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Title: Catholic World, Volume 24, October, 1876, TO March, 1877 - A Monthly Magazine of General Literature and Science
Author: Various
Language: English
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  THE

  CATHOLIC WORLD.

  A

  MONTHLY MAGAZINE

  OF

  GENERAL LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.

  VOL. XXIV.
  OCTOBER, 1876, TO MARCH, 1877.

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

  1877.



  Copyrighted by
  THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
  1877.


  THE NATION PRESS, 27 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.



  CONTENTS.

                                                                 PAGE
  A Bird’s-Eye View of Toledo,                                    786
  A Glimpse of the Adirondacks,                                   261
  Amid Irish Scenes,                                         384, 591
  Aphasia,                                                        411
  Archbishop of Halifax, The Late,                                136
  Avila,                                                          155

  Catacombs, Testimony of the,                               371, 523
  Chaldean Account of the Creation,                               490
  Christina Rossetti’s Poems,                                     122
  Christmas Gift, The Devil’s,                                    322
  Cities, Some Quaint Old,                                        829
  Creation, Chaldean Account of,                                  490

  Devil’s Christmas Gift, The,                                    322
  De Vere’s “Mary Tudor,”                                         777
  Dr. Knox on the Unity of the Church,                            657

  English Rule in Ireland,                                        799
  Egypt and Israel, The Pontifical Vestments of,                  213
  Errickdale, The Great Strike at,                                843
  “Evolution, Contemporary,” Mivart’s,                            312

  Flywheel Bob,                                                   198
  Frederic Ozanam,                                                577

  Great Strike at Errickdale, The,                                843
  Guilds and Apprentices, London,                                  49

  Halifax, The Late Archbishop of,                                136
  Highland Exile, The,                                            131
  Home-Life of some Eighteenth-Century Poets, The,                677
  How Rome Stands To-day,                                         245

  Ireland, English Rule in,                                       799
  Irish Scenes, Amid,                                        384, 591

  Jean Ingelow’s Poems,                                           419
  John Greenleaf Whittier,                                        433

  Knowledge, Physical and Religious, Similarities of,             746

  “Lessons from Nature,” Mivart’s,                                  1
  Letters of a Young Irishwoman to
       her Sister,                       108, 226, 395, 512, 690, 760
  London Guilds and Apprentices,                                   49

  “Mary Tudor,” De Vere’s,                                        777
  Mivart’s “Contemporary Evolution,”                              312
  Mivart’s “Lessons from Nature,”                                   1
  Modern Melodists,                                          703, 853
  Modern Thought in Science,                                      533
  Monsieur Gombard’s Mistake,                                445, 667
  Mystical Theology, Thoughts on,                                 145

  Nile, Up the,                                              633, 735

  Poems, Christina Rossetti’s,                                    122
  Poems, Jean Ingelow’s,                                          419
  Poets, The Home Life of,                                        677
  Pontifical Vestments of Egypt and Israel, The,                  213

  Quaint Old Cities, Some,                                        829

  Rome Stands To-Day, How                                         245
  Russian Chancellor, The,                                        721

  Sainte Chapelle of Paris, The,                                   59
  Sancta Sophia,                                                   96
  Seville,                                                         13
  Siena,                                                          337
  Similarities of Physical and Religious Knowledge,               746
  Sir Thomas More,                                  75, 270, 353, 547
  Six Sunny Months,                       28, 175, 300, 469, 643, 817
  Some Quaint Old Cities,                                         829
  Some Eighteenth-Century Poets, The Home-Life of,                677
  Story of the Far West, A,                                       602

  Testimony of the Catacombs,                                371, 523
  Text-Books in Catholic Colleges,                                190
  The Devil’s Christmas Gift,                                     322
  Thoughts on Mystical Theology,                                  145
  Three Lectures on Evolution,                                    616
  Toledo, A Bird’s-Eye View of,                                   786

  Unitarian Conference at Saratoga, The,                          289
  Unity of the Church, Dr. Knox on,                               657
  Up the Nile,                                               633, 735

  What is Dr. Nevin’s Position?                                   459
  Whittier, John Greenleaf,                                       433

  Year of Our Lord 1876, The,                                     562


  POETRY.

  Advent,                                                         560
  A Christmas Legend,                                             541
  A March Pilgrimage,                                             814

  Echo to Mary,                                                   129
  Evening on the Sea-shore,                                       107

  Light and Shadow,                                               418
  Longings,                                                       744

  On Our Lady’s Death,                                            382

  Roma――Amor,                                                     486

  St. Teresa,                                                     173


  NEW PUBLICATIONS.

  Alice Leighton,                                                 287
  Almanac, Catholic Family,                                       427

  Barat, Life of Mother,                                          432
  Brown House at Duffield, The,                                   860
  Bruté, Memoirs of Rt. Rev. S. W. G.,                            142

  Catholic Family Almanac,                                        427
  Catholic’s Latin Instructor, The,                               424
  Constitutional and Political History of the United States,      287
  Creation, The Voice of,                                         143

  Deirdré,                                                        715
  Devotion of the Holy Rosary, The,                               432

  Ecclesiastical Discourses,                                      425
  Essay Contributing to a Philosophy of Literature,               431
  Every-day Topics,                                               426
  Excerpta ex Rituali Romano,                                     576

  Faith of our Fathers, The,                                      714
  First Christmas for our Dear Little Ones, The,                  431
  Frank Blake,                                                    860

  Githa of the Forest,                                            720

  Jesus Suffering, The Voice of,                                  431

  Latin Instructor, The Catholic’s,                               424
  Lectures on Scholastic Philosophy,                              431
  Life of Mother Barat, The,                                      432
  Life of Mother Maria Teresa,                                    720
  Life and Letters of Sir Thomas More, The,                       428
  Linked Lives,                                                   426
  Little Book of the Martyrs, The,                                576

  Margaret Roper,                                                 429
  Maria Teresa, Life of Mother,                                   720
  Memoirs of the Right Rev. Simon Wm. Gabriel Bruté,              142
  Missale Romanum,                                                429
  More, Life and Letters of Sir Thomas,                           428
  My Own Child,                                                   288

  Normal Higher Arithmetic, The,                                  576

  Poems: Devotional and Occasional,                               718
  Preparation for Death, A,                                       430

  Real Life,                                                      344
  Religion and Education,                                         716

  Sacraments, Sermons on the,                                     286
  Science of the Spiritual Life, The,                             429
  Sermon on the Mount, The,                                       431
  Sermons on the Sacraments,                                      286
  Short Sermons,                                                  432
  Silver Pitchers,                                                144
  Songs in the Night,                                             430

  Terra Incognita,                                                424
  Theologia Moralis,                                              713

  Union with Our Lord,                                            143
  United States, Constitutional and Political History of the,     287

  Voice of Creation, The,                                         143
  Voice of Jesus Suffering, The,                                  431

  Wise Nun of Eastonmere,                                         860
  Wit, Humor, and Shakspeare,                                     717



THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XXIV., No. 139.――OCTOBER, 1876.

Copyright: Rev. I. T. HECKER. 1877.



MIVART’S “LESSONS FROM NATURE.”[1]


The condition of what is called the scientific mind in England to-day
may be described as chaotic. Its researches begin nowhere and end
nowhere. Its representative men deny the facts of consciousness, or
misinterpret them, which is equivalent to negation, and thus ignore
the subjective starting point of all knowledge, while they relegate
God to the domain of the unknowable, thereby removing from sight the
true end and goal of all inquiry. Nothing, then, is the Alpha and
Omega of their systems, and it is small matter of surprise that theirs
has been called the philosophy of nihilism. Yet it is sadly true that
the votaries of scientism (_salvâ dignitate, O scientia!_) are on the
increase, and that Huxley, Spencer, Darwin, and Tyndall usurp among
the fashionable leaders of thought, or rather the leaders of
fashionable scientific thought, to-day, the place lately held by Mill,
Renan, Strauss, and Hegel. It is not quite the _ton_ now to content
one’s self with denying the divine inspiration of Holy Writ or with
questioning the Divinity of Christ. We must iterate our belief that in
matter are to be found the “promise and potency of every form and
quality of life,” or that all living things sprang from a primordial
homogeneous cell developed in a primitive plastic fluid eruditely
denominated “protoplasm”; nay, we must join hands with Herbert
Spencer, and affirm of the First Cause that it is unknowable and
entirely divested of personal attributes. It is evident that scientism
is more rigorously sceptical than rationalism or the materialism of
the eighteenth century――in a word, that it is supremely nihilistic.
Being such, it is worth while to inquire through what influence it has
succeeded in dominating over so many vigorous minds, and winning to
its standard the rank and file of non-Catholic scholars. It presents
to the expectant lover of truth a set of interesting facts which
fascinate as well by their novelty and truth as by the hope that the
“open sesame” which unearthed them cannot but swell the list, and that
whatever it pronounces upon is irrevocably fixed. No one can gainsay
the value to science of the brilliant experiments and interesting
discoveries of Prof. Tyndall, nor underrate the painstaking solicitude
of Darwin. Indeed, we are all more or less under the thraldom of the
senses, and the truths which reach our minds through that channel come
home with irresistible force. Hence the allurements of science for the
majority of men, and their complete subjection to the authority of
scientific discoverers. No wonder, therefore, that when a slur is cast
upon the supersensible order――that order with which they have neither
sympathy nor acquaintance――that same majority are ready to deride the
sublimest truths of Christianity, and to devour the veriest inanities
as the utterances of sound philosophy. No wonder that, captivated by
the fast-increasing array of fresh discoveries in the field of
physical science, they pay to the dreamy speculations of Spencer and
Darwin the homage which is due to their solid contributions to
science. These men forget that science is but a grand plexus of facts
which afford to many a convenient peg on which to hang a bit of
shallow philosophism. The truths of science are so cogent and obvious
that most men, failing to discriminate between those truths and
unwarranted inferences drawn from them, regard both with equal
respect, and so deem those who question the latter to be the sworn
foes of the former. It is this confusion of truth with error, natural
enough under the circumstances, that has imparted so much popularity
to the unphilosophic portion of the teachings of Spencer, Huxley,
Tyndall, Proctor, _et id genus omne_, and given to the guinea stamp
the value which belongs to the gold. Moreover, our modern men of
science have not only introduced us to the field of their legitimate
labors with a large knowledge of its varied and interesting features,
but have invested the presentment of their subject with a glamour
which the splendid rhetorical training of the schools and universities
of England has enabled them to throw around it.

Such being the anomalous and insidious blending of truth with error
which characterizes modern scientific thought in England, we should
welcome the appearance of any work aiming at the disentanglement of
this intricate web, especially if the ability and scientific culture
of its author give earnest of its success. Such a work do we find in
that whose title heads this article, and whose author, Dr. Mivart, has
already fully attested, in many a well-written page, his competency
for the task. In his _Lessons from Nature_ Dr. Mivart has undertaken
the consideration of the more salient errors of Herbert Spencer’s
philosophy and Mr. Darwin’s theory of descent and evolution. He has
wisely addressed himself in his opening chapter to a refutation of the
errors which vitiate the substructure of Spencerianism; for the basis
having been proved to be rotten, we are not surprised at beholding the
entire edifice topple to the ground. This chapter he has entitled “The
Starting Point,” and sets out with this theorem for demonstration:

“Our own continued existence is a primary truth naturally made known
to us with supreme certainty, and this certainty cannot be denied
without involving the destruction of all knowledge whatever.”

It will be seen from this statement that Dr. Mivart regards his
opponents as having laid the basis of their systems on the quicksands
of the most radical scepticism; for certainly, if the fact of a το ἐγω
be called in question, all knowledge must go by the board, its
containing subject being no better than a myth. Those casting a doubt
upon the truth of this proposition are by themselves happily styled
Agnostics, or know-nothings, and Dr. Mivart includes in the category
such distinguished names as Hamilton, Mansel, Mill, Lewes, Spencer,
Huxley, and Bain. These writers, one and all, have repeatedly asserted
the relativity of our knowledge――_i.e._, its merely phenomenal
character. They do not deny that we possess knowledge, but that we can
predicate nothing as to its absolute truth. They claim, indeed,
themselves to have sounded the whole diapason of human knowledge, but
they regard it only as a mirage which appears real to the eye whilst
beholding it, but is none the less a mirage in itself. Dr. Mivart
tersely points out the absurdity of this principle of the agnostic
philosophy by stating that either this knowledge is absolute――_i.e._,
objectively valid――or has no corresponding reality outside of the
mind, in which case it represents nothing――_i.e._, is no knowledge at
all. Those, then, who insist upon the relativity of all knowledge are
“in the position of a man who saws across the branch of a tree on
which he actually sits, at a point between himself and the trunk.” For
if our knowledge be purely relative, we know it but relatively, and
that relative knowledge of it is in turn relative, and so on _ad
infinitum_. In other words, if we assert of our knowledge that it is
relative――_i.e._, purely subjective――we affirm an objective fact; for
however much the facts of the mind be subjective in relation to the
objects represented, they become objective in regard to the mind
viewing them as the term point of knowledge; so that to affirm of
_all_ knowledge that it is purely relative is equal to affirming that
the knowledge we have of that knowledge is not the knowledge thereof,
but a similar modification of the mind having no business to look for
anything beyond itself. This surely is a _reductio ad absurdum_; yet
such threads and thrums are made the warp and woof of so-called
scientific philosophy.

Professor Huxley is the most conspicuous champion of this universal
nescience, and Dr. Mivart devotes himself at greater length to a
review of his principles. Huxley says: “Now, is our knowledge of
anything we know or feel more or less than a knowledge of states of
consciousness? And our whole life is made up of such states. Some of
these states we refer to a cause we call ‘self,’ others to a cause or
causes which may be comprehended under the title of ‘not-self.’ But
neither of the existence of ‘self’ nor of that of ‘not-self’ have we,
or can we by any possibility have, any such unquestionable and
immediate certainty as we have of the states of consciousness which we
consider to be their effects.” This utterance is remarkable for the
inaccuracies with which it abounds and for the crudeness of its
author’s philosophy. The fact that we immediately apprehend
consciousness in the light of passing states is proof that, mediately
or by reflection, we view it altogether differently, and this latter
mode certainly affords a more certain and satisfactory knowledge. By
reflection, then, or mediately, we regard those passing states as the
product of something enduring and continuous of which we are in
reality conscious, while experiencing those modifications described by
Huxley as “passing states of consciousness.” When conscious of a state
we are certainly conscious of that by which consciousness is had, or
we would be forced to admit that nothing can be conscious, than which
there could be no greater absurdity. The direct consciousness,
therefore, which Huxley’s “passing states of consciousness” would
describe, presupposes the consciousness of the organ of those “passing
states”――a consciousness which stands in an _à priori_ relation to
these latter. The chief flaw in Huxley’s reasoning is that, as he
confines consciousness to a mere modification, and admits no modified
substance as an abiding essence, he must regard mind, so far as he
knows it, as a modification of nothing modified.

We have not here followed out the exact line of argument pursued by
Dr. Mivart, whose strictures on Huxley in regard to his absurd
position must be attentively read in order to be appreciated; but we
hope to have indicated enough to enable the reader to judge of the
fitness of our neoterists to become the leaders of thought. Having
established, then, the implied existence of self in consciousness, Dr.
Mivart proceeds, in a chain of the most solid reasoning, to marshal
around this central truth those having a direct dependence upon it,
and from the admission of which Huxley had fondly hoped to escape by
perverting the true data of consciousness. Memory is the corner-stone
of all knowledge outside of direct consciousness, and Dr. Mivart
clearly shows that its testimony is constantly invoked by the most
outspoken nescients, so that, in regard to its echoings, the choice is
absurd between what it attests generally and the circumscribed field
of operation to which Herbert Spencer seems anxious to confine it. But
Dr. Mivart is satisfied in this chapter with having demonstrated the
sufficiency of rightly understood consciousness to be the “starting
point” of our knowledge of the objective, and properly dismisses the
argument in these words:

     “But it is hoped that the cavils of the Agnostics have been
     here met by arguments sufficient to enable even the most
     timid and deferential readers and hearers of our modern
     sophists to hold their own rational convictions, and to
     maintain they know what they are convinced they do know, and
     not to give up a certain and absolute truth (their
     intellectual birthright) at the bidding of those who would
     illogically make use of such negation as a ground for
     affirming the relativity of all our knowledge, and
     consequently for denying all such truths as, for whatever
     reason, they may desire to deny.”

To the casual thinker it may appear that the arguments of Dr. Mivart
are somewhat antiquated as against the strongholds of modern error;
but the fact additionally illustrates the slenderness of the resources
with which error comes equipped to the fray, since, whenever there is
question of first principles, truth can with the same weapons always
assail the vulnerable point in the enemy’s armor. It is true that in
point of detail the ground of conflict has shifted, and that those who
once successfully opposed the errors of Voltaire, Diderot, or Volney,
should they suddenly appear on the scene now, would have to count
themselves out of the fight; but with respect to principles and
ultimate expressions, we find the Agnostics of to-day ranging
themselves side by side with the Gnostics and Manicheans of old. So we
believe that Dr. Mivart has done well, before approaching the details
of the controversy, to knock the underpinning from the whole
superstructure of modern error by exposing the falsity of its
principles. At least the procedure is more philosophical and more
satisfactory to the logical mind.

In his second chapter, entitled “First Truths,” Dr. Mivart lays down
the following proposition:

“Knowledge must be based on the study of mental facts and on
undemonstrable truths which declare their own absolute certainty and
are seen by the mind to be positively and necessarily true.” This
proposition finds its counterpart in every text-book of scholastic
philosophy from Bouvier to Liberatore and Ton Giorgi, so that there is
no need to follow the learned author through his very excellent series
of proofs in support of it. The main points of interest in the chapter
are his arraignment of Herbert Spencer’s faulty basis of certainty,
and the disproof of Mr. Lewes’ theory of reasoning.

Mr. Spencer says (_Psychology_, vol. ii. p. 450):

     “A discussion in consciousness proves to be simply a trial
     of strength between different connections in
     consciousness――a systematized struggle serving to determine
     which are the least coherent states of consciousness. And
     the result of the struggle is that the least coherent states
     of consciousness separate, while the most coherent remain
     together; forming a proposition of which the predicate
     persists in the mind along with its subject.… If there are
     any indissoluble connections, he is compelled to accept
     them. If certain states of consciousness absolutely cohere
     in certain ways, he is obliged to think them in those ways.…
     Here, then, the inquirer comes down to an ultimate
     uniformity――a universal law of thinking.”

We have quoted this passage of Mr. Spencer’s at some length, both for
the purpose of exhibiting the misty, Germanic manner of his
expression, and of calling attention to Dr. Mivart’s neat and
effectual unfolding of the fallacy which it contains. We presume that
Mr. Spencer means by “least coherent states of consciousness” those
propositions in which the subject and predicate mutually repel each
other, or, in other words, those which involve a physical or a
metaphysical impossibility. Had he, indeed, stated his conception in
those terms, he might have avoided Dr. Mivart’s well-aimed shafts, to
which his cloudiness of expression alone exposed him. A cannon-ball
fired from England to America is the typical proposition which he
offers of “least cohering states of consciousness.” But every one
perceives that the terms of this proposition involve a mere repugnance
to actual and not to imagined facts, causing it to differ in an
essential manner, accordingly, from such a proposition as 2×2 = 5,
against the truth of which there exists a metaphysical impossibility.
The importance of the distinction may be realized when we reflect that
there can be no absolute truth so long as we make the test thereof a
mere non-cohering state of consciousness; for if the terms of a
physically non-possible proposition do not cohere in consciousness,
and if such non-coherence be the absolute test of non-truth, that same
non-truth must end with such non-coherence. This makes truth purely
relative, and is the legitimate goal of such philosophic speculations
as those of Mr. Spencer, which would make all knowledge purely
relative.

Dr. Mivart distinguishes four sorts of propositions: “1. Those which
can be both imagined and believed. 2. Those which can be imagined, but
cannot be believed. 3. Those which cannot be imagined, but can be
believed. 4. Those which cannot be imagined and are not believed,
because they are positively known to be absolutely impossible.”

The third of these propositions finds no place in Mr. Spencer’s
enumeration, since, according to him, it involves “a non-cohering
state of consciousness,” or, as he elsewhere expresses it, is
“inconceivable.” That there are numberless propositions of the third
class described by Dr. Mivart the intelligent reader may perceive at a
glance, and so infer the absurdity of Herbert Spencer’s “non-cohering
states of consciousness” viewed as a “universal law of thinking.”

Thus there is no absolute impossibility in accepting the doctrine of
the multilocation of bodies or of their compenetrability, though no
effort of the imagination can enable us to picture such a thing to the
mind. The common belief that the soul is whole and entire in every
part of the body is “unimaginable,” but certainly not “inconceivable,”
since many vigorous and enlightened minds hold the doctrine with
implicit confidence.

In connection with this subject Dr. Mivart takes occasion to allude to
Professor Helmholtz’s method of disproving the absoluteness of truth.
He supposes

     “beings living and moving along the surface of a solid body,
     who are able to perceive nothing but what exists on this
     surface, and insensible to all beyond it. … If such beings
     lived on the surface of a sphere, their space would be
     without a limit, but it would not be infinitely extended;
     and the axioms of geometry would turn out very different
     from ours, and from those of the inhabitants of a plane. The
     shortest lines which the inhabitants of a spherical surface
     could draw would be arcs of greater circles,” etc.

We have quoted enough from the professor to indicate the drift of his
objection. He concludes: “We may résumé the results of these
investigations by saying that the axioms on which our geometrical
system is based are no necessary truths.” Such is the sorry mode of
reasoning adopted by an eminent man of science in establishing a
conclusion so subversive of the principles of science. Is it not
evident that, no matter what name the inhabitants of the sphere
described by Helmholtz might bestow on the “arcs of great circles,”
these still would be “arcs,” and as such those beings would perceive
them? As showing the lack of uniformity of views which prevail among
men of science when it is question of super-sensible cognitions, Mr.
Mill rushes to the opposite extreme from Herbert Spencer, and holds
that there is nothing to prevent us from conceiving 2×2 = 5. In this
arraignment of Spencer’s faulty view of the basis of certainty, Dr.
Mivart proceeds with care and acumen, and adroitly pits his
antagonists against each other, or invokes their testimony in support
of his own views as against themselves.

The other point of interest in this chapter is the author’s refutation
of Mr. Lewes’ conception of reasoning. In his _Problems of Life and
Mind_ Mr. Lewes reduces the process of reasoning to mere sensible
associations, and entirely overlooks the force and significance of the
_ergo_. He says: “Could we realize all the links in the chain” (of
reasoning) “by reducing conceptions to perceptions, and perceptions to
sensibles, our most abstract reasonings would be a series of
sensations.” This certainly is strange language for a psychologist,
and forcibly demonstrates the hold Locke’s sensism still holds over
the English mind. If we can conceive of a series of sensations in
which the form of a syllogism does not enter――and we experience such
many times daily――then surely there is something more in a train of
reasoning than a mere series of sensations, and that is the
intellectual act of illation denoted by _ergo_. Throughout this
strange philosophism there runs an endeavor to debase man’s intellect
and reduce it to the level of mere brutish faculties. The dignity of
our common manhood is made the target of Spencer’s speculation and
Mill’s subtle reveries, while the grand work of the church which
lifted us out from the slough of barbarism is being gradually undone.
We must indeed congratulate Dr. Mivart upon having led the way in
grappling with the difficulties with which scientific transcendentalism
bristles, and on having rent the net in which error strives to hold
truth in silken dalliance.

We come now to the most difficult and important chapter in the
book――viz., that pertaining to the existence of the external world. We
would premise, before entering upon an analysis of this chapter, that
nothing short of a slow and careful perusal of it in the author’s
language can convey to the reader a full impression of the difficulty
and subtlety which attend the terms of the controversy as waged
tripartitely between Herbert Spencer, Mr. Sidgwick, and the author.
The statement of the proposition is simple enough, viz.:

     “The real existence of an external world made up of objects
     possessing qualities such as our faculties declare they
     possess, cannot be logically denied, and may be rationally
     affirmed.”

The terms of this proposition differ but little from those in which
argument is usually made in support of the reality of external
objects, but with Dr. Mivart it serves as the text of a refutation of
Mr. Spencer’s theory of “transfigured realism.” Mr. Spencer stoutly
professes his belief in the realism of the external world, but
distinguishes his conception of it from the common crude realism of
the majority as having been by him filtered through the intellect, and
based, not on the direct data of the senses, but on these as
interpreted by the mind. According to him, “what we are conscious of
as properties of matter, even down to its weight and resistance, are
but subjective affections produced by objective agencies which are
unknown and unknowable.” Divested of an involved and trying
terminology, Mr. Spencer’s theory amounts to this: The mind under the
experience of a sensation is irresistibly borne to admit that it is
not itself the active agent concerned in its production; for sensation
as a “passing state of consciousness” is not accompanied by that other
“passing state of consciousness” which exhibits the mind to itself as
spontaneously generating the sensation in question. Therefore that
sensation is derived _ab extra_; therefore its cause, unknown or
unknowable, is something outside of the mind――_i.e._, has an objective
reality. It is a sort of game of blind man’s buff between the mind and
the world, according to Mr. Spencer――we know something has impressed
us, but how or what we cannot find out.

     “Thus the universe, as we know it,” says Dr. Mivart,
     “disappears not only from our gaze, but from our very
     thought. Not only the song of the nightingale, the
     brilliancy of the diamond, the perfume of the rose, and the
     savor of the peach lose for us all objective reality――these
     we might spare and live――but the solidity of the very ground
     we tread on, nay, even the coherence and integrity of our
     own material frame, dissolve from us, and leave us vaguely
     floating in an insensible ocean of unknown potentiality.”

This is “transfigured realism” with a vengeance, and leaves us
somewhat at a loss to know what can be meant by idealism. It
practically differs not from the doctrine of Berkeley and Hume; for it
matters little to us whether external objects exist or not, if they
are in and by themselves something “unknown and unknowable,”
altogether different from what we consider them to be. The radical
fault of Mr. Spencer’s “transfigured realism” is that he mistakes
sensations themselves for the act of the mind which is concerned about
them; and when in reality he speaks merely of the sensations as such,
he imagines he has in view purely speculative intellectual acts. Such
confusion is quite natural in a philosopher who recognizes no form of
idea but transformed sensation, no purely unimaginable conceivability.
This is evident when he says:

     “We can think of matter only in terms of mind. We can think
     of mind only in terms of matter. When we have pushed our
     explorations of the first to the uttermost limit, we are
     referred to the second for final answer; and when we have
     got the final answer of the second, we are referred back to
     the first for an interpretation of it.”

Thus is he compelled to revolve in a circular process which makes the
knowledge of mind depend on the knowledge of matter, and _vice versâ_.
How admirably does the scholastic theory of the origin of thought
dissipate the clouds which befog Mr. Spencer throughout this
discussion, and prevent him from seeing to what consequences he
blindly drifts! The unseen, the unfelt, the unheard are each and all
absolutely nothing, so that sense alone can determine reality. Such is
the philosophy of Mr. Spencer; and there can be no wonder that upon an
analysis of premises he finds that, having set out from nothing, he
lands upon the same unreal shore. Scholasticism――the philosophy which
at the present time is returning into unexpected though much deserved
vogue, superseding in the highest intellectual circles the tenuity of
Kant’s unrealism and the sensism of Locke and Condillac――proposes an
explanation of the relation of the external world to the intellect
through the medium of the senses, which cannot but elicit the
endorsement of every logical mind. Just at the point where Spencer
modifies his subjective sensible impression received from the external
world, in such a manner that he can find nothing corresponding to it
outside of himself, the scholastic supposes the active intellect to
seize this phantasm or sensible image, and, having so far divested it
of its sensible qualities as to fit it to become the object of pure
cognition, offers it to the mind cognitive for such cognition, which,
as the true cognitive faculty, pronounces it to be the type or
exemplar of the object, and this he calls the _verbum mentis_, or idea
of the thing. The created light of our intellect, which is itself a
participation in the uncreated divine light, enables us to see and
judge of what is exhibited to it through the organs of sense,
surveying it, measuring it, and penetrating its general essence so far
as to be able to perceive that it is the spiritualized resemblance of
the object which primarily produced the sensation.

We do not here propose to offer any of the usual arguments in support
of this system, apart from the palpable fact that it appears to offer
to each faculty, sensitive and intellective, appropriate material for
operation, but to contrast its adequacy with the confessed impotency
of Spencer’s “transfigured realism.” And, indeed, not only is this
latter impotent but eminently fallacious. In endeavoring to prove that
the mind transfigures its sensations in such a manner that there can
exist no correspondence between the sensation and the object, Mr.
Spencer allows the decision to rest on his test-case of sound. With
respect to the sensation produced on the auditory nerve by aërial
undulations, he says that “the subjective state no more resembles its
objective cause than the pressure which moves the trigger of a gun
resembles the explosion which follows.” And again, summarizing the
argument, he says: “All the sensations produced in us by environing
things are but symbols of actions out of ourselves, the natures of
which we cannot even conceive.” The fallacy of this statement it is
not difficult to perceive; for Mr. Spencer rules out the action of the
intellect, which can alone determine the value and significance of a
sensation, and takes account only of the sensation itself, deeming it
able to pronounce upon its own correspondence with its exciting
object. Indeed, there can be no more correspondence between a visual
object and the sense of vision than there can be between sound and a
vibration of the air, except in so far as the mind pronounces this to
be the case after a due investigation of the respective conditions
pertaining to both sensations. It is the mind alone which can
determine that the sensation we call sound is the result of air
undulations, just as it is the mind which determines that the color
and outline of visual objects are as represented in vision. The fault,
therefore, of Mr. Spencer’s view is that, having constituted sensation
the sole and sufficient judge of its own objective validity and
correspondence with external objects, he is compelled at once to fly
to his chosen refuge and cherished haven of the “unknown and the
unknowable.” Again is he guilty of another transparent fallacy when he
asserts that a series of successive independent sensations are
mistaken for a whole individual one, which we accordingly speak of as
such. The instance he adduces is that of musical sound, “which is,” he
says, “a seemingly simple feeling clearly resolvable into simpler
feelings.” The implied inference is that, since experience proves this
not to be a simple feeling, but resolvable into simpler ones, there
can be no reciprocity between our sensations and their exciting
causes. This reasoning might be accredited with ingenuity, were it not
so extremely shallow. For what is a sensation but that which we feel?
And if we feel it as one, it must be one. It matters not if each
separate beat, contributing to produce musical sound, should, when
heard alone, produce a feeling different from that caused by the
combination of beats, since it is none the less true that the rapid
combination produces a sensation which is felt as one, and necessarily
is one in consequence. Mr. Spencer seems to forget that causes in
combination can produce results entirely different from those to which
each cause separately taken can give rise; or, as Dr. Mivart says,
“All that Mr. Spencer really shows and proves is that diverse
conditions result in the evocation of diverse simple perceptions, of
which perceptions such conditions are the occasions.” Mr. Spencer’s
position, bolstered up as it is by the minutest analysis of mental
consciousness and by a wealth of marvellously subtle reasoning, is
after all but a prejudice. He is indisposed to admit aught but
sensation, and hence plies his batteries against every other element
which dares obtrude itself into the domain of thought. How suggestive
of this fact are the following words:

     “It needs but to think of a brain as a seat of nervous
     discharges, intermediate between actions in the outer world
     and actions in the world of thought, to be impressed with
     the absurdity of supposing that the connections among outer
     actions, after being transferred through the medium of
     nervous discharges, can reappear in the world of thought in
     the forms they originally had.”

With Dr. Mivart we ask, “Where is the absurdity?” For surely He who
made the brain might, if he saw fit, and as the facts prove, have so
made it that it would perform its functions in this very identical
manner. The steps of the process by which the results of nervous
action are appropriated by the mind in the shape of knowledge will
necessarily remain an inscrutable mystery for ever, but that is no
reason why they should not be accomplished in any manner short of that
involving a contradiction. This ends what we wish to say concerning
Dr. Mivart’s chapter on the “External World.” He has not endeavored to
shirk a single phase of the discussion with his formidable opponents,
and we feel that if he has worsted them in the encounter, his triumph
is as much the inevitable outcome of the truth of the cause which he
has espoused as it is of the undoubted abilities he has exhibited
throughout the course of the hard-fought contest.

So pregnant with material for thought are the different chapters of
Dr. Mivart’s book that we have thus far been unable to get beyond the
opening ones, nor do their diversified character allow of a kindred
criticism. Thus, from the consideration of the “External World” the
author at once proceeds to a few reflections on language in opposition
to the Darwinian theory of its progressive formation and development.
We wish we could bestow on the whole of this chapter the same
unqualified praise which his previous chapters merit; for, though
partaking of the same general character of carefulness and research
which belongs to all Dr. Mivart’s writings, in it he rather petulantly
waves aside one of the strongest arguments and most valuable
auxiliaries which could be found in support of his position. The
proposition is to this effect: “Rational language is a bond of
connection between the mental and material world which is absolutely
peculiar to man.” He first considers language under its twofold aspect
of emotional and rational, the latter alone being the division alluded
to in the proposition. With the view, however, of facilitating his
encounter with Darwin, he makes six subdistinctions which, though
true, seem to overlap at times, or at least are gratuitous, since they
are not needed for the purpose of their introduction. Mr. Darwin has
exhibited, in his effort to make language a mere improvement on the
gutturals and inarticulate sounds of animals, less of his accustomed
ingenuity than elsewhere, so that any amount of concession might have
been made to him, and yet the orthodox view on the subject have been
left intact. And this we deem the wiser procedure in such cases; for
less expenditure of force is required if the outer entrenchments can
be passed by without a struggle, and siege laid at once to the inner
fortress itself. In one point of the argument Dr. Mivart gets the
better of Darwin so neatly as to remind us of a _carte blanche_ thrust
in fencing. Mr. Darwin remarks that man, in common with the lower
animals, uses, in order to express emotion, cries and gestures which
are at times more expressive than any words, thus asserting an innate
equality between both, if not even the superiority of the emotional
over the rational language, and thereby insinuating that, in point of
origin, there could not have been any difference between them. Dr.
Mivart replies that certainly emotional language is more expressive
when it is question of expressing emotion. “But what,” he asks, “has
that to do with the question of definite signs intelligently given and
understood?” The fact that man uses emotional language in common with
other animals proves nothing beyond the additional fact that he too is
an animal, which is not the question; the question being whether in
addition he possesses exclusively another faculty――viz., that of
rational language, _sui generis_――radically different from the
emotional. Mr. Darwin’s argument is thus representable: _a_ and _a_
(animality) + _x_ (rational language) = _a_ and _a_.

The passage in this chapter to which we reluctantly take exception is
the following: “I actually heard Professor Vogt at Norwich (at the
British Association meeting of 1868), in discussing certain cases of
aphasia, declare before the whole physiological section: ‘_Je ne
comprends pas la parole dans un homme qui ne parle pas_’――a
declaration which manifestly showed that he was not qualified to form,
still less to express, any opinion whatever on the subject.” Now, we
are of opinion that, rightly understood and interpreted in the light
of the most recent researches, these words convey a deep and
significant truth. Dr. Mivart is anxious, in the interest of truth, to
maintain intact and entire the essential difference between emotional
and rational language, and this we believe he might best do by
investigating and adapting the facts of aphasia. Aphasia declares that
language-function is confined to some portion of the anterior
convolution of the brain――a source or centre of nerve-power altogether
distinct from the vesicular or gray portion of the cerebral substance
which is concerned in the production of thought and all purely
intellectual processes. This being the case, whenever we discover a
lesion of the anterior convolution, and find it accompanied with
impaired ability of speech, we also find inability to conceive such
thoughts as those of which words are the sole symbol and sensible
signs. The researches made by Trousseau, Hammond, and Ferrier prove
that the faculty of language is thus localized, the anatomical region
being somewhere in the neighborhood of the island of Reil; and though
Brown-Séquard, a physiologist whose opinion is entitled to great
consideration, differs from this view, the fact that more than five
hundred cases as against thirteen favor the opinion is sufficient
guarantee of its probable truth.

The distinction here is not sufficiently kept in sight between objects
of thought which are denoted by some symbol besides the articulate
word, and those which can be represented in words alone. All material
objects, or such as are found amid material environments, belong to
the former class, and of course need no words to become known. Their
material outlines and specific sensible qualities sufficiently reveal
them to the mind without any spoken language; for these individualize,
differentiate, and circumscribe the object, and that is the whole
function of language. When, however, it is question of purely
intellectual conceptions, such as obtain throughout the range of
metaphysics, these are so bound up with their expression that, this
being lost, the thought disappears with it. This theory, long since
broached by De Bonald, finds unexpected support in the facts of
aphasia. There are two forms of aphasia, the one amnesic, involving
the loss of the memory of words, the other ataxic, or inability to
coordinate words in coherent speech. The latter form is met with often
separately, and under those conditions the study of this phenomenon
becomes more interesting. We then see that all idea of relation has
disappeared, because it being a purely intellectual idea, having no
sensible sign to represent it, its expression being lost to the mind,
the thought perishes at the same time. Hence words are confusedly
jumbled by the patient without the slightest reference to their
meaning. The researches of Bouillaud, Dax, Hughlings, Jackson,
Hammond, Flint, and Séguin all tend to establish the close dependence
of thought and language, and to justify the utterance of Prof. Vogt
which Dr. Mivart quotes with so much disapprobation, or to lend force
to the dictum of Max Müller, that “without language there can be no
thought.” We have merely touched upon this interesting subject of
aphasia, as a lengthened consideration of it would carry us beyond our
limits; but we hope to have stated enough to show that Dr. Mivart was,
to say the least, rash in dismissing its teachings so summarily. We
will, however, do him the justice of saying that he conclusively
proves the essential difference between emotional and rational
language, and the absurdity of regarding the latter as a mere
development of the former. He has done this, too, by citing
authorities from the opposing school, and the labors of Mr. Taylor and
Sir John Lubbock are made to do yeoman’s service against Mr. Darwin.

We have thus far followed Dr. Mivart step by step through the opening
chapters of his book, and have found at each point of our progress
abundant materials for reflection. The field he has surveyed with
close-gazing eye is varied and extensive; and though many gleaners
will come after him laden with fresh sheaves of toilsome gathering, to
him belongs the credit of having garnered the first crop of Catholic
truth from the seeds which modern science planted. He has done this
service, too, for philosophy: that he has enabled us to view modern
speculations in the light of the grand old principles of scholastic
philosophy, and dispelled the clouds of sophistry which filled up and
gilded over the cranks and crannies of modern error. He has
appreciated _au juste_ the drift and meaning of that false science
which strives to make the beautiful facts of nature the basis of a
pernicious philosophy. Not a few of our orthodox friends have hitherto
failed to discern the real germ of falsity in the speculations of such
men as Tyndall and Huxley and Spencer. They felt that the conclusions
arrived at by those writers are false, subversive of reason and
morality, but, not being sufficiently versed in the premises wherewith
those conclusions were sought to be connected, they were obliged
either to hold themselves to a silent protest or to carp and snarl
without proof or argument to offer. We should remember that, though
principles rest the same, consequences assume Protean shapes,
according as a sound or a perverse logic deduces them; and such is the
invariable necessity imposed upon the champions of truth that they
must, from time to time, cast aside weapons which have done good
service against a vanquished foe, and fashion others to deal a fresh
thrust wherever they find a flaw in the newly-fashioned armor of
error. Catholic thinkers must keep abreast of the times, and we hope
that henceforth the opponents of scientism will abandon sarcasm and
invective, and, approaching their subject with a fulness of knowledge
which will compel the respect of their adversaries, proceed in their
work, even as Dr. Mivart has done, with dignity and moderation.


     [1] _Lessons from Nature as manifested in Mind and Matter._
     By St. George Mivart, Ph.D., F.R.S., etc. 8vo, pp. 461. New
     York: D. Appleton & Co. 1876.



SEVILLE.

  Quien no visto a Sevilla
  No ha visto a maravilla.


Our first glimpse of the soft-flowing Guadalquivir was a
disappointment――a turbid stream between two flat, uninteresting banks,
on which grew low bushes that had neither grace nor dignity. It needed
its musical name and poetic associations to give it any claim on the
attention. But it assumed a better aspect as we went on. Immense
orchards of olive-trees, soft and silvery, spread wide their boughs as
far as the eye could see. The low hills were sun-bathed; the valleys
were fertile; mountains appeared in the distance, severe and jagged as
only Spanish mountains know how to be, to give character to the
landscape. Now and then some old town came in sight on a swell of
ground, with an imposing gray church or Moorish-looking tower. At
length we came to fair Seville, standing amid orange and citron
groves, on the very banks of the Guadalquivir, with numerous towers
that were once minarets, and, chief among them, the beautiful,
rose-flushed Giralda, warm in the sunset light, rising like a stately
palm-tree among gleaming white houses. The city looked worthy of its
fame as Seville the enchantress――_Encantadora Sevilla_!

We went to the _Fonda Europa_, a Spanish-looking hotel with a _patio_
in the centre, where played a fountain amid odorous trees and shrubs,
and lamps, already lighted, hung along the arcades, in which were
numerous guests sauntering about, and picturesque beggars, grouped
around a pillar, singing some old ditty in a recitative way to the
sound of their instruments. Our room was just above, where we were
speedily lulled to sleep by their melancholy airs, in a fashion not
unworthy of one’s first night in poetic Andalusia. What more, indeed,
could one ask for than an orange-perfumed court with a splashing
fountain, lamps gleaming among the trailing vines, Spanish
_caballeros_ pacing the shadowy arcades, and wild-looking beggars
making sad music on the harp and guitar?

Of course our first visit in the morning was to the famed cathedral.
Everything was charmingly novel in the streets to our new-world
eyes――the gay shops of the _Calle de las Sierpes_, the Broadway of
Seville, which no carriage is allowed to enter; the _Plaza_, with its
orange-trees and graceful arcades; and the dazzling white houses, with
their Moorish balconies and pretty courts, of which we caught glimpses
through the iron gratings, fresh and clean, with plants set around the
cooling fountain, where the family assembled in the evening for music
and conversation.

We soon found ourselves at the foot of the Giralda, which still calls
to prayer, not, as in the time of the Moors, by means of its muezzin,
but by twenty-four bells all duly consecrated and named――Santa Maria,
San Miguel, San Cristobal, San Fernando, Santa Barbara, etc.――which,
from time to time, send a whole wave of prayer over the city. It is
certainly one of the finest towers in Spain, and the people of Seville
are so proud of it that they call it the eighth wonder of the world,
which surpasses the seven others:

  Tu, maravilla octava, maravillas
  A las pasadas siete maravillas.

The Moors regarded it as so sacred that they would have destroyed it
rather than have it fall into the hands of the Christians, had not
Alfonso the Wise threatened them with his vengeance should they do so.
Its strong foundations were partly built out of the statues of the
saints, as if they wished to raise a triumphant structure on the ruins
of what was sacred to Christians. The remainder is of brick, of a soft
rose-tint, very pleasing to the eye. The tower rises to the height of
three hundred and fifty feet, square, imposing, and so solid as to
have resisted the shock of several earthquakes. Around the belfry is
the inscription:

  NOMEN DOMINI FORTISSIMA TURRIS

――the name of the Lord is a strong tower. It is lighted by graceful
arches and ascended by means of a ramp in the centre, which is so
gradual that a horse could go to the very top. We found on the summit
no wise old Egyptian raven, as in Prince Ahmed’s time, with one foot
in the grave, but still poring, with his knowing one eye, over the
cabalistic diagrams before him. No; all magic lore vanished from the
land with the dark-browed Moors, and now there were only gentle doves,
softly cooing in less heathenish notes, but perhaps not without their
spell.

On the top of the tower is a bronze statue of Santa Fé, fourteen feet
high, weighing twenty-five hundred pounds, but, instead of being
steadfast and immovable, as well-grounded faith should be, it turns
like a weather-cock, veering with every wind like a very straw, whence
the name of Giralda. Don Quixote makes his Knight of the Wood,
speaking of his exploits in honor of the beautiful Casilda, say: “Once
she ordered me to defy the famous giantess of Seville, called Giralda,
as valiant and strong as if she were of bronze, and who, without ever
moving from her place, is the most changeable and inconstant woman in
the world. I went. I saw her. I conquered her. I forced her to remain
motionless, as if tied, for more than a week. No wind blew but from
the north.”

At the foot of this magic tower is the _Patio de las Naranjas_――an
immense court filled with orange-trees of great age, in the midst of
which is the fountain where the Moors used to perform their ablutions.
It is surrounded by a high battlemented wall, which makes the
cathedral look as if fortified. You enter it by a Moorish archway, now
guarded by Christian apostles and surmounted by the victorious cross.
Just within you are startled by a thorn-crowned statue of the _Ecce
Homo_, in a deep niche, with a lamp burning before it. The court is
thoroughly Oriental in aspect, with its fountain, its secluded groves,
the horseshoe arches with their arabesques, the crocodile suspended
over the _Puerta del Lagarto_, sent by the Sultan of Egypt to Alfonso
the Wise, asking the hand of his daughter in marriage (an ominous
love-token from which the princess naturally shrank); and over the
church door, with a lamp burning before it, is a statue of the
Oriental Virgin whom all Christians unite in calling Blessed――here
specially invoked as _Nuestra Señora de los Remedios_. The Oriental
aspect of the court makes the cathedral within all the more
impressive, with its Gothic gloom and marvels of western art. It is
one of the grandest Gothic churches in the world. It is said the
canons, when the question of building it was discussed in 1401,
exclaimed in full chapter: “Let us build a church of such dimensions
that every one who beholds it will consider us mad!” Everything about
it is on a grand scale. It is an oblong square four hundred and
thirty-one feet long by three hundred and fifteen wide. The nave is of
prodigious height, and of the six aisles the two next the walls are
divided into a series of chapels. The church is lighted by
ninety-three immense windows of stained glass, the finest in Spain,
but of the time of the decadence. The rites of the church are
performed here with a splendor only second to Rome, and the objects
used in the service are on a corresponding scale of magnificence. The
silver monstrance, for the exposition of the Host, is one of the
largest pieces of silversmith’s work in the kingdom, with niches and
saints elaborately wrought, surmounted by a statuette of the
Immaculate Conception. The bronze _tenebrario_ for Holy Week is twelve
feet high, with sixteen saints arrayed on the triangle. The Pascal
candle, given every year by the chapter of Toledo in exchange for the
palm branches used on Palm Sunday, is twenty-five feet high, and
weighs nearly a ton. It looks like a column of white marble, and might
be called the “_Grand Duc des chandelles_,” as the sun was termed by
Du Bartas, a French poet of the time of Henry of Navarre. On the right
wall, just within one of the doors, is a St. Christopher, painted in
the sixteenth century, thirty-two feet high, with a green tree for a
staff, crossing a mighty current with the child Jesus on his shoulder,
looking like an infant Hercules. These gigantic St. Christophers are
to be seen in most of the Spanish cathedrals, from a belief that he
who looks prayerfully upon an image of this saint will that day come
to no evil end: _Christophorum videas; postea tutus eas_――Christopher
behold; then mayest thou safely go; or, according to the old adage:

  Christophori sancti, speciem quicumque tuetur,
  Istâ nempè die non morte mala morietur.

These colossal images are at first startling, but one soon learns to
like the huge, kindly saint who walked with giant steps in the paths
of holiness; bore a knowledge of Christ to infidel lands of suffering
and trial, upheld amid the current by his lofty courage and strength
of will, which raised him above ordinary mortals, and carrying his
staff, ever green and vigorous, emblem of his constancy. No legend is
more beautifully significant, and no saint was more popular in ancient
times. His image was often placed in elevated situations, to catch the
eye and express his power over the elements, and he was especially
invoked against lightning, hail, and impetuous winds. His name of
happy augury――the Christ-bearer――was given to Columbus, destined to
carry a knowledge of the faith across an unknown deep.

This reminds us that in the pavement near the end of the church is the
tombstone of Fernando, the son of Christopher Columbus, on which are
graven the arms given by Ferdinand and Isabella, with the motto: _A
Castilla y a Leon, mundo nuevo dio Colon._ Over this stone is erected
the immense _monumento_ for the Host on Maundy Thursday, shaped like a
Greek temple, which is adorned by large statues, and lit up by nearly
a thousand candles.

This church, though full of solemn religious gloom, is by no means
gloomy. It is too lofty and spacious, and the windows, especially in
the morning, light it up with resplendent hues. The choir, which is as
large as an ordinary church, stands detached in the body of the house.
It is divided into two parts transversely, with a space between them
for the laity, as in all the Spanish cathedrals. The part towards the
east contains the high altar, and is called the _Capilla mayor_. The
other is the _Coro_, strictly speaking, and contains the richly-carved
stalls of the canons and splendid choral books. They are both
surrounded by a high wall finely sculptured, except the ends that face
each other, across which extend _rejas_, or open-work screens of iron
artistically wrought, that do not obstruct the view.

The canons were chanting the Office when we entered, and looked like
bishops in their flowing purple robes. The service ended with a
procession around the church, the clergy in magnificent copes, heavy
with ancient embroidery in gold. The people were all devout. No
careless ways, as in many places where religion sits lightly on the
people, but an earnestness and devotion that were impressive. The
attitudes of the clergy were fine, without being studied; the grouping
of the people picturesque. The ladies all wore the Spanish mantilla,
and, when not kneeling, sat, in true Oriental style, on the matting
that covered portions of the marble pavement. Lights were burning on
nearly all the altars like constellations of stars all along the dim
aisles. The grandeur of the edifice, the numerous works of Christian
art, the august rites of the Catholic Church, and the devotion of the
people all seemed in harmony. Few churches leave such an impression on
the mind.

In the first chapel at the left, where stands the baptismal font, is
Murillo’s celebrated “Vision of St. Anthony,” a portion of which was
cut out by an adroit thief a few years ago, and carried to the United
States, but is now replaced. It is so large that, with a “Baptism of
our Saviour” above it by the same master, it fills the whole side of
the chapel up to the very arch. It seemed to be the object of general
attraction. Group after group came to look at it before leaving the
church, and it is worthy of its popularity and fame, though Mr. Ford
says it has always been overrated. Théophile Gautier is more
enthusiastic. He says:

     “Never was the magic of painting carried so far. The rapt
     saint is kneeling in the middle of his cell, all the poor
     details of which are rendered with the vigorous realism
     characteristic of the Spanish school. Through the half-open
     door is seen one of those long, spacious cloisters so
     favorable to reverie. The upper part of the picture, bathed
     in a soft, transparent, vaporous light, is filled with a
     circle of angels of truly ideal beauty, playing on musical
     instruments. Amid them, drawn by the power of prayer, the
     Infant Jesus descends from cloud to cloud to place himself
     in the arms of the saintly man, whose head is bathed in the
     streaming radiance, and who seems ready to fall into an
     ecstasy of holy rapture. We place this divine picture above
     the St. Elizabeth of Hungary cleansing the _teigneux_, to be
     seen at the Royal Academy of Madrid; above the ‘Moses’;
     above all the Virgins and all the paintings of the Infant
     Jesus by this master, however beautiful, however pure they
     be. He who has not seen the ‘St. Anthony of Padua’ does not
     know the highest excellence of the painter of Seville. It is
     like those who imagine they know Rubens and have never seen
     the ‘Magdalen’ at Antwerp.”

We passed chapel after chapel with paintings, statues, and tombs, till
we came to the _Capilla Real_, where lies the body of St. Ferdinand in
a silver urn, with an inscription in four languages by his son,
Alfonso the Wise, who seems to have had a taste for writing epitaphs.
He composed that of the Cid.

St. Ferdinand was the contemporary and cousin-german of St. Louis of
France, who gave him the _Virgen de los Reyes_ that hangs in this
chapel, and, like him, added the virtues of a saint to the glories of
a warrior. He had such a tender love for his subjects that he was
unwilling to tax them, and feared the curse of one poor old woman more
than a whole army of Moors. He took Cordova, and dedicated the mosque
of the foul Prophet to the purest of Virgins. He conquered Murcia in
1245; Jaen in 1246; Seville in 1248; but he remained humble amid all
his glory, and exclaimed with tears on his death-bed: “O my Lord! thou
hast suffered so much for the love of me; but I, wretched man that I
am! what have I done out of love for thee?” He died like a criminal,
with a cord around his neck and a crucifix in his hands, and so
venerated by foes as well as friends that, when he was buried,
Mohammed Ebn Alahmar, the founder of the Alhambra, sent a hundred
Moorish knights to bear lighted tapers around his bier――a tribute of
respect he continued to pay him on every anniversary of his death. And
to this day, when the body of St. Ferdinand, which is in a remarkable
state of preservation, is exposed to veneration, the troops present
arms as they pass, and the flag is lowered before the conqueror of
Seville.

The arms of the city represent St. Ferdinand on his throne, with St.
Leander and Isidore, the patrons of Seville, at his side. Below is the
curious device――No 8 Do――a rebus of royal invention, to be seen on the
pavement of the beautiful chapter-house. When Don Sancho rebelled
against his father, Alfonso the Wise, most of the cities joined in the
revolt. But Seville remained loyal, and the king gave it this device
as the emblem of its fidelity. The figure 8, which represents a knot
or skein――_madeja_ in Spanish――between the words No and Do, reads: _No
madeja do_, or _No m’ha dejado_, which, being interpreted, is: _She
has not abandoned me_.

St. Ferdinand’s effigy is rightfully graven on the city arms; for it
was he who wrested Seville from Mahound and restored it to Christ, to
use the expression on the _Puerta de la Carne_:

  Condidit Alcides; renovavit Julius urbem,
  Restituit Christo Fernandus tertius Heros.

――Alcides founded the city, Julius Cæsar rebuilt it, and Ferdinand
III., the Hero, restored it to Christ; a proud inscription, showing
the antiquity of Seville. Hercules himself, who played so great a
_rôle_ in Spain, founded it, as you see; its historians say just two
thousand two hundred and twenty-eight years after the creation of the
world. On the _Puerta de Jerez_ it is written: “Hercules built me,
Julius Cæsar surrounded me with walls, and the Holy King conquered me
with the aid of Garcia Perez de Vargas.” Hercules’ name has been given
to one of the principal promenades of the city, where his statue is to
be seen on a column, opposite to another of Julius Cæsar.

The above-mentioned Garcia Perez and Alfonso el Sabio are both buried
in the Royal Chapel. Close beside it is the chapel of the Immaculate
Conception, with some old paintings of that mystery, which Seville was
one of the foremost cities in the world to maintain. Andalusia is the
true land of the Immaculate Conception, and Seville was the first to
raise a cry of remonstrance against those who dared attack the most
precious prerogative of the Virgin. Its clergy and people sent
deputies to Rome, and had silence imposed on all who were audacious
enough to dispute it. And when Pope Paul V. published his bull
authorizing the festival of the Immaculate Conception, and forbidding
any one’s preaching or teaching to the contrary, Seville could not
contain itself for joy, but broke out into tournaments and banquets,
bull-fights and the roaring of cannon. When the festival came round,
this joy took another form, and expressed itself in true Oriental
fashion by dances before the Virgin, as the Royal Harper danced before
the ark. Nor was this a novelty. Religious dances had been practised
from remote times in Spain. They formed part of the Mozarabic rite,
which Cardinal Ximenes reestablished at Toledo, authorizing dances in
the choir and nave. St. Basil, among other fathers, approved of
imitating the _tripudium angelorum_――the dance of the angelic choirs
that

  “Sing, and, singing in their glory, move.”

At the Cathedral of Seville the choir-boys, called _Los Seises_――the
Sixes――used to dance to the sound of ivory castanets before the Host
on Corpus Christi, and in the chapel of the Virgin on the 8th of
December, when they were dressed in blue and white. Sometimes they
sang as they danced. One of their hymns began: “Hail, O Virgin, purer
and fairer than the dawn or star of day! Daughter, Mother, Spouse,
Maria! and the Eastern Gate of God!” with the chorus: “Sing, brothers,
sing, to the praise of the Mother of God; of Spain the royal
patroness, conceived without sin!” There was nothing profane in this
dance. It was a kind of cadence, decorous, and not without religious
effect. Several of the archbishops of Seville, however, endeavored to
suppress it, but the lower clergy long clung to the custom. Pope
Eugenius IV., in 1439, authorized the dance of the _Seises_. St.
Thomas of Villanueva speaks approvingly of the religious dances of
Seville in his day. They were also practised in Portugal, where we
read of their being celebrated at the canonization of St. Charles
Borromeo, as in Spain for that of St. Ignatius de Loyola. These,
however, were of a less austere character, and were not performed in
church. In honor of the latter, quadrilles were formed of children,
personifying the four quarters of the globe, with costumes in
accordance. America had the greatest success, executed by children
eight or ten years old, dressed as monkeys, parrots, etc.――tropical
America, evidently. These were varied in one place by the
representation of the taking of Troy, the wooden horse included.

The Immaculate Conception is still the favorite dogma of this region.
_Ave Maria Purissima!_ is still a common exclamation. There are few
churches without a Virgin dressed in blue and white; few houses
without a picture, at least, of Mary Most Pure. There are numerous
confraternities of the Virgin, some of whom come together at dawn to
recite the _Rosario de la Aurora_. Among the hymns they sing is a
verse in which Mary is compared to a vessel of grace, of which St.
Joseph is the sail, the child Jesus the helm, and the oars are the
pious members, who devoutly pray:

  “Es Maria la nave de gracia,
   San Jose la vela, el Niño el timon;
   Y los remos son las buenas almas
   Que van al Rosario con gran devocion.”

There is another chapel of Our Lady in the cathedral of Seville, in
which is a richly-sculptured retable with pillars, and niches, and
statues, all of marble, and a balustrade of silver, along the rails of
which you read, in great silver letters, the angelic salutation: AVE
MARIA!

At the further end of one of the art-adorned sacristies hangs Pedro de
Campaña’s famous “Descent from the Cross,” before which Murillo loved
to meditate, especially in his last days. Joseph of Arimathea and
Nicodemus, in deep-red mantles, let down the dead Christ. St. John
stands at the foot ready to receive him. The Virgin is half fainting.
Magdalen is there with her vase. The figures are a little stiff, but
their attitudes are expressive of profound grief, and the picture is
admirable in coloring and religious in effect, as well as interesting
from its associations. It was once considered so awful that Pacheco
was afraid to remain before it after dark. But those were days of
profound religious feeling; now men are afraid of nothing. And it was
so full of reality to Murillo that, one evening, lingering longer than
usual before it, the sacristan came to warn him it was time to close
the church. “I am waiting,” said the pious artist, rousing from his
contemplation, “till those holy men shall have finished taking down
the body of the Lord.” The painting then hung in the church of Santa
Cruz, and Murillo was buried beneath it. This was destroyed by Marshal
Soult, and the bones of the artist scattered.

In the same sacristy hang, on opposite walls, St. Leander and his
brother Isidore, by Murillo, both with noble heads. The latter is the
most popular saint in Spain after St. James, and is numbered among the
fathers of the church. Among the twelve burning suns, circling in the
fourth heaven of Dante’s Paradiso, is “the arduous spirit of Isidore,”
whom the great Alcuin long before called “Hesperus, the star of the
church――_Jubar Ecclesiæ, sidus Hesperiæ_.” The Venerable Bede classes
him with Jerome, Athanasius, Augustine, and Cyprian; and it was after
dictating some passages from St. Isidore that he died.

St. Isidore is said to have been descended from the old Gothic kings.
At any rate, he belonged to a family of saints, which is better; his
sister and two brothers being in the calendar. His saintly mother,
when the family was exiled from Carthagena on account of their
religion, chose to live in Seville, saying with tears: “Let me die in
this foreign land, and have my sepulchre here where I was brought to
the knowledge of God!” It is said a swarm of bees came to rest on the
mouth of St. Isidore when a child; as is related of several other men
celebrated for their mellifluence――Plato and St. Ambrose, for example.
Old legends tell how he went to Rome and back in one night. However
that may be, his mind was of remarkable activity and compass, and took
in all the knowledge of the day. He knew Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and
wrote such a vast number of works as to merit the title of _Doctor
Egregius_. There are two hundred MSS. of his in the _Bibliothèque
Royale_ at Paris, and still more at the Vatican, to say nothing of
those in Spain. His great work, the _Etymologies_, in twenty books, is
an encyclopædia of all the learning of the seventh century. Joseph
Scaliger says it rendered great service to science by saving from
destruction what would otherwise have been irretrievably lost.

The account of St. Isidore’s death, celebrated by art, is very
affecting. When he felt his end was drawing near, he summoned two of
his suffragans, and had himself transported to the church of San
Vicente amid a crowd of clergy, monks, and the entire population of
Seville, who rent the air with their cries. When he arrived before the
high altar, he ordered all the women to retire. Then one of the
bishops clothed him in sackcloth, and the other sprinkled him with
ashes. In this penitential state he publicly confessed his sins,
imploring pardon of God, and begging all present to pray for him. “And
if I have offended any one,” added he, “let him pardon me in view of
my sincere repentance.” He then received the holy Body of the Lord,
and gave all around him the kiss of peace, desiring that it might be a
pledge of eternal reunion, after which he distributed all the money he
had left to the poor. He was then taken home, and died four days
after.[2]

On the church in which this touching scene occurred is represented San
Vicente, the titular, with the legendary crow which piloted the ship
that bore his body to Lisbon, with a pitchfork in its mouth. Mr. Ford,
whose knowledge of saintly lore is not commensurate with his desire to
be funny, thinks “a rudder would be more appropriate,” not knowing
that a fork was one of the instruments used to torture the “Invincible
Martyr.” Prudentius says: “When his body was lacerated by iron forks,
he only smiled on his tormentors; the pangs they inflicted were a
delight; thorns were his roses; the flames a refreshing bath; death
itself was but the entrance to life.”

Near the cathedral is the Alcazar, with battlemented walls, and an
outer pillared court where pace the guards to defend the shades of
past royalty. As we had not then seen the Alhambra, we were the more
struck by the richness and beauty of this next best specimen of
Moorish architecture. The fretwork of gold on a green ground, or white
on red; the mysterious sentences from the Koran; the curious ceilings
inlaid with cedar; the brilliant _azulejos_; the Moorish arches and
decorations; and the secluded courts, were all novel, and like a page
from some Eastern romance. The windows looked out on enchanting
gardens, worthy of being sung by Ariosto, with orange hedges,
palm-trees, groves of citrons and pomegranates, roses in full bloom,
though in January; kiosks lined with bright _azulejos_, and a fountain
in the centre; fish playing in immense marble tanks, tiny jets of
water springing up along the paths to cool the air, a bright sun, and
a delicious temperature. All this was the creation of Don Pedro the
Cruel, aided by some of the best Moorish workmen from Granada. Here
reigned triumphant Maria de Padilla, called the queen of sorcerers by
the people, who looked upon Don Pedro as bewitched. When she died, the
king had her buried with royal honors――shocking to say, in the
_Capilla Real_, where lies Fernando the Saint! Her apartments are
pointed out, now silent and deserted where once reigned love and
feasting――yes, and crime. In one of the halls it is said Don Pedro
treacherously slew Abou Said, King of the Moors, who had come to visit
him in sumptuous garments of silk and gold, covered with jewels――slew
him for the sake of the booty. Among the spoils were three rubies of
extraordinary brilliancy, as large as pigeons’ eggs, one of which Don
Pedro afterwards gave the Black Prince; it is now said to adorn the
royal crown of England.

There is a little oratory in the Alcazar, only nine or ten feet
square, called the _Capilla de los Azulejos_, because the altar,
retable, and the walls to a certain height, are composed of enamelled
tiles, some of which bear the F and Y, with the arrows and yoke,
showing they were made in the time of Isabella the Catholic. The
altar-piece represents the Visitation. In this chapel Charles V. was
married to Isabella of Portugal.

No one omits to visit the hospital of _La Caridad_, which stands on a
square by the Guadalquivir, with five large pictures on the front, of
blue and white _azulejos_, painted after the designs of Murillo. One
of them represents St. George and the dragon, to which saint the
building is dedicated. This hospital was rebuilt in 1664 by Miguel de
Mañara in expiation of his sins; for he had been, before his
conversion, a very Don Juan for profligacy. In his latter days he
acquired quite a reputation for sanctity, and some years since there
was a question of canonizing him. However, he had inscribed on his
tomb the unique epitaph: “Here lie the ashes of the worst man that
ever lived in the world.” He was a friend of Murillo’s, and, being a
man of immense wealth, employed him to adorn the chapel of his
hospital. Marshal Soult carried off most of these paintings, among
which was the beautiful “St. Elizabeth of Hungary,” now at Madrid; but
six still remain. “Moses smiting the Rock” and the “Multiplication of
the Loaves and Fishes” are justly noted, but the most beautiful is the
picture of San Juan de Dios staggering home through the dark street on
a stormy night, with a dying man on his shoulder. An angel, whose
heavenly radiance lights up the gloom with truly Rembrandt coloring,
is aiding him to bear his burden.

There is a frightful picture among these soft Murillos, by Juan Valdés
Leal, of a half-open coffin, in which lies a bishop in magnificent
pontifical robes, who is partially eaten up by the worms. Murillo
could never look at it without compressing his nose, as if it gave out
a stench. The “Descent from the Cross” over the altar is exquisitely
carved and colored. Few chapels contain so many gems of art, but the
light is ill-adapted for displaying them.

This hospital was in part founded for night wanderers. It is now an
almshouse for old men, and served by Sisters of Charity.

Among other places of attraction are the palace of the Duke de
Montpensier and the beautiful grounds with orange orchards and groves
of palm-trees. Then there is the house of Murillo, bright and sunny,
with its pleasant court and marble pillars, still the home of art,
owned by a dignitary of the church.

The _Casa de Pilatos_ is an elegant palace, half Moorish, half Gothic,
belonging to the Duke of Medina Celi, said to have been built by a
nobleman of the sixteenth century, in commemoration of a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem, after the plan of Pilate’s house. Perhaps the name was
given it because the public stations of the _Via Crucis_, or Way of
Bitterness, as the Spanish call it, begin here, at the cross in the
court. The Pretorian chapel has a column of the flagellation and
burning lamps; and on the staircase, as you go up, is the cock in
memory of St. Peter. Beautiful as the palace is, it is unoccupied, and
kept merely for show.

It would take a volume to describe all the works of art to be seen in
the palaces and churches of Seville. We will only mention the _Jesus
Nazareno del Gran Poder_――of great power――at San Lorenzo, a statue by
Montañes, which is carried in the processions of Holy Week, dressed in
black velvet broidered with silver and gold, and bearing a large cross
encrusted with ivory, shell, and pearl. Angels, with outspread wings,
bear lanterns before him. The whole group is carried by men so
concealed under draperies that it seems to move of itself. We had not
the satisfaction of witnessing one of these processions, perhaps the
most striking in the world, with the awful scenes of the Passion, the
Virgin of Great Grief, and the apostles in their traditional colors;
even Judas in yellow, still in Spain the color of infamy and
criminals.

Of course we went repeatedly to the _Museo_ of Seville; for we had
specially come here to see Murillo on his native ground. His statue is
in the centre of the square before it. The collection of paintings is
small, but it comprises some of the choicest specimens of the Seville
school. They are all of a religious nature, and therefore not out of
place in the church and sacristy where they are hung――part of the
suppressed convent of _La Merced_, founded by Fernando el Santo in the
thirteenth century. The custodian who ushered us in waved his hand to
the pictures on the opposite wall, breathing rather than saying the
word _Murillo!_ with an ineffable accent, half triumph, half
adoration, and then kissed the ends of his fingers to express their
delicious quality. He was right. They are adorable. We recognized them
at a glance, having read of them for long years, and seen them often
in our dreams. And visions they are of beauty and heavenly rapture,
such as Murillo alone could paint. His refinement of expression, his
warm colors and shimmering tints, the purity and tenderness of his
Virgins, the ecstatic glow of his saints, and the infantine grace and
beauty of his child Christs, all combine to make him one of the most
beautiful expressions of Christian art, in harmony with all that is
mystical and fervid. He has twenty-four paintings here, four of which
are Conceptions, the subject for which he is specially renowned.
Murillo is emphatically the Painter of the Immaculate Conception. When
he established the Academy of Art at Seville, of which he and Herrera
were the first presidents, every candidate had to declare his belief
in the Most Pure Conception of the Virgin. It was only three months
before Murillo’s birth that Philip IV., amid the enthusiastic applause
of all Spain, solemnly placed his kingdom under the protection of the
_Virgen concebida sin peccado_. Artists were at once inspired by the
subject, and vied with each other in depicting the

  “Woman above all women glorified,
   Our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”

But Murillo alone rose to the full height of this great theme, and he
will always be considered as, _par excellence_, the _Pintor de las
Concepciones_. He painted the Conception twenty-five times, and not
twice in the same way. Two are at Paris, several in England, three at
Madrid, and four in this museum, one of which is called the _Perla_――a
pearl indeed. Innocence and purity, of course, are the predominant
expressions of these Virgins, from the very nature of the subject.
Mary is always represented clothed in flowing white robes, and draped
with an azure mantle. She is radiant with youth and grace, and
mysterious and pure as the heaven she floats in. Her small, delicate
hands are crossed on her virginal breast or folded in adoration. Her
lips are half open and tremulous. She is borne up in a flood of
silvery light, calmly ecstatic, her whole soul in her eyes, which are
bathed in a humid languor, and her beautiful hair, caressed by the
wind, is floating around her like an aureola of gold. The whole is a
vision as intoxicating as a cloud of Arabian incense. It is a poem of
mystical love――the very ecstasy of devotion.

Murillo’s best paintings were done for the Franciscans, the great
defenders of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. From the
Capuchins of Seville perhaps he derived his inspiration. They were his
first patrons. He loved to paint the Franciscan saints, as well as
their darling dogma. Such subjects were in harmony with his spiritual
nature. He almost lived in the cloister. Piety reigned in his
household. One of his sons took orders, and his daughter, Francisca,
the model of some of his virgins, became a nun in the convent of the
_Madre de Dios_.

Among his paintings here is one of “St. Francis at the foot of the
Cross,” trampling the world and its vanities under his feet. Our
Saviour has detached one bleeding hand from the cross, and bends down
to lay it on the shoulder of the saint, as if he would draw him closer
to his wounded side. St. Francis is looking up with a whole world of
adoring love in his eyes, of self-surrender and _abandon_ in his
attitude. Though sombre in tone, this is one of the most expressive
and devotional of pictures, and, once seen, can never be forgotten.

Then there is St. Felix, in his brown Franciscan dress, holding the
beautiful child Jesus in his arms. When we first saw it, the afternoon
sun, streaming through the windows, threw fresh radiance over the
heavenly Madonna, who comes lightly, so lightly! down through the
luminous ether, borne by God’s angels, slightly bending forward to the
saint, as if with special predilection. A wallet of bread is at his
feet, in reference to the legend that St. Felix went out one stormy
night to beg for the poor brethren of his convent, and met a child
radiant with goodness and beauty, who gave him a loaf and then
disappeared. This picture is the perfection of what is called
Murillo’s _vaporous_ style. The Spanish say it was painted _con leche
y sangre_――with milk and blood.

The _Servietta_, so famous, is greatly injured. It is said to have
been dashed off on a napkin, while waiting for his dinner, and given
to the porter of the convent. If so, the friars’ napkins were of very
coarse canvas, as may be seen where the paint has scaled off. The
Virgin, a half-length, has large, Oriental eyes, full of intensity and
earnestness.

Opposite is St. Thomas of Villanueva, giving alms to the poor, with a
look of compassionate feeling on his pale, emaciated face, the light
coming through the archway above him with fine effect. The beggars
around him stand out as if in relief. One is crawling up to the saint
on his knees, the upper part of his body naked and brown from
exposure. A child in the corner is showing his coin to his mother with
glee. Murillo used to call this _his_ picture, as if he preferred it
to his other works.

St. Thomas was Archbishop of Valencia in the sixteenth century, and a
patron of letters and the arts, but specially noted for his excessive
charity, for which he is surnamed the Almsgiver. His ever-open purse
was popularly believed to have been replenished by the angels. When he
died, more than eight thousand poor people followed him to the grave,
filling the air with their sighs and groans. Pope Paul V. canonized
him, and ordered that he should be represented with a purse instead of
a crosier.

Murillo’s SS. Justa and Rufina are represented with victorious palms
of martyrdom, holding between them the Giralda, of which they have
been considered the special protectors since a terrible storm in 1504,
which threatened the tower. They are two Spanish-looking maidens, one
in a violet dress and yellow mantle, the other in blue and red, with
earthen dishes around their feet. They lived in the third century, and
were the daughters of a potter in Triana, a faubourg of Seville, on
the other side of the river, which has always been famous for its
pottery. In the time of the Arabs beautiful _azulejos_ were made here,
of which specimens are to be seen in some of the churches of Seville.
In the sixteenth century there were fifty manufactories here, which
produced similar ones of very fine lustre, such as we see at the _Casa
de Pilatos_. Cervantes celebrates Triana in his _Rinconete y
Cortadillo_. It is said to derive its name, originally Trajana, from
the Emperor Trajan, who was born not far from Seville. It has come
down from its high estate, and is now mostly inhabited by gypsies and
the refuse of the city. The potteries are no longer what they once
were. But there is an interesting little church, called Santa Ana,
built in the time of Alfonso the Wise, in which are some excellent
pictures, and a curious tomb of the sixteenth century made of
_azulejos_. It was in this unpromising quarter the two Christian
maidens, Justa and Rufina, lived fifteen hundred years ago or more.
Some pagan women coming to their shop one day to buy vases for the
worship of Venus, they refused to sell any for the purpose, and the
women fell upon their stock of dishes and broke them to pieces. The
saints threw the images of Venus into the ditch to express their
abhorrence. Whereupon the people dragged them before the magistrates,
and, confessing themselves to be Christians, they were martyred.

There are two St. Anthonies here by Murillo, one of which is specially
remarkable for beauty and intensity of expression. The child Jesus has
descended from the skies, and sits on an open volume, about to clasp
the saint around the neck. St. Anthony’s face seems to have caught
something of the glow of heaven. Angels hover over the scene, as well
they may.

There are several paintings here by the genial Pacheco, the
father-in-law of Velasquez; among others one of St. Peter Nolasco, the
tutor of Don Jayme _el Conquistador_, going in a boat to the
redemption of captives. The man at the prow is Cervantes, who, with
the other _beaux esprits_ of the day, used to assemble in the studio
of Pacheco, a man of erudition and a poet as well as a painter.
Pacheco was a familiar of the Inquisition, and inspector of sacred
pictures. It was in the latter capacity he laid down rules for their
representation, among which were some relating to paintings of the
Immaculate Conception (he has two paintings of this subject in the
museum), which were generally adhered to in Spain. The general idea
was taken from the woman in the Apocalypse, clothed with the sun,
having the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve
stars. The Virgin was to be represented in the freshness of
maidenhood, with grave, sweet eyes, golden hair, in a robe of spotless
white and a blue mantle. Blue and white are the traditional colors of
the Virgin. In the unchanging East Lamartine found the women of
Nazareth clad in a loose white garment that fell around them in long,
graceful folds, over which was a blue tunic confined at the waist by a
girdle――a dress he thought might have come down from the time of the
patriarchs.

But to return to Pacheco. It was he who, in the seventeenth century,
took so active a part in the discussion whether St. Teresa, just
canonized, should be chosen as the _Compatrona_ of Spain. Many
maintained that St. James should continue to be considered the sole
patron, and Quevedo espoused his cause so warmly that he ended by
challenging his adversaries to a combat _en champ clos_, and was in
danger of losing his estates. Pacheco, as seen by existing
manuscripts, wrote a learned theological treatise against him, taking
up the cause of St. Teresa, which proved victorious. She was declared
the second patron of Spain by Philip III.――a decision re-echoed by the
Spanish Cortes as late as 1812. All the prominent men of the day took
part in this discussion, even artists and literary men, as well as
politicians and the clergy.

The place of honor in the museum is given to Zurbarán’s “Santo Tomás,”
a grand picture, painted for the Dominican college of Seville. In the
centre is St. Thomas Aquinas, in the Dominican habit, resting on a
cloud, with the four doctors of the church, in ample flowing robes,
around him. He holds up his pen, as if for inspiration, to the opening
heavens, where appear Christ and the Virgin, St. Paul and St. Dominic.
Below, at the left, is Diego de Deza, the founder of the college, and
other dignitaries; while on the right, attended by courtiers, is
Charles V., in a splendid imperial mantle, kneeling on a crimson
cushion, with one hand raised invokingly to the saint. The faces are
all said to be portraits of Zurbarán’s time; that of the emperor, the
artist himself. The coloring is rich, the perspective admirable, the
costumes varied and striking, and the composition faultless.

Zurbarán has another picture here, of a scene from the legend of St.
Hugo, who was Bishop of Grenoble in the time of St. Bruno, and often
spent weeks together at the Grande Chartreuse. Once he arrived at
dinner-time, and found the monks at table looking despairingly at the
meat set before them, which they could not touch, it being a fast-day.
The bishop, stretching forth his staff, changed the fowls into
tortoises. The white habits and pointed cowls of the monks, and the
varied expressions of their faces, contrast agreeably with the
venerable bishop in his rich episcopal robes, and the beauty of the
page who accompanies him.

The masterpiece of the elder Herrera is also here. Hermenegildo, a
Gothic prince of the sixth century, martyred by order of his Arian
father, whose religion he had renounced, is represented ascending to
heaven in a coat of mail, leaving below him his friends SS. Leandro
and Isidore, beside whom is his fair young son, richly attired, gazing
wonderingly up at his sainted father as he ascends among a whole cloud
of angels. This picture was painted for the high altar of the Jesuits
of Seville, with whom Herrera took refuge when accused of the crime of
issuing false money. It attracted the artistic eye of Philip IV. when
he came to Seville in 1624. He asked the name of the artist, and,
learning the cause of his reclusion sent for him and pardoned him,
saying that a man who had so much talent ought not to make a bad use
of it.

There is no sculpture in the gallery of Seville, except a few statues
of the saints――the spoils of monasteries, like the paintings. The
finest thing is a St. Jerome, furrowed and wasted by penance, laying
hold of a cross before which he bends one knee, with a stone in his
right hand ready to smite his breast. This was done for the convent of
Buenavista by Torrigiano, celebrated not only for his works, but for
breaking Michael Angelo’s nose. He was sent to Spain by his protector,
Alexander VI., who was a generous patron of the arts. Goya considered
this statue superior to Michael Angelo’s Moses.

Our last hours at Seville were spent before all these works of sacred
art, each of which has its own special revelation to the soul; and
then we went to the cathedral. The day was nearly at an end. The
chapels were all closed. The vast edifice was as silent as the grave,
with only a few people here and there absorbed in their devotions. The
upper western windows alone caught a few rays of the declining sun,
empurpling the arches. The long aisles were full of gloom. We lingered
awhile, like Murillo, before “Christ descending from the Cross,” and
then went back to the _Fonda Europa_ with regret in our hearts.


     [2] Roelas’ masterpiece, the _Transito de San Isidoro_, in
     the church of that name, represents this solemn scene. The
     dying saint is on the steps of the altar, supported by two
     bishops, who look all the more venerable from contrast with
     the fresh bloom of the beautiful choir-boys behind; the
     multitude is swaying with grief through the long, receding
     aisles; and, in the opening heavens above, appear Christ and
     the Virgin, ready to receive him into the glory of which we
     catch a glimpse. It is a picture that can only be compared
     to Domenichino’s “Last Communion of St. Jerome.”



SIX SUNNY MONTHS.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HOUSE OF YORKE,” “GRAPES AND THORNS,” ETC.


CHAPTER IV.――CONTINUED.


Mr. Bailey had finally, after some management, got Bianca quite to
himself, and, discovering that they had mutual friends, and that she
liked those parts of his writings which he considered the best, the
two were quite over the threshold of a ceremonious acquaintance, and
talking together very amicably.

“You may stay to supper, if you will,” the Signora whispered to him.
“But don’t say so, because I shall not ask any one else. Get yourself
out of sight somewhere.”

“Fly with me!” he said tragically to Bianca. “May we go to the
_loggia_, Signora?”

She nodded.

“If you will watch the windows, and come in the instant I call you;
and if that child will get something on the way to put over her head
and shoulders.”

The two stole out of the drawing-rooms with all the merry pleasure of
children playing a prank.

“Stop a moment!” the young man said when they reached the _sala_. “See
how this room, almost encircled by brightly-lighted chambers, looks
like the old moon in the new moon’s arms. Isn’t it pretty?”

They passed the dining-room, traversed the long western wing, went up
a little stair, and found themselves on the roof of a building that
had been added to the house and used as a studio for sculptors. A
balustrade ran across one side, and at the side opposite a door
entered an upper room of the studio. The two connecting sides, the one
toward the west and that next the house, had trellises, over which
morning-glory vines were running. A few pots of flowers and a chair or
two completed the furniture of the place. Below, the garden and
vineyard pressed close against its walls, breathing perfume, and just
stirring the evening air with a delicate ripple of water and a whisper
of leaves.

Bianca leaned on the balustrade and wished she were alone. The silent
beauty was too solemn for talk; and, besides, it was the hour when one
remembers the absent. Her companion was too sensitive not to perceive
and respect her mood. “Only keep the shawl well about you,” he said,
as if in reply to some spoken word, then left her to herself, and
paced to and fro at the most distant part of the _loggia_, drinking in
the scene, which would some day flow from his pen-point in glowing
words. It seemed not ten minutes when the Signora’s voice was heard
across the silence, “Children, come in!”

Both sighed as they left the charmed spot, and had half a mind to
disobey the summons. “But, after all, it will only be exchanging one
picture for another,” the author said. “And, _ecco_!”

He pointed to the foot of the little stair that led from the _loggia_
down to the passage. Adriano stood there in the shade, like a portrait
framed in ebony, holding in his hand one of the long-handled brass
lamps of Italy, the light from whose three wicks struck upwards over
his handsome dark face peering out sharply, but not at first seeing
them.

“Strong light and shade will make a picture of anything,” Bianca said.
“And there is a companion.”

He glanced at the dining-room window, and saw through the open half of
a shutter Isabel standing under the chandelier, with face and hand
uplifted to examine some pendants that had just caught her attention.
The light poured over her face, and filled her beautiful, undazzled
eyes, and the hand that held the crystal looked as if carved out of
pink transparent coral.

Going in, they found the supper-table set, and Mr. Vane entertaining
the ladies with a story of two politicians, of opposite parties, who
were so candid they were always convincing each other, and,
consequently, were never of the same opinion, except when they were
each half convinced; and even then they were not of the same opinion,
for their minds turned different ways, like two persons who meet on
the threshold of a house, one going in and one coming out. They went
on year after year in this way, arguing, and trying to arrive at the
truth, till at last they both went crazy and were locked up in
separate mad-houses. At length both returned to their first opinions,
and so were restored to reason. But when they were set at liberty,
they became as great bigots as they had before been liberals, and each
was so determined not only not to yield to the other, whom he regarded
as the cause of his misfortunes, but even to own that he could be
sincere in his opinions, that they never met without fighting. Their
rancor went on increasing, till they finally challenged each other at
the same moment; and, in disputing as to which was the challenged and
which the challenger, flew into such a fury that at last they killed
each other, without ever having had time to fight a duel.

“The moral of it is,” Mr. Vane concluded, “that when a man has once
chosen his opinions, he has no more right to hear them abused than he
has to hear his wife abused, no matter what she may be; and the cream
of the moral is that all arguments are not only useless but
dangerous.”

“I know now what is meant by espousing an opinion or a cause,” the
Signora said. “I had supposed the word was used merely for variety of
phrase. It means, then, ‘for better or for worse.’ Poor Truth! how
many buffets she gets! Not from you!” she added hastily, and blushing
as she saw that her words had made Mr. Vane suddenly serious, and that
he was looking at her with an expression almost reproachful. “No
matter what you may say, I am sure you would never see Truth standing
on your threshold without bidding her welcome.”

He looked down, and a faint smile rather shone through his face than
parted his lips. He seemed to thank her so.

“I fancy she comes oftenest in silence and by herself,” he said in a
very quiet tone.

Something in his voice and look made Clive Bailey regard him with a
momentary keenness. He felt that they indicated an almost feminine
delicacy, and a depth of sensitive sweetness he had not looked to find
in Mr. Vane.

The Signora begged to call their attention to the _minestra_ that was
steaming on the table. “Annunciata deserves that we should attend to
it at once,” she said; “for she has given her best thoughts to it the
whole afternoon. I couldn’t tell how many things have gone to its
composition. I do hope it is good, so that we can consistently praise
it. I should feel less disappointment in having a book fall dead from
the press, than she will if we take no notice of her cooking. Don’t
let the vacant chair injure your appetites; it is not for a ghost, but
for Signor Leonardo, your Italian teacher. I told him to come to
supper, and he is just five minutes too late――a wonder for him. He is
the soul of promptness.”

The door opened as she spoke, and Signor Leonardo stood bowing on the
threshold――a dark, circumspect little man, who gave an impression of
such stiffness and dryness that one almost expected to hear him
crackle and snap in moving. He recovered from his low bow, however,
without any accident, and, with some excess of ceremoniousness, got
himself down to the table, where he sat on the very edge of his chair,
looking so solemn and polite that Isabel, as she afterward declared,
longed to get up and shake him. “He would have rattled all to pieces,
if I had,” she said.

This wooden little body contained, however, a cultivated mind and a
good heart, and he was one of the most faithful, modest, and patient
of men.

He had been at the Vatican that morning, he said, in answer to the
Signora’s questions, and had seen the Holy Father in good health and
spirits, laughing at the cardinals who were with him, all of whom
carried canes. “‘I am older than any of you,’ he said, ‘and, see! I
can walk without my cane. Oh! I am a young man yet.’”

“I saw Monsignor M――――,” the professor added, “and he requested me to
give you this,” presenting a little package.

The Signora opened it in smiling expectation, and held up a small
half-roll of bread out of which a piece had been bitten. “See how we
idolaters love the Pope!” she said to Mr. Vane. “I begged Monsignor to
get me a piece of bread from his breakfast-table. Let me see what he
has written about it,” reading a card that accompanied this singular
gift.

“My dear Signora,” the prelate wrote, “behold your keepsake! I stood
by while the Holy Father breakfasted, like a dog watching for a bone,
and the moment I saw the one bite taken out of this bread I begged the
rest for you. ‘What!’ said the Pope, ‘my children take the very bread
from my mouth!’ and gave it to me, laughing pleasantly.”

“The dear father,” the Signora said, kissing her treasure, as she rose
to put it away in safety.

This little incident led the talk to the Pope, and to many incidents
illustrative of his goodness and the affection the people bore him.

“A few years ago, in the old time,” the Signora said, “the price of
bread was raised in Rome, for some reason or other, or for no reason.
Some days after the Holy Father passed by here on his way to his
favorite church, and ours, Bianca. He was walking, and his carriage
following. I can see him now, in his white robe, his hands behind his
back, holding his hat, and his sweet face ready with a kind glance for
all. A poor man approached, asked to speak to him, and was allowed.
‘Holy Father,’ he said, kneeling down, ‘the price of bread is raised,
and the people are hungry, for they cannot afford to buy it.’ The Pope
gave him an alms and his benediction, and passed on. The next day the
price of bread was reduced to its former rate.

  “‘Such grace had kings when the world began.’”

One anecdote led to another; and then there was some music, Isabel
playing rather brilliantly on the piano in the _sala_, a group of
candles at either hand lighting up her face and person and that part
of the room. Afterward, when the rest of the company had gone into the
drawing-rooms, Bianca, sitting in a half-dark, sang two or three
ballads so sweetly that they almost held their breaths to listen to
her.

Her singing made them feel quiet, and as if the evening were over; and
when it ended, Mr. Bailey and the _signore_ took leave. The family sat
a while longer in the _sala_, with no light but a lamp that burned
before a Madonna at the end of the long room. Outside, a pine-tree
lifted its huge umbrella against the pure sky, and a great tower
showed in the same lucid deep. The streets in front were still and
deserted, the windows all dark and sullen. The moon had long since
set, and the stars were like large, wide-open eyes that stare with
sleepiness. Some Campagna people, who had been in the city, and were
going home again, passed by, and stirred the silence with the sound of
an accordeon, with which they enlivened their midnight walk; then all
was still again.

“The night-sounds of Rome are almost always pleasant,” the Signora
said. “Sometimes the country people come in with a tambourine and
singing, but it is not noisy, and if it wakes you it is only for a few
minutes. Sometimes it is a wine-cart, with all its little bells.”

The clock of _Santa Maria Maggiore_ was heard striking twelve. “My
bells!” she exclaimed; then added: “I wish I could tell you all their
lovely ways. For one, when they have the Forty Hours at the basilica,
only the great bell strikes the hours, instead of three smaller ones,
as now; and for the Angelus the four bells ring steadily together
their little running song, while the great bell strikes now and then,
but so softly as to be only a dream of a sound, as if _Maria Assunta_
were talking to herself. It is delicious!”

“I hear a bell now――a little bell,” Mr. Vane said.

They listened, and found that his keen hearing had not deceived him.
There was a sound of a little bell in the street, faint, but coming
slowly nearer. What could it be? They looked out and saw nothing but
the long, white street, stretching its ghostly length from hill to
hill. The sound, however, was in the street, and at a spot where they
looked and saw nothing, and it came constantly nearer. At length, when
it was almost under their windows, they perceived a motion, slow and
colorless, as if the paving-stones were noiselessly turning over and
rolling off toward the Quirinal, and then the paving-stones became a
tide of pale water tossing a black stick as it flowed; and, at last,
it was sheep, and the stick was a man. The whole street was alive with
their little bobbing heads and close pressed, woolly bodies. Soft and
timid, they trotted past, as if afraid of waking the terrible lion of
a city in whose sleeping jaws they found themselves. The dogs made no
sound as they kept the stragglers in bounds, the men spoke not a word
as they moved here and there among their flocks; there was only the
small trotting of a multitude of little feet, and bell after bell on
the leader of flock after flock. It seemed as if the world had turned
to sheep.

“I didn’t know there were so many in the world!” Isabel whispered.

And still they came, stretching a mile, from beyond the Esquiline to
beyond the Quirinal――an artery full of tender and innocent life
flowing for an hour through the cruel, unconscious town.

The Signora explained that the flocks were being taken from one
pasture-ground to another, their shortest way being through the city.
“I once saw a herd of cattle pass,” she said. “It was another thing,
as you may imagine. Such a sense of the presence of fierce, strong
life, and anger barely suppressed, I never experienced. It was their
life that called my attention, as one feels lightning in the air. Then
I heard their hoofs and the rattling of their horns, and then here
they were! They were by no means afraid of Rome, but seemed, rather,
impatient and angry that it should be here, drying up the pleasant
hills where they would have liked to graze, reposing under the trees
afterward, and looking dreamily off to the soft sea-line. How sleepy
sheep make one!”

The soft procession passed at length, and the family bade each other
good-night.

The next morning Isabel resolved not to be outdone by the other two
ladies, and accordingly, when she heard the door shut softly after
them as they went out to early Mass, she made haste to dress and
follow. They, meanwhile, walked slowly on, unconscious of her
intention, which would scarcely have given them the pleasure she
imagined; for they were bound on an errand which would have rendered
her society particularly uncongenial.

Isabel went scrupulously to Communion three or four times a year, on
certain great festivals, and at such times, according to her light,
strove to do what she thought was required. She made her confession,
but with scarcely more feeling than she would have reckoned up her
money accounts, scrupulous to pay every cent, and, when every cent was
paid, having a satisfied conviction that the account was square. Of
that generous, higher honesty which, when casting up its accounts with
God, blushes and abases itself in view of the little it has paid, or
can pay, and which would fain cast itself into the balance, and, by an
utter annihilation of every wish, hope, and pleasure that was not
penitence, strive to express its gratitude at least for the ever
unpayable debt――of this she knew nothing. She acknowledged freely that
she was a sinner. “Of course I am a sinner!” she would say. “We are
all sinners”; as if she should say, “Of course I am a biped!” but all
as a matter of course. If anything decidedly offensive to her human
sense of honor lay on her conscience, she certainly had a feeling of
shame for it, and resolved not to transgress in that manner again; but
there was no tremulous self-searching, no passion of prayer for
illumination, unless at some odd time when sickness or peril had made
death seem near. The confession over, she went to church quietly, not
talking much, and read respectfully the prayers in her prayer-book,
which were, indeed, far warmer on her lips than in her heart. She
tried not to look about, and, while her face was buried in her hands,
shut her eyes, lest she should peep in spite of herself. Then, the
whole over, she left the church, feeling much relieved that it was
over, hoping that she had done right, and remaining rather serious for
several hours after. Ordinarily, too, since the merciful Lord accepts
even the smallest gift, and answers even the most tepid prayer, if
they are sincerely offered, she felt some faint sweetness as she
turned away, a tender touch of peace that brushed her in passing, and,
moved by that slight experience of the rapture of the saints, as if a
drop of spray from one of their fountains had fallen on her, she was
conscious of an inexplicable regret that made her renew her good
resolutions, and say a tiny prayer in her own words far more fervent
than any she had breathed through the words of her book. For two days
after her prayers were usually longer and more attentive, and she went
to Mass; then Richard was himself again.

Knowing all this, then, as we know things without thinking of them, or
allowing ourselves to know that we know them, both the Signora and
Bianca would far rather have been by themselves in going to church,
especially when going to Holy Communion.

They walked through the morning, already hot, though the hour was so
early, with a sultry, splendid blue over their heads, and the air too
sweet as it flowed over the garden-walls. The orange-trees seemed to
be oppressed by the weight of their own odors, and to throw them off
in strong, panting respirations. The sun was blazing directly behind
one of the cupolas of the basilica, as they went up the hill, seeming
to be set in the lantern; and then a light coolness touched them in
the shadow, and they entered the beautiful church, where perpetual
freshness reigns, rivalling the climate of St. Peter’s.

The bells were just dropping off for the last fifteen minutes’
tolling, and the canons were coming in for choir, one by one, or two
by two. One or two of the earlier ones, in their snow-white _cottas_
and ermine capes, were kneeling before a shrine or strolling slowly
across the nave toward the choir-chapel. Here and there a Mass was
being said, with a little group of poor people gathered about the
altar, kneeling on the magnificent pavement of involved mosaic work,
or sitting on the bases of the great columns. A woman with a white
handkerchief on her head received communion at one altar, two little
children playing about her, and clinging to her skirts as she got up
to go to her place, her hands folded, her face wrapt in devotion, as
undisturbed by the prattling and pulling of the little ones as St.
Charles Borromeo over his altar by the winged cherubs that held up and
peeped through his long scarlet train.

Our American ladies knelt near the door, by the side of the tribune,
facing the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at the other side of the
church. The morning light entering this chapel set all its marbles
glittering, and made the gilt tabernacle in the centre brighter than
the lamps that burned before it, and, shining out into the church, set
the great porphyry columns of the canopy in a glow. One might fancy
that the blood of the martyrs whose bodies and relics reposed beneath
was beginning to rise and circulate through the rich stone, above
which the martyr’s crown and palm stood out in burning gold.

Having finished their prayer to “His Majesty,” as the Spaniards
beautifully express it, the two knelt at the _prie-dieu_ before the
entrance to the gorgeous Borghese Chapel, to salute Our Lady in sight
of St. Luke’s portrait of her. The face was doubly covered by its
curtain of gold-embroidered silk and gates of transparent alabaster;
but their eyes were fixed on the screen as they prayed, and these
needed no more than they saw. Of this picture it has been said that
sometimes angels have been found chanting litanies about it.

There was no Mass in this chapel, and our friends went down the
basilica to the chapel of the Sacred Heart, where a Mass was just
beginning. The celebrant was an old man with hair as white as snow,
and a face as peaceful and happy as a child’s. The Signora often
encountered him in the church, and always felt like touching his robe
in passing.

“I am glad we shall receive communion from his hands,” she whispered
to Bianca. “I always feel as if he were an angel only half disguised.”

Half an hour afterward they left the chapel, but still lingered in the
church, loath to go. There was no one in sight, but the strong, manly
chorus of voices from the canons’ choir came out to them, now faintly
heard as they moved out of its range, now clear and strong as they
went nearer.

“We really must go. They will be waiting for us at home,” the Signora
said.

Turning back for one more glance at the door, they saw the procession
coming from the sacristy for the canons’ Mass, the vestments
glittering brightly as they passed a streak of sunshine coming into
the middle of the nave.

“It is a constant succession of pictures,” sighed Bianca, who seemed
hardly able to tear herself away.

They stopped a few minutes on the steps.

“Whatever else is injured by these new people, this basilica has
certainly profited,” the Signora said. “The tribune front was a little
low for the breadth. By digging down the hill, and, consequently,
adding so many more steps to this superb flight, they have made the
proportion perfect. Then they have also had to make a deeper pedestal
to the obelisk, which is an improvement. The new white stone shows now
in harsh contrast with the soft-toned old, but time will soon mellow
it. And, moreover, they are doing their work well. They really seem to
take pride in it. The _piazza_ was formerly muddy or dusty. Now they
have made a solid foundation, and it will be all covered, when done,
with that gold-colored gravel you see in patches. Fancy a golden
_piazza_ leading up to my golden basilica!”

She led her young friend along to the other end of the steps, and
pointed up to where beautiful spikes of pink flowers were growing in
interstices of the carving, and lovely plants made a fine fringe high
in the air. Flights of birds came and went, brushing the flowers with
their wings, and alighted, singing and twittering, all about the
cupola over the Blessed Sacrament, going away only to return.

“The little wild birds come to our Lord’s cupola,” she said, “and
there are always flocks of doves about Our Lady’s. I wonder why it
is?”

Going home, they found Isabel sitting with her bonnet on, taking
coffee, and talking to her father, who seemed amused.

“Here they are at last!” she exclaimed. “I have been to _Santa Maria
Maggiore_, hoping to find you, and you weren’t there.”

“Indeed we were there!” she was told.

“You were hiding from me, then,” she went on. “No matter, I had a very
pleasant morning, though rather a peculiar one. I searched and
searched for you, and saw nothing of you; finally, seeing a movement
of clergy toward a chapel at the right side as you go in, half-way
down the church, I thought that must be the proper place to go.
Accordingly, I went in and took a seat. Some clergymen seated
themselves on the same bench, lower down, and I thought it more modest
to move up. Then more clergy came, and I kept moving up toward the
altar. I began to wish that some woman would come in, if it were only
a beggar-woman; even the sight of a poor man or of a child would have
been a relief. But there was no one but me besides the clergy. Well, I
stood my ground, hoping that when the services should begin some
people would come, and, on the whole, rather congratulating myself
that I had secured so good a post. I kept moving up till at length I
found myself close to the altar, and with a great stand before me on
which was a great book. It was one of those turning lecterns, aren’t
they?――set on a post about six feet high, and having five or six sides
at the top. After a while I began to feel myself getting in a
perspiration. Not a soul came but priests. I looked in their faces to
see if they were astonished at my being there, but not one seemed to
be even conscious of my presence. They sat in two rows, facing each
other, part of them in ermine capes, part in gray squirrel, and with
the loveliest little white tunics all crimped and crimped. I didn’t
enjoy the crimping much, though, for I perceived at last that I was
the right person in the wrong place. The bell stopped ringing, a
prelate took his place before the big stand and opened the big book,
and there was I in the very highest place in the synagogue,

  “Canons to right of me,
   Canons to left of me,
   Canons in front of me,”

and, at length, one of them smiling, I caught sight of a sidelong
glance from him, and saw that he was shaking with laughter. He was a
young man, and I forgive him.” Isabel paused to wipe the perspiration
from her flushed face, then addressed the Signora solemnly: “My dear
Signora, that choir-chapel is a mile long!”

“I dare say you found it so,” was the laughing response. “But, also, I
do not doubt that you made the best of the matter, and came out with
deliberate dignity. Don’t cry about it, child. They probably thought
you were a Protestant stranger. Protestants are expected to commit
almost any enormity in Roman churches, and they do not disappoint the
expectation. Last Christmas two women, well dressed and
genteel-looking, went into the tribune during the High Mass, one of
the assistants having left the gate open, and coolly took possession
of a vacant seat there, in the face, not only of the assembled chapter
and officiating prelate, but of a large congregation. I wonder what
they would say if a stranger should walk into one of their
meeting-houses and take a seat in the pulpit? I will explain to you
now what I thought you understood. The canons always sing their office
together in choir, morning and afternoon, while other clergy say it
privately, and the public have nothing to do with it. There is no harm
in assisting, but it is not usual to do so. I like to listen, though,
and there are certain parts that please me very much. When you hear
them again, mark how the _Deo gratias_ comes out; and once in a while
they will respond with an _Amen_ that is stirring. However, it is
merely the office rapidly chanted by alternate choirs, and is not
intended as a musical feast. They have a High Mass a little later, and
then one can enter, if there should be room. I never go. There is
always a Low Mass in the basilica or the Borghese.”

“Doesn’t the Borghese Chapel belong to the basilica?” Mr. Vane
inquired.

“Yes, and no. The Prince Borghese is at the head of it, and, I think,
supports it. It has its own clergy, and its separate services
sometimes; for example, there is always the Litany of Our Lady
Saturday evening, and they have their own Forty Hours. On some other
_festas_ the chapter of the basilica go there for service――as Our Lady
of Snow, Nativity of Our Lady, and the Immaculate Conception. Now I
must leave you for an hour or two, and take my little baroness to see
Monsignore. And, if you wish, I will at the same time arrange for an
audience for you at the Vatican. Some time within a week, shall I say?
It will have to be after Ascension, I think.”

“How beautiful life begins to be!” said Bianca softly, after the three
had sat awhile alone.

Mr. Vane smiled, but made no reply.

Isabel sighed deeply, buried in gloomy reflections. “I wish I knew,”
she said, “what they call the man who stands at the desk and sings a
part of the office alone; because that is the name by which the canons
are calling me at this minute. I feel it in my bones.”


CHAPTER VI.

CARLIN’S NEST.


Yes, life was beginning to grow beautiful to them――beautiful in the
sweet, natural sense. Here and there a buckle that held the burden of
it was loosed, here and there a flower was set. That uneasy feeling
that one ought to be doing something, which often haunts and wearies
even those who do nothing and never will do anything, began to give
place to a contentment far more favorable to the accomplishment of
real good. A generous wish to share their peacefulness with others
made them practise every little kindness that occurred to them. Not a
hand was stretched to them in vain, no courtesy from the humblest
remained unacknowledged, and thus, accompanied by a constant
succession of little beneficences, like a stream that passes between
flowery banks its own waters keeping fresh, their lives flowed sweetly
and brightly on from day to day.

Of course they had the reputation of being angels with the poor about
them. It is so easy for the rich and happy to be canonized by the
poor. A smile, a kind word, and a penny now and then――that is all that
is necessary. But the kindness of these three women was something more
than a mere good-natured generosity; for no one of them was very rich,
and all had to deprive themselves of something in order to give.

Life was indeed becoming beautiful to them; for they had not yet
settled, perhaps were not of a nature to settle, into the worse sort
of Roman life, in which idle people collected from every part of the
world gradually sink into a round of eating, visiting, gossip, and
intrigue, which make the society of the grandest city of the world a
strange spectacle of shining saintliness and disgusting meanness and
corruption moving side by side.

