as for interest
and variety. The whole of Alsace, and a large part of the Grand Duchy of
Baden, are spread out at the feet of the spectator; bounded on one side by
the jagged chain of the Black Forest, whose blue outlines are seen on the
horizon, and on the other by the Vosges, which are rounder and more
pleasing to the eye. A dense forest of pines covers the Vosges, and on all
sides, even on the highest crests, may be seen the ruins of old feudal
castles which hundreds of years ago played their _rôle_ in the history of
the province. The Rhine passes through the middle of this magnificent
valley. On each shore are forests, vineyards, meadows, and admirably
cultivated fields. A line of dazzling brightness marks the sinuous course
of the river, which, sometimes dividing, forms a great number of verdant
isles.

The dense population of the country around gives an idea of its richness
and fertility. Orchards surround the villages; rustic churches, covered
with deep‐hued tiles, rise up from the smiling groves; more imposing
belfries mark the towns, and the magnificent spire of Strasbourg points
out, through the transparent vapor, the old capital of the province. The
whole plain is furrowed by fine roads in every direction, which, bordered
by walnut‐trees, form an immense net‐work of verdure. Towards the north
the valley of the Rhine is lost in the vapory distance; on the south the
Vosges blend with the Jura mountains; and in perfectly clear weather the
glaciers of Switzerland may be seen at sunset, like gilded clouds on the
horizon.

This landscape is superb at all times, but is particularly beautiful on a
Sunday morning in spring‐time. A fresh verdure then covers the earth, and
the fruit‐trees, all in bloom, give the whole of Alsace a _parure de
fête_. The far‐off sound of the bells ringing in every direction to call
the people to prayer, and the varied sounds of the plain brought up by the
wind, mingle with the mysterious voices of nature, penetrating the soul
with a subduing and profound sentiment, and filling it with ineffable
peace.

Such is the aspect of the region where took place most of the facts I am
about to relate. But, before speaking of the development of the monastic
orders in Alsace, and of the convent of Hohenbourg and its illustrious
foundress in particular, I will briefly relate the details that have been
preserved respecting the introduction of Christianity into the province of
which we are speaking.

Tradition attributes the origin of the Alsacian churches to the immediate
successors of the apostles; but others date the Mission of S. Materne (and
his companions Euchaire and Valère) among the Triboci and the Nemetes, and
that of S. Clement among the Mediomatrici, only from the end of the IIId
century or the beginning of the IVth. They were the real apostles of the
valley of the Rhine. Some think they were called the disciples of S. Peter
merely to show that they were sent by his successors, and that their
teachings were in conformity with those of the head of the church.(24)

However this may be, there is no doubt that S. Materne founded the first
Christian churches of Alsace upon the ruins of old pagan temples in the
forests of Novient and in the towns of Helvetia and Argentorat.

Shortly after the conversion of Constantine, the Holy See sent Amandus and
Jesse, the first as bishop of Argentoratum (Strasbourg) and the other of
Augusta Nemetum (Speyer), of which city Constantius Chlorus is considered
the restorer or founder.

Among the eighty‐four bishops assembled at the Council of Cologne in the
year 346, the names of Jesse of the Nemetes and Amandus of Argentoratum
are found. S. Amandus, the first known pastor of Strasbourg, is at the
head of a long line of bishops who have given an example of true holiness,
and who have a claim on the admiration and gratitude of posterity. But
almost immediately after the death of Constantine the Great the spread of
the Christian religion in Alsace was arrested, partly owing to the rulers,
and partly to the bloody wars of which the Rhine valley was the theatre,
especially the invasion of Atilla, who either massacred the bishops or
carried them off with their flocks. This caused a vacancy in the See of
Strasbourg for many years. It passed under the spiritual jurisdiction of
Metz till 510, when the see was re‐established.

The great victory of Clovis over the Germans, and his baptism, gave rise
to a new epoch in the history of Alsace and in the spread of Christianity.
Argentoratum, which had been devastated by the barbarians, was restored by
Clovis and resumed its importance. The kings of the Franks built a palace
there which they often occupied.

Clovis re‐established the episcopal see at the beginning of the VIth
century, and laid the foundations of the cathedral in 510. From his time
the Christian religion spread more rapidly in the province, and was soon
professed by the whole country.



II.


Alsace shared in the development of monastic orders throughout Western
Europe. In the VIIth and VIIIth centuries a great number of convents and
pious retreats were erected in that province. The epoch of the early
martyrs was past, but other martyrs succeeded them, separating themselves
joyfully from the world and imposing on themselves the greatest
privations. That was the time of wonderful legends and acts of personal
renunciation. The life of S. Odile is a complete picture of that epoch. In
relating it I shall endeavor to preserve the _naïve_ and pious simplicity
of the chronicles from which it is derived, and which are the faithful
expression of the spirit of the times, and of the character and manners of
the people.

Erchinald, son of Ega, and major‐domo of the king, was, say the old
historians, one of the noblest as well as most powerful lords of the time
of Dagobert I. Leudet, or Leutrich, son of Erchinald, married Hultrude, a
princess of the royal race of Burgundy. Their son, Adalric, was the father
of S. Odile and the progenitor of some of the most illustrious houses of
Europe. Adalric married Berswinde, the niece, through her mother, of S.
Léger, Bishop of Autun, who suffered martyrdom in 685. Bilibilde,
Berswinde’s sister, or, as some say, her aunt, ascended the throne of
Ostrasia by her marriage with Childeric II. The king, united to Adalric by
the tie of friendship as well as of relationship, invested him with the
duchy of Alsace at the death of Duke Boniface. Adalric established his
residence at Oberehnheim, a town at the foot of Mount Altitona.

Few men have been depicted in such various colors as Adalric. Many ancient
writers represent him as a ferocious, cruel, and overbearing lord. Other
chroniclers, on the contrary, proclaim him as generous as he was just and
humane. The opinion of F. Hugo Peltre appears to be the most correct, and
it is confirmed by the different traits of the prince which have come to
our knowledge. He says Adalric was a man upright and sincere, but
tenacious in his designs. He showed himself to be a sincere Christian, and
in spite of his rank sought no pretext for dispensation from the duties
which his religion imposed upon him, but he had not entirely laid aside
the barbarous manners of his time.

Berswinde, whose rank equalled that of her husband, is represented by all
the authors of the life of S. Odile as one of the most accomplished women
of her day. They say her heart was filled with charity and the fear of
God. The deference accorded to her rank did not affect her piety or fill
her with pride. She was a perfect model of Christian humility. She made
use of her wealth to do good. Prosperity inspired her with tender
gratitude towards Him who is the source of every blessing. Every day she
was in the habit of retiring for several hours to the most secluded part
of the palace, for the purpose of prayer and meditation.

Adalric and Berswinde both longed for a more retired residence, where they
could pass a part of the year away from the bustle of the town and the
fatigue of business. The duke ordered his followers to explore the
neighboring forests to find a suitable spot for a castle and a church.
They soon informed him that the summit of Mt. Altitona, which rose above
Oberehnheim, was covered with the _débris_ of ancient buildings which
could be made use of in the construction of a vast and magnificent
residence. Adalric wished to ascertain by personal observation the
correctness of this report, and, after an hour and a half’s march, he
reached the place mentioned. It was a great esplanade, in a wild but
imposing situation, surrounded by very high walls of enormous stones
rudely put together, evidently by the most ancient inhabitants of the
province. Gigantic pines and old oaks had grown up with wonderful
luxuriance among these old ruins. But the buildings that covered the
esplanade had by no means fallen entirely to ruin, as his followers had
reported. They were partly ruined, to be sure, but a château and an
elegant rotunda, both of the Roman style, still remained entire.(25)

The duke, charmed with the beauty of the place, immediately knelt down and
thanked God aloud for having directed him to this spot. Then returning at
once to Oberehnheim he despatched that very same day a large number of
workmen to the mountain of Hohenbourg to commence the work.

Adalric, changing his original intention of building a large church, had
the antique rotunda magnificently repaired. It was then consecrated by S.
Léger, Bishop of Autun, and dedicated to the holy Patrons of Alsace. A new
chapel erected in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the holy
protectors of Oberehnheim, was likewise consecrated by the holy bishop and
endowed by Adalric. The walls of enclosure were likewise repaired, as well
as the old château, in which the duke and duchess habitually passed the
summer months.



III.


Though the wealth and power of Adalric had increased from year to year
till he was invested with the hereditary fief of the vast duchy of Alsace,
yet one blessing was denied him. He had no heir to whom he could transmit
his wealth and title, and this profoundly afflicted him. Berswinde, too,
sympathized in his disappointment, for it is especially natural for the
great and powerful to wish to perpetuate their name and race. They both
did all that devotion and confidence in God inspire holy souls to do. They
had recourse to fasts, pilgrimages, and generous alms. Often prostrate
together at the foot of the altar they shed floods of tears, and besought
the Lord to hear their ardent prayer. At length, after some years of
married life (in the year 657, or, as some say, 661), Berswinde gave
birth—not to the prince so ardently longed for and whose advent was
anticipated with the joy and prayers of the whole province—but to a little
blind girl....

Adalric’s happiness gave place to a profound despair, and the paternal
love he had felt in advance for his child was changed into violent hatred.
He broke forth into bitter plaints. “God is angry with us,” said he, “and
wishes to punish us for some grave transgression; for he has overwhelmed
us with an opprobrium without precedent among those of my race, and which
would forever tarnish the glory of my house, should the birth of this
child be known.”

Berswinde replied: “Beware, my lord, of abandoning yourself to anger and
despair. Remember that when the disciples of our Saviour questioned him
respecting the man who was blind from his birth, he said to them: ‘Neither
hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be
made manifest in him.’ Let us not murmur, then, against the decrees of the
Almighty. Until now he hath loaded us with benefits. Let us bless his holy
name in affliction as well as in joy.”

This mild and wise reply gave Adalric no consolation. The unfortunate
duchess only succeeded in calming his excitement by consenting to keep the
birth of her daughter a secret, to have her reared away from home, and
never to mention her before her husband.

The duke thought he was satisfying the law of nature by permitting the
child to live, and, acting according to the requirements of his rank and
his honor, in condemning her to vegetate in obscurity and poverty. He had
it proclaimed, at the sound of the trumpet, in the town of Oberehnheim
that the duchess had given birth to a still‐born child.

But Berswinde, remembering that one of her former attendants, upon whose
attachment she could rely, was married and now living in the borough of
Scherwiller, sent for her secretly. She came at once, and, finding her
mistress profoundly afflicted and shedding bitter tears, pledged herself
to bring up the child. Berswinde’s courage revived at this, and, kissing
the babe, she placed it herself in the arms of her faithful follower,
commending it to her “dear Saviour the Lord Jesus, and to the Blessed
Virgin Mary.”

The nurse carried the child away, but in spite of Adalric’s care to
conceal from his subjects the birth of the princess—in spite of the
oblivion in which its second mother sought to bury its existence, it was
almost impossible to prevent such a secret from transpiring in time. Five
or six months had hardly elapsed when it was reported throughout the
country that there was a blind child of unknown origin at Scherwiller,
which evidently belonged to people of high rank, judging from the care it
received. Some one recalled that the woman who took care of this
mysterious child was formerly in Berswinde’s service, and noticed that its
age coincided with the time of the duchess’ illness. The nurse lent an
attentive ear to this gossip, and did not fail to report it to Berswinde.
The latter, fearing the report might reach Adalric’s ears, ordered her old
attendant to leave her home at once, and repair to the Convent of Baume in
Franche Comté, a few leagues from Besançon, where the child would be
readily received and brought up. Berswinde had two motives for preferring
this monastery to all other places of safety: she hoped its distance would
ensure the child’s safety, and the abbess was the sister of the duchess’
mother.

The Abbey of Baume was not then under any particular rule;(26) but prayer,
reading, the chanting of the Psalms, the observance of the evangelical
counsels, the mortification of the senses, and manual labor, continually
occupied the humble recluses who lived there.

The young exile arrived safely at this peaceful asylum. She lived there
tranquilly, far from the tumult of the world, and received an education
fitted for developing the treasures of grace with which her soul was
enriched. Her destiny was evident almost from her cradle. The names
consecrated by religion were the first to strike her ears and for her
tongue to utter, and her first language was that of prayer. Her pious
aunt, and all who surrounded her, only spoke to her of holy things, to
which she lent a surprising attention, as if interiorly enlightened
respecting divine truths. Her mind was precocious and clear, and her
memory extraordinary. She understood the duties of a Christian better at
the age of four or five than many grown‐up persons.

It was thus, away from the world, that the daughter of Adalric became from
childhood the model of piety, drawing pure instructions, as from an
inexhaustible source, from the noble superior of Baume.



IV.


While these things were taking place in Franche Comté, Deodatus, Bishop of
Nevers, and son of S. Hunna, arrived in Alsace to preach the Gospel and
join the hermits who officiated at Novient (Ebersheim‐Münster), the most
ancient church of the province, and founded by S. Materne. The preaching
of Deodatus drew an immense audience, among whom Adalric and Berswinde
were the most assiduous. The duke, desirous of giving a public testimony
of the benefit he had derived from the holy bishop’s sermons, resolved to
build at Novient a convent and church in honor of SS. Peter and Paul, and
endow them with ample revenues.

He begged Deodatus to superintend the construction of the new buildings.
The work was commenced at once. Adalric refused nothing necessary for its
completion, and Deodatus, wishing the church to be very solid, used in its
construction the _débris_ of an old pagan temple in a neighboring forest,
which he razed to the ground. S. Materne had long before overthrown the
idols.(27)

When the church was finished, Deodatus and Adalric convoked, not only the
Alsacian clergy, but a great number beyond the Vosges, that the pomp of
the ceremony of consecration might equal the grandeur of the solemnity.
The duke and duchess came from Hohenbourg with a great retinue. The
duchess brought rich ornaments for the altar, and sacerdotal vestments
which she had partly wrought with her own hands. After the consecration
the duke gave S. Deodatus a sealed document conferring a great number of
farms on the new cloister, for the support of the Benedictine monks who
were to inhabit it and vow themselves to the worship of the Almighty.(28)

These events happened about the year 666. The franchises of Ebersheim‐
Münster were afterwards confirmed by Charlemagne.(29)

But let us return to the blind girl of the Convent of Baume, who was
destined by heaven to be the greatest glory of her race. Cut off from the
world by her infirmity and by her position, her life was one long
prayer—one long act of adoration. Nevertheless she was twelve or thirteen
years old before she was baptized, as all the most reliable chroniclers
declare.

It was then, as now, the custom to baptize children shortly after their
birth, and it is not to be supposed that Berswinde would neglect the
precepts of the church, or be more solicitous for the temporal welfare of
her child than for her eternal salvation. It is probable that the
ceremony, being private in consequence of Adalric’s anger, consisted only
in the application of water, or that there was some grave omission
rendering the baptism null. However this may be, it was in the designs of
Providence, as one of the old chroniclers says, that things should happen
thus in order that a miracle might mark the solemn admission of the young
princess into the Christian fold.

In those days, adds our historian, there lived in Bavaria a holy bishop
named Erhard, on whom rested the divine blessing. This prelate had a
vision in which he was commanded to go at once to the Convent of Baume. A
voice said to him: “Thou wilt find a young servant of the Lord, whom thou
shalt baptize and give the name of Odile. At the moment of baptism her
eyes, which hitherto have been closed, shall open to the light.”

S. Erhard did not delay obeying this order, but, instead of taking the
most direct route to Franche Comté, he passed over the steep mountains of
Alsace and Lorraine, that he might see his brother Hidulphe, of high
repute in the Christian world, who had voluntarily resigned the dignity of
Archbishop of Treves to retire into the wilderness and found the Abbey of
Moyenmoutier, where he might end his days in solitude and prayer. Erhard
wished his brother to accompany him in his mission. An ancient tradition
relates that, when the two brothers met, they flew into each other’s arms,
and during their long embrace their souls held an intimate and mysterious
communion which made words unnecessary. Hidulphe immediately prepared to
follow Erhard, that he might witness the miracle about to be wrought by
his means.

When the two holy pilgrims arrived at Baume, they asked to see the blind
girl, and, on beholding her, they both exclaimed, as if animated by one
spirit: “O Lord Jesus! who art the true light that enlightenest every man
who cometh into the world, let thy mercy be diffused, like a beneficent
dew, upon this thy young handmaiden, and grant sight to the eyes of her
body, as well as light to her soul!”

Proceeding then to examine the catechumen, they found her thoroughly
instructed in all the dogmas of the Christian religion, and were edified
by the intelligence and piety manifested in her replies.

The ceremony of baptism took place a few days after. All the inmates of
the abbey assembled in the church, and S. Hidulphe presented the young
girl at the font. Erhard, having said the prescribed prayers, proceeded to
anoint her eyes with the holy chrism, saying: “Henceforth let the eyes of
thy body, as well as those of thy soul, be enlightened, in the name of
Jesus Christ our Lord.” The nuns, kneeling around the church, awaited in
profound silence and prayer the operation of the miracle, and their
expectation was not vain; for, the moment Erhard ceased speaking, the
child’s eyelids unclosed, her large blue eyes opened to the light, and her
first look, which displayed the purity of her soul, was directed
heavenward, as if to thank the Almighty for the favor he had accorded her.

All the witnesses praised God aloud. Erhard gave the princess the name of
Odile, as he had been commanded. Then, turning towards the assembly, he
recalled to their minds that there is no instance recorded until the time
of Christ of the opening of the eyes of one born blind. “The miracle you
have just witnessed,” added he, “is likewise the work of our beneficent
Saviour. Beware of imitating the Jews, whose hearts closed more and more,
though they saw the wonderful deeds Christ wrought before them, that they
might be converted. God has permitted you to behold the wonderful event
that has just happened, in order that your spiritual eyes may also be
opened, and you may be the better disposed to serve the Divine Master, who
protects his servants in so extraordinary a manner, and permits hardened
sinners to be cast forth into eternal darkness!” Then, having blessed a
veil, the prelate placed it on Odile’s head, giving her at the same time a
golden _cassette_ containing precious relics, and predicting that Heaven
reserved still greater favors for her if she carefully preserved the
treasures of grace she had already received.

Hidulphe and Erhard left Baume as soon as their mission was accomplished;
but before their departure they recommended the abbess and her companions
to watch the unfolding of the rare flower which grew in their peaceful
cloister. Then, giving a last benediction to Odile, Erhard said to her: “O
my dear daughter! may we hereafter, through the mercy of Almighty God, be
reunited in the kingdom of heaven, and taste the joys to which we are all
called!”



V.


The two brothers, having learned the secret of Odile’s birth, decided to
inform Adalric of her miraculous cure, hoping to awaken in his heart the
feeling of paternal love. The retreat in which Hidulphe lived being only a
few hours’ distance from Hohenbourg, he was entrusted with the commission
to the Duke of Alsace, and Erhard returned directly to his diocese, where
the miraculous cure of Odile soon became known, and contributed greatly to
the propagation of the faith.

Meanwhile, Hidulphe repaired to Oberehnheim, and, as he possessed in the
highest degree the power of influencing men’s hearts, and his words
generally made a profound impression on high and low, he flattered himself
that, in informing the duke of what had just happened at Baume, his
feelings towards the young exile would be immediately changed.

But the affection of Adalric was fastened on other objects.
Notwithstanding the gravity of his fault, the blessing of Heaven continued
to rest on his house. After sending away the poor blind child in anger and
disdain, the duchess had borne him in succession four sons and a daughter
named Roswinde, who by their sanctity became the ornaments of the church
and of their country. From them sprang most of the royal families of
Europe.

The duke refused to send for Odile. Perhaps, without owning it to himself,
he experienced a certain fear of one so miraculously healed, and whom he
had so unjustly banished. Nevertheless, he was not entirely insensible to
the news, and, wishing to testify his gratitude to Hidulphe, he gave him
the lands of Feldkirch for his abbey of Moyenmoutier.

Odile, then, continued after her baptism to live in the Convent of Baume.
Her devotion, her indifference to the things of this world, and her
profound recollection inspired a sentiment of respect among the virgins
with whom she lived. With a grave and elevated mind, fervent piety, and an
active charity, she possessed uncommon beauty,(30) and a child‐like
simplicity marked with all the grace of her age. Not one of the recluses
of the monastery subjected herself to greater austerities than Odile. Her
fervor was particularly manifest during the solemn days in which the
church celebrates the great mystery of the Redemption.

Her countenance and her tears testified to the love with which her heart
was filled. It was evident that, at her first essay, her pure young soul
had soared heavenward with the swiftness of a dove on the wing.

But she was to experience the trials of life. The nurse, for whom she had
an affection truly filial, and who had sundered her family ties to be near
Odile, fell dangerously ill at Baume. Her sufferings lasted several
months. Doubtless God ordained it to be so, say the ancient chronicles,
that she might satisfy in this world the eternal justice, and that Odile’s
gratitude, generosity, and charity might be displayed. With the sanction
of the superior, she only left the bedside of the guardian of her infancy
to attend service at the chapel. She was at once servant, nurse, and,
above all, comforter. She inspired her patient with courage, so that she
humbly offered up her sufferings to our Lord, and awaited with joy and
hope the hour of her departure. When the hour of deliverance appointed by
Providence came, having received the last sacraments, she died peacefully
in the arms of Odile, who closed her eyes and buried her.



VI.


In spite of her cruel exile, Odile had for a long time felt an ardent
desire to behold her parents, at least once, and this feeling became
stronger after the death of her nurse, the only tie that recalled her
native land. She did not dream of being restored to her rank, or of
exchanging her peaceful life for the bustle of her father’s court. She
only wished to testify her love for her parents, and to be loved by them.

She had been told that Count Hugo was the most noble of Adalric’s four
sons. He was universally considered the handsomest and most accomplished
prince of his time. His illustrious birth was his least recommendation: he
was prudent and generous, and animated by that lofty courage and goodness
of heart so becoming to youth. Odile wrote to him, entrusting the letter,
carefully wrapped in a piece of scarlet stuff, to a pilgrim. Hugo, charmed
with the letter and, unlike most of the nobility of that time, knowing how
to write, henceforth kept up a frequent correspondence with her. Odile
often gave him serious advice, which he received with tender gratitude.
Finding him well disposed, she decided to open her heart to him. Hugo
joyfully hastened to intercede for his sister, begging his father to
banish no longer a daughter whose virtues would reflect so much honor on
his house. But the duke, with his inflexible pride, assumed a severe
expression, and, in spite of his partiality for Hugo, told him he had
particular motives, for which he was accountable to no one, for requiring
Odile to remain at Baume. He also forbade his son ever making a like
request. The young man was profoundly afflicted. Impelled by his ardent
love for his sister, and believing her sweet presence would justify him in
his father’s eyes, he immediately despatched horses and everything
necessary for such a journey, telling his sister to set off immediately.
Full of confidence in Hugo, and sure that her father had consented to her
return, she left Baume. It was a sad and painful leave‐taking, but she
consoled her aunt and the nuns by promising to return and end her days
among them. But Heaven otherwise decreed.

Odile had hardly left the monastery when she began to reproach herself for
too strong a desire to return to her family, and for the eagerness with
which she looked forward to a taste of earthly happiness. She remembered
that he to whom she wished to consecrate her life is a jealous God, who
wishes his servants, instead of clinging to human creatures, to consider
them as instruments of perfection. She shed many and bitter tears, but,
according to her custom, she had recourse to prayer, which assuaged the
trouble of her conscience and restored a sweet serenity and trust to her
soul.

Protected by holy angels, she arrived safely at the foot of the mountain
on which rose the new castle of Hohenbourg. Adalric was conversing with
his sons when he perceived a company of armed men accompanying a vehicle
that was slowly ascending the acclivity. He inquired who the strangers
were. “It is my sister Odile,” replied Hugo joyfully. “And who dared bring
her here without my orders?” cried the duke in an angry tone. The youth
saw the truth must be acknowledged, and, bending his knee before his
father, he said: “It was I, my lord. Impelled by my ardent love for her, I
wrote her she could come. I am guilty through excessive affection. Punish
me alone, if you will not forgive, for she is innocent.”

Hugo, relying too much on his father’s partiality, thought he should
escape with only a few sharp words; but Adalric, inflamed with rage,
raised the staff he held in his hand, and inflicted such a blow on his son
that he fell senseless at his feet. Ashamed and sorry for his rashness,
the duke raised him, and ordered that his bruises should be cared for.

Adalric’s anger had passed away when Odile arrived at the top of the
mountain. Kneeling, she lifted towards him the eyes once closed to the
light. The duke, recalling the miracle wrought in her behalf, felt, for
the first time, an impulse of affection, and, raising her in a kind
manner, he bade his sons to welcome her affectionately. At that instant
Berswinde and her daughter Roswinde came running out. The duchess kissed,
with many tears, Odile’s eyes, acknowledging that God had suffered her
child to be born blind that he might at a later day manifest his power by
repeating the miracle of the gospel. Our saint was then conducted to the
chapel. There, humbly prostrate, she thanked God for protecting her in her
journey and reuniting her to her family.



VII.


Although Adalric’s aversion to Odile was lessened, and he showed her some
kindness at her arrival, he was far from feeling the same love for her as
for the rest of his children. He assigned her a retired part of the
castle, and gave her as a companion a holy maiden from Great Britain who
was vowed to the service of God. He never admitted her to his presence,
and only allowed her the portion of a servant for her subsistence. Our
saint, overlooking this unjust treatment, led at Hohenbourg a life as
simple and retired as at the Convent of Baume, often finding means, by
really depriving herself of the necessaries of life, of aiding the needy.
It was not long before her father awoke to better feelings. Crossing a
court of the castle, one day, he met Odile carrying a covered dish. Laying
aside his usual coldness, he said mildly: “Where are you going, my child?”
“My lord,” replied she, “I am going to cook a little oat‐meal for some
poor sick people.” These words, timidly uttered, touched the duke. He
looked tenderly at his daughter, whose love and sweetness were unchanged
by his treatment, and exclaimed, with tears in his eyes: “Be not
afflicted, my dearest child, at having hitherto led a life of privation.
It shall not be so hereafter.”

In fact, from that moment the relations of Odile and her father were
changed. He began to treat her with marked favor, as if to pay the long
arrear of paternal love; but she, who was not cast down by misfortune,
showed herself unelated by prosperity. Disdaining the pleasures now at her
command, she continued to devote her whole life to God. Her days and
nights were passed in prayer and good works. Her example produced such an
effect that it was imitated by the rest of the family. Her sister Roswinde
renounced the pleasures of the world to bear the cross of our Lord. The
manners of her father and brothers were softened, and they endeavored to
practise the Christian virtues. Even the servants of the castle began to
live devoutly. She gained all hearts. She was such a friend to the poor
and unfortunate that Hohenbourg soon became their refuge. “Our dear
saint,” for such is the name the old historians of Alsace give her, was
not satisfied with bestowing on them kind words. She gave them all the
money and clothing she possessed. She often endured hunger and refused
food that she might aid the sick still more. Every day she descended the
steep mountain‐path to seek those who were unable to reach the castle, and
encourage them with her pious counsels. Her zeal in their behalf was
unbounded. She performed the most revolting offices with her own hands.
The unhappy regarded her not only as a benefactress, but as a friend to
whom they could open their hearts and consciences. The duke and duchess
soon became so fond of her that if any one wished a special favor they
begged it through her. Adalric’s repentance for his past injustice
exceeded the anger he felt at her birth. He once thought his conduct
justifiable, now he acknowledged it was inexcusable, thus showing himself
superior to most men of his station, who are unwilling to allow they are
ever wrong. He actually commended Hugo for his disobedience, and tried to
atone by particular favors for his cruel treatment at the time of Odile’s
arrival.

But this serenity could not last forever. Our saint, who had endured her
father’s coldness so heroically, now began to grow weary of a life of
grandeur. She was depressed by the flattery of which she was the object.
Duties that were purely worldly absorbed part of the time she wished to
consecrate to God. In a word, she often sighed after the retirement of
Baume and the life she led there. She finally asked her father’s
permission to return to her aunt and end her days in penitential works. “I
am misunderstood here,” said she; “I am treated with a respect of which I
am not worthy. You do not know what I really am, and, if I remain here any
longer, I may even forget it myself.”

But the duke opposed her departure, telling her that by practising the
Christian virtues at court she could do more good than by leaving the
world for the austerities of Baume. Prayers and tears were of no avail;
Adalric’s resolution was not to be shaken. Odile, despairing of her
return, wrote a touching farewell letter to her old companions. Their
sorrow was tempered by remembering that she was under the special
protection of God, who doubtless wished to make use of her in extending
elsewhere the glory of his holy name. Full of veneration for her memory,
they put carefully away among the precious objects in their church a
violet‐colored veil, embroidered with gold and silk of different colors by
the daughter of the Duke of Alsace when she lived among them, an exile
from the house of her father.

To Be Concluded Next Month.



Fac‐Similes Of Irish National Manuscripts.


Few of our readers are probably aware that the English government, for the
last ten years, has been making fac‐similes of the most important national
MSS., for publication and sale, by the process of photo‐zincography. The
_Domesday Book_ was the first work taken in hand. This wonderful record,
without a peer in the world, is a general survey of the land of England,
ordered by William the Conqueror in the year of our Lord 1085. It is the
undisputed testimony of the relations existing at that period between the
landlords and their tenants; and it describes the state of society which
existed in England under the Anglo‐Saxon kings up to the conquest of the
kingdom by the Duke of Normandy. So successfully was the printing of the
fac‐similes of the _Domesday Book_ accomplished, and so acceptable to
historical students of every degree was its publication, that, in the
spring of 1864, the Lords of H. M. Treasury unanimously endorsed the
proposal by the late Master of the Rolls (Lord Romilly) that the same
process of photo‐zincography should be applied to the reproduction and
perpetuation of some of the “National Records.” Three volumes of English
manuscripts and three volumes of Scottish manuscripts have been followed
by the preparation for three volumes of Irish national MSS., which will
rank (says Mr. William Basevi Sanders, the Assistant Keeper of Her
Majesty’s Records, in his _Annual Report_, printed in the year 1873, on
the fac‐similes photo‐zincographed at the Ordnance Survey Office,
Southampton) among the first of the many valuable publications which Sir
Henry James (the military engineer officer in charge) has been the means
of laying before the public.

Let us look over Mr. Sanders’s description of the Irish MSS. He has
gathered his information from the best sources, having consulted and
freely used O’Donovan’s edition of the _Annals of the Four Masters_, the
accessible works of Dr. Petrie, Dr. Todd, Dr. Reeves, and Prof. Westwood,
and more particularly from the elaborate investigations of Prof. O’Curry,
published in his _Lectures on the MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History_.

The first of these MSS., both in point of age and on account of the
remarkable history that attaches to it, is the volume known as _Domhnach
Airgid_, or _Silver Shrine_. This is a volume of the Gospels—perhaps the
oldest in the world—of the Vth century, and traditionally believed to have
been the private book of devotion of S. Patrick himself, and to have been
given by him to S. Mac Carthainn when he placed him over the See of
Clogher. The legend in which this curious story is narrated appears in the
_Tripartite Life of S. Patrick_, and O’Curry in his lectures gives the
following literal translation of it:

“S. Patrick, having gone into the territory of Ui Cremthainn, founded many
churches there. As he was on his way from the North, and coming to the
place now called Clochar, he was carried over a stream by his strong man,
Bishop Mac Carthainn, who, while bearing the saint, groaned aloud,
exclaiming ‘Uch! uch!’

“ ‘Upon my good word,’ said the saint, ‘it was not usual with you to speak
that word.’

“ ‘I am now old and infirm,’ said Bishop Mac Carthainn, ‘and all my early
companions on the mission you have set down in their respective churches,
while I am still on my travels.’

“ ‘Found you a church, then,’ said the saint, ‘that shall not be too near
for us for familiarity, nor too far from us for intercourse.’

“And the saint then left Bishop Mac Carthainn at Clochar, and bestowed on
him the Domhnach Airgid, which had been given to him from heaven when he
was on the sea coming from Erinn.”

The shrine which held this relic is composed of three distinct covers, of
different dates—of wood, of copper plated with silver, and the most modern
of silver plated with gold, richly ornamented with figures of the Saviour,
the Blessed Virgin, and saints, and with representations of animals, and
traceries, among which is a mounted figure, sword in hand, and displaying
with minute accuracy all the dress and accoutrements of an Irish noble of
the XIVth century.

The MS. itself is in such a state from age and damp as to make inspection
of its contents impossible, the leaves being all stuck together, and the
whole of about the consistency and appearance of a piece of brick. The
portions of which facsimiles will be given present a good example of the
better parts of it. It was originally the property of the monastery of
Clones, and was procured in the county Monaghan by Mr. George Smith, from
whom it was purchased for £300 (say $1,500) by Lord Rossmore, who
presented it to the Royal Irish Academy, where it remains at present.

The next MS. is as curious—the _Cathach_, or _Book of Battles_—a copy of
the Psalms, supposed to have been written by S. Columba. It consists of
fifty‐eight leaves of vellum, and appears to be perfect from the xxxist to
the cvith Psalm, all prior to which are gone, and is enclosed in a
handsome shrine. Why it was called the _Book of Battles_ is told by
O’Curry, from the _Life of S. Columba_, by Magnus O’Dohmnaill. S. Columba,
when on a visit to S. Finnen of Drom Finn, being very anxious to have a
copy of S. Finnen’s Book of the Psalms, made one surreptitiously by
borrowing the book, and copying it in the church after every one else had
left. S. Finnen had notice of this underhand proceeding of his brother
saint from one of his pupils, and accordingly, as soon as the copy was
finished, demanded possession of it. S. Columba refusing to comply with
this demand, the matter was referred to Diarmaid Mac Ferghusa Cerrbheaill,
King of Erinn, who pronounced against him in a judgment which to this day
remains a proverb in Ireland—_Le gach bóin a boinin_ (“To every cow its
calf”), and so, by analogy, “to every book its copy.” This adverse
judgment, closely followed by the accidental death of the son of
Diarmaid’s chief steward while engaged in a game of hurling with the son
of the King of Connaught—at that time a hostage at Tara—who was torn from
S. Columba’s arms, into which he had thrown himself for sanctuary, and put
to death, so enraged the saint that he stirred up his relatives in
Tirconnel and Tyrone to revenge the insult, and a bloody battle was fought
in Connaught, which ended in the rout of the king’s army: and this was how
the book obtained its name.

For thirteen hundred years the book was preserved as an heirloom by the
O’Donnells, having been handed down by S. Columba himself, who belonged to
that clan. It is now preserved in the Royal Irish Academy. Four pages have
been selected for copying, containing severally the first twelve verses of
Psalm lxxx., the last three of lxxxix., and the first seven of xc., the
whole of xciv., and the first eleven of xcv. The condition in which these
pages remain is wonderful, and reflects great honor upon the family who
have for so many ages and through so many national troubles and
disturbances preserved this relic with sacred care.

The next is the _Book of Durrow_, or _Gospels of S. Columba_, a volume
containing 248 leaves of vellum, written in columns by the hand of S.
Columba himself, as asserted in the following inscription on the fly‐leaf:
“Liber autem hic scriptus est a manu ipsius B. Columbkille per spatium 12
dierum anno 500”; and again, “Rogo beatitudinem tuam, sancte presbiter
Patrici, ut quicunque, hunc libellum manu tenuerit, meminerit Columbæ
scriptoris, qui hoc scripsi ipsemet evangelium per xii. dierum spatium
gratiâ Domini nostri.” This last inscription is quoted by Dr. Petrie as
conclusive evidence of the date of the volume, which is considered by Dr.
Reeves to be either as old as S. Columba’s day, or nearly so (a somewhat
curious hypothesis if the volume were written by S. Columba).

Until its presentation to Trinity College by Dr. Jones, Bishop of Meath,
this book was kept at Durrow, in King’s County, the monastery and church
of which were founded by S. Columba about the year 550, where the
tradition of its having belonged to their patron saint was preserved and
believed in by the monks. It was originally enclosed in a silver‐mounted
_cuhmdach_, or shrine, made for it by order of Flann, King of Ireland, who
reigned from 879 to 916, which was lost, as Mr. Westwood conjectures, in
1007, when the volume was stolen.

The portions selected for copying are pages 12b, 14a 118a, and 173a. The
first contains the prayer of the writer above quoted, under which is also
written, “Ora pro me, frater mi; Dominus tecum sit”; the second is the
first page of S. Matthew’s Gospel, the third the first page of S. Luke’s
Gospel, and the fourth the concluding page of the same Gospel, at the
bottom of which is written, “+ Miserere Domine Naemani + filii Neth +”
names which O’Curry states had not been identified at the time of his
lectures, though the surname seems to be very like that of the scribe
after whom another of the MSS. contained in this volume is called—_Mac
Nathi_.

The next MS. in order is the famous _Book of Kells_, a copy of the
Gospels, also traditionally ascribed to S. Columba—a tradition doubted by
some, but which Dr. Todd saw no reason to mistrust, as the book is
undoubtedly a MS. of that age. About the same time as that when the _Book
of Durrow_ was sacrilegiously deprived of its shrine, the _Book of Kells_
was also stolen out of the church from which it takes its name. The
circumstance is thus narrated in the _Four Masters_: “The age of Christ
1006.... The great Gospel of Colum Cille was stolen at night from the
Western _Erdomh_ [sacristy] of the great church of Ceandrrus. This was the
principal relic of the Western World on account of its singular cover, and
it was found after twenty nights and two months, its gold having been
stolen off it, and a sod over it.”

It continued in the possession of the Church of Kells till the time of
Archbishop Usher, after whose death it was granted with the rest of that
prelate’s library, in which it was then found, by King Charles II., to the
university of Dublin, and has been preserved in the library of Trinity
College ever since.

Of the pages chosen for copying, 6b, 7a, and 27a are entries concerning
lands, believed to be the only existing specimens, of pre‐Anglo and Norman
date, of deeds written in the Irish language. They are written in a rude,
rough hand, that looks unsightly in contrast with the character of the
contents of the volume proper. 34a is the beginning of S. Matthew’s
Gospel, and is entirely filled with the initial of “Liber generationis.”
123a, 124a, and 126b contain S. Matthew’s story of the crucifixion, 124a
being all taken up by the words, “Tunc crucifixerant Christum et duos
latrones,” written in a very singular fashion, and enclosed in a framework
profusely decorated. 200b contains a portion of the genealogy in the third
chapter of S. John, and 19b displays a collection of fantastic symbols,
with a very handsome capital Z, and the first two syllables of Zacharias
embellished with spirited figures of a dog pursuing a wolf.

It is impossible to exaggerate the elaborate ornamentation of this
remarkable volume, or the quaintness of the grotesque subjects introduced
into it. The gigantic initial letter, which is given as an example in this
volume, is filled in with an almost incredible interlacing of extravagant
impossibilities: Serpentine figures with human heads; intertwined sketches
of men spotted like leopards in attitude of earnest conversation; rats
sitting on the backs of cats, who are holding other rats by the tails, the
rats being engaged in eating a cake; human figures with impossible
combinations of their own and other creature’s limbs; strange shapes of
birds and fishes, geometrical designs and intricate arabesque traceries,
all woven together in the wildest dreamlike way, and having an effect that
charms the eye, and fills the mind with amazement at the fancy that
designed and the hand that executed them.

The next is another copy of the Gospels, known as the _Book of Dimma Mac
Nathi_, made, it is said, at the express desire of S. Cronan of Roscrea,
who died in the beginning of the VIIth century. The drawings in this book
are very rude, and the writing of some parts of it difficult to read,
though the scribe Dimma is supposed to have belonged to a family of
saints, one of whom, at any rate, was greatly distinguished as a penman.
It was purchased from Sir William Betham, its original place of deposit
having been the Abbey of Roscrea, and is now in the library of Trinity
College, Dublin.

Four pages have been chosen for copying. The first contains portions of
chapters 27 and 28 of S. Matthew’s Gospel, and has this note at the foot:
“Finit. Oroit do Dimma rodscrib pro Deo et benedictione” (“A prayer for
Dimma, who has written for God, and a benediction”). Between the 49th and
50th verses of the 27th chapter there is this other verse, the substance
of which only appears in the Gospel of S. John: “Alius vero, acceptâ
lanceâ pupugit latus ejus et exivit aqua et sanguis.” Here, however, the
piercing is made to take place before the death. The second is the
illuminated page preceding S. John. In it is depicted a bird, probably
intended for that saint’s symbol, an eagle, carrying a book in its talons,
surrounded by a border of arabesque design. The last two pages contain the
first thirty‐eight verses of the 1st chapter of S. John, the first written
along the full breadth of the page and with a handsome initial “In,” the
second written in columns.

The next MS. is another copy of the Gospels, known as the _Book of
Moling_, and supposed to have been written about the year 690 by S.
Moling, Bishop of Ferns. It was presented to Trinity College, Dublin, by a
member of the family of Kavanagh, by whom it had been preserved for many
generations in its metal _cumhdach_, or covering.

Four pages have been selected. The first is a figure of one of the
Evangelists, with a book in his left hand, and a pen, which he is dipping
into an ink‐horn, in his right. The second contains the 18th chapter of S.
Matthew, from the 8th verse to the 27th; the third, from the 27th verse to
the 16th verse of the 19th chapter of S. Matthew; and the fourth, the
concluding verses of the last chapter of S. John.

_The Book of Armagh_ has also been selected. This volume, a transcript of
one still older, supposed to have been the holograph of S. Patrick, was
ascribed by Sir W. Betham to Bishop Aedh of Stetty, whose death is
recorded in the _Four Masters_ in 698; and O’Curry conceived it to be as
old as 724, but Mr. Graves seems to have proved that it was written by the
scribe Ferdomnach in 807. It is a small quarto volume, consisting of 221
leaves of vellum, and containing an extract from the _Tripartite Life of
S. Patrick_, annotations on that saint’s life by Tirechan and others, his
confession or epistle to the Irish, the Epistle of S. Jerome to Pope
Damasus, the ten Eusebian canons, an explanation of Hebrew names used in
the Gospels, with various prefaces and arguments, the four Gospels and
remaining books of the New Testament, the life of S. Martin of Tours by
Sulpicius, with two epistles by Sulpicius and Severus, and concludes with
a prayer. It belonged to the Church of Armagh, being, as Prof. Westwood
relates, held in such veneration that the family of Mac Mayre held lands
from the See of Armagh by the tenure of its safe keeping; and in 1846 it
was presented to Trinity College, Dublin, by the Rev. Francis Brownlow,
into whose family it had passed in the XVIIth century.

Six pages have been selected, the first three of which contain the extract
from the _Tripartite Life of S. Patrick_. On the first column of page 18b
is the following account of a miracle performed by S. Patrick: “Sechnall
went afterwards to rebuke Patrick on account of a chariot he had. Then
Patrick sent the chariot to Sechnall without a charioteer in it, but it
was an angel that directed it. Sechnall sent it, when it had stopped three
nights there with him, to Manchan, and it remained three nights with him.
He sent it to Fiacc. Fiacc rejected it. After that where they went to was
round the church three times, when the angel said, ‘It is to you they have
been given from Patrick when he came to know your disease.’ ” The miracle
as here related is, as O’Curry very truly observes, not quite
intelligible, but the key to it is to be found in the _Tripartite Life_,
from which it had probably been taken. The story there is that once, when
Sechnall was at Armagh, he remarked that two chariot horses which he saw
there would be a fitting gift to Bishop Fiacc. Patrick was not at home at
the time, but as soon as he returned and heard this he had the horses
harnessed to a chariot, and sent them off, without a coach‐man, to Fiacc
at Stetty, where they arrived safely. The reason of S. Patrick making him
this present was to enable him to go to his cave on the hill of Drom
Coblai, where he used to repair on Shrove Saturday with five loaves, and
remain till Easter Saturday; and because “chafers had gnawed his legs so
that death was near him.”

Then come _The Gospels of Maelbride Mac Durnan_, Archbishop of Armagh from
885 to 927, a small and beautifully‐written copy of the Gospels, made
apparently by the same scribe, Ferdomnach, who wrote the _Book of Armagh_,
and at about the same period. The initial page of each Gospel is very
gracefully illuminated, and to each is prefixed a page bearing the figure
of its writer, surrounded by a border of delicate tracery. The pages
selected are the first four, comprising the “Liber generationis” and the
inscription in capitals, the face of folio 5 being the beginning of S.
Matthew’s narrative; the dorse of folio 65, which contains his account of
the scourging and mocking, and at the foot this note by the scribe: _Mór
assársa for Coimdid nime agus talman_ (“Great this violence upon the God
of heaven and earth”); the dorse of folio 69, containing the following
letter, written in Saxon, is probably the earliest known contemporary copy
of a petition for restitution of temporalities to an English bishop:

“Wulfstan, Archbishop, greets Cnut his Lord and Aelfgyfe the Queen humbly,
and I make known to you two, liege, that we have done as the certificate
came to us from you with regard to the Bishop Aethelnoth, that we have now
consecrated him. Now pray I for God’s love, and in the name of all God’s
saints, that ye will have respect to God and to the holy order. That he
may be admitted to the possessions that others before him were: namely,
Dunstan the good and many another: that he may be likewise admitted to
rights and honors. In which case it shall be for both of you meritorious
before God, and eke honorable before the world.”

At the end of S. Matthew’s Gospel there is, in addition to Archbishop
Wulfstan’s (of York) letter, this memorandum in Latin: “Cnud, King of the
Angles, has given to Christ’s Church an arm of S. Bartholomew the Apostle,
with the great pall and the golden crown of his head; and the port of
Sandwich and all issues of the water of the same from either side of the
river; so that a ship floating in the stream when the water shall be high,
at the distance of the cast of a very small hatchet from the shore, the
droits of the ship are to be received by the servants of Christ’s Church.
And no man whatsoever has custom in the same port except the monks of
Christ’s Church. Theirs also is the ferry over the port, and the boats and
toll of boats and of all ships which come to Sandwich from Peperness as
far as Northmouth. If, however, anything be found on the high sea, being
brought to Sandwich, Christ’s Church shall take half, and the remaining
part shall rest with the finders.”

The volume is preserved in the library of Lambeth Palace, but it is a
singular fact that it finds no place either in the catalogue of that
library published in 1812, or in the catalogue of the library of Corpus
Christi College, Cambridge, where Archbishop Parker’s collection of MSS.
is preserved.

To Be Concluded Next Month.



Congress Of The Catholic Germans At Mayence.


On the 16th and 17th days of June the Second Congress of the Catholic
Germans assembled at Mayence. This congress must be distinguished from the
regular annual congress of all the Catholic societies of Germany. The
constitution of the latter was formed during the stormy times of 1848. It
treats only upon religious questions, and excludes on principle the
discussion of politics during its deliberations; whereas the Congress of
Catholic Germans, which held its first session two years ago, has for its
object, according to its statutes, the defence of the liberty and the
rights of the Catholic Church, and the maintenance of Christian principles
in all the spheres of public life by all moral and lawful means,
especially by the use of constitutionally‐recognized and guaranteed civil
rights; and it therefore desires to be considered a political
organization. It is already in operation throughout Germany, in Prussia
particularly. Its sessions are held in Mayence—in that city which, owing
to its advantageous position in Middle Germany, opposite the confluence of
the river Mayence with the Rhine, was chosen by the Romans as a boundary,
and by S. Boniface as the central point for the Christianization of the
Teutons. It is true that “Golden Mayence,” the special and true daughter
of the Roman Church (_Aurea Moguntia sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ specialis vera
filia_), as the inscription reads upon the old city seal, has, since the
beginning of this century, fallen greatly from its former splendor. In it
once resided an archbishop, who was the legate of the apostolic chair for
Germany, and metropolitan over twenty‐four bishoprics, which extended from
Brandenburg to Chur in Switzerland, and from Metz to Prague and Olmütz,
and which comprised the largest part of the old German empire; so that
next to the Pope he was called the greatest prince of the church (_Post
Papam secundus_, says Marianus Scotus (+ 1086) in his _Chron. Aet. VI._,
ad a. 750), and in his temporal position as elector and hereditary
chancellor of the empire ranked next to the emperor, and was called the
Prince of princes (Moguntius post imperatorem princeps est principum—_Vita
Arnoldi_). Mayence is now only a provincial city belonging to little
Hessia, and the boundaries of its bishopric are inconsiderable.
Nevertheless, in the present combat for the liberty of the church, it
occupies, and has for years occupied, an important place by reason of a
succession of great men, Bishop Von Ketteler at the head, and it cannot be
doubted that the city will in future be of great importance to the
Catholic interests of Germany.

The _centrum_ of the Catholic party in Mayence is the Casino zum
Frankfurter‐hof (Casino of the court of Frankfort), whose spacious and
imposing hall has not its equal in the city. In former times this hall was
used when a blow was to be struck at the interest of the Catholic Church;
but things are changed, and the Frankfurter‐hof is now the stronghold in
which the defenders of the Catholic Church meet together. Not until the
use of this hall was acquired, owing to the determined efforts of Falk
III., the people’s champion, so well known throughout all Germany, did the
Catholic party in Mayence begin to feel its own importance. For the past
twenty years its members have appeared regularly at every election upon
the battle‐field, to be as regularly defeated; but they were finally
successful in securing Canon Dr. Moufang as their deputy at the last
election for the _Reichstag_.

In the above‐named hall the Congress of Catholic Germans held its late
sessions. It was appropriately decorated for the occasion. In a prominent
place, surrounded by beautiful flowers, was seen the bust of our Holy
Father, Pius IX. Above, in golden letters, were written the words, “For
God and Fatherland,” and over this the sign of redemption with the
inscription, “In this sign thou shalt conquer.” Upon the pillars of the
hall were placed the coats‐of‐arms of the different bishoprics of Germany.
The crape hanging over those of the Archbishops of Cologne and Posen and
Gnesen, and that of the Bishop of Treves, was emblematic of the grief
which fills the heart of every Catholic when he remembers the three
venerable prelates who, forcibly removed from their episcopal sees, now
testify in prison to the divinity of Christianity and the inalienable
right of the church to that liberty in matters of faith and religion left
her by her Founder. The evening before the opening of the Congress many
members of the society met from all parts of Germany to greet one another.
Even the United States was represented in the person of the learned F.
Hecker. A superficial glance was enough to convince any one that the
nobility in particular desired by their presence to show their love and
affection for our persecuted mother, the church. For years the majority of
the Catholic nobles of Westphalia and the Rhine have been animated with a
deep religious feeling. The best names among the aristocracy are generally
found at the head of the numerous appeals in behalf of religion; and in
their own homes (a fact which is of great importance) these nobles do not
strive to emulate by outward splendor those “capitalists” whose lives are
spent in acquiring riches, but they rather seek to uphold the honor of
their names by the simplicity of their mode of life, in their daily
actions, by educating their children as Catholics should, and instilling
into them principles of honesty, morality, and every Christian virtue. It
makes a lasting impression upon whomsoever is admitted to familiar
intercourse with any of these noble families to see all the members of the
household devoutly assembled in the private chapel of the mansion, for the
adornment of whose altars no expense has been spared, there to attend the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; and in the evening to behold the father of the
family, by ringing a bell, again summons them into the chapel for evening
prayer and examen of conscience, at which the chaplain, but oftener the
head of the house, be he old or young, performs the duty of reading the
prayers. Fathers and mothers should imitate the example of these noblemen,
and when priests, on account of their faith, are imprisoned or exiled,
they themselves should take the place of the priests in their own homes.
Then will the zeal of priests grow stronger and Catholic faith take deeper
root. Would to God that we could see the same state of things in many
castles in Middle Germany, in Silesia, Bavaria, and in Brisgau (Baden), as
is now seen in Westphalia and on the Rhine!

But let us return, after this digression, to our Congress in the
Frankfurter‐hof. Its president, Baron von Loë, representative in the
_Reichstag_, who last year with manly courage defended the organization
against intrigues of all kinds, was received with universal applause when
he ascended the rostrum and opened Congress with the salutation, “Praise
be to Jesus Christ!” In a few but convincing words he explained why,
despite the serious aspect of the times, they had met in “Golden Mayence,”
where liberty of speech is yet permitted. (A short time ago a meeting at
Treves was dissolved because Herr Majunke, a representative in the
_Reichstag_, had said in the course of his remarks that Bismarck was only
mortal, and while lying upon his sick‐bed suffered as much as any beggar
who lies ill in his hut. Another meeting was broken up by the Prussian
police because the speaker had announced his intention of discoursing upon
one particular theme. Who knows what terrible things the police understood
by the word “theme”?) Then followed a long succession of congratulations
which the guests, coming from all parts of Germany, had personally to
offer. As space does not permit us to give a lengthened sketch of all
these speeches, we must content ourselves with simply giving the title of
the address and the name of the speaker.

Dr. Evels of Bonn spoke concerning the latest cultivated plant, which
grows only in Germany, and there sporadically, notwithstanding the most
careful attention from high quarters—that is, Old Catholicism. With this
exception, no dangers threaten the Catholic Church in Germany. Count
Bassenheim was the bearer of greetings from the Bishop of Basel, who asked
the prayers of the members for the persecuted friends of religion in
Switzerland. Baron Stillfried of Vienna assured the Congress that the
Catholics of Austria were united, and expected the salvation of Austria
only from intimate union with the church. Dr. Lingens of Aix‐la‐Chapelle
invited all present to attend the exposition of relics in the venerable
electoral city of the old German emperors, which exposition takes place
this year, and not again until 1881. Baron von Frankenstein of Bavaria
spoke on the state of affairs in his country, declaring his belief that
they would soon change for the better. Count Kageneck of Freiburg in Baden
looked confidently forward to a happy future, relying upon the just rights
of the Catholics and upon the powerful protection of God. Count Bissingen
of Würtemberg (Swabia) asserted that the fable of the Catholics hating the
empire finds no believers among the honest people of Swabia. Herr Baudri
of Cologne, the brother of the coadjutor‐bishop, an old, faithful warrior,
proclaimed in words of burning eloquence the earnestness with which the
enemies of the Catholic Church publicly declare that the destruction of
the church is the order of the day, and he denounced the corruption of
public opinion by the state, and the manner in which it subsidized the
press by means of the funds stolen from the church. He thanked divine
Providence for giving Germany such a united episcopate, and the present
affliction of the church only demonstrated the fact that not only in
Germany, but through the whole world, Catholics form only one family.
While our enemies, he continued, raise on high the torch of discord, which
has so frequently brought our fatherland to the verge of ruin, our
Congress should use every effort to build a new great and united Germany
upon the foundations of a Christianity similar to that upon which old
Germany became great and powerful. Herr Stroebel of Charlottenburg made
the next speech, and he was followed by the Rev. F. Altheimer, Curate of
Amorbach in Odenwald, Hellwich of Deidesheim in Palatine, Herr Wiese,
merchant of Werden, Baron von Schorlemer of Overhagen, Herr Busch,
contractor of Neuss, and finally by the junior editor of the _Germania_,
Herr Cremer of Berlin.

While the hall reverberated to the hearty cheers of the members, letters
and telegrams were constantly arriving from the interior and from foreign
countries, thus making perfect the picture of Catholic unity presented by
this assembly. Despatches from Austria were especially numerous, showing
thereby that in that country also the Catholics are keeping watch in the
struggle that has begun. The old imperial city of Vienna gladdened our
hearts with two telegrams. In the one the Prince von Fürstenberg salutes
us in the name of the Catholic societies of Vienna; in the other the
president of the Catholic people’s associations of Lower Austria sends his
best wishes that “the heroic battle which Germany’s bishops, priests, and
laymen wage with such sublime courage may find its end in a speedy victory
for the holy cause of the church,” and adds the assurance: “We Catholics
of Austria are firmly determined, confiding in God’s protection, to offer
the same resistance if the same attacks are made upon the church.” Six
telegrams from “green Styria” reached us, four of which were sent by the
Catholics of Grätz, and two by the Catholic societies of Marburg and
Wildon. “They desire to oppress you and us,” telegraphed Senator Karlon of
Grätz, “but we will yet be the victors; for Christ lives, Christ reigns,
Christ commands, and Christ will triumph.” To these were added a telegram
from the Catholic Society of Klagenfurth in Carinthia, and two others from
ever‐faithful Tyrol, from the society in Botzen, which numbers more than
3,000 members, and from the society of Innsbrück. The president of the
last society, Julius von Riccabona, sent us the following characteristic
Tyrolese wish: “As the snow melts on the high mountain beneath the rays of
the sun, so also may the intrigues against our holy church disappear
before the power of truth.” Charles Count of Schoenbrunn and George Prince
of Lobkowitz expressed in telegrams their respect, sympathy, and good
wishes, while from far‐distant Hungary the Catholic Political Society of
Presburg sent assurances of their love and affection. From Munich,
Bavaria, came telegrams, from the diocesan clergy of Eichstaedt, from the
Centrum member Lang of Kelheim, and from the society of Catholic men in
Wasserburg on the Inn. From Noerdlingen the society of Catholic men in
Riesa, numbering over 1,400 members, writes among other things: “We feel
in our hearts the afflictions which the Catholics of Prussia endure; we
pray for the bishops, priests, and laity who are imprisoned on account of
their religious convictions; we approve of the conduct and praise the
fidelity of our Catholic brethren; yes, we are edified by their unity in
faith and by their firmness, and we congratulate them on their
perseverance and courage, which, because it comes from God, will conquer
the world.... We shall never consent to give to Cæsar the things that
belong to God; if it should be demanded of us, we shall obey God rather
than man, and imitate the example of the Prussian Catholics.” From the
south came greetings from the society of men in Constance and from the
president of the Helvetian Pius Society, Count M. Scherer‐Bouard of
Lucerne, and finally from Hunfeld, Viersen, München‐Gladbach, Bochum,
Luedinghausen, Kluesedoerpen, Prussia, two from the city of Hanover, one
from the northern missionaries of New Münster in Holstein, and the last
from remote Dantzic. Among other despatches, there is worthy of special
mention the telegram of Prince Salvati, in the name of the Congress of the
Catholic Societies of Italy, which met at Venice, and the following from
London: “The Catholic Union of Great Britain extends to you a brother’s
hand to encourage you in the struggle with the evil spirit, and at the
same time it deplores the death of your champion, Malinckrodt. (Signed)
Duke of Norfolk, President of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.”

The greatest interest was shown when the mammoth address from the United
States was exhibited. It contained upon a roll of paper one thousand feet
long 30,000 signatures of Catholic men whose own or whose fathers’ cradle
had rested upon German soil. (A few days after this address was again
exposed in the great hall, and the endless roll of paper was drawn from
the table of the president up to the glass cupola, and from there letting
it fall down again upon the president’s table, it was taken up for the
second time to the chandelier, and from thence to the roof.) The fearless
expressions contained in this document, which, thanks to “our freedom of
speech,” could not be dwelt upon at length, and the grandeur of this
manifestation, showed the imprint of the youthful and vigorous mind of men
who glory in being citizens of the greatest republic in the world—the
United States. Not long ago we finished a great war in a great manner. It
was then the pride of Germans to be German. Since then, however, the
little banners of religious narrow‐mindedness have been everywhere
unfurled, and the so‐called liberal party has sacrificed not only its
principles, but the most important articles of the Prussian
constitution—the idea of a great Germany and peace and liberty. With the
exception of a huge military power, everything has dwindled away. The men
who won renown in 1870 and 1871 are no longer heard of. The men of the
_Centrum_ are our real consolation, for by their prudent and fearless
defence of truth, liberty, and justice they have obtained great merit and
are entitled to enduring praise.

To place their labors under the protection of God, the Catholic Congress
of Germany assembled early on the morning of June 16 in the venerable
Cathedral of Mayence, where they assisted at the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass, and received holy communion from the hands of the Rt. Rev. Bishop
Herr von Ketteler.

The devotion of these men, gathered from all parts of Germany, was greatly
increased by the music, which was executed in a most masterly manner by
the cathedral choir, who gave selections from the following composers:
Vechi, Aichinger, Orlando Lasso, Palestrina, Croce, Vittoria, and Piadana.

In the session which was held with closed doors the president first spoke
of the sadness which filled the hearts of all the Catholics of Germany on
account of the untimely death of Herman von Malinckrodt, deputy to the
_Reichstag_. The memory of this wonderful man, like a mourning accord,
seemed to permeate all the transactions, whether in writing or in words,
and made itself felt even in the banquet‐hall. We shall not, however,
dwell any longer upon this theme, as we intend to give a short sketch of
the life of this faithful champion of the church.

Of the business transacted in the private session we shall make brief
mention. That which, as a general rule, is _last_ thought of in all great
Catholic undertakings, was in this instance the _first_ to receive
attention—we mean the finances. In this regard, however, the Congress is
deserving of no reproach, as it attached too little instead of too much
importance to money—a prince seemingly so insignificant, but yet one who
rules the world. The Catholic Congress, organized as it is throughout
Germany, stands in need of certain pecuniary means, which want will be
felt in future even more than now. For this reason every member is obliged
to give six _Silbergroschen_ (about fifteen cents). It must, however, be
understood that the collection of this money is not made without some
difficulty, since the organization is only in its infancy, and the number
of members constantly increasing.

We learn from the report of Herr Racke, High Treasurer of Darmstadt, owing
to whose self‐sacrificing labors the finances of our Union are in a very
prosperous condition, that the collections of last year amounted to 17,883
thalers, 14,000 of which were put out on interest, including 7,000 loaned
to different Catholic newspapers. Another question came up regarding the
existence of the Union. According to the law of Prussia in reference to
societies, a political society cannot act as a union or central society,
nor form branches depending upon the union; on the other hand, however, it
is lawful for one society to exist over all Germany, and it can have its
affairs conducted by authorized agents. Our union was from the very
beginning most anxious to correspond with this law. Notwithstanding this,
however, the Prussian authorities have pretended to discover the existence
of local branches, in consequence of which many of them have been
suppressed. The reason for this proceeding, which called into question the
existence of the Union itself, was Section 10 of the statutes, which has
reference to meetings held in different parts of the empire. To avoid
further vexations, this paragraph was stricken out, and at the same time
it was expressly said that Mayence was to be the headquarters of the
Union, and that there the annual general meetings were to take place.

Herr Racke, merchant of Mayence, and secretary of the Union, who had taken
upon his youthful and strong shoulders the principal burden of the
pecuniary affairs of the Union, then introduced a series of propositions,
for the examination of which three committees were appointed, viz., one
upon the social question of the day, another upon science, and a third on
the influence of the press; and finally he submitted certain rules of
proceeding.

The short address to the bishops assembled in Fulda, which was received
with enthusiasm, and which was now read, deserves a place in this
periodical. It is as follows:


    “RIGHT REV. BISHOPS.

    “In a momentous time like the present the Catholics of Germany
    assembled at Mayence respectfully desire to show their gratitude
    and admiration for the right reverend bishops of the fatherland,
    who have defended the rights and liberties of our Holy Catholic
    Church with such calm and fearless dignity; but, alas! our words
    of sympathy cannot reach several of the prelates, except through
    prison doors. In proportion as the distress of the church
    increases, the more do we feel ourselves bound in conscience to
    declare before Germany and the whole world that no power upon
    earth shall separate us from our dear bishops, appointed by
    Almighty God, and that no power of man can force us to recognize
    other pastors than those who are in communion with the Holy See,
    and who are recognized as true pastors by the successor of Peter,
    the chief pastor of the church.

    “Our dearly‐beloved bishops have become shining examples of
    apostolic courage as our leaders in these days of combat; and as
    true children of the church we will follow them, and leave the
    consequences to Almighty God.

    “The hand of God rests heavily upon us, and the end of our
    sufferings is concealed from the eyes of man. But we also know
    that this trial will be of benefit to us; we thank God that he
    deigns to allow us to combat and to suffer for his holy cause and
    for the liberty of his church.

    “ ‘Through the cross to the light’ were the words spoken in the
    last _Reichstag_ by that heroic warrior for whom all Catholic
    Germans pray, and who died in the defence of truth and right. It
    shall be our device also: ‘Through the cross to the light!’

    “With these sentiments we ask your episcopal blessing, and with
    the most profound veneration we subscribe our selves

    “The most obedient servants and sons of our revered German
    bishops.”


At one o’clock a banquet was held in the same great hall, at which 300
members of the Union were present, among whom was the Rt. Rev. Bishop
Ketteler of Mayence. It was he who proposed the first toast to the Holy
Father, which was received with enthusiasm, as it was the twenty‐eighth
anniversary of his appointment to the chair of Peter. The speaker reviewed
the long series of years of combat between light and darkness, and in the
increasing enthusiasm and affection of the Catholic people for Pius IX.,
the representative of unity, appointed by Almighty God, he saw an increase
of the unity which the church, like an impregnable fortress in the midst
of combats, exhibits, while the world threatens to split asunder. Baron
von Frankenstein proposed, as the second toast, the Grand Duke of Hessia
and all the German princes belonging to the Union, and made a few remarks
appropriate to the occasion.

The president, Baron von Loë, proposed the health of the leaders given us
by Almighty God, the Rt. Rev. Bishops of Germany, under whose guidance we
some years ago saved the thrones from the whirl of revolution, and under
whose direction we now hope to conquer the revolution which is preached by
the government. Among the other toasts given, we will only mention that of
the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Mayence, who paid a high tribute of praise to the
men of the _Centrum_ who had in Berlin defended with such courage and
skill the cause of truth, justice, and liberty. After the banquet the
different committees of the Union entered upon the discussion of the
proposed resolutions, while the presiding officers of the Congress
consulted upon the drawing up of these resolutions.

The same resolutions formed also the theme for the speakers in the public
evening sessions, to which such a great number of persons were attracted
that the hall of the Frankfurter‐hof, large as it is, was not sufficient
to contain all.

The first speaker, Baron von Wendt of Westphalia, passed in review the
public events that had transpired in Europe for the last year, and he
demonstrated in a convincing manner that hostility to the church had
everywhere appeared simultaneously, and was therefore the result of
preconcerted action. The explanation of this fact the speaker found in the
activity of modern liberalism, which had determined upon the complete
denial of Christianity, and which boldly avows that by adhering to the
principles of what its advocates are pleased to call humanity all those
inestimable blessings would be obtained which the Saviour has left us in
his sublime teachings upon the obligations and morality of a Christian
life. Like the work of redemption, so also would the church become
superfluous, and the state, to which liberalism gives the preference over
everything else, would then enter upon its inheritance, and, as in the
days of the pagan Cæsars, assert its ascendency even over the spirit.

Herr Cremer, the editor of a Berlin journal, next proceeded to point out
the imperfections to be found in the constitution of the German Empire,
which gave security only to material interests and military power, while
there was not an article which had reference to the moral problem of state
life and the fundamental rights of civil liberty. In the course of his
speech he with much humor and sarcasm drew attention to the fatal avowal
of Bismarck in regard to his own policy. When the question was proposed in
the _Reichstag_ as to whether Catholics had forfeited their rights to
citizenship and were dangerous to the state, the prince answered in the
affirmative. This “yes,” remarked the speaker, “was the most absolute
condemnation of his own policy which could have ever been pronounced by
any one; for no state was ever so powerful that it could dispense even for
a time with the co‐operation of one‐third of its inhabitants. This policy
must be changed, for nine millions of Catholics could not be forced to
emigrate or be declared outlaws like helots. This policy was in every
respect to be rejected as rotten and false, even if it did rest upon the
shoulders of this modern Atlas.” The vigor and readiness of expression
displayed by the youthful speaker caused him to be warmly applauded.

The V. Rev. Dr. Monfang, deputy to the _Reichstag_, delivered an admirable
speech upon the present state of society. The great change, he argued,
took place in the beginning of our century, and he attributed it to the
following causes: First, the French Revolution, which overturned the laws
of commerce and labor without regulating them anew; second, the wonderful
use to which machinery can be put, particularly by the application of
steam‐power, which, in union with the development of capital, directed
industry into entirely new channels; third, the exemption from taxation
brought about by the increase and facility of the means of commerce, which
keeps a certain class of labor in constant demand, and in a measure takes
it from the business men and the farmers; and, fourth, most especially to
that pseudo‐liberalism whose national economy regulates the relations
between employers and employed, between rich and poor, not in accordance
with true Christian principles, but according to the dictates of egotism.
The social question, the orator declared, resolves itself into this: that
a man, to be really happy, needs but three things—that is, a competency, a
respectable position in society, and inward peace of soul. After applying
this true remark to the condition of the working‐men, the speaker finally
passed to the solution of the social question, and said that as this
problem affects all the relations of human life, a general co‐operation
was necessary for its explication. The laborer himself must co‐operate as
well as the family, the parish, the state, the church. Without religion,
without prudent legislation for the protection of labor, without Christian
marriages among the laborers, without public spirit and united effort, it
is not possible to avert the evils which every day threaten the laboring
class more and more.

Herr Racke, the indefatigable secretary of the Union, spoke upon the
difficult subject of passive resistance to laws which are in direct
opposition to conscience. He adduced particularly from the best authors
upon state rights the evidence that the state has no right to demand from
its citizens absolute obedience to all its laws and regulations. Laws
which are in opposition to conscience, morality, and religion, be they
ever so formally enacted, are not laws in the sight of God, but are in
defiance of those of all law‐givers, of the only absolute Lord who is
above all states, all rulers, and all men, and from whose authority alone
even the state laws derive their power and obligation. The animated speech
of Herr Racke was also loudly applauded.

At the request of the president the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Mayence gave the
episcopal blessing, whereupon the public session was adjourned. The second
day also began with prayer, a High Mass of Requiem being sung for all the
members of the Union who had died during the last year. Then in a private
session followed the discussion and approval of resolutions. The
resolutions proposed by the officers of the Congress, and received by all
with acclamation, surpassed in importance all others which had yet passed.
We give them, therefore, a prominent place; they are a sign that the
Catholics of Germany have not lost their courage as yet, and they deserve
to be published verbatim. They are as follows:


    The Second Congress of the Catholic Germans declares:

    I. _Regarding the State of Christian Society._

    1. The violent persecution which the Catholic Church in some parts
    of Europe and South America now suffers, verifies the expression
    of the Holy Father that anti‐Christianity—that is, modern
    civilization—is incompatible with Catholicity.

    2. The certain result of a systematically‐arranged combat against
    the church of Christ, as well as against Christianity itself and
    the essential foundations of society, will be the dissolution of
    social and political order, endless war, and the destruction of
    the nation’s rights.

    3. The re‐establishment of permanent and national order is only to
    be looked for when political independence is again restored to the
    Holy See, and when all those rights are recognized which belong to
    the head of the Catholic Church by virtue of divine dispensation
    and historical development.

    II. _Regarding the State of Germany._

    1. The constitution of the German Empire, for the reason that it
    guarantees neither protection to personal liberty, nor to the
    independence of states, nor to the different ranks of society and
    incorporations, cannot establish the true welfare of the German
    people.

    2. The influence of the so‐called national party, which abjures
    the essential rights of the German people and of the
    representation of the people, will be the ruin of the German
    Empire.

    3. The exception laws, by which the German Empire, founded as it
    is by a common sacrifice, has deprived one‐third of the citizens
    of their essential rights, thereby destroying the peace and the
    power of Germany.

    4. The unlimited development of military power is incompatible
    with natural rights, civil liberty, and the spiritual as well as
    the material welfare of the German people.

    5. The unchristianizing of public instruction now in progress, the
    control by the state of the entire school system, founded as it is
    upon compulsion, and at the same time the suppression of the
    educational rights of the church and of the family, is a source of
    spiritual and moral ruin.

    6. The venal press, working in the interests of political
    servility and of property‐holders, continually misrepresents
    public opinion, and is the principal cause of the social evils
    that threaten Germany.

    7. The foreign policy of the German Empire, especially in its
    relations to the Holy See, is not in harmony with the principles
    and interests of the Catholic population of Germany, and is not
    capable of securing the preservation of the peace of Europe.

    III. _Regarding the State of the Working‐Classes._

    1. Like all other states of Europe, Germany is threatened by the
    discontent existing among the working‐classes.

    2. The principal reasons for this discontentment are: Decrease of
    the retail business; overtaxing the agricultural classes;
    miserable condition of the operatives in manufactories; and the
    endless development of money speculation.

    3. The real origin of these misfortunes is the enervation of
    Christian faith and morality in the higher as well as in the lower
    ranks of society, caused by modern rationalism and liberalism,
    whereby it has happened also that a great portion of the working‐
    classes have allowed themselves to be deceived by the illusions of
    irreligious and revolutionary leaders.

    4. The means of healing these social evils and reconciling all
    classes of society consist in the passing of laws prohibiting the
    exhausting of the bodily and financial strength of the people; in
    claiming that protection from the state to which all classes are
    entitled; in the continued effort to remove the particular defects
    of the present commercial laws by means of legislation; in
    establishing the rights of the working‐classes in accordance with
    Christian principles and the demands of general equity; in
    founding different industrial auxiliary houses, either through the
    union of the working‐classes and others, or through the friends of
    the working‐classes; in restricting the amount of labor to be
    performed by females and children; in the careful cultivation of
    the moral and religious life in the families of the working‐
    classes, especially by having Sunday kept holy, and by applying
    Christian principles to the sphere of business life; in the free
    development of Christian charity to alleviate inevitable want.

    IV. _Regarding the Rights of the Church._

    1. The Catholic Church is, according to divine ordination, an
    independent society, which has the right to exist publicly in all
    lands as the one and universal church of Jesus Christ, and to
    protect which every Christian government should feel itself bound.

    2. The ecclesiastico‐political system which the parties opposed to
    the church are endeavoring to carry out stands in irreconcilable
    and open contradiction to the constitution of the Catholic Church,
    founded by Almighty God, sanctified through all centuries,
    recognized by the state, and guaranteed by the law of nations.

    3. The power of the office of teacher, priest, and pastor, given
    by the Pope to the bishops, cannot be suspended or limited by any
    law of the state.

    4. Church and state are ordained by Almighty God to harmonious co‐
    operation. Their separation is to be lamented. If the hostility
    with which the modern state treats the church should make such a
    separation necessary, it will be more to the disadvantage of the
    state than to the church.

    V. _Regarding Liberty of Conscience._

    1. No state power has the right to impose obligations upon its
    subjects which are in opposition to the commandments of God, the
    decrees of Jesus Christ, and the precepts of the church.

