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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 25, April 1877 to September 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
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                      The Catholic World, Vol. XXV



                          The Catholic World.

          A Monthly Magazine Of General Literature And Science

                               Vol. XXV.

                    April, 1877, To September, 1877.

                               New York:
               The Catholic Publication Society Company,
                           9 Barclay Street.

                                 1877.



                                CONTENTS


Alba’s Dream, 443, 621, 735

Along the Foot of the Pyrenees, 651

Among the Translators, 721

Ancient Music, Prose and Poetry of, 395

Anglicanism in 1877, 131


Catacombs, Testimony of the, 205

Christendom, The Iron Age of, 459

Cluny, The Congregation of, 691

College Education, 814

Colonization and Future Emigration, 677

Congregation of Cluny, The, 691

Copernican Theory, Evolution and the, 90

Count Frederick Leopold Stolberg, 535


Destiny of Man, Doubts of a Contemporary on the, 494

De Vere’s “Mary Tudor,” 261

Divorce and Divorce Laws, 340

Doubts of a Contemporary on the Destiny of Man, 494


Echternach, The Dancing Procession of, 826

Emigration, Colonization and Future, 677

English Rule in Ireland, 103

Eros, The Unknown, 702

European Exodus, The, 433

Evolution and the Copernican Theory, 90


France, The Political Crisis in, and its Bearings, 577

French Clergy during the late War in France, The, 247


Gothic Revival, The Story of the, 639


How Percy Bingham Caught his Trout, 77


Ireland, English Rule in, 103

Irish Revolution, The True, 551

Iron Age of Christendom, The, 459


Jane’s Vocation, 525

Job and Egypt, 764

Judaism in America, The Present State of, 365

Juliette, 667


Lavedan, The Seven Valleys of the, 748

Lepers of Tracadie, The, 191

Letters of a Young Irishwoman to her Sister, 56, 218, 377


Madonna-and-Child, The, a Test-Symbol, 804

Marshal MacMahon and the French Revolutionists, 558

“Mary Tudor,” De Vere’s, 261

Millicent, 777


Nagualism, Voodooism, etc., in the United States, 1

Nanette, 270

Natalie Narischkin, 32

Nile, Up the, 45, 236


Pan-Presbyterians, The, 843

Phil Redmond of Ballymacreedy, 591

Political Crisis in France and its Bearings, The, 577

Pope Pius the Ninth, 291

Pope’s Temporal Principality, The Beginning of the, 609

Presbyterian Infidelity in Scotland, 69

Present State of Judaism in America, The, 365

Prose and Poetry of Ancient Music, 395

Prussian Chancellor, The, 145

Pyrenees, Along the Foot of the, 651


Revolutionists, Marshal MacMahon and the French, 558

Romance of a Portmanteau, The, 403


Sannazzaro, 511

Scotland, Presbyterian Infidelity in, 69

Seven Valleys of the Lavedan, The, 748

Shakspere, from an American Point of View, 422

Six Sunny Months, 15, 175, 354, 478

Stolberg, Count Frederick Leopold, 535

Story of the Gothic Revival, The, 639


Tennyson as a Dramatist, 118

Testimony of the Catacombs, 205

The Beginning of the Pope’s Temporal Principality, 609

The Dancing Procession of Echternach, 826

The Doom of the Bell, 324

The European Exodus, 433

The Romance of a Portmanteau, 403

The True Irish Revolution, 551

The Unknown Eros, 702

Tracadie, The Lepers of, 191


Up the Nile, 45, 236


Veronica, 161

Voodooism, Nagualism, etc, in the United States, 1


POETRY.


A Thrush’s Song, 689

A Vision of the Colosseum, 318

A Waif from the Great Exhibition, 101

Ashes of the Palms, The, 142

Aubrey de Vere, To, 676


Birthday Song, A, 523

Brides of Christ, The, 420, 556, 701


Cathedral Woods, 665

Colosseum, A Vision of the, 318


Dante’s Purgatorio, 171


From the Hecuba of Euripides, 353, 550

From the Medea of Euripides, 638


Higher, 456


Italy, 745


Magdalen at the Tomb, 637

May, 246

May Carols, Two, 217

May Flowers, 189


Papal Jubilee, The, 289

Pope Pius IX., To, 363

Purgatorio, Dante’s, 171


St. Francis of Assisi, 11


The Ashes of the Palms, 142

To Aubrey de Vere, 676

Translation from Horace, 854

Wild Roses by the Sea, 338


NEW PUBLICATIONS.