There is, indeed, no city that tries the character like Rome; for it
holds a prize for every ambition, except that of business enterprise.
The Christian finds here primitive saintliness flowering in its native
soil, and can walk barefoot, though he have purple blood in his veins,
and not be wondered at; the artist, whether he use chisel, brush, or
pen, finds himself in the midst of a lavish beauty which the study of
a life could not exhaust; the lover of nature sees around him the
fragments of an only half-ruined paradise; the tuft-hunter finds a
confusion of ranks where he may approach the great more nearly than
anywhere else, and, perhaps, chat at ease with a princess who, in her
own country, would pass him without a nod of recognition; the idle and
luxurious can live here like Sybarites on an income that, in another
country, would scarcely give them the comforts of life; the lover of
solitude can separate himself from his kind in the midst of a crowd,
and yet fill his hours with delight in the contemplation of that
ever-visible past which here lies in the midst of the present like an
embalmed and beautiful corpse resting uncorrupted in the midst of
flowers. But one must have an earnest pursuit, active or intellectual;
for the _dolce far niente_ of Italy is like one of the soulless masks
of women formed by Circe, which transformed their lovers into beasts.

“I have heard,” the Signora said, “of a man who, lying under a tree in
summer-time and gazing at the slow, soft clouds as they floated past,
wished that that were work, and he well paid for doing it. My life is
almost a realization of that man’s wish. What I should choose to do as
a pleasure, and the greatest pleasure possible to me, I have to do as
a duty. It is my business to see everything that is beautiful, and to
study and dream over it, and turn it into as many shapes as I can. If
I like to blow soap-bubbles, then it becomes a trade, and I merit in
doing it. If a science should catch my fancy, and invite me to follow
awhile its ordered track, I go in a palace-car, and the wheels make
music of the track for me. And what friends I have, what confidences
receive! The ugliest, commonest object in the world, scorned or
disregarded by all, will look at me and whisper a sweet word or reveal
a hidden beauty as I pass. You see that log,” pointing to the
fire-place, where a mossy stick lay wreathed about by a close network
of vine-twigs clinging still in death where they had clung and grown
in life. “The moment my eyes fell on that it sang me a song. In every
balcony, every stair, every house they are cutting down to make their
new streets, every smallest place where the wind can carry a feathered
seed, the seed of a story has lodged for me, and, as I look, it
sprouts, grows, blossoms, and overshadows the whole place. But for the
pain of bringing out and putting into shape what is in my mind, my
life would be too exquisite for earth. If I could give immediate birth
to my imaginings, I should be like some winged creature, living for
ever in air. I’m glad I work in words, and not in marble, like Carlin
here. And, apropos, suppose we should go in there.”

Carlin was the sculptor whose studio was attached to _Casa
Ottant’-Otto_. He was a great friend of the Signora, who had
permission to see him work when she liked, and to go and come with her
friends as it pleased her.

“We may as well take our work,” she said. “It is pleasanter there than
here this morning. When Mr. Vane and Isabel come in from their visit,
we shall hear them ring the bell.”

The two went out to the _loggia_, where the morning sun was blazing
hotly on the pink and purple morning-glories, and, passing an
ante-room where two marble-workers were chipping away, each at his
snowy block, tapped at the door of an inner chamber.

A loud “_Avanti!_” answered the knock.

“Welcome!” said a voice when they entered. “Make yourselves at home.
I’m busy with a model, you see.”

Bianca glanced about in search of the source of this salutation, and
perceived presently a large head looking at them over the top of a
screen. The rest of the body was invisible. This head was so colossal
and of such a height that for a moment she doubted if it might not be
a colored bust on a shelf. But its eyes moved, and in a second it
nodded itself out of sight, leaving on the gazer an impression of
having seen a large, kind Newfoundland dog. Poor Carlin was very
shaggy, his hair almost too profuse, and constantly getting itself
tangled, and his beard growing nearly to his eyes. But the eyes were
bright, dark, and pleasant, the nose superlatively beautiful, and, by
some unexplained means, every one was aware at once that under this
mass of shadowy beard there were two deep dimples, one in the cheek
and another in the chin.

Before they had well shut the door, the screen was swept aside and the
sculptor’s whole form appeared. It was so large as to reduce the head
to perfect proportion, and was clad in a suit of dull blue cotton worn
with a careless grace that was very picturesque. One hand held a bit
of clay; the other pulled off his skull-cap in reverence to his
visitors. He said nothing, but immediately replaced the cap, and began
rolling the clay between his hands.

He was modelling a group, and his model, a beautiful young
_contadina_, stood before him with her arms up, holding a copper
water-vase on her head. Her mother sat near, a dark, bilious, wrinkled
Lady Macbeth, who wore her soiled and faded clothes as if they had
been velvets and embroideries, and reclined in an old leather chair as
superbly as if she sat on a gilded throne with a canopy over her head.
A pair of huge rings of pure gold hung from her ears, and two heavy
gold chains surrounded her dark neck, and dropped each its golden
locket on her green bodice.

“We won’t mind them,” the Signora said to her friend. “Come and be
introduced to the bird of our country.”

“He’s been behaving badly to-day,” the sculptor said, “and I had to
beat him. Look and see what he has done to my blouse! The whole front
is in rags. He flew at me to dig my heart out, I suppose, with his
claws, and screamed so in my face that I was nearly deafened. It took
both the men to get him off.”

This contumacious eagle was chained to his perch, and had the stick
with which he had been beaten so placed as to be a constant reminder
of the consequences attending on any exhibition of ill-temper. He was
greatly disconcerted when the two ladies approached him, changed
uneasily from foot to foot, and, half lifting his wide wings, curved
his neck, and seemed about to hide his head in shame. Then, as they
still regarded him, he suddenly lifted himself to his full height, and
stared back at them with clear, splendid eyes.

“What pride and disdain!” exclaimed Bianca. “I had no idea the
creature was so human. Let’s go away. If we stay much longer, he will
speak to us. He considers himself insulted.”

Three walls of the room and a great part of the central space were
occupied by the usual medley of a sculptor’s studio――busts, groups,
masks, marble and plaster, armor, vases, and a hundred other objects;
but the fourth side was hung all over with fragments of baby contours.
Single legs and crossed legs; arms from the shoulder down, with the
soft flattening of flesh above the elbow, and the sustained roundness
below; little clenched fists, and hands with sprawling, dimpled
fingers; chubby feet in every position of little curled toes, each as
expressive of delicious babyhood as if the whole creature were
there――the wall was gemmed with them. In the midst was a square
window, without a sash, and just then crowded as full as it could be.
A vine, a breeze, and as much of a hemisphere of sunshine as could get
in were all pressing in together. The breeze got through in little
puffs that dropped as soon as they entered; the sunshine sank to the
tiled floor, where it led a troubled existence by reason of the
leaf-shadows that never would be still; and the vine ran over the
wall, and in and out among the little hands and feet, kissing them
with tender leaf and bud, which seemed to have travelled a long
distance for nothing else but that.

Bianca put her face to this window, and drew it back again. “There is
nothing visible outside,” she said, “but a fig-tree, half the rim of a
great vase, a bit of wall, and a sky full of leaves.”

She seated herself by the Signora, and they made believe to work,
dropping a loop of bright wool or silken floss now and then, and
glancing from time to time at the artist as he punched and pressed a
meaning into the clay before him.

“I never see a sculptor make a human figure in clay without thinking
of the creation of Adam and Eve,” the Signora said. “The Mohammedans
say that angels first kneaded the clay for I don’t know how many
years. How beautiful they must have been! ‘_In His own image._’ Did
you observe in the Barbarini gallery Domenichino’s picture of Adam and
Eve driven out of Paradise? You were too much occupied with the Cenci.
Everybody is at first. I was thinking, while I looked at that
representation of the Creator, reclining on his divan of cherubim,
what a pity it is that artists should have tried to do it, or, trying,
should not have been able to do more. How that eagle does fret! It
requires all my friendship for Carlin to prevent my cutting the
leather thong that holds the chain to its leg some fine day. Wouldn’t
it be pleasant to see him shoot like a bomb out through the window,
tearing the vines away like cobwebs with his strong wings, and
carrying off little green tendrils clinging to his feathers! The
sunlight would be shut out a moment, there would be a rush as of
waters, then the room would be light again. But, in such an event, the
only gain would be a change of personality in the prisoner, and thirty
_lire_ out of my pocket. That is what Carlin paid for this unhappy
wretch, and what I should be bound to pay him to buy another unhappy
wretch to languish in his place. How do you like Carlin?”

“I don’t know,” Bianca answered slowly. “Isn’t he a sort of savage?――a
good one, you know.”

“Precisely! All the polish he has is inside. Fortunately, however, he
is transparent, and the brightness is bright enough to shine out
through him. He is full of good-nature and enthusiasm. Once liking
him, you will like him always, and better and better always. None but
dishonest people dislike him, though there are some very good people
who say he is not to their taste. Dear me! he is making a mistake in
that group. O Carlin!” she called out, “do let me say something. Your
water-carrier is going to look like a teapot if you place her so. Let
her put the other arm out for a spout, and the thing will be perfect.”

It was a group of a girl and her lover at a fountain.

He was just knitting his brows over the hand that held the handle of
the vase, rolling bits of clay between his palms and arranging them
for fingers. He threw the last one away. “I know it’s a stupid thing,”
he said discontentedly; “but what can I do? It struck me as a pretty
subject; but now I have begun to work it out, it seems to me I
remember having seen a hundred like it, each one as stupid as mine. I
was this instant thinking my grandmother must have had a cream-pitcher
of this design.”

“Why don’t you make her stooping a little to lift the vase to her
head, and looking up at the fellow?” the Signora suggested. “It will
bring out your knowledge of anatomy a little more, and it will wake
her up. Don’t you see her face is as dull as her sandal?”

This conversation, being in English, was not understood by the model,
who stood stupid, and straight, and tired, trying to look picturesque.

The artist considered a minute, then said abruptly: “Put down the
vase, not on the floor, but in a chair.”

She obeyed.

“Now take it up――slowly――and stop the instant I tell you.”

She bent her strong and supple figure a little, and began lifting the
vase.

“Stop there!” he called out, “and look up at me. Look as pretty as you
can. Think that I am some _giovanotto_ who is going, perhaps, to ask
you of your mother.”

Half shy, half saucy, she looked up as commanded, gratified vanity and
friendly regard uniting to give her face as much expression as it was
capable of.

Carlin seized his pencil and began sketching rapidly.

“He hasn’t a particle of imagination,” the Signora said in a low tone,
“but he has excellent eyes and much humor. I sometimes think that
humor and imagination never go together. Indeed, I don’t believe they
ever do in any superlative degree.”

A little bell sounded timidly at her side, pulled by a cord that she
perceived now by its vibration coming in at the window, the bell
itself being quite hidden by the vine-leaves, where it was held
between two large nails driven into the window-frame.

“Would――you――be so very kind――as to throw――that――loaf of bread out of
the window, Signora?” the artist asked, abstractedly dropping one word
at a time between the strokes of his pencil and glances at his model,
whose fire was beginning to fade. “I can’t stop.”

The lady looked at him in wonder.

“It’s a beggar,” he explained after a moment, scratching away rapidly.
“I can’t be bothered with them in here.”

She looked out of the window as well as she could for the leaves, and
saw an arm in a ragged coat-sleeve, and a hand stretching toward the
wall, and, at the same instant, the bell rang in her very ear with a
force that made her start back. The bread was on a little shelf near
by, an old knife beside it. She prudently cut the loaf in two, and
dropped half to the unseen mendicant.

“That’s just like Carlin!” she exclaimed. “I don’t suppose any one
else would think of rigging up a beggars’ bell.”

“I shall know where to go when I want bread,” she said aloud, seeing
him pause in his work. “It will be only to come under your window,
pull a string, and hold up my apron.”

“Oh! by the way, please to pull in the string,” he added. “I never let
it hang out, except when I have made an appointment. I told him to
come if he didn’t get anything for dinner. Said he hadn’t eaten
anything for twenty-four hours. It’s a disagreeable thing to go
twenty-four hours without eating.”

Carlin knew what it was well. He had come to Rome fifteen years before
without a dollar in his pocket, except what had paid his passage, and,
without patronage, almost without friends, had climbed, step by step,
through all the dark, steep ways of poverty, suffering what no one but
himself knew, till at length a modest success rewarded his efforts. He
never told his experiences, seemed to choose to forget them; but never
a pitiful tale of suffering from poverty was told him without the
ready answer, “Yes, yes, I know all about it,” springing as if
involuntarily to his lips.

There was a knock at the door, which immediately opened without a
permission, and a young man entered――one of those odious,
well-dressed, rather handsome, and easy-mannered men who repel one
more than rags, and ugliness, and stupidity.

“Good-morning!” he said with confident politeness. “Don’t let me
interrupt you. I only want to see Mrs. Cranston’s bust. Promised her I
would take a look at it.”

His coming produced the effect of a slight frost in the air. The
Signora grew dignified, and made a little sign to Bianca to take a
seat which would turn her back to the new-comer. Carlin frowned
slightly and bent to his work; the old _contadina_ glared from the man
to her daughter, and the daughter blushed uneasily.

The young man seemed to be entirely unconscious of not having received
a welcome, sauntered across the studio, pausing here and there, and at
length, stopping under the pretence of examining a bust, fixed his
eyes on the model.

“Look here, sir!” said Carlin, after five minutes of silence, “you’d
better come in some other time, when I’m not busy.”

“Oh! don’t mind me,” was the careless reply.

Carlin waited a minute longer, then swung the screen round between his
model and her tormentor.

The young man smiled slightly, gave his shoulders the least possible
shrug, and began to saunter about the studio again, pausing finally at
a spot that gave him a still better view of the girl.

The pencil quivered in Carlin’s hands, but his voice was gentle enough
when he spoke again. “I don’t care to have visitors in the morning,”
he said. “Come in in the afternoon, when I am working in marble. I
work in clay always in the morning.”

“My dear fellow, I don’t want you to trouble yourself in the least
about me. I can amuse myself,” the visitor replied.

Carlin seemed to be galvanized so suddenly he started upright, with
anger in every nerve of him. “Confound you!” he cried out, “do you
want me to pitch you out of the window? Go about your business.”

He had no cause to repeat the request. Coolly and disdainfully, but
with a paleness that showed both fear and anger, the young exquisite
walked out as leisurely as he had come in.

A laugh as sharp and bright as a blade shot across the old woman’s
face, but she said not a word.

“You are getting acquainted with him rapidly,” the Signora whispered
to her friend. “Isn’t he refreshing? It is so beautiful to see a man
whose first impulse is to protect a woman from annoyance, even when
the woman doesn’t belong to him. Carlin is truly a manly, honorable
fellow.”

“I hear a faint little song, sweet and low,” said Bianca, listening
with her pretty head aside and her eyes lifted.

“It is Carlin’s bird,” said the Signora.

The girl glanced about, but saw no cage.

“It is a soft, cooing sound,” she said.

“It is Carlin’s dove,” the Signora replied.

Bianca looked at her inquiringly, her lips still apart, and her head
turned to listen to the melody.

“He doesn’t keep it in a cage, but in a nest,” the Signora went on,
smiling. “Come, and I will show you. Step lightly, and do not speak.
He is too busy to notice, and this great tapestry will hide us. You
must examine this some time, by the way. It is all in rags, but very
precious. See that foot on it! Doesn’t it look as if it were just set
on the green ground――after a bath, too? It is so fresh and perfect.”

She led the way to an alcove of the studio hidden from the other rooms
by this tapestry, and pointed to the inner wall, where a small, low
door showed, half hidden by draperies and armor. “Some day we will go
in; but to-day I will give you a peep only.”

She went to the door, and noiselessly pushed away a little slide in
the panel, then motioned Bianca to look through. The girl obeyed, and
found herself looking into a square room whose one great arched window
had a snow-white fringed curtain waving slowly in the slight breeze,
alternately giving glimpses of, and hiding, a _loggia_ full of flowers
and the green outside curtain of a grape-vine. Only tiny glints of
sunshine entered through this double drapery, making the white curtain
look as if it were embroidered with spots of gold. From the centre of
a vaulted white ceiling hung a brass lamp, swinging slowly on its
chain, and catching a point of light in place of the extinguished
flame. On the white wall opposite the door hung high up an ebony
crucifix, with a blue niche below, in which stood a marble statue of
the Madonna. A tiny lamp burned before the two, and a branch of roses
was twisted about the statue’s feet. In the centre of the room a
green-covered table stood on a large green cloth that covered nearly
the whole of the stone floor, and two or three cane-seated chairs were
visible. The bird still sung her low, cooing song, an improvised
melody set to inarticulate murmurs that now and then broke softly into
words――a word of human love and blessing, a word of prayer, or a word
of happiness. As when a gentle brook flows with only its waters now,
and now with a flower or leaf, and now a little boat on its tide, and
now a break of foam, and then a clear reflection as vivid as a
tangible object, so the song flowed, with its word here and there.

Carlin’s dove was a young woman with a sweet, motherly face, and, as
she sang, she swung to and fro a hammock that was hung directly under
the blue niche of the Virgin; and her eyes were raised from time to
time to the statue or the crucifix, with an _Ave_ or a _Gesù mio_, or
dropped to the baby she hushed to sleep with a word as tender. All the
room seemed to swing with the hammock, as if it were in a tree-top; to
float in an atmosphere of love and happiness with the mother and her
child. Slowly the white lids of the little one dropped, like two
rose-petals that cover two stars, and a dimpled hand clinging to the
mother’s loosened its hold, as the angel of sleep unclasped it gently,
finger by finger. Silence settled over the song, the hammock ceased to
swing, and the mother, shining with love and happiness, bent over her
sleeping babe, gazing at it as if her eyes were gifted to see through
its white and rosy flesh, and behold the resting, folded soul hidden
there like a sleeping butterfly in a shut flower.

The Signora closed the slide as noiselessly as she had opened it, and
the two, exchanging a smile of sympathetic pleasure, turned away from
Carlin’s nest.

The sculptor had made his sketch, and was just sending his model away.
He turned immediately to his visitors, and began to show them his
latest works, half a dozen things in clay, some finished, some
requiring still a few touches. One group was especially pretty. It
represented a family scene in one of the little Italian towns where
all the business of life goes on in the street. On the rude stone
steps outside a door sat a mother winding a skein of yarn held for her
by a pretty girl of ten years or thereabouts, whose small arms were
stretched to their utmost extent in the task. A little chubby boy
leaned on the mother’s lap, and put up his finger to pull at the
thread. At the front of the steps sat the father cobbling shoes.

“I found that at Monte Compatri,” he said; “and the figures are all
portraits. I was afraid I couldn’t do it, for it is better adapted for
canvas than marble; but the walls hold them together, you see.”

“We must go to Monte Compatri, Bianca,” the Signora said. “It’s one of
the most primitive places in the world――a Ghetto perched on a
mountain-top, as filthy and as picturesque as can be imagined. The air
is delicious, the view superb, and the salads beggar description.”

All Carlin’s best groups and figures were, like this, copies from
nature. When he attempted anything else, he unconsciously copied the
works of others or he failed.

“I’m so glad you made that suggestion about the water-carrier,” he
said, taking up his sketch. “I find it is always better for me to put
considerable action into my figures. If I give them a simple _pose_,
they are stupid. Would you have her looking up or down?”

“Let the little minx look up, by all means,” the Signora said. “She’s
a good girl, enough, as a butterfly or a bird may be good. There isn’t
enough of her for a down look; but that saucy little coquettish
up-look is rather piquant. Besides, it is true to her nature. If she
thought any one were admiring her, she wouldn’t have subtilty enough
to look down and pretend not to see, and she wouldn’t have
self-control enough, either. She would wish to know just how much she
was admired, and to attitudinize as long as it paid her vanity to do
so. Bianca, my dear, there is our bell. Your father and Isabel must
have come home.”

They went down again through the complicated passages and stairs,
where arched windows and glimpses into vaulted rooms and into gardens
crowded with green made them seem far from home.

“How beautiful orange-trees are!” Bianca exclaimed, stopping to look
at one that filled roundly a window seen at the end of a long passage.
“It has the colors of Paradise, I fancy. I don’t like yellow to wear,
not even gold; but I like it for everything else.”

“Wait till you see the snow on an orange-tree, if you would see it at
its perfection,” was the reply. “Perhaps you might wait many years, to
be sure. I saw it once, and shall never forget. A light snow came down
over the garden a few winters since, and dropped its silvery veil over
the orange-trees. Fancy the dark green leaves and the golden fruit
through that glittering lace! I had thought that our northern cedars
and pines, with their laden boughs, were beautiful; but the oranges
were exquisite. Would you believe that our kitchen door was so near?”

Isabel ran to meet the two, all in a breeze.

“Hurry on your things in two minutes to go to the Vatican,” she said.
“Here are the cards. Monsignor forgot to send them, and has only now
given them to us. The carriage is at the door.”

Off came the summer muslins in a trice, and in little more than the
time allowed the three ladies tripped, rustling, down the stairs, in
their black silk trains and black veils.

“I am constantly going to the Vatican in this breathless way,” the
Signora said, as they drove rapidly through the hot sunshine. “With
the usual sublime ignorance of men, and especially of clergymen, of
the intricacies of the feminine toilet, my kind friends always give me
ten minutes to prepare. One needs to keep one’s papal court dress laid
out all ready for use at a moment’s warning. Fortunately, it is very
simple. But Bianca has found time to mount the papal colors,” she
added, seeing a bunch of yellow jasmine tucked into her friend’s belt.

“Is it allowed?” the girl asked doubtfully. “I can leave it in the
carriage. But I always like to have a flower about me.”

“Oh! keep it,” her friend replied, and smiled, but suppressed the
words that would have followed. For while Bianca Vane carried that
face about with her, she never lacked a flower.

They were just in time for the audience, and an hour later drove
slowly homeward through the silent town. Bianca was leaning back in
the corner of the carriage with her eyes shut. The audience had been
especially pleasant for her; for the Holy Father, seeing her kneel
with her hands tightly clasped, and her eyes, full of delight, raised
to his face, had smiled and laid his hand on her head, instead of
giving it to her to kiss. The others said but little. The languor of
the hour was upon them.

“Does any one say, Signora, that the Pope has a shining face?” Mr.
Vane asked.

“Certainly,” she replied.

“Then I am not original in thinking that I found something luminous
about him,” the gentleman went on. “It is as if I had seen a lamp. And
what a sweet voice he has! He said ‘_la Chiesa_’ in a tone that made
me think of David mourning over Absalom.”

Mr. Vane had been much impressed by the beautiful presence of the
reverend Pontiff, and had behaved himself, not only like a gentleman,
but like a Catholic. The Signora had seen how he blushed in kissing
the Pope’s hand, not as if with shame at paying such an act of homage,
but as if some new sentiment of tender reverence and humility had just
entered his heart. It had been very pleasant to her to see this, both
on account of the love she bore the object of the homage, and the
respect she had, and wished to retain, for him who paid it.

The driver held in his panting horses, and walked them on the side of
the streets where a narrow strip of shadow cooled the heat of the
burning stones; the pines and cypress in the gardens they passed,
which in the morning had been so full of silvery twitterings that the
fine, sweet sounds seemed almost to change the color of them and make
them glisten with brightness, were now sombre and silent. The birds
were all hid in their dark green shadows, or perched in cool, sunless
angles and nooks of vases, balustrades, statues, and cornices of
church or palace. Here and there a workman lay stretched at length on
the sidewalk or on steps, sleeping soundly.

At length they reached home. The porter sat sleeping in his chair at
the great door, and a family of beggars, four or five women and
children, lay curled up outside on the curbstone.

Inside all was deliciously cool and tranquil. Dinner was on the table;
for the servants had been watching for them, and had brought the soup
in directly, and they sat down with appetites improved by the delay.
The Signora poured out some wine for herself.

“The people here say that you should take a little wine before your
soup,” she said. “My former _padrona_ told me the nuns in the convents
she knew always did. I don’t know why it is good for the stomach, but
bow to their superior wisdom.”

“Doesn’t the hair on the top of my head look unusually bright?” Bianca
asked after a while. She was still thinking of the sacred hand that
had rested there, still feeling its gentle pressure.

The others looked, not understanding.

“Why, your veil covers it,” Isabel said. “But there’s a bright garnet
and gold pin at the top.”

Bianca lifted her arms to loosen the veil, took the gold hairpin out
and kissed it. “He must have touched it,” she said, “and so it has
been blessed. Do you know, Signora, what thought came into my mind at
the moment? I thought as he touched me, ‘It is the hand that holds the
keys of purgatory and of heaven!’”

“My own thought!” her friend exclaimed. “I had the same benediction
once, and it set me rhyming. I do not set up for a poet, you know, but
there are feelings that will sing in spite of one. This was one, and I
must show you the lines some time soon, to see if they express you. I
don’t know where they are.”

“I know where something of yours is,” Bianca said eagerly. “I saw it
in your blotting-book, and had to call up all my honesty not to read
it. Reward me now! I will bring it.”

She looked so bright and coaxing, and the others so cordially joined
in her request, that the Signora could not but consent, though usually
shy of reading her unpublished productions to any one.

“How I like hot noons!” she sighed through a smile of languid
contentment, leaning back in her chair, and dropping in her lap the
folded paper Bianca had brought her. “I found out the charm of them
when I was in Frascati. At this early season the heat of the city,
too, is good――a pure scorch and scald. In August it is likely to be
thick and morbid. That first noon in Frascati was a new experience to
me. I went to see Villa Torlonia, which was open to the public only
between the hours of eleven and five――a time when scarcely any one,
especially any Italian, wants to go out in hot weather. I wished to
see the villa, however, and I went, stealing along the shadowy edges
of streets, and down a long stairway street that is nearly or always
shaded by the tall houses at either side and the hill behind, catching
my breath as I passed through the furnace of sunshine in the open
_piazza_, finally, with my face in a flame, stepping under the great
trees inside the gate, and pausing to refresh myself a little before
going on. There was still the open terrace to pass, and the grand
unshaded steps to ascend; but it was easier to go forward than back,
for a few minutes would bring me to avenues as dim as _Ave Maria_
time. I stood a little and dreaded the sun. The _casino_ and the
gravel of the terrace and the steps were reflecting it so that one
might almost have fancied the rays clashed on each other in the midst
of the opening. The rose-trees in the flower-garden looked as if they
bore clusters of fire-coals, and some sort of flowering tree in the
green spaces between the stairs seemed to be breaking out into flame
with its red and yellow blossoms. I remembered Mrs. Browning’s

  “‘The flowers that burn, and the trees that aspire,
    And the insects made of a song or a fire.’”

She paused to lay a laurel leaf over a _carafon_ of cream that a fly
was buzzing about, then exclaimed: “Why wasn’t that woman a Catholic,
and why isn’t she alive now, that I may kiss her hand, and her cheek,
if she would let me? Fancy such a genius consecrated to religion! You
know the other stanza of that poem I have just quoted:

  “‘And, oh! for a seer to discern the same,’
      Sighed the South to the North;
   ‘For the poet’s tongue of baptismal flame,
    To call the tree and the flower by its name,’
      Sighed the South to the North.

“It seems to me that not one person in a thousand――Italians no more
than strangers――would know there were anything remarkable here, if a
small, small number of persons hadn’t told them there is. How they all
repeat the same words, from the teeth out, and talk learnedly of what
they know nothing about! They don’t one of them find a beauty that
isn’t in the guidebooks.”

She sighed impatiently, and returned to her subject.

“I was telling you about noon in Villa Torlonia: I stood under the
great solid trees awhile, then took courage and walked into the sun
again, across the terrace, with only a glance at the vast panorama
visible from it, up the steps that were hot to my feet, and then
plunged into the upper avenues as into a cool bath. There was another
opening to cross, for I wanted to go to the upper fountain; but here
the cascade cooled the eyes, at least. I went up the cascade stairs as
the waters came down, and found myself alone in that beautiful
green-walled drawing-room, with the fountain leaping all to itself in
the centre, and the forty masks of the balustrade about the basin each
telling its different story. Beside the tall central jet there used to
be, perhaps may now be, a jet from each of these masks that are carved
on the great posts of the balustrade, no two alike. I made a circuit
of the place to assure myself that no one else was there; looking down
each path that led away through the over-arching trees. Not a soul was
in sight. There was no danger of Italians being there; and as for
_forestieri_, there were none in Frascati. How delicious it was simply
to sit on one of the stone benches and live! A spider’s web glistened
across the place, starting straight from a tree behind me. Where it
was fastened at the other end I could not guess; for the nearest
object in that line was the tossing column of foamy water, fifty feet,
may be more, distant, then an equal distance to the trees at the other
side. There was no sound but that of falling water, that seemed to
carry the chirp of the _cicali_ and the whisper of the trees, as the
waters themselves carried the dry leaves and twigs that fell into
them. All around the sun searched and strove to enter through the
thick green, so near that his fiery breath touched my face. How my
chains melted off! How pure the heat was, and how sweet! One bird sang
through it now and then――sang for me: he the only lark abroad at that
hour, as I was the only signora. I answered him with a little faint
song, to which again he replied. I never was so happy, never felt so
free from all that could annoy. Probably Adam and Eve had some such
delight in the mere feeling that they were alive. And so I sat there,
hour after hour, half asleep, half fainting with the heat, in which I
seemed to float. If I had been called on then to say what God is, I
should have said, He is a fire that burns without consuming. Fire and
its attendant heat were the perfection of all things, and coldness was
misery――but a pure, clear fire which an anemone could pass through
unscathed.”

The Signora drew a breath that was half a sigh, and took up the folded
paper from her lap. “How happy I am in Italy in the summer!” she said,
half to herself. “I can work in the cool months, but I live in the hot
ones.”

“Bianca wants me to read this rhyme? It is a summer rhyme, too, and
commemorates a little incident of my first summer here――a visit to
_Santa Maria della Vittoria_. You have not been there yet. It is very
near, just out on the _Via della porta Pia_, which the new people call
_Venti Settembre_, because the invaders came in that way on the 20th
of September. They try to keep the anniversary, and to make the city
look as if the people cared for it, but it is a dreary pretence. A
military procession, a few flags hung out here and there from houses
of government officials and foreigners, chiefly Americans――that is
all.”

She read:

  Never so fair a rose as this, I think,
    E’er bloomed on a rose-tree;
  So sweet a rose as this, I surely know,
    Was never given to me.
  Like the reviving draught to fainting lips,
    The gentle word to strife,
  Cool, fresh, and tender, in a bitter hour,
    It dropt into my life.

  Hid in the silence of a darkened room,
    With sleepless eyes I lay,
  And an unresting mind, that vainly strove
    To shut its thoughts away.
  When through the loosened _perslane_ slipped
    A sunbeam, sharply bright,
  That cleft the chamber’s quiet duskiness,
    And put my dreams to flight.

  Before the windows, in a dusty square
    Fretted by restless feet,
  Where once a palace-garden had unrolled
    Its alleys green and sweet,
  Men rooted up a fountain-base that lay
    Whitened like bleaching bones,
  Or into new walls piled, with a weary care.
    The weary, ancient stones.

  And all about the slowly-growing work,
    In warlike mantles drest,
  Disputing with the spade for every sod,
    The angry poppies prest.
  And when I thought how fate uproots always
    My gardens, budding sweet,
  The hot _scirocco_ of an angry pain
    Blew me into the street.

  The unveiled heights of sapphire overhead
    Dazzled the lifted eyes;
  The sun, in lovely splendor, blazed from out
    The keystone of the skies;
  And Rome sat glowing on her seven hills,
    Yellow with fervid heat,
  And scorched the green Campagna, where it crept
    And clung about her feet.

  The ways were silent where the sunshine poured
    Its simmering, golden stream;
  For half the town slept in its shaded halls,
    Half worked as in a dream;
  The very fountains dropt from sleepiness,
    Pillowed in their own foam,
  I only, and the poppies, it would seem,
    Were wide awake in Rome.

  There were the gray old ruins, in whose nooks
    Nodded each wild flower-bell,
  Where San Bernardo’s fane is hidden, like
    A pearl within its shell.
  There marched the Piedmont robber and his host
    In through the long, long street;
  And there the open portal of a church
    Drew in my straying feet.

  Silence and coolness, and a shade so deep,
    At first I saw no more
  Than circling clouds and cherubs, with the dome’s
    Bright bubble floating o’er;
  Wide flocks of milk-white angels in the roof,
    The hovering Bird divine;
  And, starring the lower dusk, the steady lamps
    That marked each hidden shrine.

  Then marble walls and gilded galleries
    Grew slowly into sight;
  And holy visions peered from out the gloom
    Of chapels left and right;
  And I perceived a brown-robed sacristan,
    With a good, pleasant face,
  Who sat alone within an altar-rail
    To guard the sacred place.

  He showed me all their treasures――the dead saint
    Within her altar-shrine;
  Showed where the Master sat, in gilded bronze,
    Blessing the bread and wine;
  Unveiled the niche whose swooning marble form
    ’Tis half a sin to see――
  Bernini’s St. Teresa――and betrayed
    Her dying ecstasy;

  Then led me to the sacristy, where hung,
    Painted the glorious field――
  Lepanto’s――and he told the ancient tale,
    How, like a magic shield,
  Our Lady’s sacred picture, borne aloft
    In the dread battle’s shock.
  Had sent the scattered Paynim flying far,
    Like foam from off a rock.

  When all was seen and said, my parting foot
    A soft “Aspetti!” stayed
  Just where a tiny garden ’mid the walls
    Its nook of verdure made.
  And while I waited, was broke off for me
    A bright geranium bloom,
  And this blush-rose, whose richly-perfumed breath
  Has sweetened the whole room.

  “_O Rosa Mystica!_” I thought, and felt
    Consoled, scarce knowing why;
  It seemed that in that brief hour all my wrong
    Had righted silently,
  As when, new-shriven, we go forth to tread
    The troubled ways of men.
  Folded in peace, and with no need, it seems,
    Ever to speak again.

  Lady invincible! Her grander fields
    Are praised ’neath every sun;
  But who shall count the secret victories
    Her gentler arms have won?
  Hers are the trumpet and the waving flag;
    But there is one who knows
  That on a certain summer day in Rome
    She conquered with a rose.



LONDON GUILDS AND APPRENTICES.


The halls of the old London guilds or companies are still among the
most interesting sights of London. They are not only interesting as
the relics of by-gone times and manners, but as living and active
representatives of the influential bodies whose names they bear. Many
of the companies give an annual dinner to the members of the Cabinet
(of no matter which of the two great political parties), and all are
wide awake and progressive. They bestow the honorary membership of
their various crafts upon outsiders as a very great distinction and
favor, and with many of the proudest names of the nobility this or
that company has a hereditary connection. Their actual halls are none
of them of great antiquity, as they can date no further back than
1666, the year of the great fire of London, when every building of any
consequence in the city was destroyed; and many are far more modern
than that, having been rebuilt in our own century. The Company of the
Goldsmiths, which at present ranks fifth in the order of precedence
among the London guilds, boasts of being one of the oldest of all, its
first charter dating from 1327 (before its rivals possessed a similar
royal license), and its records prove that it existed more than two
hundred years previous to that date, and was even fined in 1180 for
its irregular and independent being. This was under Henry II., and it
is presumable that it was not even then in its infancy. The craftsmen
of the capital were obliged to protect themselves by associations of
mutual comfort and defence, and the goldsmiths especially, as they
were most often liable to taxation and forcible levies for the benefit
and at the caprice of the king. They were the earliest bankers, both
in England and in other countries. Their power and organization,
before they obtained the charter of incorporation under Edward III. in
1327, is shown by the following account given by Maitland, the
historian of the city of London, and copied by him from an old
chronicler, Fabyan――no doubt a witness of the fray:

     “About the same time (1269) a great difference happened
     between the Company of Goldsmiths and that of the Merchant
     Tailors [or, as it was written, ‘Taylors’]; and other
     companies interesting themselves on each side, the animosity
     increased to such a degree that on a certain night both
     parties met (it seems by consent) to the number of 500 men,
     completely armed; when fiercely engaging, several were
     killed and many wounded on both sides; and they continued
     fighting in an obstinate and desperate manner, till the
     sheriffs raised a great body of citizens, suppressed the
     riot, and apprehended many of the combatants, who were soon
     after tried by the mayor and Laurence de Brooke, one of the
     king’s justices; and thirteen of the ringleaders being found
     guilty, they were condemned and hanged.”

The goldsmiths stood, both to individuals and to the government, in
the relation of agents in the transfer of bullion and coin, in making
payments and obtaining loans, and in the safe custody of treasure.
This branch of their business has not been relinquished so very long
ago; for we find a statement made in a book called _A General
Description of all Trades_, and published in 1747, to the effect that――

     “Goldsmiths, the fifth company, are, strictly speaking, all
     those who make it their business to work up and deal in all
     sorts of wrought gold and silver plate; but of late years
     the title of goldsmith has been generally taken to signify
     one who banks, or receives and pays running cash for others,
     as well as deals in plate; but he whose business is
     altogether cash-keeping is properly a banker.”

To distinguish such of the craft as did not bank, the name silversmith
was used; and these again were sub-divided into the working
silversmiths, who fashioned the precious metals, and the shopkeepers,
who only sold them. This statement has been preserved by Malcolm in
his work on the city, called _Londinium Redivivum_. The distinction is
practically obsolete in our day, and the whole craft goes more
generally by the name of jewellers. It would be difficult at present
to find one jeweller who is still a banker, though there is no doubt
that private negotiations of the sort described may sometimes take
place; but as to the safe-keeping of jewels and plate, the London
jewellers do a very extensive business. Full as many people keep their
family heirlooms at the great jewellers’――Hancock, Emmanuel, Garrett,
Tessier, Hunt, and Roskell, etc., etc.――as they do at banks; and,
again, the secret loans on valuable jewels, and the sale of some, to
be replaced by cunningly-wrought paste, constitute, as of old, an
important though private branch of their traffic. The great goldsmiths
of old times were pawnbrokers on a magnificent scale, as well as
bankers, and even church plate often came for a time into their
keeping. Royal jewels and the property of the nation were not seldom
in their hands as pledges, and through their aid alone could war be
carried on or clamoring mercenaries paid.

Italy was more liberal towards her goldsmiths than England. Here they
were artists and ranked as such; in England they were artificers and
traders. In the latter country they were powerful, but only through
the wealth they controlled; in Italy they were admired, courted, and
flattered in society, but politically their power was less. The
English at all times excelled rather in manual skill than in design;
and to this day the designers of jewellers, lamp-makers,
furniture-makers, house-decorators, and even silk, ribbon, and cotton
merchants, in England, are generally not English.

In ancient times the London goldsmiths all lived in or near Cheapside,
or, as it was often called, West Cheap, to distinguish it from the
other Cheap Street, more to the east. “Cheap” was the same as market.
Close by was the Royal Exchange, where the bullion for the coinage of
the realm was received and kept, and the street in which stood this
building is still called the Old Exchange. Whether by law or custom,
only goldsmiths were allowed to have shops in this neighborhood; but
even if the right was at first but a prescriptive one, the company
soon contrived to have laws passed to forbid any other craft from
encroaching on their domains. This localizing of various crafts was
common all over Europe in the middle ages, and in many instances was
really a convenience to purchasers, as well as a means of defence for
the members of the guilds. In the case of the goldsmiths the
government had an object of its own. It might have been thought that
the concentration of other turbulent companies would have been rather
a danger and a provocation to the royal authority; but it was
obviously the policy of the king to make the services of this wealthy
company as accessible as might be, in case of any sudden emergency
requiring a loan or a tax. It was not politic to let any of the
fraternity escape contribution by hiding himself in some obscure part
of the city; so that not only were other tradesmen prohibited from
opening shops among the goldsmiths, but the latter were themselves
forbidden from setting up their shops elsewhere. Although neither law
nor custom now interferes with them, the majority of the great
jewellers have their glittering shops in Bond Street, London, while in
other countries the same rule, on the whole, still prevails. The _Rue
de Rivoli_ and the _Palais Royal_ are the chief emporiums for these
precious goods in Paris; in Vienna they are mainly sold in the
_Graben_, and one street leading out of it; Rome has its _Via
Condotti_, thronged with jewelry shops and those selling objects of
_virtu_; Venice has its _Procurazie_, an arcade beneath which nearly
all the jewellers in the city are congregated; and in many old Italian
cities the _Strada degli Orefici_ (goldsmiths’ street) still fully
deserves its name. This is particularly the case at Genoa, where this
old, crooked lane, bordered by the booths and dens that we moderns
would take for poor cobblers’ shops, is still one of the most
surprising and picturesque sights of the city. Goldsmiths’ Row is thus
described in Maitland’s _History_:

     “The same was built by Thomas Wood, goldsmith, one of the
     sheriffs of London in the year 1491. It contained in number
     ten dwelling-houses and fourteen shops, all in one frame,
     uniformly built, four stories high, beautified towards the
     street with the goldsmith’s arms and the likeness of
     _woodmen_, in memory of his name, riding on monstrous
     beasts, all of which were cast in lead, richly painted over
     and gilt. The said front was again new painted and gilt over
     in the year 1594, Sir Richard Martin being then mayor, and
     keeping his mayoralty in one of them.”

The Row, however, before this embellishment, had existed in the same
place, and covered adjoining parts of Cheapside, betwixt Bread Street
end and the Cross in Cheap. This beautiful monument is now gone, but
it stood at the west end of the street, in the middle of an open space
from which St. Martin-le-Grand (still one of the London parishes)
branches out on the one hand, and St. Paul’s churchyard on the other.
The “churchyard,” still retaining its name, is now filled with gay
shops, mostly for the sale of silks, feathers, and other female gear,
and quite equal to the resplendent shops of the West End of London.
The Cross in Cheap was one of a series which Edward I. built at every
place where the body of his wife, Queen Eleanor, rested on the way
from Herdeley in Lincolnshire to Westminster, where she was buried.

In 1629 the appearance of the goldsmiths’ shops is thus described:

     “At this time the city greatly abounded in riches and
     splendor, such as former ages were unacquainted with; then
     it was beautiful to behold the glorious appearance of
     goldsmiths’ shops in the South Row of Cheapside, which in a
     continued course reached from the Old ’Change to
     Bucklersbury, exclusive of four shops only of other trades
     in all that space.”

Another reason that had been early alleged for the concentration of
the guild was that “it might be seen that their works were good and
right”; for as early as 1327 complaints were made of the substitution
of paste for real gems, and of plated ware for genuine metal. Some of
the fraternity were wont to hide themselves in by-lanes and obscure
turnings, and buy stolen plate, melt it down, and resell it secretly
to merchants about to put to sea.

     “And so they made also false work of gold and silver, as
     bracelets, lockets, rings, and other jewels; in which they
     set glass of divers colors, counterfeiting real stones, and
     put more alloy in the silver than they ought, which they
     sold to such as had no skill in such things. And that the
     cutlers in their workhouses covered tin with silver so
     subtilly, and with such slight,[3] that the same could not
     be discerned and severed from the tin; and by that means
     they sold the tin so covered for fine silver, to the great
     damage and deceit of the king and his people.”

All this was very distasteful to the respectable members of the
company, from whose petition the above words are quoted, and
henceforward the law did all it could to protect both the public from
deceit and the guild from dishonor. Yet, since human law never yet
reached an abuse upheld by obstinate men interested in law-breaking or
law-evading, the ordinances had to be constantly renewed. As years
went on the law was more and more disregarded. One order was passed in
1629 to confine the goldsmiths to Cheapside and Lombard Street;
another in 1635, another in 1637, and two in 1638. Summary proceedings
were taken against the intrusive shopkeepers who paraded their “mean
trades” among the privileged goldsmiths. For instance, “if they should
obstinately refuse and remain refractory, then to take security of
them to perform the same by a certain day, or in default to commit
them to prison until they conform themselves.” The arbitrary Star
Chamber, whose rule under the later Stuarts became a real “Reign of
Terror,” threatened that if such shops were not forthwith shut up, the
alderman of the ward, or his deputy, should be committed to prison.
But these were the last among the despotic threats of the terrible
tribunal, which was soon after abolished, and the twenty-four common
shops which were enumerated in 1638 as spoiling the fair appearance of
Goldsmiths’ Row were soon reinforced by many others. The prohibitory
ordinances ceased, and custom alone was not strong enough to expel
intruders. Besides, the great fire soon came to sweep away almost the
whole city, and the plague that preceded it did much to break up all
local customs and attachments. The tide of fashion afterwards carried
the jewellers with it, setting every year more and more to the west of
the city, and the old landmarks and restrictions died a natural death.
Lombard Street, however, originally named from the Lombard refugees
who settled in London as bankers and pawnbrokers as well as jewellers,
is still distinguished by the number of banks and imposing warehouses
it contains, and by the comparatively stately architecture of some of
its great commercial buildings.

The Goldsmiths’ Company, by letters-patent of Edward III., was granted
the privilege of assaying (or testing) all gold and silver plate
before it could be exposed for sale. But this was probably only a
renewal of a right already exercised by them; for it is mentioned in
the document that all work ascertained to be of the proper fineness
shall have upon it “a stamp of a puncheon with a leopard’s head, as of
ancient time it hath been ordained.” The company also has the
privilege of assisting at what is called “the trial of the pyx”――that
is, the examination of the coinage of the realm, with a view of
ascertaining whether it is of the sterling weight and purity. The pyx
is the box in which the coins to be weighed and analyzed are
contained. The jury of goldsmiths summoned on this occasion usually
consists of twenty-five, and they meet with great formalities and
ceremonies in a vaulted chamber on the east side of the cloisters at
Westminster, called the Chapel of the Pyx.

Since the great fire the company has built two halls, the present one
dating only from 1829, when the old one was pulled down. It stands
immediately behind the new post-office, and is an Italian building,
more worthy of examination inside than out. The hall which preceded
the present one was celebrated for a court-room elaborately decorated
and possessing a richly-sculptured marble chimney-piece and a massive
bronze grate of the value of a hundred pounds, in days when that sum
meant thrice as much as it does now. Like all the companies, that of
the goldsmiths possessed some valuable pictures, chiefly portraits of
distinguished members or protectors. Hawthorne mentions the hall of
the Barber-Surgeons’ Company, in Monkwell Street, which boasted of a
picture by Holbein, representing the company of barber-surgeons
kneeling before Henry VIII., receiving their charter from his hands,
and for which the company very rightly refused $30,000, and even
$6,000 for a single head of a person of the name of Pen, which the
late Sir Robert Peel wished to cut out from the canvas and replace by
a copy which should rival the original in fidelity and minuteness. The
heads in this picture were all portraits, and represent grave-looking
personages in dark, sober costumes. The king is in scarlet. Round the
banqueting-room of this hall were other valuable pictures of the
distinguished men of the company, and notably one, by Vandyke, of an
elderly, bearded personage, very stately in demeanor, refined in
feature, and dressed in a style of almost courtly though chastened
elegance. The company also treasures its old vellum manuscript book of
records, all in black letter, and in which there has been no entry
made for four hundred years. The hall has a lofty, carved roof of
wood, and a sombre, rich appearance from its antique furniture and
numerous old portraits. There is a sky-light in the roof, which may
have served to cast light on bodies dissected on the great table
below. In old times the barbers and surgeons formed but one company;
but we believe that the latter alone now claim the possession of this
hall (one of the oldest now standing in London, and the work of Inigo
Jones), although, in official nomenclature, they still retain the
double title of barber-surgeons. Close by Monkwell Street is shown a
dilapidated Elizabethan row of almshouses, erected by a pious and
charitable alderman for six poor men. Their successors and
representatives still enjoy the founder’s bounty, but the almshouses
are now choked up by a network of unwholesome streets, and the funds
of the institution, which have enormously increased in relative value,
remain in the hands of the trustees. The number of those who, under
different names, belong to the fraternity of goldsmiths, is, at a
rough calculation, nearly eight hundred, exclusive of watchmakers who
are also jewellers. Indeed, in the country these two trades are always
joined, and even many shops of this mixed kind are found in London.

The Fishmongers were the fourth of the incorporated companies, ranking
just before the goldsmiths. At one time they were the wealthiest and
most powerful; but although they existed and flourished as a civic
association long before they obtained a regular charter, they referred
the latter privilege to no earlier date than 1433. The inherent spirit
of division and local jealousy which seems to animate all bodies
corporate, whether political, commercial, or artistic, caused the
fishmongers punctiliously to keep asunder and form two separate
companies――that of the salt-fishmongers (which had the earliest
charter), and that of the stock-fishmongers, whose letters-patent were
not granted till 1509. In Catholic times, of course, the consumption
of fish was great among all classes, and its sale a very important
business. The salt-fishmongers naturally had the largest trade, and at
one period so great was the influence of their company that it gave to
the city six lord-mayors in the space of twenty-four years. The last
and most famous of these was Sir William Walworth, who in 1381, under
Richard II., slew the rebel Wat Tyler with his own hand, in the
market-place at Smithfield, when that leader was at the head of thirty
thousand rebels. The king knighted him for this act of prowess――a far
different cause for the honor from that which is so indulgently
thought sufficient now, _i.e._, the accident of a royal visit during a
mayor’s term of office, irrespective of any merit in the holder of the
office.

The glory and power of the fishmongers stirred up the envy and
ill-will of their fellow-citizens, and Walworth’s successor, John of
Northampton, a draper of an imperious and turbulent character, well
known in his day by the popular titles of Troubletown and Cumbertown,
was able to array the interest of several rival companies against the
too prosperous fishmongers, and to procure from the crown leave for
foreigners (meaning strangers or persons not freemen) to sell fish in
London, in violation of the company’s right of monopoly. Maitland even
records that he made the company acknowledge that its occupation was
“no craft, and was therefore unworthy of being reckoned among the
other mysteries.” It was also enacted that for the future no
lord-mayor should be chosen from among the fishmongers. But the credit
of the fishmongers revived as soon as John of Northampton’s term of
office ended, and the company was soon restored by Parliament to all
its old rights and privileges, except the right of holding courts for
the trial of complaints. This was transferred to the supreme city
court, that of the lord-mayor himself. In 1536 the two companies of
salt and stock fishmongers were incorporated into one by Henry VIII.
under the title of “The Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of
Fishmongers.”

After the Reformation the sale of fish diminished so as to endanger
the trade of the company, and a curious act of Parliament was passed
in 1563, under Elizabeth, enjoining the exclusive use of fish on
Wednesdays and Saturdays, “as well for the maintenance of shipping,
the increase of fishermen and mariners, and the repairing of
port-towns, as for the sparing and increase of the flesh victual of
the realm.” The cases excepted, of course, were those of sickness, and
of ability and willingness to pay for a license to eat flesh-meat on
those days. The fine for disobeying the law was £3 for each offence,
and the licenses of exemption cost for a peer £1 6s. and 8d., for a
knight and a gentleman 13s. and 4d., for the commonalty 6s. and 8d.
Even the license, however, only authorized the eating of mutton and
fowl, not beef; but that there might be no mistake as to the motive of
this odd, restrictive law――so like the sumptuary laws, and almost as
unavailing――this clause was added:

     “But because no person shall misjudge the intent of this
     statute, be it enacted that whoever shall, by preaching,
     teaching, writing, or open speech, notify that any eating of
     fish, or forbearing of flesh, mentioned in this statute, is
     of any necessity for the soul of man, or that it is the
     service of God, otherwise than as other politic laws are and
     be, then such persons shall be punished as spreaders of
     false news ought to be.”

It is probable that this regulation failed of its effect, for a
subsequent statute again renewed the prohibition, though limiting it
to Saturdays only; still, the concession was but partial, for the
_sale_ of flesh was forbidden on Fridays and Saturdays and during all
Lent.

There were three streets in the city named after the Fishmongers’
Company――Old Fish Street, New Fish Street, and Fishmonger Row, now
called Thames Street. In each of these the two original companies had
each one hall, making no less than six halls for the whole guild; but
on their fusion they chose one in Thames Street for their common hall,
since which time there have been three successive buildings on or
about the same spot. The first, a very old one, originally the gift of
Sir John Cornwall, Lord Franhope, was destroyed in the great fire of
1666, and soon after Sir Christopher Wren built them another, famed
for a magnificent double flight of stone stairs on the wharf.
According to old historians, those were the times when the Strand was
an open road, bordered sparsely with pleasant houses, having large
gardens down to the river’s edge. This hall was taken down about 1830
to make room for the approaches of the new London Bridge, and the
present hall was built just a little to the west of the site of its
predecessor. This is another of those heavy, would-be-palatial
buildings which attest the bad architectural taste of the first half
of the present century.

It has long been customary to enroll as honorary members of the civic
companies many royal and noble personages; and when, in 1750,
Frederick, Prince of Wales, was admitted as a freeman, the clerk of
the Fishmongers’ Company, Mr. Tomkyns, proudly reminded him that “this
company, sir, is famous for having had near threescore lord-mayors of
the city of London, besides many of the most considerable merchants
and eminent citizens, free of it.”

King James I. incorporated himself with the guild of cloth-workers in
1607, and Stow’s _Chronicle_, continued by Howes, gives the following
description of the occurrence:

     “Being in the open hall, he [the king] asked who was master
     of the company, and the lord-mayor answered, ‘Sir William
     Stowe,’ unto whom the king said: ‘Wilt thou make me free of
     the cloth-workers?’ ‘Yea,’ quoth the master, ‘and think
     myself a happy man that I live to see this day.’ Then the
     king said: ‘Stowe, give me thy hand; and now I am a
     cloth-worker.’”

Sir Samuel Pepys was master of the company seventy years later, and
presented them with a rich loving-cup, which is still used on solemn
occasions. The Winthrops, ancestors of the famous governor of the
Massachusetts Company, were hereditarily connected with this
cloth-workers’ guild, several of them becoming members by regular
apprenticeship to the trade; and Adam Wyntrope, the governor’s
grandfather, is mentioned as master of the company in 1551, having
previously held all the minor offices leading to that dignity.

Intimately connected with the system of the companies was the status
of the London apprentices. Both have been materially modified, and
their representatives have ceased to exercise the tangible power they
once possessed. But when the system was in full operation, every trade
having its separate guild; and when, in order that any one might
exercise a trade, it was necessary he should have the freedom of the
guild, this freedom could only be obtained by serving an
apprenticeship to a member of the company. In old times the
apprentices were a superior class of men, and it was not permitted to
every one to exercise the chief trades. Under Henry IV. an act was
passed containing a clause to the effect that no one should put his
son or daughter apprentice to a handicraft trade, “except he have land
or rent to the value of 20s. by the year,” which in those days would
be a fair competency. The regulations of the city of London forbade
any to be admitted to be bound apprentice except such as were
“gentlemen born,” by which was understood freeborn, and not in a state
of villeinage――the son of a free-holder or a yeoman. In the days of
the Tudors and Stuarts even the younger sons of gentlemen often served
in the commercial establishments of rich citizens. The chronicler Stow
attributes to this cause their “costly apparel, their wearing weapons,
and frequenting schools of dancing, fencing, and music.”

But this very pretension to “gentility” it was which Ben Jonson
rebuked in his _Eastward Hoe_, a comedy, the counterpart of Hogarth’s
subsequent caricatures in pencil. The old goldsmith boasts that he
made his wealth by “hiring me a little shop; bought low; took small
gain; kept no debt-book; garnished my shop, for want of plate, with
good, wholesome, thrifty sentences, as, ‘Touchstone, keep thy shop,
and thy shop will keep thee’; ‘Light gains make heavy purses,’ etc.”

The apprentices were very clannish, and ready to defend each other to
the death, and this spirit often led to riots and serious
disturbances, but a curious poem published in 1647, called _The Honor
of London Apprentices_, mentions that this bravery had led them to
distinguish themselves in a nobler field than a city brawl――namely, in
the Crusades and on the field of Crécy.

Their duties, it seems to us, corresponded in their way to the service
required from youths of good birth as pages and esquires in the house
of a knight, before they themselves could aspire to the honor of
knighthood. These waited at table, served the ladies, and performed
many offices now termed menial; and, as a tract published in London in
1625 avers, so too did the apprentices:

     “He goes bare-headed, stands bare-headed, waits bare-headed,
     before his master and mistress; and while as yet he is the
     youngest apprentice, he doth perhaps, for discipline’s sake,
     make old leather over-night shine with blacking for the
     morning; brusheth a garment, runs of errands, keeps silence
     till he have leave to speak, follows his master or ushereth
     his mistress, and sometimes my young mistresses their
     daughters (among whom some one or other of them doth not
     rarely prove the apprentice’s wife), walks not far out but
     with permission, and now and then, as offences happen, he
     may chance to be terribly chidden or menaced, or [for?] what
     sometime must be worthily corrected.”

Stow, in his _Survey of London_, says that “when apprentices and
journeymen attended upon their masters and mistresses at night, they
went before them carrying a lantern and a candle in their hands, and a
great long club on their necks; and many well-grown, sturdy
apprentices used to wear long daggers in the daytime on their backs or
sides.” All this the master in his young days had done for _his_
master, and all this the present apprentice had the prospective right
of claiming for himself in the future; so in this inequality for the
nonce there was no element of caste and no room for foolish murmuring.
The turbulence of these young fellows was turned now against the city
authorities, now against foreign or unlicensed traders and artificers,
now against their masters. From the thirteenth to the seventeenth
century――times when all classes were turbulent enough――these
occasional riots went on and were punished; but what chiefly led to
their cessation was the gradual falling to pieces of the old system,
and the more effectual police force which patrolled the city after
1688. But the peculiarity of the apprentices’ privileges and of the
influence of the companies in England was that, no matter how low a
man began, his industry and good behavior could raise him to high
public honor. This was not the case in most other European countries.
Wealth and domestic happiness, of course, attended virtue and
application to business, but such advancement as the English
Constitution offered existed nowhere, unless, perhaps, in the Low
Countries. This has been significantly commented upon by Lichtenberg,
an admirer and critic of Hogarth, and professor of natural history at
the University of Göttingen. “In Hogarth’s country,” says he, “it is
not unfrequent that the son of a weaver or a brewer may distinguish
himself in the House of Commons, and his grandson or great-grandson in
the House of Lords. Oh! what a land, in which no cobbler is certain
that the favors of his great-grandson may not one day be solicited by
kings and emperors. And yet they grumble!”

Although there are no restrictive laws as to trade in the London of
our day, and though much of the state of the companies has dwindled
into formalities, and is more interesting from a historical than a
political point of view, still the foundations on which the system was
built are unalterable. In these days, as in centuries gone by, the
pride in one’s work, the personal industry, and the _esprit de corps_
of tradesmen are the real steps by which they mount to civic and
political success. They were once embodied in the close system of
alliance and defence encouraged by the guilds; times and customs have
changed, and each man stands more or less on his own merits alone, but
the underlying principle is the same. It is not every tradesman or
merchant who, because he is honest and thrifty, becomes lord-mayor of
London, is knighted, or elected M.P.; but these prizes are within the
reach of all. The city records for the latter half of the eighteenth
century, for instance, witness to the perseverance of many men born in
the lowest and most hopeless circumstances, and that, too, when the
ancient prestige of the companies had somewhat faded. Sir James
Sanderson, sheriff and lord-mayor of London, was the son of a poor
grocer of York, who died young, leaving his widow to manage the
business till his son should be old enough to carry it on. The son
left the shop to his mother for her support, and went to London,
entered the service of a hop-merchant, and throve so well through his
industry that he attained great wealth and position. He was afterwards
made a baronet. Alderman Boydell came to London on foot, from
Shropshire, and worked as an engraver. After great trials, he too
succeeded and became lord-mayor, besides being a great patron of the
arts. Skinner was apprenticed to a box-maker and undertaker, and,
through obscure local influence, began a small business of
auctioneering; he ended by becoming lord-mayor, and the first
auctioneer of the kingdom. Sir William Plomer began life in an
oil-shop in Aldgate, a dingy old part of the city. Brooke Watson, M.P.
for the city of London,[4] was the son of a journeyman tailor, and
served his apprenticeship to that trade. Sir John Anderson, lord-mayor
and member for the city, was the son of a day laborer. Macauley was
the son of a captain of a coasting vessel, who died leaving nine
children unprovided for. Sir William Staines and Alderman Hamerton
were both working paviors and stone-masons. Aldermen Wright and Gill
were servants in a warehouse of which they afterwards became masters;
they lived for sixty years in partnership as stationers, and never
disagreed, although the latter married the former’s sister. Wright
made £400,000. The two old friends died the same year, beloved and
regretted by many who had experienced their kindness and generosity.

To point out contrary instances would not be so easy――they are legion;
but the typical idle apprentice of Hogarth is a fair specimen of those
who wreck their lives through weakness of resolve and inordinate love
of so-called enjoyment. These we have under our eyes every day, in
every country.


     [3] Sleight or skill.

     [4] The members for the city have the right to wear scarlet
     gowns on the first or opening day of every Parliament, and
     sit all together on the right hand of the chair, next the
     speaker. No other members, except the speaker and the
     clerks, have the right of wearing robes.



THE SAINTE CHAPELLE OF PARIS AND THE CROWN OF THORNS.


In the very heart of Paris, to the northwest of _Notre Dame_, and as
if a flower detached from her garland, or a graceful sapling from the
majestic parent tree, sprang up, more than six centuries ago, the
_Sainte Chapelle_.

It almost seems as if Heaven had extended a special protection to the
sanctuary raised to enshrine the precious relics of the Passion of our
Lord; for although injured and despoiled by evil hands in the time of
the First Revolution, it was subsequently restored to all the splendor
of its pristine beauty; and again, when the conflagrations kindled by
the _Commune_ were raging around it, the _Sainte Chapelle_, with its
fearless _flêche_, its protecting angel, and its golden crown, stood
unharmed in the very midst of the flames, and so remained when they
had died out, amid the heaps of ashes and the crumbling ruins left
around its unscathed walls.

Since the time of St. Louis France has possessed the crown of thorns
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and there is great interest in tracing the
vicissitudes through which this priceless treasure has passed, and in
learning the circumstances under which the saintly monarch obtained
it. In the year 1204 the French and the Venetians, having captured
Constantinople, established there as emperor Baldwin, Count of
Flanders. On the division of the booty this prince requested for his
share the sacred crown of our Saviour, which was found among the
treasure of the emperors of the East, offering, if it were adjudged to
him, to give to the Doge of Venice a large portion of the true cross
in exchange.

His successor, Baldwin II., finding his empire, in the year 1238,
threatened by the Greeks on the one side, and on the other by the
Bulgarians, came into the West to seek aid and protection against his
enemies. Whilst at the court of France, whither he had gone to entreat
the assistance of St. Louis, tidings reached him that the nobles whom
he had left at Constantinople, finding their resources completely
exhausted, were on the point of pledging the holy crown to the
Venetians for a sum of money. The young emperor, strongly disapproving
of this measure, offered as a free gift to St. Louis the precious
relic which the lords of Byzantium were wishing to sell. “For,” said
he, “I greatly desire to bestow it upon you, my cousin, who are my
lord and benefactor, as well as upon the realm of France, my country.”

St. Louis eagerly accepted such a gift as this, and immediately, at
the same time that Baldwin despatched one of his officers with
letters-patent commanding that the holy crown should be sent to him,
the French monarch sent two of the Friars Preachers, named James and
Andrew, to receive it in his name. Journeys in those days, however,
were by no means expeditious, and on the arrival of the messengers at
Constantinople they found the sacred relic gone from the treasury, and
pledged to the Venetians for 13,075 hyperperia, or about £157,000
sterling. It had been deposited by their chamberlain, Pancratius
Caverson, in the church of Panta Craton, that of his nation at
Byzantium. On receiving the emperor’s orders the Latin lords
rearranged the matter with the Venetians, and it was agreed that, if
within a reasonably short time the latter did not receive the
reimbursement of the sum they had paid, the sacred crown should become
their undoubted property. Meanwhile, it was to be carried to Venice,
accompanied by the envoys of the King of France, one of whom, Father
Andrew, had formerly been guardian of the convent of his order at
Constantinople, and, having on several occasions seen the crown, knew
its appearance perfectly well. It was this circumstance which had
determined St. Louis to send him as one of his messengers.

Every possible precaution was taken to secure the identification of
the holy crown, which was enclosed in three chests, the first of gold,
the second of silver, on which the Venetian lords affixed their seals,
the third of wood, which was sealed by the French nobles.

The season, being Christmas, was unfavorable for the voyage by sea,
but the envoys had no hesitation in embarking, secure in the
conviction that the crown of Jesus would be their protection in the
tempest and the perils of the wintry seas. Nor was their trust
disappointed. They escaped unharmed from other dangers also; for the
galleys of Vataces, the Greek pretender to the imperial throne, having
started in pursuit of their vessel, were unable to overtake or even to
discover them, and they reached Venice in safety.

The holy crown was at once borne to St. Mark’s, and there placed among
the treasures in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, where reposed
the body of the Evangelist, between the two columns of alabaster which
are said to have been brought from the Temple of Solomon. At the same
time one of the Dominican Fathers set out for France to acquaint St.
Louis with the terms agreed upon.

These were approved of by the king, who directed the French merchants
to repay the Venetians the sum they had advanced. The sacred relic was
then delivered into the hands of the French envoys, who, after
assuring themselves that the seals were intact, started homewards with
their treasure on the road to France. No sooner had the king heard of
the arrival of the holy crown at Troyes, in Champagne, than he
immediately set out, with the queen-mother, Blanche of Castile, the
princes his brothers, and several of the chief prelates and nobles, to
receive and accompany it to the capital. The meeting took place at
Villeneuve l’Archevêque, five leagues from Sens, on the 10th of
August, 1239. The seals were then broken, and in the midst of an
indescribable emotion the sacred relic was displayed.

The king and his brother, the Comte d’Artois, both barefooted and
wearing a simple tunic of wool, taking it upon their shoulders, bore
it in great pomp to the metropolitan church of Sens, where it remained
exposed for the veneration of the faithful until the following day,
when the march towards Paris was resumed, and they reached the capital
in eight days’ time. A platform had been raised at St. Antoine des
Champs, where the crown was placed; and when everyone had contemplated
it with an inexpressible joy, the king and his brother, taking it, as
before, upon their shoulders, carried it in procession to the palace
chapel, at that time dedicated to St. Nicholas, where it was
deposited.

Besides all the precautions taken to render any substitution
impossible, we may add that Baldwin, on being required to examine and
identify the relic, declared its authenticity in a document written on
parchment, which was in existence until the Revolution of 1793, signed
with his own hand in Greek characters, traced in cinnabar, and having
his own seal, of lead covered with gold, affixed. On one side of this
seal the emperor was represented enthroned, with the inscription:
“_Balduinus Imperator Romaniæ semper Augustus_.” On the other he was
on horseback, with the inscription in Greek letters: “_Baudoin,
Empereur, Comte de Flandre_.” It must also be borne in mind that the
Venetians, before lending so considerable a sum for such a pledge,
would be certain to satisfy themselves beyond all doubt as to its
authenticity, and that, even had he been so minded, Baldwin could not
in this matter have imposed upon the credulity of St. Louis, as some
modern writers have asserted, but that he did really receive that
which the whole Christian world regarded as the crown of thorns of our
Lord Jesus Christ. Still, some additional proof may be required, and
for this we must go back to an earlier period. We must also consider
the nature of this crown; for many churches affirm, and with good
reasons, that they possess thorns or fragments of the same, and yet
these portions frequently do not resemble that which is at Paris.

In the first place, it is certain that a century and a half before the
reign of St. Louis, at the time of the First Crusade, all the world
admitted that a very large portion of the crown was preserved at
Constantinople, in the chapel of the Greek emperors. When Alexis
Comnenus wished to induce the Christian princes to go to his
assistance, he spoke to them of the very precious relics which they
would help to save, amongst which he especially designated the crown
of thorns.

Also, in the time of Charlemagne, all the West had the certainty that
Constantinople possessed this treasure, of which a considerable part
was equally known to be at Jerusalem. Towards the year 800, according
to Aimoin, the Patriarch of Jerusalem had detached some of the thorns,
which he sent to Charlemagne, who deposited them at Aix-la-Chapelle
with one of the nails of the true cross, and it was these relics which
were afterwards given by Charles le Chauve to the Abbey of St. Denis.

The existence of the crown is a fact constantly alluded to in the
sixth century, by St. Gregory of Tours amongst others; and about the
year 409 St. Paulinus of Nola knew of its preservation. He writes:
“The thorns with which the Saviour was crowned, and the other relics
of his Passion, recall to us the living remembrance of his presence.”

No written testimonies of an earlier date remain, but these appear to
be fully sufficient, as they are the expression of an oral tradition
well known to every one. As for the idea that such a relic as this
could have been _invented_ in those ages of conscience and of faith,
it is wholly inadmissible.

The crown was not found with the cross and nails on Mount Calvary, nor
is it probable that it was there buried with them, but that, when
Joseph of Arimathea took down the body of Jesus from the cross, he
would have preserved it apart. That no mention of this remains to us
is easily accounted for by the silence and the exceeding precautions
necessary so long as the persecutions by Jews and pagans continued.
During this time the relics of the Passion which had been in the
custody of the Blessed Virgin, or by her entrusted to others, could
not, for reasons of safety, have been distributed to the various
churches, but were honorably preserved in private dwellings, to be
brought forth and publicly acknowledged when peace was granted to the
church by the conversion of Constantine. Then it was that St. Helena
sought with pious eagerness for every memorial that could be found of
the Crucifixion, and distributed them chiefly among the churches of
Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Rome.[5]

An apparent difficulty still remains, which obliges us to inquire into
the nature and form of the sacred crown, with respect to which ancient
authors differ from one another, some asserting that it was formed of
reed (_juncus palustris_), about which, however, there are no points
of any great sharpness; while others maintain it to have been made
from the branches of a shrub belonging to the genus _Rhamnus_, several
species of which, especially the _Zizyphus Spina Christi_, or the
thorn of Christ, are furnished with exceedingly long, hard, and
sharply-pointed thorns, exactly similar to those venerated in several
churches, but bearing no resemblance whatever to the holy crown at
Paris, which is, in fact, of reed.

How is this diversity to be accounted for? Thanks to the learned
researches of M. Rohault de Fleury,[6] it is fully explained. The
crown at Paris is a circle formed of small reeds bound together, and
from which only a small number of particles have been taken. The
opening is large enough to encircle the head and to fall rather low
over the brow. But this circle is only the support or foundation, so
to speak, of the painful crown of our Lord. The branches of those
thorns of which we have been speaking were twined alternately within
and without, and twisted across in such a manner as to form of these
sharp spines not only a _circlet_ but a _cap_, as it were, of torture,
which covered the Redeemer’s head.

The year 1241 added new treasures to those already acquired by St.
Louis. These were also from Constantinople, and sent as expressions of
the homage paid by the Emperor Baldwin to the “Most Christian King.”
These relics were accompanied by a parchment document to establish
their authenticity, and which especially designated three remarkable
portions of the true cross: the first and largest, _Crucem Sanctam_;
the second, _Magnam partem Crucis_; and the third, which was smaller,
and known as the Cross of Victory, because it had been borne before
the armies of Constantine and his successors, _Aliam crucem mediocrem
quam Crucem Triumphalem veteres appellabant_. With these was sent also
the point of the lance which had pierced our Saviour’s side, and
which, from the beginning of the seventh century, had been kept in the
chapel of the _Martyrion_, raised by Constantine on Mount Calvary over
the very place of the Crucifixion. Heraclius, fearing lest the lance
should fall into the hands of the Persians, sent it to Constantinople,
from which the greater part of it was later taken to Antioch, where
the Crusaders found it in 1097, but the point had been retained in the
former city, and was sent from thence to Paris.

It was also in the palace of the _Bucoleon_ at Byzantium that were for
a long period preserved a portion of the purple robe, the reed, and
the sponge of the Passion. Baldwin I., by means of certain concessions
made to the other crusading princes, obtained that the chapel in this
palace should remain undisturbed, and thus secured for himself the
greater part of its treasures, which were so largely drawn upon by his
successor for the benefit of St. Louis and of France.

On their arrival the king immediately prepared to erect an edifice
that should be as worthy as possible to receive relics so precious;
nor were there wanting at that time great artists well able to furnish
the design. The middle of the thirteenth century was perhaps the best
and purest period of religious architecture. Churches and cathedrals
then arose the majesty of whose beauty has never been surpassed or
even equalled. For the execution of his work Louis chose his own
architect, Pierre de Montereau, the most renowned master-worker in
stone of the great school of Philippe Auguste, whom he charged to
construct, in place of the chapel of St. Nicholas, which was old and
ruinous, another which should be not so much a church as a delicate
reliquary in stone, with open-worked carving like a filigree of gold,
paved with enamel, and lighted by windows filled with richly-colored
glass.

The artist was no less ready to enter into the ideas of the king than
he was competent to realize them. A plan, wonderful in the beauty of
its proportions and the gracefulness of its design, was soon ready and
submitted to the monarch’s approval, who found it so excellent that
his one desire was to see it carried out as expeditiously as possible.

The legendary spirit of the middle ages, which did not easily allow
that a too perfect work could be the result of a man’s own thought and
labor, has, as usual, embroidered facts with fancies, and attributed
the conception of so exquisite a design to supernatural and magical
means. It is not difficult to understand that the simple imagination
of the people may have had some scope in the colossal construction of
the ancient cathedrals, which required centuries for their completion,
and which often left no name of the master who conceived the design or
of those who executed it; but the _Sainte Chapelle_ was not to have
such dimensions as to require time and labor either very great or
prolonged, and, moreover, he who cut this jewel would engrave on it
his name.[7]

It is evident that the chief intention of the architect was to give to
his work as spiritual a character as it is possible to impress upon
matter, and to translate into stone the _sursum corda_ of religious
aspiration.

The first stone was laid by the king in the year 1245. The proportions
of the plan are considered perfect by competent judges. It forms a
lengthened parallelogram, terminated at the east end by an apse, and
formed of two chapels, one above the other, without aisles or
transepts. The edifice measures outside 36 metres 33 centimetres in
length, by 17 in width; the exterior elevation from the ground of the
lower chapel to the front gable is 42m. 50cm.; the spire[8] rises 33m.
25cm. above the roof. The interior elevation measures 6m. 60cm. in the
lower chapel, and from 20m. to 50m. in the upper. The king’s desire
for the speedy completion of the building was so great that,
notwithstanding the conscientious care bestowed upon every detail, the
work went on with such rapidity that in three years the whole was
finished, and the fairy-like beauty of the edifice excited the most
enthusiastic admiration, tempered, however, by serious apprehensions
as to the stability of the fabric――apprehensions which raised a
tempest of reproaches against the daring architect. Pierre de
Montereau was himself for a time dismayed at the possible consequences
of his boldness. How could he be certain that a church so slight, so
delicate, and, in comparison with its area, so lofty, would stand
securely, almost in defiance of possibilities?

Sebastien Rouillard declares that scarcely was the _Sainte Chapelle_
erected when it was seen to oscillate in the wind, and the spire to
sway to and fro in the air when its bells were rung. Thus, _Quasimodo_
or “Low” Sunday of the year of grace 1248, on which the church was
consecrated, far from being a festival or triumph for the hapless
architect, was to him a day of anguish. So effectually had he hidden
himself that, though everywhere sought for, he could nowhere be found;
and, to quote the words of Paul de St. Victor, “The very workmen had
all fled, fearing that they might be taught the laws of equilibrium
from the top of a gibbet. But time has proved that the seeming
rashness of the mediæval master was well reasoned, and that this fair
flower of his planting has the roots of an oak.”

The proportions had been so carefully drawn, and the laws of
mathematics so exactly observed, the materials so well chosen and
shaped with such precision, that the aerial structure could not fail
to consolidate itself in settling firmly upon its foundation. “One
cannot conceive,” writes M. Viollet-le-Duc, “how a work so wonderful
in the multiplicity and variety of its details, its purity of
execution, its richness of ornamentation, could have been executed in
so short a time. From the base to the roof-ridge it is built entirely
of hard freestone, every layer of which, cramped together by iron
hooks run into the lead, is cut and placed with perfect exactness; the
composition and carving of the sculpture likewise give evidence of the
utmost care. Nowhere can one find the least indication of negligence
or hurry!”[9]

Nor was it the _Sainte Chapelle_ alone that was completed by the end
of these three years, but also the beautiful sacristy adjoining, which
was in itself a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with a touch of
peculiar refinement about it suggestive of some influence from the
East.

The upper and lower chapels corresponded with the two divisions of the
palace. The lower one, which is less a crypt than a splendid church,
with its sparkling windows, its paintings, its slender pillars with
sculptured capitals, was destined for the officers and domestics of
the royal household. Over the principal door was placed the image of
the Blessed Virgin, which, according to a graceful legend, bent its
head to Duns Scotus, in sign of thanks to that learned theologian, who
had defended the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and which ever
afterwards retained this attitude. The upper chapel was reserved for
the king and court, and the cell which was the oratory of St. Louis,
may still be seen adjacent to the southern wall.

This church was his especial delight. He had it solemnly consecrated
by two illustrious prelates on the same day; the lower chapel to the
Blessed Virgin, by Philippe de Berruyer, Archbishop of Bourges, and
the upper dedicated to our Lord’s Crown of Thorns, by Eudes de
Châteauroux, Bishop of Tusculum and legate of the Holy See. The sacred
treasures which the king had received from Constantinople were placed
in reliquaries of marvellous richness, wrought in gold and enamel,
adorned with carbuncles and pearls. These again were enclosed in what
was called _La Grande Châsse_, or “The Great Shrine,” which was in the
form of an arch of bronze, gilt, and adorned with figures in the
front. It was raised on a kind of Gothic pedestal behind the high
altar, and closed with ten keys, each fitting a different lock, six of
which secured the two exterior doors, and the four others an inner
trellis-work or grating. The relics themselves were in frames or vases
of gold and crystal. There the holy crown was placed, in the centre,
between the largest portion of the true cross on the one side and the
lance on the other. Thanks to the luxury of locks and to the six
archers who every night kept guard within the _Sainte Chapelle_, its
riches were safe from all possibility of robbery or fraud.

All these things could not be accomplished without enormous outlay.
The cost of the _Sainte Chapelle_ amounted to more than £800,000. The
sums sent to the Emperor of Constantinople, and those spent upon the
reliquaries, amounted to two millions; and when it was suggested to
the king that this lavish expenditure, even upon holy things, was
somewhat excessive, he replied: “Diex m’a donné tout ce que possède;
ce que dépenserai pour lui et pour les nécessiteux sera tousiours le
mieux placé.”[10]

He did not wait until the completion of the church before establishing
there a college of seventeen ecclesiastics, amply endowed. The clergy
of the _Sainte Chapelle_, in virtue of certain privileges and
exemptions granted by Pope Innocent IV., were under the immediate
jurisdiction of the Holy See. The same pope, at the prayer of the
king, enriched the relics with numerous indulgences, and at the same
time granted to St. Louis and his successors the privilege of making
the exposition of them every Shrove Tuesday. On this day, therefore,
the court of the palace was filled, from the hour of seven in the
morning, by the inhabitants of the twelve parishes of Paris, who there
waited, as it was impossible for the chapel to contain the multitude.
Then the king, taking the cross, elevated it, whilst the people sang
_Ecce Crux Domini_; after which he exposed it before the central
window of the apse in such a manner that through the open portal of
the church the crowds could behold and venerate it from the court
outside.

Those days were occasions of exceeding happiness to the saintly
monarch, who, besides, took delight in everything connected with the
sanctuary he had raised, whether in the pomp of its religious
solemnities or in the solitude of the holy place. There he devoutly
followed the divine Office, and there he was wont to pass long hours,
alone, in prayer, kneeling in his oratory, or prostrate on the
pavement near the altar. He had there created for himself something of
that East towards which the thoughts and desires of his heart were
ever turning, and around this glorified Calvary which he had raised to
the honor of God he seemed to behold an ideal representation of the
Holy Land. All the neighboring streets had taken the names of towns or
villages of Palestine: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, etc. But the
pious illusion did not satisfy a soul so in love with the cross as
that of St. Louis; his knightly heart bounded at the story of the
misfortunes in the East, and on the 25th of May, 1270, he again
enrolled himself among the Crusaders; his sons and barons did the
same. He first directed his operations against Tunis in Africa, but
before he reached that place he died near it, in August, 1270.

Great was the mourning in France when tidings came of the death of the
king. The _Sainte Chapelle_ seemed plunged, as it were, into
widowhood, and the poet Rutebeuf, in his _Regrets au Roy Loeys_, has
not forgotten the desolation which seemed to be shed over it:

  “Chapèle de Paris, bien êres maintenue,
   La mort, ce m’est advis, t’a fest desconvenue,
   Du miex de tes amys, t’a laissé toute nue.
   De la mort sont plaintifs et grant gent et menue.”[11]

A day of joy and renewed life, as it were, was, however, in store for
the royal sanctuary, when the departed monarch received within its
precincts the first homage of the Christian world as one of the
glorious company whom the church had raised to her altars. Pope
Benedict VIII., in accordance with the ardent prayers of the whole of
France, had, in his bull of the 11th of August, 1297, declared the
sanctity of Louis IX. The following year Philip le Bel convoked in the
abbey church of St. Denis all the prelates, abbots, princes, and
barons of the realm; the body of St. Louis was placed in a _châsse_ or
coffer of silver, and borne by the Archbishops of Rheims and Lyons to
the _Sainte Chapelle_, where immense multitudes were assembled to
receive it, and where it remained three days exposed for the
veneration of the faithful. Philip would fain have kept it there in
future, but, fearing to violate the rights of the royal abbey of St.
Denis, he restored it thither, excepting the head, which he caused to
be enclosed in a bust of gold, and placed amongst the sacred treasures
of the holy monarch’s favorite sanctuary.

Long and prosperous days were yet in store for the _Sainte Chapelle_,
which reckons in its annals a series of great solemnities. Although
its circumscribed space did not allow large numbers of people to
assemble at a time within its precincts, it was very suitable for
certain festivals of a family character, such as royal marriages and
the coronation of queens, at which none but the principal prelates and
nobles were present. Here it was that, in 1275, Mary of Brabant,
daughter of Philip le Hardi, received the royal consecration, and
that, in 1292, Henry VII., Emperor of Germany, in presence of the
king, espoused Margaret of Brabant. In due time the daughter of this
prince, Mary of Luxemburg, here became the wife of Charles le Bel, who
had been married once before, and who, on the death of his second
wife, not long afterwards took a third, Jeanne d’Evreux. Here also the
too famous Isabel of Bavaria gave her hand to the unfortunate Charles
VI. About a century previous a noble and touching ceremony had taken
place within these walls, when the Emperor Charles IV., accompanied by
his son Wenceslaus, King of the Romans, after having, together with
the King of France, assisted at the first Vespers of the Epiphany, on
the following day, at the High Mass, which was sung by the Archbishop
of Rheims, these three august personages, representing the Magi, bore
their gifts to the altar, and there offered gold and frankincense and
myrrh.

The _Sainte Chapelle_ was always the place of meeting and departure of
every expedition, public or private, to the Holy Land. Even at the
period when the Crusades were no longer in favor, it was here that the
last sparks of religious enthusiasm were kindled in their regard. In
1332 a noble assemblage was gathered in the upper chapel. There were
present Philippe II. of Valois; John of Luxemburg, King of Bohemia;
Philippe d’Evreux, King of Navarre; Eudes IV., Duke of Burgundy; and
John III., the Good, Duke of Brittany; prelates, lords, and barons.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierre de la Pallu, who was addressing the
assembly, drew so heartrending a picture of the misfortunes of the
Holy Land that all present arose as one man, and, with their faces
turned to the altar and their right hands stretched out towards the
sacred cross and crown of the Saviour, vowed to go to the rescue of
the holy places. Alas! the days of Tancred and Godfrey de Bouillon
were gone by, and this generous ardor was doomed to be paralyzed by
circumstances more powerful than the courage of brave hearts.

The clergy appointed by St. Louis were more than sufficient for the
service of the chapel, which for a long period retained its privileges
and organization. Up to the time of the Revolution it was served by a
treasurer, a _chantre_ or (chief) “singer,” twelve canons, and
thirteen clerks. The chantry had been founded in 1319 by le Long. The
treasurer was a person of very considerable importance, wore the
episcopal ring, and officiated with the mitre. He was sometimes called
the pope of the _Sainte Chapelle_. This office was borne by no less
than five cardinals, as well as by many archbishops and other
prelates.

There were certain ceremonies peculiar to the chapel. For example, on
the Feast of Pentecost flakes of burning flax were let fall from the
roof, in imitation of the tongues of fire, and a few moments
afterwards a number of white doves were let fly in the church, which
were also emblematic of the Holy Spirit. Lastly, at the Offertory one
of the youngest children of the choir, clad in white garments, and
with outspread golden wings, suddenly appeared hovering high above the
altar, by the side of which he gradually descended, and approached the
celebrant with a silver ewer for the ablutions. Again, on the festival
of the Holy Innocents, and in their honor, the canons gave up their
stalls to the choir-children, who, being made for a few hours superior
to their masters, had the honor of chanting the divine Office and of
carrying out all the ceremonial. These juvenile personages sat in
state, wore the copes, and officiated with the utmost gravity and
propriety. Nothing was wanting; even the cantoral baton was entrusted
to the youthful hands of an improvised _præcentor_. This custom was
observed with so much reverence and decorum that it continued in
existence until as late as the year 1671.

The splendors of the _Sainte Chapelle_ began to decline from the day
that the kings abandoned the _Ile du Palais_ to take up their abode on
the northern bank of the Seine; and from the commencement of the
sixteenth century it gradually fell almost into oblivion. The
subsequent events which have from time to time called attention
towards it have nearly all been of a dark and distressing character.
Scarcely had the Reformation, by its appearance in France, roused the
evil passions which for long years plunged the land into all the
miseries of civil war, when fanaticism here signalized itself by the
commission of a fearful sacrilege. On the 25th of August, 1503, a
scholar, twenty-two years of age, rushed into the chapel during the
celebration of holy Mass, snatched the Host out of the hands of the
priest, and crushed it to pieces in the court of the palace. He was
arrested, judged, and condemned to be burnt. A solemn service of
expiation was held in the church, and the pavement upon which the
fragments of the sacred Host had fallen was carefully taken up and
deposited in the treasury.

We mentioned before that the largest portion of the cross, as well as
the smallest (the _Crux Triumphalis_), were preserved in the great
shrine, together with the sacred crown; but the intermediate one,
designated _aliam magnam partem_, being the portion exposed, from time
to time, for the veneration of the faithful, was deposited in the
sacristy. All at once, on the 10th of May, 1575, it was found that
this piece had disappeared, together with the reliquary that contained
it. Great was the general grief and consternation. No pains were
spared in the search for it, and large rewards were offered to any
persons who should discover any trace of the robbers: all in vain,
although public prayers and processions were made to obtain the
recovery of the lost relic.

But the guilty person was one whom no one thought of suspecting. Grave
historians have nevertheless affirmed that the robber was none other
than the king himself, Henry III., who, under the seal of secrecy,
had, for a very large sum of money, given back this portion into the
hands of the Venetians. A true cross, however, must be had for the
solemn expositions customary at the _Sainte Chapelle_. In September of
the same year Henry III. caused the great shrine to be opened, and cut
from the _Crucem Sanctam_ a piece which was thenceforth to take the
place of that which was missing, and which he caused to be similarly
shaped and arranged. A reliquary was also to be made like the former
one, the decoration of which furnished the unblushing monarch with a
fresh opportunity of enriching himself at the expense of the treasures
of the _Sainte Chapelle_, from which he managed to abstract five
splendid rubies of the value of 260,000 crowns, and which his
successor, Henry IV., was unable to recover from the hands of the
usurers to whom they had been pledged. About thirty years later the
church narrowly escaped destruction by a fire which, owing to the
carelessness of some workmen, broke out upon the roof; but although
the timber-work was burnt and the sheets of lead that covered it
melted, yet the lower roof resisted, and even the windows were
uninjured. The beautiful spire was consumed, and replaced by one so
poor and ill constructed that a century and a half later it was found
necessary to take it down.

But where the fire had spared man destroyed. A devotion to the
straight line led certain builders to commit, in 1776, an act of
unjustifiable vandalism. The northern _façade_ of the _Palais de
Justice_ was to be lengthened; and as the exquisite sacristy which
Pierre de Montereau had placed by the _Sainte Chapelle_, like a
rosebud by the side of the expanded flower, was found to be within the
line of the projected additions, these eighteenth-century architects
hesitated not: the lovely fabric was swept away to make room for heavy
and unsightly buildings which well-nigh hid the _Sainte Chapelle_ and
took from its windows half their light.

The days of the Revolution soon afterwards darkened over France. The
National Assembly, at the same time that it declared the civil
constitution of the clergy, suppressed all church and cathedral
chapters, together with all monasteries and abbeys. The _Sainte
Chapelle_ was deprived of its priests and canons, and the municipality
of Paris set seals upon the treasury until such time as it should
choose to take possession. Louis XVI., who only too truly foresaw the
fate that was in store for all these riches, resolved to save at least
the holy relic, and sending for M. Gilbert de la Chapelle, one of his
counsellors, in whom he could place full confidence, he charged him to
transfer them from the treasury to some place where they would be
secure.

On the 12th of March, 1791, therefore, the king’s counsellor, assisted
by the Abbé Fénelon, had the seals removed in presence of the
president of the Chamber of Accounts and other notable personages;
took out the relics, and, after having presented them to the monarch,
accompanied them himself to the royal abbey of St. Denis, where they
were at once deposited in the treasury of the church. No one then
foresaw that the sacrilegious hand of the Revolution would reach not
only thither, but to the very extremities of the land.

In 1793 a mocking and savage crowd forced itself into the _Sainte
Chapelle_, and made speedy havoc of the accumulated riches of five
centuries. Besides the great shrine and the bust containing the head
of St. Louis, there were statues of massive gold and silver, crosses,
chalices, monstrances, and reliquaries, of which the precious material
was but of secondary value in comparison with their exquisite
workmanship. There were delicate sculptures in ivory, richly-illuminated
Missals and Office-books of which even the jewelled binding alone was
of enormous value. Every tiling was hammered, twisted, broken,
wrenched down, torn, or dragged to the mint to be melted into ingots.
But, worse than this, the relics that had been taken to St. Denis were
soon after to be snatched from their place of shelter. On the night of
the 11th-12th of November in that dismal year this venerable cathedral
was desecrated in its turn. We will not dwell upon the horrible
saturnalia enacted there; but first of all the treasures of the
sanctuary were carried off to Paris, with the innumerable relics they
contained, and handed over to the Convention as “objects serving to
the encouragement of superstition.”

What was to become of the true cross and of the holy crown in such
hands as these? They who burnt the mortal remains of St. Denis and of
St. Geneviève would not scruple to destroy the sacred memorials of the
Passion. But they were to be saved. Happily, it was put into the heads
of the Convention that, in the light of curiosities, some of these
“objects” might serve to adorn museums and similar collections, and
they were therefore submitted to the examination of learned
antiquarians. The Abbé Barthélemy, curator of the _Bibliothèque
Nationale_, affirmed the crown to be of such great antiquity and
rarity that no enlightened person would permit its destruction; and
having obtained that it should be confided to him, preserved it with
the utmost care in the National Library. M. Beauvoisin, a member of
the commission, took the portion of the cross (_Crucem magnam_) and
placed it in the hands of his mother. The nail was saved in the same
manner, besides a considerable number of other very precious relics,
which, in various places of concealment, awaited the return of better
days.

But the hand of the spoiler had not yet finished its work upon the
_Sainte Chapelle_. Not that, like many other ancient sanctuaries, it
was wholly demolished, but its devastation was complete. The grand
figure of our Lord on the principal pier of the upper chapel, the
Virgin of Duns Scotus, the admirable bas-reliefs, the porch, the
richly-sculptured tympanum and arches, the great statues of the
apostles in the interior, the paintings and enamels which adorned the
walls――not one of these escaped destruction at the hands of the
iconoclasts of the Revolution, who left this once dazzling sanctuary
not only bare but mutilated on every side. And as if this had not been
ruin enough, the pitiless hardness of utilitarians put the finishing
stroke to the havoc already made by anti-Christian fanaticism. The
administrators of 1803 thought they could do nothing better than make
of the _Sainte Chapelle_ a store-room for the records of the Republic.

Then were the walls riddled with hooks and nails, along the arcades
and in the defoliated capitals. Up to a given height a portion of the
rich glazing of the windows was torn down round the whole compass of
the building, and the space walled up with lath and plaster, along
which was fixed a range of cupboards, shelves, and cases with
compartments. Dulaure, in his _Description of Paris_, highly applauds
these proceedings, and considers that the place had rather gained than
lost by being turned into a store for waste paper. “The _Sainte
Chapelle_,” he says, “is now consecrated to public utility. It
contains archives, of which the different portions are arranged in
admirable order. The cupboards in which they are placed occupy a great
part of the height of the building, and present by their object and
their decoration a happy mixture of the useful and the agreeable. O
Prudhomme! thou art eternal.”[12]

And yet this poor flower, so rudely broken by the tempest, had tried
to lift her head, as it were, and recover something of the past, when
the dawn of a brighter day shed some of its first rays on her.

In the year 1800, while Notre Dame, still given up to schismatic
ministers, was utterly deserted, two courageous priests, the Abbé
Borderies, since Bishop of Versailles, and the Abbé Lalande,
afterwards Bishop of Rodez, first gathered together the faithful
within the walls of the _Sainte Chapelle_ for holy Mass, and also for
catechisings which were long afterwards remembered. In 1802 these good
priests held there a ceremony which for years past had been unknown in
France――the First Communion of a large number of children and young
persons, whom they had carefully watched over and prepared. This
earliest ray of light after the darkness soon shone upon all the
sanctuaries of the land.

When the churches were opened again, priests were needed for them, and
of these there remained, alas! but too few. The _Sainte Chapelle_ had
to be left without any, and it was then put to the use we have
described. A few years later, when an endeavor was about to be made to
have it employed for its original purposes, it was found to require so
much repairing that the question arose whether it would not be
advisable to pull it down rather than attempt to restore it. Happily,
neither course was then taken. The architects of the Empire and of the
Restoration were alike incapable of touching unless irremediably to
spoil so delicate a mediæval gem. Its state was, however, so ruinous
that after the Revolution it was impossible to think of replacing the
sacred relics in a building no longer capable of affording them a safe
shelter; they were therefore, in 1804, at the request of Cardinal
Belloy, Archbishop of Paris, given into the hands of the vicar-general
of the diocese, the Abbé d’Astros, by M. de Portalis, then Minister of
Public Worship. The holy crown, of which the identity was established
beyond all doubt, was at first carried to the archbishop’s palace,
where it remained two years, during which time a fitting reliquary was
prepared for its reception, and on the 10th of August it was
transferred to Notre Dame and solemnly exposed for veneration.

Beyond the removal of a few small particles, it had not undergone the
least alteration, nor had it certainly been broken into three parts,
as has been stated. M. Rohault de Fleury, who was permitted to examine
it minutely, could not discover the least trace of any fracture. It is
now enclosed in a reliquary of copper gilt, measuring 3 feet 2 inches
in height and 1 foot in width, of which the rectangular pedestal rests
on lions’ claws, while upon it kneel two angels, supporting between
them a globe on which is inscribed _Vicit Leo de Tribu Juda_. The
background is of lapis lazuli veined with gold. In the flat mouldings
about the base are various inscriptions relating to the principal
facts in the history of the holy crown. The globe, which is made to
open in the middle, encloses a reliquary of crystal within another of
silver, in the form of a ring, and it is within this circular tube of
ten inches and a half in diameter that the precious relic is
enshrined.

Another crystal reliquary contains the portion of the _Crucem magnam_
which had replaced that which disappeared from the sacristy in 1575.
This remarkable fragment is no less than eight inches in length. The
nail of the Passion which was formerly in the great shrine is also at
Notre Dame.

In addition to several other relics which were part of the treasure of
the _Sainte Chapelle_, there are also various articles that belonged
to St. Louis, and amongst others the discipline, which is accompanied
by a very ancient inscription, as follows: “_Flagellum ex catenulis
ferreis confectum qua SS. rex Ludovicus corpus suum in servitutem
redigebat._” William of Nangis mentions this discipline, with which
Louis IX. caused himself to be scourged by his confessor every Friday.
The ivory case in which it was kept contains a piece of parchment
whereon is written in Gothic letters: “_Cestes escourgestes de fer
furent à M. Loys, roy de France._”[13] The sacred relics of the
Passion are exposed at Notre Dame on all Fridays in Lent. In their
crystal reliquaries, which are suspended from a cross of cedar-wood,
they are placed on a framework covered with red hangings, which
occupies the central space at the entrance of the choir, and is
separated from the nave by a temporary railing. The nail is placed
within the holy crown, and above them is the portion of the true
cross.

We must return, for a few parting words, to the _Sainte Chapelle_,
which for more than thirty years remained in a state of
ever-increasing dilapidation and decay, until, in 1837, M. Duban was
charged to commence repairing it by strengthening the fabric, and soon
afterwards two other architects were associated with him in the work
of careful and complete restoration which it was intended should be
effected. It is enough to mention the names of MM. Lassus and
Viollet-le-Duc to show how wise a choice had been made, these
gentlemen having not only a thorough and scientific knowledge of
mediæval architecture, an appreciation of its beauty and a sympathy
with its spirit, but also that power of patient investigation, coupled
with an accurate instinct, which would accomplish the reconstruction
of a building from the study of a fragment, just as Cuvier, from a
fossil bone, would delineate the entire form of an extinct animal.

The _Sainte Chapelle_ was built in three years, but its restoration
occupied nearly twenty-five. Every breach and rent was studied with an
attentive eye and closed by an experienced hand. Nothing was left to
imagination or caprice. Here the original foliage must be restored to
the broken capital; there the modern paint and whitewash must be
carefully removed to discover what remained beneath of the ancient
paintings, and supply with accurate similarity of coloring and design
the numerous portions that had been disfigured or destroyed. Fragments
of the ancient statues and stained glass were carefully sought for in
private gardens and in heaps of rubbish, and in some cases it was
found practicable to reconstruct an entire statue from the pieces
discovered here and there at different times; otherwise, from the
indications afforded by a portion, a copy of the original was
produced.

This long and painstaking labor, which alone could ensure the
restoration of the _Sainte Chapelle_ to its former condition, has been
crowned with complete success. Nothing is wanting. Exteriorly the
buttresses and pinnacles rise as heretofore, with their flowered
finials and double crowns; that of royalty being dominated by the
crown of Christ. The bas-reliefs and statues are in their places; the
roofs have recovered their finely-cut crests of leaden open-work; the
golden angel stands as of old over the summit of the apse; and
springing above all, from amid the group of saintly figures at its
base, loftily rises the light and slender spire, its open stone-work
chiselled like a piece of jewelry.

The lower chapel, standing on a level with the ground, is entered by
the western porch, to the pier of which the Virgin of Duns Scotus has
returned. It is lighted by seven large openings, and also by the seven
narrower windows of the apse. The low-arched roofs rest upon fourteen
very graceful though not lofty pillars with richly-foliated capitals
and polygonal bases. Arcades, supported by light columns, surround the
walls, which are entirely covered by paintings. The roof is adorned by
_fleurs-de-lis_ upon an azure ground.

Quitting the lower chapel by a narrow and winding staircase, which
still awaits its restoration, you arrive beneath the porch of the
upper one, and, entering, suddenly find yourself in an atmosphere of
rainbow-tinted light. The characteristics of this beautiful sanctuary
which at once strike you are those of lightness, loftiness, and
splendor. A few feet from the floor the walls disappear, and slender,
five-columned pillars spring upwards to the roof, supporting the
rounded mouldings by which it is intersected. The space between these
pillars is occupied by four great windows in the nave, while in the
apse the seven narrower ones are carried to the roof. Half-figures of
angels bearing crowns and censers issue from the junction of the
arches, and against the pillars stand the majestic forms of the twelve
Apostles, in colored draperies adorned with gold, each of them bearing
a cruciform disc in his hand. It was these discs which received the
holy unction at the hands of the Bishop of Tusculum when the building
was consecrated.

The walls beneath the windows are adorned by richly gilt and
sculptured arcades filled with paintings. No two of the capitals are
alike, and the foliage is copied, not from conventional, but from
natural and indigenous, examples.

The windows are all of the time of St. Louis, with the exception of
the lower compartments, which were renewed by MM. Steinheil and
Lusson, and the western rose-window, which was reconstructed under
Charles VIII. The ancient windows are very remarkable, not only for
the richness of their coloring, but for the multitudes of little
figures with which they are peopled. Subjects from the Old Testament
occupy seven large compartments in the nave and four windows in the
apse, the remaining ones being devoted to subjects from the Gospels
and the history of the sacred relics. The translation of the crown and
of the cross affords no less than sixty-seven subjects, in several of
which St. Louis, his brother, and Queen Blanche appear; and
notwithstanding the imperfection of the drawing, these representations
very probably possess some resemblance to the features or bearing of
the originals. In the window containing the prophecies of Isaias the
prophet is depicted in the act of admonishing Mahomet, whose name is
inscribed at length underneath his effigy.

The altar, which was destroyed, has not yet been replaced. That of the
thirteenth century had in bas-relief on the retable the figures of our
Lord on the cross, with the Blessed Virgin and St. John standing
beneath, painted, on a gold ground. A cross hung over it, at the top
of which was balanced the figure of an angel with outspread wings,
bearing in his hands a Gothic ciborium, in which was enclosed the
Blessed Sacrament. And why not still? Why is the mansion made once
more so fair when the divine Guest dwells no longer there? When the
magistracy assembles to resume its sittings, Mass is said. One Mass a
year said in the _Sainte Chapelle_!


     [5] A branch from the crown of thorns was presented to the
     church at Treves. Two of the thorns also are in that of
     _Santa Croce in Gerusalemme_ at Rome.

     [6] _Mémoire sur les Instruments de la Passion._

     [7] Until the Revolution the tomb of Pierre de Montereau
     still existed in the abbey church of St. Germain des Près,
     where he had built an exquisitely beautiful chapel to the
     Blessed Virgin, and where he was buried, at the age of
     fifty-four.

     [8] The present spire was erected by M. Lassus, who has
     faithfully followed the character of the rest of the
     building.

     [9] _Dictionnaire Archéologique._

     [10] God has given me all that I possess; that which I shall
     spend for him and for the needy will be always the best
     invested.

     [11] “Chapel of Paris, erst so well maintained,
           Death, as I am advised, has robbed thee
           Of thy best friend, and left thee desolate
           Great folk and small, all make complaint at death.”

     [12] See Paul de St. Victor, _Sainte Chapelle_.

     [13] These _escourgettes_ of iron belonged to Monsieur
     Louis, King of France.



SIR THOMAS MORE.

_A HISTORICAL ROMANCE._

FROM THE FRENCH OF THE PRINCESSE DE CRAON.

XIV.


The following day, toward noon, Thomas More was seated, as usual after
dinner, in the midst of his children. No one could discover in his
countenance any trace of anxiety. He conversed with his customary
cheerfulness. Margaret was a little pale, and it was evident that she
had been weeping. She alone kept silence and held aloof from Sir
Thomas. Near the window overlooking the garden, on the side next the
river, sat Lady More engaged in knitting, according to her invariable
habit, and murmuring between her teeth against the monkey, which had
three or four times carried off her ball of yarn and tangled the
thread.

Sir Thomas from time to time raised his eyes to the clock; he then
began to interrogate his children about the work each had done during
the morning. At last he called the little jester, who was pulling the
dog’s ears and turning summersaults in one corner of the room, trying
to make his master laugh, whom he found less cheerful than usual.

“Come hither,” said Sir Thomas. “Henry Pattison, do you hear me?”

The fool paid no attention to what his master said to him.

“Henry Pattison!” cried Sir Thomas.

“Master, I haven’t any ears.” He turned a summersault and made a
hideous grimace, which he thought charming.

“Since you have no ears, you can hear me as well where you are.
Understand, then, little fool, that I have given you to the
lord-mayor. I have written to him about you this morning, and I have
no doubt but that he will send for you to-day or to-morrow.”

Had a pail of boiling water been thrown on the poor child, he could
not have jumped up more suddenly. On hearing these words he ran toward
Sir Thomas, and, throwing himself at his feet, burst into a torrent of
tears.