    2. The apostolic courage with which the Catholic bishops, not
    fearing temporal loss, not even imprisonment and exile, defend the
    rights of God and of his holy church, as also the inalienable
    rights of Catholic conscience, and the priestly fidelity and
    firmness with which the Catholic clergy, not led astray by
    illusions and threats, remain true to the episcopate and the
    church, deserve the admiration and respect of all Catholics and of
    every right thinking man.

    3. The measures used against the bishops and priests of the
    Catholic Church do not succeed in their object; they grieve most
    deeply the Catholic people, but they cannot be persuaded to
    exchange a church founded by Almighty God for one founded by the
    state. In vain are all the experiments used to separate Catholics
    from their rightful superior.

    4. The Catholics of Germany recognize always the legitimately‐
    elected Bishop of Rome, the Pope, as the head of their religion
    and church. In him they revere the infallible teacher of faith,
    the high‐priest and the supreme watchman of Christianity. No power
    can separate the Catholics of Germany from the chair of S. Peter.

    5. The only prelates of the German bishoprics are those bishops
    who are legitimately appointed by the Pope according to canon law.
    Catholics obey and reverence these bishops, be they in prison or
    in exile.

    6. The Catholics of Germany recognize as pastors only those who
    are appointed by the Pope and legitimate bishops. With unshaken
    determination they repel every attempt to induce them to revolt
    against Catholic authority.

    VI. _Regarding the Mission of the Catholic Union in Germany_.

    1. The Catholic Union of Germany complains of the severity with
    which the state officers of the German Empire, particularly in
    Prussia, oppose their rightful endeavors to labor for the true
    welfare of the fatherland.

    2. The Catholic Union of Germany shall with undaunted courage
    defend their natural rights, the rights of the church and of the
    German nation, against revolutionary and bureaucratic force.

    3. The Union invites all Catholics to join the authorized
    organization, and in the confidence of assistance from God, which
    the Union implores for itself through the most Sacred Hearts of
    Jesus and Mary, they surely expect the speedy triumph of a just
    cause.


The other resolutions had reference to the adoption of a short prayer to
the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, under whose protection the Union is
placed; then the appointing of a committee charged with the erection of a
monument to the memory of Herman von Malinckrodt; with the foundation of a
fund for exiled clergymen; to send an address to the oppressed Catholics
of Switzerland; with the making out of a list of the priests who have been
punished in defending the rights of the church; with the establishment of
an intelligence office for young Catholic merchants; with the
recommendation of the _Christian Blaetter_, published in Aix‐la‐Chapelle;
and finally with the recommending of various institutions for the removal
of social evils. All of these motions were not adopted, others were laid
upon the table, in order to concentrate the strength of the young Union
upon the momentous question to the Catholic Germans as to the best means
of ending the conflict now in progress against the church. No one will
deny the wisdom and prudence of this proceeding.

In the afternoon a pilgrimage to Mount Roch was determined upon; it is
four German, or about twenty‐four American, miles from Mayence, and is one
of the most charming places on the Rhine. The congress could not have
closed its labors in a more appropriate manner. Soon after twelve o’clock
the steamer _Loreley_, which was hardly large enough to accommodate the
vast crowd of pilgrims, commenced to move its engines. Inspired by the
pious sentiments which filled their hearts, the pilgrims made the air
resound with songs which charmed the ear, while the beautiful views, as
seen from the deck of the steamer, of the country lying between the Taunus
Mountains and the Rhine, captivated the eye. This little spot has justly
been called the garden of Germany. The whole shore is lined with villages,
rich in monumental reminiscences of past ages, handsome residences and
ancient abbeys, modern and mediæval castles. But the greatest pride of the
Rhineland are the luscious grapes which ripen upon these sunny hills. Who
has not heard of the Marcobrunner, the Steinberger, the Johannisberger,
the Ruedesheimer, and many other species of Rhine wine? The vine‐dresser
of the Rhineland is firmly convinced that in the whole world there is no
wine which in delicacy is equal to his. But let us proceed. The good
Catholic inhabitants of these vine‐clad shores saluted our steamer by
discharging cannons. The Prussian authorities had prohibited in some
places such signs of joy and sympathy to be shown “the enemies of the
state” who were passengers on the _Loreley_. The banner of the Chapel of
S. Roch, which is built upon a high mountain, had from a long distance
been seen waving, and we could also descry the great crowd which had
already taken possession of the top of the mountain. When we approached
the city of Bingen, situated at the foot of the mountain, nearly the whole
population awaited us on the banks of the river. A special deputation
saluted the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Mayence, who had come to address the
pilgrims. The immense crowd, praying and singing, then marched through the
city, which was ornamented with flags, and soon all the streets and paths
leading to the mountain were filled with men, so that it was very
difficult for the marshals to form a regular line of procession in order
to reach the top of the mountain. From this eminence only was it possible
to obtain a good view of the multitude, which was greater, perhaps, than
Mount Roch had ever before carried on its back. It was a splendid
spectacle, and the effect was greatly enhanced by the beauty of the
surroundings—the majestic river, whose course the eye could follow for
miles, the green islands that now and then appeared in the channel of the
river, the blooming vineyards, and the ever‐fertile valleys.

As the chapel could contain only a small portion of the assemblage, the
Rt. Rev. Bishop made his address while standing under the blue canopy of
heaven. We will only give a few extracts from his admirable discourse. In
his introduction he said: “We are here to‐day assembled upon this mountain
from all parts of Germany. Without knowing each other, we yet feel that we
are all united by the common bond of faith, a miniature picture of the
Catholic Church. We stand upon a venerable spot. Here lived S.
Hildegardis, that great prophetess of the middle ages, whom S. Bernard
visited to examine her prophecies. Long before her advent S. Rupert and
his saintly mother Bertha, whose relics are exposed for veneration in this
chapel, dwelt here. At our feet flows the river Rhine, in whose waters the
most beautiful cathedrals of Germany are reflected, and upon whose shores,
from the earliest ages, faithful and honest Catholics have lived. There
(pointing to Niederlingen, with its palace of Carlovingian date) stood the
cradle of Charles the Great, the founder of the old German power and
glory; there that great emperor spent his youth, who never unsheathed his
sword except for the protection of truth, and never lent it to an
unrighteous cause.”

In the course of his speech he made mention of a fact which he had
observed when provost of Berlin and delegate for the few Catholic
congregations in Brandenburg and Pomerania. “In the last century King
Frederick II. had determined to drain the marshes along the river Oder,
and had for this end summoned laborers from the Rhine and from the
Palatinate. Those from the last‐named place began their long journey after
they had received assurances that ample provision had been made for their
religious wants, and that lands would be given them for cultivation. These
promises, however, were not fulfilled. When the work was finished, the
poor people were distributed among the different Protestant cities in
Pomerania, in order to force the inhabitants, as it were, to cede to them
some territory. Some of them received as their portion the sandy plains
near Pasewalk. Here wooden sheds were erected, the best of which was
reserved for a chapel. Without a priest, these good people met together
every Sunday for divine service, sang their hymns as if for High Mass, and
an altar‐boy rang the bell at certain parts, just as it was done in their
former homes. Fifty years passed in this way without their ever having
seen a priest, and in the course of these fifty years _not one_ Catholic
became an apostate. This congregation was afterwards visited once a year
by a priest, and this state of things continued for another fifty years;
but during this whole time not a Catholic left his faith—a proof that our
Lord and Saviour, when the priests are expelled, has other means to keep
his own in the true fold. When in our own times institutions are
destroyed, priests are exiled, and bishops are cast into prison, we have
more reason than ever before to impress deeply upon our hearts the words
of Christ: Confidite in me; ego vinci mundum—‘Have confidence; I have
overcome the world’ (S. John xvi. 33). If all else perishes, at least one
divine institution remains which the state cannot destroy—we mean the
_Christian family_. In proportion as the other representatives of God are
prevented from fulfilling their duty, Christian fathers and mothers must,
following the example of S. Bertha, fill their vacancies. What obstacles
did not this saintly woman overcome! Her husband, who ruled over all this
part of Germany, was a heathen, and was killed in a battle with the
Christians; but notwithstanding this, she has given in her son a saint to
the church.”

Turning then to the subject of the schools, the Rt. Rev. Bishop reminded
them of a resolution passed about ten years ago by the Grand Lodge of
Belgium, which commanded the sister lodges to give their written opinions
as to the question in what manner they could best exercise a decided
influence over the public schools. They all agreed on this point: that the
schools should be separated from the church, and that it was not
sufficient to keep the children in school until they were fourteen years
of age, but that compulsory education should be continued up to their
eighteenth year, in order to thoroughly uproot from the minds of the
children the prejudices which they had received from their families and
from the church. To this the objection was raised that such a law would be
in direct opposition to the rights of parents; but in the reply, which was
afterwards published, it was expressly maintained that, if the state had
the right to cut off the heads of men, it could also set them right again.
In view of the present aspect of affairs in respect to the school
question, it is very easy to draw parallels.

At the conclusion of his address the Rt. Rev. speaker again returned to
the text of his discourse: “ ‘Have confidence in Jesus.’ Place not your
hope in princes, who cannot help you. The Holy Ghost has said it; they
also must die. Make no calculations, therefore, as from what earthly
source or from what earthly prince the salvation of the church may be
expected. Confide in me, says Christ. Fear not the power of falsehood, for
I have overcome the world. Be watchful and firm. While the world is
worshipping Mammon it is our duty to imitate the example of those
Catholics who have never bowed their knees before Baal, and who were found
worthy to make any sacrifice for their convictions. Be courageous and of
good cheer! At this time the church needs men of determination. Let every
one, then, do his duty, and God will strengthen us and lead us to
victory.”

These significant words, the truly apostolic appearance of the Bishop of
Mayence, the place, and the feeling exhibited by the vast audience, all
contributed to leave a deep impression upon their hearts. After some short
devotions in the chapel of grace, the pilgrims returned in a seemingly
endless procession, with song and prayer, through the beautiful vineyards
to Bingen. We were told that those in the rear of the procession were yet
upon the top of the mountain when the first had entered already the
parochial church of Bingen, where the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
was given by the Rt. Rev. Bishop, which ended the festive celebration of
the Second Congress of the Catholic German Union.

The Congress has given testimony that the Catholic people of Germany in
these our days will not be misled or permit violence to be offered to
them; it gave testimony also to the truth which Malinckrodt had expressed
one month before in the _Reichstag_, and eight days before his death, when
he said: “If they imagine that we will bow ourselves before their
Protestant ideas, which they clothe in the garment of the state, they are
greatly mistaken. They can trample us under foot, but we reserve to
ourselves the liberty not to become unfaithful to our convictions.”

The Union has many and powerful enemies; but an old German proverb says:
“Many enemies, many honors.” May Almighty God continue to protect it as
before! Then it will show by its success that, true to its motto, it has
worked for truth, justice, and liberty, and that it has excelled all other
organizations in patriotism.



Switzerland In 1873. Lucerne.


It sounds like a platitude when any one nowadays ventures to lament
returning to the prose from the poetry of travel, so universal is this
feeling, and so constantly is it expressed; yet it is impossible to avoid
noticing it when recalling a railway journey that followed abruptly on
weeks of Alpine rambles. My friend and I had been gradually gathering
discontent, it is true, from the causes I have already stated, and
yesterday, at Berne, had felt that a complete change was necessary; but
further than this we had not stopped to reflect. No sooner, however, had
we started in the train than the scream of the engine‐whistle, the jerking
of the carriages at the stations, the rush of passengers and hoarse cries
of the fruit‐sellers, grated discordantly on our nerves, and a sudden
pining for the grand mountains, with their quiet, simple life and its
elevating tone, took possession of us. Had we carried out our intention of
going to Lyons, it would speedily have grown into a real Swiss _mal du
pays_. Heartily, therefore, did we thank Mrs. C—— for having appeared so
opportunely, and acted the part of a good angel in saving us from a
species of suicide; for we felt that our spirits would have completely
evaporated long before we could have reached Notre Dame de Fourvières or
any other such congenial haven.

“Well, yes,” she answered; “the flat plains of France would assuredly have
proved too harsh a contrast. Now you will still have mountains, besides so
many other matters that must deeply interest you.”

These reflections having restored us to good‐humor, we fully enjoyed the
approach to Lucerne, as the train wound round the wooded hills alongside
the green Reuss, rushing on in full‐grown vigor from the lake, and past
the mediæval walls and towers that still guard the sturdy old town. The
sun was setting as we entered the station, just as happened a few nights
previously when we drove into Interlachen; but in other respects
everything was different. Here, the train was rapidly emptied of its
hundreds of Northerners, still brimful of their city ways, or ill at ease
in some faultless Alpine costume fresh from a London shop; while there,
though one could detect many season‐loungers, effort at display was not
thought of, especially amongst tourists, for dress and such externals had
long since lost their importance in the wear and tear of real
mountaineering. And what a noise and bustle and clatter steam, and
everything belonging to it, entails! Enough to drive one wild, after many
weeks of leisurely excursion habits—the tinkling bells of the steamboats
waiting at the pier to carry off impatient tourists to fifty different
destinations, the crowd of omnibuses, the jostling of porters, and, to
complete the trouble, the announcement that no rooms could be had at the
Schweizerhof or Lucernerhof, or various other _hofs_; although we had
telegraphed from Berne, and expected to find all ready. If we would try,
it was said, at the Beau Rivage—the hotel furthest off—there was just a
chance. Worn out by the noise and fuss, we two begged to walk, the
remainder of our party offering to drive on in a carriage without delay,
in order to secure any vacant places there might be before the omnibus and
its load of new‐comers should reach the hotel.

No arrangement could have been happier; for as we crossed the handsome new
bridge, on issuing from the station, the scene at once restored our
shattered nerves. The sun had just sunk behind the wood‐clad hills, dotted
all over with pretty villas and _pensions_, that rise to the northwest
above the town, and whose sharp, dark outline every instant became blacker
against the clear sky above, which, on its part, was rapidly changing from
one tint to another, each more delicate than the preceding one. Below, the
river moved like a mass of molten gold, whilst the covered bridge close by
and the old tower at the corner wore a dark, warm brown hue, all the
richer from the reflection of the waters beneath. Turning round towards
the lake, on whose margin we stood, the magnificent panorama of snow‐
tipped mountains which encircle its upper end transfixed us with
admiration. Every peak, every line, was visible in the clear atmosphere,
from Mount Pilatus, bathed in a flood of purple, right in front, to the
most distant of the long line rising beyond. In a few minutes the colors
in the west grew faint and fainter, but a fresh after‐glow lit up the
mountain‐crests opposite, fading gradually into the tenderest pink, until
one by one they sank into the approaching night. How wonderfully beautiful
it was! Impossible to be surpassed! And for an instant we felt half
tempted to become unfaithful to the glorious Jungfrau and lovely
Interlachen. But the abiding impression of all such scenes in this favored
land is, without doubt, one of marvel at the varieties of God’s creation,
and nowhere does one more cordially echo that inspired voice which of old
cried: “Let every spirit praise the Lord!”

Lost in admiration at this effect of color on water, wood, and mountain,
we grew deaf to the clatter of the passing crowd across the bridge, when
suddenly the sound of bells aroused our attention. It seemed as if every
church‐bell in the place had been set a‐ringing; and so it really was! We
listened; but, unaccustomed as we had now so long been to the beautiful
practice, some minutes elapsed before we recognized the true mark of a
Catholic country—the Ave Maria or Angelus bell! A learned divine has
written lately that it would simplify matters very much if the world were
classed in two divisions only—namely, those who say the Angelus, and those
who do not; or, in other words, those who, believing in the Incarnation
and Redemption, boldly and lovingly profess it before God and men, and
those Christians whose faith in the mystery is so feeble or their piety so
lukewarm that it gives them no happiness to acknowledge it, and who are
therefore worse than the heathens, who know not of it. No happier welcome
could have been given to us, who had been suffering from a spiritual
famine for the last few weeks. Calmed by the sweet sounds, which were even
softened by the gurgling waters at our feet, we followed our guide along
the quay, unmindful of its white dust, fussy tourists, and the general
unæsthetic aspect of its many monster hotels, our eyes fixed, as we
proceeded, on the _Hofkirche_, or principal church, which towers above it
at one end.

It was late when we emerged after dinner from the glare of lights and hot,
crowded _table‐d’hôte_ rooms of the Beau Rivage on to the balcony of the
hotel, and the same moon which had entranced us so recently when shining
on the Jungfrau was beginning to climb up the heavens, right behind Mount
Pilatus. The stern mountain stood opposite to us on the other shore, his
rugged form showing dark and unfriendly against the silvered background,
but a tremulous path of light came dancing towards us straight across the
placid waters. Tiny boats, that were hitherto indistinguishable in the
surrounding gloom, shot in numbers, freighted with mysterious figures,
across the luminous, quivering pathway; the green and red lights of
steamers were seen advancing gradually from out the distant darkness of
the lake, like wicked monsters rising from the deep to devour the elves
and nymphs gambolling peacefully in our midst, while close to us, round
the near curve of the bay, the town, still busy with life and movement,
shone in a perfect blaze of illumination, the lamps along its quay
glittering like stars reflected in the still waters underneath. Poet or
painter never imagined in their highest flights of fancy a more fairy‐
like, suggestive scene, and again we felt and acknowledged the truth that
no art or science of man can approach God’s own handiwork in its exquisite
variety and beauty.

It was impossible to sit indoors on such an evening, so we wandered down
to the walk beside the water’s edge, an impulse evidently shared by all
the inhabitants; for, as we passed on, it seemed as though every one,
including tradesmen with their wives and families, had come forth to
refresh mind and body after their busy day’s work. The promenade was alive
with people, either sitting or quietly sauntering up and down in
apparently happy groups, but without noise or boisterous sound, in perfect
harmony with the beautiful surroundings.

“This scenery surely must have a powerful effect on the inhabitants,” I
remarked to Mrs. C——, as we too at length sat down on a bench in front of
the hotel. “I can’t conceive living constantly within view of all this
beauty without having one’s mind raised to a higher tone by its
influence.”

“No doubt,” she replied; “and now you can understand the full meaning of
Swiss _Heimweh_, or _mal du pays_; how, when these people once begin to
pine for their mountains, it becomes a true malady. It does not follow,
however, that scenery, as a matter of course, produces admiration or
appreciation of its charms. You know the world‐old observation of this
lack in ancient Greek poetry. Nor have the modern Greeks any more feeling
for natural beauty than their ancestors; in fact, they positively dislike
the country. The Turks are different; but, generally speaking, southerners
never give it a thought. It seems to be more a matter of race than of
locality, and the Swiss, especially in these cantons, being Teutonic, have
the true German love of nature, which makes them so worthy of living in
this favored land! That accounts, too, for their love of the supernatural,
to which their lively faith has always given a religious form. The very
name of this Mt. Pilatus and its story show this tendency at once.”

“What is the story?” I inquired. “I remember reading about it, but have
quite forgotten. At this moment one might fancy anything—dragons,
concealed in caverns, swooping down on forlorn maidens, knights rescuing
Hildegardes and Kunigundes, or any other thing you like, on an evening of
this sort.”

“Oh! no,” she answered: “the homely, burgher lives of the Swiss rarely led
them to the romantic, but their simple piety, as I have said, clothed
their tales with a religious coloring. This, for instance, is where they
believe that Pilate committed suicide; that, having been banished to Gaul
by the Emperor Tiberius for failure in the administration of his province
when governor, he could no longer bear living in public, and his uneasy
conscience drove him from one wild district to another until he stopped
here; but even then he continued miserable, and finally threw himself into
the small lake near the summit yonder, over which his spirit still hovers.
He is the author of all the storms hereabouts. He cannot bear strangers,
but, especially if they disturb him maliciously by throwing stones into
this lake, he avenges himself by thunder and lightning and a general
confusion of the elements. They were so persuaded of this in the middle
ages that the Lucerners actually made a statute forbidding any one to
explore the mountains, and there are records of several persons being
severely punished for venturing up in defiance of the order. He regulates
the weather even now; for you can always tell by Pilatus what kind of day
it is likely to be. Have you never heard the lines?


    “ ‘Wenn Pilatus trägt sein Hut
    Darum wird das Wetter gut.
    Trägt er aber seinen Degen
    Darum wird’s wohl sicher regnen.’(31)


“The _Hut_, or Hood, is a little cloud which settles on the summit only,
but the sword is a long streak across the centre of the mountain, which
bodes rain and all manner of bad weather. There are ominous stories,
besides, of dragons and winged serpents, which were formerly seen to fly
from Pilatus to the Rigi at night, leaving fiery tracks behind them, and
tormenting the shepherds and their flocks.”

“Well! if ever there were an excuse for pantheism and belief in a spirit‐
world animating nature, it certainly would be in Switzerland! Everywhere I
go the mountains, cloudy sunsets, the whole moving face of nature, speak a
language ever varying in one sense, but uniform in leading one’s thoughts
upwards.”

“Yes; and even in bad weather you would not tire of it! Pilatus is never
so grand as when the storm‐clouds gather round his brow and roll down
pitilessly on this very spot.”

“I should very much like to know whether the people keep up their piety
now, and how they are likely to act in the coming religious storm,” I
remarked.

“I have just had an interesting conversation on that very point with an
old Lucerner,” said Mr. C——, who now rejoined us, and who, we noticed, had
stopped to speak to some acquaintance on the promenade when we first
started. “That was old H——, whom we met at Kissingen three years ago,” he
continued, addressing his wife. “He has retired from his appointment, and
returned to this his native town. He was rejoiced to see me, and offered
his services; and, thinking he might be useful as a guide, I have begged
him to call at our hotel in the morning. He gave me a most interesting
account of matters here. They are all staunch Catholics, he says, except a
few, who are lukewarm and seduced by the rationalism and liberalism of
Olten and Berne. From these alone do they fear dissension. But they are
not numerous. However, they tried last winter to get one of the churches
given up to them. Fortunately, the town council is orthodox and firm, and
Herr H—— is certain that Lucerne will be true to her name, and continue a
_light_ to her neighbors.”

“What a happy play on the word!” I remarked—“a genuine _jeu de mot_. She
certainly merits the title in a material sense already, with that girdle
of brilliant lamps shining like jewels along the quay.”

“It is not a _jeu de mot_ of my invention,” answered Mr. C——. “The name is
said to take its origin from the fact itself. Some of the Swiss towns,
such as Chur and Geneva, date from the Roman times of Switzerland; but
there are no traces of Roman buildings or settlements here. It is said,
however, that even then there was a lantern or kind of light‐house at this
spot for the boats on the lake, which was dignified by the Latin name of
_Lucerna_, or _light_; and this, amidst the vicissitudes of centuries, has
clung to it, and, as you say, is as suitable as ever. The town itself,
like so many others, is the offspring of a monastery somewhere about the
same time as St. Gall and Einsiedeln. But those old walls, with the quaint
towers which still encircle it, are only from the XIIIth or XIVth century.
The barbarians, you may remember, overran the continent several times in
the IXth, Xth, and XIth centuries, pillaging and burning on all sides; but
it was noticed that the walled towns escaped, for they did not understand
the art of besieging them. One of the German emperors, therefore, issued
orders that all the towns should erect fortifications, and that, in times
of war, the rural population should take refuge within them. Basel was one
of the first that was enclosed in Switzerland, being on the frontier. Then
St. Gall, which had sprung up round the great monastery, and was also near
the frontier; Zurich and Lucerne followed later. Lucerne has kept up the
old Swiss character better than almost any other town, from its position
near these forest cantons, which have more or less imbued it with their
spirit. The forest cantons,” he continued, as if in answer to my inquiring
look, “are those which border this lake, and give it the name of the ‘Lake
of the Four Cantons!’ They are Schwytz, Uri, Unterwalden; and now Lucerne
makes the fourth—the cradle of Switzerland and the noblest portion of its
people. Lucerne has hitherto been a sort of outpost for them—their point
of connection with the political world beyond; and so far it has always
held stoutly by its old friends. I remember the religious civil war and
the _Sonderbund_, between 1842 and 1848, and Lucerne was the head and
front of all that movement. Those old towns, amongst their various tales,
could tell many even of that period; for within their walls, as well as in
some of the churches, 1,800 prisoners were confined after the first
victorious resistance Lucerne offered the Protestant Volunteers. Amongst
the number was a certain Dr. Steiger, said to be the leader of the
Protestants. He lay in one of the towers, condemned to banishment and
imprisonment by the tribunals of Lucerne, when one night he escaped, aided
by three countrymen who were devoted to him, and finally fled to America.
I well recollect what a sensation it made, especially when, a few days
afterwards the great champion of the Catholics—a peasant—was found
murdered in his cottage! Then these Catholics made a defensive league
amongst themselves to resist the interference of the Protestant cantons in
their religious affairs, and which they therefore called the _Sonderbund_.
On this the opposite faction took their stand, asserting that its
principle was contrary to the spirit of the Confederacy. It was a good
watchword in any case wherewith to rouse their partisans, and they
succeeded in this so completely that the Diet soon voted that the league
ought to be put down by force. A large army was at once collected, and,
surrounding these Catholic cantons as with a cordon, they very soon
crushed them. How well I remember it all! Whether the experience is
recollected here it is hard to say; but Herr H—— muttered something about
their all being determined to stand up manfully for their faith, even if
it should ultimately be necessary to fight for it.”

“Fighting for one’s faith is sublime, and stirs one’s deepest feelings,” I
replied, “and that the spirit which induces it still exists, despite our
prosaic, material age, we have seen by the Papal Zouaves, and also, united
with love of country, in the Bretons, Vendêans, and others during the
French and Prussian war. But it is impossible to combine the idea of
fighting of any kind with this poetic scene, and I would rather go to
sleep to‐night dreaming of nymphs and sprites than of war and prisons, or
even of Pilate himself or any other gloomy visions in this fairyland. I
fear I am ungrateful for all your information, in feeling almost sorry
that we touched on these topics,” I said, laughing, as we reluctantly
turned homewards late that evening.

I had spoken wisely. Most difficult it is to pacify one’s mind after such
a conversation, and, between reflections on the past and speculations on
the future of these Swiss Catholics, the night was far advanced before my
eyes closed in sleep. Suddenly I was awakened by a full‐toned church‐bell
booming across the waters. It might again be the Angelus; but looking at
my watch, it was only a quarter before five o’clock, and moreover it was
still dark. Then it must be some convent‐bell summoning the community to
Matins and Prime. It was an uncharitable proceeding on their part, thought
I, to waken up a whole town; and the peal kept on for the entire quarter
of an hour. At half‐past five came another similar bell; and then, soon
after, a chorus of full tones, like that which had greeted our arrival on
the previous evening, rang out the Angelus from every church‐tower in the
place, followed at six and half‐past six by others in our immediate
vicinity. It was quite impossible to sleep; yet, tired though we were, the
joyful sensation of awakening in a Catholic land reconciled us to the
penalty it thus imposed. Up and out we should at once go in search of the
Masses which these bells indicated. But there be no such hurry, said the
hotel servants; for there would be eight o’clock Mass in the Hofkirche
close by. Then we discovered that, so far from the quarter to five bell
belonging to any convent, it was in truth rung in order to rouse the
towns‐people to Mass at the S. Peterskirche—the first each day of the
series which ended at eight o’clock at the Hofkirche. And then we
recollected how the same custom prevails in Germany, according to the
early habits of all German races; how hopeless it seems ever to be up and
out before the inhabitants of a small German town; and how, in the Rhenish
provinces for instance, the five o’clock Mass in summer, and the six
o’clock in winter, are the most fully attended, even in the severe seasons
of frost and snow.

We felt, therefore, like sluggards as we ascended the paved hill and
mounted the steps leading up to the Hofkirche. It was a bright morning,
and pleasant, good‐humored faces met us, as we paused to notice the
exterior, so plain and unadorned compared to the beautiful Cathedral of
Berne. But this seemed all the more suitable to the simple life of
Lucerne, with which the fact of the church standing, as it does, in the
midst of its cemetery, is in perfect harmony. A curious piece of mediæval
sculpture, representing the Garden of Olives, is let into the wall of one
of the towers, and we were examining it when to our surprise sounds of
music from the inside reached us. But a greater surprise awaited us when,
on entering the church, we found it perfectly full. A most devout
congregation occupied every seat in the nave. On one side knelt the men,
on the opposite the women. Whilst High Mass for the dead was being sung at
an altar outside the choir‐screen, in front of which was placed the bier,
Low Masses were going on at side altars near, and another at the high
altar behind. Everywhere earnestness and devotion were perceptible; and a
more striking contrast to our previous day’s experience in the Cathedral
of Berne, where daily services were unknown, it would be utterly
impossible to imagine. Yet what must such a morning have been there in the
olden days; for even now external advantages are in its favor. The Lucerne
church has far fewer claims to architectural beauty, and its general
ornamentation is in the bad taste of the last century. But these faults
were at the moment imperceptible to us, who had eyes only for the life and
spirit pervading the crowd of worshippers that filled it. It is a fine
church, however, in its own way, and quite in keeping with the character
of the inhabitants. The choir is imposing, and the metal‐work of its
screen excellent. There are old stained‐glass windows too; and a wood
carving of the Death of Our Lady over a side altar would be perfect, were
it not for the amount of gilding and gaudy coloring with which it has been
loaded.

But the benches are the most characteristic point in the building. At one
period they must all have been appropriated, though they are now free; for
each division still retains a shield, on which is painted a coat‐of‐arms
and the name of a citizen, or of his wife or widow, with the date of the
year, going back in some cases to the beginning of the last century. When
High Mass was over, the women in going out passed round by the bier, on
which they sprinkled holy‐water, followed by the men, who seriously and
piously performed the same act of fraternal charity. Thence we followed
them to the small mortuary chapel outside, but so filled was it by a
weeping group that we turned back and sauntered round the covered gallery,
or cloister, which borders this beautiful _Gottesacker_, or “God’s acre,”
as the Germans so truly call their cemeteries. Sauntering it certainly
was; for it was difficult to move quickly, so many were the inscriptions,
so well tended the hundreds of pretty graves. Marks of affection and
remembrance were visible at every step in fresh wreaths and baskets of
beautiful flowers, arranged with a taste and art that told what loving
hearts must have guided the skilful hands that made them. Some good oil‐
paintings and handsome monuments also adorn this gallery; but the most
attractive part of the whole burial‐ground is its eastern end. This is
appropriated to diminutive graves and crosses, hung with white bows of
ribbon and white flowers. We knew that in the Catholic Church there is a
special service for infants—one of pure joy without a word of grief; but
never before had we seen any particular spot set apart for these baptized
little angels. Later, we found that it is a custom universal in the
burial‐grounds of these Catholic cantons; but none that we afterwards saw
ever struck us so much as this one of Lucerne.

The whole place, too, was full of stone stoups, provided with water and
branches of blessed box, wherewith to sprinkle the graves. Foot‐passengers
have a right of way from an upper road through this churchyard, and we saw
many stop, as they passed, to perform this work of charity over a tomb,
with a pious aspiration for the repose of the souls. “Have pity on me, my
friends,” is a prayer well responded to in this touching _Gottesacker_,
where the dead still dwell in the hearts of the living, truly under the
shadow and protecting influence of the church and of the cross. The
doctrines of the Catholic faith in the communion of saints and
intercession for the holy souls in purgatory are here so practically
carried out, that they must get intertwined with the tenderest feelings of
each Lucerner, and developed in their best sense from childhood upwards,
becoming their comfort and mainstay from the cradle to the grave.

And then in what a beautiful position this old church stands—at the head
of the town, guarding its flock, and a beacon to the weary‐minded! From
our guide‐book we learned that originally it had formed part of a
Benedictine convent, and is dedicated to S. Leodegarius, or S. Leger. The
very name of this saint takes us back to the furthest antiquity, to the
earliest days of Christianity in these parts; for he was the great Bishop
of Autun in the VIIth century whose sanctity and courage shone
conspicuously during sixty years in the stormy times of the Clovis and
Clotaire kings and of their _maires du palais_, until he was at last
cruelly put to death by order of Ebroin, one of the most wicked of that
tribe, and who governed in the name of the Frankish king, Theodoric. It
tells, too, of those days when the present Switzerland, having been
included in Charlemagne’s empire, was still fluttering between his
successors in Burgundy and those in Germany; and how far the fame of
saints and martyrs spread and made their mark on countries which, in those
days of slow communication, were distant from their own. The convent
itself must have been an old foundation, for the church was formed into a
collegiate chapter in 1456, and the two existing towers belong to that
period. The remainder, destroyed by fire in 1633, was rebuilt soon after
in the unarchitectural style of that century. Probably we owe the
cloisters round the cemetery and the massive parochial house near, also to
the monastic period. Quite worthy, in any case, of Benedictine refinement
was the view obtained from the open arches on one side of the cloisters.
But alas for modern innovations! My friends remembered this as one of the
most lovely points of view in Switzerland some fifteen years ago; but now
the roof of that huge caravansary, the International Hotel, rises just
high enough close in front to shut out, from all but two openings,
everything save the sight of its own ungainliness. From these two,
however, it is possible to judge what the world has lost, looking out over
the lake and surrounding mountains; and we lingered long, drinking in the
charms of this matchless landscape, which again presented itself under an
aspect quite different from that of the preceding evening.

On returning to the hotel we found Mr. and Mrs. C—— deep in conversation
with Herr H——, who had come according to appointment. He was a shrivelled‐
up, active, little old man of about seventy, formerly professor in a
gymnasium in the north of Germany, but the aim of whose life had been to
save a certain sum, in order to return and end his days in his own beloved
Switzerland. This he had accomplished within the last two years. The C——s
had taken a great fancy to the old man when they made his acquaintance at
Kissingen, and he was now burning to be of some use to them. And a great
help he proved in planning the next week’s excursions, so as to make them
finish off at Einsiedeln on the 14th, the chief feast of that monastery.
The day was perfectly lovely, and the atmosphere so clear that he pleaded
hard to take us up to the Linden Avenue, a terrace walk, twenty‐five
minutes off, and commanding a magnificent panorama. But we should see the
mountains during the rest of our travels, we argued in reply, and our
minds were so full of Wordsworth and Longfellow, and, through them, of the
covered bridges of Lucerne, that we could hear of nothing else. Our party
consisted of Mr. and Mrs. C——, their two daughters, and a good‐humored,
boyish son of eighteen, besides my friend and myself; so at last a
compromise was effected by dividing our forces. One daughter went with Mr.
and Mrs. C—— to the Linden walk, while our new Swiss acquaintance politely
offered to conduct our division over his native place.

Our first visit, as a matter of course, was to “the Lion,” the pride and
glory of modern Lucerne! Turning off from the fussy, bustling quay,
leaving excitement and noise behind, we wandered through quiet, winding
streets that led to the former Zurich road, until, in a leafy recess
containing a large basin filled by trickling water, on which the sun
played through the foliage of the overhanging beech‐trees, this grand king
of animals lay right before us, hewn out of the perpendicular face of the
living rock. Overhead is carved the inscription, _Helvetiorum fidei ac
virtuti_.(32) This monument, erected in memory of the Swiss guards who
fell whilst defending Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette at Versailles, and
on the 2d and 3d of September, 1792, was designed by the great
Thorwaldsen, and executed by a Zurich sculptor, the expenses being
defrayed by subscriptions from all parts of Switzerland. The lion is
dying, the spear still in his side, a bundle of spears under him, but one
paw still firmly clasping the Bourbon shield. It is colossal; the whole
attitude full of strength, firmness, and sorrow—a sorrow inspiring such
sympathy that the longer one looks the more human it appears. Yet it is
not that hopelessly sad expression of his grand Chæronean prototype, which
once having had the good‐fortune to see on the spot, I never can forget.
But then what different events they commemorate! The Greek, the defeat of
an over‐glorious nation, crushed to despair; this of Lucerne, the loss,
but also the noble heroism, of a few of Switzerland’s sons only, who, if
they could be so faithful in the cause of strangers, what might not be
expected from them and their brethren in defence of their own hearths and
homes! And as we stood transfixed to the spot, unwilling to stir, it was
pleasant to hear from Herr H—— that foreign service of this sort has now
ceased. At least no body of Swiss serve abroad together, except as the
Pope’s guards, whose picturesque Michael‐Angelesque costumes must be
remembered by every one that visited Rome in its palmy days. Formerly, not
only did they serve as mercenaries in various countries, but there were
regular treaties in force between the Swiss government and foreign
sovereigns, authorizing the latter to recruit throughout the cantons.
These, however, have been swept away, and this “Lion” is now the only link
with those times. Close by is a chapel where, according to pious custom,
Mass is now and then said for the departed heroes, and the altar cloth of
which has been worked by the Duchesse d’Angoulême, one of Marie
Antoinette’s two children, protected and saved by those very soldiers.

We had not prepared ourselves for this beautiful, poetic work of art, and
hence it was perhaps doubly difficult to leave it; but time pressed, and
Herr H—— led the way back to the brilliant quay. He was eloquent on its
palatial hotels, and proud that in this particular Lucerne is so far ahead
of all other Swiss towns, except perhaps Geneva. But still, he said, this
did not compensate him for olden days. How different it had been in his
boyhood, in the years prior to 1820, when the present Schweizerhof Quay
did not exist! A long, covered wooden bridge, 1,300 feet in length, ran,
in its stead, from the middle of the town, near the Swan Hotel, right
across here to the foot of the Hofkirche. And then, to our intense regret,
we discovered that this was the chief bridge mentioned by Wordsworth in
his continental tour. He first speaks of the Hafellbrücke, still existing,
and then goes on to say:


    “Like portraiture, from loftier source, endears
    That work of kindred frame, which spans the lake
    Just at the point of issue, when it fears
    The form and motion of a stream to take;
    When it begins to stir, _yet_ voiceless as a snake.

    “Volumes of sound, from the cathedral rolled,
    This long‐roofed vista penetrate; but see,
    One after one, its tablets, that unfold
    The whole design of Scripture history;
    From the first tasting of the fatal tree,
    Till the bright star appeared in eastern skies,
    Announcing One was born mankind to free;
    His acts, his wrongs, his final sacrifice;
    Lessons for every heart, a Bible for all eyes.

    “_our_ pride misleads, our timid likings kill.
    Long may these homely works devised of old,
    These simple efforts of Helvetian skill,
    Aid, with congenial influence, to uphold
    The state, the country’s destiny to mould;
    Turning, for them who pass, the common dust
    Of servile opportunity to gold;
    Filling the soul with sentiments august—
    The beautiful, the brave, the holy, and the just.”


Then in a note he goes on to relate that the pictures on the “cathedral
bridge amounted to 240, all from Scripture history; subjects from the Old
Testament faced the passenger going to the cathedral, and those from the
New as he returns.” What would he have said could he have foreseen such a
speedy annihilation of his aspirations for their long maintenance, and
especially when replaced by all that drives away remembrance of that
“history” and tends to keep men’s thoughts fastened to earth instead of
raised to heaven!

When our first disappointment was over, we learned from Herr H—— that this
quay, now so venerable‐looking from its shady chestnuts, has been won from
the lake, like the Thames embankment, within the last forty years. It has
one advantage, namely: that the whole tourist‐life which brings such gain
to Lucerne has been added on to it, without in any way interfering with
the ordinary life of its inhabitants. Happily, it would be impossible to
change the old part without sweeping it entirely away—a summary proceeding
that no one would think of. The original town lies on a strip of land
between the lake and encircling hills, and is composed of solidly‐built
old houses in narrow streets, that are thoroughly sheltered, but without
any view, and consequently unfit for tourist requirements. Air and
landscape—the two essentials for the wealth‐bringing strangers—were
fortunately found available in the large space gained from the lake, while
the neighboring hills seemed as if especially created for the countless
_pensions_ that now cover them in every direction. “Travellers,” said Herr
H——, “—travellers are the great desire of Lucerne. They supply the place
of trade and manufactures, which we do not possess, except in a small way
in the Krienz valley yonder. Both here and throughout all these forest
cantons, the whole energies of the population are of late years directed
to this object. You will find them building hotels in all directions as
you travel through that district,” pointing to the upper end of the lake,
which we were lingering to admire from the promenade. “It sometimes seems
like over‐building, but the larger the houses, the more quickly they seem
to fill. The crowds that swarm here from June to October, from every
quarter of the globe, are quite marvellous. Since the French war,
especially, the Germans come in shoals. It is becoming like another
invasion of the northerners! I suppose we dare not call them Huns and
Vandals,” he continued, laughing. “But I confess I fear their influence in
the long run, for they are chiefly the population of the manufacturing and
commercial towns of Prussia and the North, and even when they are not
decidedly infidel, they are not overburdened with religion, and are
perfectly indifferent to its observances. I was stopping up at the Kaltbad
for a month this summer, and only a few out of 420 guests ever thought
about Sundays. ‘Who does, when at a watering‐place?’ said some. There was
no Protestant service, it is true, except the English, but still there
might have been some difference made between it and other days; but,
except amongst the Catholics, one could notice none, unless that the
dinner was sometimes rather better than on week‐days. And even the foreign
Catholics were often very lukewarm. It is a very bad example, to say the
least, for the natives. Fortunately, however, the strangers mix with them
very little, and they fall back into their customary life when these
crowds go home about the end of September. Then all is changed. The
country hotels shut up, and even here they dismiss their large staff of
servants, and only keep a small portion of each house open. But they are
looking forward to a great increase of winter business in Lucerne later,
when the St. Gothard tunnel, which is now begun, shall be finished;
though, of course, it will be nothing compared to the summer influx.”

“And what becomes of the poor servants?” I asked. “Are they turned adrift
on the world?”

“Oh! dear, no. They are engaged for the hotels at Nice and Mentone, and
all along the Riviera, in bodies of a hundred at a time. If you happen to
go south in November, you will doubtless fall in with many a Kellner or a
house‐maid you met up here in the summer. That is the form the Swiss
foreign service has taken in our days of steam and easy communication. And
very much they distinguish themselves. Both men and women are considered
more honest and active than those of any other nation, and consequently
are at a premium. That wonderful race of ‘Kellners’—a race apart—which
goes by the generic name of German waiter, is largely composed of the
Swiss element. Strangely enough, however, every waitress you meet, even in
these districts, is certain to come from the canton of Berne. The women
there have a _spécialité_ in that line. The peasants of the Catholic
cantons keep to the housemaid department, as a rule, and our Lucerne
maidens become ladies’ maids or governesses in English families. And very
well they turn out, too. Both in this town and in the rural cantons they
are a solidly good, pious population. Very conservative also; in fact,
most conservative, in spite of our staunch republicanism, and most united
at the same time.”

It suddenly occurred to us to ask whose funeral we had seen that morning.
“No doubt of some distinguished citizen?”

“No,” replied Herr H——, “not particularly distinguished; only an old and
highly‐respected tradesman. Oh! no; that is an every‐day occurrence. All
the neighbors consider it a duty to attend the High Mass and to pray for
each other. I was there, amongst others, just before I went to the Beau
Rivage Hotel; for, although I have spent so many years away from Lucerne,
I knew this man from my earliest childhood, and he has been working all
his life for every one you saw there this morning, so that the least we
might do was to go and pray for the repose of his soul, poor fellow! They
will do the same for each one of us in turn. Here is a column of
advertisements, composed of nothing but ‘Thanks’ from relatives,” he said,
drawing a Lucerne daily paper from out of his pocket, and amongst the
number we read the following touching one:

“The widow and children of —— return their heartfelt thanks to all the
kind friends who spontaneously attended the High Mass for, and the funeral
of, their lamented husband and father on ——. They are not only grateful
for this mark of respect, but they wish to assure these good neighbors
that the loving sympathy and the kind manner in which it was offered by
each, have done more to soften their grief than they can now express.”

“We are a small community,” continued Herr H——,“ only 14,500
inhabitants—simple folk, working our way on through life without any rich
manufacturers or overgrown proprietors, as at Zurich, Berne, and Geneva,
so there cannot be much rivalry or pretension. You will not find private
villas or large châteaus round this lake—nothing, for instance, even like
those handsome ones on the Lake of Thun; but we all hold together, and I
only hope the young generation will continue to walk in the footsteps of
their fathers.”

To Be Concluded Next Month.



Roger The Rich.(33)


A Ballad.

Dedicated, Without Permission, To Victor Emanuel.

God prospereth King Stephen!
  His sway is o’er the land.
The Empress Maud hath bowed her head;
Her knights are slain, her armies fled,
  Herself beneath his hand!
God prospereth King Stephen!
  The land is all his own.
From north to south, from east to west,
The whole wide kingdom is at rest—
  Firm sits he on his throne.
God prospereth King Stephen!
  Yet he hath cast his eye
On the rich lands of Sherbourn, spread
O’er many a hill and kie‐cropt mead,
  And many a bosky lea.
King Stephen sware a grimly oath—
  God wis he kept it true:
“Since Roger Niger (bishop then)
Hath led against us armèd men,
  Roger shall dearly rue!”
Roger hath lands and riches too,
  Marks forty thousand told;
And well I wot the monarch’s vow
Hath less to do with justice now
  Than with the bishop’s gold.
Roger hath to Devizes ta’en
  His wealth with all his speed;
Stout men‐at‐arms, and billmen true,
And bowmen armed with sturdy yew,
  Attend him in his need.
Now he hath stored his fortelace well
  With beeves and sheep and grain.
He standeth on his topmost tower;
And sayeth in the pride of power,
  The king shall knock in vain!
What, O my knights! the monarch cries,
  Shall he thus brave our wrath?
Shake forth our banner to the blast,
And gather round us, liegemen fast;
  We’ll sweep him from our path!
The king, with mighty following,
  Hath sat before the tower;
But massy walls and valiant hearts
Have nobly played their several parts—
  The bishop mocks his power!
And loudly sware King Stephen then
  A fearful oath to hear:
“Build me a gallows‐tree before
The haughty prelate’s guarded door;
  This yet shall cost him dear.”
Now they have built the gallows‐tree,
  And raised it in the air—
Its height is forty feet and three,
A laidly thing it is to see—
  And led his nephew there.
Roger the bishop stands and sees
  Young Roger led to die—
The nephew he had reared with care,
His only sister’s son and heir:
  A tear steals from his eye.
Now he hath turned him to his knights;
  His words are sad and low:
“God wot I am an old man now;
He layeth sorrow on my brow,
  He willeth I should go.
My nephew hath his course to run,
  And mine is near its close.
I straight will render up my lands,
My gold shall pass from out mine hands—
  I’ll yield me to my foe!
But as God lives he prospereth not
  King Stephen’s arms again;
His latest triumph he hath won.
Henceforth his is a setting sun;
  His efforts shall be vain!
God prospereth not King Stephen now—
  The Empress Maud hath fled;
Fitz‐Empress Henry snatcheth now
The golden circlet from the brow,
  The glory from his head.
God prospereth not King Stephen’s arms—
  Anjou is in the field,
And Winchester and Gloucester band
To wrest the sceptre from his hand,
  And vanquished he must yield.
God prospereth not King Stephen’s cause—
  Henry is named his heir;
Still may he sit upon the throne
Weakness forbids him call his own,
  In sorrow and despair.
God prospereth not his family—
  Eustace, his only son,
Pines from that moment, droops his head,
And, withering like a flower, is dead,
  And his last prop is gone.
God prospereth not King Stephen’s health—
  His heart is stricken sore;
Sleep shunneth now his eyes by night;
His days are stricken with a blight;
  He smileth now no more.
And still ’tis said God prospereth not
  The holder of those lands,
And Sarum’s heirs ne’er live to claim
The heritage of land and name—
  It slippeth from their hands;
For one, ’tis said, hath fallen by chance;
  Another falls in strife;
A father’s hand unwitting smote
Another scion through the throat;
  Law claims another’s life.
God prospereth not that family—
  Two hundred years have sped,
And still the bishop’s curse clings fast,
As fell and fatal to the last
  As when those words were said.
Then the Third Edward rendered back
  Unto the church its own,
And the broad lands to Robert gave
(Thou’lt see it figured on his grave);
  And now the curse is gone!



The Poem Of Izdubar.


M. FRANÇOIS LENORMANT, in continuing the publication of his _Essay on the
Propagation of the Phœnician Alphabet in the Ancient World_, and in
editing a _Selection of Cuneiform Texts_, has just issued two volumes of
important and interesting studies on _Primitive Civilizations_.(34)

The steps of this learned writer in the almost unknown regions which he
explores so fearlessly, and usually with so much success, are not always
perfectly sure; but, with a good faith so natural to him that it does not
seem to cost him even an effort, he knows how to retrace his path and
correct whatever may require rectification.

_Les Premières Civilisations_, several portions of which have been
published in various collections, reappears developed and raised to the
present level attained by scientific discovery. The work opens by a notice
of prehistoric archæology and fossil man, the monuments of the neolithic
period, and the invention of the use of metals and its introduction into
the West. Studies on Egypt follow, including the _Poem of Pentaour_ and
the _Romance of the Two Brothers_. The second volume, with the exception
of the “Legend of Cadmus, and the Phœnician Establishments in Greece,” is
entirely devoted to Chaldæa, presenting us with a Chaldæan Vêda, or
collection of liturgical and devotional hymns in honor of the principal
gods worshipped on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates; the biography of
a Babylonian prince of the VIIIth century before our era, Merodach
Baladan, with whose name the Bible has already made us acquainted;(35)
and, lastly, the Babylonian epic poem of Izdubar. It is this last work of
which the range is the most general and the value the greatest in
connection with the comparative history of the Semitic races, their
national genius, and their religious ideas. It touches, amongst other
things, upon three points which it is important to put particularly in
relief, on account of the manner in which the inferences resulting from
them strengthen the ground of Christian apologists—namely, the myths of
one of the most important branches of the race of Sem (or, to speak
accurately, the race that was equally descended from Sem and Cham), the
Assyrio‐Chaldæan belief in the immortality of the soul, and the origin of
the signs of the Zodiac. There is also a fourth point—that of the
tradition of the Deluge.

It has been repeatedly maintained by the sceptic, M. Renan, and is in fact
one of his favorite ideas, that the Semites were radically incapable of
producing an epic poem. He refuses everything to this race—imagination,
the power of invention, the knowledge of the experimental method,
philosophy, and science. One thing alone he accords to them—the
monotheistic instinct. Now, the cuneiform tablets demonstrate that the
sciences, especially those of astronomy and mathematics, held a very
considerable place in the intellectual pursuits of the Babylonians and
Assyrians. The poem of Erech, published by Mr. G. Smith, is sufficient of
itself alone, by means of the fragments which are known to us, to reduce
to nothing all the assertions in his history of the Semitic languages, in
which M. Renan affirms that “the imagination of the Semitic races has
never gone beyond the narrow circle traced around it by the exclusive idea
of the divine greatness. God and man, in presence of each other, in the
bosom of the desert—behold the summary, or, as it is termed in the present
day, the formula, of all their poetry.”(36) Assuredly one never found
one’s self less in the desert in presence of God alone and of man alone
than in the Semitic poems of Chaldæa.

The veritable name of the hero on the banks of the Euphrates, sung by
Homer, has remained unknown to this day. It is constantly found written in
ideographic characters, which, pronounced phonetically, give the three
syllables Iz‐du‐bar; but we know that they were pronounced in quite a
different manner by the Assyrio‐Chaldæans. We are equally certain, from
the testimony of other cuneiform inscriptions, that this Izdubar was one
of the gods of Chaldæa. Nevertheless, he figures here as a simple hero,
and, according to M. Lenormant, is probably Nemrod, “the mighty hunter,”
as he is called in the Book of Genesis, alluding to a popular saying, of
which the remembrance is still preserved in Assyria, as well as in
Palestine, and also in the Egyptian tradition. The historical inscriptions
of Assurbanipal name Resen, one of the cities of Assyria, “the town of the
hunter.”(37)

The Izdubar of the Babylonian inscription, like the Nemrod of the Bible,
reigns over four cities,(38) three of which, named in Genesis, are
certainly identical with those mentioned on the tablet, and which
therefore furnish an argument in favor of the supposition. But however
that may be, Izdubar, whose name signifies “God of fire,” “God of the body
or mass of fire,” is without doubt the ancient Arcadian God of fire whose
worship had so great an importance in the primitive epochs; and this idea
throws much light on the Babylonian poem, to which it, in some sort,
furnishes the key. This poem is divided into twelve _cantos_, if we may so
call them, each forming a distinct episode and inscribed in a separate
tablet. Sir Henry Rawlinson has proved that each canto relates to one of
the twelve signs of the zodiac, and to one of the twelve months of the
year. The god of fire is thus represented as being one with the sun, and
the entire epic consists of a poetical history of the annual revolution of
that luminary, and its accomplishment in the course of twelve months,
around which revolution various incidental episodes have been grouped,
amongst others the narrative of the Deluge. The _dénouement_ of the poem
is the cure of Izdubar, who, at the instigation of the man saved from the
Deluge, plunges into the sea, from whence he issues delivered from a sort
of leprosy which had threatened his life. M. Gubernatis remarks that this
is identical with the Vedic myth of Indra, and also the Hellenic one of
Tithonus. Leprosy is invariably the malady of kingly heroes, and signifies
old age, which, according to popular belief, could only be cured either by
the waters of youth or by the blood of a child. The old solar hero, the
dying sun, sprang forth with renewed youth in the morning, after
traversing the sea of night—a symbol which would naturally possess an
additional force to the nations who beheld the departing sun‐god sink
beneath the Western sea. The Chaldæan epic presents us, therefore, with
the same mythological groundwork as the other polytheistic religions with
regard to the worship of fire and of the sun—a groundwork presenting a
point of contact among the Semitic, Aryan, and Egyptian races which it is
necessary to bear in mind in tracing the comparative histories of the
descendants of the sons of Noe.

The details of the Babylonian poem exhibit a mythology as multitudinous as
that of India or of Greece; the adventures also of Izdubar for the most
part closely resemble those of the classic heroes. He is a great
conqueror, who wins immortality by his splendid exploits and his mighty
labors, some of which remind one of those of Hercules. We see him
successively capture the winged ox, and put an end to the ravages of a sea
monster to which is given the name of Boul—two exploits almost identical
with those of Perseus. As in Egypt the sun, under the name of Osiris, is
the husband of Isis, the personification of the productive power, and
sometimes the moon, so in Chaldæa the sun, Izdubar, espouses Istar, the
moon, who is also the Assyrian Venus, and daughter of the god Sin. Istar
is, however, at this period, already a widow, having lost her first
spouse, whose name signifies “Son of Life.”

In the poem of Erech a great number of other deities appear, together with
Istar. Besides her father, Sin, who is god of the months, we have firstly
Anou, the Oannes of the Greeks, and the first personage of the supreme
triad; then the second member of this triad, Bel, the demiurge; and lastly
the third, Ao, Nesroch,(39) or Nouah. Around these great divinities are
grouped Adar, the god of the planet Saturn; Samas, god of the sun;
Nabo,(40) god of the planet Mercury, and his companion, Sarou; Bin, god of
the atmosphere and tempest; Nergal, of the planet Mars; besides a vast
army of Annunaki, or secondary genii; of Guzalu, or destroying spirits,
and others of inferior race and power. These deities did not agree among
themselves any better than did the gods of the Greek Olympus. Their heaven
appears to have been anything but an abode of peace or love; and in heaven
or hell they quarrelled alike. Istar seems especially to have
distinguished herself by her unaccommodating disposition.

It is believed that the account of the journey of Istar into hell (for the
story of such a journey in the _Odyssey_ and the _Æneid_ had also its
precursor in Chaldæa) formed one of the episodes of the poem of Izdubar,
although the tablet containing it has not yet been discovered; but we
possess it on another fragment, and one which is of great value, as it
furnishes an incontestable proof of the belief of the Assyrio‐Chaldæans in
the immortality of the soul. The abode of the dead is called the
“immutable land,”(41) and corresponds to the Hades of the ancient Greek
poets. It is divided into seven circles, after the model of the celestial
spheres, and is depicted as follows by the Chaldæan poet: “Towards the
unchangeable land; the region [from whence none return]; Istar, the
daughter of Sin, her ear—has turned: the daughter of Sin [has turned] her
ear,—towards the dwelling of the dead, the throne of the god Ir
...,—towards the abode into which he has entered, and whence he has not
come forth,—towards the way of his own descent, by which none
return:—towards the dwelling whereinto he has entered, the prison,—the
place where [the dead] have naught but dust wherewith [to appease] their
hunger; and mud for nourishment:—from whence the light is not seen, and in
darkness they dwell where shades (ghosts), like birds, fill the vaulted
space,—where, above the uprights and lintel of the portal the earth is
upheaped.”(42) Allusion is also made several times to this “unchangeable
land” in other poems in the collection of Assurbanipal, as well as to
spirits who wander back to earth, and dead who return to torment the
living. In a note on the religious belief of the Assyrians Mr. Fox Talbot
publishes two prayers composed to ask for eternal life to be granted to
the king. The meaning of the first is not perfectly clear, but of the
second, which is very explicit, we give the most important passage: “After
the gift of the present days, in the festivals of the land of the silver
sky, in the shining courts, in the abode of benedictions, in the light of
the fields of felicity, may he live an eternal life, sacred in the
presence of the gods of Assyria.”(43) Also, in a hymn to the god Marduk,
are traces of a belief in the resurrection of the dead. This deity is
repeatedly called “the merciful, who restores the dead to life.”

Thus, then, the Semites believed in the immortality of the soul; but
monotheism was far from being a privilege of their race, by which it would
be possible to explain the origin of the Judaic religion without
providential intervention and regulation; and thus we see the Chaldæan
poets combat along the whole line the assertions of M. Renan respecting
their belief and genius alike. Never did facts with more pitiless emphasis
give the lie to the learned; and it seems as if the historian of the
Semetic languages had had a secret presentiment of humiliations which
would result to him from a more generally extended study of Assyriology,
when at its outset, about fifteen years ago, he attacked it with a
determination which has not been forgotten.(44)

Another historical fact which may be gathered from the Babylonian epic is
the mythological signification of the signs of the zodiac. The cuneiform
inscriptions have already shown us that not only was Asia the cradle of
the human race, but that it was also the primitive nursery of
civilization. It can no longer be doubted that it was from thence, instead
of, as has been supposed, from Egypt, that Greece herself received
indirectly her first lessons in the arts, as it was also from thence that
she received her metals. It is equally in Chaldæa that we find the origin
of astronomy and of the zodiacal signs; the nomenclature of the latter, as
it remains at the present day, differing in no essential point from that
established by the Babylonian astronomers, although its value and
signification have hitherto been very obscure. This obscurity has been
dissipated by _The Poem of Izdubar_, which shows that the ancient Assyrian
mythology bestowed on the signs their figures and their names. The myths
relating to each of the months formed the subjects of the twelve episodes
of the poem. Thus, for instance, the second narrated the capture of the
winged bull; and the second month is designated as “the month of the
propitious bull,” and has Taurus for its sign. Again, the sixth song
related the marriage of Istar with Izdubar, and began with the goddess’
message to the hero: the sixth month is called “the month of the message
of Istar,” and has for its sign the archeress, of which we have made
Virgo, the virgin, who, according to the attestation of the prism of
Assurbanipal, was the goddess Istar herself. The eleventh tablet is
consecrated to the god Bin, “the inundator—he who pours abroad the rain,”
and the sign of that month is the shedder of water, or the vase pouring it
forth. Thus crumbles away the whole chronological scaffolding raised by
the school of Dupuis, according to whom the zodiacal signs were only to be
explained as having direct relation to agricultural labors, and the phases
of the seasons to be regarded in reference to the productions of the
earth—an interpretation which made it necessary to withdraw the origin of
man to an enormously distant period of the past, in order to reach a time
in which, owing to the precession of the equinoxes, the presence of the
sun in the sign Taurus should coincide with the season of ploughing. All
these calculations were equally fanciful with those founded on the famous
zodiac of Denderah, and it is now ascertained beyond all reasonable doubt
that the zodiacal signs have a religious or rather mythological, and not
an agricultural, origin.

—The above is in great part translated from an article by M. Gregoire in
the _Revue des Questions Historiques_, for April, 1874.



New Publications.


    LIFE OF ANNE CATHARINE EMMERICH. By Helen Ram. London: Burns &
    Oates. 1874. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication Society.)


Many of our readers must have read that part of the record of Catharine
Emmerich’s visions by Clement Brentano which has been translated into
English. Those who have been pleased and edified by them will be delighted
with this life of the holy and highly favored ecstatic virgin. It is a
charming and wonderful life, especially that portion which relates the
history of Anne Catharine’s miraculous infancy and childhood. The volume
makes one of F. Coleridge’s series, which we have frequently had occasion
to praise. We have been surprised to see in the pages of a book issued
under the supervision of so accurate and careful an editor a number of
inaccuracies in style and typographical errors.


    BRIC‐A‐BRAC SERIES—NO. 2: ANECDOTE BIOGRAPHIES OF THACKERAY AND
    DICKENS. New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co. 1874.


These recollections and anecdotes of the two favorite English writers of
fiction are very readable, and those which relate to Thackeray especially
interesting.


    THE YOUNG CATHOLIC’S ILLUSTRATED SCHOOL SERIES, comprising: The
    Young Catholic’s Illustrated Primer, Speller, First Reader, Second
    Reader, Third Reader, and Fourth Reader. New York: The Catholic
    Publication Society, 9 Warren St. 1874.


Every effort which is likely, in any way, to help on the great work of
Catholic education, has of course our entire sympathy. Humanly speaking,
the destiny of the church in the United States is to be determined by the
education which we give to our children, and the almost universal
recognition of this truth by the Catholics of America is, we are
persuaded, the most certain evidence that we have really made progress. It
is only within a comparatively recent time that we have come to fully
realize the inevitable and fatal results of allowing our children to
frequent the public schools, and to thoroughly understand that the common‐
school system of education, based, as it is, upon the implied assumption
of the untruth of positive religion, logically and in fact leads to
infidelity or to what is scarcely less an evil—religious indifference. The
church without the school‐house is incomplete, and can at best do but half
work; and we consequently find that almost all of our bishops are now
beginning to demand that every parish shall have its parochial school.

We have been at some pains to examine the returns made by the different
diocesan authorities to the publishers of the _Catholic Almanac_, and we
find that last year there were in the whole country about three hundred
and eighty thousand children attending our Catholic schools. This is
probably less than half the number of Catholic children of school age in
the United States; still, we are already doing enough to show that
Catholic primary education must be recognized as one of the institutions
of the country, and that those who have control of it should set to work
without delay to give it a thorough organization. It is well to teach our
people that the public schools are dangerous to the faith and morals of
their children; it is far better to render them useless by bringing our
own up to the standard of excellence which the more abundant means and
opportunities of the state have enabled it to give to its educational
establishments. There are, we know, many parochial schools which are in
every respect equal to those of the state; but under the present system
everything is left to the zeal and energy of the pastor. What we want is a
system which will cause every parochial school to come up to the
requirements of a prescribed standard of excellence. In a word, the
necessity of the times demands the organization of Catholic education.

Each diocese should have its school boards and its official examiners and
visitors. Annual diocesan school reports should be published, accompanied
by remarks on the defects observed in the practical management of the
schools and in the methods of teaching.

Out of these diocesan school boards and school reports in due time a
national Catholic school system would grow into vigorous life. More of
this another time; at present we are glad to take note of the greater
desire for excellence in our elementary schools, shown by the demand for
improved class‐books.

As our system of education is distinctively Catholic, it of course
requires Catholic text‐books—books composed with a special view to the
principles which underlie the Catholic theory of pedagogy.

This truth has been recognized by the bishops of the United States, who,
both in the First and Second Plenary Councils of Baltimore, made this one
of the subjects of their thought.

That The Catholic Publication Society, which has done so much to elevate
the tone of our literature, has felt authorized to begin the issue of a
complete series of such works, is undoubtedly an indication of the general
feeling among Catholics of the want of improved class‐books, especially
for our elementary schools, which are by far the most important, since
they more directly concern the welfare of the masses of our people.

Whilst we are grateful for what has been done in this matter, we cannot
shut our eyes to the many defects of most of the text‐books now in use. We
have before us the Young Catholic’s Illustrated Primer, Speller, First,
Second, Third, and Fourth Readers; and we have read and examined them with
conscientious care, and we have at the same time compared them with
similar publications of other houses, and we therefore feel competent to
speak of their merits, if not with authority, at least with knowledge.
That they should be superior to any other books of the kind is only what
we had the right both to expect and to demand, and that they are has
already been generally recognized by the Catholic press of the country.

In the choice and arrangement of the matter we discern admirable good
sense and tact; in the illustrations, which are very numerous and nearly
all original, being explanatory of the text, excellent taste; whilst in
the mechanical execution we perceive the skilful workmanship that usually
characterizes the books of The Catholic Publication Society.

The series is graded in strict accordance with scientific principles of
education, and combines all that is important in the word and phonic
methods of teaching, without, however, excluding the _a, b, c_ drill.
Books must always remain the indispensable instruments for imparting
instruction in school, and hence it is of the greatest moment that the
pupil should from the very start be attracted to them. Most children enter
school eager to learn; the craving for knowledge is a divine instinct
implanted in their hearts by the Author of their being, which they have
already in a thousand ways sought to satisfy by their fruitless efforts to
penetrate the mystery of beauty with which Nature surrounds them. When
they enter school this intellectual activity should be stimulated, not
repressed. The books first placed in their hands should be simple,
offering many attractions and few difficulties, presenting to their minds
under new forms the objects with which observation has already rendered
them familiar, and which they now first learn to associate with printed
words. These truths have been felt and acted upon by the compilers of the
“Young Catholic’s Series,” which, in simplicity, in correct gradation, in
beauty and attractiveness, far surpasses anything of the kind that has yet
been offered to the Catholic English‐speaking public.

Another truth which can never be lost sight of in Catholic education is
that religion should be the vital element of the whole process of
instruction.

“Give me a lesson in geography,” said Mr. Arnold, “and I will make it
_religious_.” This is what Catholics desire: that the light of religion
should burnish as with fine gold all human knowledge. Indeed, in primary
education religion is almost the only subject of real thought, the only
power able to touch the heart, to raise the mind, and to evoke from
brutish apathy the elements of humanity, and more especially the reason.
As religion is the widest and deepest of all the elements of civilization,
it ought to be the substratum and groundwork of all popular education.

“Popular education,” says Guizot, “to be truly good and socially useful,
must be fundamentally religious.”

In the compilation of text‐books this is precisely the point which demands
the greatest amount of good sense and the most consummate tact. Religion
must run through the whole fabric like a thread of gold. It must form the
atmosphere in which the pupil breathes; it must give coloring to
everything, and everything must in one way or another be made to prove and
explain its dogmas, and yet there must be no cant, no attempt at
preaching, no dull moralizing, and above all no stupidity.

To accomplish all this, our readers will readily believe, is not an easy
task, and yet we have no hesitation in saying that if they will take the
trouble to examine thoroughly the “Young Catholic’s Series,” they will
agree with us in the opinion that it can stand the test of even this
standard of excellence.

                  ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

We learn that the Holy Father has sent a letter of commendation to the
writer of “Italian Confiscation Laws” in THE CATHOLIC WORLD for Oct.,
1873, and ordered a translation of the article.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XX., NO. 116.—NOVEMBER, 1874.



Church Chant _Versus_ Church Music.


An interesting colloquy took place in our mind as we finished the perusal
of the paper entitled “Church Music” which appeared in the August and
September numbers of THE CATHOLIC WORLD. We transcribe it as faithfully as
our memory serves us.

SCENE—_The cloister of a Benedictine monastery. Time, Anno Domini 1000. A
number of monks rehearsing for a festival._

GREGORIUS, _the choir‐master dictating from an open Gradual_. “Listen, my
brothers all. To‐morrow is the festival of S. Polycarp the martyr and the
name‐day of our good father, the abbot. On such a joyous festival we must
not fail to make his heart right glad with our chanting. Let us begin the
Introit. (_Sings._) ‘Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum
celebrantes.’ ”

(_All the monks repeating in chorus_) “Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem—”

(_They are interrupted by a loud knocking at the floor leading from the
cloister. Brother Gregorius, on opening it, is confronted by an aged
stranger with a long, white, flowing beard, bearing in his hand a roll of
printed music, on which the words __“__Boston,__”__ __“__Ditson__”__ and
the date __“__1874__”__ can be discerned._)

GREGORIUS. “Salve, frater.”

AGED STRANGER. “Prof. Hubanus, at your service; and having come from a
great distance, and happily being born at a much later date, I guess you
will find my services on this eve of your joyous festival of some value,
for I am well acquainted with all the best Masses published. By the way,
is one of the brethren lately departed this life?”

GREGORIUS (_with astonishment_). “No, God be praised! Brother Augustine
yonder did leave the infirmary vacant this morning, thanks to Our Blessed
Lady, that no voice might be wanting in the choir on the morrow; but
wherefore the question, good domne Hubanus?”

HUBANUS. “Because I heard you but just now rehearsing such a sorrowful, in
fact, so lugubrious, a _morceau_—an Offertory piece, I presume, for a
Requiem Mass—that I supposed you were getting up the music for some such
occasion.”

(_The monks regard the aged stranger with no little surprise, mingled with
curiosity._)

GREGORIUS. “We must have made indeed sad work of it in our rehearsing.
Worthy Hubanus, it was the _Gaudeamus_ you heard.”

HUBANUS. “The _Gaudeamus_, eh? (_Aside._ I don’t remember seeing that in
Ditson’s catalogue. I wonder what it is. _To Gregorius._) Would you mind
repeating it once more?”

GREGORIUS. “With pleasure. Sing, my brothers.” (_They sing the whole
Introit._)

HUBANUS. “Ah! fine; quite solemn! A Gregorian chant, I perceive. A very
plaintive movement. The _finale_ has an exceedingly mournful effect. In D
minor, is it not? Still, for a Requiem Offertory I think Rossini’s _Pro
Peccatis_, or Gounod’s _Ave Maria_, or ‘Angels ever Bright and Fair,’ for
a change, would please the congregation better.”

ALL THE MONKS. “Plaintive! Our _Gaudeamus_ mournful! Calls an Introit an
Offertory _piece_! Like a Requiem Offertory indeed! An _Ave Maria_ for
that too! What does he mean by D minor? (_Blessing themselves._) Ab omni
malo, libera nos, Domine!”

HUBANUS. “Oh! beg pardon. That is an Introit, is it? Indeed! But, as I
said, I have the honor to be born at a much later date than yourselves,
and we don’t bother ourselves with singing those things in my day and
country. We bring out the finest music, however, in our choir of the
Church of S. Botolph, in the United States, that you can hear. I’m the
organist and director.”

GREGORIUS. “Not sing the Introit! Why, good domne Hubanus, our grand and
joyous festival on the morrow would be robbed of one of its chief features
if we failed to sing the _Gaudeamus_—I mean _the Gaudeamus_ that you have
just heard.”

HUBANUS. “ ‘De gustibus non est disputandum.’ Hem! excuse my indulging in
the classics; those old Latin fellows say a good deal in a few words, you
know. But you don’t seriously mean to say that such monotonous
stuff—excuse my plain speaking on your plain singing—is fit for a joyous
festival? As my friend, Dr. ——, says in his late paper on ‘Church Music,’
‘to hear Gregorian chant for a long time, and nothing else, becomes
extremely monotonous, and burdens the ear with a dull weight of sound not
always tolerable.’ He says, moreover, that ‘this is admitted by all who in
seminaries and monasteries have been most accustomed to hear it.’ ”

GREGORIUS. “Your learned friend did not seek _our_ judgment, I assure you,
and I am at a loss to know who could have made so silly an admission to
him.”

HUBANUS. “But do you not ‘resort to every device,’ as he says again, ‘to
escape its monotony on festival days, by harmonies on the chant which are
out of all keeping with it,’ and so forth?”

GREGORIUS. “_We_ do not, I trust. What little harmony we sing is in strict
keeping with the mode of the chant; and as to escaping anything, we know
the rubrics, domne Hubanus, and respect them, and, what is more, we
observe them.”

HUBANUS. “On that score I have the advantage of you; for it doesn’t
require much knowledge of what you call rubrics to bring out a Mass and
grand Vespers with us. However, this question of plain chant is settled
long ago. It ought to have been settled long before you were born. For, as
Dr. —— continues in his paper, ‘No one will deny the appropriateness and
impressiveness of plain chant on certain solemn occasions, especially
those of sorrow; but it is confessedly unequal to the task of evoking and
expressing the feelings of Christian joy and triumph.’ Ah! Brother
Gregorius, you should have been born later.”

GREGORIUS. “Then we monks, and the generations of the faithful throughout
the world, have for the past thousand years been shut out from the
feelings of Christian joy and triumph, have we? Verily, either we or you
can have known very little of one or of the other, as the observation of
your learned doctor may happen to be true or not. Did the church put a lie
into the mouths of her cantors when she bade them sing, ‘Repleatur os meum
laude tua, alleluia; ut possim cantare, alleluia; gaudebunt labia mea, dum
cantavero tibi, alleluia, alleluia’?”(45)

HUBANUS. “You are a trifle sarcastic, Brother Gregorius; but I willingly
pardon it, for I’m a plain‐spoken man myself, and call a spade a spade.
Besides, you know, you can always fall back on the ‘De gustibus’—a
quotation I often find very convenient; but I warrant me your _prima
donna_ doesn’t find much satisfaction in exhibiting her fine soprano on
your dull chant, which you must confess, with Dr. ——, ‘is of limited, very
limited, range,’ and in my opinion as poor in expression as a kettle‐
drum.”

GREGORIUS. “I crave your pardon, worthy sir. You are a stranger and quite
aged—”

HUBANUS (_interrupting_). “Eighteen hundred and seventy‐four.”

GREGORIUS (_continuing_)—“as the length and whiteness of your beard
proclaim, while we have only the experience of one thousand years, the
lessons of the church, and the _taste_ as well as the examples of the
saints to profit by; but we must confess that of a _prima donna_ we have
never yet heard.”

ALL THE MONKS (_very decidedly_). “Never!”

HUBANUS. “Never heard of a _prima donna_! Why, when _were_ you born? I
mean, of course, the chief lady soprano who sings in the choir.”

(_Here all the monks burst out laughing._)

GREGORIUS (_having got his breath_). “Come, come, my ancient stranger,
that explains all. We knew you must be ‘chaffing’ us, from the very first,
with your ‘mournful _Gaudeamus_’ and your never singing Introits or
obeying the rubrics and the rest. Ha! ha! Truly, a ‘chief lady in the
choir’—_prima donna_, I think you named such a mythical personage—was only
needed to cap the climax of your excellent joke.”