A Question of Honor, 716

An Old World as seen through Young Eyes, 143


Beside the Western Sea, 718

Bessy, 720

Biographical Sketches, 717

Biographical Sketches of Distinguished Marylanders, 573


Carte Ecclésiastique des Etats-Unis de l’Amérique, 288

Childhood of the English Nation, The, 284

Christ, The Cradle of the, 281

Christopher Columbus, The Life of, 572

Classic Literature, 280

Code Poetical Reader, The, 287

Complete Office of Holy Week, The, 144

Comprehensive Geography, The, 144

Consolation of the Devout Soul, The, 286

Cradle of the Christ, The, 281


Discipline of Drink, The, 575

Dora, Bessie, Silvia, 720

Dr. Joseph Salzmann’s Leben und Wirken, 285


Ecclesiastical Law, Elements of, 860

Edmondo, 720

English Nation, Childhood of the, 284

Essays and Reviews, 429


Geometry, Elements of, 860

God the Teacher of Mankind, 720

Golden Sands, 430


Heroic Women of the Bible and the Church, 288

Hofbauer, Ven. Clement Mary, Life of, 432, 572


Known Too Late, 576


Lady of Neville Court, The, 432

Legends of the B. Sacrament, 574

Libraries, Public, in the United States of America, 855

Life of the Ven. Clement Mary Hofbauer, 432, 572


Magister Choralis, 430

Marylanders, Distinguished, Biographical Sketches of, 573

Musica Ecclesiastica, 144


Paradise of the Christian Soul, The, 576

Philip Nolan’s Friends, 719

Priesthood in the Light of the New Testament, 713

Problem of Problems, The, 282


Reply to the Hon. R. W. Thompson, 719

Report of the Board of Education of the City and County of New York, 715

Roman Legends, 718


Salzmann’s Leben und Wirken, 285

Sidonie, 574

Songs of the Land and Sea, 720

Spirit Invocations, 576

Summa Summæ, 288


The Catholic Keepsake, 720

The Little Pearls, 718

The Pearl among the Virtues, 720

The Story of Felice, 720

The Wonders of Prayer, 718


Why are We Roman Catholics? 288



                          THE CATHOLIC WORLD.
                    VOL. XXV., No. 145.—APRIL, 1877.


 NAGUALISM, VOODOOISM, AND OTHER FORMS OF CRYPTO-PAGANISM IN THE UNITED
                                STATES.


When the Almighty introduced the children of Israel into the Promised
Land he enjoined the utter extirpation of the heathen races, and the
destruction of all belonging to them. But the tribes grew weary of war;
they spared, and their subsequent history shows us the result. The
Chanaanites became in time the conquerors and made the Hebrews their
subjects politically and in religion. The paganism learned on the banks
of the Nile had become but a faint reminiscence in the minds of the
descendants of those who marched out under Moses and Aaron; but the
worship of Baal and of Moloch and of Astaroth overran the land. A long
series of disasters ending with the overthrow of their national
existence, and a seventy years’ captivity, were required to purge the
Hebrew mind of the poison imbibed from the heathen remnant. Then all the
power of the Alexandrian sovereigns failed to compel them to worship the
gods of Greece. _Omnes dii gentium dæmonia_ is a statement, clear,
plain, and definite, that we Catholics cannot refuse to accept. Modern
indifferentism may regard all the pagan worships as expressions of
truth, and the worship of their deities as something merely symbolical
of the operations of nature, not the actual rendering of divine honors.
But to us there can be no such theory. The worship was real and the
objects were demons, blinding and misleading men through their passions
and ignorance. The very vitality of paganism in regaining lost ground,
and in rising against the truth, shows its satanic character.