“What have I done, master?” he cried. “How have I offended you? Why
have you not told me? Forgive me, I will never do so any more; but
don’t drive me away. I will never, never displease you again! No! no!
don’t send me away!”

“My child,” said Sir Thomas, “you are mistaken. I am not at all
displeased or vexed with you; on the contrary. You will be very happy
with the lord-mayor; he will take good care of you, and that is why I
prefer giving you to him.”

“No! no!” cried Henry Pattison, sobbing. “Don’t let me eave you, I
implore you! Do anything you please with me, only don’t send me away.
Why is it you no longer want me? Dame Margaret, take pity on me, and
beg your father to let me stay!”

But Margaret, usually very willing to do what she was requested,
turned away her head and paid no attention to this petition.

“Master, keep me!” he cried in despair. “Why do you not want me with
you any longer?”

“My child,” said Sir Thomas, “I am very much distressed at it; but I
am too poor now to keep you in my house, to furnish you with scarlet
coats and all the other things to which you are accustomed, You will
be infinitely better off with the lord-mayor.”

“I want nothing with the lord-mayor. I will have no more scarlet coats
nor gold lace; and if I am too expensive to feed, I will go eat with
the dog in the yard. You don’t send him away; he is very happy. It is
true that he guards the house, and that I――I am good for nothing.
Well, I will work; yes, I will work. I implore you, only keep me. I
will work. I don’t want to leave you, my dear master. Have pity on
me!”

Sir Thomas was greatly disturbed. Alas! his heart was already so full,
it required so much courage to conceal the state of his soul, he was
in such an agony, that he felt if the dwarf said any more he would be
forced to betray himself.

Assuredly it was not the thought of being separated from his jester
that afflicted him to such a degree, but the attachment of this
deformed and miserable child, his tears, his entreaties, his dread of
losing him, reminded him but too forcibly of the grief which later
must seize on the hearts of his own children; for the composure which
they saw him maintain at this moment alone prevented them from
indulging in expressions of affection far more harrowing still.

“Margaret,” he said, “you will take care of him, will you not?” And
fearing he had said too much, he arose hurriedly, and went to examine
a vase filled with beautiful flowers, which was placed on the table in
the centre of the apartment, and thus concealed the tears which arose
and filled his eyes. But the dwarf followed, and fell on his knees
before him.

“Come, come, do not distress yourself,” said Sir Thomas; “I will take
care of you. Be quiet. Go get your dinner; it is your hour now.”

Sir Thomas approached the window. While he stood there William Roper
entered, and, going to him, told him that the boat was ready and the
tide was up. More was seized with an inexpressible grief. For an
instant he lost sight of everything around him; his head swam.

“Whither go you?” asked his wife.

“Dear Alice, I must to London.”

“To London?” she replied sharply. “But we need you here! Why go to
London? Is it to displease his majesty further, in place of staying
quietly here in your own house, and doing simply whatever they ask of
you? Well did I say that you did wrong in giving up your office. That
is what has made the king displeased with you. You ought to write to
Master Cromwell; he has a very obliging manner, and I am sure that all
this could be very easily arranged; but you are ever loath to give up
anything.”

“It is indispensably necessary for me to go,” replied Sir Thomas. “I
much prefer remaining. Come!” he said.

“Father! father!” exclaimed all the children, “we will go with you to
the boat.”

“Lead me, dear papa,” said the youngest.

Sir Thomas cast a glance toward Margaret, but she had disappeared. He
supposed she did not wish to see him start, and he was grieved.
However, he felt that it would be one trial less.

“No, my children,” he replied; “I would rather that you come not with
me.”

“Why not, dear father?” they cried in accents of surprise and regret.

“The wind is too strong, and the weather is not fair enough,” said Sir
Thomas.

“Yes, yes!” they cried, and threw their arms around his neck.

“You cannot go to-day. I do not wish it,” said Sir Thomas in a decided
manner.

Words cannot describe the sufferings of this great man; he knew that
he would no more behold his home or his children, and that, determined
not to take the oath which he regarded as the first step toward
apostasy in a Christian, they would not pardon him. He cast a last
look upon his family and hurried toward the door.

“You will come back to-morrow, will you not, father?” cried the
children in one voice.

He could not reply; but this question re-echoed sadly in the depths of
his soul. He hastened on still more rapidly. Roper, who knew no more
than the others, was alarmed at the alteration he saw in the features
of Sir Thomas, and began to fear that something had happened still
more distressing than what he had already heard. However, More had
told them so far that it was impossible for him to be found guilty in
the affair of the Holy Maid of Kent, but Roper knew not even who she
was. The absence of Margaret alone seemed to him inexplicable.
Entirely absorbed in these reflections, he followed Sir Thomas, who
walked with extraordinary rapidity, and they very soon reached the
green gate.

“Come, my son,” said Sir Thomas, “hasten and open the gate; time
presses.”

Roper felt in his belt; he found he had not the key.

“I have not the key,” he said. “I must return.”

“O God!” exclaimed Sir Thomas when he found himself alone; and he
seated himself on the step of the little stairway, for he felt no
longer able to stand on his feet.

“My God!” he cried, “to go without seeing Margaret! Oh! I shall see
her again; if not here, at least before I die. Adieu, my cherished
home! Adieu, thou loved place of my earthly sojourn! Why dost thou
keep within thy walls those whom I love? If they had left thee, then I
could abandon thee without regret. I shall see them no more. This is
the last time I shall descend these steps, and that this little gate
will close upon me. Be still, my soul, be still; I will not listen to
you; I will not hear you; you would make me weak. I have no heart; I
have no feeling; I do not think. Well, since you will have me speak,
tell me rather why this creeping insect, why this straw, has been
crushed in the road? Ah! here is Roper.”

He at once arose. They went out and descended to the boat. Then Sir
Thomas seated himself in the stern, and spoke not a word. Roper
detached the cable, and, giving a push with the bar against the
terrace wall, the boat immediately put off and entered the current of
the stream.

“This is the end,” said Sir Thomas, looking behind him. He changed his
seat, and remained with his eyes fixed upon his home until in the
distance it disappeared for ever from his view. He continued, however,
gazing in that direction even when the house could no longer be seen,
and after some time he observed some one running along the bank of the
river, which ascended and descended, and from time to time waving a
white handkerchief. He was not able to distinguish whether it was a
man or a woman, and told Roper to approach a little nearer to the
bank. Then his heart throbbed; he thought he caught a glimpse of, he
believed he recognized, Margaret, and he immediately arose to his
feet.

“Roper! Margaret! there is Margaret! What can be wrong?”

They drew as near the bank as they could, and Margaret (for it was
indeed she) leaped with an unparalleled dexterity from the shore into
the boat.

“What is it, my dear child?” exclaimed Sir Thomas, with eager anxiety.

“Nothing,” replied Margaret.

“Nothing! Then why have you come?”

“Because I wanted to come! I also am going to London.” And looking
round for a place, she seated herself with a determined air. “Push off
now, William,” she said authoritatively.

“My daughter!” exclaimed Sir Thomas.

She made no reply, and More saw that she had a small package under her
left arm. He understood very well Margaret’s design, but had not the
courage to speak of it to her.

“Margaret, I would rather you had remained quietly at Chelsea,” he
said.

She made no reply.

“Your mother and sisters need you!”

“Nobody in this world has need of me,” replied the young girl coldly,
“and Margaret has no longer any use for anybody.”

“Margaret, you pain me sorely.”

“I feel no pain myself! Row not so rapidly,” she said to Roper; “I am
in no hurry; it is early. Frail bark, couldst thou only go to the end
of the earth, how gladly would I steer thee thither!” And she stamped
her foot on the bottom of the boat with passionate earnestness.

Sir Thomas wished to speak, but his strength failed him. His eyes
filled with tears, and, fearing to let them flow, he bowed his head on
his hands. It was the first time in her life that Margaret had
disobeyed him, and now it was for his own sake. Besides, he knew her
thoroughly, and he felt sure that nothing could change the resolution
she had taken not to leave him at that moment.

They all three sat in silence. The father dared not speak; Roper was
engaged in rowing the boat; and Margaret had enough in her own heart
to occupy her. She became pale and red alternately, and turned from
time to time to see if they were approaching the city. As soon as she
perceived the spires of the churches she arose.

“We are approaching the lions’ den,” she cried; “let us see if they
will tear Daniel.”

And again she took her seat.

They were soon within the limits of the city, and found, to their
astonishment, the greatest noise and excitement prevailing. Crowds of
the lowest portion of the populace thronged the bridges, were running
along the wharves, and gesticulating in the most violent manner. This
vile mob, composed of malefactors and idlers, with abuse in their
mouths and hatred in their hearts, surges up occasionally from the
lowest ranks of society, of which they are the disgrace and the enemy,
to proclaim disorder and destruction; just as a violent storm disturbs
the depths of a foul marsh, whose poisonous exhalations infect and
strike with death every living being who imprudently approaches it. At
such times it takes the names of “the people” and “the nation,”
because it has a right to neither, and only uses them as a cloak for
its hideous deformity and a covering for its rags, its filthy
habiliments. They buy up its shouts, its enthusiasm, its incendiaries,
terrors, and assassinations; then, when its day is ended, when it is
wearied, drunk, and covered with crimes, it returns to seethe in its
iniquitous depths and wallow in contempt and oblivion.

Cromwell was well aware of this. Delighted, he moved about among the
rabble, and smiled an infamous smile as he heard the cries that burst
on the air and pierced the ear: “Long live Queen Anne! Death to the
traitors who would dare oppose her!”

“And yet men say,” he repeated to himself, “that it is difficult to do
what you will. See! it is Cromwell who has done all this. Not long
since the streets resounded with the name of Queen Catherine; to-day
it is that of Anne they proclaim. What was good yesterday is bad
to-day; is there any difference? What are the masses? An agglomeration
of stupid and ignorant creatures who can be made to howl for a few
pieces of silver, who take falsehood for wine and truth for water. And
it is Cromwell who has done all this. Cromwell has reconciled the
people and the king; he has made his reckoning with virtue, and seen
that nothing would remain for him. He has then taken one of the scales
of the balance; he has placed therein the heart of a man branded and
dishonored by an impure passion, which has sufficed to carry him out
of himself; the beam has inclined toward him. He has added crimes; he
has added blood, remorse, treason; he will heap it up until it runs
over, rather than suffer him to recover himself in the least. Shout,
rabble! Ay, shout! for ye shout for me.” And he looked at those red
faces, blazing, perspiring; those features, disfigured by vice and
debauchery; those mouths, gaping open to their ears, and which yet
seemed not large enough to give vent to their thousand discordant and
piercing sounds.

“There is something, then, viler than Cromwell,” he went on with a
fiendish glee; “there is something more degraded and baser than he.
Come, you must confess it, ye moralists, that crime, in white shirts
and embroidered laces, is less hideous than that which walks abroad
all naked, and with its deformities exposed to the bold light of day.”

He looked toward the river, but the light bark which carried Sir
Thomas and his party escaped his keen vision: carried along by the
force of the current, she shot swiftly as an arrow under the low
arches of the first bridge.

“Alas!” said Sir Thomas, “what is going on here?”

He looked at Margaret and regretted she was there; but she seemed
entirely unmoved. Margaret had but one thought, and that admitted of
no other.

On approaching the Tower they were still more surprised to see an
immense crowd assembled and thronging every avenue of approach. The
bridges and decks of the vessels were covered with people, and there
seemed to be a general commotion and excitement.

“Thither she comes,” said some women who were dragging their children
after them at the risk of having them crushed by the crowd.

“I saw her yesterday,” said another. “She is lovely; the fairest
plumes on her head.”

“And how her diamonds glittered! You should have seen them.”

“Be still there, gabblers!” said a fat man mounted on a cask, leaning
against a wall. “You keep me from hearing what they are shouting down
yonder.”

“My troth! she is more magnificent than the other.”

“They say we are to have fountains of wine at the coronation, and a
grand show at Westminster Hall.”

“All is not gold that glitters,” said the fat man, who appeared to
have as much good sense as flesh.

He made a sign to a man dressed like himself, who advanced with
difficulty through the crowd, pushing his way by dint of effort and
perseverance. He seemed to be swimming on a wave of heads, each
oscillation of which threw him back in spite of the determined
resistance he made. The other, perceiving this, extended his hand to
him, and, supporting himself by a bar of iron he found near, he drew
his companion up beside him.

“Eh! good-day to you, Master Cooping. A famous day, is it not? All
this scum goes to drink about five hundred gallons of beer for the
monks.”

“May they go to the devil!” replied the brewer, “and may they die of
thirst! Hark how they yell! Do you know what they are saying? Just now
I heard one of them crying: ‘Long live the new chancellor.’ They know
no more about the names than the things. This Audley is one of the
most adroit knaves the world has ever seen. There is in him, I
warrant, enough matter to make a big scoundrel, a good big vender of
justice. I have known him as an advocate; and as for the judge, I
remember him still.” As he said this he struck the leathern purse he
carried in the folds of his belt.

“These lawyers are all scoundrels; they watch like thieves in a market
for a chance to fleece the poor tradesmen.”

Above these men, who complained so harshly of the lawyers and of those
who meted out justice to all comers, there was a window, very high and
narrow, placed in a turret that formed the angle of a building of good
appearance and solid construction. This window was open, the curtains
were drawn back, and there could be seen coming and going the heads of
several men, who appeared and disappeared from time to time, and who,
after having looked out and surveyed the river and the streets
adjacent, returned to the extremity of the apartment.

This house belonged to a rich merchant of Lucca named Ludovico
Bonvisi; he was a man of sterling integrity, and in very high repute
among the rich merchants of the city. Established in England for a
great number of years, he had been intimate with Sir Thomas More at
the time the latter was Sheriff of London, and he had ever since
retained for him a particular friendship and esteem. On this day
Ludovico had invited four or five of his friends to his house; he was
seated in the midst of them, in a large chair covered with green
velvet, before a table loaded with rare and costly wines, which were
served in decanters of rock crystal banded with hoops of silver. There
were goblets of the same costly metal, richly carved, and a number of
these were ornamented with precious stones and different kinds of
enamel. Superb fruits arranged in pyramids on rare porcelain china,
confectioneries, sweetmeats of all kinds and in all sorts of figures,
composed the collation he offered his guests, among whom were John
Story, Doctor of Laws; John Clement, a physician of great celebrity,
and most thoroughly versed in the Greek language and the ancient
sciences; William Rastal, the famous jurist; his friend John Boxol, a
man of singular erudition; and Nicholas Harpesfield, who died in
prison for the Catholic faith during the reign of Elizabeth. They were
all seated around the table, but appeared to be much more interested
in their conversation than in the choice viands which had been
prepared for them by their host. John Story, particularly, exclaimed
with extraordinary bitterness against all that was being done in the
kingdom.

“No!” said he, “nothing could be more servile or more vile than the
course Parliament has pursued in all this affair. We can scarcely
believe that these men, not one of whom in his heart approves of the
divorce and the silly and impious pretensions of the king, have never
dared to utter a single word in favor of justice and equity! No, each
one has watched his neighbor to see what _he_ would do; and when there
has been question for debate, they have found no other arguments than
simply to pass all that was asked of them. The only thing they have
dared to suggest has been to insert in this shameful bill that those
who should speak against the new queen and against the supremacy of
the king would be punished only so far as they had done so
_maliciously_. Beautiful and grand restriction! They think to have
gained a great deal by inserting that, so closely are they pursued by
their fears.

“When they have instituted proceedings against those unfortunates who
shall have offended them, do you believe that Master Audley, and
Cromwell, and all the knaves of that class will be at great pains to
have entered a well-proven maliciousness? No; it is a halter that will
fit all necks――their own as well as those of all others. I have often
told them this, but they will believe nothing. Later they will repent
it; we shall then be in the net, and there will be no way to get out
of it. Yes, I say, and I see it with despair, there is no more courage
in the English nation, and very soon we shall let ourselves be seized
one by one, like unfledged birds trembling on the edge of their
devastated nest.”

“It is very certain,” replied William Rastal, “that I predict nothing
good from all these innovations; there is nothing more immoral and
more dangerous to society than to let it become permeated, under any
form whatever, with the idea of divorce――at least, unless we wish it
to become transformed into a vast hospital of orphans abandoned to the
chance of public commiseration, into a camp of furious ravishers,
excited to revenge and mutual destruction. Take away the
indissolubility of marriage, and you destroy at the same blow the only
chances of happiness and peace in the interior and domestic life of
man, in order to replace them by suspicions, jealousies, crimes,
revenge, and corruption.”

“Or rather,” said John Clement, “it will be necessary to reduce women
to a condition of slavery, as in the ancient republics, and place them
in the ranks of domestic animals.”

“And, as a natural consequence, be ourselves degraded with them,”
cried John Story, “since we are their brothers and their sons.”

“With this base cowardice in Parliament, all is possible,” interrupted
Harpesfield, “and I do not see how we are to arrest it. When they no
longer regard an oath as an inviolable and sacred thing, what
guarantee is left among men? You know, I suppose, what the Archbishop
of Canterbury has done with the king’s approval, in Westminster even,
at the moment of being consecrated?”

“No!” they all answered.

“He took four witnesses aside before entering the sanctuary, and
declared to them――he, Cranmer――that the antiquity of the usage and
custom of his predecessors requiring that he should take the oath of
fidelity to the pope on receiving the pallium from him, he intended,
notwithstanding, to pledge himself to nothing in opposition to the
reforms the king might desire to make in the church, of which he
recognized him as the sole head. What think you of the invention of
this preservative of the obligations that bear the sanctity and
solemnity of an oath made at the foot of the altar, in presence of all
the people, accustomed to listen to and see it faithfully observed?
That proceeding sufficiently describes the age in which we live, our
king, and this man.”

“But everybody knows very well that Cranmer is an intriguer, void of
faith or law,” replied Rastal, “who has been foisted into his present
position in order to do the will of the king and accommodate himself
to his slightest desires.”

“He has given him a wife,” said John Clement, pouring out a glass of
Cyprus wine, whose transparent color testified to its excellent
quality; “I verily believe she will not be the last.”

“What kind of a face has she, this damsel Boleyn? Is she dark or fair?
Fair, without doubt; for the other was dark. This is perfect nectar,
Ludovico! Have you more of it?”

“You are right; she has lovely blue eyes. She sings and dances
charmingly.”

“How much more, Ludovico? A small barrel――hem!――of the last invoice?
_Excellentissimo_, Signor Ludovico!”

“Well, we will see her pass very soon; they escort her to the Tower,
where she will remain until the coronation. They say the king has had
the apartments in the Tower furnished with an unparalleled
magnificence.”

“Yes; and to sustain that magnificence he is contracting debts every
day, and all his revenues do not cover his expenses.”

“A good king is a good thing,” said Harpesfield; “but nothing is worse
than a bad one, and the good ones are so rare!”

“That is because,” replied Boxol, who was very deliberate, “the power,
renown, and flattery surrounding the throne tend so much to corrupt
and encourage the passions of a man that it is very difficult for him,
when seated there, to maintain himself without committing any faults.
Besides, my masters, we must remember that the faults of private
individuals, often quite as shameful, remain unknown, while those of a
king are exposed to all eyes and counted on all fingers.”

“Well,” said John Clement; “but this one is certainly somewhat
weighty, and I would not care to be burdened by having his sins
charged to my account, to be held in reserve against the day of the
last judgment.”

“Good Bonvisi, give me a little of that dish which has nothing in
common with the _brouet spartiate_.”

“A good counsellor and a true friend,” said John Story――“that is what
is always wanting to princes.”

“When they have them, they don’t know how to keep them,” said
Ludovico. “See what has happened to More! Was not this a brilliant
light which the king has concealed under a bushel?”

“Assuredly,” replied Boxol; “he is an admirable man, competent for,
and useful in, any position.”

“He is a true Christian,” said Harpesfield; “amiable, moderate, wise,
benevolent, disinterested. At the height of prosperity, as in a humble
position, you find him always the same, considering only his duty and
the welfare of others. He seems to regard himself as the born servant
and the friend of justice.”

“Hold, sirs!” replied Clement, turning around on his chair. “There is
one fact which cannot be denied; which is, that nothing but religion
can render a man ductile. Otherwise he is like to iron mixed with
brimstone. We rely upon him, we confide in his face and in the
strength of his goodness; but suddenly he falls and breaks in your
hands as soon as you wish to make some use of him.”

“There must be a furious amount of sulphur in his majesty’s heart,”
replied Harpesfield, “for he is going to burn, in Yorkshire, four
miserable wretches accused of heresy. For what? I know not; for having
wished, perhaps, to do as he has done――get rid of a wife of whom he
was tired! There is a fifth, who, more adroit, has appealed to him as
supreme head of the church; he has been immediately justified, and
Master Cromwell set him at liberty. Thus the king burns heretics at
the same time that he himself separates from the church. All these
actions are horrible, and nothing can be imagined more absurd and at
the same time more criminal.”

“As for me,” replied Clement, who had been watering his sugared fruits
with particular care for a quarter of an hour, “I have been very much
edified by the pastoral letter of my Lord Cranmer to his majesty. Have
you seen it, Boxol?”

“No,” replied Boxol, who was not disposed to treat this matter so
lightly as Master Clement, as good an eater as he was a scholar, and
what they call a _bon vivant_; “these things make me very sick, and I
don’t care to speak of them lightly or while dining.”

“For which reason, my friend,” replied Clement, “you are excessively
lean――the inevitable consequence of the reaction of anxiety of soul
upon its poor servant, the body; for there are many fools who confound
all and disown the soul, because they are ashamed of their hearts and
can discern only their bodies. As if we could destroy that which God
has made, or discover the knots of the lines he has hidden! He has
willed that man should be at the same time spirit and matter, and that
these two should be entirely united; and very cunning must he be who
will change that union one iota. They will search in vain for the
place of the soul; they will no more find where it is than where it is
not. Would you believe――but this is a thing I keep secret because of
the honor of our science――that I have a pupil who asserts that we have
no soul, because, says this beardless doctor, he has never been able
to distinguish the moment when the soul escaped from the body of the
dying! Do you not wonder at the force of that argument? And would it
not be in fact a very beautiful thing to observe, and a singular
spectacle to see, our souls suddenly provided with large and handsome
wings of feathers, or hair, or some other material, to use in flying
around and ascending whither God calls them? Now, dear friends,
believe what I tell you: the more we learn, the more we perceive that
we know nothing. Our intelligence goes only so far as to enable us to
understand effects, to gather them together, to describe them, and in
some cases to reproduce them; but as for the causes, that is an order
of things into which it is absolutely useless to wish to penetrate.”

“Come, now, here is Clement going into his scientific dissertations,
in place of telling us what was in Cranmer’s letter!” cried Ludovico,
interrupting him.

“Ah! that is because I understand them better; and I prefer my
crucibles, my nerves and bones, to the subtleties, the falsehoods, of
your pretended casuists. Boxol could tell you that very well; but
after all I have been obliged to laugh at the sententious manner,
grave and peremptory, in which this archbishop, prelate, primate,
orthodox according to the new order, commands the king to quit his
wicked life and hasten to separate from his brother’s wife, under pain
of incurring ecclesiastical censure and being excommunicated. What
think you of that? And while they distribute copies of this lofty
admonition among the good tradesmen of London, who can neither read
nor write, nor see much farther than the end of their noses and the
bottom of their money-bags, they have entered proceedings at Dunstable
against that poor Queen Catherine, who is cast out on the world and
knows not where to go. Can anything more ridiculous or more pitiable
be found? Ha! ha! do you not agree with me?”

“Verily,” said Boxol, who became crimson with anger, “Clement, I
detest hearing such things laughed at.”

“Ah! my poor friend,” replied Clement, “would you have me weep, then?
Your men are such droll creatures! When one studies them deeply, he is
obliged to ridicule them; otherwise we should die with weeping.”

“He is right,” said John Story. “We see how they dispute and flay each
other daily for a piece of meadow, a rut in the road which I could
hold in the hollow of my hand. They write volumes on the subject; they
sweat blood and water; they compel five hundred arrests; then
afterwards they are astonished to find they have spent four times as
much money as the thing they might have gained was worth. Why cannot
men live at peace? If you put them off without wishing to press the
suit, they become furious; and yet they always begin by representing
their affairs to you in so equitable a light that the devil himself
would be deceived. There is one thing I have observed, and that is,
there is nothing which has the appearance of being in such good faith
as a litigant whose case is bad, and who knows his cause to be
unjust.”

“Come, my friends,” cried Clement, “you speak well; all that excites
compassion. You often ridicule me and what you please to call my
simplicity, and yet I see everything just as clearly as anybody else;
but I have a plain way of dealing, and I do not seek so much cunning.
If God calls me, I answer at once: Lord, here I am! I have spent the
nights of my youth in studying, in learning, in comparing; I have
examined and gone to the depths of all the philosophers of antiquity,
apparently so lucid, so luminous; I have found only pride, weakness,
darkness, and barrenness. I have recognized that it was all profitless
and led to no good; it was always _the man_ that I was finding; and of
that I had enough in myself to guide and support. Then I took the
Bible, and I felt that it was God who spoke to me from its inspired
pages; whereat I abandoned my learning and all those philosophical
wranglings which weary the mind without bettering the heart. I go
straight to my object without vexing myself with anything. There are
things which I do not understand. That is natural, since it has
pleased God to conceal them from me. Evidently I do not need to
comprehend them, since he has not revealed them; and there is no
reason, because I find some obscurities, why I should abandon the
light which burns in their midst. ‘Master Clement,’ they ask me, ‘how
did God make that?’ ‘Why that?’ My dear friends, this is just as far
as we know. ‘And this, again?’ This I know nothing about, because it
cannot be explained. When our dear friend More read us his _Utopia_, I
remember that I approached him and said: ‘Why have you not founded a
people every man of whom followed explicitly the laws of the church?
That would have given you a great deal less trouble, and you would at
once have arrived at the art of making them happy, without employing
other precepts than these: to avoid all wrong-doing, to love their
neighbor as themselves, and to employ their time and their lives in
acquiring all sorts of merits by all sorts of good works. There you
would find neither thieves nor slanderers, calumniators nor
adulterers, gamblers nor drunkards, misers nor usurers, spendthrifts
nor liars; consequently, you would have no need of laws, prisons, or
punishments, and such a community would unite all the good and exclude
the bad.’ He smiled and said to me: ‘Master Clement, you are in the
right course, and you would walk therein with all uprightness, but
others would turn entirely around and never even approach it.’
Therefore, when I see a man who has no religion, I say: ‘That man is
capable of the utmost possible wickedness’; and I am by no means
astonished, when the occasion presents, that he should prove guilty. I
mentally exclaim: ‘My dear friend, you gain your living by selfish and
wicked means’; and I pass by him, saying, ‘Good-day, my friend,’ as to
all the others. He is just what he is; and what will you? We can
neither control him nor change his nature.”

His companions smiled at this discourse of John Clement, whom they
loved ardently, and who was a man as good as he was original. A little
brusque, he loved the poor above all things, and was never happier
than when, seated by their humble bedsides, he conversed with them
about their difficulties and endeavored to relieve them. Then it
seemed to him that he was king of the earth, and that God had placed
in his hands a treasure of life and health for him to distribute among
them. As often as he added largely to his purse, just so often was it
drained of its contents; but he had for his motto that the Lord fed
the little birds of the field, and therefore he would not forget him;
and, besides, nobody would let John Clement die of hunger. Always
cheerful, always contented with everything, he had gone entirely round
the circle of science, and, as he said, having learned all that a man
could learn, was reduced to the simplicity of a child, but of an
enlightened child, who feels all that he loses in being able to go
only so far.

“But take your breakfast now, instead of laughing at and listening to
me,” he cried.

As he spoke the sound of music was suddenly heard in the distance, and
a redoubled tumult in the streets. A dull murmur, and then a loud
clamor, reached their ears. They immediately hurried to the window,
and left John Clement at the table, who also arose, however, and went
to the window, where he arrived the last.

“It is she! It is Queen Anne!” was heard from all sides; and heads
arose one above the other, while the roofs even of the houses were
covered with people.

There is a kind of electricity which escapes from the crowd and the
eager rush and excitement――something that makes the heart throb, and
that pleases us, we know not why. There were some who wept, some who
shouted; and the sight of the streamers floating from the boats, which
advanced in good order like a flotilla upon the river, was sufficient
to cause this emotion and justify this enthusiasm; for the people love
what is gay, what is brilliant; they admire, they are satisfied. In
such moments they forget themselves; the poet sings without coat or
shoes; his praises are addressed to the glowing red velvet, the
nodding white plume, the gold lace glittering in the sunlight. A king,
a queen――synonyms to him of beauty, of magnificence――he waits on them,
hopes in them, applauds them when they pass, because he loves to see
and admire them.

Six-and-twenty boats, painted and gilded, ornamented with garlands of
flowers and streaming banners, with devices and figures entwined,
filled with richly-dressed ladies, surrounded the bark which conveyed
the new spouse. Anne, arrayed in a robe of white satin heavily
embroidered with golden flowers, was seated on a kind of throne which
had been erected in the centre of the boat. A rich pavilion was raised
above her head, and her long veil of magnificent point lace was thrown
back, permitting a view of her beautiful features and fair hair. She
was glowing with youth and satisfaction; and her heart thrilled with
delight at seeing herself treated as a queen, and making her entry in
so triumphant a manner into the city of London.

Her cheeks were red and delicate as the flower of spring; her eyes
sparkled with life and animation. The old Duchess of Norfolk, her
grandmother, was seated beside her, and at her feet the Duke of
Norfolk, the Earl of Wiltshire, her brother, Viscount Rochford, her
sister-in-law, and other relatives. The king was in another boat, and
followed close. In all the surrounding boats there were musicians. The
weather was superb, and favored by its calmness and serenity the
_fête_ that had been prepared for the new queen. Soon shouts arose of
“Long live the king!” “Long live the queen!” and the populace, trained
and paid by Cromwell, rushed upon the quays, upsetting everything that
came in its way, in order to bring its shouts nearer. They seemed like
demons seized with an excess of fury; but the eye confounded them
among the curious crowd, and the distance harmonized to the royal eyes
their savage expression.

Meanwhile, the boats, having made divers evolutions, drew up before
the Tower, and Anne Boleyn was received at the landing by the
lord-mayor and the sheriffs of the city, who came to congratulate and
escort her to her apartments. It would be difficult to describe the
ostentation displayed by Henry VIII. on this occasion; he doubtless
thought in this way to exalt, in the estimation of the people, the
birth of his new wife, and impose on them by her dignity. The
apartments in the Tower destined to receive them had been entirely
refurnished; the grand stairway was covered from top to bottom with
Flanders tapestry, and loaded with flowers and censers smoking with
perfume, which embalmed the air with a thousand precious odors. A
violet-colored carpet, embroidered with gold and furs, extended along
their line of march and traversed the courtyards. Anne and all her
_cortège_ followed the route so sumptuously marked out. As she rested
her delicate feet on the silken carpet she was transported with joy,
and gazed with delighted eyes on the splendors surrounding her. “I am
queen――Queen of England!” she said to herself every moment. That
thought alone found a place in her heart; she saw nothing but the
throne, the title, this magnificence; she was in a whirl of enjoyment
and reckless delight.

       *     *     *     *     *

In the meantime Margaret and Sir Thomas were also entering the Tower.
The young girl shuddered at the aspect of the black walls and the long
and gloomy corridors through which she had been made to follow. Her
heart throbbed violently as she gazed at the little iron-grated
windows, closely barred, rising in tiers one above the other. It
seemed to her she could see at each one of those little squares, so
like the openings of a cage, a condemned head sighing at the sight of
heaven or the thought of liberty. She walked behind Sir Thomas, and
her heart was paralyzed by terror and fear as she fixed her eyes on
that cherished father.

They at length reached a large, vaulted hall, damp and gloomy, the
white-washed walls of which were covered with names and various kinds
of drawings; a large wooden table and some worm-eaten stools
constituted the only furniture. A leaden inkstand, some rolls of
parchment, an old register lying open, and a man who was writing,
interrogated Sir Thomas.

“Age?” asked the man; and he fixed his luminous, cat-like eyes on
Thomas More.

“Fifty years,” responded Sir Thomas.

“Your profession?”

“I have none at present,” he answered.

“In that case I shall write you down as the former lord chancellor.”

“As you please,” said More. “But, sir,” continued Sir Thomas, “I have
received an order to present myself before the council, and I should
not be imprisoned before being heard.”

“Pardon me, sir,” replied the clerk quietly, “the order has been
received this morning; and if you had not come to-day, you would have
been arrested this evening.”

As he coolly said these words he passed to him a roll of paper from
which hung suspended the seal of state. Sir Thomas opened it, and
casting his eyes over the pages, the long and useless formula of which
he knew by heart, he came at once to the signature of Cromwell below
that of Audley. He recalled this man, who had coolly dined at his
table yesterday, surrounded by his children. He then took up the great
seal of green wax which hung suspended by a piece of amaranth silk.
The wax represented the portrait of Henry VIII., with a device or
inscription. He held the seal in his hand, looked at it, and turned it
over two or three times.

“This is indeed the royal seal,” said he. “I have been familiar with
it for a long time; and now the king has not hesitated to attach it to
my name. Well, God’s will be done!” And he laid the seal and the roll
of paper on the table.

“You see it,” said the clerk, observing from the corner of his eye
that he had replaced the paper. “Oh! I am perfectly at home with
everything since I came here. It was I who registered Empson and
Dudley, the ministers of Henry VII., and the Duke of Buckingham. A
famous trial that! High treason also――decapitated at Tower Hill. A
noble lord, moreover; he――listen, I am going to tell you; for it is
all written here.” And he began to turn the leaves of the book. “Here,
the 17th of May, 1521, page 86.” And placing the end of his finger on
the page indicated, he looked at Sir Thomas complacently, as if to
say: “Admire my accuracy, now, and my presence of mind.”

On hearing this Margaret arose involuntarily to her feet. “Silence,
miserable wretch!” she cried. “What is it to us that you have kept an
account of all the assassinations which have been committed in this
place? No! no! my father shall not stay here; he shall not stay here.
He is innocent――yes, innocent; it would be impossible for him to be
guilty!”

The clerk inspected her closely, as if to determine who she could be.
“That is the custom; they always say that, damsel. As for me, however,
it concerns me not. They are tried up above; but I――I write here; that
is all. Why do they allow themselves to be taken? People ought not to
be called wretches so readily,” he added, fixing his eyes upon her. “I
am honest, you see, and the worthy father of a family, you understand.
I have two children, and I support them by the fruit of my labor.”

“Margaret,” said Sir Thomas, “my dearest daughter, you must not remain
here!”

“You believe――you think so! Well, perhaps not; and yet I implore you!
Undoubtedly I am only a woman; I can do nothing at all; I am only
Margaret!”

And a gleam shot from her eyes.

Sir Thomas regarded her, overwhelmed with anguish and despair. He took
her by the arm and led her far away from the clerk, toward the large
and only window, looking out on the gloomy and narrow back yard.
“Come,” he said, “let me see you display more courage; do not add to
the anguish that already fills my soul! Margaret, look up to heaven.”
And he raised his right hand toward the firmament, of which they could
see but the smallest space. “Have these men, my daughter, the power to
deprive us of our abode up there? Whatever afflictions may befall us
here on earth, one day we shall be reunited there in eternity. Then,
Margaret, we shall have no more chains, no more prisons, no more
separations. Why, then, should you grieve, since you are immortal?
What signify the years that roll by and are cast behind us, more than
a cloud of dust by which we are for a moment enveloped? If my life was
to be extinguished, if you were to cease to exist, then, yes, my
despair would be unlimited; but we live, and we shall live for ever!
We shall meet again, whatever may be the fate that attends me,
whatever may be the road I am forced to follow. Death――ah! well, what
is death? A change of life. Listen to me, Margaret: the present is
nothing; the future is everything! Yes, I prefer the gloom of the
prison to the brilliancy of the throne; all the miseries of this place
to the delights of the universe, if they must be purchased at the cost
of my soul’s salvation. Cease, then, to weep for me. If I am
imprisoned here, it is only what He who called me out of nothing has
permitted; and were I at liberty to leave, I would not do so unless it
were his will. Know, then, my daughter, that I am calm and perfectly
resigned to be here, since God so wills it. Return home now; see that
nothing goes wrong there. I appoint you in my place, without, at the
same time, elevating you above your mother; and rest assured that your
father will endure everything with joy and submission, not because of
the justice of men, but because of that of God!”

Margaret listened to her father without replying. She knew well that
she would not be permitted to remain in the prison, and yet she so
much wished it.

“No,” she exclaimed at last, “I do not wish to be thus resigned! It is
very easy for you to talk, it is nothing for me to listen; but as for
me, I am on the verge of life. Without you, for me life has no longer
the least attraction! Let them take mine when they take yours! It is
the same thing; they owe it to the king. He so thirsts for blood that
it will not do to rob him of one drop. Have you not betrayed him?
Well! I am a traitor also; let him avenge himself, then; let him take
his revenge; let him pick my bones, since he tears my heart. I am you;
let him devour me also. Write my name on your register,” she
continued, suddenly turning toward the clerk, as if convinced that the
reasons she had given could not be answered. “Come, friend,
good-fortune to you――two prisoners instead of one! Come, write; you
write so well! Margaret More, aged eighteen years, guilty of high
treason!”

The clerk made no reply.

“Is there anything lacking?” said Margaret.

“But, damsel,” he replied, placing his pen behind his ear with an air
of indecision, “I cannot do that; you have not been accused. If you
are an accomplice and have some revelations to make, you must so
declare before the court.”

“You are right; yes, I am an accomplice!” she cried. “Therefore come;
let nothing stop you.”

“My beloved child,” said Sir Thomas painfully, “you would have me,
then, condemn myself by acknowledging you as an accomplice in a crime
which I have not committed?”

“O my father!” cried the young girl, “tell me, have you, then, some
hope? No! no! you are deceiving me. You see it! You have heard it!
They would have come this night to tear you from our arms, from your
desolated home! No; all is over, and I too wish to die!”

As she said these words, Cromwell, who had rapidly and noiselessly
ascended the stairs, pushed open the door and entered. He came to see
if More had arrived. He saluted him without the least embarrassment,
and remarked the tears that wet the beautiful face of Margaret. She
immediately wiped them away, and looked at him scornfully.

“You come to see if the time has arrived!” she said; “if my father has
fallen into your hands. Yes, here he is; look at him closely, and dare
to accuse him!”

“Damsel,” replied Cromwell, bowing awkwardly, “ladies should not
meddle with justice, whose sword falls before them.”

As he said this, Kingston, the lieutenant of the Tower, entered,
followed by an escort of armed guards.

The sound of their footsteps, the clanking of their arms, astonished
Margaret. Her bosom heaved. She felt that there was no longer any
resistance to be offered; she understood that it was this power which
threatened to crush and destroy all she loved――she, poor young girl,
facing these armed men, covered with iron, clashing with steel; these
living machines, who understood neither eloquence, reason, truth, sex,
age, nor beauty. She regarded them with a look of silent despair.

She saw Kingston advance toward her father, and say he arrested him in
the name of the king; and then take his hand to express the regret
with which he executed this act of obedience to the king. “The
coward!” she thought; “he sacrifices his friend.”

She saw her father approach her, to clasp her in his arms, to bid her
adieu, to tell her to return home, to watch over her sisters, to
respect her mother, take care of Henry Pattison, for his sake. She
heard all this; she was almost unconscious, for she saw and heard, and
yet remained transfixed and motionless. Then he left her. Kingston
conducted him, the guards surrounded him, he passed through the door
leading into the interior of the Tower; it closed, and Margaret was
alone.

She stood thus for a long time, as if paralyzed by what had just
passed before her. She put her hand upon her forehead; it was burning,
and she could recall nothing more. By degrees animation returned, and
she felt she was cold. She looked around her; she saw the clerk still
seated at his desk, writing. Absolute silence reigned; those great
walls were gloomy, deaf, and mute. Then she arose. She saw the day was
declining; she thought she would try to go. Roper was waiting, and
perhaps uneasy. She cast a lingering look at the door she had seen
close upon her father; she set these places in her memory, saying: “I
will return.” She then went out, and slowly descended to the bank of
the river, where she found Roper, who had charge of the boat, and who
was astonished at her long absence.

“Well, Margaret, and your father?” he said, seeing her alone. She
drooped her head. “Will he not return?”

“No,” she replied, and entered the boat; then she suddenly seized the
hands of Roper. “He is there――do you see?――within those black walls,
in that gloomy prison. The guards have taken him; they seized and
surrounded him; he disappeared, and I am left――left alone! He has sent
me away; he told me to go. Kingston! Cromwell! O Roper! I can stand no
more; let us go.” And Margaret sank, panting and exhausted, upon the
forepart of the boat. Roper listened and looked at her.

“What! he will not return?” he repeated; and his eyes questioned
Margaret.

But the noble and beautiful young girl heard him not; with her eyes
fixed on the walls of the Tower, she seemed absorbed in one thought
alone.

“Farewell, farewell, my father!” she said. “Your ears no more hear me,
but your heart responds to my own. Farewell, farewell!” And she made a
sign with her hand, as though she had him before her eyes.

“Is it true, Margaret, that he will not return?”

“No! I tell you he will not. We are now all alone in the world. You
may go. You may go quickly now, if you wish.”

“Well,” said Roper, “he will be detained to stand his trial; that will
end, perhaps, better than you think.” And he seated himself quietly at
the oars; because Roper, always disposed to hope for the best in the
future, concluded that Margaret, doubtless frightened at the imposing
appearance of justice, believed Sir Thomas to be in far greater danger
than he really was; and, following the thread of his own thoughts, he
added aloud: “Men are men, and Margaret is a woman.”

“What would you say by that?” she asked with energy. “Do you mean to
say that I am your inferior, and that my nature is lower than your
own? What do you mean by saying ‘a woman’? Yes, I am inferior, but
only in the animal strength which enables you to row at this moment
and make me mount the wave that carries me. I am your inferior in
cruelty, indifference, and selfishness. Ah! if I were a man like you,
and could only retain under your form all the vigor of my soul and the
fearlessness with which I feel myself transported, you would see if my
father remained alone, abandoned without resistance in the depths of
the prison where I saw him led; and if the oppressor should not, in
his turn, fear the voice of the oppressed; and if this nation, which
you call a nation of _men_, should be allowed to slaughter its own
children!”

“Margaret,” said Roper, alarmed, “calm yourself.”

“I must sleep, I suppose, in order to please you, when I see my father
delivered into the hands of his enemies! He is lost, I tell you, and
you will not believe it, and I can do nothing for him. Of what good is
courage to one who cannot use it? Of what use is strength, if one can
only wish for it? To fret one’s self in the night of impossibility; to
see, to hear, and have power to do nothing. This is the punishment I
must endure for ever! Nothing to lean upon! Everything will fall
around me. He is condemned, they will say; there will be only one
human creature less! That will be my father!”

And Margaret, standing up in the middle of the boat, her hair
dishevelled, her eyes fixed, seemed to see the wretchedness she was
describing. The wind blew violently, and scattered the curls of her
dark hair around her burning face.

“Margaret,” cried Roper, running to her and taking her in his
arms――“Margaret, are you dreaming? What would your father say if he
knew you had thus abandoned yourself to despair?”

“He would say,” replied Margaret, “that we must despise the world and
place our trust in Heaven; he would recall resignation into my
exasperated soul. But shall I see him henceforth? Who will aid me in
supporting the burdens of this life, against which, in my misery, I
revolt every instant? Oh! if I could only share his chains. Then, near
him, I would brave tyrants, tortures, hell, and the devils combined!
The strength of my will would shake the earth, when I cannot turn over
a single stone!”

At this moment the boat, which Roper, in his trouble, had ceased to
guide, struck violently against some piers the fishermen had sunk
along the river. It was almost capsized, and the water rushed in
through a hole made by the stakes.

“We are going to sink,” cried Roper, leaving Margaret and rushing
toward the oar he had abandoned.

“Well! do what you can to prevent it,” replied the young girl coldly,
as she seated herself in her former position in the stern of the boat.

But the water continued to rush in, and was already as high as their
feet. Roper seized his cloak, and made it serve, though not without
considerable difficulty, to close the vent through which the water
entered. A plank which he found in the bottom of the boat was used to
finish his work, and they were able to resume their course; the boat,
however, made but slow way, and it was constantly necessary to bail
out the water that leaked through the badly-repaired opening. Night
came on, and it was already quite late when they succeeded in reaching
the Chelsea terrace, at the foot of which they landed.

Roper, having attached the boat to the chain used for that purpose,
opened the gate, and they entered together. Margaret’s heart throbbed
violently; this lonely house, deprived of him who had made the
happiness of her life; the gate which they had closed without his
having entered it――everything, even to the sound of her own footsteps,
pierced her soul with anguish. She passed rapidly through the garden
and entered the house, where she found the rest of the family
assembled as usual. All appeared sad, Lady More alone excepted; this
woman, vulgar and coarse, was not in a condition to comprehend the
position in which she found herself; the baseness of her sentiments,
the littleness of her soul, rendered her a burden as annoying as she
was painful to support. Margaret, in particular, could feel no
affection for her. Frank and sincere herself, she abhorred the cunning
and artifice her stepmother believed herself bound to employ to make
up for her deficiency of intellect; and when, in the midst of a most
interesting and elevated conversation, the reasoning of which Margaret
caught with so much avidity, she heard her loudly decide a question
and pronounce a judgment in the vulgar phrases used among the most
obscure class of people, she was not always able to conceal her
impatience. Her father, more cheerful, more master of himself,
recalled by a glance or a smile his dear Margaret to a degree of
patience and respect he was always ready to observe.

On entering, therefore, Margaret’s indignation was excited by hearing
her stepmother abusing unmercifully poor Henry Pattison, who had wept
incessantly ever since the departure of his master.

“Till-Wall! Till-Wall!” she cried. “This fool here will never let us
have any more peace! Sir Thomas had better have taken him with him;
they could have acted the fool together!”

Margaret listened at first to her stepmother, but she could not permit
her to continue. “Weep!” she cried――“yes, weep, poor Pattison! for
your master is now imprisoned in the Tower, and God knows whether you
will ever see him again. Weep, all of you,” she continued, turning to
her sisters, “because you do not see your father in the midst of us.
Believe in my presentiments; they have never deceived me. Those souls,
coarse and devoid of sensibility, over whom life passes and dries like
rain upon a rock, will always reject such beliefs; but if, when one is
united by affection to a cherished being, the slightest movement of
his eyes enables you to read his soul, and you discover the most
secret emotion of his heart, we must believe also that nature, on the
approach of misfortunes which are to befall us, reveals to us the
secrets of the future. That is why I say to you, Weep, all of you; for
you will never see him again. I――no, I will not weep, because to me
this means death! I shall die!”

And crossing the room, she went and threw herself on her knees before
the arm-chair usually occupied by her father. “Yesterday at this hour
he was here; I have seen him here; I have heard him speak to me!” she
cried, and it seemed to her she still heard him; but in place of that
cherished voice which sounded always near her that of Lady More alone
fell on her ear.

“Cecilia,” she said, “go and see if supper is ready; it should have
been served an hour ago. I have waited for you,” she added, looking at
Margaret, “although you may not have expected it, judging from the
time you were absent.”

“I thank you,” replied Margaret. “It was not necessary; I could not
eat.”

“That is something one could not guess,” angrily replied Lady More,
rising from her arm-chair and proceeding to the dining-room.

They all followed her; but, on seeing her stepmother take Sir Thomas’
place, and begin in a loud voice to say grace (as was customary in
those days, when heads of families did not blush to acknowledge
themselves Christians), Margaret was unable to restrain her tears, and
immediately left the dining-room. Roper cast an anxious look after
her, but on account of her stepmother he said nothing.

“It appears,” said Lady More, whilst helping the dish which was placed
before her, “that we are at the end of our trouble. All my life I’ve
been watching Sir Thomas throwing himself into difficulties and
dangers: at one time he would sustain a poor little country squire
against some powerful family; at another he was taking part against
the government; and now, I fear, this last affair will be the worst of
all. But what have you heard, Roper? Why has Sir Thomas not returned?”

Roper then related to her how he had waited in the boat; how he had
seen the new queen pass, followed by the most brilliant assembly; and,
finally, what Margaret had told him concerning her father.

“You see!” she exclaimed at every pause he made in his narration. “I
was right! Say if I was not right?”

Meanwhile, her appetite remained, undisturbed; she continued to eat
very leisurely while questioning Roper.

He was anxious to finish satisfying the curiosity of his stepmother,
who detained him for a long time, giving the details of Lady Boleyn’s
dress, although, in spite of his complacent good-will, Roper was
unable to describe but imperfectly the inventions, the materials,
jewelry, and embroideries which composed her attire.

“How stupid and senseless these scruples of Sir Thomas are!” she cried
on hearing these beautiful things described. “I ask you now if it is
not natural for me to wish to be among those elegant ladies, and to be
adorned like them? But no; he has done everything to deprive himself
of the king’s favor, who has yielded to him to the utmost degree. But
I will go and find him; I will speak to him, and demonstrate to him
that his first duty is to take care of his family, and not drag us all
down with him.” As she said this, she shook her gray head, and assumed
a menacing air as she turned towards Roper. But he was gone. He was
afraid she would make him recommence his narrative; and, contrary to
his usual custom, he was greatly troubled at the condition in which he
saw Margaret.

He softly ascended to the chamber of the young girl, and paused to
listen a moment at the door. The light shone through the windows, and
yet he heard not the slightest sound. He then entered, and found
Margaret asleep, kneeling on the floor like a person at prayer. She
was motionless, but her sleep seemed troubled by painful dreams; and
her eyebrows and all the features of her beautiful face were
successively contracted. Her head rested on her shoulder, and she
appeared to be still gazing at a little portrait of her father, which
she had worn from her childhood, and which she had placed on the chair
before her.

Roper regarded her a moment with a feeling of intense sorrow. He then
knelt by her side and took her hand.

The movement aroused Margaret. “Where are we now, Roper?” she said,
opening her eyes. “Have you finished mending the boat?”

But scarcely had she pronounced the words when, looking around her,
she perceived her error. “Ah!” she continued, “I had forgotten we had
reached home.”

“My dear Margaret,” said Roper, “I have felt the most dreadful anxiety
since you left your stepmother.”

“Oh! my stepmother,” cried Margaret. “How happy she is! How I envy her
the selfishness which makes us feel that in possessing ourselves all
our wishes are accomplished! She is, at least, always sure of
following and carrying herself in every place; they cannot separate
her from the sole object of her love, and nothing can tear her from
it.”

“Is it, then, a happiness to love only one’s self? And can you, dear
Margaret, desire any such fate?”

“Yes!” replied Margaret. “The stupid creature by whom the future is
disregarded, the past forgotten, the present ignored, makes me
envious! Why exhaust ourselves in useless efforts? And why does not
man, like the chrysalis which sleeps forty days, not await more
patiently the moment when he shall be born in eternity――the moment
that will open to him the sources of a new existence, where he shall
love without fearing to lose the object of his devotion; where, happy
in the happiness of the Creator himself, he will praise and bless him
every moment with new transports of joy? William, do you know what
that power is which transforms our entire being into the one whom we
love, in order to make us endure his sufferings a thousand times over?
Do you understand well that love which has neither flesh nor bone;
which loves only the heart and mind; which mounts without fear into
the presence of God himself; which draws from him, from his grandeur,
his perfections, from his infinite majesty, all its strength and all
its endurance; which, fearing not death, extends beyond the grave, and
lives and increases through all eternity? That celestial love――have
you ever felt it? that soul within a soul, which considers virtue
alone, lives only for her, and which is every moment exalted by its
sacrifices and its devotion? that life within another life, which
feels that nothing can extinguish it, and considers the world and
creatures as nothing? Speak, Roper, do you entirely comprehend it? O
my friend! listen attentively to me; when the fruit of experience
shall have ripened for you, when your fellow-creatures shall no more
speak of you but as ‘the old man,’ when you shall have long looked
upon your children’s children, then you will assemble them round you,
and tell them that in other times a tyrant named Henry VIII.
devastated their country, and immolated, in his bloody rage, the
father of Margaret; you will tell them that you loved Margaret, and
that she perished in the flower of her youth; and you will teach them
to execrate the memory of that cruel king, to weep over the oppressed,
and to defend them.”

“Margaret!” cried Roper, “whither have your excited feelings carried
you? Who will be able to take you from me? And the children of whom
you speak――will they not also be yours?”

“No, they will not be mine! Upon the earth there remains for me
neither father nor husband, now that all are reduced to slaves. And
learn this, if you do not already know it: Slaves should have no
hearts! But I――I have one,” she cried, “and I well understand how to
keep it out of their hands!”

“Margaret,” replied Roper, “you are greatly to blame for expressing
yourself in this manner. What! because the king sends for your father
to come and take an oath which he believes he has a right to exact,
you already accuse him of wishing to encompass his death? Your father
is lost, you say. Have you forgotten, then, the numberless assurances
of protection and particular regard which the king has not ceased to
bestow on him in the most conspicuous manner? Has he not raised him to
the highest position in his kingdom? And if your father had not
voluntarily renounced it, the office would have been still in his
possession.”

“Without doubt,” replied Margaret, “if my father had been willing to
barter his conscience, they would have bought it. To-day they will
weigh it in the balance against his life. He is already doomed.”


TO BE CONTINUED.



SANCTA SOPHIA.[14]


The new and improved edition of Father Cressy’s compendium of the
principal treatises of the English Benedictine, Father Baker, entitled
_Sancta Sophia_, or Holy Wisdom, which has now appeared, has been long
looked for, and we give it a cordial welcome. In compliance with an
earnest request of the very reverend and learned prelate under whose
careful supervision this new edition has been prepared, we very gladly
make use of the opportunity which is thus presented of calling
attention to this admirable work, and to some topics of the greatest
interest and importance which are intimately connected with its
peculiar nature and scope as a book of spiritual instruction. It
belongs to a special class of books treating of the higher grades of
the spiritual life, and of the more perfect way in which the soul that
has passed through the inferior exercises of active meditation is led
upward toward the tranquil region of contemplation. It is a remarkable
fact, and an indication of the increasing number of those who feel the
aspiration after this higher life, that such a demand has made itself
felt, within a comparatively recent period, for spiritual treatises of
this sort. The most voluminous and popular modern writer who has
ministered to this appetite of souls thirsting for the fountains of
pure spiritual doctrine, is the late holy Oratorian, Father Faber. The
unparalleled circulation of his works is a matter of common notoriety.
The lives of saints and of holy persons who have been led in the
highways of mystic illumination and union with God, which have poured
forth in such copious abundance from the Catholic press, and have been
so eagerly read, are another symptom as well as a cause of this
increasing taste for the science and wisdom of the saints. The most
choice and elevated spiritual works which have appeared are, however,
with few exceptions, republications of books of an older and bygone
time. Among these we may mention that quaint treatise so often
referred to by Father Baker, called _The Cloud of the Unknowing_,
Walter Hilton’s _Scala Perfectionis_, the _Spiritual Dialogues_ of St.
Catherine of Genoa, St. Teresa’s writings, Dom Castaniza’s _Spiritual
Conflict and Conquest_, and above all others that truly magnificent
edition in an English version of the _Works of St. John of the Cross_,
for which we are indebted to Mr. Lewis and his Eminence the Cardinal
of Westminster. As a manual for common and general use, the _Sancta
Sophia_ of Father Baker has an excellence and value peculiarly its
own. Canon Dalton, a good authority on subjects of this kind, says
that “it is certainly the _best book_ we have in English on prayer.”
Bishop Ullathorne says of it: “Nothing is more clear, simple, solid,
and profound.” Similar testimonies might be multiplied; and if the
suffrages of the thousands of unknown but devout persons in religious
communities and in the secular state, who have made use of this book,
could be collected, the result would prove that the high esteem in
which it has ever been held by the English Benedictines is perfectly
well deserved, according to the sense of the most pious among the
faithful.

The first modern edition of _Sancta Sophia_ was published in New York
in 1857. Before this time it was wholly unknown in this country, so
far as we are informed, excepting in the convent of Carmelite Nuns at
Baltimore. At the ancient convent on Aisquith Street, where a small
community of the daughters of St. Teresa had long been strictly
practising the rule of their holy mother, an old copy of the first
edition of _Sancta Sophia_ was preserved as their greatest treasure.
It was there that Father Walworth became acquainted with the book,
and, charmed with its quaint style and rare, old-fashioned excellence,
resolved to have a new edition of it published for the benefit of the
Catholics of the United States. By permission of the Very Rev. Father
Bernard, of holy memory, who was then provincial of the Redemptorists,
it was published, under Father Hecker’s supervision, by James B.
Kirker (Dunigan & Bro.) of New York. It was reprinted correctly,
though in a plain and unattractive form, without any change excepting
in the spelling of words and the omission of certain forms of short
prayers and aspirations which were added to the treatises in the
original. There is no substantial difference, as to the text of the
work itself, between this edition and the new one edited by Dr.
Sweeney. He has, however, had it published in a much better and more
attractive form, has restored all the parts omitted, and, besides
carefully revising the text, has added prefatory matter, notes, and
appendices, which make his edition more complete. A portrait of the
venerable Father Baker is prefixed. If an index of the contents of the
chapters had been added, it would have made the edition as perfect as
we could desire. That it will now become once more widely known and
appreciated in England we cannot doubt, and we trust that it will also
obtain a much wider circulation in this country than it has hitherto
enjoyed. There is but one serious obstacle in the way of its becoming
a universal favorite with those who have a taste for solid spiritual
food. It is food of the most simple, dry, and hard quality, served
without sauce or condiments of any kind――pure nutriment, like brown
bread, wheaten, grits, farina, or Scotch porridge. It is most
wholesome and conducive to spiritual growth, but altogether destitute
of the eloquence which we find in Tauler, the deep philosophy and
sublime poetry of St. John of the Cross, the ecstatic rapture of St.
Teresa. Whoever studies it will have no stimulus but a pure and simple
desire for instruction, improvement, and edification. The keynote to
the entire mode and measure of the book is given in the chapter,
borrowed from Father Walter Hilton, on the spiritual pilgrimage: “One
way he knew, which, if he would diligently pursue according to the
directions and marks that he would give him――though, said he, I cannot
promise thee a security from many frights, beatings, and other
ill-usage and temptations of all kinds; but if thou canst have courage
and patience enough to suffer them without quarrelling or resisting,
or troubling thyself, and so pass on, having this only in thy mind,
and sometimes on thy tongue, _I have naught, I am naught, I desire
naught but to be at Jerusalem_, my life for thine, thou wilt escape
safe with thy life, and in a competent time arrive thither.” Father
Baker attempts nothing but to furnish a plain guide-book over this
route. For descriptions of the scenery, photographic views of
mountains, valleys, lakes, and prospects, one must go elsewhere. A
clear, methodical, safe guide-book over the route he will find in
_Sancta Sophia_. This is not to say that one should confine himself
exclusively to its perusal, or deny himself the pleasure of reading
other books in which there is more that pleases the imagination and
awakens the affections, or that satisfies the demands of the intellect
seeking for the deepest causes of things and the exposition of sublime
truths. The most important and practical matter, however, is to find
and keep the right road. And certainly many, if not all, of those who
are seeking the straightest and safest way to perfection and
everlasting beatitude, will value the _Sancta Sophia_ all the more for
its very plainness, and the absence of everything except that simple
and solid doctrine which they desire and feel the need of amid the
trials and perplexities of the journey of life.

The doctrine of Father Baker has not, however, lacked opponents from
his own day to the present. Since the publication of _Sancta Sophia_
in this country we have repeatedly heard of its use being
discountenanced in religious communities and in the case of devout
persons in the world. Dr. Sweeney calls attention directly to this
fact of opposition to Father Baker’s doctrine, and devotes a
considerable part of his own annotations to a refutation of the
objections alleged against it. He has pointed out one seemingly
plausible ground of these censures which we were not before aware of,
and which was unknown to the American editors of _Sancta Sophia_ when
they republished it in this country. We cannot pass this matter by
without some examination; for although on such subjects controversy is
disagreeable, and to the unlearned and simple-minded may be vexatious
and perplexing, it cannot be avoided where a question of orthodox
soundness in doctrine is concerned. The gist of the whole matter is
found in chapter the seventh, “On the Prayer of Interior Silence,” to
which Dr. Sweeney has appended a long note of explanation. The matter
of this chapter is professedly derived from an old Spanish work by
Antonio de Rojas, entitled _The Life of the Spirit Approved_, which
was placed on the Index about fifty years after the death of Father
Baker, and two years after the condemnation of Quietism. We have never
seen this book, but we are informed by Dr. Sweeney that its language,
taken in the most natural and obvious sense, leads to the conclusion
that the state of charity which is requisite to perfection excludes
all private interest, not only all fear of punishment, but all hope of
reward――that is, all desire or consideration of the beatitude of
heaven. In order to attain this state of indifference and annihilation
of self-love, all express acts are discountenanced, and that kind of
silence and passivity in prayer recommended which suppresses the
active movements of the soul toward God, such as hope, love toward God
as the chief good, petition and supplication, thanksgiving, etc. Now,
such a doctrine as this is manifestly tinged with some of the errors
of Quietism, and seems to be precisely similar to the semi-Quietism of
Madame Guyon and Fénelon which was condemned by Innocent XII. in 1699.
The second of the propositions from Fénelon’s _Maxims of the Saints_
condemned by this pope is as follows: “In the state of contemplative
or unitive life every interested motive of fear and hope is lost.” The
doctrinal error here is the notion that the soul’s love of itself,
desire and hope for its own beatification in God, and love to God as
its own sovereign good, is incompatible with a pure, disinterested,
perfect love of God, as the sovereign good in himself. The practical
error is the inculcation of direct efforts to suppress every movement
of interested love to God in prayer, in order to make way for passive,
disinterested love. Father Baker lived so long before the errors of
false mysticism had been thoroughly investigated, refuted, and
condemned that it was very easy for him to fail of detecting what was
unguarded, inaccurately expressed, exaggerated, or of erroneous
tendency in a book which was approved by a number of prelates and
theologians. He has certainly not borrowed or adopted what was
erroneous in the book, but that portion of its teaching which was
sound and safe, upon which the error was a mere excrescence. The mere
fact of citing a book which has been placed on the Index is a matter
of small and only incidental moment. Dr. Sweeney seems to us to have
followed too timorous a conscience in his way of treating the chapter
of _Sancta Sophia_ in which the work of De Rojas is quoted. We cannot
agree with him that Father Baker would have suppressed that chapter if
the book had been censured during his lifetime. He would have
suppressed his commendation of the book, and looked carefully to see
what the error was on account of which it had been condemned, as any
good Catholic is bound to do in such a case. But we feel confident
that he would not have felt himself obliged to make any essential
alteration in what he had written on the prayer of silence, though he
would probably have explicitly guarded it against any possible
misapprehension or perversion. Any one who reads the _Sancta Sophia_,
especially with Dr. Sweeney’s annotations, will see at once how absurd
is the charge of a tincture of semi-Quietism against so sober and
practical a writer as Father Baker, and how remote from anything
favoring the illusions of false spirituality are his instructions on
prayer. It would be almost as absurd to impute Quietism to Father
Baker as rigorism to St. Alphonsus. We are afraid that Dr. Sweeney’s
signal-board of “caution” will scare away simple-minded and devout
readers from one of the most useful chapters of _Sancta Sophia_, one
which is really the pivot of the whole book. Father Baker’s special
scope and object was not to give instruction in meditation and active
exercises, but to lead the soul through and beyond these to
contemplation. The instructions on the prayer of interior silence are
precisely those which are fitted to enlighten and direct a person in
the transition state from the spiritual exercises of discursive
meditation to that state of ordinary and acquired contemplation which
Scaramelli and all standard writers recognize as both desirable and
attainable for those who have devoted a considerable time to the
practice of mental prayer. Father Baker’s directions on this head
should be judged by what they are intrinsically in themselves, without
any regard to anything else. Are they singular, imprudent, or in any
respect contrary to the doctrine of the saints and other authors of
recognized soundness in doctrine? We cannot see that they are.
Whatever perversion of the method of prayer in question may have been
contained in the book of De Rojas, sprang from his erroneous doctrine
that explicit acts of the understanding and will in prayer should be
suppressed in order to eradicate the implicit acts, the habits, and
tendencies of the soul, by which its intention and desire are directed
toward its own supreme good and felicity in God. But this is no reason
against the method itself, apart from a perversion no trace of which
is to be found in Father Baker’s own language. The well-known and
justly-revered Father Ramière, S.J., in his introduction to a little
work by another Jesuit, Father De Caussade, entitled _L’Abandon à la
Providence Divine_, remarks in reference to the doctrine of that book,
which is quite similar in its spirit to the _Sancta Sophia_, as
follows: “There is no truth so luminous that it does not change into
error from the moment when it suffers diminution or exaggeration; and
there is no nourishment, however salutary to the soul, which, if
imprudently used, may not produce in it the effect of a noxious
poison.” It would seem that some are so afraid of the perversion of
the luminous truths of mystical theology, and of the abuse of the
salutary nourishment it affords to the soul, that they would desire to
avoid the danger by shutting out the light and locking up the food in
a closet. They would restrict all persons whatever, in every stage and
condition of the spiritual life, to certain methods of prayer and the
use of certain books, excellent for the majority of persons while they
are beginners or proficients, but unsuitable, or even injurious, to
some who are of a peculiar disposition, or who have advanced so far
that they need something of a different order. It is a great mistake
to suppose that such a course is safe or prudent. There are some who
cannot, even in the beginning, make use of discursive meditation. It
is a generally-recognized rule that those who can, and actually do,
practise this kind of mental prayer, ought, as soon as it ceases to be
pleasant and profitable to them, to change it for a simpler method.
Even those set methods which are not discursive, if they consist in
oft-repeated acts of the understanding, the affections, and the will,
become frequently, after the lapse of time, too laborious, wearisome,
and insipid to be continued with any fervor. The soul needs and
instinctively longs for the cessation of this perpetual activity in a
holy repose, in tranquil contemplation, in rest upon the bosom of God.
It is for such souls that the chapter on the prayer of interior
silence was written.

We may now examine a little more closely the passages which Dr.
Sweeney seems to have had in view, as requiring to be read with
caution because similar to statements made by De Rojas and other
writers whose doctrine is tinctured with Quietism. Dr. Sweeney
remarks: “When afterwards (in the book of De Rojas) express acts
toward God are discountenanced, and it is declared that an advantage
of this kind of prayer is _self-annihilation_, and that resignation
then becomes so pure that all private interest is forgotten and
ignored, we see the prudence and watchfulness of the Holy See in
cautioning her children against a book which, if it does not
expressly, distinctly, and advisedly teach it, yet conveys the
impression that a state of charity excludes all private interest, such
as fear of punishment and hope of reward, and that perfection implies
such a state.”[15]

Father Baker says that in the prayer of silence, “with the will she
[the soul] frames no particular request nor any express acts toward
God”; that “by this exercise we come to the most perfect operation of
self-annihilation,” and practise in the most sublime manner
“resignation, since the soul forgets all private interests”; and more
to the same effect. Nevertheless, the dangerous and erroneous sense
which this language might convey, if intended or interpreted to mean
that the soul must suppress all hope or desire for its own private
good as incompatible with the perfect love of God, is plainly excluded
by the immediate context in which it occurs. The soul, says Father
Baker, should “continue in his presence _in the quality of a
petitioner_, but such an one as makes no special, direct requests, but
contents herself to appear before him _with all her wants and
necessities_, best, and indeed only, known to him, who therefore needs
not her information.” Again, he compares the soul to the subject of a
sovereign who abstains from asking any particular favors from his
prince, because he knows that “he is both most wise to judge what
favors may become the one to give and the other to receive, and in
that that he has a love and magnificence to _advance him beyond his
deserts_.”

Once more he says that in this prayer the soul exercises in a sublime
manner “_hope_, because the soul, placing herself before God _in the
posture of a beggar_, confidently expects that he will impart to her
both the knowledge of his will and ability to fulfil it.”

It is equally plain that Father Baker’s method of the prayer of
interior silence is not liable to the censure which Dr. Sweeney
attaches to the one of De Rojas when he remarks that “we can at once
see what danger accompanies such an exercise, if that can be called an
exercise where all activity ceases and prayer is really excluded.”
“_Since an intellectual soul is all activity_,” says Father Baker, “so
that it cannot continue a moment without some desires, the soul then
rejecting all desires toward created objects, she cannot choose but
tend inwardly in her affections to God, for which end only she put
herself in such a posture of prayer; her tendence then being much like
that of the mounting of an eagle after a precedent vigorous springing
motion and extension of her wings, which ceasing, _in virtue thereof
the flight is continued for a good space with a great swiftness_, but
withal with great stillness, quietness, and ease, without any waving
of the wings at all or the least force used in any member, being in as
much ease and stillness as if she were reposing on her nest.” For the
further defence of Father Baker’s doctrine from the other parts of
_Sancta Sophia_, and in general from his known method of personal
conduct and his direction of others, what his learned Benedictine
editor has furnished amply suffices.

We are not content, however, with simply showing that Father Baker’s
method of conducting souls to perfection by means of contemplative
prayer is free from the errors of Quietism and the illusions of false
mysticism. The _Sancta Sophia_ is not merely a good book, one among
the many English books of devotion and spiritual reading which can be
safely and profitably read. We think Canon Dalton’s opinion that it is
the best book on prayer we have in the English language is correct. It
is a guide for those who will scarcely find another book to fill its
place; and we venture to affirm that the very part of it which we have
been specially criticising is not only defensible, but positively in
accordance, even to its phraseology, with the doctrine of the most
approved authors, and of special, practical value and importance.

In an appendix which Father Ramière has added to the little book by
Father Caussade already once cited in this article, there is a chapter
taken from Bossuet, entitled “A Short and Easy Method of making the
Prayer of Faith and of the simple presence of God,” from which we
quote the following passages: “Meditation is very good in its own
time, and very useful at the beginning of the spiritual life; but it
is not proper to make it a final stopping-place, for the soul which is
faithful in mortification and recollection ordinarily receives a gift
of prayer which is purer and more simple, and may be called the prayer
of _simplicity_, consisting in a simple view, or fixed, attentive, and
loving look directed toward some divine object, whether it be God in
himself, or some one of his perfections, or Jesus Christ, or one of
the mysteries relating to him, or some other Christian truths. In this
attitude the soul leaves off reasoning, and makes use of a quiet
contemplation, which keeps it peaceful, attentive, and susceptible to
the divine operations and impressions which the Holy Spirit imparts to
it; it does little and receives a great deal; its labor is easy, and
nevertheless more fruitful than it would otherwise be; and as it
approaches very near to the source of all light――grace and virtue――it
receives on that account the more of all these. The practice of this
prayer ought to begin on first awaking, by an act of faith in the
presence of God, who is everywhere, and in Jesus Christ, whose eyes
are always upon us, if we were even buried in the centre of the earth.
This act is elicited either in the ordinary and sensible manner, as by
saying inwardly, ‘I believe that my God is present’; or it is a simple
calling to memory of the faith of God’s presence in a more purely
spiritual manner. After this, one ought not to produce multifarious
and diverse acts and dispositions, but to remain simply attentive to
this presence of God, and as it were exposed to view before him,
continuing this devout attention and attitude as long as the Lord
grants us the grace for doing so, without striving to make other acts
than those to which we are inspired, since this kind of prayer is one
in which we converse with God alone, and is a union which contains in
an eminent mode all other particular dispositions, and disposes the
soul to passivity; by which is meant, that God becomes sole master of
its interior, and operates in it in a special manner. The less working
done by the creature in this state, the more powerful is the operation
of God in it; and since God’s action is at the same time a repose, the
soul becomes in a certain way like to him in this kind of prayer,
receiving in it wonderful effects; so that as the rays of the sun
cause the growth, blossoming, and fruit-bearing of plants, the soul,
in like manner, which is attentive and tranquilly basking under the
rays of the divine Sun of righteousness, is in the best condition for
receiving divine influences which enrich it with all sorts of
virtues.”[16]

St. John of the Cross declares that “the soul having attained to the
interior union of love, _the spiritual faculties of it are no longer
active_, and still less those of the body; for now that the union of
love is actually brought about, the faculties of the soul _cease from
their exertions_, because, now that the goal is reached, all
employment of means is at an end.”[17]

Again: “He who truly loves makes shipwreck of himself in all else,
that he may gain the more in the object of his love. Thus the soul
says that it has lost itself――that is, deliberately, of set purpose.
This loss occurs in two ways. The soul loses itself, making no account
whatever of itself, but referring all to the Beloved, resigning itself
freely into his hands without any selfish views, losing itself
deliberately, and seeking nothing for itself. Secondly, it loses
itself in all things, making no account of anything save that which
concerns the Beloved. This is to lose one’s self――that is, to be
willing that others should have all things. Such is he that loves God;
he seeks neither gain nor reward, but only to lose all, even himself
according to God’s will. This is what such an one counts gain.… When a
soul has advanced so far on the spiritual road as to be lost to all
the natural methods of communing with God; when it seeks him no longer
by meditation, images, impressions, nor by any other created ways or
representations of sense, but only by rising above them all, in the
joyful communion with him by faith and love, then it may be said to
have gained God of a truth, because it has truly lost itself as to all
that is not God, and also as to its own self.”[18]

In another place the saint explains quite at length the necessity of
passing from meditation to contemplation, the reasons for doing so,
and the signs which denote that the time for this change has arrived.
The state of beginners, he says, is “one of meditation and of acts of
reflection.” After a certain stage of progress has been reached, “God
begins at once to introduce the soul into the state of contemplation,
and that very quickly, especially in the case of religious, because
these, having renounced the world, quickly fashion their senses and
desires according to God; they have, therefore, to pass at once from
meditation to contemplation. This passage, then, takes place when the
discursive acts and meditation fail, when sensible sweetness and the
first fervors cease, when the soul cannot make reflections as before,
nor find any sensible comfort, but is fallen into aridity, because the
spiritual life is changed.… It is evident, therefore, that if the soul
does not now abandon its previous ways of meditation, it will receive
this gift of God in a scanty and imperfect manner.… If the soul will
at this time make efforts of its own, and encourage another
disposition than that of _passive, loving attention_, most submissive
and calm, and if it does not _abstain from its previous discursive
acts_, it will place a complete barrier against those graces which God
is about to communicate to it in this loving knowledge.… The soul must
be attached to nothing, not even to the subject of its meditation, not
to sensible or spiritual sweetness, because God requires a spirit so
free, so _annihilated_, that every act of the soul, even of thought,
of liking or disliking, will impede and disturb it, and break that
_profound silence of sense and spirit_ necessary for hearing the deep
and delicate voice of God, who speaks to the heart in solitude; it is
in profound peace and tranquillity that the soul is to listen to God,
who will speak peace unto his people. When this takes place, when the
soul feels that it is silent and listens, its loving attention must be
most pure, _without a thought of self, in a manner self-forgotten_, so
that it shall be wholly intent upon hearing; for thus it is that the
soul is free and ready for that which our Lord requires at its
hands.”[19]

We have sufficiently proved, we trust, that there is no reason to be
disquieted by a certain verbal and merely apparent likeness between
some parts of Father Baker’s spiritual doctrine and the errors of a
false mysticism. We may, perhaps, return to this subject on a future
occasion, and point out more distinctly and at length the true
philosophical and theological basis of Catholic mystical doctrine, in
contrast with the travesties and perversions of its counterfeits in
the extravagant, absurd, and revolting systems of infidel and
heretical visionaries. At present a few words may suffice to sum up
and succinctly define the difference between the true and the false
doctrine in respect to the case in hand. That doctrine which is false,
dangerous, and condemned by the unerring judgment of the holy church
teaches that the love and pursuit of our own good and happiness, even
in God, is sinful, or at least low and imperfect. It inculcates, as a
means for suppressing and eradicating our natural tendency towards the
attainment of the good as an end, and annihilating our self-activity,
the cessation of all operation of the natural faculties of
understanding and volition, at least in reference to God as our own
supreme and desirable good. It inculcates a fixed, otiose quietude and
indifference toward our own happiness or misery. Its effect is
therefore to quench the life of the soul, to extinguish its light, and
to reduce it to a state of torpor and apathy resembling that of a
stoical Diogenes or an Indian fakir. Its pretence of disinterestedness
and pure love to God for himself alone is wholly illusory and founded
on a false view of God as the intrinsically sovereign good and the
object of supreme love to the intelligent creature. The goodness of
God as the first object of the love of complacency cannot be separated
from the same goodness as the object of desire. The extrinsic glory of
God as the chief end of creatures is identified with the exaltation
and happiness of those intellectual and rational beings whom he has
created and elevated to a supernatural end. Hope, desire, and effort
for the attainment of the good intended for and promised to man is a
duty and obligation imposed by the law of God. It is impossible to
love God and be conformed to his will without loving our neighbors,
and our own soul as our nearest neighbor. Moreover, we are not saved
merely by the action of God upon us passively received, but also by a
concurrence of our understanding and will, a co-operation of our own
active efforts with the working of God in us, or, as it is commonly
expressed, by a diligent and faithful correspondence to grace. Not to
desire our own true happiness is therefore a suicidal, idiotic folly.
Not to work for it is presumption, ingratitude, and the deadly sin of
sloth. Moreover, to attempt to fly with unfledged wings; to soar aloft
in the sky among the saints when we ought to be walking on the earth,
to undertake while yet weak beginners the heroic works of the perfect;
to anticipate by self-will the time and call which God appoints, and
pervert the orderly course of his providence; to strive by our own
natural powers to accomplish what requires the special gifts and
graces of the Holy Spirit, is imprudent, contrary to humility, and
full of peril. The dupe of false spirituality may, therefore, either
take an entirely wrong road or attempt to travel the right road in a
wrong manner; in either case sure to fail of reaching his intended
goal, if he persists in his error.

The sound and orthodox doctrine of Catholic mystical theology presents
God as he is in his own intrinsic essence, as the object of his own
beatific contemplation, and of the contemplation of the blessed who
have received the faculty of intuitive vision by the light of glory.
The nearest approach to this beatific state, as well as the most
perfect and immediate preparation for it, is the state of quiet,
tranquil contemplation of God by the obscure light of faith. The
excellence and blessedness of this state consists in the pure love of
God. It is of the nature of love and the intention of the mind toward
the sovereign good, by which the will is directed in its motion toward
the good which it loves and in the fruition of which it finds its
repose, that the consideration of the object precede the consideration
and desire of the fruition of the object. Liberatore, who is a good
expositor of the doctrine of St. Thomas and all sound Catholic
philosophers on this head, proposes and proves this statement in the
clearest terms. The object is first apprehended and loved for its
intrinsic goodness. Reflection on the enjoyment which is received and
delight in this enjoyment, though a necessary consequence of the
possession of the chief good, is the second but not the first act. St.
John of the Cross teaches the same truth: “As the end of all is love,
which inheres in the will, the characteristic of which is to give and
not to receive, to the soul inebriated with love the first object that
presents itself is not the essential glory which God will bestow upon
it, but the entire surrender of itself to him in true love, without
any regard to its own advantage. The second object is included in the
first.”[20] Father Mazzella, S.J., of Woodstock College, in his
admirable work on the infused virtues, makes a lengthened exposition
of the distinction between that love of benevolence and complacency
toward God which is the principle of perfect contrition, and by itself
takes away sin and unites the soul with God, and the love of desire
which terminates on the good received from God. The first considers
God as the sovereign good in himself; the second considers him
directly and explicitly as the source and giver of good to us. It
manifests itself as an efficacious desire for the rewards of
everlasting life, accompanied by a fear of the punishment of sin in
the future state, and is the principle of imperfect contrition or
attrition, which of itself does not suffice for justification, though
it is a sufficient condition for receiving grace through the appointed
sacraments. The Catholic teachers of mystical theology direct the soul
principally and as their chief purpose toward the higher and more
perfect love. The second object is included in this first object, and
taken for granted. It is not excluded, but comparatively neglected,
because it follows of itself from the first, and is sought for by the
natural, necessary law of our being, without any need of direct,
explicit efforts. The resignation, forgetfulness of private interests,
self-annihilation, so strongly recommended, do not denote any
suppression or destruction of our natural beatific impulses, but only
of our own personal notions, wishes, and interests in respect to such
things as are merely means to the attainment of an end, a conformity
of our will to the will of God, and an abandonment of solicitude
respecting our own future happiness, founded on filial confidence in
the wisdom and goodness of God.

It follows from this doctrine of sound, mystical writers that the
quietude of the state of contemplation and union with God is totally
opposite to a condition of apathy and sloth. It is a state of more
tranquil activity, of more steady and therefore more imperceptible yet
more rapid movement. Previously the soul was like a boat propelled by
oars against wind and tide. Now it is like a yacht sailing with a
press of canvas under a strong and fair breeze.

So far as the imprudent misuse of mystical theology is concerned, we
need not waste words on a truism of spiritual direction, that
beginners and unlearned, inexperienced persons must follow the counsel
of a guide, if they can have it. If not, they must direct themselves
as well as they can by good books, which will instruct them gradually
and soberly in the first principles of solid virtue and piety, and
afterwards lead them on to perfection. They cannot have a better guide
than _Sancta Sophia_. It is a book that will last for years, and even
for a lifetime; for it is a guide along the whole way, from the gate
at the entrance to the river of death, for such as are really and
earnestly seeking to attain perfection by prayer, and desire to lead
an interior life amid the external occupations, duties, and trials of
their state in life, or even in the most strict cloistral seclusion.
The exterior persecutions to which the church is subject, the
disorders of the times, and the multifarious troubles of every kind,
both outward and inward, to which great numbers of the best-disposed
and most virtuous people are subjected, have an effect to throw
thoughtful persons on the interior life as a refuge and solace. Pius
IX., whose long experience and great sanctity, as well as his divine
office, make him as a prophet of God to all devout Catholics, has told
us that the church is now going through the exercises of the purgative
way as a preparation for receiving great gifts from the Holy Spirit,
which will accompany a new and glorious triumph of the kingdom of
Jesus Christ on the earth. Whatever external splendor the reign of
Christ over this world may exhibit, it is in the hearts of men that
his spiritual royalty has its seat. There is nothing on earth for
which, so to speak, he really cares, except the growth of the souls of
men. The world and the church were made for this purpose. The wisdom
of the ancients was an adumbration of the truth, and that doctrine
which teaches the full and complete form of it alone deserves to be
called in the highest sense wisdom, and to win the love and admiration
of all men for its celestial beauty.


     [14] _Sancta Sophia; or, Directions for the Prayer of
     Contemplation, etc._ Extracted out of more than forty
     treatises written by the late Father Augustin Baker, a monk
     of the English Congregation of the Holy Order of St.
     Benedict; and methodically digested by R. F. Serenus Cressy.
     Doway, A.D. 1657. Now edited by the Very Rev. Dom Norbert
     Sweeney, D.D., of the same order and congregation. London:
     Burns & Oates. 1876. New York: The Catholic Publication
     Society.

     [15] P. 492, note.

     [16] _L’Abandon à la Providence Divine_, pp. 164-167.

     [17] Complete Works, Lewis’ Trans., vol. ii. p. 75.

     [18] _Ib._ pp. 158, 159.

     [19] Complete Works, etc., vol. ii. pp. 267-270.

     [20] Complete Works, vol. ii pp. 198, 199.



  EVENING ON THE SEA-SHORE.

  FROM THE FRENCH OF VISCOUNT DE CHATEAUBRIAND.


  The woods, the sand-beach desolate and bare,
      Blend dusky with the shadows dim and far,
      And, glittering from the depths, the evening star
  Gleams solitary through the silent air.

  Westward, and sparkling under purest skies,
      Foams on the long, low reef the line of white;
      And towards the north, o’er seas of crystal light,
  The gathering mist of deepening purple flies.

  The mountains redden still with sunset fire,
      Soft dies the plaintive breeze in murmurs low,
      And, each to each linked in their gentle flow,
  The waves roll calmly shoreward and expire.

  All grandeur, mystery, love! In this, the time
      Of dying day, all nature with her state
      Of mountain ranges and her forests great,
  The eternal order and the plan sublime,

  Stands like a temple on whose walls of light
      The beauties of creation’s day are shown――
      A sanctuary, where is the Godhead’s throne
  Veiled by the curtains of the holy night

  Whose cupola high to the zenith towers,
      A glorious harmony, a work divine,
      And painted with the heavenly hues that shine
  In dawns, in rainbows, and in summer flowers.



LETTERS OF A YOUNG IRISHWOMAN TO HER SISTER.

FROM THE FRENCH.


NOVEMBER 2.

  “Voici les feuilles sans sève
  Qui tombent sur le gazon.”[21]

What a solemn day to the Christian is All Souls’ day! I prayed much,
very much, for all our dear friends in the other world. Oh! how I pity
the suffering souls consumed by the flames of purgatory. They have
seen God; they have had a glimpse of his glory on the day of their
judgment; they long for the Supreme Good with unutterable ardor. What
torment! And some there are who will be in those lakes of fire even to
the end of the world. We can do nothing but offer our prayers, and
they bring deliverance! Who would not devote themselves to the
suffering souls? What misfortune more worthy of pity than theirs? I
love the “Helpers of the Holy Souls!”[22] It is to me a great
happiness to be united with them in thought, prayer, and action. A
thousand memories have come into my mind; there have passed before me
all my beloved dead, all the dead whom I have known or whom I have
once seen. How numerous they are, and yet I have not been living so
very long. Each day thins our ranks, links drop off from the chain.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord!

Here is winter upon us――melancholy winter, which makes poor mothers
weep.

Meditated yesterday on the joys of the love of Jesus, which in Holy
Communion melts our heart like two pieces of wax into one only――Jesus,
the only true friend, who consoles and sustains, and without whom all
is vanity. The Christian who has prayer and Communion ought to live in
perpetual gladness of heart.

I must confess to you, my Kate, that I envy Johanna, Berthe, and Lucy.
They allow me to share largely in their maternal joys, but these
treasures in which I take such pleasure, why are they not my own? I
felt sad about it yesterday, and murmured to myself these lines of
Brizeux:

  “Jours passés, que chacun rappelle avec des larmes,
   Jours qu’en vain on regrette, aviez vous tant des charmes?
   Ou les vents troublaient-ils aussi votre clarté,
   Et l’ennui du présent fait-il votre beauté”[23]

René was behind me. “What, then, do you regret, my Georgina?” I told
him all, and how gently and sweetly he comforted me――as you would, my
Kate! Poor feeble reed that I am, I lean upon you.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary protect us, dear sister!


NOVEMBER 13.

Eleven days between my two letters, my note-book tells me. Happily,
René has taken my place, and you are aware in what occupations I have
been absorbed, dear Kate. The poor are becoming quite a passion with
me. I catechise them, I clothe them; it is so delightful to lavish
one’s superabundance on the disinherited ones of this world! To-morrow
we go to Nantes to take leave of our saintly friend Elizabeth, who
will shortly depart for Louisiana. She has received permission to come
and bid adieu to her mother――perhaps a lifelong adieu; for who can say
whether she will return? I have had a letter from Ellen, giving me
many details of her sojourn in the Highlands. The wound is still
bleeding. The sight of a child makes her weep; and in her dreams she
sees her son. May God support her!

To-day is St. Stanislaus――the gentle young saint whose feast Margaret
pointed out to me with a hope which is not realized. Our dear
_Anglaise_ wanted to have us _all together_ in her princely dwelling.
The absence of the _Adrien family_, Lucy’s journey――all these
dispersions have disarranged the grand project. And yet there are
moments when I experience a kind of home-sickness――a thirst to see our
dear Erin again, a longing to live under my native sky――which tells
upon my health. Do not pity me too much, Kate; I possess all the
elements of happiness which could be brought together in a single
existence. I love the seraphic Stanislaus, holding in his arms the
infant Jesus. O great saint! give me a little of your love of God, a
little of your fervent piety, that I may detach myself from the world!
I am afraid of loving it too much, my sister. The day before yesterday
was the feast of St. Martin――this hero whose history is so poetic. I
like to think of this mantle, cut in two to clothe a poor man, and of
our Lord appearing that night to the warrior, who in the Saviour’s
vestment recognized the half of his mantle. Kind St. Martin! giving us
a second summer, which I find delightful, loving as I do the warm and
perfumed breezes of the months that have long days, and regretting the
return of winter with its ice, when, shivering in well-closed rooms,
one thinks of the poor without fire and shelter. Dear _poor of the
good God_![24] Margaret shares my fondness for them. Never in our
Brittany will the sojourn of this sweet friend be forgotten.

What noise! _Adieu_, my sister; _Erin go bragh!_


NOVEMBER 17.

You have heard the joyful tidings, Kate dearest――the triumph of
Mentana? Gertrude writes to us. _Adrien_ and his two sons fought like
lions, and his courageous wife followed the army, waiting on the
wounded, praying for her dear ones, who had not a scratch! They were
afterwards received in private audience by the Holy Father, who seemed
to them more saintly and sublime than ever. God does indeed do all
things well! All these loving hearts, torn by the departure of Hélène,
have recovered their happiness, are enthusiastic in their heroism and
devotion, have been violently snatched from all selfish regrets, and
have enriched themselves with lifelong memories. Mgr. Dupanloup has
written to the clergy of his diocese, ordering thanksgivings to be
offered in the churches; and the holy and illustrious Pius IX. has
written to the eloquent bishop, to whom he sends his thanks and
benediction.

Truly, joy has succeeded to sorrow. But how guilty is Europe! Can you
conceive such inertia in the face of this struggle between strength
and weakness? Our good _abbé_ is in possession of all the _mandements_
(or charges) of the bishops of France. He is making a collection of
them. Yesterday he quoted to me the following passage from that of
Mgr. de Perpignan: “Princes of the earth, envy not the crown of Rome!
One of the greatest of this world’s potentates was fain to try it on
the brow of his son, and placed it on his cradle; but it weighed too
heavily on that frail existence, and the child, to whom the father’s
genius promised a brilliant future, withered away, and died at the age
of twenty years”; and this other by Mgr. de Périgueux: “When God sends
great trials upon his church, he raises up men capable of sustaining
them. We are in one of these times of trial, and we have Pius IX.”

Dear Isa sends me four pages, all impregnated with sanctity. Her life
is one long holocaust; all her aspirations tend to one end, and one
that I fear she will not attain. God will permit this for his glory.
How much good may one soul do! I see it by Isa. Her life is one of the
fullest and most sanctified that can be; she sacrifices herself hour
by hour, giving herself little by little, as it were, and yet all at a
time. Ellen is starting for Hyères; she is mortally stricken. They
deceived themselves with regard to her. She herself, overwhelmed for a
time by the side of that cradle changed into a death-bed, did her best
to look forward cheerfully to the future. Her last letter, received
only fifteen days afterwards, and which was long and affectionate,
appeared to me mysterious; she spoke so much of _outward_ things.
Dear, dear Ellen! I wish I could see her. Impossible, alas! Isa’s
letter is dated the 10th. The sad, dying one must have crossed the
Channel that same day. There is something peculiarly sorrowful in the
thought of death with regard to this young wife, going away to die far
from her home, her country, and her family, beneath mild and genial
skies, where life appears so delightful. Her state is such as to allow
of no hope, but her husband wishes to try this last remedy. The little
angel in heaven awaits his mother.

A terrible gale――quite a tempest. I am thinking of the poor mariners.
These howlings of the wind, these gusts which rush through the long
corridors, resemble wild complaints; one would think that all the
elements, let loose, weep and implore. O holy Patroness of sailors!
take pity on them.

Visits all the week――pious visits, such as I love. My heart attaches
itself to this country.

Let us praise the Lord, dear Kate! May he preserve to Ireland her
faith and her love! There is no slavery for Christian hearts.


NOVEMBER 19.

A line from Karl――one heart-rending plaint, thrown into the post at
Paris after Ellen had received your last kiss. “Pray,” he says to me,
“not for this soul, of whom I was not worthy, and who is going to
rejoin her son, but for my weakness, which alarms me.” René wept with
me. Oh! how sad is earth to him who remains alone. The same thought of
anguish and apprehension seized us both. Ah! dearest, let your prayers
preserve to me him in whom I live.

_Saint Elizabeth_, “the dear saint,” this fair and lovely flower of
Hungary transplanted into Thuringia, there to shed such sweetness of
perfume! I have been thinking of her, of her poetic history, of all
that M. de Montalembert has written about her――the veritable life of a
saint, traced out with poetry and love. You remember that St.
Elizabeth was one of the chosen heroines of my childhood. I could wish
that I had borne her name. I used to dream of becoming a saint like
her. What an unparalleled life hers was! Dying so young, she appeared
before God rich in merits. Born in the purple, the beloved daughter of
the good King Andrew, and afterwards Duchess of Thuringia; united to
the young Duke Louis, also so good and holy, so well suited to the
pure and radiant star of Hungary seen by the aged poet; then a widow
at nineteen years of age, and driven from her palace with her little
children, drinking to its dregs the cup of bitterness and anguish――my
dear saint knew suffering in its most terrible and poignant form. How
I love her, from the moment when the good King Andrew, taking in his
arms the cradle of solid gold in which his Elizabeth was sleeping,
placed it in those of the Sire de Varila, saying, “I entrust to your
knightly honor my dearest consolation,” until the time when I find
her, clad in the poor habit of the Seraph of Assisi, reading a letter
of St. Clare! What an epoch was that thirteenth century, that age of
faith, when the throne had its saints, when there was in the souls of
men a spring of energy and of religious enthusiasm which peopled the
monasteries and renewed the face of the earth! Who will obtain for me
the grace to love God as did Elizabeth? O dear saint! pray for me, for
René, Karl, Ellen, the church, France, Ireland, the universe.

Here is something, dear sister, which I think would comfort Karl:

“To desire God is the essential condition of the human heart; to go to
God is his life; to contemplate God is his beatitude. To desire God is
the noble appanage of our nature; to go to God is the work which grace
effects within us; to contemplate God is our state of glory. To desire
God is the principle of good; to go to God is the way of good; to
contemplate God is the perfection of good.

“God is everything to the soul. The soul breathes: God is her
atmosphere. The soul needs nourishment and wherewith to quench her
thirst: God is her daily bread and her spring of living water. The
soul moves on: God is her way. The soul thinks and understands: God is
her truth. The soul speaks――God is her word; she loves――God is her
love.”[25]

Exquisite thoughts! Oh! love, the love of God, can replace everything.
May we be kindled with this love, dear sister of my life!


NOVEMBER 22.

My sweet one, I love to keep my festivals with you! Yesterday, the
Presentation of Mary in the Temple, we spent here _in retreat_――a
retreat, according to all rules, preached by a monsignor! René is
writing you the details. I am not clever at long descriptions; with
you especially it is always on confidential matters that I like to
write――the history of my soul, my thoughts, my impressions.

What a heavenly festival! How, on this day of the Presentation, must
the angels have rejoiced at beholding this young child of Judea,
scarcely entered into life, and yet already so far advanced in the
depths of divine science, consecrating herself to God! How must you, O
St. Anne! the happy mother of this immaculate child, have missed her
presence! This sunbeam of your declining years, this flower sprung
from a dried-up stem, this virgin lily whose fragrance filled your
dwelling, all at once became lost to you. Ah! I can understand the
bitterness which then flowed in upon your soul, and it seems to me
that for this sacrifice great must be your glory in heaven!

To-day, St. Cecilia, the sweet martyr saint, patroness of musicians,
the Christian heroine, mounting to heaven by a blood-stained way.
Louis Veuillot, in _Rome and Loretto_, speaking of the “St. Cecilia”
of Raphael, calls it “one of the most thoroughly beautiful pictures in
the world.” “The saint,” he says, “is really a saint; one never
wearies of contemplating the perfect expression with which she listens
to the concert of angels, and breaks, by letting them fall from her
hands, the instruments of earthly music.” Kate, do you remember the
museum at Bologna, and how we used to stand gazing at this page of
Raphael?

I am reading Bossuet with René. What loftiness of views! What
vehemence of thought! Another consolation for Karl: “Death gives us
much more than he takes away: he takes away this passing world, these
vanities which have deceived us, these pleasures which have led us
astray; but we receive in return the wings of the dove, that we may
fly away and find our rest in God.” Hélène had copied these lines into
her journal, and remarked upon them as follows: “Beautiful thought!
which enchants my soul, and makes me more than ever desire that hour
for which, according to Madame Swetchine, we ought to live; that day
when my true life will begin, far from the earth, where nothing can
satisfy the intensity of my desires.” We are going to travel about a
little, and visit the funeral cemetery of Quiberon and various other
points of our Brittany, so rich in memories. I am packing up my things
with the pleasure of a child, assisted by the gentle Picciola and
pretty little Alix, whom I have surnamed Lady-bird.[26] One of my
Bengalese is ill, and all the young ones are interested about it,
wanting to kiss and caress it, and give it dainty morsels, but nothing
revives the poor little thing. Ah! dear Kate, this Indian bird dying
in Brittany makes me think of Ellen, a thousand times more lovable and
precious, and who is also bending her fair head to die.

Sister, friend, mother, all that is best, most tender, and beloved,
God grant to us to die the same day, that together we may see again
the kind and excellent mother who confided me to your love.


DECEMBER 2.

Here we are, home again, in the most _Advent-like_ weather that ever
was. We have seen beautiful things; we have lived in the ideal, in the
true and beautiful, in minds, in scenery, in poetry, and music――in a
feast of the understanding, the eyes, and the heart. But with what
pleasure we have again beheld our _home_, so calm, so pious, and so
grand! It is only two hours since I took possession of my rooms. We
found here piles of letters; René is reading them to me while I am
saying good-morning to you――Kate, dearest, _you_ first of all; this
beautiful long letter which I reverently kiss, which I touch with
delight; it has been with you; it has _seen you_! How I want to see
you again!

A letter from Ireland from Lizzy, who is anxious about Ellen.

Alas! her anxiety is only too well founded. Karl writes to me that
Ellen grows weaker every day; strength is gradually leaving the body,
while the soul is fuller of life and energy than ever before, and
preparing for her last journey with astonishing serenity, and also
preparing for it him who is the witness of her departure. In a firm
hand she has added a few lines to the confidences of Karl: “Dear
Georgina, will you not come and see me at Hyères? Your presence would
help me to quit this poor earth, here so fair, which I would always
inhabit on account of my good Karl. The will of our Father be done!
Tender messages to Kate and to your good husband. Pray for me.”

Poor, sweet Ellen! How can I refuse this last prayer? But there is no
time to be lost; René will consult my mother. Ah! my sister, pray that
this journey may be possible, and that the angel of death may not so
soon pluck this charming flower which we love so much.

_Evening._――How good God is! We are _all_ going; my mother wishes it
to be so. “I do not,” she said to me, “want to have any distance
between you and me.” The winter is so severe that my sisters are glad
to get their children away from the season which is setting in. I am
writing to Lizzy and to Karl. We shall be at Hyères next week. Pray
with us, beloved.


DECEMBER 12.

Arrived, dear Kate, without accident, and all installed in a beautiful
_chalet_ near to that of Ellen, who welcomed us with joy. Karl had
gently prepared her for this meeting. How thin she has become!――still
beautiful, white, transparent; her fine, melancholy eyes so often
raised, by preference, to heaven, her hands of marble whiteness, her
figure bending. She would come as far as to the door of her room to
meet us, and there it was that I embraced her and felt her tears upon
my cheek. “God be praised!” These were her first words. Then she was
placed on her reclining-chair, and by degrees was able to see all the
family. I was trembling for the impression the children might make
upon her; but she insisted. Well, dearest, she caressed, admired,
listened to them, without any painful emotion or thought of herself;
one feels that she is already in heaven. Every day, by a special
permission granted by Pius IX., Mass is said in a room adjoining hers.
The removal of a large panel enables her to be present at the Holy
Sacrifice. This first moment was very sweet. In spite of this fading
away, which is more complete than I could have imagined it, to find
her _living_ when I had so dreaded that it might be otherwise, was in
itself happiness; but when I had become calm, how much I felt
impressed! Karl’s resignation is admirable. René compels me to stop,
finding me pale enough to frighten any one. Love me, my dearest!


DECEMBER 20.

Dearest sister, Ellen remains in the same state――a flickering lamp,
and so weak that René and I are alone admitted into this chamber of
death, which Karl now never leaves. Yesterday Ellen entreated him to
take a little rest, and he went out, suffocated by sobs, followed by
René; then the sufferer tried to raise herself so as to be still
nearer to me. I leaned my head by hers and kissed her. “Dear Georgina,
thanks for coming. You will comfort Karl. Do not weep for me; mine is
a happy lot: I am going to Robert. Ah! look, he comes, smiling and
beautiful as he was before his illness; he stretches out his arms to
me. I come! I come!” And she made a desperate effort, as if to follow
him. I thought the last hour was come, and called. René and Karl
hastened in; but the temporary delirium had passed, and Ellen began
again to speak of her joy at our being together.

The window is open. I am writing near the bed where our saint is
dying. The weather is that of Paradise, as Picciola says――flowers and
birds, songs and verdure. It is spring, and death is here, ready to
strike.


DECEMBER 25.

_Sic nos amantem, quis non redamaret?_ Ellen departed to heaven while
René was singing these words[27] after the Midnight Mass. This death
is life and gladness. I am by _her_, near to that which remains to us
of Ellen. Lucy and I have adorned her for the tomb; we have clothed
her in the white lace robe which was her mother’s present to her, and
arranged for the last time her rich and abundant hair, which Karl
himself has cut. It is, then, true that all is over, and that this
mouth is closed for ever. She died without suffering, after having
received the Beloved of her soul. What a night! I had a presentiment
of this departure. For two days past I have lived in her room, my eyes
always upon her, and listening to her affectionate recommendations. On
the 23d we spoke of St. Chantal――that soul so ardent and so strong in
goodness, so heroic among all others, who had a full portion of
crosses, and who knew so truly how to love and suffer. On the 24th a
swallow came and warbled on the marble chimney-piece. “I shall fly
away like her, but I shall go to God,” murmured Ellen. At two o’clock
the same day her confessor came; we left her for a few minutes, and I
had a sort of fainting fit which frightened René. Karl’s grief quite
overcame me. Towards three o’clock Ellen seemed to be a little
stronger; she took her husband’s hand, and, in a voice of tenderness
which still resounds in my ear, said to him slowly: “Remember that God
remains to you, and that my soul will not leave you. Love God alone;
serve him in the way he wills. Robert and I will watch over your
happiness.” She hesitated a little; all her soul looked from her eyes:
“Tell me that _you will be a priest_; that, instead of folding
yourself up in your regrets, you will spend yourself for the salvation
of souls, you will spread the love of Him who gives me strength to
leave you with joy to go to him!” Karl was on his knees. “I promise it
before God!” he said. The pale face of the dying one became tinged
with color, and she joined her hands in a transport of gratitude; then
she requested me to write at her dictation to Lizzy, Isa, Margaret,
and Kate. Her poor in Ireland were not forgotten. She became animated,
and seemed to revive, breathing with more ease than for some time
past. She received “all the dear neighbors,” said a few heartfelt
words to each, asked for the blessing of our mother, who would not
absent herself any more, and shared our joys and sorrows. The doctor
came; René went back with him. “It will be to-morrow, if she can last
until then.” O my God! And the night began――this solemn night of the
hosanna of the angels, of the Redeemer’s birth. I held one of her
hands, Karl the other; my mother and René were near us, our brothers
and sisters in the room that is converted into a chapel. At eleven
o’clock I raised the pillows, and began reading, at the request of
Ellen, a sermon upon death. After the first few lines she stopped me
with a look; Karl was pale again. The dear, dying one asked us to
sing. Kate, we were so _electrified_ by Ellen’s calmness that we
obeyed! She tried to join her voice to ours. The priest came; the Mass
began. Ellen, radiant, followed every word. We all communicated with
her. After the Mass she kissed us all, keeping Karl’s head long
between her hands――her poor little alabaster hands; then, at her
request, René sang the _Adeste_: “_Sic nos amantem, quis non
redamaret?_” At this last word Ellen kissed the crucifix for the last
time and fled away into the bosom of God. The priest had made the
recommendation of the soul a little before. Oh! those words, “Go
forth, Christian soul!”