HUBANUS. “Joke! I’m not joking at all. _We_ have ladies in our
choir—(_aside_) and it’s no joke to manage them either—(_to Gregorius_)
and pay them good salaries, as you must; for without that, you know, you
never _can_ have good music.”

(_Here the laughing of the monks suddenly subsided, followed by loud and
angry whispers, of which the __ word __“__heretic__”__ was unmistakably
heard. Brother Gregorius interposed._) “Judge not too hastily, good
brothers. True, no church which oweth obedience to our Holy Father; the
Pope, and which hath a right therefore to call itself Catholic, did ever
yet permit women to sing in church choirs; but what she might have done in
this matter in the country from which this aged stranger comes—be it ever
so contrary to all the rubrics and traditions known unto us—we will the
better learn from his own lips. Women, then, good domne Hubanus, do sing
in the choir in the Catholic churches of your strange land, standing,
perchance, beside the men‐singers?”

HUBANUS. “Where else would they stand? You see we put the sopranos and
tenors on one side, and the altos and basses on the other.”

GREGORIUS (_scratching his shaven crown in great perplexity_). “We have
yet to learn many wonderful things! Canst tell me, worthy Hubanus, how
comes it? Does your learned friend, Dr. ——, speak of this matter in his
celebrated ‘paper’? Doubtless he mentions some decree of the Sacred
Congregation of Rites which hath allowed this—this (_another scratch_)
unheard‐of novelty?”

HUBANUS. “I cannot remember that he made any allusion to it. In fact, I
fancy that he would rather _not_, and I am glad he didn’t. But where’s the
use of making a fuss over it? Haven’t women got voices as well as men, and
what did the Lord give them voices for, if he did not intend them for
use?”

GREGORIUS. “In the choir?”

HUBANUS. “In the choir, or out of the choir, what’s the difference?”

GREGORIUS. “Do the rubrics allow it?”

HUBANUS. “_Ma foi!_ I do not know. (_Aside._) I hope they do, if old
fogies like you are going to stir up _that_ question. (_To Gregorius._) No
lady‐singers! If that were to happen, my occupation, as well as theirs,
would be like Othello’s—gone. For hark you, Brother Gregorius, although I
know but little of your old‐fashioned, barbarous chant—can’t read a note
of it, to tell the truth—if women‐singers are banished from the choir,
music goes with them. The music I like requires the female voice. I
wouldn’t waste my time with a parcel of boys and on such music as they can
sing.”

GREGORIUS. “What music is this of which you speak so often? Hath the
church adopted a new style of melody which is not chant?”

HUBANUS. “No, not adopted precisely, but there is a new music—everybody
knows it—written by Mozart, Haydn, Mercadante, Peters, and several others,
which organists and choirs make use of in our day. Some prefer one, some
another, according to taste. ‘De gustibus,’ you know.”

GREGORIUS. “Yet tell me—for here the strangeness of your news almost
surpasses belief—how _dare_ the organists and choirs make use of _any_
melody in accompanying the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and absolving the
Divine Office which has not been adopted, or at least distinctly
sanctioned, by holy church, to whom it appertains to dispose the ordering
even of the most minute rubric in these important matters concerning the
due praise of God and the sure edification of the people?”

HUBANUS. “All I can say is, we do it. It is tolerated in some places, and
my friend in his paper quotes some ‘Instructions’ which the cardinal vicar
in Rome issued to his own clergy to prove the toleration; but, to my
thinking, they sound very much like the careful mother’s permission to her
boy who asked leave to learn to swim—‘Certainly, my child, but don’t you
never go near the water, leastways any water that is over your ankles.’ ”

GREGORIUS. “I think I understand, for I have heard our good father, the
abbot, say that ‘he who would be well carried must not drive with too
stiff a rein’; and my holy novice‐master, Father Ambrose—to whose soul may
God grant rest!—did oft chide my hasty judgment upon my fellow‐novices,
saying in his sweet way, and after the manner of his wise speech, ‘Thou
wouldst _re_form monks, good Brother Gregorius, before they are formed.
All they need is a little _instruction_.’ At present every one is well
pleased with your music?”

HUBANUS. “Oh! that is quite another question. Dr. —— himself does not seem
to think so, for he says in his paper: ‘In consequence of the failure of
modern composers to meet the requirements of Catholic devotion, though
their music has been introduced into our churches and given every chance
of trial, complaints against it are heard on every side. We grumble about
it in our conversations; we write against its excesses in the public
journals; bishops complain of it in pastoral letters; provincial councils
are forced to issue decrees about it; the Sovereign Pontiffs themselves
not unfrequently raise their voices, sometimes in warning, sometimes in
threats—in a word, the _evil_ seems to have attracted a good deal of
attention.’ ”

ALL THE MONKS. “Ab omni malo, libera nos, Domine!”

GREGORIUS. “His account of your _music_—which you seem, nevertheless, to
prize so much more highly than our dear holy _chant_, which hath the
undoubted sanction of the church—gives pretty plain evidence that the
church hath not adopted it in any wise. It rather suggests the thought
that she would gladly be rid of it altogether, abstaining, however, like
Father Ambrose, from reforming musicians before they are formed, and
resolving, as he did often pleasantly say, to my comfort, ‘Thou shalt see,
Brother Gregorius, that I shall _make no change in our holy Rule_.’ ”

HUBANUS. “One would think you were born later, after all; for it would
appear that our Holy Father, Pius the Ninth—pity you haven’t lived to know
him, Brother Gregorius, for he is the dearest pope that has ruled the
church since the days of S. Peter—is in the van among the leaders of the
‘Gregorian movement,’ since a little while ago he made a decree that the
Gregorian chant should be taught in all the ecclesiastical schools of the
states of the church, _to the exclusion of every other kind of
music_—‘Cantus Gregorianus, omni alio rejecto, tradetur.’ You see he
wishes to get the Roman priests educated up to it—Rome rules the world—and
the thing is done. ‘Othello’s occupation is gone!’ But how in the world we
shall ever get up a Christmas or an Easter Mass that is fit to listen to
when that day comes is more than I can tell.”

GREGORIUS. “Despair not, good Hubanus. Remain with us past the morrow, and
thou shalt hear a holy Mass and solemn Vespers which will warm the cockles
of thy heart, chanted in strains of melody that belie neither the
sentences of joyful praise which are uttered nor the exultation which doth
lift the hearts of the brethren to heaven, and fill the festival hours
with a divine gladness. (_To the monks._) Brothers, let us rehearse the
_Gloria in Excelsis_.”

                  ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

As the curtains of our memory dropped upon the scene we have just been
present at, our eyes caught sight again of the sentence quoted by Prof.
Hubanus: “In consequence of the failure of modern composers to meet the
requirements of Catholic devotion”—which _failure_ is so utter that, in
the judgment of the same writer, he “thinks it no exaggeration to say
that, if all their compositions, except a very few, were burned, or should
otherwise perish, the church would suffer no loss.”

But what of the figured musical compositions of those musicians who may in
our time be honored with the title of “ancient,” such as Palestrina and
his imitators? The music of this style forms, we are told, the staple of
what is commonly heard in S. Peter’s. The writer of the article we allude
to evidently believes any attempt to make such music popular would be no
less a failure. The intricacy of the style, the exceeding difficulties
attendant upon its artistic execution, and its restricted vocal character,
are “fatal” objections.

We fully agree with him. In our former articles on this subject (THE
CATHOLIC WORLD, December, 1869, and February and March, 1870) we not only
pronounced modern figured music to be in practice a failure as _church_
music, but intended also to be understood as asserting that the cause of
this failure lay chiefly in the melodious form of such music—the necessary
result of a tonality essentially sensuous, which renders it, despite every
effort of the artist, intrinsically unsuitable for the expression of the
“prayer of the church.” That there is _prayerful_ music we do not deny,
but it will never obtain any more positive sanction from the church than
she gives to the hundred and one sentimental “prayers” and turgid
“litanies” which fill the pages of our “largest books of devotion” _ad
nauseam_, and are equally supposed by the uneducated Catholic and the
ignorant Protestant to be the masterpieces of Catholic musical and
liturgical art.

We did not think it necessary, writing as we did for a special class of
readers, to explain the distinguishing characteristics of the church’s
“prayer,” being, as our learned friend says, fourfold—latreutic,
impetratory, propitiatory, and eucharistic. To us the church was not
wanting in wisdom in the adoption alone of plain chant to express her
divine prayer, whether it happen to be latreutic, impetratory,
propitiatory, or eucharistic. She never made any distinction that we know
of. But our learned friend, while he cannot help but admit that for the
purposes of adoration, propitiation, and supplication it is not only all
that could be desired, but is also better than any other melody, denies,
with an _ipse dixit_, its capability of expressing praise and
thanksgiving. Argument does not seem to be worth seeking. “Plain chant,”
he says, “is confessedly unequal to the task of evoking and expressing the
feelings of Christian joy and triumph.” And again: “It certainly must
borrow from figured music the triumphant strains of praise and
thanksgiving.”

Neither one nor the other. We confess to nothing of the kind. And
although, by the rule of argumentation, we are not called upon to prove a
negative, we refer to the response good Brother Gregorius has already
made, and would furthermore ask if the _Te Deum_, the _Exultet_, the
_Preface_ for Easter Sunday, the _Alleluia_ of Holy Saturday, or the
_Lauda Sion_, are confessedly unequal to the task assigned them?

As far as the question has any practical importance, we feel that not
another word need be said. Plain chant is in lawful possession, and cannot
be ousted by personal caprice or taste, nor by gratuitous assumptions of
its inability to answer the end proposed by the wise authority of the
church; still less by a proposed substitution of a system which, after
three centuries of vain efforts to supplant the rightful possessor, is
declared, even by its own friends, to be “a failure,” and the majority of
its painfully‐produced works fit only to be consigned to the flames.

We have, however, a question of more merit to discuss. If modern music has
failed to meet the requirements of Catholic devotion, it will be not a
little interesting to examine into the true cause of this failure. It will
be found to lie in its melodic form (not in the use of harmony), which
came into being with the introduction of the chord of the diminished
seventh and the substitution of the instrumental, factitious scales called
major and minor for the four natural vocal, authentic scales and their
four correlative plagal scales. Like seeks like, and as this chord of the
seventh was an inspiration of sentimental, languishing, passional feeling,
the new music sought its language in poetry, and chiefly in lyric poetry,
in which every sort of human passion finds smooth expression; and as this
latter is divided into regular feet, with recurring emphasis and cadence,
music soon found itself set to time. Its melody became measured. Pegasus
found himself in harness. To express the sublime, the heroic, was only
possible now by knocking down the bars, putting it all _ad libitum_, and
calling the phrase _recitative_; and as the passage from the sublime to
the ridiculous is proverbially short, the composition of many of these
recitatives, in their leaping intervals and startling contrasts, vividly
remind one of Pegasus let loose to scamper and roll unbridled in the open
fields.

The invention and perfection of musical instruments are coincident with
the rise and progress of the system of melody known as “modern music,” the
organ and piano holding the mastery. To these are due, in great measure,
the universal cultivation of the modern tonality, and the consequent loss
of appreciation of the tonality of the ecclesiastical modes. It is heard
in the lullaby at the cradle’s side, whistled by boys in the streets, sung
by children in popular melodies and hymns at school, confirmed by all the
concerts given by orchestras in halls, theatres, and public meetings;
every young lady strums it forth from her piano, every organist modulates
it in church, while all bells, from thousands upon thousands of churches,
jangle it forth from one end of Christendom to the other. That the church
has been able to withstand the pressure of all this, and still dares to
command her priests to chant “per omnia sæcula sæculorum” to her own
ancient mode, is, even in that simple and significant sentence, a proof of
her divine strength to resist the most alluring seductions and powerful
onslaughts of the world, and a note of calm defiance to its “fashion which
passeth away.”

We are now prepared to enter into a critical examination of the essential
character of music as distinguished from plain chant. In the first place,
we find, as we have already noted, that it is measured in its melody—that
is, it is written, as it is said, in _time_; and, as a consequence of its
lyrical movement, it became equally subjected to certain laws of
versification and of phraseology corresponding to the stanza. When
musicians began to write for the language of the church, and to set the
sublime prose of her _Gloria in Excelsis_, _Credo_, etc., to its form of
melody, this supposed necessity of making musical stanzas compelled the
application of what is known in music as the theme, on which certain
fanciful variations were built, shorter or longer, as the musician deemed
necessary to complete his “work,” altogether forming a sort of Procrustean
bed, on which the sacred words of the Liturgy were either dismembered or
stretched by repetition in order to make them fit the melody. To make the
“work” fit the words was not to be thought of; whence we judge it well for
the peace of Mr. Richardson that Mozart and Haydn have departed this life.
We remember, when a boy, long before we had made more than a child’s
acquaintance with the modern “Masses,” squeezing the _Kyrie Eleison_ after
this fashion on the framework of one of De Beriot’s celebrated airs for
violin and piano, and gave ourselves as much credit for the originality of
the “adaptation” as we are willing to give to the man who first of all (to
the misfortune of true church chant) tried to compose a musical theme for
the same words of prayer. We refer our readers to the late paper on
“Church Music” in the August and September numbers of this magazine, and
to the translation of the _Gloria in Excelsis_ of Mozart’s Twelfth Mass,
as given in one of our former articles, as proofs of the perfectly
outrageous extent to which this “adaptation” has already been carried.

Now, we affirm, as a principle, that the expression of the “Prayer of
sacrifice and of praise,” as we may term the Holy Mass and the recitation
of the Divine Office, should be consonant with, and conformed to, the
manner in which the church directs the celebration of the acts of the
same. The celebrant and his ministers, the acolytes and the chorus, do not
march, halt, turn about, or otherwise conduct themselves like soldiers or
like puppets on wires, neither do they hop and glide and go through set
figures like dancers. Melody in measure is therefore wholly unsuited to
the character and spirit of the acts of the performers.

In connection with the acts of Catholic worship, melody in measure is
therefore incongruous, unmeaning, and absurd. For, to put the question
plainly, if neither celebrant, ministers, chorus, nor people are to
march—to do which, even in her sacred processions, would be shocking and
profane—why sing a march? If they are not to waltz, why sing one? If the
church does not want to


    “Make the soul dance a jig to heaven,”


then, in the name of common sense, why shall Master Haydn be permitted to
offer the church singers a musical jig? The truth of the matter is that
such measured movements, added to the gymnastic feats of melody which
characterize the phrasing of the greater number of modern “Masses,” are
ignorantly supposed to faithfully express that Christian joy and triumph
which plain chant is quite as ignorantly supposed to be unable to inspire.

Let any one examine the church’s chant, and especially its movement, and
he will not fail to be struck with its remarkable consonance with, and the
sense of exact propriety of, its accompaniment to the movements and
demeanor of the sacred ministers and of all who are appointed to assist
them in carrying out the sacred functions of divine worship. How majestic
and dignified, how modest and devout, are its measures! A sort of
continuous procession of sound, resembling now the deep murmurings of the
waves of the ocean, now the gentle breathings of the wind, now the
prolonged echoes of distant thunder, now the soft whispering of the woods
in summer! Always grave and decorous in its phrasing. Never indulging in
trivial antics or in meretricious languishing and voluptuous undulations.
Time and arithmetical measures do not straiten and confine its heavenly
inspirations, for the thoughts of the soul, and chiefly the thoughts of
prayer, do not move like clockwork. One does not adore five minutes,
propitiate two minutes, supplicate half a minute, and give thanks ten
seconds; and to do either in 2/4 3/4 or 6/8 time would be the height of
the ridiculous. A friend tells us that the only time he ever had to do
either at High Mass was during the performance of that part of the score
called “_point d’orgue_.” Is it any wonder that music for the church is a
failure, and that plain chant still holds its own?

_Secondly._ The melody of modern music is essentially mechanical. Formed
as it has been upon improved instrumentation, it is neither more nor less
than a musical performance. The melody is therefore the chief thing; the
words and their expression are only secondary. From which, as a necessary
result—if the music be worth listening to—the most accomplished vocalists
that the pecuniary resources of the church can procure are called in to
render the selections. Hence, also, the introduction of women into the
choir, contrary to the laws and traditions of the church, the banishment
of the chorus from the sanctuary, and the erection of the detestable
Protestant singing‐gallery over the doorway of the church. This latter
flagrant innovation on the proper rubrical disposition of the choir has
been lately specially condemned in the “Instructions” of the cardinal
vicar at Rome. No one surely will have the hardihood to call modern music
an “ecclesiastical song,” as it should be called or it has no place in the
church. It is the song of professional singers, distinctly a mechanical
performance, and open, without the possibility of reform, to the most
shocking abuses. What organist cannot recall instances in which the male
and female singers carried on and perfected their courtship in the choir,
and where in the same holy (?) place eating and drinking were indulged in
during the sermon, and the daily newspapers read? The drinking of water or
the chewing of tobacco—well, we would like to see the priest who has been
able to banish either from his singing‐gallery. These and other numerous
irregularities we think ourselves fully justified in adducing as argument
in this connection, simply _because they exist_, are _common_,
_notorious_, and are a tolerated incumbrance with the mechanism; and, if
effectually banished, would leave the said mechanism subject to no little
friction and the production of tones of complaint which, whether they
proceed from unoiled hinges or choirs, are not agreeable, considered as
music.

Compare, again, the character and movement of those upon whom the
ceremonies devolve. They are not at all mechanical, but strictly personal.
In the first place, the actors are of a restricted class. They must be
either men or boys. Women and girls are not permitted to celebrate or
serve in any capacity at the sacred functions. The services of a graceful
and intelligent acolyte are exceedingly pleasant and edifying to behold,
but the stupidest and most awkward, blundering and unkempt boy would be
preferable, and must be preferred, before any number of the brightest,
most beautiful and quick‐witted girls, because he alone possesses the one
personal qualification requisite for that office—he is of the male sex.
Intelligence, beauty, and graceful manners are not employed by the church
for their own sake.

Again, the celebrant must be a priest, the deacon must have received
deacon’s orders, and all others who, although laymen, may, as acolytes and
choristers, aid the consecrated personages in their duties, are invested
with a quasi‐ecclesiastical character while in office. No one should ever
dream of engaging the services of Jews, Protestants, or infidels, or even
of Catholics whose lives were notoriously bad, or who scandalously
neglected receiving the sacraments, as our “gallery‐choirs” are
constituted in many a church in this country.

In the event of the priest not been able to sing, through any infirmity,
no layman of the congregation could take his place, although he were the
finest singer in the world, the very prince of _cæremoniarii_, and a
greater saint than S. Peter himself.

From which considerations it will readily be seen how unsuited music is
for the use of such persons acting in such a capacity.

Practically, music is the song of women. We shall show further on that it
is essentially effeminate. There is music which men and boys can perform,
it is true, but it is not the genuine article. The want of the female
voice for the soprano is always felt; and in some countries where women
are not yet admitted as church singers, and “church music” is highly
prized, this want is supplied by _castrati_. It is not the song of
ecclesiastics. That the use of it is _tolerated_, we know; that the
singing of women and _castrati_ in church is also tolerated, we know; but
the “Instructions” (we guarantee that nineteen out of twenty would agree
with us in saying that “Restrictions” would be their better title) of the
cardinal vicar on “church music,” referred to by the writer of the late
articles on that subject in THE CATHOLIC WORLD, remind us of the probable
“instructions” that would be given if the abuse of female acolytes were to
creep in to any great extent. We would find, without doubt, prohibitions
against the wearing of the hair in curls, or _frisée_, or _à la_
Pompadour, short sleeves, low necks, and crinoline. They would be
instructed also, without doubt, to wear a plain black cassock and linen
surplice, be shod like men, and let not their courtesies savor of the
_débût_ of actresses upon the stage of a theatre. If these instructions
would be faithfully observed _ex animo_, and boys were not extinct as a
sex in the congregation, we do not think they would very long have any
practical application.

Contrast now the character of plain chant with music as a suitable song
for the duly‐qualified church singers, from the priest down to the
humblest cantor. That it is the only song fit for the consecrated priest
needs no argument. Thank God, there is no “toleration” of “priests’
music,” “sacerdotal solos,” “Prefaces,” and “Pater Nosters,” _à la_
Mozart, Haydn, Cherubini, or Peters! It is distinguished especially by
that gravity of movement, that _modestie ecclesiastique_, in its
intonation, which becomes the sacerdotal character. Any other melody from
the mouth of a priest at the altar would scandalize not only the least
ones of the brethren of Christ, but the greatest also; and however
terrible the “woe” our Lord would pronounce upon those who might
scandalize the latter, we are not left in ignorance of what is reserved
for those who fall under his judgment for scandalizing the former. Any one
who has had the good fortune of assisting at a Mass chanted by a properly
vested chorus, in strict Gregorian melody, with organ accompaniment, if
you will—that is, nothing more than an accompaniment, as the cardinal
vicar desires—will assuredly bear testimony that it was not a musical
performance—that is, a melodious concert performed for its own sake in any
degree—but a religious performance, a chant of priests and the “likes of
them,” suggesting nothing of this world’s vanities or luxury, and as
unlike modern music and its mechanism as the melodious whisperings of an
æolian harp are unlike a hand‐organ with monkey _obbligato_.

What is, to say the least, astonishing, if not lamentable, is to see so
many priests devoted with ardor to the study of music, and so many more
sanctioning and furthering its inroads upon the domain which it behooves
them to cultivate, whilst remaining wholly ignorant of the chant, and
unable to intone the _Gloria in Excelsis_ or to sing a Collect or Gospel
without blundering at every inflection. We see no impropriety in pressing
these facts home upon those who are bound by the laws of their profession
to interest themselves in the claims which Gregorian chant makes upon
them, in order that they may decently perform the sacred functions
committed to their care—how sacred one single reflection will show. For
what is the song of the priest? It is not a private performance of his
own, but rather an inspired expression of the mind of the church, herself
the divine voice of God. When she prays and sings, she prays a divine
prayer, and sings a divine song. God prays and sings within the walls of
the church, the New Jerusalem, which has come down like a bride out of
heaven upon the earth. True, it is the priest who prays and sings; but let
him not forget that there is a Voice of supplication which ascends to the
throne of the Almighty and Eternal Majesty that is not his, and a song
which sounds sweetly in the ears of the Divine Mercy, and celebrates the
praises of the Most High, whose melody is not the inspiration of his soul.

The Divine, Incarnate Victim of Calvary is the Suppliant, and the Son of
David and of Mary is the Singer. And we are told—do our senses not deceive
us?—that his song is become extremely monotonous, and burdens the ear with
a weight of sound not always tolerable! No, we will not allow in excuse
that this sneer of disdain and expression of contempt is only for the
chorus, and is not meant for the consecrated priest. There is a divine
unity and faultless harmony in the “prayer” of Jesus Christ as the church
utters it. It is the seamless garment which clothes his mystic body; who
shall dare to rend it?

What master‐mind conceived and executed the magnificent and inimitable
spectacle which that prayer presents in a solemn Mass and Vespers to the
minds and hearts of devout worshippers? What cunning artificer devised the
harmony of a composition so complete? Who breathed into all those prayers
and anthems, hymns and psalms, Epistles and Gospels from Holy Writ, that
spirit of devotion and piety, and informed them with those lessons of the
purest morality and professions of the universal faith of Christendom?
What more than angelic Artist knew how to dye the martyr’s chasuble in
blood, and transfer the spotless purity of the lily to the stole of the
confessor and the virgin; to weave the robes of penance with the violet’s
mournful hue, and paint the verdure of the grass upon the ferial vesture?
Who is that heavenly Musician whose soul gave birth to that sweet,
intellectual, majestic melody espoused so happily to those chosen words of
devout contemplation, of lofty praise, of innocent joy, of dolorous
compassion, and of sanctified sorrow? We must look to other sources than
mere human science or artistic skill for a solution of these questions.
The mind and hand of a _divine_ Artist must be in that work whose unity
and harmony the hand of man will not sooner or later disfigure, mutilate,
reject, or destroy. That artist is the Holy Ghost, who is the Lord and
Life‐giver of the church, in whom the mystic life of Jesus Christ is
perpetuated by the like ineffable overshadowing which wrought his
conception in the womb of the Immaculate Virgin—that Spirit of wisdom,
from whom come all those inspirations of genius whose matchless
productions and marvellous power are the wonder of the world, the envy of
the flesh, and the hate of the devil.

But, no; we must believe that the divine Artist has failed, “confessedly”
failed, in this one of his masterpieces. Its noblest, highest purpose
found no adequate expression. Jesus Christ has been unable to manifest the
joy and triumph of his Sacred Heart, the sublimest purpose of his
eucharistic life, and his song is fit only to be chanted as a wail over
the dead or as groans of penance in sackcloth and ashes!

Do you believe it? We don’t.

To Be Concluded Next Month.



A Vision.


A vision of our Mary, heavenly Queen,
    Appeared to me in silence of the night.
    Around her flowed a stream of golden light
In which she stood with sweet, celestial mien
And beauty but before by angels seen.
    With rapture I beheld the blessèd sight,
    That beamed upon me ravishingly bright;
And while entranced, methought her eyes serene
    Did rest upon me, and a holy spell
My being thrilled with ecstasy unknown;
    But darkness soon upon my senses fell,
Though not before the bliss and joy were shown
    That those enjoy who with her ever dwell
In life eternal round the holy throne.



On The Wing. A Southern Flight. VII. Concluded.


“I wish you and Mary would go down to the Vernons, Jane,” said Frank,
coming into our room one morning about three weeks after my engagement
with Don Emidio. “I did not see Ida; but Elizabeth tells me she is not
well, and I believe it all arises from the annoyances to which they have
been exposed through the conduct of the Casinelli. It has grown into a
complete persecution, for people never forgive those they have injured.”

“What are they doing now to vex Ida?” asked Mary.

“I do not understand all the _pros_ and _cons_ of the matter; but I found
Elizabeth rather anxious about Ida, and she could not leave her to walk
with me, as she had promised last night.”

That, of course, was a very serious affair, and one which demanded
immediate rectification, at least in Frank’s opinion—as any similar event
would have done in the estimation of the other gentleman who so often
formed one of our small circle; for I had long since found out that I was
not to be allowed the privilege of a headache, or any other excuse for
solitude, without a rigorous investigation of the merits of the case being
set on foot by Don Emidio.

Of course Mary and I lost no time in going to Villa Casinelli. We took the
path that had been cleared through the vineyard, on purpose to save Mary
the fatigue of the longer way by the road. The _vigneroli_ had taken great
pains to make this little approach for the “padre’s friends,” as we were
always called; and they had thrown a plank with a fragile hand‐rail across
the little, rocky stream where they washed the clothes, and which stream
formed the boundary between the property of the Casinelli and that of
their neighbors. For a short walk it was nevertheless rather a fatiguing
one; for it was up and down all the way, and included one or two short
flights of stone steps.

In the early spring the yellow oxalis had covered the ground like a carpet
embroidered in gold and green. Now the beans had taken the place of the
gayer blossoms, and filled the air with their sweet perfume.

The donkey that took the cart full of clean linen twice a week to Naples
had his _al fresco_ stable beneath the shade of a venerable fig‐tree close
by—a blessing promised to his betters in Biblical times, and one which I
am sure he too merited in his degree, and I have no doubt considered the
fig‐tree as his own. Being noisy and loquacious, like all other two or
four legged creatures in Naples, he always greeted us with a loud bray
when we passed by.

I do not believe any donkey was ever so fond of expressing his opinions as
that particular animal. I had for some time tried to discover whether his
utterances predicted rain, according to the general belief that asses bray
when it is going to be wet. But not a cloud could be seen, and no rain
fell for weeks; and certainly this particular ass was by no means
barometrical in his utterances.

I sometimes had my fears that, as formerly it had been Paolino’s duty to
feed the poor beast, and that now the lad was in our service, perhaps the
fodder was sometimes forgotten by his young master’s younger sisters, and
that the loud, inharmonious greeting he gave us was meant as a perpetual
protest against the injustice of which we were indirectly the cause.

We found Ida suffering from nervous reaction occasioned by the effort to
appear cheerful and composed under the various annoyances, and by the
feeling that a good work had been put an end to by the malice of designing
people. In addition to which, her mother was exposed to a variety of
irritating insults which it was hard for her daughters to bear in
patience. Mrs. Vernon was exceedingly fond of flowers, and thoroughly
understood the cultivation of a garden. She had taken great pains with the
very small enclosure which was allotted to their apartment, and from it
the altar and their own rooms had been supplied in abundance. But now, no
matter how early in the morning she visited her garden, the Casinelli’s
gardener had always the advantage of her, and had picked not only the best
flowers, but even the strawberries, which she had been watching with the
kind intention of giving them to us. He plainly told her one day, when he
met her as he came out of her garden with a basketful of her flowers on
his arm, that he had gathered them by his mistress’ special desire. These
things were trifles in themselves; but they were a severe trial when they
came to be repeated day by day, in one form or another of petty insult and
daring impertinence, and generally directed either against Padre Cataldo,
who could not revenge his own cause, or against an aged lady in the
enjoyment of her few pleasures, or, lastly, in attacking the moral
character of the servants, and trying to spread about unfounded
accusations. Ida’s strong sense of justice, which amounted to a passion,
and which made it intolerable to her to see the weak “put upon,” had
worked her up into a state of nerves injurious to her health. Mary and I
spent the day with the Vernons, trying to divert their thoughts, and
preaching that patience which we were far from feeling ourselves.

About the time that these troublesome events were occurring we made an
excursion to the Carthusian church and monastery of San Martino, which
stands on the same summit as the Castle of St. Elmo, a little in front of
it, and facing the bay. It commands a glorious view of the city and all
the surrounding country; and the delight of visiting so beautiful a place
tempered my indignation at the robbery of the government in depriving the
monks of their home. Few things of the kind can be more beautiful than the
church, where formerly no woman entered. The walls, floor, and roof are
entirely composed of marbles of many colors. The altar‐rails, or rather
the low screen which cuts off the sanctuary—for rails there are none—is
sculptured _à jour_ in white marble, and looks like some exquisite lace‐
work. The choir behind the altar has also a marble screen of the same
wonderful open work. There are pictures by Spagnoletto of Moses and Elias
and the prophets. Nothing could be more appropriate to the austere life of
a Carthusian monk than that the chapel of his monastery should be
decorated by such an artist as Spagnoletto. Nor is the choice of subjects
less appropriate. Strength and depth of coloring; the expression of
masculine force in all the forms; bold outlines, deep shadows, and strong
lights, seem all in harmony with the condition of mind likely to be
eliminated by a life of silence and real, though not apparent, solitude;
for the monks, though many, dwelt alone in separate cells. It was a life
which called to mind the stern grandeur of Old Testament prophecies and
the ascetic life of the Old Testament prophets; while the richness of the
decoration; the elaborate carving—not in a friable material, such as wood,
but in enduring marble; the extraordinarily lavish use of precious stones;
the minuteness of detail, combined with the unity of plan, are just the
characteristics that we should expect to grow out of the leisure of
perpetual silence, and the digging deep down into the mines of thought
consequent on all but unbroken solitude. It was impossible not to be
struck with the whole as the outward growth of the peculiar inner life of
the remarkable order to which it had once belonged; and one marvels to
find that the extraordinary degree and nature of the beauty it possesses
had not addressed itself to the common sense of even a godless government
as a plea for its continued existence in the hands of those for whom it
had been reared. It should also be remembered that connected with this
life of leisurely meditation there were great opportunities for deep and
continued study; for the Carthusians are a learned order.

I may perhaps be fanciful in thus tracing the character of the edifice to
the tendencies of the order, for it must be owned that the present
building dates no further back than the middle of the XVIIth century, and
that S. Bruno, the founder of the order, probably never foresaw so
magnificent an abode for his silent disciples. But those who have observed
how, unless thwarted by unfavorable circumstances, every religious order
in the church stamps its character upon all that pertains to it, will feel
that there must have existed a synthesis between the inhabitants of San
Martino and the place itself, and that the white‐robed Carthusians were in
the very home which was specially appropriate to them, and in all ways
suited their devotional and intellectual tendencies. And in proof of the
above reflections it is well to remark that the beautiful pavement of the
church was designed by a Carthusian. We had of course been acquainted with
many of the valuable paintings in the monastery, so far as engravings
could make us so, and thus we hailed the Deposition from the Cross, by
Spagnoletto, which is in the sacristy, as an old friend, also the Baptism
of our Lord, by Carlo Maratta, and many of Vaccaro’s and Cesari’s
paintings. The sacristy and the chapter‐house are equally full of valuable
pictures. It is impossible to exaggerate what must ever be the refining
and elevating influence of such treasures of art, and such harmony and
beauty, combined with a religious vocation of the highest order,
heightened by the practice of silence and fostered by solitude.

The cloister breathes the very spirit of peace. The white‐marble Doric
columns gleam in the sunshine, and cut the tessellated pavement with the
black shadows of their shafts, carrying them up the white wall with the
arches of intense light between. I can imagine the monks learning to know
the exact hour of the day by the fall of those shadows without needing to
consult the old clock, also with a glaring white face, which is just below
the little belfry with its two bells, one large, one small, that the deep‐
toned toll of one or the sharp, quick tinkle of the other might denote the
various offices and duties to which they summoned the inmates. The
cloister court is laid out with formal box‐hedges enclosing little plots
of garden ground, and one garden more precious than the others,
_Gottesacker_,(46) where are sown the mortal remains of the departed
brethren, awaiting in the midst of their survivors and successors the day‐
dawn of immortality. There is an iron cross in the centre on a twisted
white‐marble pilaster. And the oblong square of this interesting cemetery
is surrounded by a white‐marble balustrade, with skulls carved at
intervals. In the centre of the court is a marble well of singularly
graceful proportions. Around it is a pavement of bricks symmetrically
arranged, but now with the blades of grass and tiny weeds intruding their
innocent familiarity where they have no right. Statues of saints, vases
and balls alternating, run along the entablature of the cloister. We
longed for a vision of the old, white‐robed inhabitants of this white
marble dwelling; and for once I felt not the lack of color, but, on the
contrary, perceived a harmony in the white and subdued gray tints,
relieved only by the blue sky and green grass. But when we looked out from
the _loggia_ on the wide view beneath us, it was not color that was
wanting. There lay Naples, with its motley buildings, backed by purple
Vesuvius, and the rose‐colored cliffs of Sorrento beyond. Nature had used
all the pigments of her pallet when she painted that lovely scene.

We paid another visit to a suppressed monastery—that of the
Camaldoli—before leaving Naples. There is nothing very remarkable in the
building itself or in the chapel. But the view is at once one of the most
beautiful and the most singular I have ever beheld. We had above an hour’s
ride on donkey‐back to get there; the carriage taking us no further than
the picturesque village of Antignano. The lane up which we wound amid
young chestnut‐trees, the remains of what was once a magnificent forest,
was at that time in all the verdant beauty of early spring. It was a
glorious day, and I ought to have enjoyed the ride. But, in the first
place, I have a feeling amounting to animosity against a donkey the moment
I have the misfortune to find myself on his back. I rather like him than
otherwise when cropping thistles by the roadside or in a huckster’s cart.
I appreciate his patient nature and long‐enduring powers when they are
unconnected with myself. But from the moment I find myself condemned to be
carried by him—that I feel his horrid little jogging pace under me, and
his utterly insensible mouth within the influence, or I should rather say
_not_ within the influence, of my reins—a feeling of antipathy to the
beast seizes me, and is rendered all the more painful to me that his
resignation and the long history of his habitual ill‐usage fill me with an
emotion of compassion painfully at variance with my intense dislike of him
in the character of a steed.

I do not think I ever suffered more in this way than during our ride to
the Camaldoli. I was escorted by a half‐drunken donkey‐boy, of the most
brutal disposition towards the unfortunate animal, whom I at once hated
and pitied. I was furious at the way he behaved to my donkey; while he,
not supposing I knew enough Italian to understand his abominable _patois_,
kept turning all my complaints and reproaches into ridicule to the other
donkey men or boys accompanying him. I would gladly have taken the stick
out of his hands with which he belabored my poor donkey. Indeed, at last I
succeeded in doing so; but nothing short of having Emidio with me to apply
the stick to the boy instead of the other animal would have sufficed to
soothe my irritation. Unfortunately, my future protector, who I felt
certain would punch any head I might wish submitted to that process, had
been called away to Rome on business.

The lane was very narrow, and, even had it been as wide as Piccadilly or
Broad Street, no doubt our donkeys would equally have considered
themselves bound to go in single file. Consequently we were not always
within reach of each other for any mutual assistance; and Frank, whom I
longed to call to my aid, was altogether absorbed in taking care of Mrs.
Vernon, to whom this donkey‐climbing of a steep mountain‐path amounted to
a perilous adventure.

Not many days after, we heard that two or three foreign gentlemen, making
the same ascent as ourselves, had been attacked and robbed by these most
obnoxious donkey‐men. I am afraid the observance of law and the moral
condition generally of little, out‐of‐the‐way villages like Antignano, in
the vicinity of Naples, is as bad as it well can be at the present time.

When we reached the summit, on which stands the monastery, we went at once
to the ridge of the hill to see the view; and I have seldom been more
struck by anything of the kind. Naples lay before us, about fifteen
hundred feet below; but what was so unexpected was the aspect of Mount
Vesuvius, right in front of us, and that of the Monte Somma and a series
of other mountainous heights of volcanic origin; and far away to the
Apennines, with the wide plains and cities lying in the bright sunshine,
Caserta, Capua, and all the Campania Felix. On the spot where we stood a
line straight from the eye would have hit about one‐third of the height of
Mount Vesuvius. To the right we could see all the range of mountains to
Salerno and Amalfi. On the other side were Pozzuoli, Nisita, Ischia, and
Baiæ. I will not multiply names, nor will I heap up epithets in the
attempt to describe what words cannot tell. In short, I forgot all I had
said in favor of the position formerly occupied by the Carthusians at San
Martino in my enthusiasm for the superior view once enjoyed by the
Camaldoli; and had the question been open to me, I believe my vocation to
the latter order would have been decided on the spot.

My donkey‐boy had sobered down by the time I had again to trust myself and
my steed to his tender mercies, and nothing occurred to mar the enjoyment
of our long but interesting excursion. It must, however, have been a far
more beautiful place before the present government of Italy, by permitting
the wholesale destruction of the magnificent trees which formerly clothed
the mountain’s sides, had done so much to impair the climate as well as to
destroy the beauty of the country. It is a fact in natural history that
trees emit warmth in winter as they produce coolness in summer; and
consequently that in a latitude like that of Italy they are specially
beneficial, as tending to equalize the temperature. It is notorious that
the climate of Italy has become hotter in the summer, while it is colder
in the winter than was the case formerly. The country has also been
subject to terrible ravages from mountain torrents, the downward course of
which was formerly intercepted by the grand old trees of immense forests.
Their impetuosity was broken and their waters partially absorbed. Now they
tear down the barren sides of the mountains unchecked, and devastate the
plains below, to the ruin of the crops and consequent impoverishment of
the country. It is the short‐sighted custom of the government to let whole
tracts of mountainous forest‐lands, leaving the lessee the liberty of
cutting down as it may seem good to him; and generally he is a greedy man,
in a hurry to make a fortune before the present _régime_ shall have come
to an end, as it must do some day.

I must not leave my readers to suppose that all our excursions and daily
drives were on the grandly æsthetic plan of those I have described. We
were not always mythological, classical, or even early‐Christian in our
researches, our walks or drives. We went shopping about the streets of
Naples in a thoroughly womanly fashion, and condescended to red and pink
coral, amber and tortoise‐shell ornaments, with a full appreciation of
their prettiness. The bracelets, earrings, and brooches made out of lava
never appeared to me otherwise than as remains of barbarism. Much of the
coral‐work, though very ingenious, is also in bad taste. But a string of
pink coral beads is always a beautiful ornament, and also always an
expensive one. Amber abounds, not of course as a native product, but
imported from the East. The tortoise‐shell is very delicately carved, and
inlaid with gold, and some of it is extremely pretty. There is also a
great deal of alabaster‐work in figures and vases, white and colored.
Neither Mary nor I could bear it, though we did our best to try and be
tempted by a shop in the Toledo(47) which was filled with it. It is always
connected in my mind with shell ornaments and wool mats. They are things
that generally seem to go together, and equally impress me with their
uselessness and ugliness. I must include in my list of horrors the lava
and even the terracotta figures of _lazzaroni_ and Neapolitan peasants.
Mary was rather disappointed at not finding shops of old furniture and
_rococo_. She had collected a variety of pretty and even valuable objects
when she was here many years ago; but now she was told by the Neapolitans
that the English and Americans had bought up all there was to be had of
that nature. No doubt, however, we might still have found treasures had we
known where to look for them. But the days are over when bargains could be
picked up in Continental towns. All those things have now a real
marketable value, and no vendors are ignorant of what that value is. Of
course there are occasional exceptions.

We went once to a flower‐show held in the Villa Reale, the beautiful
public promenade which runs by the sea‐shore and the Chiaia. I believe it
was the first of the kind which had been attempted, and as such was worthy
of all praise. But, apart from that consideration, it was inferior to most
of the numerous flower‐shows held in the rural districts of England. We
often drove up and down the Chiaia, which is the name of the fashionable
street of Naples, and along which there is a tan road for the sake of
horsemen, who ride backwards and forwards at a furious rate. It is neither
very long nor very broad; but the gentlemen who frequent it are evidently
greatly impressed with their manly bearing and distinguished horsemanship.
For my own part, I prefer a Neapolitan on the driving‐box to one in the
saddle. They are excellent coachmen and but indifferent horsemen, as all
men must be who are deficient in phlegm and in external calm. The horse is
a dignified animal, and demands corresponding dignity in his rider. We
used often to stop at the _caffe_ in the Via Reale, and refresh ourselves
with “granite”—that is, a glass of snow sweetened, and with the juice of
fresh lemons squeezed into it.

As a rule, I cannot say that the shops in Naples are particularly good,
and certainly they are very dear. The same may be said of provisions. And
as the taxes are every year on the increase, this misfortune is not likely
to be remedied. I frequently used to walk through the generally narrow and
always crowded streets of Naples accompanied by Frank, and as often
Emidio, who had arranged some point of meeting with my brother, would come
down from the heights of Capo di Monte, where his lovely villa stood, and
join us in our saunter through the busy city. I have seen him stop where a
piece of rope was hung near a tobacconist’s shop‐door, or at the corner of
the street, and light his cigar from the smouldering end which had been
set fire to for that purpose. I have never seen a burning rope in the
streets in England or in France for the accommodation of smokers.

We visited most of the churches, but they were as nothing to me after the
churches in Rome. The flower‐boys soon got to know us as we walked and
drove about, and the most lovely roses and bunches of orange‐blossoms
would be pressed upon us for a few pence. The boys would sometimes cling
to the carriage‐door with one hand, while the horses were going fast,
imploring us to buy the bouquets they held in the other, till I used to
think they must fall and be run over. But they are so lithe and supple,
and they seemed to bound about so much as if they were made of india‐
rubber, that at last I got hardened, and would stand to my bargain half‐
way down a street without any apprehension for the safety of my dark‐eyed,
jabbering flower‐boys. They generally addressed us in a jargon of Italian,
French, and English, and as generally sold their flowers for half the
price first named.

I greatly enjoyed the freedom and absence of restraint in these our
rambles; for, having my brother with me, I was not afraid of gratifying my
curiosity about the manners and customs of the humbler classes. I
frequently stood by the fountains in the streets, where the women washed
the linen, and entered into conversation with them; or I would buy
_fritture_ of various kinds (which is, in fact, fried batter, sometimes
sweet, sometimes savory). I did not find it always to my taste, because it
was made with rancid olive‐oil quite as often as with fat. But the piles
of light‐brown fritters lying on the little tables in the open streets, or
being tossed about, smoking hot, in iron pans, had a very inviting
appearance. Then I would get Frank to let me have a glass of lemonade from
the pretty little booths that are so numerous for the sale of that
delightful beverage, with festoons of fresh lemons hanging from the gayly‐
painted poles. I delighted all the more in my freedom that I knew, when I
should be Emidio’s wife, and drive about Naples as the Contessa Gandolfi,
I could no longer expect to enjoy these privileges. I said so one day to
Emidio, when I was taking my second glass of lemonade in a peculiarly
dingy and out‐of‐the‐way street in Naples. He laughed at the assertion,
though he did not for a moment attempt to deny it; and meanwhile he
enjoyed as much as I did the absence of all form and ceremony, which as
foreigners we could allow ourselves. It was then that jestingly he asked
me whether it should be put in my marriage‐settlements that he was to take
me, at least once, to the Festa di Monte Vergine. I could not understand
what he could possibly mean, until he explained that so much is thought of
this feast by the Neapolitan peasantry that if a girl has a good _dot_, it
is generally inserted in the marriage‐deeds that her husband is bound to
give her this gratification. The feast takes place on Whit‐Monday, and
Emidio assured me that my marriage‐portion was enough to entitle me to
more than one excursion to the sanctuary of the Madonna, if such was my
desire. It is held at Monte Vergine, near Avellino; and as we had not been
able to attend it during our stay at Posilippo, I declared that I should
expect to be taken some day, though I declined to puzzle our family lawyer
by the introduction of so strange an article in my marriage‐settlements.

We had reserved Pompeii for the close of our stay at Naples, because from
thence we meant to go on to Sorrento. We entered Pompeii by the “Sea
Gate,” having left our travelling‐bags and shawls at the little hotel
Diomède—such a grand name for such a mean, vulgar little place! How full
of flies it was! How bad was the food! How miserable the accommodations,
with advertisements of Bass’ pale ale adorning the walls! Nothing,
however, of the kind could diminish the interest with which we were about
to enter the dead city of the dead. Mary remembered having come to this
same little public‐house five‐and‐twenty years before. It has been added
to since then. At that time it afforded very little refreshment for either
man or beast. She had taken some tea with her, and they accommodated her
with hot water. Milk was not to be had, so she floated a slice of lemon in
the tea‐cup, after the Russian fashion. And all the time a handsome youth,
indifferently clad, and with the red Phrygian cap covering his crisp black
curls, sang a native song to the accompaniment of a small guitar, and
danced the while. The cotton‐plants were ready to give up their bursting
pods of snow‐white fluff in the fields around, and the heat was extreme.
The scene had been much less invaded in those days by ordinary sight‐
seers; but also, it must be owned, there was less to see, as many of the
most important excavations have been made since that date. As the heat was
very great, and as, even without seeing anything like all that is worth
seeing, we could not possibly devote less than two or three hours to
walking in those shadeless streets, it was decided Mary and I should be
carried by the guides in open sedan‐chairs. The guides are appointed by
government, and are thoroughly well informed on the subject, and are able
to answer most questions.

We first visited the Forum. It is, even in its utter ruin, very imposing,
for it stands on rising ground, and all the principal streets lead to it.
Several Doric columns, arches or gateways, and the pedestals which
formerly supported statues, remain. The Temple of Venus is close to the
Forum; the entrance steps are intact, and the altar stands in front of
them. Words fail me to express the intense melancholy of the scene, as we
wandered from Temple to Baths, and from house to house, down the narrow
streets—for all the streets are narrow—whose flag‐stones are dented by the
wheels of the chariots, and have a raised path for foot‐passengers, so
high that there are stones placed at intervals to enable one to step
across the road, with a space left for the wheels of the chariot to pass
between. This was to keep the passengers from having to step into the
water which in rainy weather must have poured down these gutterless
streets. From the houses being now all reduced to the ground floor, with
the exception of a few in which the stairs leading to the first story and
some portions of the wall remain, it cannot be said that any of the
streets produce at all an imposing effect. Perhaps the absence of this,
except in the ruins of the temples and public buildings, rather adds to
the pathetic sadness of the scene, by bringing all the more vividly before
us the fact of the utter and sudden destruction which swept away a vast
city of crowded human beings, leading the daily life of all of us, in a
few short hours! We saw the casts of several dead bodies that had been
found—one, of a man making his escape with a sack of money; another, of a
matron with her young daughter. What masses of hair, what round and
slender limbs, what beautiful teeth! It is ghastly, and yet fascinating;
for it seems to bridge over so wide a gulf of time, and by one touch of
nature makes us akin to the ancient dead. I felt this specially as we went
down the “Street of Abundance,” as it was named—mere dwelling‐houses and
shops on either side; a long, ordinary street, where men came and went in
their round of every‐day life, buying and selling and paying visits. The
green lizards ran over the whitened walls and the small, brown‐red bricks.
The sun poured down his relentless rays from a perfectly cloudless sky.
Except ourselves and the guides, no footsteps were heard, no sound broke
the death‐like silence. And at the far end of the “Street of Abundance,”
just beyond the limits of the doomed city, a solitary pine‐tree, looking
like a black spot in the white shimmer of the mid‐day heat, alone
indicated a world of nature and of life and growth beyond. Here is an oil‐
shop, full of the beautifully‐shaped, huge jars in which the oil was kept.
There, on that slab of marble, are the stains of wine. You see the oven,
with what once was soft white bread—the real bread; and you feel that it
might have happened a few years ago, and that somewhere or other, perhaps
even at Naples, it might happen again to‐morrow. And two thoughts rush in
upon us, one full of yearning pity, and one of awful inquiry—they were our
brethren, and where are they now?

The first eruption of Mount Vesuvius occurred in the reign of the Emperor
Titus, A.D. 79. Pompeii, Herculaneum, and even Naples itself, had suffered
before them from earthquakes, and a portion of the two first‐named towns
had been laid low. But nothing had ever happened to prepare the
inhabitants for the terrible calamity which was about to befall them,
when, in their villa at Misenum, the younger Pliny’s mother called the
attention of Pliny the elder to the cloud, in the form of a pine‐tree,
which she saw rising up into the heavens. When she did so, she did not
even know that it was from Vesuvius that the cloud ascended. Pliny the
elder invited his nephew, then only eighteen, to accompany him in his
galley to Retinæ, a town on the coast, whither he intended to go, with the
idea that the people might be in distress. But so little was any one
prepared for what was really about to occur that young Pliny did not even
lay aside his volume of _Livy_ which he was reading; while his uncle took
his tablets in his hand, that he might note down the curious phenomena he
was about to investigate, and left the house to go on board. It was with
great difficulty and at immense risk that he effected a landing and made
his way to Stabiæ, near Pompeii, where dwelt his friend Pomponianus. In
attempting to escape from thence in the night, he was suffocated by the
noxious vapors that accompanied the eruption. It would seem that young
Pliny continued his study for some hours, never realizing what an awful
tragedy was going on beyond the Bay of Naples. There had been shocks of
earthquake for some days previous, but these were not unusual occurrences,
and therefore excited but little alarm, until they became so violent as to
threaten utter destruction through the night. He seems to have been
seriously frightened about the same time as his mother; for each had risen
with the intention of calling the other. By this time the air was black
with falling ashes, and the morning light could scarcely penetrate the
gloom. Pliny would not leave his mother, while she, being aged and very
heavy, feared she should not be able to follow him, and implored him to go
away without her, which he would not do. They escaped together into the
country, in danger of being trodden down by the crowds of flying people,
and of being smothered by the falling ashes. The day was spent in agony
and terror, and all but total darkness. But that night they were able to
return to Misenum, though not to enjoy much repose, as the shocks of
earthquake still continued. Then the young Pliny learnt that his uncle,
whom he had, happily for himself, declined to accompany, had perished.
This eruption did not resemble the more recent ones, inasmuch as no lava
poured from the mountain, but burning stones of enormous size, and ashes,
together with volumes of steam, which poured down in torrents of water,
filled with ashes, upon the earth beneath. The shape of the mountain was
altered entirely by this eruption, as it has been in a much less degree by
that which occurred in April, 1872, and which our friends, the Vernons,
had witnessed. The Neapolitans firmly believe that their city will
ultimately perish as Pompeii has perished; and probably science is still
unable to prognosticate whether the awful mountain has or has not too far
exhausted its volcanic powers to produce a second destruction as terrible
as that which Pliny has described with such accurate detail, and yet in so
calm and unimpassioned a style.

Sensational writing is a discovery of modern times. We exhaust our subject
in describing it diffusely and minutely. But nevertheless the scene
Pliny’s letters call up before our imagination—the young lad poring over
his book in company with his devoted mother, and the brave and learned
elder Pliny calmly setting sail, tablets in hand, to study the scene, and
to assist those in danger, and then perishing in the attempt—is as replete
with pathos and human feeling as language can make it. It is full of a
language not put into words.

On the afternoon of the day we visited Pompeii we drove to Sorrento, and
took up our abode at a quiet little _pension_ recently established, and
literally hidden amongst orange‐groves. There was a small chapel close by.
Our rooms were bright and clean, and the greater part of the time we had
the house entirely to ourselves.

Let no one presume he knows the beauty of Italy who has not visited
Sorrento. Can anything be more lovely than the approach to Vico, Meta, and
Sant’ Angelo, and the aspect of these little towns nestling amid gardens,
with their feet in the blue ripples of that tideless sea?

The Sorrentines are a different race from the Neapolitans, and no love is
lost between them. They are a more reserved and more dignified people.
They make less noise, and are not so excitable. The land they live on is
not volcanic, the vegetation is more luxuriant, and the people are more
pastoral in their habits. The air is softer and less exciting than at
Naples. Mary and I felt as if we had drifted into the land “where it is
always afternoon,” and a lotos‐eating calm and serenity seemed to come
over us—a pleasant change after the nervous tension which Naples produces,
and which is singularly inimical to sleep.

Every description of food is better at Sorrento than it is at Naples.
Sorrento beef is excellent, and Sorrento pigs have a world‐wide reputation
for making good pork, though they are ugly animals to look at, having
large, flabby, white bodies on tall, thin, greyhound legs, and very large,
pink ears. Naples seems never at any time to have been well famed for
producing good food.

Nearly all Cicero’s letters to Papirius Pætus contain allusions to eating
and drinking, and in one he says: “It is a better thing, let me tell you,
to be sick with good eating at Rome, than for want of victuals at Naples.”

When he was thinking of buying Sylla’s house at Naples, he asks Pætus to
take some workmen to survey it for him, saying: “If the walls and roof are
in good repair, I shall perfectly well approve of the rest.” “If I can
procure a house at Naples, it is my purpose to live so abstemiously that
what our late sumptuary law allows for one day’s expense shall suffice me
ten.” This last sentence, when coupled with that quoted from the other
letter, looks rather like making a virtue of necessity. The marvel is that
the Naples market is not more abundantly provided with Sorrento produce.
The fruit is very good; and we all agreed we had never known the real
merit of cherries until we had eaten them at Sorrento, and even better
still at Capri. In our own land, in France, and even in cherry‐loving
Germany, I had always considered them as a very poor fruit, unless cooked
or preserved. But I entertained a very different opinion of them when I
had feasted on them in the South of Italy. They are as different as the
fresh oranges, picked from the tree, are from those that have been plucked
while green, and have ripened in a box during a long voyage.

I never cared for cherries in England. I used to believe in oranges as I
found them in the fruiterers’ shops. But now they appear to me a snare and
a delusion when eaten in the north.

When we arrived at Sorrento, the Empress of Russia and her daughter, the
grand duchess, were still there. We met them driving just as we entered
the town, and of course looked eagerly at her who was so soon to become
our own Duchess of Edinburgh, and were charmed with her amiable and
youthful expression, and with the pretty smile with which she returned our
bow. They were to leave Sorrento in a very few days. The yacht was already
moored close to the cliffs, awaiting them. The empress shed tears, as the
people crowded round to see her embark and wished her farewell in their
own graceful way and soft language. She said she had grown to love
Sorrento and its inhabitants more than she could express, and that she
should always hope some day to return amongst them.

The house in which Tasso was born is now converted into a hotel, much to
the detriment of all poetic sentiment.

Nothing can be more lovely than the neighborhood of Sorrento, though a
great deal is unapproachable, except on horseback, donkeys, or mules; and
much more is equally so for all but very vigorous pedestrians. We went
more than once to the small, picturesque town of Massa, at the extreme
point of the Peninsula. We visited Il Deserto, the name given to a
Franciscan monastery situated on the top of a somewhat barren hill, and
which commands a magnificent view. We found only a few lay brothers at
home, and about half a dozen orphan boys, who were there by way of
learning the art of agriculture. The land around the monastery was mostly
barren, and to the left was covered with brushwood. No agriculture was
there, at any rate. There was a large garden enclosed within walls; and as
the small agricultural were in it, I hoped to see some evidence of their
labors. I am bound, however, to speak the truth, much as it tells against
the expectations of Sorrento with regard to the future tillers of the
soil, as also, which is worse, against the efficiency of the Franciscan
instructors in this particular case. The garden was quite full of weeds. I
scarcely saw a vegetable or plant of any kind likely to prove edible to
anybody except our donkeys; but for them there was hope, as thistles
abounded. The juvenile agriculturists were by no means usefully engaged,
but were listlessly roving about, doing nothing in particular. They looked
bored; and I could not wonder at it. Certainly, the orphans learned no
agriculture, and I doubt if either the fathers or lay brothers can teach
it. It is to be hoped that at least they learn something else.

One bright morning we resolved on a trip to Capri. We chartered a boat, a
man, and two boys, the party consisting of Ida and Elizabeth Vernon, Mary,
and me. The wind was not altogether in our favor, and our three sailors
had hard work to row us. Nothing can well be more beautiful than the line
of coast, with picturesque ruins, deep sea‐caves, varied rocks, and green
slopes down to the water’s edge. We had resolved to spend one night at
Capri, and intended visiting the Blue Grotto the next day. But the wind
was blowing fresh, and it seemed but too probable that, if we did not
accomplish our visit at once, we might miss it altogether. Our boatmen
made no objection to this addition to our original bargain, and we soon
found ourselves rowing up to an entrance into the rock that did not
present a different appearance to many other such small, slit‐like
fissures and holes, some of which had been pointed out to us as the
sirens’ caves. We found two boats moored to the rock; one was empty, and
in the other was a lad.

We were given to understand that only two of us at a time could enter the
mysterious cave, and that our boat was a great deal too large to pass
through that low, dark hole in the rock which the restless blue sea was
lapping incessantly with a rapidity of motion that seemed to be
momentarily on the increase. We were moreover told that _il vecchio_(48)
was inside—a piece of information which, conveying no express ideas to my
mind, awoke a vague apprehension that perhaps I might have touched on the
abode of the Old Man of the Sea—a prospect not altogether desirable. There
was a great question who was to enter the little boat and first encounter
the passage and the old man. Ida and Elizabeth refused to be separated,
and Mary, with an exclamation—something about being responsible to their
mother for their safety—saw them embark with a pang. In an instant,
obedient to the sailor lad’s injunctions, they both disappeared, lying
flat down at the bottom of the boat. The sailor gave one vigorous stroke
of his oar, ducked down himself, and the boat was sucked into the awful
cavern between the heaving sea and the low arch. Mary and I sat silent. Of
course we knew there was no danger. It was what everybody did, and there
could be nothing to apprehend; nevertheless, I am free to acknowledge that
those twenty minutes, during which we were as much shut out from all sight
and sound of them as if they were gone to the bottom, while the
treacherous waves slapped and lapped the rock like some hungry live thing,
and in so doing almost closed the orifice through which the boat had
disappeared, were not by any means minutes of absolute serenity to our
nerves. Presently, however, the prow of the little boat reappeared, and in
a second up jumped Ida and Elizabeth like Jack in the box.

“Well!” we both exclaimed.

“Oh! it is beautiful. Make haste!”

“And the old man?” said I dubiously.

“Oh! yes, he is there,” was the only reply, and no more satisfactory than
my previous information.

Of course Mary and I, on getting into the boat, made ourselves as flat as
we could at the bottom of it; and suddenly a heaving of the sea shot us
into the grotto. Instantly I forgot the old man and everything else in the
marvellous beauty of the scene around me. The sides of the cave, one or
two large shelving rocks, and the roof were perfectly blue. The very air
seemed blue. The water itself was ultramarine. I dipped in my hand, and
instantly it shone and flashed like brilliant silver. We approached one of
the large rocks where there is a landing‐place. On it I beheld some
strange, dark object. Suddenly the object leaped into the blue water, and
was transfigured before my eyes into a huge silver frog, swimming about in
all directions with a white head above the water. It was my much‐dreaded
old man; and certainly the result, in point of color and brilliancy, of
the disporting of this venerable individual in the blue water, which
converted him into sparkling silver, was very remarkable. But it is not
often given, to female eyes at least, to behold a mortal swimming close to
her, and to notice the peculiarly frog‐like and ungraceful action which
swimming necessitates, and which is heightened by the apparent
foreshortening of the limbs from the refraction of the light in the water.
It suddenly flashed upon me: was it thus that Hero saw Leander?—minus the
silver of course. Poor Hero! The silver frog croaked an indescribable
_patois_, calling our attention vociferously to his own extraordinary
brilliancy. At length we entreated him to spare his aged limbs any more
aquatic gymnastics, and to return to his rock; which he did, resuming his
garments in some niche of a darker blue than the rest.

Meanwhile, our lad had rowed the boat close up to the other large rock on
the opposite side of the grotto, telling us that he would gather some
coral for us. It was getting dark, and, as we sat alone in the boat, we
could neither see nor hear him. A deep‐violet hue began to spread over the
grotto and the water. Evening was drawing near, and I began to conjure our
sole protector to leave his coral reefs and return to the boat. Then we
ducked down once more, and, with the edge of the boat absolutely grating
against the mouth of the cave, we emerged into the open sea and the fair
white light of heaven.

It happened once upon a time that some one, perhaps an ordinary traveller,
perhaps another professional and belated old man, went into the blue
grotto alone, and stayed too long. The wind blew hard, and the sea rose.
For three days no boat could pass through the closed mouth of the cave.
Happily, his friends succeeded in floating in a loaf of bread, which he
devoured on his solitary blue rock. I have often wished to know the
history of those three days. Did the sirens come and sing to him? Did no
mermaid bear him company, or was he left a prey to “the blue devils”?

We had a stiff breeze as we steered our course to the Marina Piccola, one
of the only two landing‐places of the Island of Capri. We determined, as
we were to be there for so short a time, to sleep at the small inn close
by, called the “Little Tiberius,” and which we found comfortable, though
very unassuming and not quite finished. We dined in the _loggia_, shaded
by a vine, and they brought us cherries the size of plums that melted like
a ripe peach, and beautiful oranges, gathered with the green leaves around
them.

The only way to get about on the little Island of Capri is on donkeys or
on foot. We chose the former, and directed our course to where stood the
Palace of Tiberius. The village of Anacapri is very picturesque, with its
narrow streets, sometimes raised a step or two, dark, wide doorways, and
domed roofs. We went to the top of the precipitous rock called “Il salto
di Tiberio,”(49) which falls sheer and smooth down to the sea, without a
break save a few tufts of wild flowers, and over which Tiberius is said to
have flung his victims, whose bodies then floated away to the coast of
Baiæ. When Augustus was dying, he said of his successor, “I pity the
Romans. They are about to be ground between slow jaws.” Never was the
cruelty of a coward better expressed than by these words.

I suppose the only history that will ever be correctly written will be
that which will date from the day of judgment—that day which alone will
clear up the falsehoods, misapprehensions, and delusions with which all
history abounds, and will leave probably only the devil as black as he is
painted, while it will also prove that many of our angels are fallen ones.
It is always difficult, perhaps impossible, to arrive at the secret
motives of a man who is a coward, is reserved, has a certain superficial
refinement of taste and intellect, and is cursed with absolute power.
Tiberius appreciated the extraordinary beauty of his favorite Capri; and
yet he dwelt there only to commit the most hideous crimes in secret, while
discoursing on the subtleties of grammar and the beauty of art, and
writing elegies and love songs. He seemed to have no human affection save
for the low‐born Sejanus, whom nevertheless years afterwards he accused to
the Roman Senate in a pitiful, whining letter, and who was torn to pieces
in consequence. He always hated those who in any way belonged to him,
whether by a natural tie or by that of a supposed intimacy. He hated Rome;
but even the terror and dread he had of it, giving way to the longing to
know how far his bloody orders were being carried out, he approached the
gates. That day his pet serpent, the friend of his bosom, was killed and
eaten by a million of midges.

“Multitudes are dangerous,” remarked the sententious emperor, and back he
went to the top of his solitary rock at Capri.

The same type of man returns from time to time upon the face of the earth
to show us the deep hell within itself of which, alas! the human heart is
capable. Robespierre was a man of affable manners, who loved flowers and
kept canaries. He had delicate white hands and a simper for ever on his
thin lips. In early life he wrote a pamphlet against capital punishment.
When his turn came to die on the guillotine, he showed no fraction of the
courage of the youngest and weakest of his many victims. He too was soft
and cruel. There are many such, but happily the outward circumstances are
wanting which would develop them into the monsters to which, as a race,
they belong.

We spent only a few hours at Salerno, just time enough to visit the tomb
of the great Hildebrand, S. Gregory VII., the little man with a great
soul, the spiritual Alexander of the church, who, as he said himself,
“without being allowed the liberty of speech or deliberation, had been
violently carried away and placed on the pontifical throne”; and through
volumes of intimate and interesting letters relates his sorrows, his
anxieties, and his efforts to the friend of his soul, Cardinal Didier, the
Abbot of Monte‐Casino. In the crypt we visited the altar and relics of S.
Matthew. The same evening we drove along the coast to Amalfi. It was
growing dark before we got there, and I think, though no one said a word
about it till we were safe in the Hotel of the Capuchins, we were not
altogether without some apprehension that the towering rocks, the dark
caves, the mountain heights, and the thick woodlands which filled us with
admiration, did not also suggest an unpleasant suspicion of possible
banditti. But here I stop. If Amalfi is not seen, it may be painted; but
it cannot be described in any words I know of which will tell its beauty.
The world has many jewels from nature’s casket, but few more lovely and in
more gorgeous setting than the little mediæval town of Amalfi.

I am writing these pages in an English village. I see a low line of pale,
misty hills to my left. A venerable church tower peeps from amid large
elms and red brick cottage chimneys. In front of my trim garden is a green
meadow. The white butterflies are coursing each other in the noontide
warmth, and the village children have crowned themselves with tall paper
caps, and are holding some jubilee of their own, the mysteries of which
are undiscernable to older minds. The clematis which climbs my porch
breathes soft, perfumed sighs at my open window. It is pretty, simple,
homely. But between this and the dreamlike beauty of Amalfi there lies far
more than the distance of many hundreds of miles. There lie the yearning
of the soul for the best of God’s beautiful creation—for the warmth of the
sun, that natural god of life and gladness—the thirst of the artist’s eye
for color, and the poet’s love of the language of song; there lie the
Catholic’s hunger for the land of faith and the longing for the regions of
old memories and heroic sanctities.

Yes, I love my own pale land, with her brief, scarce summer smiles, her
windy autumns, and her long, fireside, wintry evenings. But while I write
it and feel it, there comes up before my mind the rose‐tints and blue and
silver sparkle, the golden rocks and emerald verdure, of the land with the
“fatal gift of beauty,” and I feel my heart sink as I recall Amalfi.

A few more days, and we had looked our last on Southern Italy. There were
other reasons besides the thirst for sunshine and beauty why our leaving
Naples should prove so sad. There was the close friendship with the
Vernons and Padre Cataldo; and as regarded four hearts, there was
something more, I suppose, than friendship.

On leaving Amalfi we only slept one night at Naples (for Posilippo we saw
no more), and that was a dream‐tost, tearful night. We would not suffer
any of our friends to accompany us to the station. Public farewells would
be unbearable.

The last thing I remember, as I drove through the hot, bright streets
teeming with life, was two young girls with naked feet gayly dancing the
tarantella on the burning pavement. Lightly, trippingly, daintily they
danced—these two supple‐limbed daughters of the sunny south. How joyous,
how free from care, from afterthought or forethought, did they seem! A few
figs (they were just ripe) in summer, a few chestnuts and some yellow
bread of Indian corn, are all they need for food; and one scant frock,
that hides neither arms nor ankles, is all that decency demands. The sun
does the rest, pouring rich color into their veins, bright sparkles into
their eyes. And so at mid‐day shall they dance, on flags which would
scorch my northern skin, singing the while to their own steps,
unchallenged by police, unreproached by man, and know no harm, while we go
back to our mists and showers amidst our “advanced civilization.”

While writing this my eyes rest upon these lines: “Many take root in this
soil, and find themselves unable to leave it again. A species of
contemplative epicurism takes possession of them—a life freed from all
vain desires and sterile agitation; an ideal existence which is shocked by
no inconvenient reality. Others return to their hyperborean country,
bringing with them a luminous remembrance to light up the gray twilight of
their frozen sky for evermore; others still have quaffed the enchantress’
charmed potion, and can no longer resist the gentle desires which draw
them periodically back to her.”

May I also be numbered with those who return to the southern shores of
beautiful Italy!



The Three Edens.


Bloom’d the first Eden not with man alone,
  But woman, equal woman, at his side.
  And seemly was it when, together tried,
They fell together—for the two were one.
On Calvary stood the Mother by the Son:
  New Eve with Second Adam crucified;
  And as through Eve in Adam we had died,
Through Mary was our loss in Christ undone.
Then how should not the Paradise regained
  Behold its Eve beside her Adam throned;
Both risen, both ascended—unprofaned
  Each virginal body, by the grave disowned?
Else had our foe his conquest half maintained,
  The primal ruin been but half atoned.

LAKE GEORGE, FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION, 1874.



A Discussion With An Infidel.



XIV. The Seat Of The Soul.


_Büchner._ You will admit, I presume, that “the brain is not merely the
organ of thought and of all the higher mental faculties, but also the sole
and exclusive _seat of the soul_. Every thought is produced in the brain,
every kind of feeling and sensation, exertion of the will, and voluntary
motion, proceeds from it” (p. 141).

_Reader._ Not exactly “from it,” but from the soul, as I have already
established; though certainly the brain is instrumental in all vital
operations. As to the brain being “the sole and exclusive” seat of the
soul I think that physiologists do not agree, and that philosophers have
something to object.

_Büchner._ It is now a recognized truth. “It took a long time before it
was recognized, and it is even to this day difficult for those who are not
physicians to convince themselves of its correctness” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ It must be difficult indeed; for although we have reason to
believe that the brain is, so to say, the central telegraphic office where
every intelligence from the other parts of the body is received, yet it is
but natural to suppose that there cannot be a central office if there are
no other offices destined to correspond with it. On the other hand,
philosophers teach that _the soul is the form of the body_; which implies
that there are other parts of our body, besides the brain, where the soul
must be present.

_Büchner._ “These philosophers are a singular people. They talk of the
creation of the world as if they had been present on the occasion; they
define the Absolute as if they had sat at its table for years; they babble
about the nothing and the something, the ego and non‐ego, the _per se_ and
_in se_, universals and particulars, perishability and absolute existence,
the unknown _x_, etc., etc., with a confidence as if a celestial codex had
given them exact information about all these ideas and things, and they
plaster up the simplest notions with such a confused mass of high‐sounding
and learned but incomprehensible words and phrases as to turn the head of
a rational man. But, in spite of all this, upon their metaphysical
eminence they are not unfrequently so far off from any positive knowledge
that they commit the most amusing blunders, especially in those cases in
which philosophy and science meet, and when the latter threatens to
destroy the results of metaphysical speculation. Thus almost all
philosophical psychologists have struggled with rare energy against the
theory of the seat of the soul in the brain, and continue in their
opposition without taking the least notice of the progress of experimental
science” (pp. 142, 143).

_Reader._ I am surprised, doctor, at your declamation against
philosophers. You have no right to denounce them either in general or in
particular. I admit that rationalistic philosophers richly deserve all the
contempt you can heap upon them, but it is not fair in you to attack them;
for they are better than you. To lay your own faults on the shoulders of
your opponents is an old trick. The burglar calls his victim a thief;
designing Freemasons always prate about Jesuitical machinations; and
writers whose philosophical baggage is as light as their pretensions are
high inveigh against those by whom they dread to be exposed, refuted, and
supplanted. Such is the case with you. While pretending to describe
others, you have made the portrait of yourself. It is certainly difficult
to find another man in the world who babbles with as much confidence as
you do about, or rather against, creation, the Absolute, and the unknown
x, etc., etc. Yet your opponents are not infallible, nor do they pretend
to be; but if they “commit the most amusing blunders,” it is not owing to
their “metaphysical eminence,” as you suppose, but rather to their
metaphysical incapacity. Science, you say, sometimes “threatens to destroy
the results of metaphysical speculation”; but you should have added that
metaphysical speculation oftentimes saves science from shipwreck; for
empiricism without philosophy is a ship without a rudder.

You denounce your adversaries as men who do not take “the least notice of
the progress of experimental science.” This is a calumny. In fact, you
yourself inform us that one of your adversaries is philosopher Fischer, a
man who not only took notice of the progress of experimental science, but
greatly contributed to such a progress by his own intelligent and
indefatigable labors. You cannot therefore pretend that such a man lacked
“positive knowledge.” Now, he says: “That the soul is immanent in the
whole nervous system is proved, as it feels, perceives, and acts in every
part thereof. I do not feel pain in a central part of the brain, but in a
particular spot and place.”

_Büchner._ “And yet what Fischer denies is undoubtedly the fact. The
nerves themselves do not perceive; they merely call forth sensations by
conducting the impressions received to the brain. We do not feel pain in
the place injured, but in the brain. If a nerve of sensation be divided in
its course to the brain, all the parts which are supplied by it lose their
sensibility, for no other reason than that the conducting of the
impression to the brain is no longer possible. Every man who has no
knowledge of physiological processes believes the feeling of hunger to be
in the stomach. This is not so; the brain alone makes us conscious of the
feeling. If the nerve uniting brain and stomach be divided, hunger is at
an end, nor does it return. Neither does anger arise in the liver, or
courage in the chest, but in the brain only” (pp. 143, 144). “Habit and
external appearance have led to the false notion that we feel in places
subjected to external irritation. Physiology calls this relation ‘the law
of eccentric phenomena.’ According to it, we falsely attribute the feeling
perceived in the brain to the place where the impression is made....
Persons who have lost their arms or legs by amputation often feel during
their whole lives, in atmospheric changes, pains in limbs which they no
longer possess. If all his limbs were removed, man would still feel them.
From these facts it can scarcely be doubted that there must exist in the
brain a topography by means of which the various sensations of the
different parts of the body arise. Every part of the body which can be
separately perceived must have a corresponding spot in the brain which in
some degree represents it in the forum of consciousness” (pp. 144, 145).