The experience of the Jewish people is reproduced elsewhere. When
Christianity, beginning the conquest of Europe with Greece and Italy,
closed its victorious career by reducing to the cross the Scandinavians
and the German tribes of Prussia, later even than the conversion of the
Tartaric Russians, there was left in all lands a pagan element, on which
the arch-enemy based his new schemes of revolt and war upon the truth.
We of the Gentiles, whether from the sunny south or the colder north,
bear to this day, in our terms for the divisions of the week and year,
the names of the deities whom our heathen ancestors worshipped—the
demons who blinded them to the truth. The Italian, Frenchman, and
Spaniard thus keep alive the memory of Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus,
and Saturn; the German and Scandinavian tribes of Tuisco, Woden, Thor,
Freya, and Sator. Janus opens the year, followed by Februata, Juno, and
Mars; Maia claims a month we dedicate to Mary, and which the Irish in
his own language still calls the Fire of Baal—Baal-tinne.

Earth and time even seem not enough; we go, so to speak, to the very
footstool of God, and name the glorious orbs that move in celestial
harmony through the realms of space, from the very demons who for ages
received from men the honors due to God—from Jupiter and Saturn, Venus
and Mars, Juno and Ceres, Castor and Pollux, and the whole array of gods
and demi-gods.

And it is a strange fact that the only attempt made to do away with
these pagan relics was that of the infidel and bloodthirsty
Revolutionists of France, pagan in all but this.

We bear, as it were, badges of our heathen origin—tokens, perhaps, of
the general apostasy which, as some interpreters hold, will one day
behold the Gentile nations renounce Christianity, when the number of the
elect is to be completed from the remnant of the Jews.

In the heresies, schisms, and revolts against the church the pagan
element appears as an uprising, an attempt to retrieve a defeat by
causing an overthrow of the victorious church even where a restoration
of the old demonic gods seems in itself hopeless. The German tribes and
those of Scandinavia, receiving the faith later than the Latin and
Celtic races, revolted from the church while the remembrance of pagan
rites and license was still fresh. The so-called Reformation was
essentially gross and sensual, and none the less so because the
Christian influence made the absolute rejection of God for a time
impossible, and compelled it to borrow tone, and expression, and the
outer garb of Christianity. Vice, in its open and undisguised form,
would have shocked communities that had tasted of Christian truth. The
arch-enemy was subtle enough to meet the wants of the case, and to
present what would appear to the sixteenth century as true, as shrewdly
as he presented the grosser forms to earlier minds gross enough to
accept them. But, it may be said, it is going too far to make all
heresies diabolical; yet the church so speaks. If, in the prayer for the
Jews on Good Friday, it asks that God would remove the veil from their
hearts, that light might shine in upon the darkness, we cannot but
observe that when the petitions arise for those misled by heresy, the
church speaks of them as souls deceived by the fraud of the devil. The
New Testament is full of allusions to this war of the arch-enemy: he is
held up as one who will come to some as a roaring lion, terrifying and
alarming; while to others he comes as an angel of light, plausible and
Heaven-sent, as it were, raising up false teachers whose reasonings
would, were that possible, deceive even the elect. And St. Paul tells us
that our struggle is not with flesh and blood—not with the men who are
but instruments—but with the spirits of darkness who are the prime
movers.

The war waged took different forms. In the north sensualism and the
grosser forms of self-indulgence were the revolt against the spirit of
mortification, of self-conquest and control. It required and had no
aid from the imagination, art, poetry, music. But at the south the old
pagan classics, imbued with the religion of Greece and Rome, became
the literature of the new Christian world and exercised a
steadily-increasing pagan influence. In the French Revolution, and in
the modern less bloody but as deadly Masonic war, we see the old pagan
ideas and thoughts come as if spontaneously to the surface. From the
reverence for all connected with the old pagan worship down to pagan
cremation we see the revival, less gross, less sensual than in the
north, idealized by the conception of beauty in form and color, with
all the allurement of symmetry to win the eye, the ear, the
imagination. That ancient art and the ancient classics have been a
potent instrument in weakening the Christian spirit, and in paganizing
the learned and the young whom they train, is admitted, and attempts
are made to counteract the influence.