_Excelsior!_ Let us love each other, dear Kate.


DECEMBER 29.

“In Rama was a voice heard, weeping and lamentation: Rachel weeping
for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
Poor mothers of Bethlehem, what must you not have suffered! But you,
ye “flowers of martyrdom,” as the church salutes you――you who follow
the Lamb whithersoever he goeth――how happy were you to die for him who
had come to die for you!

Dear sister, we followed her to the church, and then Karl and René set
out, taking this coffin with them to Ireland. The family have wished
it thus. This sorrowful journey has a double object: Karl is going to
settle his affairs, and in two months at most he will enter the
_Séminaire des Missions Etrangères_, the preparatory college of the
foreign missions. He will see you at that time. He was sublime. God
has been with us, and the soul of Ellen shone upon these recent
scenes. My mother would not consent to my going also. I was weaker
than I thought. On returning to the _chalet_ I was obliged to go to
bed. What an inconvenience I should have been to the dear travellers!
But how sad it is to end a year, a first year of marriage, without
René! This beautiful sky, this luxuriant nature, all the poetry of the
south, which I love so much――all this appears to me still more
beautiful since that holy death. Why were you not with us? There are
inexpressible things. I have understood something of what heaven is.
Sweet Ellen! What peace was in her death, what suavity in her words! I
did not leave her after her death, but remained near her bed, where I
had so much admired her. I tried to warm her hand, to recall her
glance, her smile, until the appearance of the gloomy coffin. O my
God! how must Karl have suffered. Those hammer-strokes resounded in my
heart!

Dear, she is with God; she is happy. Sweet is it thus to die with
Jesus in the soul. It is Paradise begun.

I embrace you a hundred times, my Kate. We had some earth from
Ireland, and some moss from Gartan, to adorn Ellen’s coffin. O death!
where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?


JANUARY 1, 1868.

O my God! pardon me, bless me, and bless all whom I love.

Dear sister of my soul, the anniversary of my marriage has passed
without my having been able to think of it to thank you again for your
share in making my happiness. But you know well how I love you! It is
the 1st of January, and I wish to begin the year with God and with
you. May all your years be blessed, dearest, the angel Raphael of the
great journey of my life! I have wished to say, in union with you, as
I did a year ago, the prayer of Bossuet: “O Jesus! by the ardent
thirst thou didst endure upon the cross, grant me a thirst for the
souls of all, and only to esteem my own on account of the holy
obligation imposed upon me not to neglect a single one. I desire to
love them all, since they are all capable of loving thee; and it is
thou who hast created them with this blessed capacity.” I said on my
knees the last thought copied by Ellen in the beautiful little volume
which she called _Kate’s book_: “Everything must die――sweetness,
consolation, repose, tenderness, friendship, honor, reputation.
Everything will be repaid to us a hundred-fold; but everything must
first die, everything must first be sacrificed. When we shall have
lost all in thee, my God, then shall we again find all in thee.”

Yesterday the _Adrien family_ arrived. What nice long conversations we
shall all have! George and Amaury have been heroic. All are in need of
repose. How delightful it is to meet again _en famille!_ And René is
far away. May God be with him, with you, and with us, dear Kate!


JANUARY 6.

Need I tell you about the first day of this year, beloved? Scarcely
had I finished writing to you than the children made an irruption into
my room. Then oh! what kissing, what outcries of joy, what smiles and
clapping of hands, at the sight of the presents arrived from Paris,
thanks to the good Vincent, who has made himself wonderfully useful.
How much I enjoyed it all! Then, on going to my mother, she blessed me
and gave me a letter from René, together with an elegantly-chased cup
of which I had admired the model. Then in the drawing-room all the
greetings, and our poor (for my passion follows me everywhere), and
your letter, with those from Ireland and Brittany (from the good
_curé_ who has charge of our works)――what delight for the whole day!
Karl thanks me for having copied for him these consoling words: “No;
whatever cross we may have to bear in the Christian life, we never
lose that blessed peace of the heart which makes us willingly accept
all that we suffer, and no longer desire any of the enjoyments of
which we are deprived.” It is Fénelon who says that.

We have been making some acquaintances, amongst others that of a young
widow who is spending the winter here on account of her daughter, a
frail young creature of an ideal beauty――graceful, smiling, and
affectionate; a white rose-bud half open. Her blue, meditative eyes
remind me of Ellen’s. This interesting widow (of an officer of rank)
knows no one, with the exception of the doctor. Her isolation excited
our compassion. Lucy made the first advances, feeling attracted by the
sadness of the unknown lady. Now the two families form but one.
Picciola and _Duchesse_ have invited the sweet little Anna to share
their lessons and their play. Her mother never leaves her for a
moment; this child is her sole joy.

The 3d, Feast of St. Geneviève: read her life with the children. What
a strong and mortified soul! I admire St. Germanus distinguishing, in
the midst of the crowd, this poor little Geneviève who was one day to
be so great. Is not this attraction of holy souls like a beginning of
the eternal union?

Yesterday, St. Simon Stylites, that incomparable penitent separated
from the world, living on a lofty column, between heaven and earth.
Thus ought we also to be, in spirit, on a column――that of love and
sacrifice.

I am sad about my first separation from René, and for so sorrowful a
cause. That which keeps me from weeping is the certainty of Ellen’s
happiness, and also the thought that from heaven she sees René and
Karl together.

To-day is the Epiphany――this great festival of the first centuries,
and that of our call to Christianity. Gold, frankincense, myrrh, the
gifts of the happy Magi, those men of good-will who followed the
star――symbolic and mysterious gifts: the gold of love, the incense of
adoration, the myrrh of sacrifice――why cannot I also offer these to
the divine Infant of the stable of Bethlehem? Would that I had the
ardent faith of those Eastern sages――the faith which stops at nothing,
which sees and comes! And the legendary souvenirs of the bean, an
ephemeral royalty which causes so much joy!

My mother is fond of the old traditions. We have had a kingcake.[28]
_Anna_ had the bean; she offered the royalty to Arthur. Cheerful
evening. Mme. de Clissey was less sad. We accompanied her back to her
house _in choir_.

Good-night, beloved sister; I am going to say my prayers and go to
sleep.


JANUARY 12.

René will be in Paris on the 15th, darling Kate. He will tell you
about Karl, Lizzy, Isa, all our friends, and then I shall have him
again! Adrien is reading Lamartine to us; I always listen with
enchantment. What poetry! It flows in streams; it is sweet, tender,
melancholy, moaning; it sings with nature, with the bird, with the
falling leaf, the murmuring stream, the sounding bell, the sighing
wind; it weeps with the suffering heart, and prays with the pleading
soul. Oh! how is it that this poet could stray aside from his heavenly
road, and burn incense on other altars? How could he leave his
Christian lyre――he who once sang to God of his faith and love in
accents so sublime? Will he not one day recover the sentiments and
emotions of his youth, when he went in the footsteps of his mother to
the house of God

  _Offrir deux purs encens, innocence et bonheur._[29]

The _Harmonies_ are rightly named. I never read anything more
harmoniously sweet, more exquisite in cadence. How comes it that he
should have lost his faith where so many others have found it――in that
journey to the East, from which he ought to have returned a firmer
Catholic, a greater poet? Could it be that the death of his daughter,
she who was his future, his joy, his dearest glory, overthrew
everything within him? O my God! this lyre has, almost divinely, sung
of thee; thou wilt not suffer its last notes to be a blasphemy. Draw
all unto thyself, Lord Jesus, and let not the brows marked by the seal
of genius be stamped eternally with that of reprobation!

Mme. de Clissey has told us her history; you must hear it, since your
kind heart is interested in these two new friends of your Georgina.
Madame is Roman, and has been brought up in Tuscany. You know the
proverb: “A Tuscan tongue in a Roman mouth.”[30] Her mother made a
misalliance, was cast off by her family after her husband’s death, and
the poor woman hid at Florence her loneliness and tears. Thanks to her
talents as a painter, she was enabled to secure to Marcella a solid
and brilliant education; but her strength becoming rapidly exhausted
by excessive labor, Marcella, when scarcely sixteen years of age, saw
her mother expire in her arms. She remained alone, under the care of a
venerable French priest, who compassionated her great misfortune, and
obtained for his _protégée_ an honorable engagement. She was taken as
governess to her daughter by a rich duchess, who, after being in
ecstasies about her at first, cast her aside as a useless plaything.
Her pupil, however, a very intelligent and affectionate child, became
the sole and absorbing interest of the orphan; but the young girl’s
attachment to her mistress excited the jealousy of the proud duchess,
who contrived to find a pretext for excluding Marcella from the house.
Her kind protector then brought her to France, and, as it was
necessary that she should obtain her living, she entered as teacher in
a boarding-school in the south. A year afterwards a lady of high rank
engaged her to undertake the education of her daughters. She
thankfully accepted this situation, but had scarcely occupied it a
month before she was in a dying state from typhoid fever and
inflammation of the brain. For fifty-two days her life was in danger,
and for forty-eight hours she was in a state of lethargy, from which
she had scarcely returned, almost miraculously, to consciousness,
before she had to witness the death of the kind priest who alone, with
a Sister of Charity, had done all that it was possible to do to save
her life. What was to become of her? The slender means of which the
old man had made her his heir lasted only for the year of her
convalescence; she then unexpectedly made the acquaintance of a rich
widow who was desirous of finding a young girl as her companion,
promising to provide for her future. Marcella was twenty years of age;
the old lady took a great fancy to her, and took her to Paris and to
Germany. Unfortunately, the character of her protectress was not one
to inspire affection. Ill-tempered, fanciful, exacting, life with her
was intolerable. Her servants left her at the end of a month. Marcella
became the submissive slave of her domineering caprice, and was shut
up the whole day, having to replace the waiting-woman, adorn the
antique idol, enliven her, and play to her whatever she liked. In the
drawing-room, of an evening, she had to endure a thousand vexations;
at eleven o’clock the customary visitors took leave, and Marcella
examined the account-books of the house under the eye of the terrible
old dowager, who, moreover, could not sleep unless some one read to
her aloud. “Till five o’clock in the morning I used to read Cooper or
Scott.” What do you think of this anticipated purgatory, dear Kate?
Marcella, timid, and without any experience of life, tried to resign
herself to her lot, until at Paris M. de Clissey asked her to exchange
her dependent condition for a happy and honored life. She accepted his
offer, to the no small despair of the old lady, who loudly charged her
with ingratitude, and thought to revenge herself by not paying her the
promised remuneration. M. de Clissey triumphantly took away his
beautiful young bride to his native town. “It seemed to me as if I had
had a resurrection to another life. For ten years our happiness was
without alloy. But the cross, alas! is everywhere; and I am now, at
thirty-two years of age, a widow, with unspeakable memories and my
pretty little Anna, whose love is my consolation.”

Thank God! Marcella has friends also, and my mother wishes to propose
to her to live with us.

Kate, what a good, sweet, happy destiny God has granted us! How I pity
those orphans who have not, as I have, a sister to love them! Oh! may
God bless you, and render to you all the good that your kind heart has
done to me! Hurrah for Ireland! Erin mavourneen!


JANUARY 20.

I have recovered my happiness: René is here. I never weary of hearing
him, of rejoicing that I have him. Dearest, I am enchanted with what
he tells me about you. Tell me if ever two sisters loved each other as
we do? No; it is not possible.

Lord William, Margaret, Lizzy, Isa, all our friends beyond the sea,
are represented on my writing-table――under envelopes. Karl will come
back to us; he “is burning to belong to God.” You know all the
details: the father blessing the coffin of his daughter, the sister,
abounding in consolation――all these miracles of grace and love. O dear
Kate! how good God is.

What will you think of my boldness? Isa has often expressed regret at
her inability to read _Guérin_, as Gerty used to say; so I thought I
would attempt a translation. I write so rapidly that I shall soon be
at the end of my task. The souls of Eugénie and of Isa are too much
like those of sisters not to understand each other. These few days
spent in the society of the Solitary of Cayla have more than ever
attached me to that soul at the same time so ardent and so calm, a
furnace of Jove, concentrated upon his brother Maurice, who was taken
from him by death――alas! as if to prove once more that earth is the
place of tears, and heaven alone that of happiness.

  “Qu’est-ce donc que les jours pour valoir qu’on les pleure?”[31]

Hélène wrote to me on the 10th, Feast of St. Paul the Hermit, full of
admiration for the poetic history of this saint: the raven daily
bringing half a loaf to the solitary; the visit of St. Antony; St.
Paul asking if houses were still built; St. Antony exclaiming when he
returned to the monastery: “I have seen Elias; I have seen John in the
desert; I have seen Paul in Paradise”; the lions digging the grave of
this friend of God――what a poem!

René has brought me back the _Consolations_ of M. de Sainte-Beuve. How
is it that the poets of our time have not remained Christian? In his
_Souvenirs d’Enfance_ (“Memories of Childhood”) the author of the
_Consolations_ says to God:

  “Tu m’aimais entre tous, et ces dons qu’on désire,
   Ce pouvoir inconnu qu’on accorde à la lyre,
   Cet art mystérieux de charmer par la voix,
   Si l’on dit que je l’ai, Seigneur, je te le dois.”[32]

Karl tells me that he carefully keeps on his heart the last words
traced by Ellen. It is like the _testament_ of our saintly darling,
whom I seem still to see. I had omitted to mention this. The evening
before her death, after I had written by her side the solemn and
touching effusions for those who had not, like us, been witnesses of
the admirable spectacle of her deliverance, the breaking of the bonds
which held her captive in this world of sorrows, Ellen asked me to let
her write. Ten minutes passed in this effort, this victorious
wrestling of the soul over sickness and weakness. On the sealed
envelope which she then gave me was written one word only――“Karl.”
Would you like to have this last adieu, Kate? How I have kissed these
two almost illegible lines:

“My beloved husband, I leave you this counsel of St. Bernard for your
consolation: ‘Holy soul, remain alone, in order that thou mayest keep
thyself for Him alone whom thou hast chosen above all!’”

What a track of light our sweet Ellen has left behind her! Love me,
dearest Kate!


JANUARY 25.

We leave in a week, my dearest Kate. René made a point of returning to
the south, whose blue sky we shall not quit without regret; and also
he wished to pray once more with us in Ellen’s room. Karl does not
wish the _Chalet of souvenirs_ to pass into strange hands. He had
rented it for a year; René proposed to him to buy it, and the matter
was settled yesterday. I am writing to Mistress Annah, to lay
before her the offer of a good work, capable of tempting her
self-devotion――namely, that she should install herself at the
_chalet_, and there take in a few poor sick people, and we might
perhaps return thither. What do you think of this plan, dearest Kate?

We are all in love with Marcella and her pretty little girl, who are
glad to accompany us to Orleans. Gertrude has offered Hélène’s room to
our new friend, whose melancholy is gradually disappearing. It is
needless to say that she is by no means indifferent to Kate. You would
love her, dear sister, and bless God with me for having placed her on
our path. She has the head of an Italian Madonna, expressive,
sympathetic, sweet; her portrait will be my first work when we return
to Orleans.

On this day, eighteen centuries ago, St. Paul was struck to the earth
on his way to Damascus; he fell a persecutor of Christ, and arose an
apostle of that faith for which he would in due time give his life.
Let us also be apostles, my sister.

A visit from Sarah on her wedding journey. Who would have thought of
my seeing her here?

We prayed much for France on the ill-omened date of the 21st. O
dearest! if you were but to read M. de Beauchêne’s _Louis XVII._ It is
heartrending! Poor kings! It is the nature of mountain-tops to attract
the lightning. René has given to Marcella _Marie Antoinette_, by M. de
Lescure. Adrien has been reading it to us in the evenings. The grand
and mournful epic is related with a magical charm of style which I
find most attractive. Marie Antoinette, the calumniated queen, there
appears in all the purity and splendor of her beauty. This reading
left on my mind a deep impression of sadness. Poor queen! so great, so
sanctified. “The martyrology of the Temple cannot be written.” The
life of Marie Antoinette is full of contrasts; nothing could be fairer
than its dawn, nothing more enchanting than the picture of her
childhood, youth, and marriage――this latter the dream of the courts of
Austria and France, which made her at fifteen years old the triumphant
and almost worshipped Dauphiness. And yet what shadows darkened here
and there the radiant poem of her happy days! She went on increasing
in beauty; she became a mother; and beneath the delightful shades of
Trianon, “the Versailles of flowers which she preferred to the
Versailles of marble,” she came to luxuriate in the newly-found joys
which filled her heart. Then came a terrible grief, the sinister
precursor of the horrible tempests which were to burst upon the head
of this queen, so French, but whom her misguided people persisted in
calling _the foreigner_――the death of Maria Theresa the Great. What a
cruel destiny is that of queens! Marie Antoinette, whose heart was so
nobly formed for holy family joys, quitted her own at the age of
fifteen, going to live far from her mother, whom she was never to see
again, even at the moment when that heroic woman rendered up to God
the soul which had struggled so valiantly. The Revolution was there,
dreadful and menacing. Marie Antoinette began her militant and
glorious life, and the day came when “the monster” said with truth:
“The king has but one man near him, and that man is the queen.” O dear
Kate! the end of this history makes me afraid. What expiation will God
require of France for these martyrdoms?

And we are going away.… Shall we return?

We are to visit Fourvières, Ars, Paray-le-Monial, and first of all the
Grande Chartreuse――what a journey!――and _you_ afterwards. I am fond of
travelling――fond of the unknown, of beautiful views, movement, the
pretty, wondering eyes of the little ones, the halts, for one or two
days, in hotels, all the moving of the household which reminds me of
the pleasant time when I used to travel with my Kate. Dearest sister,
I long, I long to embrace you! Your kind, rare, and delightful
letters, which I learn by heart the first day, the feeling of that
nearness of our hearts to each other which nothing on earth can
separate――this is also you; but to _see_ you is sweeter than all the
rest.

Marcella wishes to be named in this letter. You know whether or not
the whole family loves Mme. Kate.

Send us your good angel during our wanderings, and believe in the
fondest affection of your Georgina.


TO BE CONTINUED.


     [21] “Behold the sapless leaves, which fall upon the turf.”

     [22] “_Dames Auxiliatrices du Purgatoire._”

     [23] Past days, which each of us recalls with tears,
          Days we regret in vain, had you so many charms?
          Or was your brightness also marred by winds,
          And doth our weariness of the present make you seem so fair?

     [24] In Brittany the poor are habitually called _les pauvres
     du Bon Dieu_.――TRANSL.

     [25] Mgr. de la Bouillerie

     [26] In French, _L’Oiseau du Bon Dieu_; in Catholic England,
     “Our Lady’s bird.”

     [27] In the hymn _Adeste fideles_.

     [28] _Gâteau des Rois_, “Twelfth-Cake.”

     [29] To offer two pure [grains of] incense: innocence and
     happiness.

     [30] The purest Italian, “_Lingua Toscana in bocca Romana_.”

     [31] What, then, are days, that they should deserve our
     tears?

     [32] “Thou lovedst me amongst all, and the gifts that men
     desire――this unknown power accorded to the lyre, this
     mysterious art of pleasing by the voice――if I am said to own
     it, Lord, I owe it all to thee.”



CHRISTINA ROSSETTI’S POEMS.[33]


Christina Rossetti is, we believe, the queen of the Preraphaelite
school, the literary department of that school at least, in England.
To those interested in Preraphaelites and Preraphaelitism the present
volume, which seems to be the first American edition of this lady’s
poems, will prove a great attraction. The school in art and literature
represented under this name, however, has as yet made small progress
among ourselves. It will doubtless be attributed to our barbarism, but
that is an accusation to which we are growing accustomed, and which we
can very complacently bear. The members of the school we know: Ruskin,
Madox Brown, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, all the other Rossettis,
Swinburne, Morris, and the rest; but we know no school. It has not yet
won enough pupils to establish itself among us, and we at best regard
it as a fashion that will pass away as have so many others: the low
shirt-collar, flowing locks, melancholy visage, and aspect of general
disgust with which, for instance, the imitators of Byron, in all save
his intellect, were wont to afflict us in the earlier portion of the
present century. The fact is, our English friends have a way of
running into these fashions that is perplexing, and that would seem to
indicate an inability on their part to judge for themselves of
literary or artistic merit. To-day Pope and Addison are the fashion;
to-morrow, Byron and Jeffreys; then Wordsworth and Carlyle; then
Tennyson and Macaulay; and now Rossetti, Swinburne, Morris, and their
kin, if they are not in the ascendant, gain a school, succeed in
making a great deal of noise about themselves, and in having a great
deal of noise made about them. It is the same with tailoring in days
when your tailor, like your cook, is an “artist.”

Surely the laws and canons of art are constant. The good is good and
the bad bad, by whomsoever written or wrought. Affectation cannot
cover poverty of thought or conception. A return to old ways, old
models, old methods, is good, provided we go deeper than the mere
fringe and trappings of such. How the name Preraphaelite first came we
do not know. It originated, we believe, in an earnest revolt against
certain viciousness in modern art. It was, if we mistake not, a
return, to a great extent, to old-time realism. The question is, How
far back did the originators of the movement go? If we take the strict
meaning of the word, Homer was a Preraphaelite; so was Virgil; so was
Horace; so were the Greek tragedians; so was Aristophanes. Apelles’
brush deceived the birds of heaven; Phidias made the marble live ages
before Raphael. Nay, how long before Raphael did the inspired prophets
catch the very breathings of God to men, and turn them into the music
and the religion of all time? These are surely Preraphaelites; yet we
find few signs of their teachings in this fussy, ardent, and
aggressive little modern English school.

We do not deny many gifts to certain members of the school. Swinburne,
for instance, seems capable of playing with words as he pleases, of
turning and tuning them into any form of melodious rhythm. But he
begins and ends with _words_. Dante Gabriel Rossetti has given us some
massive fragments, but nothing more. We look and say, “How much this
man might have done!” but there our admiration ceases. Morris has
written much and well, but he teases one with the antique. Set Byron
by the side of any or all of them, and at once they dwindle almost
into insignificance. Yet Byron wrote much that was worthless. He
wrote, however, more that was really great. He never played tricks
with words; he never allowed them to master him. He began the _Childe
Harold_ in imitation of Spenser; but he soon struck out so freely and
vigorously that, though it may be half heresy to say it, Spenser
himself was left far in the rear, and we believe that any intelligent
jury in these days would award a far higher prize to the _Childe
Harold_ than to the _Faerie Queen_. Byron was a born poet. Like all
great poets, undoubtedly, he owed much to art; but then art was always
his slave. He rose above it. The fault with our present poets, not
excepting even Tennyson, is that they are better artists than they are
poets. Consequently, they win little cliques and knots of admirers,
where others, as did Byron, win a world in spite of itself. It is all
the difference between genius and the very highest respectability.

Miss Rossetti we take to be a very good example of the faults and
virtues of her school. Here is a volume of three hundred pages, and it
is filled with almost every kind of verse, much of which is of the
most fragmentary nature. Some of it is marvellously beautiful; some
trash; some coarse; some the very breathing and inspiration of the
deep religion of the heart. In her devotional pieces she is
undoubtedly at her best. Surely a strong Catholic tradition must be
kept alive in this family. Her more famous brother sings of the
Blessed Virgin in a spirit that Father Faber might have envied, and in
verse that Father Faber never could have commanded. How she sings of
Christ and holy things will presently appear. But her other pieces are
not so satisfactory. The ultra-melancholy tone, the tiresome
repetitions of words and phrases that mark the school, pervade them.
Of melancholy as of adversity it may be said, “Sweet are its uses,”
provided “its uses” are not too frequent. An ounce of melancholy will
serve at any time to dash a ton of mirth.

But our friends the Preraphaelites positively revel in gloom. They are
for ever “hob and nob with Brother Death.” They seem to study a
skeleton with the keen interest of an anatomist. Wan ghosts are their
favorite companions, and ghosts’ walks their choice resorts. The
scenery described in their poems has generally a sad, sepulchral look.
There is a vast amount of rain with mournful soughing winds, laden
often with the voices of those who are gone. A favorite trick of a
Preraphaelite ghost is to stalk into his old haunts, only to discover
that after all people live in much the same style as when he was in
the flesh, and can manage to muster a laugh and talk about mundane
matters even though he has departed. Miss Rossetti treats us to
several such visits, and in each case the “poor ghost” stalks out
again disconsolate.

There is another Preraphaelite ghost who is fond of visiting, just on
the day of her wedding with somebody else, the lady who has jilted
him. The conversation carried on between the jilt and the ghost of the
jilted is, as may be imagined, hardly of the kind one would expect on
so festive an occasion. For our own part, we should imagine that the
ghost would have grown wiser, if not more charitable, by his visit to
the other world, and would show himself quite willing to throw at
least the ghost of a slipper after the happy pair.

Between the Preraphaelite ghosts and the Preraphaelite lovers there
seems really little difference. The love is of the most tearful
description; the lady, wan at the start, has to wait and wait a woful
time for the gentleman, who is always a dreadfully indefinite distance
away. Strange to say, he generally has to make the journey back to his
lady-love on foot. Of course on so long a journey he meets with all
kinds of adventures and many a lady gay who keep him from his true
love. She, poor thing, meanwhile sits patiently at the same casement
looking out for the coming of her love. The only difference in her is
that she grows wanner and more wan, until at length the tardy lover
arrives, of course, only to find her dead body being carried out, and
the good old fairy-story ending――that they were married and lived
happy ever after――is quite thrown out.

It will be judged from what we have said that, whatever merits the
Preraphaelite school of poetry may possess, cheerfulness is not one of
them. As a proof of this we only cull a few titles from the contents
of the book before us. “A Dirge” is the eighth on the list; then come
in due order, “After Death,” “The Hour and the Ghost,” “Dead before
Death,” “Bitter for Sweet,” “The Poor Ghost,” “The Ghost’s Petition,”
and so on. But Miss Rossetti is happily not all melancholy. The
opening piece, the famous “Goblin Market,” is thoroughly fresh and
charming, and, to our thinking, deserves a place beside “The Pied
Piper of Hamlin.” Is not this a perfect picture of its kind?

  “Laughed every goblin
   When they spied her peeping;
   Came towards her hobbling,
   Flying, running, leaping,
   Puffing and blowing,
   Chuckling, clapping, crowing,
   Clucking and gobbling,
   Mopping and mowing,
   Full of airs and graces,
   Pulling wry faces,
   Demure grimaces,
   Cat-like and rat-like,
   Ratel and wombat-like,
   Snail-paced in a hurry,
   Parrot-voiced and whistler,
   Helter-skelter, hurry-skurry,
   Chattering like magpies,
   Fluttering like pigeons,
   Gliding like fishes――
   Hugged her and kissed her;
   Squeezed and caressed her;
   Stretched up their dishes,
   Panniers and plates;
  ‘Look at our apples
   Russet and dun,
   Bob at our cherries,
   Bite at our peaches,
   Citrons and dates,
   Grapes for the asking,
   Pears red with basking
   Out in the sun,
   Plums on their twigs;
   Pluck them and suck them,
   Pomegranates, figs.’”

Of course this is not very high poetry, nor as such is it quoted here.
But it is one of many wonderful pieces of minute and life-like
painting that occur in this strange poem. From the same we quote
another passage as exhibiting what we would call a splendid fault in
the poet:

  “White and golden Lizzie stood,
   Like a lily in a flood――
   Like a rock of blue-veined stone
   Lashed by tides obstreperously;
   Like a beacon left alone
   In a hoary, roaring sea,
   Sending up a golden fire;
   Like a fruit-crowned orange-tree
   White with blossoms honey-sweet,
   Sore beset by wasp and bee;
   Like a royal virgin town,
   Topped with gilded dome and spire,
   Close beleaguered by a fleet,
   Mad to tug her standard down.”

Undoubtedly these are fine and spirited lines, and, some of them at
least, noble similes. What do they call up to the mind of the reader?
One of those heroic maidens who in history have led armies to victory
and relieved nations――a Joan of Arc leading a forlorn hope girt around
by the English. Any picture of this kind it would fit; but what is it
intended to represent? A little girl struggling to prevent the little
goblin-men from pressing their fatal fruits into her mouth! The statue
is far too large for the pedestal. Here is another instance of the
same, the lines of which might be taken from a Greek chorus:

  “Her locks streamed like the torch
   Borne by a racer at full speed,
   Or like the mane of horses in their flight,
   Or like an eagle when she stems the light
   Straight toward the sun,
   Or like a caged thing freed,
   Or like a flying flag when armies run.”

The locks that are like all these wonderful things are those of
Lizzie’s little sister Laura, who had tasted the fruits of the
goblin-men. How different from this is “The Convent Threshold”! It is
a strong poem, but of the earth earthy. As far as one can judge, it is
the address of a young lady to her lover, who is still in the world
and apparently enjoying a gay life. She has sinned, and remorse or
some other motive seems to have driven her within the convent walls.
She gives her lover admirable advice, but the old leaven is not yet
purged out, as may be seen from the final exhortation:

  “Look up, rise up; for far above
   Our palms are grown, our place is set;
   There we shall meet as once we met,
   And love with old familiar love.”――

Which may be a very pleasant prospect for separated lovers, but is
scarcely heaven.

The poem contains a strong contrast――and yet how weak a one to the
truly spiritual soul!――between the higher and the lower life.

  “Your eyes look earthward; mine look up.
   I see the far-off city grand,
   Beyond the hills a watered land,
   Beyond the gulf a gleaming strand
   Of mansions where the righteous sup
   Who sleep at ease among the trees,
   Or wake to sing a cadenced hymn
   With Cherubim and Seraphim;
   They bore the cross, they drained the cup,
   Racked, roasted, crushed, rent limb from limb――
   They, the off-scouring of the world:
   The heaven of starry heavens unfurled,
   The sun before their face is dim.

  “You, looking earthward, what see you?
   Milk-white, wine-flushed among the vines,
   Up and down leaping, to and fro,
   Most glad, most full, made strong with wines,
   Blooming as peaches pearled with dew,
   Their golden, windy hair afloat,
   Love-music warbling in their throat,
   Young men and women come and go.”

Something much more characteristic of the school to which Miss
Rossetti belongs is “The Poor Ghost,” some of which we quote as a
sample:

  “Oh! whence do you come, my dear friend, to me,
   With your golden hair all fallen below your knee,
   And your face as white as snow-drops on the lea,
   And your voice as hollow as the hollow sea?”

  “From the other world I come back to you,
   My locks are uncurled with dripping, drenching dew.
   You know the old, whilst I know the new:
   But to-morrow you shall know this too.”

       *     *     *     *     *

  “Life is gone, then love too is gone,
   It was a reed that I leant upon:
   Never doubt I will leave you alone
   And not wake you rattling bone with bone.”

But this is too lugubrious. There are many others of a similar tone,
but we prefer laying before the reader what we most admire. We have no
doubt whatever that there are many persons who would consider such
poems as the last quoted from the gems of the volume. To us they read
as though written by persons in the last stage of consumption, who
have no hope in life, and apparently very little beyond. The lines,
too, are as heavy and clumsy as they can be. Perhaps the author has
made them so on purpose to impart an additional ghastliness to the
poem; for, as seen already, she can sing sweetly enough when she
pleases. Another long and very doleful poem is that entitled “Under
the Rose,” which repeats the sad old lesson that the sins of the
parents are visited on the heads of the children. A third, though not
quite so sad, save in the ending, is “The Prince’s Progress,” which is
one of the best and most characteristic in the volume. As exhibiting a
happier style, we quote a few verses:

  “In his world-end palace the strong Prince sat,
   Taking his ease on cushion and mat;
   Close at hand lay his staff and his hat.
     ‘When wilt thou start? The bride waits, O youth!’
   ‘Now the moon’s at full; I tarried for that:
      Now I start in truth.

  ‘But tell me first, true voice of my doom,
   Of my veiled bride in her maiden bloom;
   Keeps she watch through glare and through gloom,
     Watch for me asleep and awake?’
  ‘Spell-bound she watches in one white room,
     And is patient for thy sake.

  ‘By her head lilies and rosebuds grow;
   The lilies droop――will the rosebuds blow?
   The silver slim lilies hang the head low;
     Their stream is scanty, their sunshine rare.
   Let the sun blaze out, and let the stream flow:
     They will blossom and wax fair.

  ‘Red and white poppies grow at her feet;
   The blood-red wait for sweet summer heat,
   Wrapped in bud-coats hairy and neat;
     But the white buds swell; one day they will burst,
   Will open their death-cups drowsy and sweet;
     Which will open the first?’

   Then a hundred sad voices lifted a wail;
   And a hundred glad voices piped on the gale:
  ‘Time is short, life is short,’ they took up the tale:
     ‘Life is sweet, love is sweet; use to-day while you may;
   Love is sweet and to-morrow may fail:
      Love is sweet, use to-day.’”

The Prince turns out to be a sad laggard; but what else could he be
when he had to traverse such lands as this?

  “Off he set. The grass grew rare,
   A blight lurked in the darkening air,
   The very moss grew hueless and spare,
     The last daisy stood all astunt;
   Behind his back the soil lay bare,
     But barer in front.

  “A land of chasm and rent, a land
   Of rugged blackness on either hand;
   If water trickled, its track was tanned
     With an edge of rust to the chink;
   If one stamped on stone or on sand,
     It returned a clink.

  “A lifeless land, a loveless land,
   Without lair or nest on either hand
   Only scorpions jerked in the sand,
     Black as black iron, or dusty pale
   From point to point sheer rock was manned
     By scorpions in mail.

  “A land of neither life nor death,
   Where no man buildeth or fashioneth,
   Where none draws living or dying breath;
     No man cometh or goeth there,
   No man doeth, seeketh, saith,
     In the stagnant air.”

So far for the general run of Miss Rossetti’s poems. It will be seen
that they are nothing very wonderful, in whatever light we view them.
They are not nearly so great as her brother’s; indeed, they will not
stand comparison with them at all. The style is too varied, the pieces
are too short and fugitive to be stamped with any marked originality
or individuality, with the exception, perhaps, of the “Goblin Market.”
But there is a certain class of her poems examination of which we have
reserved for the last. Miss Rossetti has set up a little devotional
shrine here and there throughout the volume, where we find her on her
knees, with a strong faith, a deep sense of spiritual needs, a feeling
of the real littleness of the life passing around us, of the true
greatness of what is to come after, a sense of the presence of the
living God before whom she bows down her soul into the dust; and here
she is another woman. As she sinks her poetry rises, and gushes up out
of her heart to heaven in strains sad, sweet, tender, and musical that
a saint might envy. What in the wide realm of English poetry is more
beautiful or more Catholic than this?


  THE THREE ENEMIES.

      _The Flesh._

  “Sweet, thou art pale.”
                “More pale to see,
   Christ hung upon the cruel tree
   And bare his Father’s wrath for me.”

  “Sweet, thou art sad.”
                “Beneath a rod
   More heavy, Christ for my sake trod
   The wine-press of the wrath of God.”

  “Sweet, thou art weary.”
                “Not so Christ;
   Whose mighty love of me sufficed
   For Strength, Salvation, Eucharist.”

  “Sweet, thou art footsore.”
                “If I bleed,
   His feet have bled; yea, in my need
   His Heart once bled for mine indeed.”

      _The World._

  “Sweet, thou art young.”
                “So He was young
   Who for my sake in silence hung
   Upon the Cross with Passion wrung.”

  “Look, thou art fair.”
                “He was more fair
   Than men, Who deigned for me to wear
   A visage marred beyond compare.”

  “And thou hast riches.”
                “Daily bread:
   All else is His; Who living, dead,
   For me lacked where to lay His Head.”

  “And life is sweet.”
                “It was not so
   To Him, Whose Cup did overflow
   With mine unutterable woe.”

      _The Devil._

  “Thou drinkest deep.”
                “When Christ would sup
   He drained the dregs from out my cup.
   So how should I be lifted up?”

  “Thou shalt win Glory.”
                “In the skies,
   Lord Jesus, cover up mine eyes
   Lest they should look on vanities.”

  “Thou shalt have Knowledge.”
                “Helpless dust,
   In thee, O Lord, I put my trust:
   Answer Thou for me, Wise and Just.”

  “And Might.”
                “Get thee behind me. Lord,
   Who hast redeemed and not abhorred
   My soul, oh! keep it by thy Word.”

And what a cry is this? Who has not felt it in his heart? It is
entitled “Good Friday”:

  “Am I a stone and not a sheep,
     That I can stand, O Christ! beneath Thy Cross,
     To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
   And yet not weep?

  “Not so those women loved
     Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
     Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
   Not so the thief was moved;

  “Not so the Sun and Moon
     Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
     A horror of great darkness at broad noon,――
   I, only I.

  “Yet give not o’er,
     But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
     Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
   And smite a rock.”

It would seem that the heart which can utter feelings like these
should be safely housed in the one true fold. There, and there only,
can such hearts find room for expansion; for there alone can they find
the food to fill them, the wherewith to satisfy their long yearnings,
the light to guide the many wanderings of their spirits, the strength
to lift up and sustain them after many a fall and many a cruel deceit.
Outside that threshold, however near they may be to it, they will in
the long run find their lives empty. With George Eliot, they will find
life only a sad satire and hope a very vague thing. Like her heroine,
Dorothea Brooke, the finer feelings and aspirations of their really
spiritual and intensely religious natures will only end in petty
collisions with the petty people around them, and thankful they may be
if all their life does not turn out to be an exasperating mistake, as
it must be a failure, compared with that larger life that they only
dimly discern. How truly Miss Rossetti discerns it may be seen in her
sonnet on “The World”:

  “By day she wooes me, soft, exceeding fair:
   But all night as the moon so changeth she;
     Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy,
   And subtle serpents gliding in her hair.
   By day she wooes me to the outer air,
     Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety:
     But through the night, a beast she grins at me,
   A very monster void of love and prayer.
   By day she stands a lie: by night she stands,
     In all the naked horror of the truth,
   With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands.
   Is this a friend indeed; that I should sell
     My soul to her, give her my life and youth,
   _Till my feet, cloven too, take hold on hell?_”

Could there be anything more complete than this whole picture, or
anything more startling yet true in conception than the image in the
last line, which we have italicized? One feels himself, as it were, on
the very verge of the abyss, and the image of God, in which he was
created, suddenly and silently falling from him. But a more beautiful
and daring conception is that in the poem “From House to Home.”
Treading on earth, the poet mounts to heaven, but by the thorny path
that alone leads to it. Her days seemed perfect here below, and all
happiness hers. Her house is fair and all its surroundings beautiful.
She tells us that

  “Ofttimes one like an angel walked with me.
     With spirit-discerning eyes like flames of fire,
   But deep as the unfathomed, endless sea,
     Fulfilling my desire.”

The spirit leaves her after a time, calling her home from banishment
into “the distant land.” All the beauty of her life goes with him, and
hope dies out of her heart, until something whispered that they should
meet again in a distant land.

  “I saw a vision of a woman, where
     Night and new morning strive for domination;
   Incomparably pale, and almost fair,
     And sad beyond expression.

       *     *     *     *     *

  “I stood upon the outer barren ground,
     She stood on inner ground that budded flowers;
   While circling in their never-slackening round
     Danced by the mystic hours.

  “But every flower was lifted on a thorn,
     And every thorn shot upright from its sands
   To gall her feet; hoarse laughter pealed in scorn
     With cruel clapping hands.

  “She bled and wept, yet did not shrink; her strength
     Was strung up until daybreak of delight;
   She measured measureless sorrow toward its length,
     And breadth, and depth, and height.

  “Then marked I how a chain sustained her form,
     A chain of living links not made nor riven:
   It stretched sheer up through lightning, wind, and storm,
     And anchored fast in heaven.

  “One cried: ‘How long? Yet founded on the Rock
     She shall do battle, suffer, and attain.’
   One answered: ‘Faith quakes in the tempest shock:
     Strengthen her soul again.’

  “I saw a cup sent down and come to her
     Brimful of loathing and of bitterness:
   She drank with livid lips that seemed to stir
     The depth, not make it less.

  “But as she drank I spied a hand distil
     New wine and virgin honey; making it
   First bitter-sweet, then sweet indeed, until
     She tasted only sweet.

  “Her lips and cheeks waxed rosy――fresh and young;
     Drinking she sang: ‘My soul shall nothing want’;
   And drank anew: while soft a song was sung,
     A mystical low chant.

  “One cried: ‘The wounds are faithful of a friend:
     The wilderness shall blossom as a rose.’
   One answered: ‘Rend the veil, declare the end,
     Strengthen her ere she goes.’”

Then earth and heaven are rolled up like a scroll, and she gazes into
heaven. Wonderful indeed is the picture drawn of the heavenly court;
but we have already quoted at such length that we fear to tire our
readers. Still, we must find room for the following three verses:

  “Tier beyond tier they rose and rose and rose
   _So high that it was dreadful_, flames with flames:
   No man could number them, no tongue disclose
       Their secret sacred names.

  “As though one pulse stirred all, one rush of blood
   Fed all, one breath swept through them myriad-voiced,
   They struck their harps, cast down their crowns, they stood
       And worshipped and rejoiced.

  “Each face looked one way like a moon new-lit,
   Each face looked one way towards its Sun of Love;
   Drank love and bathed in love and mirrored it
       And knew no end thereof.”

We might go on quoting with pleasure and admiration most of these
devotional pieces, but enough has been given to show how different a
writer is Miss Rossetti in her religious and in her worldly mood. The
beauty, grace, pathos, sublimity often, of the one weary us of the
other. In the one she warbles or sings, with often a flat and
discordant note in her tones that now please and now jar; in the other
she is an inspired prophetess or priestess chanting a sublime chant or
giving voice to a world’s sorrow and lament. In the latter all
affectation of word, or phrase, or rhythm disappears. The subjects
sung are too great for such pettiness, and the song soars with them.
The same thing is true of her brother, the poet. Religion has inspired
his loftiest conceptions, and a religion that is certainly very unlike
any but the truth. We trust that the reverence and devotion to the
truth which must lie deep in the hearts of this gifted brother and
sister may bear their legitimate fruit, and end not in words only, but
blossom into deeds which will indeed lead them “From House to Home.”


     [33] Poems by Christina G. Rossetti. Boston: Roberts
     Brothers. 1876.



   ECHO TO MARY.


   Who gently dries grief’s falling tear?
                            Maria.
   Of fairy flowers which fairest blows?
                            The Rose.
   What seekest thou, poor plaining dove?
                            My Love.
           Rejoice, thou morning Dove!
         Earth’s peerless Rose, without a thorn,
         Unfolds its bloom this natal morn――
           Maria, Rose of Love!

   What craves the heart of storms the sport?
                            A Port.
   And what the fevered patient’s quest?
                            Calm Rest.
   What ray to cheer when shadows slope?
                            Hope.
           O Mary, Mother blest!
         Through nights of gloom, through days of fear,
         Thy love the ray by which to steer,
           Bright Hope! to Port of Rest.

   Desponding heart what gift will please?
                            Heart of Ease.
   What scent reminds of a hidden saint?
                            Jess’mine Faint.
   What caught its hue from the azure sky?
                            Violet’s Eye.
           O Mary, peerless dower!
         A balm to soothe, love’s odor sweet,
         A glimpse of heaven in thee we greet――
           Heartsease, Jess’mine, Violet flower!

   Of Mary’s love who most secure?
                            The Pure.
   What lamp diffuses light afar?
                            A Star.
   When is light-wingéd zephyr born?
                            At Morn.
           My eyes, with watching worn,
         Will vigil keep till day returns;
         To see thy light my spirit yearns,
           Mary Pure, Star of Morn!

   What name most sweet to dying ear?
                            Maria.
   On heavenly hosts who smiles serene?
                            Their Queen.
   What joy is perfected above?
                            Love.
           Welcome, thou spotless Dove!
         Awake, my soul, celestial mirth!
         This day brings purest joy to earth!
           Maria, Queen of Love.

NATIVITY B. V. MARY, September 8.[34]


     [34] The above is a free translation from a beautiful short
     Spanish poem which lately appeared in the _Revista Catolica_
     of Las Vegas, New Mexico.



THE HIGHLAND EXILE.


A recent number of the London _Tablet_ contains some very interesting
facts concerning the return of the Benedictine Order to Scotland. This
event is expected soon to take place, after a banishment of the Order
for nearly three hundred years from those regions of beauty where for
many previous centuries it had been the source and dispenser of
countless spiritual and temporal blessings to the people.

It is among the most marvellous of the wonderful compensations of
divine Providence in these days of mysterious trial for the church as
to her temporalities, and of her most glorious triumphs in the
spiritual order, that the place for this re-establishment should have
been fixed at Fort Augustus, in Inverness-shire――the very spot which
the “dark and bloody” Duke of Cumberland made his headquarters while
pursuing with merciless and exterminating slaughter the hapless
Catholics of the Highlands after the fatal field of Culloden in 1746.
No less significant is the fact that a descendant of the Lord Lovat
who was beheaded for his participation in that conflict, and the
inheritor of his title, should have purchased Fort Augustus from the
British government with a view to this happy result, though he was not
permitted to live long enough to witness the accomplishment of his
pious purpose.

A more beautiful or appropriate abode for the devoted sons of St.
Benedict could not have been found than this secluded spot, where, far
removed from all the turmoil and distractions of the world, they will
be free to exercise the spirit of their holy rule, and draw down
abundant benedictions upon the surrounding country. The buildings are
situated near the extremity of Loch Ness, commanding toward the east a
view of that picturesque lake, and to the west of the wild range of
Glengarry Mountains.

It is consoling to reflect that the place which, notwithstanding the
fascinations of its extraordinary beauty, has so long been held in
detestation by the faithful Catholic Highlanders, on account of the
fearful atrocities once committed under protection of its strong
towers, is destined thus to become the very treasure-house of Heaven’s
choicest blessings for them in the restoration of their former
benefactors and spiritual directors.

Very pleasant, also, to every child of the faith the world over, is
the thought that these hills and glens, long so “famous in story,”
will once again give echo, morning, noon, and night, to the glad
tidings of salvation proclaimed by the holy Angelus, and to the
ancient chants and songs of praise which resounded through the older
centuries from the cloisters of this holy brotherhood; and that in
these solitudes the clangor of the “church-going bell” will again
summon the faithful to the free and open exercise of the worship so
long proscribed under cruel penalties. The tenacity with which the
Highlanders of Scotland clung to their faith through the most
persistent and appalling persecutions proved that the foundations of
the spiritual edifice in that

  “Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
   Land of the mountain and the flood,”

were laid broad and deep by saints not unworthy to be classed with the
glorious St. Patrick of the sister shores.

In the course of our studies of history in early youth, before we were
interested in such triumphs of the church, save as curious historical
facts not to be accounted for upon Protestant principles, we were
deeply impressed by proofs of her supernatural and sustaining power
over this noble race which came within our personal notice.

During a winter in the first quarter of this century my father and
mother made the journey from Prescott, Upper Canada, to Montreal, in
their own conveyance, taking me with them.

We stopped over one night at an inn situated on the confines of a
dismal little village, planted in a country as flat and unattractive
in all its features as could well be imagined. The village was settled
entirely by Highlanders exiled on account of their religion and the
troubles which followed the irretrievable disaster of Culloden. Its
inhabitants among themselves spoke only the Gaelic language, which I
then heard for the first time. My father’s notice was attracted by the
aged father of our host, a splendid specimen of the native Highlander,
clad in the full and wonderfully picturesque costume of his race.
Although from his venerable appearance you might have judged that

  “A hundred years had flung their snows
   On his thin locks and floating beard,”

yet was his form as erect and his mind as clear as when in youth he
trod his native glens.

My father soon drew him into a conversation to which their juvenile
companion was an eager and retentive listener. The chief tenor of it
was concerning the state of Scotland, and the prevailing sentiment of
her people in the north, before the last hapless scion of the Stuarts
made the fatal attempt which resulted in utter defeat and ruin to all
connected with it. In the course of their chat, and as his intellect
was aroused and excited by the subject, a narrative of his own
personal knowledge of those matters and share in the conflict fell
unconsciously, as it were, from his lips.

He was a young lad at the time his father’s clan gathered to the
rallying-cry of the Camerons for the field of Culloden. Young as he
was, he fought by his father’s side, and saw him slain with multitudes
of his kin on that scene of carnage. He was among the few of his clan
who escaped and succeeded by almost superhuman efforts in rescuing
their families from the indiscriminate slaughter which followed. Among
the rocks and caves of the wild hills and glens with which they were
familiar they found hiding-places that were inaccessible to the
destroyers who were sent out by the merciless Cumberland, but their
sufferings from cold and hunger were beyond description. In the haste
of their flight it was impossible to convey the necessary food and
clothing, and the whole country was so closely watched by scattered
bands of soldiers that there was no chance of procuring supplies.
Insufficiently clad and fed, and very imperfectly sheltered from the
wild storms of those bleak northern regions, many of the women, the
children, and the aged people perished before it was possible to
accept offers made by the British government of founding colonies in
Nova Scotia and Upper Canada for those who, persistently refusing to
renounce the Catholic faith, would consent to emigrate. Large rewards
and the most tempting inducements were held out to all who would
surrender their faith, embrace Protestantism, and remain among their
beloved hills.

So intense is the love of country in the hearts of this brave and
generous people that many could not tear themselves away from scenes
inwoven with their tenderest affections, but remained, some to enjoy
in this world the price of that apostasy which imperilled their
eternal interests for the next, while multitudes sought the most
remote and unapproachable nooks of the rugged north, and remained true
to their religion in extreme poverty and distress, with no hope of
alleviation. Our aged narrator joined a band of emigrants from the
neighborhood of Loch Ness, and came to the dreary wilderness where the
present village has grown up. My father expressed his surprise that
they should have chosen a place so entirely different in all its
features from their native scenes, in preference to the hilly parts of
Canada, where it would seem that they would have been more at home.

“Na, na!” exclaimed the venerable old man, his dark eye kindling with
the fire of youth, while he smote the ground with his staff, as if to
emphasize his dissent――“na, na; sin’ we could na tread our native
hills, it iss better far that we had nane! I think the sicht of hills
withoot the heather wad drive me mad! Na, na; it iss far better that
we should see nae hills!”

His touching recital of the wrongs sustained by his people at the
hands of their ruthless conquerors, and the bitter sufferings they
endured for the faith, awakened my deep and enduring sympathy.

My father questioned whether, after all, it would not have been better
for them to have submitted in the matter of religion, accepted the
liberal terms offered under that condition, and remained contented in
their beloved homes, rather than make such cruel sacrifices, for
themselves and the helpless ones dependent upon them, in support of a
mere idea, as the difference between one religion and another seemed
to him. The old man rose in his excitement to his feet, and, standing
erect and dignified, with flashing eyes exclaimed: “Renounce the
faith! Sooner far might we consent that we be sold into slavery! Oh!
yes; we could do _that_――we could bow our necks to the yoke in _this_
world that our souls might be free for the _next_――but to renounce the
faith! It iss that we could na do whatever; no! not the least one
among us, though it wass to gain ten kingdoms for us in this warld!”

My father apologized for a suggestion which had such power to move
him, remarking that he was himself quite ignorant concerning the
Catholic religion, and, indeed, not too well informed as to any other;
upon which the hoary patriarch approached him, laid his hand upon his
head, and said with deep solemnity: “That the great God, who is ever
merciful to the true of heart, might pour the light of his truth into
yours, and show you how different is it from the false religions, and
how worthy that one should die for it rather than yield the point that
should seem the most trifling; for there iss nothing connected with
the truth that will be trifling.”

The grand old man! He little suspected that his words struck a
responsive chord in the hearts of his listeners that never ceased to
vibrate to their memory!

A few years after this incident I was passing the months of May and
June with a relative in Montreal. Several British regiments were then
quartered in that city. One of them, I was told, was the famous
“Thirty-ninth” which had won, by its dauntless valor on many
hard-fought battle-fields in India, the distinction of bearing upon
its colors the proud legend, “_Primus in Indis_.”

It was ordered to Canada for the invigorating effect of the climate
upon the health of soldiers exhausted by long exposure, in fatiguing
campaigns, to the sultry sun of India. It was composed chiefly, if not
wholly, of Scotch Highlanders, well matched in size and height, and,
taken all together, quite the finest body of men in form and feature,
and in chivalrous bearing, that I have ever seen. Their uniform was
the full Highland dress, than which a more martial or graceful
equipment has never been devised. Over the Scotch bonnet of each
soldier drooped and nodded a superb ostrich plume.

Under escort of the kind friend to whose care I had been committed,
and who was delighted with the fresh enthusiasm of his small rustic
cousin, just transported from a home in the woods to the novel scenes
of that fair city, I witnessed repeatedly the parade of the troops on
the _Champ de Mars_. The magnificent Highlanders took precedence and
entirely eclipsed them all, while the bitterness of feeling with which
the other regiments submitted to the ceremony of “presenting arms”
whenever the gallant “Thirty-ninth” passed and repassed was apparent
even to me, a stranger and a mere child.

Impressive as these scenes on the _Champ de Mars_ were, however, to
the eager fancy of a juvenile observer, they fell far short of the
thrilling effect produced by a pageant of a widely different nature
which I was soon to witness.

While I was expressing my glowing admiration for those “superb
Highlanders,” my kinsman, himself a Presbyterian elder, would exclaim:
“Oh! this is nothing at all. Wait until you have seen them march to
church and assist at a grand High Mass!”

Accordingly, on one fine Sunday morning in June he conducted me to an
elevated position whence the muster of the regiment with its splendid
banners, and the full line of march――to the music of the finest band
in the army, composed entirely of Highland instruments――could be
distinctly observed. Then, taking a shorter turn, we entered the
church, and secured a seat which overlooked the entrance of the troops
within the sacred precincts. The full band was playing, and the music
breathed the very spirit of their native hills. It was a spectacle
never to be forgotten. The measured tramp of that multitude as the
footfall of one man; their plumed bonnets lifted reverently before the
sacred Presence by one simultaneous motion of the moving mass; their
genuflections, performed with the same military and, as it seemed to a
spectator, automatic precision and unity; the flash and clash of their
arms, as they knelt in the wide space allotted to them under the
central dome of the immense edifice; the rapt expression of devotion
which lighted up each face; the music of the band, bursting forth at
intervals during the most solemn parts of the first High Mass I had
ever attended, now exquisitely plaintive and soul-subduing, and again
swelling into a volume of glorious harmony which filled the whole
church and electrified the hearts of the listeners――all this combined
to produce emotions not to be expressed in words. Strangers visiting
the city, and multitudes of its non-Catholic inhabitants, were drawn
week by week to witness the solemn and soul-awakening ceremonial;
first from curiosity, and afterwards, in many instances, from the
conviction that a religion whence flowed a worship so sublime and
irresistible in its power over the souls of men must be the creation
of the great Author of souls.

It seemed a fitting compensation to this noble race, after the
degradation and oppression to which they had been subjected by their
ruthless conquerors, that this valiant band of their sons should have
been enabled to achieve such renown as gave them the most
distinguished position in the British army, and placed them before the
world with a prestige and a glory not surpassed by the bravest of
their ancestors at the period of their greatest prosperity. But
infinitely more precious than all earthly fame was the right, won
back, as it were, by their arms, to practise fully and freely the
religion of those ancestors, so long proscribed and forbidden to their
people. Nor was it a slight satisfaction to their national pride and
patriotism to be permitted to resume the costume which had also been
proscribed and included in the suppression of the clans.

Since those days of long ago we have not seen a Scottish Highlander;
but the notice in the London _Tablet_ of which we have spoken awakened
the recollections we have thus imperfectly embodied as our slight
tribute to the cairn that perpetuates, in this world, the memory of
all this people have done and suffered for that faith which shall be
their eternal joy and crowning glory in the next.



THE LATE ARCHBISHOP OF HALIFAX, N. S.


The Catholic Church in America has recently lost, in the person of the
Most Reverend Dr. Connolly, one of her most distinguished prelates.
Thomas Louis Connolly was born about sixty-two years ago in the city
of Cork, Ireland. In his person were found all the virtues and noble
qualities of head and heart that have made his countrymen loved and
honored. Like many other distinguished churchmen, he was of humble
parentage; and there are many townsmen of his in America to-day who
remember the late archbishop as a boy running about the streets of
Cork. He lost his father when he was three years old; nevertheless,
his widowed mother managed to bring up her little son and a still
younger daughter in comfort. She kept a small but decent house of
entertainment, and the place is remembered by a mammoth pig that stood
for years in the window, and which bore the quaint inscription:

  “This world is a city with many a crooked street,
   And death the market-place where all men meet.
   If life were merchandise that men could buy,
   The rich would live and the poor would die.”

Father Mathew, the celebrated Apostle of Temperance, whose church was
but a few doors from young Connolly’s home, noticed the quiet,
good-natured boy who was so attentive to his church and catechism,
and, perhaps discerning in him some of the rare qualities which
afterwards distinguished him as a man, became his friend, confidant,
and adviser. The widow was able to give her only son a good education,
and we learn that at sixteen young Connolly was well advanced in
history and mathematics and in the French, Latin, and Greek languages.
The youth, desiring to devote his life to the church, became a novice
in the Capuchin Order, in which order Father Mathew held high office.

In his eighteenth year he went to Rome to complete his studies for the
priesthood. He spent six years in the Eternal City, and they were
years of hard study, devoted to rhetoric, philosophy, and theology.
Even then he was noted for his application, and was reserved and
retiring in his disposition, except to the few with whom he was
intimately acquainted. He left Rome for the south of France, where he
completed his studies, and in 1838, at the cathedral at Lyons, he was
ordained priest by the venerable archbishop of that city, Cardinal
Bolæ. The following year he returned to Ireland, and for three years
he labored hard and fervently in the Capuchin Mission House, Dublin,
and at the Grange Gorman Lane Penitentiary, to which latter
institution he was attached as chaplain. In 1842, when Dr. Walsh was
appointed Bishop of Halifax, the young Capuchin priest, then in his
twenty-eighth year, volunteered his services, and came out as
secretary to the studious and scholarly prelate whom he was afterwards
to succeed.

Until 1851, a period of nine years, Father Connolly labored
incessantly, faithfully, and cheerfully as parish priest, and after a
while as Vicar-General of Halifax. In the prime of his manhood,
possessed of a massive frame and a vigorous constitution, with the
ruddy glow of health always on his face, the young Irish priest went
about late and early, in pestilence and disease, among the poor and
sick, hearing confessions, organizing societies in connection with the
church, preaching in public, exhorting in private, doing the work that
only one of his zeal and constitution could do, and through it all
carrying a smiling face and cheering word for every one. It is this
period of his life that the members of his flock love to dwell upon,
and to which he himself, no doubt, looked back with pleasure as a time
when, possessed of never-failing health, he had only the subordinate’s
work to do, without the cares, crosses, and momentous questions to
decide which the mitre he afterwards wore brought with it. Indeed, at
that time Father Connolly was everywhere and did everything. All the
old couples in Halifax to-day were married by him; and all the young
men and women growing up were baptized by him.

The worth, labors, and abilities of the ardent missionary could not
fail to be recognized, and when Dr. Dollard died, in 1851, on the
recommendation of the American bishops Father Connolly was appointed
to succeed him as Bishop of St. John, New Brunswick. He threw all his
heart and soul into his work, and before the seven years he resided in
St. John had passed away he had brought the diocese, which he found in
a chaotic, poverty-stricken, and ill-provided state, into order,
efficiency, and comparative financial prosperity. Without a dollar,
but with a true reliance on Providence and his people, he set to work
to build a cathedral, and by his energy and the liberality of his
flock soon had it in a tolerable state of completion. He seems to have
taken a special delight in building, and no sooner was one edifice
fairly habitable than he was at work on another. Whatever little
difficulties or differences he may have had with the Catholics under
his jurisdiction can be all traced to this; they were money questions,
questions of expense. He always kept a warm corner in his heart for
the orphans of his diocese, whom he looked upon as especially under
his care, and who were to be provided for at all costs; and soon the
present efficient Orphan Asylum of St. John sprang up, nuns were
brought from abroad to conduct it, and, through the exertions of their
warm-hearted bishop, the little wanderers and foundlings of New
Brunswick were provided with a home.

On the death of Archbishop Walsh, in 1859, Bishop Connolly was
appointed by the present Pontiff to succeed him. In his forty-fifth
year, with all his faculties sharpened, his views and mind widened,
and his political opinions changed for the better by his trying
experience, Bishop Connolly came back to Halifax a different man, in
all but outward appearance, from the Father Connolly who had left that
city eight years before.

Halifax is noted as being one of the most liberal and tolerant cities
on the continent. Nowhere do the different bodies of Christians mingle
and work so well together; and although it is not free from individual
bigotry, the great mass of its citizens work and live together in
harmony and cordial good-will. It is too much to credit the late
archbishop with this happy state of affairs, for it existed before his
time, and owes its existence to the good sense and liberality of the
Protestant party as well as the Catholic; but it is only common
justice to say that the archbishop did all in his power to maintain
it. Hospitable and genial by nature, it was a pleasure to him to have
at his table the most distinguished citizens of all creeds, to
entertain the officers of the army and navy, and to extend his
hospitality to the guests of the city. Without lessening his dignity,
and without conceding a point of what might be considered due to the
rights of his church, he worked and lived on the most friendly and
intimate footing with those who differed from him in religion. A hard
worker, an inveterate builder, and a great accumulator of church
property, he was hardly settled in his archdiocese before he set to
work to convert the church of St. Mary’s into the present beautiful
cathedral. The work has been going on for years under his personal
supervision, and he resolutely refused to let any part out to
contract; and although his congregation has grumbled at the money sunk
in massive foundations, unnecessary finish, and the extras for
alterations, yet time, by the strength, durability, and thoroughness
of the work, will justify the archbishop in the course he adopted.
School-houses were built, homes for the Sisters of Charity,
orphanages, an academy, and a summer residence for himself and clergy
at the Northwest Arm, a few miles from the city. All of these
buildings have some pretensions to architecture, and are substantial
and well built. Excepting the cathedral, the archbishop was generally
his own architect; and as he was a little dogmatic in his manner, and
not too ready to listen to suggestions from the tradesmen under him,
he on more than one occasion made blunders, more amusing than serious,
in his building operations. A man’s religion never stood in his way in
working for Archbishop Connolly.

His duties as the father of his flock were not neglected on account of
his outside work. No amount of physical or mental labor seemed too
much for him. After the worry, work, and travelling of the week, it
was no uncommon thing for him to preach in the three Catholic churches
in the city on the one Sunday. His knowledge of the Scriptures was
astonishing, even for a churchman, and was an inexhaustible mine on
which he could draw at pleasure. His reading was wide and extensive.
It was hard to name a subject on which he had not read and studied; on
the affairs and politics of the day he was ready, when at leisure, to
talk; and on his table might be found the periodical light literature
as well as heavier reading. In 1867, when the confederation of the
different British provinces into the present Dominion of Canada was
brought about, he took an active part in politics. Believing that Nova
Scotia would be rendered more prosperous, and that the Catholics would
become more powerful by being united to their Canadian brethren, he
warmly advocated the union. But despite his position and influence,
and the exertions of those on his side, the union party was defeated
at the polls all over the province as well as in the city of Halifax.
Since that he ceased to take an active part in politics, and refrained
from expressing his political opinions in public.

As a speaker he was noted for his sound common sense and the absence
of anything like tricks of rhetoric or of manner. His lectures and
addresses from the pulpit of his own church to his own people were
generally extempore. He was powerful in appealing to a mixed audience,
and spoke more especially to the humbler classes. He had a fund of
quaint proverbs and old sayings, and, by an odd conceit or happy
allusion, would drive his argument home in the minds of those of his
own country. He could, at times, be eloquent in the true sense of the
word; and when he prepared himself, girded on his armor for the
conflict, he was truly powerful. On the melancholy death of D’Arcy
McGee the archbishop had service in St. Mary’s, and delivered a
panegyric on the life and labors of that gifted Irishman, who was a
personal friend of his own, which is looked upon as one of his ablest
efforts.

If he was quickly excited, he was just as quick to forgive; and when
he thought he had bruised the feelings of the meanest, he was ever
ready to atone, and never happy till he did so. Like many great
republicans, while claiming the greatest freedom of thought, word, and
action for himself, he was, though he knew it not, arbitrary in his
dictates to others. Whatever he took in hand he went at heart and
soul. The smallest detail of work he could not leave to another, but
would himself see it attended to――from a board in a fence to the
building of a cathedral. Travelling over a scattered diocese with poor
roads and poor entertainment, preaching, hearing confessions, and
administering the sacraments of the church, can it be wondered at that
his health broke down? that a constitution, vigorous at first, wore
out before its time? With everything to do and everything a trouble to
him, can we wonder that some mistakes were made, that some things were
ill-done?

Though hospitable, witty, and a lover of company, he was very
abstemious and temperate in his habits; and, although never attacked
by long disease, his health was continually bad. Last fall he visited
Bermuda, which was under his jurisdiction, partly for his health, and
also to see to the wants of the few Catholics there. In the spring he
returned to Halifax, but little benefited by the change.

If there was one subject of public importance more than another in
which the archbishop was interested, it was the public-school
question. No question requires more careful handling; none involves
vaster public interests. His school-houses had been leased to the
school authorities; he had brought the Christian Brothers to Halifax,
and these schools were under their charge; and the Catholics in
Halifax had, thanks to their archbishop and the tolerance of their
fellow-citizens, separate schools in all but the name. For a long time
past there had been personal and private differences and grievances
between the archbishop and the brothers. What they were, and what the
rights and the wrongs of the matter are, was never fully made public,
nor is it essential that it should be. On the Sunday after his arrival
from Bermuda the archbishop was visited by the director-general of the
brothers, a Frenchman, who gave him twenty-four hours to accede to the
demands of the brothers, or threatened in default that they would
leave the province. Both were hot-tempered, both believed they had
right on their side, and it is more than probable that neither thought
the other would proceed to extremities. The archbishop did not take an
hour to decide; he flatly refused. Next day saw the work of years
undone; the brothers departed; their places were temporarily filled by
substitutes; the School Board took the matter in hand; and the
sympathies of the Catholics of Halifax were divided between their
archbishop and the teachers of their children.

Many think the excitement and worry that he underwent on this occasion
had much to do with his death. A gentleman who had some private
business with the archbishop called at the glebe-house on the Tuesday
following the Sunday on which the rupture with the brothers had taken
place. Although it was ten o’clock in the morning, and the sun was
shining brightly outside, he found the curtains undrawn, the gas
burning, and the archbishop hard at work writing at a table littered
with paper. In the course of their conversation he mentioned
incidentally to his visitor that he had not been to bed for two
nights, nor changed his clothes for three days. Even after the
difficulty had been smoothed over, and matters seemed to be going on
as of old, it was noticed that the archbishop had lost his
cheerfulness and looked wearied and haggard. His duties were not
neglected, though sickness and sadness may have weighed him down. He
began a series of lectures on the doctrines of the church which
unhappily were never to be completed. On the third Sunday before his
death, in making an appeal to his parishioners for funds to finish the
cathedral, he enumerated the many other works he wished to undertake,
and stated that he trusted he had ten or fifteen years of life before
him wherein to accomplish these works. The meeting which he had called
for that afternoon was poorly attended, and the amount subscribed not
nearly what he expected. It was noticed that this troubled him; for he
loved to stand well with his people always, and he took this as a sign
that his popularity was on the wane.

On Saturday, the 22d of July, he complained of being unwell, but it
did not prevent him from speaking as usual at the three churches on
the morrow. He never allowed his own sufferings to interfere with what
he considered his duty. None of the many who heard him that day
surmised that the shadow of death was then on him, and that on the
following Sunday they would see the corpse of the speaker laid out on
the same altar. On Monday, still feeling unwell, he drove to his
residence at the Northwest Arm, thinking that a little rest and quiet
would restore him to his usual health. The next day, growing worse,
and no doubt feeling his end approaching, he told his attendants to
drive him to the glebe-house and to write to Rome. Next day the whole
community was startled to hear that the archbishop was stricken down
by congestion of the brain; that he was delirious; that he had been
given up by the doctors; and that his death was hourly expected.

A gloom seemed to have fallen over the city. The streets leading to
the glebe-house were filled all the next day and late into the night
with a noiseless throng; and hour after hour the whisper went from one
to another, “He still lives, but there’s no hope.” All this time the
dying prelate remained unconscious. The heavy breathing and the dull
pulse were all that told the watchful and sorrowing attendants that he
yet lived. From his bedroom to the drawing-room, in which he had at
times received such a brilliant company, they carried the dying man
for air. Those who wished were allowed in to see him; but he saw not
the anxious faces that gazed sorrowfully for a moment and then passed
away; he heard not the low chant of the Litany for the Dying that was
borne out through the open windows on the still night-air; he knew not
of the tears that were shed by those who loved and honored him, and
who could not, in the presence of death, repress or hide their sorrow.
At midnight on Thursday, the 27th of July, the bell of the cathedral
tolled out to tell the quiet city that the good archbishop lived no
more.

The next day, in the same apartment, the corpse was laid in state, and
was visited by hundreds of all creeds and classes, who came to take
their last look at all that remained on earth of the wearied worker
who had at last found rest. What were the thoughts of many who looked
upon that face, now fixed in death? Among the throng were those who
had come to him weighed down by sorrow and sin, and had left him
lightened of their loads and strengthened in their resolutions of
atonement and amendment by his eloquent words of advice. Some had felt
his wide-spreading charity; for his ear and heart were ever open to a
tale of distress, and he gave with a free and open hand, and his
tongue never told of what his hand let fall. The general feeling was
one of bereavement; for the great multitude of his people knew not his
worth till they had lost him. Who would take his place? They might
find his equal in learning, in eloquence, even in work; but could they
find one in whom were united all the qualities that had so eminently
fitted him for the position he so ably filled? Perhaps there were
others present who had to regret that they had misjudged him, that
they had been uncharitable in their thoughts toward him, that they had
not assisted as they should have done the great, good, and unselfish
man who had worked not to enrich or exalt himself, but who had worn
out his life in the struggle for the welfare of his people and the
glory of his church.

In his loved cathedral, the unfinished monument of his life, now
draped in mourning, the last sad and solemn rites of the Catholic
Church were performed by the bishops and clergy who had been ordained
by him, who knew him so well and loved him so deeply. He was followed
to his last resting-place by the civil and military authorities, by
the clergymen of other denominations, and by hundreds of all creeds,
classes, and colors, who could not be deterred by the rain, which fell
in torrents, from testifying their respect for him who was honored and
esteemed by all.

We may add that the late and much-lamented archbishop was ever the
sincere and faithful friend of the Superior of the Paulist community.
Among the first of their missions was one at St. John; and the
archbishop afterwards called them also to his cathedral at Halifax.
Both superior and congregation, no less than his own people, owe Dr.
Connolly a debt of gratitude which it would indeed be difficult to
pay.

The character of Archbishop Connolly was marked by an ardent zeal for
the faith; a magnanimity which, whenever the occasion called for its
exercise, rose above all human considerations whatever, even of his
own life; and a charity that was not limited either by nationality,
race, or religious creed.



NEW PUBLICATIONS.


  MEMOIRS OF THE RIGHT REVEREND SIMON WM. GABRIEL BRUTE, D.D., FIRST
    BISHOP OF VINCENNES. With sketches describing his recollections of
    scenes connected with the French Revolution, and extracts from his
    Journal. By the Rt. Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley, D.D., Bishop of
    Newark. New York: The Catholic Publication Society. 1876.

The Catholic Church in America has reason to be thankful that the
seeds of faith were sown on her shores by some of the most eminent and
holy men that ever lived. The names of Cheverus, Flaget, Carroll,
Dubois, and Gallitzin might be fittingly blazoned on the same scroll
with those of an Augustine, a Gregory, or an Ambrose. To the untiring
labors, profound piety, and extensive learning of these men Catholic
faith and sentiment in our land owe their freshness and vitality. To
their devotion to the Holy See, and strictest adherence to all that is
orthodox and canonical, American Catholics owe their unity and their
ardent attachment to the fortunes of the Sovereign Pontiff. And if the
distinguished ecclesiastics just mentioned contributed much to secure
those glorious results, more still even did that prince of
missionaries and model of bishops, Simon William Gabriel Bruté. The
growing interest manifested in this admirable character is full,
timely, and calculated to do much good. As a man he was eminently
human, feeling for his fellows with a keenness of sensibility which
could alone grow out of a heart that throbbed with every human
emotion. This feature of high humanity also it was which gave that
many-sidedness to his character, making it full-orbed and polished _ad
unguem_. Thus viewed, he was in truth _totus teres atque rotundus_.
His constantly-outgoing sympathies brought him into the closest
relations with his people, and magnate or peasant believed that in him
they had found one who could peculiarly understand themselves. Nature
endowed him with just those gifts which pre-eminently fitted him for
missionary life. Lithe, agile, and compactly built, he could endure
exposure and privation beyond most men. Constantly cheerful, and with
a mind which was a storehouse of the most varied and interesting
knowledge, he could illumine darkness itself and convert despondency
into joy. Travelling at all seasons and at all hours, his presence was
everywhere hailed with delight, and many a cot and mansion among the
regions of the Blue Ridge Mountains watched and welcomed his presence.
So inured was he to hard labor that he deemed a journey of fifty-two
miles in twelve hours a mere bagatelle. And the quaintness with which
he relates those wonderful pedestrian achievements, interspersing his
recital with humorous and sensible allusions to wayside scenes, is not
only interesting, but serves often to reveal the simple and honest
character of the man. His English to the end retained a slightly
Gallic flavor, which, so far from impairing interest in what he has
written, has lent it a really pleasing piquancy. He thus records one
of his trips: “The next morning after I had celebrated Mass at the St.
Joseph’s, I started on foot for Baltimore, without saying a word to
anybody, to speak to the Archbishop.… Stopped at Tancytown at Father
Lochi’s, and got something to eat. At Winchester found out that I had
not a penny in my pocket, and was obliged to get my dinner on credit.…
In going I read three hundred and eighty-eight pages in Anquetil’s
history of France; … fourteen pages of Cicero _De Officiis_; three
chapters in the New Testament; my Office; recited the chapelet three
times.” As a worker he was indefatigable; nay, he courted toil, and
the prospect of a long and arduous missionary service filled him with
delight. Not content with preaching, administering the sacraments, and
visiting the sick and poor, he was constantly drawing on his unbounded
mental resources for magazine articles, controversial, philosophic,
and historical. He longed to spread the light of truth everywhere, and
to refute error and recall the erring was the chief charm of his life.
He had early formed the habit of committing to paper whatever
particularly impressed him, and recommended this practice to all
students as the most effectual mnemonic help, and as accustoming them
to precision and exactness. His admirable notes on the French
Revolution were the normal outcome of the habit of close observation
which this practice engendered. Nothing escaped his notice, and the
slightest meritorious act on the part of a friend or acquaintance drew
from him the most gracious encomiums, whilst the reproval of faults
was always governed by extreme consideration and charity. Consecrated
first Bishop of Vincennes, much against his will, he entered on his
new field of labor with the same zeal and love of duty which had
characterized him as missionary and teacher at Mt. St. Mary’s. The
limitless distances he had to travel over in his infant diocese never
daunted him. Four or five hundred miles on horseback, over prairie and
woodland, had no terrors for him, who bore a light heart and an ever
cheerful soul within him, praising and blessing God at every step for
thus allowing him to do what was pleasing to the divine will. What he
most regretted was his separation from the friends he left behind at
Mt. St. Mary’s. He had a Frenchman’s love of places as well as of
persons, and he accordingly suffered much from the French complaint of
nostalgia, or home-sickness. But nothing with him stood in the way of
duty; and when the _fiat_ was pronounced, he went on his new way
rejoicing. His memory will grow among us “as a fair olive-tree in
plains, and as a plane-tree by the waters”; “like a palm-tree in
Cades, and as a rose-plant in Jericho.” When such another comes among
us, our prayer should be, _Serus in cælum redeas_.

The Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore has honored himself by thus
honoring the memory of a saintly bishop; and whoever knows the graces
of style which the fluent pen of Archbishop Bayley distils will not
delay a moment in obtaining this delightful volume.


  THE VOICE OF CREATION AS A WITNESS TO THE MIND OF ITS DIVINE AUTHOR.
    Five Lectures. By Frederick Canon Oakeley, M.A. London: Burns &
    Oates. 1876. New York: The Catholic Publication Society.

This little volume bears the undoubted impress of a high reverence for
the Creator. It is not a mere refutation of atheistical opinions, as
is the celebrated work of Paley, but an eloquent tribute to the divine
beneficence as made manifest in the works of nature. Everywhere and in
all things the author, looking through the eyes of faith, beholds the
finger of God――not alone in those marvels of skill and design in which
the animal and vegetable worlds abound, but in those apparent
anomalies which the unseeing and unreflecting multitude often
pronounce to be the dismal proofs of purposelessness. Canon Oakeley,
however, is not a mere pietist, but a highly cultured, scientific man
withal, and so grapples with the latest objections of godless
philosophers, and disposes of them in a satisfactory manner. In his
letter of approbation his Eminence Cardinal Manning thus expresses
himself: “The argument of the third lecture on the ‘Vestiges of the
Fall’ seems to me especially valuable. I confess the prevalence of
evil, physical and moral, has never seemed to me any real argument
against the goodness of the Creator, except on the hypothesis that
mankind has no will, or that the will of man is not free.… If the
freedom of the will has made the world actually unhappy, the original
creation of God made it both actually and potentially happy.… What God
made man marred.” His Eminence pronounces the book to be both
“convincing and persuasive,” with which high approval we commend it to
the attention of our readers.


  UNION WITH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN HIS PRINCIPAL MYSTERIES. For all
    seasons of the year. By the Rev. F. John Baptist Saint Jure, S.J.
    New York: Sadlier & Co. 1876.

Father Saint Jure flourished in the seventeenth century and is known
as the author of several spiritual works. The present volume, which is
a good translation of one of these works, published in a neat and
convenient form, is intended as a help to meditation during the
various seasons of the ecclesiastical year. It is very well adapted
for that purpose――simple, brief, easy of use, and in every way
practical.


  REAL LIFE. By Madame Mathilde Froment. Translated from the French by
    Miss Newlin. Baltimore: Kelly, Piet & Co. 1876.

Real life is, generally speaking, a dull enough thing to depict. The
living of a good Christian family life has nothing outwardly heroic in
it, however much heroism there may be, and indeed must be, concealed
under the constant calm of its exterior. For Christianity, in its
smallest phase, is eminently heroic. It is just such a life that
Madame Froment has taken up in the present volume, and out of it she
has constructed a useful and, on the whole, an interesting narrative.
The narrator is the heroine, who begins jotting down her experiences,
hopes, thoughts, aspirations, while still a girl within the convent
walls. On the twenty third page she is married, and thenceforth she
gives us the story of her married life, its crosses and trials as well
as its pleasures. The whole story is told in the first person, and in
the form of a diary. This is rather a trying method, especially as in
the earlier portions of the narrative Madame Froment scarcely catches
the free, thoughtless spirit, the freshness and _naïveté_ of a young
girl just out of a convent and entering the world. Then, too, many of
the entries in the diary are remarkable for nothing but their brevity.
Of course this may be a very good imitation of a diary, but too
frequent indulgence in such practice is likely to make a very poor
book. As the narrative advances, however, the interest deepens, and
the whole will be found worthy of perusal. The translation, with the
exception of an occasional localism, is free, vigorous, and happy.


  SILVER PITCHERS AND INDEPENDENCE. A Centennial Love-Story. By Louisa
    M. Alcott. Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1876.

Of course our Centennial would not be complete without its Centennial
literature. We have had odes, poems, and all manner of bursts of song
which might have been better, judged from a literary point of view,
but which all possess the one undeniable character of genuine and
unbounded enthusiasm. It was but proper, therefore, that we should
have some Centennial story telling, and we are glad that the task has
fallen into no worse hands then those of Miss Alcott. This lady has
already recommended herself to the reading public by a series of
fresh, sprightly, and very readable little volumes. She tells a story
well. She is not pretentious, yet never low, and the English has not
suffered at her hands. Of late it has somehow become the vogue among
so-called popular writers to supply true tact and the power to enlist
interest by a sort of _double-entendre_ style which, if it does not
run into downright indecency, is at least prurient; and, alas! that we
should have to say that our lady writers especially lay themselves
open to this charge.

To our own credit be it said that this reprehensible manner of writing
is more common in England than among ourselves. Miss Alcott has
avoided these faults; and in saying this we consider we have said much
in her praise. Her _Silver Pitchers_ is a charming little temperance
story told in her best vein. It is somewhat New-Englandish, but that
has its charms for some――ourselves, we must confess, among the number.
Pity Miss Alcott could not understand that there are higher and nobler
motives for temperance than the mere impulse it gives to worldly
success and the desire to possess a good name. The siren cup will
never be effectually dashed aside by the tempted ones till prayer and
supernatural considerations come to their assistance.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XXIV., No. 140.――NOVEMBER, 1876.

Copyright: Rev. I. T. HECKER. 1877.



THOUGHTS ON MYSTICAL THEOLOGY.


St. John of the Cross, in commenting on these two lines of the
thirty-ninth stanza of his _Spiritual Canticle_:

  “The grove and its beauty
   In the serene night,”

gives us a definition of mystical theology. “‘In the serene
night’――that is, contemplation, in which the soul desires to behold
the grove (God as the Creator and Giver of life to all creatures). It
is called night because contemplation is obscure, and that is the
reason why it is also called mystical theology――that is, the secret or
hidden wisdom of God, wherein God, without the sound of words _or the
intervention of any bodily or spiritual sense_, as it were in silence
and repose, in the darkness of sense and nature, teaches the soul――and
the soul knows not how――in a most secret and hidden way. Some
spiritual writers call this ‘understanding without understanding,’
because it does not take place in what philosophers call the active
intellect (_intellectus agens_), which is conversant with the forms,
fancies, and apprehensions of the physical faculties, but in the
intellect as it is passive (_intellectus possibilis_), which, without
receiving such forms, receives passively only the substantial
intelligence of them, free from all imagery.”[35]

Father Baker explains mystic contemplation as follows: “In the second
place, there is a mystic contemplation which is, indeed, truly and
properly such, by which a soul, without discoursings and curious
speculations, without any _perceptible use_ of the internal senses or
sensible images, by a pure, simple, and reposeful operation of the
mind, in the obscurity of faith, simply regards God as infinite and
incomprehensible verity, and with the whole bent of the will rests in
him as (her) infinite, universal, and incomprehensible good.… This is
properly the exercise of angels, for their knowledge is not by
discourse (discursive), but by one simple intuition all objects are
represented to their view at once with all their natures, qualities,
relations, dependencies, and effects; but man, that receives all his
knowledge first from his senses, can only by effects and outward
appearances with the labor of reasoning collect the nature of objects,
and this but imperfectly; but his reasoning being ended, then he can
at once contemplate all that is known unto him in the object.… This
mystic contemplation or union is of two sorts: 1. Active and
ordinary.… 2. Passive and extraordinary; the which is not a state, but
an actual grace and favor from God.… And it is called passive, not but
that therein the soul doth actively contemplate God, but she can
neither, when she pleases, dispose herself thereto, nor yet refuse it
when that God thinks good to operate after such a manner in the soul,
and to represent himself unto her _by a divine particular image, not
at all framed by the soul, but supernaturally infused into her_.… As
for the former sort, which is active contemplation, we read in mystic
authors――Thaulerus, Harphius, etc.――that he that would become
spiritual ought to practise the drawing of his external senses
inwardly into his internal, there losing and, as it were, annihilating
them. Having done this, he must then draw his internal senses into the
superior powers of the soul, and there annihilate them likewise; and
those powers of the intellectual soul he must draw into that which is
called their unity, which is the principle and fountain from whence
those powers do flow, and in which they are united. And, lastly, that
unity (which alone is capable of perfect union with God) must be
applied and firmly fixed on God; and herein, say they, consist the
perfect divine contemplation and union of an intellectual soul with
God. Now, whether such expressions as these will abide the strict
examination of philosophy or no I will not take on me to determine;
certain it is that, by a frequent and constant exercise of internal
prayer of the will, joined with mortification, the soul comes to
operate more and more abstracted from sense, and more elevated above
the corporal organs and faculties, so drawing nearer to the
resemblance of the operations of an angel or separated spirit. Yet
this abstraction and elevation (perhaps) are not to be understood as
if the soul in these pure operations had no use at all of the internal
senses or sensible images (for the schools resolve that cannot consist
with the state of a soul joined to a mortal body); but surely her
operations in this pure degree of prayer are so subtile and intime,
and the images that she makes use of so exquisitely pure and
immaterial, that she cannot perceive at all that she works by images,
so that spiritual writers are not much to be condemned by persons
utterly inexperienced in these mystic affairs, if, delivering things
as they perceived by their own experience, they have expressed them
otherwise than will be admitted in the schools.”[36]

That kind of contemplation which is treated of in mystical theology
is, therefore, a state or an act of the mind in which the intellectual
operation approaches to that of separate spirits――that is, of human
souls separated from their bodies, and of pure spirits or angels who
are, by their essence unembodied, simply intellectual beings. Its
direct and chief object is God, other objects being viewed in their
relation to him. The end of it is the elevation of the soul above the
sphere of the senses and the sensible world into a more spiritual
condition approaching the angelic, in which it is closely united with
God, and prepared for the beatific and deific state of the future and
eternal life. The longing after such a liberation from the natural and
imperfect mode of knowing and enjoying the sovereign good, the
sovereign truth, the sovereign beauty, through the senses and the
discursive operations of reason, is as ancient and as universal among
men as religion and philosophy. It is an aspiration after the
invisible and the infinite. When it is not enlightened, directed, and
controlled by a divine authority, it drives men into a kind of
intellectual and spiritual madness, produces the most extravagant
absurdities in thought and criminal excesses in conduct, stimulates
and employs as its servants all the most cruel and base impulses of
the disordered passions, and disturbs the whole course of nature.
Demons are fallen angels who aspired to obtain their deification
through pride, and the fall of man was brought about through an
inordinate and disobedient effort of Eve to become like the gods,
knowing good and evil. An inordinate striving to become like the
angels assimilates man to the demons, and an inordinate striving after
a similitude to God causes a relapse into a lower state of sin than
that in which we are born. The history of false religions and
philosophies furnishes a series of illustrations of this statement. In
the circle of nominal Christianity, and even within the external
communion of the Catholic Church, heretical and false systems of a
similar kind have sprung up, and the opinions and writings of some who
were orthodox and well-intentioned in their principles have been
tinctured with such errors, or at least distorted in their verbal
expression of the cognate truths. This remark applies not only to
those who are devotees of a mystical theology more or less erroneous,
but also to certain philosophical writers with their disciples.
Ontologism is a kind of mystical philosophy; for its fundamental
doctrine ascribes to man a mode of knowledge which is proper only to
the purely intellectual being, and even a direct, immediate intuition
of God which is above the natural power not only of men but of angels.

There are two fundamental errors underlying all these false systems of
mystical theology――or more properly theosophy――and philosophy. One is
distinctively anti-theistic, the other distinctively anti-Christian;
but we may class both under one logical species with the common
_differentia_ of denial of the real essence and personality, and the
real operation _ad extra_, of the Incarnate Word. The first error
denies his divine nature and creative act, the second his human nature
and theandric operation. By the first error identity of substance in
respect to the divine nature and all nature is asserted; by the
second, identity of the human nature and its operation with that
nature which is purely spiritual. The first error manifests itself as
a perversion of the revealed and Catholic doctrine of the deification
of the creature in and through the Word, by teaching that it becomes
one with God in its mode of being by absorption into the essence whose
emanation it is, in substantial unity. The second manifests itself by
teaching that the instrumentality and the process of this unification
are purely spiritual. The first denies the substantiality of the soul
and the proper activity which proceeds from it and constitutes its
life. The second denies the difference of the human essence as a
composite of spirit and body, which separates it from purely spiritual
essences and marks it as a distinct species. The first error is
pantheism; for the second we cannot think of any designating term more
specific than idealism. Both these errors, however disguised or
modified may be the forms they assume, conduct logically to the
explicit denial of the Catholic faith, and even of any form of
positive doctrinal Christianity. Their extreme developments are to be
found outside of the boundaries of all that is denominated Christian
theology. Within these boundaries they have developed themselves more
or less imperfectly into gross heresies, and into shapes of erroneous
doctrine which approach to or recede from direct and palpable heresy
in proportion to the degree of their evolution. Our purpose is not
directly concerned with any of the openly anti-Christian forms of
these errors, but only with such as have really infected or have been
imputed to the doctrines and writings of mystical authors who were
Catholics by profession, and have flourished within the last four
centuries. There is a certain more or less general and sweeping charge
made by some Catholic authors of reputation, and a prejudice or
suspicion to some extent among educated Catholics, against the German
school of mystics of the epoch preceding the Reformation, that they
prepared the way by their teaching for Martin Luther and his
associates. This notion of an affinity between the doctrine of some
mystical writers and Protestantism breeds a more general suspicion
against mystical theology itself, as if it undermined or weakened the
fabric of the external, visible order and authority of the church
through some latent, unorthodox, and un-Catholic element of
spiritualism. We are inclined to think, moreover, that some very
zealous advocates of the scholastic philosophy apprehend a danger to
sound psychological science from the doctrine of mystic contemplation
as presented by the aforesaid school of writers. Those who are
canonized saints, indeed, as St. Bonaventure and St. John of the
Cross, cannot be censured, and their writings must be treated with
respect. Nevertheless, they may be neglected, their doctrine ignored,
and, through misapprehension or inadvertence, their teachings may be
criticised and assailed when presented by other authors not canonized
and approved by the solemn judgment of the church; and thus mystical
theology itself may suffer discredit and be undervalued. It is
desirable to prove that genuine mystical theology has no affinity with
the Protestant heresies which subvert the visible church with its
authority, or those of idealistic philosophy, but is, on the contrary,
in perfect harmony with the dogmatic and philosophical doctrine of the
most approved Catholic schools. It is only a modest effort in that
direction which we can pretend to make, with respect chiefly to the
second or philosophical aspect of the question. We must devote,
however, a few paragraphs to its first or theological aspect.

From the mystery of the Incarnation necessarily follows the
substantial reality of human nature as a composite of spirit and body,
the excellence and endless existence, in its own distinct entity, not
only of the spiritual but also of the corporeal part of man and of the
visible universe to which he belongs as being an embodied spirit. The
theology which springs out of this fundamental doctrine teaches a
visible church, existing as an organic body with visible priesthood,
sacrifice, sacraments, ceremonies, and order, as mediums subordinate
to the theandric, mediatorial operation of the divine Word acting
through his human nature. Sound philosophy, which is in accordance
with theology, teaches also that the corporeal life and sensitive
operation of man is for the benefit of his mind and his intellectual
operation. He is not a purely intellectual being, but a rational
animal. He must therefore derive his intelligible species or ideas by
abstraction from sensible species furnished by the corporeal world to
the senses, and then proceed by a discursive process of reasoning from
these general ideas to investigate the particular objects apprehended
by his faculties. False theology denies or undervalues the being of
the created universe or the corporeal part of it. Under the pretence
of making way for God it would destroy the creature, and, to exalt the
spiritual part of the universe, reduce to nothing that part which is
corporeal. Hence the denial of the visible church, the sacraments, the
Real Presence, the external sacrifice and worship, the value of
reason, the merit of good works, the essential goodness of nature, and
the necessity of active voluntary co-operation by the senses and the
mind with the Spirit of God in attaining perfection. The corporeal
part of man, and the visible world to which it belongs, are regarded
as unreal appearances, or as an encumbrance and impediment, at the
best but temporary provisions for the earliest, most imperfect stage
of development.

Some of the German mystics, especially Eckhardt and the author of the
_Theologia Germanica_, undoubtedly prepared the way for the errors of
Luther and the pantheists who followed him. But the doctors of mystic
theology, the canonized saints of the church and their disciples, have
invariably taught that as the human nature of Christ is for ever
essentially and substantially distinct from the divine nature in the
personal union, so much more the beatified, in their separate
personalities, remain for ever distinct in essence and substance from
God. So, also, as they teach that the body of Christ is immortal and
to be adored for ever with the worship of _latria_, they maintain that
the union of the soul with the body and the existence of corporeal
things is for the advantage of the soul, and perpetual. It is only by
comparison with supernatural life in God that natural life is
depreciated by the Catholic mystics, and by comparison with the
spiritual world that the corporeal world is undervalued. In a word,
all things which are created and visible, even the humanity of the
Word, are only mediums and instruments of the Holy Spirit; all nature
is only a pedestal for grace; and the gifts and operations of grace
are only for the sake of the beatific union with Christ in the Holy
Spirit, in whom he is one with the Father. All things, therefore, are
to be valued and employed for their utility as means to the final end,
but not as ends in themselves; and, consequently, the lower are to
give place to the higher, the more remote to the proximate, and that
which is inferior in nature is to be wholly subordinated to that which
is highest. Mystical theology is in doctrine what the lives of the
great saints have been in practice. Neither can be blamed without
impiety; and when the actions or doctrines of those whose lives or
writings have not received solemn sanction from the church are
criticised, it must be done by comparing them with the speculative and
practical science of the saints as a standard.

The psychological doctrine of the doctors and other canonized authors
who have treated scientifically of the nature of mystic contemplation,
is not, however, placed above all critical discussion. A few important
questions excepted, upon which the supreme authority of the Holy See
has pronounced a judgment, the theory of cognition is an open area of
discussion, and therefore explanations of the phenomena of the
spiritual life, given by any author in accordance with his own
philosophical system, may be criticised by those who differ from him
in opinion. Those who follow strictly the psychology of St. Thomas, as
contained in modern writers of the later Thomistic school, may easily
be led by their philosophical opinions to suspect and qualify as
scientifically untenable the common language of mystical writers. The
passage quoted from Father Baker at the head of this article will
furnish an illustration of our meaning. Those who are familiar with
metaphysics will understand at once where the apparent opposition
between scholastic psychology and mystical theology is found. For
others it may suffice to explain that, in the metaphysics of the
Thomists, no origin of ideas is recognized except that which is called
abstraction from the sensible object, and that the precise difference
of the human mind in respect to the angelic intellect is that the
former is naturally turned to the intelligible in a sensible phantasm
or image, whereas the latter is turned to the purely intelligible
itself. Now, as soon as one begins to speak of a mode of contemplation
similar to that of the angels――a contemplation of God and divine
things without the intervention of images――he passes beyond the known
domain of metaphysics, and appears to be waving his wings for a flight
in the air, instead of quietly pacing the ground with the
peripatetics.

Now, assuming the Thomistic doctrine of the origin of ideas and the
specific nature of human cognition to be true, it is worthy of careful
inquiry how the statements of mystical authors respecting infused
contemplation are to be explained in accordance with this system. We
cannot prudently assume that there is a repugnance between them.
Practically, St. Thomas was one of those saints who have made the
highest attainments in mystic contemplation. He is the “Angelical,”
and the history of his life shows that he was frequently, and towards
the close of his life almost habitually, rapt out of the common sphere
of the senses, so as to take no notice of what went on before his eyes
or was uttered in his hearing. His last act as an instructor in divine
wisdom was an exposition of the Canticle of Solomon to the monks of
Fossa Nuova, and he could no doubt have explained according to his own
philosophical doctrine all the facts and phenomena of mystic
contemplation, so far as these can be represented in human language.
There cannot be any sufficient reason, therefore, to regard the two as
dissonant or as demanding either one any sacrifice of the other.

In respect to the purely passive and supernatural contemplation, there
seems, indeed, to be no difficulty whatsoever in the way. There is no
question of an immediate intuition of the divine essence in this
ecstatic state, so that, even if the soul is supposed to be raised for
a time to an equality with angels in its intellectual acts, the errors
of false mysticism and ontologism are excluded from the hypothesis.
For even the angels have no such natural intuition. That the human
intellect should receive immediately from angels or from God infused
species or ideas by which it becomes cognizant of realities behind the
veil of the sensible, and contemplates God through a more perfect
glass than that of discursive reason, does not in any way interfere
with the psychology of scholastic metaphysics. For the cause and mode
are professedly supernatural. In the human intellect of our Lord, the
perfection of infused and acquired knowledge, the beatific vision and
the natural sensitive life common to all men co-existed in perfect
harmony. It is even probable that Moses, the Blessed Virgin, and St.
Paul enjoyed temporary glimpses of the beatific vision. Therefore,
although it is true that, without a miracle, no mere man “can see God
and live,” and that the ecstasies of the saints, in which there is no
intuitive vision of the divine essence, but only a manifestation of
divine things, naturally tend to extinguish bodily life, yet, by the
power of God, the operations of the natural life can be sustained in
conjunction with those which are supernatural, because they are not
essentially incongruous. The only question is one of fact and
evidence. Whatever may be proved to take place in souls so highly
elevated, philosophy has no objection to offer; for these things are
above the sphere of merely human and rational science.

The real matter of difficult and perplexing investigation relates to
certain abnormal or preternatural phenomena, which seem to indicate a
partial liberation of the soul from the conditions of organic life and
union with the body, and to that state of mystic contemplation which
is called active or acquired. In these cases there is no liberty
allowed us by sound theology or philosophy of resorting to the
supernatural in its strict and proper sense. We are restricted to the
sphere of the nature of man and the operations which can proceed from
it or be terminated to it according to the natural laws of its being.
There is one hypothesis, very intelligible and perfectly in accordance
with psychology, which will remove all difficulty out of the way, if
only it is found adequate to explain all the certain and probable
facts and phenomena which have to be considered. Father Baker
furnishes this explanation as a probable one, and it no doubt amply
suffices for the greatest number of instances. That is to say, we may
suppose that whenever the mind seems to act without any species,
image, or idea, originally presented through the medium of the senses,
and by a pure, spiritual intuition, it is really by a subtile and
imperceptible image which it has elaborated by an abstractive and
discursive process, and which exists in the imagination, that the
intellect receives the object which it contemplates.

But let us suppose that this hypothesis is found insufficient to
explain all the facts to which it must be applied. Can it be admitted,
without prejudice to rational psychology, that the soul may, by an
abnormal condition of its relations to the body, or as the result of
its efforts and habits, whether for evil or good, lawfully or
unlawfully, escape from its ordinary limits in knowing and acting, and
thus draw nearer to the state of separate spirits?

We must briefly consider what is the mode of knowing proper to
separate spirits before we can find any data for answering this
question. Here we avail ourselves of the explication of the doctrine
of St. Thomas given by Liberatore in his interesting treatise on the
nature of man entitled _Dell’Uomo_.[37]

St. Thomas, following St. Augustine, teaches that in the creation, the
divine idea in the Word was communicated in a twofold way, spiritual
and corporeal. In the latter mode this light was made to reverberate
from the visible universe. In the former it was made to shine in the
superior and intellectual beings――that is, the angels――producing in
them ideally all that which exists in the universe really. As they
approximate in intelligence to God, these ideas or intelligible
species by which they know all things have a nearer resemblance to the
Idea in the Divine Word――that is, approach to its unity and simplicity
of intuition――are fewer and more general. As their grade of
intelligence is more remote from its source, they depart to a greater
and greater distance from this unity by the increasing multiplicity of
their intelligible species. Moreover, the inferior orders are
illuminated by those which are superior; that is, these higher beings
present to them a higher ideal universe than their own, and are as if
reflectors or mirrors of the divine ideas, by which they see God
mediately in his works. The human soul, being the lowest in the order
of intelligent spirits, is not capable of seeing objects distinctly,
even in the light of the lowest order of angels. It is made with a
view to its informing an organized body, and it is aided by the bodily
senses and organic operations to come out of the state of a mere
capacity of intelligence, in which it has no innate or infused ideas,
into actual intelligence. It is naturally turned, as an embodied
spirit, to inferior objects, to single, visible things, for the
material term of its operation, and from these abstracts the universal
ideas which are the principles of knowledge. The necessity of turning
to these sensible phantasms is therefore partly the inchoate state of
the intelligence of man at the beginning of his existence, partly its
essential inferiority, and, in addition, the actual union of the soul
with the body. There is, however, in the soul, a power, albeit
inferior to that of angels, of direct, intellectual vision and
cognition, without the instrumentality of sensation. When the soul
leaves the body and goes into the state of a separate spirit, it has
the intuition of its own essence, it retains all its acquired ideas,
and it has a certain dim and confused perception of higher spiritual
beings and the ideas which are in them. It is therefore, in a certain
sense, more free and more perfect in its intellectual operation in the
separate state than it was while united with the body. All this
proceeds without taking into account in the least that supernatural
light of glory which enables a beatified spirit to see the essence of
God, and in him to see the whole universe.

We see from the foregoing that the necessity for using sensible images
in operations of the intellect does not arise from an intrinsic,
essential incapacity of the human mind to act without them. As Father
Baker says, and as Liberatore distinctly asserts after St. Thomas, it
is “the state of a soul joined to a mortal body” which impedes the
exercise of a power inherent and latent in the very nature of the
soul, as a form which is in and by itself substantial and capable of
self-subsistence and action in a separate state. Remove the impediment
of the body, and the spirit starts, like a spring that has been
weighted down, into a new and immortal life and activity. The curtain
has dropped, and it is at once in the world of spirits. The earth,
carrying with it the earthly body, drops down from the ascending soul,
as it does from an aeronaut going up in a balloon. “Animæ, secundum
illum modum essendi, quo corpori est unita, competit modus
intelligendi per conversionem ad phantasmata corporum, quæ in
corporeis organis sunt. Cum autem fuerit a corpore separata, competit
ei modus intelligendi per conversionem ad ea, quæ sunt intelligibilia
simpliciter, sicut et aliis substantiis separatis”――“To the soul, in
respect to the mode of being by union with a body, belongs a mode of
understanding by turning toward the phantasms of bodies which are in
the bodily organs. But when it is separated from the body, a mode of
understanding belongs to it in common with other separate substances,
by turning toward things simply intelligible.”[38] “Hujusmodi
perfectionem recipiunt animæ separatæ a Deo, mediantibus
angelis”――“This kind of perfection the separate souls receive from God
through the mediation of angels.”[39] “Quando anima erit a corpore
separata plenius percipere poterit influentiam a superioribus
substantiis, quantum ad hoc quod per hujusmodi influxum intelligere
poterit absque phantasmate _quod modo non potest_”――“When the soul
shall be separated from the body, it will be capable of receiving
influence from superior substances more fully, inasmuch as by an
influx of this kind it can exercise intellectual perception without a
phantasm, _which in its present state it cannot do_.” This language of
St. Thomas and other schoolmen explains the hesitation of Father Baker
in respect to certain statements of mystical authors, especially
Harphius. He says, as quoted above: “This abstraction and elevation
(perhaps) are not to be understood as if the soul in these pure
operations had no use at all of _the internal senses or sensible
images_ (for the schools resolve that cannot consist with the state of
a soul joined to a mortal body).” He says “perhaps,” which shows that
he was in doubt on the point. The precise question we have raised is
whether there is reason for this doubt in the shape of probable
arguments, or conjectures not absolutely excluded by sound philosophy.
The point to be considered, namely, is whether the reception of this
influx and the action of the intellect without the medium of sensible
images is made absolutely impossible, unless by a miracle, by the
union of the soul and body. It is a hindrance, and ordinarily a
complete preventive of this kind of influx from the spiritual world
into the soul, and this kind of activity properly belonging to a
separate spirit. But we propose the conjectural hypothesis that there
may be, in the first place, some kind of extraordinary and abnormal
condition of the soul, in which the natural effect of the union with a
body is diminished, or at times partially suspended. In this condition
the soul would come in a partial and imperfect manner, and quite
involuntarily, into immediate contact with the world of spirits,
receive influences from it, and perceive things imperceptible to the
senses and the intellect acting by their aid as its instruments. In
the second place, that it is possible to bring about this condition
unlawfully, to the great damage and danger of the soul by voluntarily
yielding to or courting preternatural influences, and thus coming into
immediate commerce with demons. In the third place, that it is
possible, lawfully, for a good end and to the soul’s great benefit, to
approximate to the angelical state by abstractive contemplation,
according to the description given by Harphius and quoted by Father
Baker. As for passive, supernatural contemplation, it is not possible
for the soul to do more than prepare itself for the visitation of the
divine Spirit with his lights and graces. In this supernatural
condition it is more consonant to the doctrine of St. John of the
Cross, who was well versed in scholastic metaphysics and theology; of
St. Teresa, whose wisdom is called by the church in her solemn office
“celestial”; and to what we know of the exalted experience of the most
extraordinary saints, to suppose that God acts on the soul through the
intermediate agency of angels, and also immediately by himself,
without any concurrence of the imagination or the active intellect and
its naturally-acquired forms. The quotation from St. John of the Cross
at the head of this article, if carefully reperused and reflected on,
will make this statement plain, and intelligible at least to all those
who have some tincture of scholastic metaphysics.