_Reader._ This answer, doctor, is not altogether satisfactory. “The
nerves,” of course, “do not perceive.” This I willingly admit; but neither
does the brain perceive; for it is the soul that perceives. The nerves
“merely call forth sensations by conducting the impressions received to
the brain.” This cannot be denied; but it does not prove the non‐existence
of the soul in the nervous system. Suppose that a pin or a thorn presses
the finger; before the impression can be transmitted from the finger to
the brain, its reception in the finger must give rise to a change of
relation between the soul and the finger itself; which would be
impossible, if the soul were not in the finger. For, if the soul is not in
the finger, the impression made by the thorn will consist of a merely
mechanical movement; and when this movement is communicated to the brain,
what sensation can be called forth? A sensation of pain? No; for mere
mechanical movement cannot produce a sense of pain, unless it is felt to
disagree with the living organism. Now, the pricking is not felt to
disagree with the brain, but with the finger. It is therefore in the
finger and not in the brain that we feel the pain; which shows that the
soul really is in the finger, and in every other part of the body in which
we may experience any sensation.

Your reason for pretending that “we do not feel pain in the place injured,
but in the brain,” is quite unsatisfactory. It is true that if a nerve of
sensation be divided in its course to the brain, all the parts which are
supplied by it lose their sensibility; but what of that? Those parts lose
their sensibility because they lose their sensitiveness; that is, because
the cutting of the nerve, by impairing the body, causes the soul to
abandon the organic parts supplied by that nerve. You argue that, if the
soul is not present in a given part of the body, when the nerve has been
injured, the soul was not present in that same part before the nerve was
injured. This inference is evidently wrong. The soul informs the organism,
and any part of it, as long as the organs are suitably disposed for the
vital operations, and abandons the organism, or any part of it, as soon as
the organs have become unfit for the vital operations. Hence, as you
cannot infer the non‐existence of the soul in the brain of a living man
from the non‐existence of the same in the brain of a corpse, so you cannot
infer its non‐existence in a part of the body before the cutting of the
nerve from its non‐existence in the same part after the nerve has been
cut.

The feeling of hunger, you say, is not in the stomach, because “if the
nerve uniting brain and stomach be divided, hunger is at an end.” Is not
this very curious? Men need none of your theories to know where they feel
hungry; and they not only _believe_, as you say, but also _experience_,
that their feeling of hunger is in the stomach. How can this be reconciled
with your theory? You try to discredit the common belief by observing that
we “have no knowledge of physiological processes.” This, however, is not
true; for although we may not possess your _speculative_ knowledge of
those processes, yet we have an _experimental_ knowledge of them, which
beats all your speculations. The simplest common sense teaches that a
theory contradicted by facts is worth nothing. Now, the fact is that we
experience the sensation of hunger in the stomach, and not in the brain;
and therefore no physiological theory that contradicts such a fact can be
of any value.

You pretend that “habit and external appearance have led to the false
notion that we feel in places subjected to external irritation.” This
assertion cannot be justified. Habits are acquired by repeated acts; and
to assume that habit leads us to a false notion is to assume that we are
cheated by our actual sensations; which is inadmissible. As to “external
appearances,” it is evident that they have nothing to do with the
question, as sensations are not external appearances, but internal
realities. Hence when we say that “we feel in places subjected to external
irritation,” we express a real fact of which we have experimental
evidence, and in regard to which no habit or external appearance can make
us err.

The fact that “persons who have lost their arms or legs by amputation
often feel during their whole life, in atmospheric changes, pains in limbs
which they no longer possess,” does not tend to prove that the brain is
the exclusive seat of the soul. Hence I dismiss it altogether. With regard
to your conclusion that “every part of the body which can be separately
perceived must have a corresponding spot in the brain which in some degree
represents it in the forum of consciousness,” I have not the least
objection against it; I merely add that no part of the body in which the
soul is not actually present can be represented in the forum of
consciousness. For if the soul is not in the finger when the thorn pricks
it, the soul cannot say, _I feel the pain_; it could only say, _I know
that a material organ, with which I have nothing to do, is being injured_.
The soul would, in fact, but receive a telegram announcing what happens in
some distant quarter. If a telegram comes to you from Siberia, announcing
twenty degrees of cold, do you feel the sensation of cold?

_Büchner._ Yet “the theory that the brain is the seat of the soul is so
incontrovertible that it has long been adopted in the rules of law in
regard to monstrosities. A monstrosity with one body and two heads counts
for _two_ persons; one with two bodies and one head, only for one person.
Monstrosities without brain, so‐called acephali, possess no personality”
(pp. 147, 148).

_Reader._ This is true; and therefore the soul certainly informs the
brain. But it does not follow that other parts of the body are not
informed. Hence your remark has no bearing on the question; and it remains
true that the soul, as the form of the body, is directly connected with
every part of the organism in which vital acts are performed.



XV. Spiritism.


_Reader._ May I ask, doctor, what you think of spiritism?

_Büchner._ I think it to be a fraud.

_Reader._ Of course, when a man denies the existence of spiritual
substances, he cannot but deny their manifestation. Yet the phenomena of
spiritism are so well known that we can scarcely be of your opinion.

_Büchner._ “Some of these phenomena, _clairvoyance_ especially, have been
laid hold of to prove the existence of supernatural and supersensual
phenomena. They were considered as the link of connection between the
spiritual and the material world; and it was surmised that these phenomena
opened a gate through which man might pass, and succeed in obtaining some
immediate clue regarding transcendental existence, personal continuance,
and the laws of the spirit. All these things are now, by science and an
investigation of the facts, considered as idle fancies which human nature
is so much inclined to indulge in to satisfy its longing after what
appears miraculous and supersensual” (p. 149).

_Reader._ I apprehend, doctor, that science has no means of showing that
“all these things are idle fancies.” Materialism, of course, assumes,
though it cannot show, that spirits do not exist; but materialism is no
science at all; and if the “investigation of the facts” has been conducted
by materialists, we may well be sure that their verdict was not unbiassed.
On the other hand, men of science, who are not materialists, a great
number of physicians, philosophers, and theologians, are convinced that
the phenomena of spiritism are neither inventions nor delusions. And,
though human nature feels a certain propensity to believe what is
wonderful, we cannot assume that learned and prudent men yield to this
propensity without good reasons.

_Büchner._ “This propensity has given rise to the most curious errors of
the human mind. Though it sometimes appears that the progress of science
arrests its development in some place, it suddenly breaks forth with
greater force at some other place where it was less expected. The events
of the last few years afford a striking example. What the belief in
sorcery, witchcraft, demoniac possession, vampirism, etc., was in former
centuries, reappears now under the agreeable forms of table‐moving,
spirit‐rapping, psychography, somnambulism, etc.” (p. 150).

_Reader._ You are right. Spiritism is only a new form of old superstitions
and diabolic manifestations. But you are mistaken, if you believe that
science can show such manifestations to have been fables. Your scientific
argument against spiritual manifestations is, you must own it,
inconsistent with your scientific process. Your process requires a basis
of facts; for it is from facts that science draws its generalizations. You
should, therefore, first ascertain that sorcery, witchcraft, etc., never
existed in the world, and that not one of the thousand facts narrated in
profane, sacred, or ecclesiastical history has ever happened; and then you
might conclude that all mankind have been very stupid to believe such
absurdities. But you follow quite a different course. You argue _à
priori_, and say: Spiritual manifestations are an impossibility; therefore
all the pretended facts of spiritism are impositions. This manner of
arguing is not scientific; for evidently it is not based on facts, and the
assumption that spiritual manifestations are impossible cannot be granted;
for it cannot be proved. Hence not only the ignorant classes, but also
educated persons, as you complain, believe in spiritual manifestations, in
spite of your pretended science; for, when they see the facts, they will
only smile at your denial of their possibility.

_Büchner._ But the facts themselves are incredible. “Magnetic sleep,
induced either by continued passes on the body, or spontaneously without
external means, as in idiosomnambulism, is stated to be frequently
attended by an intellectual ecstasy, which in certain privileged persons,
chiefly females, rises to what is called _clairvoyance_. In this state
those persons are said to exhibit mental faculties not natural to them, to
speak fluently foreign languages, and to discuss things perfectly unknown
to them in the waking state.... The person perceives things beyond the
sphere of his senses, he reads sealed letters, guesses the thoughts of
other persons, reveals the past, etc. Finally, such individuals sometimes
give us information about the arrangements in heaven and hell, our state
after death, and so forth; but we cannot help mentioning that these
revelations are ever in remarkable harmony with the religious views of the
church, or of the priest under whose influence the patient may be for the
time” (p. 151).

_Reader._ Poor Doctor Büchner! You are most unlucky in your allusion to
the church. Spiritism is not a priestly invention, nor is it practised
under the influence of the priest. The whole world knows that the practice
of spiritism is utterly forbidden by the church; and you cannot be
ignorant that your insinuation of the contrary is a slander. Perhaps your
Masonic conscience allows you to tell lies; but is it wise to do so when
the lie is so patent that no one can believe it?

_Büchner._ “There can be no doubt that all pretended cases of clairvoyance
rest upon fraud or illusion. Clairvoyance—that is, a perception of
external objects without the use of the senses—is an impossibility. It is
a law of nature which cannot be gainsaid that we require our eyes to see,
our ears to hear, and that these senses are limited in their action by
space. No one can read an opaque sealed letter, extend his vision to
America, see with closed eyes what passes around him, look into the
future, or guess the thoughts of others. These truths rest upon natural
laws which are irrefutable, and admit, like other natural laws, of no
exception. All that we know we know by the medium of our senses. There
exist no supersensual and supernatural things and capacities, and they
never can exist, as the eternal conformity of the laws of nature would
thereby be suspended. As little as a stone can ever fall in any other
direction than towards the centre of the earth, so little can a man see
without using his eyes” (p. 152).

_Reader._ Your reasoning is not sound, doctor. The stone can fall in any
direction, if it receives an impetus in that direction; it is only when it
is left to itself that it must fall directly towards the centre of the
earth. So also a man, when left to himself and his natural powers, cannot
see without using his eyes; but if acted on by a preternatural agency, he
may be made acquainted with what his eyes cannot see. Your mention of
natural laws is uncalled for. You will certainly not pretend that the
natural laws, which hold in regard to this visible world, can be assumed
to rule the world of the spirits. Moreover, when you say that “there exist
no supersensual and supernatural things,” because “the eternal conformity
of the laws of nature would thereby be suspended,” you merely make a
gratuitous assertion. For as you can raise a weight without suspending the
law of gravitation, so can other agents do other things conflicting with
the uniform execution of natural laws without the natural laws becoming
suspended. Thus your assertion that “there exist no supersensual and
supernatural things” is wholly gratuitous, and therefore cannot be the
basis of a sound argument against the facts of spiritism. “There is no
fighting against facts; it is like kicking against the pricks,” as you say
in one of your prefaces (p. xviii.)

_Büchner._ “Ghosts and spirits have hitherto only been seen by children,
or ignorant and superstitious individuals” (p. 152).

_Reader._ Did not Saul see the ghost of Samuel?

_Büchner._ “All that has been narrated of the visits of departed spirits
is sheer nonsense; never has a dead man returned to this world. There are
neither table‐spirits nor any other spirits” (p. 153).

_Reader._ How can you account for such a singular assertion?

_Büchner._ “The naturalist entertains, from observation and experience, no
doubt as to these truths; a constant intercourse with nature and its laws
has convinced him that they admit of no exception” (p. 153).

_Reader._ This is not true. Naturalists, with their observation and
experience of natural things, do not and cannot reject facts of a higher
order, though they have not observed them. Their non‐observation is no
argument, especially when we have other witnesses of the facts, and when
we know that the naturalists of your school are pledged to materialism,
and therefore shut their eyes to the facts which oppose their theory. The
majority of educated persons admit the facts; not indeed _all_ the facts
narrated, but many of them which no critical rule allows us to reject.

_Büchner._ Where are those facts? “The scientific impossibility of
clairvoyance has been confirmed by an examination of the facts by sober
and unprejudiced observers, and were proved to be deceptions and
illusions” (p. 153).

_Reader._ Of course there are juggleries and impositions; but what of
that? Would you maintain that there can be no doctors because there are
quacks? I appeal to your logic.

_Büchner._ “The faculty of medicine of Paris many years ago took the
trouble of submitting a number of such cases to a scientific examination;
they were all proved to be deceptions, nor could a single case be
established of a perception without the use of the senses. In 1837 the
same academy offered a prize of 3,000 francs to any one who could read
through a board. No one gained the prize” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ You forget, doctor, that in 1837 spiritism was as yet most
imperfectly known. It was only about ten years later that it developed
throughout America and Europe. Let the medical faculty of Paris again
offer a prize to any one who can read through a board; and no one doubts
there would be no lack of competitors. When we see that physicians and
others, owing to their own experience of spiritual manifestations, were
compelled to repudiate their previous materialistic opinions; when we know
that infidels by the same manifestations were brought to believe the
immortality of the soul; when the learned and the ignorant, the rich and
the poor, the layman and the churchman, the diplomatist, the philosopher,
and the theologian, bear witness to the reality of the spiritual
phenomena, and are ready to bring forward innumerable facts in support of
their affirmation, we do not care what the faculty of medicine of Paris
may have pronounced many years ago. You say that the faculty “submitted a
number of such cases to a scientific examination,” and that “they were all
proved to be deceptions”; but you would be very much embarrassed to say in
what that “scientific examination” consisted. On the other hand, the
proofs of the deception have never appeared; and the simple truth is that
the spiritual phenomena were _à priori_ rejected, as clashing with the
materialistic theory of the faculty. You pretend that “whenever the proper
means were employed to prevent deception, clairvoyance was at an end” (p.
153). Such an assertion proves that you are completely ignorant of what is
going on in the world, or that you are determined obstinately to ignore
whatever could compel you to acknowledge the existence of spiritual
substances.

_Büchner._ “I have had the opportunity of examining a clairvoyant, of whom
remarkable things were told, under circumstances when a deception on the
part of the magnetizer was out of the question. The lady failed in all her
indications; they were either absolutely false or so expressed that
nothing could be made of them. She, moreover, made the most ridiculous
excuses for her shortcomings. As she failed in her clairvoyance, she
preferred to fall into a state of heavenly ecstasy, in which she
discoursed with her _ange_ or tutelar genius, and recited religious
verses. In reciting a poem of this kind she once stopped short, and
recommenced the verse to assist her memory. She manifested, withal, in
this ecstasy, no superior mental capacities; her language was common, and
her manner awkward. I left with the conviction that the lady was an
impostor who deceived her patron. Still, several gentlemen present were by
no means convinced of the deception practised on them” (p. 154).

_Reader._ If these gentlemen could by no means be convinced of the
deception, must we not presume that there was no deception, and that your
peculiar construction of the case was brought about by a strong desire of
not being disturbed in your fixed idea that there is nothing but matter?
If “the lady failed in all her indications,” if “she made the most
ridiculous excuses for her shortcomings,” if “she manifested no superior
capacities,” it should have been evident to those “several gentlemen” that
she was a fraud. Their inability to be convinced of the deception would
therefore show that the lady did not fail in all her indications, but
manifested superior capacities. Be this as it may, the truth and reality
of spiritual manifestations cannot be disproved by particular attempts at
imposition. Spiritualists admit that many impositions have been practised
under the name of spiritual manifestations, but they aver that in most
instances cheats could not have been palmed off, even if designed; and
that in other cases there could be no possible motive for deception, as
the investigations were carried on in private families where the mediums
were their own sons and daughters.(50) Spirit‐rapping is a fact. Table‐
turning is a fact. Clairvoyance is a fact. Thousands of all conditions,
sects, and nations have witnessed, watched, and examined all such facts
with a degree of attention, suspicion, and incredulity proportionate to
their novelty, strangeness, and unnaturalness. What has been the result? A
verdict acknowledging the reality of the facts and the impossibility of
accounting for them without intelligent preternatural agencies. This
verdict disposes of your materialism. To deny the facts in order to save
materialism is so much time lost. Facts speak for themselves.



XVI. Innate Ideas


_Reader._ And now I should like to know, doctor, why you thought proper to
fill twenty‐seven pages of your _Force and Matter_ with a discussion about
innate ideas.

_Büchner._ For two reasons, sir. First, because “the question whether
there be innate ideas is a very old one, and, in our opinion, one of the
most important in relation to the contemplation of nature. It decides to
some extent whether man, considered as the product of a higher world, has
received a form of existence as something foreign and external to his
essence, with the tendency to shake off this earthly covering, and to
return to his spiritual home; or whether, both in his spiritual and bodily
capacity, man stands to the earth which has produced him in a necessary,
inseparable connection, and whether he has received his essential nature
from this world; so that he cannot be torn from the earth, like the plant
which cannot exist without its maternal soil. The question is, at the same
time, one which does not dissolve itself in a philosophical mist, but
which, so to speak, has flesh and blood, and, resting upon empirical
facts, can be discussed and decided without high‐sounding phrases” (p.
157). The second reason is, that “if it be correct that there are no
innate intuitions, then must the assertion of those be incorrect who
assume that the idea of a God, or the conception of a supreme personal
being, who created, who governs and preserves the world, is innate in the
human mind, and therefore incontrovertible by any mode of reasoning” (p.
184).

_Reader._ Do you mean, that, by refuting the theory of innate ideas, you
will cut the ground from under the feet of the theist and the
spiritualist?

_Büchner._ Yes, sir. Such is the drift of my argumentation.

_Reader._ Then your labor is all in vain. For you must know that we do not
base our demonstration of the substantiality and immortality of the soul
on the doctrine of innate ideas, nor do we assume that the notion of a God
is an “innate intuition.” Had you been even superficially acquainted with
the works of our scholastic philosophers, you would have known that innate
ideas are totally foreign to their psychological and theological
doctrines. You would have known that the axiom, _Nihil est in intellectu
quod non fuerit in sensu_—that is, “There is nothing in our intellect
which has not entered by the gate of the senses”—is not a discovery of
your Moleschott, to whom you attribute it, but is an old dictum familiar
to all the schoolmen of past centuries, and approved by the most orthodox
philosophers of our own time. Now, these philosophers, while denying that
we have any innate idea, admit at the same time that our soul is a special
substance and is immortal, and show that the human intellect can easily
form a concept of God as a supreme cause, and ascertain his existence
without need of innate intuitions. This might convince you that your
chapter on innate ideas has no bearing on the questions concerning the
nature of the soul and the notion of a God. Your assumption that if man
has innate ideas, he will have a tendency “to shake off this earthly
covering, and to return to his spiritual home,” is incorrect. For the
human body has no spiritual home, as is evident; and the human soul, as
having no previous existence in a separate state, has no home but in the
body, and the presence of innate ideas would not create in it a tendency
to shake off its earthly covering. On the other hand, your other
assumption, that, if man has no innate ideas, he is “a production of the
earth alone, and cannot be torn from the earth, with which he is
inseparably connected both in his spiritual and bodily capacity,” is even
more incorrect. For the absence of innate ideas does not mean, and does
not entail, the absence of an intellectual principle; and such a
principle, as evidently immaterial, is not a production of the earth, and
has no need of earthly things to continue its existence.

_Büchner._ How can a soul exist without ideas? And, if all ideas come
through our senses, how can a soul exist without being united to the
organs? “Daily experience teaches us that man begins his intellectual life
only with the gradual development of his senses, and in proportion as he
enters into a definite relation to the external world; and that the
development of his intellect keeps pace with that of his organs of sense
and his organ of thought, and also with the number and importance of the
impressions received. ‘Every unprejudiced observer,’ says Virchow, ‘has
arrived at the conviction that thought is only gradually developed in
man.’ The new‐born child thinks as little, and has as little a soul, as
the unborn child; it is, in our view, living in the body, but
intellectually dead.... The embryo neither thinks nor feels, and is not
conscious of its existence. Man recollects nothing of this state, nor of
the first period of his existence in which the senses were dormant; and
this perfect unconsciousness proves his spiritual non‐existence at that
period. The reason can only be that, during the fœtal state, there are no
impressions whatever received from without, and so weak and imperfect are
they in the first few weeks that the intellect cannot be said to exist”
(p. 159).

_Reader._ It is plain that the new‐born child cannot form an idea of
exterior objects without the use of his senses. But is it true that the
new‐born child is not conscious of its own existence? Certainly not; for,
without a previous knowledge of its own existence, it would never be able
to attribute to itself the feelings awakened in it by exterior objects.
The mind cannot say, _I feel_, if it is not already acquainted with the
_I_. Nor does it matter that “man recollects nothing of the first period
of his existence.” Recollection is impossible so long as the brain has not
acquired a certain consistency; and therefore whatever happens with us in
the first period of our existence leaves no durable trace in our organs,
and is entirely forgotten. Hence your assertions “that the senses of the
new‐born child are dormant, and that its perfect unconsciousness proves
its spiritual non‐existence,” are both false. The child feels its being,
its senses are quite ready to receive impressions, and its soul is quite
alive to such impressions.

You say that “the development of the intellect keeps pace with that of the
organs of sense.” What do you mean by development of the intellect? If you
simply mean that the intellect is furnished with materials of thought in
proportion as sensible objects are perceived, and that, by being so
furnished, it can easily perform a number of intellectual operations, I
admit your assertion; but if you mean that the soul itself is
_substantially_ developed in proportion as the organs are growing more
perfect, then your assertion is both groundless and absurd. Now, it is
evident, by your manner of reasoning, that this second meaning is the one
you adopt. And therefore it is evident that your conclusion is wrong. “The
impressions,” you say, “are so weak and imperfect that the intellect
cannot be said to exist.” This is simply ludicrous. Would you allow us to
say that at night the impressions of light are so weak and imperfect that
the eye cannot be said to exist? Or that the impressions made on a piece
of paper by a bad pencil are so weak and imperfect that the paper cannot
be said to exist? It is obvious that the impressions do not cause the
existence of their subject; and, therefore, if the intellect “cannot be
said to exist” before the impressions, the time will never come when it
can be said to exist.

And now, suppose that a newborn child dies without having acquired through
its senses any knowledge of the exterior world. What shall we say of its
soul? Will such a soul be entirely destitute of ideas, and unable to
think? By no means. Such a soul, after its short permanence in the body,
where it _felt_ its own being, will henceforward _understand_ its own
being as actually present in its own individuality; it will perceive its
own essence as well as its existence; it will be able to abstract from
_self_, and to behold essence, existence, and being, _secundum se_—that
is, according to their objective intelligibility; and, finally, it will be
able to commune with other spiritual beings with the same facility with
which, while in the body, it could communicate with the exterior world by
means of its organic potencies. I know that you do not believe this; but
your unbelief will not change things. The soul, when out of the body, is
competent to perform intellectual operations about intellectual objects as
freely and as perfectly as it performs the sensitive operations in its
present condition. If you consult the works of our philosophers and
theologians, you will find the proofs of my proposition. As to your
opposite assumption, since you have no means of establishing it, we are
free to dismiss it without further discussion.

_Büchner._ If the soul is a separate substance, how and when is it
introduced into the body? “The scientific and logical impossibility of
determining the time (of its introduction) proves the absurdity of the
whole theory, which assumes that a higher power breathes the soul into the
nostrils of the fœtus” (p. 160).

_Reader._ You are grossly mistaken, doctor. The impossibility of
determining the time of the animation of the fœtus proves nothing but our
ignorance. Do you deny that Paris was built by the Gauls on the plea that
you do not know the date of its foundation? Again, since the animation of
the fœtus is not an operation of the mind, how can you speak of _logical_
impossibility? Evidently, you write at random, and know not what you say.
As to the question itself, one thing is clear, viz., the child cannot be
born alive, unless its body has been animated in the womb.

_Büchner._ “Moses and the Egyptians entertained a decided opinion that the
child was not animated while in the womb” (p. 161).

_Reader._ False. Moses describes in the Book of Genesis the fighting of
Jacob and Esau while in the womb of their mother. Could he assume that
they would fight before being animated?

_Büchner._ “In some countries they know nothing of an animated fœtus”
(_ibid._)

_Reader._ False. Every mother will give you the lie.

_Büchner._ “The destruction of the fœtus and infanticide are, according to
Williams, common occurrences in Madagascar. It is also common in China and
the Society Islands” (_ibid._)

_Reader._ This shows the immorality of those nations, not their ignorance
of the fœtal life. But why should you appeal to the presumed ignorance of
barbarians against the verdict of civilized nations? Are you an apostle of
barbarity and brutality? Do you wish your reader to persuade himself that
the destruction of the fœtus is no crime?

_Büchner._ “The Roman lawyers did not look upon the fœtus as an individual
being, but as a part of the mother. The destruction of the fœtus was
therefore permitted to the women of Rome, and we find that Plato and
Aristotle had already adopted the same view” (p. 160).

_Reader._ Do not calumniate Aristotle. This great philosopher and
naturalist is decidedly not of your opinion. He teaches that the fœtus is
animated in the womb. And, pray, are the legal fictions of the Roman
lawyers of any weight against the facts averred by modern medicine? Do you
again appeal to ignorance against science?

_Büchner._ Physicians have not yet decided the question. “Even at birth,
when the child is separated from the mother, it is impossible to assume
that a ready‐made soul, lying in wait, should suddenly rush in and take
possession of its new habitation. The soul, on the contrary, is only
gradually developed in proportion to the relations which, by the awakening
senses, are now established between the individual and the external world”
(p. 161).

_Reader._ No, sir. If this last assertion were true, it would follow that
every child would be lifeless at its birth; for without a soul no animal
life can be conceived. What is “gradually developed” is not the substance
of the soul, but the exercise of its faculties. This is a point already
settled. As to your other assertion, that the question has not yet been
decided by the physicians, I need only say that, although there are
different opinions regarding the time of the animation of the embryo, yet
no physician (unless he is a materialist) denies that the embryo is
animated long before its nativity. Hence your notion of a ready‐made soul
lying in wait, and suddenly rushing in when the child is born, is only a
dream of your fancy or an unworthy attempt at ridiculing the proceedings
of nature.

What you add about the development of the child’s mind by means of the
senses, education, and example does not prove the _subjective_, but only
the _objective_, growth of the mind, as you yourself seem to concede (p.
162). And as the objective growth means an accidental acquisition of
knowledge without any substantial change of the soul, hence nothing that
you may say in refutation of innate ideas can have the least weight or
afford the least ground against the doctrine of the immortality and
substantiality of the soul.



XVII. The Idea Of A God.


_Reader._ From the non‐existence of innate ideas you infer, doctor, that
“the idea of a God, or the conception of a supreme personal being, who
created, who governs and preserves the world, is not innate in the human
mind, and therefore is not incontrovertible” (p. 184). On the other hand,
you say with Luther that “God is a blank sheet, upon which nothing is
found but what you have yourself written” (_ibid._) Do you mean that our
notion of God is merely subjective—that is, a creation of our fancy
without any objective foundation?

_Büchner._ Yes, sir. “We can have neither any knowledge nor any conception
of the _absolute_—of that which transcends the surrounding sensual world.
However much metaphysicians may vainly attempt to define the absolute,
however much religion may endeavor to excite faith in the absolute by the
assumption of a revelation, nothing can conceal the defect of the
definition. All our knowledge is relative, and results from the comparison
of surrounding sensible objects. We could have no notion of darkness
without light, no conception of high without low, of heat without
coldness, etc.; absolute ideas we have none. We are not able to form any
conception of ‘everlasting’ or ‘infinite,’ as our understanding, limited
by time and space, finds an impassable barrier for that conception. From
being in the sensual world accustomed to find a cause for every effect, we
have falsely concluded that there exists a primary cause of all things,
although such a cause is perfectly inaccessible to our ideas, and is
contradicted by scientific experience” (p. 179).

_Reader._ How do you show that we have neither any knowledge nor any
conception of the absolute? or that our understanding is limited by time
and space? or that, from being accustomed to find a cause for every
effect, we have _falsely_ concluded that there exists a primary cause of
all things? or that its existence is contradicted by scientific
experience? Of course you cannot expect that a rational man will swallow
such paradoxes on your puny authority.

_Büchner._ We know neither absolute truth, nor absolute good, nor absolute
beauty. This I have shown by proving that all our notions of truth, of
good, and of beauty are the fruit of experience, observation, and
comparison, and that such notions vary according to the character of the
nations in which they are to be found. It is only after this demonstration
that I concluded “that we can have neither any knowledge nor any
conception of the absolute.”

_Reader._ Yes; this is the only point which you have tried to establish,
and you have failed, as I am ready to show. But that our understanding is
limited by time and space you merely assert. That we falsely conclude that
there is a primary cause you boldly assume. That God’s existence is
contradicted by scientific experience you impudently affirm, well knowing
that it is a lie.

And now, with regard to the knowledge of the absolute, you are much
mistaken if you believe that we know no absolute truth, no absolute good,
and no absolute beauty. We know absolute being; and therefore we know
absolute truth, absolute good, and absolute beauty.

_Büchner._ We know of no absolute being, sir.

_Reader._ Be modest, doctor; for you know of how many blunders you stand
already convicted. Absolute being is not necessarily “that which
transcends the surrounding sensual world.” The sun, the moon, the planets
have their absolute being, and yet do not transcend matter. Now, can we
not form a notion of the absolute being of these bodies? You say that “all
our knowledge is relative, and results from the comparison of surrounding
sensible objects”; but you should reflect that all relative knowledge
implies the knowledge of the absolute terms from the comparison of which
the relation is to be detected. Hence you cannot admit the knowledge of
the relative without assuming the knowledge of the absolute. Accordingly,
it is false that “all our knowledge is relative,” at least in the sense of
your argumentation. Nor is it true that all our knowledge “results from
the comparison of surrounding sensible objects.” There is a kind of
knowledge which results from the comparison of intellectual principles, as
the knowledge of the logical rules; and there is also a knowledge which
results, not from the comparison, but from the intellectual analysis, of
things, as the knowledge of the constituent principles of being. If I ask
you what is _distance_, you will soon point out any two sensible objects,
by the comparison of which distance may become known; but if I ask you
what is _syllogism_, or what is _judgment_, or what is _philosophy_, I
defy you to point out any “surrounding sensible objects,” by the
comparison of which such notions may be understood.

I need not discuss your assertion that “we could have no notion of
darkness without light, no conception of high without low, of heat without
coldness, etc.” I may concede the assertion as irrelevant for, whenever we
designate things by relative terms, it is clear that each relative carries
within itself the connotation of its correlative. But it does not follow
that all our knowledge is relative. How can we know, for instance, the
relation of brotherhood intervening between James and John, if we know
neither the one nor the other? Can we conceive the _brother_ without the
_man_? Or is it necessary, when we know the man, that in such a man we
should see his peculiar relation to another man?

You pretend that we are not able to form any conception of “ever‐lasting”
or “infinite”; and, to prove this, you affirm that “our understanding,
being limited by time and space, finds an impassable barrier for that
conception.” Very well; but what did you mean when you contended that
matter is “eternal” and “infinite”? Had you then any conception of
“eternal” and “infinite”? If you had not such conceptions, you made a fool
of yourself by using terms which you did not understand; while, if you had
such conceptions, then it is false that we are not able to form them. In
the same manner, have you any conception of the “absolute”? If you have
it, then it is ridiculous to pretend that we cannot conceive the absolute;
while, if you have it not, you know not about what you are speaking. Alas!
poor doctor. What can you answer? It is the common fate of the enemies of
truth to be inconsistent with themselves, and to demolish with one hand
what they build with the other.

But is it true that our intellect “is limited by time and space”? No, it
is not true. Imagination is indeed limited by time and space, as all our
philosophers concede; but intellect understands things independently of
either space or time. This is evident. For in what space do we place the
universals? To what time do we confine mathematical truths? _Two and two
are known to make four_ in all places and in all times—that is, without
restriction or limit in space and time; and the same is true of all
intellectual principles. Hence it is obvious that our understanding
transcends both space and time, and can reach the infinite and the
eternal. It is through abstraction, of course, and not by comprehension or
by intuition, that we form such notions; for our intellect, though not
limited by time and space, is limited in its own entity, and therefore it
cannot conceive the unlimited, except by the help of the abstractive
process—that is, by removing the limits by which the objective reality of
the finite is circumscribed. That we can do this I need not prove _to
you;_ for you admit that space is infinite, and pretend that matter itself
is infinite, as I have just remarked; and consequently you cannot deny
that we have the notion of infinity.

What shall I say of your next assertion, that, from being accustomed to
find a cause for every effect, “we have _falsely_ concluded that there
exists a primary cause of all things”? Do you think that the principle of
causality has no other ground than experience? or that, when we do not
“find” the cause of a certain effect, we are to conclude that the effect
has had no cause? I hope you will not deny that the notions of cause and
effect are so essentially connected that there is no need of experiment to
compel the admission of a cause for every effect. Hence we are certain,
not only that all the effects for which we have found a cause proceed from
a cause, but also that all the effects for which we cannot find a cause
likewise proceed from a cause. This amounts to saying that the principle
of causality is analytical, not empirical, as you seem to hold. Now, if
all effects must have a cause, on what ground do you assert that “we have
_falsely_ concluded that there exists a primary cause of all things”? Our
conclusion cannot be false, unless it be false that the world has been
created; for if it was created, we must admit a Creator—that is, a primary
cause. But the fact of creation is, even philosophically, undeniable,
since the contingent nature of the world is manifestly established by its
liability to continuous change. And therefore it is manifestly established
that our admission of a primary cause is not a false conclusion. I might
say more on this point; but what need is there of refuting assertions
which have not even a shadow of plausibility? The primary cause, you say,
“is perfectly inaccessible to our ideas.” I answer that, if the word
“idea” means “concept,” your statement is perfectly wrong. You add that
the existence of a primary cause “is contradicted by scientific
experience.” I answer by challenging you to bring forward a single fact of
experimental science which supports your blasphemous assertion.

You must agree, doctor, that a man who in a few phrases commits so many
unconceivable blunders has no right to censure the metaphysicians or to
attack revelation. It is rash, therefore, on your part, to declare that
“however much metaphysicians may vainly attempt to define the absolute,
however much religion may endeavor to excite faith in the absolute by the
assumption of a revelation, nothing can conceal the defect of the
definition.” Of what definition do you speak? Your own definition of the
absolute, as “that which transcends the surrounding sensual world,” is
certainly most deficient; but religion and metaphysics are not to be made
responsible for it. Why did you not, before censuring the metaphysicians
and the theologians, ascertain their definitions? We call _absolute_ a
being whose existence does not depend on the existence of another being;
and in this sense God alone is absolute. He is _the absolute_
antonomastically. And we call _absolute_ analogically any being also whose
existence does not depend on any created being, although it depends on the
creative and conservative action of God; and in this sense every created
substance is absolute. And we call _absolute_ logically whatever is
conceived through its own intrinsic constituents without reference to any
other distinct entity; and in this sense we speak of absolute movement,
absolute weight, absolute volume, etc. Without enumerating other less
important meanings of the term, I simply observe that the absolute may be
defined as that which is independent of extraneous conditions; and that
the greater its independence, the more absolute and the more perfect is
the being. Have you anything to say against this definition?

We must, then, conclude that all your argumentation is nothing but a
shocking display of false assertions, and, I may add, of “intellectual
jugglery.”

_Büchner._ I will accept your conclusion, if you can show that our
conception of a God is not a childish delusion of our fancy. “An exact
knowledge and unprejudiced observation of individuals and nations in an
uncivilized state prove the contrary to be the fact. Only a prejudiced
mind can, in the worship of animals practised by ancient and existing
nations, find something analogous to a real belief in a God. It by no
means corresponds to the idea of a God when we see man worshipping such
animals as he from experience knows may injure or be useful to him.... A
stone, a tree, a river, an alligator, a parcel of rags, a snake, form the
idols of the negro of Guinea. Such a worship does not express the idea of
an almighty being, governing the world and ruling nature and man, but
merely a blind fear of natural forces, which frighten uncivilized man, or
appear supernatural, as he is not able to trace the natural connection of
things.... A god in the shape of an animal is no God, but a caricature”
(pp. 184, 185).

_Reader._ True. But individuals and nations existing “in an uncivilized
state” are scarcely to be appealed to for a decision of the question. The
notion of worship implies the notion of a supreme being; but rude and
brutal men, thinking of nothing but of the development of their animal
nature and the pursuit of degrading pleasure, though they know that there
is some superior being, are not the men we ought to consult about the
nature and attributes of divinity. It seems, doctor, as if you had a great
predilection for uncivilized and barbarous nations. You have already tried
to countenance abortion and fœticide, on the ground that barbarians
admitted the horrible practice; and now you would have us believe that our
conception of a God is a childish delusion, on the ground that barbarians
worship the snake, the alligator, or any other caricature of a god. This
will not do.

_Büchner._ But civilized men are not much in advance of barbarians with
regard to the notion of divinity. “No one has better expounded the purely
human origin of the idea of God than Ludwig Feuerbach. He calls all
conceptions of God and divinity _anthropomorphisms_—_i.e._, products of
human fancies and perceptions, formed after the model of human
individuality. Feuerbach finds this anthropomorphism in the feeling of
dependence inherent in the human nature. ‘An extraneous and superhuman
God,’ says Feuerbach, ‘is nothing but an extraneous and supernatural self,
a subjective being placed, by transgressing its limits, above the
objective nature of man.’ The history of all religions is indeed a
continuous argument for this assertion; and how could it be otherwise?
Without any knowledge or any notion of the absolute, without any immediate
revelation, the existence of which is indeed asserted by all, but not
proved by any religious sect, all ideas of God, no matter of what
religion, can only be human; and as man knows in animated nature no being
intellectually superior to himself, it follows that his conception of a
supreme being can only be abstracted from his own self, and must represent
a _self‐idealization_” (p. 190). Hence it is plain that our idea of a God
is a mere delusion.

_Reader._ It is by no means plain, doctor. Feuerbach’s authority, you
know, is worth very little. Your German philosophers, as you own, “have
pretty much lost their authority, and are now but little attended to” (p.
158). On the other hand, “nothing,” says Herschel, “is so improbable but a
German will find a theory for it” (p. 155). Therefore let Feuerbach alone.

As for the reasons which you adduce in support of the assumption, we need
not go into deep reasonings to lay open their true value. Is “the history
of all religions a continuous argument for Feuerbach’s assertion”? No. For
the history of the Mosaic and of the Christian religion is a continuous
refutation of such a slander. Are men “without any knowledge or any notion
of the absolute”? No. This I have already shown to be entirely false. Men,
however, are “without any immediate revelation.” This is true, but it has
nothing to do with the question; first, because philosophy and reason are
competent without supernatural revelation to ascertain the existence of a
primary cause infinitely superior to all the natural beings; secondly,
because, although we have no _immediate_ revelations, we have the old
revelation transmitted to us by written and oral tradition, and by the
teaching of the living church. That this revelation “is asserted by all,
but not proved by any religious sect,” is one of those lies which it is
quite unnecessary to refute, as there are whole libraries of Scriptural
treatises, in which the truth of revelation is superabundantly vindicated.
I would therefore conclude, without any further discussion, that it is to
yourself, and not to your opponents, that you should apply that low
criticism with which you close the twenty‐sixth chapter of your work. For
it is you that “delight in hashing up cold meat with new phrases, and
dishing them up as the last invention of the _materialistic_ kitchen” (p.
194).

To sum up: Do you admit that man is a finite being?

_Büchner._ Of course.

_Reader._ Do you admit that man had a beginning? That man is ignorant,
weak, wicked, and subject to death?

_Büchner._ Who can doubt that?

_Reader._ Then man by _self‐idealization_ cannot form an anthropomorphic
notion of a supreme being without involving limitation, ignorance,
impotence, malice, an origin, and an end of existence. Such, and no other,
would be the result of self‐idealization. Now, our notion of God is that
of a being eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, holy, immense. Is
this anthropomorphism?

To Be Continued.



Destiny.


From The French Of Louis Veuillot.

It is the lot of mortals here below
That they shall ever crawl from bad to worse,
Approaching step by step the dismal tomb—
Instance an aching tooth, with no relief
Save by its loss. Cure comes by sacrifice.

All victories are seeds of further strife—
Of strife that never ends but in the grave,
In which he only conquers who succumbs:
            And this is destiny.

Ye dreamers of love‐dreams, of glory, wealth,
Who, growing old, are scouted by the world,
And then swept on into forgetfulness!
All disappears—laurels, affection, gold!
Blame not your faults that so things come to pass,
            For this is destiny.



The Veil Withdrawn.


Translated, By Permission, From The French Of Mme. Craven, Author Of A “A
Sister’s Story,” “Fleurange,” Etc.



XXII.


The following day was as gloomy as might have been expected from the
evening before. Never had I suffered such inexpressible anguish and
distress.

It is useless to say that I went to church alone, as on the preceding
Sunday, but I was not as calm and recollected as I was then. I was now in
a state of irrepressible dissatisfaction with everything and everybody,
myself not excepted, and yet I was very far from being in that humble
disposition of mind which subdues all murmuring, extinguishes resentment,
and throws a calm, serene light on the way one should walk in. I regretted
my hastiness of the evening before, because I realized that a different
course would have been more likely to further my wishes. In short, I felt
I ought to have managed more skilfully, but it never occurred to me I
might have been more patient. I found it difficult, above all, to calm the
excessive irritation caused by the recollection of Lorenzo’s manner
throughout our interview. I compared it with his appearance on the day
when he spoke to me for the first time concerning her.

What tenderness he then manifested! What confidence! What respect even!
Even while uttering her name—alas! with emotion—how manifest it was that,
while desirous of repairing his wrongs towards her, he felt incapable of
any towards me! Not a week had elapsed since that time, and yesterday how
cold, how hard! What implacable and freezing irony! What an incredible
change in his looks and words! Was it really Lorenzo who spoke to me in
such a way? Was it really he who gave me so indifferent and almost
disdainful a look?... No, he was no longer the same. A previous
fascination had recovered its power, and the fatal charm over which I had
so recently triumphed had regained its empire over a heart which I was,
alas! too feeble to retain, because I had no sentiments more profound and
elevated than those of nature to aid me!

As I have already said, I did not try to fathom Faustina’s motives. I
ought, however, to say a few words concerning her, if only through charity
for him whom she had followed, like an angel of darkness, to disturb his
legitimate happiness!

That she had long loved him I do not doubt—loved him with the unbridled
passion that sways all such hearts as hers. She thought he would return to
her. She believed she was preparing for herself a whole life of happiness
by two years of apparent virtue. Mistaken, wounded, and desperate, she had
at first yielded to an impetuous desire of perhaps merely seeing him once
more; perhaps, also, to avenge herself by destroying the happiness that
had defeated her dearest hopes.

She had calculated on the extent of her influence, and had calculated
rightly. But in order to exert it, I was necessary to her design, and she
played with consummate art the scene of our first encounter. She wished to
take a near view of the enemy she hoped to vanquish; she must sound the
heart she wished to smite. Alas! all that was worthy of esteem in that
heart was not perceived by him, and it was natural to underrate a treasure
not appreciated by its owner. What could I do, then? What advantage had I
over her, if, in Lorenzo’s eyes, I was not protected by a sacred,
insurmountable barrier which he respected himself? What was my love in
comparison with her passion? What was my intelligence in comparison with
that which she possessed? My beauty beside the irresistible charm that had
even fascinated me? Finally, my youth itself in comparison with all the
advantages her unscrupulous vanity gave her over me? In fact, I think it
seemed so easy at the first glance to vanquish me that she was almost
disarmed herself. But I also believe she soon discovered something more in
me than all she found so easy to eclipse. She saw I might in time succeed
in acquiring an ascendency over Lorenzo that no human influence could
destroy. She saw I might kindle a flame in his soul it would be impossible
to extinguish—a flame very different from that which either of us could be
the object of. She saw I might lead him into a world where she could no
longer be my rival, and that I wished to do so. She discerned the ardent
though confused desire that was in my heart. In a word, she had on her
side an intuition equal to that which I had on mine. She perceived the
good there was in me, as I had fathomed the evil there was in her, and she
knew she must overpower my good influence, which would render him
invulnerable whom she wished to captivate. She made use of all the weapons
she possessed to conquer me, or rather, alas! to conquer him—weapons
always deadly against hearts without defence. The very esteem she had
heretofore won became a snare to him when her pride, her passion, changed
their calculations—an additional snare, a danger that, combined with
others, would be fatal!...

If I speak of her now in this way, it is not to gratify a resentment long
since extinguished. Neither is it to palliate Lorenzo’s offences against
me and against God. It is solely to explain their secret cause, and to
repeat once more that human love, even the most tender, is a frail
foundation of that happiness in which God has no part; and honor likewise,
even the highest and most unimpeachable, is a feeble guarantee of a
fidelity of which God is not the bond, the witness, and the judge!...

I saw Lorenzo barely for a moment in the morning. I clearly perceived he
wished to make me forget what had passed between us the evening before,
but I did not see the least shade of regret. It was evident, on the
contrary, that he thought himself magnanimous in overlooking my
reproaches, and felt no concern at having merited them. In short, we
seemed to have changed _rôles_. As for me, I suffered so much on account
of the outburst I had indulged in that it would have been easy to call
forth acknowledgments that would have atoned for it. They only waited for
the least word of affection, but not one did he utter. Lando came for him
before two o’clock, and they went away together, leaving me with a sad,
heavy heart. I was not to see him again till my return from the Hôtel de
Kergy. Where would he pass the time meanwhile?... Would it really be in
Lando’s company? And was the business they had to settle really such as to
render it impossible for him to spend this last evening with me?... Would
it not have been a thousand times better to have remained silent, and, as
this was really our last day, and we were to leave on the next, would it
not have been wiser in me to have spent it wholly with him, ... even if
that included her?... Had I not committed an irreparable folly in yielding
to this explosion of unmistakable anger? This was indubitable, but it was
too late to remedy it. The die was cast. Lorenzo was gone! I passed the
afternoon, like that of the Sunday before, at church, but was pursued by a
thousand distractions which I had not now the strength to resist. On the
contrary, I took pleasure in dwelling on them, and my mind wandered
without any effort on my part to prevent it. I neglected, on the very day
of my life when I had the most need of light, courage, and assistance, to
have recourse to the only Source whence they are to be obtained, and I
returned home without having uttered a prayer.

Two hours later I was at the Hôtel de Kergy, and in the same room where
just a week before I had felt such lively emotion and conceived such
delightful hopes! But, ah! what a contrast between my feelings on that
occasion and those of to‐day! I seemed to have lived as many years since
as there had been days!...

Mme. de Kergy advanced to meet me as I entered, and I saw she noticed the
change in my face the moment she looked at me. I did not know how to feign
what I did not feel, and she had had too much experience not to perceive I
had undergone some pain or chagrin since the evening before. She asked me
no questions, however, but, on the contrary, began to speak of something
foreign to myself; and this did me good. I soon felt my painful emotions
diminish by degrees, and a change once more in the atmosphere around me,
as when one passes from one clime to another.

The guests were but few in number, and all friends of the family. Diana,
prettier than ever, and so lively as to excite my envy, was delighted to
see me, but did not observe the cloud on my brow; and if she had, she
would have been incapable of fathoming the cause. She hastened to point
out the various guests who had arrived.

“They are all friends,” said she; “for mother said you were coming to get
a little respite from society.”

Mme. de Kergy presented them to me one by one, and among the persons
introduced were several of celebrity, whom I regarded with all the
interest a first meeting adds to renown. But I saw nothing of Diana’s
brother among those present, and was beginning to wonder if I should never
see him again, when, just as dinner was ready, he made his appearance. He
bowed to me at a distance, appearing to have forgotten it was his place to
escort me to the table. A sign from his mother seemed to bring him to
himself, and he offered me his arm with some confusion, though without any
awkwardness. But after taking a seat beside me, he remained for some
moments without speaking, and then addressed his conversation to others
instead of me. I saw he was for some reason embarrassed, and I was
confused myself; for such things are contagious. He soon recovered his
accustomed ease, however, and when he finally addressed me it was with a
simplicity that set me, on my part, entirely at ease. His conversation
surprised and pleased me, and I felt I conversed better with him than any
one else. There was nothing trifling in what he said, and, above all, he
refrained from everything like a compliment, direct or indirect, and even
from every subject that might lead either to me or himself. Women
generally like nothing so much as a style of conversation that shows the
effect they produce, so it was not astonishing it had been employed with
me as well as with others. But this language had always embarrassed and
displeased me, and I now felt proportionately pleased with the unusual way
in which I was addressed—a way that seemed to raise me in my own
estimation. And yet he did not try to absorb my attention, but gave others
an opportunity of taking part in the conversation.

It soon became general, and I stopped to listen. I had then the pleasure—a
new one for me—of witnessing a kind of game in which thoughts and opinions
fly from one to another, wit mingles with gravity, and the intellect is
brightened by contact with the brilliancy of others. Gilbert was not the
only one in this circle who knew how to interest without fatiguing, and
excite, not by ridicule, but by a better kind of wit, the hearty, cordial
laugh that wounds neither the absent nor the present!

What struck me especially was the interest and almost deference with which
a man of well‐known eloquence, whose opinions had weight with every one,
endeavored to draw forth the opinions of others. It might have been said
he listened even better than he talked.

Thus during the whole time we were at table, and the evening that
followed, I realized the true meaning of the word _conversation_ in a
country where it originated, in the social world where it was coined, and
in the language which is, of all mediums, the most delicate, the most
perfect, and the most universal.

In spite of myself, I felt my sadness gradually vanish, and my laugh more
than once mingled freely in the merriment of others. I saw that Mme. de
Kergy observed this with pleasure, and a benevolent smile increased the
habitual sweetness of her expression. She was a woman whose unvarying
serenity was the result of great suffering, and who now sought nothing in
this world but the happiness of others; to whose pains she was as fully
alive as she was full of profound compassion.

She wore mourning, not only for her husband, but a number of children, of
whom Gilbert and Diana were the sole survivors. But far from centring her
affection on them, she seemed to have given to all who were young the love
she had cherished for those who were gone, and the vacant places they had
left in her maternal heart. I could not help regarding her with
astonishment, for I belonged to a country where it is more common to die
of grief than to learn how to live under its burden. I returned Mme. de
Kergy’s smile, and for an hour felt gay and almost happy. But by degrees
the burden, removed for an instant, fell back on my heart. The reality of
my troubles, and the thought of bidding farewell to this delightful circle
of friends, filled me with a melancholy it was impossible to repress. The
regret that weighed on my heart was for a moment as profound as that we
feel for our country when we fear never to behold it again.

I remained seated in an arm‐chair near the fire‐place, and fell into a
revery which was favored by Diana, who was at the piano. She was at that
moment playing with consummate skill an air of Chopin’s which seemed to
give expression to my very thoughts....

I awoke from my long revery, and felt a blush mount to my very forehead
when, raising my eyes, I found Gilbert’s fixed on mine.... And mine were
veiled with tears! I hastily brushed them away, stammering with confusion
that Chopin’s music always affected my nerves, and then, leaving my seat,
I approached the piano, where Diana continued to play one air after
another.... Gilbert remained with a pensive manner in the place where I
left him, looking at me from a distance, and trying, perhaps, to
conjecture the cause of my emotion.

But the approaching separation was sufficient to account for this. I was
that very evening to bid a long farewell to these new friends, whom
perhaps I should never meet again in this world! And when the hour came,
and Mme. de Kergy clasped me for the last time in her arms, I made no
effort to restrain my tears. Diana wept also, and, throwing her arms
around my neck, said:

“Oh! do not forget me. I love you so much!”

Her mother added with a tearful voice:

“May God watch over you wherever you go, my dear Ginevra! I shall follow
you in spirit with as much interest as if I had known you always!...”

Gilbert offered me his arm, and conducted me to the carriage without
uttering a word; but as I was on the point of entering it he said:

“Those you leave behind are greatly to be pitied, madame.”

“And I am much more so,” I replied, my tears continuing to flow without
restraint.

He remained silent an instant, and then said:

“As for me, madame, I may hope to see you again, for I shall go to Naples,
... _if I dare_.”

“And why should you not dare? You know well we shall expect you and
welcome you as a friend.”

He made no reply, but after helping me into the carriage, and I had given
him my hand, as I bade him adieu, he answered in a low tone: “_Au
revoir!_”



XXIII.


Our journey through France and across the Alps did not in the least
diminish the impressions of my last days in Paris. But everything was
mingled in my recollections like the joy and regret I felt at my
departure—joy and regret, both of which I had reason to feel, though I did
not try to fathom their cause. I was only conscious that in more than one
way the repose and happiness of our life were threatened, and it was
necessary we should take flight. It seemed as if we could not go fast
enough or far enough. The very rapidity with which we travelled by railway
was delightfully soothing, for it seconded my wishes. The sudden change of
scenery and climate, and the different aspect of the towns as soon as we
crossed the mountains, also gave me pleasure, because all this greatly
added in my imagination to the distance we had so rapidly come.

Lorenzo also, though doubtless for a different reason, seemed more at ease
after we left Paris, and gradually resumed his usual manner towards me. He
never mentioned Faustina’s name, and I had only ventured to speak timidly
of her once. As we were on the point of leaving, I proposed writing her a
farewell note, but he prevented me by hastily stammering something to this
effect: that my absence the evening before was a sufficient explanation
for not seeing her again, and it was useless to take the trouble of any
further farewell.

This new attitude surprised me. He had changed his mind, then, since the
day he urged me so strongly to be her friend!... It is true I had myself
expressed a vehement desire—too vehement, perhaps!—to break off this
friendship. But he did not try in the least to profit by my present good‐
will to renew it. It was evident he no longer desired it himself. His only
wish seemed to be to make me forget the scene that had occurred, as well
as the cause that led to it. Why was this? If I had really been in the
wrong, would he have forgiven me so readily? If, instead of this, his
conscience forced him to excuse me, did not the affection he now
manifested prove his desire to repair wrongs he could not avow, and which
perhaps I did not suspect?

These thoughts involuntarily crossed my mind and heart with painful
rapidity. I loved Lorenzo, or rather, I felt the need of loving him, above
all things. But if he himself loved me no longer, if he had become
treacherous, unfaithful, and untrue to his word, could I continue to love
him? Was this possible?... What would become of me in this case? Merciful
heavens!... I asked myself these questions with a terror that could not
have been greater had I been asking myself what would become of my eyes
should they be deprived of light. And this comparison is just, for there
could be no darker night than that which would have surrounded me had the
ardent, predominant feeling of my heart been left without any object. I
might suitably have taken for my motto: _Aimer ou mourir_—either love or
die—words often uttered in a jesting, romantic, or trifling way, but which
were to me full of profound, mysterious meaning. But this meaning was
hidden from me, and the day was still far distant when its signification
would be made manifest!

After crossing the Alps and the Apennines, and passing through Florence
and Rome, we at length proceeded towards Naples by the delightful route
that formerly crossed the Pontine Marshes, Terracina, and Mola di Gaëta.
Every one who returns to Italy the first time after leaving it experiences
a feeling of intoxication and joy a thousand times more lively than when
one goes there for the first time. The eyes wander around in search of
objects which once gave them pleasure and it had been a sacrifice to
leave. I yielded to this enjoyment without attempting to resist it.
Sadness, moreover, did not belong to my age, and, though intensely capable
of it, it was by no means natural to me. During the first weeks after my
return to Naples my mind was diverted from all my troubles and anxiety by
novelties that everything contributed to render efficacious and powerful.

In the first place, I was glad to find myself once more in my delightful
home, which, by the order of Lorenzo, had undergone a multitude of
improvements during my absence, and was now additionally embellished with
the contents of the boxes we had brought from Paris. It was Lorenzo’s
taste, and not mine, which had dictated the choice of these numberless
objects, the chief value of which in my eyes was derived from the
estimation he attached to them himself.

The anxiety that clouded his face seemed to have disappeared. He appeared
as delighted as I to find himself at home, and was quite disposed to
resume his favorite occupation in his studio. Consequently, the clouds
soon began to disperse from my soul; the sun once more began to brighten
my life.

Lorenzo soon insisted, with an earnestness equal to that he had before
shown to have me all to himself, that my door should now be constantly
open. My drawing‐room was filled with people of the best society and
highest rank in Naples, and, thanks to their cordiality and natural turn
for sudden intimacies (a characteristic, charming trait in that delightful
region), instead of feeling at all embarrassed among so many new
acquaintances, I felt as if surrounded by friends I had always known and
loved.

Above all, I at last saw Livia once more, and though through a double
grate, which prevented me from embracing her, it afforded me an unalloyed
happiness which left no regrets.

The monastery she entered was situated at one extremity of Naples, which
could only be reached by traversing an endless number of narrow, gloomy,
winding streets, in which it seemed impossible to move a step without
knocking down the people on foot, overthrowing their shops, and even
kitchens, established in the open air; and, if in a carriage, crushing the
children playing, running about, or sleeping in the sun.

The first time a person ventures into such streets he is terrified at
every step, and wonders he is allowed there. He feels guilty and like
apologizing to every one he meets. But he soon sees he has done no harm;
that everybody, young and old, mothers and children, the passers‐by, the
coachmen, and even the horses themselves, are endowed with a dexterity,
good‐humor, and at the same time an energy that make their way through
everything. In a word, they all have such quickness of sight, hearing, and
motion that not a day passes in which miracles of skill are not effected
in these narrow streets, which not only prevent accidents from happening,
but even from being feared, and you are at last unwilling to admit there
is any crowd in Naples so compact, any street so narrow, or any descent so
perilous, as to make it necessary to leave the vehicle you are in, or
which the coachman who drives, and the horses he manages, cannot pass
without danger.

At the end of some such way as I have described it was necessary, in
addition to all this, in order to reach the monastery I am speaking of, to
stop at the foot of an acclivity the horses could not ascend, not on
account of its steepness, which would have been no obstacle, but because
every now and then there were steps to facilitate the ascent of
pedestrians, but which rendered it impassable for equipages of any kind
whatever. It had therefore to be ascended on foot, and, when once at the
top, there was still a flight of fifteen or twenty steps to climb before
reaching the broad terrace or platform before the gate through which
strangers were admitted to the convent.

If this ascent was difficult, it must be confessed one felt repaid for the
trouble of making it by the view from the terrace. Here the visitor
wandered along the narrow, gloomy streets through the old, historic city,
as well as its more elegant quarters, towards that side of the bay where
Vesuvius was to be seen in its most striking aspect, and from the summit
of the volcano followed its descent to the vast, smiling plain, more
charming even in that direction than that to the sea by Ottagno, Stabia,
and Castellamare. On every side the eye reposed on the verdant orange‐
trees growing in numberless gardens. Such was the outer world that
encircled my sister’s cloistered home. Such was the view from every window
on this side of the convent. On the other there was a more quiet prospect,
perhaps even better suited to contemplation—that of the cloister, with its
broad arcades of fine architecture, which surrounded an enclosure planted
with lemon‐trees, in the centre of which stood a massive antique fountain
of marble. The pines of Capo di Monte stood out against the clear sky,
further off were the heights of Sant’ Elmo, and along the horizon
stretched the majestic line of mountains which form the background of the
picture.

When able to tear my eyes from this magnificent prospect, lit up by all
the fires of the setting sun, I suddenly found myself in the somewhat
gloomy vestibule of the monastery, whence I was conducted to a large
parlor divided by a grate, behind which fell a long, black curtain. Here I
was left alone, with the assurance I should soon see my sister. I felt an
emotion I had not anticipated, and for the first time it seemed as if the
most horrible separation had taken place between us. The admiration I had
just experienced, and my joy at the prospect of seeing her again, both
vanished. My heart swelled with painful emotion, and it was with more
terror than devotion I looked up at a large crucifix—the only ornament on
the bare wall in front of the _grille_. As to the grate itself, it filled
me with horror, and I did not dare look at it.

All at once I heard the sound of a light step, the curtain was drawn
quickly aside, and a beloved voice softly uttered my name: “Gina!” Turning
around, I saw Livia, my sister, standing before me! The shock I received
could not have been greater if, supposing her dead, I had seen her descend
from the skies and appear thus suddenly before me. She wore the white veil
of a novice, and her habit, as well as the band across her forehead and
the _guimpe_ around her neck, was of the same color. Her face was radiant.
The dazzling rays of the setting sun suddenly poured in through the door
of the cloister, left open behind her, and she seemed to be wholly
enveloped in light. I gazed at her speechless with affection, surprise,
and I know not what other indefinable emotion.... I was almost afraid to
address her; but she did not appear to observe it. The words that rapidly
fell from her lips were animated, natural, and affectionate as ever—more
affectionate even. And there was the same tone of anxious solicitude. But
she was calmer, more serene, and even more gentle, and, though at times
she had the same tone of decision, there was no trace of the sadness and
austerity she sometimes manifested, in spite of herself, in former times
when an invisible cross darkened everything around her. The band that
concealed her hair revealed more clearly the extreme beauty of her eyes,
and while I stood gazing at her as if I had never studied her features
before, I felt she spoke truly in saying “the grates of the convent should
neither hide her face nor her heart from me.” Never had the one, I
thought, so faithfully reflected the other.

As to her, she by no means perceived the effect she had produced. She was
anxious to hear all I had been doing while absent, and asked me one
question after another with the same familiarity with which we used to
converse when side by side. Glad to be able to open my heart in this way,
I forgot, when I began, all I had to say if I would conceal nothing from
her. But my account soon became confused, and I suddenly stopped.

“Gina mia!” said she, “you do not tell me everything. Why is this? Is it
because you think I no longer take any interest in your worldly affairs?”

“It is not that alone, Livia, but it is really very difficult to speak of
Paris and the senseless life I led there before this grate and while
looking at you as you are now.”

“I shall always take as much pleasure in listening to you,” said she, “as
you do in talking to me. I admit, when our good aunt, Donna Clelia, comes
to see me with her daughters, I often assume a severe air, and tell them
what I think of the world; ... but I must confess my aunt does not get
angry with me, for she depends on my vocation to procure husbands for
Mariuccia and Teresina, who are worthy of them, because, as she says, a
person who consecrates herself to God brings good‐luck to all the family.
She no longer regards me as a _jettatrice_, I assure you!”

She laughed as she said this, and I could not help exclaiming with
surprise and envy:

“Livia, how happy you are to be so cheerful!”

Her face resumed its usual expression of sweet gravity, as she replied:

“I am cheerful, Gina, because I am happy. But you were formerly livelier
than I. Why are you no longer so, my dear sister? Cheerfulness is for
those whose souls are at peace.”

“O Livia!” I cried, not able to avoid a sincere reply to so direct a
question, “my heart is heavy with sorrow, I assure you, and the
cheerfulness you speak of is frequently wanting.”

She started with surprise at these words, and questioned me with an
angelic look.

I did not delay my reply. I felt the need of opening my heart, and resumed
the account I had broken off. I described without any circumlocution the
life of pleasure to which I had given myself up, at first through
curiosity and inclination, and in the end with weariness and disgust. I
spoke of the day at Paris when fervor, devotion, and good impulses awoke
in my soul, my meeting Mme. de Kergy, and all I had seen and felt in the
places I had visited in her company.

Finally, I endeavored, with a trembling voice, to explain all my hopes and
wishes with respect to Lorenzo, and the nature of the projects and
ambition I had for him. With a heart still affected at the remembrance I
depicted the new happiness—the new and higher life I had dreamed of for
him as well as myself!

Livia listened with joy to this part of my story, and her face brightened
while I was speaking. But, without explaining the cause of my
disappointment, I ended by telling her how complete it was, and this awoke
so many bitter remembrances at once that I was suffocated with emotion,
and for some moments I was unable to continue....

A cloud passed over her brow, and she suffered me to weep some moments in
silence.

“Your wishes were good and holy, Ginevra,” said she at length, “and God
will bless them sooner or later.”

I paid no heed to her words. A torrent of bitterness, jealousy, and grief
inundated my heart, and, feeling at liberty to say what concerned no one
but myself, I gave vent to thoughts I had often dwelt on in silence, but
now uttered aloud with vehemence and without any restriction.

Livia listened without interrupting me, and seemed affected at my
impetuosity. Standing motionless on the other side of the _grille_, her
hands crossed under her long, white scapular, and her downcast, thoughtful
eyes fastened on the ground, she seemed for a time to be listening rather
to the interior voice of my soul than to the words I uttered. At length
she slowly raised her eyes, and said with an accent difficult to describe:

“You say your heart feels the need of some object of affection—that not to
love would be death? You need, too, the assurance that the one you love is
wholly worthy of your affection?... Really,” continued she, smiling, “one
would say you wish Lorenzo to be perfect, which of course he is not, even
if as faultless as man is capable of being.”

She stopped, and the smile that played on her lips became almost
celestial. One would have said a ray of sunlight beamed across her face.
She continued:

“I understand you, Ginevra; I understand you perfectly, perhaps even
better than you do yourself, but I am not capable of solving the enigma
that perplexes you—of drawing aside the veil that now obscures the
light.... Oh! if I could!” said she, clasping her hands and raising her
eyes to heaven with fervor.“ To solve all your doubts—to give you the
light necessary to comprehend this mystery clearly—would require a miracle
beyond the power of any human being. God alone can effect this. May he
complete his work! May you merit it!”

The bell rang, and we hastily took leave of each other. It was dusk when I
left her. She assured me I could make her a similar visit every week, and
this prospect made me happy. I was happy to have seen her—happy to feel
she could still descend to my level from the holier region she inhabited,
and that there was nothing to hinder me from enjoying in the future the
sweet intercourse of the past.

But however fully I opened my heart to Livia, I should have considered it
profaning the purity of the air I breathed in her presence to utter the
name of Faustina Reali. And, without knowing why, neither did I mention
the name of Gilbert de Kergy.



XXIV.


Naples at that time was styled by some one “a small capital and a large
city,” and this designation was correct. The society, though on a small
scale, was of the very highest grade, consisting of an aristocracy exempt
from the least haughtiness, and retaining all the habits and manners of
bygone times. However frivolous this society might be in appearance, its
defects were somewhat redeemed by an originality and lack of affectation
which wholly excluded the vexatious and insupportable _ennui_ produced by
frivolity and pretension when, as often happens, they are found together.
With a few exceptions, devoid of great talents or very profound
acquirements, it had wit in abundance, as well as a singular aptitude for
seizing and comprehending everything. If to all this we add the most
cordial reception and the readiest, warmest welcome, it will at once be
seen that those who were admitted to this circle could not help carrying
away an ineffaceable remembrance of it.

But the special, characteristic trait which distinguished Naples from
every other city, large or small, was, strange to say, and yet true, the
utter absence of all gossip, slander, or ridicule. The women unanimously
defended one another, and no man, under the penalty of being considered
ill‐bred, ever ventured to speak ill of one of their number, unless
perhaps by one of those slight movements of the features which constitute,
in that country, a language apart—very eloquent, it is true, and perfectly
understood by every one, but which never produces the same effect as
actual words. It was generally said, and almost always with truth,
whenever there was any new gossip in circulation, which sometimes
happened, that “no doubt some stranger had a finger in it”! To complete
this picture, we will add that there was a circle of ladies in Neapolitan
society who fully equalled in beauty and grace the generation before them,
which was celebrated in this respect throughout Italy.

It may be affirmed, therefore, without fear of denial on the part of any
contemporary, that the general result of all this was to produce a kind of
_beau‐ideal_ of gay society.

Among these ladies was one I particularly remarked, and who speedily
became my friend. Lorenzo had predicted this the day (afterwards so
fatally memorable to me) when for the first time the name of the Contessa
Stella di San Giulio met my eyes. To tell the truth, this remembrance at
first took away all desire to make her acquaintance. It seemed to me
(yielding no doubt to a local superstition) that the day on which I first
heard the name of Faustina could bring me no luck. But this prejudice was
soon overcome. It was sufficient to see her to feel at once attracted
towards her. At first sight, however, there was something imposing in her
features and manner, but this impression immediately changed. As soon as
she began to converse, her eyes, the pleasing outline of her face, and her
whole person, were lit up by an enchanting smile on her half‐open lips—a
smile that the pencil of Leonardo da Vinci alone could depict. It is among
the women who served as models to this great, incomparable master that a
likeness to Stella must be sought. It is by studying the faces of which he
has left us the inimitable type we recognize, notwithstanding their
smiling expression, a certain firmness and energy which exclude all idea
of weakness, nonchalance, or indolence. Stella’s physiognomy, too,
expressed courage and patience, and they were predominant traits in her
character. She was, however, vivacious, versatile, and so lively as to
seem at times to take too light a view of everything; but, when better
known, no one could help admiring the rare faculty with which heaven
enabled her to bear cheerfully the heavy trials of life, and feeling that
her gayety was courage in its most attractive aspect.

Married at eighteen, she had seen this union, with which convenience had
more to do than inclination, dissolved at the end of two years: her
husband died soon after the birth of her only child. From that time family
circumstances obliged her to live with an uncle, who was the guardian of
her child, and had, in this capacity, the right to meddle with everything
relating to both mother and daughter—a right which his wife, a woman of
difficult and imperious temper, likewise arrogated in a manner that would
have exhausted the patience of any one else; but Stella’s never failed
her. Feeling it important for the future interests of her little Angiolina
to accept the condition imposed by her widowhood, she submitted to it
courageously without asking if there was any merit in so doing. Her
liveliness, which had been so long subdued, returned beneath the smiles of
her child, and, as often happens to those who are young, nature gained the
ascendency and triumphed over all there was to depress her. Angiolina was
now five years old, and was growing up without perceiving the gloomy
atmosphere that surrounded the nest of affection and joy in which her
mother sheltered her, and the latter found her child so sweet a resource
that she no longer seemed to feel anything was wanting in her lot.

This intimacy added much to the happiness of a life which began to please
me far beyond my expectations. The gay world, with which I thought myself
so completely disgusted, took a new and more subtle aspect in my eyes than
that I had so soon become weary of. But in yielding to this charm it
seemed to me I was pleasing Lorenzo and seconding his desire to make our
house one of the most brilliant in Naples. Nevertheless, he resumed his
labors, and passed whole hours in his studio, where he seemed wholly
absorbed, as formerly, in his art. I found him there more than anywhere
else, as he was before our fatal journey. He had begun again with renewed
ardor on his Vestal, which was now nearly completed, and was considered
the most perfect work that ever issued from his hands. He attributed the
honor of his success to his model, and, though formerly more annoyed than
flattered by suffrages of this kind, I now welcomed the compliment as a
presage of days like those of former times.

The first time I entered the studio after my return I sought with jealous
anxiety some trace of the remembrance that haunted me, and seemed to find
it on every hand. In a Sappho whose passionate, tragical expression alone
had struck me before, and the Bacchante which seemed at once beautiful and
repulsive, I imagined I could trace the features, alas! too perfect not to
be graven in the imagination of a sculptor in spite of himself.... I saw
them, above all, in a Proserpine, hidden by accident, or on purpose, in an
obscure corner of the studio, which struck me as a sudden apparition of
her fatal beauty. Finally, I saw them also in the other Vestal, to which
the one I sat for was the pendant. It was then only I remembered with
pleasure he said when he first began it that _no one before me_ had
realized the ideal he was trying to embody.

Haunted by these recollections, I began to find my sittings in the studio
painful and annoying, but I did not manifest my feelings. I had acquired
some control over them, and felt it was not for my interest to revive, by
a fresh display of jealousy, a remembrance that seemed to be dormant, or
again excite a displeasure that appeared to be extinguished. Besides, the
likeness that haunted me so persistently became in time more vague and
uncertain, and seemed likely to disappear entirely. The current of gayety
and pleasure that now surrounded me absorbed me more and more. The very
light of the sun at Naples is a feast for the heart as well as the eyes.
It is a region that has no sympathy with gloom, or even the serious side
of life, and it must be confessed that the social ideal I have spoken of
is not the most salutary and elevated in the world. It must also be
acknowledged that if it is not absolutely true that this charming region
is the classic land of the _far niente_, as it has been called (for the
number of people everywhere who do nothing make me think all skies and all
climes favorable to them), it is nevertheless indubitable that every one
feels a mingled excitement and languor at Naples which oblige him to
struggle continually against the double temptation to enjoy at all hours
the beauty of the earth and sky, and afterwards to give himself up
unresistingly to the repose he feels the need of. When weary of this
struggle, when nothing stimulates his courage to continue it, he is soon
intoxicated and overpowered by the very pleasure of living. One day
follows another without thinking to ask how they have been spent. The
interest taken in serious things grows less, the strength necessary for
such things diminishes, all effort is burdensome; and as this joyous,
futile life does not seem in any way wrong or dangerous, he no longer
tries to resist it, but suffers the subtle poison which circulates in the
air to infuse inactivity into the mind, indifference and effeminacy in the
heart, and even to the depths of the soul itself.

Such were the influences to which I gave myself up, but not without some
excuse, perhaps. At my age this reaction of gayety and love of pleasure
was natural. After the experience I had passed through, I felt the need of
something to divert me—the need of forgetting. How, then, could I possibly
resist all there was around me to amuse and enable me to forget? Of course
I had not forgotten Mme. de Kergy, or Diana, or the eloquence of Gilbert,
but I had nearly lost all the pure, noble, and soul‐stirring sentiments my
acquaintance with them had awakened; and if any unacknowledged danger
lurked therein, it had so ephemeral an influence on me that all trace was
effaced, as a deadly odor passes away that we only inhaled for a moment.

As for my charming Stella, she no more thought of giving me advice than of
setting me an example. She shared with me her happiest hours in the day,
but I could not follow her in the courageous course of her hidden daily
life. I did not see her during the hours when, with a brow as serene, a
face as tranquil, as that with which she welcomed me at a later hour, she
immolated her tastes and wishes, and by the perpetual sacrifice of herself
earned the means of rendering her daughter as happy as she pleased. I saw
her, on the contrary, during my daily drive with her and Angiolina—one of
the greatest pleasures of the day for us all. To see them together, the
mother as merry as the child, one would have supposed the one as happy, as
fully exempt from all care, as the other!... We often took long drives in
this way, sometimes beyond the extreme point of Posilippo, sometimes to
Portici, or even to Capo di Monte. There we would leave our carriage and
forget ourselves in long conversations while Angiolina was running about,
coming every now and then to throw herself into her mother’s arms or mine.
I loved her passionately, and it often seemed to me, as I embraced her,
that I felt for her something of that love which is the strongest on
earth, and makes us endure the privation of all other affection. Angiolina
was, it is true, one of those children better fitted than most to touch
the maternal fibre that is hidden in every womanly heart. She had accents,
looks, and moods of silence which seemed to indicate a soul attentive to
voices that are not of this world, and sometimes, at the sight of her
expressive childish face, one could not help wondering if she did not
already hear those of heaven.