Our country was settled by communities more or less imbued with all the
Old-World paganisms, some of which shot out into new and strange forms,
generally of the northern type, hiding sensualism under a cloak of
religion, as in the Oneida community and the Mormons, the latter going
directly into the ancient pagan channel in their anthropomorphic
conception of God.

But besides this pagan element—the more insidious because scarcely
suspected by most, and which many even now would treat as absolutely
null for evil—the country was, in its aboriginal inhabitants, utterly
pagan; and within our limits the remnant of those nations and tribes
which now represent the original occupants are to a very great extent as
pagan as they were three centuries ago. Even where tribes have been
converted to Christianity, and been for a long series of years under
Christian teachers, a pagan element often remains, nurtured in secret,
and heathen rites are practised with the utmost fidelity by many who
keep up the semblance of being faithful worshippers of the true God.
This crypto-paganism is termed by the Spanish writers in Mexico
nagualism, and, from its secret character, formed one of the greatest
afflictions of the missionaries, eating out the very heart of the
apparently flourishing tree planted by the toil and watered by the blood
of the earlier heralds of the Gospel.

Another pagan element came with the negro slaves—barbarous men torn from
Africa, without culture, imbued with the most degrading superstitions of
fetichism, and believers in the power of intercourse with the evil
spirits whom they dreaded and invoked. In the utter disregard of their
moral welfare which prevailed in the English colonies, no attempt was
made in colonial days to eradicate their pagan ideas and to instil
Christian principles; on the contrary, efforts were actually made to
prevent their instruction and baptism, from an idea that Christianity
was incompatible with a condition of slavery.

In time the negro slaves and their descendants imitated externally the
religious manner of their white masters, but their old fetichism was
maintained, with the invocation of evil spirits and attempted
intercourse with them. The more Christianity in any form penetrated
among these people, the more this pagan element assumed a secret
character, until it became, as it is in our day in the West Indies and
the South, under the name of vaudoux or voodoo worship, the secret pagan
religion of the negro and mixed races.

Another pagan element—which cannot be called cryptic, because it meets
the full meridian blaze of day, as though it were a thing entitled to
existence and protection without limit or check—is the Buddhic worship
of the Chinese, with perhaps the less debasing ancient paganism of that
nation. Temples arise and pagan worship is carried on before hundreds of
altars, chiefly on the Pacific slope. This, with the degraded morals of
the heathenism it represents, forms a question difficult to solve, and
exciting grave attention not only in California, but in other parts of
the country.

The facility with which Mormonism has gained hundreds of thousands of
votaries to its monstrous doctrines, and the difficulty under our system
of laws of counteracting its influence, leaving its suppression simply
to the general condemnation it receives from the public opinion of the
country, convince all thinking men that it is a great and serious danger
to the well-being of our country in the future. It lies between the
unchecked, uncensured paganism of the Chinese in California and the
heathenism of the wild Indian tribes, the nagualism of the New Mexican
Pueblos, and, still further east, the voodooism of the negro. Who can
foresee the fearful creation of evil that the Prince of Darkness may
form out of this material ready to his hand? Buddhism overran nations of
various origin, civilization, and mode of life—the lettered Chinese, the
nobler Japanese, the wild Tartar; it has adaptability, as seen in its
assuming external Christian dress and ideas, taken from early envoys of
the faith. Mormonism shows a vitality and a power of extension that none
who remember its origin could, at the time it arose, have believed
within the limits of possibility. The voodoo mysteries permeate through
a population numbered by millions. If nagualism and Indian paganism
exist only among tribes rapidly hurrying to extinction, these tribes
have shown in some cases recuperative power, and, fostered by the
stronger heathen elements, may revive sufficiently to be a source of
mischief. It may be said that, except in the case of the Mormons, this
element is confined to inferior races—the Mongolian, negro, and
Indian—and cannot affect the mass of the American people; but this is
really not the fact, as in almost every case whites living near the
inferior races do actually imbibe some of these pagan superstitions and
become believers in them and in their power, while the spread of the
so-called spiritualism through all classes in this country shows at once
a vehicle for the propagation of any form of diabolism that may rise up
with dazzling powers of attraction.