There are many facts reported on more or less probable evidence, and
extraordinary phenomena, belonging to diabolical and natural
mysticism, which receive at least a plausible explanation on the same
hypothesis. To refer all these to subjective affections of the
external or internal senses and the imagination does not seem to be
quite sufficient for their full explanation. It appears like bending
and straining the facts of experience too violently, for the sake of a
theory which, perhaps, is conceived in too exclusive and literal a
sense. At all events it is worth investigation and discussion whether
the _dictum_ of St. Thomas, _intelligere absque phantasmate modo non
potest_, does not admit of and require some modification, by which it
is restricted to those intellectual perceptions which belong to the
normal, ordinary condition of man within the limits of the purely
natural order.


     [35] Complete works, vol. iii. p. 208.

     [36] _Sancta Sophia_, treatise iii. sec. iv. chap. i. par.
     5-12.

     [37] _Dell’Uomo._ Trattato del P. Matteo Liberatore,
     D.C.D.G. Vol. ii. Dell’Anima Humana, seconda ed. corretta ed
     accresciuta. Roma. Befani: Via delle Stimate 23, 1875. Capo
     x. Dell’Anima separata dal Corpo.

     [38] _Summ. Theol._, i. p. qu. 89, art i.

     [39] Qq. disp. ii. _de Anima_, art. 19 ad 13.



AVILA.

  Mira tu muro dichoso
  Que te rodea y corona,
  Pues de tantos victorioso!
  Mverece (en triumpho glorioso),
  Cada almena su corona.
                  ――_Ariz grandezas de Avila._


It was on the 31st of January, 1876, we left the Escorial to visit the
_muy leal, muy magnifica, y muy noble_ city of Avila――_Avila de los
Caballeros_, once famed for its valiant knights, and their daring
exploits against the Moors, but whose chief glory now is that it is
the birthplace of St. Teresa, whom all Christendom admires for her
genius and venerates for her sanctity.

Keeping along the southern base of the Guadarrama Mountains, whose
snowy summits and gray, rock-strewn sides wore a wild, lonely aspect
that was inexpressibly melancholy, we came at length to a lower
plateau that advances like a promontory between two broad valleys
opening to the north and south. On this eminence stands the
picturesque city of Avila, the Pearl of Old Castile, very much as it
was in the twelfth century. It is full of historic mansions and
interesting old churches that have a solemn architectural grandeur.
One is astonished to find so small a place inland, inactive, and with
no apparent source of wealth, with so many imposing and interesting
monuments. They are all massive and severe, because built in an heroic
age that disdained all that was light and unsubstantial. It is a city
of granite――not of the softer hues that take a polish like marble, but
of cold blue granite, severe and invincible as the steel-clad knights
who built it. The granite houses are built with a solidity that would
withstand many a hard assault; the granite churches, with their
frowning battlements, have the aspect of fortresses; and the granite
convents with their high granite walls look indeed like “citadels of
prayer.” Everything speaks of a bygone age, an age of conflict and
chivalrous deeds, when the city must have been far more wealthy and
powerful than now, to have erected such solid edifices. We are not in
the least surprised to hear it was originally founded by Hercules
himself, or one of the forty of that name to whom so many of the
cities of Spain are attributed. Avila is worthy of being counted among
his labors.

But whoever founded Avila, it afterwards became the seat of a Roman
colony which is mentioned by Ptolemy. It has always been of strategic
importance, being at the entrance to the Guadarrama Mountains and the
Castiles. When Roderick, the last of the Goths, brought destruction on
the land by his folly, Avila was one of the first places seized by the
Moors. This was in 714. After being repeatedly taken and lost, Don
Sancho of Castile finally took it in 992, and the Moors never regained
possession of it. But there were not Christians enough to repeople it,
and it remained desolate eighty-nine years. St. Ferdinand found it
uninhabited when he came from the conquest of Seville. Alonso VI.
finally commissioned his son-in-law, Count Raymond of Burgundy, to
rebuild and fortify it.

Alonso VI. had already taken the city of Toledo and made peace with
the Moors, but the latter, intent on ruling over the whole of the
Peninsula, soon became unmindful of the treaty. In this new crisis
many foreign knights hastened to acquire fresh renown in this land of
a perpetual crusade. Among the most renowned were Henry of Lorraine;
Raymond de St. Gilles, Count of Toulouse; and Raymond, son of
Guillaume Tête-Hardie of Burgundy, and brother of Pope Calixtus II.
They contributed so much to the triumph of the cross that Alonso gave
them his three daughters in marriage. Urraca (the name of a delicious
pear in Spain) fell to the lot of Raymond of Burgundy, with Galicia
for her portion, and to him was entrusted the task of rebuilding
Avila, the more formidable because it required numerous outposts and a
continual struggle with the Moors. The flower of Spanish knighthood
came to his aid, and the king granted great privileges to all who
would establish themselves in the city. Hewers of wood, stone-cutters,
masons, and artificers of all kinds came from Biscay, Galicia, and
Leon. The king sent the Moors taken in battle to aid in the work. The
bishop in pontificals, accompanied by a long train of clergy, blessed
the outlines traced for the walls, stopping to make special exorcisms
at the spaces for the ten gates, that the great enemy of the human
race might never obtain entrance into the city. The walls were built
out of the ruins left successively behind by the Moors, the Goths, and
the Romans, to say nothing of Hercules. As an old chronicler remarks,
had they been obliged to hew out and bring hither all the materials,
no king would have been able to build such walls. They are forty-two
feet high and twelve feet thick. The so-called towers are rather solid
circular buttresses that add to their strength. These walls were begun
May 3, 1090. Eight hundred men were employed in the work, which was
completed in nine years. They proved an effectual barrier against the
Saracen; the crescent never floated from those towers. How proud the
people are of them is shown by the lines at the head of this sketch:

“Behold the superb walls that surround and crown thee, victorious in
so many assaults! Each battlement deserves a crown in reward for thy
glorious triumphs!”

It was thus this daughter of Hercules rose from the grave where she
had lain seemingly dead so many years. Houses sprang up as by
enchantment, and were peopled so rapidly that in 1093 there were about
thirty thousand inhabitants. The city thus rebuilt and defended by its
incomparable knights merited the name often given it from that time by
the old chroniclers, _Avila de los Caballeros_.

One of these cavaliers, Zurraquin Sancho, the honor and glory of
knighthood, was captain of the country forces around Avila. One day,
while riding over his estate with a single attendant to examine his
herds, he spied a band of Moors returning from a foray into Christian
lands, dragging several Spanish peasants after them in chains. As soon
as Zurraquin was perceived, the captives cried to him for deliverance.
Whereupon, mindful of his knightly vows to relieve the distressed, he
rode boldly up, though but slightly armed, and offered to ransom his
countrymen. The Moors would not consent, and the knight prudently
withdrew. But, as soon as he was out of sight, he alighted to tighten
the girths of his steed, which he then remounted and spurred on by a
different path. In a short time he came again upon the Moors, and
crying “Santiago!” as with the voice of twenty men, he suddenly dashed
into their midst, laying about him right and left so lustily that,
taken unawares, they were thrown into confusion, and, supposing
themselves attacked by a considerable force, fled for their lives,
leaving two of their number wounded, and one dead on the field.
Zurraquin unbound the captives, who had also been left behind, and
sent them away with the injunction to be silent concerning his
exploit.

A few days after, these peasants came to Avila in search of their
benefactor, bringing with them twelve fat swine and a large flock of
hens. Regardless of his parting admonition, they stopped on the Square
of San Pedro, and related how he had delivered them single-handed
against threescore infidels. The whole city soon resounded with so
brave a deed, and Zurraquin was declared a peerless knight. The women
also took up his praises and sang songs in his honor to the sound of
the tambourine:

  “Cantan de Oliveros, e cantan de Roldan,
   E non de Zurraquin, ca fue buen barragan.”[40]

A second band would take up the strain:

  “Cantan de Roldan, e cantan de Olivero,
   E non de Zurraquin, ca fue buen caballero.”[41]

After rebuilding Avila Count Raymond of Burgundy retired to his
province of Galicia, and, dying March 26, 1107, he was buried in the
celebrated church of Santiago at Compostella. It was his son who
became King of Castile under the name of Alonso VIII., and Avila,
because of its loyalty to him and his successors, acquired a new
name――_Avila del Rey_――among the chroniclers of the time.

But the city bears a title still more glorious than those already
mentioned――that of _Avila de los Santos_. It was in the sixteenth
century especially that it became worthy of this name, when there
gathered about St. Teresa a constellation of holy souls, making the
place a very Carmel, filled with the “sons of the prophets.” _Avila
cantos y santos_――Avila has as many saints as stones――says an old
Spanish proverb, and that is saying not a little. The city has always
been noted for dignity of character and its attachment to the church.

The piety of its ancient inhabitants is attested by the number and
grave beauty of the churches, with their lamp-lit shrines of the
saints and their dusky aisles filled with tombs of the old knights who
fought under the banner of the cross. In St. Teresa’s time it was
honored with the presence of several saints who have been canonized:
St. Thomas of Villanueva, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. John of the
Cross, and that holy Spanish grandee, St. Francis Borgia, besides many
other individuals noted for their sanctity. But St. Teresa is the best
type of Avila. Her piety was as sweetly austere as the place, as broad
and enlightened as the vast horizon that bounds it, and fervid as its
glowing sun.

“You mustn’t say anything against St. Teresa at Avila,” said the
inevitable Englishmen we met an hour after our arrival.

“We are by no means disposed to, here or anywhere else,” was our
reply. On the contrary, we regarded her, with Mrs. Jameson, as “the
most extraordinary woman of her age and country”; nay, “who would have
been a remarkable woman in _any_ age or country.” We had seen her
statue among the fathers of the church in the first Christian temple
in the world, with the inscription: _Sancta Teresa, Mater
spiritualis_. We had read her works, written in the pure Castilian for
which Avila is noted, breathing the imagination of a poet and the
austerity of a saint, till we were ready to exclaim with Crashawe:

  “Oh! ’tis not Spanish, but ’tis Heaven she speaks!”

and we had come to Avila expressly to offer her the tribute of our
admiration. Here she reigns, to quote Miss Martineau’s words, “as true
a queen on this mountain throne as any empress who ever wore a crown!”

At this very moment we were on our way to visit the places associated
with her memory. A few turns more through the narrow, tortuous
streets, and we came to the ponderous gateway of San Vicente on the
north side of the city, so named from the venerable church just
without the walls, beloved of archæologists. But for the moment it had
no attraction for us; for below, in the broad, sunny valley, we could
see the monastery of the Incarnation, a place of great interest to the
Catholic heart. There it was that St. Teresa, young and beautiful,
took the veil and spent more than thirty years of her life. The first
glimpse of it one can never forget; and, apart from the associations,
the ancient towers of San Vicente on the edge of the hill, the fair
valley below with its winding stream and the convent embosomed among
trees, and the mountains that girt the horizon, made up a picture none
the less lovely for being framed in that antique gateway. We went
winding down to the convent, perhaps half a mile distant, by the
_Calle de la Encarnacion_. No sweeter, quieter spot could be desired
in which to end one’s days. It is charmingly situated on the farther
side of the Adaja, and commands a fine view of Avila, which, indeed,
is picturesque in every direction. We could count thirty towers in the
city walls as we turned at the convent gate to look back. St. Teresa
stopped in this same archway, Nov. 2, 1533, to bid farewell to her
brother Antonio, who, on leaving her, went to the Dominican convent,
where he took the monastic habit. She was then only eighteen and a
half years old. The inward agony she experienced on entering the
convent she relates with great sincerity, but there was no faltering
in her determination to embrace the higher life. The house had been
founded only about twenty years before, and the first Mass was said in
it the very day she was baptized. That was more than three centuries
ago. Its stout walls may be somewhat grayer, and the alleys of its
large garden more umbrageous, but its general aspect must be very much
the same; for in that dry climate nature does not take so kindly to
man’s handiwork as in the misty north, where the old convents are all
draped with moss and the ivy green. It is less peopled also. In 1550
there were ninety nuns, but now there are not more than half that
number.

There is a series of little parlors, low and dim, with unpainted
beams, and queer old chairs, and two black grates with nearly a yard
between, through which you can converse, as through a tunnel, with the
nuns. They have not been changed since St. Teresa’s time. In one of
these our Lord reproved her for her conversations, which still savored
too much of the world. Here, later in life, St. Francis Borgia came to
see her on his way from the convent of Yuste, where he had been to
visit his kinsman, Charles V. Here she saw St. Peter of Alcantara in
ecstasy. In one of these parlors, now regarded as a sacred spot, she
held her interviews with St. John of the Cross when he was director of
the house. It is related that one day, while he was discoursing here
on the mystery of the Holy Trinity, she was so impressed by his words
that she fell on her knees to listen. In a short time he entered the
ecstatic state, leaving St. Teresa lost in divine contemplation; and
when one of the nuns came with a message, she found them both
suspended in the air! For a moment they ceased to belong to earth, and
its laws did not control them. A picture of this scene hangs on the
wall. In a larger and more cheerful parlor some nuns of very pleasing
manners of the true Spanish type showed us several objects that
belonged to St. Teresa, and some of her embroidery of curious Spanish
work, very nicely done, as we were glad to see; likewise, a Christ
covered with bleeding wounds as he appeared to St. John of the Cross,
and many other touching memorials of the past.

We next visited the church, which is large, with buttressed walls,
low, square towers, and a gabled belfry. The interior is spacious and
lofty, but severe in style. There is a nave, and two short transepts
with a dome rising between them. It is paved with flag-stones, and
plain wooden benches stand against the stone walls. The high altar, at
which St. John of the Cross used to say Mass, has its gilt retable,
with colonnettes and niches filled with the saints of the order, among
whom we remember the prophets who dwelt on Mt. Carmel, and St. Albert,
patriarch of Jerusalem. The nuns’ choir is at the opposite end of the
church. We should say _choirs_; for they have two, one above the
other, with double black grates, which are generally curtained. It was
at the grate of the lower choir, dim and mystic as his _Obscure Night
of the Soul_, that St. John of the Cross used to preach to the nuns.
What sermons there must have been from him who wrote, as never man
wrote, on the upward way from night to light!

The grating of this lower choir has two divisions, between which is a
small square shutter, like the door of a tabernacle, on which is
represented a chalice and Host. It was here St. Teresa received the
Holy Communion for more than thirty years. Here one morning, after
receiving it from the hand of St. John of the Cross, she was
mysteriously affianced to the heavenly Bridegroom, who called her, in
the language of the Canticles, by the sweet name of Spouse, and placed
on her finger the nuptial ring. She was then fifty-seven years of age.
A painting over the communion table represents this supernatural
event.

This choir is also associated with the memory of Eleonora de Cepeda, a
niece of St. Teresa’s, who became a nun at the convent of the
Incarnation. She was remarkable for her detachment from earth, and
died young, an angel of purity and devotion. St. Teresa saw her body
borne to the choir by angels. No Mass of requiem was sung over her. It
was during the Octave of Corpus Christi. The church was adorned as for
a festival. The Mass of the Blessed Sacrament was chanted to the sound
of the organ, and the Alleluia repeatedly sung, as if to celebrate the
entrance of her soul into glory. The dead nun, in the holy habit of
Mt. Carmel, lay on her bier covered with lilies and roses, with a
celestial smile on her pale face that seemed to reflect the beatitude
of her soul. The procession of the Host was made around her, and all
the nuns took a last look at their beautiful sister before she was
lowered into the gloomy vault below.[42]

In the upper choir there is a statue of St. Teresa, dressed as a
Carmelite, in the stall she occupied when prioress of the house. The
nuns often go to kiss the hand as a mark of homage to her memory. The
actual prioress occupies the next stall below.

It will be remembered that St. Teresa passed twenty-nine years in this
convent before she left to found that of San José. She afterwards
returned three years as prioress, when, at her request, St. John of
the Cross (who was born in a small town near Avila) was appointed
spiritual director. Under the direction of these two saints the house
became a paradise filled with souls of such fervor that the heavenly
spirits themselves came down to join in their holy psalmody, according
to the testimony of St. Teresa herself, who saw the stalls occupied by
them.

  “The air of Paradise did fan the house,
   And angels office all.”

One of St. Teresa’s first acts, on taking charge of the house, was to
place a large statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in the upper choir, and
present her with the keys of the monastery, to indicate that this
womanly type of all that is sweet and heavenly was to be the true
ruler of the house. This statue still retains its place in the choir,
and in its hand are the keys presented by the saint.

The convent garden is surrounded by high walls. It wears the same
smiling aspect as in the saint’s time, but it is larger. The
neighboring house occupied by St. John of the Cross, with the land
around it, has been bought and added to the enclosure. The house has
been converted into an octagon chapel, called the _Ermita de San Juan
de la Cruz_. The unpainted wooden altar was made from a part of St.
Teresa’s cell. In this garden are the flowers and shrubbery she loved,
the almond-trees she planted, the paths she trod. Here are the
oratories where she prayed, the dark cypresses that witnessed her
penitential tears, the limpid water she was never weary of
contemplating――symbol of divine grace and regeneration. St. Teresa’s
love of nature is evident on every page of her writings. She said the
sight of the fields and flowers raised her soul towards God, and was
like a book in which she read his grandeur and benefits. And she often
compared her soul to a garden which she prayed the divine Husbandman
to fill with the sweet perfume of the lowly virtues.

In the right wing of the convent is a little oratory, quiet and
solitary, beloved of the saint, where an angel, all flame, appeared to
the eyes of her soul with a golden arrow in his hand, which he thrust
deep into her heart, leaving it for ever inflamed with seraphic love.
This mystery is honored in the Carmelite Order by the annual festival
of the Transverberation. Art like-wise has immortalized it. We
remember the group by Bernini in the church of Santa Maria della
Vittoria at Rome, in which the divine transport of her soul is so
clearly visible through the pale beauty of her rapt form, which
trembles beneath the fire-tipped dart of the angel. What significance
in this sacred seal set upon her virginal heart, from this time rent
in twain by love and penitence! _Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus,
non despicies!_ was the exclamation of St. Teresa when dying.

The sun was descending behind the proud walls of Avila when we
regained the steep hillside, lighting up the grim towers and crowning
them with splendor. We stopped on the brow, before the lofty portal of
San Vicente, to look at its wreaths of stone and mutilated saints, and
read the story of the rich man and Lazarus so beautifully told in the
arch. Angels are bearing away the soul of the latter on a mantle to
Abraham’s bosom. On the south side of the church is a sunny portico
with light, clustered pillars, filled with tombs, some in niches
covered with emblazonry, others like plain chests of stone set against
the wall. We went down the steps into the church, cold, and dim, and
gray, all of granite and cave-like. The pavement is composed of
granite tombstones covered with inscriptions and coats of arms. There
are granite fonts for the holy water. Old statues, old paintings, and
old inscriptions in Gothic text line the narrow aisles. The windows
are high up in the arches, which were still light, though shadows were
gathering around the tombs below. There was not a soul in the church.
We looked through the _reja_ that divides the nave at the beautiful
Gothic shrine of San Vicente and his two sisters, Sabina and
Chrysteta, standing on pillars under a richly-painted canopy, with
curious old lamps burning within, and then went down a long, narrow,
stone staircase into the crypt――of the third century――and kept along
beneath the low, round arches till we came to a chapel where, by the
light of a torch, we saw the bare rock on which the above-mentioned
saints were martyred, and the _Bujo_ out of which the legendary
serpent came to defend their remains when thrown out for the beasts to
devour. This _Bujo_ was long used as a place of solemn adjuration, a
kind of _Bocca de la Verità_, into which the perjurer shrank from
thrusting his hand, but the custom has been discontinued.

The following morning we went to visit the place where St. Teresa was
born. On the way we passed through the Plaza de San Juan, like an
immense cloister with its arcades, which takes its name from the
church on one side, where St. Teresa was baptized. The very font is at
the left on entering――a granite basin fluted diagonally, surrounded by
an iron railing. Over it is her portrait and the following inscription:

    Vigesimo octavo Martii
        Teresia oborta,
    Aprilis ante nona est
       sacro hoc fonte
           renata
            MDXV.

A grim old church for so sweet a flower to first open to the dews of
divine grace in; the baptismal font at one end, and the grave at the
other, with cold, gray arches encircling both like the all-embracing
arms of that great nursing-mother――Death. At each side of the high
altar are low, sepulchral recesses, into which you look down through a
grating at the coroneted tombs, before which lamps hang dimly burning.
Over the altar the Good Shepherd is going in search of his lost lambs,
and at the left is a great, pale Christ on the Cross, ghastly and
terrible in the shadowy, torch-lit arch. The whole church is paved
with tomb-stones, like most of the churches of Avila, as if the idea
of death could never be separated from life. But then, which is death
and which life? Is it not in the womb of the grave we awaken to the
real life?

One of the most popular traditions of Avila is connected with the
Square of San Juan: the defence of the city in 1109 by the heroic
Ximena Blasquez, whose husband, father, and brothers were all valiant
knights. The old governor of the city, Ximenes Blasquez, was dead, and
Ximena’s husband and sons were away fighting on the frontier. The
people, left without rulers and means of defence, came together on the
public square and proclaimed her governor of the place. She accepted
the charge, and proved herself equal to the emergency. Spain at this
time was overrun by the Moors who had come from Africa to the aid of
their brethren. They pillaged and ravaged the country as they went.
Learning the defenceless state of Avila, and supposing it to contain
great riches and many Moorish captives, they resolved to lay siege to
it. Ximena was warned of the danger, and, instantly mounting her
horse, she took two squires and rode forth to the country place of
Sancho de Estrada to summon him to her aid. Sancho, though enfeebled
by illness, was too gallant a knight to turn a deaf ear to the behest
of ladye fair. He did not make his entrance into the city in a very
knightly fashion, however. Instead of coming on his war-horse, all
booted and spurred, and clad in bright armor, he was brought in a cart
on two feather-beds, on the principle of Butler’s couplet, which we
vary to suit the occasion:

  “And feather-bed ’twixt knight urbane
   And heavy brunt of springless wain.”

In descending at the door of his palace at Avila he unfortunately fell
and was mortally injured, and the vassals he had brought with him
basely fled when they found they had no chastisement to fear.

But the dauntless Ximena was not discouraged. Determined to save the
city, she went from house to house, and street to street, to
distribute provisions, count the men, furnish them with darts and
arrows, and assign their posts. It is mentioned that she took all the
flour she could find at the bishop’s; and Tamara, the Jewess, made her
a present of all the salt meat she had on hand.[43]

On the 3d of July Ximena, hearing the Moors were within two miles of
the city, sent a knight with twenty squires to reconnoitre their camp
and cut off some of the outposts, promising to keep open a postern
gate to admit them at their return. Then she despatched several
trumpeters in different directions to sound their trumpets, that the
Moors might suppose armed forces were at hand for the defence of the
city. This produced the effect she desired. The knight penetrated to
the camp, killed several sentinels, and re-entered Avila by the
postern. Ximena passed the whole night on her palfrey, making the
round of the city, keeping watch on the guards, and encouraging the
men. At dawn she returned to her palace, and, summoning her three
daughters and two daughters-in-law to her presence, she put on a suit
of armor, and, taking a lance in her hand, called upon them to imitate
her, which they did, as well as all the women in the house. Thus
accoutred, they proceeded to the Square of San Juan, where they found
a great number of women weeping and lamenting. “My good friends,” said
Ximena, “follow my example, and God will give you the victory.”
Whereupon they all hastened to their houses, put on all the armor they
could find, and covered their long hair with sombreros. Ximena
provided them with javelins, caltrops, and gabions full of stones, and
with these troops she mounted the walls in order to attack the Moors
when they should arrive beneath.

The Moorish captain, approaching the city, saw it apparently defended
by armed men, and, deceived by the trumpets in the night, supposed the
place had been reinforced. He therefore decided to retreat.

As soon as Ximena found the enemy really gone she descended from the
walls with her daughters and daughters-in-law, distributed provisions
to her troops on the Square of St. John, and, after the necessary
repose, they all went in procession to the church of the glorious
martyrs San Vicente and his sisters, and, returning by the churches of
St. Jago and San Salvador, led Ximena in triumph to the Alcazar. The
fame of her bravery and presence of mind extended all over the land,
and has become the subject of legend and song. A street near the
church of San Juan still bears the name of Ximena Blasquez.

A convent for Carmelite friars was built in the seventeenth century on
the site of St. Teresa’s family mansion, in the western part of Avila.
The church, in the style of the Renaissance, faces a large, sunny
square, on one side of which is a fine old palace with sculptured
doors and windows and emblazoned shields. Near by is the _Posada de
Santa Teresa_. The whole convent is embalmed with her memory. Her
statue is over the door of the church. All through the corridors you
meet her image. The cloisters are covered with frescoes of her life
and that of St. John of the Cross. Over the main altar of the church,
framed in the columns of the gilt retable, is an alto-relievo of St.
Teresa, supported by Joseph and Mary, gazing up with suppliant hands
at our Saviour, who appears with his cross amid a multitude of angels.
The church is not sumptuous, but there is an atmosphere of piety about
it that is very touching. The eight side-chapels are like deep
alcoves, each with some scene of the Passion or the life of the
Virgin. The transept, on the gospel side, constitutes the chapel of
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, from which you enter a little oratory hung
with lamps and entirely covered with paintings, reliquaries, and
gilding, as if art and piety had vied in adorning it. It was on this
spot St. Teresa first saw the light in the year 1515, during the
pontificate of Leo X. A quieter, more secluded spot in which to pray
could not be desired. But Avila is full of such dim, shadowy
oratories, consecrated by some holy memory. Over the altar where Mass
is daily offered is a statue of St. Teresa, sad as the Virgin of Many
Sorrows, representing her as when she beheld the bleeding form of
Christ, her face and one hand raised towards the divine Sufferer, the
other hand on her arrow-pierced breast. She wears a broidered cope and
golden rosary. Among the paintings on the wall are her Espousals, and
Joseph and Mary bringing her the jewelled collar. Two little windows
admit a feeble light into this cell-like solitude. The ceiling is
panelled. Benches covered with blue cloth stand against the wall. And
there are little mirrors under the paintings, in true modern Spanish
taste, to increase the glitter and effect. The De Cepeda coat of arms
and the family tree hang at one end, appropriate enough here. But in
the church family distinctions are laid aside. There only the arms of
the order of Mt. Carmel, St. Teresa’s true family, are emblazoned.

In a little closet of the oratory we were shown some relics of the
saint, among which were her sandals and a staff――the latter too long
to walk with, and with a small crook at the end. It might have been
the emblem of her monastic authority.

Beneath the church are brick vaults full of the bones of the old
friars, into which we could have thrust our hands. Their cells above
are less fortunate. They are tenantless, or without their rightful
inmates; for since the suppression of the monasteries in Spain only
the nuns in Avila have been left unmolested. Here, at St. Teresa’s, a
part of the convent has been appropriated for a normal school. We went
through one of the corridors still in possession of the church. _Ave
Maria, sin peccado concebida_ was on the door of every cell. We
entered one to obtain some souvenir of the place, and found a studious
young priest surrounded by his books and pictures, in a narrow room,
quiet and monastic, with one small window to admit the light.

Then there is the garden full of roses and vines, also sequestered,
where St. Teresa and her brother Rodriguez, in their childhood, built
hermitages, and talked of heaven, and encouraged each other for
martyrdom.

  “Scarce has she learned to lisp the name
   Of martyr, yet she thinks it shame
   Life should so long play with the breath
   Which, spent, could buy so brave a death.”

Avila was full of the traditions of the incomparable old knights who
had delivered Spain from the Moor. The chains of the Christian
captives they had freed were suspended on the walls of one of the most
beautiful churches in the land, and those who had fallen victims to
the hate of the infidel were regarded as martyrs. The precocious
imagination of the young Teresa was fired with these tales of chivalry
and Christian endurance. She was barely seven years of age when she
and her brother escaped from home, and took the road to Salamanca to
seek martyrdom among the Moors. We took the same path when we left the
convent. Leaving the city walls, and descending into the valley, we
came to the Adaja, which flows along a narrow defile at the foot of
Avila, over a rocky bed bordered by old mills that have been here from
time immemorial, this faubourg in the middle ages having been
inhabited by dyers, millers, tanners, etc. We crossed the river by the
same massive stone bridge with five arches, and went on and up a sunny
slope, along the same road the would-be martyrs took, through open
fields strewn with huge boulders, till we came to a tall, round
granite cross between four round pillars connected by stone
cross-beams that once evidently supported a dome. This marks the spot
where the children were overtaken by their uncle. The cross bends
over, as if from the northern blasts, and is covered with great
patches of bright green and yellow moss. The best view of Avila is to
be had from this point, and we sat down at the foot of the cross,
among the wild thyme, to look at the picturesque old town of the
middle ages clearly traced out against the clear blue sky――its gray
feudal turrets; its _palacios_, once filled with Spanish valor and
beauty, but now lonely; the strong Alcazar, with its historic
memories; and the numerous towers and belfries crowned by the
embattled walls of the cathedral, that seems at once to protect and
bless the city. St. Teresa’s home is distinctly visible. The Adaja
below goes winding leisurely through the broad, almost woodless
landscape. Across the pale fields, in yonder peaceful valley, is the
convent of the Incarnation, where Teresa’s aspirations for martyrdom
were realized in a mystical sense. Her brother Rodriguez was
afterwards killed in battle in South America, and St. Teresa always
regarded him as a martyr, because he fell in defending the cause of
religion.

The next morning we were awakened at an early hour by the sound of
drum and bugle, and the measured tramp of soldiers over the pebbled
streets. We hurried to the window. It was not a company of phantom
knights fleeing away at the dawn, but the flesh-and-blood soldiers of
Alfonso XII. going to early Mass at the cathedral of San Salvador on
the opposite side of the small square. We hastened to follow their
example.

San Salvador, half church, half fortress, seems expressly built to
honor the God of Battles. Chained granite lions guard the entrance.
Stone knights keep watch and ward at the sculptured doorway. Happily,
on looking up we see the blessed saints in long lines above the
yawning arch, and we enter. The church is of the early pointed style,
though nearly every age has left its impress. All is gray, severe, and
majestic. Its cold aisles are sombre and mysterious, with tombs of
bishops and knights in niches along the wall, where they lie with
folded hands and something of everlasting peace on their still faces.
The heart that shuts its secrets from the glare of sunlight, in these
shadowy aisles unfolds them one by one, as in some mystic Presence,
with vague, dreamy thoughts of something higher, more satisfying, than
the outer world has yet given, or can give. The distant murmur of the
priests at the altars, the twinkling lights, the tinkling bells, the
bowed forms grouped here and there, the holy sculptures on the walls,
all speak to the heart. The painted windows of the nave are high up in
the arches, which are now empurpled with the morning sun. Below, all
dimness and groping for light; above, all clearness and the radiance
of heaven! _Sursum corda!_

The _coro_, as in most Spanish cathedrals, is in the body of the
church, and connected with the _Capilla Mayor_ by a railed passage.
The stalls are beautifully carved. Old choral books stand on the
lecterns ready for service. The outer wall of the choir is covered
with sculptures of the Renaissance representing the great mysteries of
religion, of which we never tire. Though told in every church in
Christendom, they always seem told in a new light, and strike us with
new force, as something too deep for mortal ever to fathom fully. They
are the alphabet of the faith, which we repeat and combine in a
thousand different ways in order to obtain some faint idea of God’s
manifestations to us who see here but darkly.

These mysteries are continued in the magnificent retable of the time
of Ferdinand and Isabella in the _Capilla Mayor_, where they are
richly painted on a gold ground by Berruguete and other famous artists
of the day, and now glorious under the descending morning light. It is
the same sweet Rosary of Love that seems to have caught new lights,
more heavenly hues.

The interesting chapels around the apsis are lighted by small windows
like mere loop-holes cut through walls of enormous thickness. In the
ambulatory we come to the beautiful alabaster tomb of Alfonso de
Madrigal, surnamed _El Tostado_, the tawny, from his complexion, and
_El Abulense_, Abula being the Latin for Avila. He was a writer of
such astonishing productiveness that he left behind him forty-eight
volumes in folio, amounting to sixty thousand pages. It is to be
feared we shall never get time to read them, at least in _this_ world.
He became so proverbial that Don Quixote mentions some book as large
as all the works of _El Tostado_ combined, as if human imagination
could go no farther. Leigh Hunt speaks of some Spanish bishop as
probably writing his homilies in a room ninety feet long! He must have
referred to _El Tostado_. He is represented on his tomb sitting in a
chair, pen in hand, and eyes half closed, as if collecting his
thoughts or listening to the divine inspiration. His jewelled cope,
embroidered with scenes of the Passion, is beautifully carved. Below
him are the Virtues in attendance, as in life, and above are scenes of
Our Lord’s infancy, which he loved. This tomb is one of the finest
works of Berruguete.

Further along we opened a door at a venture, and found ourselves in
the chapel of San Segundo, the first apostle of Avila, covered with
frescoes of his life. His crystal-covered shrine is in the centre,
with an altar on each of the four sides, behind open-work doors of
wrought brass. The chapel was quiet and dim and solemn, with burning
lamps and people at prayer. Then, by another happy turn, we came into
a large cloister with chapels and tombs, where the altar-boys were at
play in their red cassocks and short white tunics. The church bells
now began to ring, and they hurried away, leaving us alone to enjoy
the cloistral shades.

When we went into the church again the service had been commenced, the
_Capilla Mayor_ was hung with crimson and gold, candles were
distributed to the canons, who, in their purple robes, made the round
of the church, the wax dripping on the tombstones that paved the
aisles, and the arches resonant with the dying strains of the aged
Simeon: _Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine!_ For it was Candlemas-day.

The cathedral of San Salvador was begun in 1091, on the site of a
former church. The pope, at the request of Alonso VI., granted
indulgences to all who would contribute to its erection. Contributions
were sent, not only from the different provinces of Spain, but from
France and Italy. More than a thousand stone-cutters and carpenters
were employed under the architect Garcia de Estella, of Navarre, and
the building was completed in less than sixteen years.

After breakfast we left the city walls and came out on the Square of
San Pedro, where women were filling their jars at the well in true
Oriental fashion, the air vocal with their gossip and laughter. Groups
of peasant women had come up from the plains for a holiday, and were
sauntering around the square or along the arcades in their gay stuff
dresses, the skirts of which were generally drawn over their heads, as
if to show the bright facings of another color. Yellow skirts were
faced with red peaked with green; red ones faced with green and
trimmed with yellow. When let down, they stood out, in their fulness,
like a farthingale, short enough to show their blue stockings. Their
hair, in flat basket-braids, was looped up behind with gay pins. We
saw several just such glossy black plaits among the votive offerings
in the oratory of St. Teresa’s Nativity.

We stopped awhile in the church of San Pedro, of the thirteenth
century――like all of the churches of Avila, well worth visiting――and
then kept on to the Dominican convent of St. Thomas, a mile distant,
and quite in the country. This vast convent is still one of the finest
monuments about Avila, though deserted, half ruined, and covered with
the garment of sadness. It was here St. Teresa’s brother Antonio
retired from the world and died while in the novitiate. We visited
several grass-grown cloisters with fine, broad arches; the lonely
cells once inhabited by the friars, commanding a fine view over the
rock-strewn moor and the Guadarrama Mountains beyond; the infirmary,
with a sunny gallery for invalids to walk in, and windows in the cells
so arranged opposite each other that all the sick could from their
beds attend Mass said in the oratory at the end; the refectory, with
stone tables and seats, and defaced paintings on the walls; the royal
apartments, looking into a cloister with sculptured arches, and
everywhere the arrows and yoke, emblems of Ferdinand and Isabella; and
the broad stone staircase leading to the church where lies their only
son Juan in his beautifully-sculptured Florentine tomb of alabaster,
now sadly mutilated. On one side of this fine church is a chapel with
the confessional once used by St. Teresa. It was here, on Assumption
day, 1561, while attending Mass, and secretly deploring the offences
she had confessed here, she was ravished in spirit and received a
supernatural assurance that her sins were forgiven her. She was
herself clothed in a garment of dazzling whiteness, and, as a pledge
of the divine favor, a necklace of gold, to which was attached a
jewelled cross of unearthly brilliancy, was placed on her neck. There
is a painting of this vision on one side of the chapel, as well as in
several of the churches of Avila. Mary Most Pure, in all the freshness
of youth, appears with St. Joseph, bearing the garment of purity and
the collar of wrought gold――a sweet yoke of love she received just
before she founded the convent of San José.

Pedro Ybañez, a distinguished Dominican, who combined sanctity with
great acquirements, and has left several valuable religious works, was
a member of this house. He was one of St. Teresa’s spiritual advisers,
and the first to order her to write her life.

We were glad to learn that this convent has been purchased by the
bishop of Avila, and is about to be restored to the Dominican Order.

The Jesuit college of San Ginès, likewise among the things of the
past, has some interesting associations. It was founded by St. Francis
Borgia, and in it lived for a time the saintly Balthazar Alvarez, the
confessor _par excellence_ of St. Teresa, who said her soul owed more
to him than to any one else in the world. She saw him one day at the
altar crowned with light, symbolic of the fervor of his devotion. He
was a consummate master of the spiritual life, and the guide of
several persons at Avila noted for their sanctity.

One day we walked entirely around the walls of Avila, and came about
sunset to a terrace at the west, overlooking a vast plain towards
Estramadura. The fertile Vega below, with the stream winding in long,
silvery links; the purple mist on the mountains that stood against the
golden sky; the snowy range farther to the left, rose-flushed in the
sunset light, made the view truly enchanting. We could picture to
ourselves this plain when it was filled with contending hosts――the
Moslem with the floating crescent, the glittering ranks of Christian
knights with the proudly streaming cross and the ensigns of Castile,
the peal of bugle and clash of arms, and perchance the bishop
descending with the clergy from his _palacio_ just above us to
encourage and bless the defenders of the land.

Now only a few mules were slowly moving across the plain with the
produce of peaceful labor, and the soft tinkle of the convent bells,
calling one to another at the hour of prayer, the only sounds to break
the melancholy silence.

Near by is the church of Santiago, where the _caballeros_ of Avila
used to make their _veillée des armes_ before they were armed knights,
and with what Christian sentiments may be seen from an address, as
related by an old chronicle, made by Don Pelayo, Bishop of Oviedo, to
two young candidates in this very church, after administering the Holy
Eucharist. It must be remembered this was at the end of the eleventh
or beginning of the twelfth century, being in the reign of Alonso VI.,
to whom the rebuilding of Avila was due:

     “My young lords, who are this day to be armed knights, do
     you comprehend thoroughly what knighthood is? Knighthood
     means nobility, and he who is truly noble will not for
     anything in the world do the least thing that is low or
     vile. Wherefore you are about to promise, in order to fulfil
     your obligations unfalteringly, to love God above all
     things; for he has created you and redeemed you at the price
     of his Blood and Passion. In the second place, you promise
     to live and die subject to his holy law, without denying it,
     either now or in time to come; and, moreover, to serve in
     all loyalty Don Alonso, your liege lord, and all other kings
     who may legitimately succeed him; to receive no reward from
     rich or noble, Moor or Christian, without the license of Don
     Alonso, your rightful sovereign. You promise, likewise, in
     whatever battles or engagements you take part, to suffer
     death rather than flee; that on your tongue truth shall
     always be found, for the lying man is an abomination to the
     Lord; that you will always be ready to fly to the assistance
     of the poor man who implores your aid and seeks protection,
     even to encounter those who may have done him injustice or
     outrage; that you be ready to protect all matrons or maidens
     who claim your succor, even to do battle for them, should
     the cause be just, no matter against what power, till you
     obtain complete redress for the wrong they may have endured.
     You promise, moreover, not to show yourselves lofty in your
     conversation, but, on the contrary, humble and considerate
     with all; to show reverence and honor to the aged; to offer
     no defiance, without cause, to any one in the world;
     finally, that you receive the Body of the Lord, having
     confessed your faults and transgressions, not only on the
     three Paschs of the year, but on the festivals of the
     glorious St. John the Baptist, St. James, St. Martin, and
     St. George.”

Which the two young lords, who were the bishop’s nephews, solemnly
swore to perform. Whereupon they were dubbed knights by Count Raymond
of Burgundy, after which they departed for Toledo to kiss the king’s
hand.

Not far from the church of Santiago is the convent of Nuestra Señora
de la Gracia on the very edge of the hill, inhabited by Augustinian
nuns. The church stands on the site of an ancient mosque. The entrance
is shaded by a portico with granite pillars. Our guide rang the bell
at the convent door, saying: “_Ave Maria Purissima!_” “_Sin peccado
concebida_,” responded a mysterious voice within, as from an oracle.
St. Teresa attended school here, and several memorials of her are
shown by the nuns. St. Thomas of Villanueva, the Almsgiver, who is
said to have made his vows as an Augustinian friar the very day Luther
publicly threw off the habit of the order, was for a time the director
of the house, and often preached in the church, which we visited. It
consists of a single aisle, narrow and lofty, with the gilt retable
over the altar, as in all the Spanish churches, and a tomb or two of
some Castilian noblemen at the side. The pulpit, in which saints have
preached, is a mere circular rail against the wall, ascended by steps.
When used it is hung with drapery. On the same side of the church is a
picture of the young Teresa beside her teacher, Maria Briceño, a nun
of fervent piety, to whom the saint said she was indebted for her
first spiritual light. This nun, who, it appears, conversed admirably
on religious subjects, told her pupil one day how in her youth she was
so struck on reading the words of the Gospel, “Many are called, but
few are chosen,” that she resolved to embrace the monastic life; and
she dwelt on the rewards reserved for those who abandon all things for
the love of Christ――a lesson not lost on the eager listener.

At the end of the church is a large grating, through which we looked
into the choir of the nuns, quiet and prayerful, with its books and
pictures and stalls. Two nuns, with sweet, contemplative faces, were
at prayer, dressed in queer pointed hoods and white mantles over black
habits. At the sides of the communion wicket stood the angel of the
Annunciation and Raphael with his fish――gilded statues of symbolic
import.

One of the most interesting places in Avila is the convent of San
José, on the little Plaza de las Madres, the first house of the reform
established by St. Teresa. The convent and high walls are all of
granite and prison-like in their severity of aspect, but we were
received with a kindness by the inmates that convinced us there was
nothing severe in the spirit within. It is true we found the doors
most inhospitably closed and locked, even those of the outer courts
generally left open, and we were obliged to hunt up the chaplain, who
lived in the vicinity, to come to our aid. We thought he would prove
equally unsuccessful in obtaining entrance, for he rang repeatedly
(giving three strokes each time to the bell, we noticed), and it was a
full quarter of an hour before any one concluded to answer so
unwelcome a summons from the outer world. We began to suppose them all
in the state of ecstasy, and the nun who at length made――her
appearance, we were going to say――herself audible spoke to us from
some inaccessible depth in a voice absolutely beatific, as if she had
just descended from the clouds. We never heard anything so calm and
sweet and well modulated. Thanks to her, we saw several relics of St.
Teresa, whom she invariably spoke of as “Our holy Mother.” She also
gave us bags of almonds and filberts, and branches of laurel, from the
trees planted in the garden by the holy hands of their seraphic
foundress.

The church of this convent is said to be the first church ever erected
in honor of St. Joseph. There were several chapels before, which bore
his name, in different parts of Europe――for example, one at Santa
Maria ad Martyres at Rome――but no distinct church. St. Teresa was the
great propagator of the devotion to St. Joseph, now so popular
throughout the world. Of the first eighteen monasteries of her reform,
thirteen were placed under his invocation; and in all she inculcated
this devotion, and had his statue placed over one of the doors. She
left the devotion as a legacy to the order, which has never ceased to
extend it. At the end of the eighteenth century there were one hundred
and fifty churches of St. Joseph in the Carmelite Order alone. His
statue is over the door of the church at Avila, and beside him stands
the Child Jesus with a saw in his hand. “For is not this the
carpenter’s son?”

The church consists of a nave with round arches and six side chapels,
the severity of which is relieved by the paintings and inevitable gilt
retables. A statue of St. Joseph stands over the altar. The grating of
the nuns’ choir is on the gospel side, opposite which is a painting of
St. Teresa with pen in hand and the symbolic white dove at her ear.
_Jesus_, _Maria_, _José_ are successively carved on the key-stones of
the arches of the nave.

The first chapel next the epistle side of the altar contains the tomb
of Lorenzo de Cepeda, St. Teresa’s brother, who entered the army and
went to South America about the year 1540, where he became chief
treasurer of the province of Quito. Having lost his wife, a woman of
rare merit (it is related she died in the habit of Nuestra Señora de
la Merced), he returned to Spain with his children, after an absence
of thirty four years, and established himself at a country-seat near
Avila. He had a great veneration for his sister, and placed himself
under her spiritual direction. Not to be separated from her, even in
death, he founded this chapel at San José’s, which he dedicated to his
patron, San Lorenzo, as his burial-place. His tomb is at the left as
you enter, with the following inscription: “On the 26th of June, in
the year 1580, fell asleep in the Lord Lorenzo de Cepeda, brother of
the holy foundress of this house and all the barefooted Carmelites. He
reposes in this chapel, which he erected.”

In the same tomb lies his daughter Teresita, who entered a novice at
St. Joseph’s at the age of thirteen and died young, an angel of
innocence and piety.

Another chapel was founded by Gaspar Daza, a holy priest of Avila, who
gathered about him a circle of zealous clergymen devoted to works of
charity and the salvation of souls. His reverence for St. Teresa
induced him to build this chapel, which he dedicated to the Nativity
of the Virgin, with a tomb in which he lies buried with his mother and
sister. It was he who said the first Mass in the church, Aug. 24,
1562, and placed the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, after which
he gave the veil to four novices, among whom was Antonia de Hanao, a
relative of St. Teresa’s, who attained to eminent piety under the
guidance of St. Peter of Alcantara, and died prioress of the
Carmelites of Malaga, where her memory is still held in great
veneration. At the close of this ceremony St. Peter of Alcantara, of
the Order of St. Francis; Pedro Ybañez, the holy Dominican, and the
celebrated Balthazar Alvarez, of the Society of Jesus, offered Masses
of thanksgiving. What a reunion of saints! On that day――the birthday
of the discalced Carmelites――St. Teresa laid aside her family name,
and took that of Teresa de Jésus, by which she is now known throughout
the Christian world.

Among the early novices at San José was a niece of St. Teresa’s, Maria
de Ocampo, beautiful in person and gifted in mind, who, from the age
of seventeen, resolved to be the bride of none but Christ. She became
one of the pillars of the order, and died prioress of the convent at
Valladolid, so venerated for her sanctity that Philip III. went to see
her on her death-bed, and recommended himself and the kingdom of Spain
to her prayers. Her remains are in a tomb over the grating of the
choir in the Carmelite convent at Valladolid, suspended, as it were,
in the air, among other holy virgins who sleep in the Lord.

Another niece of St. Teresa’s,[44] who belonged to one of the noblest
families of Avila, also entered the convent of San José. Her father,
Alonso Alvarez, was himself regarded as a saint. Maria was of rare
beauty, but, though left an orphan at an early age with a large
fortune, she rejected all offers of marriage as beneath her, and
finally chose the higher life. All the nobility of Avila came to see
her take the veil. Here her noble soul found its true sphere. She rose
to a high degree of piety, and succeeded St. Teresa as prioress of the
house.

Another chapel at San José, that of St. Paul, at the right as you go
in, was founded by Don Francisco de Salcedo, a gentleman of Avila, who
was a great friend of St. Teresa’s, as well as his wife, a devout
servant of God and given to good works. St. Teresa says he lived a
life of prayer, and in all the perfection of which his state admitted,
for forty years. For twenty years he regularly attended the
theological course at the convent of St. Thomas, then in great repute,
and after his wife’s death took holy orders. He greatly aided St.
Teresa in her foundations, and accompanied her in her journeys. He
lies buried in his chapel of St. Paul.

Not far from St. Joseph’s is the church of St. Emilian, in the tribune
of which Maria Diaz, also a friend of St. Teresa’s, spent the last
forty years of her life in perpetual adoration of the Blessed
Sacrament, which she called her dear neighbor, never leaving her cell,
excepting to go to confession and communion at St. Ginès; for she was
under the direction of Balthazar Alvarez. She had distributed all her
goods to the poor, and now lived on alms. The veil that covers the
divine Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar was rent asunder for
her, and, when she communed, her happiness was so great that she
wondered if heaven itself had anything more to offer. St. Teresa
saying one day how she longed to behold God, Maria, though eighty
years of age, and bowed down by grievous infirmities, replied that she
preferred to prolong her exile on earth, that she might continue to
suffer. “As long as we remain in the world,” she said, “we can give
something to God by supporting our pains for his love; whereas in
heaven nothing remains but to receive the reward for our sufferings.”
Dying in the odor of sanctity, she was so venerated by the people that
she was buried in the choir of the church, at the foot of the very
tabernacle to which her adoring eyes had been unceasingly turned for
forty years.

We have mentioned, too briefly for our satisfaction, some of the
persons, noted for their eminent piety, who made Avila, at least in
the sixteenth century, a city _de los Santos_. It is a disappointment
not to find here the tomb of her who is the crowning glory of the
place. The expectations of Lorenzo de Cepeda were not realized. He
does not sleep in death beside his sainted sister. The remains of St.
Teresa are at Alba de Tormes, where she died, in a shrine of jasper
and silver given by Ferdinand VII. It stands over the high altar of
the Carmelite church, thirty feet above the pavement, where it can be
seen from the choir of the nuns, and approached by means of an oratory
behind, where they go to pray. Her heart, pierced by the angel, is in
a reliquary below.

We left Avila with regret. Few places take such hold on the heart. For
those to whom life has nothing left to offer but long sufferance it
seems the very place to live in. The last thing we did was to go to
the brow of the hill by San Vicente, and take a farewell look at the
convent of the Incarnation, where still so many

  “Willing hearts wear quite away their earthly stains”

in one of the fairest, happiest of valleys. How long we might have
lingered there we cannot say, had not the carriage come to hurry us to
the station. And so, taking up life’s burden once more, which we
seemed to have laid down in this City of the Saints, we went on our
pilgrim way, repeating the lines St. Teresa wrote in her breviary:

  “Nada te turbe,          Let nothing disturb thee,
   Nada te espante,        Let nothing affright thee;
   Todo se pasa.           All passeth away.
   Dios no se muda.        God alone changeth not.
   La pacienza             Patience to all things
   Todo se alcanza,        Reacheth, and he who
   Quien a Dios tiene,     Fast by God holdeth,
   Nada le falta;          To him naught is wanting;
   Solo Dios basta.”       Alone God sufficeth.


     [40] “Some sing of Oliver, and some of Roldan:
           We sing of Zurraquin, the brave partisan.”

     [41] “Some sing of Roland, and others Oliver:
           We sing of Zurraquin, the brave cavalier.”

     [42] See _Life of St. Teresa_.

     [43] The butchery, at the repeopling of Avila, was given to
     Benjamin, the Jew, and his sister. There seem to have been a
     good many Jews in the streets now called St. Dominic and St.
     Scholastica.

     [44] See _Life of St. Teresa_.



   ST. TERESA.

  “To suffer or to die.”


   The air came laden with the balmy scent
   Of citron grove and orange; far beyond
   The cloister wall, like towering battlement,
   Sierra’s frowning range rich colors donned
   From ling’ring Day-Star’s robe; and brilliant hues
   Floated like banners on palatial clouds.
   Light floods the river, parts its mist-like shrouds;
   Each ripple soft, prismatic gleams transfuse.
   Below Avila lay; its cross-lit spires
   Blended their even-chime with seraph lyres;
   O’er mount and vale pealed out their call to prayer,
   And stole with joy upon the list’ning air.

   Within the cloister’s fragrant, bowery shade,
   Gemmed with España’s blooms ’mid velvet lawns,
   Soft carols stirring leafy bough and glade,
   Teresa muses; on her chaste brow dawns
   A light celestial――peace and hope and love.
   The wasted form, than bending flower more frail,
   Is draped in Carmel’s saintly robe and veil.
   The pale, ethereal face is bowed; those eyes
   Whose gaze has revelled in the courts above,
   Now pearled with tears, are bent in mournful guise
   On image of the Crucified within
   Her fingers’ slender clasp; in sacred trance
   Now rapt, its mysteries are revealed; dark sin
   In ghastly horror rises; now her glance
   On bleeding form, pierced brow, is fixed; once more
   Upon those wounded shoulders, drenched in gore,
   The cross hangs trembling; o’er her soul,
   Transpierced with love, deep floods of anguish roll;
   And burning words her holy passion tell,
   Like fountain gushing from her heart’s deep cell:

  “O earth! break forth in groans; ease thou my pain!
   Ye rivers, ocean, weep! My Love is slain!
         My Jesus dies, and I――
   I cannot die, but through this exile moan
   A stranger, midst of multitudes alone,
         And vainly seek to fly
   Where harps ten thousand wake the echoing sky;
   My solace here, to suffer or to die!

  “O Jesus! long and wildly have I striven,
   By fast and penance this vile body driven
         To thy sweet yoke to yield;
   And agonies of death have seized this frame,
   Dark devils made of me their mock and shame,
         Thou, thou alone my shield.
   A bower of roses!――looms so steep and high
   The path I strain, to suffer or to die!

  “Thou walk’st before! O thorn-lined path and cross!
   A sceptred queen I walk, on beds of moss,
         Nor fear the dark, dark night.
   Love strains my sorrows to my heart with grasp
   Stronger than aught on earth, save God’s dear clasp
         Of soul beloved. The height
   Will soon appear; the glory I descry:
   Strength, Lord, with thee I suffer or I die!

  “Augment my woes! Let flesh and spirit share
   Each separate pang thou, Crucified, didst bear,
         Nor drop of comfort blend.
   Let death’s stern anguish be my daily bread,
   Thy lance transfix my heart, thorns crown my head――
         Pain, torture to the end;
   And while death’s angel seals my glazing eye,
   Heart, soul shall yearn to suffer or to die!”

   Great soul! be comforted: thy prayer is heard
   More huge and terrible than human word
   May utter, mortal heart conceive, the throng
   Of woes that haste from Calvary to greet
   Thy every step. Like Jesus, hate and wrong
   Shall make of thee their jest; as purest wheat
   Thou shalt be crushed, yet newer life shalt claim;
   Slander, the hydra-tongued, shall cloud thy name;
   Treason with thee break bread; toil, hunger, cold,
   Thy daily ’tendants far from these sweet bowers.
   A score of years thy sorrows still enfold,
   But myriad souls shall feast on thy dark hours
   Through centuries to come, and learn of thee
   The path to peace, and prayer’s sweet mystery.
   The seraph waits with flaming lance to dart
   The fires of heaven within thy yearning heart,
   And up, far up the Mount of God will lead
   Thee face to face, as patriarch of old,
   With God; unveiled the Trinity shalt read,
   And its resplendent mysteries unfold
   To future doctors of the sacred lore.
   Then mount thy blood-stained path, heroic saint!
   While brave men stand aghast, strong hearts grow faint,
   Teresa’s seraph-soul its plaint shall pour
   Unsated yet: “More suffering, Lord, yet more!”
                                                  M. S. P.



SIX SUNNY MONTHS.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HOUSE OF YORKE,” “GRAPES AND THORNS,” ETC.


CHAPTER VI.

BIANCA’S FESTA.

Bianca’s birthday coming, they celebrated it by a little trip into the
country. It was getting late for excursions, the weather being hot
even for the last of May. But on the day before the proposed journey a
few ragged clouds, scudding now and then across the sky, promised
refreshment. Clouds never come to Rome for nothing; even the smallest
fugitive mist is a herald; and the family, therefore, looked anxiously
to see if they were to be kept at home the next day――if the herald
announced a royal progress, short and splendid, or a long siege of
rainy days.

They were sauntering, late in the afternoon, through a street of the
Suburra, on one of those aimless walks that hit the mark of pleasure
far oftener than planned pleasure-seeking does, and, seeing at their
left a steep grade that ended in a stair climbing through light and
shadow up the hillside, and going out under a dark arch into the light
again, they followed it without asking questions, and presently found
themselves in a quiet _piazza_ surrounded by churches and convents as
silent and, apparently, uninhabited as a desert. The most living thing
was a single lofty palm-tree that leaned out against the sky. A wall
hid the base of it, where one would not have been surprised to have
found a lion sleeping.

Entering the portico of the nearest church, they saw what might have
been taken for two ancient, mossy statues, seated one at either side
of the door, one representing a man as ragged and gray as Rip Van
Winkle after his nap, the other a woman well fitted to be his
companion. The statues stirred, however, at the sound of steps,
extended their withered hands, and commenced a sort of gabbling
appeal, in which nothing was distinguishable but the inevitable
_qualche cosa_.

Inside the church, beside the beautiful Presence indicated by the
ever-burning lamp, there was but one person, a gigantic man, all
white, who sat leaning forward a little, with the fingers of his right
hand tangled in his beard. They saw him gazing, almost glaring, at
them across the church as they seated themselves near the door after a
short adoration. The painted roof invited their eyes to glimpses of
heaven, the tribune walls shone with the story of St. Peter liberated
by an angel, and the antique columns told of pagan emperors whom they
had served before they were raised to hold a canopy over the head of
the King of kings; but through them all, becoming every moment more
importunate and terrible, the stare of those motionless, stony eyes
drew theirs with an uncomfortable fascination, and the figure seemed
to lean more forward, as if about to stride toward them, and the
fingers to move in the beard, as if longing to catch and toss them out
of the church.

“He appears to resent our not saluting him,” Mr. Vane said. “I do not
need an introduction. Suppose we go to him before he comes clattering
down the nave to us!”

They rose, and, with a diffidence amounting almost to fear, went up
the aisle to pay their respects to Michael Angelo’s _Moses_.

“O Mr. Vane!” the Signora whispered, suddenly touching his arm, “does
he look as if he went up the mountain to bring down Protestantism?”

She said it impulsively, and was ashamed of herself the next moment.
He was not offended, however, but smiled slightly, and, feeling the
touch, drew her hand into his arm. “He doesn’t look like a man who
would carry any sort of _ism_ about long.”

He was looking at the _Moses_ as he spoke; but he felt the
dissatisfaction which the lady at his side did not indicate by word or
motion, and added after a moment: “It must be owned that Protestantism
has reduced the stone tables to dust, and that your church is the only
one that has graven laws.”

She did not venture to press him any farther. The question with him,
then, was evidently whether graven laws were necessary. He was not at
all likely to write his faith in the dust of the sects.

“It is the most uncomfortable marble person in Rome,” she said of the
_Moses_. “I always have a feeling that it is never quite still; that
he has turned his face on being interrupted in something, as if he had
been talking with God here alone, and were waiting for people to go
and leave him to continue the conversation. He will watch us out the
door, though. I wonder if he can see through the leathern curtain?
Come, little girls, we are going.”

Bianca had a rose in her belt, and, as the others walked slowly away,
she slipped across the church and threw it inside the railing before
the Blessed Sacrament, repeating from the Canticle of St. Francis of
Assisi, which they had been reading with their Italian teacher the
evening before:

  “Laudate sia il mio Signor per la nostra
   Madre terra, la quale
   Ci sostenta, e nudrisce col produrre
   Tanta diversità
   D’erba, di fiori e frutti.”

“They speak of the Blessed Sacrament here as _Il Santissimo_,” she
heard the Signora say when she joined them at the door. “It is
beautiful; but I prefer the Spanish title of ‘His Majesty.’ One would
like to be able to ask, on entering a church, ‘At which altar is His
Majesty?’ It sounds like a live faith. Isn’t that palm beautiful? And
do you see the ghost of Lucretia Borgia up in her balcony there? That
is, or was, her balcony. Dear me! what an uncanny afternoon it is. I
quite long to get among common people.”

In fact, a solid post of snow-white cloud showed like a motionless
figure over the balcony, changing neither shape nor position while
they looked at it. There was, evidently, something behind worth
seeing, and they took a carriage to the Janiculum for a better view.
When they reached the parapet of San Pietro in Montorio, they saw the
horizon beyond the city bound by a wonderful mountain-range――not the
accustomed Sabine Apennines and Monte Cimino; these had disappeared,
and over their places rose a solid magnificence of cloud that made the
earth and sky look unstable. Ruby peaks splintered here and there
against the blue in sharp pinnacles, their sides cleft into gorges of
fine gold, their bases wrapped about with the motionless smoke and
flame of a petrified conflagration. Beneath all were rough masses of
uneasy darkness, in which could be seen faintly the throb of a pulse
of fire. The royal progress had begun, and promised to be a costly one
to some. The poor farmers would have to pay, at least.

They leaned on the parapet, and took a new lesson in shape and color
from the inexhaustible skies, and the Signora told them one of the
many legends of the Janiculum.

“It is said that after the Flood Noe came here to live, held in high
honor, as we may well imagine, by his descendants. As time passed,
after his death, the truth became mixed with error, and the patriarch
Noe became the god Janus, with two faces, because he had seen the old
world and the new. So all antique truth, left to human care, became
corrupted little by little. It was only when the Holy Spirit came down
to stay on earth that truth could be preserved unadulterated.
‘Teaching you all truth.’ Am I preaching? Excuse me!”

Turning her face, as she spoke slowly and dreamily, she had found Mr.
Vane looking at her with a steady and grave regard which did not
evade, but lingered an instant, when it met hers. She recollected that
he had not her faith, and thought he might be displeased a little at
having alien doctrines so constantly held up before him.

On the contrary, he was admiring her fair, pale face, which the
glowing west and a glowing thought were tinting with soft rose, and
was thinking he had never known a woman who so habitually lived in a
high atmosphere, who so easily gathered about her the beauties of the
past and the present, and who had so little gossip to talk. When she
descended to trifling things, it was to invest them with a charm that
made them worthy of notice as pretty and interesting trifles, but
never to elevate them to places they were not made for. Besides, he
liked her way of talking――a certain cool sweetness of manner, like the
sweetness of a rose, that touched those who came near, but was not
awakened by their presence, and would be as sweet were no one by to
know. He glanced at her again when she was again looking off
thoughtfully into the west, and marked the light touch with gold the
strands of a braid that crowned her head under the violet wreath. She
was certainly a very lovely woman, he thought. Why had she never
married?

For, though we call her Signora, the Vanes’ _padrona_ was, in fact, a
_signorina_.

“Well, what is it?” she asked smilingly, turning again, aware of his
eyes. She was one of those persons who always feel the stress of
another mind brought to bear on them. “You should tell me what it is.”

The two girls had gone to a little distance, and he ventured to put
the question.

“It is an impertinence,” he said hastily, “but I was wondering why you
never married. You are thirty-five years old, and have had time and
opportunities. If you command me to ask no more, I shall not blame
you.”

“It is not an impertinence,” she replied quite easily. “There is no
tragedy hidden behind my ‘maiden meditation.’ The simple truth is that
I have never had an offer from any one whom I could willingly or
possibly promise to love, honor, and obey for my whole life, though I
have refused some with regret; and if I have known any person to whom
I could have so devoted myself, no approach on his part and no
consciousness on mine have ever revealed the fact to me. My mind and
life were always full. My mother taught me to love books and nature,
and said nothing about marriage. There is nothing like having plenty
to think of. Are you satisfied?”

“Perfectly,” he replied, but seemed not altogether pleased. Perhaps he
would have found a less self-sufficing woman more interesting and
amiable. “Still, I beg your pardon for a question which, after all, no
one should ask. One never knows what may have happened in a life.”

“That is true,” she replied. “And it is true that the question might
be to some an embarrassing one to answer. It does not hurt me,
however.”

“Papa does not allow us to ask questions,” Isabel said a little
complainingly, having caught a few words of their talk. “You have no
idea how sharply he will speak to us, or, at least, look at us, if he
hears us asking the simplest question that can be at all personal. And
yet people question us unmercifully. I think one might retort in
self-defence.”

“How I wish you could have a larger number of pupils than these two,
Mr. Vane!” the Signora sighed. “I would like to send some of my lady
friends to school to you. The questions that some ladies, who consider
themselves well bred, will ask, are astonishing. Indeed, there is, I
think, more vulgarity in fine society than among any other class of
people in the world. Delicacy and refinement are flowers that need a
little shade to keep their freshness. I have more than once been
shocked to see, in a momentary revelation, how slight was the
difference of character between a bold, unscrupulous virago of the
streets, and some fine lady when an unpleasant excitement had
disturbed the thin polish of manner with which she was coated. Madame
de Montespan――not a model by any means, though――relates that, when she
came to Paris to be trained for polite life, among the admonitions and
prohibitions, one of the strongest was that she must not ask
questions. Not long ago, on thinking over a conversation I had with a
lady whom I had known just three weeks, I found that these questions
had been propounded to me in the course of it: How old are you? Who
visits you? What is your income? Have you any money laid up? Have you
sold your last story? To whom have you sold it? How much do they pay
you? Is it paid for? Of course the lady was fitting herself to speak
with authority of my affairs.”

The Signora made an impatient motion of the shoulders, as if throwing
off a disagreeable burden. “How did we fall into this miserable
subject? Let us walk about awhile and shake it off. We might go into
the church and say a little prayer for poor Beatrice Cenci, who is
buried here. One glance at Piombo’s _Scourging of Christ_, one thought
of that girl’s terrible tragedy, will scorch out these petty thoughts,
if one breath of the Lord’s presence should not blow them away.”

She hurried up the steps and ran into the church, as one soiled and
dusty with travel rushes into a bath. Coming out again, they strolled
back into the gardens, and looked off over the green sea of the
luxuriant Campagna, where St. Paul’s Church floated like an ark, half
swamped in verdure and flowers, and a glistening bend of the Tiber
bound the fragrantly breathing groves like a girdle, the bridge across
it a silver buckle. Beneath the wall that stopped their feet a grassy
angle of the villa beyond was red with poppies growing on their tall
stems in the shade. So everywhere in Italy the faithful soil
commemorates the blood of the martyrs that has been sprinkled over it,
a scarlet blossom for every precious drop, flowering century after
century; to flower in centuries to come, till at last the scattered
dust and dew shall draw together again into the new body, like
scattered musical notes gathering into a song, and the glorified
spirit shall catch and weld them into one for ever!

Looking awhile, they turned silently back into the garden. The two
girls wandered among the flowers; Mr. Vane and the Signora walked
silently side by side. Now and then they stopped to admire a campanile
of lilies growing around a stem higher than their heads, springing
from the midst of a sheaf of leaves like swords. One of these leaves,
five feet long, perhaps, thrown aside by the gardener, lay in the
path. It was milk-white and waxy, like a dead body, through its
thickness of an inch or two. Long, purple thorns were set along its
sides and at the point, and a faint tinge of gold color ran along the
centre of its blade. It was not a withered leaf, but a dead one, and
strong and beautiful in death.

Mr. Vane glanced over the bristling green point of the plant, and up
the airy stem where its white bells drooped tenderly. “So God guards
his saints,” he said.

Isabel came to them in some trepidation with her fingers full of small
thorns. She had been stealing, she confessed. Seeing that, in all the
crowds of great, ugly cacti about, one only had blossomed, she had
been smitten by a desire to possess that unique flower.

“I called up my reasoning powers, as people do when they want to
justify themselves,” she said, “and I reasoned the matter out, till it
became not only excusable but a virtue in me to take the flower. I
spare you the process. If only you would pick the needles out of my
fingers, papa! Isn’t it a pretty blossom? It is a bell of golden
crystal with a diamond heart.”

When the tiny thorns were extracted and the young culprit properly
reproved for her larceny, the clouds of the west had lost all their
color but one lingering blush, and were beginning to catch the light
of the moon, that was sailing through mid-air, as round as a bubble.
They went down the winding avenue on foot, sending the carriage to
wait for them in the street below. The trees over their heads were
full of blossoms like little flies with black bodies and wide-spread,
whitish wings, and through the heaps of these blossoms that had fallen
they could see a green lizard slip now and then; the fountains plashed
softly, lulling the day to sleep. Near the foot of the hill all the
lower wall of one of the houses was hidden by skeins of brilliant,
gold-colored silk, hung out to dry, perhaps, making a sort of sunshine
in the shady street.

It was a lovely drive home through the _Ave Marias_ ringing all about,
through the alternate gloom and light of narrow streets and open
_piazze_, where they spoke no word, but only looked about them with
perhaps the same feeling in all their minds:

  “How good is our life――the mere living!”

Not only the beauty they had seen and their own personal contentment
pleased them; the richness and variety of the human element through
which they passed gave them a sense of freedom, a fuller breath than
they were accustomed to draw in a crowd. It was not a throng of people
ground and smoothed into nearly the same habits and manners, but a
going and coming and elbowing of individuals, many of whom retained
the angles of their characters and manners in all their original
sharpness.

“The moon will be full to-morrow in honor of your _festa_,” Isabel
said as they went into the house; “and there is a prospect that the
roads may be sprinkled.”

The roads were sprinkled with a vengeance; for the delectable
mountains of sunset came up in the small hours and broke over the city
in a torrent. There had not been such a tempest in Rome for years. It
was impossible to sleep through it, and soon became impossible to lie
in bed. Not all their closing of blinds and shutters could keep out
the ceaseless flashes, and the windows rattled with the loud bursts of
thunder. The three ladies dressed and went into the little _sala_,
where the Signora lighted two blessed candles and sprinkled holy
water, like the old-fashioned Catholic she was; and presently Mr. Vane
joined them.

“I should have expected to hear more cultivated thunders here,” he
said. “These are Goths and Vandals.”

“Speak respectfully of those honest barbarians,” exclaimed the
Signora. “They were strong and brave, and some things they would not
do for gain. Do you recollect that Alaric’s men, when they were
sacking Rome, being told that certain vessels of silver and gold were
sacred, belonging to the service of the church, took the treasure on
their heads and carried it to St. Peter’s, the Romans falling into the
procession, hymns mingling with their war-cries? Fancy Victor
Emanuel’s people making restitution! Fancy Signor Bonghi and his
associates marching in procession through the streets of Rome, bearing
on their heads the libraries they have stolen from religious houses to
make their grand library at the Roman College, which they have also
stolen. Honor to the barbarians! There were things they respected.
Ugh! what a flash. And what about cultivated thunders, Mr. Vane?”

“Do you not know that there are thunders and thunders?” he replied.
“Some roll like chariot-wheels from horizon to horizon, rattling and
crashing, to be sure, but following a track. Others go clumsily
tumbling about, without rhyme or reason, and you feel they may break
through the roof any minute.”

The rain fell in torrents, and came running in through chinks of the
windows. The storm seemed to increase every moment. Bianca drew a
footstool to the Signora’s side, and, seating herself on it, hid her
face in her friend’s lap. Isabel sought refuge with her father,
holding his arm closely, and they all became silent. Talk seems
trivial in face of such a manifestation of the terrible strength of
nature; and at night one is so much more impressed by a storm, all the
little daylight securities falling off. They sat and waited, hoping
that each sharp burst might be the culminating one.

While they waited, suddenly through the storm broke loudly three clear
strokes of a bell.

“Oh!” cried Bianca, starting up.

“_Fulgura frango_,” exclaimed the Signora triumphantly. Four strokes,
five, and one followed with the sweet and deliberate strength of the
great bell, then the others joined and sang through the night like a
band of angels.

“Brava, Maria Assunta!” exclaimed the Signora. “Where is the storm,
Mr. Vane?”

He did not answer. In fact, with the ceasing of the fifteen minutes’
ringing the storm ceased, and there was left only a low growling of
spent thunders about the horizon, and a flutter of pallid light now
and then. It was only the next morning at the breakfast-table that Mr.
Vane thought to remark that the bell-ringer of the basilica must be a
pretty good meteorologist, for he knew just when to strike in after
the last great clap.

“It was a most beautiful incident,” Bianca said seriously. “Please do
not turn it into ridicule, papa!”

They were just rising from the table, and, in speaking, the daughter
put her arm around her father’s shoulder and kissed him, as if she
would assure him of her loving respect in all that was human, even
while reproving him from the height of a superior spiritual wisdom.

The father had been wont to receive these soft admonitions
affectionately, indeed, but somewhat lightly. Lately, however, he had
taken them in a more serious manner. Perhaps the presence of the
Signora, whose sentiments in such matters he could not regard as
childish, and whose displeasure he could not look upon with the
natural superiority of a father, put him a little more on his guard.
He glanced at her now, biting his lip; but she did not seem to have
heard.

“May not the effect bell-ringing has on tempests be accounted for on
natural principles?” Isabel asked, with the air of one making a
philosophical discovery.

“My dear Isabel, it is said that the miracles of Christ may be so
accounted for,” the Signora replied. “But who is to account for the
natural principles? We have no time to spare,” she added brightly.
“The train starts in fifteen minutes. Hurry, children!”

But, brightly as she spoke, a slight cloud settled over her feelings
after this little incident. She was not displeased with Mr. Vane; for
she had learned that no real irreverence underlay these occasional
gibes, and had observed that they grew more rare, and were rather the
effect of habit than of intention. She was grateful to him, indeed,
for the delicacy and consideration he showed, and for the patience
with which he submitted himself to a Catholic atmosphere and mode of
life which did not touch his convictions, though it might not have
been foreign to his tastes.

“We are frequently as unjust to Protestants as they are to us,” she
constantly said to her over-zealous friends. “If they are sincere in
their disbelief, it would show a lack of principle in them to be
over-indulgent and complacent to us. You must recollect that many a
Protestant cannot help believing us guilty of something like, at
least, unconscious idolatry; cannot help having a sort of horror for
some of our ways. Besides, we must not claim merit to ourselves for
having faith. ‘_Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da
gloriam._’ Then, again, here is an inquiry worth making: Look about
among your Catholic acquaintances, including yourself among them, and
ask, from your knowledge of them and of yourself, ‘If the drama of
salvation were yet to be acted, and Christ were but just come on
earth, poor, humble, and despised, how many of these people would
follow him? Would I follow him? What instance of a sacrifice of
worldly advantages, a giving up of friends and happiness, a
willingness to be despised for God’s sake, have I or any of these
given?’ It is easy, it is a little flattering, indeed, to one’s
vanity, and pleasing to one’s imagination, to stand in very good
company, among people many of whom are our superiors in rank and
reputation, and have our opponents fire their poor little arrows at
us. We feel ourselves very great heroes and heroines indeed, when, in
truth, we are no more than stage heroes, with tinsel crowns and tin
swords, and would fly affrighted before a real trial. It is easy to
talk, and those who do the least talk the most and the most
positively. Some of the noblest natures in the world are outside of
the fold, some of the meanest are inside. God’s ways are not our ways,
and we cannot disentangle these things. Only we should not take airs
to ourselves. When I see the primitive ardor and nobleness of
Christianity in a person, I hold that person as independent of
circumstances, and am sure that he would join the company of the
fishermen to-day, if they were but just called. The others I do not
wish to judge, except when they make foolish pretences.”

The Signora had sometimes displeased some of her friends by talking in
this manner and pricking their vainglorious bubbles; and she
consistently felt that, according to his light, Mr. Vane was
forbearing with his daughters and with her, and that they should show
some forbearance with him. She was, therefore, not displeased with him
for his unintentional mocking. Her cloud came from another direction.
She found herself changing a little, growing less evenly contented
with her life, alternating unpleasantly between moods of happiness and
depression. While she lived alone, receiving her friends for a few
hours at a time, she had found her life tranquil and satisfying.
Sympathy and kind services were always at hand, and there was always
the equal or greater pleasure of sympathy and kind services demanded
to make of friendship a double benefit. But the question had begun to
glance now and then across her mind whether she had been altogether
wise in taking this family into her house, having before her eyes the
constant spectacle of an affection and intimacy such as she had left
outside her own experience, and had no desire to invite or admit, even
while she felt its charm. She, quite deprived of all family ties, felt
sometimes a loneliness which she had never before experienced, in
witnessing the affection of the father and his daughters; and, at the
same time that she saw them as enclosed in a magic circle from which
she was excluded, she looked forward with dread to the time when they
should leave her, with a new void in her life, and a serenity
permanently disturbed, perhaps. There were little moments, short and
sharp, when she could have sympathized with Faust casting aside with
passionate contempt his worthless gifts and learning at sight of the
simple happiness of love and youth.

But these moments and moods were short and disconnected. She was
scarcely aware of them, scarcely remembered that each, as it came, was
not the first, and her life flowed between them always pleasantly,
sometimes joyfully. She was quite gay and happy when they ran down to
the carriage and hurried to the station.

The morning was delicious, everything washed clean and fresh by the
plentiful shower. A light, pearly cloud covered the sky, veiling all
with a delicate softness that was to sunshine as contentment is to
joy. Here and there a deep shadow slept on the landscape. Our little
party took possession of a first-class car, and seated, each at a
corner of it, were every moment calling attention to some new beauty.
Isabel glanced with delight along the great aqueduct lines and the
pictures they framed, all blurred and swimming with the birds with
which the stone arches were alive; Bianca watched the mountain, her
eyes full of poetical fancies; and Mr. Vane presently fell in love
with a square of solid green he espied in the midst of the bare
Campagna, a little paradise, where the trees and flowers seemed to be
bursting with luxuriance over the walls, and regarding with
astonishment the dead country about them, that stretched off its low
waves and undulations in strong and stubborn contrast with that
redundant spot.

“Aladdin’s lamp must have done it,” he said; and after a moment added,
having followed the subject a little in his own mind: “I am inclined
to think that one element of the picturesque must be inconsistency.
Ah! here are your white Campagna cattle we have heard so much about.
Aren’t they of rather a bluish color?”

“But look and see what they are eating, papa,” Bianca said. “No wonder
it turns them blue.”

The ground all about was deeply colored with blue flowers, in the
midst of which these large, white cattle wandered, feeding lazily, as
if eating were a pleasure, not a necessity. They were like people
reading poetry.

“We do not often have such a day here,” the Signora said, “and to me
the clouds are a luxury. I own that I have sometimes grown weary of
seeing that spotless blue overhead week after week, month after month,
even. Clouds are tender, and give infinite lights and shades. The
first winter I spent in Rome there were a hundred days in succession
of windless, cloudless, golden weather, beginning in October, and
lasting till after New Year’s day. Then came a sweet three days’ rain,
which enchanted me. I went out twice a day in it.”

“This reminds me,” Isabel said, “of our first visit to the White
Mountains. We went there under the ‘rainy Hyades,’ apparently; for we
hadn’t seen sunshine for a week. When we reached Lancaster, at
evening, the fog touched our faces like a wet flannel, and there was a
fine, thick rain in the morning when I awoke. About nine o’clock there
was a brightening, and I looked up and saw a blue spot. The clouds
melted away from it, still raining, and sunbeams shot across, but none
came through. First I saw a green plain with a river winding through
it, and countless little pools of water, everything a brilliant green
and silver. A few trees stood about knee-deep in grass and yellow
grain. And then, all at once, down through the rain of water came a
rain of sunshine; and, lastly, the curtains parted, and there were the
mountains! They are a great deal more solemn looking and impressive
than these,” she said, with a depreciatory glance toward the Alban
Mountains. “On the whole, I think the scene was finer and more
brilliant.”

As if in answer to her criticism, a slim, swift sunbeam pierced
suddenly the soft flecks of mist overhead, shot across the shadowed
world, and dropped into Rome. Out blazed the marvellous dome, all
golden in that light, the faint line of its distant colonnades started
into vivid clearness with all their fine-wrought arches, and for a
moment the city shone like a picture of a city seen by a magic-lantern
in a dark room.

“Very true!” the young woman replied quite coolly, as if she had been
spoken to. “We have no such city, no such towns and villages and
villas set on the mountainside; but we are young and fresh and strong,
and we are brave, which you are not. Your past, and the ruins left of
it, are all you can boast of. We have a present and a future. And
after all,” she said, turning to her audience, who were smilingly
listening to this perfectly serious address, “it is ungrateful of the
sun to take the part of Italy so, when we welcome him into our houses,
and they shut him out. Why, the windows of the Holy Father’s rooms at
the Vatican are half walled up.”

“Maybe the sun doesn’t consider it such a privilege to come into our
houses,” her father suggested.

“And as for Rome,” the young woman went on, “to me it seems only the
skull of a dead Italy, and the Romans the worms crawling in and out.
But there! I won’t scold to-day. How lovely everything is!”

The yellow-green vineyards and the blue-green canebrakes came in
sight, the olive-orchards rolled their smoke-like verdure up the
hills, and at length the cars slid between the rose-trees of the
Frascati station, and the crowd of passengers poured out and hurried
up the stairs to secure carriages to take them to the town. The family
_Ottant’-Otto_, finding themselves in a garden, did not make haste to
leave it, but stayed to gather each a nosegay, nobody interfering.
More than one, indeed, of the passengers paused long enough to snatch
a rosebud in passing.

Going up then to the station-yard, they found it quite deserted,
except for the carriage that had been sent for them, and another drawn
by a tandem of beautiful white horses, in whose ears their owner, one
of the young princes living near the town, was fastening the roses he
had just gathered below. The creatures seemed as vain of themselves as
he evidently was proud of them, and held their heads quite still to be
adorned, tossing their tails instead, which had been cut short, and
tied round with a gay scarlet band.

Every traveller knows that Frascati is built up the sides of the
Tusculan hills, looking toward Rome, the railway station on a level
with the Campagna, the town rising above with its countless
street-stairs, and, still above, the magnificent villas over which
look the ruins of ancient Tusculum. On one of the lower streets of the
town, in Palazzo Simonetti, lived a friend of the Signora, and there
rooms had been provided for the family, and every preparation made for
their comfort. They found a second breakfast awaiting them, laid out
in a room looking up to one of the loveliest nooks in the world――the
little _piazza_ of the _duomo vecchio_, with its great arched doorway,
and exquisite fountain overshadowed by a weeping willow. If it had
been a common meal, they would have declined it; but it was a little
feast for the eyes rather: a dish of long, slim strawberries from
Nemi, where strawberries grow every month in the year by the shores of
the beautiful lake, in a soil that has not yet forgotten that it once
throbbed with volcanic fires; tiny rolls, ring-shaped and not much too
large for a finger-ring, and golden shells of butter; all these laid
on fresh vine-leaves and surrounded by pomegranate blossoms that shone
like fire in the shaded room. The coffee-cups were after-dinner cups,
and so small that no one need decline on the score of having already
taken coffee; and there was no sign of cream, only a few lumps of
sugar, white and shining as snow-crust.

“It is frugal, dainty, and irresistible,” Mr. Vane said. “Let us
accept by all means.”

They were going up to Tusculum, and, as the day was advancing, set off
after a few minutes, going on foot. They had preferred that way, being
good walkers, and having, moreover, a unanimous disinclination to see
themselves on donkeys.

“A gentleman on a donkey is less a gentleman than the donkey,” Mr.
Vane said. “I would walk a hundred miles sooner than ride one mile on
a beast which has such short legs and such long ears. The atmosphere
of the ridiculous which they carry with them is of a circumference to
include the tallest sort of man. Besides, they have an uncomfortable
way of sitting down suddenly, if they only feel a fly, and that hurts
the self-love of the rider, if it doesn’t break his bones.”

“Poor little patient wretches! how they have to suffer,” said the
Signora. “Even their outcry, while the most pitiful sound in the
world, a very sob of despairing pain, is the height of the ridiculous.
If you don’t cry hearing it, you must laugh, unless, indeed, you
should be angry. For they sometimes make a ‘situation’ by an
inopportune bray, as a few weeks ago at the Arcadia. The Academy was
holding an _adunanza_ at Palazzo Altemps, and, as the day was quite
warm and the audience large, the windows into the back court were
opened. The prose had been read, and a pretty, graceful poetess, the
Countess G――――, had recited one of her best poems, when a fine-looking
monsignore rose to favor us with a sonnet. He writes and recites
enthusiastically, and we prepared to listen with pleasure. He began,
and, after the first line, a donkey in the court struck in with the
loudest bray I ever heard. Monsignore continued, perfectly inaudible,
and the donkey continued, obstreperously audible. A faint ripple of a
smile touched the faces least able to control themselves. Monsignore
went on with admirable perseverance, but with a somewhat heightened
color. A sonnet has but fourteen lines, and the bray had thirteen.
They closed simultaneously. Monsignore sat down; I don’t know what the
donkey did. One only had been visible, as the other only had been
audible. The audience applauded with great warmth and politeness. ‘Who
are they applauding,’ asked my companion of me――‘the one they have
heard, or the one they have not heard?’ If it had been my sonnet, I
should instantly have gone out, bought that donkey, and hired somebody
to throw him into the Tiber.”

“Here we are at the great _piazza_, and here is the cathedral. See how
the people in the shops and fruit-stands water their flowers!”

In fact, all the rim of the great fountain-basin was set round with a
row of flower-pots containing plants that were dripping in the spray
of the falling cascades. Just out of reach of the spray were two fruit
shops large enough to contain the day’s store and the chair of the
person who sold it. Temporary pipes from the fountain conducted water
to the counters, where a tiny fountain tossed its borrowed jet,
constantly renewed from the cool cascade, and constantly returning to
the basin.

“We must take _excelsior_ for our motto,” the Signora said to the two
girls, who wanted to stop and admire everything they saw. “We are for
the mountain-height now. When we return, you may like to dress up with
flowers two shrines on the road. I always do it when I come this way.”

They climbed the steep and rocky lane between high walls, passed on
the one side the house where Cardinal Baronius wrote his famous
_Annals_, which had an interest too dry to fascinate the two young
ladies; passed the wide iron gate of a villa to left, and another to
right, giving only a glance at the paradises within; passed the large
painting of the Madonna embowered in trees at the foot of the
Cappucini Avenue; passed under the stone portal, and the rod of
verdant shadow almost as solid, that formed the entrance to Villa
Tuscolana, ravished now and then by glimpses of the magnificent
distance; on into the lovely wood-road, the ancient _Via Tusculana_;
and presently there they were at last in the birthplace of Cato, the
air-hung city that broke the pride of Rome, and that, conquered at
last, died in its defeat, and remained for ever a ruin.

Not a word was spoken when they reached the summit, and stood gazing
on what is, probably, the most magnificent view in the world. Only
after a while, when the three new-comers began to move and come out of
their first trance of admiration, the Signora named some of the chief
points in the landscape and in the ruins. The old historical scenes
started up, the old marvellous stories rushed back to their memories,
the mountains crowded up as witnesses, and the towns, with all their
teeming life and countless voices of the present hushed by distance,
became voluble with voices and startling with life of the past.

After a while they seated themselves in the shade of a tree, facing
the west, and silently thought, or dreamed, or merely looked, as their
mood might be. Their glances shot across the bosky heights that
climbed to their feet, and across the wide Campagna, to where Rome lay
like a heap of lilies thrown on a green carpet, and the glittering
sickle of the distant sea curved round the world.

Day deepened about them in waves. They could almost feel each wave
flow over them as the sun mounted, touching degree after degree of the
burning blue, as a hand touches octaves up an organ. The birds sang
less, and the cicali more, and the plants sighed forth all their
perfume.

Isabel slipped off her shoes, and set her white-stockinged feet on a
tiny laurel-bush, that bent kindly under them without breaking, making
a soft and fragrant cushion. All took off their hats, and drank in the
faint wind that was fresh, even at noon.

“The first time I came here,” the Signora said after a while, “was on
the _festa_ of SS. Roch and Sebastian, in the heat of late summertime.
That is a great day for Frascati, for these two saints are their
protectors against pestilence, which has never visited the city. When,
in ’69, the cholera dropped one night on Albano, just round the
mountain there a few miles, and struck people dead almost like
lightning, and killed them on the road as they fled to other towns, so
that many died, perhaps, from fear and horror, having no other
illness, none who reached Frascati in health died. The nobility died
as well as the low, and the cardinal bishop died at his post taking
care of his people. Whole families came to Frascati, the people told
me, flying by night along the dark, lonely road, some half-starving;
for all the bakers were dead, and there was no bread except what was
sent from Rome. The saints they trusted did not refuse to help them.
In Frascati they found safety. If any died there, certainly none
sickened there. So, of course, the saints were more honored than ever.
I sat here and heard the bells all ringing at noon, and the guns
firing salutes, and saw the lovely blue wreaths of smoke curl away
over the roofs after each salvo. In Italy they do not praise God
solely with the organ, but with the timbrel and the lute. Anything
that expresses joy and triumph expresses religious joy and triumph,
and the artillery and military bands come out with the candles and the
crucifix to honor the saint as well as the warrior. Then in the
evening there was the grand procession, clergy, church choirs,
military bands, crucifixes, banners, women dressed in the ancient
costume of the town, and the bells all ringing, the guns all booming,
and the route of the procession strewn with fragrant green. The
evening deepened as they marched, and their candles, scarcely visible
at first, grew brighter as they wound about the steep streets and the
illuminated piazzas. All the houses had colored lamps out of their
windows, and there were fireworks. But my noon up here impressed me
most. My two guides, trusty men, and my only companions, sat
contentedly in the shade playing _Morra_ after their frugal bread and
wine. Sitting with my back to them, only faintly hearing their voices
as they called the numbers, I could imagine that they were Achilles
and Ajax, whom you can see on an ancient Etruscan vase in the Vatican
playing the same game. The present was quite withdrawn from me. I felt
like _Annus Mundi_ looking down on _Annus Domini_, and seeing the
whole of it, too. I could have stayed all day, but that hunger
admonished me; for I had not been so provident as my guides, nor as I
have been to-day. Going down, however, just below the Capuchin
convent, I saw a man on a donkey coming up, with a large basket slung
at each side of the saddle in front of him. No one could doubt what
was under those cool vine-leaves. He was carrying fresh figs up to the
Villa Tuscolana, where some college was making their _villigiatura_. I
showed him a few soldi, and he stopped and let me lift the leaves
myself. There they lay with soft cheek pressed to cheek, large, black
figs as sweet as honey. The very skins of them would have sweetened
your tea. Where we stood a little path that looked like a dry
rivulet-bed led off under the wall of the convent grounds. When I
asked where it went, they answered, ‘To the Madonna.’ We will go there
on our way down. Meantime, has Isabel nothing hospitable to say to
us?”

Miss Vane displayed immediately the luncheon she had been detailed to
prepare, a bottle of Orvieto, only less delicate because richer than
champagne, a basket of _cianbelli_, and lastly a box. “In the name of
the prophet, figs!” she said, opening it. “They are dried, it is true;
but then they are from Smyrna.”

They drank _felicissima festa_ to Bianca, drank to the past and the
present, to all the world; and Mr. Vane, when their little feast was
ended, slipped a beautiful ring on his younger daughter’s finger. “To
remember Tusculum by, my dear,” he said; and, looking at her
wistfully, seeming to miss some light-heartedness even in her smiles,
he added: “Is there anything you lack, child?”

She dropped her face to his arm only in time to hide a blush that
covered it. “What could I lack?” she asked.

But a few minutes afterward, while the others recalled historical
events connected with the place, and the Signora pointed out the
cities and mountains by name, the young girl walked away to the Roman
side, and stood looking off with longing eyes toward the west. She
lacked a voice, a glance, and a smile too dear to lose, and her heart
cried out for them. She was not unhappy, for she trusted in God, and
in the friend whose unspoken affection absence and estrangement had
only strengthened her faith in; but she wanted to see him, or, at
least, to know how he fared. It seemed to her at that moment that if
she should look off toward that part of the world where he must be,
fix her thoughts on him and call him, he would hear her and come. She
called him, her tender whisper sending his name out through all the
crowding ghosts of antiquity, past pope and king and ambassador, poet
and orator, armies thrust back and armies triumphant――the little
whisper winged and heralded by a power older and more potent than
Tusculum or the mountain whereon its ruins lie.

They went down the steep way again, gathering all the flowers they
could find, and, when they reached the shrine at the turn of the
Cappucini road, stuck the screen so full of pink, white, and purple
blossoms that the faces of Our Lady and the Child could only just be
discerned peeping out. Then they turned into the pebbly path under the
Cappucini wall, where the woods and briers on one side, and the wall
on the other, left them room only to walk in Indian file; came out on
the height above beautiful Villa Lancilotti, with another burst of the
Campagna before their eyes, and the mountains with their coronets of
towns still visible at the northeast over the Borghese Avenue and the
solid pile of Mondragone.

Here, set so high on the wall that it had to be reached by two or
three stone steps, was the picture of the Madonna, looking off from
its almost inaccessible height over the surrounding country. It was
visible from the villas below, and many a faithful soul far away had
breathed a prayer to Mary at sight of it, though nothing was visible
to him but the curve of high, white wall over the trees, and the
square frame of the picture. Now and then a devout soul came through
the lonely and thorny path to the very foot of the shrine, and left a
prayer and a flower there.

The others gave their flowers to Bianca, who climbed the steps, and
set a border of bloom inside the frame, and pushed a flower through
the wires to touch the Madonna’s hand, and set a little ring of yellow
blossoms where it might look like a crown.

As she stood on that height, visible as a speck only if one had looked
up from the villa, smiling to herself happily while she performed her
sweet and unaccustomed task, down in the town below, a speck like
herself, stood a man leaning against the eagle-crested arch of the
Borghese Villa gate, and watching her through a glass. He saw the
slight, graceful form, whose every motion was so well known to him;
saw the ribbon flutter in her uncovered hair, the little gray mantle
dropped off the gray dress into the hands of the group at the foot of
the steps; saw the arms raised to fix flower after flower; finally,
when she turned to come down, fancied that he saw her smile and blush
of pleasure, and, conquered by his imagination, dropped the glass and
held out his arms, for it seemed that she was stepping down to him.

The party went home tired and satisfied, and did not go out again that
day. It was pleasure enough to sit in the westward windows as the
afternoon waned and watch the sun go down, and see how the mist that
for ever lies over the Campagna caught his light till, when he burned
on the horizon in one tangle of radiating gold, the whole wide space
looked as if a steady rainbow had been straightened and drawn across
it, every color in its order, glowing stratum upon stratum pressed
over sea and city and vineyard, blurring all with a splendid haze,
till the earth was brighter than even the cloudless sky.

“It is so beautiful that even the stars come out before their time to
look,” the Signora said. “Your Madonna on the wall can see it too,
Bianca. But as for the poor Madonna in her nest of trees, she can see
nothing but green and flowers.”

“I wonder why I prefer the Madonna of the wall?” asked Bianca
dreamily. “I feel happy thinking of it.”

TO BE CONTINUED.



TEXT-BOOKS IN CATHOLIC COLLEGES.


After many advances on the part of editors and correspondents towards
approaching this question in a _tangible_ form, the Rev. Dr. Engbers,
a professor of the Seminary of Mount St. Mary’s of the West,
Cincinnati, Ohio, has been the first to take up the subject in
earnest. Often have we heard men, admirably adapted to handle this
question, express the wish that some one would come forward and
propose a system of improvement: we need better books, we are at the
mercy of non-Catholic compilers, in every department of learning,
except divinity. “Well, why do you not set to work and give us such
text-books as can be safely adopted in _our_ schools?――books of
history, sacred, ecclesiastical, secular; books of mental or rational
and natural philosophy; treatises on the philosophy of religion; books
of geography, sadly wanted to let our boys know how wide the Catholic
world is; then grammars; then Greek and Latin text-books――all and each
of them fit to be placed in the hands of Catholic young men and women,
for the salvation of whose souls some one will be called to an
account, etc. etc.” “Oh! you see, I cannot tax my time to such an
extent; I cannot afford it. Then do you think I can face the apathy,
perhaps the superciliousness, of those who should encourage, but will
be sure to sneer at me and pooh-pooh me down? No, no; I cannot do it.”
Time and again have we heard such remarks. But, luckily, it seems as
if at this propitious moment _rerum nascitur ordo_. All praise to the
Rev. Dr. Engbers! Not only has he raised his voice and uttered words
expressive of a long, painful experience, and resolutely cried out
that something must be done, but has actually addressed himself to the
work, and has broken ground on a road whereon we can follow him,
whether pulling with him or not. That we need _text-books_ for _our_
schools is admitted by all who give a thought to the importance of a
proper training in Catholic schools――that training which should
distinguish the Catholic citizen from all others. There is no doubt
but a judicious training in a properly-conducted Catholic college will
stamp the pupil with a character we may dare to call _indelible_.

There must needs be a character imprinted on the mind of the graduate,
whether he goes forth from the halls of his Alma Mater as a literary
man or a philosopher, a scientist or a professional man. We cannot
refrain from transcribing the beautiful sentiments uttered by the Hon.
George W. Paschal, in his annual address before the Law Department of
the University of Georgetown, on the 3d of June, 1875:

     “You go forth from an institution long honored for its
     learning, its high moral character, its noble charities,
     which have been bestowed in the best possible way――mental
     enlightenment, and its watchful sympathy for its learned
     children spread all over the land. The fathers of that
     institution expect much from you, and they will be ever
     ready to accord to you every possible encouragement. Your
     immediate instructors in your profession cannot fail to feel
     for you the deepest interest.”

Surely the gist of the above is that the graduates who “stand upon the
threshold of their profession, holding passes to enter the great
arena”――as Mr. Daly has so happily expressed it in his valedictory on
the same occasion――must bear imprinted on their brows the parting kiss
of their Alma Mater.

Now, if _bonum ex integrâ causâ, malum ex quocumque defectu_,
everything in a collegiate course must tend to give the graduate a
Catholic individuality in the world of science and of letters.

And here it is that we cannot fail to admire the great wisdom of the
Holy Father, who, when the question of classics in the Catholic
schools began to be mooted, _ex professo_ and in earnest, would not
sanction a total and blind exclusion of the pagan classics――for that
would be _obscurantism_――but advised the use of the classics, with a
_proviso_ that the rich wells of Christian classicism should not be
passed by.

Then it cannot be gainsaid that the use of pagan classics is necessary
in the curriculum of belles-lettres, just as, if we may be allowed the
comparison, the study of the sacred books is indispensable to the
student of divinity; although even in Holy Writ there are passages
which should not be wantonly read, and much less commented upon.

And here we must differ from the admirable letter of Dr. Engbers, who
certainly is at home on the subject and makes some excellent points.
He avers that it is neither possible nor necessary “to prepare
Catholic books for the whole extent of a college education.”

For brevity’s sake we shall not give his reasons, but shall limit
ourselves to our own views on the subject.

In the first place, it _is_ necessary to prepare text-books of the
classics for our schools. For, surely, we cannot trust to the
scholar’s hand Horace, or Ovid, or even Virgil, as they came from
their authors; and this on the score of morality. Secondly, we have no
hesitation in saying that we do not possess as yet a single Latin
classic (to speak of Latin alone) so prepared to meet all the
requirements of the youthful student. We may almost challenge
contradiction when we assert that, in all such editions as are
prepared for American schools, the passages really difficult are
skipped over. True, it is many years since we had an opportunity of
examining such works thoroughly; but from what we knew then, and have
looked into lately, we find no reason for a change of opinion. The
work of such editions is perfunctorily done. The commentators,
annotators, or whatsoever other name they may go by, seem to have only
aimed at doing a certain amount of work somewhat _à la_ penny-a-liner;
but nothing seems to be done _con amore_, and much less according to
thorough knowledge. Let our readers point to one annotator or editor
of any poet adopted in American schools who is truly æsthetic in his
labors.

Classics must, then, be prepared. Dr. Engbers avers that we can safely
use what we have, no matter by whom they have been prepared; and in
this we must willingly yield to his judgment, because it would be
temerity in us, who are not a professor and have so far led a life of
quite the reverse of classical application, to make an issue with him.
But we must be allowed to differ from him in that “we have not the
means to provide for all, and our educators are unable to satisfy the
wants for the whole college course.”

Let us bear in mind that we limit our disquisition to the Latin
classics for the present. What we say about them will be equally
applicable to the Greek, as well as to the authors of all nations.

It seems to us abundantly easy to prepare books for this department.
Let a certain number of colleges, schools, and seminaries join
together, and through their faculties make choice of a competent
scholar. Set him apart for one year for the purpose of preparing a
neat, cheap _school_ edition of the Latin classics _for our Catholic
schools_. He must limit himself to the _Ætas aurea_, giving some of
those authors in their entirety, such as Nepos; some with a little
pruning, such as the _Æneid_; others, again, _summo libandi calamo_;
while of Cicero and Livy we would advise only selections for a
beginning. Of Cicero, _e.g._, give us a few letters _Ad Familiares_,
his _De Oratore_, six Orations, _Somnium Scipionis_, _De Officiis_,
and _De Senectute_. From what we are going to say it will be evident
that no more will be necessary at first. Teach the above well, _et
satis superque satis_!

Exclude from your classes the cramming system. Prof. Cram is the bane,
the evil genius of our classical halls. Supporters of the “forty lines
a day” rule, listen! It was our good fortune to learn the classics in
a Jesuit college. We were in rhetoric. Our professor gave Monday and
Wednesday afternoons to Virgil, Tuesday to Homer, and Friday to
Horace. Of Virgil we read book vi., and of Horace the third book of
Odes――that is, what we _did_ read of them. The professor was a perfect
scholar, an orator, a poet, as inflammable as petroleum, and as
sensitive as the “touch-me-not” plant, with a mind the quickest we
ever knew, and a heart most affectionate, besides being truly a man of
God. Well, the session had entered its fourth month, and we had gone
through about three hundred verses of Virgil, while from Horace we
were just learning not _magna modis tenuare parvis_. One afternoon the
rector suddenly put in an appearance with some of the _patrassi_. As
they had taken their seats, the former asked what portions of the
Latin classics we had been reading. “Cicero and Livy of the prose,
Horace and Virgil of the poets.” “But what part?” quoth he. “Any
part,” replied the master. The rector looked puzzled; the boys――well,
we do not know, for we had no looking-glass, nor did we look at one
another――but perfectly astounded at the coolness of the teacher. One
thing, however, all who have survived will remember: the strange
feeling that seized us; for “Was he going to make a fool of every one
of his boys?” We were eleven in the class. It was a small college, in
a provincial town, that has given some very great men to the world,
but of which Lord Byron did not sing enthusiastically. There we were:
on the pillory, in the stocks, billeted for better for worse, for
“what not?” The rector, with ill-disguised impatience, called for one
of the boys, and, opening Virgil at random, chanced on the very death
of Turnus. The poor boy, pale and trembling, began to read, and on he
went, while the relentless questioner seemed carried away by the
beauty of the passage, unconscious of the torture to which he had
doomed the unlucky pupil. But, no; we take the word back: because as
he was advancing he seemed to become more self-possessed, and so much
so that at the end he described the last victim of the Lavinian
struggle with uncommon pathos, until, with a hoarse sound of his
voice, he launched the soul of the upstart _sub umbras_, just as the
teacher would himself have read to us a parallel passage. It was
evident that, although he had never before read those lines, he had
caught their spirit, and the recitation ended perfectly. Then, as he
was requested to render the whole passage into vernacular, with a
fluent diction, choice words, and not once faltering, he acquitted
himself with universal applause. One or two more boys were called up,
and the visitors took their leave much pleased.