Lorenzo from time to time made a journey to the North of Italy, in order
to see to his property. His absence, always short, and invariably
explained, caused me neither pain nor offence. He seemed happy to see me
again at his return, and appeared to enjoy much more than I, even, the gay
life we both led. He devoted his mornings to work, but spent his evenings
with me, either in society or at the theatre of San Carlo, where,
according to the Italian custom in those days, we went much less to enjoy
the play, or even the music, than to meet our friends. As for gaming, I
had reason to believe he had entirely renounced it, for he never touched a
card in my presence. The twofold danger, therefore, which had threatened
my peace, seemed wholly averted, and I once more resumed my way with
confidence and security, as a bird, beaten by the tempest, expands its
wings at the return of the sun, and sings, as it flies heavenward, as if
clouds and darkness were never to return!

But in the midst of this new dawn of happiness I was gliding almost
imperceptibly but rapidly down, and suffering my days to pass in
constantly‐increasing indolence. It is true my good Ottavia, who had been
with me since Livia’s entrance at the convent, reminded me of the days and
hours assigned for the practices of devotion she had taught me in my
childhood, which, though not piety itself, serve to keep it alive. Without
her I should probably have forgotten them all. I thought of nothing but
how to be happy, and I was so because I seemed to have recovered absolute
empire over Lorenzo’s heart.... My lofty aspirations for him had vanished
like some fanciful dream no longer remembered. The charm of his mental
qualities and his personal attractions gave him a kind of supremacy in the
circle where he occupied the foremost rank, and had every desirable
pretext for gratifying his taste for display; while, on the other hand,
the aureola of genius that surrounded him prevented his life from
appearing, and even from being, wholly vain.

It was vain, however, as every one’s life is that has no light from above.
I was not yet wholly incapable of feeling this, but I was becoming more
and more incapable of suffering from it.

It is not in this way the vigor of the soul is maintained or renewed.
Livia alone had not lost her beneficent influence over me. A word from her
had the same effect as the strong, correct tone of the diapason, which
gives the ear warning when the notes begin to flatten. Every descent,
however gradual, is difficult to climb again, and I did not at all
perceive the ground I had lost till I found myself face to face with new
trials and new dangers.



XXV.


Several months passed, however, without any change in my happy, untroubled
life. Lando’s arrival, and shortly after that of Mario, were the chief
incidents. Mario’s visits were short and rare, for he seldom left my
father. He loved home, now he was alone there, better than he used to do;
and my father, relieved of a heavy responsibility by the marriage of one
daughter and the vocation of the other, enjoyed more than ever the company
of a son who gave him no anxiety and prevented him from finding his
solitude irksome. He only lived now in the recollections of the past and
for his profession, and Mario fulfilled with cheerful devotedness the
additional obligations our departure had imposed on him. He came from time
to time to see his two sisters, and had not entirely lost the habit of
favoring me with advice and remonstrances. Nevertheless, as my present
position obliged me to make a certain display he was not sorry to have a
part in, and as, on the whole, he did not find my house disagreeable, it
was not as difficult as it once was to win his approbation, particularly
as, notwithstanding the frivolous life I led, I was still (perhaps a
strange thing) wholly devoid of coquetry and vanity, which, almost as much
as my affection for Lorenzo, served as a safeguard in the world, and not
only shielded me from its real dangers, but from all criticism. This point
acknowledged, Mario, who did not consider himself dispensed by my marriage
from watching over my reputation, was as kind to me now as he would have
been implacable had it been otherwise. As I, on my side, by no means
feared his oversight, and he brought news of my father and recalled the
memories of the past, which I continued to cherish in my present life, I
welcomed him with affection, and his visits always afforded me pleasure.

As to Lando, he had been forced to tear himself away from Paris, and
devote to economy an entire year which he had come very reluctantly to
spend in the bosom of his family. He at once observed with astonishment
that I was happier at Naples than at Paris. As for him, he declared life
in a small city was an impossibility, and he should pass the time of his
exile in absolute exclusion. But he contented himself with carrying this
Parisian nostalgia from one drawing‐room to another, exhaling his
complaints sometimes in Italian (continually _grasseyant_), sometimes in
French sprinkled with the most recent _argot_, only comprehensible to the
initiated. But as, in spite of all this, his natural good‐humor was never
at fault, everything else was overlooked, and he was welcomed everywhere;
so existence gradually became endurable, and he resigned himself to it so
completely that by the time the Carnival approached he was so thoroughly
renaturalized that no one was more forward than he in preparing and
organizing all the amusements with which it terminates at Naples—vehicles,
costumes, _confetti_, and flowers for the Toledo;(51) suppers, dominos,
and disguises for the Festini di San Carlo,(52) without reckoning the
great fancy ball at the Accademia;(53) and, to crown all, private
theatricals with a view to Lent. With all this, he had ample means of
escaping all danger of dying of _ennui_ before Easter!...

I must acknowledge, however, that he found me as much disposed to aid him
as any one. I was in one of those fits of exuberant gayety which at
Naples, and even at Rome, sometimes seize even the most reasonable and
sensible people during the follies of the Carnival. But it must be
confessed these follies had not in Italy the gross, vulgar, and repulsive
aspect which public gayety sometimes assumes at Paris on similar
occasions. One would suppose everybody at Paris more or less wicked at
Carnival time; whereas at Rome and Naples everybody seems to be more or
less childlike. Is this more in appearance than reality? Must we believe
the amount of evil the same everywhere during these days devoted to
pleasure? I cannot say. At Rome, we know, no less than at Paris and
Naples, while people on the Corso are pelting each other with _confetti_
and lighting the _moccoletti_, the churches are also illuminated, and a
numerous crowd, prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the
altars, pray in order to expiate the follies of the merry crowd. But it
seems to me no one who has made the comparison would hesitate to
acknowledge a great difference in the gayety of these places, as well as
the different amusements it inspires.

Stella was in as gay a mood as I. Angiolina (whose right it was) could not
have prepared more enthusiastically than we to throw _confetti_ at every
one we met, or pelt the vehicles in which most of the gentlemen of the
place, arrayed in various disguises, drive up and down the Toledo. These
vehicles are stormed with missiles from every balcony they pass, and they
reply by handfuls of _confetti_ and flowers thrown to the highest stories,
either by means of cornets, or by instruments expressly for this purpose,
or by climbing the staging made on the carriages to bring the combatants
nearer together.

Lorenzo, Lando, and even Mario were enrolled among the number to man a
wonderful gondola of the XVth century, all clad in the costume of that
period, and Lorenzo, by his taste and uncommon acquirements of all kinds,
contributed to render this masquerade almost interesting from an artistic
and historic point of view, and he was as zealous about it as any one.

We were in the very midst of these preparations when one morning he told
me with an air of vexation he had just received a letter from his agent
which would oblige him to be absent several days. But he was only to go to
Bologna this time, and would be back without fail the eve of _Jeudi‐
Gras_,(54) the day fixed for the last exhibition of the gondola. But his
departure afflicted me the more because he had not been absent for a long
time, and I was no longer used to it. I did not, therefore, conceal my
annoyance. But as his seemed to be equally great, I finally saw him
depart, not without regret, but without the least shade of my former
distrust.

The Carnival was late that year, and the coming of spring was already
perceptible in the air. I had passed two hours with Stella in the park of
Capo di Monte, while Angiolina was filling her basket with the violets
that grew among the grass. Our enjoyment was increased by the freshness of
the season and the enchanting sky of Naples. When the circumstances of a
person’s life are not absolutely at variance with the beauty of nature, he
feels a transport here not experienced in any other place. That day I was
happier and merrier than usual, and yet, as we were about to leave the
park, I all at once felt that vague kind of sadness which always throws
its cloud over excessive joy.

“One moment longer, Stella,” said I, “it is so lovely here. I never saw
the sea and sky so blue before! I cannot bear to go home.”

“Remain as long as you please, Ginevra. I am never tired, you know, of the
beautiful prospect before us! Nature is to me a mother, a friend, and a
support. She has so often enabled me to endure life.”

“Poor Stella!” said I with a slight remorse, for I felt I was too often
unmindful of the difference in our lots.

But she continued with her charming smile:

“You see, Ginevra, they say I have _le sang joyeux!_ which means, I
suppose, that I have a happy disposition. When all other means fail of
gratifying my natural turn, I can do it by looking around me. The very
radiance of the heavens suffices to fill me with torrents of joy.”

At that moment Angiolina ran up with a little bunch of violets she had
tied together, and gave them to her mother. Stella took the child up in
her arms.

“Look, Ginevra. See how blue my Angiolina’s eyes are. Their color is a
thousand times lovelier than that of the sky or sea, is it not? Come, let
us not talk of my troubles,” continued she, as her daughter threw her arms
around her neck, and leaned her cheek against hers. “This treasure is
sufficient; I ask no other.”

“Yes, Stella, you are right. To enjoy such a happiness I would give all I
possess.”

“God will doubtless grant you this happiness some day,” replied she,
smiling.

Our merriment, interrupted for a moment, now resumed its course. It was
time to go home, and we returned without delay to the carriage, which
awaited us at the gate of the park.

It was Tuesday, the day but one before _Jeudi‐Gras_; consequently I
expected Lorenzo the following day. All the preparations for the
masquerade were completed, and in passing by the door of my aunt, Donna
Clelia, who lived on the Toledo, I proposed to Stella we should call to
make sure she had attended to her part; for it was from her balcony the
first great contest with _confetti_ was to take place the next day but
one.

Donna Clelia, as I have remarked, felt a slight degree of ill‐humor at the
time of my marriage. But she speedily concluded to regard the event with a
favorable eye. It would doubtless have been more agreeable to be able to
say: “The duke, my son‐in‐law”; but if she could not have this
satisfaction, it was something to be able to say: “My niece, the duchess,”
and my aunt did not deny herself this pleasure.

Besides, she anticipated another advantage of more importance—of obtaining
an entrance by my means to high life, which hitherto she had only seen at
an immeasurable distance; and she was still more anxious to introduce her
daughters than to enter herself. From the day of my marriage, therefore,
she resolved to establish herself at Naples, and this resolution had
already had the most happy results. Teresina and Mariuccia were large
girls, rather devoid of style, but not of beauty. Thanks to our
relationship, they were invited almost everywhere, and the dream of their
mother was almost realized. As I had indubitably contributed to this, and
they had the good grace to acknowledge it, I was on the best terms with
them as well as with Donna Clelia. The latter, it will be readily
imagined, had enthusiastically acceded to my request to allow the cream of
the _beau monde_ to occupy her balconies on _Jeudi‐Gras_, and we found her
now in the full tide of the preparations she considered necessary for so
great an event.

My aunt had apartments of good size on the first floor of one of the large
palaces on the Strada di Toledo. They were dark and gloomy in the morning,
like all in that locality, but in the evening, when her drawing‐rooms were
lit up, they produced a very good effect. As to Donna Clelia herself, when
her voluminous person was encased in a suit of black velvet, and her
locks, boldly turned back, had the addition of a false _chignon_, a plume
of red feathers, and superb diamonds, she sustained very creditably, as I
can testify, the part of a dignified matron, and it was easy to see she
had been in her day handsomer than either of her daughters. But when she
received us on this occasion, enveloped in an enormous wrapper, which
indicated that, in spite of the advanced hour, she had not even begun her
toilet, and with her hair reduced to its simplest expression, she
presented quite a different aspect. She was, however, by no means
disconcerted when we made our appearance, but met us, on the contrary,
with open arms; for she was very glad of an opportunity of explaining all
the arrangements she was at that instant occupied in superintending, which
likewise accounted for the _négligé_ in which we surprised her. She took
us all through the drawing‐rooms, pointing out in the penumbra the places,
here and there, where she intended to place a profusion of flowers. Here a
large table would stand, loaded with everything that would aid us in
repairing our strength during the contest; and there were genuine tubs for
the _confetti_, where we should find an inexhaustible supply of
ammunition. My aunt was rich. She spared nothing for her own amusement or
to amuse others, and never had she found a better occasion for spending
her money. She had already given two successful _soirées_, at which her
large drawing‐rooms were filled, but this crowd did not include everybody,
and those who were absent were precisely those she was most anxious to
have, and the very ones who, on _Jeudi‐Gras_, were to give her the
pleasure of making use of her rooms. She did not dream of fathoming their
motives; it was enough to have their presence.

At last, after examining and approving everything, as disorder reigned in
the drawing‐room, my aunt took us to her chamber. She gave Stella and
myself two arm‐chairs that were there, placed on the floor a supply of
biscuits, candied chestnuts, and mandarines for Angiolina’s benefit, and
seated herself on the foot of her bedstead, taking for a seat the bare
wood; the mattress, pillows, and coverings being rolled up during the day,
according to the Neapolitan custom, like an enormous bale of goods, at the
other end of the bedstead. Arming herself with an immense fan, which she
vigorously waved to and fro, she set herself to work to entertain us.
First, she replied to my questions:

“You ask where the _ragazze_(55) are.... I didn’t tell you, then, they are
gone on a trip to Sorrento with the _baronessa_?”

“No, Zia Clelia, you did not tell me. When will they return?”

“Oh! in a short time. I expect them before night. It was such fine weather
yesterday! They did not like to refuse to accompany the baroness, but it
would not please them to lose two days of the Carnival, and the baroness
wouldn’t, for anything in the world, miss her part at San Carlo. Teresina
is to go there with her this evening.”

The baroness in question was a friend of my aunt’s whom she particularly
liked to boast of before me. If she was indebted to me for some of the
acquaintances she was so proud of, she lost no opportunity of reminding me
that for this one she was solely indebted to herself.

“Ah! Ginevra mia!...” continued she, “you have a fine house, to be sure—I
can certainly say nothing to the contrary; but if you could only see that
of the baroness!... Such furniture! Such mirrors! Such gilding!... And
then what a view!...”

Here my aunt kissed the ends of her five fingers, and then opened her
whole hand wide, expressing by this pantomime a degree of admiration for
which words did not suffice....

“How?” said Stella with an air of surprise. “I thought her house was near
here, and that there was no view at all. It seems to me she can see
nothing from her windows.”

“No view!” cried Donna Clelia. “No view from the baroness’ house!... See
nothing from her windows!... What a strange mistake, Contessa Stella! You
are in the greatest error. You can see everything from her
windows—_everything_! Not a carriage, not a donkey, not a horse, not a man
or woman on foot or horseback or in a carriage, can pass by without being
seen; and as all the drawing‐rooms are _al primo piano_, you can see them
as plainly as I see you, and distinguish the color of their cravats and
the shape of the ladies’ cloaks.”

“Ah! yes, yes, Zia Clelia, you are right. It is Stella who is wrong. The
baroness has an admirable view, and quite suited to her tastes.”

“And then,” continued Donna Clelia, waving her fan more deliberately to
give greater emphasis to her words, “a situation unparalleled in the whole
city of Naples!... A church on one side, and the new theatre on the other!
And so near at the right and left that—imagine it!—there is a little
gallery, which she has the key of, on one side, leading to the church; and
on the other a passage, of which she also has the key, which leads
straight to her box in the theatre! I ask if you can imagine anything more
convenient?... But, apropos, Ginevra, have you seen Livia lately?”

“Yes, I see her every week.”

“Ah! _par exemple_,” said Donna Clelia, folding her hands, “there is a
saint for you! But I have stopped going to see her since the Carnival
began, because every time I go I feel I ought to become better, and the
very next day off I go to confession.... It has precisely the same effect
on the _ragazze_; so they have begged me not to take them to the convent
again before Ash‐Wednesday.”

Stella, less accustomed than I to my aunt’s style of conversation, burst
into laughter, and I did the same, though I thought she expressed very
well in her way the effects of her visits at the convent. At that minute
the doors opened with a bang, and Teresina and Mariuccia made their
appearance, loaded with flowers. At the sight of us there were
exclamations of joy:

“O Ginevra!... Contessa!... _E la bambina! Che piacere!_... How delightful
to find you here!”

A general embrace all around. Then details of all kinds—a stream of words
almost incomprehensible.

“_Che tempo! Che bellezza! Che paradiso!_ They had been amused _quanto
mai_! And on the way back, moreover, they had met Don Landolfo, and Don
Landolfo had invited Teresina to dance a cotillon with him at the ball to‐
morrow.... And Don Landolfo said Mariuccia’s toilet at the ball last
Saturday was _un amore_!”

It should be observed here that everything Lando said was taken very
seriously in this household. His opinion was law in everything relating to
dress, and he himself did not disdain giving these girls advice which
cultivated notions of good taste, from which they were too often tempted
to deviate.

We were on the point of leaving when Mariuccia exclaimed:

“Oh! apropos, Ginevrina, Teresina thought she saw Duke Lorenzo at Sorrento
at a distance.”

“Lorenzo?... At Sorrento? No, you are mistaken, Teresina. He went to
Bologna a week ago, and will not be back till to‐morrow.”

“You hear?” said Mariuccia to her sister. “I told you you were
mistaken—that it was not he.”

“It is strange,” said Teresina. “At all events, it was some one who
resembled him very much. It is true, I barely saw him a second.”

“And where was it?” I asked with a slight tremor of the heart.

“At the window of a small villa away from the road at the end of a
_masseria_(56) we happened to pass on the way.”

She was mistaken, it was evident; but when Lorenzo returned that evening,
a day sooner than I expected, I felt a slight misgiving at seeing him. He
perceived it, and smilingly asked if I was sorry because he had hastened
his return. I was tempted to tell him what troubled me, but was ashamed of
the new suspicion such an explanation would have revealed, and I
reproached myself for it as an injustice to him. I checked myself,
therefore, and forced myself to forget, or at least to pay no attention
to, the gossip of my cousins.

To Be Continued.



Fac‐Similes Of Irish National Manuscripts. Concluded.


The _Liber Hymnorum_ is the next selected. It is believed to be more than
one thousand years old, and one of the most remarkable of the sacred
tracts among the MSS. in Trinity College, Dublin. It is a collection of
hymns on S. Patrick and other Irish saints, which has been published by
the Irish Archæological and Celtic Society, under the superintendence of
Dr. Todd. The three pages selected contain the hymn written by S. Fiach of
Stetty, between the years 538 and 558, in honor of S. Patrick. The hymn is
furnished with an interlinear gloss.

The tenth of these MSS. is _The Saltair of S. Ricemarch_, Bishop of St.
David’s between the years 1085 and 1096, a small copy of the Psalter
containing also a copy of the Roman Martyrology.

Of the four pages of this volume which have been selected for copying, two
are a portion of the Martyrology and two of the Psalter. The first of
these last contains the first two verses of the 101st Psalm, surrounded by
an elaborate border formed by the intertwinings of four serpentine
monsters. The initial D of Domine is also expressed by a coiled snake,
with its head in an attitude to strike; the object of its attack being a
creature which it is impossible to designate, but which bears some
resemblance to the hippocampus, or sea‐horse. The second page of the
Psalter contains the 115th, 116th, and 117th Psalms, in which the same
serpentine form is woven into shapes to represent the initial letters. The
version of the Psalms given in this volume differs from that used in
England in Bishop Ricemarch’s time. It is written in Latin in Gaelic
characters. The volume belongs to Trinity College, Dublin.

Next in order appears the _Leabhar na h‐Uidhré_, or _Book of the Dark Gray
Cow_, a fragment of one hundred and thirty‐eight folio pages, which is
thought to be a copy made about the year 1100 of a more ancient MS. of the
same name written in S. Ciaran’s time. It derived its name from the
following curious legend, taken from the _Book of Leinster_, and the
ancient tale called _Im thecht na trom daimhé_, or _Adventures of the
Great Company_, told in the _Book of Lismore_. About the year 598, soon
after the election of Senchan Torpeist to the post of chief filé
(professor of philosophy and literature) in Erinn, he paid a visit to
Guairè, the Hospitable, King of Connaught, accompanied by such a
tremendous retinue, including a hundred and fifty professors, a hundred
and fifty students, a hundred and fifty hounds, a hundred and fifty male
attendants, and a hundred and fifty female relatives, that even King
Guairè’s hospitality was grievously taxed; for he not only had to provide
a separate meal and separate bed for each, but to minister to their daily
craving for things that were extraordinary, wonderful, rare, and difficult
of procurement. The mansion which contained the learned association was a
special source of annoyance to King Guairè, and at last the “longing
desires” for unattainable things of Muireann, daughter of Cun Culli and
wife of Dallan, the foster‐mother of the literati, became so unendurable
that Guairè, tired of life, proposed to pay a visit to Fulachtach Mac
Owen, a person whom he thought especially likely to rid him of that
burden, as he had killed his father, his six sons, and his three brothers.
Happily for him, however, he falls in with his brother Marbhan, “the prime
prophet of heaven and earth,” who had adopted the position of royal
swineherd in order that he might the more advantageously indulge his
passion for religion and devotion among the woods and desert places; and
Marbhan eventually revenges the trouble and ingratitude shown to his
brother by imposing upon Senchan and the great Bardic Association the task
of recovering the lost tale of the _Táin Bó Chuailgné_, or _Great Cattle
Spoil of Cuailgne_. After a vain search for it in Scotland, Senchan
returned home and invited the following distinguished saints, S. Colum
Cille, S. Caillin of Fiodhnacha, S. Ciaran, S. Brendan of Birra, and S.
Brendan the son of Finnlogha, to meet him at the grave of the great Ulster
chief, Feargus Mac Roigh—who had led the Connaught men against the Ulster
men during the spoil, of which also he appears to have been the
historian—to try by prayer and fasting to induce his spirit to relate the
tale. After they had fasted three days and three nights, the apparition of
Feargus rose before them, clad in a green cloak with a collared, gold‐
ribbed shirt and bronze sandals, and carrying a golden hilted sword, and
recited the whole from beginning to end. And S. Ciaran then and there
wrote it down on the hide of his pet cow, which he had had made for the
purpose into a book, which has ever since borne this name.

The volume contains matter of a very miscellaneous character: A fragment
of Genesis; a fragment of Nennius’ _History of the Britons_, done into
Gaelic by Gilla Caomhain, who died before 1072; an _amhra_ or elegy on S.
Colum Cille, written by Dallan Forgail, the poet, in 592; fragments of the
historic tale of the _Mesca Uladh_, or _Inebriety of the Ulstermen_;
fragments of the cattle‐spoils _Táin Bo Dartadha_ and _Táin Bo Flidais_;
the navigation of Madduin about the Atlantic for three years and seven
months; imperfect copies of the _Táin Bó Chuailgné_, the destruction of
the _Bruighean da Dearga_, or _Court of Da Dearga_, and murder of King
Conairé Mór; a history of the great pagan cemeteries of Erinn and of the
various old books from which this and other pieces were compiled; poems by
Flann of Monasterboice and others; together with various other pieces of
history and historic romance chiefly referring to the ante‐Christian
period, and especially that of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Three pages,
containing curious prayers and the legend of _The Withering of Cuchulain
and the Birds of Emer_, extracted from the _Leabhar buidh Slaine_, or
_Yellow Book of Slane_, one of the ancient lost books of Ireland from
which the _Leabhar na h‐Uidhré_ was compiled, have been selected.

The _Book of Leinster_, a folio of over four hundred pages, appears as the
next. It was compiled in the first half of the XIIth century by Finn Mac
Gorman, Bishop of Kildare, by order of Aedh Mac Crimhthainn, the tutor of
Dermot, King of Leinster. Among other pieces of internal evidence pointing
to this conclusion are the following entries, the first in the original
hand, the second by one strange but ancient, translated and quoted by
O’Curry:

“Benedictions and health from Finn, the Bishop of Kildare, to Aedh Mac
Crimhtain, the tutor of the chief King of Leth Mogha Nuadut (or of
Leinster and Munster), successor of Colaim Mic Crumtaind of, and chief
historian of, Leinster, in wisdom, intelligence, and the cultivation of
books, knowledge, and learning. And I write the conclusion of this little
tale for thee, O acute Aedh! thou possessor of the sparkling intellect.
May it be long before we are without thee! It is my desire that thou
shouldst always be with us. Let Mac Loran’s book of poems be given to me,
that I may understand the sense of the poems that are in it; and farewell
in Christ.

“O Mary! it is a great deed that has been done in Erinn this day, the
Kalends of August—Diarmait Mac Donnchadda Mic Murchada, King of Leinster
and of the Danes (of Dublin), to have been banished over the sea eastwards
by the men of Erinn! Uch, uch, O Lord! what shall I do?”

The more important of the vast number of subjects treated of in this MS.
are mentioned as being: The usual book of invasions; ancient poems; a plan
and explanation of the banqueting‐hall of Tara; a copy of _The Battle of
Ross na Righ_ in the beginning of the Christian era; a copy of the _Mesca
Uladh_, and one of the origin of the Borromean Tribute, and the battle
that ensued; a fragment of the battle of Ceannabrat, with the defeat of
Mac Con by Oilioll Olium, his flight into, and return from, Scotland with
Scottish and British adventurers, his landing in Galway Bay, and the
defeat of Art, monarch of Erinn, and slaughter of Olium’s seven sons at
the battle of Magh Mucruimhé; a fragment of _Cormac’s Glossary_; another
of the wars between the Danes and Irish; a copy of the _Dinnsenchus_;
genealogies of Milesian families; and an ample list of the early saints of
Erinn, with their pedigrees and affinities, and with copious references to
the situation of their churches. The volume belongs to Trinity College,
Dublin.

Three pages have been selected. The first contains a copy of the poem on
the Teach Miodhchuarta of Tara—a poem so ancient that of its date and
author no record remains—and of the ground‐plan of the banqueting‐hall by
which the poem was illustrated, published by Dr. Petrie in his _History
and Antiquities of Tara Hill_. The ground‐plan, which in this copy is
nearly square, is divided into five compartments lengthwise, the centre
and broadest of which contains the door, a rudely‐drawn figure of a _daul_
or waiter turning a gigantic spit, furnished with a joint of meat, before
a fire, the lamps, and a huge double‐handed vase or amphora for the cup‐
bearer to distribute. This great spit, called _Bir Nechin_, or the spit of
Nechin, the chief smith of Tara, which in the drawing is half the length
of the hall, appears to have been so mechanically contrived as to be able
to be coiled up after use; and the instrument is thus described in another
MS. belonging to Trinity College, Dublin, quoted by Dr. Petrie: “A stick
at each end of it, and its axle was wood, and its wheel was wood, and its
body was iron; and there were twice nine wheels on its axle, that it might
turn the faster; and there were thirty spits out of it, and thirty hooks
and thirty spindles, and it was as rapid as the rapidity of a stream in
turning; and thrice nine spits and thrice nine cavities (or pots) and one
spit for roasting, and one wing used to set it in motion.”

In the two compartments on either side are enumerated in order of
precedence the various officers and retainers of the king’s household,
together with their tables and the particular portions of meat served out
to each, forming a very curious and instructive illustration of the social
condition and habits of the early Irish. The description of the rations
that were considered specially adapted to the several ranks of consumers
is very amusing. For the distinguished men of literature, “the soft,
clean, smooth entrails,” and a steak cut from the choicest part of the
animal, were set aside; the poet had a “good smooth” piece of the leg; the
historian, “a crooked bone,” probably a rib; the artificers, “a pig’s
shoulder”; the Druids and _aire dessa_, a “fair foot.” These last are said
to decline to drink; not so the trumpeters and cooks, who are to be
allowed “cheering mead in abundance, not of a flatulent kind.” The
doorkeeper, “the noisy, humorous fool and the fierce, active kerne” had
the chine; while to the satirists and the _braigitore_, a class of
buffoons whose peculiar function was to amuse the company after a fashion
which will not only not bear description, but almost defies
belief—licensed and paid _Aethons_ of the court—“the fat of the shoulder
was divided to them pleasantly.”

The selection is continued by the _Leabhar Breac_, or _Speckled Book_,
probably named from the color of its cover, or, as it was formerly called,
_Leabhar Mór Duna Doighré_, the _Great Book of Dun Doighré_, a place on
the Galway side of the Shannon not far from Athlone. It is a compilation
from various ancient books belonging chiefly to churches and monasteries
in Conaught, Munster, and Leinster, beautifully written on vellum, as is
supposed about the close of the XIVth century, by one of the Mac Ogans, a
literary family of great repute belonging to Dun Doighré.

Its contents are of an extremely miscellaneous character, and they are
all, with the exception of a copy of _The Life of Alexander the Great_
from the VIIth century, MS. of S. Berchan of Clonsost, of a religious
nature, comprising Biblical narratives, homilies, hymns; pedigrees of
saints, litanies and liturgies, monastic rules, the _Martyrology_ of
Aengus Céulé Dé, or the Culdee, the ancient rules of discipline of the
order of the Culdees, etc., etc. When the Abbé Mac Geoghegan wrote his
_History of Ancient Erinn_ in Paris, in the year 1758, this volume, his
principal MS. of reference, was in Paris. It is now in the Royal Irish
Academy.

Three pages have been selected for fac‐similes, giving a description of
the nature and arrangement of the _Féliré_, or _Festology_ of Aengus the
Culdee, and the date and object of its composition, which was made between
the years 793 and 817, when Aedh Oirdnidhe was monarch of Erinn.

Then comes the _Leabhar Buidhe Lecain_, or _Yellow Book of Lecain_, a
large quarto volume of about five hundred pages, which was written by
Donnoch and Gilla Isa Mac Firbis in the year 1390, with the exception of a
few tracts of a somewhat later date. O’Curry, in his ninth lecture,
supposes it to have been originally a collection of ancient historical
pieces, civil and ecclesiastical, in prose and verse. In its present
imperfect state it contains a number of family and political poems; some
monastic rules; a description of Tara and its banqueting‐hall; a
translation of part of the Book of Genesis; the Feast of Dun‐na‐n Gedh and
the battle of Magh Rath; an account of the reign of Muirchertach Mac Erca,
and his death at the palace of Cleitech in the year 527; copies of cattle‐
spoils, of the Bruighean Da Dearga, and death of the king; the tale of
Maelduin’s three years’ wanderings in the Atlantic; tracts concerning the
banishment of an ancient tribe from East Meath, and their discovery in the
Northern Ocean by some Irish ecclesiastics; accounts of battles in the
years 594, 634, and 718, and many other curious and valuable pieces and
tracts. It is preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.

Two pages have been selected. The first contains the plan of the Teach
Miodchuarta of ancient Tara, with a portion of the prose preface to the
poem, which the plan is intended to illustrate. This ground‐plan differs
somewhat in the shape of the hall and the arrangement of the tables from
that given in the _Book of Leinster_, an earlier copy of a different
original. It is also very much superior to it, both as regards the drawing
and writing. The _daul_ and his spit are unrepresented here, but there is
the door, the common hall, the swinging lamp and candles, the great
double‐handed vase, called the _dabhach_ or vat, and three places marked
out for the fires. The arrangement of the hall appears to have been this:
Each of the two outside compartments contained twelve seats, and each seat
three sitters; the two _airidins_ or divisions on either side of the
centre of the hall held each eight seats and sixteen sitters. There were
eight distributors, cup‐bearers, and herdsmen at the upper end of the
hall, and two sat in each of the two seats on either side of the door,
being the two door‐keepers and two of the royal fools. The daily allowance
for dinner was two cows, two salted hogs, and two pigs. The quantity of
liquor consumed is not specified, but the poem states that there were one
hundred drinkings in the vat, and that the vat was supplied with fifty
grooved golden horns and fifty pewter vessels. The order of precedence
seems to have ranged from the top of the external division to the left on
entering the hall; then to the top of the external division to the right;
then the two internal divisions beginning with the left; then the
_iarthar_ or back part of the hall, the upper end opposite the door; and
last the seats on either side of the door itself. There is no seat marked
for the king, but it is stated in the poem that a fourth part of the hall
was at his back and three‐fourths before him, and he is supposed to have
sat about a quarter of the way down the centre of the hall with his face
toward the door, which would place him between two of the great fires,
with the artisans on his right and the braziers and fools on his left
hand. It is probable, however, from no mention being made of the king’s
seat, and no provision being made for him in the appropriation of the
daily allowance of food, which is specified in as many rations as there
are persons mentioned in the plan, that this is not the plan of the royal
banqueting‐hall, but of a portion of it only—the common dining‐hall for
the officers and retainers of the palace; the monarch himself and his
princes and nobles, none of whom are even alluded to in the plan, dining
in another and superior apartment.

The second page contains a portion of the sorrowful tale of the loves of
fair Deirdré and Naoisi, the son of Uisneach, one of the class of Irish
legends called _Aithidhé_, or elopements. An outline of this story, in the
commencement of which the reader will recognize that of one of his early
nursery favorites, “Little Snow White,” is given by Keating in his
_General History of Ireland_.

_The Book of Lecain Mac Firbisigh_, a folio of more than six hundred
pages, was compiled in the year 1418 by Gilla Isa Môr Mac Firbis, Adam
O’Cuirnin, and Morogh Riabhac O’Cuindlis. Its contents are nearly the same
as those of _The Book of Ballymote_, to some of which it furnishes
valuable additions, among the most important of which is a tract on the
families and subdivisions of the territory of Tir Fiachrach in the present
county of Sligo. The volume is preserved in the Royal Irish Academy.

Four pages have been selected, being a portion of a copy of the _Leabhar
na g‐Ceart_, or _Book of Rights_, a metrical work attributed in the work
itself to S. Benean or Benignus, S. Patrick’s earliest convert, and his
successor in the Archbishopric of Armagh in the middle of the Vth century.
These four pages, which are written in columnar form, contain the
concluding ten verses of the stipends due to the chieftainries of Connacht
from the supreme King of Cruachain; the metrical accounts, with their
preceding prose abstracts, of the privileges of the King of Aileach; the
payment and stipends of the same king to his chieftainries and tribes for
refection and escort; the privileges of the King of the Oirghialla with
the stipends due to him from the King of Erinn, and by him to his
chieftainries; the rights, wages, stipends, refections, and tributes of
the King of Eamhain and Uladh; and almost all the prose abstract of the
rights of the King of Tara.

_The Book of Ballymote_, a large folio volume of five hundred and two
pages of vellum, was written, as stated on the dorse of folio 62, at
Ballymote, in the house of Tomaltach oig Mac Donogh, Lord of Corann,
during the reign of Torlogh oig, the son of Hugh O’Conor, King of
Connaught. It appears to be the work of different hands, but the principal
scribes employed in writing it were Solomon O’Droma and Manus O’Duigenann,
and it was written at the end of the XIVth century.

It contains an imperfect copy of the _Leabhar Gabhala_, or _Book of
Invasions_, a series of ancient chronological, historical, and
genealogical pieces in prose and verse; the pedigrees of Irish saints, and
the histories and pedigrees of all the great families of the Milesian
race, with their collateral branches, so that, as O’Curry remarks, there
is scarcely any one whose name begins with “O’” or “Mac” who could not
find out all about his origin and family in this book; then follow stories
and adventures, lists of famous Irish names, a Gaelic translation of
Nennius’ _History of the Britons_, an ancient grammar and prosody, and
various other tracts.

Six pages have been selected. The first four contain the dissertation on
the Ogham characters, and the last two the genealogy of the Hy Nialls,
showing their descent from Eremon, one of the sons of Milesius. The volume
belongs to the Irish Academy.

The last in Mr. Sanders’ list of the great volumes of Irish History is the
_Book of M’Carthy Riabhac_, a compilation of the XIVth century—in language
of a much earlier date—now also known as the _Book of Lismore_, to which a
very curious story attaches. It was first discovered in the year 1814,
enclosed in a wooden box together with a fine old crosier, built into the
masonry of a closed‐up doorway which was reopened during some repairs that
were being made in the old Castle of Lismore. Of course the account of its
discovery soon got abroad and became a matter of great interest,
especially to the antiquarian class of scholars. Among these there
happened to be then living in Shandon Street, Cork, one Mr. Dennis
O’Flinn, a professed Irish scholar. O’Curry says that he was a “professed
but a very indifferent” one; but at any rate his reputation was
sufficiently well grounded to induce Colonel Curry, the Duke of
Devonshire’s agent, to send him the MS. According to O’Flinn’s own
account, the book remained in his hands for one year, during which time it
was copied by Michael O’Longan, of Carrignavan, near Cork; after which
O’Flinn bound it in boards, and returned it to Colonel Curry. From that
time it remained locked up and unexamined until 1839, when the duke lent
it to the Royal Irish Academy to be copied by O’Curry, and O’Curry’s
practised eye and acumen soon discovered that much harm had come to the
volume during its sojourn in Shandon Street. The book had been mutilated,
and, what was worse, mutilated in so cunning a way that what remained was
rendered valueless by the abstraction, no doubt with the view of enhancing
the value of the stolen portions as soon as it should become safe to
pretend a discovery of them. Every search was made, especially by O’Curry,
about Cork, to see if any of the missing pages could be found; but it was
not till seven or eight years afterwards that a communication was made
that a large portion of the original MS. was actually in the possession of
some person in Cork, but who the person was, or how he became possessed of
it, the informant could not tell. This clue seems to have failed; but soon
afterwards the late Sir William Betham’s collection of MSS. passed into
the library of the Royal Irish Academy by sale, and among these were
copies of the lost portions, and all made, as the scribe himself states at
the end of one of them, by himself, Michael O’Longan, at the house of
Dennis Ban O’Flinn, in Cork, in 1816, from the _Book of Lismore_. The
missing portions of the MS. were at length traced, and the £50 asked for
them was offered by the Royal Irish Academy; but the negotiation
ultimately broke down, and they were purchased by Mr. Hewitt, of
Summerhill, near Cork. Since that time, however, they have been restored,
and the whole volume excellently repaired and handsomely bound by the Duke
of Devonshire, who has most liberally allowed it to remain in Mr. Sanders’
possession for the purpose of copying. Whether O’Flinn actually mutilated
the volume or not, there can be no doubt that pages and pages of it have
been ruined and will eventually be rendered illegible by the most reckless
use of that pernicious chemical agent, infusion of galls. Besides this,
Mr. O’Flinn has written his name in several places of the book, among
others all over the colored initial letter of one of the tracts, which he
has entirely spoiled by filling in the open spaces with the letters of his
name and the date of the outrage. But perhaps the most characteristic act
performed by him is the interpolation of an eulogistic ode upon himself in
Gaelic, of which the following is a literal translation:

“Upon the dressing of this book by D. O’F., he said (or sang) as follows:

“’O old chart! forget not, wheresoever you are taken,
To relate that you met with the Doctor of Books;
That helped you, out of compassion, from severe bondage,
After finding you in forlorn state without a tatter about you, as it
            should be.
Under the disparagement of the ignorant who liked not to know you,
Till you met by chance with learned good‐nature from the person(57)
Who put healing herbs with zeal to thy old wounds,
And liberally put bloom on you at your old age,
  And baptized you the _Book of Lismore_.
Forget not this friend that esteemed your figure,
Distinguishing you, (though) of unseemly appearance, in humble words.
I doubt not that truly you will declare to them there
That you met with your fond friend ere you went to dust.”

The book contains ancient lives of Irish saints, written in very pure
Gaelic; the conquests of Charlemagne, translated from Archbishop Turpin’s
celebrated romance of the VIIIth century; the conversion of the Pantheon
into a Christian church; the stories of David, son of Jesse, the two
children, Samhain, the three sons of Cleirac; the _Imtheacht na trom
daimhé_; the story of S. Peter’s daughter Petronilla and the discovery of
the Sibylline Oracle; an account of S. Gregory the Great; the Empress
Justina’s heresy; modifications of minor ceremonies of the Mass; accounts
of the successors of Charlemagne, and of the correspondence between
Lanfranc and the clergy of Rome; extracts from Marco Polo’s _Travels_;
accounts of Irish battles and sieges; and a dialogue between S. Patrick,
Caoilté, Mac Ronain, and Oisin (Ossian), the son of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, in
which many hills, rivers, caverns, etc., in Ireland, are described, and
the etymology of their names recorded. This last is preluded by an account
of the departure of Oisin and Caoilté on a hunting expedition, during
which their gillie sees and is much troubled by a very strange spectacle.
As this tale furnishes a good example of the contents of these ancient
books, we subjoin a translation of the commencement of it.(58)

“On a certain time it happened that Oisin and Cailte were in Dun Clithar
(the sheltered or shady Dun) at Slieve Crott. It was the time that Patrick
came to Ireland. It is there dwelt a remnant of the Fenians, namely, Oisin
and Cailte and three times nine persons in their company. They followed
this custom: about nine persons went out hunting daily. On a certain day
it chanced that Cailte Mac Ronain set out with eight persons (big men) and
a boy (gilla), the ninth. The way they went was northward to the twelve
mountains of Eibhlinné and to the head of the ancient Moy Breogan. On
their returning from the chase at the cheerless close of the day they came
from the north to Corroda Cnamhchoill. Then was Fear Gair Cailte’s gilla
loaded with the choice parts of the chase in charge, because he had no
care beyond that of Cailte himself, from whom he took wages. The gilla
comes to the stream, and takes Cailte’s cup from his back and drinks a
drink of the stream. Whilst the gilla was thus drinking the eight great
men went their way southward, mistaking the road, and the gilla following
afterwards. Then was heard the noise of the large host, and the gilla
proceeds to observe the multitude; bushes and a bank between them. He saw
in the fore front of the crowd a strange band; it seemed to him one
hundred and fifty were in this band. They appeared thus: robes of pure
white linen upon them, a head chief with them, and bent standards in their
hands; shields, broad‐streaked with gold and silver, bright shining on
their breasts; their faces pale, pitiably feminine, and having masculine
voices, and every man of them humming a march. The gilla followed his
people, and did not overtake them till he came to the hunting‐booth, and
he came possessed, as he thinks, with the news of the strange troop he had
seen, and casts his burden on the ground, goes round it, places his elbows
under, and groans very loudly. It was then that Cailte Mac Ronain said:
‘Well, gilla, is it the weight of your burden affects you?’ ‘Not so,’
replied the gilla; ‘when is large the burden, so great is the wages you
give to me. This does not affect me; but that wonderful multitude I saw at
the hut of Cnamhchoill. The first band that I saw of that strange crowd
filled me with the pestilent, heavy complaint of the news of this band.’
‘Give its description,’ said Cailte. ‘There seemed to me an advanced guard
of one hundred and fifty‐six men, pure white robes upon them, a head
leader to them, bent standards in their hands, broad shields on their
breasts, having feminine faces and masculine voices, and every single man
of them humming a march.’ Wonder seized the old Fenian on hearing this.
‘These are they,’ said Oisin—‘the Tailginn (holy race), foretold by our
Druids and Fionn to us, and what can be done with them? Unless they be
slain, they shall ascend over us altogether.’ ‘Uch!’ said Oisin, ‘who
amongst us can molest them? For we are the last of the Fenii, and not with
ourselves is the power in Erinn, nor the greatness, nor pleasure but in
the chase, and as ancient exiles asserting the right,’ said he; and they
remained so till came the next morning, and there was nothing on their
minds that night but these (things). Cailte rose early the fore front of
the day, being the oldest of them, and came out on the assembly‐mound. The
sun cleared the fog from the plains, and Cailte said: ...”

The procession thus described as having been seen by the gillie was
probably one of ecclesiastics, with S. Patrick himself at their head, on
the saint’s first arrival in Ireland.

The foregoing sketches of certain of the MSS., extracts from which are
intended to appear in the series of fac‐similes, may serve to convey an
idea of how rich Ireland is in such national records, what an immense mass
of historical and romantic literature her libraries contain, and how great
is their antiquity. Besides the evidence afforded by these books, both as
to the ancient social, political, and ecclesiastical history of Ireland,
and its topography, the books themselves are found to be full of
illustrations of the customs, mode of life, manners, and costume of her
early Celtic inhabitants; often conveyed through the medium of charming
legends and fairy tales.



Annals Of The Moss‐Troopers.


Outlawry was never carried to a greater degree of systematic organization,
or practised on a larger and more dignified scale, than during the
centuries of Border warfare between the English and Scottish chieftains.
The only parallel to this warfare was furnished by the raids of the Free
Companions in mediæval Italy; but the mercenary element in the
organization of those formidable bodies of professional marauders destroys
the interest which we might otherwise have felt in their daring feats of
arms. The warfare of the Border was essentially a national outburst; the
“moss‐troopers,” although trained soldiers, were also householders and
patriarchs. Their stake in the country they alternately plundered and
defended was a substantial one. The field of their prowess was never far
from home. Each retainer, insignificant as he might be, humble as his
position in the troop might be, had yet a personal interest in the raid;
and revenge, as well as plunder, was the avowed object of an expedition.
There was never any changing of allegiance from one side to the other; the
tie of blood and clanship welded the whole troop into one family. The
Border, or debatable land between the rival kingdoms of England and
Scotland, bristled with strongholds, all of historical name and fame:
Newark and Branxholm (which Sir Walter Scott in his _Lay of the Last
Minstrel_ has euphonized into Branksome), held by the all‐powerful Scotts
of Buccleugh; Crichtoun Castle, the successive property of the Crichtouns,
the Bothwells, and the Buccleughs, and, while in the hands of its original
owners, the haughty defier of King James III. of Scotland; Gifford or
Yester (it bears either name indifferently), famous for its Hobgoblin
Hall, or, as the people call it, “Bo‐Hall,” a large cavern formed by
magical art; Tantallon Hold, the retreat of the Douglas, in which the
family held out manfully against James V. until its chief, the Earl of
Angus, was recalled from exile. Of this expedition it is related that the
king marched in person upon the castle, and, to reduce it, borrowed from
the neighboring Castle of Dunbar two great cannons whose names were
“Thrawn‐mouthed Meg and her Marrow”; also two great _bolcards_, and two
_moyan_, two double falcons and two quarter‐falcons, for the safe guiding
and redelivery of which “three lords were laid in pawn at Dunbar.”
Notwithstanding all this mighty preparation, the king was forced to raise
the siege. The ruin of Tantallon was reserved for the Covenanters, and now
there remains nothing of it save a few walls standing on a high rock
overlooking the German Ocean and the neighboring town of Berwick‐upon‐
Tweed. Ford Castle, the patrimony of the Herons, had a better fate, and
stands in altered and modernized guise, the centre of civilizing and
peaceful influences, the residence of a model Lady of the Manor,
overlooking, not the wild ocean, but a pretty village, faultlessly neat,
and a Gothic school filled with frescos of Bible subjects, executed by the
Lady Bountiful, the benefactress of the neighborhood. Yet Ford Castle had
a stormy, stirring past, and stands not far from the historic field of
Flodden, where tradition says that, but for the tardiness of the king’s
movements—an effect due to the siren charms of Lady Ford—James IV. might
have been victorious. In the castle is still shown the room where the king
slept the night before the battle, and only five or six miles away lies
the fatal field, on which, _Marmion_ in hand the curious traveller may
still make out each knoll, the Bridge of Twisel, by which the English
under Surrey crossed the Till, the hillock commanding the rear of the
English right wing, which was defeated, and in conflict with whom Scott’s
imaginary hero, Marmion, is supposed to have fallen.

Very curious are the accounts of the various fights and forays given by
the chroniclers of the middle ages, especially in their utter
unconsciousness of anything unusual or derogatory in this almost
internecine warfare. Their simplicity in itself presents the key to the
situation. In reading their graphic, matter‐of‐fact descriptions, one
needs to transport one’s self into a totally different atmosphere. We must
read these racy accounts in the same spirit in which they were written, if
we would understand aright the age in which our forefathers lived. We are
not called upon to sit in judgment over the irrevocable past, but to study
it as a fact not to be overlooked, and a useful storehouse of warning or
example. The possession of the king’s person was sometimes the origin of
terrible clan‐feuds among the warlike Scottish imitators of the Frankish
“Maires du Palais.” Thus, on one occasion, in 1526, the chronicler
Pitscottie informs us that James V., then a minor, had fallen under the
self‐assumed guardianship of the Earl of Angus, backed by his own clan of
Douglas and his allies, the Lairds of Hume, Cessfoord, and Fernyhirst, the
chiefs of the clan of Kerr.(59) “The Earl of Angus and the rest of the
Douglases ruled all which they liked, and no man durst say the contrary.”
The king, who wished to get out of their hands, sent a secret letter to
Scott of Buccleugh, warden of the West Marches of Scotland, praying him to
gather his kin and friends, meet the Douglas at Melrose, and deliver him
(James) from his vassal’s power. The loyal Scot gathered about six hundred
spears, and came to the tryst. When the Douglases and Kerrs saw whom they
had to deal with, they said to the king, “Sir, yonder is Buccleugh, and
thieves of Annandale with him, to unbeset your grace from the gate
(_i.e._, interrupt your passage). I vow to God they shall either fight or
flee, and ye shall tarry here on this know (knoll), and I shall pass and
put yon thieves off the ground, and rid the gate unto your grace, or else
die for it.” Scant courtesy in speech used those Border heroes towards one
another! So an escort tarried to guard the king, and the rest of the clans
went forward to the field of Darnelinver now Darnick, near Melrose. The
place of conflict is still called Skinner’s Field, a corruption of
Skirmish Field. The chronicler tells us that Buccleugh “joyned and
countered cruelly both the said parties ... with uncertain victory. But at
the last the Lord Hume, hearing word of that matter, how it stood,
returned again to the king in all possible haste, with him the Lairds of
Cessfoord and Fernyhirst, to the number of fourscore spears, and set
freshly on the lap and wing of the Laird of Buccleugh’s field, and shortly
bare them backward to the ground, which caused the Laird of Buccleugh and
the rest of his friends to go back and flee, whom they followed and
chased; and especially the Lairds of Cessfoord and Fernyhirst followed
furiouslie, till at the foot of a path the Laird of Cessfoord was slain by
the stroke of a spear by one Elliott, who was then servant to the Laird of
Buccleugh. But when the Laird of Cessfoord was slain, the chase ceased.”
The Borders were infested for many long years afterwards by marauders of
both sides, who kept up a deadly hereditary feud between the names of
Scott and Kerr, and finally, after having been imprisoned and had his
estates forfeited nine years later for levying war against the Kerrs, the
bold Buccleugh was slain by his foes in the streets of Edinburgh in 1552,
twenty‐six years after the disastrous fight in which he had failed to
rescue his sovereign. It was seventy years before this Border feud was
finally quelled.

On the English side of the Marches the same dare‐devilry existed, the same
speed in gathering large bodies of men was used, the same quickness in
warning and rousing the neighborhood. Equal enthusiasm was displayed
whether the case were one of “lynch law” or of political intrigue, as in
the fight at Darnelinver. Sir Robert Carey, in his _Memoirs_, describes
his duties as deputy warden for his brother‐in‐law, Lord Scroop. The
castle was near Carlisle. “We had a stirring time of it,” he says, “and
few days passed over my head but I was on horseback, either to prevent
mischief or take malefactors, and to bring the Border in better quiet than
it had been in times past.” Hearing that two Scotchmen had killed a
churchman in Scotland, and were dwelling five miles from Carlisle on the
English side of the Border, under the protection of the Graemes, Carey
took about twenty‐five horsemen with him, and invested the Graeme’s house
and tower. As they did so, a boy rode from the house at full speed, and
one of his retainers, better versed in Border warfare than the chief, told
him that in half an hour that boy would be in Scotland to let the people
know of the danger of their countrymen and the small number of those who
had come from Carlisle to arrest them. “Hereupon,” says our author, “we
took advice what was best to be done. We sent notice presently to all
parts to raise the country, and to come to us with all the speed they
could; and withal we sent to Carlisle to raise the townsmen, for without
foot we could do no good against the tower. There we stayed some hours,
expecting more company, and within a short time after the country came in
on all sides, so that we were quickly between three and four hundred
horse; and after some longer stay, the foot of Carlisle came to us, to the
number of three or four hundred men, whom we presently set to work to get
to the top of the tower, and to uncover the roof, and then some twenty of
them to fall down together, and by that means to win the tower. The Scots,
seeing their present danger, offered to parley, and yielded themselves to
my mercy.” But the victorious Carlisleans had reckoned without their host.
From the hills and defiles around came pouring wild‐looking mountaineers
on rough, wiry ponies, farm‐horses, etc., to the number of four hundred.
The prisoners ceased their pleading, and looked eagerly towards their
deliverers. Meanwhile, the men of “merry Carlisle”(60) gave their
perplexed chief more trouble than his enemies, who “stood at gaze” a
quarter of a mile from him; for, says he, “all our Borderers came crying
with full mouths, ‘Sir, give us leave to set upon them; for these are they
that have killed our fathers, our brothers and uncles, and our cousins,
and they are coming, thinking to surprise you with weak grass nags, such
as they could get on a sudden; and God hath put them into your hands, that
we may take revenge of them for much blood that they have spilt of
ours.’ ” The warden was a conscientious man, and had come here to execute
justice against two malefactors, not to encourage indiscriminate private
revenge; but even with his rank and vested authority he did not dare
sternly to forbid a faction fight. He only told them that, had he not been
there, they might have done as best pleased them; but that, since he was
present, he should feel that all the blood spilt that day would be upon
his own head, and for his sake he entreated them to forbear. “They were
ill‐satisfied,” he adds, “but durst not disobey.” So he sent word to the
Scots to disperse, which they did, probably because they were unprepared
to fight such a large and well‐disciplined force, having expected to find
but a handful of men. The necessity for delicate handling of this armed
mob of English Borderers points sufficiently to the curious standard of
personal justice which prevailed in those wild times. And yet, strange to
say, while a Border “ride” (_alias_ foray) was a thing of such ordinary
occurrence that a saying is recorded of a mother to her son which soon
became proverbial: “_Ride, Rowley, hough’s i’ the pot_”—that is, the last
piece of beef is in the pot, and it is high time to go and fetch
more—still it would sometimes happen, as it did to James V. of Scotland,
that when an invasion of England was in contemplation, and the royal
lances gathered at the place where the king’s lieges were to meet him,
only one baron would declare himself willing to go wherever the sovereign
might lead. This faithful knight was another of the loyal race of
Scott—John Scott of Thirlestane, to whom James, in memory of his fidelity,
granted the privilege set forth in the following curious and rare charter:

“... Ffor the quhilk (which) cause, it is our will, and we do straitlie
command and charg our lion herauld, ... to give and to graunt to the said
John Scott ane border of ffleure de lises about his coatte of armes, sic
as is on our royal banner, and alsua ane bundle of lances above his
helmet, with thir words, Readdy ay, Readdy, that he and all his after‐
cummers may bruik (carry?) the samine as a pledge and taiken of our guid
will and kyndnes for his true worthiness.”

The list of the damages done in some of these Border rides sounds strange
in modern ears. Each country was a match for the other, though the strong
castles of Wark, Norham, and Berwick in English hands were thorns in the
side of the Scottish Borderers. Rowland Foster of Wark, on the 16th of
May, 1570, harried the barony of Blythe in Lauderdale, the property of Sir
Richard Maitland, a blind knight of seventy‐four years of age. None of
that country “lippened” (expected) such a thing, as it was in time of
peace; and despite what may have been said—and truly—as to their
lawlessness, the Borderers had a code by which to regulate their actions.
The old man wrote a poetical account of the harrying, calling the poem the
_Blind Baron’s Comfort_, and in the introduction he enumerates his losses:
five thousand sheep, two hundred nolt, thirty horses and mares, and the
whole furniture of his house, worth £8 6s. 8d., and everything else that
was portable. The sum represents some forty dollars.

In these narratives one feels it impossible to be very sorry for either
party, each was so thoroughly unable to take care of itself! Those who to‐
day seem down‐trodden victims of lawlessness will figure again a year
hence as “stark moss‐troopers [moss for marsh] and arrant thieves; both to
England and Scotland outlawed, yet sometimes connived at because they gave
intelligence forth to Scotland, and would raise four hundred horse at any
time upon a raid of the English into Scotland.” This was said of the
Graemes, Earls of Monteith, but was applicable, _mutatis mutandis_, to
most of the Borderers on both sides. An old Northumbrian ballad, that
survived in the North of England till within a hundred years, and was
commonly sung at merry‐makings till the roof rang again, gives forcible
and rather coarse details as to the personal results of these forays. It
celebrates the ride of the Thirlwalls and Ridleys in the reign of Henry
VIII. against the Featherstons of Featherston Castle, a few miles south of
the Tyne. Here is one of the rude stanzas:


    “I canno’ tell a’, I canno’ tell a’,
    Some gat a skelp (blow), and some gat a claw;
    But they gard the Featherstons haud their jaw,
    Nicol and ‘Alick and a’.
    Some gat a hurt, and some gat nane;
    Some had harness, and some gat sta’en (stolen or plundered).”


In later days Sir Walter Scott wove the annals of the Border into more
tuneful rhyme, and sang of the exploits of his bold countrymen with an
enthusiasm worthy of his moss‐trooping ancestors. These old ballads, and
the recollections of ancient dames in whose youthful days the exploits
celebrated in these ballads were not yet quite obsolete, furnished him
with much of his romantic materials. _The Minstrelsy of the Scottish
Border_, a collection of many such traditions, is a storehouse of
information upon these subjects. We find descriptions of the caves and
morasses which were the usual refuge of the marauders; the banks of the
Teviot, the Ale, the Jed, the Esk, were full of these caverns, but even
these hiding‐places were not always safe. Patten’s _Account of Somerset’s
Expedition into Scotland_ tells how “George Ferres, a gentleman of my Lord
Protector, happened on a cave” the entrance to which showed signs of the
interior being tenanted. “He wente doune to trie, and was readilie
receyved with a hakebut or two,” and when he found the foe determined to
hold out, “he wente to my lorde’s grace, and, upon utterance of the
thinge, _gat license to deale with them as he coulde_”—which significantly
simple statement meant that he was perfectly at liberty to do as he
eventually did, i.e., smother them by stopping up the three _ventes_ of
the cave with burning faggots of damp wood.

The next case is one of national jealousy and instant reprisals. The
English Earl of Northumberland gives a graphic account of the double raid
in a letter to King Henry VIII. He says that some Scottish barons had
threatened to come and give him “light to put on his clothes at midnight,”
and moreover that Marke Carr (one of the same clan whose prowess was
exercised against Buccleugh) said that, “seying they had a governor on the
Marches of Scotland as well as they had in England, he shulde kepe your
highness’ instructions, gyffyn unto your garyson, for making of any _day‐
forey_; for he and his friends _wolde burne enough on the nyght_....” Then
follows a detailed account of the inroad of thirty horsemen on the hamlet
of Whitell, which they did not burn, because “there was no fyre to get
there, and they forgat to brynge any withe theyme!” But they killed a
woman, under circumstances of peculiar atrocity, and departed. The
reprisals, however, were far worse. The Earl of Murray, who had winked at
all this, was chosen by the English as a scape‐goat, and a hundred of the
best horsemen of Glendaill “dyd mar the Earl of Murreis provisions at
Coldingham, for they did not only burn the said town of Coldingham, with
all the corne thereunto belonging, but also burned twa townes nye
adjoining thereunto, called Branerdergest and the Black Hill and took
xxiii. persons, lx. horse, with cc. head of cataill, which nowe, as I am
informed, hathe not only been a staye of the said Erle of Murreis not
coming to the Bordure as yet, but alsoo that none inlande will adventure
theyrself uppon the Marches.... And also I have devysed that within this
iii. nyghts, _Godde willing_, Kelsey, in like case, shall be brent with
all the corn in the said town, and then they shall have noo place to lye
any garyson nygh unto the Borders.”

The physical strength and rude cunning required for this daring life of
perpetual warfare are well described in the stanza of _The Lay of the Last
Minstrel_ referring to one of the Border heroes of the clan of Buccleugh:


    “A stark, moss‐trooping Scott was he
    As e’er couch’d Border lance by knee;
    Through Solway sands, through Tarras moss,
    Blindfold he knew the paths to cross;
    By wily turns, by desperate bounds,
    Had baffled Percy’s best bloodhounds;
    In Eske or Liddel fords were none,
    But he would ride them one by one;
    Alike to him was time or tide,
    December’s snow or July’s pride;
    Alike to him was tide or time,
    Moonless midnight or matin prime;
    Steady of heart and stout of hand
    As ever drove prey from Cumberland;
    Five times outlaw’d had he been
    By England’s king and Scotland’s queen.”


We have already alluded to the origin of the name of the Border riders.
Fuller, in his _Worthies of England_, says they are called moss‐troopers
“because dwelling in the mosses (marshes or morasses), and riding in
troops together; they dwell in the bounds or meeting of the two kingdoms,
but obey the laws of neither. They come to church as seldom as the 29th of
February comes in the calendar.” Their customs and laws are even more
interesting than the details of their forays. Loyalty to each other was
their first principle, and on occasions when money could purchase the
freedom of one of their number they invariably cast in their lots, and
made up a large common purse. They were scrupulous in keeping their word
of honor when passed to a traveller, and Fuller likens their dogged
fidelity in these cases to that of a “Turkish janizary”; but otherwise,
woe to him that fell into their hands! Their own _self_‐imposed laws they
observed for the most part faithfully, and a breach of them was punished
far more summarily than modern crimes in modern courts of law. Several
species of offences peculiar to the Border constituted what was called
March‐treason. Among others was the crime of riding or causing to ride
against the opposite country (or clan) during the time of truce. Such was
the offence committed by Rowland Foster in his raid on the “Blind Baron,”
though in his case the criminal was probably too powerful to be punished.
In one of the many truces signed in the olden time is one of 1334 between
the Percys and the Douglases, in which it is accorded: “Gif ony stellis
(steals) anthir on the ta part or on the tothyr, that he shall be hanget
or beofdit (beheaded); and gif ony company stellis any gudes within the
trieux (truce) beforesayd, are of that company shall be hanget or beofdit,
and the remanant sail restore the gudys stolen in the dubble.”(61) In
doubtful cases the innocence of Border criminals was often referred to
their own oath. The same work that quotes the above agreement also gives
us the form of excusing bills by Border oaths: “You shall swear by the
heaven above you, hell beneath you, by your part of paradise, by all that
God made in six days and seven nights, and by God himself, you are whart
out sackless of art, part, way, witting, ridd kenning, having, or
recetting of any of the goods and cattels named in the bill. So help you
God.” It seems almost as if the Borderers had consulted the catechism as
to the nine ways of being accessory to another’s sin, so minute is the
nomenclature of treasonable possibilities.

Trial by single combat was also a favorite mode of clearing one’s self
from a criminal charge. This was common in feudal times and throughout the
XVIth century; but time stood still in the Borders, as far as civilizing
changes were concerned, and even in the XVIIth century a ceremonious
indenture was signed between two champions of name and position, binding
them to fight to prove the truth or falsity of a charge of high treason
made by one against the other.

The most ancient known collection of regulations for the Border sets forth
that in 1468, on the 18th day of December, Earl William Douglas assembled
the whole lords, freeholders, and eldest Borderers, that best knowledge
had, at the College of Linclouden, “where he had them bodily sworn, the
Holy Gospel touched, that they justlie and trulie after their cunning
should decrete ... the statutes, ordinances, and uses of the marche.” The
earl further on is said to have thought these “right speedful and
profitable to the Borders.”

During the truces it was not unusual to have merry‐makings and fairs, to
which, however, both Scotch and English came fully armed. Foot‐ball was
from time immemorial a favorite Border game, but the national rivalry was
such that the play often ended in bloodshed. Still, there was no personal
ill‐feeling, and a rough sort of good‐fellowship was kept up, which was
strengthened by intermarriages, and was not supposed to debar either party
from the right of prosecuting private vengeance, even to death. When,
however, this revenge had been taken, it would have been against Border
etiquette to retain any further ill‐will. Patten, in his _Account of
Somerset’s Expedition into Scotland_, remarks on the disorderly conduct of
the English Borderers who followed the Lord Protector. He describes the
camp as full of “troublous and dangerous noyses all the nyghte longe, ...
more like the outrage of a dissolute huntynge than the quiet of a well‐
ordered armye.” The Borderers, like masterless hounds, howling, whooping,
whistling, crying out “A Berwick, a Berwick! a Fenwick, a Fenwick! a
Bulmer, a Bulmer!” paraded the camp, creating confusion wherever they
went, and disturbing the more sober southern troops; they used their own
slogan or battle‐cry out of pure mischief and recklessness, and totally
disregarded all camp discipline. Yet in this land of defiles, caverns, and
marshes their aid was too precious to be dispensed with, and remonstrance
was practically useless.

The pursuit of Border marauders was often followed by the injured party
and his friends with bloodhounds and bugle‐horn, and was called the _hot‐
trod_. If his dog could trace the scent, he was entitled to follow the
invaders into the opposite kingdom, which practice often led to further
bloodshed. A sure way of stopping the dog was to spill blood on the track;
and a legend of Wallace’s adventurous life relates a terrible instance of
this. An Irishman in Wallace’s train was slain by the Scottish fugitive,
and when the English came up with their hounds their pursuit was baffled.
But poetical justice required some counterbalancing doom, and accordingly
the legend tells us that, when Wallace took refuge in the lonely tower of
Gask, and fancied himself safe, he was speedily disturbed by the blast of
a horn. It was midnight. He sent out attendants, cautiously to
reconnoitre, but they could see nothing. When he was left alone again, the
summons was repeated, and, sword in hand, he went down to face the
unknown. At the gate of the tower stood the headless spectre of Fawdoim,
the murdered man. Wallace, in unearthly terror, fled up into the tower,
tore open a window, and leaped down fifteen feet to the ground to continue
his flight as best he could. Looking back to Gask, he saw the tower on
fire, and the form of his victim, dilated to an immense size, standing on
the battlements, holding in his hand a blazing rafter.

The system of signals by beacon‐fires was common on the Borders. Smugglers
and their friends have now become the only remaining heirs to this
practice, which was once that in use by the noblest warriors of Gaelic
race in either island. The origin of this custom was perfectly lawful;
indeed, the Scottish Parliament, in 1445, directed that one bale or
beacon‐fagot should be warning of the approach of the English in any
manner; two bales, that they are coming indeed; four bales blazing beside
each other, that the enemy are in great force. A Scotch historian tells us
that in later times these beacons consisted of a long and strong tree set
up, with a long iron pole across the head of it, and an iron brander fixed
on a stalk in the middle of it for holding a tar‐barrel.

It was a custom on the Border, and indeed in the Highlands also, for those
passing through a great chieftain’s domains to repair to the castle in
acknowledgment of the chief’s authority, explain the purpose of their
journey, and receive the hospitality due to their rank. To neglect this
was held discourtesy in the great and insolence in the inferior traveller;
indeed, so strictly was this etiquette insisted upon by some feudal lords
that Lord Oliphaunt is said to have planted guns at his Castle of Newtyle
in Angus, so as to command the high‐road, and compel all passengers to
perform this act of homage. Sir Walter Scott, in his _Provincial
Antiquities_, has hunted up a curious instance of the non fulfilment of
this custom. The Lord of Crichtoun Castle, on the Tyne, heard that Scott
of Buccleugh was to pass his dwelling on his return from court. A splendid
banquet was prepared for the expected guest, who nevertheless rode past
the castle, neglecting to pay his duty‐visit. Crichtoun was terribly
incensed, and pursued the discourteous traveller with a body of horse,
made him prisoner, and confined him for the night in the castle dungeon.
He and his retainers, meanwhile, feasted on the good cheer that had been
provided, and doubtless made many valiant boasts against the imprisoned
lord. But with morning cometh prudence. A desperate feud with a powerful
clan was not desirable, and such would infallibly have been the result of
so rough a proceeding. Indeed, it would have justified the Buccleugh in
biting his glove or his thumb—a gesture indicative on the Border of a
resolution of mortal revenge for a serious insult. So, to put matters
right, Crichtoun not only delivered his prisoner and set him in the place
of honor at his board the following day, but himself retired into his own
dungeon, where he remained as many hours as his guest had done. This
satisfaction was accepted and the feud averted.

The Borderers had a rough, practical kind of symbolism in vogue among
them; and, though they were not afraid of calling a spade a spade, yet
loved a significant allegory. It is told of one of the marauding chiefs,
whose castle was a very robber’s den, that his mode of intimating to his
retainers that the larder was bare, and that they must ride for a supply
of provisions, was the appearance on the table of a pair of clean spurs in
a covered dish. Like many brigand chiefs, this Scott of Harden had a wife
of surpassing beauty, famed in song as the “Flower of Yarrow.” Some very
beautiful pastoral songs are attributed to a young captive, said to have
been carried as an infant to this eagle’s nest, built on the brink of a
dark and precipitous dell. He himself tells the story of how “beauteous
Mary, Yarrow’s fairest flower, rescued him from the rough troopers who
brought him into the courtyard of the castle.”


    “Her ear, all anxious, caught the wailing sound:
    With trembling haste, the youthful matron flew,
    And from the hurried heaps an infant drew.

    Of milder mood the gentle captive grew,
    Nor loved the scenes that scared his infant view,

    He lived o’er Yarrow’s Flower to shed the tear,
    To strew the holly‐leaves o’er Harden’s bier.

    He, nameless as the race from which he sprung,
    Saved other names, and left his own unsung.”


Work and pleasure were sometimes mingled in those royal expeditions called
a chase, which had so little to distinguish them from regular Border
forays. Law and no law were so curiously tangled together that each bore
nearly the same outward features as the other—features especially
romantic, which both have now equally lost. Ettrick Forest, now a
mountainous range of sheep‐walks, was anciently a royal pleasure‐ground.
The hunting was an affair of national importance, and in 1528 James V. of
Scotland “made proclamation to all lords, barons, gentlemen, landward‐men,
and freeholders to pass with the king where he pleased, to danton _the
thieves_ of Teviotdale, Annandale, and Liddesdale (we have heard this
expression before in another mouth), and other parts of that country, and
also warned all gentlemen that had good dogs to bring them, that he might
hunt in the said country as he pleased.”

A very interesting account is given by one Taylor, a poet, of the mode in
which these huntings were conducted in the Highlands. This, however, is a
sketch of a later day than that in which the moss‐troopers were at their
best, but many of the characteristics of the scene suggest the earlier and
hardly yet forgotten time of the true Borderers. He begins by enumerating
the many “truly noble and right honorable lords” who were present, and
gives a detailed description of the dress which they wore in common with
the peasantry, “as if Lycurgus had been there and made laws of equality.”
The dress is the Highland costume of to‐day—a dress that has never changed
since at least the beginning of this century. The English poet evidently
finds it very primitive, and takes no notice of the difference of color or
of mixing of color that distinguishes the various tartans. He says: “As
for their attire, any man of what degree so‐ever who comes amongst them
must not disdain to wear it; for if they do, then they will disdain to
hunt or willingly to bring in their dogs; but if men be kind to them and
be in their habit, then they are conquered with kindness, and the sport
will be plentiful.” The gathering is of some fourteen or fifteen hundred
or more men—a little city or camp. Small cottages built on purpose to
lodge in, and called _lonquhards_, are here for the chiefs, the kitchens
whereof are always on the side of a bank. A formidable list of provisions
follows; there are “many kettles and pots boiling, and many spits turning
and winding, with great variety of cheer, as venison baked, sodden, rost,
and stewed beef, mutton, goats, kids, hares, fresh salmon, pigeons, hens,
capons, chickens, partridges, muir‐coots (water‐fowl), heath‐cocks,
capercailzies and ptarmigans, good ale, sacke, white and claret (red)
tent, or allegant, with the most potent _aqua‐vitæ_. All these, and more
than these, we had continually in superfluous abundance, caught by
falconers, fowlers, fishers, and brought by my lord’s tenants and
purveyors to victual our camp, which consisteth of fourteen or fifteen
hundred men and horses. The manner of the hunting is this: Five or six
hundred men do rise early in the morning, and they do disperse themselves
divers ways, and seven, eight, or ten miles compass; they do bring or
chase in the deer, in many herds (two, three, or four hundred in a herd),
to such or such a place as the noblemen shall appoint them; then, when day
is come, the lords and gentlemen of their companies do ride or go to the
said places, sometimes wading up to the middles through burns (streams)
and rivers, and then they, being come to the place, do lie down upon the
ground till those foresaid scouts, which are called the _tinkhell_, do
bring down the deer. But as the proverb says of a bad cook, so these
_tinkhell_ men do lick their own fingers; for, besides their bows and
arrows, which they carry with them, we can hear now and then a harquebuss
or a musket go off, which they do seldom discharge in vain. Then after we
had stayed there three hours or thereabouts, we might perceive the deer
appear on the hills round about us (their heads making a show like a
wood), which, being followed close by the _tinkhell_, are chased down into
the valley where we lay; then all the valley, on each side, being waylaid
with a hundred couple of strong Irish greyhounds, they are all let loose,
as occasion serves, upon the herd of deer, that with dogs, guns, arrows,
durks, and daggers, in the space of two hours, fourscore fat deer were
slain, which after are disposed of, some one way and some another, twenty
and thirty miles, and more than enough left for us, to make merry withal
at our rendezvous.”

Doubtless the scene must have been very picturesque before the _battue_
began; but as sport what could be more unsatisfactory? For once modern
customs seem to excel ancient ones, and the Scotch deer‐stalker of to‐day,
in his arduous, solitary walk over the moors and through the forests, is a
much more enviable personage than the high and mighty huntsman of King
James’ train. The best sport recorded in this curious narrative was the
result of the unauthorized shots heard in the distance, when the
_tinkhell_ men could not resist the temptation of “licking their own
fingers.”

It was the result of all these centuries of wild life and romantic
lawlessness that made Scotland so safe a retreat for the unfortunate
Prince Charlie after the last stand had been so loyally and unsuccessfully
made at Culloden in 1745. Personal fidelity to a beloved chieftain, and an
habitual disregard of all laws of the “Southron” that clashed with their
own immemorial customs, made of the Scottish people the most perfect
partisans in the world. Even at this day, when they are famed for their
thriftiness, their amenableness to law, their eminently peaceful
qualities, a strong undercurrent of romance lies at the bottom of their
surface tranquillity. The organization of clanship has disappeared, but
the feeling that put life into that system is itself living yet. The
humblest Scotsman is a born genealogist, and privately considers the blood
of the laird under whose protection or in whose service he lives as
immeasurably _bluer_ than that of the German royal family that sits in the
high places of England; and a characteristic instance of the clinging
affection with which the national nomenclature of rank is still looked
upon by the Scottish peasantry was afforded not many years ago, when the
tenants of Lord Breadalbane were required to conform to modern usage, and
address their master as “my lord.” “What!” they exclaimed, “call the
Breadalbane _my lord_, like any paltry Southron chiel (fellow)?” They
thought—and rightly, as it seems to us—that the old appellation, “_the_
Breadalbane,” as if he were sovereign on his own lands, and the only one
of the name who needed no title to distinguish him from others of his kin,
was the only fitting one for their chief. The English title of marquis was
nothing to that.