The influence of crypto-paganism on the whites can be seen in our
history. The New England settlers made comparatively short work of the
native tribes, who were in their eyes Chanaanites not to be spared.
But though they slaughtered the men, women were saved, and not always
from motives that will stand too close a scrutiny. Indian women became
slaves in the houses of the New England colonists. If there was any
outward conformity to Christian usage, most of them remained at heart
as heathen as ever. The Indians of almost every known tribe avowedly
worshipped the Spirit of Evil. North and South missionaries found the
natives acknowledge and justify this practice. As a rule they admitted
a Spirit of Good, but, as they argued, being inherently good, he could
do only good to them, and need not be propitiated; whereas the Spirit
of Evil continually sought to injure men, and must necessarily be
propitiated to ward off the intended scourge. This adoration of the
Evil One, and the attempt to propitiate him, win his favor, and do his
will, the Indian slaves bore with them in their bondage. What New
England witchcraft really was—diabolic, delusion, or imposture—has
never been settled. No sound Catholic divine versed in mystic theology
has ever, to our knowledge, marshalled and sifted the facts, and the
evidence cited to support them, in order to come to any reasonable
theory in the matter. New England of the seventeenth century firmly
believed it diabolical; New England of the nineteenth century as
dogmatically decides that it was delusion or imposture; but,
unfortunately, neither seventeenth-century nor nineteenth-century New
Englandism can be deemed a very safe guide, and each is condemned by
the other and admits its liability to err, although both had the same
energy for forcing their opinions for the time being on all mankind.

But, whatever the real character of New England witchcraft was, one
thing is certain: Indian crypto-paganism was at the root of it. Tituba,
the Indian servant of Samuel Parris, the minister of Salem, practised
wild incantations and imbued the daughter and niece of her master with
her whole system of diabolism. The strange actions of the children
excited alarm. Tituba was arraigned as a witch and confessed her
incantations; but the devil protects his own. Witchcraft trials began,
and Tituba and her fellow Indian slaves, who must have quaked for the
moment, saw themselves, not punished, but used as witnesses, until more
than a hundred women were apprehended and most of them committed to
prison. It did not end there. The gallows was to play its part. Nineteen
were hanged, and one Giles Corey was pressed to death. If Tituba invoked
her demon to avenge his fallen votaries in her tribe, she was gratified
by beholding the victorious whites murder each other at her instance.
Neither Tituba nor any other of the Indians, though they avowed their
intercourse with the fallen spirits, was tried or condemned for
witchcraft. What took place in the Parris household took place in
hundreds of others where Indian slaves were kept, as in our time in the
South. Thousands of children have there been imbued by their negro
nurses with the pagan obeah and voodoo superstitions, as doubtless on
the Pacific slope many a mother is horrified to find her child’s mind
filled with the grossest heathenism by the Chinese servant, and fondly
hopes she has disabused her little one, when, in reality, the faith and
the terror then implanted in the child’s susceptible mind will last
through life, burned into the very soul by the vivid impression
produced.

A Catholic may say that the grace of baptism will protect many from this
evil; but, alas! to how many thousands of families in this land is
baptism a stranger! In them there is nothing to check the insidious
progress of evil.

The Huron nation was converted to Christianity by the early Catholic
missionaries, and the Iroquois were induced by them to abandon the
worship of their evil spirit Tharonhyawagon, or Agreskoue, whose name
even seems to be unknown to the present so-called pagan bands, who
worship the God of the Christians, but with strange heathenish rites.
The vices prevalent among the Hurons of Ohio, nominal Catholics in the
last century, show that secret worship of evil spirits still prevailed.
All know how the medicine-men have maintained their ground among the
Chippewas, Ottawas, and other Algonquin tribes on the borders of the
great lakes, although Catholic missionaries began their labors among
them two centuries ago. Whenever for a time Catholicity has seemed to
gain a tribe, any interruption of the mission for a brief period seems
to revive the old diabolism. There are medicine-men now with votaries as
earnest as any whom Dablon, Marquette, and Allouez tried to convert in
the seventeenth century. But data are wanting for a full consideration
of the subject as to these and other northern tribes.