Then it was our turn to ask the master why he had done that. “Well,
boys,” said he, “I expected it all along. You see it now. How many
times you have wondered at my keeping you so long on perhaps only
three or four lines a whole afternoon! Now you understand. We have not
read Virgil, but we have studied Latin poetry, and you have learned
it. In future we shall skim the poets here and there, as I may choose,
and at the final exhibition you shall be ready to read to the
auditorium any part of the Greek and Latin authors the audience may
think fit to call for.” And so we did, and did it well.

Once, being on a school committee, we asked the master of the
high-school――and a learned man he was――why he hurried through so many
lines. “I cannot help it,” said he; “they must have read so many lines
[_sic_] when they present themselves for examination at Harvard”! Nor
shall we omit here to note that young men have failed in their
examinations to enter Harvard because, in sooth, they could not get
through _the recitation_. Prof. Agassiz himself told us that one of
his favorite students (whom we knew well) failed because he could not
repeat _verbatim_ a certain portion of a treatise on some point of
natural philosophy. However, the good professor insisted on the youth
being examined as to the sense, and not, parrot-like, repeating
sentence after sentence, and the candidate carried the palm.

This “recitation” system, the “forty lines” routine, is a curse. We
are sure professors will bear us out in our assertion. Dr. Becker, in
his excellent article in the _American Catholic Quarterly_, deals with
this matter in a very luminous style. What use, then, of so many
authors, or of the whole of any one of them, for a text-book? _Non
multa sed multum, and multum in parvo._ The bee does not draw all that
is garnered in the chalice, but just that much which is necessary to
make the honey. No wonder that so few are endowed with the _nescio quo
sapore vernaculo_, as Cicero would call it. We have treasured for the
last three-and-forty years the paper on which we copied the
description of the war-horse, as rendered by our professor of
rhetoric, who gave two lectures on it, bringing in and commenting on
parallel descriptions in prose and verse. Nearly half a century has
passed away, and those two charming afternoons in that old class-room
are yet fresh in our remembrance.

If some prelates have gone so far as to exclude profane classics from
the schools in their seminaries altogether, the Holy Father, on the
other hand, does not approve of such indiscriminate ostracism; nay, he
recommends that a judicious adoption be made of the pagan classics, at
the same time bringing before the Catholic student the great patterns
of sacred writings which have been preserved for us from the Greek and
Latin fathers. Surely only a senseless man would withhold from the
“golden-mouthed John” that meed of praise which is allowed to the
Athenian Demosthenes. Are they not both noble patterns on which the
youthful aspirant to forensic or ecclesiastical eloquence should form
himself?

And here it is that the necessity of preparing _Catholic text-books_
becomes self-evident. Outsiders cannot furnish us with the materials
we need for a thorough and wholesome Catholic training――even more
important, in our estimation, when we take into consideration that
such works _in extenso_ are too costly and far beyond the means of the
average of scholars. Hence if we are really in earnest in our desire
of having perfect Catholic schools, such books must needs be prepared.

After we have carefully prepared proper editions of the pagan
classics, _Ætatis aureæ_, for our schools, what else have we to do to
furnish our arsenal with a well-appointed complement? We must look
about for a choice of the best Christian Latin classics. As for
Christian Latin poets of antiquity, the choice will be less difficult,
because there is not an embarrassing wealth of them, yet enough to
learn how to convey the holiest ideas in the phraseology of Parnassus,
how to sing the praises of Our Lady with the rhythm of the Muses.

It is well known that a new departure is about to take place, nay, has
taken place, in the Catholic schools of Europe. The great patristic
patterns of oratory and poetry will in future be held before the
Catholic student for his imitation and improvement.

The movement inside the Catholic world has become known, because there
is no mystery about it, and the Catholic Church, faithful to her
Founder’s example, does and says everything “openly.” The debate on
the classics is over, and every one is satisfied of the necessity of
the new arrangement. Outside the church some one stood on tiptoe,
_arrectis auribus_; all at once a clapping of hands――_presto!_ The
chance is caught, the opportunity improved. We have used pagan
classics in our schools as they came from a non-Catholic press, and
_we felt safe in adopting them_! Moreover, it has been, so far, next
to impossible to detail any one, chosen from our bands, to prepare new
sets. Now a plan seems to be maturing, and a line drawn, following
which one will know how to work; and it is on this line that the
writer is adding his feeble efforts to aid a great cause.

But what of the Christian classics? _Obstupescite, cœli!_ Harper &
Brothers have come to the rescue. To them, then, we must suppliantly
look for help to open this avenue of Christian civilization――the
blended instruction, in our schools, of pagan and Christian training
in belles-lettres!

“_Latin Hymns, with English Notes._ For use in schools and colleges.
New York: Harper & Bros., Publishers, Franklin Square. 1875. Pp. 333.
12mo, tinted paper, $1 75.”

The book is to be the first of a series of what may be called sacred
classics. The second of the series, already printed, is _The
Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius_; it will be followed by Tertullian
and Athanagoras (surely a worse choice as regards style could not be
made), both in press. Then, “_should the series be welcomed_, it will
be continued with volumes of Augustine, and Cyprian, and Lactantius,
and Justin Martyr, and Chrysostom, and others; in number sufficient
for a complete college course.”

From a notice intended to usher the whole series before the public we
learn that “for many centuries, down to what is called the pagan
Renaissance, they [the writings of early Christians] were the common
linguistic study of educated Christians.” A startling disclosure to
us. For the future, pagan classics are to be eliminated. Is it not
evident that the industrious editors have taken the clue from us?――at
least for a part of their programme; for they push matters too far.

But here is the mishap. If we have to judge by the first book, their
works will be unavailable, their labor bootless. Dr. Parsons closes
his admirable translation of Dante’s _Inferno_ (albeit with a little
profanity, which we are willing to forgive, considering the subject
and its worth) with those imploring words, _Tantus labor non sit
cassus!_ Mr. March will find them at page 155 of his book. He may as
well appropriate them to himself, with a little suppression, however;
nor should he scruple to alter the text, seeing that he has taken
other unwarrantable liberties with the ancient fathers. What right has
he to mutilate Prudentius’ beautiful hymn _De Miraculis Christi_, and
of thirty-eight stanzas give us only eight, therewith composing, as it
were, a hymn of his own, and entitling it _De Nativitate Christi_?
Without entering into other damaging details, we assure the projectors
of this new enterprise that they have undertaken a faithless job.
Catholic teachers cannot adopt their books. For, surely, we are not
going to make our youth buy publications which tell us, _e.g._, that
the hymn _Stabat Mater_ is “simple Mariolatry,” to say nothing of
other notes equally insulting, especially when we come to the
historical department. Nor can it be said that they give proof either
of knowledge or of taste when they choose Eusebius for the very first
sample of patristic classicism. Ah! _sutor, sutor!_

But enough. We have dwelt on this new departure of Protestant zeal for
the study of the fathers, to give an additional proof in favor of our
opinion as to how far we can trust non-Catholic text-books. Even the
most superficial reader will at once discover that we only take up
side questions, and our remarks and arguments do not in the least
clash with the argument and judgment of Dr. Engbers, with whom we
agree in the main. We only assert that it would be better were we to
strain every nerve in preparing text-books of our own, whilst we also
believe it would not be so very difficult to attain the
long-wished-for result. It will take some time, it will require
sacrifices, yet the object can be accomplished. A beginning has been
made already in two American Catholic colleges. Nor should we forget
that none but Catholics can be competent to perform such a work. The
fathers are _our_ property; and the same divine Spirit that illumined
their minds will not fail to guide the pens of those who, in obedience
to authority, undertake this work.

As for the Christian authors, the difficulty is in the choice, as Dr.
Engbers points out. For the sake of brevity we limit ourselves to the
Latin fathers.

From the works of St. Augustine (a mine of great wealth) might be
compiled a series of selections which, put together with some from the
Ciceronian Jerome and a few others, would furnish an anthology of
specimens of eloquence, whether sacred, historical, or descriptive,
that could not be surpassed. A judicious _spicilegium_ from the _Acta
Martyrum_ and the liturgies of the first ages should form the
introductory portion. This first volume would be characteristic. We
would suggest that it were so prepared as at once to rivet the
attention of the scholar and enamor him with the beauties of apostolic
literature.

Dr. Engbers is very anxious――and justly so, when we consider our
needs――that something were done to supply our schools with works of
“history, natural science, and geography.” Indeed, it is high time
that we had a supply of such works. But here many will ask: “Have we
resources in our own Catholic community on which to depend for such
works?” Most assuredly we have. For, to quote only a few, is not
Professor James Hall, of Albany, a Catholic? Indeed he is, and one of
the first men in the department of natural history, acknowledged as
such by all the eminent societies of the European continent.

And who is superior to S. S. Haldeman, of Pennsylvania? And is he not
“one of ours”? The fact is, we do not know our own resources. Here we
have two men, inferior to none in their own departments of learning,
and they are totally ignored by the Catholic body, to which they
nevertheless belong! Indeed, John Gilmary Shea, another of our best
men, has touched a sad chord in his article in the first number of the
new _Catholic Quarterly_. We have allowed our best opportunities to
slip by unnoticed, and may God grant it is not too late to begin the
seemingly herculean task before us!

We have written under the inspiration and after the guidance of the
well-known wishes, nay, commands, of our Holy Father. He insists upon
education being made more Christian. His Holiness does not exclude the
pagan authors; he wishes them to be so presented to our youth that no
harm may result therefrom to the morals of the student; and we have no
doubt that the programme we have only sketched will meet with the
approval of all who are interested in the matter, and who will give us
the credit of having most faithfully adhered to our Holy Father’s
admonition.

Nor will the reader charge us with presumption if we dare to quote the
words of our great Pope, with the pardonable assurance that no more
fitting close could be given to our paper.

Monseigneur Bishop of Calvi and Teano, in the kingdom of Naples, now a
cardinal, is a most determined advocate of the needed reform, and
justly claims the merit of having been the first to inaugurate it in
Italy. In a letter to him Pius IX. sets down the importance of the
movement, and distinctly places the limits within which it should be
confined in order to attain complete success.

    “R. P. D. D’AVANZO, Episcopo Calven, Theanen.[45]

    “PIUS P.P. IX., _Venerabilis Frater, Salutem et Apostolicam
     Benedictionem_.

    “Quo libentius ab orbe Catholico indicti a Nobis Jubilæi
     beneficium fuit exceptum, Venerabilis Frater, eo uberiorem
     inde fructum expectandum esse confidimus, divina favente
     clementia. Grati propterea sensus animi, quos hac de causa
     prodis, iucunde excipimus, Deoque exhibemus, ut emolumentum
     lætitiæ a te conceptæ respondens diœcesibus tuis concedere
     velit. Acceptissimam autem habemus eruditam epistolam a te
     concinnatam de mixta latinæ linguæ institutione. Scitissime
     namque ab ipsa vindicatur decus christianæ latinitatis, quam
     multi corruptionis insimularunt veteris sermonis; dum patet,
     linguam, utpote mentis, morum, usuum publicorum
     enunciationem, necessario novam induere debuisse formam post
     invectam a Christo legem, quæ sicuti consortium humanum
     extulerat et retinxerat ad spiritualia, sic indigebat nova
     eloquii indole ab eo discreta, quod societatis carnalis,
     fluxis tantum addictæ rebus, ingenium diu retulerat. Cui
     quidem observationi sponte suffragata sunt recensita a te
     solerter monumenta singulorum Ecclesiæ sæculorum; quæ dum
     exordia novæ formæ subjecerunt oculis, ejusque progressum et
     præstantiam, simul docuerunt constanter in more fuisse
     positum Ecclesiæ, juventutem latina erudire lingua per
     mixtam sacrorum et classicorum auctorum lectionem. Quæ sane
     lucubratio tua cum diremptam iam disceptationem clariore
     luce perfuderit, efficacius etiam suadebit institutoribus
     adolescentiæ, utrorumque scriptorum opera in eius usum esse
     adhibenda. Hunc Nos labori tuo successum ominamur; et
     interim divini favoris auspicem et præcipuæ nostræ
     benevolentiæ testem tibi, Venerabilis Frater, universoque
     Clero et populo tuo Benedictionem Apostolicam peramanter
     impertimus.

    “Datum Romæ apud S. Petrum die 1 Aprilis anno 1875,
     Pontificatus Nostri anno Vigesimonono.

                                                 “PIUS PP. IX.”

This very letter is an instance of the results to which a thorough and
judicious mixed Latin classical education will lead the student of
Latinity――the resources of the pagan Latin made classically available
even to him who is secretary to the Pope _ab epistolis Latinis_, to
which post are appointed those who, with other proper qualifications,
are good Latin scholars. Some of these letters, especially those
issued under the pontificates of Benedict XIV. and Pius VI. and VII.,
are truly Ciceronian in style and language.

We call the closest attention of such of our readers as are not
acquainted with Latin to the following translation of the above most
important document:


    “To the REV. FATHER BARTHOLOMEW D’AVANZO, Bishop of Calvi
     and Teano.

    “PIUS IX., Pope.

    “Venerable Brother, health and Apostolic Benediction: In
     proportion, Venerable Brother, to the eager good-will with
     which our proclamation of the Jubilee has been received by
     the Catholic world, is the harvest of good results we expect
     therefrom under favor of divine mercy. Heartily, therefore,
     do we welcome the sentiments of gratitude which you express,
     and offer them to God, that he may vouchsafe to your
     dioceses a share in your joy. Most seasonable, moreover, do
     we account the learned letter you have written on the mixed
     teaching of the Latin language. For with great erudition
     have you therein vindicated the honor of Christian Latinity,
     which many have charged with being a corruption of the
     ancient tongue; whereas it is clear that speech, as the
     expression of ideas, manners, and public usages, must
     necessarily have assumed a new garb after the law introduced
     by Christ――a law which, while it elevated human intercourse,
     and refashioned it to spiritual requirements, needed a new
     form of conversation, distinct from that which had so long
     reflected the bent of a carnal society swayed only by
     transitory things. And truly the monuments you have
     skilfully gathered from the several ages of the church
     afford a self-evident proof of our assertion; for, while
     they lay before the eyes of the reader the beginnings of the
     new form, its progress and importance, they also aver it to
     have been an established practice in the church to train
     youth in the Latin tongue by a mixed reading of sacred with
     classic authors. And assuredly this your dissertation, in
     throwing greater light on a question already well
     ventilated, will the more effectually urge upon the
     instructors of youth the advisability of calling to their
     aid the works of authors of both kinds. Such is the result
     we predict for your labors; and in the meanwhile, as a
     pledge of divine favor and a token of our own good-will, we
     most affectionately bestow upon yourself, Venerable Brother,
     and upon all your clergy and people, the Apostolic
     Benediction.

     “Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the 1st of April, in the
     year 1875, the twenty-ninth of our pontificate.”

                                                  “PIUS PP. IX.”

And thus _Roma locuta est_!


     [45] _Acta Sanctæ Sedis_, vol. viii. p. 560.



FLYWHEEL BOB.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “ROMANCE OF CHARTER OAK,” “PRIDE OF LEXINGTON,” ETC., ETC.

Down in a dismal cellar, so poorly lighted, indeed, that you could
scarce distinguish his tiny figure when it came into the world, Bob
was born. Our little hero began life where we all must end
it――underground; and certainly many a burial-vault might have seemed a
less grimy, gloomy home than his. But Bob’s wretchedness being coeval
with his birth, he never knew what it was to be otherwise than
wretched. He cried and crowed pretty much like other infants, and his
mother declared he was the finest child ever born in this cellar.
“And, O darling!” she sighed more than once, while he snugged to her
bosom――“O darling! if you could stay always what you are.” It was easy
to feed him, easy to care for him, now. How would he fare along the
rugged road winding through the misty future?

Nothing looked so beautiful to his baby eyes as the golden streak
across the floor which appeared once a day for a few minutes; and as
soon as he was able to creep he moved towards it and tried to catch
it, and wondered very much when the streak faded away.

Bob’s only playmate was a poodle dog, who loved the sunshine too, and
was able at first to get more of it than he; and the child always
whimpered when Pin left him to go bask on the sidewalk. But by and by,
when he grew older, he followed his dumb friend up the steps, and
would sit for hours beside him; and the dog was very fond of his
little master, if we may judge by the constant wagging of his bushy
tail.

When Bob was four years old his mother died. This was too young an age
for him to comprehend what had happened. It surprised him a little
when they carried the body away; and when she breathed her last words:
“I am going, dear one; I wish I could take you with me,” he answered:
“Going where, mammy?” “When is mammy coming home?” he asked of several
persons who lodged in the cellar with him, and stayed awake the first
night a whole hour waiting for her to return. But ere long Bob ceased
to think about his mother, and in the course of a month ’twas as if
she had never been; there was rather more space in the underground
chamber than before, and now he had all the blanket to himself.

Thus we see that the boy began early the battle of life. When he felt
hungry, he would enter a baker’s shop near by, and stretch forth his
puny hand; and sometimes he was given a morsel of bread, and sometimes
he was not. But Bob was too spirited to lie down and starve. So, when
the baker shook his head, saying, “You come here too often,” he
watched a chance and stole peanuts from the stand on the corner. The
Ten Commandments did not trouble him in the least; for he had never
heard of them. Bob only knew that there was a day in the week when the
baker looked more solemn than on other days, and when the streets were
less crowded.

The one thing in the world Bob cherished was Pin. And the feeling was
mutual; for not seldom, when the dog discovered a bone or crust of
bread among the rubbish-heaps, he would let himself be deprived of the
treasure without even a growl. Then, when Christmas came round, Bob
and the poodle would stand by the shop-windows and admire the toys
together; and the child would talk to his pet, and tell him that this
was a doll and that a Noe’s ark. Once he managed to possess himself of
a toy which a lady let drop on the side-walk. But he did not keep it
long; for another urchin offered him a dime for it, which Bob
accepted, then forthwith turned the money into gingerbread, which he
shared with Pin.

Such was the orphan’s childhood. He was only one vagrant amid
thousands of others. In the great beehive of humanity his faint buzz
was unheard, and he was crowded out of sight by the swarm of other
bees. Still, there he was, a member of the hive; moving about and
struggling for existence; using his sting when he needed it, and
getting what honey he could. When the boy was in his seventh year, a
misfortune befell him which really smote his heart――the poodle
disappeared. And now, for the first time in his life, Bob shed tears.
He inquired of everybody in the tenement-house if they had seen him;
he put the same query to nearly every inhabitant of Mott Street. But
all smiled as they answered: “In a big city like New York a lost dog
is like a needle in a haystack.” Many a day did Bob pass seeking his
friend. He wandered to alleys and squares where he had never been
before, calling out, “Pin! Pin!” but no Pin came. Then, when night
arrived and he lay down alone in his blanket, he felt lonely indeed.
Poor child! It was hard to lose the only creature on earth that he
loved――the only creature on earth, too, that loved him. “I’ll never
forget you,” he sighed――“never forget you.” And sometimes, when
another dog would wag his tail and try to make friends, Bob would
shake his head and say: “No, no, you’re not my lost Pin.”

It took a twelvemonth to become reconciled to this misfortune. But
Time has broad wings, and on them Time bore away Bob’s grief, as it
bears away all our griefs; otherwise, one sorrow would not be able to
make room for another sorrow, and we should sink down and die beneath
our accumulated burdens.

We have styled Bob a vagrant. Here we take the name back, if aught of
bad be implied in it. It was not his fault that he was born in a
cellar; and if he stole peanuts and other things, ’twas only when
hunger drove him to it. Doubtless, had he first seen the light in
Fifth Avenue, he would have known ere this how to spell and say his
prayers; might have gone, perhaps, to many a children’s party, with
kid gloves on his delicate hands and a perfumed handkerchief for his
sensitive little nose. But Bob was not born in Fifth Avenue. He wore
barely clothes enough to cover his nakedness. His feet, like his
hands, had never known covering of any sort; they were used to the mud
and the snow, and once a string of red drops along the icy pavement
helped to track him to his den after he had been committing a theft.
In this case, however, the blood which flowed from his poor foot
proved a blessing in disguise, for Bob spent the coldest of the winter
months in the lock-up: clean straw, a dry floor, regular meals――what a
happy month!

As for not being able to read――why, if a boy in such ragged raiment as
his were to show himself at a public school, other boys would jeer at
him, and the pedagogue eye him askance.

But Bob proved the metal that was in him by taking, when he was just
eight years of age, a place in a factory. “Yes,” he said to the man
who brought him there, “I’d rather work than be idle.”

It were difficult to describe his look of wonder when he first entered
the vast building. There seemed to be no end of people――old men, young
men, and children like himself, all silent and busy. Around them,
above them, on every side of them, huge belts of leather, and rods of
iron, and wheels and cog-wheels were whirring, darting in and out of
holes, clearing this fellow’s head by a few inches, grazing that one’s
back so close that, if he chanced to faint or drop asleep, off in an
eye’s twinkle the machinery would whirl him, rags, bones, and flesh
making one ghastly pulp together. And the air was full of a loud,
mournful hum, like ten thousand sighs and groans. Presently Bob sat
down on a bench; then, like a good boy, tried to perform the task set
for him. But he could only stare at the big flywheel right in front of
him and close by; and so fixed and prolonged was his gaze that, by
common consent, the operatives christened him Flywheel Bob. Next day,
however, he began work in earnest, and it was not long ere he became
the best worker of them all.

When Bob was an infant, we remember, he used to creep toward the
sun-streak on the cellar floor, and cry when it faded away.

Now, although the building where he toiled twelve hours a day was
gloomy and depressing, and the sunshine a godsend to the spirits, the
boy never lifted his eyes for a single moment when it shimmered
through the sooty windows. At his age one grows apace; one is likewise
tender and easily moulded into well-nigh any shape.

So, like as the insect, emerging from the chrysalis, takes the color
of the leaf or bark to which it clings, Bob grew more and more like
unto the soulless machinery humming round him. If whispered to, he
made no response. When toward evening his poor back would feel weary,
no look of impatience revealed itself on his countenance. If ever he
heaved a sigh, no ears heard it, not even his own; and the foreman
declared that he was a model boy for all the other boys to imitate――so
silent, so industrious, so heartily co-operating with the wheels and
cog-wheels, boiler, valves, and steam; in fact, he was the most
valuable piece in the whole complicated machinery.

Bob was really a study. There are children who look forward to happy
days to come; who often, too, throw their mind’s eye backward on the
Christmas last gone by. This Bob never did. His past had no Santa
Claus, his present had none, his future had none. It were difficult to
say what life did appear to him, as day after day he bent over his
task. Mayhap he never indulged in thoughts about himself――what he had
been, what he was, what he might become. Certainly, if we may judge by
the vacant, leaden look into which his features ere long crystallized,
Bob was indeed what the foreman said――a bit of the machinery. And more
and more akin to it he grew as time rolled by. Bob had never beheld it
except in motion; and on Sundays, when he was forced to remain idle,
his arm would ever and anon start off on a wild, crazy whirl; round
and round and round it would go; whereupon the other children would
laugh and shout: “Hi! ho! Look at Flywheel Bob!”

The child’s fame spread. In the course of time Richard Goodman, the
owner of the factory, heard of him. This gentleman, be it known, was
subject to the gout; at least, he gave it that name, which sounded
better than rheumatism, for it smacked of family, of gentle birth;
though, verily, if such an ailment might be communicated through a
proboscis, there was not enough old Madeira in his veins to have given
a mosquito the gout.

When thus laid up, Mr. Goodman was wont to send for his superintendent
to inquire how business was getting on; and it was upon one of these
occasions that he first heard of Bob. Although not a person given to
enthusiasm, not even when expressing himself on the subject of
money――money, which lay like a little gold worm in the core of his
heart――he became so excited when he was told about the model child,
who never smiled, who never sulked, who never asked for higher wages,
that the foreman felt a little alarm; for he had never seen his
employer’s eyes glisten as they did now, and even the pain in his left
knee did not prevent Mr. Goodman from rising up out of the easy-chair
to give vent to his emotion. “Believe me,” he exclaimed, “this child
is the beginning of a new race of children. Believe me, when our
factories are filled by workers like him, then we’ll have no more
strikes; strikes will be extinguished for ever!” Here Mr. Goodman sank
down again in the chair, then, pulling out a silk handkerchief, wiped
his forehead. But presently his brow contracted. “There is some talk,”
he continued, “of introducing a bill in the legislature to exclude all
children from factories under ten years of age. Would such a bill
exclude my model boy?”

“I can’t say whether it would,” replied the manager. “Bob may be ten,
or a little under, or a little over. I don’t think he’ll change much
from what he is, not if he lives fifty years. His face looks just like
something that has been hammered into a certain shape that it can’t
get out of.”

“And they talk, too, of limiting the hours of work to ten per day for
children between ten and sixteen years,” went on Mr. Goodman, still
frowning; “and, what’s more, the bill requires three months’
day-schooling or six months’ night-schooling. I declare, if this bill
becomes a law, I’ll retire from business. The public has no right to
interfere with my employment of labor. It is sheer tyranny.”

“Well, it would throw labor considerably out of gear,” remarked the
superintendent; “for there are a hundred thousand children employed in
the shops and factories of this city and suburbs.”

“But, no; the bill sha’n’t pass!” exclaimed Mr. Goodman, thumping his
fist on the table. “Why, what’s the use of a lobby, if such a bill can
go through?”

Here the foreman smiled, whereupon his employer gave a responsive
smile; then pulling the bell, “Now,” said the latter, “let us drink
the model boy’s health.” In a few minutes there appeared a decanter of
sherry. “Here’s to Flywheel Bob!” cried Mr. Goodman, holding up his
glass.

“To Flywheel Bob!” repeated the other; and they both tossed off the
wine.

“Flywheel Bob! Why, what a funny name!” spoke a low, silvery voice
close by. Mr. Goodman turned hastily round, and there, at the
threshold of the study, stood a little girl, with a decidedly pert
air, and a pair of lustrous black eyes fixed full upon him; they
seemed to say: “I know you told me not to enter here, yet here I am.”
A profusion of ringlets rippled down her shoulders, and on one of her
slender fingers glittered a gold ring.

“Daisy, you have disobeyed me,” said her father, trying to appear
stern; “and, what is more, you glide about like a cat.”

“Do I?” said Daisy, smiling. “Well, pa, tell me who Flywheel Bob is;
then I’ll go away.”

“Something down at my factory――a little toy making pennies for you.
There, now, retire, darling, retire.”

“A little toy? Then give me Flywheel Bob; I want a new plaything,”
pursued the child, quite heedless of the command to withdraw.

“Well, I’d like to know how many toys you want?” said Mr. Goodman
impatiently. “You’ve had dear knows how many dolls since Christmas.”

“Nine, pa.”

“And pray, what has become of them all, miss?”

“Given away to girls who didn’t get any from Santa Claus.”

“I declare! she’s her poor dear mother over again,” sighed the
widower. “Margaret would give away her very shoes and stockings to the
poor.”

The sigh had barely escaped his lips when the foreman burst into a
laugh, and presently Mr. Goodman laughed too; for, lo! peeping from
behind the girl’s silk frock was the woolly head of a poodle. In his
mouth was a doll with one arm broken off, hair done up in curls like
Daisy’s, and a bit of yellow worsted twined around one of the fingers
to take the place of a ring. “Humph! I don’t wonder you’ve had nine
dolls in five months,” ejaculated Mr. Goodman after he had done
laughing. “Rover, it seems, plays with them too; then tears them up.”

“Well, pa, he is tired of dolls now, and wants Flywheel Bob; and so do
I.”

“I wish I hadn’t mentioned the boy’s name,” murmured Mr. Goodman. Then
aloud: “Daisy dear, I am going out for a drive by and by; which way
shall we go? To the Park?”

“No; to Tiffany’s to have my ears pierced.” At this he burst into
another laugh.

“Why, pa, I’m almost ten, and old enough for earrings,” added Daisy,
tossing her head and making the pretty ringlets fly about in all
directions.

“Well, well, darling; then we will go to Tiffany’s.”

“And afterwards, pa, we’ll get Flywheel Bob.”

“Oh! hush, my love. You cannot have him.”

“_Him!_ Is he a little boy, pa?” Mr. Goodman did not answer. “Well,
whatever Flywheel Bob is,” she continued, “I want a new plaything.
This doll Rover broke all by accident. And I scolded you hard; didn’t
I, Rover?” Here she patted the dog’s head. “But, pa, he sha’n’t hurt
Flywheel Bob.”

“Well, well, we’ll drive out in half an hour,” said her parent, who
would fain have got the notion of Flywheel Bob out of his child’s
head, yet feared it might stick there.

“In half an hour,” repeated Daisy, feeling the tips of her ears, while
her eyes sparkled like the jewels which were shortly to adorn them.
Then, going to the bell, she gave a ring. Mr. Goodman, of course,
imagined that it was to order the carriage. But when the domestic
appeared, Daisy quietly said: “Jane, I wish the boned turkey brought
here.” No use to protest――to tell the child that this room was his own
private business room, and not the place for luncheon.

In the boned turkey was brought, despite Mr. Goodman’s sighs. But it
was well-nigh more than he could endure when presently, after carving
off three slices, she bade Rover sit up and beg.

In an instant the poodle let the doll drop, then, balancing himself on
his haunches, gravely opened his mouth. “He never eats anything except
boned turkey,” observed Daisy in answer to her father’s look of
displeasure. “Bones are bad for his teeth.” Then, while her pet was
devouring the dainty morsels: “Pa,” she went on, “you haven’t yet
admired Rover’s blue ribbon.”

“Umph! he certainly doesn’t look at all like the creature he was when
you bought him three years ago,” answered Mr. Goodman.

“Well, pa, this summer I will not go to the White Mountains.
Remember!”

“Why not?” inquired Mr. Goodman, who failed to discern any possible
connection between the poodle and this charming summer resort.

“Because I want surf-bathing for Rover. I love to throw your cane into
the big waves, then see him rush after it and jump up and down in the
foam. This season we must go to Long Branch.” Her father made no
response, but turned to address a parting word to the superintendent,
who presently took leave, highly amused by the child’s bold, pert
speeches.

“Now, Daisy, for our drive,” said Mr. Goodman, rising stiffly out of
the arm-chair.

But he had only got as far as the door when another visitor was
announced. It proved to be a member of the Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals――a society which has already done much good, and
whose greatest enemy is the ill-judged zeal of some of its own
members.

“What on earth can he want?” thought Mr. Goodman, motioning to the
gentleman to take a seat.

“I am come, sir,” began the latter, “to inquire whether you would
accept the position of president of our society? We have much to
contend with, and gentlemen like yourself――gentlemen of wealth and
influence in the community――are needed to assist us.”

Mr. Goodman, who in reality cared not a rush how animals were treated,
yet was ambitious to be known as a citizen of influence, bowed and
replied: “I feel highly honored, sir, and am willing to become your
president.” Then, filling anew the wine-glasses, he called out:

“Here is success and prosperity to――”

“Flywheel Bob,” interrupted Daisy. “For, pa, he is a little boy, isn’t
he? A little boy making pennies?”

Mr. Goodman frowned, while the child laughed and Rover barked. But
presently the toast to the society was duly honored, after which the
visitor proceeded to speak of several cruel sports which he hoped
would soon be put a stop to. “Turkey-matches on Thanksgiving day must
be legislated against, Mr. President.” Mr. President bowed and waved
his hand. “And there is talk, sir, of introducing fox-chases, as in
England. This sport must likewise be prevented by law.” Another bow
and wave of the hand.

“Well, pa, you sha’n’t stop me killing flies; for flies plague Rover,”
put in Daisy, with a malicious twinkle in her eye.

Again the poodle barked. Then, clapping her hands, off she flew to get
her hat and gloves, leaving the gentlemen smiling at this childish
remark.

“My darling,” said Mr. Goodman a quarter of an hour later, as they
were driving down Fifth Avenue together――“my darling, I have been
placed at the head of another society――a society to prevent cruelty to
animals.”

“I am glad,” replied Daisy, looking up in his face. “Everybody likes
you, pa; don’t they?”

Daisy, let us here observe, was the rich man’s only child. His wife
was dead; but whenever he gazed upon the little fairy at this moment
seated beside him, he seemed to behold his dear Margaret anew: the
same black eyes, the same wilful, imperious, yet withal tenderly
affectionate ways. No wonder that Richard Goodman idolized his
daughter. To no other living being did he unbend, did his heart ever
quicken.

But to Daisy he did unbend. He loved to caress her, to talk to her,
too, about matters and things which she could hardly understand. And
she would always listen and appear very pleased and interested. Search
the whole city of New York, and you would not have found another of
her age with so much tact when she chose to play the little lady, nor
a better child, either, considering how thoroughly she had been
spoilt. If Daisy was a tyrant, she was a very loving one indeed, and
none knew this better than her father and the poodle, who is now
perched on the front cushion of the barouche, looking scornfully down
at the curs whom he passes, and saying to himself: “What a lucky dog I
am!”

“I am sure the Society to prevent Cruelty to Animals will do good,”
observed Daisy, after holding up her finger a moment and telling Rover
to sit straight. “But, pa, is Flywheel Bob an animal or a toy? Or is
he really a little boy, as I guessed awhile ago?”

“There it comes again,” murmured Mr. Goodman. Then, with a slight
gesture of impatience, he answered: “A boy, my love, a boy.”

“Well, what a funny name, pa! Oh! I’m glad we’re going to see him.”

“No, dear, we are going to Tiffany’s――to Tiffany’s, in order to have
your darling ears pierced and elegant earrings put in them.”

“I know it, pa, but I ordered James to drive first to the factory.”

No use to protest. The coachman drove whither he was bidden. But not a
little surprised was he, when they arrived, to see his young mistress
alight instead of his master.

“I am too lame with gout to accompany her,” whispered Mr. Goodman to
the foreman, who presently made his appearance. “It is an odd whim of
hers. Don’t keep her long, and take great care about the machinery.”

“I’ll be back soon, pa,” said Daisy――“very soon.” With this she and
Rover entered the big, cheerless edifice, which towered like a giant
high above all the surrounding houses.

“Now, Miss Goodman, keep close to me and walk carefully,” said her
guide.

“Let me hold your hand,” said the child, who already began to feel
excited as the first piece of machinery came in view. Then, pausing at
the threshold of floor number one, “Oh! what a noise,” she cried, “and
what a host of people! Which one is Flywheel Bob?”

“Yonder he sits, miss,” replied the superintendent, pointing to the
curved figure of a boy――we might better say child; for, in the two and
a half years since we last met him, Bob has hardly grown a quarter of
an inch. “Why doesn’t he sit straight?” asked Daisy, approaching him.

“Because, miss, Bob minds his task.”

“Well, he does indeed; for he hasn’t looked at me once, while all the
rest are staring.”

“You are the first young lady that has ever honored us by a visit,”
answered the foreman.

“Am I?” exclaimed Daisy, not a little gratified to have so many eyes
fastened upon her. At children’s parties, pretty as she was, she had
rivals; here there were none. And now, as she moved daintily along,
with her glossy curls swaying to and fro, and her sleeves not quite
hiding the gold bracelets on her snowy wrists, she formed indeed a
bewitching picture. Presently they arrived beside Flywheel Bob; then
Daisy stopped and surveyed him attentively, wondering why he still
refused to notice her. “How queerly he behaves!” she said inwardly,
“and how pale he is! I wonder what he gets to eat? His fingers are
like spiders’ claws. I’d rather be Rover than Bob.” While she thus
soliloquized the poodle kept snuffing at the boy’s legs, and his tail,
which at first had evinced no sign of emotion, was now wagging slowly
from side to side, like as one who moves with doubt and deliberation.
Mayhap strange thoughts were flitting through Rover’s head at this
moment. Perchance dim memories were being awakened of a damp abode
underground; of a baby twisting knots in his shaggy coat; of hard
times, when a half-picked bone was a feast. Who knows? But while the
dog poked his nose against the boy’s ragged trowsers, while his tail
wagged faster and faster, while his mistress said to herself: “I’ll
tell pa about poor Bob, and he shall come to Long Branch with us,” the
object of her pity continued as unmoved by the attention bestowed on
him as if he had been that metal rod flashing back and forth in yon
cylinder.

“How many hours does Bob work?” inquired Daisy, moving away and
drawing Rover along by the ear; for Rover seemed unwilling to depart.

“Twelve, miss,” replied the foreman.

“Twelve!” repeated Daisy, lifting her eyebrows. “Does he really? Why,
I don’t work two. My governess likes to drive in the Park, and so do
I; and we think two hours long enough.”

“Well, I have seen him, pa,” said Daisy a few minutes later, as she
and her father were driving away.

“Have you? Humph! then I suppose we may now go to Tiffany’s,” rejoined
Mr. Goodman somewhat petulantly.

“And, pa, Flywheel Bob isn’t a bit like any other boy I have ever
seen. Why, he is all doubled up; his bony fingers move quick, quick,
ever so quick; his eyes keep always staring at his fingers, and”――here
an expression of awe shadowed the child’s bright face a moment――“and
really, pa, I thought he said ‘hiss-s-s’ when the steam-pipe hissed.”

“Humph!” ejaculated the manufacturer. Then, after a pause: “Well, now,
my dear, let us talk about something else――about your earrings; which
shall they be, pearls or diamonds?”

“Diamonds, pa, for they shine prettier.” Then clapping her hands: “Oh!
wouldn’t it surprise Bob if I gave him a holiday? He is making pennies
for me, isn’t he? You said so this morning. Well, pa, I have pennies
enough, so Bob shall play awhile; he shall come to Long Branch.”

“My daughter, do not be silly,” said Mr. Goodman.

“Silly! Why, pa, if Rover likes surf-bathing, I’m sure Flywheel Bob’ll
like it too.”

“He is too good a boy to idle away his time, my love.”

“Well, but, pa, I heard you say that bathing was so healthy; and Bob
doesn’t look healthy.”

“Thank heavens! here we are at Tiffany’s,” muttered Mr. Goodman when
presently the carriage came to a stop. But before his daughter
descended he took her hand and said: “Daisy, you love me, do you not?”

“Love you, pa? Of course I do.” And to prove it the child pressed her
lips to his cheek.

“Then, dearest, please not to speak any more about Flywheel Bob;
otherwise your governess will think you are crazy, and so will
everybody else who hears you.”

“Crazy!” cried Daisy, opening her eyes ever so wide. Then turning up
her little, saucy nose: “Well, pa, I don’t care what Mam’selle
thinks!”

“But you care about what I think?” said Mr. Goodman, still retaining
her hand; for she seemed ready to fly away.

“Oh! indeed I do.”

“Then I request you not to mention Flywheel Bob any more.”

“Really?” And Daisy gazed earnestly in his face, while astonishment,
anger, love, made her own sweet countenance for one moment a terrible
battle-field. It was all she spoke; in another moment she and Rover
were within the splendid marble store.

As soon as she was gone Mr. Goodman drew a long breath. Yet he could
not bear to be without his daughter, even for ever so short a time;
and now she was scarcely out of sight when he felt tempted to hobble
after her. He worshipped Daisy. But who did not? She was the life of
his home. Without her it would have been sombre indeed; for No. ――
Fifth Avenue was a very large mansion, and no other young person was
in it besides herself. But Daisy made racket enough for six, despite
her French governess, who would exclaim fifty times a day:
“Mademoiselle Marguerite, vous vous comportez comme une bourgeoise.”
If an organ-grinder passed under the window, the window was thrown
open in a trice, and down poured a handful of coppers; and happy was
the monkey who climbed up to that window-sill, for the child would
stuff his red cap with sugar and raisins, and send him off grinning as
he had never grinned before.

“O darling! do hurry back,” murmured Mr. Goodman, while he waited in
the carriage, longing for her to reappear. At length she came, and the
moment she was beside him again he gave her an embrace; then the rich
man drove home, feeling very, very happy.

But not so Daisy. And this afternoon she stood a whole hour by the
window, looking silently out. In vain the itinerant minstrel played
his finest tunes; she seemed deaf to the music. Rover, too, looked
moody and not once wagged his tail; nor when dinner-time came would he
touch a mouthful of anything――which, however, did not surprise the
governess, who observed: “Ma foi! l’animal ne fait que manger.” But
when a whole week elapsed, and Daisy still remained pensive, her
father said: “You need change of air, my love; so get your things
ready. To-morrow we’ll be off for Long Branch.”

“So soon!” exclaimed Daisy. It was only the first of June.

“Why, my pet, don’t you long to throw my cane into the waves, to see
Rover swim after it?” Then, as she made no response, “Daisy,” he went
on, “why do you not laugh and sing and be like you used to be? Tell me
what is the matter.”

Without answering, Daisy looked down at the poodle, who turned his
eyes up at her and faintly moved his tail.

“Yes, yes; I see you need a change,” continued Mr. Goodman. “So
to-morrow we’ll be off for the seaside. There I know you will laugh
and be happy.”

“Is Flywheel Bob happy?” murmured the child under her breath.

“A little louder, dear one, a little louder. I didn’t catch those last
words.”

“You asked me, pa, not to speak of Flywheel Bob to you; so I only
spoke about him to myself.”

“Well, I do declare!” exclaimed Mr. Goodman in a tone of utter
amazement; then, after staring at her for nearly a minute, he rose up
and passed into his private room, thinking what a very odd being Daisy
was. “She is her poor, dear mother over again,” he muttered. “I never
could quite understand Margaret, and now I cannot understand Daisy.”

Mr. Goodman had not been long in his study when a visitor was
announced. The one who presently made his appearance was as unlike the
benevolent and scrupulous gentleman who came here once to beg the
manufacturer to become president of the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals――as unlike him, we repeat, as a man could possibly
be.

This man’s name was Fox; and verily there was something of his
namesake about him. Explain it as we may, we do occasionally meet with
human beings bearing a mysterious resemblance to some one of the lower
animals; and if Mr. Fox could only have dwindled in size, then dropped
on his hands and knees, we should have fired at him without a doubt,
had we discovered him near our hen-roost of a moonlight night.

“Glad to see you, Mr. Fox,” said Mr. Goodman, motioning to him to be
seated. “I sent for you to talk about important business.”

“At your service, sir,” replied the other, with a twinkle in his gray
eye which pleased Daisy’s father; for it seemed to say, “I am ready
for any kind of business.”

“Very good,” said Mr. Goodman; then, after tapping his fingers a
moment on the table: “Now, Mr. Fox, I would like you to proceed at
once to Albany. Can you go?”

Mr. Fox nodded.

“Very good. And when you are there, sir, I wish you to exert yourself
to the utmost to prevent the passage of a bill known as ‘The Bill for
the protection of factory children.’”

Here Mr. Fox blew his nose, which action caused his cunning eyes to
sparkle more brightly. Then, having returned the handkerchief to his
pocket, “Mr. Goodman,” he observed, “of course you are aware that it
takes powder to shoot robins. Now, how much, sir, do you allow for
this bird?”

Mr. Goodman smiled; then, after writing something on a slip of paper,
held it up before him.

“Humph!” ejaculated Mr. Fox. “That sum may do――it may. But you must
know, sir, that this legislature is not like the last one. This
legislature”――here Mr. Fox himself smiled――“is affected with a rare
complaint, which we gentlemen of the lobby facetiously call
‘Ten-Commandment fever’; and the weaker a man is with this complaint,
the more it takes to operate on him.”

“Then make it this.” And Mr. Goodman held up another slip with other
figures marked on it.

“Well, yes, I guess that’ll cure the worst case,” said Mr. Fox,
grinning.

“Good!” exclaimed Daisy’s father. “Then, sir, let us dismiss the
subject and talk about something else――about a bill introduced by the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of which society I
am president. It relates to chasing foxes.”

“And this bill you _don’t_ want killed?” said Mr. Fox.

“Precisely.”

“Well, sir, how much are you willing to spend for that purpose?”

Again Mr. Goodman held up a piece of paper.

“Why, my stars!” cried the lobby-member, after glancing at the
figures――“my stars! isn’t it as important a bill as the other?”

“I won’t alter my figures,” replied Mr. Goodman.

“But remember, sir, you are president of the So――”

“I won’t alter my figures,” repeated Mr. Goodman, interrupting him.

“Then, sir, you cannot count on a law to prevent people running after
foxes,” answered Mr. Fox dryly; but presently, shrugging his
shoulders, “However, as much as can be accomplished with that small
sum of money, I will accomplish.”

“I don’t doubt it,” observed Mr. Goodman; then, turning toward the
table, “And now, sir, suppose we drink a glass of wine, after which
you will proceed to Albany.”

Accordingly, to Albany Mr. Fox went, while Richard Goodman and his
daughter took wing for Long Branch.

But, strange to relate, the change of air did not work the beneficial
effects which her father had expected. There was evidently something
the matter with Daisy. She had grown thoughtful beyond her years, and
would ever and anon sit down on the beach, and, with Rover’s head
resting on her lap, gaze out over the blue waters without opening her
lips for perhaps a whole hour.

“What can ail my darling child?” Mr. Goodman often asked himself
during these pensive moods. Then he consulted three physicians who
happened to be taking a holiday at the Branch; one of whom recommended
iron, another cod-liver oil, while the third doctor said: “Fresh milk,
sir, fresh milk.”

While he was thus worried about Daisy, the torrid, sunstroke heat of
summer flamed down upon the city, and more and more people followed
his example and fled to Newport and the White Mountains, to Saratoga
and Long Branch. But those who went away were as a drop in the ocean
to those who remained behind. The toilers are ever legion. We see them
not, yet they are always near, toiling, toiling; and our refinement,
our luxury, our happiness, are too often the fruit of their misery.
The deeper the miner delves in the mine, the higher towers the castle
of Mammon. So in these sultry dog-days Flywheel Bob’s spider fingers
were at work for Richard Goodman’s benefit, as deftly as in the depths
of winter――no holiday for those poor fingers. Yet not even a sigh does
Bob heave, and he cares less now for the blessed sunshine than he did
in his baby days, when it painted a golden streak on the cellar floor.
O foolish boy! why didst thou not go with thy mother? There was room
enough in the pine box to have held ye both, and in Potter’s field thy
weary body would have found rest long ago.

But Bob, instead of dying, lived; and now behold him, in his eleventh
year, in the heart of this big factory, the biggest in the metropolis,
and the clatter and din of it are his very life. Oh! show him not a
rose, Daisy dear. Keep far from his ears the song of the birds! Let
him be, let him be where he is! And O wheels and cogwheels, and all ye
other pieces of machinery! whatever name ye go by, keep on turning and
rumbling and groaning; for Flywheel Bob believes with all his heart
and soul that he is one with you, that ye are a portion of himself.
Break not his mad illusion! ’Tis the only one he has ever enjoyed. And
on the machinery went――on, on, on, all through June, July, August,
earning never so much money before; and the millionaire to whom it
belonged would have passed never so happy a summer (for his manager
wrote him most cheering reports), if only Daisy had been well and
cheerful.

It was the 1st of September when Mr. Goodman returned to New York――the
1st of September; a memorable day it was to be.

Hardly had he crossed the threshold of his city home when he received
a message which caused him to go with all haste to the factory. What
had happened? The machinery had broken down, come to a sudden dead
pause; and the moment’s stillness which followed was not unlike the
stillness of the death-chamber――just after the vital spark has fled,
and when the mourners can hear their own hearts beating. Then came a
piercing, agonizing cry; up, up from floor to floor it shrilled. And
lo! Flywheel Bob had become a raving maniac, and far out in the street
his voice could be heard: “Don’t let the machine stop! Don’t let the
machine stop! Oh! don’t, oh! don’t. Keep me going! keep me going!”
Immediately the other operatives crowded about him; a few laughed,
many looked awe-stricken, while one stalwart fellow tried to prevent
his arms from swinging round like the wheel which had been in motion
near him so long. But this was not easy to do, and the mad boy
continued to scream: “Keep me going, keep me going, keep me going!”
until finally he sank down from utter exhaustion. Then they carried
him away to his underground home, the same dusky chamber where he was
born, and left him.

But ere long the place was thronged with curious people, drawn thither
by his cries, and who made sport of his crazy talk; for Bob told them
that he was a flywheel, and it was dangerous to approach him. Then
they lit some bits of candle, and formed a ring about him, so as to
give his arms full space to swing. And now, while his wild, impish
figure went spinning round and hissing amid the circle of flickering
lights, it was well-nigh impossible to believe that he was the same
being who eleven years before had crept and crowed and toddled about
in this very spot, a happy babe, with Pin and a sunbeam to play with.

It was verging towards evening when Mr. Goodman received the message
alluded to above; and Daisy, after wondering a little what could have
called her father away at this hour, determined to sally forth and
enjoy a stroll in the avenue with Rover. Her governess had a headache
and could not accompany her; but this did not matter, for the child
was ten years old and not afraid to go by herself. Accordingly, out
she went. But, to her surprise, when she reached the sidewalk her pet
refused to follow. He stood quite still, and you might have fancied
that he was revolving some project in his noddle. “Come, come!” said
Daisy impatiently. But the dog stirred not an inch, nor even wagged
his tail. And now happened something very interesting indeed. Rover
presently did move, but not in the direction which his young mistress
wished――up towards the Park――but down the avenue. Nor would he halt
when she bade him, and only once did he glance back at her. “Well,
well, I’ll follow him,” said Daisy. “He likes Madison Square; perhaps
he is going there.”

She was mistaken, however. Past the Square the poodle went, then down
Broadway, and on, on, to Daisy’s astonishment and grief, who kept
imploring him to stop; and once she caught his ear and tried to hold
him back, but he broke loose, then proceeded at a brisker pace than
before, so that it was necessary almost to run in order to keep up
with him. By and by the child really grew alarmed; for she found
herself no longer in Broadway, but in a much narrower street, where
every other house had a hillock of rubbish in front of it, and where
the stoops and sidewalks were crowded with sickly-looking children in
miserable garments, and who made big eyes at her as she went by. The
curs, too, yelped at Rover, as if he had no business to be among them;
and one mangy beast tried to tear off his pretty blue ribbon. But,
albeit no coward, Rover paused not to fight; steadily on he trotted,
until at length he dived down a flight of rickety steps. Daisy had to
follow, for she durst not leave him now; she seemed to be miles away
from her beautiful home on Murray Hill, and there was no choice left,
save to trust to her pet to guide her back when he felt inclined.

But it was not easy to penetrate into the cavern-like domicile whither
the stairway led; for it was very full of people. The dog, however,
managed to squeeze through them; and Daisy, who was clinging to his
shaggy coat, presently found herself in an open space lit up by half a
dozen tapers, and in the middle of the ring a boy was yelling and
swinging his arms around with terrific velocity, and the boy looked
very like Flywheel Bob.

“Hi! ho! Here’s a fairy, Bob――a fairy!” cried a voice, as Daisy
emerged from the crowd and stood trembling before him. “It’s
Cinderella,” shouted another. “Isn’t she a beauty!” exclaimed a third
voice.

While they were passing these remarks upon the child, Rover was
yelping and frisking about as she had never seen him do before; he
seemed perfectly wild with delight. But the one whom the poodle
recognized and loved knew him not.

“O Bob! Bob!” cried Daisy presently, stretching forth her hands in an
imploring manner, “don’t kill my Rover! Don’t, don’t!”

There was indeed cause for alarm. The mad boy had suddenly ceased his
frantic motions and clutched her pet by the throat, as if to choke
him. Yet, although in dire peril of his life, Rover wagged his tail,
and somebody shouted: “Bully dog! He’ll die game!”

“Come away, come away quick!” said a man, jerking Daisy back by the
arm. Then three or four other men flew to the rescue of the poodle,
and not without some difficulty unbent Bob’s fingers from their iron
grip; after which, still wagging his poor tail, Rover was driven out
of the room after his mistress.

Oh! it seemed like heaven to Daisy when she found herself once more in
the open air. But what she had heard and witnessed in the horrible
place which she had just quitted wrought too powerfully on her nerves,
and now the child burst into hysterical sobs. While Daisy wept,
somebody――she hardly knew whether it was a man or woman――fondled her
and tried to soothe her, and at the same time slipped off her ring,
earrings, and bracelets. The tender thief was in the very nick of
time; for in less than five minutes, to Daisy’s unutterable joy, who
should appear but her father, accompanied by a policeman and the
superintendent of the factory. “O my daughter! my daughter! how came
you here?” cried Mr. Goodman, starting when he discovered her. “Have
you lost your senses too?”

“Oh! no, no, pa,” answered Daisy, springing into his arms. “Rover
brought me here.”

Then after a brief silence, during which her father kissed the tears
off her cheek: “And, pa,” she added, “I have seen Flywheel Bob, and do
you know I think they have been doing something to him; for he acts so
very strangely. Poor, poor Bob!”

While she was speaking the object of her commiseration was carried up
the steps. Happily, he was tired out by his crazy capers and was now
quite calm, nor uttered a word as they laid him on the sidewalk.

“Dear Bob, what is the matter? What have they done to you?” said
Daisy, bending tenderly over him. Bob did not answer, but his eyes
rolled about and gleamed brighter than her lost diamonds.

“Don’t disturb him, darling. He is going to the hospital, where he
will soon be well again,” said Mr. Goodman.

“Well, pa, he sha’n’t go back to that horrid factory,” answered Daisy;
“and, what’s more, now that he is ill, he sha’n’t go anywhere except
to my house.”

“Darling, don’t be silly,” said Mr. Goodman, dropping his voice. “How
could a little lady like you wish to have him in your house?”

“Why, pa, Bob is ill; look at the foam on his lips. Yes, I’m sure he
is ill, and I wish to nurse him.”

“Well, my child, you cannot have him; therefore speak no more about
it,” replied Mr. Goodman, who felt not a little annoyed at the turn
things were taking.

“Then, pa, I’ll go to the hospital too, and nurse him there; upon my
word I will.”

“No, you sha’n’t.”

“But I will. O father!” Here the child again burst into sobs, while
the crowd looked on in wonder and admiration, and one man whispered:
“What a game thing she is!”

Three days have gone by since Daisy’s noble triumph, and now, on a
soft, luxurious couch in an elegant apartment, lies Flywheel Bob,
while by the bedside watches his devoted little nurse. The boy’s
reason has just returned, but he can hardly move or speak.

“O Bob! don’t die,” said Daisy, taking one of his cold,
death-moistened hands in hers. “You sha’n’t work anymore. Don’t, don’t
die!” The physician has told her that death is approaching.

“Where am I?” inquired Bob in a faint, scarce audible whisper, and
turning his hollow, bewildered eyes on the child.

“You are here, Bob, in my home, and nobody shall put you out of it;
and when you get well, you shall have a long, long holiday.”

The boy did not seem to understand; at least, his eyes went roving
strangely round the room, and he murmured the word “Pin.”

“What do you mean, dear Bob?” asked Daisy.

“Pin,” he repeated―― “my lost Pin.”

Here the door of the chamber was pushed gently open and Rover thrust
his head in. The dog had been thrice ordered out for whining and
moaning, and Daisy was about to order him away a fourth time, when Bob
looked in the direction of the door. Quick the poodle bounded forward,
and as he bounded Flywheel Bob rose up in the bed, and cried in a
voice which startled Daisy, it was so loud and thrilling: “O Pin! Pin!
Pin!” In another moment his arms were twined round the creature’s
neck; then he bowed down his head.

Bob spoke not again――Bob never spoke again and when Daisy at length
discovered that he was dead, she wept as if her heart would break.

       *     *     *     *     *

“Father, I think poor Bob would not have died, if you had let me have
him sooner,” said Daisy the evening of the funeral.

“Alas! my child, I believe what you say is too true,” replied Mr.
Goodman. “But his death has already caused me suffering enough; do let
me try and forget it. I promise there shall be no more Flywheel Bobs
in my factory.”

“Oh! yes, pa; give them plenty of holidays. Why, Rover, I think, is
happier than many of those poor people.” Then, patting the dog’s head:
“And, pa, I am going now to call Rover Pin; for I am sure that was his
old name.”

“Perhaps it was, darling,” said Mr. Goodman, fondling with her
ringlets. Then, with a smile, he added: “Daisy, do you know both Mr.
Fox and my superintendent believe that I am gone mad!”

“Mad? Why, pa?”

“Because I have sworn to undo all I have done. Ay, I mean to try my
best to be elected president of another society――the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Children; and I will try to make them all
happy.”

“Oh! yes, yes, as happy as Pin is,” said Daisy, laughing. “Why, pa, I
only work two hours a day, and Mam’selle is always pleased with me.”
Then, her cherub face growing serious again: “And now,” she added, “I
must have a pretty tombstone placed on Bob’s grave, and I will pay for
it all myself out of my own money.”

“Have you enough, darling?”

“Well, if I haven’t, pa, you’ll give me more money; for I wish to pay
for it all, all myself.”

“So you shall, my love,” said Mr. Goodman, smiling. “But what kind of
a monument is it to be?”

“A white marble cross, pa. Then I’ll often go and hang wreaths upon
it――wreaths of beautiful flowers; for I never, never, never will
forget Flywheel Bob.”



THE PONTIFICAL VESTMENTS OF EGYPT AND ISRAEL.

Much discussion has arisen among commentators and archæologists with
regard to the sacred vestments of the Jewish high-priest and the
Levites; and yet it does not appear to have hitherto occurred to them
to refer to the only sources whence additional and authentic
information respecting these vestments can be obtained――namely, the
monuments of ancient Egypt.

Age after age have repeated attempts been made to remake the vestments
of the Hebrew priesthood solely from the descriptions given in the
Pentateuch; but hitherto the words of Moses have been subjected to the
most discordant interpretations. In a book by the Abbé Ancessi,
entitled _Egypt and Moses_,[46] the first part only of which has as
yet appeared, we at last obtain a lucid idea of the Mosaical
directions, the very vagueness of which testifies that the great
Lawgiver is speaking of things already familiar to those whom he
addresses. So much in this work is new, and so much is suggestive of
what farther discoveries may bring to light, that we shall, with the
kind permission of the learned author, make free use of it in the
present notice.

At the very epoch to which chronologists are wont to refer the origin
of the human race we find on the borders of the Nile an already
powerful nation. Most of the peoples whose names were in after-times
to be renowned in history were then tribes of mere barbarians,
dwelling in the depths of forests, in caverns, or on the islets of the
lakes, their weapons rude flint-headed axes and arrows, and their
ornaments the teeth of the wild beasts they had slain in the chase, a
few amber beads or rings of cardium, threaded on tendons dried in the
sun.

At this time the nobles of Egypt inhabited sumptuous palaces, wore
necklaces of gold adorned with brilliant enamels, and hung from their
girdles _laminæ_ of bronze, damascened in gold with marvellous
delicacy.[47] Already during a long period had the Egyptians depicted
their annals, their symbolism, and their daily life and surroundings
on the massive pages of stone which fill the museums of two of the
greatest capitals of modern Europe, and on the rolls of linen and
papyrus which enfold their mummies in the depth of those _Eternal
Abodes_[48] whose sleep of ages has been disturbed by our unsparing
hands. The bold chisel of the Egyptian sculptors carved from the
hardest rock these statues of strange aspect, these grave and tranquil
countenances of the sovereigns contemporary with Abraham or Moses,
which, after long centuries, passed in their own unchanging and
conservative clime, we find amongst us, under our own changeful skies,
and amid the noise and unrepose of our modern existence.

The deciphering of inscriptions has given an insight into the history
of Egypt, and “there are,” as M. Ancessi observes, “kings of the
middle ages who are less known to us than these Pharaos of every
dynasty,” who, by way of relaxation from the long, funereal labors in
the building of the Pyramids imposed upon each prince by the belief
and traditions of his ancestors, would ravage Africa or Asia; then,
returning from these expeditions, exchange the fatigues of arms for
the pleasures of the chase. In the desert or on Mount Sinai we find
them hunting the lion and the gazelle, after having carried their
thank-offerings to the temples of Memphis or of Thebes.

Thus we find in remote ages the fame of Egypt reaching to distant
regions, besides exercising an immense influence on neighboring
nations. It was what, later on, Athens became, and after Athens
Rome――an object of wonder, interest, and envy for its power, its
wealth, and splendor.

Such were the position and influence of Egypt when the family of
shepherds which was one day to become the Hebrew nation wandered in
the valley of the Jordan and on the plains of Palestine――that family
to whom those pastures, streams, and mountain gorges were already
peopled with precious memories, and who were farther bound to the land
by the promises of God and their own most cherished hopes. Too feeble
then to overcome the races of Amalec and Chanaan, it was needful that
this tribe should be for a time withdrawn into a country in which they
would forget their nomadic habits and become habituated to the settled
life of civilized nations; in which, moreover, they would be
disciplined and strengthened, and where their numbers would increase,
until the time appointed should arrive when God would deliver into
their hands the country so repeatedly promised to their race. This
time being come, he had recourse, if one may say so, to a touching
stratagem, and drew the sons of Jacob into the land of the Pharaos by
placing Joseph on the steps of the throne.

During the gradual transformation of a wandering tribe into a settled
people, another process, no less slow and difficult, was also
preparing them for the future to which they were destined.

On the arrival of the patriarch Jacob in the fertile plains of the
Delta the great and powerful of that day hastened to meet him with
royal magnificence. These shepherds, accustomed only to the shelter of
the tents which they carried away at will on their beasts of burden,
found themselves face to face with palaces and temples of which the
very ruins strike us with amazement.

And farther, what marvels were in store for the strangers in the
various arts of civilization carried on in the cities of Mizraim,
where painting and music flourished, where gravers and goldsmiths
produced their excellent works, where unceasingly resounded the
hammers of those who wrought in wood and stone, and the hum of a
thousand looms, weaving those wondrous tissues[49] famous alike in the
time of Solomon, of Ezechiel, and of Pliny――the “fine linen of Egypt.”

The sight of all this must have vividly struck the imagination of the
strangers; nevertheless, the prejudices and antipathies of race which
speedily declared themselves, doubtless on the occasion of changes on
the throne, would have kept them aloof from sharing in the pursuits by
which they were surrounded, had not their new masters forced them away
from tending their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen, and
scattered them in the cities, mingling them with the Egyptian people.

They now found themselves compelled to make brick, hew stone, and
handle the workman’s hammer; to build, to cultivate the ground, and,
in spite of any hereditary repugnance which might exist, to suffer
themselves to be initiated into the arts and manufactures of ancient
Egypt.

That which at first was only submitted to under coercion soon grew
into the habits, tastes, and customs of the Israelites. They had
entered upon a new phase of their existence, thence to issue, after a
period of four hundred years, transformed into a people ripe for a
constitution, laws, government, and national worship. A man alone was
wanting to them, and this man God provided. When Moses arose amongst
them, they were familiar with all the secrets of Egyptian art and
manufacture. But it was not only by the formation of skilful craftsmen
that the influence of this mighty nation made itself felt. It
penetrated the whole of their daily life; and this indelible
impression was not effaced when Israel had traversed a career of
well-nigh twenty centuries. After the fall of Jerusalem and the
dispersion of the Jewish people, it still attracted the attention of
historians and thoughtful men.

It did not even occur to those not well acquainted with the customs of
the Hebrews and of ancient Egypt, such as Tacitus, to separate the
names of the two peoples, which were included by them in one and the
same judgment, meriting in their eyes the same reproaches and together
sharing the scanty praise which their new masters allowed at times to
fall from their disdainful lips.

But there were others, more attentive and better informed, who entered
more deeply into the study and comparison of the two races――to name
only Tertullian, Origen, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine. Eusebius had
been attracted by the problem, as is proved by the few almost
parenthetical lines in his great work, _The Preparation of the
Gospel_, where he says: “During their sojourn in Egypt the Israelites
adopted so completely the habits and customs of the Egyptians that
there was no longer any apparent difference in the manner of life of
the two peoples.”[50]

Nearer to our own time the learned Kircher devoted long years to
searching out those points of resemblance which could not at that time
be studied by the light of original documents. The severest censors
would be disarmed by the telling, though somewhat barbaric, form in
which he has presented the true relationship existing between the
Mosaic and Egyptian constitutions: “Hebræi tantam habent ad ritus,
sacrificia, cæremonias, sacrasque disciplinas Ægyptiorum affinitatem,
ut vel Ægyptios hebraïzantes, vel Hebræos ægyptizantes fuisse, mihi
plane persuadeam.”[51]

Kircher is right. These men of Asiatic race, born at Memphis, Tanis,
or Ramses, were practically Egyptians, and had forgotten their ancient
habits, their pastoral life, and the land where the ashes of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob were awaiting them. They had grown up and lived
amongst a people whose tongue they had learned,[52] whose toils they
shared, and whose gods they worshipped.[53] The children of Jacob
could only be distinguished by the aquiline nose and slight beard from
the brickmakers and masons of the country, as we see them frequently
represented in the monuments of this epoch.

Moses, who was to become their lawgiver, was a learned and
accomplished Egyptian in everything but the fact of race. Early
separated from his family and countrymen, he had grown up at the court
of Pharao, among the near attendants and favorites of the king, and
was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.”[54] He had beheld
the statues of the gods borne in the long processions, and had entered
the now silent temples of Memphis; he had looked upon the arks whereon
were portrayed the divine symbols, hidden under the guarding wings of
mysterious genii;[55] and he had been present when the king, who was
also sovereign pontiff, removed on solemn occasions the seals of clay
from this sombre abode where, veiled in mystery, dwelt the name and
the glory of God.

Into this inner sanctuary, the Egyptian Holy of Holies, the pontiff
alone entered, but Moses could behold him from afar, when he burnt the
incense before the veiled ark, where, concealing itself from mortal
sight, dwelt the invisible majesty of Ra, “Creator and lord of the
world.”

Many a time must Moses have been present when the Pharao arrayed
himself in the sacerdotal vestments――the long linen tunic and the
bright, engirdling ephod. With his own hands he may have tied the
cords of the sacred tiara upon the monarch’s head, and clasped on his
shoulders the golden chains of the pectoral. With the colleges of the
priests he had chanted the hymns and litanies it was customary to sing
in procession around the sanctuaries during the octaves and on the
vigils of great solemnities. He was familiar with the legislative and
moral code of the Egyptians, and all the ancient traditions of their
race. And after he had crossed the frontier and the Red Sea, all these
things could not disappear from his remembrance; in fact, they were
intended to live in the constitution, laws, and religious ceremonial
of the Israelites, but purified and freed from the corrupt elements of
Egyptian mythology.

To show this in detail is the object of M. Ancessi’s interesting work,
in which, with minute care and research, he proceeds, in the first
place, to consider the material portion of the worship――the sacerdotal
garments, the ark, the altars, and the sacrifices――with the intention
later of approaching the moral code, and, lastly, the literature of
the two peoples.

The first of the sacerdotal garments described by Moses is the
_ephod_. This vestment, conspicuous for its richness, was woven of
threads of brilliant colors and adorned with precious stones set in
gold. But it owed its peculiar excellence to the pectoral with the
Urim and Thummim, that mysterious organ of the divine oracles which
manifested God’s care over his people by a perpetual miracle.[56]

Tradition makes frequent mention of this marvellous vestment. After
the ruin of the Temple, Oriental writers gave free scope to their
imagination and to the influence of family reminiscences in their
descriptions of the ephod. We must not, however, take these as guides
by any means trustworthy, but endeavor to arrive at the exact meaning
of the Mosaic description,[57] as this, though brief and obscure,
suffices to enable us to recognize the representations of the vestment
which come to us from those remote ages.

Referring to the Vulgate, we find as follows: “Facient autem
superhumerale [ephod] de auro et hyacintho et purpura, coccoque bis
tincto, et bysso retorta, opere polymito.”[58] And farther on:
“Inciditque bracteas aureas, et extenuavit in fila, ut possint
torqueri cum priorum colorum subtegmine.”[59]

This gives us the tissue of which the ephod was made――namely, a rich
stuff of fine linen, composed of threads of blue, purple, and scarlet
worked in with filaments of gold. So far there is no difficulty.[60]
In the following verses Moses describes its form, and his words are:
“Duo humeralia juncta erunt ei ad ejus duas extremitates et
jungetur”――that is to say, literally: “Two joined shoulder-bands shall
be fixed to the ephod at its two extremities, and thus it shall be
fastened.”

Now, if we compare with this the drawings representing the gods or
kings of Egypt in their richest apparel, our attention is at once
attracted by a broad belt of precious material and brilliant colors
which encircles the body from the waist upwards to a little below the
arms, and is upheld by two narrow bands, one passing over each
shoulder, and joined together at the top, their lower extremities
being sewn to the vestment before and behind. These are clearly the
two _humeralia_ spoken of by Moses.

In the Egyptian paintings we notice that the buttons by which the
bands are fastened together on the shoulders are precious stones in a
gold setting, and fixed, not on the top, but a little lower down
towards the front, and at the exact place where Moses directs two gems
to be placed, each on a disc of gold.

We know from Josephus that in the vesture of the high-priest these two
uncut stones joined the shoulder-bands of the ephod together;[61] the
parallel is therefore complete. Indeed, if we may believe Dom Calmet,
a reminiscence of ancient Egypt is to be found even in the form of the
hooks affixed to the two precious stones. These hooks, he tells us,
had the form of an asp biting into the loop or eye of the opposite
shoulder-band: “Dicunt Græci uncum illum exhibuisse formam aspidis
admordentis oram hujus hiatus.”[62] The head of the asp is a favorite
object in Egyptian decoration.[63] This detail, however, is not
insisted on, but merely mentioned in passing, as we find no allusion
to it in the Pentateuch, nor is it based upon a tradition of
ascertained authority.

We read further: “And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and shalt grave
on them the names of the children of Israel: six names on one stone,
and the other six on the other, according to the order of their birth.
With the work of an engraver and a jeweller thou shalt engrave them
with the names of the children of Israel, set in gold and compassed
about: _and thou shalt put them on both sides of the ephod_, a
memorial of the children of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names
before the Lord upon both shoulders, for a remembrance.”[64]

Our European museums, and more so still that of Boulaq, near Cairo,
possess a large number of gems of every form, engraven with mystic
inscriptions or the names of the members of a noble family. The exact
destination of many of these stones is often unknown, and it is
probable that some of them have belonged to sacerdotal garments, or
may have adorned the shoulder-bands we are considering. In any case,
we know not only that the Egyptians engraved precious stones with
marvellous skill, but also that they were in the habit of dedicating,
as _ex voto_, gems bearing the names of a whole family, to render each
of its members always present to the remembrance of the gods. Thus
many of the stones now in the Louvre were offered by princely houses
to the gods whose protection they sought to secure.[65]

Moses, by the command of God, adopted this idea in composing the
vestments of Aaron, placing on the shoulders of the high-priest two
precious stones, upon which were engraven the names of the twelve
tribes of Israel; expressing under this graceful symbolism the office
and character of the priesthood. He thus reminded his people that the
priest is a mediator between God and men, and that he presents himself
before JEHOVAH in the name and on behalf of this people, whose whole
weight, so to speak, he seems to bear upon his shoulders.

“The ephod,” says Josephus, “is a cubit in width, and leaves the
middle of the chest open.”[66] These words have been a great
perplexity to the learned, but are easily explained when we look at
the Egyptian vestment, which is not more than a cubit in width, and
leaves open the middle of the chest in the space between the two
shoulder-bands and the upper edge of the corselet. “It is there,” adds
Josephus, “that the pectoral is placed.” This was a span square, of
the same fabric as the ephod, enriched with precious stones, and
called εσσήνης, (essenes), which signifies also λόγιον, _oracle_. This
exactly filled up the space left bare by the ephod. It would be
difficult to give a more accurate description of the Egyptian
vestment. In the eighth verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of Exodus
we read: “_And the belt of the ephod, which passes over it, shall be
of the same stuff._”

In the Egyptian paintings the lower edge of the ephod is encircled by
a girdle usually made of the same material as the corselet itself. The
resemblance in every particular between the Hebrew and the Egyptian
ephod is, in fact, perfect.

We must now proceed more fully to consider the pectoral, the
importance of which renders it worthy of very careful study.

     “And thou shalt make the rational of judgment,”[67] the Lord
     God commands Moses, “with embroidered work of divers colors,
     according to the workmanship of the ephod, of gold, violet,
     and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen.
     It shall be four-square and doubled: it shall be the measure
     of a span both in length and breadth. And thou shalt set in
     it four rows of stones: in the first row shall be a sardius
     stone, a topaz, and an emerald; in the second a carbuncle, a
     sapphire, and a jasper; in the third a ligurius, an agate,
     and an amethyst; in the fourth a chrysolite, an onyx, and a
     beryl. They shall be set in gold by their rows. And they
     shall have the names of the children of Israel: with twelve
     names shall they be engraved, each stone with the name of
     one according to the twelve tribes.… And Aaron shall bear
     the names of the children of Israel in the rational of
     judgment upon his breast, when he shall enter into the
     sanctuary, a memorial before the Lord for ever.”

This passage has been compared by commentators with the following from
Elian: “Among the Egyptians, from the remotest ages, the priests were
also the judges; the senior being chief, and judge over all the rest.
It was required of him that he should be the most just and upright of
men. He wore suspended from his neck an image made of sapphire, and
which was called TRUTH.”[68]

And Diodorus Siculus, respecting the same symbol, writes as follows:
“The chief of the judges of Egypt wore round his neck, suspended from
a chain of gold, a symbol made of precious stones, and called _Truth_.
Until the judge had put on this image no discussion began.”[69]

In examining the Egyptian monuments we find that the personages who
are represented wearing the vestment corresponding to that which, by
Moses, is designated the ephod, usually also wear upon the breast a
square ornament adorned with precious stones. It is placed between the
shoulder-bands, and rests, as it were, on the upper edge of the ephod,
its position exactly corresponding to that of the pectoral of Aaron.

The museums of Boulaq and the Louvre possess pectorals of rare beauty.
That of Boulaq was sent to Paris, with the other jewels of Queen Aa
Hotep, to the Exhibition of 1867. It is a _chef-d’œuvre_ of ancient
jewelry. The frame, which is almost square, encloses a mythological
scene much in favor with the Egyptians. King Amosis is standing in a
bark of lapis lazuli and enamel, while two divinities pour upon his
head the waters of purification.[70]

This pectoral, which belonged to the mother of Amosis, is worthy of
particular notice, not only because of its admirable workmanship, but
also because its date is known to us as being to a certainty anterior
to Moses.

In the pectoral of Aaron the precious stones were attached to the rich
stuff which formed the foundation by little rings of fine gold,
instead of being held in place by small plates of gold, as they
usually are in the Egyptian pectorals. There is, however, in the
museum at Boulaq, a splendid necklace, the arrangement of which proves
that if the idea of the pectoral is Egyptian, so also is the manner of
its workmanship. This necklace is composed of a multiplicity of tiny
objects, garlands, twisted knots, four-petalled flowers, lions,
antelopes, hawks, vultures, and winged vipers, etc., all of which are
arranged so as to lie in parallel curves on the breast of the wearer.
_Now, each one of these objects_ forms a piece apart, quite separate
from the others, and is sewn to the stuff serving for a foundation by
minute rings fastened behind each. It seems to have been by a similar
arrangement that the precious stones were attached to, or, to speak in
more exact accordance with the meaning of the Hebrew, _embedded_ in,
the pectoral of Aaron.

With regard to the word _caphul――duplicatum_: “it shall be square and
_doubled_ [or double]”――it is, with our present knowledge, impossible
to say whether Moses intended to direct that the ornamentation of the
_back_ of the pectoral was not to be neglected, or that the stuff was
to be doubled, so as the better to support the weight of the precious
stones.

Some of these stones it is now difficult to identify; but we cannot
leave this part of the subject without giving an abridged quotation
from the ingenious work of M. de Charancey, _Actes de la Société
philologique_, v. iii. No. 5: “_De quelques Idées symboliques_,” etc.

According to M. de Charancey, the twelve stones of the pectoral ought
to be divided into two series,[71] the first of seven stones,
answering, in accordance with Judaic symbolism, to the celestial
spheres and the seven planets; while the second, of five stones,
related to the terrestrial sphere, to the five regions of space,
including the central point; the whole creation being gathered up, as
it were, into this microcosm, resplendent with the wisdom and goodness
of God in the oracles of the urim and thummim.

It is in any case certain that the church, in her liturgy, makes
occasional allusion to this symbolism; as, for instance, in the second
response for the Tuesday following the third Sunday after Easter we
find: “In diademate capitis Aaron magnificentia Domini sculpta erat.…
In veste poderis quam habebat totus erat orbis terrarum et parentum
magnalia in quatuor ordinibus lapidum sculpta erant” (_Brev.
Romanum_).

The Egyptian pectorals, being usually made with a ground-work of
metal, were simply suspended from a gold chain which passed round the
neck; but the foundation of the Aaronic pectoral, being of woven
material, needed a different kind of support to keep it stretched out
and in place. We accordingly find exact directions given that to each
of the two upper corners should be fastened a ring of pure gold, and
to each ring a chain, the other end of which should be fixed to one of
the gems on the shoulders. These gems are also directed to be placed,
not on the top of the shoulders, but a little lower and towards the
front, exactly as we see them in the sculptures and paintings of
Egypt. To the lower corners of the pectoral rings were also attached,
and again at the joining, in front, of the bands with the ephod, while
a violet-colored fillet passed through the two on the right, and tied,
and another similarly through the two on the left. The directions
(Exod. xxviii. 13, 14, 23, 25) are so explicit as to give evidence
that we have here some departure from the well-known arrangements with
which the Israelites were familiar.

We must now consider the question of the urim and thummim, celebrated
for its inextricable difficulties; but as no authoritative document
has as yet given the solution of this problem, it is impossible to
explain it with certainty. It would be useless to take up the reader’s
time with all the opinions of the learned upon this subject,
especially as they are for the most part as unsatisfactory as they are
diverse. The hypothesis advanced by the Abbé Ancessi appears to rest
upon the most reasonable foundation. We give it in his own words:

     “Without entering into lengthy philological discussions, it
     is easy to show that the word _urim_ must have originally
     signified _light_. This is the sense of _aor_, to sparkle,
     to shine; it is the sense of _iara_, which has a
     relationship with _iara_ to see, and with the analogous root
     of the Indo-Germanic languages from which come _ordo_,
     _orior_, _Iris_, _Jour_, _Giorno_, etc., etc. In Egyptian we
     also find this radical in the name of _Horus_, the Shining
     One, the Morning Sun. With this root again is connected
     _iara_, the river, the sparkling, and in Hebrew _nahar_,[72]
     which has the same sense.

     “Besides, the meaning of the word _urim_ is scarcely
     contested, and it is generally admitted that its original
     signification is _lights_, or _beams_.

     “The word thummim has been less easy to interpret.

     “The Egyptian radical _tum_ signifies to be shut up, veiled,
     hidden, dark, obscure. This meaning reappears in the
     triliterate form of the Semitic _Tamam_.[73]

     “As from the radical _aor_ the Egyptians had made the god of
     _light_, so from the radical _tum_ they made the name of the
     hidden god, the god veiled in darkness and obscurity, who
     had not manifested himself in the bright vesture of
     creation――the god Tum, hidden in the silence and darkness of
     eternity, in opposition or contrast to Horus, the god of the
     morning of creation, shining in the sunbeams, and glittering
     in the bright gems of the midnight skies.

     “Thus, according to the etymology of these words, we have in
     the _urim_ the lights, beams, or rays, and in the _thummim_
     the obscurities and shadows, which doubtless passed over the
     face of the pectoral.… The high-priest grouped the luminous
     signs according to a system which remained one of the
     mysteries of the tabernacle. This key alone could give the
     interpretation of the will of JEHOVAH, and this may explain
     the curious episode in the time of the Judges to which
     allusion has already been made, when we find one of the
     tribes of Israel hire a Levite to place the ephod and
     interpret its oracles.”

What rule was followed in interpreting the answers――whether it was
formed by grouping all the luminous letters, or only that one which
was brightest in the name of each tribe――we know not. We do not even
know whether the foregoing explanation is the true one, although we
may safely allow that it answers to all the requirements of the
Scriptural texts, as well as to the indications of tradition. It is
thus that Josephus explains the manner in which the oracles were given
by the “rational of judgment,” and well-nigh the whole of Jewish and
Christian tradition follows in his steps.

Some have found a difficulty in the thirtieth verse of Exodus xxviii.:
“Thou shalt place on the pectoral of judgment the urim and the
thummim,[74] which shall be upon the heart of Aaron when he shall come
before the Eternal.” But this text opposes no serious difficulty, as
it is evident that Moses here speaks of the twelve stones. Besides, he
is merely returning upon his subject at the end of a description (as
is so frequently the case in the Pentateuch), as if to give a short
summary of what he had previously been saying.

We have now, as briefly as may be, to consider the remaining
“ornaments of glory” exclusively appropriated to the high-priest. The
_tiara_, which Moses calls _Menizophet_, is evidently too well known
to those whom he is addressing to need description. We, however, have
unfortunately no means of forming from this word any precise idea of
its form, and are able only to indicate some of its adjuncts.

The Israelites were familiar with the symbols and rich ornaments which
in Egypt characterized the head-dress of the deities and kings; each
god and goddess wearing on the head a particular sign indicative of
his or her attributes or functions, and consecrated by a long
tradition. Among these symbols that of most frequent occurrence is the
serpent _Uræus_, which encircles with its coils the heads of kings,
raising broad, inflated chest over the middle of the forehead. The
Uræus, by some capricious association, signified the only true and
eternal king, of whom all earthly monarchs are but the image and
representative incarnation. At the time the Hebrews were in Egypt the
form of this serpent had been gradually modified into that of the
_fleur-de-lys_, which we so often find carved on the brow of kings and
sphinxes, springing from a fillet at the border of the head-attire.
Instead of passing round the head, this fillet is only visible on the
forehead, disappearing over the ears in the folds of a kind of veil.

Now, Moses is directed to place upon the forehead of Aaron a band of
gold engraven with the name of the Most Holy.

He gives to the high-priest not only an ornament analogous to that
worn by the Egyptian kings――that is to say, the chiefs of the
priesthood and the representatives of the Deity――but he preserves also
the same symbolical idea which it had for the people of Egypt.

No created thing could either represent or even symbolize JEHOVAH;
nothing but the most holy name itself could remind them of the
uncreated Essence, who, being pure spirit, has no form. Hence the
great importance of the name of Jehovah――or, more exactly, YAHVEH――in
the history of Israel. The name of Him who dwelt in the most holy
place, whose glory shone above the mercy-seat――this name alone, with
the ascription of sanctity, was engraven on the golden fillet on the
brow of his high-priest.[75]

“And the band shall be always upon his forehead, that the Lord may be
well pleased with him.”

This idea of the abiding of God on the head of the pontiff-kings was
one very familiar to the Egyptians, and has been expressed by them in
a variety of ways. For example, we find the “_divine Horus_” forming
with his wings a graceful ornament on the head-attire of some of the
statues of the Pharaos, or again spreading his wings upon them to
communicate the divine life.

The sign of the God of Israel was placed on the forehead of the
high-priest, as if to overshadow him with his majesty, and to give
merit and value to his offerings; supplying what was lacking to the
perfection of the sacrifice by enveloping him who offered it with his
own glory.

Under the ephod was worn the long _tunic_, called in Hebrew _Mehil_,
the most noticeable part of which is its fringe, composed of little
bells of gold alternating with colored pomegranates. The description
given by Moses (Exod. xxviii. 31, 34) is very simple: “And thou shalt
make the tunic of the ephod all of violet; in the midst whereof above
shall be a hole for the head, and a border round about it woven, as is
wont to be made in the outmost part of garments, that it may not
easily be broken. And beneath, at the feet of the same tunic, round
about, thou shalt make as it were pomegranates, of violet, and purple,
and scarlet twice-dyed, with little bells between: so that there shall
be a golden bell and a pomegranate, and again a golden bell and a
pomegranate.”

The _Mehil_ was not only the counterpart of an Egyptian vestment worn
by the Pharaos, and which we see represented with a broad hem round
the neck, but we find upon it the same ornaments as those mentioned in
Exodus――namely, acorns or tassels of colored threads alternating with
pendants of gold.[76] There are in the Louvre some pomegranates of
enamelled porcelain, furnished with a ring by which to hang, and which
have evidently formed part of the border of a garment or a very large
necklace. We find there blue, yellow, red, and white ones, of a shape
that might have been run in the very mould of those which adorned the
vestments of Aaron. Others, again, are made in the form of an olive,
encased in a sort of network of colored threads. Nor are the little
golden bells wanting. Some of those which have come down to us are of
very pleasing and varied design.

It must not be forgotten that there was, in the ornamentation of the
period we are considering, a singular admixture of Assyrian with
Egyptian forms. Assyrian garments were also bordered with heavy
fringes, the tassels of which sometimes take the form of pomegranates.
Moses must have seen at the palace of the Pharaos, as ambassadors, as
tributaries, or as captives, some of those Eastern princes whose
majestic countenances and kingly garments long ages have preserved to
us on the sculptured blocks of the palaces of Babylon and Ninive.

In a fragment of a Coptic translation of the _Acts of the Council of
Nicæa_, which has lately been discovered by M. Revillout among the
Oriental MSS. of the Museum of Turin, the fathers of the holy council
give the following advice to a young man just entering into life: “My
son, avoid a woman who loves gay clothing; for _displays of rings and
little bells_[77] are but her signals of wantonness.”[78] The piety of
the middle ages brought back these ornaments to their ancient and
sacred uses. The memory of Aaron’s vestments gave the idea of
fastening long borders of little bells to the edges of sacerdotal
garments.[79]

Claude Quitton, librarian of Clairvaux, passing by the Château de
Larrey in Burgundy, the 5th and 6th of September, 1744, saw there
certain rich vestments, among others a chasuble, closed everywhere,
save at the top to pass the head through, and having little bells
(_grelots_) hanging all round its lower edge or border.

Thus through a long series of ages this custom of adorning vestments
with bells has come, almost without a break, down to these latter
centuries.

The other vestments of the high-priest were common also to the
Levites, and, as well as the striking analogies between the Egyptian
and Mosaic manner of offering sacrifice, may furnish matter for
consideration at some future time. Meanwhile, we will close the
present notice with the appropriate words of St. John Chrysostom:
“Deus ad errantium salutem his se coli passus est quibus dœmonas
gentiles colebant aliquantulum ilia in melius inflectens”――“God, for
the salvation of the erring, suffered himself to be honored in those
things which had served in the worship of idols, modifying them in
some measure for the better.” And, continues this great doctor, God,
by thus introducing into his temple all that was richest in the
vestments of the Egyptians, all that was most solemn in their
sanctuaries, most elevated in their symbolism, and most impressive in
their ceremonies, willed that his people should feel no regret, and
experience no want or void, in their worship of him, when, amid the
new ceremonial, they should call to mind that which they had seen in
Egypt: “Ne unquam postea Ægyptiorum aut eorum quæ apud Ægyptios
fuerant experti cupiditate tangerentur.” It was not only fitting but
also necessary that the worship of the Lord JEHOVAH should not in any
point appear inferior to that of idols; for the unspiritually-minded
nation of whom Moses was the leader was incapable of appreciating the
greatness and majesty of God, except in some proportion to the
splendor of his worship.


     [46] _L’Egypte et Moïse._ Première Partie. Par l’Abbé Victor
     Ancessi. Paris: Leroux, Editeur, 28 Rue Bonaparte.

     [47] The secret of this art was only recovered by the
     engravers of Damascus in the time of the caliphs.

     [48] The name given by the Egyptians to their tombs.

     [49] See Prov. vii. 16: “Intexui funibus lectulum meum,
     stravi tapetibus pictis ex Ægypto”; Ezech. xxvii. 7; Pliny,
     _Nat. Hist._, xix. 2.

     [50] Euseb., _Evang. Prep._, 1. vii. c. viii.; _Pat. Grec._,
     1. xxi. p. 530.

     [51] “The Hebrews have so much affinity with the rites,
     sacrifices, ceremonies, and sacred customs of the Egyptians
     that I am fully persuaded we have before us either
     Hebraizing Egyptians or Egyptizing Hebrews.”

     [52] Exod. xii.

     [53] The Apis of gold, worshipped by the Israelites in the
     desert.

     [54] Acts vii. 22.

     [55] See in Sir J. G. Wilkinson’s work, _A Popular Account
     of the Ancient Egyptians_, vol. i. pp. 267 and 270, two
     arks, covered with the symbols of divinity. The long wings
     of the genii are there represented as veiling the face of
     Ammon Ra and Ra Keper――the _Creator-God_ and the _Hidden
     God_. The two genii are face to face, and veil the divine
     mystery with their wings, like the cherubim over the Ark of
     the Covenant.

     [56] The following episode in the life of David shows the
     importance and purpose of the ephod in Israel: “Now when
     David understood that Saul secretly prepared evil against
     him, he said to Abiathar the priest: Bring hither the ephod.
     And David said: O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath heard
     a report that Saul designeth to come to Ceila, to destroy
     the city for my sake: will the men of Ceila deliver me into
     his hands? and will Saul come down as thy servant hath
     heard? O Lord God of Israel, tell thy servant. And the Lord
     said: He will come down. And David said: Will the men of
     Ceila deliver me, and my men, into the hands of Saul? And
     the Lord said: They will deliver thee up.”――1 Kings xxiii.
     9. See also 1 Kings xxx. 7, 8. Thus God answered by the
     ephod.

     [57] We find the following, for example, in Suidas, under
     the word _ephod_: “_Ephod_ signifies in Hebrew _science_ and
     _redemption_. In the middle of this vestment there was, as
     it were, a star of gold, and on its sides two emeralds;
     between the two emeralds a _diamond_. The priest consulted
     God by these stones. If Jehovah were favorable to the
     projects of Israel, the diamond flashed forth light; if they
     were displeasing to him, it remained in its natural state;
     and if he were about to strike his people by war, it became
     the color of blood; or by pestilence, it turned black.”
     (Suidas is here commenting upon Josephus.) _Ant. Jud._ i.
     iii. c. 8, n. 9.

     [58] Exod. xxviii. 6: “And they shall make the ephod of
     gold, and violet, and purple, and scarlet twice-dyed, and
     fine twisted linen, embroidered with divers colors.”

     [59] Exod. xxxix. 3: “And he cut thin plates of gold, and
     drew them small into threads, that they might be twisted
     with the woof of the aforesaid color.” (Douai).

     [60] Neither St. Jerome nor the LXX. are successful in
     conveying any clear idea of the vestment.

     [61] “In utroque humero, singuli sardonyches, auro inclusi,
     _fibularum vice_ epomidem adnectunt”――_Antiq._, lib. iii. c.
     vii.

     [62] Calmet, Commentary upon Exodus, chap. xxviii. v. 11,
     Edit. of Mansi.

     [63] The exquisite chain of gold found in the tomb of Queen
     Aa Hotep is terminated by two hooks shaped like the head of
     the asp. Many very similar ones are to be seen among the
     Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre and in the British
     Museum. The eyes of the serpent, enamelled in blue and
     black, have a striking effect.

     [64] Exod. xxviii. 9-12.

     [65] Glass case No. 4, in the _Salle Historique du Musée
     Egyptien_ at the Louvre, contains jewels found in the tomb
     of an Apis, and dedicated by a powerful prince. Some of the
     most beautiful objects in the collection are contemporary
     with Moses. See _Notice du Musée Egyptien_, by M. Rougé, p.
     64.

     [66] _Ant. Jud._, lib. iii. c. 7, n. 5.

     [67] Exod. xxviii. 15-22, 29.

     [68] Elian. _Hist. Div._, lib. xiv. c. 34.

     [69] Diod. Sic., lib. i. c. 75.

     [70] “The workmanship of this little gem,” says M. Mariette,
     “is exceptionally admirable. The ground of the figures is
     cut in open-work. The figures themselves are designed in
     gold outlines, into which are introduced small cuttings of
     precious stones; carnelian, turquois, lapis lazuli,
     something resembling green feldspar, are introduced so as to
     form a sort of mosaic, in which each color is separated from
     its surrounding ones by a bright thread of gold; the effect
     of the whole being exceedingly rich and harmonious.” The
     fineness and precision of the work on the back of this
     pectoral is as remarkable as that on the front.――_Notice sur
     les principaux monuments du Musée de Boulaq_, par M.
     Mariette, p. 262.

     [71] A traditional symbolism attached the greatest
     importance to this division of the twelve tribes and the
     twelve stones into two unequal numbers. The prophecy of
     Jacob is divided into two parts by the exclamation into
     which he breaks forth after the name of the seventh
     patriarch: “I will look for thy salvation, O LORD” (Gen.
     xlix. 14). Ezechiel also, in the last chapter of his
     prophecy, interrupts his narrative after the mention of the
     seventh tribe by the description of the temple, and then
     resumes his enumeration of the territories.

     [72] With regard to the N pre-formative, see M. Ancessi’s
     _Etudes sur la Grammaire comparée des Langues de Sem et de
     Cham_――the S causative, and the subject N. Paris:
     Maisonneuve.

     [73] On the formation of trihterate radicals see, in the
     above _Etudes_, “the fundamental law of the triliterate
     formation.”

     [74] In the Douai version translated “doctrine and truth.”

     [75] “Thou shalt make a plate of purest gold, wherein thou
     shalt grave with engraver’s work, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. Thou
     shalt tie it with a violet fillet, and it shall be upon the
     borders of the mitre, over the forehead of the
     high-priest.”――Exod. xxviii. 36-38. The description given by
     Josephus of the crown of the high priest would lead to the
     supposition that the fillet of Aaron did not always preserve
     its primitive simplicity. Speaking of a section of a diadem
     ornamented with the cups of flowers, which passed round the
     back of the head and reached to the temples, he adds,
     however, that in front there was only the golden band
     engraven with the name of Jehovah. The course of ages,
     broken by captivity and troubles, as well as successive
     influences, first Assyrian and afterwards Greek, may have
     occasioned some modification in the form of the sacred
     vestments of the Temple; and thus it is not surprising that
     the descriptions of Josephus sometimes vary from the Mosaic
     texts.

     [76] See Wilkinson, vol. ii. ch. ix. p. 32.

     [77] _Holk et Schiikil._

     [78] _Concile de Nicée d’après les textes Coptes._ Par E.
     Revillout. _Journal Asiatique_, Fev.-Mars, 1873.

     [79] In a valuable MS. preserved in the library of Tournus
     we read: “In aurifedo sancti Filiberti sunt xlix.
     tintinnabula: inter stolam nigram et manipulum, xxi.; inter
     stolam rubram et manipulum, xx.; in candida vero cum
     manipulo, xxviii.; manipulus unus restat, ubi sunt tredecim
     baltei cum quinquaginta tintinnabulis.”



LETTERS OF A YOUNG IRISHWOMAN TO HER SISTER.

FROM THE FRENCH.


ORLEANS, Feb. 15, 1868.

Dear, sweet Kate, I have seen Sainte-Croix again, and now I write to
you. The general installation has scarcely begun; great agitation and
noise in all directions. Everybody is surprised to see me so soon
settled down and quiet, but Marianne and Antoine are of a fairy-like
agility. René is busy; Marcella still asleep, having watched till very
late by her little Anna, who was rather feverish.

Thérèse and Madeleine will regularly attend catechism at Sainte-Croix
during some weeks, unless their mother consents to their speedy
departure. This good and amiable Berthe has promised the superior of
―――― to send her daughters to her for a year at the time of their
First Communion; now she hesitates, and none of us, to say the truth,
persuades her to send them――they are so gentle and sweet, so truly two
in one.

This is but a sign of life, dear sister. Good-by for the present.


FEBRUARY 17.

My good paralytic showed much pleasure at seeing me again. It is
arranged that Marcella and I are to go to her by turns, and Gertrude,
who ardently desires some active occupation, claims her share of
_presents of poor_. Not a minute is wasted here, dear Kate. We are
keeping the twins, not wishing to place them under any external
influence; and although Arthur has entered at the Jesuits’, the good
_abbé_ has consented to remain _permanently_ the guest of Mme. de
T――――, as preceptor to these lovable children, whom he finds so
attractive. Marcella is giving them lessons in Italian. How _learned_
they are already! Every month, in accordance with Adrien’s decision,
there are solemn examinations. The delicate little Anna studies with
zeal, finding herself very ignorant by the side of the twins.

I have knelt again before Notre Dame des Miracles, and have done the
honors of Recouvrance to our fair Roman. Did I tell you that Margaret
is a little jealous? “Keep me at least a tiny little corner in your
heart, which I see invaded from so many quarters.” Her happiness has
undergone no alteration; she is expecting and wishing for me.…

Read _Emilia Paula_, a story of the Catacombs. Mgr. La Carrière,
formerly Bishop of Guadaloupe, will preach the Lent, and Mgr.
Dupanloup will speak in the _réunions_ of the Christian Mothers. It is
also said, though it is not very likely, that the great bishop will
this year deliver the panegyric of Joan of Arc.

Marcella is in a state of enthusiasm. Her heart opens out in the warm
atmosphere created for her by our friendship. Anna is well――still a
little shy; the delicate temperament of the dear orphan having for so
long kept her at a distance from anything like noisy play. Marguérite
and Alix teach her her lessons. What pretty subjects for my brush!

We all communicated this morning, the anniversary of Mme. de T――――’s
marriage. O my God! what can the soul render to thee to whom thou
givest thyself? Oh! how I pity those who know thee not, who never
receive thee as their Guest, who never weep at thy feet like Magdalen,
who return not to thee like the prodigal, who lean not upon thy heart
like St. John. Oh! with the divine and fiery beams of thy bright dawn
illuminate this earth, wherein the evil fights against the good.

Still more deaths, dear Kate. See what Isa writes to me: “My
grandfather suffers continually more and more from fearful pain and
extreme weakness. His patience and resignation are admirable. We pray
together; I read him the _Imitation_; the _Sick Man’s Day_, by Ozanam,
which Lizzy has translated for me, since your friendly kindness made
me acquainted with Eugénie de Guérin; also a book most effectually
consoling, and to which my grandfather listens with tears. We make
Novenas. He has received the ‘Bread of the strong,’ and the help of
Heaven cannot fail this manly soul, who has passed through life so
nobly.” Jenny has lost her sister-in-law――another house disorganized
and without its soul. The little nephew is given to the two sisters,
who are going to bring him up and educate him; and Jenny, who had a
horror of Latin, is going to learn it in order to lessen its
difficulties to the pretty darling.

Mother St. André is in heaven. It makes my heart bleed to think of the
grief of Mother St. Maurice. It is so cruel a sorrow to lose one’s
mother, and _such_ a mother――an exceptionally holy soul, friend of the
saintly foundress, destined by Providence to such great things; who
has known the brightest joys and the most deadly sorrows, seeing her
children die after she had given them up to God. What holy joy
gladdened her soul on that day when, herself a religious, she beheld
her two daughters clothed in the livery of Christ, and her son, her
third treasure, the third pearl in her maternal crown, a priest! What
a family of chosen ones, and what sorrows! Oh! when this mother, at
the same time austere and tender, was called upon to close her
children’s eyes, were there not, side by side with the feelings of the
Christian and the saint, those also of the wife and mother? Dear Kate,
I can understand that a religious loves more deeply than other women.
The love of God, sanctifying her affections and rendering them almost
divine, communicates to them something of the infinite, which is not
broken without indescribable suffering.

I am writing to Mother St. Maurice. How much I pray God that He may
console her――he, the Comforter above all others, who alone touches our
wounds without wounding us still more!

René is sending you a volume. The affection of all those who love you
would fill many. May all good angels of holy affections protect you,
dear Kate!


FEBRUARY 26, 1868.

Behold me with ashes on my brow――ashes placed there by the great
bishop. “_Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris._”
But, O my soul! it is but the envelope of flesh and clay which must
return to dust. The immaterial being escapes the corruption of the
grave; my soul, come from God, must ascend again to him.

Yesterday the dressed-up figures going about the streets were anything
but attractive, but there were others elsewhere at which the angels
would smile. M. l’Abbé Baunard, director of the _catéchisme_ of
Sainte-Croix, a few days ago organized a lottery, with the produce of
which some little girls, disguised as scullions, gave yesterday an
excellent dinner to the old people of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
This feast of charity was a charming idea, bringing together under the
eye and the blessing of God smiling and happy childhood with suffering
and afflicted decrepitude――poverty and riches, two sisters in the
great Catholic communion. And the twins were not there! Our good
_curé_ in Brittany requested _as a favor_ that they might make their
First Communion in his church. The good _abbé_ is preparing them for
it, and the ceremony is fixed for the 2d of July, the Feast of the
_Magnificat_.

We are all in deep mourning for my Aunt de K――――, and neither visit
nor receive company this winter; thus we shall have more leisure for
our different works. Adrien and Raoul were present at the funeral. My
mother feels this death very much.

Bought a pamphlet by the great bishop. It is admirable――worthy of
Bossuet. What a portrait of the Christian Frenchwoman! What vehement
and sublime indignation against those who would make this noble type
disappear from _our_ France! What nobility of soul! Oh! if all
fathers, if all mothers, heard these accents, which proceed from a
more than paternal heart, how they would reflect upon themselves, and
long to become worthy of the mission entrusted to them by Providence.
Poor France! what will become of her? I was glad to hear one of the
_vicaires_ of Sainte-Croix, M. Berthaud, in speaking of the horoscope
of the impious against religion, say: “Prophecy for prophecy. I prefer
to believe the words of the Count de Maistre, the noble genius who saw
so deeply and so far into the events of the present time, and who said
fifty years ago: ‘In a hundred years France will be wholly Christian,
Germany will be Catholic, England will be Catholic; all the peoples of
Europe will go into the basilica of St. Sophia at Constantinople to
sing a _Te Deum_ of thanksgiving.’” God grant it may be so! Lizzy
announces to me the mourning of Isa, who is not well enough to write
to me. “There is a yoke upon all the children of Adam.” These words of
Holy Scripture often come into my mind as I see all around me darkened
by mourning. _Spes unica!_ Hope remains, and the love of God shows
heaven open. Dear sister of my life, this letter, begun yesterday, is
to contain yet a third funereal announcement: Nelly has been suddenly
summoned from this world. I know how much you loved her. Thus this
time of penitence opens for us. Dead!――Nelly, in her spring-time, her
grace, her youth; dead, after a long and holy prayer, which had
preceded a walk with Madame D――――.

Imagine the distress of this poor mother, roused from her sleep by the
cry: “Mother, I think I am dying!” Mme. D―――― rushes, terrified, into
Nelly’s room; her child embraces her with only these words: “Adieu――on
high――heaven!…” and expires.

The whole town is in consternation. Margaret is inconsolable; all our
friends are weeping. What a death! God has spared her all suffering.
Let us pray for her, or rather for her unhappy mother; for I cannot
believe that Nelly is not in heaven. Do you recollect that she used to
be called _the Angel in prayer_?

René wishes me to stop here. Adieu, dear Kate.


MARCH 5, 1868.

I have been rather ill, dear Kate, and to-day I am beginning to get
up. The doctor forbids me emotion, but as soon might he forbid me to
live. Marcella has nursed me like a sister. Anna is growing stronger.
How pretty she was, playing with her doll near my bed, silently and
gravely, without any demonstrative gayety, but often raising her
beautiful eyes to look at me!

I have thus missed the two first Lenten sermons. René has never left
me a moment. Dear, kind René! how thoughtful he is, even about the
smallest details.

A letter from Isa: still in bed; weak, very weak, but wishing to live,
that she may be a comfort to her much-tried family. “Aunt D―――― finds
no peace but when she is with me. Oh! I can truly say with St.
Augustine that the Christian’s life is a cross and martyrdom!”