The superstitions of the Border, those of early times and those whose
traces remain even to this day, are another interesting phase in the
annals of the moss‐troopers, but they would occupy more space than we have
now at command. We will close this sketch by quoting an old saying that
shows that some at least of the Border chieftains, doubtless through the
influence of their wives, had not relinquished all reverent belief in the
things of the world to come. They may not always have acted up to what
they believed; and indeed so wise a maxim as the following, if carried out
in practice to its furthest limit, would have caused the pious Borderer to
retire altogether from his adventurous “profession,” unless, indeed, the
obscure sentence in the second line of the couplet, “Keep well the rod,”
could have been twisted into an injunction to him to become an embodiment
of poetical justice in the eyes of less discriminating moss‐troopers. The
inscription is found over an arched door at Branxholm or Branksome Castle,
and is in old black‐letter type:


    In varld. is. nocht. nature. hes. vrought. yat. sal. lest. ay.

    Tharefore. serve. God. keip. veil. ye. rod. thy. fame. sal. nocht.
    dekay. (62)



Assunta Howard. IV. Convalescence.


“I have almost made up my mind to go back to bed again, and play possum.
Truly, I find but little encouragement in my tremendous efforts to get
well, in the marked neglect which I am suffering from the feminine portion
of my family. Clara is making herself ridiculous by returning to the days
of her first folly, against which I protest to unheeding ears, and of
which I wash my hands. Come here, Assunta; leave that everlasting writing
of yours, and enliven the ‘winter of my discontent’ by the ‘glorious
summer’ of your presence, of mind as well as of body.”

Mr. Carlisle certainly looked very unlike the neglected personage he
described himself to be. He was sitting in a luxurious chair near the open
window; and he had but to raise his eyes to feast them upon the ever‐
changing, never‐tiring beauties of the Alban hills, while the soft spring
air was laden with the fragrance of many gardens. Beside him were books,
flowers, and cigars—everything, in short, which could charm away the
tediousness of a prolonged convalescence. And it must be said, to his
credit, that he bore the monotony very well _for a man_—which, it is to be
feared, is after all damning his patience with very faint praise.

Assunta raised her eyes from her letter, and, smiling, said:

“Ingratitude, thy name is Severn Carlisle! I wish Clara were here to give
you the benefit of one of her very womanly disquisitions on man. You would
be so effectually silenced that I should have a hope of finishing my
letter in time for the steamer.”

“Never mind the letter,” said Mr. Carlisle. “Come here, child; I am pining
to have you near me.”

Assunta laughed, as she replied:

“Would it not do just as well if I should give you the opera‐glass, and
let you amuse yourself by making believe bring me to you?”

“Pshaw! Assunta, I want you. Put away your writing. You know very well
that it is two days before the steamer leaves, and you will have plenty of
time.” And Mr. Carlisle drew a chair beside his own.

Assunta did know all about it; but, now that the invalid was so much
better, she was trying to withdraw a little from any special attentions.
She felt that, under the circumstances, it would not be right to make
herself necessary to his comfort; she did not realize how necessary he
thought her to his very life. However, though she would skirmish with and
contradict him, she had never yet been able sufficiently to forget how
near he had been to death to actually oppose him. Besides, she had not
thought him looking quite as strong this morning; so she put the
unfinished letter back in the desk, and, taking her work‐basket, sat down
beside her guardian, and tried to divert him from herself by pointing out
the wonderful loveliness of the view. His face did have a weary
expression, which his quondam nurse did not fail to perceive. She at once
poured out a glass of wine, and, handing it to him, said:

“Tell me the truth, my friend; you do not feel very well to‐day?”

“I do not feel quite as strong as Samson,” he replied; “but you forget,
Dalila, how you and the barber have shorn off the few locks the fever left
me. Of course my strength went too.”

“Well, fortunately,” said Assunta, “there are no gates of Gaza which
require immediate removal, and no Philistines to be overcome.”

“I am not so sure of that,” said Mr. Carlisle, putting down the wine‐
glass. “There are some things harder to overcome than Philistines, and
some citadels so strong as to bid defiance to Samson, even in the full
glory of his wavy curls. What chance is there, then, for him now, cruel
Dalila?”

Assunta wilfully misunderstood him, and, taking her work from her pretty
basket, she answered, laughing:

“Well, one thing is very certain: your illness has not left you in the
least subdued. Clara and I must begin a course of discipline, or by the
time your brown curls have attained their usual length you will have
become a regular tyrant.”

“Give me your work, _petite_,” said Mr. Carlisle, gently disengaging it
from her hand. “I want this morning all to myself. And please do not
mention Clara again. I cannot hear her name without thinking of that
miserable Sinclair business. It is well for him that I am as I am, until I
have had time to cool. I am not very patient, and I have an irresistible
longing to give him a horse‐whipping. It is a singular psychological fact
that Clara has been gifted with every womanly attraction but common sense.
But I believe that even you Catholics allow to benighted heretics the plea
of invincible ignorance as an escape from condemnation; so we must not be
too severe in our judgment of my foolish sister.”

“Hardly a parallel case,” said Assunta, smiling.

“I grant it,” replied her guardian; “for in my illustration the acceptance
of the plea, so you hold, renders happiness possible to the heretic, to
whom a ‘little knowledge’ would have been so ‘dangerous a thing’ as to
lose him even a chance among the elect; whereas Clara’s invincible
ignorance of the world, of human nature, and in particular of the nature
of George Sinclair, serves only to explain her folly, but does not prevent
the inevitable evil consequences of such a marriage. But enough of the
subject. Will you not read to me a little while? Get Mrs. Browning, and
let us have ‘Lady Geraldine,’ if you will so far compassionate a man as to
make him forget that he is at sword’s points with himself and all the
world, the exception being his fair consoler. Thank you, _petite_,” he
continued, as Assunta brought the book. “There is plenty of trash and an
incomprehensible expression or two in the poem; but, as a whole, I like
it, and the end, the vision, would redeem it, were it ten times as bad.
Well, I too have had a vision! Do you know, Assunta, that the only thing I
can recall of those weeks of illness is your dear form flitting in and out
of the darkness? But—may I dare say it?—the vision had in it a certain
tenderness I do not find in the reality. I could almost believe in your
doctrine of guardian angels, having myself experienced what their ministry
might be.”

“I am afraid,” interrupted Assunta, “that your doctrine would hardly
stand, if it has no other basis than such very human evidence. Shall I
begin?”

“No, wait a minute longer,” said Mr. Carlisle. “ ‘Lady Geraldine’ will
keep. I wish to put a question to your sense of justice. When I was sick,
and almost unconscious, and entirely unappreciative, there was a person—so
the doctor tells me—who lavished attentions upon me, counted nothing too
great a sacrifice to be wasted upon me. But now that I am myself again,
and longing to prove myself the most grateful of men, on the principle
that ‘gratitude is a lively sense of favors _to come_,’ that person
suddenly retires into the solitude of her own original indifference (to
misquote somewhat grandiloquently), and leaves me wondering on what hidden
rock my bark struck when I thought the sea all smooth and shining,
shivering my reanimated hopes to atoms. But,” he added, turning abruptly
towards her, and taking in his the hand which rested on the table beside
him, “you saved my life. Bless you, child, and remember that the life you
have saved is yours, now and always.”

The color had rushed painfully into Assunta’s face, but her guardian
instantly released her hand, and she answered quietly:

“It really troubles me, Mr. Carlisle, that you should attach so much
importance to a mere service of duty and common humanity. I did no more
than any friend so situated would have had a right to claim at my hands.
Your thanks have far outweighed your indebtedness.”

“Duty again!” exclaimed Mr. Carlisle bitterly. “I wish you had let me die.
I want no _duty_ service from you; and you shall be gratified, for I do
_not_ thank you for my life on those conditions. You spare no opportunity
to let me understand that I am no more to you than all the rest of the
world. Be it so.” And he impatiently snatched the _Galignani_ from the
table, and settled himself as if to read.

Assunta’s temper was always roused by the unjust remarks her guardian
sometimes made, and she would probably have answered with a spirit which
would have belied the angel had she not happened to glance at the paper,
and seen that it was upside down; and then at Mr. Carlisle’s pale and
troubled features, to which even the crimson facings of his rich dressing‐
gown hardly lent the faintest glow. The same sentiment of common humanity
which had prompted those days of care and nights of watching now checked
the reproach she would have uttered. She turned over the leaves of Mrs.
Browning, until her eye lighted upon that exquisite valediction, “God be
with thee, my beloved.” This she read through to herself; and then, laying
the book upon the table, she said with the tone and manner of a subdued
child:

“May I finish my letter, please?”

Mr. Carlisle scarcely raised his eyes, as he replied:

“Certainly, Assunta. I have no wish to detain you.”

It was with a very womanly dignity that Assunta left her seat; but,
instead of returning to her writing‐desk, she went to the piano. For
nearly an hour she played, now passages from different sonatas, and then
selections from the grander music of the church. Without seeming to
notice, she saw that the paper at last fell from her guardian’s hand; and
understanding, as she did, every change in his expressive face, she knew
from the smoothing of the brow and the restful look of the eyes that peace
was restored by the charm she wrought. When she was sure that the evil
spirit had been quite exorcised by the power of music, she rose from the
piano, and rang the bell. When Giovanni appeared, she said:

“I think that Mrs. Grey will not return until quite late, as she has gone
to Tivoli; so you may serve dinner here for me as well as for Mr.
Carlisle. If any one calls, I do not receive this afternoon.”

“Very well, signorina,” replied Giovanni. “I will bring in the small table
from the library.” And he left the room.

“It will be much pleasanter than for each of us to dine separately in
solitary state,” said Assunta, going towards her guardian, and speaking as
if there had been no cloud between them; “though I know that dining in the
drawing‐room must, of necessity, be exceptional.”

“It was a very bright thought of yours,” answered Mr. Carlisle, “and a
very appetizing one to me, I can assure you. Will you read ‘Lady
Geraldine’ now? There will be just time before dinner.”

Without a word Assunta took the book, and began to read. She had nothing
of the dramatic in her style, but her voice was sweet, her enunciation
very clear and distinct, and she showed a thorough apprehension of the
author’s meaning; so her reading always gave pleasure, and Mr. Carlisle
had come to depend upon it daily. The vision to which he had referred was
robbed, perhaps fortunately, of some of its sentiment, by Giovanni’s table
preparations; and his presence prevented all but very general comment.

When they were once more by themselves—Giovanni having left them to linger
over the fruit and wine—Mr. Carlisle said:

“By the way, Assunta, you have not told me yet what your friend Miss
Percival had to say for herself in her last letter. You know I am always
interested in her; though I fear it is an interest which partakes largely
of the nature of jealousy.”

“Well,” replied Assunta, “she tells me that she is going to be married.”

“Sensible girl! What more?”

“She regrets very much that her brother, whom she dearly loves, will not
return from his year’s exile in time for the ceremony.”

“So much the better,” exclaimed Mr. Carlisle with unusual energy. “I hope
he may lose himself in the deserts of Arabia, or wander off to further
India, and there remain.”

Assunta laughed. “Truly, my guardian is most charitable! I should not be
surprised if he did, one of these days, follow in the footsteps of S.
Francis Xavier. But what has he done to merit sentence of banishment from
you?”

“You know I am a student of human nature,” rejoined her guardian, “and I
have always observed that where a young girl has a brother and a friend,
she cannot conceive of any other destiny for the two objects of her
affection than to make of them one united object in the holy bonds of
matrimony; and, in order to bring about the desired consummation, she
devotes herself to intrigue in a manner and with a zeal truly feminine.
Mary Percival has a brother and a friend; ergo, may her brother be—induced
to become an Oriental; that is all.”

“In this case,” replied the young girl with a merry laugh, “your
observations are quite at fault. I am truly grieved to be compelled to
spoil such a pretty romance. But, seriously, Mary has a far higher choice
for her brother than her most unworthy friend. She has but one desire and
prayer for him, and that is that he may enter the holy priesthood. I
believe she will not be disappointed. Did you ever see Mr. Percival?”

“No, I have never had the pleasure,” replied Mr. Carlisle.

“I wish you might know him,” said Assunta enthusiastically. “I am sure you
would like him. He is not what would generally be considered handsome, but
I think his face beautiful, it is so very spiritual. It is the beauty of a
remarkable soul, which literally shines in his eyes. He has taken the
highest honors at college, and, if his health is only re‐established, I
think his sister’s very laudable ambition will be more than gratified.”

“He certainly has a most ardent admirer. I did not know you could be so
enthusiastic about any member of the _genus homo_,” said Mr. Carlisle.
Assunta was not to be daunted by the perceptible sneer, and she at once
added:

“I can hardly be said to admire him, but rather the power of grace in him.
I have so great a reverence for Augustine Percival that I could not
imagine it possible for any human affection to turn him from what I firmly
believe to be his great vocation. So my guardian may see him return to the
West with equanimity, and may perhaps even be induced to look with favor
upon another part of the letter.”

“And what is that?” asked Mr. Carlisle.

“Mary invites me very urgently to pass next winter with her in Baltimore.
Her husband‐elect is a naval officer, and his leave of absence expires in
October. She wishes me as a substitute, you understand.”

“Is it your wish to go, my child?” said her guardian, looking at her
earnestly.

“I never like to make any definite plan so long beforehand; but it seemed
to me a very suitable arrangement. You remember,” added Assunta, “that
Clara will probably be married before then.”

“I do not wish Clara to be mentioned; she has nothing to do with it,” said
Mr. Carlisle imperiously; and then he added more gently, “May I ask,
_petite_, what answer you have given her?”

“None, as yet; you remember you interrupted my letter. But I think I will
tell her that my guardian is such an ogre that I dare not reply to her
invitation until after August. Will that do?”

“Tell her what you will,” said Mr. Carlisle; “only, for heaven’s sake, say
no more to me upon the subject. I am not Augustine Percival, and
consequently not elevated above the power of human feeling.”

Poor Assunta! she too was not above human feeling, and sometimes it was
very hard for her to keep her heart from being rebellious; but she had
learned to put God before every earthly consideration, and to find her
strength in his presence. But it required constant watchfulness and
untiring patience to conquer herself. Therefore she could not but feel
great compassion for her friend, who must bear his disappointment with no
help outside of his own strong nature. She rose from the table, and moved
it a little to one side, in order that she might arrange the cushions for
her guardian, who looked unusually weary to‐night.

“Are you angry with me, Mr. Carlisle?” said she softly, as he sank back in
his chair.

“Angry, _petite_?” he repeated, looking steadily in her face. “Yes, I am
angry, but not with you, or with anything you have said to‐night, but
rather with that accursed barrier. Go, child, ring for Giovanni, or I
shall say what you will not like to hear.” As she turned away, he caught
her hand, saying:

“One moment. I have been very rude, and yet I would die for you! There, I
will not say another word. Please ring for Giovanni, since I am compelled
to be so ungallant as to request the favor of you; and then let us talk a
little about the Sienna plans. I must try and put myself into a good‐humor
before Clara comes; for she will have something to say about her handsome
Sinclair, and then I would not give much for my temper.”

The table having been removed, and the wood which had been laid ready in
the fire‐place kindled into a blaze—for the evenings were still cool
enough to admit of its cheery influence—the two, whose lives seemed so
united, and yet were, in reality, so far apart, drew towards the fire. The
heavy curtains, which had been put aside to admit the warm, genial air and
sunshine of mid‐day, were now closely drawn, in order to shut out the
chilling dampness of evening. A hanging lamp cast a soft, mellow light
through its porcelain shade upon an exquisite basket of roses and
carnations adorning the centre of the table, which was covered elsewhere
with books, arranged with studied negligence, and numberless little
suggestions of refinement and feminine occupation. Everything seemed
favorable to a most harmonious conversation, except that inevitable
something which, like a malicious sprite, awakens us from our dreams just
when they are brightest; breaks the spell of our illusions at the moment
when we are clinging to them most persistently; ruthlessly crosses, with
its fatal track, our promised pleasures; and unfeelingly interrupts us in
some hour of complete rest and satisfaction. Ah! we may fret in our
impatience, and wonder at the fatality which seems to pursue us. It is no
mischief‐loving Puck, no evil‐minded genie, but a good angel, who thus
thwarts us. This is no time to dream and cherish illusions which can but
deceive. It is no time for repose. To detach ourselves from all these
things which would make this world a satisfaction to us is the labor we
must all perform, more or less generously and heroically, if we would one
day enjoy the reality of the one dream that never fades—the vision of the
Apocalypse; the one repose that never palls—the rest that remaineth for
the people of God. Welcome, then, those misnamed “juggling fiends” that
“keep the word of promise to our ear, and break it to our hope.” Welcome
the many disappointments, trifling in themselves, the daily crossings of
our will and pleasure, which seem so petty; they perform a great mission
if they succeed in loosening ever so little the cords which bind down to
earth the souls that were meant for heaven. Thrice welcome whatever helps
to turn the sweetness of this world to bitterness!

Poor Mrs. Grey! it had never occurred to her that she had a mission, still
less such an one as we have now assigned to her. For it was her voice
which caused Mr. Carlisle to sigh so profoundly that Assunta could not but
smile, in spite of the regretful feeling in her own heart. It was
better—and she knew it—that the softening influence of the hour should be
thus rudely interrupted; but nature will not be crushed without an
occasional protest. The expression of annoyance still lingered on Mr.
Carlisle’s face when Clara entered the room, exclaiming:

“Come, _caro mio_, they have had the livelong day to themselves, and must
have talked out by this time, even if they had the whole encyclopædia in
their brains.” And as Mr. Sinclair followed with an apologetic bow, she
continued:

“This ridiculous man has conscientious objections to interrupting your
_tête‐à‐tête_. I am sure, Severn, if Assunta is not tired to death of you
by this time, she ought to be, particularly if you have been as solemn all
day as you look now. I would much rather spend the whole day in church—and
that is the most gloomy thing I can think of—than be condemned to the
company of a man in a mood. Make a note of that, George.

“I think, Clara,” said her brother, somewhat coldly, “that Mr. Sinclair
was judging others by himself, and in doing so he judged kindly in my
regard and gallantly in yours; but this is not always the true criterion.
Mr. Sinclair, I beg you will be seated, and excuse me if I do not rise. I
am still obliged to claim the invalid’s cloak of charity. No doubt a cup
of tea will be acceptable after your long drive; and it will soon be
served.”

The eyes of the two men met. They had measured each other before now, and
understood each other well; and each knew that he was most cordially
disliked by the other. Their ceremonious politeness was all the more
marked on that account. Assunta’s tact came to the rescue, and made a
diversion. As she assisted Mrs. Grey in removing her shawl and hat, she
said:

“And how have you enjoyed the day, Clara? You must be very tired!”

“Oh! I am nearly dead with fatigue,” replied the lady, looking very bright
and very much alive for a moribund; “but we have had a delicious time. You
should have seen George trying to support his dignity on a donkey which he
could easily have assisted in walking, as his feet touched the ground on
both sides; and which started with a spasmodic jerk every two or three
minutes when the donkey boy brought down a small club on its back. I
laughed so much at Mr. Sinclair’s gravity and the ludicrous figure he cut
that I narrowly escaped falling off my own donkey down a precipice.”

“ ‘Now, what a thing it is to be an ass,’ ” quoted Mr. Carlisle. “My
lovely sister visits a spot whose present beauty is hardly surpassed by
the richness of its classic associations; where romance lurks, scarcely
hidden, in the memory of Zenobia; where the olives that cover the
hillsides have a primeval look; and, like a very Titania under the love‐
spell, she wakes from her dream of the past, and, behold! her vision is—a
donkey!—no, I beg pardon—_two_ donkeys; one that nearly lost its burden;
and the other that its burden nearly lost!”

“How foolish you are, Severn!” said Clara, pouting very becomingly, while
the others laughed heartily. “Besides, you need not expect me to get up
any sentiment about Zenobia. The mistake of her life was that she did not
die at the proper time, instead of retiring to a country town—of all
places in the world—living a comfortable life, and dying a commonplace
death in her bed, for all I know. It was just stupid in her!”

Her brother smiled. “I think you are right, Clara. Zenobia should never
have survived her chains and the Roman triumph, if she had wished to leave
a perfect picture of herself to posterity. However, I doubt if we have the
right to exact the sacrifice of her merely to gratify our ideas of
romantic propriety. By living she only proved herself less heroine, more
woman. But, Clara, what _did_ you see?—besides the donkeys, I mean.”

Mr. Carlisle felt so keenly the antagonism of Mr. Sinclair’s presence,
that he must either leave the room or find some vent; and therefore his
sister was compelled to be safety‐valve, and submit to his teasing mood.
Perhaps she was not altogether an innocent victim, since she it was who
had somewhat wilfully introduced the discordant element into the family.

“We saw ruins and waterfalls, of course,” she replied to the last
question—a little petulance in her tone, which soon, however, disappeared.
“But the most enjoyable thing of the whole day was the dinner. I usually
cannot see any pleasure in eating out of doors, but today we were obliged
to do so, for the hotel was not at all inviting; and then it is the proper
thing to do to have the table spread in the portico of the Temple of
Vesta. Gagiati had put up a delicious dinner at Mr. Sinclair’s order, so
we were not dependent upon country fries and macaroni. Just as we were
sitting down Lady Gertrude came up with her mother and lover, and we
joined forces. I assure you we were not silent. I never enjoyed a meal
more in my life.”

“O Tivoli! ancient Tibur, how art thou fallen! Donkeys and dinner!”
exclaimed Mr. Carlisle. “Well, fair Titania, did you supply your gentle
animal with the honey‐bag of the ‘red‐hipped humble‐bee,’ or was his
appetite more plebeian, so that ‘a peck of provender’ was more
acceptable?”

“Assunta, do you allow your patient to talk so much?” said Mrs. Grey, her
amiability still proof against attack. “If he excites his imagination in
this way, he can hardly hope to sleep without a powerful anodyne.”

“My patient, as you call him,” replied Assunta, smiling, “is not quite so
submissive, I find, as when obedience was a necessity, and not a virtue.
Still, if he would allow me a very humble suggestion, I would remind him
that he has not been quite as well to‐day, and that it is some time past
his usual hour for retiring.”

There was no irritation in Mr. Carlisle’s face as he looked at Assunta
with one of his rare smiles. The very tones of her voice seemed to give
him a feeling of rest. “A very broad hint on the part of my tyrant,” he
replied, “which I will be wise enough to take, in its present form, lest
it should become more emphatic. Good‐night, Mr. Sinclair. I feel that
there is the less need of an apology for excusing myself, as I leave you
in good hands Clara, when Giovanni has served the tea, please send him to
me.”

In leaving the room Mr. Carlisle dropped his cigar‐case, which Assunta
perceived, and hastened with it to the library, where she knew she should
find him awaiting Giovanni.

“_Petite_,” he exclaimed, as she entered, “kill that man for me, and make
me everlastingly your debtor.”

“I am sure,” she answered, laughing, “you have had it all your own way to‐
night. I began to think he must have taken a vow of silence.”

“Still waters!” said her guardian. “He can afford to be silent; he is
biding his time.”

“Are you not the least bit unjust and uncharitable?” asked Assunta. “But
never mind, you shall not have a lecture to‐night, for you look very
weary. Promise me that you will take the medicine I send you.”

“I will take it, if you bring it yourself.”

“But I cannot do that. I have your enemy to entertain, you know.”

“And much joy do I wish you,” said Mr. Carlisle. “I intend to study up
affinities and repulsions psychologically; and then I shall perhaps be
able to understand why one person, without any assignable cause, should
act as a perpetual blister—genuine Spanish flies—and another, a certain
dear little friend of mine for instance, should be ever a soothing balm.”

“Cold cream!” suggested Assunta, “since you will use such pharmaceutical
comparisons. And now, if I have shocked your sense of refinement
sufficiently, I must say good‐night.”

“Good‐night, dear child,” returned her guardian cordially, but his next
thought was a bitter one, and an almost prophetic feeling of loneliness
came over him, as he watched the smoke curling up from his cigar.

As soon as the incubus of Mr. Carlisle’s presence was removed, Mr.
Sinclair threw off the silence which was so unnatural to him, and became
at once the attentive, gallant man of the world. Even Assunta, had she met
him then for the first time, would not have received that impression of
insincerity which had repelled her formerly. She could hardly wonder to‐
night that Clara Grey, who never looked below the surface, or cared, so
long as peace reigned on the outside, what elements of disturbance might
be working in the depths, should have suffered her heart to confide itself
to the keeping of one apparently so devoted. She had never before imagined
that they were so well suited to each other; and as Mr. Sinclair, after an
hour, arose to take his leave, she was surprised into most unusual
cordiality, as she bade him good‐night. But, unfortunately for the
impression he had been at such pains to produce, the glamour of
fascination disappeared with his retreating footsteps; so that even while
Mr. Sinclair was congratulating himself upon his success, Assunta found
herself wondering at the almost painful revulsion of feeling which
followed his departure.

Mrs. Grey’s bright face indicated no such change. She was perfectly
satisfied with her lover, and no less so with herself. She checked a
movement of Assunta’s to retire by saying:

“Do you mind waiting a little longer, dear? I want so much to have a quiet
chat. Come, let us draw our chairs up to the fire, the blaze is so
cheering.”

“You do not look as if you needed any help from outside influences,” said
Assunta, and there was a shade of sadness in her tone. “But I am all ready
for a talk.”

A cloud—a light summer one—overspread Mrs. Grey’s clear sky and shadowed
her face, as she said, after a pause: “Assunta, why does Severn dislike
George so much?”

Assunta was too truthful to deny the fact, so she simply said:

“We cannot always control our feelings, Clara; but, as a general thing, I
do not find Mr. Carlisle unreasonable.”

“He certainly is very unreasonable in this case,” returned Mrs. Grey
quickly, “and I am sorry it is so, for I love Severn very much. Still, I
shall not allow an unfounded prejudice to stand in the way of my
happiness. Assunta, I have promised Mr. Sinclair that I will marry him in
September, when we shall be in Paris, on our way to America.”

“I supposed,” said Assunta, “that it would come soon, and I hope, dear
Clara, that you will be very, _very_ happy.” Doubt was in her mind, but
she had not the heart to let it appear in her manner.

“And,” Mrs. Grey continued, “I want you to understand, dear, that with us
you will always have a home at your disposal, where you will be welcomed
as a sister. George wished me to tell you that this is his desire as well
as mine.”

“You are both too kind,” replied Assunta, touched by this thoughtfulness
of her at a time when selfishness is regarded as a special privilege. “My
arrangements can easily be made afterwards; but I do very much appreciate
your kindness.”

“Nonsense!” said Mrs. Grey, “you belong to us; and the difficulty will
probably be that we shall not be able to keep such an attractive bit of
property.”

“You are setting me the example,” said Assunta, laughing.

“Ah! yes,” returned Mrs. Grey; “but then, there is only one George
Sinclair, you know, as a temptation.”

Assunta fancied she could hear Mr. Carlisle exclaim, “God be praised!” to
that natural expression of womanly pride, and she herself wondered if it
would be possible for her to fall under such a delusion.

But Mrs. Grey had not yet reached the point of the conversation; what had
been said was only preliminary. The truth was, she dreaded her brother’s
reception of the news, and she wished to avoid being present at the first
outbreak.

“You have so much influence with Severn,” she said at last, “I wish you
would tell him about it, and try to make him feel differently towards
George. I am sure you can. We are going to the Villa Doria to‐morrow, and
this will give you an opportunity. I hope the storm will be over before we
return,” she added, laughing; “at any rate, the lightning will not strike
you.”

It was like Mrs. Grey to make this request—so like her that Assunta did
not think it either strange or selfish. She promised to break the news,
which she knew would be unwelcome. But she could not conscientiously
promise to use an influence in overcoming a prejudice she entirely shared.
An affectionate good‐night was exchanged, and then Assunta retired to her
room. It was not often that she indulged herself in a revery—in those
waking dreams which are so unprofitable, and from which one is usually
aroused with the spiritual tone lowered, and the heart discontented and
dissatisfied. But this had been a trying day; and now, as she reviewed it,
and came at last to its close, she found herself envying her friend the
joy which seemed so complete, and wondering why her lot should be so
different. Happiness had come to Mrs. Grey as to a natural resting‐place;
while she, to whom a bright vision of it had been presented, must thrust
it from her as if it were a curse and not a blessing. And here she paused,
and better thoughts came to replace the unworthy ones. This lot which she
was envying—was it not all of the earth, earthy? Would she change, if she
could? Had she not in her blessed faith a treasure which she would not
give for all the human happiness this world has power to bestow? And here
was the key to the difference at which she had for the moment wondered.
Much, very much, had been given to her; was it strange that much should be
required? Had she, then, made her sacrifice only to play the Indian giver
towards her God, and wish back the offering he had accepted at her hands?
No, she would not be so ungenerous. In the light of faith the brightness
which had illuminated the life of her friend grew dim and faded, while the
shadow of what had seemed so heavy a cross resting upon her own no longer
darkened her soul. And soon, kneeling before her crucifix, she could
fervently thank the dear Lord that he had granted her the privilege of
suffering something for his love; and she prayed for strength to take up
her cross _daily_, and bear it with courage and generosity.

To Be Continued.



Inscription For The Bell “Gabriel,” At S. Mary’s Of The Lake, Lake George.


Gabrielem olim Dominam ad Mariam
Evæ mutatum cecinisse nomen,
Gabriel tandem cecini sacratas
        Primus ad oras.



Switzerland In 1873. Lucerne. Concluded.


At this point we reached the first of the existing covered bridges. What a
transition! Like going back suddenly from the levelling monotony of steam
and the feverish present‐day life to the individuality and repose of the
middle ages! “It dates,” said Herr H——, “from the year 1300—just seven
years before William Tell and the Rüti, eight before the battle of
Morgarten, and eighty‐six before our great Sempach victory!”

“William Tell! What nonsense! Who believes now in William Tell?” muttered
the young school‐boy C—— to his sister; but the old man fortunately did
not hear him, and, his eyes beaming with affection for the old relic, he
went on: “Some modern improvers”—laying contemptuous emphasis on these
words—“talk of ‘clearing it away.’ But you see what a pleasant, cool walk
it still is for foot‐passengers, with the green Reuss swirling beneath,
and the lovely view from its open sides. I tell them that it would not
only be an act of vandalism, but, as there are so few antiquities to show
in Lucerne, it would be like ‘killing the goose with the golden eggs.’ ”
And so it would! It is in no one’s way, and is, with the other bridge, the
only remnant of antiquity worth looking at. On opening our _Wordsworth_ we
found that this is the one first mentioned by him after leaving Sarnen:


    “From this appropriate court renowned Lucerne
        Calls me to pace her honored bridge, that cheers
    The patriot’s heart with pictures rude and stern—
        An uncouth chronicle of glorious years.”


And we found it still as he describes it. The triangle of the rafters of
each arch is painted, and though as works of art they are of little value,
still they are clever and quaint representations of the scenes, certain to
make an impression on young minds in particular, and easily discernible to
an observant passer‐by. Going from the right bank of the river, reminders
of events in Swiss and local history meet the eye, and, returning from the
other side, the deeds of the two patron saints of the town, S. Leodegarius
and S. Maurice. Both lives were most striking, and equally belonged to the
earliest ages of the Christian era. S. Maurice especially is a favorite
Swiss patron. He was the commander of the Theban Christian Legion in the
time of the Emperor Diocletian, which is said to have consisted of sixty‐
six hundred men. This legion had been raised in the Thebaïs or Upper Egypt
amongst the Christians there, and, officered by Christians, was marching
with the rest of the Roman army against Gaul, under the command of
Maximian, when the latter ordered the army to offer sacrifices for the
success of the expedition. All encamped at the place called Octodurus,
represented nowadays by the modest Martigny in the Valais; but the Theban
legion, refusing to join in the pagan worship, retired to the spot where
now stands S. Maurice, and day by day they were killed by orders of
Maximian, until none remained. The Monastery of S. Maurice, built on the
spot of their martyrdom, is one of the oldest in the world, said to have
been first erected in A.D. 250, although the present edifice only dates
from 1489. Switzerland and Savoy formerly disputed the honor of keeping
the relics, but at last settled the matter by a small portion being handed
over to Piedmont, the abbey retaining the principal treasures. It is
therefore to this day one of the favorite places of pilgrimage in
Switzerland. A special connection seems to have occurred with Lucerne, for
two hundred bodies of S. Maurice’s companions are said to have been found
at the village of Schoz, about two leagues distant, where there was an old
chapel renowned for its privileges and indulgences. And this seems in no
way unlikely, for we read in Butler’s _Lives of the Saints_ and elsewhere
that several smaller corps of soldiers belonging to the legion were
scattered here and there in Switzerland, and were put to death for the
same reason. Most interesting it is, in any case, to trace on this bridge
the union of two such heroic, manly saints in the affections and
sympathies of the Lucerne citizens from olden times.

The bridge is five hundred feet long, and makes two sharp bends to suit
the current of the river, flowing swiftly and vigorously from the lake
close by through the old‐fashioned posts on towards old Father Rhine,
which it joins between Schaffhausen and Basel. This irregularity adds to
the picturesque effect, and at one of these corners stands a tower,
mentioned in some old documents of the year 1367. Possibly it may have
existed as part of the fortifications even before the bridge itself. It is
called the Water Tower, and has four stories of one room each, which
formerly served as treasury, prison, and record‐office; but at present it
is used only for the latter purpose, and contains the archives of the
city. What tales it might tell had we moderns the time to spare for
listening!

But we moved on along the left bank of the river, and turned into the
church, still called the “Jesuits’ Church.” It is large and unmistakably
in their well‐known style. Here Herr H—— explained how the order had been
introduced into Lucerne in 1574 by S. Charles Borromeo, who was such an
ally of these cantons. In less than four years they had founded a college
and increased rapidly. Within one hundred more they erected this church,
and the large buildings adjoining for their college, now used as
government offices—the post and telegraph departments. Everything went on
satisfactorily for a second hundred years, until the suppression of the
order by Clement XIV., in 1773, when it was also abolished in Lucerne. But
the towns‐people held their memory in grateful remembrance, and one of the
first acts of the _Sonderbund_ in 1845 was to call back seven Jesuit
fathers. When the Protestant cantons, however, finally succeeded in
crushing this League, they at once passed a law forbidding any Jesuit to
remain on Swiss territory; so again the order had to leave Lucerne, and
also Schwytz, where they also had a large house.

“And now,” continued Herr H——, “the liberals are clamoring for another
revision of our constitution—a constitution which needs no revising,
except in their sense of doing away with all faith, and meddling in our
religious affairs. But the people now will not bear that,” he added
grimly. “They will resist calmly at first, but I know many who will rather
fight than submit tamely to have their religion or their pastors
interfered with.”

It was sad to hear these forebodings in such an apparently peaceful
atmosphere, and gladly we turned to watch the water‐hens, which abound in
this corner of the river. Herr H—— knew them all, for they are public
property, like the bears at Berne, and protected by statutes as far back
as 1678. Nothing could be more graceful, gliding up and down the stream in
numbers, nor prettier than the friendly terms they are on with all the
inhabitants. The origin of the custom and cause of the protection,
however, seems lost in obscurity; at least he could tell us nothing but
the mere fact itself. A narrow footway runs along this side between the
houses and the river, up and down steps, and following the windings of the
rapid stream, while the massive, unadorned senate‐house is seen opposite,
and all the dwellings on that bank rise straight above the water. A true
mediæval picture it is—high and low gables intermixed; quaint old
balconies filled with flowers above; comely housewives busy washing the
household linen in the fresh waters below; merry young faces peeping
through upper windows or leaning out over the red‐cushioned sills to
gossip with a laughing neighbor—a locality made for a Walter Scott, and
another world of thought and association from the butterfly existence that
now borders the lake at only a few yards’ distance.

And by this ancient pathway we soon came to the second bridge, at the
furthest end of the town—the “Spreuner” or Mill Bridge, or, more truly,
the “Dance of Death” Bridge, celebrated by Longfellow in his _Golden
Legend_.

We took out the poem, and read that passage on the spot, and most
perfectly it answers his beautiful description. Prince Henry’s words were
uttered by us where he begins:


    “God’s blessings on the architects who build
    The bridges o’er swift rivers and abysses
    Before impassable to human feet,
    No less than on the builders of cathedrals,
    Whose massive walls are bridges thrown across
    The dark and terrible abyss of death.
    Well has the name of pontifex been given
    Unto the church’s head, as the chief builder
    And architect of the invisible bridge
    That leads from earth to heaven.”


This one is shorter than the Hafellbrücke, being only three hundred feet
in length, and making a sharp bend in the centre, and was built a century
later—in 1408—but somehow it is not venerable‐looking, and its grim
paintings give it a more sombre character. Elsie was quite right in
exclaiming: “How dark it grows!” It required many minutes to get
accustomed to the darkness after the brilliant light we had left, and she
must have been thankful when Prince Henry proceeded with his explanation,
saying that it was


              “ ‘The Dance of Death;’
    All that go to and fro must look upon it,
    Mindful of what they shall be, while beneath
    Among the wooden piles, the turbulent river
    Rushes, impetuous as the river of life,
    With dimpling eddies, ever green and bright,
    Save where the shadow of this bridge falls on it.”


By his aid we too followed the renowned pictures copied from those at
Basel. There we saw:


                “The grim musician, who
    Leads all men through the mazes of that dance,
    To different sounds in different measures moving.”


The


            “Young man singing to a nun,
    Who kneels at her devotions, but in kneeling
    Turns round to look at him; and Death, meanwhile
    Is putting out the candles on the altar.”


Here he


    “Has stolen the jester’s cap and bells.
    And dances with the queen.”


There,


    “The heart of the new‐wedded wife,
    Coming from church with her beloved lord,
    He startles with the rattle of his drum.”


And under it is written,


    “Nothing but death shall separate thee and me!”


In another division is seen


    “Death playing on a dulcimer. Behind him
    A poor old woman with a rosary
    Follows the sound, and seems to wish her feet
    Were swifter to o’ertake him.”


Underneath the inscription reads,


    “Better is death than life.”


And in this strain the paintings continue, until, what between the objects
and the general gloom, the effect becomes most melancholy, and we heartily
sympathized in Prince Henry’s cry—his _cri du cœur_:


    “Let us go forward, and no longer stay
    In this great picture‐gallery of Death!”


It led us straight into the heart of the old town, and with the poet we
exclaimed:


            “I breathe again more
    Freely! Ah! how pleasant
    To come once more into the light of day
    Out of that shadow of death!”


The streets were narrow, clean, and well paved, however, and everything
looked so bright and cheerful—perhaps doubly so after that gloomy
bridge—that our spirits at once revived. The shops were small, and all on
a homely, simple scale. But there were no signs of poverty or neglect in
any direction, and a general air of contentment was perceptible on all
sides.

The schools were just breaking up for their mid‐day hour’s rest as we
passed on, and the crowds of boys and girls flocking homewards made a
bright contrast to the gloomy bridge. Troops of neatly‐dressed little
maidens were especially pleasant to look at, with their books slung in
diminutive knapsacks across their shoulders. A happy‐faced, merry‐looking
juvenile population they all were.

Some fine religious prints in a small shop‐window next attracted our
attention, and, going in, we found it to be the principal bookseller’s of
Lucerne. Numberless pamphlets on all the leading topics of the day lay on
the counter, of which one caught my eye from its peculiarly local title:
_Festreden an der Schlachtfeier_, or _Speeches at the Festival_, held on
the anniversary of the battle of Sempach, on the 8th of July, 1873.

“What is this?” I asked.

“The celebration of our glorious victory over the Austrians!—the Marathon
of Swiss history, as its hero, Arnold von Winkelried, may be called our
Leonidas,” replied Herr H——. “It took place in 1386. You passed near the
site yesterday, for the railway runs beside the Lake of Sempach, if you
remember.”

“Oh! this, then, is a celebration, I suppose, in the style of the twelve
hundredth commemoration of Ely Cathedral which they are going to hold in
England next month. We might as well celebrate Agincourt or Crécy. But
this cannot be called a ‘centenary’ or any name of that kind, as it will
not be five hundred years since the battle until 1886!”

“No, it is nothing of the kind,” he replied, “but is an anniversary
religiously kept every year. The town council of Lucerne, and the mayor at
their head, with all the authorities and a vast multitude of people, go to
the battle‐field every 8th of July. We go there for two purposes: first,
to pray for the dead who lie buried there, and then in order to keep the
memory of the heroism of that day and of those who gained us our freedom
fresh in our own minds, and to transmit it to our children, as it has been
transmitted to us by our fathers. Allow me to present you with this
pamphlet. It contains the sermon preached on the last occasion by Herr
Pfarrer Haas of Hitzkirch, and the speech made at the Winkelried monument
by Herr Regierungrath Gehrig, and they have been printed by order of our
government here. You will find them interesting, and also these,” giving
me another bundle, “and they will show you that, next to love of our holy
faith, ‘love of fatherland’ and of ‘liberty’ are deep‐seated in the heart
of every man belonging to these Catholic cantons.”

“Do tell us about the festival!” we cried. “Is it a pretty sight?”

“You have no idea how pretty,” he answered—“pretty even if only as a
sight; for so many priests come that they have to erect altars in the open
air, and Masses are going on and congregations praying round them in all
directions over the ground the whole morning. This sermon,” he continued,
opening the pamphlet, and reading from it as he spoke, “opens poetically
by allusions to ’the green fields, the singing of the birds, and the
peaceful landscape, which alone form the decorations to the quiet prayer
of the priests—the ‘Stilles Priestergebet—which had been going on
uninterruptedly from the first rosy dawn of morning up to that hour’;
while the speech equally begins by a reference to the ‘lovely lake of the
forest cantons, whence came the men who achieved the victory, and whose
descendants are as patriotic now as in those far‐off days.’ You will
seldom hear a sermon, by the way, in these parts, without allusion to the
magnificence of our nation, and to the great deeds of our forefathers. Old
and young, clergy and laity, we are always exhorting each other to imitate
them. And is it not right? We feel the deep truth of the principle I have
lately seen so beautifully expressed by a Catholic writer that I learned
it by heart at the time. ‘Nations,’ he says, ‘live by traditions, more
even than individuals. By them the past extends its influence over the
present, illumines it with the reflection of its glory, and animates it
with its spirit. Traditions bind together the successive periods in a
nation’s existence, and preserve amongst its children the unity produced
by a long community of dangers and struggles, of triumphs and reverses.’
Revolutionists alone wish to break with the past, which, in this country
at least, is in direct opposition to their godless theories, and at
variance with all their passions. And long may it continue so! The last
passage of Herr Gehrig’s speech, by which he winds up, is very fine on
that point,” he said, again reading: “ ‘The Swiss, says an old proverb of
the XVIth century, have a noble land, good laws, and a wise Confederacy—a
Confederacy that is firm and strong, because it is not dictated by
passion. Comrades! let us keep this legacy of our fathers sacred. The
fatherland before all! God protect the fatherland!’ ”

As he spoke these words we came to the senate‐house square, in sight of
the glaring frescos of this same battle of Sempach, and the list of all
other Swiss victories, with which its tower has been recently covered.

“It is not by badly‐painted representations such as these,” he continued,
smiling, “that we try to keep up the old spirit, but by that true
eloquence which touches the heart and convinces the reason. These two
addresses were most soul‐stirring—the sermon and speech equally fine—and
made the greatest impression. The speech is a short summary of our history
and of Arnold von Winkelried, opening, as I said, by allusion to that
‘pearl of creation,’ that lake of the forest cantons, which is bordered by
the _Urschweiz_.”

“What does that mean?” asked Caroline C——. “I so often have noticed the
word without understanding it.”

“It simply means, ‘The original Switzerland.’ The particle _ur_ means in
German something very ancient, or the origin or root of anything. It is
the proudest title of these forest cantons, and therefore you will
constantly find it used, varied now and then as the _Urcantone_. They are
truly the cradle, not only of Switzerland, but of our freedom, and so far
preserve the same spirit of independence and of courage up to this hour.”

“And the sermon—what was that like?” asked young C——, whose interest,
notwithstanding his scepticism about William Tell, was now thoroughly
roused.

“The sermon was most suitable to the times,” replied Herr H——. “The
subject was concord or harmony; and its aim, to show how we ought to copy
those virtues of our ancestors which caused true harmony. It was divided,
as you may see here, into four points; First, _Fidelity_, when the
preacher drew a beautiful picture of Swiss fidelity from the earliest
ages—a fertile theme. Next, _Justice_—Christian justice, for he averred
that real justice never existed in the pagan world, and he again goes back
to the XIVth century to show how the men of that age acted, so that the
historian Zschokke calls it ‘the golden age’ of Switzerland! And he
fortifies his assertions by quotations from old annals. Here is one from
the celebrated oath of the Rüti, in 1307: ‘Every man must protect the
innocent and oppressed people in his valley, and preserve to them their
old rights and freedom. On the other hand, we do not wish to deprive the
Counts of Habsburg of the smallest portion of their property, of their
rights, or of their vassals. Their governors, followers, servants, and
hirelings shall not lose a drop of blood.’ Then, again, how the same men
in 1332 gave an order to the judges ‘not to favor any one in a partisan
spirit, but to deal justice according to their oaths.’ Again, in 1334,
they answer a proposition made to them by the emperor by proudly telling
him that ‘there are laws which even princes should not transgress.’ Of
their own government they require ‘that the citizens shall receive
security for honor, life, and property; that the magistrates shall listen
to the complaints of the poor, and not answer them sharply; that they
shall not pronounce judgment imperiously, nor, above all, condemn
capriciously.’ This was in 1335. He continues then to prove how
scrupulously they forbid feuds and lawless plundering; and the high
respect our ancestors showed for churches and ecclesiastical institutions
is supported by a quotation from a league that was sworn to at Zurich
immediately after this very battle of Sempach, called, in consequence, the
Sempacher Brief, where this remarkable passage occurs: ‘As the Almighty
has chosen the churches for his dwelling, so it is our wish that none of
us shall dare to break into, plunder, or destroy any convent or chapel
whatsoever.’ This took place in 1393, and Herr Pfarrer Haas ends this part
by an appeal to the present generation: ‘Do you wish to imitate your
ancestors? Then give weight in the council‐chamber, in the tribunals, in
the framing of laws, in their execution and administration, to that
Christian justice which gives and leaves to each man that which by right
belongs to him. By that means you will preserve harmony in the land—the
foundation‐stone of national prosperity, and the strength of the
Confederacy. States grow old and pass away, but Christianity has eternal
youth and freshness. When a nation reposes on the rock of Christian
justice, she never suffers from the changes of childhood, youth, manhood,
or old age, but flourishes for ever in perpetual freshness and vigor.’ ”

“That is very fine!” all exclaimed. “But it is the more striking when one
finds it was only spoken the other day. It sounds so like an old middle‐
age sermon addressed to men of the ‘ages of faith.’ ”

“You are right,” returned Herr H——; “but I assure you the tone is the
ordinary one of sermons in these districts, and elicited no astonishment,
though a great deal of sympathy. It will tire you, however, to hear more,
so we had better go on!” We had been lingering on the promenade while
listening to him, under the shady chestnuts facing the lake; but now all
unanimously begged he would continue, merely moving to a bench nearer our
hotel.

“Well, as you wish it, I shall obey!” he said, making us a bow, with a
smile of pleasure at our increasing interest in his country. “The next
division of the sermon, on virtue and morality, was ably argued, as you
will perceive whenever you read this pamphlet; especially in reference to
the modern doctrines on these subjects now propounded in other parts of
Switzerland.” (We thought here of our recent experience at the book‐stall
at Berne!) “And the preacher complimented the inhabitants of the rural
cantons on the Christian faith and simple, virtuous manners they still
retain, ending by quotations from our Lord’s words in the New Testament,
and saying that ‘enlightenment is not unbelief, but the true and proper
use of belief.’’ The fourth and last essential to harmony he shows to be
that interior peace which can be produced by the Christian faith alone. No
one can be a good citizen who does not conquer the passions of his own
nature, and obtain that inner tranquillity of mind which is the growth of
true religion. Amongst other proofs of his argument he quotes from Blessed
Nicholas von der Flüe. I presume you know who he was?”

Each of us in turn was obliged to answer “No,” although the name was not
unfamiliar to some. But the more we heard, the greater did our humiliation
gradually become at finding how slightly we were acquainted with this
Swiss life; and every one rejoiced when Herr H—— replied:

“Blessed Nicholas was a hermit, but as great a patriot as he was a saint.”
However, you will hear enough about him when you visit Stanz and Sarnen.
His words carried immense weight in his day, and he is still very much
revered, and is perpetually quoted. He lived in the XVth century, and our
Herr Pfarrer Haas here gives a long extract from one of his letters to the
Mayor of Berne in those years. After this he goes on to say: “Such was the
faith of your forefathers! The prayers which the combatants said on this
very spot amidst the scoffs of their enemies; the Sacred Host which the
priest carried at Lauffen; the anniversaries they founded; the Holy
Sacrifice they ordered should be offered on those days of commemoration;
the crosses they erected over the graves of all who fell in the combat,
prove where their souls sought and obtained rest and peace.” “Fidelity,
justice, virtue, and faith form the groundwork of the union and harmony of
a people. Let each one of us, in his circle, and amongst those whom he can
influence, strengthen these pillars of the edifice, and in this manner we
can best help to secure the happiness and solidity of our dearly‐loved
Swiss fatherland.” Then he winds up by a beautiful peroration, thus: “We
stand here on graves. Simple stone crosses rise above these tombs, where
for the last four hundred and eighty‐seven years the heroes of Sempach,
friends and enemies, repose after their hard day’s work. Sleep in peace,
ye dead! I envy ye your rest! There may be fighting and storm o’erhead,
but what matters that to the sleepers? Your eyes are closed! Ye do not
watch the troubles and sorrows of mankind, the cares and burdens of life,
the battle of the spirits, the play of passions. Once, too, your hearts
beat high in the decisive hour. Each Swiss and Austrian believed that he
defended the right. On both sides stood great men and great heroes. Death,
brave hearts, has united you in peace; and over your graves, for nearly
five hundred years, has stood the cross in token of conciliation—the
symbol of peace, the badge of the confederates; indicating that
Switzerland will still stand firm in harmony when the hotly‐contested
opinions surging in her midst at this day shall long since have sunk into
dust and ashes.


    “ ‘Our faith is firm in fatherland;
      Although brave sons may die,
    Swiss soil will still yield faithful band
      To wield the cross on high:
    The white, unsullied cross for aye
    O’er Switzerland shall fly.’ ”


“Magnificent!” all again exclaimed, “in language and sentiment! How we
should like to have heard it!”

“There was a great crowd this year,” continued Herr H——, “though numbers
never fail on any occasion. But a musical festival had taken place in
Lucerne the day before, so for that reason there were more than usual. The
majority now go by rail, but in my youth the procession of carriages was
much more imposing. And Lucerne then was a Vorort, or capital of the
Confederacy alternately with Zurich and Berne—a system long since done
away with; so that when the year came for its turn, all the deputies and
the diplomatic representatives were invited, and came too—all except an
old Austrian, whom nothing could move. I well remember hearing that his
colleagues used to laugh at him for keeping up the feeling after so many
hundred years; but it was so strong that he never could hear William
Tell’s name mentioned without calling him an ‘assassin’; and you may
imagine how the others amused themselves by always bringing up the
subject. The feeling against the Austrians is very strong, too, amongst
the Swiss.”

“I never understand it,” remarked Caroline C——. “I have always been taught
to look on Rudolph von Habsburg as a perfect character; and yet the moment
one comes to this country, one hears nothing but abuse of the Habsburgs.
Do explain it.”

“I should have to give you a lecture on Swiss history, dear young lady, I
fear, before you could understand it; and there is no time for that now.”

“Oh! do tell us something. There is still half an hour before the _table‐
d’hôte_, and it is so pleasant sitting here. We should all like to have a
clearer view of the reason of this dislike. I am always much puzzled, too,
in Schiller’s _William Tell_, at the conspirators always wanting to be
under the empire alone, and not through the Habsburgs; and it is so
troublesome to wade through a history when travelling,” she replied.

“But I should go back to the very beginning for that purpose,” he
answered. “However, if you insist, I shall give you a few leading facts
that you can find amplified whenever you feel inclined to read a Swiss
history right through. May I presume, then, that you know,” he continued,
laughing, “that the first inhabitants of Switzerland are supposed to have
been offshoots of Northern tribes—men driven from their homes by famine?
There were a few settlers before these, said to be refugees from Italy,
but only in a wild corner of the mountains, hence called Rhœtia; and they
were so few and so isolated that they are not worth mentioning. The stream
of inhabitants poured down by the Lake of Constance. Some say that the
same names are found to this day in Sweden as in the valleys of these
cantons. In any case, the tradition is that two brothers, Switer and Swin,
arrived with their families and followers, and settled at the upper end of
this lake, and from them the territory they occupied was called Schwytz.
It is quite certain that this was the first part occupied; therefore the
title it claims of ‘Urschweiz,’ or ‘original Switzerland,’ is most
appropriate. They spread all round this lake and through these forest
cantons, on from one valley to another, to the foot of the great snowy Alp
region, but not further. Other races came later, and settled at Geneva and
elsewhere, and, coming into collision with Rome, then mistress of the
world, were finally made part of the Roman Empire. Then came the inroad of
other barbarians on the downfall of Rome, and everything was in utter
confusion until the light of Christianity shone over the land. It was
introduced here, as in Germany, by missionaries who came from all parts,
and a bishopric even was founded at Chur in the earliest Frankish times.
Convents, too, rose on all sides. You will find remains of them in the
most remote valleys and out‐of‐the‐way corners of the country. S.
Sigebert, for instance, came from France, and built Disentis in the wilds
of Rhœtia, now the Grisons. S. Columba and S. Maughold preached along the
Reuss and the Aar, and the great S. Gall evangelized the wild district
round the Lake of Constance, girt by forests filled with all manner of
wild beasts. The celebrated convent of his name was built on the site of
his hermitage, and gave rise to the town of St. Gall. Einsiedeln, too, the
famous monastery which you are going to visit, dates also from that
period, over the cell of the hermit Meinrad, and so on in every direction.
Even Zurich and our own Lucerne owe their origin to convents. As in so
many other countries, so here likewise the monks spread civilization,
opened schools, and taught the people agriculture. Then came another
period of confusion after Charlemagne’s reign, which ended by the greater
portion of Switzerland falling to the share of his successors in the
German Empire. There were numberless dukes and counts all over the land
who already held large possessions, but had been vassals of the Dukes of
Swabia. Now, however, they set him at defiance, and would obey no one but
the emperor. Many of the monasteries, too, had acquired considerable
property by this time, and their abbots were often powerful lords. They
followed the example of the counts and dukes, and also assumed
independence. But, on the other hand, the towns equally rose in
importance, and often set the nobles and abbots at naught. These then, in
order not to lose their influence, strove to increase the number of their
vassals by making clearances in their forests, promoting the establishment
of villages, and granting privileges to their inhabitants, in all which
you will find the origin of the extraordinary number of rural communes for
which Switzerland has always been so noted. The nobles, who had no
occupation but war, were engaged in constant feuds amongst themselves or
with the towns of which they were most jealous, and, leading lawless
lives, wasted their inheritance little by little. The Crusades also
contributed to diminish them, for all the knights in the country flocked
thither. In the course of time their numbers dwindled considerably by
these means, or by the sale of their property and feudal rights to the
towns and even to the villages. At the period we are talking of, however,
they were amongst the heroes of the land, and often fought bravely and
made themselves respected.

“In one district, however, there were neither nobles, nor castles, nor
towns, nor monasteries, nor any inhabitants, except the descendants of the
first settlers. That was in the wild region of Rhœtia, and in what now
constitutes these forest cantons, or Vierwaldstätter, as they are called
in German. The latter all sprang from one common stock, and for a long
time had only one head and one church. This was in the Muotta Valley, and
thither came the entire population of Schwytz, Unterwalden, and Uri. At
last, when they increased and multiplied, they divided into these three
districts, built their own churches, and elected their own _Landamman_, or
chief magistrate, and their own council. No one claimed sovereignty over
this mountain district but the emperor. To him the people never objected;
on the contrary, they were rather glad to enjoy his powerful protection,
and willingly accepted, nay, often chose, the imperial judges to act as
arbitrators in cases of their own internal disputes. Now, these judges
were called governors, or Vogts, and, in order to distinguish them from
inferior governors, were entitled _Reichsvögte_, or governors of the
empire. It is well to bear this in mind, for on this point turned the
whole dispute with the Habsburgs, and it was the cause of the conspiracy
of the Rüti and of our subsequent freedom. It must also be remembered that
the object of every community in the country at that period was to free
itself from the yoke of the local laws, whether nobles or abbots, and to
place themselves directly under the empire. And in this almost every town
succeeded by slow degrees. The advantages were very great. First of all,
they were not liable to the constant petty exactions of near neighbors,
and the imperial government was so far away that they were allowed to
administer their own property and to choose their own authorities, being
only asked in exchange to pay some light taxes to the imperial treasury,
and to accept a _Reichsvögt_, or governor. His office was merely to uphold
the emperor’s rights, and to act as judge in matters of life and death—a
condition never refused; for it was held that, being a stranger, he would
be more impartial than one of their community.

“Amongst the nobles who had gradually grown powerful at this time were the
Counts of Habsburg, who lived in the Aargau, and, instead of diminishing,
had been daily extending, their possessions and influence. Suddenly and
unexpectedly Count Rudolph was chosen Emperor of Germany. There were great
disputes between the German princes on the death of the late emperor, and
the story runs that they elected him simply on the assurance of the
Elector of Cologne, who declared that Rudolph von Habsburg was upright and
wise, beloved by God and man.

“This, as you know, proved true, and you were perfectly right in believing
him to have been a ‘perfect character.’ Moreover, he never forgot his old
fellow‐countrymen, and showered favors on them as long as he lived. Many
places were made direct fiefs of the empire by him, amongst others our
town of Lucerne, but more especially these forest cantons; and he raised
the Bishop of Lausanne and the Abbot of Einsiedeln to the rank of princes
of the empire. As a natural result, the whole country grew devoted to him,
and came forward with gifts of money and assistance of every kind whenever
he required it.

“But with his successor, his son Albrecht, comes the reverse of the medal.
It was soon seen that he thought of nothing but increasing his own family
possessions, and had no respect for the privileges of the towns or rural
populations. Foreseeing evil times, therefore, Uri, Schwytz, and
Unterwalden met together, and made a defensive league, binding themselves
by oath to stand by each other and to defend themselves against all
enemies. Hence the origin of their name, ‘Eidgenossen,’ which in German
means ‘oath‐participators.’ The Bishop of Constance and Duke of Savoy made
a separate agreement, and so did various others. At last the princes of
Germany also became so discontented with Albrecht that they elected a
Prince Adolf of Nassau in his stead. The whole country was soon divided
into two parties, one for and the other against Albrecht of Austria, as he
had then become. Down he marched with a large army, devastated the
territory of the Bishop of Constance, and Adolf of Nassau lost life and
crown in a desperate battle. The confederates had taken no part against
Albrecht openly as yet, and sent ambassadors to beg he would respect their
ancient rights, as his father of glorious memory had always done. But he
only answered ‘that he would soon change their condition.’ Meantime, the
majority of the nobles joined his side; but the towns resisted him, and
Berne gained such a great victory that he got alarmed and made peace with
Zurich, confirming all its privileges. He then sent word to the
Waldstätter cantons that he wished to treat them as the beloved children
of his own family, and that they had better at once place themselves under
Austrian protection. But the sturdy, free‐hearted mountaineers replied
that they preferred the old rights they had inherited from their fathers,
and desired to continue direct vassals of the empire. Albrecht was not
prepared to enforce their submission, so he resorted to the expedient of
sending them _Reichsvögte_ who were wicked and cruel men, that were
ordered, besides, to oppress and torment them in such a manner that they
should at last desire in preference to place themselves under Austro‐
Habsburg protection. Chief of these was the now far‐famed Gessler, and
also Landerberg, whose castle at Sarnen was the first destroyed later. Not
only were they cruel, but they insisted on living in the country, although
all previous _Reichsvögte_, or governors, had only come there
occasionally, and had allowed the people to govern themselves. Unable to
bear it, the celebrated ‘three,’ Stauffacher, Fürst, and Melchthal, whom
you now know through Schiller, if from no other source, met together.
Stauffacher came from Schwytz, Walther Fürst from Uri, and Arnold von
Melchthal represented Unterwalden, and they chose for their meeting the
central spot of the meadow, called the Rüti, which you will pass when
sailing up the lake. Each brought ten others with them, and in their name
and that of all their fellow‐countrymen they took that oath which was
quoted in the sermon as I read it just now. This union of the three
cantons was the foundation of the Swiss Confederation. Lucerne joined it
in 1332, and then it became the League of the Four Forest Cantons, all
surrounding this lake. Some say that Tell was one of the ten from his
canton, but others deny this. It does not much matter, for one fact is
certain: that the whole country was discontented, and Gessler grew alarmed
without knowing of the conspiracy, which alarm was the cause of his
conduct towards Tell.”

“Oh! William Tell is all a myth,” exclaimed young C——, who never could
conceal his sentiments on this point. “No one believes in him nowadays.”

“My dear young gentleman,” answered Herr H—— quietly, “it is easy for
modern critics to say this. They may laugh and sneer as they like. Nothing
is more easy than to argue against anything. I remember often hearing that
Archbishop Whately—your own archbishop—was so convinced of this that he
once undertook to write a pamphlet in this style, disproving the existence
of the First Napoleon, and succeeded triumphantly. But _I_ hold with
Buckle—your own Buckle too!” he said, laughing—“who declares that he
relies more on the strength of local traditions and on native bards than
on anything else. The great argument against William Tell, I know
perfectly well, is that the same story is to be found in Saxo‐Grammaticus,
and also in Sanscrit; but that does not disturb me, for there is no reason
why the same sort of thing may not have happened in many a place. These
mountaineers certainly had no means of studying either the one or the
other in what _you_, no doubt, will call the ’dark ages’! Just have
patience until you see the Tell chapels and hear a little more on the
subject, and I hope you will change your mind. One thing is certain,
namely, that Tell was not the _cause_ of the conspiracy, and that his
treatment did not make the confederates depart from their original plan,
which was to rise on the New Year’s night of 1308. In _my_ humble opinion,
Schiller has done poor William Tell no good, for between him and the opera
the story has been so much popularized that this alone has raised all the
doubts about it. People fancy it was Schiller’s creation more or less,
altogether forgetting that the chapels and the veneration for Tell have
existed on the spot these hundreds of years. It is fortunate Arnold von
Winkelried has not been treated in the same way, or we should doubt his
existence too.”

“You have not told us anything about Sempach yet,” broke in Caroline C——,
anxious to stop the discussion, which seemed likely to vex the old
gentleman, especially as she well knew her brother’s school‐boy
disposition for argument.

“Morgarten and much more occurred before that, mademoiselle,” answered
Herr H——, “all tending to increase the national hatred of Austria. As a
natural consequence of the Rüti and its uprising, Albrecht became enraged
against the forest cantons, and marched at once to Switzerland with a
large force. But a most unexpected, startling event happened. He had a
nephew, Duke John of Swabia, who was his ward, but from whom he continued
to withhold his patrimony on one pretext or another. The young man at
length grew furious, and, as they were crossing this very same river Reuss
at Windisch, Duke John stabbed his uncle, whilst a noble, a conspirator of
John’s, struck him on the head. There were a few others present, but in a
panic they all fled, and left the Emperor of Germany to die in the arms of
a poor woman who happened to be passing.

“The deed was so fearful that even Albrecht’s worst enemies were
horrified, and it is said that the murderers wandered over the world, and
ultimately died as outcasts. Zurich shut its gates against them, and the
forest cantons refused them all shelter. But Albrecht’s family not only
pursued them, but behaved inhumanly. His widow and two children, Duke
Leopold and Agnes, Queen of Hungary, came at once to Switzerland, and
seized innocent and guilty right and left, destroying without scruple the
castle of any noble whom they suspected in the slightest degree, and
executing all without mercy. Agnes in particular was cruel beyond measure.
One story related of her by Swiss historians is that, after having
witnessed the execution of sixty‐three innocent knights, and whilst their
blood was flowing at her feet, she exclaimed: ‘Now I am bathing in May‐
dew!’ Whether literally true or not, it shows what she must have been to
have given cause for such a tale. In fact, the stories of her merciless
character are too numerous and terrible to repeat now. At last she and her
mother, the widow, built a magnificent convent on the site of the murder,
which you may have heard of as _Königsfelder_, or the King’s Field. There
she subsequently retired to ‘end her days in piety’; but the people
detested her, and Zschokke says that once when she was passing through the
convent, and bowed to one of the monks, he turned round and boldly
addressed her thus: ‘Woman! it is a bad way to serve God, first to shed
innocent blood, and then to found convents from the spoils of the
victims.’ She died there, and we have a piece of silk in the arsenal in
Lucerne which formed part of her funeral apparel.”

“Oh! how horrible,” exclaimed Caroline C——. “But I would give anything to
see it! How could we manage it?”

“Very easily,” replied Herr H——. “If you only have time, we might go there
after dinner. It is close to the Spreuner Brücke, and I can get you in.
There are many trophies also from Sempach, and other victories besides.”

“Do tell us about Sempach,” I interposed. “It is getting late, and I fear
the dinner‐bell will soon ring.”

“First came the battle of Morgarten, of which you will see the site from
the top of the Rigi. Albrecht’s son Leopold followed up his father’s
grudge against the forest cantons, and gave them battle there in 1308,
when he was signally defeated. It was a glorious victory by a handful of
peasants. But you will read about it on your journey. Sempach is our
Lucerne property. It did not take place for sixty‐nine years after
Morgarten, but in the interval there had been constant fighting with the
house of Austria, which still kept its possessions in Switzerland, and
also with the nobles, who hated the towns‐people, and clung to the
Habsburgs more or less. It was about this time that a castle belonging to
the latter, on this lake, just round the projecting corner to our left,
was destroyed by the people. It was called here Habsburg, and has lately
been restored by a foreigner. On all sides the worst feelings were kept
alive, and it only required a spark to set all in a blaze. This eventually
happened by some angry Lucerners levelling to the ground the castle of a
knight who had imposed undue taxes upon them. He, on his side, appealed to
the Habsburg of the day, who, by a curious coincidence, was also a Duke
Leopold, son of the Leopold who was defeated at Morgarten. Full of anger,
he gathered all his forces, and marched in hot haste against Lucerne. But
on the heights near the Lake of Sempach he encountered the confederates.
They had come from Lucerne, with contingents, though in small force, from
all the forest cantons. It was hilly ground, most unfitted for cavalry;
but Leopold would not wait for his infantry, and, making his heavily‐armed
knights dismount, he ordered them to rush with their pointed lances in
close ranks on the enemy. It was like a wall of iron, and at first the
confederates could make no impression upon it. They fell in numbers, and
were just beginning to despair when a voice cried out, ‘I will open a path
to freedom! Faithful, dearly‐loved confederates, take care of my wife and
child!’ and a man, rushing forward, seized as many lances as he could
clasp, buried them in his own body, and fell dead. This was Arnold von
Winkelried, an inhabitant of Stanz, about whom little else is known. Over
his corpse his comrades pressed forward through the opening he had thus
made, and they never again yielded the dear‐bought advantage. The struggle
became fearful on both sides; prodigies of valor were performed, and it is
said that three standard‐bearers were killed before the flag of Austria
could be captured. Eventually the knights turned in order to retreat; but
their heavy armor impeded them, and their men, sure of victory, had led
their horses far away. So they were cut down by hundreds. Duke Leopold was
killed by a man from Schwytz; but they all fought bravely, and defended
their banners with such tenacity that one was found torn into small
shreds, in order that the enemy might not get it, while its pole was
firmly clenched between the teeth of the dead man who had been carrying
it. That was the glorious battle of Sempach, which finally crushed the
power of the Habsburgs in Switzerland, and after which our liberty was
firmly established. Is it any wonder, then, that we celebrate it so
religiously, or that the antipathy to Austria was so deeply rooted in the
nation? The whole aim of the Habsburgs after Rudolph’s reign, and of the
nobles who were their vassals, was to crush our privileges and freedom. In
consequence, they were so hated that no one could even venture to wear a
peacock’s feather, merely because it was the favorite ornament of the
Austrian dukes. In fact, peacocks were forbidden in Switzerland; and a
story is told, to show how far the feeling went, of a man having broken
his wine‐glass at a public tavern, merely because he fancied that he saw
the colors of a peacock’s tail in the play of the sun’s rays on the
glass.”

As Herr H—— pronounced these words the first dinner‐bell rang, and we all
rose, thanking him cordially for his most interesting lecture. Caroline
C—— in particular was most grateful, declaring that she never could
understand anything of Swiss history before, but now had the clearest view
of its general bearings.

After dinner all except myself and Mrs. C—— started off at once for the
arsenal to see the “relics,” as they now called them; but we two adjourned
to the Hofkirche at four o’clock to listen to the organ, played there
daily for strangers, as at Berne and Freyburg. The Lucerne instrument is
not so well known as those two, but it is equally fine, if not finer. It
was admirably played, too, and we sat entranced by its tones, especially
by its heavenly Vox Angelica, fully sympathizing with Wordsworth when
standing on the old Hofbridge that came up to the church hill in his day,
and writing:


    “Volumes of sound, from the cathedral rolled,
    This long‐roofed vista penetrate.”


We had arranged to sleep that night at Vitznau, at the foot of the Rigi,
in order to ascend by the first train next morning, and for this purpose
were to leave in a six o’clock steamer. It seemed difficult to tear
ourselves so quickly away from Lucerne, and the hurry was considerable.
The remainder of our party, however, returned just in time, full of all
they had seen—“Agnes’ shroud,” a dreadful title for a piece of heavy silk
used at her funeral, striped yellow and black, the Habsburg colors; Duke
Leopold’s coat‐of‐mail, in which he was killed at Sempach, and a dozen
others; a heap of lances taken there; numbers of trophies from Grandson
and Morat, the battles with Charles the Bold; but, what interested them
most, the great standard of Habsburg, of yellow silk with a red lion on
it, taken at Sempach, and another, a white flag, covered, they said, with
blood, also captured there. Young C—— was most struck besides with a very
old vase decorated with the meeting at the Rüti.

It was a lovely evening, but, though the sail promised to be delightful,
we left Lucerne and its worthy citizen with regret, thanking him
cordially, over and over again, for the interest he had given us in his
country, and at last persuaded him to come and meet us in a day or two,
and act as our cicerone in part of the forest cantons, which by his means
already assumed a place in our affections.



A Legend Of Alsace. Concluded.


From The French Of M. Le Vicomte De Bussierre.



VIII.


Odile, who had returned to Hohenbourg without her father’s consent, was
now forced to remain against her own will. Her reputation so spread
throughout the province that people of the highest rank went to see her,
and several aspired to her hand. Among these suitors was a young German
duke whose station, wealth, and personal qualities gave him an advantage
over his rivals. Adalric and Berswinde joyfully gave their consent, and
the marriage settlements were agreed upon. The arrangement was then made
known to Odile, who declared firmly but respectfully that she had chosen
Christ for her spouse, and could not renounce her choice. But this
projected marriage flattered the pride and ambition of her father, and,
after vainly endeavoring to persuade her to consent to it, he sought to
obtain by force what mildness had not been able to effect. Odile, seeing
that her liberty of action was to be infringed upon, felt that flight was
her only resource. Commending herself to God and Our Blessed Lady, she
clothed herself early one morning in the rags of a beggar, and left the
castle unobserved, descending the mountain by an obscure and almost
impassable ravine. It was in the year 679. Her first intention was to take
refuge in the Abbey of Baume, but, considering that would be the first
place to seek for her, she resolved to conceal herself from all mankind,
and lead henceforth a difficult and solitary life for the love of her
Redeemer. She therefore directed her steps toward the Rhine, and, meeting
a fisherman, she gave him a small piece of money to take her across the
river.

Odile had been accustomed to seclude herself several hours a day for
prayer and meditation, so her non‐appearance excited no surprise. She was
supposed to be at her devotions, and was already several miles from home,
when the report of her disappearance spread consternation throughout the
manor. The duke, distressed by her flight, assembled all his followers,
ordered his four sons to pursue her in four different directions, and
directed his servants to scour the surrounding country. Berswinde alone
did not share the general grief. She would indeed have been pleased by the
marriage of her daughter and the German duke, but Odile’s motives for
declining the alliance, the remembrance of the miracle wrought at her
baptism, and the manifest protection of heaven she was so evidently under,
made her mother sure that the support of the Most High would not in this
case be wanting.

Adalric himself set off with several esquires, and unwittingly took the
same route as his daughter. He soon came to the Rhine, where he heard that
a young beggar‐girl, whose rags could not conceal her noble air and
extreme beauty, had crossed the river and gone towards Fribourg. The duke,
sure it was his daughter, likewise crossed over, and came so close upon
her steps that it seemed impossible for her to escape. But the princess,
says the old chronicle of Fribourg containing these details, coming in
sight of the city near a place called Muszbach, was so overcome with
fatigue that she was obliged to sit down and take breath. She had hardly
thanked God for his protection thus far when she perceived, at some
distance, a company of horsemen swiftly approaching. Then recognizing her
father and his followers, she raised her eyes to heaven, whence alone she
could expect succor, and prayed fervently: “O my Saviour!” cried she,
“spotless protector of virgins! I am lost unless thou shieldest me from
their eyes, and coverest me with the shadow of thy wings!” And our Lord,
says the legend, heard this earnest prayer: the rock on which she was
seated opened to shelter her from her eager pursuers, and had hardly
closed upon her when Adalric came up. As soon as he had passed by Odile
came out, and, that posterity might not lose the remembrance of this
miracle, a limpid stream of healing waters flowed henceforth from the
rock. This fountain became eventually the resort of pilgrims, and the
saint herself had a chapel built over it in commemoration of her
deliverance.