Of the nagualism in the Texas tribes after their conversion by the
Franciscan missionaries we have evidence in the life of Father Margil, a
holy and illustrious laborer in that field. The tribes among whom he and
his compeers labored have vanished, but the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico
still remain. The succession of missionaries became irregular; no bishop
visited those parts to confirm the converts; the revolutions following
that which separated Mexico from Spain almost utterly destroyed the
Indian missions of New Mexico. Then the nagualism which had been
evidently maintained from the first by a few adepts and in great secrecy
became bolder; and these tribes, whose conversion dates back nearly
three centuries, revived the old paganism of their ancestry, mingled
with dreams of Montezuma’s future coming, taught them by the Mexican
Indians who accompanied the first Spanish settlers.

Father Margil once asked some Indians: “How is it that you are so
heathenish after having been Christians so long?” The answer was: “What
would you do, father, if enemies of your faith entered your land? Would
you not take all your books and vestments and signs of religion, and
retire to the most secret caves and mountains? This is just what our
priests, and prophets, and sooth-sayers, and nagualists have done to
this time and are still doing.” Experience showed, too, that this
worship of the evil spirit assumed the form of various sects, some
imitating the Catholic Church in having bishops, priests, and
sacraments, which they secretly administered to consecrate their victims
to Satan before they received the real ones from the hands of the
missionaries.

All those who have studied at all the pueblos of New Mexico describe to
some extent the nagual rites, some of which are indeed hidden under the
veil of secrecy in their estufas, but others are more open and avowed.

Colonel Meline, after noting the execution of two men accused of
witchcraft and sacrificing children, says of the Pueblos generally “that
they are more than suspected of clinging to and practising many of their
ancient heathen rites. The estufa is frequently spoken of as their
heathen temple.”[1]

Footnote 1:

  Meline, _Two Thousand Miles on Horseback_, pp. 225-226.

A report addressed to the Cortes in Spain by Don Pedro Bautista Pino in
1812 says: “All the pueblos have their estufas—so the natives call
subterranean rooms with only a single door, where they assemble to
perform their dances, to celebrate feasts, and hold meetings; these are
impenetrable temples where they gather to discuss mysteriously their
good or evil fortunes, and the doors are always closed on the Spaniards.

“All these pueblos, in spite of the sway which religion has had over
them, cannot forget a part of the beliefs which have been transmitted to
them, and which they are careful to transmit to their descendants. Hence
come the adoration they render the sun and moon, and other heavenly
bodies, the respect they entertain for fire, etc.”[2]

Footnote 2:

  _Noticias._, pp. 15, 16.

“The Pueblo chiefs seem to be at the same time priests; they perform
various simple rites by which the power of the sun and of Montezuma is
recognized, as well as the power (according to some accounts) of the
Great Snake, to whom, by order of Montezuma, they are to look for life.
They also officiate in certain ceremonies with which they pray for rain.
There are painted representations of the Great Snake, together with that
of a misshapen, red-haired man declared to stand for Montezuma. Of this
last there was also in the year 1845, in the pueblo of Laguna, a rude
effigy or idol, intended, apparently, to represent only the head of the
deity.”[3]

Footnote 3:

  Bancroft, _Native Races_, iii. 173, 174.

Others portray their setting up of idols or mementos of their national
deities, and surrounding them with circles of stones, repairing to the
spot regularly to pray.

The Pueblos thus show, after nearly three centuries of Catholic
instruction, almost ineradicable elements of heathenism.

Of the real interior life of other tribes we know comparatively little:
but by the example of so-called prophets who arise from time to time in
one part or another, giving new life to the old heathenism, borrowing
some idea from Christianity, and using their new creed as a means to
excite a great national feeling, we see clearly that in the Indian mind
the old worship, though dormant and concealed, has still a power and
mastery.

To this deep-rooted feeling the Mormons have appealed, and succeeded in
drawing large numbers within the circle of their influence. Almost all
the Indian wars are stimulated by some prophet promising victory and the
triumph of the old Indian beliefs.

The Cherokees have embraced many usages of civilization, and the
Choctaws approach them. The Chickasaws, the other great tribe in Indian
Territory, retain more of their old manners. In all these tribes
Protestantism has gained a hearing and has a few church members; but
there are strong pagan parties, and even among the Christian part there
is undoubtedly a strong old heathen element beneath an outward
conformity to Christianity. It was strongly urged on Congress a few
years since to erect this tract into a recognized territory of Oklahoma,
with a government like that of other Territories, preparatory to its
admission as a State. The outbursts of savage fury between factions in
the tribes, however, made men hesitate to give autonomy to them.