Hear what René was reading to me this morning: “Every Christian,” says
Mgr. de Ségur, “receives in baptism the all-powerful lever of faith
and love, capable of moving more than the world. Its fulcrum is
heaven; it is Jesus Christ himself, the King of Heaven, whose love
brings him down into the heart of each one of his faithful. The
prospect of eternity keeps us from fainting. How everything there will
change its aspect! Tears will be turned into joy――a joy divine,
eternal, infinite, ineffable, of which none can deprive us for ever.”

May God guard you, dear Kate, and may he guard our Ireland, her
cradles and her tombs!


MARCH 8, 1868.

Beautiful sunshine; your Georgina in the drawing-room; René at the
piano, making the children sing a quartette. This harmony penetrates
my heart. All these deaths had overwhelmed me; I have now recovered my
balance of mind. Oh! it is undeniably sad to see so many sister-souls
disappear; but they go to God. Each day brings us nearer to the
eternal reunion; and your Georgina says, with Mme. Swetchine, that
“life is fair and happy, and yet more and more happy, fair, and full
of interest.”

Yesterday Monsignor preached at Saint-Euverte; I wished very much to
go, but the wish was not reasonable. I must wait until Saturday for my
ecstasy. Heard a strange bishop this evening. “I will give thee every
good thing.” “The eye of man hath not seen, nor his ear heard, nor his
heart conceived what God hath prepared for them that love him.” The
preacher employed a profusion of words, thoughts, and images which
interfered with his principal idea; and it was only with the greatest
difficulty that one could keep hold of it under this overflow, this
torrent, this avalanche of expressions, which, although rich and well
chosen, were far too superabundant. Monsignor was there. How well he
would have treated this fruitful subject! With what genius would he
have depicted the immense suffering of man, who, being made for
heaven, finds happiness nowhere upon earth, is never satisfied, whilst
everything around him is at rest. “Without being Newton, every man is
his brother, and, in proceeding along the paths of science, he can
repeat that we are crushed beneath the weight of the things of which
we are ignorant.”

Lamartine describes this when he says:

  “Mon âme est un rayon de lumière et d’amour,
   Qui du flambeau divin détaché pour un jour,
   De désirs dévorants loin de Dieu consumée
   Brûle de remonter à sa source enflammée!”[80]

Dear, sweet Kate, all the lovable little singing party salutes you.
God be with you!


MARCH 11, 1868.

Dear Kate, again there are separations and adieux!

George and Amaury are entering La Trappe!――an unmistakable vocation, I
assure you. Adrien and Gertrude are so far above nature since they
have seen Pius IX. and suffered for him, that they gave their consent
at once. _Grandmother_ clasps her hands and utters the _fiat_ of Job.
Brothers and sisters wonder and admire. Happy family! All three
chosen, all three marked with the seal of God! I should regret them,
if I were their mother――so young, so handsome, rich in every gift of
heart and understanding. O life of mothers!――Calvary and Thabor!

I knew nothing of it; they feared I should feel it too much. We all
went to Communion this morning, and this evening they leave us.

What! have I not yet spoken to you about Benoni, who says my name so
prettily, and who is growing superb? It is an unpardonable
forgetfulness on my part. It was a pleasure to see this baby again,
and his parents also, so sincere in their gratitude for the little
that a kind Providence has allowed me to do for them!

_Evening._――They are gone. Adrien accompanies them; and Gertrude, whom
I have just been to see, said to me simply: “Dear Georgina, now I can
say _Nunc dimittis_. Will you thank God with me?” I knelt down by her
side, breathless with admiration. O this scene of the adieux! Those
two noble heads bent down to receive their grandmother’s blessing; the
assembled family; the emotion of all; the last pure kisses――all this
may be felt, but cannot be described. I know, I understand, how the
Christian cannot render too much to God, who has given him all; but my
heart is struck by the contrast between La Trappe and the world. On
the one side austerities, silence, anticipated death, manual labor,
and forgetfulness of earth; on the other a great name, a large
fortune, easy access to any position, renown, and glory. Oh! how well
they have chosen.

How I love you, dear Kate! How I love Ireland! I speak of it to the
children, and love to hear them say to me, as the multitudes of
Ireland said to our great O’Connell: “Yes, we love it; we love
Ireland!”


MARCH 14, 1868.

Before going to rest, my beloved sister, I want to tell you that I was
this morning at Saint-Euverte, and that I have heard the great bishop.
Marcella was with me, especially happy, she said, because of the joy
which she read in my looks. I sent back the horses, and we came home
by _the longest way_, as the charming Picciola says, under a bright
sun, which illuminated our bodily eyes, whilst the sunshine of the
holy and noble words we had just heard illuminated the vision of our
souls and opened out to us vistas of beauty. Dear sister of my life,
sister unspeakably beloved, I found you on re-entering――a whole packet
of letters, in which at first I saw only your dear handwriting. How
truly it is yourself! I gave your beautiful pages to Gertrude: she
will tell you herself what effect they have produced. Then Madame
D―――― with a photograph of the departed child――of Nelly dead! How well
I recognized her! This image of death moved me with pity for the poor
mother, but I felt nothing like fear. Why should death make me afraid?
Would the exiled son returning to his father fear the rapid crossing
which would restore him to his country, his affections, and his
happiness? And where is our country, where are our affections and
happiness to be found, except in heaven, in God, who alone can satisfy
our desires? Mother St. Maurice only sends me a few words, but so kind
and tender. Margaret writes me the sweetest things; she complains of
my silence, and informs me that the little cradle she is adorning with
so much care and love will soon receive its expected guest. Karl is
coming to us; reasons of fitness and of affection have detained him,
but his desire is more ardent than ever. Oh! to think of seeing him
without Ellen. Kate, what is life?

I am going to sleep, but first I wish to ascertain whether Anna is
free from fever. Marcella was uneasy this evening.

They are both asleep, beautiful enough to charm the angels. The little
one’s breathing is calm and gentle. I prayed by her, placing myself
also under the sheltering wing of the invisible Guardian.

I salute yours, and embrace you, dearest Kate.


MARCH 16, 1868.

“As on high, so also here below, to love and to be loved――this is
happiness.” Oh! how truly he speaks, and how I realize it every day!
Your tender affection, dearest Kate, that of René, and of all the kind
hearts around me――this is heaven, or, at least, that which leads one
thither.

Mid-Lent, and the Feast of St. Joseph――this sweet and great saint, so
powerful in heaven. O most glorious patriarch, who didst behold, and
bear in thy arms the Messias desired by thy fathers, foretold by thine
ancestor David and all the prophets, how favored wert thou of the
Lord! Marcella said to me: “I have a particular devotion for St.
Joseph, and a boundless confidence in him; I have often thought that
he must have known a multitude of things about our Lord which no one
has ever known.” O St. Joseph! remember those who invoke you in exile.
What an admirable existence! What a long poem from the day when the
rod of the carpenter blossomed in the Temple to that when Joseph
expires in the arms of Jesus and Mary, the two whom every Christian
would wish to have by him when on his death-bed! Never did any man
receive a mission more divine than was entrusted by the Almighty to
St. Joseph. I love to picture him to myself, grave, recollected,
seraphic, accompanying Mary, that sweet young flower whom the angels
loved to contemplate, leading her over the mountains to Hebron, to the
abode of Elizabeth, then to Bethlehem and the Crib, then into Egypt――a
long and painful journey through the desert. Did those who met the
Patriarch, the humble and holy Virgin, and her dear Treasure suppose
that it was the Salvation of the world who was passing by?

_Evening._――Karl is here, dear Kate, more grave and saintly than ever;
his feet on earth, his heart in heaven! He gives us a week. Adrien
arrived at the same time――two souls formed to understand one another.
Letters from Ireland, where Karl’s departure is causing general
regret. We spoke of Ellen――an inexhaustible subject. Karl was moved as
he listened to me; there are so many memories of my childhood to which
those of Ellen are united, making them doubly sweet.

Marcella, René, and Karl are wanting this letter to send to the post.
Good-night, dear sister.


MARCH 21, 1868.

Dear Kate, I send you my notes, freshly made; you will kindly return
them to me, that I may send them off to Margaret. We are visiting the
churches with Karl. Anna and all the dear little people salute Mme.
Kate. God guard you from all harm, dear sister!


MARCH 25, 1868.

Dearest Kate, what will you think of your Georgina getting the
_Conférences aux Femmes du Monde_[81] into a religious house? But my
Kate understands me; that is enough for me. _O amica mea, gaudium meum
et corona mea!_ The beautiful Saturday did not end at Saint-Euverte:
splendid festival at Sainte-Croix, the fiftieth anniversary of the
priesthood of the good _curé_. It was magnificent, and the music
also――like the hymns of heaven. To-day the Annunciation, the
commencement of the Redemption. What a feast! How I should like, as in
our childhood, to spend the day in prayer!

O sweetest Virgin, what a most fair memory in your glory! Gabriel, one
of the seven archangels continually at the feet of the Eternal,
spreads his wings, and from the heights of the everlasting hills
descends into the valleys of Judea. Celestial messenger, you doubtless
cast a glance of pity on the abodes of opulence and the vanities of
the world; or rather, you saw them not. Absorbed in your admiration at
the mercy of the Almighty, you adored and gave thanks. And now a
Virgin of Nazareth, in the tranquillity of prayer and love, is
suddenly dazzled by an unknown light, and the archangel salutes her in
the sublime words which will be repeated by Catholic hearts to all
generations: “_Ave, gratia plena!_” O Mary! from this day forth you
are our Mother, the Mother of our Salvation. O Handmaid of the Lord,
humble and sweet Mother! obtain for my soul humility and love.

Hail to the spring, the swallows, the periwinkles, all the renewal of
nature! How good is God, to have made our exile so fair! Oh! how I
enjoy everything, dear Kate.

Presented Karl with the portrait of Ellen, painted from memory. His
silent tears expressed his thanks. I have made him also sit for his
likeness; it will be a precious remembrance of this true friend. Who
knows whether we shall ever meet again in this world? Thus the days
pass away, shared between regret and hope.

The good _abbé_ is delighted with the progress of his pupils. Anna
grows visibly stronger. I am reading Dante with René. Ah! dearest, how
magnificent it is. Marcella speaks Greek and Latin, and wishes me to
read Homer and Virgil in the original. Wish me good success, dear. A
long walk; met a little beggar, whom Picciola fraternally embraced.
What a pretty scene, and how I afterwards kissed my dear pet!

Love me always, dear Kate.


MARCH 28, 1868.

Darling Kate, I send you my notes without adding anything, because we
have Karl with us for only one more day. O these departures! _Laus
Deo_ always, nevertheless.


MARCH 30, 1868.

Dear sister, Karl is gone! I am not sorry; I shall see him again, and
he will then be nearer to God. How happy it is to feel that God is the
bond of our souls! Yesterday, Sunday, his last in the life of the
world, we went together to Sainte-Croix, where we heard a long sermon,
a veritable encyclopædia: Godfrey de Bouillon at Jerusalem; Maria
Theresa in Hungary, with the shout of the magnates in French and in
Latin; the proud Sicambre listening to the Bishop Remy; St. Elizabeth
on the throne, and then in penury; St. Thomas writing sublime pages
before his crucifix; St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata; St.
Bernard; St. Catherine of Genoa; the Crusaders; Magdalen at the foot
of the cross; Veronica wiping the face of our Saviour, etc., etc.,
appearing in it by turns. A day of unspeakable serenity. Karl sang the
_Lætatus_ for his adieu. Dearest sister, how happy Ellen must be!

You will see Karl. Tell me if you do not find him transfigured. We
read, during his too short stay with us, the life of Mme. St. Notburg,
by M. de Beauchesne――another saint in Protestant Germany, a French
saint, though her tomb is there. I have asked Karl to take you this
book; read, and see how excellent it is!

And so the month of St. Joseph is ended! O protector of temporal
things! guard well all whom I love.

Marcella, my winning Marcella, is a poet; I ought to have told you
this. I gave her a surprise: her most feeling lines have been printed
in a newspaper, which I managed to put before her eyes. She blushed
and grew pale――the first emotion of authorship. Poor heart! for so
long severed from love, and which so soon lost that whereon it leaned.
“O Madonna mia! how good God is,” she often repeats with ecstasy in
admiring her beautiful little Anna, who grows wonderfully. I think
this child was too much kept in a hot-house, when she had need of air,
space, and movement. I can understand how her mother may well doat on
her: she has a way of looking at you, kissing you, and of bending her
forehead to be kissed, quite irresistible. _Carissima_, how I love
her, and how fondly I love my Kate!

René is writing to you; everybody would like to do the same.


APRIL 3, 1868.

Feast of the Compassion. _Stabat Mater Dolorosa!_ Have I mentioned to
you the new frescoes of Recouvrance, dear Kate?――the birth and
espousals of the Blessed Virgin. The first does not impress me; but
the second! The high-priest is admirable; his purple robe gleams like
silk. Mary is not so beautiful as in Raphael’s pictures. I have
undertaken a painting on ivory which I wish to send to the amiable
Châtelaine in Brittany, whom I think you cannot have forgotten. I am
making Anna sit for her portrait, she looks so sweet.

Mgr. de Ségur, author of the poem of _St. Francis_, has just written a
tragic poem, _St. Cecilia_. What a fine subject, and how well the
writer has been inspired! Isa must read it. You see whether my life is
occupied or not. God, the poor, the family, friendship, study――my mind
is full!

The language of Homer no longer appears to me so difficult as at
first. But Latin――oh! this is charming, and I delight in it; in the
first place, because I am still at _rosa_ and _rosarium_. What a head
Marcella has! She has learnt everything, and sings like Nilsson. If
only you could hear her in _La Juive_! This is profane music; but we
have pious also, and Marcella enjoys _Hermann_.

This note will be slipped into the envelope destined for Karl. Lizzy
announces to me her visit. Good-night, _carissima sorella_.


APRIL 5, 1868.

And so we are in Holy Week, my sister. I have here a blessed palm,
sweet and gracious souvenir of the Saviour’s entry into Jerusalem. O
King of Peace! bring peace to souls. Have pity upon us; assemble
together at thy holy table both the prodigal sons and the faithful;
grant peace to thy church! To all troubled hearts, to all those who
suffer, to those who are oppressed and persecuted, give the hope of
heaven――of that eternal dwelling where all tears will be wiped away,
where all lips will drink of the stream of delights, and where every
heart will receive the fulfilment of its desires. Why does Lent come
to an end? I could listen for ever to the lovely chants of the
_Miserere_, the _Attende_, the _Stabat Mater_, and the _Parce Domine_.
No sermon, to my mind, equals the _Stabat Mater_, sung alternately by
the choir-boys, with their pure, melodious, aërial voices, and the men
who fill the nave, and who, varying in their social position, fortune,
and a thousand things besides, are one in the same faith, the same
hope, and the same charity.

Dear Kate, I shall send you on the day of _Alleluias_ my journal of
the week. Thanks for having allowed me to come to you as usual during
this Lent; to read you and talk to you is a part of my life.

A thousand kisses, my very dearest.


APRIL 6, 1868.

My sweet sister, I have just come in with René from Mass. We
communicated side by side, like the martyrs of the catacombs. As we
came out, and while still under the deep impression of the presence of
God, René proposed to me a sacrifice――that of not speaking to each
other, at any rate without absolute necessity, during this week. My
heart felt rather full――it will cost me so much; but how could I help
consenting? Oh! but how love longs to speak to the object loved. I
shall have to throw myself into a whirl of things, and absorb myself
in them, that I may not find this privation quite insupportable.

7th.――Yesterday evening, at Sainte-Croix, Monsignor spoke for about
twenty-five minutes. I was too far off to hear, but I was none the
less happy. I am reading Mgr. de Ségur; his teaching is gentle and
loving, even when he speaks of self-renunciation and sacrifice.
Nothing is more comforting than his little work, _Jesus Living in Us_.
I remarked this thought of Origen’s: “Thou art heaven, and thou wilt
go to heaven!”――Confession. How well the good father was inspired!
What wise directions! I came out strengthened and courageous; but
alas! alas! poor, sorrowful me, on coming in I found a letter awaiting
me――a letter from Margaret. Lizzy is greatly indisposed, and obliged
to give up her journey. This made me shed tears, and, as René did not
ask the cause of my pain, I repented for a moment that I had
undertaken so hard a sacrifice. Dear Kate, it was very wrong, and your
Georgina is always the same.

8th.――Letter from Sarah, full of joy; her sister Betsy is to be
married on the 22d, and wishes for me to be at her wedding. Kind
friend! God grant that she may be happy! Until this present time, with
the exception of the terrible strokes of death which have fallen not
far from her on the friends of her childhood, her life has been calm
and happy, almost privileged. She has never left her mother.

Marcella, Lucy, and I are preparing an Easter-tree for all the
darlings. I have been studying very much lately; _Marcella mia_
assures me that I make wonderful progress.

Benoni does not expect to share in the festivity, but he must; and how
joyfully he will clap his hands at the sight of the playthings hung
there for him!

My paralytic told me yesterday that she would like to make her Easter
Communion next Thursday――that is, to-morrow. Gertrude and I must rise
with the dawn to make an escort for the gentle Jesus, the Comforter of
the infirm and poor. Ah! dear Kate, how much I should dislike the life
of a Chartreux. To see René and not be able to speak to him, when I
feel such a want to pour out my thoughts to him, is a martyrdom. So
far, thanks to our good angels, we have not been found out, and we
have not said a single word to each other.

9th.――What emotions! My poor and venerable paralytic has just died in
my arms. I return to pass the night by her. Gertrude undertook to
obtain René’s permission. She communicated this morning in ecstasy,
and blessed us afterwards. As I observed something unusual about her,
I begged Marianne to go several times. A long walk to the different
_sepulchres_ in the churches with our train of little angels, and
without René, who avoids me, from which we returned home at six
o’clock. I found a line from Marianne, entreating me to join her as
soon as possible; so I hurried away with Gertrude. The dear sufferer
had scarcely a breath of life left. “I was waiting for you that I
might die.… Thanks!… May God reward you!” Dear Kate, I was ready to
drop from fatigue, but I know not what exciting power sustains me.

10th.――O Christ Jesus! who saidst: “When I shall be lifted up from the
earth, I will draw all unto me,” draw all hearts for ever unto
thyself. René passed the night by the lowly couch with me, and we came
home together, still without speaking. This evening, at Sainte-Croix,
heard Mgr. Dupanloup. The force and authority of his language make a
deep impression upon his hearers. “There is in Christianity everything
which can naturally go to the heart of man.” How he speaks of the Crib
and of Calvary; of the Mother whom we find with the Holy Child at
Bethlehem, and again with him upon the cross! When the clock struck
eight, he stopped. How eloquent he is! He quoted our Lord’s words, “He
who shall say Lord, Lord, will not, for that reason only, enter into
the kingdom of heaven, but he that shall do the will of my Father who
is in heaven”; “The same shall be to me as a brother, a sister, a
mother”; and this thought of Rousseau’s: “There is in Christianity
something so divine, so intensely inimitable, that God alone could
have been its author. If any man had been able to invent such a
doctrine, he would be greater than any hero.”

Mgr. la Carrière preached an hour and a half. Remarked this passage:
“Pilate washes his hands. Oh! there is blood upon those hands. Were
the waters of the Deluge to pass over them, still would they keep the
stain of blood!” This reminds me of Macbeth, where, looking on his
murderous hands, he says:

  “What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes.
   Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
   Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
   The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
   Making the green one red.”

11th.――Was present at the funeral of this saintly friend, whom God had
given me through Hélène. Looked through Marcella’s manuscript books,
in one of which she wrote a year ago: “Cymodoceus said: ‘When shall I
find again my bed of roses, and the light of day, so dear to mortals?’
And all this harmonious page put in his mouth by Chateaubriand. And I,
for my part, say: When shall I again find heaven, from whence I feel
that I came? When shall I find the happiness of which I dream, and
which I know too well there is no possibility of finding here below?
When shall I find eternal beauty, eternal light, eternal life? But
before that hour grant, O Lord! that in this world I may find, in the
shadow of thy cross, that peace which thou hast promised to men of
good-will; grant that, for myself and my child, I may find a little
rest after the storm! Give us the heavenly manna; overshadow us with
the bright cloud; grant us, above all, to be beloved by thee!”

St. Teresa used to say: “The soul ought to think that there is nothing
in the world but God and herself.” René must have meditated on that.

12th.――_Alleluia!_ dear Kate, _Alleluia!_ No more penance, no more of
this torturing silence which so resembles death; but now talking to
each other without ceasing, songs, letters, walks――and always prayers.

What will you think of my week, _carissima_? Oh! I could not have
borne it longer; I found René too holy for my unworthiness. Not a
word, not a look. It was like the visible presence of my guardian
angel. How delightful it is to hear his voice again!

Went to the Mass for the general communion of the men; no spectacle on
earth can be more admirable or more touching. This scene was worth far
more than a sermon――this multitude of men, so perfectly attentive and
earnest, singing heartily the sweet hymns they all had sung on the day
of their First Communion! And what joy to see in this Christian
assembly those to whom I am bound by affection, and to feel myself
united in the grand fraternity of the faith to all these happy guests
at the Lord’s table!

The benediction was all that can be imagined of religious and
magnificent. What singing, what alleluias, making one think of those
of the angels! Why do such days ever end? O risen Saviour! grant that
we may rise with thee.

Benoni was out of himself with joy. The meditative Anna jumped about
in her delight. The festivity was perfect, and, to crown it, news
arrived which I will send you as my adieu. Margaret is at the summit
of happiness, the

  _Doux berceau qu’une main jalouse
   Orne et visite à chaque instant,
   Charme des songes d’épouse
   Doux nid, où l’espérance attend_.[82]

has received the little stranger sent by Heaven. Let us bless God,
dear Kate! _Alleluia!_ Christ is risen! Happy they who live and die in
his love! Alleluia!


APRIL 16, 1868.

Thanks, dear sister! I have translated Mgr. Dupanloup at Saint-Euverte
for Isa. Lizzy is better; they had been too much alarmed about her,
but they are expecting us there. Lord William sends us the most
pressing and affectionate appeals. Sarah also writes to me, gravely
this time: “My sister’s marriage will separate her from us. Two
sisters will henceforth be wanting to this family group; the one, and
that the happiest, enkindled with love for the Best-Beloved of her
soul, left the world for God and his poor, and, shortly afterwards,
the poor for eternity; the other is going into Spain.”

Imagine Margaret’s joy! Dear, sweet friend, how, with her, I bless
God! “No baptism without Georgina.” Oh! how I long to embrace the dear
little creature, to whom I send my guardian angel a hundred times a
day. I am so anxious he should live!

Walk in the country, alone with René, who read me some letters from
Karl, George, and Amaury; the latter will write to their uncles no
more. What detachment! René read to me also this beautiful passage
from Madame Swetchine from the notes of Hélène: “The day of the Lord
is not of those days which pass away. Wait for it without impatience;
wait, that God may bless the desires which lead you toward a better
life, more meritorious and less perilous; wait, that he may give
abundant work to your hands from henceforth laborious, for the
opportunity of labor is also a grace by which the good-will of the
laborer is recompensed. Let not your delays and miseries trouble you;
wait, learn how to wait. Efforts and will, means and end――submit all
to God.”

It is not Monsignor who will preach the panegyric. The great bishop
waits until next year. It appears that various beatifications are
about to be taken under consideration, amongst others those of
Christopher Columbus and Joan of Arc. The first discovered a world,
the second saved France by delivering it from a foreign yoke――living
as a saint and dying as a martyr; the former, a marvellous genius, was
tried and persecuted, like everything which is specially marked with
the seal of God in this world. I have seen persons smile when any one
spoke before them of the possibility of the canonization of Joan of
Arc. What life, however, was more extraordinary and more miraculous?
Would this shepherdess of sixteen years old, so humble, gentle, and
pious, have quitted her hamlet and her family for the stormy life of
camps, without the express will of God, manifested to her by the
_voices_? Poor Joan! How often have I pictured her to myself, after
the saving of the _gentil dauphin_ who had trusted in her words,
weeping because the king insisted on her remaining. From that moment
her life was a preparation for martyrdom. She knew that shortly she
should die.

Adrien has given me the history of Christopher Columbus in English.
You are aware that this son of Genoa, this heroic discoverer, wore the
tunic and girdle of the Third Order when he landed on that shore, so
long dreamed of, which gave a new world to the church of God. It is
said that this great man had at times ecstasies of faith and love.
What glory for the family of the patriarch of Assisi! Edouard assured
me yesterday that Raphael and Michael Angelo were also of the Third
Order. This austerity appears naturally to suit the painter of the
_Last Judgment_, but I cannot picture to myself the young, brilliant,
and magnificent Sanzio in a serge habit. What centuries were those, my
sister, when power and greatness and splendor sought after humility as
a safeguard, and followed in the footsteps of the chosen one of God,
who, in the lofty words of Dante, had espoused on Mount Alverna noble
Poverty, who had had no spouse since Jesus Christ had died on Calvary!
Poetry was not wanting to the crown of the Seraph of Assisi, himself
so admirable a poet. Lopez de Vega was also of the Third Order.

Adrien says that our age has had its Francis of Assisi in the heavenly
Curé d’Ars, who is perhaps the greatest marvel in this epoch, fertile
as it is in miracles. How much we regret not having seen him,
especially as we passed so near!

Picciola has the measles. This pretty child is attacked by a violent
fever; it is sad to see her, but she will not suffer herself to be
pitied. “Our Lord suffered much more,” she says. “What is this?” You
see, sister, that hereabouts the _children of the saints_ have not
degenerated.

Anna, who had the measles last year, faithfully keeps the sick child
company. I overheard them talking just now. “Would you like to get
well quickly?” asked the _Italiana_. “Oh! no, I am not sorry to suffer
a little to prepare for my First Communion.” “For my part, though, I
pray with all my heart that you may soon get up; it is too sad to see
you so red under your curtains, whilst the sun is shining out there.”
“Listen to me, dear: ask the good God to help me to suffer well,
without my mother being troubled about it. We are not to enjoy
ourselves in this world, as M. l’Abbé says, but to merit heaven.” I
slipped away, lest my tears should betray me: I am afraid that
Picciola may also leave us.

Pray for your Georgina, dear Kate.


APRIL 22, 1868.

The wish of this little angel has been granted: her measles torture
her; there are very large spots which greatly perplex the doctor. She
is as if on fire, but always smiling and thoughtful, and so grateful
for the least thing done for her! What an admirable disposition she
has! Last night the _femme de chambre_, whose duty it was to watch by
her, went to sleep, and the poor little one was for six hours without
drinking; the doctor having ordered her to take a few spoonfuls of
tisane every quarter of an hour. It was the _sleeper_ who told us of
this; and when I gently scolded the darling Picciola, she whispered to
me: “Dear aunt, I heard you mention what the good gentleman said who
founded the company of St. Sulpice: ‘A Christian is another Jesus
Christ on earth.’ Let me, then, suffer a little in union with our
Lord.”

What do you say to this heavenly science, this perfect love, in a
child of twelve years old? O my God! is she too pure for this world?
They assure me that there is no danger, but my heart is in anguish.
Kate, I do so love this child!

It is to-day that Betsy becomes _madame_. What a day for her!
Yesterday she was still a young girl, to-morrow will begin her life as
a wife; she will begin it by sacrifice. Oh! why must we quit the soft
nests which have witnessed our childhood and our happiness? Why comes
there an hour when we must bid adieu to those who, with their love and
care, protected our first years? Poor mothers! you lose your
much-loved treasures; they will some day belong to others.

Père Gratry was received at the Academy on the 26th of March. On his
reception he made a magnificent discourse. He was presented by Mgr.
Dupanloup.

“Gentlemen,” said the father on beginning his address, “it is not my
humble person, it is the clergy of France, the memories of the
Sorbonne and the Oratory, which you have intended to honor in deigning
to call me to the seat occupied by Massillon.

“Voltaire, gentlemen, who occupied the same, thus finds himself, in
your annals, between two priests of the Oratory, and his derision of
mankind is enclosed between two prayers for the world, as his century
itself will also be, one day in our history, enclosed between the
great seventeenth century and the age of luminous faith which will
love God and man in spirit and in truth.”

Kate, dearest, _amica mia_, pray for us.


APRIL 26, 1868.

She is better; the ninth day was good. God be praised! Last night,
while watching by the sweet child, I turned over Marcella’s
manuscript. How the thorns have wounded her! Oh! it is a nameless
grief, at the age of twenty years, when the soul is overflowing with
life and love, to be forced to shrink within one’s self, to hide one’s
sufferings and joys, and repress all the ardor of youth which is
longing to break forth. Everywhere in these rapidly-written pages I
find this prayer: “Lord, grant me the love of the cross; give me the
science of salvation! St. Bonaventure used to say that he had learnt
everything at the foot of the crucifix; St. Thomas, when he did not
understand, was wont to go and lean his powerful head against the side
of the tabernacle; and Suarez, who devoted eight hours a day to study
and eight to prayer, loved to say that he would give all his learning
for the merit of a single _Ave Maria_. My God, my God! will the
desires which thou hast implanted within me never be realized? Must I
lead always a wandering and isolated existence, beneath distant skies,
mourning my country and my mother, and seeing around me nothing which
could in some little measure replace these two blessings? Must the
sensitiveness of my thoughts and feelings be hourly wounded? Lord, thy
will be done! And if this is to be my cross, then give me strength to
bear it lovingly, even to the end, until the blessed time when thy
merciful Providence shall reunite me to my mother!”

My beloved Kate, René is writing to you, and I send this sheet with
his. Whenever I read anything beautiful, I long to show it to you.

God guard you, my second mother!


APRIL 30, 1868.

Complete and prosperous convalescence――_laus Deo!_ I sent you a few
words only, dear Kate, on the morning of the 26th. This was a most
happy day. Heard three Masses; received, with deep joy, him who is the
Supreme Good. It was the Feast of the Adoration. The cathedral was
splendid. Sermon by M. Berthaud on the Real Presence. It contained
some admirable passages, especially on Luther and the Mass of the
Greeks.

On the 27th was at the Benediction. Heard a _Quid Retribuant_ and
_Regina Cœli_ which carried one away. In the evening René read with me
a page of Hélène’s journal; I should like to _enshrine_ all the
thoughts of this exquisite soul. Last year, at Paris, she wrote the
following:

“Was present this morning at the profession of Louise de C――――. Sermon
by the Père G――――. I was much moved when the sisters sang the _De
Profundis_ whilst Sister St. Paul, prostrate under the funeral pall,
consecrated to God for ever her being and her life; then the priest
said aloud: ‘Arise, thou who art dead! Go forth from among the dead!’
Happy death! Henceforth Louise lives no more for the world; it is no
longer anything to her. She is here below as if alone with God, and
with God alone. Happy, says Pope, the spotless virgin who, ‘the world
forgetting,’ is ‘by the world forgot.’ O religious life! how admirable
and divine. I remember that a few years ago, in the youthful and
poetic ardor of my enthusiastic soul, I wondered that the world was
not an immense convent, that all hearts did not burn with the love of
Jesus, and thought it strange that any should affiance themselves to
man instead of to Christ. What disappointments and misery are in all
terrestrial unions! Even in such as are sanctified and blessed is
there not the _shadow_ which, on one side or another, darkens all the
horizon of this world? No union could be ever more perfect than that
of Alexandrine and Albert, and Alexandrine had _ten days_ of perfect
happiness, of unmixed felicity――ten days; and afterwards, how many
tears for this admirable wife by her suffering Albert, and, later,
over his tomb! O joys of this world! do you deserve the name?

“My family has been greatly privileged hitherto, so united, so happy!
But I am going away, mixing wormwood with the honey in my mother’s
cup. How Aunt Georgina will also suffer! O grief to cause so many
griefs! This evening I went to Ernestine’s with mamma. The mother and
two daughters were magnificent――just ready to go to the ball. What a
contrast! This morning the Virgin of the Lord, this evening the world
and its pomps. Mme. de V―――― looked like a queen; my two friends were
in clouds of tulle. May all the angels protect them! Are there angels
at a ball? Oh! it is there above all that we need to be guarded.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!”

Dear Kate, you can understand how such reading as this consoles
Gertrude. Oh! how good God is.

We are going to have great festivities. The _Concours Régional_[83]
begins on the 2d; the emperor and empress will be here on the 10th. On
the 12th René and I are going to see you, dear Kate, while all the
rest of the family take flight into Brittany. Then, after the best and
happiest day of the twins, in July, we shall, I hope, go all together
to see “merry England” and our dear Ireland.

Good-night, dear Kate; I have studied so much to-day that my head
feels heavy. Adieu, my dear heart, as Madame Louise used to say.


MAY 3, 1868.

The month dear to poets, and still dearer to pious hearts, is come.
Three Masses, visits, a walk on the Mall, a family concert after the
month of Mary――this, dearest, is my day. Yesterday René set out at
dawn on an excursion with Adrien. They have a passion for these long
walks through the woods. While waiting until Marcella could receive
me, I plunged into the _History of St. Paula_, which my mother-in-law
has given me. This beautiful book is written by M. l’Abbé Lagrange. A
disciple of the great bishop is easily recognizable in these
magnificent pages. St. Jerome, whom M. de Montalembert calls the lion
of Christian polemics, is there fully portrayed. “This ardent soul
which breathes of the desert.” Remarked this passage in the
introduction: “God has not bestowed all gifts upon them” (women), “nor
spared them all weaknesses; but it is the privilege of their delicate
and sensitive natures that the faith, when it has penetrated them, not
only enlightens but enkindles them――it burns; and this sacred gift of
passion and enthusiasm carries them on to wondrous heights of virtue.”

And elsewhere: “Will not the accents of St. Jerome, filled as they
are, according to the expression of an illustrious writer, with the
tears of his time, wonderfully impress souls wearied by the spectacles
with which we are surrounded, and which have within them, as the poet
says, the _tears of all things_? For those who have other sadnesses
and other tears, inward sorrows, hidden wounds, some of those sorrows
of which life is full――these, at least, will not weary of
contemplating a saint who has herself suffered so much, and who was
transfigured in her sufferings because she had the secret of knowing
how to suffer, which is knowing how to love.”

Do you not seem to hear Mgr. Dupanloup in this? “There are times when
a struggle is necessary, and when, in spite of its bitterness and
dangers, we must plunge into it, cost what it may. No doubt that, as
far as happiness is concerned, tranquillity and repose would be far
preferable――repose, allowable for timid hearts incapable of defending
a cause and holding a flag, or of comprehending a wide range of view,
or the generosity of militant souls; but we ought to know how to
respect and honor those who engage in the combat――often at the price
of unspeakable inward sorrows, and even at times giving evidence of
weakness and human passion――in the cause of truth and justice.”

How fine it is! I want to read this book with René. Reading is a
delightful relaxation. I sometimes read to my mother, who finds
herself more solitary since I became so studious, and since the house
is changed into an _academy_. Highly educated herself, she takes much
interest in our studies, but is quickly fatigued. What pleasure it is
to sit at her feet on a footstool which her kind hands have worked for
me, whilst she leans back her fine, intellectual head in her large
easy-chair; to listen to her narratives, and to revisit the past with
her! How truly she is a mother to me! Marcella has an enthusiastic
veneration for her, and calls her by the same name that we do. Was not
our meeting at Hyères providential, dear Kate?

Picciola is pressing me to go out. Good-by, dearest.


MAY 8, 1868.

What splendid festivities, dear sister! Sumptuous carpets and hangings
of velvet have been sent from the crown wardrobe. The cathedral
resembled the vestibule of heaven; and yet I prefer the austere
grandeur of the bare columns to all this pomp. It was a beautiful
sight, nevertheless, with the paintings, the banners, the escutcheons.
It was imposing, but the presence of the Creator was forgotten in the
vanities of earth; people were talking and laughing in this cathedral,
usually full of subdued light and of silence.

The panegyric was equal to the occasion. I was delighted. What
eloquence! It was the Abbé Baunard, the gentle author of the _Book of
the First Communion_ and of the _Perseverance_, who pronounced it.

This quiet city is in a state of agitation not to be imagined; the
streets are encumbered with strangers, and there is noise enough to
split one’s head. Last year there was a general emulation to point out
to me the minutest details of the _fête_; to-day Marcella was the
heroine. I like to see her, radiant, enchanted, eager, while the
delicate Anna clings to my arm, her large eyes sparkling with
pleasure. We are so numerous that we divide, in order to avoid in some
degree the looks of curiosity. My dear Italians are much disputed for.

The twins care no more to be here. Brittany has for them an invincible
attraction. Happy souls, who are about to live their fairest day! Pray
for them and for us, dear Kate!


MAY 10, 1868.

Dearest, the sovereigns are come and gone. Did I tell you about the
_Concours Régional_? Every day I take the little people thither; there
is a superb flower-show, orange-trees worthy of Campania, etc.

M. Bougaud pronounced a discourse upon agriculture, and with admirable
fitness quoted our Lamartine:

  “Objets inanimés, avez-vous donc une âme,
   Qui s’attache à notre âme et la force d’aimer?”[84]

But I shall see you soon――a happiness worth all the rest, dear Kate.
Shall I own to you that I regret Orleans because of Sainte-Croix,
Notre Dame des Miracles, and our poor, besides so many things one
feels but cannot express in words?

Benoni cries as soon as he hears us speak of going away. I observed in
the _Annales_ the following gloomy words by M. Bougaud: “Gratitude is
in great souls, but not in the vulgar; and as the soul of human nature
is vulgar, it is only allowable in childhood to reckon upon the
gratitude of men; but when we have had a nearer view of them, we place
our hopes higher, since only God is grateful.” May God preserve me
from learning this truth by experience! Hitherto I have found none but
good hearts, the poor of Paradise!

Margaret presses me affectionately to make all diligence to go and
embrace her baby. Isa is looking for me “as for a sunbeam.” Lizzy also
unites her reiterated entreaties. Betsy is installed at Cordova, and
praises her new country so highly that I am longing to see it.

Dear Kate, the twins are just come to me as a deputation to say that I
am waited for, to go _in choir_ to the exhibition of the Society of
the Friends of Art at the Hôtel de Ville; it appears that there is no
one just now.…

_Later_ I will return to you.

I will not conclude without giving you another quotation from M.
Lagrange: “Great sacrifices, which touch all that is most delicate,
tender, and profound in the heart, even to the dividing asunder of the
soul, according to the words of Holy Scripture, possess a sternness
which cannot be measured or even suspected beforehand. There is a
strange difference between wishing to make a sacrifice and making it.
In vain we may be ready and resolute; the moment of accomplishment has
always something in it more poignant than we had thought; the stroke
which cuts away the last tie always gives an unexpected wrench. Every
great design of God here below would be impossible, if the souls whom
he chooses were always to let themselves be stopped by human
obstacles.” Kate, Hélène, Ellen, Karl, Georgina, have felt this!

Did I mention to you the impression made on me by a story in the
_Revue_, “Flaminia”? It is singularly beautiful, and quite in
agreement with my belief.

Would you believe that here there are Jews and a synagogue, and also
an “Evangelical Church”? They say that the minister is very agreeable,
and that he goes into society. Protestants inspire me with so much
compassion! A Protestant boarding-school was pointed out to me. What a
pity that one cannot snatch away these poor young girls from a
loveless worship!

Good-by, dear Kate, until the day after to-morrow. René sends all
sorts of kind messages.


MAY 25, 1868.

Our oasis is resplendent, dear sister. Your good angel Raphael has
sweetly protected us; not the smallest inconvenience; the delicious
sensation that our sister-souls are more united than ever. To be alone
with René, who is worth a thousand worlds――what delight! The air was
pure, the country bright with fresh verdure, the birds joyous.
Charming journey! At Tours a letter from Gertrude apprises me that all
the W―――― family is in _villeggiatura_ at X――――. We hasten thither,
and are received like welcome guests. What a happy meeting!――an
enchantment which lasted two days, at the end of which we bade a
tearful adieu. But the arrival here――oh! what heart-felt joy!
Everybody out to meet us, with flowers, shouts, and _vivats_. Dearest
Kate, earth is too fair!

Marcella is in love with Brittany, our coasts and wild country-places.
Everything around us is budding or singing; the children run about in
the fields of broom. We read, we play music; and our poor are not
forgotten. The twins are preparing themselves with great earnestness.
_M. l’Abbé_ gives them sermons, to which we all listen with much
profit. Kate, do you remember my First Communion? Good-by, _carissima_.


MAY 28, 1868.

René is gone away to see his farms. Why am I so earthly that a single
hour without him should be painful? Adrien was just now reading that
fine page of St. Augustine where he says: “Human life is full of
short-lived joys, prolonged sorrows, and attachments which are frail
and passing.”

When will heaven be ours, that the joys of meeting again may never
end? We are preparing some beautiful music for Sunday. Why are not you
to be there with your sweet voice, dear sister? My mother would have
liked to see you, but she made the sacrifice of not doing so that we
might have the pleasure of a _tête-à-tête_. What do you think of that!
Dear, kind mother! Do you know she had a charming and idolized
daughter, who died at the age of sixteen? She died here, where
everything speaks of her; and it is for this reason that Mme. de T――――
likes to return hither, and goes daily to the cemetery. I am told that
I resemble her, this soul ascended to heaven, and every one finds it
natural that there should be the perfect intimacy which exists between
my mother and myself.

Marcella and Greek are waiting for me. Long live old Homer, long live
Brittany, long live Kate!

_Evening._――It is ten o’clock, and René is not come in. Adrien and
Edouard are gone to wait for him, while I am dying of anxiety. Prayers
without him seemed to me so sad! My mother also is uneasy. Where is
he? Oh! where can he be?

29th.――The night has been a long one. Adrien and Edouard came back
after having sought for him in all the neighborhood. The servants were
sent out in different directions. I went in and out, listening to the
slightest noise.… Nobody! My mother sent every one away and was
praying. Impossible to remain in any one place. I was full of the most
terrible conjectures. At last, at four o’clock in the morning, I hear
a carriage. It is he! it is René――poor René, covered with dust, more
anxious than we, on account of our alarm. Would you like to know the
cause of this delay? It is like the parable of the Good Samaritan.
René met with a poor old man who had hurt himself in cutting wood, and
after binding up the wound with some herbs and a pocket-handkerchief,
he put him in the carriage and took him back to his cottage, which was
at a great distance off. There he found a dying woman, who asked for a
priest. To hasten to the nearest village and fetch the _curé_ was
René’s first thought. There was no sacristan, so René took the place
of one, and passed the whole night between the dying woman and the
wounded man. The good _curé_ had other sick to attend to, but at two
o’clock he arrived, and relieved _God’s sentinel_[85] (this is what
the sweet Picciola calls him), who started homewards at a gallop.

You may imagine whether I am not very happy at this history. And yet I
suffered very much; I feared everything, even death.

Love us, dear Kate.


TO BE CONTINUED.


     [80] My soul is a ray of light and love, which, being
     separated for a day from the torch of divinity, far from
     God, is consumed by ardent aspirations, and burns to
     reascend to its fiery source.

     [81] Conferences for Women in the World.

     [82] “Soft cradle which a jealous hand
           Adorns and visits every hour,
           Charm of the wife’s imaginings,
           Soft nest, whereby hope waits.”

     [83] Provincial Exhibition.

     [84] Objects inanimate, have you, then, a soul which binds
     itself to ours and forces it to love?

     [85] _Le factionnaire du Bon Dieu._



HOW ROME STANDS TO-DAY.

Several articles have been published in THE CATHOLIC WORLD on the
subject of which this paper is to treat――the condition of the
Sovereign Pontiff consequent on the seizure of Rome, which thereby
became the capital of the kingdom of Italy. As these articles marked
the successive stages in the novel relations of the Head of the
church, they could not fail to excite the interest of our readers. We
look to a like interest, and invite it, for the present article,
because it tells of new phases, and of the logical results of the
schemes which their authors were bold enough to say were initiated “to
secure the spiritual independence and dignity of the Holy See.” With
this cry the attempts against Rome were begun, were carried on, and
their success finally secured. So familiar, in fact, is this
profession of zeal for the welfare of the Sovereign Pontiff, that we
do not stop to cite one of the thousand documents in which it
appeared, from the letter of Victor Emanuel, presented to Pius IX. by
Count Ponza di San Martino, down to the instructions of the ministers
to their subordinates or the after-dinner speeches of Italian
politicians. Nor need we persuade ourselves that no one believed such
an assertion any more than did those who first uttered it, nor than do
we, who know what a hollow pretext it was and what fruit it has
produced. Twenty years of revolution in Italy, and a vast ignorance of
political matters, of the relations between church and state, rendered
many in Italy and elsewhere ready dupes of the cunning devisers of
Italian independence and clerical subjugation. These went with the
current; and though not a few have had their eyes opened, and now
deplore the excesses against religion they are doomed to witness, they
are impotent to remedy what they aided in bringing about, and behold
their more determined and less scrupulous companions hurry onward with
the irresistible logic of facts. Now and then some voice even among
these latter is heard above the din, asking: _Dove andiamo?_――Whither
are we going? That is a question no one can answer. The so-called
directors of revolutionary movements often look with anxiety at the
effects of the raging passions they have let loose; but as for guiding
them permanently, that is out of the question, for they have a way of
their own. The skilful manipulators of revolution ride with the tide;
they now and then see a break by which the waters may be diverted, and
they succeed in making them take that course, but stop them they
cannot. They can only keep a sharp look-out for what comes next, and
trust to fortune to better matters for themselves or others. And so it
is just now with the state of Italy. Things are taking their logical
course, and every one who can lay claim to a little knowledge of
politics and a moderate share of common sense will say what Cavour, in
perhaps more favorable circumstances, remarked: “He is a wise
statesman who can see two weeks ahead.”

We are not going to dwell on the political and financial state of
Italy in itself; on the fact of its Chamber of Deputies representing
only the one hundredth part of its people; on the saying, now an
adage, as often in the mouths of liberals as in those of the clerical
party, “that there is a _legal_ Italy and a _real_ Italy,” the former
with the government and the deputies, the other with the _ancien
régime_ and the church; nor on the debt――immense for so impoverished a
land――the exhausting taxation, and the colossal expenditures for army,
navy, and public works that add every day to the debt, and weigh as an
incubus on the people, increasing to a fearful extent poverty and
crime, peculation, brigandage, suicide, and murder. This would of
itself require all the space at our disposal. Nor is it necessary,
when we have one of the most accredited liberal papers of Rome, the
_Libertà_ of Sept. 3, speaking of the trial of the Marchese
Mantegazza, who was accused of forging the signature of Victor Emanuel
to obtain money, that tells us: “Too truly and by many instances does
our society show that it is ailing, and it is needful that justice
take the matter in hand, and strive to stop the evil with speedy and
efficacious cure.”

We propose, therefore, to confine our remarks to the condition of the
Sovereign Pontiff at the present moment; to the consequent necessary
examination of the relation of the state with the church; and to a
look into the future, as far as events will justify us.

What is the condition of the Pope? Is he a prisoner or is he not? We
had better start out with establishing what the word _prisoner_ means;
otherwise some misunderstanding may arise. Webster gives us a triple
meaning of it. According to him, it means “a person confined in
prison; one taken by an enemy; or a person under arrest.” Ogilvie,
besides the above, adds as a meaning “one whose liberty is restrained,
as a bird in a cage.” Let us see if any of these meanings apply to the
condition of the Pope; for if any one of them do, then the Pope is a
prisoner.

The Holy Father, in his letter to the bishops immediately after Rome
was taken by the Italian army, declared himself to be _sub hostili
dominatione constitutus_――that is, subjected to a power hostile to
him. And this is the fact; for friendly powers do not come with an
army and cannon to batter down one’s gates and slay one’s faithful
defenders. Any one who is taken by a power that, like the Italian
government, did batter down walls and kill his defenders, it seems to
us, looking at the matter calmly, would be declared by thinking people
everywhere _sub hostili dominatione constitutus_――subjected to a
hostile power. After a course like this one might as well say that
Abdul Aziz was made to abdicate his throne, and put out of the
way――_suicided_, as the phrase goes――to farther his own interests, as
to assert that Pius IX. was dethroned and deprived of the free
exercise of the prerogatives he lays claim to in order to secure his
independence and protect his freedom of action. Under this title,
then, of “having been taken by an enemy,” Pius IX. is a prisoner.

But it is said Pius IX. is not in a prison; he is in the splendid
palace of the Vatican, with full liberty to come out when he will.
With due respect to the sincerity of many who say this, we beg leave
to remark, first, that there are prisoners who are not necessarily
confined in jail; and, secondly, that there are excellent reasons for
styling the residence of Pius IX. his prison. To illustrate the first
point, there are prisoners on parole; there are, or were under the
Crispi law, in Italy, men condemned to the _domicilio coatto_――to a
forced sojourn in some place other than that in which they habitually
dwelt before, just as the venerable Cardinal de Angelis was compelled
to leave his see, Fermo, and reside for years at Turin. It is plainly
not necessary, then, that, in order to be a prisoner, a man should be
obliged to live in a building erected for penal purposes. It is enough
that there should be powerful motives, such as honor, or conscientious
duties, or just fear of consequences, to prevent the free use of his
physical power of going from one place to another, to render him
really a prisoner. In the case of Pius IX. there do exist such
powerful motives in the highest degree. There exist powerful motives
of honor. Pius IX. is under oath not to give up, or do any detriment
to, the rights of the Roman Church and of the universal church. He
inherited vested rights from his predecessors, and, as far as depends
on him, he is bound to transmit them unimpaired to his successor. He
is a man of honor, pre-eminently so, and will not, cannot prove false
to his oath or fail in protecting the rights entrusted to his keeping.
The effect of Pius IX.’s leaving the Vatican and going about Rome, as
he did in former times, would be a persuasion in the minds of all that
he had accepted the situation created for him by the act of the
Italian government; that he was, in fact, coming to terms with the
revolution; that he no longer protested against the violations of the
divine and natural law embodied in the Italian code, which one of
Italy’s public men declared, a short time ago, to be made up of the
propositions condemned in the Syllabus. Talk about parole after such a
picture! Parole regards the personal honor only; but the motives of
Pius IX. not only regard honor, but the highest interests of mankind.

Again, a further effect of Pius IX.’s leaving the Vatican would be
trouble in the city. Had we not facts to prove this, there might be
many who would doubt it. On occasion of the _Te Deum_, on the
recurrence of the anniversary of his elevation and coronation, in
June, 1874, the Sovereign Pontiff, who had been present, unseen, in
the gallery above the portico of St. Peter’s, on reaching his
apartments chanced momentarily to look from the window at the immense
crowd in the piazza. His figure, clad in white, against the dark
ground of the room behind him, attracted the attention of some one
below and excited his enthusiasm. His cry of _Viva Pio Nono, Pontifice
e Re!_ had a magical effect. It was taken up by the thousands present,
whose waving handkerchiefs produced the effect, to use the words of a
young American poet present, of a foaming sea. In vain the agents of
the government scattered through the mass of people――_gend’armes_ and
_questurini_――did their best to stop the demonstration and silence a
cry guaranteed by law, but discordant to the liberal ear, and
significant of opposition to their views. They could not succeed. They
had recourse to the soldiery. A company of Bersaglieri was called from
the barracks near by, who, after giving with their trumpets the triple
intimation to disperse, charged with fixed bayonets, and drove the
people out of the piazza. The arrests of men and of ladies, and the
resulting trials, with condemnation of the former, but release of the
latter, are fresh in our memories. How, in the face of a fact like
this, could the Pope come out into the city?――especially when we
consider his position, the delicate regard due it, the danger, not
only of harm to those who favor him, but of injury to the respect in
which people of all classes hold him. Even those who would be the
first to turn such an act to their account at his expense cannot
withhold the respect his virtues, consistency, and courage exact.
These, however, are prepared for the first mistake; they are ready to
give him a mock triumph at the very first opportunity. But they have
to do with a man who knows them; who, being in good faith himself,
learnt his lesson in 1848, and understood what reliance is to be
placed on European revolutionists. We conclude, then, this portion of
our paper by saying that the condition created for the Pope by the
taking of Rome, added to considerations of the highest order, has kept
Pius IX. from putting his foot outside the Vatican since September 19,
1870, and that consequently “his liberty is restrained” and he is a
prisoner.

Having thus shown that Pius IX. is a prisoner, we can safely draw the
inference that the place in which circumstances oblige him to remain
is his prison――prisoner and prison being correlative terms. He is “a
prisoner in his own house,” though certainly we know that house was
not built for penal purposes. But we have more than inference, logical
as it is. We have facts to show that the same precautions were and
still are used that it is the custom to adopt with regard to ordinary
prisons. For example, it is well known that in the beginning of the
Italian occupation of Rome the utmost surveillance was kept up on all
going into or coming out from the Vatican. One met the Piedmontese
sentinel at the entrance, and by him the government police; people
were occasionally searched; and the guards had orders not to allow
persons to show themselves from the windows or balconies of the
palace. The lamented Mgr. de Merode, almoner to the Sovereign Pontiff,
a soldier by early education, could hardly give credit to the facts
that proved this. Full of indignation, he went himself to the spot,
and from the balcony looked down upon the street below where the
sentinel stood. He was at once saluted with the words, “Go back!”
Again the command was repeated, and then the levelled rifle admonished
the prelate that further refusal to obey was imprudent. The affair
made a good deal of noise at the time, and the guards were removed
from close proximity to the palace, remaining only a few hundred feet
away. All things, then, considered, Pius IX. is a prisoner and the
Vatican is his prison.

But not only is the liberty of the Sovereign Pontiff directly
interfered with in this way; he is trammelled also in purely spiritual
matters. The Pope, the rulers of Rome say, may talk as he pleases in
the Vatican, as we cannot prevent him, and he will not be put down;
nay, he may even promulgate his decrees, encyclicals, and
constitutions by putting them up as usual at the doors of the
basilicas of St. Peter and St. John Lateran; but any one who dares to
reprint them will do so at his peril; his paper will be sequestrated,
if the document published be judged by the authorities of the Italian
kingdom to contain objectionable matter, and he will be tried by due
course of law. This mode of proceeding has been put in practice; the
seizure of the issue of the _Unità Cattolica_ for publishing an
encyclical is well known, and was remarkable for an amusing feature.
The edition for the provinces escaped the vigilance of the fiscal
agents, and the Florentine liberal press, anxious to show how much
freedom was allowed the Pope, on getting the _Unità_, printed the
document. To their surprise, their issues were sequestrated. The
letter of instruction on the subject of papal documents, and of
surveillance, _by the police_, of the Catholic preachers, issued by
the late ministry, to our knowledge never was recalled, and is
therefore still in force; worse is contemplated, as we shall see later
on. This coercion of his freedom of action extends also to the Pope’s
jurisdiction in spirituals and in temporals.

The first instance of this is the exaction of the royal _exequatur_.
We cannot do better than cite the words of the able legal authority,
Sig. A. Caucino, of Turin, who has lately written a series of articles
on the law of guarantees, passed by the chambers and confirmed by the
king, of which we are speaking. On this subject of the _exequatur_ he
writes: “After the discourse of the avvocato Mancini, on the 3d of
May, 1875, and the ‘order of the day’ by the deputy Barazzuoli, no one
wonders that the nature of the application of the law of guarantees
has been changed, and that all the promises solemnly made when it was
necessary to forestall public opinion, and promising cost nothing,
have been broken. From that time to this the bishops named by the
Pontiff, but not approved of by the royal government, have been put in
the strangest and most unjust position in the world. It is hardly
needful to recall that the first and principal guarantee in the law of
May 13, 1871, was that by which the government renounced, throughout
the whole kingdom, the right of naming or presenting for the
conferring of the greater benefices (bishoprics, etc.) Well, after
May, 1875, the bishops who were without the _exequatur_ were treated
with two weights and two measures: they are not to be considered as
bishops with respect to the Civil Code and the code of civil
procedure, of equity――and logically; but they are to be looked on as
such with regard to the Penal Code, the code of criminal procedure,
and the whole arsenal of the fiscal laws of the Italian kingdom.”

Incredible, but true. Let us see the proofs.

Mgr. Pietro Carsana, named Bishop of Como, instituted a suit against
the Administration of the Demain to have acknowledged as exempt from
conversion into government bonds, and from the tax of thirty per
cent., a charitable foundation by the noble Crotta-Oltrocchi, assigned
to the Bishop of Como for the time being, that the revenues of it
might be used for missions to the people and for the spiritual retreat
or exercises of the clergy. The Demain raised the question as to
whether Mgr. Carsana had the character required for the prosecution of
such a cause before the tribunal. The tribunal of Como was for the
bishop; but the Court of Appeal of Milan decided in favor of the
Demain, for the following reasons, drawn up on June 28, 1875: “It
cannot be doubted but that the episcopal see of Como is to be held as
_still vacant_ as to its civil relations, since Mgr. Pietro Carsana,
named to that see by the supreme ecclesiastical authority, has not yet
received the royal _exequatur_, according to the requirements of the
sixteenth article of the laws of May 13, 1871.[86] If the act of the
supreme ecclesiastical authority”――we call attention to that word
_supreme_――“directed to providing an occupant for the first benefice
of the bishopric of Como, by the nomination of Mgr. Carsana, has not
obtained the royal _exequatur_, as peace between the parties requires,
this act before the civil law is _null and of no effect_, the
appointment to the said benefice _is to be looked on as not having
taken place_, and the episcopal see of Como is to be considered as
still vacant, and the legitimate representation of it, in all its
right, belongs to the vicar-capitular” (_Unità Cattol._, July 25,
1876). A like decision was given by the Court of Appeal of Palermo,
October 16, 1875. Thus, to use the words of this writer, “the Pope has
a right to name the bishops to exercise their episcopal functions,
but, as far as their office has a bearing affecting external matters
of civil nature, bishops without the _exequatur_ cannot exercise it.”
These external matters of a civil nature, which might be
misunderstood, be it said, are none other than the acts without which
the temporalities of a bishopric cannot be administered. The bishop
may say Mass, preach, and confirm, but not touch a dollar of the
revenues of his see.

It needs no great acumen to perceive how the Sovereign Pontiff is thus
hampered in his jurisdiction. His chief aids are his bishops; but they
are not free unless they subject themselves, against conscience, to
the civil power. Every _exequatur_ is an injustice to the church, no
matter whether exacted by concordat or no. The church may submit under
protest to the injustice, but the nature of the act of those requiring
such submission does not change on that account. Hence it is clear
that the Pope is at this moment most seriously hampered in the
exercise of his _spiritual_ jurisdiction. If to this fact of the
_exequatur_ we add the election of the parish priests by the people,
favored by the government, the case becomes still clearer. But of this
we shall speak fully at the end of the article.

To the impediments put in the way of the exercise of the Sovereign
Pontiff’s spiritual jurisdiction are to be added those of a material
nature, resulting from the heavy pecuniary burdens he, his bishops,
and his clergy are obliged to bear. The scanty incomes of the clergy
of the second order are in many cases reduced to two-thirds, while
living costs one-fifth more than it did before Rome was taken. The
very extensive suffering, from poverty, stagnation of business, the
necessity of supporting the schools of parishes and institutions
established to supply the place of those suppressed by the government,
or whose funds have gone into the abyss of public administration――all
have the effect of keeping the people from giving as largely to the
clergy as they used to give, although that source of revenue to them
was not very great, as nearly everything was provided for by
foundations. With reference to the bishops, and the Sovereign Pontiff
especially, the case is much more aggravating. Those prelates who have
not obtained the _exequatur_ have no means of support, as the
temporalities of their sees are withheld. Pius IX., whose trust in
Providence has been rewarded with wonderful abundance of offerings
from the faithful throughout the world, came to the assistance of
these persecuted successors of the apostles. Out of his own resources,
the gratuitous generosity of his flock everywhere, he gives to each
one of them five hundred francs a month. The drain on the papal
treasury by this and other necessary expenses forced upon him by the
taking of Rome, amounts in the gross, yearly, to $1,200,000, which, as
the Pope consistently refuses to take a sou of the $640,000 offered
him by the government, comes from the contributions of the faithful
given as Peter-pence. In this way are the Catholics of the whole world
taxed by the action of the Italian government.

Besides this direct action on the Head of the church and on her
pastors that interferes with their freedom, there are other modes of
proceeding which we hardly know whether we are justified in styling
indirect, so sure and fatal are their effects on the spiritual
jurisdiction and power of the Pope.

The first of these is the claim on the part of the state, enforced by
every means in its power, to direct the education of the young. No
education is recognized except that given by the state schools.
Without state education no one can hold office under the government,
no one can practise law or medicine, or any other liberal profession.
Moreover, every youth, boy or girl, must undergo an examination before
examiners deputed by the state. It stands to reason that no one can
teach unless he have a patent or certificate from the state. Now, what
does this mean? It means simply that the most powerful engine for
moulding the mind of man, poisoning it, prejudicing it, giving it the
bent one wants, is in the hands of the avowed enemies of the church;
moreover, that those who are so acted on by this mighty agency are the
spiritual subjects of Pius IX.; and that this is being done not only
in all Italy, but especially in Rome. The most strenuous efforts are
being made to remedy this evil, with a good deal of success; and the
success will be greater farther on. But in the meantime a vast harm is
done and a generation is perverted.

The next of these indirect means is the conscription, which seizes on
the young men even who have abandoned the world and embraced the
ecclesiastical life. At first sight one may be inclined to think the
damage done not so extensive, as only a certain percentage after all
will be taken. Even were this so, the injustice done to the persons
concerned, and the harm to the church, would not the less be real. The
fact is that this course of the government affects a comparatively
small number in time of peace; but in time of war the number remains
no longer small. Besides, the uncertainty of being able to pursue
their career must have a bad effect on young men, while the
associations which they are obliged to see around them, if they
undertake the year of voluntary service to escape the conscription,
must often have a result by no means beneficial to their vocation.
Facts are in our possession to show deliberate attempts to corrupt
them and make them lose the idea of becoming priests. What is more
weighty than these reasons is the fact of the diminishing number of
vocations for the priesthood in Italy. The army of the government is
swelling, while the army of Pius IX. in Italy is decreasing.

A late measure of the government has also a tendency to diminish the
fervor of attachment in the people to their religion, and that measure
is the prohibition of public manifestation of their belief outside the
churches. A circular letter from the Minister of the Interior to the
prefects of Italy forbids religious processions in the public streets.
This in a Catholic country is a severe and deeply-felt blow at the
piety of the people. Processions have always been one of the most
natural and favorite ways of professing attachment to principles, and
this is particularly true of religious processions. They have a
language of their own that goes straight to the heart of the people.
The discontinuance of them will have a dampening effect, on those
especially who are a little weak; while those who go to church as
seldom as possible, or rarely, will be deprived of a means of
instruction that constantly served to recall to their minds the truths
of religion; and instead of the enjoyment that came from beholding or
assisting at some splendid manifestation of their faith, and from the
accompanying festivities never wanting, will be substituted
forgetfulness of religion and religious duties, the dissipation of the
wine-shop and saloon, and those profane amusements, often of the most
questionable character, that are beginning to be so frequent on days
of obligation, offered to the masses at hours conflicting with those
of religious ceremonies. What has especially shocked every
unprejudiced person, even liberals and non-Catholics, is the
prohibition of the solemn accompaniment of the Blessed Sacrament.
Besides the ordinary carrying of the Viaticum to the sick, and
occasional communion to those unable to come to the church, some three
or four times a year the Blessed Sacrament was borne to the bedridden
with much solemnity, the most respectable people of the parish taking
part in the procession or sending those who represented them. It was
always an imposing and edifying spectacle to Catholics. This has been
put a stop to. In Frascati, where, after prohibition of public
processions had been notified to all, the Blessed Sacrament was
carried to the sick with only the _ordinary_ marks of respect, that
there might be no violation of the unjust and illegal order, there was
an exhibition of the animus of the authorities that almost exceeds
belief. The people, to honor the Blessed Sacrament, were present in
greater numbers than usual, and, as is the custom, prepared to follow
it to the houses of the sick persons. The government authorities
determined to prevent them. Hardly had the priest come out of the
church, with the sacred pix in his hands, when he was accosted by the
police officer, was laid hold of by him, and made to come from under
the canopy, which from time immemorial is used during the day for the
ordinary visits for the communion of the sick at Frascati. He was
permitted to go with some four or five assistants. The people
persisted in following, whereupon the troops were called and they
dispersed the crowd. The result was a spontaneous act of reparation to
the Blessed Sacrament in the form of a Triduum in the cathedral, at
which the first nobility of Rome, very numerous in the neighborhood of
this city, assisted, while the attendance in the church was so great,
including even liberals, that many had to kneel out on the steps and
in the piazza. The effect on good Catholics thus far, though painful,
has been beneficial; but the continuation of this course on the part
of the government, with the means of coercion at their disposal,
cannot but be hurtful to the cause of religion, and cannot but
diminish the respect and obedience of the people to their pastors. All
this, as a matter of course, has a decided effect on the power and
influence of the Pope himself. There are indeed Catholics to whom God
has vouchsafed so great an abundance of faith that, no matter what
happens, they rise under trial and show a sublimity of trust and
courage that extorts admiration even from their enemies; but,
unfortunately, these are not the majority. Faith is a gift of God, and
requires careful cultivation and fostering watchfulness; negligence,
and above all wilful exposure to the danger of losing it, ordinarily
weaken it much, and not unfrequently in these days bring about its
total loss. This is one reason, and the principal one, why the church
prays to be delivered from persecution, because, though some die
martyrs or glorify God by a noble confession and unshaken firmness,
many, very many, fall away in time of danger. History is full of
instances of this. The _lapsi_ in the early centuries were
unfortunately a large class, and in the persecutions of China and
Japan, in our day, we hear, indeed, of martyrs, but we hear, too, of
large numbers that fall away at the sight of torture or in the
presence of imminent peril.

Such is the state of things in Italy with respect to the Sovereign
Pontiff and the church over which he rules: persecution, oppression,
hate, are the portion of Catholics and their Head; protection,
favoritism, and aid, that of all who are adversaries of the church,
from the latest-come Protestant agents of the Bible societies of
England or America to the most avowed infidel and materialist of
Germany or France. A Renan and a Moleschott are listened to with
rapture; a Dupanloup or a Majunke are looked on as poor fanatics who
cling to a past age. We do not wish to weary our readers with further
instances of tyrannical action; though readily at hand, we may
dispense with them, for the matter cited above is enough for our
purpose, and certainly speaks for itself. We simply ask, What prospect
lies before us? What is the promise of the future? On such a
foundation can anything be built up that does not tell of sorrow, of
trouble, and of ruin? Of a truth no one who loves virtue and religion
can look upon the facts without concern; and that concern for an
earnest Catholic will increase a hundred-fold, if he take into
consideration the plans just now showing themselves for the warfare of
to-morrow. These prove the crisis to be approaching, and that far
greater evils are hanging over the Papacy than yet have threatened it,
demonstrating more evidently and luminously than words what a pope
subject of another king or people means.

Any one who is even a superficial observer of matters in Italy cannot
fail to see how closely Italian statesmen and politicians ape the
ideas and the measures of Germany, particularly against the church.
There, it is well known, strenuous efforts are being made to construct
_a national church_, and with partial success. The pseudo-bishops
Reinkens in the empire and Herzog in Switzerland are doing their
utmost to give form and constitution to the abortions they have
produced. The example is followed in Italy. The apostate Panelli, in
Naples, made an unsuccessful attempt to begin the _chiesa nazionale_;
but disagreement with his people caused him to be supplanted, though
he still styles himself national bishop. Agreeing with him in
sentiments are a certain number of ecclesiastics, insignificant if
compared with the clergy of the Catholic Church in Italy; yet to these
men, who certainly did not and do not enjoy the esteem of the _sanior
pars_, the wiser portion of the people, the government, holding power
under a constitution the first article of which declares that the
Roman Catholic and apostolic religion is the religion of the state,
show favor and lend aid and comfort. Let us listen for a moment to
their language and to that of their supporters.

Sig. Giuseppe Toscanelli is a deputy in the Italian parliament, and a
man of so-called liberal views, an old soldier of Italian
independence, and an old Freemason. He has the merit of seeing
something of the inconsistency and injustice of the action of the
authorities, in parliament and out of it, with regard to the church,
is a ready speaker, and has the courage to say what he thinks, thus
incurring the enmity of his fellow-Masons, some of whom, in 1864, in
the lodge at Pisa, declared him unworthy of their craft, and cast him
out of the synagogue. We are not aware that he troubles himself much
about the matter, nor that he looks on himself as any the less an
ardent supporter of united Italy. When the law of guarantees for the
Sovereign Pontiff was up for discussion, Toscanelli said: “Report has
it that in 1861 some public men of Lombardy conceived the idea of a
national church, which they made known to Count Cavour, and urged him
to bring it about; and that Count Cavour decidedly refused to do so.
In 1864 this idea showed itself again, and a bill in accordance with
it was presented in parliament. The civil constitution of the church
was most strongly maintained by the Hon. Bonghi. At present we see
papers, some most closely connected with the government, printing
articles professedly treating of a national church, even to the point
of going to the extremes Henry VIII. reached.”

But not only papers favor the project. We have heard lately of cabinet
ministers using the same language. The head of the late ministry, Sig.
Marco Minghetti, did so at Bologna in a public speech. Yet he was the
leader of the so-called _moderate_ party. It is therefore not
surprising that the recognized prince of Italian lawyers, Sig.
Stanislas Mancini, the Minister of Public Worship of the present
radical cabinet, should speak in the same style. We have a letter of
his to a notorious person, Prota Giurleo, President of the Society for
the Emancipation of the Clergy, vicar-general of the national church,
in the _Libertà Cattolica_ of August 2, 1876. It is worth translating:

     “HONORED SIR: Hardly had I taken the direction of the
     ministry of grace, justice, and worship, when you, in the
     name of the society over which you preside, thought fit to
     send me a copy of the memorandum of Nov. 9, 1873, which,
     under the form of a petition, I had myself the honor of
     presenting to the Chamber of Deputies, recalling to my mind
     the words uttered by me at the meeting of Dec. 17 of that
     year, when I asked and obtained that the urgency of the case
     should be recognized, and demanded suitable provision.

     “It is scarcely necessary for me to say that I remembered
     very well the expressions used by me on that occasion,
     because they give faithful utterance to an old, lively, and
     deep feeling of my soul.

     “As minister I maintain the ideas and the principles I
     defended as deputy. Still, I did not conceal the fact that
     the greatest and most effectual measures were to be obtained
     only by way of legislation, without omitting to say,
     however, that by way of executive action something might be
     done. To-day, then, faithful to this order of ideas, I have
     no difficulty in opening my mind on each of the questions
     recapitulated in the memorandum.

     “1st. The first demand of the worthy society over which you
     preside was made to the Chamber of Deputies, in order that
     steps might be taken to frame a new law to regulate
     definitively the new relations between the state and the
     church, in accordance with the changed condition of the
     political power and of the ecclesiastical ministry. On this
     point I am happy to assure you that this arduous problem
     constitutes one of the most important cares, and will form
     part of study and examination, to which the distinguished
     and competent men called by me to compose the commission
     charged with preparing the law reserved by the eighteenth
     article of the law of May 13, 1871, for the rearrangement
     and preservation of ecclesiastical property, will have to
     attend.

     “2d. In the second place, this memorandum asks the
     revindication, for the clergy and people, of the right to
     elect their own pastors in all the grades of the hierarchy.
     You are not ignorant that such a proposition made by me in
     parliament, during the discussion of the above-mentioned law
     of May 13, 1871, relative to the nomination of bishops, did
     not meet with success, nor would there be reasonable hope,
     at present, of a different legislative decision. It results
     from this, therefore, that efforts in this direction must be
     limited to preparing by indirect ways the maturity of public
     opinion, which is wont, sooner or later, to influence the
     deliberations of parliament. The manifestation of the will
     of the people in the choice of ministers and pastors, that
     recalls the provident customs and traditions of the
     primitive church, to which the most learned and pious
     ecclesiastics of our day――it is enough to name
     Rosmini――earnestly desire to return, must first be the
     object of action to propagate the idea, in the order of
     facts, by spontaneous impulse, and by the moral need of
     pious and believing consciences; and afterward, when these
     facts become frequent and general, it will be the duty of
     the civil power to interfere to regulate them, and secure
     the sincerity and independence of them, without prejudice to
     the right of ecclesiastical institution.

     “Already some symptoms have shown themselves, and some
     examples have been had, in certain provinces of the kingdom,
     and I deemed it my duty not to look on them with aversion
     and distrust, but at the same time to reconcile with
     existing discipline regarding benefices all such zeal and
     the protection that could be given to the popular vote and
     to ecclesiastics chosen by it, not only by providing for
     these the means needed for the becoming exercise of their
     ministry, but also to benefit at the same time the people by
     works tending to their instruction and assistance. I will
     not neglect opportunities of aiding by other indirect
     measures the attainment of the same end. The future will
     show whether this movement, a sign of the tendencies of the
     day, may be able to exercise a sensible influence on
     religious society and claim the attention of the legislator.

     “3d. The same commission referred to above will be able to
     examine how, by means of opportune expedients, some of the
     dispositions of the forthcoming law on the administration of
     the ecclesiastical fund may be made serve to relieve and
     encourage the priests and laymen belonging to associations
     the aim of which is to fulfil scrupulously at one and the
     same time the duties of religion and of patriotism. Still,
     despite the fact that the actual arrangement and the
     accustomed destination of the revenues of vacant benefices
     succeed with great difficulty in meeting the mass of
     obligations that weigh upon them, I have earnestly sought
     for the readiest and most available means to afford some
     help and encouragement to the well-deserving society over
     which you preside, especially to promote the diffusion of
     the earnest and profound studies of history and
     ecclesiastical literature; and I am only sorry that
     insuperable obstacles have obliged me to keep within very
     modest limits. I will not neglect to avail myself of every
     favorable occasion to show the esteem and the satisfaction
     of the government with respect to those ecclesiastics and
     members of the association who join to gravity of conduct
     the merit of dedicating themselves to good ecclesiastical
     studies, and render useful service to their fellow-citizens.

     “4th. In the fourth place, by this memorandum the demand is
     presented that one of the many churches in Naples, once
     conventual, be assigned to the society, endowing it with the
     property acquired by the laws affecting the title to such
     property of February 17, 1861, July 7, 1866, and August 15,
     1867. On this point I have to say that many years ago there
     was brought about a state of things which certainly is not
     favorable to the granting of the demand; for the
     twenty-fourth article of the law of February 17, 1861, was
     interpreted in the sense that churches formerly conventual
     should be subject, as regards jurisdiction, to the
     archiepiscopal curia. Notwithstanding this, and although I
     intend to have examined anew the interpretation given to
     Article 24, seeing in the meantime that this state of things
     be not in the least changed for the worse, I will
     immediately put myself in relation with the prefect of the
     province, to know whether, keeping in view the facts as
     above, there be in your city a church we may dispose of that
     presents all the conditions required, in order that it may
     be given for the use of the society. It is hardly necessary
     to speak of the absolute impossibility of assigning an
     endowment from the property coming from the laws changing
     the title to such property, because, even apart from any
     other reason, the very laws themselves determine, in order,
     the use to which the revenues obtained by the consequent
     sale of the property are to be put.

     “5th. Finally, as regards guaranteeing efficaciously,
     against the arbitrary action of the episcopate, the lower
     clergy who are loyal to the laws of the country and to the
     dynasty, I do not deem it necessary to make any declarations
     or give any assurances, because my principles and the first
     acts of my administration are a pledge that, within the
     bounds allowed me by law, and urging, if needful, the action
     of the courts, in accordance with the law of May 13, 1871, I
     shall not fail to show by deeds that the government of the
     king is not disposed to tolerate that good ecclesiastics of
     liberal creed should be subject to abuse on the part of
     their ecclesiastical superiors, when the legal means are in
     their power to prevent it.

     “Be pleased to accept, honored sir, the expression of my
     esteem and consideration.

                “The Keeper of the Seals,
                               “MANCINI.”

We shall adduce only one other document as prefatory to what we are
going to say, and that is the letter of a certain Professor Sbarbaro,
who is a prominent writer of extreme views, possessing a frankness of
character that makes him attack the government at one time, even in
favor of the church, though through no love of it, at another launch
forth against it an amount of invective and false accusation that
would warrant us in looking on him as the crater of the revolutionary
volcano. This personage has written quite recently one of his
characteristic letters, in which he uses all his eloquence against the
church, recommending everywhere the establishment of Protestant
churches and schools; because, he says, this is the only way to
destroy the Catholic Church, the implacable enemy of the new order of
things. Every nerve must be strained to effect this. There can be no
peace till it be accomplished, and the edifice of Italian unity and
freedom tower over the ruins of ecclesiastical oppression.

With the express declaration of the deputy, Sig. Giuseppe Toscanelli,
the letter of his Excellency the Keeper of the Seals and that of
Professor Sbarbaro, before our eyes, we are prepared to see some fact
in accordance with the ideas and sentiments therein expressed. The
fact is at hand; it is a movement set on foot to obtain adhesion and
subscriptions to the scheme of electing, by the people, to their
positions ecclesiastics even of the highest grade. The Sovereign
Pontiff himself alluded to this in his discourse to the foreign
colleges, July 25, 1876, when he warned them that steps were taking to
prepare the way to a popular election, “_a tempo suo, anche al maggior
beneficio della chiesa_”――“at the proper time, to even the first
benefice of the church”――in other words, the Papacy. It is worth while
examining this question, because the agitation having begun, specious
arguments having been advanced, and illustrious names, such as that of
Rosmini――who, it is well known, retracted whatever by overzeal he had
written that incurred censure at Rome――having been brought forward to
support such views, it is not unlikely that elsewhere we may hear a
repetition of them. Say what people may, Rome is the centre of the
civilized world; the agitations that occur there, especially in the
speculative order, are like the waves produced by casting a stone in
the water: the ripples extend themselves from the centre to the
extreme circumference. So thence the agitations strike France and
Germany and Spain, extend to England, Russia, the East, and finally
reach us and the other extra-European nations.

The errors on this subject of popular election in the church, where
they are not affected, come from a confusion of ideas and a want of
knowledge of what the church is. Protestantism has had the greatest
part in misleading men; for it completely changed the essential idea
of this mystic body of Christ. Our Lord, when founding his church on
earth, spoke of it continually as his, as his kingdom, as his house,
as his vineyard. He told his disciples that to him all power had been
given in heaven and on earth. Nowhere do we see him giving to any one
a title that would make him a sharer in that power; the unity of
command signified by the idea of the kingdom, the absolute power of
imposing laws, is his, his alone, and is entrusted to those he
selected to continue his work. His words to his apostles were: “As the
Father hath sent me, I send you”――the fulness of power I have I bestow
upon you, that you may act in my name, in such a way that “he who
hears you hears me; and he who will not hear you, let him be to you as
the heathen and the publican.” He makes the distinction between those
who are to hear and those who are outside his church; he constitutes
in his kingdom, his church, those who are to command with his
authority and those who are to obey: the apostles and their
successors――the Sovereign Pontiff with the bishops――and the people or
the laity. The duty of the laity is to obey, not to command, not to
impose, not to exact, much less to name those who are to hold
positions in the church――an act proper of its nature only to those who
hold power of command, just as in a kingdom the naming to offices
resides with the king or with those he may depute for such purpose.
The duty of the laity is summed up in the words of the Prince of the
Apostles: _Obedite præpositis vestris_――Obey your prelates. Such is
the divine constitution of the church, and, like everything of divine
right, that constitution is unchangeable. Alongside of this fact,
however, we find another that apparently conflicts with it. We see the
people, even in the first period of the preaching of Christianity,
taking part in the election of those who were to hold places in the
church, and this at the instance of the apostles themselves. It is,
however, not the rule, but the exception, in the sacred text; for we
find the apostles acting directly, themselves selecting and bestowing
power of orders and jurisdiction; as, for example, when St. Paul
placed Timothy over the church of Ephesus, and Titus over those of
Crete. This is in accordance with what we might expect from the
constitution of the church. Had the election to such places been of
divine right, St. Paul would have violated that right in so naming
both Timothy and Titus. It follows, then, that this power of taking
part in the election of prelates, priests, and deacons was introduced
by the apostles and used in the early church as a matter of
expediency, the continuation or interruption of which would depend
upon circumstances. What was the meaning of it? Was it a conferring of
power, a naming to fill a place, or a presentation, a testimony of
worth of those thus selected, which the apostles and their successors
sought from the people? It was a testimony of worth only. This is
evident from the words of St. Peter to the one hundred and twenty
gathered with him for the nomination of St. Matthias. It is St. Peter
who regulates, orders what is to be done, and commands the brethren to
select one from their number. They could not agree on one; two were
nominated, and the prayer and choice by lot followed. This was, of
course, an extraordinary case, and we do not see this mode of election
afterwards resorted to, leaving the matter to be decided by the power
of God. What we do see here that is of interest to us is the act of
the Prince of the Apostles prescribing what was to be done; this shows
his supreme authority, and is the source of the legality of the
position of St. Matthias. The testimony of the people was required to
ascertain his worth and fitness. It was very natural that this
testimony of the people should be resorted to, especially in the early
church, in which affairs were administered and the work of the Gospel
carried on rather through the spirit of charity, “that hath no law,”
than by legal enactments; though we begin to see quite early traces of
these, as required by the nature of the case. This example of the
apostles continued in use in the church for centuries, the testimony
of the people to the worth of their bishops being required; for it has
always been an axiom in the conduct of affairs in the church that the
bishop must be acceptable to his people; nor is any great examination
needed to arrive at such a conclusion, for the office of a bishop
regards the spiritual interests of his flock, and such interests
cannot be furthered by one against whom his people have just cause of
complaint and dissatisfaction. To obtain such testimony, or to be able
to present an acceptable and worthy bishop to a flock, there is no one
essentially necessary way. Provided testimony beyond exception can be
had, it matters little by what channel it comes. In process of time,
when persecution, and persistent struggle with paganism for centuries
after persecution, ended, “the charity of many having grown cold,” the
strife that too often ensued in the choice of bishops, and the success
of designing men through bribery or intrigue, brought about the change
in the discipline of the church. We find the eighth general council
legislating with regard to elections to patriarchates, archbishoprics,
and bishoprics. We see that the powerful were making use of the means
at their command either to influence the people in the choice, where
this was possible, or by their own authority placing ecclesiastics in
possession of sees. The council was held in the year 869, and was
called on to act against Photius, the intruded patriarch of
Constantinople. It drew up and promulgated these two canons:

     “CAN. XII. The apostolic and synodical canons wholly
     forbidding promotion and consecration of bishops by the
     power and command of princes, we concordantly define, and
     also pronounce sentence, that, if any bishop have received
     consecration to such dignity by intrigue or cunning of
     princes, he is to be by all means deposed as having willed
     and agreed to possess the house of the Lord, not by the will
     of God and by ecclesiastical rite and decree, but by the
     desire of carnal sense, from men and through men.

     “CAN. XXII. This holy and universal synod, in accordance
     with former councils, defines and decrees that the promotion
     and consecration of bishops are to be done by the election
     and decree of the college of bishops; and it rightly
     proclaims that no lay prince or person possessed of power
     shall interfere in the election of a patriarch, of a
     metropolitan, or of any bishop whatsoever, lest there should
     arise inordinate and incongruous confusion or strife,
     especially as it is fitting that no prince or other layman
     have any power in such matters” (Version of Anastasius).

In the Roman Church, however, while the active interference of secular
princes and nobles, despite the canons of the church, continued to be
the rule during the middle ages, to the great harm of religion and
dishonor of the See of Peter, to the intrusion even of unworthy
occupants who scandalized the faithful, the popes and the clergy
wished to have the people present as witnesses of the election, and
consenting to it, that in this way there might be a bar to calumny,
affecting the validity of it, and an obstacle to the ambition of the
surrounding princes. Still, the election proper belonged to the
clergy, the people consenting to receive the one so elected. Prior to
the pontificate of Nicholas II. the people, so often the willing
servants of the German emperors or of their allies, used not
unfrequently to impose their will on the clergy, or made Rome the
theatre of factional strife. To put a stop to this, Nicholas, having
called a council of one hundred and thirteen bishops at Rome,
published in it the following decree:

     1. “God beholding us, it is first decreed that the election
     of the Roman Pontiff shall be in the power of the cardinal
     bishops; so that if any one be enthroned in the apostolic
     chair without their previous concordant and canonical
     election, and afterwards with the consent of the successive
     religious orders, of the clergy, and of the laity, he is to
     be held as no pope or apostolic man, but as an apostate.”

In the centuries of contention between the lay powers and the
ecclesiastical authorities, the discipline on the subject of election
to the higher benefices became more and more strict, till finally the
selection has, as a rule, come to be reserved to the Sovereign
Pontiff, to whom, even after election by chapter, the confirmation
belongs. The Council of Trent has been very explicit on this point. In
ch. iv. of sess. xxiii. we read:

     “The holy synod, moreover, teaches that, in the ordination
     of bishops, priests, and of the other grades, the consent,
     or call, or authority neither of the people nor of any
     secular power and magistracy is so required that without
     this it be invalid; nay, it even decrees that those who
     ascend to the exercise of this ministry, called and placed
     in position only by the people or lay power and magistracy,
     and who of their own rashness assume them, are all to be
     held, not as ministers of the church, but as thieves and
     robbers who have not come in by the door.”

Can. vii. of this session condemns those who teach otherwise.

We are, therefore, not surprised to find duly promulgated the
following document referring to the “Italian society for the
reassertion of the rights that belong to Christian people, and
especially to Roman citizens,” under whose auspices the movement for
election to ecclesiastical benefices by the people has been set on
foot. The _Sacra Penitentiaria_ is the tribunal to which cases of
conscience are submitted for decision, and its answers are given
according to the terms of the petition or case submitted. We give the
case as submitted, and the reply:

     “MOST EMINENT AND REVEREND SIR: Some confessors in the city
     of Rome humbly submit that, at the present moment, there is
     in circulation in it a paper containing a printed programme,
     with accompanying schedules of association, by which the
     faithful are solicited to join a certain society,
     established or to be established to the end that, on the
     vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Roman people may take part
     in the election of the Roman Pontiff. The name of the
     society is: _Società Cattolica per la rivendicazione dei
     diritti spettanti al popolo cristiano ed in ispecie al
     popolo Romano_. Whoever gives his name to this society must
     expressly declare, as results from the schedules, that he
     agrees to the doctrines set forth in the programme, and
     contracts the obligation, before two witnesses, of doing all
     he can to further the propagation of these doctrines and the
     increase of the society. Wherefore, the said confessors,
     that they may properly absolve, when by the grace of God
     they come to the sacrament of penance, those who have been
     the promoters of this evil society, or have subscribed their
     names thereto, and other adherents and aiders of it, send a
     copy of the programme and schedules to be examined by the
     Sacred Penitentiary, and ask an answer to the following
     questions:

     “1. Whether each and all, giving their names to this
     society, or aiding it, or in any way abetting it, or
     adhering to it, by the very fact incur the penalty of the
     major excommunication?

     “2. And if so, whether this excommunication be reserved to
     the Sovereign Pontiff?”

     “The Sacred Penitentiary, having considered all that has
     been laid before it, and duly examined into the nature and
     end of this society, having referred the foregoing to our
     most holy lord, Pius IX., with his approbation, replies to
     the proposed questions as follows:

     “To the first, affirmatively.

     “To the second: The excommunication is incurred by the very
     fact, and is in a special manner reserved to the Roman
     Pontiff.

     “Given at Rome, in the Sacred Penitentiary, August 4, 1876.

          “R. CARD. MONACO, _for the
                Grand Penitentiary_.

          “HIP. CANON PALOMBI, _S. P.
                Secretary_.”

Such is the state of things we have to present to our readers as a
result of the triumph of Freemasonry in Italy and of the seizure of
Rome: the Pope a captive; his temporal power gone; his spiritual power
trammelled; his influence subject to daily attacks that aim at its
destruction; and, to crown all, looming up in the distance, a possible
schism, resulting from interference, patronized by the Italian
government, in the future election of the Head of two hundred millions
of Catholics throughout the world, whose most momentous interests are
at stake. Surely nothing could be of more weight to show how
impossible a thing a pope under the dominion of a sovereign is; nor
could we desire anything better adapted to show the necessity of the
restoration of his perfect independence in the temporal order. We
believe this will be; and, as things are, we can see no other way
possible than by the restoration of his temporal power; how, or when,
is in the hands of divine Providence.


     [86] Art. XVI. “The disposition of the civil laws with
     regard to the creation and the manner of existence of
     ecclesiastical institutions, and the alienation of their
     property, remains in force.” There is no mention of the
     _exequatur_ being required for a bishop to plead before a
     court; that is, to begin to act under the provisions of Art.
     XVI.



A GLIMPSE OF THE ADIRONDACKS.

LAKE GEORGE, Sept. ――, 1876.

MY DEAR FRIEND: Not content with being told that we enjoyed our trip
immensely, you demand a description――of, at least, the chief part of
it. Now, an adequate description of any kind of scenery is by no means
an easy thing. I have read since my return those _Adventures of a
Phaeton_ which your high praises made me promise to try. And,
certainly, the author’s plan is admirably executed; his pages are
fragrant with rural freshness; but can you aver that your mind carries
away a single picture from his numerous descriptions? I have, as you
know, the advantage over you of having visited some of the places
through which he conducts the party, particularly Oxford and its
vicinity; but I assure you, had I not _seen_ old Iffley, for instance,
with its church and mill, the strokes of his pen would have given me
no idea of them.

Poets understand description better than other writers. Lord Byron is
the greatest master of the art in our language, and, I venture to say,
in any. What is their secret? To go into the least possible
detail――sketching but a few bold outlines, and leaving you to
contemplate, as they did. I shall make no apology, then, for following
in their wake.

Well, the time we spent in the woods proper――or mountains proper, if
you prefer it――was barely five days. It took us a whole day to voyage
down Lake George and part of Lake Champlain, and then stage (or
vehicle) it to a place with the euphonious name of Keene Flats. Lake
George looked as lovely as it always does under a clear morning sky;
and when the _Minnehaha_ had finished her course, we found――something
new to us――a railway station, and a train waiting to convey us to Lake
Champlain. I cannot deny that the unromantic train is an improvement
on the coach-ride of other days; for the old road was so absurdly bad,
one had to hold on to the coach like grim death to avoid being jolted
off.

The Champlain boats are all that can be desired. Besides other
accommodations, they serve you with a dinner which is well worth the
dollar you pay for it. The lake itself, though, makes a very poor show
after the beautiful George; and on this occasion what charms it had
were veiled by a thick smoke――from Canadian forests (we were told). We
had not more than time for a post-prandial cigar before we reached
Westport, our aquatic terminus. Landing, we found it no difficult
matter to discover the stage for Keene Flats. Two men, if not three,
vociferously greeted us with “Keene Flats!” “Stage for Keene Flats!”
The stage we had expected to meet was not there. It ran only Tuesdays
and Fridays, they said――or Mondays and Fridays, I forget which――and
this was Wednesday. So we took the only one to be had, and started on
a journey of some twenty-four miles, but which lasted over five hours.

The journey was broken by having to change vehicles at Elizabethtown――a
strikingly pretty place, and evidently popular. The drive thus far had
been through a continuous cloud of dust, and the thickest of its kind
I was ever in. The remaining fourteen miles were really delightful.
While evening fell softly from a cloudless sky, the scenery grew
bolder and wilder. The heights on either side took a deeper blue, the
woods a darker green. And presently the chill air made us wrap
ourselves against it. Very long seemed the drive, and weary; but many
a violet peak beguiled us with its beauty, and the large star drew our
thoughts from earth, till at last, as we descended into Keene Valley,
the moon rose to light us to our rest.

It was after nine o’clock when we alighted at Washbond’s. Mine host
had gone to bed, but was not slow to answer our summons; and then his
wife and daughter came down to get us supper. We did justice to the
repast, which was simple but well served, and in the meantime made
arrangements with Trumble, the guide, whom we were fortunate in
finding at home. Our beds were in a new house Washbond had just built.
Everything was clean and comfortable, and I need not say we slept.

Breakfasting about eight next morning, we made preparations for our
tramp through the woods. The guide was very useful to us in knowing
what provisions to get. His younger brother, too――himself training for
a guide――came along with us, for a consideration, to help carry our
load.

Taking one more meal at Washbond’s, we started in the heat of noon. A
couple of miles brought us to the woods proper. Here the character of
the road changed, of course, and the “pull” began. It was surprising
how cool the air of the woods was when we stopped to breathe and sat
down with our packs; whereas, wherever the sun got at us through the
trees, he “let us know he was there.” But had the fatigue of those
first miles through the woods been twice or ten times as great, it
would have been more than repaid when, suddenly, a turn in the road
brought us in view of the Lower Au Sable Lake.

One of our trio, whom we called Colonel (for we thought it wise to
travel _incog._――the second being Judge, and myself Doctor), had run
on ahead of the guides――a practice he kept up throughout the trip. We
heard him shout as he came upon the lake, and he told us afterwards
that he had taken off his hat and thanked God for having lived to see
that view. There lay the water in the light of afternoon, long,
narrow, and winding out of sight. To either shore sloped a mountain,
wooded, clear-cut, precipitous.

It was quite romantic to be told we had to navigate this lake. But
first there were the Rainbow Falls to see. Our end of the lake (not
included in the above view) was choked up with fallen timber. Crossing
on some trunks to the other shore, we had but a few minutes’ walk
before we came into a rocky hollow of wildest beauty, where, from a
cliff some hundred and fifty feet high, leapt the torrent――scarcely
“with delirious bound,” nor, of course, with the bulk it would have
had in winter, yet with terrible majesty――into a channel below us. It
did not wear the rainbow coronal, the time of day being too late. But
the glen was well worth a visit, and deliciously cool from the spray.

The boat we were to voyage in was the property of the guide――a light
craft, and rather too crank to be comfortable, particularly with a
load of five on board, to say nothing of the dog and the baggage; so
that, in fact, our passage along the lake and between the giant slopes
was not as pleasant as it might have been. After some difficult
navigation at the other end of the lake, the crew was safely landed
with the baggage, and the boat hidden in some bushes. Then a trudge
through the woods again for a couple of miles at least (distances, by
the bye, are peculiar in these regions), till we issued on the bank of
the Au Sable River where it leaves the Upper Lake. It was during this
march that the Colonel (who had brought his gun) got a shot at a
certain bird, and knocked too many feathers from her not to have
killed her, though neither he nor the dog could find her; and this
was, positively, the only game he sighted the whole trip through.

But here a second boat was found hidden and ready, and one a little
larger than the first. And now came _the_ scene of our excursion. We
seemed to have entered an enchanted land――to be floating on a
veritable fairy lake. The vision stole over us like a dream. Then,
too, it was “the heavenliest hour of heaven” for such a scene: the sun
set, and twilight just begun. The picture, as a whole, will ever
remain in my memory as, of its kind, the loveliest it has been my
happiness to see. But, my dear friend, it “beggars all description.” I
can only ask you to imagine it, while I jot down a few points of
detail.

The Upper Au Sable differs strikingly from the Lower, although, of
course, equally formed by, and a part of, the same river. It is less
long, but also less narrow; and while to the left, as you glide up it,
there stands but one mountain from shore to sky, to the right you
behold other majestic summits towering above the wooded slope. So,
again, on looking back, you see a gap of fantastic grandeur, and,
fronting you, is a wide opening, relieved by a single peak. This peak,
as we then saw it, wore the bewitching blue that distance and evening
combine to “lend”――a charm which I, for one (and surely all lovers of
nature), can never enough feast my eyes upon. The summits to the right
and behind us were also robed in various shades of “purple,” which
deepened with the twilight. The glassy water was covered here and
there with yellow-blossomed lilies. Even the green of the woods
partook with the sky

              “That _clear obscure_,
  So softly dark, and darkly pure.”

Along the right bank two campfires were burning brightly. Toward one
of these our guide was steering. He knew that his camp (constructed by
himself, and therefore his by every right) was occupied, but was bent
on turning the intruders out. We found a guide sitting calmly by the
fire, and awaiting the return of his party to supper. They had gone up
“Marcy,” he said, and two of them were ladies, and it would be very
hard for them to have to seek another camp after their day’s climb. He
had supposed our camp would not be wanted. There was one of his own on
the other side, just as good, and we could have that. Well, of course,
we three, when we heard of ladies, used our influence with Trumble,
who slowly relented, and then rowed us over to the other shore. Yes,
the camp was as good, and all about it; but we were on the wrong side
for seeing the moon rise, and felt not a little disappointed.

While the guide was making the fire the Colonel proposed that we
should row up the lake and look for deer. So we went; but not a sign
of any such quadruped could we see. Our view of the lake, though,
repaid us; and when we returned, we found a splendid fire and a savory
supper. These fires are kept up all night. They are close in front of
the camp. This species of “camp” is a hut or shed, built of logs and
securely roofed with birch bark. Sloping upward from behind, it stands
open to the air in front. The floor is strewed with spruce boughs, or
some other equally suitable; and when over this covering a “rubber
blanket” is placed, you have quite a comfortable bed. Did we sleep,
though? Very fairly for the first night out.

And here I am tempted to end this epistle; for no other day of our
whole trip brought anything to compare with the exquisite surprises of
this first day in the woods. But I know you will not be satisfied if I
fail to take you up Mt. Marcy and round through Indian Pass.

Well, then, we started for “Marcy” (as the guides call it) next
morning, right after breakfast. Our breakfast, by the way, was
unusually good for Friday. The Colonel and Trumble had risen early and
caught a nice string of brook trout. The brook was near the head of
the lake. We also supped on trout, which the Colonel and I got from
Marcy Brook, a mountain stream we reached about noon.

The ascent from the lake was decidedly a “pull,” the more so, no
doubt, from the reluctance with which we took leave of the lake. We
felt the climb that day more than any climb we had afterward. A mile,
too, of this kind seems equal, in point of distance, to three or four
miles on ordinary ground. Having rested by Marcy Brook for dinner, we
pushed on in the afternoon for Panther Gorge, where we found a good
camp unoccupied, which served us for the night. The Judge was very
eager to scale Marcy that evening, in order to get the view from it by
moonlight. We met a gentleman coming down, who said he had been on
Marcy the night before, and described the moonlight view as the finest
sight he had ever witnessed. We also met some ladies belonging to the
same party. Still, I think it was as well we did not go up that night;
for it would have sorely taxed our strength. I have recently been told
of persons who brought on disease, and died within a year or two
after, by rash exertion among these mountains. This sort of thing
seems to me consummate folly. More than that, it is a sin. We had come
on the excursion not only to see, but, equally, to gain vigor. Having,
then, plenty of time and ample provisions, there was no use in
straining ourselves to gratify vanity or anything else.

Panther Gorge must have taken its name from that truculent animal
having “infested” there (as Josh Billings would say). But the bounty
set on beasts of prey current in these woods seems to have made them
very scarce; for the only specimen we met with all the way was a dead
bear rotting in a trap. The gorge itself is wild, but not particularly
romantic. We got a view of it from a place called “The Notch,” near
the summit of Mt. Marcy, where we rested to dine. There is a sort of
camp at this spot, but a poor thing to pass a night in. There is also
a most convenient spring. Indeed, we had reason to be very grateful
for the springs and rills of delicious water which abounded all along
our line of march.

The ascent of Marcy is singularly easy for a mountain of such
height――one of the highest, indeed, this side of the Rocky range. I
confess I had rather dreaded the climb, from an experience of Black
Mountain, on Lake George. I was therefore quite agreeably surprised.
On the other hand, I was almost equally disappointed by the view from
the Cloud-splitter’s top. (Tahawus――_i.e._, Cloud-splitter――is the old
Indian name for the mountain. What a pity it was changed!――nearly as
barbarous as giving the name of one of Thackeray’s “Four Georges” to
the beautiful Lac du Saint-Sacrement. Far better to have restored the
Indian name――Horicon, _Holy_ Lake.) It is rarely, I suppose, that a
perfectly clear view is to be had from these mountains. _We_,
probably, saw little more than half the horizon commanded by the
height at which we stood. What we did see was worth seeing, certainly.
Still, I, at least, remembered an incomparably finer view from the
well-named Prospect Mountain at the head of Lake George.

Lake George we could not see, but only where it was. A number of small
lakes were pointed out to us by the guide, among them the “Tear of the
Clouds,” one of the reputed sources of the Hudson. This wretched
little pond――for such it proved when we passed it on our way towards
Lake Colden that afternoon――looked far from deserving of its poetical
name, even at a distance; for we could see that it was yellow, being,
in fact, a very shallow affair, and more like a stagnant marsh than a
crystalline tear. They might as well have given some sidereal
appellation to the sun-reflector which Mr. Colvin has erected on the
exact apex of Marcy――a few sheets of tin, some of which had been torn
off; for when, three days later, we were many miles away, we beheld
this apparatus glittering like a star in the rays of the setting sun.

But here let me moralize a moment. Those to whom “high mountains are a
feeling,” as they were to the “Pilgrim poet,” will not scale them
purely for the view they afford, much less for the sake of vaunting a
creditable feat. They will understand the longing so nobly expressed
by Keats:

  “To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
   And half forget what world and worldling meant.”

That is, they will feel at home on mountain-tops, because uplifted
from the transitory and the sordid, and reminded what it is to belong
to eternity. But then, on the other hand, unless, with Wordsworth,
they “have ears to hear”

  “The still, sad music of humanity,”

they will miss the real lesson which the “wonder-works of God and
Nature’s hand” are meant to teach――to wit, the infinitely greater
worth and _beauty_ of a single human soul, even the lowest and most
degraded, as a world in which are wrought, or can be wrought, the
“wonder-works” of _grace_. The love of Nature never yet made a
misanthrope. The poet who could write

                          “To me
  High mountains are a feeling, but the hum
  Of human cities torture,”

had been stung into misanthropy before he “fled” to Nature, and would
rather have found in Nature’s bosom a sublime and tender love of
mankind, had he not possessed (as some one has well said of him) “the
eagle’s _wing_ without the eagle’s _eye_,” so that “while he soared
above the world” he “could not gaze upon the sun of Truth.”

Such having been my cogitations as I stood on Mt. Marcy, you will not
think it pedantry that I record them here.

Descending, we returned to the camp at the Notch, where we had left
our baggage, then struck into the trail for the Iron-Works (of which
anon). This trail, though well worn, is very tiresome, owing to the
number of trees that have fallen across it, obliging you to crawl a
good deal. But we were glad to have seen the “Flumes” of the
“Opalescent”――another poetic name, which obviously means “beginning to
be opal,” or _resembling_ that hue. But, unfortunately, there are
various kinds of opal; and since the water had nothing of a milky
tinge, the bestower of the name must have meant the _brown_ opal, an
impure and inferior sort. I therefore deem the name infelicitous. The
only color-epithet for clear and shallow waters, whether running or
still, is _amber_. Witness Milton, in _Paradise Lost_:

  “Where the river of bliss through midst of heaven
   Rolls o’er Elysian flowers her _amber_ stream.”

And again, in _Comus_:

  “Sabrina fair!
   Listen where thou art sitting
   Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
   In twisted braids of lilies knitting
   The loose train of thy _amber_-dropping hair!”

The “Flumes” are fine――too fine to be called flumes, according to the
dictionary sense of the term. They are chasms of considerable depth
and length. But I must hasten on, like the river by which we are
loitering.

Our camp that night was on the shore of Colden Lake――quite a pretty
little lake of its kind. But all lakes seemed (to me, at least)
apologies for lakes after the Upper Au Sable. From our camp we could
see where Lake Avalanche lay――not a mile, we were told, from Colden.
The Judge and Colonel made an agreement with the guide to visit Lake
Avalanche next morning early: but, when the time came, they found
slumber too sweet, as I had anticipated they would. _I_ had no
hankering to accompany them, because, for one thing, they would have
had to trudge through a regular swamp, the guide said――a kind of
walking I particularly dislike; while, for another thing, it was easy
to imagine the lake from the sloping cliffs that shut it in. These
reminded us of the Lower Au Sable, but, being bare and scarred, would
have evidently a very inferior effect. So Avalanche, like “Yarrow,”
went “unvisited.”