The duke, unsuccessful in his search, returned to Hohenbourg. Unable to
resign himself to the loss of his daughter, he fell into a state of
sadness and discouragement. Weeks, nay, months, passed, but no news of the
fugitive. Adalric finally proclaimed throughout his duchy, at the sound of
the trumpet that he would henceforth leave his daughter free to pursue her
own course of life, if she would only return to her family.

Having no longer any excuse for remaining away from her family, where she
might be called to labor for God, Odile left her retreat at Brisgau, and
returned home.(63)



IX.


Adalric’s promises were sincere. He was eager to aid Odile as much as he
could in the realization of her most cherished hopes. “For it was in the
decrees of divine Providence,” says an old Latin chronicle, “that this
light should be placed in a candlestick, that it might give light to all
who were in the house; and God had inspired Odile with the resolution to
found a community of noble virgins who would live in retirement and
observe the evangelical counsels.”

The saint opened her heart to her father, representing to him that Alsace
had already convents for men, but no retreat for women who wished to
renounce the world, and that such a refuge would be useful and at the same
time pleasing to God. Adalric listened favorably to his daughter, and,
whether the proposition pleased him or he did not wish to oppose her
inclinations, he gave her in due form, in the year 680, the Castle of
Hohenbourg with its vast dependencies and immense revenues, that she might
convert what had till then been the principal bulwark of Alsace into an
inviolable asylum for noble ladies of piety who wished to consecrate
themselves to God.

Odile then assembled a number of workmen, and had all the buildings
removed that would be of no use to a religious community. This done, they
proceeded to construct the convent. It took them ten years. Adalric
generously defrayed all the expenses, and even directed the architects,
enjoining on them to neglect nothing that could contribute to the solidity
and beauty of the edifice.

As soon as it was known that Odile intended forming a community of women,
a crowd of young ladies of rank came to Hohenbourg, renouncing their
families and earthly possessions for the love of Christ. They besought her
to receive them as her companions, and to direct them in the way of
salvation. There were one hundred and thirty of them before the convent
was finished. Among them were Attale,(64) Eugénie, and Gundeline, the
daughters of Odile’s brother Adalbert,(65) and her own sister
Roswinde.(66) All these renounced the joys of the world without regret,
hoping to obtain eternal life. They united themselves to God by silence,
recollection, and prayer. Manual labor and the chanting of the Psalms
varied their occupations. Like the first Christians, they seemed to have
only one heart and one soul. Their only study seemed to be to equal their
superior in humility, sweetness, piety, and self‐renunciation. They lived
on barley bread and vegetables cooked in water. They took wine only on
festivals, and passed their nights in vigils and prayer, permitting
themselves only some hours of sleep when exhausted nature absolutely
required it. Then they slept only on a bear’s skin with a stone for a
pillow. In a word, they only allowed the body what was necessary for the
preservation of life.

Adalric had a profound respect for Odile, as one under the special
protection of the Divinity. The system of her community, the devotion and
the rigid and holy lives of those who composed it, and above all their
inexhaustible charity, led him to lavish his wealth on their monastery.
Not satisfied with giving them his palace and its domains, and
establishing a foundation in perpetuity for one hundred and thirty young
ladies of noble birth, he likewise gave fourteen benefices for the priests
who served the convent chapels.

Odile, in her ardent charity, wished there should be free access to her
abbey, not only for all the members of her family and persons of high rank
who came often to discourse with her on the things of God, but also for
the poor, the unhappy, and the sick. The steepness of the mountain in some
places made its ascent impossible for the aged. Our saint had an easy
pathway constructed, paved with broad flag‐stones. Thenceforth the
unfortunate of all grades of society flocked to the abbey—the poor to
obtain assistance, the infirm for remedies, and sinners for salutary
advice. All who were unhappy or unfortunate, whoever they might be, were
the objects of Odile’s tender affection. “The Gospel,” she constantly
repeated to her companions, “is a law of love,” and she exhorted them, in
imitation of Him who gave his life for us, to be charitable to their
fellow‐creatures. Odile’s charity was boundless. Not satisfied with
distributing alms, she cheered all with sweet words, carried them
nourishment and remedies with her own hands, and dressed the most
frightful wounds. “There came one day,” says a writer of that time, “a man
covered with a horrid leprosy to the gates of Hohenbourg for alms,
uttering most lamentable cries. He was so revolting, and he diffused so
infectious an odor, that none of the servants would approach him. One of
them, however, informed the saint of his condition. She at once prepared
some suitable food, and hastened to serve the leper. In spite of her
tenderness towards the unfortunate and her habitual control over her
senses, her first movement was one of horror at the sight of so disgusting
a being. Ashamed of her weakness, and resolved to conquer it, she folded
the leper affectionately in her arms, and burst into tears. Then she broke
the food she brought into small pieces, and fed him. At the same time she
raised her eyes to heaven, and, with a voice trembling with emotion,
exclaimed: ‘O Lord! deign to restore him to health or give him the courage
necessary to support such an affliction!’ Her humble prayer was
immediately heard. The leprosy disappeared, and the repulsive odor gave
place to one of sweetness, so that those who avoided him a short time
before were now eager to approach, to touch him, and to wonder.”

Odile gave bread, wine, and meat to all the poor who came to the abbey;
she was unwilling any should go away hungry. On feast days a great crowd
of beggars would besiege the gates, and on one occasion, all the food of
the community, and even the wine, being given them, the Sister who had
charge of the wine‐cellar sought Odile in church to tell her there was
none left for dinner. The abbess replied with a gentle smile: “He who fed
five thousand persons with five loaves and two fishes will provide for us,
if it be his will. Forget not, my daughter, that he has promised to those
that seek first the kingdom of heaven all other things shall be given. Go
where duty calls you.” The Sister went away, and at the hour of repast,
going to the wine‐cellar, found a supply of excellent wine.



X.


The two chapels already built by the duke were too small for celebrating
the divine service with suitable pomp. There was hardly room enough in
them for the sisterhood. The crowds from the neighboring villages were
often obliged to kneel outside. A larger church was indispensable. Adalric
provided the materials, and it was completed by the year 690. Two square
towers of pyramidal form rose beside the grand entrance. The abbess had it
consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, her chosen patroness and her model. One
of the side chapels she styled the Oratory of the Mother of God. There she
loved to take refuge in her mental troubles, in tribulation, and in
seasons of spiritual dryness. A second chapel she called Holy Rood Chapel.
In commemoration of her baptism she wished also to erect a small church in
honor of S. John the Baptist. Undecided about the location, she went out
of the monastery one night about midnight, and, kneeling on a great rock,
she remained a long time buried in profound meditation. Suddenly, says the
old legend, she was surrounded by a dazzling light, and before her stood
the radiant form of the precursor of our Lord in a garment of camel’s
hair, such as he wore in the desert. He seemed to indicate the spot where
the chapel should be erected. The next day it was commenced, and was
finished in the autumn of 696. The night before it was to be consecrated
S. Odile spent in prayer therein. The prince of the apostles himself, with
a choir of angels, descended and performed the ceremony.


    “The air of paradise did fan the house,
    And angels officed all.”


This miraculous chapel was sometimes called the _Sacrarium_, because the
abbess deposited in it the _cassette_ of relics Bishop Erhard gave her on
her baptismal day. It was afterwards more commonly called the Chapel of S.
Odile, because she was buried there herself. Besides these, she built the
Chapel of Tears and the Hanging Chapel, so called because it stood on a
steep precipice looking down into a deep chasm. All these chapels were so
many stations where the abbess and her companions betook themselves to
meditate in silence and solitude.

Adalric and Berswinde, weary of power and grandeur, retired to the Convent
of Hohenbourg with their daughter. Advanced in age, they now thought only
of preparing themselves for death by prayer and good works. The duke,
naturally violent and hard, had sometimes in his moments of passion
forgotten his duty. There were many faults for him to expiate before God,
and many scandals to repair before men. While he was practising all the
virtues of a holy penitent, he was attacked with a serious malady. Odile
felt that his last hour was at hand, and hardly left his bedside, wishing,
not only to give him the care his illness required, but to console,
encourage, and prepare him for a holy death. Contemporary testimony
expressly declares: “_Consolante eum et roborante beata Odilia_.” She
received his last breath and closed his eyes on the 20th of February. The
year is variously stated. It was between 690 and 700.

A witness of her father’s sorrow for his sins, and of his resignation in
his last moments, Odile hoped the mercy of God would be extended to him.
She imposed on herself the severest mortifications, and shed floods of
tears for the solace of his soul in the chapel, called from this
circumstance the Chapel of Tears. On the fifth day she had an inward
assurance of his salvation.

There are numberless traditions in Alsace respecting S. Odile. They have
been handed down from one generation to another in the villages grouped
around the foot of Mount Hohenbourg. One of these legends changes the
tears of the saint into a limpid stream, where the blind, or those who
have any disease of the eyes, go for a remedy. Another says her tears
perforated a rock. A third makes her and all her community behold her
father convoyed heavenward by a choir of angels led by S. Peter in
sacerdotal robes. The more we examine S. Odile’s life, the more numerous
become these brilliant legends, and the more fully do we find her life
marked by acts of beneficence and by miracles.

Berswinde survived her husband only nine days. She died suddenly while
praying in the Chapel of S. John.

The descendants of the duke and duchess assembled at Hohenbourg to deplore
their double loss. A magnificent funeral service was performed. All the
people of Alsace flocked to the convent to weep over their death. One
would have thought they had lost dear parents, say the chronicles. The
duke’s sons gave abundant alms on this occasion. The remains of the
deceased were placed in the Chapel of the Virgin, according to their
request, and thither came pilgrims to pray by their tomb till they were
removed.

Adalric, notwithstanding his generosity to the church, left immense
domains to his children. His oldest son, Etton, or Etichon, became Duke of
Brisgau and Count of Argovie. He was the progenitor of the houses of
Egisheim and Lorraine. The second son, Adelbert, had the duchies of
Alsace, Swabia, and Sundgau. From him sprang the houses of Habsburg and
Zähringen. Hugo, the third son, died before his father, but left three
sons. The oldest, Remigius, was Abbot of S. Gregory in the Val de Münster,
and finally Bishop of Strasbourg. He was a great friend of Charlemagne’s,
and built the celebrated nunnery of Eschau,(67) where two of his nieces
were successively abbesses.

After the death of her parents, Odile kept up most intimate relations with
the rest of her family. She saw them frequently, and labored for their
sanctification. Following her counsels, they founded a great number of
convents and churches, which, in that barbarous age, became the refuge of
science, literature, and the arts, and for centuries contributed
powerfully to the prosperity of Alsace.



XI.


Hitherto the inmates of Hohenbourg had been subjected to no written rule.
Our dear saint was their living guide. But notwithstanding the ardor of
their piety, she thought it proper to adopt some definite rule to obviate
the inconstancy of the human heart, and to restrain an excess of fervor.
Assembling all her spiritual children, she gave them, after invoking the
Holy Spirit, a fixed rule, probably drawn from that of S. Augustine.

The steepness of Hohenbourg made it so difficult of ascent for the aged
and infirm, the very ones whom Odile desired the most to aid, that she
resolved to build at its foot, on the south side, a spacious hospice with
a chapel, under the invocation of S. Nicholas.

Berswinde, who was still living, gave up a part of her revenues for the
benefit of the poor who were received there. S. Odile daily descended this
mountain, too steep and rough for others, to visit the hospice. She used
to visit each inmate, and give him alms and advice with all the tenderness
Christianity alone can inspire. Her children shared in her labors. They
loved the freshness and solitude of the spot where the hospice stood, and
there was an abundance of water there, which was lacking on the summit.
The number of the infirm that resorted hither became so large as to
require, night and day, the constant attendance of the Sisters, and they
begged the abbess to build another monastery near S. Nicholas, and
dependent on that of Hohenbourg. Odile consented.

One day, while she was occupied in overseeing the workmen, an aged man
brought three branches of a linden‐tree, begging her to plant them. He
predicted that the faithful would come to sit beneath their shade. Odile
did as he requested, planting the first in the name of the Father, the
second in the name of the Son, and the third in the name of the Holy
Ghost. In fact, successive generations have sought repose beneath them,
according to the old man’s prediction. Odile gave this new monastery the
name of Niedermünster (Lower Minster). She established there one‐half of
the community of Hohenbourg, retaining herself the direction of both
houses. She placed in the new house those who were most zealous in nursing
the sick, and had the greatest aptitude for it.

Many foreign ladies, drawn to Alsace by Odile’s reputation for sanctity,
were among their number. They lived at Niedermünster in obedience to the
rule of Hohenbourg, and led lives of austerity. These two cloisters, says
Father Hugo Peltre, might be compared to two trees, apparently separated,
but really drawing nourishment from the same root.

Odile, though advancing in years and broken down by her excessive
austerities, daily descended the mountain. Neither frost nor rain nor
fierce winds prevented her from visiting the hospice, which was her place
of delight, for there she found a vast field for her charity. She was in
the habit of saying: “Jesus Christ has given us the poor to supply his
place. In caring for them we serve the Saviour in their person.” The whole
of Alsace blessed her name, seeing her constantly occupied in solacing
suffering humanity, in guiding her spiritual children in the paths of
holiness, and in instructing the people in the sublime truths of the
Gospel.

There is a legend that Odile, bent down by the weight of years, was one
day ascending the mountain alone when she saw lying in the path an old man
dying of thirst and apparently breathing his last. Our saint tried to
raise him, but, too feeble to do so, she had recourse to the divine
assistance. After a fervent prayer, remembering what Moses did, she smote
a rock close by with her staff. A stream burst forth immediately, which
restored the old pilgrim to life. This fount is still venerated and
frequented. The water is considered miraculous.



XII.


Odile was ripe for heaven. Whether the state of her health announced it,
or God gave her a secret presentiment of her approaching end, on the 13th
of December (S. Lucius’ Day) she called together her companions in the
Chapel of S. John the Baptist, which had become her oratory, and, after
begging them not to be afflicted at what she had to say, she sweetly
announced to them that she was near the end of her earthly pilgrimage, and
her soul, ready to quit its prison of clay, would soon enjoy the liberty
God has promised his children. Then the holy abbess exhorted them to
remain faithful to the Lord, not to allow their fervor to relax, to resist
with all their strength the temptations of the adversary, and to submit
their wills to that of the Almighty.

While she was speaking to them her three nieces, Attale, Eugénie, and
Gundeline, shed floods of tears. Our dear saint, seeing their profound
grief, turned towards them and said: “Weep not, beloved children. Your
tears cannot prolong my existence here below. Go rather, all of you, to
the Chapel of Our Blessed Lady, pray together, recite the Psalms, and beg
for me the grace of a happy death.” As soon as all the community had gone
out to obey her wishes, the saint fell into an ecstasy, in which she had a
foretaste of heavenly joys. Her companions, returning from the chapel and
finding her insensible, began to express their sorrow that she had
departed without receiving Holy Communion. The saint, aroused by their
sobs and groans, opened her eyes and said: “Why have you returned so soon,
my dear children, to disturb my repose? I was in the presence of the
Blessed S. Lucius, and inexpressibly happy; for, as the apostle says, the
eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart
of man to conceive it.” She then expressed an ardent desire to receive the
most Sacred Body and Precious Blood of our Lord. All at once, says the old
legend, a flood of dazzling light pervaded the chapel. The saint fell on
her knees, all the Sisters imitating her example. A celestial ministrant,
radiant with glory, appeared at the altar. He approached the dying abbess,
placed in her hands a wonderful chalice, and then reascended to
heaven.(68) She communicated therefrom, murmured a last farewell to her
children, joined her hands, and then the eyes, once opened by a miracle,
closed for ever to the light.

According to her wishes, her body, extenuated with fasts and other
austerities, was laid on a bear’s skin, and exposed for eight days in the
Chapel of S. John the Baptist, on the Gospel side, and with the feet
turned towards the altar. During this time a sweet odor spread throughout
the abbey. Her children felt that, instead of weeping for her who had
fought the good fight, and never been wanting in her fidelity to God, they
should rather rejoice that she was called to receive the crown of
righteousness, and they to imitate her example and seek through her
intercession for as happy an end.

Thus died, on the 13th of December, 7—,(69) Odile, eldest daughter of
Adalric, Duke of Alsace, abbess of the convents of Hohenbourg and
Niedermünster. Her mortal remains were covered with mastic, which, at
first soft, became hard; then placed in a tomb of stone, which is still to
be seen.

The inmates of the two monasteries celebrated her obsequies with all the
solemnity due to their abbess and foundress, and with the recollection due
to her sanctity. All the people of Alsace flocked to Hohenbourg to look
once more on the face of her to whom the unfortunate and the afflicted
never appealed in vain. Her inexhaustible charity, her zeal for Christian
perfection, her austere and penitential life, and her good works without
number, had during her life rendered her the object of public veneration.
As soon as she was dead a particular honor was paid her, first at
Hohenbourg, then throughout the whole province, which to this day invokes
her as its patroness. This honor has been sanctioned by the church. Her
venerated sepulchre is in our day the most frequented place of pilgrimage
in Alsace.



XIII.


Odile had acquired a taste for letters at the Abbey of Baume. She had a
thorough knowledge of the Latin language, the Holy Scriptures, and
ecclesiastical history. Her last will and testament, which has been
preserved, proves that she was as enlightened as holy.(70) The monasteries
she founded did not degenerate in this respect. They were the asylums of
learning. In the XIIth century, says Grandidier, while a large part of
Europe was plunged in ignorance and barbarism, the love of literature and
the sciences was to be found among some women of Alsace. Hohenbourg was
inhabited by canonesses equally learned and regular. Three abbesses were
especially distinguished for their taste for poetry and literature in
general. The first, Ricklende or Kilinde, reformed the monastery in 1141.
Some of her Latin verses, and the fragments of other works in that
language, have been preserved. Herrade de Landsberg, who succeeded her in
1167, became still more celebrated. Grandidier, speaking of her, says:
“The polite arts, painting, music, and poetry, charmed the leisure of this
illustrious abbess.” A collection of poetry in Latin, composed for the
instruction of her community, under the title of _Hortus Deliciarum_,(71)
is still preserved. Gerlinde, her sister or cousin, succeeded her, and
equalled her in taste and knowledge.

The first abbesses after S. Odile were her two nieces, S. Eugénie and S.
Gundeline. They divided the authority. The first was Abbess of Hohenbourg,
the second of Niedermünster. The revenues, which had hitherto been in
common, were divided by Odile before her death. Only Oberehnheim remained
undivided, that there might be a common tie between them.

Regularity of monastic life and observances was maintained till the XIth
century. The church was accidentally destroyed in 1045, but was rebuilt
and consecrated to the Blessed Virgin by Bruno, Count of Dagsbourg, Bishop
of Toul, and Landgrave of Alsace, a descendant of Odile’s brother Etton. A
few years after it was again destroyed by the Hungarian invaders, and
again Bruno, who had become the Sovereign Pontiff in 1049 under the name
of Leo IX., had it rebuilt. This pope, called to Germany by the interests
of the church, went himself to Hohenbourg to consecrate the edifice and
reassemble the dispersed sisterhood. He did not leave this place, so dear
to his heart, till he had re‐established the monastic discipline.

About a hundred years after this the community of Hohenbourg greatly
relaxed its fervor, the number of its subjects diminished, their revenues
decreased, and the buildings were decaying. The monastery would perhaps
have been abandoned had not Frederick Barbarossa, in his quality of Duke
of Alsace, interfered to save so celebrated a house from falling. He sent
to reform it Ricklende or Kilinde, whom he took from the Convent of Bergen
in the Diocese of Eichstadt, and to whom he gave the title and rights of
Princess of the Holy Empire, and also bestowed on her large sums of money
for the reparation of the monastery. Ricklende, whom we have already
mentioned, joined great zeal and piety to an enlarged mind and much
information. Sustained by the authority of the emperor, she re‐established
discipline in less than two years, as her successor, Herrade de Landsberg,
formally testifies. The religious habit worn in this house was white,
_albens quasi lilium_, says the _Hortus Deliciarum_. The bull of Pope
Lucius III. says they followed the rule of S. Augustine. Ricklende had
under her thirty‐three choir Sisters. In Herrade’s time there were forty‐
seven and thirteen lay Sisters. It was in the time of Herrade that the
Emperor Henry VI., disregarding his oath, had Sibylla, the widow of
Tancred, and Constance, her daughter, arrested and conducted to Hohenbourg
to take the veil.

In 1354 the Emperor Charles IV. visited S. Odile’s tomb, Agnes de
Slauffenberg being the abbess. He had the saint’s body exhumed, and Jean
de Lichtenberg, Bishop of Strasbourg, detached a part of the arm to be
deposited in the Cathedral of Prague. But, at the request of the
sisterhood, Charles IV. drew up an act which forbade any one, under the
severest penalties, from ever opening the tomb again. The bishop
pronounced the sentence of excommunication on whomsoever should violate
this decree of the sovereign.(72)

The Abbey of Hohenbourg, or of S. Odile, as it was also called, was
destined to terrible disasters. It was sacked in the XIVth and XVth
centuries by the _grandes Compagnies_ by the Armagnacs and the
Burgundians. It was still more unfortunate in the XVIth century.
Niedermünster was burned in 1542, and Hohenbourg on the 24th of March,
1546. The canonesses and prebends then dispersed, and Jean de
Manderscheidt, Bishop of Strasbourg, fearing the Lutherans would seize the
property belonging to the two abbeys, obtained permission from the Holy
See to annex it to the episcopal domains by paying the canonesses an
annual pension. The monastery, rebuilt in 1607 by Cardinal Charles de
Lorraine and the Archduke Leopold, Bishops of Strasbourg, was burned anew
in 1622 by the Lutheran army of the Count de Mansfeldt. The church was
repaired in 1630, but again devastated by the Brandenburg soldiers in
1633. They removed the lead from the windows and organs for ball.
Subsequent wars were also disastrous for Hohenbourg, and on the 7th of
May, 1681, the whole convent was again burned. Only the Chapel of Tears
and that of the Angels remained standing.

The Premonstratensians of the ancient observance established themselves at
Hohenbourg in 1663, converting it into a priory. They began to rebuild it
in 1684. Two of the monks, Father Hugues Peltre and Father Denys Albrecht,
carefully collected all the ancient accounts of S. Odile, and wrote
biographies of the saint, which we have freely made use of in this
account.

Niedermünster, which was given to the Grand Chapter of Strasbourg in 1558,
is now only a heap of ruins. Rosine de Stein, who died in 1534, was the
last abbess.

The French Revolution had also its effect on Hohenbourg. A few days after
the decree of the National Assembly on the 13th of February, 1790,
suppressing the monastic vows, the Convent of S. Odile was vacated.
Nevertheless, pilgrimages to the shrine of the holy Patroness of Alsace
continued to be frequent.

Nearly all that could nourish or excite the piety of the pilgrim had
disappeared from the antique cloister of Altitona, but Odile’s tomb still
remained and sufficed to attract a great number from all the surrounding
countries.



XIV.


On the 7th of July, 1841, at nine o’clock in the morning, the remains of
S. Odile were taken out of the tomb where they had reposed so many
centuries, and exposed to public veneration on the altar of the chapel
which bears her name. On the eve of this festival Mount Hohenbourg
presented an animated spectacle. People from Alsace, Lorraine, and around
Metz arrived in crowds. In ascending the mountain they dispersed to gather
foliage and wild flowers to deck the old Church of S. Odile with. Large
vases were placed on the altars and the _boiserie_ around the church to
receive these floral offerings of successive groups. A fir‐tree from a
neighboring forest stood beside each column of the nave. Garlands of box
and of oak‐leaves hung from tree to tree and covered the trunks. S.
Odile’s tomb and altar were richly decorated and her statue crowned with
flowers. The _châsse_ of the saint was placed on an elevation elegantly
draped. Thousands of pilgrims roamed around the precincts in the evening,
visiting successively the various sanctuaries.

The Chapel of Calvary particularly attracted them. It contained Adalric’s
remains, and among others a large painting in which were displayed the
genealogies of the houses of Alsace, Lorraine, France, and Austria, all of
which drew their origin from Adalric and Berswinde, and, finally, an
antique bedstead which tradition declared once belonged to King Dagobert.

At three o’clock in the morning of July 7th the bells announced to the
impatient pilgrims that the doors of the church were open and the first
Mass about to commence. The edifice was immediately crammed; even the
sanctuary was invaded. The neighboring chapels, the large court of the
monastery, and the green in front, were soon filled; but order reigned
everywhere in the multitude of all ages, sexes, and ranks. Every face
expressed faith and the most fervent devotion. Eighty priests from Alsace,
Lorraine, the Grand Duchy of Baden, and even from Holland, enhanced by
their presence the brilliancy of this festival, at once religious and
national. Masses succeeded each other till afternoon. The venerable Curate
of Oberehnheim (the place of S. Odile’s birth), who was the bishop’s
delegate, gave the signal for the ceremony at nine o’clock A.M. The
remains of S. Odile were borne in procession by six priests. Censers waved
and the sound of the bells mingled joyfully with the music and the ancient
hymns of the church. The crowd opened for the procession to pass. Every
face lights up, hands are clasped, and tears flow from all eyes. The
president of the festival, more than eighty years of age, pronounced the
panegyric of the saint. Then followed a grand Mass, during which, and for
two hours after, a constant file of pilgrims approached to venerate a
relic of the saint. The ceremonies closed with Benediction.

The _châsse_ was exposed during the whole Octave. From that time the
concourse of pilgrims has continued. There were fifteen hundred the
following Sunday. Hundreds of Communions are daily made at Hohenbourg, and
perhaps the number of pilgrims has never been greater than of late.

Glorious Patroness of Alsace, whose great heart, while on earth, was so
full of pity for the unfortunate, pray for thy unhappy country, now
devastated and full of woe!



Wind And Tide.


I stood by the broad, deep river,
  The tide flowed firm to its mouth;
I saw the sweet wind quiver,
  As it rose in the golden south.
On the river’s bosom it fluttered,
  And kissed and caressed all day,
And joys of the south it muttered:
  But the tide kept its northern way.
Tender and chaste was its suing,
  Till the face of the river‐bride
Rippled and gleamed in the wooing:
  But northward flowed the tide.

And so, thought I, God’s graces
  Woo our souls the livelong day,
Which brighten and smile in their faces:
  Sin bears us another way.



Matter. IV.


To complete our investigation about the essential properties of matter,
one great question remains to be answered, viz.: _Is the matter of which
bodies are made up intrinsically extended so as to fill a portion of
space, or does it ultimately consist of unextended points?_ We call this a
great question, not indeed because of any great difficulty to be
encountered in its solution, but because it has a great importance in
metaphysics, and because it has been at all times much ventilated by great
philosophers.

That bodies do not fill with their matter the dimensions of their volume
is conceded by all, as porosity is a general property of bodies. That the
molecules, or chemical atoms, of which the mass of a body is composed, do
not touch one another with their matter, but are separated by appreciable
intervals of space, is also admitted by our best scientists, though many
of them are of opinion that those intervals are filled with a subtle
medium, by which calorific and luminous vibrations are supposed to be
propagated. But with regard to the molecules themselves, the question,
whether their constitution is continuous or discrete, has not yet been
settled. Some teach, with the old physicists, that bodies are ultimately
made up of particles materially continuous, filling with their mass the
whole space occupied by their volume. These last particles they call
_atoms_, because their mass is not susceptible of physical division,
although their volume is infinitely divisible in a mathematical sense.
Others, on the contrary, deny the material continuity of matter, and hold
with Boscovich that, as all bodies are composed of discrete molecules, so
are all molecules composed of discrete elements wholly destitute of
material extension, occupying distinct mathematical points in space, and
bound by mutual action in mechanical systems differently constituted,
according to the different nature of the substances to which they belong.

Which of these two opinions is right? Although scientists more generally
incline to the second, metaphysicians are still in favor of the first. Yet
we do not hesitate to say, though it may appear presumptuous on our part,
that it is not difficult to decide the question. Let the reader follow our
reasoning upon the subject, and we confidently predict that he will soon
be satisfied of the truth of our assertion.

_Groundless assumption of continuous matter._—As the true metaphysics of
matter must be grounded on real facts, we may first inquire what facts, if
any, can be adduced in favor of the intrinsic extension and material
continuity of molecules. Is there any sensible fact which directly or
indirectly proves such a continuity?

We must answer in the negative. For sensible facts are perceived by us in
consequence of the impressions which objects make on our senses; if,
therefore, such impressions are not calculated to reveal anything
concerning the question of material continuity, no sensible fact can be
adduced as a proof of the continuity of matter. Now, the impressions made
on our senses cannot reveal anything about our question. For we know that
bodies contain not only millions of pores, which are invisible to the
naked eye, but also millions of movable and separate particles, which are
so minute that no microscope can make them visible, and which, though so
extremely minute, are composed of millions of other particles still more
minute, which have independent movements, and therefore possess an
independent existence. There are many species of animalcules (_infusoria_)
so small that millions together would not equal the bulk of a grain of
sand, and thousands might swim at once through the eye of a needle. These
almost infinitesimal animals are as well adapted to life as the largest
beasts, and their movements display all the phenomena of life, sense, and
instinct. They have nerves and muscles, organs of digestion and of
propagation, liquids and solids of different kinds, etc. It is impossible
to form a conception of the minute dimensions of these organic structures;
and yet each separate organ of every animalcule is a compound of several
organic substances, each in its turn comprising numberless atoms of
carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. It is plain from this and other examples
that the actual magnitude of the ultimate molecules of any body is
something completely beyond the reach of our senses to perceive or of our
intellect to comprehend.(73) We must therefore concede that no impression
received by our senses is calculated to make us perceive anything like a
molecule or to give us a clue to its constitution. To say that molecules
are so many pieces of continuous matter is therefore to assert what no
sensible fact can ever reveal.

Moreover, we know of no sensible phenomenon which has any necessary
connection with the continuity of matter. Physicists and chemists, in
their scientific explanation of phenomena, have no need of assuming the
existence of continuous matter, and acknowledge that there are no facts
from which the theory of simple and unextended elements can be refuted.
And the reason of this is clear; for the phenomena can be made the ground
of experimental proofs only so far as they are perceived by our senses;
and since our perception of them is confined within the narrow limits
above described, it is impossible to draw from sensible phenomena any
distinct conclusion regarding the constitution of molecules. Hence it is
plain that no sensible fact exists which directly or indirectly proves the
continuity of matter.

Secondly, we may ask, Can the intrinsic extension and continuity of matter
be proved from the essence of material substance?

The answer must again be negative. For nothing can in any manner be
involved in, or result from, the essence of material substance, unless it
be required either by the matter, or by the substantial form, or by the
relation and proportion which must exist between the form and the matter.
But neither the matter, nor the substantial form, nor their mutual
relation requires material continuity or material extension. Therefore the
essence of material substance cannot supply us with any valid argument in
favor of the extension and continuity of matter.

In this syllogism the major proposition needs no proof, as it is evident
that material substance, like all other created things, essentially
consists of act and potency; and it is known that its act is called the
substantial form, while its potency is called _the_ matter.(74) It is
therefore manifest that, if anything has a necessary connection with the
essence of material substance, it must be of such a nature as to be needed
either by the matter or by the substantial form, or by both together.

The minor proposition can be demonstrated as follows: In the first place,
continuous quantity is not needed by the matter, whether actuated or
actuable. For, as actuable, the matter is a “mere potency” (_pura
potentia_) which has yet to receive its “first actuality” (_primum esse_),
as philosophers agree; and accordingly it has no actual quantity or
continuous extension, nor is it potential with respect to it, as its
potency regards only existence (_primum esse_), and evidently existence is
not dimensive quantity. Hence the schoolmen unanimously maintain with
Aristotle that the first matter has “no quiddity, no quality, and no
quantity” (_nec quid, nec quale, nec quantum_)—a truth which we hope fully
to explain in some future article. As actuated, the matter is nothing else
than a substantial term susceptible of local motion; for we know from
physics that material substance receives no other determination than to
local movement, and for this reason, as we remarked in another place, it
has been defined _Ens mobile_, or a movable thing. Now, a term, to be
susceptible of local motion, needs no dimensions, as is evident. And
therefore the matter, whether actuated or not, has nothing in its nature
which requires continuous extension.

In the second place, material continuity is not required by the nature of
the substantial form. This form may, in fact, be considered either as a
principle of being or as a principle of operation. As a principle of
being, it gives the first existence to its matter; and it is plain that to
give the first existence is not to give bulk. Our adversaries teach that
what gives bulk to the bodies is quantity; and yet, surely, they will not
pretend that quantity is the substantial form. On the other hand, it is
evident that _to be_ and _to have bulk_ are not the same thing; and since
the substantial form merely causes the matter _to be_, it would be absurd
to infer that it must also cause it _to be extended_. As a principle of
operation, the form needs matter only as a centre from which its exertions
are directed. Now, the direction of the exertion, as well as that of the
movement, must be taken from a point to a point, not from a bulk to a
bulk; and therefore the form, as a principle of operation, needs only one
point of matter. Thus it is clear that no material extension is required
to suit the wants of the substantial form.

In the third place, material extension is not required to make the matter
proportionate to its substantial form. We shall see later that no form
which requires a determinate quantity of mass can be a substantial form in
the strict sense of the expression; at present it will suffice to keep in
mind that the substantial form must give the first being to its matter,
and that the matter is therefore perfectly proportioned to its substantial
form by merely being in potency to receive its first being. Now, such a
potency implies no extension; for if it did, the accident would precede
the substance. Besides, the matter before its first actuation is _a
nonentity_, and, as such, is incapable of any positive disposition, as we
shall more fully explain in the sequel. But a determinate bulk would be a
positive disposition. Hence the matter which receives its first actuation
is proportionate to its form independently of material extension. We can
therefore safely conclude that the essence of material substance supplies
no proof whatever of the continuity of matter.

Thirdly, we ask, Can the continuity of matter be proved from mechanics?

Here also our answer must be negative. For the theorems of mechanics are
each and all demonstrated quite independently of the question of material
continuity. The old writers of mechanical works (or rather the old
metaphysicians, from whom these writers borrowed their notion of matter)
admitted the continuity of matter on two grounds: first, because they
thought that _nature abhorred a vacuum_; and, secondly, because they
rejected the _actio in distans_ as impossible. But we have already shown
that no action of matter upon matter is possible, except on the condition
that the matter of the agent be distant from the matter of the patient;
which implies that all the material particles, to act on their immediate
neighbors, must be separately ubicated, with intervening vacuum. And thus
the only reasons by which the ancients could plausibly support the
continuity of matter have lost all weight in the light of modern
mechanics.

Fourthly: Can the continuity of matter be inferred from geometrical
considerations?

We reply that it cannot. For geometric quantity is not a quantity of
_matter_, but a quantity of _volume_—that is, the quantity of space
mensurable within certain limits. Hence it is evident that the continuity
of the geometric quantity has nothing to do with the continuity of matter,
and is not dependent on it, but wholly depends on the possibility of a
continuous movement within the limits of the geometric space. In fact, we
have in geometry three dimensions—length, breadth, and depth, which are
simple lines. Now, a line is not conceived as made up of material points
touching and continuing one another, but as the track of a point moving
between certain limits; so that the continuity of the geometric dimensions
is not grounded on any extension or continuation of material particles,
but on the possibility of continuous movement, on which the continuity of
time also depends. We must therefore remain satisfied that no geometrical
consideration can lend the least support to the hypothesis of material
continuity.

We have thus exhausted all the sources from which any _à priori_ or _à
posteriori_ argument in favor of material continuity might have been
drawn, if any had been possible; and the result of our investigation
authorizes the conclusion that the hypothesis of continuous matter is both
scientifically and philosophically gratuitous.

_False reasonings in behalf of continuous matter._—But some philosophers,
who are afraid that the denial of material continuity may subvert all the
scholastic doctrines (to which they most laudably, but perhaps too
exclusively, adhere in questions of natural science), contend that the
existence of continuous matter can be established by good philosophical
reasons. It is therefore our duty, before we proceed further, to acquaint
our reader with such reasons, and with our answers to them.

The first reason is the following: Geometry is a real, not a chimerical,
science; and therefore it has to deal with real bodies—not indeed inasmuch
as they are substances, but inasmuch as they have a quantity which can be
considered in the abstract. Hence we must admit that the geometric
quantity is a quantity of matter considered in the abstract; and
accordingly, if the geometric quantity is continuous and infinitely
divisible, as no one doubts, the quantity of matter in the bodies must
also be continuous and infinitely divisible.

We reply that bodies have two very different kinds of quantity—the
quantity of the mass and the quantity of the volume—and that geometry
deals indeed with the latter, but has nothing to do with the former. Hence
the geometric quantity is a quantity of volume or bulk, not a quantity of
matter; and therefore to argue that, because the geometric quantity is
continuous and infinitely divisible, the same must be true of the quantity
of matter, is to make an inexcusable confusion of matter with space. The
argument might have some value, if the quantity of the volume could be
measured by the quantity of the mass; but no one who has studied the first
elements of physics can be ignorant that such is not the case. Equal
masses are found under unequal volumes, and unequal masses under equal
volumes. Volumes preserve the same geometric nature and the same geometric
quantity, be they filled with matter or not. A cubic inch of platinum and
a cubic inch of water contain different amounts of matter, since the
former weighs twenty‐one times as much as the latter; and yet they are
geometrically equal. Geometry is not concerned with the density of bodies;
and therefore geometrical quantities are altogether independent of the
quantity of matter, and cannot be altered except by altering the relative
position of the extreme terms between which their three dimensions are
measured. These dimensions are not made up of matter, but are mere
relations in space, with or without interjacent matter, representing, as
we have already observed, the quantity of continuous movement which is
possible between the correlated terms; and their continuity depends on the
continuity of space, not of matter.

The author from whom we have taken this objection pretends also that the
geometric quantity possesses no other attributes than those which belong
to all quantity, and are essential to it; whence he concludes that
whatever is predicated of geometric quantity must also be predicated of
the quantity of matter. But the assumption is evidently false; for it is
not of the essence of all quantity to be continuous as the geometric
quantity, it being manifest that discrete quantity is a true quantity,
although it has no continuity. The general notion of quantity extends to
everything which admits of _more_ or _less_; hence there is intensive
quantity, extensive quantity, and numeric quantity. The first is measured
by arbitrary degrees of intensity; the second is measured by arbitrary
intervals of space and time; the third is measured by natural units—that
is, by individual realities as they exist in nature. It is therefore
absurd to pretend that whatever can be predicated of geometric quantity
must be predicated of all kinds of quantity.

The second reason adduced in behalf of material continuity is as follows:
To deny the continuity of matter is to destroy all real extension. For how
can real extension arise from simple unextended points arranged in a
certain manner, and acting upon one another? The notions of simplicity,
order, and activity transcend the attributions of matter, and are
applicable to all spiritual beings. If, then, extension could arise from
simple unextended elements by their arrangement and actions, why could not
angels, by meeting in a sufficient number and acting on one another, give
rise to extension, and form, say, a watermelon?

This argument has no weight whatever; but, as it appeared not many years
ago in a Catholic periodical of great reputation, we have thought it best
to give it a place among other arguments of the same sort. Our answer is
that to deny the continuity of matter is not to deny real extension, but
only to maintain that _no real extension is made up of continuous matter_.
And we are by no means embarrassed to explain “how _real_ extension can
arise from simple unextended points.” The thing is very plain. Two points,
_A_ and _B_, being given in space, the interval of space between them is a
_real_ interval, _really_ determined by the _real_ points _A_ and _B_, and
_really_ determining the extension of the _real_ movement possible between
the same points. Such an interval is therefore a _real_ extension. This is
the way in which real extension arises from unextended points.

Nor can it be objected that nothing extended can be made up of unextended
points. This is true, of course, but has nothing to do with the question.
For we do not pretend that extension is _made up_ by composition of
points—which would be a very gross error—but we say that extension
_results_ from the simple position of real points in space, and that it
results not _in_ them, but _between_ them. It is the mass of the body that
is _made up_ of its components; and thus the sum _A_ + _B_ represents a
mass, not an extension. The geometric dimensions, on the contrary, consist
entirely of relations between distinct points intercepting mensurable
space. The distinct points are _the terms_ of the relation, while the
extent of the space mensurable between them by continuous movement is _the
formal reason_ of their relativity. And since this continuous movement may
extend more or less, according as the terms are variously situated, hence
the resulting relation has the nature of continuous quantity. This
suffices to show that to deny the continuity of matter is _not_ to destroy
all real extension.

And now, what shall we say of those angels freely uniting to form a
watermelon? It is hardly necessary to say that this bright idea is only a
dream. There is no volume without dimensions, no dimension without
distance, and no distance without terms distinctly ubicated in space and
marking out the point where the distance begins, and the point where it
ends. Now, nothing marks out a point in space but matter. Angels, as
destitute of matter, mark no points in space, and accordingly cannot
terminate distances nor give rise to dimensions. Had they matter, they
would, like the simple elements, possess a formal ubication in space, and
determine dimensions; but, owing to their spiritual nature, they transcend
all local determinations, and have no formal ubication except in the
intellectual sphere of their spiritual operation. It is therefore owing to
their spirituality, and not to their simplicity, that they cannot form
themselves into a volume. Lastly, we must not forget that the “angelic”
watermelon should have not only volume, but mass also. Such a mass would,
of course, be made up without matter. How a mass can be conceived without
matter is a profound secret, which the author of the argument very
prudently avoided to reveal. But let us come to another objection.

A third reason adduced in favor of continuous matter is that we cannot,
without employing a vicious circle, account for the extension of bodies by
the notion either of space, distance, or movement. For these notions
already presuppose extension, and cannot be formed without a previous
knowledge of what extension is. To think of space is, in fact, to think of
extension. So also distance cannot be conceived except by imagining
something extended, which lies, or can lie, between the distant terms.
Hence, to avoid the vicious circle, it is necessary to trace the origin of
our notion of extension to the matter we see in the bodies. And therefore
our very notion of extension is a sufficient proof of the existence of
continuous matter.

We reply that this reason is even less plausible than the preceding one.
To form the abstract notion of extension, we must first directly perceive
some extension in the concrete, in the same manner as we must perceive
concrete humanity in individual men before we conceive humanity in the
abstract. But in all sensible movements we directly perceive extension
through space and time. Therefore from sensible movements, _without a
previous knowledge of extension_, we can form the notion of extension in
general. Is there any one who can find in this a vicious circle?

This answer might suffice. But we will further remark that the argument
may be retorted against its author. For if we cannot conceive movement as
extending in space without a _previous_ knowledge of extension, how can we
conceive matter as extending in space without a _previous_ knowledge of
extension? And how can we conceive matter as continuous without a
_previous_ knowledge of continuity, or time as enduring without a
_previous_ knowledge of duration? To these questions the author of the
argument can give no satisfactory answer without solving his own
objection. Space, distance, and movement, says he, involve extension; and
_therefore_ they cannot be known “without a previous knowledge of what
extension is.” It is evident that this conclusion is illogical; for if
space, distance, and movement imply extension, we cannot perceive space,
distance, and movement without directly perceiving extension; and, since
the direct perception of a thing does not require a _previous_ knowledge
of it, the logical conclusion should have been that, to perceive space,
distance, and movement, no previous knowledge of extension is needed.

On the other hand, while our senses perceive the extension of continuous
movement in space, they are not competent to perceive material continuity
in natural bodies. Hence it is from movement, and not from matter, that
our notion of continuous extension is derived. In fact, to form a
conception of the dimensions of a body, we survey it by a continuous
movement of our eyes from one end of it to the other. In this movement the
eye glides over innumerable pores, by which the material particles of the
body are separated. If our conception of the geometric extension of the
body depended on the continuity of its matter, these pores, as not
consisting of continuous matter, should all be thrown away in the
measurement of the body. Why, then, do we consider them as contributing
with their own dimensions to form the total dimensions of the body? Merely
because the geometric dimensions are estimated by movement, and not by
matter.

Nor is it in the least strange that we should know extension from
movement, and not from matter. For no one can perceive extension between
two terms, unless he measures by continuous movement the space intercepted
between them. The local relation between two terms cannot, in fact, be
perceived otherwise than by referring the one term to the other through
space; hence no one ever perceives a distance between two given terms
otherwise than by drawing, at least mentally, a line from the one to the
other—that is, otherwise than by measuring by some movement the extent of
the movement which can take place between the two given terms. And this is
what the very word _extension_ conveys. For this word is composed of the
preposition _ex_, which connotes the term from which the movement begins,
and of the verb _tendere_, which is a verb of motion. And thus everything
shows that it is from motion, and not from continuous matter, that our
first notion of extension proceeds.

A sharp opponent, however, might still object that before we can perceive
any movement we need to perceive something movable—that is, visible
matter. But no matter is visible unless it be extended. Therefore
extension must be perceived in matter itself before we can perceive it in
local movement.

But we answer, first, that although nothing can be perceived by our senses
unless it be extended, nevertheless we can see extended things without
perceiving their extension. Thus we see many stars as mere points in
space, and yet we can perceive their movement from the east to the west.
Hence, although matter is not visible unless it be extended, it does not
follow that extension must be first perceived in matter itself.

Secondly, we answer that when we perceive the movable matter as extended,
we do not judge of its extension by its movement, but by the movement
which we ourselves have to make in going from one of its extremities to
the other. This is the only way of perceiving extension in space. For how
could we conceive anything as extended, if we could not see that it has
parts outside of parts? And how could we pronounce that anything has parts
outside of parts, if we did not see that between one part and another
there is a possibility of local movement? On the other hand, as soon as we
perceive the possibility of local movement between distinct parts, we have
sufficient evidence of geometric extension. And thus we have no need of
continuous matter in order to perceive the volume of bodies.

Before we dismiss this subject, we must add that the advocates of
continuous matter, while fighting against us, shield themselves with two
other arguments. If matter is not continuous, they say, bodies will
consist of mere mathematical points acting at a distance; but _actio in
distans_ is the extreme of absurdity, and therefore bodies cannot consist
of mathematical points. They also allege that _nature abhors a vacuum_,
and therefore all space must be filled up with matter; which would be
impossible, were not matter continuous. That nature abhors a vacuum was
once considered a physical axiom; but, since science has destroyed the
physical grounds on which the pretended axiom rested, metaphysics has in
its turn been appealed to, that the time‐honored dictum may not be
consigned to complete oblivion. It has therefore been pretended that space
without matter is a mere delusion, and consequently that to make extension
dependent on empty intervals of space imagined to intervene between
material points is to give a chimerical solution of the question of
material extension.

The first of these two arguments we have fully answered in our last
article, and we shall not again detain our readers with it. Let us notice,
however, that when the elements of matter are called “mathematical”
points, the sense is not that they are not physical, but only that those
physical points are mathematically, or rigorously, unextended.

The second argument assumes that space void of matter is nothing. As we
cannot enter here into a detailed examination of the nature of absolute
space, we shall content ourselves with the following answer: 1st. All real
relations require a real foundation. Real distances are real relations.
Therefore real distances have a real foundation. But their foundation is
nothing else than absolute space; and therefore absolute space is a
reality. 2d. If empty space is nothing, then bodies were created in
nothing, occupy nothing, and all spaces actually occupied are nothing. To
say, as so many have said, that empty space is nothing, and that space
occupied by matter is a reality, is to say that _the absolute is nothing
until it becomes relative_—a proposition which is the main support of
German pantheism, and which every man of sense must reject. 3d. Of two
different recipients, the greater has a greater capacity independently of
the matter which it may contain; for, whether it be filled with the rarest
gas or with the densest metal, its capacity does not vary. It is therefore
manifest that its capacity is not determined by the matter it contains,
but only by the space intercepted between its limits. In the same manner
the smaller recipient has less capacity, irrespective of the matter it may
contain, and only in consequence of the space intercepted. If, therefore,
space, prescinding from the matter occupying it, is nothing, the greater
capacity will be a greater nothing, and the less capacity a less nothing.
But greater and less imply quantity, and quantity is something. Therefore
nothing will be something.

We hope we shall hereafter have a better opportunity of developing these
and other considerations on space; but the little we have said is
sufficient, we believe, to show that the assumption of the unreality of
space unoccupied by matter is a philosophical absurdity.

We conclude that the existence of continuous matter cannot be proved, and
that those philosophers who still admit it cannot account for it by
anything like a good argument. They can only shelter themselves behind the
prejudices of their infancy, which they have been unable to discard, or
behind the venerable authority of the ancients, who, though deserving our
admiration in other respects, were led astray by the same popular
prejudices, owing to their limited knowledge of natural science. We may be
allowed to add that if the ancient philosophers are not to be blamed for
admitting continuous matter, the same cannot be said of those among our
contemporaries who, in the present state of science, are still satisfied
with their authority on the subject.

_Mysterious attributes of continuous matter._—Now, let us suppose that
bodies, or their molecules, are made up of continuous matter, just as our
opponents maintain; and let us see what must necessarily follow from such
a gratuitous assumption. In the first place, it follows that _a piece of
continuous matter cannot be actuated by a single substantial act_. This is
easily proved.

For a single act gives a single actual being; which is inconsistent with
the nature of continuous matter. Matter, to be continuous, must actually
contain distinct parts, united indeed, but having distinct ubications in
space. Now, with a single substantial act there cannot be distinct actual
parts; for all actual distinction, according to the axiom of the schools,
implies distinct acts: _Actus est qui distinguit._ Therefore continuous
matter cannot be actuated by a single substantial act.

Again, a piece of continuous matter has dimensions, of which the beginning
and the end must be quite distinct, the existence of the one not being the
existence of the other. But it is impossible for two things which have a
distinct existence to be under the same substantial act; for there cannot
be two existences without two formal principles. Hence, if there were any
continuous matter, the beginning and the end of its dimensions should be
actuated by distinct acts; and the same would be true of any two distinct
points throughout the same dimensions. Nor does it matter that the
dimensions are supposed to be formed of one unbroken piece; for, before we
conceive distinct parts, or terms, as forming the continuation of one
another, we must admit the substance of such parts, as their continuation
presupposes their being. Hence, however intimately the parts may be
united, they always remain substantially distinct; which implies that each
one of them must have its own substantial act.

Moreover, continuous extension is divisible. If, then, there is anywhere a
piece of continuous matter, it may be divided into two, by God at least.
But as division is not a magical operation, and does not give the first
existence to the things which are divided, it is plain that the parts
which after the division exist separately must have had their own distinct
existence before the division; and, evidently, they could not have a
distinct existence without being actuated by distinct substantial acts.
What we say of these two parts applies to whatever other parts are
obtainable by continuing the division. Whence it is manifest that
continuous matter needs as many substantial acts as it has divisible
parts.

The advocates of continuous matter try to decline this consequence by
pretending that matter, so long as it is undivided, is _one_ matter and
needs only one form; but this form, according to them, is divisible; hence
when the matter is divided, each part of the matter retains its own
portion of the substantial form, and thus the same form which gives
existence to the whole gives existence to the separate parts. This is,
however, a mere subterfuge; for the undivided matter is indeed one
accidentally, inasmuch as it has no _division_ of parts; but it is not one
substantially, because it has _distinction_ of parts. This distinction
exists before the division is made, and we have already seen that no
actual distinction is possible without distinct acts. And again, the
hypothesis that substantial forms are divisible, is a ridiculous fiction,
to say the least. For nothing is divisible which has no multiplicity of
parts and consequently a multiplicity of acts. How, then, can a
substantial act, which is a single act, be conceived as divisible?

They also argue that as the soul, which is a simple form, actuates the
whole matter of the body, so can the material form actuate continuous
matter. This comparison may have some weight with those who confound the
_essential_ with the _substantial_ forms, and believe that the soul gives
the first being to the matter of the body. But the truth is that the
substance of the soul is the _essential_ form of the living organism, and
not the _substantial_ form giving the first being to matter. The organism
and its matter must have their being in nature before being animated by
the soul; each part of matter in the body has therefore its own distinct
material form and its own distinct existence. The soul is a principle of
life, and gives nothing but life.(75) Hence the aforesaid comparison is
faulty, and leads to no conclusion.

In the second place it follows that _no continuous matter can be styled a
single substance_.

For within the dimensions of continuous matter there must be as many
distinct substantial acts as there are material points distinct from one
another; it being clear that distinct points cannot have the same
substantial actuation, and accordingly require distinct substantial acts
and constitute distinct substances. Against this some will object that a
mere point of matter is incapable of supporting the substantial form. But
we have already shown that the substantial form is not _supported_ by its
matter, as the objection assumes, but only terminated to it, the matter
being the substantial term, not the subject, of the substantial form.(76)
On the other hand, it is manifest that a form naturally destined to act in
a sphere, by actuating a single point of matter, actuates just as much
matter as its nature requires. For it is from a single point, not from
many, that the action must be directed. Hence nothing more than a point of
matter is required to terminate the substantial form and to constitute a
perfect substance. Additional proofs of this truth will be found in our
next article, where we shall rigorously demonstrate the impossibility of
continuous matter. Meanwhile, nothing withstands our conclusion that there
must be as many distinct substances in continuous matter as there are
distinct points within its dimensions.

In the third place, it follows that _this multitude of distinct substances
is not merely potential, but actual_.

This conclusion is very clear. For every multitude of actual parts is an
actual multitude, or, as they say, a multitude in act. But in continuous
matter all the parts are actual, although they are not actually separated.
Therefore the multitude of such parts is an actual multitude.

The upholders of continuous matter do not admit that this multitude is
actual; they contend that it is only potential. For were they to concede
that it is actual, they would be compelled to admit either that it is
actually finite, or that it is actually infinite. Now, they cannot say
that it is actually finite, because this would be against the well‐known
nature of continuum, which admits of an endless division, and therefore
contains a multitude of parts which has no end. On the other hand, they
cannot say that it is actually infinite; because, even admitting the
absolute possibility of a multitude actually infinite, it would still be
absurd to assert that such is the case with a piece of matter having
finite dimensions. Indeed, Leibnitz and Descartes did not hesitate to
teach this latter absurdity; but they could not make it fashionable, and
were soon abandoned even by their own disciples. Thus the difficulty
remained; and philosophers, being unable to solve it, tried to decline it
by denying that there can be in the continuum an _actual_ multitude of
parts. This was, in fact, the view of the old advocates of continuous
matter, who uniformly admitted that the parts of an unbroken continuum are
merely _potential_, and form a potential multitude. For, they say, the
_actual_ multitude results from actual division, and therefore has no
existence in the undivided continuum.

This last view would be very good, if the continuum in question were
_successive_—as is the case with movement and time, which are always _in
fieri_, and exist only by infinitesimals in an infinitesimal present, or
if the continuum in question were _virtual_, as is the case with any
mensurable interval of space; for evidently in these continuums no
_actual_ multitude is to be found. But the case is quite different with
continuous matter. For he who asserts the existence of continuous matter
asserts the existence of a thing having parts _formally_ distinct and
_simultaneous_. He therefore affirms the actual existence of a formal
multitude of distinct parts, or, in other terms, an actual multitude. To
deny the actual multitude of the parts, on the plea that there is no
actual division, is to take refuge in a miserable sophism, which consists
in denying the substantial distinction of the parts on the ground that
they are not divided, and in ignoring their actual being solely because
they have not a certain special mode of being.

As to the axiom that “Number results from division,” two things are to be
noticed. The first is that the term “division” here means _mensuration_,
not separation. Thus we divide the day into twenty‐four hours, without
discontinuing time for all that; and in like manner we divide the length
of a journey into miles without discontinuing space. This shows that the
numbers obtained by the division of the continuum are only artificially or
virtually discrete, and that the continuum remains unbroken. The second is
that a number is not merely a multitude, but a multitude measured by a
certain unit, as S. Thomas aptly defines it: _Numerus est multitudo
mensurata per unum_. Hence, if the unit of measure is arbitrary (as is the
case with all continuous quantities), the same quantity can be expressed
by different numbers, according as a different unit is employed in
measuring it. But so long as the unit is not determined, the quantity
cannot be expressed by any definite number. And if the unit employed be
less than any given finite quantity, the thing which is measured will
contain a multitude of such units greater than any given number. All such
units exist in the thing measured prior to its mensuration; and as such
units are actual and distinct, there can be no doubt that they constitute
an actual multitude.

Some modern advocates of continuous matter have imagined another means of
evading the difficulty. Tongiorgi admits extended atoms of continuous
matter, but denies that their parts are _actually_ distinct. As, however,
he confesses that extension requires parts outside of parts (_Cosmol._, n.
143), we may ask him: Are not such parts _actually_ distinct? Distinction
is a negation of identity; and surely parts existing actually outside of
one another are not actually identical. They are therefore actually
distinct. Now, to use the very words of the author, “where there are
distinct parts there is a plurality of units, that is, a multitude,
although the parts which are distinct be united in a common term, as is
the case with the parts of continuum”;(77) and therefore it is manifest
that the continuous atom involves actual multitude.

Liberatore does not entirely deny the actual distinction of the parts in
continuous matter, but maintains that the distinction is _incomplete_, and
accordingly cannot give rise to an actual multitude. The parts of a
continuum, says he, are united in a common term; hence they are
incompletely distinct, and make no number, but are all one. They are
outside of one another, yet in such a manner as to be also inside of one
another. They do not subsist in themselves, but in the whole. The whole
displays many parts, but it is one, and its parts are so indeterminate
that they cannot be measured except by an arbitrary measure.(78)

This view scarcely deserves to be discussed, as the author himself owns
that it makes continuous matter seem somewhat
contradictory—_Contradictoriis quodammodo notis subditur_—though he
attributes this kind of contradiction to the opposition which exists
between the matter and the form—an explanation which we do not admit for
reasons which we shall give in our next article. But as to the assertion
that the parts of a continuum, on account of their having a common term,
are only _incompletely_ distinct, we can show at once that the author is
much mistaken. Incomplete distinction is a distinction which does not
completely exclude identity. Hence where there is incomplete distinction
there is also incomplete identity. Now, not a shadow of identity is to be
found between any two parts of continuum. Therefore any two parts of
continuum are completely distinct. Thus each of the twenty‐four hours into
which we divide the day is completely distinct from every other, although
the one is united with the other in a common term; for it is evident that
the common term, having no extension, is no part of extension, and
therefore cannot originate identity between any two parts of extension. To
say that there is some identity, and therefore an incomplete distinction,
between two extensions, because they have a common term which has no
extension, is to pretend that the unextended has some identity with the
extended; and this pretension is absurd. We conclude that, in spite of all
the efforts of our opponents, it is manifest that continuous matter would
be an _actual_ multitude of distinct, though not separated, substances.

Lastly, it follows that _actual continuous matter would be an actual
infinite multitude of substances_.

This conclusion is fully warranted by the infinite divisibility of the
continuum. But here again the advocates of material continuity contend
that this divisibility is potential, and can never be reduced to act;
whence they infer that the multitude of the parts is not actual, but
potential. We, however, repeat that if the division is potential, the
divisible matter is certainly actual; and therefore the potency of an
infinite division presupposes an infinite multitude of distinct terms
actually existing in the divisible matter. And as we have already shown
that each distinct term must have a distinct substantial act, we must
conclude that the least piece of continuous matter would consist of an
infinite actual multitude of substances—a consequence whose monstrosity
needs no demonstration.

Hence we are not surprised to see that Goudin, one of the great champions
of the old physics, considers continuous matter as “a philosophic mystery,
about which reason teaches more than it can understand, and objects more
than it can answer.”(79) He tries, however, to explain the mystery in some
manner, by adding that “when the continuum is said to be infinitely
divisible, this must be understood mathematically, not physically—that is,
by considering the quantity as it is in itself, not as it is the property
of a corporeal form. For in the process of the division we might finally
reach a part so small that, if smaller, it would be insufficient to bear
any natural form. Nevertheless, mathematically speaking, in that smallest
physical part there would still be two halves, and in these halves other
halves, and so on without end.”(80)

This explanation is taken from S. Thomas (I _Phys._, lect. I.), and shows
philosophical thought; but, far from solving the difficulty, it rather
proves that it is insoluble. For if, mathematically speaking, in the
smallest bit of continuous matter there are still halves, and halves of
halves, clearly there are in it distinct parts of matter, and therefore
distinct forms actuating each of them distinctly, as the being of each
part is not the being of any other part. It is therefore false that
nothing smaller is sufficient to bear any natural form. And hence the
difficulty is not solved. On the other hand, the necessity of resorting to
purely mathematical (geometric) quantity clearly shows that it is _the
space_ inclosed in the volume of the body (of which alone geometry
treats), and not _the matter_ (of which geometry has nothing to say), that
is infinitely divisible; and this amounts to a confession that continuous
matter has no existence.

While making these remarks, we willingly acknowledge that S. Thomas and
all the ancients who considered air, water, fire, and earth as the first
elements of all things, were perfectly consistent in teaching that natural
forms require a definite amount of matter. For by “natural forms” they
meant those forms from which the specific properties of sensible things
emanate. Now, all things that are sensible are materially compounded in a
greater or less degree, and possess properties which cannot be ascribed to
a single material point. So far, then, these ancient philosophers were
right. But they should have considered that the required amount of matter
ought to consist of distinct parts, having their own distinct being, and
therefore their own distinct substantial acts. This would have led them to
the conclusion that the natural form of air, water, etc., was not a form
giving the first being to the material parts, but a form of natural
composition giving the first being to the compound nature. But let us stop
here for the present. We have shown that continuous matter cannot be
proved to exist, and is, at best, a “philosophic mystery.” In our next
article we shall go a step further, and prove that material continuity is
a metaphysical impossibility.

To Be Continued.



New Publications.


    ALZOG’S UNIVERSAL CHURCH HISTORY. Pabisch and Byrne. Vol I.
    Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. 1874. (New York: Sold by The
    Catholic Publication Society.)


This manual for ecclesiastical students is confessedly the best extant.
Dr. Pabisch, the chief translator and editor, is well known for his vast
erudition, and his associate, the Rev. Mr. Byrne, has paid careful
attention to the style of rendering the German into English. The
publishers have made the exterior of the work worthy of its contents. We
need not say any more to recommend a work which speaks for itself and has
received the sanction of names the highest in ecclesiastical rank and
theological repute in this country.


    HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SCOTLAND. By James Walsh.
    Glasgow: Hugh Margey. 1874. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)


This is a valuable work, because it is the only one of its kind, and, even
were there others, it would stand on its own merits and still be valuable.

Scotland being so closely united in its history and destinies, and having
so much in common with the sister countries, the history of the Scottish
Church must necessarily have a close affinity and throw much light upon
the ecclesiastical annals of England and Ireland; so that the interest and
importance of this work is greatly heightened by the fact that it supplies
an integral part of the history of Christianity in the British Isles.
Hitherto that history was not complete. It may be said to be completed
now. If those among our separated brethren who pretend to seek so
diligently after truth in the teachings and practices of the early church
will deign to glance at these pages, they will find that Scotland too was
evangelized by the popes, and that its first Christians professed, not a
mutilated Christianity, but the whole cycle of Catholic doctrine. They
will learn, moreover, that the so‐called Reformation in Scotland was
entirely a political job, and that there, as elsewhere, the Protestantism
in which they pride themselves was tinkered up by a herd of fanatics and
foisted upon the people by a rapacious, profligate, unprincipled nobility.
Never was there a more truthful page of history written than this. The
author, though he modestly claims for himself nothing more than the title
of compiler, has many of the qualifications of an historian; his research
has been long and laborious, and he notices only the most authentic
documents and records of the past. In no instance do we discover any
attempt to color or gloss over any of his statements, and he is never
betrayed into exaggerating the virtues or concealing the faults of his
countrymen.


    MANUAL OF MYTHOLOGY: GREEK AND ROMAN, NORSE AND OLD GERMAN, HINDOO
    AND EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY. By Alexander S. Murray, Department of
    Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum. Second Edition.
    Rewritten and considerably enlarged. With forty‐five plates. New
    York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co., 654 Broadway. 1874.


As a manual of mythology this seems to be as concise, complete, and
accurate as such a book can be made. As a specimen of art it is
remarkable. The author is apparently one of our modern, cultivated pagans,
very much at home among the heathen religions he describes. The very brief
exposition of his own theological opinions contained in his introduction
ignores the true and primitive religion revealed from heaven altogether,
and propounds the utterly unhistorical, pernicious, and false notion that
monotheism is a development from polytheism produced by intellectual
progress. The author does not, however, put forth anti‐Christian views in
an offensive or obtrusive manner, and indeed all he says is included in a
few sentences. We cannot, certainly, recommend the study of pagan
mythology to young pupils, or consider the present volume as suitable for
indiscriminate perusal. Those who are fit for such studies, and for whom
they are necessary or proper, will find it a very satisfactory compendium
of information and a work of truly classical taste and elegance.


    CURTIUS’ HISTORY OF GREECE. Vol. V. New York: Scribner, Armstrong
    & Co. 1874.


This volume completes the work of Dr. Curtius. We have already given it
the high commendation which it deserves in our notices of previous
volumes. It is one of the first‐class historical works of German
scholarship, and this is the highest praise that can be given to any work
in those departments in which German scholars excel, so far as learning
and ability are concerned.


    A THEORY OF FINE ART. By Joseph Torrey, late Professor of Moral
    and Intellectual Philosophy in the University of Vermont. New
    York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co. 1874.


Looking through this treatise of Prof. Torrey, whose intellectual head,
stamped in gold on the cover, leads the reader to expect a thoughtful work
on the most attractive subject of æsthetics, our impression is decidedly
favorable. The University of Vermont used to be considered as quite
remarkable for an elevated, philosophical tone. Such seems to be the
character of this condensed summary of the retired professor’s lectures on
art, evidently the result of much study and observation, and given to the
reader in that pleasing style which best suits such a very pleasant branch
of knowledge.


    PROTESTANT JOURNALISM. By the author of _My Clerical Friends_.
    London: Burns & Oates. 1874. (New York: Sold by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)


It is enough to name the author of this collection of short, lively
essays—Dr. Marshall. It is the cream of the London _Tablet’s_ articles,
during the author’s active connection with that journal, on the most
living and interesting topics of the day in regard to the warfare between
the Catholic Church and her enemies. We recommend it to universal reading
and circulation in the warmest possible manner, and with the most sincere
desire that the author may long be spared to continue his admirable and
useful career as a champion of religion and truth.


    CHARTERIS; A Romance. By Mary M. Meline. Philadelphia: J. B.
    Lippincott & Co. 1874.


This romance does not belie its name in its contents. Its plot and
incidents are romantic and tragic in the highest degree. Bordering, at
least, on the improbable, as they are, they are nevertheless managed with
a very considerable degree of skill and power by the author, who has
improved very much on her last story, _In Six Months_. The characters are
drawn with free and bold strokes, and have dramatic individuality. The
plot excites even a painful interest all through, and there is no mawkish
sentimentalism anywhere. Some scenes are remarkably well drawn. There are
no lectures on religion or morals, but the purity of a true Catholic
woman’s faith and morality shines through the whole story. We may
congratulate the fair author on her success.


    KATHERINE EARLE. By Miss Adeline Trafton. Boston: Lee & Shepard.
    1874.


An interesting story, beautifully illustrated and neatly bound.


    SUMMER TALKS ABOUT LOURDES. By Cecilia Mary Caddell. London: Burns
    & Oates. 1874. (New York: Sold by The Catholic Publication
    Society.)


In this little book the authoress relates some of the wonderful miracles
of Lourdes. Its style is simple and chaste, and, we should say,
particularly suited for children.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XX., NO. 117.—DECEMBER, 1874.



The Persecution Of The Church In The German Empire.


The Catholics are suffering today, in the very heart of Europe, a
persecution which, if less bloody, is not less cruel or unjust, than that
which afflicted the Christian Church in the beginning of the IVth century,
under the reign of the brutal old emperor, Diocletian. The prisons of
Germany are filled with confessors of the faith, who, in the midst of
every indignity and outrage, bear themselves with a constancy and heroism
not unworthy of the early martyrs. And it is strange, too, that this
struggle should be only a renewal of the old conflict between Christ and
Cæsar, between the Son of Man and the prince of this world. In fact, anti‐
Christian Europe is using every exertion to re‐create society on the model
of Grecian and Roman paganism. This tendency is manifest in all the
various realms of thought and action.

We perceive it—and we speak now more particularly of Germany—in
literature, in science, in the manner of dealing with all the great
problems which concern man in his relations with both the visible and the
unseen world; and it looms up before us, in palpable form and gigantic
proportions, in the whole attitude of the state toward the church. There
has never lived on this earth a more thorough pagan than Goethe, the great
idol of German literature, to whom the very sign of the cross was so
hateful that in his notorious Venetian Epigram he put it side by side with
garlic and vermin. The thought of self‐sacrifice and self‐denial was so
odious to his lustful and all‐indulgent nature that he turned from its
great emblem with uncontrollable disgust, and openly proclaimed himself a
“decidirter Nichtchrist.” “Das Ewig Weibliche”—sensualism and
sexualism—were the gods of his heart, in whose praise alone he attuned his
lyre. And Schiller, in his _Gods of Greece_, complained sorrowingly that
all the fair world of gods and goddesses should have vanished, that one
(the God of the Christian) might be enriched; and with tender longing he
prayed that “nature’s sweet morn” might again return.

Both the religion and the philosophy of paganism were based upon the
deification of nature, and were consequently pantheistic. Now, this pagan
pantheism recrudescent is the one permanent type amid the endless
variations of modern German sophistry. It underlies the theorizing of
Schelling, Fichte, and Hegel, as well as that of Feuerbach, Büchner, and
Strauss. They all assume the non‐existence of a personal God, and transfer
his attributes to nature, which is, in their eyes, the mother of all, the
sole existence, and the supreme good. This pantheism, which confuses all
things in extricable chaos, spirit with matter, thought with sensation,
the infinite with the finite, destroying the very elements of reason, and
taking from language its essential meaning, has infected all non‐Catholic
thought in Germany. When we descend from the misty heights of speculation,
we find pantheistic paganism in the idolatry of science and culture, which
have taken the place of dogma and morality. It is held to be an axiom that
man is simply a product of nature, who knows herself in him as she feels
herself in the animal.

The formulas in which the thought is clothed are of minor importance. In
the ultimate analysis we find in all the conflicting schools of German
infidelity this sentiment, however widely its expression may vary: that
nature is supreme, and there is no God beside. The cosmos, instead of a
personal God, is the ultimate fact beyond which science professes to be
unable to proceed; and therefore the duality of ends, aims, and results
which underlies the Christian conception of the universe must necessarily
disappear. There is no longer God and the world, spirit and matter, good
and evil, heaven and hell; there is not even man and the brute. There is
only the cosmos, which is one; and from this it necessarily follows that
the distinction between the spiritual and the temporal power is unreal and
should cease to be recognized.

Now, here we have discovered the very germ from which the whole Prussian
persecution has sprung. In the last analysis it rests upon the assumption
that the spiritual power has no right to exist, since the truths upon
which it was supposed to be based—as God, the soul, and a future life—are
proven to be myths. Hence the state is the only autonomy, and to claim
authority not derived from it is treason. Thus the struggle now going on
in Prussia is for life or death. It rages around the very central citadel
of the soul and of all religion. The Catholics of Germany are to‐day
contending for what the Christians of the first centuries died—the right
to live. To understand this better it will be well to consider for a
moment the attributes of the state in pagan Greece and Rome.

Hellenic religion, in its distinctive forms, had its origin in the
deification of nature and of man as her crowning work, and both were
identified with the state. Hence religion was hero‐worship; the good man
was the good citizen, the saint was the successful warrior who struck
terror into the enemies of his country, and thus the religious feeling was
confounded with the patriotic spirit. To be a true citizen of the state,
it was necessary to profess the national religion; and to be loyal to the
state was to be true to its protecting gods. The highest act of religion
was to beat back the invader or to die gloriously on the battle‐field.
Indeed, in paganism we find no idea of a non‐national religion. The pagan
state, whether imperial, monarchical, or republican, was essentially
tyrannical, wholly incompatible with freedom as understood in Christian
society. To be free was to be, soul and body, the slave of the state.
Plato gives to his ideal Republic unlimited power to control the will of
the individual, to direct all his thoughts and actions, to model and shape
his whole life. He merges the family and its privileges into the state and
its rights, gives the government absolute authority in the education of
its subjects, and even places the propagation of the race under state
supervision.

The pagan state was also essentially military, recognizing no rights
except those which it had not the power to violate. Now, the preaching of
Christ was in direct contradiction to this whole theory of government. He
declared that God and the soul have rights as well as Cæsar, and
proclaimed the higher law which affirms that man has a destiny superior to
that of being a citizen of any state, however glorious; which imposes upon
him duties that transcend the sphere of all human authority. Thus religion
became the supreme law of life, and the recognition of the indefeasible
rights of conscience gave to man citizenship in a kingdom not of this
world. It, in consequence, became his duty as well as his privilege to
obey first the laws of this supernatural kingdom, and to insist upon this
divine obligation, even though the whole world should oppose him.

This teaching of Christ at once lifted religion above the control of the
state, and, cutting loose the bonds of servitude which had made it
national and narrow, declared it catholic, of the whole earth and for all
men. He sent his apostles, not to the Jew, or the Greek, or the Gentile,
but to all the nations, and in his church he recognized no distinction of
race or social condition—the slave was like the freeman, the beggar like
the king.

This doctrine, the most beneficent and humanitarian that the world has
ever heard, brought forth from the oblivion of ages the all‐forgotten
truth of the brotherhood of the race, and raised man to a level on which
paganism was not able even to contemplate him; proclaiming that man, for
being simply man, irrespective of race, nationality, or condition, is
worthy of honor and reverence. Now, it was precisely this catholic and
non‐national character of the religion of Christ which brought it into
conflict with the pagan state. The Christians, it was held, could not be
loyal citizens of the empire, because they did not profess the religion of
the empire, and refused to sacrifice to the divinity of Cæsar. They were
traitors, because in those things which concerned faith they were resolved
not to recognize on the part of the state any right to interfere; and
therefore were they cast into prison, thrown to the wild beasts in the
Amphitheatre, and devoured under the approving eyes of the worshippers of
the emperor’s divinity. This history is repeating itself in Prussia to‐
day.

Many causes have, within the present century, helped to strengthen the
national feeling in Germany. The terrible outrages and humiliations
inflicted upon her by the pitiless soldiers of the first Napoleon made it
evident that the common safety required that the bonds of brotherhood
among the peoples of the different German states should be drawn tighter.
The development of a national literature also helped to foster a longing
for national unity. In the XVIIth, and even down to nearly the end of the
XVIIIth, century, French influence, extending from the courts of princes
to the closets of the learned, gave tone to both literature and politics.