Investigation will, we think, show that crypto-paganism largely controls
this mass of native Indians, and is the great obstacle to their
improvement. It is, however, confined to themselves, and we do not find
that even in New Mexico the whites of Spanish origin have, during their
long residence near the pueblos, adopted to any extent the heathenish
usages of those tribes. The isolation of the nations in Indian Territory
has also prevented any great external influence. Thus this Indian
crypto-paganism, though wide-spread and unbroken, seems doomed, unless
taken in hand by some master-spirit.

The voodoo worship of the negroes shows greater vitality and
diffusiveness. The slaves taken in early times to St. Domingo came from
all parts of Africa, some from the fiercest tribes addicted to human
sacrifices and cannibalism. They brought over their demonic worship, and
by their force of character propagated it among the negroes generally.
It became the great religion of the slaves, was secretly practised, and
exercised a very powerful influence. As a secret society, with terrible
forms of initiation and bloody rites, it became a power in Hayti, and
has caused more than one revolution. Cases of the offering up of infants
in sacrifice, and devouring the victims, were exposed a few years since,
and numbers were arrested. Some were put to death, but the power of the
organization was unbroken, and Soulouque, if we are not mistaken, was
said to have owed his power to the voudoux.

St. Domingo was part French and part Spanish, and in time voodooism
spread from the French portion of the island, where it seems to have
originated, to the Spanish division, and thence to Cuba.

In this latter island it exists to this day, and has found votaries
among the whites. A recent French traveller—Piron—describes a fearful
scene which he witnessed in the house of a lady whom he never would have
suspected of any connection with so monstrous a sect. A naked white girl
acted as a voodoo priestess, wrought up to frenzy by dances and
incantations that followed the sacrifice of a white and a black hen. A
serpent, trained to its part, and acted on by the music, coiled round
the limbs of the girl, its motions studied by the votaries dancing
around or standing to watch its contortions. The spectator fled at last
in horror when the poor girl fell writhing in an epileptic fit.[4]

Footnote 4:

  Piron, _L’Ile de Cuba_, pp. 48-52.

While France held St. Domingo and Louisiana the intercourse between the
two colonies was constant, and voodooism took root on the banks of the
Mississippi soon after its settlement. The early historian of Louisiana,
Le Page du Pratz, says: “The negroes are very superstitious and attached
to their prejudices and to charms which they call grisgris. These should
not be taken from them or spoken about; for they would think themselves
ruined, were they deprived of them. The old negro slaves soon disabuse
them.”[5] These old negroes were scarcely, it will be confessed,
apostles to convert idolaters. In fact, their influence extended only to
inducing the new-comers to practise their rites and use the symbols in
secrecy.

Footnote 5:

  _Hist. de la Louisiane_, i. p. 335.

Le Page du Pratz himself, in defeating a negro plot to massacre the
colonists at New Orleans as the Indians had done at Natchez, found that
they attributed their defeat to his being a devil—that is, possessing
one more powerful than their own. The voodoo rites have been kept up in
Louisiana from the commencement, and the power exercised by the priests
and priestesses of this horrible creed is very great. Working in secret,
with all the terrors of mystery and threats of bodily harm, it is just
suited to the negro mind, and has spread over much of the South. As in
Cuba and St. Domingo, the white children in many cases learn of it from
their negro nurses, and the weak, as they grow up, never shake off its
hold on their imagination. Human sacrifices are certainly offered in
their infamous rites, and the escape of an old negro doomed to the
sacrificial altar drew down upon the voodoos the police of New Orleans
only a few years ago.

The Abbé Domenech[6]—whom we should hesitate to cite, were not his
accounts here in conformity with numerous others—represents voodooism as
having not only spread through Texas, but into Mexico where, in a
depraved border community, its horrid rites and secret poisonings are
carried on. His details as to the mode of worship in New Orleans—the
nudity, the use of serpents, the dances—correspond with the accounts
given from Cuba. Reports from Mobile attest its existence there with
similar features.