It was a matter of necessity now to push on to the Iron-Works. Our
provisions had run out; so we made the seven miles that Sunday
morning, and reached our destination in good time for dinner. The
trail was the best we had seen yet. We passed “Calamity Pond,” so
called from a Mr. Henderson, one of the owners of the Iron-Works,
having shot himself there accidentally. He laid his revolver on a rock
near the pond, and, on taking it up, discharged it into his side. On
this rock now stands a neat monument erected by filial affection.

As we entered the deserted village still called the Iron-Works (though
said works have been abandoned twenty years), a shower of rain
fell――the first we had met. (Such a run of fine weather as we had been
favored with is very rare in the Adirondacks.) The only occupied house
belongs to a Mr. M――――, who, while disclaiming to keep an inn or
public-house of any kind, accommodates passing tourists, and even
boarders. The table was good enough, especially after our frugal meals
in the woods; but I cannot say as much for the beds in comparison with
the camps. He had to put us for the night in another house belonging
to him, but which had not been used, he said, this year, and looked as
if it had not been used for several years. The bedsteads, too,
surprised us by not breaking down in the night; and two of us had to
occupy one bed. However, we contrived to sleep pretty well, and rose
next morning quite ready for “Indian Pass.” Fortunately, Mrs. M――――
was able to let us have enough provisions for the remainder of our
tramp; but when we came to “foot” the bill, it was unexpectedly
“steep.” People must “make,” you see, in a place like this.

Starting after breakfast that Monday morning, we took the shorter
route by way of Lake Henderson. We were not sorry to get a good view
of this lake, but our voyage on it was far from pleasant. A guide from
M――――’s came with us. He had two boats: one a sort of “scow” with a
paddle, the other a boat like Trumble’s, only lighter and smaller.
Trumble and brother, dog and baggage, went in the scow; we three in
the other, with the guide for oarsman. Our boat was loaded to within
three inches of the water’s edge, and, there being a slight breeze, it
was the greatest risk I ever ran of an upset. Had the breeze
increased, we must have gone over. All three of us could swim; but to
risk a drenching with its consequences, and under such circumstances,
seemed to me the most provoking stupidity. One of us might easily have
gone in the scow. The guide was to blame, for he knew the boat’s
capacity. However, through the favor of Our Lady and the angels, under
whose joint protection our excursion had been placed, we were safely
landed, and soon found ourselves in the woods once more, and on a
trail that seemed made for wild-cats.

But now our fears of rain were verified. The menacing west had not
hindered us from setting out; but we found the shelter of trees
inadequate, and, of course, they kept dripping upon us after the
shower had passed over. In short, we got wet enough to feel very
uncomfortable; and the sun could not penetrate to us satisfactorily.
We had hoped the rain was a mere thunder-shower; but when we saw more
clouds, dense and black, we made up our minds that we were “in for
it.” Trumble put forth the assurance that nobody ever caught cold in
the woods. But I, less contented with this than the others, resolved
to try the supernatural. I vowed Our Blessed Lady some Masses for the
souls in purgatory most devoted to her; and behold, as each succeeding
cloud came resolutely on, the sun broke through it triumphantly, till,
after an hour or two, all danger had disappeared, and we were left to
finish our journey under a cloudless sky. Of course this favorable
turn may have been due to purely natural causes; but I mention it as
what it seemed to me, because I know you believe in “special
providences,” and always rejoice in acknowledging Our Blessed Mother’s
goodness and power.

The trail became more perilous to eyes and ankles than any we had
followed yet. Indeed, it was a constant marvel that we met with no
sprain or fracture. Such an accident would have been extremely
awkward, remote as we were from the habitations of men, to say nothing
of surgical aid. But, of course, we took every care, and the prayers
of friends, together with our own, drew Heaven’s protection round us.

At last we came in sight of the gigantic cliff which forms the western
side of the pass――very grand, certainly, but not what we had
anticipated from the glowing accounts of brother-pilgrims. Then, too,
we saw but that one side; being _on_ the other ourselves, and not
between the two, as we had supposed we should be. When we reached
“Summit Rock,” we stopped for dinner. The view that met our
retrospection from this rock repaid our climb. In fact, it was this
view alone that made us think anything of “Indian Pass.” “Summit
Rock,” though, is not easy to scale; and I, having taken the wrong
track, in turning to descend had the narrowest escape from a very
serious fall. I shall always feel grateful for that preservation when
I recall our Adirondack experiences. How forcibly and consolingly the
words of the Psalmist came to me then, as they do now: “Quoniam
angelis suis mandavit de te, ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis. In
manibus portabunt te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum” (Ps.
xc. 11, 12.[87])

We camped that afternoon, and for the night, at a spot about “half
way”――that is, half way between the Iron-Works and North Elba (a
distance of eighteen miles); for the pass proper is of no great
length. The camp there is excellent. We reached it in time for the
Judge and myself to get a capital bath, while the Colonel caught a
string of trout, before supper. We did not cook all the fish for that
meal, but kept a supply for the morrow’s breakfast. The trout thus
reserved were hung upon a stump about fifteen yards from the camp, at
the risk of having them stolen in the night by some animal. And, sure
enough, some animal was after them in the night, for the dog got up
and growled, and went outside; but this scared the marauder away, for
we found the fish untouched in the morning.

Tuesday dawned serenely, and we lost no time after breakfast in
getting under way for Blinn’s Farm――our chosen destination in North
Elba County. The walk seemed interminably long, but was almost all
down-hill, and over ground covered with dried leaves. We lunched,
rather than dined, on the march; for we knew a good dinner was to be
had at the farm. The last difficult feat to be performed was crossing
our old friend the Au Sable, which flows between the hill we had
descended and the slope leading up to Blinn’s. We had to take boots
and socks off, and make our way over a few large stones, some of which
were awkwardly far apart. The others managed it all right. _I_ might
as well have kept boots and socks on; for just as I got to the last
stone but one, and where a jump was necessary, I slipped and came down
on my hands, sousing boots and socks under water. Even this, though,
was preferable to slipping ankle-deep into black mud, as I had done
again and again on the tramp; and when we gained the house and changed
our things, I was as well off as anybody.

Fortunately, they had room for us. Very pleasant people. And they got
us up a first-rate dinner, the most delectable feature whereof was (to
me, at least) some rashers of English bacon. This and the farm itself,
with its look of peace and honest toil, took me back to long ago――to
my first English home; for the pretty little parsonage where I was
born was close to two farmhouses. But farm, dinner, and all were
nothing to the view commanded by this spot――the most exquisite
panorama of mountains it had ever been my happiness to contemplate.
Facing us, as we turned to look back on the wilderness we had escaped
from, was Indian Pass, the true character of which is best seen from
this distance. To the left of us stood Marcy in majestic silence.
Between him and the pass were the “scarpèd cliffs” of Avalanche. From
south to west was a lower line of heights, apparelled in a thick blue
haze. And when, an hour later, we saw the sun set along this line, the
evening azure settled on the other peaks around us, and Marcy’s signal
gleamed and flashed like a red star.

And here I must bid you adieu, my dear friend. However poorly I have
complied with your request, it has been no small pleasure to me. I
hope you will catch a fair _glimpse_ of the Adirondacks, which is all
I pretend to give. But I must add that when we three travellers got
back to this dear old lake, we were unanimous in declaring that, after
all we had seen, there was nothing to surpass Lake George, nor
anything that would _wear_ so well. _Vale._


     [87] “For he hath given his angels charge over thee, to keep
     thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall _bear thee
     up_, lest, perchance, thou dash thy foot against a stone.”



SIR THOMAS MORE.

_A HISTORICAL ROMANCE._

FROM THE FRENCH OF THE PRINCESSE DE CRAON.

XV.


As the night wore away the bonfires lighted in the public places were
extinguished. Quiet and silence succeeded the tumult, the shouts,
dances, and the surging waves of an excited populace rushing wildly
through the streets of the capital. The ladies had deposited their
borrowed charms upon the ebony and ivory of their solitary and hidden
toilets. Themselves wrapped in slumber within the heavy curtains of
their luxurious couches, their brocade robes and precious jewels still
waited (hanging up or thrown here and there) the care of the active
and busy chambermaids. Of all the sensation, triumphs, and
irresistible charms there was left nothing but the wreck, disorder,
and faded flowers. And thus passes everything appertaining to man.
Beauty lives but a day; an hour even may behold it withered and cut
down.

The sun had scarcely risen when a number of carts, mounted by vigilant
upholsterers, were driven up, in order to remove the scaffolds, the
triumphal arches, and strip them of their soiled drapery and withered
garlands. The avenues of the palace were deserted, and not a courtier
had yet appeared. One man, however, all alone, slowly surveyed the
superb apartments of the Tower. He paused successively before each
panel of tapestry, examining them in all their details, or he took
from their places the large chairs with curved backs, that he might
inspect them more closely; he then consulted a great memorandum-book
he held in his hand.

“Ah! Master Cloth, you are not to be cheated. It is not possible that
Signor Ludovico Bonvisi has sold you this velvet at six angels the
piece; and six hundred pieces more, do you say? But I will show you I
am not so easily duped as you would think by the thieving merchants of
my good city. The rascals understand very well how to manage their
affairs; but we will also manage to clip some of their wings.”

And Henry VIII. gave a stroke with his penknife through the column he
wished to diminish; it was in this way he made his additions.

“The devil! This violet carpet covering the courtyard is enormously
dear.

“Mistress Anne, your reception here has ruined me. We must find some
means of making all this up. These women are full of whims, and of
very dear whims too. A wife is a most ruinous thing; everything is
ruinous. They cannot move without spending money. It has been
necessary to give enormous sums right and left――to doctors of
universities, to Parliament; and all that is an entire loss, for they
will clamor none the less loudly. There are men in Parliament who will
sell themselves, and yet they will ridicule me just as much as the
others, in order to appear independent. Verily, it is terror alone
that can be used to advantage; with one hand she replenishes the
purse, while with the other she at the same time executes my commands.

“This fringe is only an inch wide; it cannot weigh as much as they say
it does here. I counted on the rest of the cardinal’s money; but
nothing――he had not a penny, or at any rate he has been able to hide
his pieces from me, so that I could not find a trace of them.

“Northumberland has written me there was nothing at Cawood but a box,
where he found, carefully tied up in a little sack of red linen, a
hair shirt and a discipline, which have doubtless served our friend
Wolsey to expiate the sins I have made him commit.” And as these
reflections were passing through his mind, the king experienced a very
disagreeable sensation at the sight of a man dressed in black, who
approached him on tiptoe. Henry VIII. did not at all like being
surprised in his paroxysms of suspicion and avarice.

“What does that caterpillar want with me at this early hour?” he said,
looking at Cromwell, who was in full dress, frizzled, and in his
boots, as though he had not been to bed, and had not had so much to do
the day before.

The king endeavored to conceal the memorandum he held in his hand; but
who could hide anything from Cromwell? He was delighted to perceive
the embarrassment and vexation of his master, because it was one of
his principles that he held these great men in his power, when favor
began to abate, through the fear they felt of having their faults
publicly exposed by those who had known them intimately. He therefore
took a malicious pleasure in proving to the king that his precautions
had been useless, and that he knew perfectly well the nature of his
morning’s occupation, for which he feigned the greatest admiration.

“What method!” he exclaimed. “What vast intellect! How is your majesty
able to accomplish all that you undertake, passing from the grandest
projects to the most minute details, and that always with the same
facility, the same unerring judgment?”

Henry VIII. regarded Cromwell attentively, as if to be assured that
this eulogy was sincere; but he observed an indescribable expression
of hypocrisy hovering on the pinched lips of the courtier. He
contracted his brow, but resolved to carry on the deception.

“Yes,” he said, “I reproach myself with this extravagance. I should
have kept the furniture of my predecessors. There are so many poor to
relieve! I am overwhelmed with their demands; the treasury is empty, I
cannot afford it, and I have done very wrong in granting myself this
indulgence.”

“Come!” replied Cromwell, “think of your majesty reproaching yourself
for an outlay absolutely indispensable. Very soon, I suppose, you will
not permit yourself to buy a cloak or a doublet of Flanders wool,
while you leave in the enjoyment of their property these monks who
have never been favorable to your cause. The treasury is empty, you
say; give me a fortnight’s time and a commission, and I will replenish
it to overflowing.”

The king smiled. “Yes, yes, I know very well; you want me to appoint
you inspector of my monks. You would make them disgorge, you say.”

“A set of drones and idlers!”[88] cried Cromwell. “You have only to
drive them all out, take possession of their property, and put it in
the treasury; it will make an immense sum. They are to be found in
every corner. When you have dispossessed them, you will be able to
provide for them according to your own good pleasure, your own
necessities, and those of the truly poor. Give me the commission!”

Cromwell burned to have this commission, of which he had dreamed as
the only practicable means of enriching himself at his leisure, and
making some incalcuable depredations; because how could it possibly be
known exactly how much he would be able to extort by fear or by force?
Having the king to sustain him and for an accomplice, he had nothing
to fear. He had already spoken of it to him, but in a jesting manner,
apparently; it was his custom to sow thus in the mind of Henry VIII. a
long time in advance, and as if by chance, the seeds of evil from
which he hoped ultimately to gather the fruits.

At the moment this idea appeared very lucrative to the king; but a
sense of interior justice and the usage of government enlightened his
mind.

“This,” said he, “is your old habit of declaiming against the monks
and convents. As for idleness, methinks the life of the most indolent
one among them would be far from equalling that which yourself and the
gallants of my court lead every day in visits, balls, and other
dissipations. Verily, it cannot be denied that these religious live a
great deal less extravagantly than you, for the price of a single one
of your ruffs would be sufficient to clothe them for a whole year. All
these young people speak at random and through caprice, without having
the least idea of what they say. I love justice above all things. Had
you the slightest knowledge of politics and of government, you would
know that an association of men who enjoy their property in common
derive from it much greater advantages, because there are a greater
number to partake of it. These monks, who are lodged under the same
roof, lighted and warmed by the same fire, nursed, when they are sick,
by those who live thus together, find in that communion of all goods
an ease and comfort which it would be impossible to attain if they
were each apart and separated from the other. If, now, I should drive
them from their convents and take possession of their estates, what
would become of them? And who would be able so to increase in a moment
the revenues of the country as to procure each one individually that
which they enjoyed in common together? And, above all, these monks are
men like other men; they choose to live together and unite their
fortunes: I see not what right I have to deprive them of their
property, since it has been legally acquired by donations, natural
inheritance, or right of birth. ‘These church people monopolize
everything,’ say the crack-brained fools who swarm around me; and
where would they have me look for men who are good for something?
Among those who know not either how to read or write, save in so far
as needs to fabricate the most insignificant billet, or who in turn
spend a day in endeavoring to decipher it? I would like to see them,
these learned gentlemen, holding the office of lord chancellor and the
responsibility of the kingdom. They might be capable of signing a
treaty of commerce with France to buy their swords, and with Holland
to purchase their wines. These coxcombs, these lispers of the “Romance
of the Rose,” with their locks frizzled, their waists padded, and
their vain foolishness, know naught beyond the drawing of their swords
and slashing right and left. Or it would be necessary for me to bring
the bourgeois of the city, seat them on their sacks, declaring before
the judge that they do not know how to write, and sending to bring the
public scribe to announce to their grandfathers the arrival of the
newly born. Cromwell, you are very zealous in my service; I commend
you for it; but sometimes――and it is all very natural――you manifest
the narrow and contracted ideas of the obscure class from whence you
sprang, which render you incapable of judging of these things from the
height where I, prince and king, am placed.”

Cromwell felt deeply humiliated by the contempt Henry VIII.
continually mingled with his favor in recalling incessantly to his
recollection the fact of his being a _parvenu_, sustained in his
position only by his gracious favor and all-powerful will, and then
only while he was useful or agreeable. He hesitated a moment, not
knowing how to reply; but, like a serpent that unfolds his coils in
every way, and whose scales fall or rise at will at the same moment
and with the same facility, he said:

“Your Majesty says truly. I am only what you have deigned to make me;
I acknowledge it with joy, and I would rather owe all I am to you than
possess it by any natural right. I will be silent, if your majesty
bids me; though I would fain present a reflection that your remark has
suggested.”

“Speak,” said the king, with a smile of indulgence excited by this
adroit admission.

“I will first remark that your majesty still continues to sacrifice
yourself to the happiness and prosperity of your people; consequently,
it seems to me that they should be willing, in following the grand
designs of your majesty, to yield everything. Thus they would only
have to unite the small to the greater monasteries, and oblige them to
receive the monks whose property had been annexed to the crown. The
treasury would in this way be very thoroughly replenished, and no one
would have a right to complain or think himself wronged.”

“But,” said the king, “they are of different orders.”

However, he made this objection with less firmness; and it appeared to
Cromwell that his mind was becoming familiarized with this luminous
idea of possessing himself of a number of very rich and
well-cultivated ecclesiastical estates, which, sold at a high price,
would produce an enormous sum of money.

Cromwell, observing his success, feared to compromise himself and make
the king refuse if he urged the matter too persistently; promising
himself to return another time to the subject, he said nothing more,
and, adroitly changing the conversation, spoke of all that had
occurred the day before, and dwelt strongly on the enthusiasm of the
people.

“Oh!” said the king, “that enthusiasm affects me but little! The
people are like a flea-bitten horse, which we let go to right or left,
according to circumstances; and I place no reliance on these
demonstrations excited by the view of a flagon of beer or a fountain
of wine flowing at a corner of the street. There are, nevertheless,
germs of discord living and deeply rooted in the heart of this nation.
Appearances during a festival day are not sufficient, Cromwell. Listen
to me. It is essential that all should yield, all obey. I am not a
child to be amused with a toy!” And he regarded him with an expression
of wrath as sudden as it was singular.

“Think you,” he continued with gleaming eyes, “that I am happy, that I
believe I have taken the right direction? It is not that I would
retract or retrace my steps; so far from that, the more I feel
convinced that it is wrong, the more resolved am I to crush the
inspiration that would recall me. No! Henry VIII. neither deceives
himself nor turns back; and you, if ever you reveal the secret of my
woes, the violence and depth of your fall will make you understand the
strength of the arm you will have called down on your head.”

Cromwell felt astounded. How often he paid thus dearly for his vile
and rampant ambition! What craft must have been continually engendered
in that deformed soul, in order to prevent it from being turned from
its goal of riches and domination, always to put a constraint upon
himself, to sacrifice in order to obtain, to yield in order to govern,
to tremble in order to make himself feared!

“More,” he said in desperation.

“More!” replied the king. “That name makes me sick! Well, what of him
now?”

“Sire,” replied Cromwell vehemently, “you speak of discords and fears
for the future; I should be wanting in courage if I withheld the truth
from the king. More and Rochester――these are the men who censure and
injure you in the estimation of your people. There are proofs against
them, but they are moral proofs, and insufficient for rigid justice to
act upon. They refuse to take the oath, and it is impossible to
include them in the judgment against the Holy Maid of Kent. They would
be acquitted unanimously. However, you have heard it from her own
lips. You know that she is acquainted with them, has spoken to them;
this she has declared in presence of your majesty. They were in the
church; she had let them know she was to appear at that hour. Well, it
is impossible to prove anything against them; they will be justified,
elated, and triumphant. Parliament, reassured, encouraged by this
example of tenacity and rebellion, will recover from the first fright
with which the terror of your name had inspired them. They will raise
their heads; your authority will be despised; they will rise against
you; they will resist you on every side, and compel you to recall
Queen Catherine back to this palace, adorned by the presence of your
young wife. And then what shame, what humiliation for you, and what a
triumph for her! And this is why, sire, I have not been able to sleep
one moment last night, and why I am the first to enter the palace this
morning, where I expected to wait until your majesty awoke. But,” he
continued, “zeal for your glory carries me, perhaps, too far. Well
then you will punish me, and I shall not murmur.”

“Recall Catherine!” cried the king, who, after this name, had not
heard a syllable of Cromwell’s discourse; and he clenched his fists
with a contraction of inexpressible fury. “Recall Catherine, after
having driven her out in the face of all justice, of all honor! No, I
shall have to drink to the dregs this bitter cup I have poured out for
myself; and coming ages will for ever resound with the infamy of my
name. Though the earth should open, though the heavens should fall and
crush me, yet Thomas More shall die! Go, Cromwell,” he cried, his eyes
gleaming with fury; “let him swear or let him die! Go, worthy
messenger of a horrible crime; get thee from before my eyes. It is you
who have launched me upon this ocean, where I can sustain myself only
by blood. Cursed be the day when you first crossed my sight, infamous
favorite of the most cruel of masters! Go, go! and bring me the head
of my friend, of the only man I esteem, whom I still venerate, and let
there no longer remain aught but monsters in this place.”

Cromwell recoiled. “Infamous favorite!” he repeated to himself. “May I
but be able one day to avenge myself for the humiliations with which
you have loaded me, and may I see in my turn remorse tear your heart,
and the anger of God punish the crimes I have aided you in
committing!” He departed.

Henry VIII. was stifled with rage. He crushed under his foot the
upholsterer’s memorandum; he opened a window and walked out on the
balcony, from whence the view extended far beyond the limits of the
city. As he advanced, he was struck by the soft odor and freshness
which was exhaled by the morning breeze from a multitude of flowers
and plants placed there. He stooped down to examine them, then leaned
upon the heavy stone balustrade, polished and carved like lace, and
looked beyond in the distance.

The immense movement of an entire population began in every direction.
There was the market, whither flocked the dealers, the country people,
and the diligent and industrious housewives. Farther on was the wharf,
where the activity was not less; soldiers of the marine, cabin boys,
sailors, ship-builders, captains――all were hurrying thither. Troops of
workmen were going to their work on the docks, with tools in hand and
their bread under their arms. The windows of the rich alone remained
closed to the light of day, to the noise and the busy stir without.
There they rolled casks; here they transported rough stones, plaster,
and carpenter’s timber. Horses pulled, whips cracked――in a word, the
entire city was aroused; every minute the noise increased and the
activity redoubled.

“These men are like a swarm of bees in disorder,” said Henry VIII.;
“and yet they carry tranquil minds to their work, while their king is
suffering the keenest tortures in the midst of them; yet is there not
one of them who, in looking at this palace, does not set at the summit
of happiness him who reigns and commands here. ‘If I were king!’ say
this ignorant crowd when they wish to express the idea of happiness
and supreme enjoyment of the will. Do they know what it costs the king
to accomplish that will? Why do I not belong to their sphere? I should
at least spend my days in the same state of indifference in which they
sleep, live, and die. They are miserable, say they; what have they to
make them miserable? They are never sure of bread, they reply; but do
they know what it is to be satiated with abundance and devoured by
insatiable desires? Then death threatens us and ends everything――that
terrible judgment when kings will be set apart, to be interrogated and
punished more severely. More, the recollection of your words, your
counsel, has never ceased to live in my mind. Had I but taken your
advice, if I had sent Anne away, to-day I should have been free and
thought no more of her; while now, regarded with horror by the
universe, I hate the whole world. But let me drown these thoughts. I
want wine――drunkenness and oblivion.” And pronouncing these words, he
rushed suddenly from the balcony and disappeared.

In the depths of his narrow prison there was another also who had
sought to catch a breath of the exhilarating air with which the dawn
of a beautiful day had reanimated the universe. It was not upon a
balustrade of roses and perfumes that he leaned, but upon a miserable,
worm-eaten table, blackened by time, and discolored by the tears with
which for centuries it had been watered. It was not a powerful city, a
people rich, industrious, and submissive, that his eyes were fixed
upon, but the sombre bars of a small, grated window, whose solitary
pane he had opened.

He sat with his head bowed upon one of his hands. He seemed tranquil,
but plunged in profound melancholy; for God, in the language of holy
Scripture, had not yet descended into Joseph’s prison to console him,
nor sent his angel before him to fortify his servant. And yet, had any
one been able to compare the speechless rage, the frightful but vain
remorse, which corroded the king’s heart, with the deep but silent
sorrow that overwhelmed the soul of the just man, such a one would
have declared Sir Thomas More to be happy. And still his sufferings
were cruelly intense, for he thought of his children; he was in the
midst of them, and his heart had never left them.

“They know ere this,” he said to himself, “that I shall not return.
Margaret, my dear Margaret, will have told them all!” And he was not
there to console them. What would become of them without him,
abandoned to the fury of the king, ready, perhaps, to revenge himself
even upon them for the obstinacy with which he reproached their
father?

Whilst indulging in these harrowing reflections he heard the keys
cautiously turned in the triple locks of his prison; and soon a man
appeared, all breathless with fear and haste. It was Kingston, the
lieutenant of the Tower. He entered, and, gasping for breath, held the
door behind him.

“My dear Sir Thomas,” he cried, “blessed be God! you are acquitted,
your innocence is proclaimed. The council has been assembled all
night, and they have decided that you could not in any manner be
implicated in the prosecution. Oh! how glad I am. But the Holy Maid of
Kent has been condemned to be hanged at Tyburn. Judge now if this was
not a dangerous business! I have never doubted your innocence; but you
have some very furious and very powerful enemies. That Cromwell is a
most formidable man. My dear Sir Thomas, how rejoiced I am!”

A gleam of joy lighted the heart of Sir Thomas.

“Can it be?” he cried. “Say it again, Master Kingston. What! I shall
see my children again? I shall die in peace among them? No, I cannot
believe in so much happiness. But that poor girl――is she really
condemned?”

“Yes,” cried Kingston; “but here are you already thinking of this nun.
By my faith, I have thought of nobody but you. And the Bishop of
Rochester has also been acquitted.”

“He has, then, already been in the Tower?” cried More.

“Just above you――door to the left――No. 3,” replied Kingston briefly,
in the manner of his calling.

“What!” cried Sir Thomas, “is it he, then, I have heard walking above
my head? I knew not why, but I listened to those slow and measured
steps with a secret anxiety. I tried to imagine what might be the age
and appearance of this companion in misfortune; and it was my friend,
my dearest friend! O my dear Kingston! that I could see him. I beg of
you to let me go to him at once!”

“Of what are you thinking?” exclaimed Kingston――“without permission!
You do not know that I have come here secretly, and if they hear of it
I shall be greatly compromised. The order was to hold you in solitary
confinement; it has not been rescinded, and already I transgress it.”

“Ah! I cannot see him,” repeated Sir Thomas. “I am in solitary
confinement.” And his joy instantly faded before the reflection which
told him that the real crime of which he was accused had not been
expiated.

Penetrated by this sentiment, he took the keeper’s hand. “My dear
Kingston,” he said, “you are right――you would surely compromise
yourself; for my case is not entirely decided yet. As you say, I have
some very powerful enemies. However, they will be able to do naught
against me more than God permits them, and it is this thought alone
that animates and sustains my courage.”

“Nay, nay, you need not be uneasy,” replied Kingston; “they can do
nothing more against you. I have listened to everything they have
said, and have not lost a single word. You will be set at liberty
to-day, after you have taken an oath the formula of which they have
drawn up expressly for you, as I have been told by the secretary.”

“Ah! the oath,” cried Sir Thomas, penetrated with a feeling of the
keenest apprehension. “I know it well!”

“Fear naught, then, Sir Thomas,” replied Kingston, struck by the
alteration he observed in his countenance, a moment before so full of
hope and joy. “They have arranged this oath for you; they know your
scrupulous delicacy of conscience and your religious sentiments. This
is the one they will demand of the ecclesiastics, and you are the only
layman of whom they will exact it. You see there is no reason here why
you should be uneasy.”

“Oh!” said Sir Thomas, whose heart was pierced by every word of the
lieutenant, “you are greatly mistaken, my poor Kingston. It is to
condemn and not to save me they have done all this. The oath――yes; it
is that oath, like a ferocious beast, which they destine to devour me.
Ah! why did the hope of escaping it for a moment come to gladden my
heart? My Lord and my God, have mercy on me!”

Sir Thomas paused, overcome by his feelings, and was unable to utter
another word.

“My dear Sir Thomas,” said Kingston, amazed, “what means this? Even if
you refuse to take this oath they will doubtless set you at liberty.
Cromwell has said as much to the secretary. But what should prevent
you from taking it, if the priests do not refuse?”

“Dear Kingston,” replied Sir Thomas, “I cannot explain that to you
now, as it is one of the things I keep between God and myself. I know
right well, also, that these prison walls have ears, that they re-echo
all they hear, and that one cannot even sigh here without it being
reported.”

“You are dissatisfied, then, with being under my care!” exclaimed
Kingston, who was extremely narrow-minded, and whose habit of living,
and still more of commanding, in the Tower had brought him to regard
it as a habitation by no means devoid of attractions.

“You may very well believe, Sir Thomas,” he continued, “that I have
not forgotten the many favors and proofs of friendship I have received
from you; that I am entirely devoted to you; and what I most regret is
not having it in my power to treat you as I would wish in giving you
better fare at my table. Fear of the king’s anger alone prevents me,
and I at least would be glad to feel that you were satisfied with the
good-will I have shown.”

More smiled kindly: for the delicate sensibility and exquisite tact
which in an instant discovered to him how entirely it was wanting in
others never permitted from him other expressions than those of a
pleasantry as gentle as it was refined.

“In good sooth, my dear lieutenant, I am quite contented with you; you
are a good friend, and would most certainly like to treat me well. If,
then, I should ever happen to show any dissatisfaction with your
table, you must instantly turn me out of your house.” And he smiled at
the idea.

“You jest, Sir Thomas,” said Kingston.

“In truth, my dear friend, I have nevertheless but little inclination
to jest,” replied More.

“Well, all that I regret is not having it in my power to treat you as
I would wish,” continued Kingston in the same tone. “I should have
been so happy to have made you entirely comfortable here!”

“Come,” said Sir Thomas, “let us speak no more of that; I am very well
convinced of it, and I thank you for the attachment you have shown me
to-day. I only regret that I cannot be permitted to see the Bishop of
Rochester for a moment.”

“Impossible!” cried Kingston. “If it were discovered, I should lose my
place.”

“Then I no longer insist,” said Sir Thomas; “but let me, at least,
write him a few words.”

Kingston made no reply and looked very thoughtful. He hesitated.

“Carry the letter yourself,” said Sir Thomas, “and, unless you tell
it, no person will know it.”

“You think so?” said Kingston, embarrassed. “But then my Lord
Rochester must burn it immediately; for if they should find it in his
hands, they would try to find out how he received it; and, Sir Thomas,
I know not how it is done, but they know everything.”

“They will never be able to find this out. O Master Kingston!” said
More, “let me write him but one word.”

“Well, well, haste, then; for it is time I should go. If they came and
asked for me, and found me not, I would be lost.”

Sir Thomas, fearing he might retract, hastened immediately to write
the following words on a scrap of paper:

     “What feelings were mine, dear friend, on learning that you
     are imprisoned here so near me, you may imagine. What a
     consolation it would be to clasp you in my arms! But that is
     denied me; God so wills it. During the first doleful night I
     spent in this prison my eyes never once closed in sleep. I
     heard your footsteps; I listened, I counted them most
     anxiously. I asked myself who this unfortunate creature
     could be who, like myself, groaned in this place; if it were
     long since he had seen the light of heaven, and why he was
     imprisoned in this den of stone. Alas! and it was you. Now I
     see you, I follow you everywhere. What anguish is mine to be
     so near you, yet not be able to see or speak to you! Rap
     from time to time on the floor in such a manner that I may
     know you are speaking to me; my heart will understand thine.
     It seems to me the voice of the stones will communicate your
     words. I shall listen night and day for your signals, and
     this will be a great consolation to me.”

“Hasten, Sir Thomas,” said Kingston. “I hear a noise in the yard; they
are searching for me.”

“Yes, yes,” replied Sir Thomas.

     “My friend, they hurry me. Do you remember all you said to
     me at Chelsea the night you urged me not to accept the
     chancellorship? O my friend! how often I have thought of it.
     And you――you also will be a victim, I fear. They hurry me,
     and I have so many things to say to you since the time I saw
     you last! I fear you suffer from cold in your cell. Ask
     Kingston for covering; for my sake he will give it you.
     Implore him to bring me your reply. A letter from you――what
     happiness in my abandoned condition; for they will not
     permit Margaret to visit me. I am in solitary confinement.
     They will probably let me die slowly of misery, immured
     within these four walls. They fear the publicity of a trial;
     and men so quickly forget those who disappear from before
     their eyes. God, however, will not forget us, and we are
     ever in his keeping; for he says in holy Scripture: ‘I carry
     you written in my hand, and a mother shall forget her child
     before I forget the soul that seeks me in sincerity of
     heart.’ Farewell, dear friend; let us pray for each other. I
     love and cherish you in our Lord Jesus Christ, our precious
     Saviour and our only Redeemer.
                                            “THOMAS MORE.”

Meanwhile, Rumor, on her airy wing, in her indefatigable and rapid
course, had very soon circulated throughout the country reports of
Henry’s enormities. The great multitudes of people who prostrated
themselves before the cross, carried it with reverence in their hands,
and elevated it proudly above their heads, were astonished and
indignant at these recitals of crime. Princes trembled on their
thrones, and those who surrounded them lived in constant dread.

Thomas More, the model among men, the Bishop of Rochester, that among
the angels――these men cast into a gloomy prison, separated from all
that was most dear to them, scarcely clothed, and fed on the coarse
fare of criminals――such outrages men discussed among themselves, and
reported to the compassionate and generous hearts of their mothers and
sisters.

Will, then, no voice be raised in their defence? Will no one endeavor
to snatch them from the tortures to which they are about to be
delivered up? Are the English people dead and their intellects
stultified? Do relatives, friends, law, and honor no longer exist
among this people? Have they become but a race of bloodthirsty
executioners, a crowd of brutal slaves, who live on the grain the
earth produces, and drink from the rivers that water it? Such were the
thoughts which occupied them, circulating from mouth to mouth among
the tumultuous children of men.

But if this mass of human beings, always so indifferent and so
perfectly selfish, felt thus deeply moved, what must have been the
anguish of heart experienced by the faithful and sincere friend, what
terror must have seized him, when, seated by his own quiet fireside,
enjoying the retreat it afforded him, the voice of public indignation
came to announce that he was thus stricken in all his affections! For
he also, a native of a distant country, loved More. He had met him,
and immediately his heart went out toward him. Who will explain this
sublime mystery, this secret of God, this admirable and singular
sympathy, which reveals one soul to another, and requires neither
words nor sounds, neither language nor gestures, in order to make it
intelligible? “I had no sooner seen Pierre Gilles,” said More, “than I
loved him as devotedly as though I had always known and loved him.
Then I was at Antwerp, sent by the king to negotiate with the prince
of Spain; I waited from day to day the end of the negotiations, and
during the four months I was separated from my wife and children,
anxious as I was to return and embrace them, I could never be
reconciled to the thought of leaving him. His conversation, fluent and
interesting, beguiled most agreeably my hours of leisure; hours and
days spent near him seemed to me like moments, they passed so rapidly.
In the flower of his age, he already possessed a vast deal of
erudition; his soul above all――his soul so beautiful, superior to his
genius――inspired me with a devotion for him as deep as it was
inviolable. Candor, simplicity, gentleness, and a natural inclination
to be accommodating, a modesty seldom found, integrity above
temptation――all virtues in fact, that combine to form the worthy
citizen――were found united in him, and it would have been impossible
for me to have found in all the world a being more worthy of inspiring
friendship, or more capable of feeling and appreciating all its
charms.”

In this manner he spoke before his children, and related to Margaret
how painful he found the separation from his friend. Often during the
long winter nights, when the wind whistled without and heavy
snow-flakes filled the air, he would press his hand upon his forehead,
and his thoughts would speed across the sea. In imagination he would
be transported to Antwerp, would behold her immense harbor covered
with richly-laden vessels, her tall roofs and her long streets, and
the beautiful church of Notre Dame, with the court in front, where he
so often walked with his friend. Then he entered the mansion of Pierre
Gilles; he traversed the court, mounted the steps; he found him at
home in the midst of his family; it seemed to him that he heard him
speak, and he prepared to give himself up to the charms of his
conversation.

The cry of a child, the movement of a chair, came suddenly to blot out
this picture, dispel this sweet illusion, and recall him to the
reality of the distance which separated them. An expression of pain
and sorrow would pass over his features; and Margaret, from whom none
of her father’s thoughts escaped, would take his hand and say:
“Father, you are thinking about Pierre Gilles!”

A close correspondence had for a long time sweetened their mutual
exile; but since the divorce was set in motion the king had become so
suspicious that he had all letters intercepted, and one no longer
dared to write or communicate with any stranger. Thus they found
themselves deprived of this consolation.

Eager to obtain the slightest intelligence, questioning
indiscriminately all whom he met――merchants, strangers,
travellers――Pierre Gilles endeavored by all possible means to obtain
some intelligence of his friend Thomas More. Whenever a sail appeared
upon the horizon and a ship entered the port, this illustrious citizen
was seen immediately hastening to the pier, and patiently remaining
there until he had ascertained whether or not the vessel hailed from
England; or else he waited, mingling with a crowd of the most degraded
class, until the vessel landed. Alas! for several months all that he
could learn only increased his apprehensions, and he vainly endeavored
to quiet them. He had already announced to his family his intention of
making the voyage to England to see his friend, when the fatal
intelligence of More’s imprisonment was received.

Then he no longer listened to anything, but, taking all the gold his
coffers contained, he hastened to the port and took passage on the
first vessel he found.

“O my friend!” he cried, “if I shall only be able to tear you from
their hands. This gold, perhaps, will open your prison. Let them give
you to me, let my home become yours, and let my friends be your
friends. Forget your ungrateful country; mine will receive you with
rapturous joy.”

Such were his reflections, and for two days the vessel that bore him
sailed rapidly toward England; the wind was favorable, and a light
breeze seemed to make her fly over the surface of the waves. The sails
were unfurled, and the sailors were singing, delighted at the prospect
of a happy voyage, while Pierre Gilles, seated on the deck, his back
leaning against the mast, kept his eyes fixed on the north,
incessantly deceived by the illusion of the changing horizon and the
fantastic form of the blue clouds, which seemed to plunge into the
sea. He was continually calling out: “Captain, here is land!” But the
old pilot smiled as he guided the helm, and leaning over, like a man
accustomed to know what he said, slightly shrugged one shoulder and
replied: “Not yet, Sir Passenger.”

And soon, in fact, Pierre Gilles would see change their form or
disappear those fantastic rocks and sharp points which represented an
unattainable shore. Then it seemed to him that he would never arrive,
the island retreated constantly before him, and his feet would never
be permitted to rest upon the shores of England.

“Alas!” he would every moment say to himself, “they are trying him
now, perhaps. If I were there, I would run, I would beg, I would
implore his pardon. And his youthful daughter, whom they say is so
fair, so good――into what an agony she must be plunged! All this family
and those young children to be deprived of such a father!”

Pierre was unable to control himself for a moment; he arose, walked
forward on the vessel; he saw the foaming track formed by her rapid
passage through the water wiped out in an instant, effaced by the
winds, and yet it seemed to him that the vessel thus cutting the waves
remained motionless, and that he was not advancing a furlong. “An
hour’s delay,” he mentally repeated, “and perhaps it will be too late.
Let them banish him; I shall at least be able to find him!”

Already the night wind was blowing a gale and the sea grew turbulent;
a flock of birds flew around the masts, uttering the most mournful
cries, and seeming, as they braved the whirlwind which had arisen, to
be terrified.

“Comrades, furl the sails!” cried the steersman; “a waterspout
threatens us! Be quick,” he cried, “or we are lost.”

In the twinkling of an eye the sailors seized the ropes and climbed
into the rigging. Vain haste, useless dexterity; their efforts were
all too late.

A furious gust of wind groaned, roared, rent the mainmast in twain,
tore away the ropes, bent and broke the masts; a horrible crash was
heard throughout the ship.

“Cut away! Pull! Haul down! Hold there! Hoist away! Let go!” cried the
captain, who had rushed up from his cabin. “Bravo! Courage, there!
Stand firm!”

“Ay, ay!” cried the sailors. A loud clamor arose in the midst of the
horrible roaring of the winds. The sailor on watch had fallen into the
sea.

“Throw out the buoy! throw out the buoy!” cried the captain. “Knaves,
do you hear me?”

Impossible; the rope fluttered in the wind like a string, and the
tempest drove it against the sides of the vessel. They saw the
unfortunate sailor tossing in the sea, carried along like a black
point on the waves, which in a moment disappeared.

“All is over! He is lost!” cried the sailors. But the howling winds
stifled and drowned their lamentations.

In the meantime Pierre Gilles bound himself tightly as he could to a
mast; for the shaking of the vessel was so great that it seemed to him
an irresistible power was trying to tear him away and cast him
whirling into the yawning depths of the furious element.

“The mizzen-mast is breaking!” cried the sailors; and by a common
impulse they rushed toward the stern to avoid being dragged down and
crushed by its fall.

The gigantic beam fell with a fearful crash, catching in the ropes and
rigging.

“Cut away! Let her go!” cried the captain.

He himself was the first to rush forward, armed with a hatchet, and
they tried to cut aloose the mast and let it fall into the water.

But they were unable to succeed; the mast hung over the side of the
ship, which it struck with every wave, and threatened to capsize her.
Every moment the position of the crew became more dangerous. The
shocks were so violent that the men were no longer able to resist
them; they clung to everything they could lay hold of; they twined
their legs and arms in the hanging ropes. All efforts to control the
vessel had become useless, and, seeing no longer any hope of being
saved, the sailors began to utter cries of despair.

Pierre Gilles had fastened himself to the mainmast. “If this also
breaks,” he thought, “well, I shall die by the same stroke――die
without seeing him!” he cried, still entirely occupied with More. “He
will not know that I have tried to reach him, and will, perhaps,
believe that I have deserted him in the day of adversity. Oh! how
death is embittered by that thought. He will say that, happy in the
bosom of my family, I have left him alone in his prison, and he will
strive to forget even the recollection of my friendship. O More, More!
my friend, this tempest ought to carry to you my regrets.”

Looking around him, Pierre saw the miserable men tossing their arms in
despair; for the night was advancing, their strength nearly exhausted,
while the vessel, borne along on the crest of the waves, suddenly
pitched with a frightful plunge, and the water rushed in on every
side.

The captain had stationed himself near Pierre Gilles; he contemplated
the destruction of his ship with a mournful gaze.

“Here is this fine vessel lost――all my fortune, the labor of an entire
life of toil and care. My children now will be reduced to beggary!
Here is the fruit of thirty years of work,” he cried. “Sir,” he said
to Pierre Gilles, “I began life at twelve years; I have passed
successively up from cabin-boy, mariner, boatswain, lieutenant,
captain finally, and now――the sea. I shall have to begin anew!”

“Begin anew, sir?” said Pierre Gilles. “But is not death awaiting us
very speedily?”

“That remains to be seen,” answered the captain, folding his arms. “I
have been three times shipwrecked, and I am here still, sir. It is
true there is an end to everything; but the ocean and myself
understand each other. We shall come out of it, if we gain time. After
the storm, a calm; after the tempest, fine weather.” Here he
attentively scanned the heavens. “A few more swells of the sea, and,
if we escape, courage! All will be well.”

“Hold fast, my boys!” he cried; “another sea is coming.”

He had scarcely uttered the words when a frightful wave advanced like
a threatening mountain, and, raising the vessel violently, swept
entirely over her; but the ship still remained afloat. Other waves
succeeded, and the unfortunate sailors remained tossing about in that
condition until the next morning. However, as the day dawned, hope
revived in their hearts; the horizon seemed brightening; the wind
allayed by degrees. Pierre Gilles and his companions shook their
limbs, stiffened and benumbed by the cold and the water which had
drenched them, and thought they could at last perceive the land. They
succeeded in relieving the vessel a little by throwing the mast into
the sea. Every one took courage, and soon the coast appeared in sight.
There was no more doubt: it was the coast of England. There were the
pointed rocks, the whitened reefs. They were in their route; the
tempest had not diverted the ship from its course. On the fourth day
they entered the mouth of the Thames.

The poor vessel, five days before so elegant, so swift, so light, was
dragged with difficulty into that large and beautiful river. Badly
crippled, she moved slowly, and was an entire day in reaching London.
Pierre Gilles suffered cruelly on account of this delay, and would
have made them put him ashore, but that was impossible. Besides, he
wished to arrive more speedily at London, and that would not hasten
his journey. From a distance he perceived the English standard
floating above the Tower, and his heart swelled with sorrow. “Alas!
More is there,” he cried. “How shall I contrive to see him? how tear
him from that den?” Absorbed in these reflections, he reached at
length the landing-place. He knew not where to go nor whom to address
in that great city, where he had never before been, and where he was
entirely unacquainted. He looked at the faces of those who came and
went on the wharf, without feeling inclined to accost any of them.

Suddenly, however, he caught the terrible words, “His trial has
commenced”; and, uncertain whether it was the effect of his troubled
imagination or a real sound, he turned around and saw a group of women
carrying fish in wicker baskets, and talking together.

“At Lambeth Palace, I tell you. He is there; I have seen him.”

“Who?” said Pierre in good English, advancing in his Flemish costume,
which excited the curiosity and attention of all the women.

“Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor,” answered the first speaker.

“Thomas More!” cried Pierre Gilles, with a gesture of despair and
terror which nothing could express. “Who is trying him? Speak, good
woman, speak! Say who is trying him? Where are they trying him?
Conduct me to the place, and all my fortune is yours!”

The women looked at each other. “A foreigner!” they exclaimed.

“Yes,” he replied, “a stranger, but a friend, a friend. Leave your
fish――I will pay you for them――and show me where the trial of Sir
Thomas is going on.”

The fisherwoman, having observed the gold chain he wore around his
neck, his velvet robe, and his ruff of Ypres lace, judged that he was
some important personage, who would reward her liberally for her
trouble; she resolved to accompany him. She walked on before him, and
the other women took up their baskets, and followed at some distance
in the rear.

Meanwhile, Pierre Gilles and his conductress, having followed the quay
and walked the length of the Thames, crossed Westminster Bridge, and
he found himself at last in front of Lambeth Palace.

A considerable crowd of people, artisans, workmen, merchants, idlers,
began to scatter and disperse. Some stopped to talk, others left; they
saw that something had come to an end, that the spectacle was closed,
the excited curiosity was satisfied. The juggler’s carpet was gathered
up, the lottery drawn, the quarrel ended, the prince or the criminal
had passed; there was nothing more to see, and every one was anxious
to depart――careless crowd, restless and ignorant, which the barking of
a dog will arrest, and a great misfortune cannot detain!

“Here it is, sir,” said the woman, stopping; “this is Lambeth Palace
just in front of you, but I don’t believe you can get in.” And she
pointed to a large enclosure and a great door, before which was
walking up and down a yeoman armed with an arquebuse.

Standing close to one of the sections of the door was seen a beautiful
young girl, dressed in black, and wearing on her head a low velvet hat
worn by the women of that period. A gold chain formed of round beads,
from which was suspended a little gold medal ornamented with a pearl
pendant, hung around her neck, and passed under her chemisette of
plaited muslin bordered with narrow lace. She stood with her hands
clasped, her beautiful countenance pale as death, and her arms
stretched at full length before her, expressive of the deepest sorrow.
Near her was seated a handsome young man, who from time to time
addressed her.

Pierre Gilles approached these two persons.

“Margaret,” said Roper, “come.”

“No,” said the young girl, “I will not go; I shall remain here until
night. I will see him as he goes out; I will see him once more; I will
see that ignoble woollen covering they have given him for a cloak; I
will see his pale and weary face. He will say: ‘Margaret is standing
there!’ He will see me.”

“That will only give him pain,” replied Roper.

“Perhaps,” said the young girl. “Indeed, it is very probable!” And a
bitter smile played around her lips.

“If you love him,” replied Roper, “you should spare him this grief.”

“I love him, Roper; you have said well! I love him! What would you
wish? This is my father!”

Pierre Gilles, who had advanced, seeking some means of entering,
paused to look at the young girl, and was struck by the resemblance he
found between her features and those of her father, his friend, who
was still young when he knew him at Antwerp.

“Can this be Margaret?” murmured the stranger.

“Who has pronounced my name?” asked the young girl, turning haughtily
around.

Pierre Gilles stood in perfect amazement. “How much she resembles him!
Pardon me, damsel,” he said; “I have been trying to get into this
place to see my friend, Sir Thomas More.”

“Your friend!” replied Margaret, advancing immediately toward him.
Then a feeling of suspicion arrested her. She stepped back and fixed
her eyes on the stranger, whose Flemish costume attracted her
attention. “And who,” she said, “can you be? Oh! no; he is not here.
Sir Thomas More has no friends. You are mistaken, sir,” she continued;
“it is some one else you seek. My father――no, my father has no longer
any friends; has _any one_ when he is in irons, when the scaffold is
erected, the axe sharpened, and the executioner getting ready to do
his work?”

“What do you say?” cried the stranger, turning pale. “Is he, then,
already condemned?”

“He is going to be!”

“No, no, he shall not be! Pierre Gilles will demand, will beseech;
they will give him to him; he will pay for him with his gold, with his
life-blood, if necessary.”

“Pierre Gilles!” cried Margaret; and she threw herself on the neck of
the stranger, and clasped him in her arms.

“Pierre Gilles! Pierre Gilles! it is you who love my father. Ah!
listen to me. He is up there; this is the second time they have made
him appear before them. Alas! doubtless to-day will be the last; for
they are tired――tired of falsehoods, artifices, and base, vile
manœuvres; they are tired of offering him gold and silver――he who
wants only heaven and God; they are weary of urging, of tormenting
this saintly bishop and this upright man, in order to extort from them
an oath which no Christian can or ought to take. Then it will be
necessary for these iniquitous and purchased judges to wash out their
shame in blood. They must crush these witnesses to the truth, these
defenders of the faith! My father, child of the martyrs, will walk in
their footsteps, and die as they died; Rochester, successor of the
apostles, will give his life like them; but Margaret, poor Margaret,
she will be left! And it is I, yes, it is I, who am his daughter, and
who is named Margaret!” As she said these words, she clasped her hands
with an expression of anguish that nothing can describe.


TO BE CONTINUED.


     [88] These words, which we find in the mouth of this
     hypocrite, the impious Cromwell, have been the watchword
     from all time of those who wished to attack the monks and
     destroy them. Well-informed and educated persons know, by
     the great number of works coming from their pens, whether
     they were idlers, and the poor in all ages will be able to
     say whether they have ever been selfish or uncharitable.



NEW PUBLICATIONS.


  SERMONS ON THE SACRAMENTS. By Thomas Watson, Master of St. John’s
    College, Cambridge, Dean of Durham, and the last Catholic Bishop
    of Lincoln. First printed in 1558, and now reprinted in modern
    spelling. With a Preface and Biographical Notice of the Author by
    the Rev. T. E. Bridgett, of the Congregation of the Most Holy
    Redeemer. London: Burns & Oates. 1876. (For sale by The Catholic
    Publication Society.)

After Father Bridgett’s beautiful work, _Our Lady’s Dowry_, we may be
sure that whatever he puts forth, whether original or edited, will
repay perusal. He has a _penchant_ for forgotten treasures of
England’s Catholic past, and spares himself no pains to give us the
benefit of his researches. Not content with editing the present
volume, he has gone to the trouble of a biographical notice, and quite
a long one, of his author. We cannot do better than let him speak for
himself in the opening lines of his preface:

“Here is a volume of sermons, printed more than three centuries ago in
black-letter type and uncouth spelling, and the existence of which is
only known to a few antiquarians. Why, it will be asked, have I
reprinted it in modern guise and sought to rescue it from oblivion? I
have done so for its own sake and for the sake of its author. It is a
book that deserves not to perish, and which would not have been
forgotten, as it is, but for the misfortune of the time at which it
appeared. It was printed in the last year of Queen Mary, and the
change of religion under Elizabeth made it almost impossible to be
procured, and perilous to be preserved. The number of English Catholic
books is not so great that we can afford to lose one so excellent as
this.

“But even had it less intrinsic value, it is the memorial of a great
man, little known, indeed, because, through the iniquity of the times,
he lacked a biographer. I am confident that any one who will read the
following memoir, imperfect as it is, will acknowledge that I have not
been indulging an antiquarian fancy, but merely paying, as far as I
could, a debt of justice long due, in trying to revive the memory of
the last Catholic bishop of Lincoln.”

Father Bridgett further explains that these sermons belong to the
class which “are written that they may be preached by others.” Their
author undertook to write them as a “Manual of Catholic Doctrine on
the Sacraments,” and in compliance with the order of a council under
Cardinal Pole in December, 1555.

“Being intended for general preaching――or rather, public
reading――these sermons are, of course, impassioned and colorless. We
cannot judge from them of Bishop Watson’s own style of preaching. We
cannot gather from them, as from the sermons of Latimer and Leaver,
pictures of the manners and passions of the times. They scarcely ever
reflect Watson’s personal character, except by the very absence of
invective and the simple dignity which distinguishes them. As
specimens of old English before the great Elizabethan era, they will
be interesting to students of our language, especially as being the
work of one of the best classical scholars of the day” (Preface, p.
xii.).

Father Bridgett characterizes these sermons as “eminently patristic.”
“I have counted,” he says, “more than four hundred marginal references
to the fathers and ecclesiastical writers; and I may say that they are
in great measure woven out of the Scriptures and the fathers.” Then,
after remarking that, “with regard to their doctrine, it must be
remembered that they were published before the conclusion of the
Council of Trent,” he tells us: “I have added a few short theological
notes only; for the doctrine throughout these sermons is both clearly
stated and perfectly Catholic. As they certainly embody the
traditional teaching of the English Church before the Council of
Trent, they are an additional proof that Catholics of the present day
are faithful to the inheritance of their forefathers.”

From what we have had time to read of these pages, we have been struck
with at once the fulness and simplicity of the instructions they
contain. The style, too, in our eyes, has both unction and charm. We
thank Father Bridgett that he has “exactly reproduced the original,
with the exception of the spelling.” “No educated reader,” he says,
“will find much difficulty in the old idiom. The sentences, indeed,
are rather long, like those of a legal document; yet they are simple
in construction, and, when read aloud, they can be broken up by a
skilful reader without the addition of a word.” We will only add that,
perhaps, not the least attractive feature of these sermons (to the
modern reader) is their brevity.


  THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. By
    Dr. H. von Holst, Professor at the University of Freiburg.
    Translated from the German by John J. Lalor and Alfred B. Mason.
    1750-1833. State Sovereignty and Slavery. Chicago: Callaghan & Co.
    1876.

The efforts of Europeans to study and write upon the American
Constitution and the political life of our people, though partial and
somewhat prejudiced, have always been interesting and instructive. De
Tocqueville, in his _Democracy in America_, studied rather to teach us
than to learn from our theory of government and its practice, and this
from his transient observations as a tourist. Professor von Holst
resided in this country from 1867 to 1872, and thus may be supposed to
have studied more profoundly our system, and to have seen more
thoroughly our practice. No one, however, could rightly judge of our
political history or the system of our government who had not seen and
known us both before and after our civil war. De Tocqueville saw us
before, and Von Holst after, that great crisis in our history. Hence
we think that both authors should be read, in order to appreciate the
efforts of learned and distinguished foreigners to comment upon a
theme so difficult to any European. This is especially desirable now,
as in this case the Frenchman and the German are not admirers of each
other’s respective political systems. The present volume, however, is
able, spirited, and well written, and shows a remarkable acquaintance
with our history and institutions, and with the lives and characters
of our public men. The author is not in love with our government, and
yet is not without sympathy for it and for our people. He is, no
doubt, more in sympathy with our present than with our past. From his
vigorously-written pages Americans may learn something of their
virtues and of their faults. The _animus_ and style of the work might
be inferred from the title of the second chapter: “The Worship of the
Constitution, and its real Character.” We have often been accused of
making the Constitution our political _bible_, and Washington our
political patron saint. Such seems to be the impression of Professor
von Holst. But it must be said that his able and interesting work is
well calculated to promote the study of the American republican form
of government; for we are certainly a _terra incognita_ to most
Europeans. Having ably studied his subject, he has ably and learnedly
communicated his researches to his countrymen and to the world. His
work will appear in a series of volumes, of which we have now only the
first, and the English translation will hereafter appear in this
country simultaneously with the original German publications. The work
seems to deal exclusively with political questions, and handles them
ably. We commend its perusal to our readers.


  ALICE LEIGHTON. A Tale of the Seventeenth Century. London: Burns &
    Oates. 1876. New York: The Catholic Publication Society.

This story of the wars between Roundhead and Cavalier will prove an
agreeable disappointment to the reader who contrives to wade through
its first few pages, which are rather silly. We tremble for the fate
of a story which in the very first page tells us of its youthful hero:
“His brow was, however, clouded, either with emotion or with sorrow,
_perchance with both_; and a _careful_ observer _might_ have marked a
tear in his soft dark eyes as he turned his gaze upon the fair view
before him.” In the second page the hero tells us, or rather nobody in
particular, that eighteen summers have at last passed over him,
whereupon he proceeds to deliver a page of an address to his “own dear
home,” in the course of which he remarks that “the _accents_ of a
dethroned monarch are _calling_ for assistance,” but “the
long-listened-to maxims” of his childhood hold him back from joining
the king. In the third page he encounters a mild sort of witch, who is
gifted with that very uncertain second sight that has been the
peculiar property of witches from time immemorial, and who prophesies
to him, in Scotch dialect, in the usual fashion of such prophets.

Nothing could be more inauspicious than such a beginning; and yet as
one reads on all this clap-trap disappears, and a very interesting
story, though by no means of the highest order, unfolds itself. There
is abundance of incident, battle, hair-breadth escape, varying
fortunes, misery, ending with the final happiness of those in whom we
are chiefly interested. Some of the characters are very well drawn,
and the author shows a competent knowledge of the scenes, events, and
period in which the story is laid. It affords a healthy and agreeable
contrast to the psychological puzzles generally given us nowadays as
novels. It looks to us as though the writer were a new hand. If so,
_Alice Leighton_ affords every promise of very much better work in a
too weak department of letters――Catholic fiction. If the writer will
only banish for ever that antiquated _deus_ or _dea ex machinâ_, the
witch, especially if she speak with a Scotch accent, give much more
care than is shown in the present volume to English, not _force_ fun
for fun’s sake, we shall hope soon to welcome a new volume from a
lively, pleasant, and powerful pen.


  “MY OWN CHILD.” A Novel. By Florence Marryat. New York: D. Appleton
    & Co. 1876.

Florence Marryat has become, and deservedly, quite a popular novelist.
She has, we understand, become something in our opinion very much
better――a Catholic. We see no reason why her faith should interfere
with the interest or power of her stories. On the contrary, it should
steady her hand, widen her vision, chasten her thought, give a new
meaning to very old scenes and types of character; and we have no
doubt at all that such will be the case. _My Own Child_ is neither her
best story nor her worst. It is a very sweet and pathetic one, simple
in construction and plot, yet full of sad interest throughout,
lightened here and there by bits of lively description or pictures of
quaint character. It is easy to recognize a practised hand in it. The
chief characters of the story are Catholics. We have only one fault to
find, but that a very serious one. It is too bad to make a young lady,
and so charming a young lady as May Power is represented to be, talk
slang. Where in the world did she learn it, this bright, beaming,
Irish, Catholic girl? Certainly not from her mother, for she never
indulges in it, and surely not from the good Sisters in Brussels by
whom she was educated. Yet she bounds out of the convent perfect
in――slang! For instance: “‘I’ll get some nice, jolly fellow to look
after it [her property] for us, mother.’ ‘You’ll never get another
Hugh!’ I exclaimed indignantly. ‘Well, then, we’ll take the next best
fellow we can find,’ replied my darling.” The first “best fellow,” the
Hugh alluded to, happened to be the “darling’s” dead father. The same
darling, only just out of convent, is anxious to make her first
appearance “with a splash and a dash.” It is only natural that she
should discover her mother looking “rather peaky” when that lady is
threatened with an illness that endangers her life.

This is to be regretted. Young ladies are much more acceptable as
young _ladies_ than when indulging in language supposed to be
relegated to “fast” young women. Slang is bad enough in men’s mouths,
whether in or out of books; but, spoken by a woman, it at once places
her without the pale of all that is sweet and pure and calculated to
inspire that admiration and reverence in men which are the crown and
pride of a Christian woman’s life. Miss Marryat is clever enough to
dispense with such poor material. Meanwhile, what becomes of this
slangy young lady the reader will discover for himself.



THE CATHOLIC WORLD.

VOL. XXIV., No. 141.――DECEMBER, 1876.

Copyright: Rev. I. T. HECKER. 1877.



THE UNITARIAN CONFERENCE AT SARATOGA.[89]


The Unitarians in September last held at Saratoga their biennial
conference, and we have looked over the issues of the _Liberal
Christian_, a weekly publication of this city, for a full report of
its proceedings, and looked to no purpose. It has, however, printed in
its columns some of the speeches delivered in the conference, and
given _in extenso_ the opening sermon of the Rev. Edward E. Hale.
Before the conference took place the _Liberal Christian_ spoke of Rev.
Edward E. Hale “as one of the few thoroughly-furnished and
widely-experienced men in their ranks.” This notice prepared us to
give special attention to the opening sermon, and to expect from it a
statement of Unitarian principles or beliefs which would at least
command the assent of a considerable portion of the Unitarian
denomination. More than this it would have been unreasonable to
anticipate; for so radical and extreme are their divergencies of
belief that it may be said Unitarians agree on no one common objective
truth; certainly not, if Mr. Frothingham and the section which the
latter gentleman represents are to be ranked within the pale of
Unitarianism.

The Rev. Edward E. Hale has not altogether disappointed our
anticipations, for he has given expression to some of the ideas most
prevalent among Unitarians; but before entering upon the consideration
of these there are certain preliminary statements which he makes
deserving some attention.

In the closing sentence of the first paragraph of his sermon Mr. Hale
gives us a noticeable piece of information. He says:

     “We were taught long since by Macaulay, in fervent rhetoric,
     that the republic of Venice is new in comparison with the
     papacy, and that the Roman Church was in its vigor when
     Augustine landed in Kent in the sixth century. So it was.
     But earlier than all this, before there was a bishop in
     Rome, there were independent Christian churches, liberal in
     their habit and Unitarian in their creed, in Greece, in
     Asia, and in Cyprus. Nay, before those churches existed there had
     gathered a group of peasants around the Saviour of men, and he
     had said to them: ‘Fear not, little flock; it is your Father’s
     good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ The Congregational Church
     order, with the Unitarian theology, is the _oldest_ Christian
     system known to history.”

What authentic history goes back of the account given in the New
Testament of the founding of the Catholic Church and her hierarchy by
Christ the Rev. Mr. Hale does not deign to inform us. When he does, it
will be time enough to pay attention to the assertion, “The
Congregational Church order is the oldest Christian system known to
history.” The church is in possession; the plaintiffs must make out
their case. Until then, “_quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur_”; for
an assertion without proof counts for nothing.

But he does attempt to prove his assertion about “Unitarian theology”
by what follows:

     “I make no peculiar partisan claim or boast in this
     statement. As to the statement of theology, I do but
     condense in a few words the statement made by the Roman
     Catholic writer in highest esteem among Englishmen to-day.
     He says what I say, that he may argue from it that you
     require the development of doctrine which only the perpetual
     inspiration of a line of pontiffs gives you, unless you
     choose to hold by the simple Unitarian creeds of the fathers
     before Constantine.”

From which of the many volumes of the writings of Dr. Newman Mr. Hale
has ventured to condense his language we are not told; but we are led
to suppose that it was written by Dr. Newman since he became a
Catholic, for he speaks of him as “the Roman Catholic writer in the
highest esteem among Englishmen to-day.” As a Catholic, Dr. Newman
never used language which could be condensed by a “thoroughly-informed”
man to what Rev. Mr. Hale has made him say; and we have our doubts
whether before he was a Catholic he used it. It would not be amiss if
Mr. Hale had something of Dr. Newman’s clearness of thought and
accuracy of expression. If he had, of this we are sure: he would never
venture to utter in a public speech or put in print that any Catholic
writer who has any claim of being a theologian believed or maintained
“the perpetual _inspiration_ of a line of pontiffs.”

In the next paragraph Rev. Mr. Hale literally quotes a passage from
Dr. Newman’s writings to sustain his thesis, but he fails. Here is the
quotation:

     “The creeds of that early day,” says Dr. Newman, “make no
     mention in their letter of the Catholic doctrine of the
     Trinity at all. They make mention, indeed, of a three, but
     that there is any mystery in the doctrine, that the three
     are one, that they are co-equal, co-eternal, all increate,
     all omnipotent, all incomprehensible, is not stated, and
     never could be gathered from them.”

He fails, because he proceeds on the supposition that the Catholic
Church teaches that her creeds contain the whole body of truth of the
Christian faith. The Catholic Church at no time or nowhere taught
this. Her creeds never did contain explicitly the whole body of the
Christian faith, they do not even now; for such was not her intention
or purpose. Had it not been for the errors of Arius and his followers,
the Christian doctrine of the Trinity might not have been contained in
the creeds of the church explicitly, even down to our own day. The
supposition, however, that the mystery of the Trinity was not believed
in the church “before Constantine” is as absurd as to suppose that the
necessity of good works for salvation, or there being a purgatory, was
not believed and maintained in the Catholic Church before the time of
Charles V., or that Papal Infallibility was not believed and held in
the church before the time of William of Prussia, the German _kaiser_!
The discussions and definitions of the councils render Christian
truths more explicit and intelligible than they were before; this is a
matter of course, but who is so ignorant as to suppose that the
councils originated these truths?

That the creeds “before Constantine” implied the Trinity and intended
it Dr. Newman would have taught the Rev. Edward E. Hale, if he had
ingenuously quoted the two sentences which follow his extract. Dr.
Newman continues thus: “Of course we believe that they [the early
creeds] imply it [the Trinity]. God forbid we should do
otherwise!”[90] Rev. Edward E. Hale ought to know that the Catholic
Church repudiates with instinctive horror the idea of adding to, or
taking away from, or altering in the least, the body of the Christian
truth delivered once and for all to her keeping by her divine Founder
when upon earth. The mistakes he makes on these points arise from his
viewing the church solely as an assembly, overlooking that she is also
a corporated body, informed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the
constitution given to her by Christ includes the commission to “teach
all things whatsoever he commanded.”

Following what has gone before, the Rev. Mr. Hale makes another
surprising statement. He says:

     “It was not to be expected――nor, in fact, did anybody
     expect――that a religion so simple and so radical should
     sweep the world without contaminating its own simplicity and
     blunting the edge of its own radicalism in the first and
     second contact, nay, in the contact of centuries. Least of
     all did Jesus Christ himself expect this. Nobody so definite
     as he in the statement of the obscurities and defilements
     which would surround his simple doctrine of ‘Love God and
     love men.’”

In all deference to Mr. Hale, this is precisely what everybody did
expect from the church of Christ――to teach the truth with purity and
unswerving fidelity, “without contamination in the contact,” for all
“centuries.” For this is what the promises of Christ led them
precisely to expect when he founded his church. He promised that “_the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it_.”[91] He promised also
that he would be with his church through all ages: “Behold, I am with
you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”[92] Does Mr.
Hale read the Holy Scriptures and believe what he reads? Listen,
again, to St. Paul’s description of the church. After saying that
“Christ is the head of the church,” and “the church is subject to
Christ,” he adds: “Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself
up for it, that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of
water in the word of life; that he might present it to himself a
glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, nor any such thing.”[93]
Now, although the Rev. E. E. Hale has thrown overboard the belief in
the divinity of Christ and the supernatural inspiration of the Holy
Scriptures, nevertheless the words of Christ and his apostle, measured
only by the standard of personal holiness and learning, ought to be
esteemed, when speaking of God’s church, of equal authority, at least,
to his statement, even though he ranks “as one of the few
thoroughly-furnished and widely-experienced men” among Unitarians.

But how did the church of Christ become “contaminated”? This is an
important point, and here is the Rev. E. E. Hale’s reply to it:

     “And, in truth, so soon as the church met with the world, it
     borrowed while it lent, it took while it gave. So, in the
     face of learned Egypt, it Egyptianized its simple Trinity;
     in the face of powerful Rome it heathenized its nascent
     ritual; in the face of wordy Greece it Hellenized its
     dogmatics and theology; and by way of holding well with
     Israel it took up a rabbin’s reverence even for the jots and
     tittles of its Bible. What history calls ‘Christianity,’
     therefore, is a man-adorned system, of which the methods can
     be traced to convenience, or even to heathen wisdom, if we
     except that one majestic method by which every true disciple
     is himself ordained a king and a priest, and receives the
     charge that in his daily life he shall proclaim glad tidings
     to every creature.”

The common error of the class of men to whom the Rev. E. E. Hale
belongs, who see the church, if at all, only on the outside, is to
“put the cart before the horse.” It is not the Egyptians, the Greeks,
the Romans, who teach the church of Christ, but the church of Christ
which teaches the truth to the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans.
Christ came to teach all nations, not to be taught by them. Hence, in
communicating his mission to his church, he said: “All power is given
to me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all
nations.”[94] The church, in fulfilling this divine commission of
teaching all nations, utilizes their gifts in bringing out the great
truths committed to her care by her divine Founder. It is in this
cooperation with the work of the church that the different nations and
races of men find the inspiration of their genius, the noblest
employment of their highest faculties, and the realization of their
providential mission upon earth. For the scattered rays of religious
truth which were held by the different nations and races of men under
paganism were derived from primitive revelation, and it is only when
these are brought within the focus of the light of universal truth
that their complete significance is appreciated, and they are seen in
all their original splendor. The Catholic Church, in this aspect, is
the reintegration of natural religion with the truths contained in
primitive revelation and their perfect fulfilment. Moreover, there is
no truth contained in any of the ancient religions before the coming
of Christ, or affirmed by any of the heresies since that event, or
that may be hereafter affirmed, which is not contained, in all its
integrity, in Catholicity. This is only saying, in other words, The
Catholic Church is catholic.

But these men do not see the church, and they appear to regard
Christianity as still an unorganized mass, and they are possessed with
the idea that the task is imposed upon them to organize the Christian
Church; and this work occupied and perplexed them not a little in
their Unitarian biennial conference held in the town of Saratoga, in
the United States of North America, in the month of September, in the
year of our Lord eighteen hundred and seventy-six!

  “Poor wanderers! ye are sore distrest
   To find the path which Christ has blest,
     Tracked by his saintly throng;
   Each claims to trust his own weak will――
   Blind idol!――so ye languish still,
     All wranglers, and all wrong.”[95]

Were the veil taken from their spiritual eyes, and did they behold the
church as she is, they would easily comprehend that her unbroken
existence for nineteen centuries alone, saying nothing of what glory
is in store for her in the future, is a more evident and conclusive
proof to us of the divinity of her Founder than the miracle of his
raising Lazarus from the dead was to those who were actual witnesses
to it. For, in raising Lazarus from the dead, he had but to deal with
passive matter, and that for only an instant; whereas in founding his
church he had to exert his power and counteract all the attacks of the
gates of hell, combined with the persecutions of the world and the
perversities of men, during successive centuries until the end of all
time. None but the living God could be the author of so potent,
comprehensive, and indestructible a body as the Catholic Church. Of
all the unanswerable testimonies of the divinity of Christ, there is
none so forcible as that of the perpetual existence of the one, holy,
Roman Catholic Church. She is the standing miracle of Christ.

The reverse sense of the statement of the Rev. Edward E. Hale on this
point contains the truth. The Catholic Church welcomes all nations and
races to her fold, and reintegrates the scattered truths contained in
every religious system, not by way of reunion or composition, but by
simplicity and unity in a divine synthesis; and as the ancient
Egyptians, and the Greeks, and the Romans, so also the modern Franks
and Celts, have served by their characteristic gifts to the
development and progress of Christian truth. In like manner the
Saxons, with their peculiar genius and instincts, will serve, to their
own greater glory, in due season, in the same great cause, perhaps, by
giving a greater development and a more scientific expression to the
mystic life of the church, and by completing, viewed from intrinsic
grounds, the demonstration of the truth of her divine mission.

Leaving aside other misstatements and errors contained in the first
part of this sermon from want of space, we pass on to what may be
termed its pith. Mr. Hale starts with the hazardous question, “What is
the Unitarian Church for?” As far as we can make out from repeated
reading of the main portion of the sermon――for there reigns a great
confusion and incoherence in his ideas――the Unitarian Church has for
its mission to certify anew and proclaim the truth that “God is in
man.” “God in man,” he says, “is in itself the basis of the whole
Gospel.” Undoubtedly “God is in man,” and God is in the brute, and God
is in every grain of sand, and God is in all things. God is in all
things by his immensity――that is, by his essence, and power, and
presence. But this is a truth known by the light of human reason, and
taught by all sound philosophers, heathen and Christian. There was no
need of the Gospel, nor of that “fearlessness” which, he tells us,
“was in the Puritan blood,” nor of the Unitarian Church, to teach this
evident and common truth to mankind.

The Gospel message means more than that, and the Rev. Mr. Hale has
some idea that it does mean more. He adds: “Every man is God’s child,
and God’s Spirit is in every life.” Again: “Men are the children of
God really and not figuratively”; “The life of God is their life by
real inheritance.” After having made these statements, he attempts to
give the basis and genesis of this relation of God as father to man as
child, as follows:

     “That the force which moves all nature is one force, and not
     many, appears to all men, as they study it, more and more.
     That this force is conscious of its own existence, that it
     is conscious of its own work, that it is therefore what men
     call spirit, that this spirit has inspired and still
     inspires us, that we are therefore not creatures of dumb
     power, but children of a Father’s love――this is the
     certainty which unfolds itself or reveals itself, or is
     unfolded or is revealed, as higher and higher man ascends in
     his knowledge of what IS.”

That man, by the light of his reason, can, by the study of nature,
attain to this idea of God and his principal attributes, as Spirit, as
Creator, upholder of the universe, and as Providence, is no doubt
true; but that, by the study of “the force which moves all nature,”
our own consciousness included, we can learn that we are the “children
of a Father’s love,” does not follow, and is quite another thing. It
is precisely here that Unitarianism as a consistent, intelligible
religious system crumbles into pieces. Nor can Unitarians afford to
follow the Rev. Edward E. Hale in his attempt to escape this
difficulty by concealing his head, ostrich-like, under the sand of a
spurious mysticism, and virtually repudiating the rational element in
religion by saying: “The mystic knows that God is here now. He has no
chain of posts between child and Father. He relies on no long, logical
system of communication,” etc. The genuine mystic, indeed, “knows God
is here,” but he knows also that God is not the author of confusion,
and to approach God he does not require of man to put out the light of
his reason. He will tell us that the relation of God to all things as
created being, and the relation of God to man as rational being, and
the relation of God to man as father to child, are not one and the
same thing, and ought not, therefore, to be confounded. The true
mystic will further inform us that the first relation, by way of
immanence, is common to all created things, man included; the second,
by way of rationality, is common to the human race; the third, by way
of filiation, is common to those who are united to God through the
grace of Christ. The first and second are communicated to man by the
creative act of God, and are therefore ours by right of natural
inheritance through Adam. The third relation is communicated to us by
way of adoption through the grace of the new Adam, Christ, who is “the
only-begotten Son of God.” This relation is not, therefore, ours by
inheritance. We “have received from Christ,” says St. Paul to the
Romans, “the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry: Abba, Father.”[96]
“By whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we
stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God.”[97] It
is proper to remark here that it is an error very common among
radicals, rationalists, and a certain class of Unitarians to suppose
that the relation of the soul to God by way of filiation, due to
Christ, is intended as a substitute for our natural relations to God
by way of immanence and rationality; whereas Christianity presupposes
these, reaffirms, continues, completes, and perfects them, by this
very gift of filiation with God. For it is a maxim common to all
Catholic theologians that _gratia supponit et perficit naturam_.

Our intelligent mystic would not stop here. Proceeding further, he
would say that to be really and truly children of God by inheritance
implies our being born with the same identical nature as God. For the
nature of a child is not a resemblance to, or an image of, that of his
father, but consists in his possessing the same identical essence and
nature as his father. If the son is equal to his father by nature,
then he is also equal to his father in his capacities as such. Now, if
every man, by nature, has the right to call God father, as the Rev.
Mr. Hale and his co-religionists pretend, then all men by nature are
equal to God, both in essence and attributes! Is this what Unitarians
mean by “the divinity of human nature”? The Rev. E. E. Hale appears to
say so when he tells us: “What we are struggling for, and what, if
words did not fail us, we would fain express, is what Dr. James Walker
called ‘the identity of essence of all spiritual being and all
spiritual life.’” All, then, that the believers in the divinity of
Christ claim exclusively for him is claimed by Unitarians equally for
every individual of the human race. But the belief in the divinity of
Christ is “the latest and least objectionable form of idolatry”――so
the Rev. H. W. Bellows informs us in his volume entitled _Phases of
Faith_. The Unitarian cure, then, for the evil of idolatry is by
substituting an indefinite multitude of idols for one single object of
idolatrous worship.

There is one class of Unitarians, to whom the author of this sermon
seems to belong, who accept boldly the consequences of their premise,
and maintain without disguise that all men are by nature the equals of
Christ, and that there is no reason why they should not, by greater
fidelity, surpass Christ. Up to this period of time, however, they
have not afforded to the world any very notable specimen of the truth
of their assertion. Another class attempt to get over the difficulty
by a critical exegesis of the Holy Scriptures, denying the
authenticity or the meaning of those parts which relate to the
miraculous conception of Christ, his miracles, and his divinity. A
representative of the extreme wing on the right of Unitarianism
replied, when this point was presented to him: “Oh! we Unitarians
reject the idea of the Trinity as represented by Calvinists and other
Protestants, for they make it a tritheism; but we accept the doctrine
as holy mother Church teaches it”; while a leader of the extreme left
admitted the difficulty, and in speaking of Dr. Channing, who
championed the idea of the filiation of man to God, he said: “No
intelligent Unitarian of to-day would attempt to defend the
Unitarianism of Dr. Channing.” He was right; for no Unitarian, on the
basis of his belief, can say consistently the Lord’s Prayer; for the
Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation is a rigorous necessity to any
one who admits the infinite and the finite, and the necessity of a
union of love between them which authorizes the finite to call the
Infinite Father! One may bestow sympathy upon the pious feelings of
that class of Unitarians of which Dr. Channing is the representative,
but the less said about their theological science the better.

Our genuine mystic would not stop here. He would continue and show
that the denial of the Incarnation involves the denial of the Trinity,
and the denial of the Trinity reduces the idea of God to a mere
abstraction. For all conception of real life is complex. Intellectual
life in its simplest elements, in its last analysis, will be found to
consist of three factors: Man as the thinker, one factor; the thing
thought, the second factor; and their relation, the third factor――or
the lover, the beloved, and their relation; again, the actor, the
thing acted upon, and their relation. Man cannot think, love, or act
where there is nothing to think, to love, or to act upon. Place man in
an absolute vacuum, where there is nothing except himself, and you
have man _in posse_, but not man as being, as existing, as a living
man. You have a unit, an abstraction, nothing more. But pure
abstractions have no real existence. Our conception of life in
accordance with the law which governs our intelligence is comprised in
three terms――subject, object, and their relation.[98] There is no
possible way of bringing out of a mere unit, as our absolute starting
point of thought, an intellectual conception of life. But the
Unitarian idea of God is God reduced to a simple, absolute unit. Hence
the Unitarian idea of God is not the conception of the real, living
God, but an abstraction, a non-existing God.

Our genuine mystic would proceed still further; for infused light and
love from above do not suspend or stultify the natural action of our
faculties, but quicken, elevate, and transform their operations. He
would apply, by way of analogy, the same process of thought in
confirmation of the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity. If there had
been a time, he would say, when there was no object before God, then
there would have been a period when God was not the real, living God,
but only God _in posse_, non-existing. But this is repugnant to the
real conception of God; therefore the true idea of God involves a
co-eternal object. If, however, this co-eternal object was not equal
to God in substance as well as in attributes, then there would have
been a period when God did not exist in all his fulness. Now, this
object, co-eternal and equal to God the Father, is what the Catholic
doctrine teaches concerning Christ, the only-begotten Son of the
Father, “begotten before all ages, consubstantial with the Father.”
But the Father and the Son being co-eternal and co-adequate, their
relations to each other must have been eternal and equal, outflowing
toward each other in love, commensurate with their whole nature. This
procession of mutual love between Father and Son is what the Catholic
doctrine teaches concerning the Holy Spirit. Thus we see, however
imperfectly, that the Catholic doctrine concerning the Trinity
presents to our minds nothing that is contrary to our reason, though
it contains an infinite abyss beyond the present scope of our reason,
but which we shall know when our reason is increased, as it will be,
by the gift of the light of glory. But every mystery of Christianity
has an intelligible side to our natural reason, and by the light of
faith it is the privilege and joy of a Christian while here upon earth
to penetrate more deeply into their hidden, divine truth.

Again, the Unitarian is mistaken when he supposes that Catholics, in
maintaining the Trinity, exclude the divine Unity. They include both
in one. Herein again is found in man an analogy. Man is one in
triplicity. Man is thought, love, and activity, and at the same time
man is one. He thinks, he loves, he acts; there are not three distinct
men, one who thinks, another who loves, and still another who acts.
There is, therefore, a sense in which man is one in three and three in
one. So there is in the Trinity. The Unitarians are right in affirming
the divine Unity; their error consists in excluding the divine
Trinity. All heresies are right in what they affirm, and wrong in what
they exclude or deny; which denial is the result of their breaking
away from that divine Unity in whose light alone every truth is seen
in its co-relation with all other truths.

Our true mystic would not be content to rest here, but, soaring up
upon the wings of divine light and love, and taking a more extended
view, he would strive to show that where the doctrine of the Trinity
is not held either explicitly or implicitly, there not only the theory
of our mental operations and the intellectual foundation of religion
dissolve into a baseless fabric of a vision; but that also the solid
basis of society, the true idea of the family, the right conception of
the state and its foundations, and the law of all genuine progress,
are wanting, and all human things tend towards dissolution and
backward to the reign of old chaos.

We give another characteristic statement of the Rev. Edward E. Hale’s
opening sermon which must have grated harshly on the ears of the more
staid and conservative portion of his audience; it is under the head
of “The immanent presence of God.” He says:

     “The Roman Church will acknowledge it, and St. Francis and
     St. Vincent and Fénelon will illustrate it. But, at the same
     time, the Roman Church has much else on her hands. She has
     to be contending for those seven sacraments, for this
     temporal power, all this machinery of cardinals and bishops,
     and bulls and interdicts, canon law and decretals, so that
     in all this upholstery there is great risk that none of us
     see the shrine. So of the poor little parodies of the Roman
     Church, the Anglican Church, the Lutheran Church, and the
     rest of them.”

Again:

     “All our brethren in the other confessions plunge into their
     infinite ocean with this hamper of corks and floats,
     water-proof dresses lest they be wet, oil-cloth caps for
     their hair, flannels for decency, a bathing-cart here, a
     well-screened awning there――so much machinery before the
     bath that one hardly wonders if some men refuse to swim! For
     them there is this great apology, if they do not proclaim as
     we must proclaim, God here and God now; nay, if they do not
     live as we must live, in the sense of God here and God now.
     For us, we have no excuse. We have stripped off every rag.
     We have destroyed all the machinery.”

The Rev. Mr. Hale regards the seven sacraments, the hierarchy, the
canon law――briefly, the entire visible and practical side of the
church――as a “hamper,” “machinery,” “rags,” and thinks there “is great
risk that none of us see the shrine.” The difficulty here is not where
Mr. Hale places it.

  “Night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.”

The visible is not the prison of the invisible, as Plato dreamed, but
its vehicle, as St. Paul teaches. “For the invisible things of God,
from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by
the things that are made, his eternal power also and divinity.”[99]
The author of this sermon is at least consistent in his error; as he
believes in an abstract God, so he would reduce “the church of the
living God,” “the body of Christ,” to an abstract non-existence.
Suppose, for example, that the Rev. Edward E. Hale had reduced “all
the machinery” of his curiously-devised body to an abstraction before
the Unitarian biennial conference was held at Saratoga; the world
would have been deprived of the knowledge of that “simplicity which it
is the special duty of the Unitarian Church to proclaim.” Think of the
loss! For it was by means of the complex “machinery” of his concrete
body that the Rev. E. E. Hale came in contact with the “machinery” of
the Unitarian biennial organization at Saratoga, and, thus
“upholstered,” he publicly rants against all “machinery.”

There may be too complex an organization, and too many applications of
it, and too much made of these, owing to the necessities of our times,
in the Catholic Church, to suit the personal tastes and the stage of
growth of the Rev. Edward E. Hale. But the Catholic Church does not
exist solely for the benefit of Mr. Hale, or for any peculiar class of
men, or any one race alone. He has and should have, and they all have,
their own place and appropriate niche in her _all_-temple; for the
Catholic Church takes up in her scope every individual, and the human
race entire. But there are others, with no less integrity of spiritual
life and intelligence than he, who esteem those things of which he
speaks so unappreciatingly as heavenly gifts and straight pathways to
see more clearly the inner shrine and approach more nearly to the
divine Presence. Are the idiosyncrasies of one man, though “thoroughly
furnished and widely experienced,” to be the norm of all other men,
and of every race? Men and races differ greatly in these things, and
the church of God is not a sect or conventicle; she is Catholic,
universal, and in her bosom, and in her bosom alone, every soul finds
its own place and most suitable way, with personal liberty and in
accord with all other souls and the whole universe, to perfect union
with God.

The matter with the Rev. E. E. Hale is, he has missed his vocation.
His place evidently was not in the assembled conference at Saratoga;
for his calling is unmistakably to a hermit life. Let him hie to the
desert, and there, in a forlorn and naked hermitage, amid “frosts and
fasts, hard lodgings and thin weeds,” in an austere and unsociable
life, “unswathed and unclothed,” _in puris naturalibis_, “triumphantly
cease to be.” The Rev. E. E. Hale is one-sided, and seems to have no
idea that the Catholic Church is the organization of that perfect
communion of men with God and each other which Christ came to
communicate and to establish in its fulness upon earth, and is its
practical realization. God grant him, and others like him, this light
and knowledge!

But we would not have our readers think that all Unitarians agree with
the Rev. E. E. Hale in his estimate of the visible or practical side
of the church. We quote from a leading article in the _Liberal
Christian_ of August last, under the head of “Spirit and Form in
Religion,” the following passage:

     “It seems painfully indicative of the still undeveloped
     condition of our race that no truce or medium can be
     approximated in which the two great factors of human nature
     and society, the authority and supremacy of _spirit_ and the
     necessity and usefulness of _form_, are reconciled and made
     to serve each other or a common end. Must inward
     spirituality, and outward expression of it in forms and
     worship, be for ever in a state of unstable equilibrium?
     Must they ever be hostile and at cross-purposes? Must all
     progress be by a displacement in turn of each other――now an
     era of honored forms, and then of only disembodied
     spirituality? There is probably no entire escape from this
     necessity. But, surely, he is the wisest man who can hold
     this balance in the evenest hand; and that sect or school,
     whether political, social, or religious, that pays the
     finest justice and the most impartial respect to the two
     factors in our nature, spirit and form, will hold the
     steadiest place and do the most good for the longest time.
     This is the real reason why Quakerism, with all its exalted
     claims to respect, has such a feeble and diminishing
     importance. It has oil in the lamp of the purest kind, but
     almost no _wick_, and what wick it has is made up of its
     _thee_-ing and _thou_-ing, and its straight coat and stiff
     bonnet. These are steadily losing authority; and when they
     are abandoned, visible Quakerism will disappear. On the
     other hand, Roman Catholicism maintains its place against
     the spirit of the age, and in spite of a load of discredited
     doctrines, very largely because of its intense persistency
     in forms, its highly-illumined visibility, its large-handed
     legibleness; but not without the unfailing aid and support
     of a spirit of faith and worship which produces a devoted
     priesthood and hosts of genuine saints. No form of
     Christianity can boast of lovelier or more spiritual
     disciples, or reaches higher up or lower down, including the
     wisest and the most ignorant, the most delicate and the
     coarsest adherents. It has the subtlest and the bluntest
     weapons in its arsenal, and can pierce with a needle, or mow
     with a scythe, or maul with a mattock.”

The same organ, in a later number, in speaking of the Saratoga
conference, says:

     “The main characteristic of the meeting was a conscientious
     and reverent endeavor to attain to something like a
     scientific basis for our faith in absolute religion, and in
     Christianity as a consistent and concrete expression of it,”

and adds that the opening sermon of the Rev. Mr. Hale “had the merit
of starting us calmly and unexcitedly on our course.” Our readers will
form their own judgment about what direction the course leads on which
the Rev. Edward E. Hale started the Unitarians assembled at Saratoga
in their seeking after a “scientific basis” for “absolute religion,
and Christianity as a concrete expression of it”!


     [89] “A Free-born Church.” The sermon preached before the
     National Conference of Unitarian and other Christian
     Churches at Saratoga, Tuesday evening, Sept. 12. The
     _Liberal Christian_, New York, Sept. 16, 1876.

     [90] _An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine_, p.
     14. Appleton, N. Y.

     [91] Matt. xvi. 18.

     [92] Matt. xxviii. 18.

     [93] Eph. v. 25, 26, 27.

     [94] St. Matt. xxviii. 18, 19.

     [95] Dr. Newman.

     [96] Rom. viii. 15.

     [97] _Ibid._ v. 2.

     [98] “Liquido tenendum est, quod omnia res, quamcumque
     cognoscimus, congenerat in nobis notitiam sui. Ab utroque
     enim notitia paritur, a cognoscente et cognito.”――St.
     Augustine, _De Trinitate_, s. ix. c. xii.――Wherefore it must
     be clearly held that everything whatsoever that we know
     begets at the same time in us the knowledge of itself; for
     knowledge is brought forth from both, from the knower and
     from the thing known. Again, “Behold, then, there are three
     things: he that loves, and that which is loved, and
     love.”――s. viii. c. x., _ibid._

     [99] Romans i. 20.



SIX SUNNY MONTHS.

BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HOUSE OF YORKE,” “GRAPES AND THORNS,” ETC.


CHAPTER VII.

AN UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL.

The next morning coffee was brought to the bed-rooms at the first peep
of dawn, and when the little party went out for their walk the sun had
only just begun to set the sea-line on fire.

They stepped for a moment into the Franciscan church next door, then
went down the road leading past it to the Campagna. Fresh and sweet
the morning air touched them as they sauntered along――not the morning
breeze of New England, simple in associations as the breath of a
newly-created being, but like the breath of one, immortally beautiful,
about whom Calliope, Clio, and Erato have circled in their stately
dance through the unfading centuries. Not only every spot of earth,
but every waft of air, was haunted.

Mr. Vane stopped them presently with a silent gesture, and pointed to
a near height, where a solitary cloud, softly resplendent in all its
beautiful undulations, was slowly and loathly detaching itself to
float upward and disappear in the sky, as if the door of a sapphire
palace had opened to receive it. “Is it Diana?” he whispered.

“The Jew has touched nature with a pen of fire,” the Signora said as
they walked on again; “but the pagan has dominated, and still in a
certain sense possesses that beautiful realm. If, as Milton sings,
‘the parting genius was with sighing rent’ from tree and grove at the
birth of Christ, its ghost still haunts the spot, and Milton himself
uses pagan language when he sings the beauties of nature. Why does not
some Christian Job dislodge these ‘mythic fancies,’ and make nature
live with a life that is something more than the rustling of a
garment? Job made the lightnings go and return at the command of God,
saying, ‘Here we are!’ and he speaks of the ‘store-houses of the
snow.’ The Christian poet seems to fear his imagination, to find it
tainted, and, instead of purifying it, and setting it flying, like a
bird or a butterfly, through the garden of the earth, he puts it in a
cage or under a glass along with the pagan images he only glances
askance at. Now and then one meets with a saint whose heart overflows
in that direction, like St. Francis of Assisi, calling the birds his
sisters. Blessed Fra Egidio made the flowers bear witness, as when he
proved the miraculous motherhood of the Virgin to the doubting
_Predicatore_. At each of the three strokes of his staff in the road,
following his three assertions of Our Lady’s purity, up sprang a
beautiful lily. Our Lord set the example in his reference to the
lilies of the field: they toiled not, neither did they spin, yet the
Creator had arrayed them as Solomon in all his glory was never
arrayed. Did he talk to his mother about the flowers, I wonder? When
the boat was tossed by a tempest, he spoke to the waves, as to living
creatures, saying, ‘Peace, be still!’ Do spirits troublesome and
troubled take shape, or, stretching their invisible hands, catch the
shapes of nature as weapons, and lash with foam or strike with
lightning? We cannot know, and we need not know; and we must not
assert. It is not, however, forbidden to fancy. Nature may serve as
the playground wherein our imagination and fancy shall exercise
themselves and prepare our minds for the wonders of the spiritual
life. Fancy and imagination are as really a part of ourselves, and as
truly and wisely given by God, as reason and will. They are the sweet
little enticements inviting us to fly off

  ‘From the dark edges of the sensual ground,’

as the bird-mother coaxes her young to try its wings in little flights
from twig to twig before it soars into the heavens. No, it is not
forbidden to the fancy to play around the mysterious life that makes
the bud swell into the flower and the seed grow into the lofty tree,
so long as we see all in God, and see in God the Trinity, and, in the
aspiring flame of created adoring spirits, behold Maria Santissima as
the white point that touches the foot of the throne.”

The Signora had been speaking slowly and dreamily, pausing now and
then; but at the last, growing earnest, had, as it were, waked
herself, and become aware that she was talking aloud and was listened
to.

Smiling, and blushing too a little, “_Scusino!_” she said. “I cannot
help it. I preach as the sparks fly upward.”

“I speak for a seat in your meeting-house for the rest of my life,”
Mr. Vane replied promptly.

“Apropos of meeting-houses,” she said, “what do you think of those for
spires?” pointing to four gigantic cypresses in the villa they were
passing.

This villa was a strange, deserted-looking place just above the
Campagna. Nothing in it flourished but the four cypresses, which rose
to a magnificent height, their huge cones sloping at the top to a
feather so slender that it was always tipped to one side. Stern, dark,
and drawn close together, they looked down on the place as if they had
cursed it and were waiting to see the consummation of its ruin. All
their shadows were full of a multitudinous grit of cicali voices that
sounded like the sharp grating together of teeth. At their feet stood
the house, half-alive, half-dead, hidden from the street by the walls
it was not high enough to overlook. It was like the upper part of a
house that the earth had half swallowed. At each side of the door
stood a statue dressed in some antique fashion, hat on head and sword
on thigh. They might have been two men who were petrified there long
before. At each side of the gate, inside, a stone dog, petrified too,
in the act of starting up with open jaws, crumbled in a blind rage, as
if a paralyzed life yet dwelt under the lichen-covered fragments, and
struggled to pour forth its arrested anger.

A little farther on was another decaying villa, where green moss and
grasses grew all over the steps, half hid the paving-stones of the
court, and choked the fountain dry. The house, once a gay and noble
mansion, had now got its shutters decently closed over the sightless
windows, and resigned itself to desolation. The long, dim avenues had
a damp, unhealthy breath, and not a flower was to be seen.

They went in and seated themselves on the steps, where the shadow of
the house, covering a verdant square in the midst of the sunshine,
looked like a block of verd-antique set in gold.

“It reminds me of the funeral we went to in St. Peter’s,” Mr. Vane
said, glancing about the sombre place, and over the walls into the
outside splendor. “The mournful pageant looked as small in that bright
temple as this villa in the landscape.”

The two girls gathered grasses and leaves and bits of moss, binding
them into tiny bouquets to keep as mementos, and Bianca made a sketch
of the two villas. They talked but little, and, in that silent and
quiescent mood, perceived far more clearly the character and influence
of the scene――the melancholy that was not without terror; the proud
beauty that survived neglect and decay, and might at any time burst
into a triumphant loveliness, if but some one should care to call
forth the power hidden there; the dainty graces that would not thrust
themselves forward, but waited to be sought. Yet it needed that summer
and sunshine should be all about to keep the sadness from being
oppressive. With those cheering influences so near and so dominantly
larger, the touch of melancholy became a luxury, like a scattering of
snow in wine.

Isabel came back to the steps from her ramble about the place, and
found her father and the Signora sitting there with no appearance of
having uttered a word since she left them.

“It is just the time to read something I found and brought with me
from Rome,” she said. “I tucked it into my note-book, see, and
something at this moment reminded me of it. Bianca was saying that if
the place should be sprinkled with holy water, she did not doubt that
flowers would immediately begin to grow again, and the track was not
long from her notion round to this poem. It had no name when I found
it, but I call it ‘At Benediction.’ The Signora told me that it was
rude and unfinished; but no matter.” She read:


   AT BENEDICTION.

  “Like a dam in which the restless tide
     Has washed, till, grain by grain,
   It has sapped the solid barrier
     And swept it down again,
   The patience I have built and buttressed
     Like a fortress wall,
   Fretted and undermined, gives way,
     And shakes me in its fall.

  “For I have vainly toiled to shun
     The meaner ways of life,
   With all their low and petty cares,
     Their cold and cruel strife.
   My brain is wild with tangled thoughts,
     My heart is like to burst!
   Baffled and foiled at every turn――
     My God, I feel accursed!

  “It was human help I sought for,
     And human help alone;
   Too weary I for straining
     To a height above my own.
   But thy world, with all its creatures, holds
     Nor help nor hope for me;
   I fly to sanctuary,
     And cast myself on Thee!

       *     *     *     *     *

  “The priest is at the altar
     Praying with lifted hands,
   And, girdled round with living flame,
     The veilèd Presence stands.
   Wouldst thou kindle in our dying hearts
     Some new and pure desire,
   That thou com’st, my Lord, so wrapt about
     In robes of waving fire?

  “Hast thou come, indeed, for blessing,
     O silent, awful Host?
   Thou One with the Creator,
     One with the Holy Ghost!
   Hast thou come, indeed, for blessing,
     O pitying Son of Man?
   For if that thou wilt bless me,
     Who is there that can ban?

  “Hast thou come, indeed, for blessing,
     Within whose knowledge rest
   The labyrinthine ways of life,
     The cares of every breast?
   My doubting hope would fain outshake
     Her pinions, if she durst;
   For if truly thou wilt bless me,
     I cannot feel accursed!

  “The _Tantum Ergo_ rises
     In a chorus glad and strong,
   And, waking in their airy height,
     The bells join in the song.
   And priest, and bells, and people,
     As one, in loud accord,
   Are pouring forth their praises
     Of the Sacramental Lord.

  “’Tis as though, from out of sorrow stepping,
     And a darksome way,
   The singers’ eyes had caught the dawn
     Of the celestial day.
   ’Tis as though, behind them casting off
     Each clogging human load,
   These happy creatures, singing, walked
     The open heav’nly road.

  “The hymn is stilled, and only
     The bells ring on above.
   Oh! bless me, God of mercy;
     Have mercy, God of love!
   For I have fought a cruel life,
     And fallen in the fray.
   Oh! bless me with a blessing
     That shall sweep it all away!

       *     *     *     *     *

  “It is finished. From the altar
     The priest is stepping down;
   His incense-perfumed silver train
     Brushes my sombre gown.
   The mingled crowd of worshippers
     Are going as they came;
   And the altar-candles drop to darkness,
     Tiny flame by flame.

  “Silence and softly-breathing Peace
     Float downward, hand in hand,
   And either side the threshold,
     As guardian angels stand.
   I see their holy faces,
     And fear no face of man;
   For when my God has blessed me,
     Who is there that can ban?”

The Signora rose rather hastily. “If we are going to Monte Compatri
this afternoon, we have no time to linger about reading rhymes,” she
said.

They went out into the sunshine, already burning hot, and stole along,
one by one, in the shadow of the high wall, walking over crowds of
little pale, pink morning-glories, that crept humbly on the ground,
not knowing themselves to be vines with a power to rise and climb to
the height of a man, any more than dear Hans Andersen’s ugly duck knew
that he was a swan, though at one point they might have seen, through
an opening in the stonework, better-instructed morning-glories
climbing hedge and shrub, and blowing out a rhythmic joy through their
great white trumpets far up in the air. The greatest pride or
aspiration these little creatures seemed capable of was when, now and
then, one grew, breath by breath, over some small obstacle in its
path, and bloomed with its pretty pink cheek against a gray bit of
stone. The whole ground blushed softly with their sweet humility.

They entered the shaded avenue that circles the lower part of the
town, and saw the beautiful city climbing on the one hand, and the
beautiful Campagna spread out on the other; passed the little wooden
_chalet_ where Garibaldi was holding his court――a wooden house is such
a wonder in Italy!――and the public garden, sweet with the infantine
breath and bright with the infantine hues of countless petunias, and
at length found refuge in Villa Torlonia.

Thick and dark, the lofty trees knit their branches over the seats
where the travellers sat and looked at the grand fountain-front, with
its stone eagle and rows of huge stone vases along the top, and its
beautiful cascade and basin in the centre. At either side this
cascade, in the ten or twelve niches, tall stone vases overflowed with
wild-flowers that had once overflowed with water, the masks above
still holding between their dry lips the pipes from which the sunny
streams had sprung. Far above could be seen, in the rich green gloom
of overarching trees, cascade after cascade dancing down the steep
slope, and, farther yet, the top of a great column of water that
marked the uppermost fountain.

“It is too late to go up now,” the Signora said; “but you can see the
way. It goes round in a circling avenue, or up the steps that are at
each side of the ten cascades. I think there are ten. But the steps at
the right are constantly wet with the spray, and covered with ferns
and moss. You go up at the left, which the sun sometimes touches, and
which is always dry. Below here, too, there are two ways of going up,
either by the parting avenues or by the little dark door you see
beside the cascade. That door leads through a dim passage, where the
walls are all a green tremble with maidenhair fern growing as thick as
feathers on a bird, and up a little dim winding stair that brings you
out beside the stone eagle there. I gathered one of those ferns once
that was half a yard long. You see they build palaces here for waters
as well as for princes.”

The day went by like a dream, steeped in dazzling light, embalmed with
the odors of flowers growing in a luxuriance and beauty new to their
northern eyes, sprinkled over with a ceaseless fountain-spray, sung
through by countless larks, and made magnificent by palace after
palace, and by constantly-recurring and incomparable views. For many a
year to come they would remember the honey-snow of the orange-trees
and the clustered flames of the pomegranates; they would compare their
rose-bushes with the tree which, in one of these gardens, held its
tea-roses nodding over their heads, nor love their own shyer gardens
the less, indeed; and in their trim walks, and loath and delicate
blooming, they would sometimes think with longing of the careless
profusion of the land where the best of nature and the best of art
dwelt together in the familiar and graceful intercourse of daily life.

An hour before sunset they were again in their carriage, and, after a
short drive, found themselves following the long loops of the road
that lead leisurely up the side of Monte Compatri, through the rich
woods, through the pure and exquisitely invigorating air, with all the
world unrolling itself again before their eyes in a view almost equal
to that of Tusculum.

They were obliged to alight in the piazza of the fountain; for the
steep and narrow streets did not admit of carriages. From this piazza
the streets straggled, climbing and twisting, breaking constantly into
little flights of stairs, and sometimes ending in a court or at a
door.

“Prepare to be stared at,” the Signora said, as they took their way up
the _Via Lunga_. “We are the only ladies in the town whose headgear is
not a handkerchief; and as for Mr. Vane, they are very likely to take
him for Prince Borghese. And, come to think of it,” she said, looking
at him attentively, “you are v