Leibnitz wrote in French or Latin, and Frederick the Great strove to
forget his own tongue, that he might learn to speak French with idiomatic
purity—an accomplishment which he never acquired.

As there was no German literature, the national feeling lacked one of its
most powerful stimulants. But in the latter half of the XVIIIth century,
and during the first half of the XIXth, a literature rich, profound,
thoroughly German, the creation of some of the highest names in the world
of letters, came into existence, and was both a cause and an effect of the
national awakening. Goethe especially did much, by the absolute ascendency
which he acquired in the literature of his country, to unify and harmonize
the national mind.

Still, a thousand interests and jealousies, local and dynastic, old
prescriptive rights, and a constitutional slowness and sluggishness in the
Germanic temperament, stood in the way of a united fatherland, and had to
be got rid of or overcome by force before the dream of the nationalists
could become a reality.

Prussia, founded by rapine, built up and strengthened by war and conquest,
has always been a heartless, self‐seeking state. The youngest of the great
European states, and for a long time one of the most inconsiderable, she
has gradually grown to be the first military power of the world. Already,
in the time of Frederick the Great, she was the formidable rival of
Austria in the contest for the hegemony of the other German states. This
struggle ended, in 1866, in the utter defeat of Austria on the field of
Sadowa. Hanover, Saxony, Hesse‐Cassel, and other minor principalities were
at once absorbed by Prussia, who, besides greatly increasing her strength,
thus became the champion of German unity. But German unity was a menace to
France, who could not possibly maintain her preponderance in European
affairs in the presence of a united Germany. Hence the irrepressible
conflict between France and Prussia, which ended in the catastrophe of
Sedan.

The King of Prussia became the Emperor of Germany, and German national
pride and enthusiasm reached a degree bordering on frenzy.

By a remarkable coincidence the Franco‐Prussian war broke out at the very
moment when the dogma of Papal infallibility was defined, and immediately
after the capitulation of Sedan, Victor Emanuel took possession of Rome.
The Pope was without temporal power—a prisoner indeed. The feeling against
the newly‐defined dogma was especially strong in Germany, where the
systematic warfare carried on by the _Janus_ party against the Vatican
Council had warped the public mind. France, the eldest daughter of the
church, was lying, bleeding and crushed, at the feet of the conqueror. The
time seemed to have arrived when the bond which united the Catholics of
Germany with the Pope, and through him with the church universal, might
easily be broken.

The defection of Döllinger and other rationalistic professors, as well as
the attitude of many of the German bishops in the council, and the views
which they had expressed with regard to the probable results of a
definition of the infallibility of the Pope, tended to confirm those who
controlled the policy of the new empire in the opinion that there would be
no great difficulty in forming the Catholics of Germany into a kind of
national religious body wholly subject to the state, even in matters of
faith. If we add to this the fact that the infidels of our day have a kind
of superstition which leads them to think that all religious faith has
grown weak, and that those who believe are for the most part hypocritical,
insincere, and by no means anxious to suffer for conscience’s sake, we
shall be able to understand how Bismarck, who is utterly indifferent to
all religion, and who believes in nothing except the omnipotence of the
state, should have persuaded himself to destroy the religious freedom
which had come to be considered the common property of Christendom.
Already, in the month of August immediately following the close of the war
with France, we find the Northern German press, which obsequiously obeys
his orders, beginning to throw out hints that Rome had always been the
enemy of Germany; that her claims were incompatible with the rights of the
state and hurtful to the national development; and that, in presence of
the newly‐defined dogma of Papal infallibility, the necessity of resisting
her ever‐increasing encroachments upon the domain of the civil authority
had become imperative. The watchword given by the official press was
everywhere re‐echoed by the organs of both infidel and Protestant opinion,
and it at once became evident that the German Empire intended to make war
on the Catholic Church.

There was yet another end to be subserved by the persecution of the
church. Bismarck made no secret of his fears of a democratic movement in
Germany after the excitement of the French campaign had died away, and he
hoped to avert this danger by inflaming the religious prejudices of the
infidel and Protestant population.

On the 8th of July, 1871, the Catholic department in the Ministry of
Public Worship was abolished, and the government openly lent its influence
to the Old Catholic movement.

According to the Prussian constitution, religious instruction in the
gymnasia is obligatory; but where a portion or all of the students were
Catholics, the state recognized that their religious instructors should
not be appointed until they had received the approbation of the bishop.
Dr. Wollmann, who had for a long time held the office of teacher of
religion in the Catholic gymnasium of Braunsberg, apostatized after the
Vatican Council, and was, in consequence, suspended from the exercise of
the priestly office by his bishop, who declared that, since Wollmann had
left the church, he could no longer be considered a suitable religious
instructor of Catholic youth. Von Mühler, the Minister of Public Worship,
refused to remove Wollmann; and since religious instruction is compulsory,
the pupils who could not in conscience attend his classes were forced to
leave the school.

This act of Von Mühler was in open violation of the Prussian constitution,
which expressly recognized in the Catholic Church the right of directing
the religious instruction of its members.

To require that Catholics should send their children to the lessons of an
excommunicated priest was to trample upon the most sacred rights of
conscience. By declaring, as in this case, that those who rejected the
dogma of infallibility were true Catholics, the German government plainly
showed that it intended to assume the competency of deciding in all
matters of faith, and consequently to wholly ignore the existence of any
religious authority distinct from that of the state.

Bismarck’s next move was not less arbitrary or tyrannical. He proposed to
the Federal Council and Reichstag a law against what was termed the abuse
of the pulpit, by which the office of preaching should be placed under the
supervision of the police.

This law, which was passed by a feeble majority, was simply a renewal of
the attempt to suppress Christianity made by the Jewish Council in
Jerusalem when the apostles first began to preach in the name of Jesus,
without asking permission of the rulers of the people: “But that it may be
no further spread among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak
no more in this name to any man. And calling them, they charged them not
to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts iv. 17, 18).

The injustice of this law was very well shown by the Saxon member of the
Federal Council, who pointed out the fact that, whilst liberty of speech
was denied to Catholic priests, socialists and infidels were permitted
every day to attack the very foundations of all government and
civilization.

This, however, is but the necessary consequence of the theory of the
_state‐God_. To preach in the name of any other God is treason; whereas
atheism is the correlative of the omnipotence of the government. That the
present tendency in Germany is to put the nation in the place of God is
expressly recognized by the _Allgemeine Evang. Luth. Kirchenzeitung_,
which is the organ of orthodox Lutheranism. These are its words: “For the
dogmatic teaching of Christianity they hope to substitute the national
element. The national idea will form the germ of the new religion of the
empire. We have already seen the emblems which foreshadow the manner in
which this new worship is to be organized. Instead of the Christian
festivals, they will celebrate the national memories, and will call to the
churches the masses to whom the road is no longer known. Have we not seen,
on the anniversary of Sedan, the _eidolon_ of the emperor placed upon the
altar, whilst the pulpit was surrounded with the busts of the heroes of
the war?

“During eight days they wove crowns of oak‐leaves and the church was
filled; whilst out of ten thousand parishioners, scarcely a dozen can be
got together to listen to the word of God. Such is the religion of the
future church of the empire. Little more is needed to revive the ancient
worship of the Roman emperors; and if the history of Germany is to be
reduced to this duel between the church of the emperor and that of the
Pope, we must see on which side the Lutherans will stand.”

The next attack on the church was made under cover of an enactment on the
inspection of public schools. A project of law was presented to the House
of Deputies, excluding all priests from the inspection of schools, and at
the same time obliging them to undertake this office whenever asked to do
so by the state authorities. This latter clause was, however, so openly
unjust that it was rejected by the House. But the law, even as it stands,
is a virtual denial that Catholic schools have any right to exist at all,
and is an evidence that the German Empire intends to destroy Christian
faith by establishing an atheistic system of popular education.

And now war was declared against the Jesuits. The Congress of the Old
Catholics, which met at Munich in September, 1871, had passed violent
resolutions against the order; and later the Old Catholic Committee at
Cologne presented a petition against the Jesuits to the imperial
Parliament.

The debate was opened in the month of May, 1872. A project of law,
restricting the liberties of religious orders, and especially directed
against the Society of Jesus, was brought before the Federal Council and
accepted by a large majority. When it came before the imperial Parliament,
amendments were added rendering it still more harsh and tyrannical. The
order was to be shut out from the empire, its houses to be closed, foreign
Jesuits were to be expelled, and the German members of the society were to
be confined to certain districts; and the execution of these measures was
to be entrusted to the Federal Council.

On the 4th of July the law received the approval of the emperor, and on
the 5th it was promulgated.

Thus in the most arbitrary manner, without any legal proceedings, hundreds
of German citizens, against whom there was not the slightest proof of
guilt, were deprived of all rights and expelled from their country.
Besides, the measure was based upon the most ignorant misconception of the
real condition of the church, and was therefore necessarily ineffective.
The religious orders and the secular priesthood do not represent opposite
tendencies in the church; their aims are identical, and, in our day at
least, the secular priests are as zealous, as active, and as efficient as
the members of the religious orders.

What end, then, was to be gained by expelling the Jesuits, whilst devoted
and faithful priests were left to minister to the Catholic people, whose
faith had been roused by this scandalous persecution of men whom they knew
to be guilty of no crime except that of loving Jesus Christ and his
church? The blow struck at the Jesuits was, in truth, aimed at the church,
and this the bishops, priests, and entire Catholic people of Germany at
once recognized. They saw now, since even the possibility of doubting was
no longer left to them, that the German Empire had declared open war
against the church; and Bismarck, seeing that his half‐way measures had
deceived no one, resolved to adopt a policy of open violence. With this
view a new minister of Public Worship was appointed in the person of Dr.
Falk, who drew up the plan of the famous Four Church Laws to which he has
given his name, and which was adopted on the 11th of May, 1873.

In virtue of these laws—which it is unnecessary to transcribe in full—the
state arrogates the right of appointing to all ecclesiastical offices,
since the government claims authority to approve or annul all nominations
made by the bishops; and the President of the Province (_Oberpraesident_)
is bound to interdict the exercise of any religious function to
ecclesiastics appointed without his consent. The bishop who makes an
appointment to the cure of souls without the consent of the civil
authority is fined from two hundred to one thousand thalers; and the
priest who, appointed in this way, exercises spiritual functions, is
visited with a proportionate fine. This is an attempt to change the very
nature of the church; it is a denial of its right to exist at all.

The third of these laws creates the “Royal Court of Justice for
Ecclesiastical Affairs,” which claims and possesses by act of Parliament
the right to reform all disciplinary decisions made by the bishops in
relation to the ecclesiastics under their jurisdiction. This same court
has by law the right to depose any ecclesiastic whose conduct the
government may see fit to consider _incompatible with public order_.

The Pope is interdicted from the exercise of disciplinary power within the
territory of the Prussian monarchy.

The state takes control of the education of the young men destined to the
priesthood. It requires them to pass the _arbiturienten‐examen_ in a
German gymnasium, and then to devote three years to the study of theology
in a German university, during which time they are not to be permitted to
live in an episcopal seminary; and thereafter they are to pass a public
examination before the state officials. All educational establishments for
the clergy, especially all kinds of seminaries, are placed under the
superintendence of the government, and those which refuse to submit to
this supervision are to be closed. The education of priests, the fitness
of candidates for holy orders, appointments to the cure of souls, the
infliction of ecclesiastical censures, the soundness of the faith of the
clergy, are, in the new German Empire, matters to be regulated by the
police.

This is not a struggle between Catholicity and Protestantism; it is a
battle between the Atheist State and the Kingdom of God. The Protestant
Church in Germany does not alarm Bismarck, because it is feeble and has no
independent organization, since its ministers are appointed and ruled by
the emperor, and it is also well understood that very few of them have any
faith in positive religion.

But the orthodox Protestants of Germany thoroughly understand that the
attempt to crush the Catholic Church is meant to be a fatal blow at the
vital principle of all religion. This is recognized by the _Allgemeine
Evang. Luth. Kirchenzeitung_ in the article from which we have already
quoted. “It is a common remark,” says this organ of orthodox Lutheranism,
“that the blows struck at the Church of Rome will tell with redoubled
force against the evangelical church. But what is meant to injure, only
helps the Roman Church. There she stands, more compact than ever, and the
world is amazed at beholding her strength. Once the word of the Monk of
Wittenberg made her tremble, but to‐day the blows of power make her
stronger. Let us beware of illusion; it is certain that in the Protestant
North of Germany there has grown up a public opinion on the Church of Rome
which provokes the respect even of the liberals. We have enough to do,
they say, to fight the socialists; it is time to leave the Catholic
bishops in peace.”

To Be Concluded Next Month.



The Veil Withdrawn.


Translated, By Permission, From The French Of Mme. Craven, Author Of “A
Sister’s Story,” “Fleurange,” Etc.



XXVI.


Among the amusements of the Carnival, there was one in which I was not in
the least tempted to take part—that of the _bal masqué_, or, as it was
called, the Festino di San Carlo. I ought to remark here, however, that it
was with respect to this amusement, above all, Naples differed from Paris.
There was no resemblance between the _bals masqués_ at San Carlo and those
given at the opera in Paris. No virtuous or even prudent woman, I imagine,
would think of venturing to attend the latter; whereas at San Carlo it was
not only common to find married women of rank, but even young ladies under
their mothers’ protection as at any other ball. They wore their masks
awhile, amusing themselves, if they had the turn, with mystifying their
friends; then, at a certain hour, several rooms having been formed by
uniting a number of boxes, and illuminated, they all laid aside their
masks, and the various coteries, in groups of ten, fifteen, or twenty
persons, took supper together. I certainly do not pretend to deny (my
story itself would forbid it) that the opportunity of profiting by this
disguise, in order to pass the evening in a less inoffensive manner, was
not made use of by more than one of the company. It could not be
otherwise, perhaps, in a place where this kind of folly reigns, even in a
mitigated form. I only wish to describe its general character at that
time.

I had not, however, the least inclination to attend. The very thought of
wearing a mask was repugnant to me, and to see anybody else with one on
caused me a kind of fear. Besides, I never could understand what pleasure
was to be found in a mystery of this kind, which always seemed childish
and trivial, if not culpable and dangerous. I had neither the faculty of
disguising my voice nor of making use of the jargon that constitutes the
spirit of a _bal masqué_. I therefore flatly refused to join a party of
twenty persons who were to attend the _Festino_ on _Jeudi‐Gras_, and,
after participating for awhile in the amusements of the ball‐room, were to
take supper together.

Stella had neither my repugnance nor my incapacity. She knew how to play
the part of another with grace and skill, and had been urged, as well as
I, to join this merry party; but she denied herself the pleasure in order
to attend a family supper with her aged relatives and their friends, and
we decided with mutual accord that our amusement for the day should be
confined to that which awaited us on my aunt’s balcony on the Toledo.

The hour came at last, and found us under arms—that is to say, our faces
protected by a kind of visor of wire netting, and all of us, except my
aunt, dressed in such a way as not to fear the clouds of flour we were to
face, as well as the missiles which, under the name of _confetti_, were
fearful to encounter, and had nothing sweet about them but the name. Some
carried their precaution so far as to prepare a _costume de bataille_
expressly for the occasion. Of this number were Teresina and Mariuccia,
who, at Lando’s suggestion, had provided themselves with dresses of white
cotton ornamented with bows of rose‐colored ribbon, which enabled them to
encounter the showers of missiles, and were so becoming that they looked
like two of Watteau’s shepherdesses. But my aunt disdained this mixture of
elegance and economy. She did not give a thought to what was to take place
in the street; her whole mind was absorbed in what was to occur in her
drawing‐room. Regardless of danger, she put on a dress of yellow silk of
the brightest shade, and set off her _chignon_ and false braids with a cap
adorned with poppies and corn‐flowers, above which was fastened a bow of
red ribbon, which streamed like a flag from the summit of a tower. This
display was intended to do honor to the visitors who merely came for their
own convenience. For the most part, they only entered her house with an
eye to her balcony: but in order to obtain access to it, they were obliged
to pass through the drawing‐room, where Donna Clelia herself was stationed
to arrest the passers‐by and exact a tribute of politeness no one could
refuse, and which, brought to such close terms, every one liberally paid.
Never had she, therefore, in a single day reaped a like harvest of new and
distinguished acquaintances; never had she received at once so great a
number of desirable invitations, for could they do otherwise than requite
hospitality with hospitality? My aunt thus had at the beginning of the day
one hour of happiness without alloy!

At length the battle began in earnest. To those who have taken part in
such combats it is useless to describe the enthusiasm and madness which
every one ends by manifesting; to those who have not had the experience it
is equally useless to try to give an idea of it. It must be acknowledged,
however, that the first volley of _confetti_ is by no means very amusing
to the recipient, and he is tempted to withdraw ill‐humoredly from what
seems at first mere rough, childish sport. Then he endeavors to defend
himself by retaliating. By degrees the ardor of combat is awakened; he
yields to it, he grows furious, and for hours sometimes he persists in
returning volley for volley, unmindful of fatigue, and regardless of the
blows he receives. One thing is hurled after another—hard _confetti_,
fragile eggs, flour, sugar‐plums, flowers, and immense bouquets.... If the
ammunition fails, he throws out of the window whatever comes to hand. He
would rather throw himself out than give up the contest!

This sport had been going on for an hour, and we were still in full glee,
when the Venetian gondola made its appearance in the street. It was
welcomed with shouts and cries of applause from the crowd. In fact,
nothing so splendid of this kind had ever been seen before. It came slowly
along, stopping under every balcony. When it arrived before ours, it
remained a long time, and a furious combat took place. Notwithstanding the
visor that concealed Lorenzo’s face, I easily recognized him by his
slender, stately form. Lando and Mario looked very well also, but Lorenzo
surpassed them all by the grace and ease with which he wore his costume,
as well as the skill with which he threw his bouquets to the precise spot
he aimed at. He soon recognized me likewise, and threw me a bunch of
roses!...

Alas! those withered roses. I preserved them a long time in memory of a
day that was to end in so strange a manner!...

After the gondola had gone entirely out of sight, I concluded to leave the
balcony, in order to take some rest while awaiting the return of the
brilliant masquerade. This would not be till nightfall, when the gondola
was to be illuminated throughout. I had therefore nearly an hour before me
in which to repair my strength. But when I entered the drawing‐room, I was
frightened at the sight which met my eyes. My poor aunt’s brilliant toilet
had undergone the most disastrous consequences possible to imagine, and I
found her so covered with flour and blood that I scarcely recognized her!

In this kind of war, as in all others, nothing is more dangerous than to
attract the attention of the enemy. A hat, a ribbon, any dress whatever
the least remarkable in its color, instantly becomes the object of
universal aim. It seems Donna Clelia, after welcoming her company in the
drawing‐room, was tempted to go and see in her turn what was taking place
on the battle‐field; but no sooner had she stepped her foot on the
balcony, no sooner were her poppies visible, and her red ribbons began to
wave in the air, than from every balcony, every window, in the
neighborhood, there fell on her head such a hail‐storm of missiles of all
kinds that, in a second, not only had her flowers, ribbons, and _chignon_
disappeared under a thick layer of flour, but, having neglected to provide
herself with a visor, she had been struck in the very middle of the face
by some of the _confetti_ I have spoken of, which are merely hard balls of
plaster in the centre. No one perceived this in the ardor of the combat,
no one left the _mélée_ to go to her assistance, and she was still in the
arm‐chair where she had thrown herself, stunned by the violence of the
attack!...

I sprang towards her, and hastened to bathe her face with cold water. I
then saw it was only her nose (a somewhat prominent feature in her face)
that had suffered a slight contusion, though sufficient to inundate her
laces and yellow dress with blood, so that the damage they sustained, as
well as her head‐dress, was irreparable!...

But in the midst of all this my aunt remained cool and courageous. Like a
general wounded on the day of victory, she smiled at the result of her
rashness, and, while I was ministering to her wants, she exclaimed:

“It is nothing; no matter! Thanks, Ginevrina mia! _Che bel divertimento!_
I never passed such a day in my life!... Do you know, the Duchessa di L——
has invited me to play _la pignata_(81) at her house a week from Sunday.
And then the gentleman with H.R.H., the Count of Syracuse, has promised to
get me an invitation to one of the amateur comedies. And the gondola—what
do you say to that? Didn’t your husband look handsome enough for you?...
How _simpatico_ that Lorenzo is!... Ah! _figlia mia_, the Madonna has done
well for you!... I hope she will think of us some day!...”

My aunt rambled on in this way while I was trying to repair her disordered
attire, after dressing her wounds. This took some time; but I still
hesitated about leaving her, though she begged me to return to the balcony
and not trouble myself any more about her. I obeyed her at last; but this
interruption had put an end to my enthusiastic gayety, and, when I
returned to my place, I no longer felt any disposition to resume the sport
I found so amusing only a short time before. Besides, it was growing dusk
and the combat was slackening, though the noise and confusion in the
street increased as the time approached for the return of the gondola.
While I was thus standing motionless in the obscurity of one corner of the
balcony where we were assembled, I suddenly heard some words from the
adjoining balcony of the next house that attracted my attention:

“Valenzano must be fabulously rich, but he is going to ruin at full speed,
the dear duke.”

“In the first place, he is really very wealthy,” was the reply; “and when
he gains his lawsuit in Sicily, he will be the richest man in this part of
Italy. I do not consider his entertaining company, however distinguished
it may be, or giving his pretty wife a new set of ornaments now and then,
or throwing away a few hundred dollars as he has done to‐day, as an
extravagance that will ruin a man of his means.”

“No, of course not, if that were all.”

“What else is there?... He used to play high, but they say he never
touches a card now.”

The other speaker burst into a loud laugh, and, after a moment’s silence,
resumed in a lower tone:

“He no longer plays in company, but I assure you _Qui a bu boira_ and _Qui
a joué jouera_. I should be satisfied with an income equal to what he
spends in one evening at _lansquenet_ or _baccara_ since he stopped
playing whist and _écarté_ in the drawing‐rooms to which he accompanies
the duchess.”

Their voices grew still lower, and the few words I heard were so
indistinct that I only caught the following:

“But as there is no doubt as to the result of the lawsuit in Sicily, there
is no danger of a catastrophe.”

At that moment the uproar in the street became deafening. Shouts and wild
applause announced the approach of the gondola, and redoubled in
proportion to its nearness. It really presented a fairy‐like appearance.
It was lit up with a thousand lamps of all colors, and from time to time
brilliant rockets were sent up, casting a momentary gleam over the crowd,
and then vanishing, leaving everything in obscurity except the dazzling
gondola, which proceeded slowly along without stopping this time beneath
the balconies. No _confetti_ or flowers were thrown; the combat was over.
It was now merely a magnificent picturesque spectacle. I saw Lorenzo
again, and more distinctly than before, for he had taken off his visor;
but he could not see me in the obscurity of our balcony. He was standing
in a group on the deck of the gondola as it went by. They were all dressed
in Venetian costumes, which produced an extremely picturesque effect. It
was like a living representation of one of Paul Veronese’s paintings. I
could not take my eyes off so brilliant and extraordinary a spectacle, and
the gondola had gone some distance when I suddenly saw Lorenzo (it was
really he; I should have known him, even if his face had not at that
moment been turned towards the bright light) rapidly ascend the light
staging at one end of the gondola, holding in his hand a small bunch of
jasmine tied with a white ribbon, which, when he arrived at the top, he
threw towards a window in which gleamed a little light. ... It reached its
destination. The window immediately closed, the light disappeared, and
Lorenzo descended and was lost in the crowd that thronged the gondola. All
this took place so quickly that I could hardly account for the attention
with which I watched this little evolution and the degree of vexation it
caused me. Lorenzo, in the course of the day, had thrown more than a
hundred bouquets of the same kind. Why was I more curious to know the
destination of this one than I had been of the rest? But fatigue and the
deafening noise rendered me incapable of reflecting any length of time on
what I had just witnessed and what I had heard on the balcony. There was
almost immediately a general confusion, for the return of the gondola was
the signal for dispersing. I remained till the last to ascertain the
condition of my aunt after her accident, and did not leave her till she
had promised to go to bed and let the baroness, who willingly accepted the
charge, accompany her daughters to the _Festino_ at midnight.

Having returned home, I likewise returned to my room, where I threw myself
on a sofa, exhausted with fatigue. Lorenzo returned at a later hour. He
came up to my room, spoke affectionately, advised me to take some repose,
and inquired if I had absolutely decided not to go to San Carlo. I replied
that, even if I had intended going, I should be obliged to give it up now.
He did not insist, and my eyes were already beginning to close when he
embraced me, as he was going away, and said: “Till to‐morrow, Ginevra; for
the _Festino_ will not be over till daylight, you know.”



XXVII.


I slept as the young do when suffering from unusual fatigue—that is to
say, with a sleep so profound that, when I awoke, I had no idea of the
lateness of the hour or where I was, and I felt as completely rested as if
I had slept the entire night. The sound of carriage‐wheels on the gravel
of the avenue facing my room had roused me from my slumbers, and I now
heard steps and the sound of voices in a subdued tone in the chamber
adjoining mine. My door soon opened, and Ottavia entered, moving
cautiously, as if she supposed me asleep. But as soon as I spoke, I heard
a silvery laugh behind her, and, to my great surprise, Stella made her
appearance. She had on a black domino with the hood thrown back, and in
her hand she held two masks and another domino like her own.

“You see I was right, Ottavia,” she exclaimed. “I was sure we should find
her awake, and, what is still better, she is dressed! That is fortunate!
Now, Ginevra, you must absolutely consent to indulge in the pleasure of
spending an hour with me at San Carlo—only an hour! Here, look at the
clock; it is half‐past twelve. I promise to bring you back before two to
continue the fine nap I have disturbed.”

I rubbed my eyes and looked at her, without comprehending a thing she
proposed.

“Come, come, Ginevra!” she continued, “wake up, I tell you, and listen to
what I say. In the first place, you must know we have had no supper or
company at our house to‐night. My uncle had an attack of the gout and went
to bed at nine o’clock, and I played cards with my aunt till midnight. But
just as we were both going to our rooms, she all at once
remembered—perhaps touched by my good‐humor—how much she used to enjoy
going to the _Festini_, and told me, of her own accord, it was not too
late to go, if I knew of any friend to accompany me. It occurred to me at
once, Ginevra, it would be very amusing for you to go and quiz _il Signor
Duca_ a little. He is absolutely sure you are in bed fast asleep. You can
tell him a thousand things nobody knows but yourselves, which will set him
wild with amazement and curiosity. You can acknowledge everything to‐
morrow, and he will be the first to declare it an excellent joke. As for
me, I am not sorry to have an opportunity of telling your august brother a
few truths in return for certain remarks about my exuberant gayety and
levity not quite to my liking. . . . Come, come, Ginevra, we must not lose
any time. Consent, and I will tell you the rest on the way.”

It is useless to enumerate the additional arguments she used. The result
was, she not only triumphed over my repugnance, but she succeeded in
exciting a lively desire to meet Lorenzo in disguise. It seemed to me I
could say many things I should not dare breathe a word of to his face, and
I could thus relieve my mind of the two or three incidents that had
troubled it within twenty‐four hours.

Stella saw I was ready to yield.

“Quick! quick! Ottavia, help me to put on her domino, and above all, put
back her hair so it cannot be seen. The least curl peeping out of her hood
would be sufficient to betray her. Now, let us see; as we shall have to
separate on entering the hall, we must wear something not too conspicuous
which will enable us to find each other in the crowd of black dominos. Let
me hunt for something.”

She looked around, and soon discovered a large basket, in which remained a
number of small bouquets tied with ribbons of all colors, prepared for the
contests that morning.

“The very thing,” said she. And while Ottavia was executing her orders and
concealing my hair, Stella selected two small bunches of flowers, one tied
with red, and the other with white, ribbon.

“Nothing could be better,” said she. “The flowers are alike; the ribbons
alone different. Look! see where I have put my badge. Here is yours. Put
it in the same place, on the left side near the shoulder.”

But when I saw that the little bouquet she gave me was of _jasmine tied
with a white ribbon_, the emotion I felt was extreme. I did not manifest
it, however, for I knew if I told Stella the reason, she would burst into
laughter, and ask if I was going to worry myself about all the bouquets my
husband had thrown by the dozen that day upon all the balconies on the
Toledo, and if I intended to bring him to an account for them. I therefore
made no comment on this singular coincidence; but while I was fastening
the bouquet on, as Stella had directed, I suddenly recollected, I know not
why, it was by giving Lorenzo a sprig of jasmine I pledged myself to be
his for life!

Having completed my preparations, with the exception of my mask, which I
carried in my hand to put on at the last moment, I drew up my hood and
followed Stella, escorted to the foot of the staircase by my good old
Ottavia, who, though accustomed to the follies of the Carnival, shook her
head as she saw me depart, and looked at me with a more anxious expression
than usual. Was she thinking of the evening when she saw me set out for my
first ball—of fearful memory? Did she recall my mother’s anxiety? And did
she remember to beg her to watch over her child and pray for her, as she
did then? . . .

As we approached San Carlo, I was again seized with fear, and regretted
having yielded to Stella’s entreaties.

“What will become of us alone in the crowd with no one to protect us?”
said I.

“Our masks are a sufficient protection, especially to‐night. There will be
so large a number of ladies of rank at the _Festino_ that no one will
venture to say a word to us that surpasses the bounds of pleasantry. There
would be too much danger of addressing some one who would resent it. As to
our masks, you need not be anxious. The rules of the _bals masqués_
absolutely forbid any one’s touching them, and these rules are respected
even by those who do not respect any other. But, apropos of masks, it is
time to put yours on.”

I still hesitated. But at last, as I was on the point of descending from
the carriage, I decided to fasten my mask on, and I tremblingly followed
Stella, or rather, she took my arm and drew me along.

My first feeling, on finding myself in such a crowd, was one of
inexpressible terror. I was seized with an invincible embarrassment and a
sensation of suffocation so painful that it was with all the difficulty in
the world I kept myself from tearing off the mask that seemed to hinder me
from breathing. But Stella laughingly encouraged me in a whisper, and by
degrees I became accustomed to the deafening sound of the music, the
exclamations and resonant voices on every side, as well as the sight of
the dominos and masks of all colors in circulation around us. She led me
on some distance, cautioning me in a low tone to make no reply, and making
none herself, to the observations here and there addressed the two “fair
masks” who were gliding through the crowd. At length we came to a pillar,
against which we leaned, and she whispered:

“Let this place be our rendezvous. You will certainly see Lorenzo pass by
in a few moments. As for me, I do not see your brother anywhere, but
yonder is Landolfo. I will amuse myself by talking nonsense with him. Do
not be afraid, and, above all, do not lose your badge, or I shall be
unable to find you. I will be careful of mine also. If I arrive here
first, I will wait for you. You must do the same.”

She disappeared as she uttered these words, and I stood still for some
minutes, looking around with uneasiness and terror caused by the
impossibility of persuading myself I was not seen and recognized by
everybody. But after three or four gentlemen of my acquaintance passed by
with a mere glance of indifference, I began to take courage, and finally
became sufficiently cool to consider what I should do and the means of
attaining my object.

I began by looking around on all sides, but for some time it was in vain.
I could not see Lorenzo anywhere, and had decided to leave my post in
order to search for him in some other part of the hall, when all at once I
saw him some distance off, coming in my direction. He was walking slowly
along, looking around with a certain attention, as if he was also in
search of some one. We were separated by the crowd, and it was not easy to
reach him. I advanced a few steps, however, and at that instant, but only
for an instant, there was an opening in the crowd which enabled him, in
his turn, to see me. I saw a flash of joy on his face. He recognized me,
it was evident; by what means I did not ask. I no longer remembered my
intention of mystifying him. I sprang towards him, and he towards me. I
passed my arm through his, still too much excited by my previous fears and
my joy at finding him to utter a word....

A moment passed—a single moment, brief and terrible,... for he spoke—yes,
at once, and with vehemence, with passion!... But ... it was not to me!...
No, it was to her he expected to meet. I heard his lips murmur the
detested name that had not met my ear since I left Paris!...

I was so astounded that I gave him time to say what I ought not to have
heard, what I did not wish to hear!... Then ... I know not what impulse I
yielded to, for I lost the power of reflection—I abruptly withdrew my arm
from his, and fell back with so quick and violent a movement that the
crowd opened a moment to make way for me, and then closed, completely
separating me from him.... I tore off the flowers and ribbon I wore, and
threw them on the ground. I could not now be distinguished from the other
black dominos around me. But I was no longer afraid. I cared for nothing
now but to get away—to fly as fast as possible from so horrible a place. I
hurried along in such a wild, rapid way that every one looked at me with
surprise, and stood aside for me to pass. I thus succeeded in leaving the
hall and reaching the passage, where I was obliged to stop to take breath.
The passers‐by addressed me, but I heard nothing but the words that still
resounded in my ears. I was conscious of nothing but a fearful anguish and
the rapid beating of my heart.

While standing there, all at once ... O merciful heavens!... I saw a lady
pass only a few steps off.... She was of my height, and, like me, wore a
black domino with a sprig of jasmine tied with a white ribbon, similar to
the one I had just torn off, and doubtless the same my eyes had followed a
few hours before! I recognized her at once, and imagined I saw through her
mask the sinister gleam of two large blue eyes! She traversed the passage
and entered the hall, where she disappeared. I trembled fearfully from
head to foot, my sight grew dim, my strength began to fail me. I felt as
if I should die on the spot if I did not take off the mask that was
suffocating me, and yet I was still conscious I ought to keep it on at all
hazards. I threw around a glance of despair, hoping to see Stella, and
forgetting she would not be able to recognize me, even if she thought of
looking for me so far from the spot where she left me. What torture! Great
God!... My strength was gone, my voice failed me, I felt my knees give
way, when, O unlooked‐for happiness! I saw Mario pass by. The stifled cry
I uttered died away on my lips before it could reach his ear, but he saw
the effort I made, he felt my hand on his arm, and stopped. He began to
address me in the customary way on such occasions, but I made no reply. I
had recovered strength enough, however, to draw him towards the door, and
he unresistingly followed my lead; but, as we were going out, he stopped
me with an air of surprise, and said:

“I am ready to follow you wherever you wish, fair mask, but do you know
yourself where you wish to go?”

I was only able to incline my head as a sign of affirmation, and he
suffered me to lead him into the street. As soon as we were out of doors,
I tore off my mask, and found strength enough to say:

“It is I, Mario. Help me to get away from this detestable place!”

“Ginevra!” exclaimed he, drawing me along several steps to look at my face
by the light of the torches not far off. He seemed frightened at my looks.
My face was convulsed and lividly pale.

“Good heavens, sister!” said he gravely, “what has happened? How is it you
are alone in this place at such an hour? Where is Lorenzo? Shall I go for
him?”

“No, no! Oh! no,” I exclaimed with anguish. “For pity’s sake, Mario, be
silent. Help me to get away, I say. That is all I ask. Do this, and ask me
no questions.”

His face darkened He silently took hold of my arm, and led me to the place
where he had left his carriage. I entered it, and was on the point of
going away without another word when I bethought myself of Stella. I
hesitated, however, to expose her to his sarcastic comments, and perhaps
to the suspicions I saw were already excited in my brother’s distrustful
mind, and said in a supplicating tone:

“One favor more, Mario, which I am sure you will no more refuse your
sister than any other lady. I did not come here alone.”

At these words his face assumed an expression which I answered with a
smile of disdain.

“Do you suppose, Mario, if I did not come here with Lorenzo, I would
accept the escort of any other gentleman?” I stopped a moment, at once
irritated and impatient, but finally continued:

“The fact is, Mario, if you must know it, it was he, it was Lorenzo
himself, I came to see. I wished to play a joke on him and mystify him a
little, by way of amusing myself.”

I think my smile must have been frightful as I said this, for my brother
looked anxiously at me, though he seemed satisfied with my explanation.

“But I have been punished,” I continued, “terribly punished.... I failed
in my object,... and thought I should die in the crowd.”

I could say no more. The tears I could not repress choked me. Mario at
once softened.

“I understand, sister—the noise, heat, and so forth were overpowering.
Those who go to a _bal masqué_ for the first time often experience this,
but another time it will not happen.”

“God preserve me from ever going to another!” said I in a low tone. “But I
was about to say, Mario, that the person, the lady, who came with me is
probably looking for me by this time. Search for her. Her domino is like
mine, and you will know her by a sprig of jasmine tied with a red ribbon.”

“I saw such a domino not long ago on Lando’s arm.”

“It was she. Find her, and tell her not to be anxious; that I was ill, and
could not wait for her. That is all. Thanks, Mario. One word more,
however. As I did not succeed with regard to Lorenzo, I do not wish him to
know anything about it.”

He made a sign that he understood me, and closed the door of the carriage,
which soon took me home. Ottavia, who alone sat up for me, was alarmed at
seeing me return in such a condition. I repeated the account I had given
Mario, and had no difficulty in convincing her I was ill. The change in my
face was sufficient to prove it; but what was this paleness, great God! in
comparison with the change that had come over my life within the hour that
had scarcely elapsed?



XXVIII.


This time the thunderbolt had really fallen on my head! Many times had I
heard it rumbling afar off, and once I thought myself fatally injured; but
after a few stormy days, calmness was restored, the blue sky became
visible, and the sun once more diffused the light and warmth of renewed
confidence and happiness. The desire of being happy seconded my effort to
become so. And, as I have remarked, the liveliness, buoyancy, and love of
pleasure natural to the young, as well as the beauty of Naples and the
influence of its climate, all tended to surround me with an atmosphere at
once enervating and intoxicating. But now, in an instant, without any
warning, all my hopes were crushed, annihilated, for ever at an end!

“Should Lorenzo become treacherous, unfaithful, and untrue to his word,
could I continue to love him? What would become of me in such a case?”
Such were the questions I once asked myself, and they were the sincere cry
of my heart.

Now all this was realized. A person more treacherous, more deceitful, more
untrue than he it seemed impossible to find. Everything now became clear.
The words I heard, so plainly interpreted by the instinct they awakened
and that had already warned me so strangely, enabled me to comprehend
everything. Whether there was any good reason or not for his frequent
absence, it was evident he had always met her. It was therefore from these
interviews he had derived the cheerfulness and good‐humor that apparently
made him enjoy so much the comfort and splendor he afterwards came to
participate in with me. Once—who can tell for what reason?—he had delayed
going. It was then, probably, she came herself to meet him, not
foreseeing, or he either, it would be before my very eyes!...

Even at the present time it would perhaps agitate me and disturb the
tranquillity of my soul, should I dwell too long on the thoughts which
then overwhelmed me, and from which I derived the conviction that I no
longer loved Lorenzo. But I suffered from the deadly chill his treachery
had struck to my heart. I would rather have experienced the torment of
jealousy than the chill of indifference. To suffer from that would still
have been life. To suffer as I did was like being paralyzed, petrified,
dead.

Women more generous, more courageous, and more devoted than I, had, I was
aware, won back such inconstant hearts, and found happiness once more in
the sweetest of victories; but their example occurred to me without
producing any impression. I was not in a condition to be influenced by it.
My aimless life had resulted in the almost complete prostration of my
strength of volition. In this condition I could neither suffer with
courage, nor act with wisdom, nor resist temptation with any energy of
will....

O my God! it is with my face prostrate in the dust I desire to write the
pages that are to follow. It is not without hesitation I continue my
account. But the remembrance of thy mercy prevails over everything, and
effaces the very recollection of the faults and follies that serve to make
it manifest! Like our divine poet wandering in the mazes of that gloomy
forest which is the image of life, I, in my turn, attempt


    “To discourse of what there good befell;
    All else will I relate discovered there.”(82)


Mario, Stella, and Ottavia were the sole confidants of my secret, and they
kept it faithfully. Lorenzo had the less reason for suspecting I had been
to the ball when, returning home at six o’clock in the morning, he learned
I had had a violent attack of fever in the night, and was not able to
rise. There was no deception in this. It was not a mere pretext for
keeping my chamber, but the too natural consequence of the terrible
excitement of the night I had passed.

Lorenzo came several times to know how I was, and manifested more apparent
affection than usual; and yet once or twice, though perhaps my imagination
deceived me, I thought I saw something like embarrassment or uneasiness in
his face. I was, however, too ill all the morning to observe him closely
or make any reply to what he said.

Towards evening I felt better, and, though still weak, I got up. Lorenzo
came to see if anything serious was likely to result from my
indisposition, and, being reassured on this point, he went out as usual,
leaving me alone with Stella, who had spent part of the day at my bedside,
though I had not been able to talk with her any more than with him. Her
face was as grave that day as it was usually smiling. Stella’s
cheerfulness resulted from her complete lack of egotism. She regarded the
happiness of others as a treasure from which she took all she needed for
herself; and was happy, therefore, through sympathy. It was, so to speak,
a reflected happiness. Admirable disposition! Incapable of exacting
anything in view of her own lot, or of envying that of others, she was a
delightful friend in times of prosperity, and, at the same time, a devoted
adherent in misfortune, and the sweet, compassionate confidant of others’
sorrows. My disappearance the evening before, the condition in which she
found me in the morning, the incoherent words I uttered, prepared her for
something serious, and she knew beforehand I, of all people in the world,
would not hesitate to tell her the truth. In fact, as soon as we were left
alone in a small sitting‐room next my chamber, I gave her for the first
time a full account of all that had taken place at Paris, as well as the
night before. She listened without interrupting me, and, after I ended,
remained silent for some time.

“This is indeed a good lesson for me,” said she at length. “I am cured for
life, I hope, of a folly like that I committed last night.”

“What folly do you allude to?”

“Why, that of coming here and persuading you to go to a place where you
learned what you might for ever have remained ignorant of.”

“And continue to be taken in, deceived, and blinded, to live in an
atmosphere of deception, hypocrisy, and lies, to love what no longer
merits affection? No, Stella, no; do not regret that, thanks to you, it is
no longer the case. Were I to suffer even a thousand times more, were I to
die of anguish, as I thought I should on the spot when I saw that woman
pass by, I should be glad the veil had been torn from my eyes. I can no
longer be happy, it is true. My happiness is ruined beyond repair, but I
love truth better than happiness.”

“And do you think,” said Stella after a fresh pause, “that you can never
forgive Lorenzo?”

“He must, at least, desire it, as you will acknowledge, and this is
precisely what will never happen.”

“Why not?”

“Because I know Lorenzo. If I utter a reproach, it is he who thinks he has
something to forgive. He really obeys no law but the impulse that happens
to predominate. It is not in his nature, doubtless, to show me openly any
ill treatment, but he would break my heart without any scruple in order to
gratify his inclinations. I have no doubt he thinks he has acted with
great delicacy, because he has taken pains to conceal the base course he
has pursued; and when he finds out I have discovered it, it is he who will
think he has a right to be angry. That will be the result. What room is
there for forgiveness in such a tissue of falseness?”

“What can I say to you? It will be no consolation to hear there are many
women who have husbands like him. It is sad to feel there is nothing in
the world so rare as happiness. Nevertheless, it is true, and, for my
part, it has often consoled me for having had so little in my life. And
had I been happy in the beginning, who could tell what the future had in
reserve for me?”

“And you have never thought of marrying again? You can content yourself
with a life devoid of happiness, as well as of suffering?”

She smiled.

“My life is not so exempt from suffering as you may suppose. Neither is it
devoid of happiness while I have my Angiolina. As for marrying again, I
have never happened to meet a person who inspired me with the least desire
of that kind, and I imagine I never shall.”

“It is certain, however, if you wish to marry, you would only have the
trouble of choosing.”

“Perhaps among men not one of whom pleases me. Who knows how it would be
if I took it into my head to fancy some one? But let us leave my affairs
and return to you. Tell me, are you sure Lorenzo has not discovered you
were at the ball?”

“Yes, I am certain he has not. If he had any suspicion, he would not
conceal it from me. Besides, he found me too ill at his return to conceive
such an idea. And yet...”

“Well, go on.”

“Well, I noticed something that seemed to indicate he is not so sure as he
was yesterday of my utter ignorance of all he has thought proper to hide
from me.”

“I agree with you, Ginevra. And shall I tell you what I think?”

“Tell me.”

“That he supposes me to be the mask he addressed by mistake, and does me
the honor of supposing I have denounced him.”

“What an idea!... Why should he suppose it was you?”

“Oh! by that aberration of mind common to gentlemen who frequent masked
balls and persist in thinking they are right every time they are
mistaken.”

“But once more: Why should he suppose you were at the ball? Your secret
has been as well kept as mine, I imagine.”

“Not quite. In the first place, I spoke to several persons. And when Mario
came to deliver your message, I could not repress an exclamation of
surprise, which betrayed me, not only to your brother, but to Lando, on
whose arm I was then leaning. I do not know whether it was he or not who
spread the report, but it has certainly been whispered around that I
attended the _Festino_. Lorenzo has taken the idea I have mentioned into
his head, and of course supposes what I know has been communicated to you,
or will be. This is what I have been wishing to say to you.”

My faithful Ottavia now made her appearance to warn me it was time to
retire. Stella left me, and, after her departure, I began to reflect on
her conjecture and consider what reply I should make, should Lorenzo
question me on the subject. I was far from suspecting the means he would
adopt to anticipate the scene he foresaw.

I was alone the following morning when I saw him enter, calm, smiling, and
self‐possessed, as if there was no actual or possible cloud between us. He
spoke of my health, and, satisfied that I was really better, proceeded to
more indifferent subjects, and then suddenly, with an assurance the
recollection of which still astonishes me, he said:

“Apropos, Ginevra, the Marchesa di Villanera has been in Naples several
days.”

I turned pale.

“Oh! do not be alarmed,” said he. “I have not the slightest intention of
asking you to receive her. I remember too well the sentiments you
expressed on this point at Paris. No, I wish instead to let you know I am
going to escort her to Milan myself, and shall remain there till after the
Carnavalone.”(83)

My heart gave a violent bound. I could not utter a word, but the surprise
that rendered me dumb enabled me to be calm, and, when I finally recovered
my voice, I said:

“You are at liberty to go where you please, Lorenzo. It is a liberty,
moreover, you have always had, and have already made use of, and I cannot
conceive why _this time_ (I emphasized these words) you feel obliged to
tell me the precise object of your journey.”

“Because I wish to be frank with you this time, and I should have been so
before had I not remembered your reproaches, and wished to spare you the
occasion of renewing them. Besides, I no longer have it in my power to
prevent your jealousy, or forbid the conjectures you think proper to
indulge in.”

“Lorenzo!” I said almost in a scream, and I was on the point of giving
utterance to all that filled my heart to overflowing when, with the stern,
imperious accent he knew how to assume, though without rudeness or the
least violence, he stopped me.

“Not another word, Ginevra; not one, I beg, out of love for yourself. Do
not destroy your future happiness in a moment of anger! There are some
things I _will not_ listen to, and which, for your own interest as well as
mine, I forbid your saying!”

I had no chance to reply, for he took my hand before I could prevent it,
and said:

“_Au revoir_, Ginevra. I hope, at my return, to find you as calm and
reasonable as I desire.”

He kissed my hand and left the room.

The state in which he left me cannot be described. I need not say how
incapable I was of reflection, of effort, or any struggle whatever against
the feelings it was natural I should have. I felt outraged as it seemed to
me no woman had ever been. My mind lost its clearness, my judgment was
impaired, and for some hours I was wild.

After Lorenzo’s departure, it seemed impossible to remain alone. I could
not endure inaction and repose for an instant. I ordered my carriage for a
drive—not, as usual, with Stella and in a direction where I should find
solitude, but, on the contrary, where I was most sure of meeting a crowd.
I smilingly returned the numerous salutations I received, and, instead of
appearing troubled or downcast, I looked around with eager interest, as if
hoping to find some means of escaping from myself and leaving my troubles
forever behind me.

I returned home as late as possible, and found Stella awaiting me. She had
been disappointed at my not calling for her, and had come to ascertain the
reason. Finding I had gone out, she was surprised I had forgotten her, but
was still more so when I told her I should go to the ball at the French
ambassador’s that evening. I seldom went anywhere alone, and it was only
the day before I had told her decidedly I should never attend another
ball. Her eyes were fastened on me with a look of sympathy, as she said:

“Poor Ginevra!”

I begged her in a hasty, irritated manner not to waste any pity on me, and
then added:

“To‐morrow, if you like, we will talk about it; but not to‐day, I beg. Let
us give our whole thoughts to the ball. You will go, I hope.”

“Yes, if you have really decided to go.”

“That is right. Good‐by till this evening, then.”

Thus dismissed, she left me, and I summoned my waiting‐maid to do what I
had never required before. I ordered everything I was to wear to be spread
out before me. I examined my diamonds and pearls, and gave the most minute
directions about the way I intended to wear them. I then began my toilet,
though long before the time, and was as long about it as possible. So many
women, thought I, seem to take infinite pleasure in creating a sensation
when they enter a ball‐room, receiving compliments and homage on all
sides, why should I not try this means of diversion as well as other
people? I am beautiful, there is no doubt; very beautiful, they say. Why
should I not endeavor to excite admiration? Why not become vain and
coquettish in my turn?

In a word, the hour had arrived spoken of in the first part of this story,
as the reader will recollect—the hour when, for the first and only time
after my mother’s death and the tragical end of Flavio Aldini, the lively
vanity of girlhood, roused by irritation, jealousy, and grief, broke
through the restraint which an ineffaceable remembrance and the grace of
God had imposed upon it, and for once I saw what I should doubtless have
been without the divine, mysterious influence that warred within me
against myself. I had corresponded to this grace, it is true, by my
sincere, determined will, but my volition had now become feeble and
uncertain, and I set out for the ball after thus carefully preparing in
advance the draught of vanity I wished to become intoxicated with.

I had the satisfaction I desired in all its plenitude. I was handsome,
stylish, and elegantly dressed; and yet all this is not the chief cause of
a lady’s success in society. Let those who think so be persuaded of their
error. People accord to these gifts a certain respectful admiration, but
such a success as I obtained that evening—brilliant, demonstrative, and
universal—does not depend on the beauty a person is endowed with, but on
the wish to please she manifests, and this is why the victory is sometimes
so strangely awarded!... I was changed in no respect, except in the
disposition with which I attended the ball, and yet I did not seem to be
the same person. I was surrounded as I had never been before. I excited a
kind of enthusiasm. I received compliments that evening I had never
listened to before. And when, contrary to my usual custom, I announced my
intention to dance, everybody contended for my hand. But, as the evening
advanced, I grew weary of it all, and began to feel my factitious,
feverish gayety subside. When I rose to waltz for the last time, it was
with an effort, and, after my partner led me back to my seat, my smile
vanished, and a cold sense of my wretchedness came over me with unpitying
grasp. “All is useless,” a secret, sorrowful voice seemed to say; “you
must awaken to the reality of your sufferings....”

At that moment I heard beside me a familiar, half‐forgotten voice—calm,
sonorous, and sweet, but now somewhat sarcastic:

“I cannot aspire to the honor of dancing with the Duchessa di Valenzano,
but I hope she will not refuse to recognize me.”

I eagerly turned around, and there beside me I saw the person who uttered
these words was Gilbert de Kergy.



XXIX.


During the week following the ball a most unexpected change took place in
my feelings—a change that at once afforded me so much comfort that I did
not hesitate to think and say that heaven had, in the hour of my greatest
need, sent me a friend.

It must be acknowledged, however, the hour when Gilbert de Kergy so
suddenly made his appearance was not exactly that in which I should have
expected an extraordinary intervention of divine Providence in my behalf.
I ought even to say that the first feeling I experienced at seeing him
again was one of extreme confusion at exhibiting myself under so different
an aspect from that he had seen me in before, and, in fact, so different
from that which was usually mine. This confusion, added to my fatigue and
the painful reaction and disgust which inevitably follow such intoxication
as I had voluntarily indulged in, sent me home in a totally different
frame of mind from that I was in when I left. Two hours before, I beheld
myself in the mirror with great complacency; but when I now saw myself in
this same glass resplendent with jewels and flowers, I turned away with
displeasure, and do not think I should have felt the least regret had I at
that moment been told I wore this brilliant array for the last time.

I hastily took off my diamonds and pearls, and changed my dress; and when
at length I found myself alone, face to face with the thoughts I had
vainly tried to escape from, for the first time since my interview with
Lorenzo a flood of tears came to my relief. The nature of the distraction
I had sought now appeared in all its vanity, and the shame I felt was
increased by the remembrance of Gilbert’s smile and the sarcastic accent
of his words. It was not in this way he had addressed me at Paris. This
was not the grave, respectful manner, so different from that of any other
person, which had so touched and flattered me then. The contrast made me
blush, and I longed to meet him again, that I might efface as completely
as possible the impression now left on his mind.

I longed also to inquire about his mother and Diana. In short, a thousand
recollections, as foreign as possible to everything that surrounded me
now, came to my mind and diverted it more effectually than any amusement
could have done from the cause of my present troubles. I slept more calmly
than I should have supposed after so exciting a day, and the following
morning when I awoke, though my first thoughts were of all I had suffered
the day before, I could not forget the pleasant event that had also
occurred to lighten my burden.

Gilbert had asked at what o’clock he could see me, and, at the appointed
hour, I was ready to receive him. I anticipated his arrival with pleasure,
and felt no embarrassment, except that which resulted from the
recollection of the previous evening. He came punctually, and, after an
observant look and a few minutes’ conversation, he became the same he once
was; which reconciled me a little to myself. We talked about Paris, the
Hôtel de Kergy, and a thousand other things, and his conversation, as
formerly, absorbed my attention, diverted my mind from my troubles, and
awoke an interest in a multitude of things unconnected with him or myself.

As he was on the point of leaving, he smiled, as he said with something of
the sarcastic tone of the evening before:

“I suppose, madame, I cannot flatter myself with the hope of finding you
at home, at least as long as the Carnival lasts.”

“Allow me to undeceive you,” I hastened to reply with a blush. “Whatever
you may have thought last evening, I am not fond of dancing. I very seldom
go to a ball of my own accord, and am sure I shall not attend another this
year. This _soirée_ was every way an exceptional one, as far as I was
concerned.”

“Really! I hope you will not think me too bold if I acknowledge that what
you say affords me pleasure.”

He said this in so frank and natural a way that I was restored to my ease,
and laughingly replied:

“You prefer my former manner? Well, Monsieur de Kergy, I acknowledge you
are right, and let me assure you it was my true one.”

As he was going away, I expressed the hope of seeing him again, and from
that time not a day passed in which I did not meet him. When I had no
engagement elsewhere, I usually spent my evenings at home, where I
invariably received a certain number of friends who were in the habit of
meeting in my drawing‐room. These _soirées_ were not interrupted when
Lorenzo was absent from home, but the number of those who composed the
little circle was more restricted. Stella, of course, never failed to
come, and the other _habitués_ consisted of friends and some of the
foreigners who lived in Naples, or were there temporarily, and preferred a
quiet circle to gayer society.

On the first story, to the right and left, were two long, lateral
terraces, united by a third which extended all along the front of the
house. These terraces surmounted a Greek portico, whose colonnades
surrounded a small square court, like those of Pompeii, into which looked
all the windows of the ground floor. All that part of the house, with the
exception of Lorenzo’s studio, was reserved for large parties, while the
first story was used for ordinary reunions. We therefore generally
assembled in an upper drawing‐room, which opened on one of the lateral
terraces; and from the day I allude to Gilbert regularly formed a part of
the little coterie which met there every evening. His influence was
speedily felt, and the atmosphere once more changed around me as at Paris,
and this change seemed even more beneficial than before. Every one felt
Gilbert’s influence more or less. He possessed the enviable faculty of
elevating the minds of others above their usual level, and of
communicating to them the interest he felt in whatever he was conversing
about. Not that he tried to introduce subjects he had made a special study
of, or to advance theories or opinions that first excited wonder and
afterwards wearied the minds of those on whom he wished to impose them. On
the contrary, he seemed to take an interest in everything except what was
low, repulsive, and absolutely trivial. But subjects of this kind were
rather not thought of than avoided intentionally in these conversations,
which were lively, natural, unrestrained, and agreeable, and at the same
time different from those I took a part in anywhere else.

It soon became evident that this addition to our daily reunions added
singularly to their charm. Never had the annual influx of foreigners been
so favorable to us. Stella, I observed, sometimes looked pensive while
listening to him, and one day she remarked to me she had never seen any
one like M. de Kergy. As for me, I felt the beneficial influence of his
society, and welcomed it without analyzing the enjoyment that had come so
opportunely to divert me from my present trials and renew the influences
of the past, which seemed the best in my life.

The lively indignation that filled my heart every time I thought of
Lorenzo’s absence and its cause continued to be felt. I bitterly compared
the world of perfidy and deceit he had forced me to know, with that to
which Gilbert belonged. I thought of the hopes I once had, and how
irreparably they had been deceived, and these reflections were my only
danger at the time I am speaking of.

The Carnival was now over, but it excited no surprise that Lorenzo wished
to prolong it by remaining at Milan during the Carnavalone. No one even
seemed to think it extraordinary he had gone there with a beautiful woman
who was returning without any escort. Naples, as I have said, was not a
place where evil reports were readily credited. People were not much in
the habit of discussing the deeds and actions of others. Rather than give
themselves up to conjectures common elsewhere, they would make a sign, by
putting the hand to the chin, to signify a thing was nothing to them or
concerned them but little. But this charitable indifference did not
exactly spring from love of their neighbor, and sometimes went so far, it
must be confessed, as to be scandalized at nothing.

I soon perceived, therefore, that though the true cause of Lorenzo’s
absence was known to almost everybody, and though his course inspired a
universal sympathy and compassion for me which wounded my pride, it by no
means excited against him the indignation that at least would have
somewhat avenged me.

Mario alone appeared grave and anxious, but Lando, who was not slow in
discovering the real state of the case, confined himself to some
characteristic remarks which would have appeared insulting had I not
learned never to take anything he said seriously, or attach any importance
to it. One evening, however, finding himself by chance near me in the
drawing‐room, he said in his incorrigible way:

“If I were in your place, I would punish that dear Lorenzo in the way he
deserves. Unfortunately, you are not the woman for that, I know. And,
after all, you need not take the trouble, for I can assure you the fair
Milanese herself will be sure to avenge you.”

I did not utter a word in reply to this language, which wounded all the
pride and self‐respect in my nature, and, at the same time, excited a
torrent of bitterness and contempt for Lorenzo. I thought at that moment
of the fearful vow Livia once spoke of, and asked myself if he, this
perjured partner of my life, did not make this vow as well as I. By what
law, then, was I bound to it, when he had chosen to be free?

I abruptly turned away from Lando as he said this, and left the drawing‐
room, where we happened to be alone.

The fineness of the weather and some indications of activity in Mt.
Vesuvius had drawn all the company that evening out on the terrace. I went
out as if intending to join them, but I did nothing of the kind. On the
contrary, I sought a place apart, where I could enjoy in peace the serene
brilliancy of the heavens, and took a seat overlooking the garden and
commanding a view of the Villa Reale, the bay, and the long line of
mountains beyond It was one of those incomparable evenings in spring‐time
when all you see or hear, and the very air you breathe, at once softens,
enchants, and predisposes the heart to melancholy. I had thrown over my
white dress a large veil of black lace, which I drew up over my head; and,
thus protected from the scarcely perceptible dampness of the night, I gave
myself up without restriction to my feelings of admiration, as well as the
sadness, indignation, and bitterness that filled my heart. Afar off on the
sombre azure of the cloudless heavens streamed a reddish flame whose
brilliancy formed a strong contrast with the trembling, silvery light the
growing moon cast over the waters of the sea. It was one of those
awakenings of Vesuvius, the fearful but magnificent spectacle of which is
always regarded at Naples with a pleasure that greatly surpasses the
anxiety it would be natural to feel at the probable consequences of a new
eruption.

All my guests were at that moment at the end of the terrace, where they
could have a full view of the flaming crater. But I was by no means
disposed to follow their example. I remained in the seat I had taken, my
face uplifted and my eyes gazing into the blue, mysterious depths, which
seemed to direct my thoughts to something far beyond the visible, starry
heavens. I know not how long I had been in this attitude when I perceived
Gilbert, who had been on the other side of the terrace, now standing
before me.

“May I have a seat here, madame,” said he, “or do you prefer continuing
your reverie alone?”

“Oh! no; remain. It is better for me to talk than to dream.”

“And yet, to judge from your looks while thus absorbed, your dreams must
have been delightful I longed to participate in them.”

“I know not whether they were delightful or otherwise, but they were
commonplace and true. Alas! I was thinking that the heavens are as
beautiful as the earth is sad.”

“Sad?... Yes, without doubt, but likewise very beautiful at times,
something like the sky above our heads, so glorious to‐night, but which
does not always look as it does now.”

“But the clouds pass away, and the sky again appears in its unchangeable
beauty; whereas....”

“Whereas, a single day is sometimes sufficient to render our lives totally
different from what they were before. Yes, you are right,” said he.

He was silent for an instant, and then resumed with a smile:

“But these gloomy thoughts do not always prevail. It was very far from the
case the evening I first saw you in Naples.”

“Oh! never speak again of that evening, Monsieur de Kergy, I conjure you,”
I exclaimed with a warmth I could not repress. “Have I not already told
you that I was wretched, infatuated, desperate?...”

I stopped short, confused at what had escaped me. I saw his expression of
surprise, and noticed again the look of sympathy and emotion he had shown
at Paris, as I wept while listening to Diana’s music—a look that silently
asked me the cause of my tears. Alas! the day I last visited the Hôtel de
Kergy was that on which the sadness that now wholly surrounded me first
cast its shadow over my path. But I did not wish to betray what I felt
now, any more than I did then, and I instantly regretted the words I had
just uttered. I think Gilbert perceived it.

“I assure you,” said he after a moment, as if I had never spoken,
“notwithstanding the brilliancy of your attire, you were far less imposing
in my eyes than you are at this moment; and yet I am going to show a
boldness I certainly should not have thought of manifesting that evening,
to which I shall never allude again.”

“What do you mean?”

“You seemed that night to belong to a world whose manners and language I
was ignorant of, and where I felt more out of place and uninitiated than a
savage. I could not have said such a word then. I hardly dared look at you
afar off; whereas—but you will think me presumptuous.”

“No, say what you were going to.”

“Well, then, you seem now, on the contrary, as you did at Paris, a member
of the world I live in—an inhabitant, a queen if you like, or a sister,
perhaps, whose language I speak, as you can mine. That is why ...”

He hesitated an instant, and then continued with an accent of truth and
simplicity that prevented his manner from appearing singular: “That is why
I venture—and it is showing myself very bold—yes, venture, madame, to
consider myself worthy of being your friend, and, should you deign to
accord me this title, I think I can safely promise never to show myself
unworthy of it.”

What reply I made I hardly know, but what I am only too sure of is that
these words were welcome to a heart at once crushed and embittered as mine
then was. The void occasioned by Lorenzo’s treachery caused a suffering
like that of intense hunger. My dignity, even more than my conscience,
forbade my alleviating this hunger by giving vent to my grievances; nor
was I tempted to do so. But was there any reason why I should refuse
myself the solace of such a friendship as Gilbert now offered me? Had I
any other duty now, with regard to Lorenzo, than to show a respect he had
not manifested to the tie that united us? Could not Gilbert, as he had
just offered, be truly my brother in heart and soul? Was he not different,
as Stella acknowledged, from any one I had ever met? And was I not myself
in a position without parallel?

I pass over the remainder of my reflections in silence, merely remarking
here that if all the women who believe themselves to be in an exceptional
position could be counted, they would be astonished, I imagine, to find
their number so great, and would perhaps have to renounce some of the
privileges they lay claim to by virtue of the singularity of their
destiny.

To Be Continued.



Church Chant _Versus_ Church Music.


Concluded.

“Ah! but it is sad to think,” objects a friend at our elbow, “that your
rigid principles deprive the church of the use of the _best_ music. _I_
think she ought to have the very best of all that this world can offer.”

We have already given our friend his answer, from one point of view, in a
former article. We will endeavor to give a fair interpretation of the
answer which the church herself would make:

“It is not the best music, as such, that I want for my divine offices, any
more than I wish my priests to decorate the walls of my churches with the
_chefs‐d’œuvre_ of painting and sculpture simply because they are
masterpieces of art. I certainly want, and rejoice to possess, _the best
that is suitable_ in art, whether of melody, painting, or sculpture, and
even of scientific discovery or invention; but my canons of suitability
would be a besom of destruction to gas‐lighted altar‐candles and sanctuary
lamps, fixed or portable opera‐glasses for the use of distantly‐placed
worshippers, the manufactured mimic rain, hail, and thunder storms at the
beck of organ pedals, the statues of the Apollo Belvidere or the Greek
Slave, valuable paintings of first‐class yachts, fast horses, or prize
cattle, even if they came from the pencil of a Landseer or a Rosa Bonheur;
and if I cared for melody of any style for its own sake, my child, I would
strongly advise my American clergy to engage the services of Theodore
Thomas or Patrick J. Gilmore, whose orchestral performances are truly
delicious, and the best for their purpose that can be procured in my
beloved dominions of the western hemisphere. _But the purpose of these
delightful concerts is not a part of my programme._ The disciples of the
Grand Lama, I am told, turn off their rosaries and other prayers by means
of a crank, as music is often made by mechanical organs; but my prayers
and melodies are not made in this fashion. Have your _best_ music, as you
define it, sung and performed where it suits the best; go and hear it, and
God bless you; but please do not let me hear of your inventing and using a
small patent steam‐whistle to replace the acolyte’s altar‐bell, nor a
large one either in lieu of the church‐bell, for that would smack a little
too much of the cotton‐mill or the iron‐foundry; and I do not think I
_would_ tolerate that.”

We must confess to having our patience severely tried when the question of
“suitability” comes under discussion, and we burn to cry out, Where is the
honest musician who is not so engrossed with, and mastered by, his art as
to become, like it, deprived of ideas, or at least of the power of
expressing them in one single logical affirmation, and who has a principle
which he will fairly state and reason from instead of taking us into the
pathless dreamland of sentiment, or enticing us for ever off the track on
to side switches of individual tastes and special pleas that lead nowhere?
Discussing the relative suitability of music and plain chant for the use
of the Liturgy of the church is, in our experience, only equalled by the
purgatory of suffering one’s reason endures when talking “controversy”
with a Protestant. Has art no first principles? Is there no relation
between art and the nature and purpose of the object to be expressed or
illustrated by it? Do you _dare_ define “suitability” to be the harmony of
the subject with _your_ present mood, with the fashion of the hour, or
with the demands of ignorance and prejudice, or presume to close all
discussion with your “_Sic volo, sic jubeo; stet pro ratione voluntas_”?

But this is a digression. Let us return to our argument.

_Thirdly._ If we were to say that, contrasted one with the other, the
expression of plain chant is unimpassioned, and that of modern music is
impassioned—in other words, that the former has not much, if any, capacity
for expressing human passions, and that the latter has not only a great
capacity for expressing them, but also for exciting them, we think we are
affirming what every one who knows anything of the philosophy of music, as
well as every one who has been subjected to the influence of both, will
readily acknowledge to be true. There is martial music for soldiers, to
excite them to combat, or cheer them in victory, or stir their enthusiasm
on the triumphant return from battle. There is music for the dancers, and
distinct kinds of dance music which invite and sustain those who may wish
to waltz or polka, thread the figures of the quadrille, or indulge in the
lascivious mazes of other such‐like enjoyments not worthy of our mention
or consideration outside of our duty as confessor or preacher. There is
funny music to make us laugh, and there are funereal dirges to keep us in
fit mood as we march after a coffin. There is music which we know will
rouse the wrath of our enemy, and there is amorous music which awakes the
passion of love, pure and impure.

We have already signalized the cause which gave to music its sensuous
character. Lest it may be supposed that we are endeavoring to create a
theory without sufficient warrant, we quote from one who holds an
undisputed post of honor in the musical world:

“Very well! that which musical doctrine had condemned, that which ages had
proscribed, a man one day dared to do. Guided by his instinct, he had more
confidence in what it counselled him than in what the rules commanded, and
in spite of the cries of horror which arose from a whole nation of
musicians, he had the courage to bring into relation the fourth note of
the gamut, the fifth, and the seventh (the tritone). By this one act he
created the natural dissonances of harmony, a new tonality, the kind of
music called _chromatic_, and, as a consequence, modulation. What a world
of things produced by one single harmonic aggregation! The author of this
wonderful discovery is Monteverde.(84) He gives himself the credit, in the
preface of one of his works, for the invention of the modulated, animated,
and expressive style of melody. In fact, the impassioned accent (_l’accent
passionné_) does not exist, and cannot exist, except in the leading note
(_la note sensible_), and this cannot itself be produced, except by its
relation with the fourth and fifth degrees of the gamut—in other words
that any note placed in the harmonic relation of augmented fourth with
another note produces the sensation of a new tone, without the necessity
of hearing the tonic or making a cadence, and that by this faculty of the
augmented fourth to create immediately a leading note, modulation—that is
to say, the necessary succession of different tones—is rendered easy.
Admirable coincidence of two fruitful ideas! The musical drama is born;
but the drama lives on emotions, and the tonality of plain chant, grave,
severe, and calm, could not furnish it with impassioned accents; for the
harmony of its tonality does not contain the elements of transition. Hence
genius found inspiration in the demand, and all that could give life to
the music of the drama was brought into existence at one blow.”(85)

We cannot refrain from adding the reflections of another eminent
musician—M. Jos. d’Ortigue:

“Is it not evident that a new order of ideas, a new social element, and a
novel spirit, were introduced in music by the fact alone of the creation
of a tonality, and that dissonance, modulation, transition, the leading or
_sensible note_, the _impassioned accent_ (mark the words), were but the
material clothing, the means, the outward expression, thanks to which this
new principle—namely, the _moi humain_—which had already, so to speak,
broken through the upper strata of thought, made for itself a vent by
means of the art of music? For just as the ancient tonality, by the fact
of its constitution, inspired the sentiment of repose—that is to say, gave
birth to the ideas of permanence, of immutability, of the infinite, which
comport with the expression of divine things—so also disturbance,
agitation, the febrile and tumultuous expression of the passions, which
are the essential characteristics of all earthly things, are inherent in
the modern tonality precisely in virtue of its constitution, which depends
upon _dissonance_ and _transition_.”(86)

Those wise old Spartans who made it a capital crime to add a new cord to
the lyre, lest the people should be rendered effeminate, would certainly
despair of finding a man living in our XIXth century who was fit to be
called a man, if they were told that the chord of the minor seventh was in
such common use that hardly one melody can be found where its effeminate
dissonance is not made to appear and to be felt.(87) We pray to be
understood when we call the tonality of “impassioned accent” effeminate. A
few words from M. Victor de Laprade will convey our meaning: “I dare to
class music, and even women themselves, in the order of femininity—that is
to say, in that class in which sentiment rules ideas, in which the heart
is more manifestly active than reason. It is bold, I acknowledge. We are
no longer living in the age of the Book of Wisdom, of the sacred
lawgivers, of the prophets, of the philosophers, nor simply of Molière; we
are of the age of Saint‐Simon, of Fourier, of Auguste Comte, and we have
changed all that. We have put the heart on the right side. I am obstinate
enough to feel it beating on the left.”

In his famous Instructions (we beg our readers to recall our proposed
amendment of their title) the cardinal vicar feels the necessity of
protesting against this emotional tendency of music. “We forbid,” he says,
“too lively or exciting movements,” and dreads lest some composers may be
led to express “the unbridled liveliness of the dance.” He would not
“deprive the music of that grace and coloring which art and _good taste_
suggest,” but thinks it necessary to add that “an effeminate softness is
to be avoided.”

Without question, the best music, allied to words, as music, is in the
compositions for the opera. Those eminent composers who have written for
the opera and for the church have indisputably produced works of a higher
order of musical merit for the former than they have for the latter.(88)
And is not operatic music the most intensely impassioned of all melody,
and is it not, alas! becoming a vehicle for the expression of the most
debased and lascivious passions of the human heart? Give to modern music
language and a stage, free it from all the restraints of Catholic
morality, and who does not see, after the experience of an operatic season
in one of our great cities, that it would soon become the most powerful
and dangerous of all the forces which are now threatening to enervate and
demoralize our modern society? We must not be surprised, therefore, nor
should we much regret, that “modern composers have failed in their works
to meet the requirements of Catholic devotion.”

Let us see what spirit marks the ceremonies of the church when considered
as opportunities for exhibiting, or as exciting causes of awakening, the
passions. It is not possible to find one such occasion. All gesture which
might suggest aught but the most perfect calm and repose of the soul in
the actors is absolutely out of place. It is very difficult in sudden,
unlooked‐for instances of disturbance for the priest not to show in his
countenance or by his manner symptoms of alarm, disgust, or annoyance; but
he ought not to do so, and would not fail to scandalize the people, unless
such disturbance happened to be extraordinary. To betray by look, gesture,
or intonation of voice the slightest emotion of sensual passion, however
innocent in itself, would disgust and horrify all observers. Neither do
the rubrics permit him or his assistants to excite any passion in the
hearts of others; for the ceremonial directs their most simple movements,
the position of the body, the _tenue_ of the eyes, the hands, and the
feet. That “ecclesiastical modesty” which forms so constant a theme of
instruction to candidates for the sacred ministry here finds its perfect
realization, and is exacted in the highest degree.

The sacred offices are essentially unlike opera, and the church has the
good sense to dread the introduction of anything in connection with her
divine ceremonies that might be suggestive of it. We now understand why
the cardinal vicar throughout the Instructions vehemently proscribes, and
over and over again warns composers not to write, operatic or theatrical
music, or anything like it, either in its _melodies_ or its character, nor
borrow from it, nor imitate it in the use of ariettas, duets, trios,
recítative, _finales_, or _cabaletta_. Truly, “the best music” is pretty
well ruled out by his eminence. By his cautious discrimination, and
prudent lopping off, and general toning down he has pretty closely clipped
the wings of the steed of Helicon, and, after all, it must be
acknowledged, has made of him rather a sorry and unreliable nag, not worth
half the old horse who all his lifetime has never given out, or baulked,
or behaved in any unseemly manner.

We trust that a distinct disavowal of any intent on our part to treat with
flippancy and disrespect the oft‐quoted Instructions of his eminence is
not needed, for nothing could be further