Footnote 6:

  _Missionary Adventures in Texas and Mexico._

Where voodooism prevails it has not only its adepts and votaries, but a
large class who, full of terror, buy at exorbitant prices from voodoo
priests charms against its spells.

The late war has given the negroes opportunities for education and a
future, but the new prosperity has not broken the power of voodooism. Of
a thing kept secret and hidden, which many will deny and more be ashamed
of, it is not easy to get precise data or details. Yet from time to time
revelations are made attesting its vitality. A negro member of the
Louisiana Legislature, and a minister in one of the Protestant
denominations, was reported within a few years as undergoing certain
rites to free himself from the spell of a voodoo priestess. We may
therefore easily infer that the negroes, being not only self-governing,
but governing the whites in many parts by force of numbers, are not
likely to be influenced so much by whites as by the crafty and aspiring
among themselves. They will concentrate, and in their concentration this
voodoo power cannot but increase and all vestiges of Christianity
disappear. The field upon which it can work—the vast colored population
of the South—is ready for it. Some may think the whole matter a shallow
imposture that will soon die out before the effulgence of newspapers;
but it really shows no signs of decline, and, if no cases have been
unearthed which show such frightful enormities as those in Hayti, it is
certainly attended with ceremonies which, for their very indecency and
pampering of the worst vices, should cause it to be rooted out, even by
those who would regard the direct worship of the devil as something with
which the state cannot interfere.

Open the map of the United States, and see how a band of country from
the Atlantic to the Pacific is thus permeated by heathenism. In the
Southern States the voodoo worship; New Mexico and Indian Territory with
nagualism; Utah with Mormonism; California with Buddhism. Throughout
this tract the church planted there from one to three centuries is still
weak, and, except in California, is not gaining ground with any
rapidity. Everywhere Catholic influence is less potent than others. The
very climate, enervating and disposing to ease and indulgence, seems to
lend power to systems that gratify the passions which the church teaches
her children to mortify and control.

It looks as though the Prince of Evil were seeking to form a kingdom for
himself, combining all the elements for his evil spirits to carry on the
war of conquest. St. Jude represents Satan as endeavoring to secure the
body of Moses, doubtless to lead the Jews into idolatry and make them
worship him. If he tried to induce even our Lord to fall down and
worship him, we cannot wonder that he should try to induce weak men to
do so. St. Paul constantly represents to us our struggle in life as a
war against the evil spirits. St. Ignatius, in the “Exercise of the Two
Standards,” pictures Satan as arrayed against our Lord with all his
hosts. The battle seems to take actual form, and we should be prepared
for it. In this battle we have powerful auxiliaries placed at our
command, in the persons of the angelic powers, and though the church,
through her whole liturgy and offices, reminds us of their ministry and
invokes their aid,[7] we seem to be forgetful of their existence, and go
into the fight unaided by forces at our command—forces never defeated,
and ready to meet our call. What wonder that we are often worsted? Our
books of devotion give a single prayer to our guardian angel. Few think
beyond this. The angel guardians of the country, of our city, of our
church, our home, of our family, of those committed to our charge, are
all fighting for us, earnestly if we seek their aid. St. Michael, the
guardian angel of the Jewish nation, defeated Satan’s attempt to use the
body of Moses for his wicked designs. So in our day the greater
manifestation of diabolical agencies should lead us to ask God to send
his angels to our aid. The parents, in training and protecting from evil
the children given to them, have mighty coadjutors in the angels of
these very children, the teacher in those of his scholars, the pastor in
those of his flock. There may be saints to whom we have a special
devotion; but in the angels we have powerful spirits directly deputed by
God to aid us, and whose duty it is, as it were, to combat by our side
against the enemies of salvation.

Footnote 7:

  Thus in the Mass she asks that the offerings be carried on high by the
  angels; in the Asperges, and Complin she begs God to send down his
  angels to cherish, guard, and protect all within the building; in the
  Itinerary she calls St. Raphael especially to protect all who travel;
  in the baptismal service she asks God to send an angel to guard the
  catechumen and lead him to the grace of baptism; in Extreme Unction,
  to give all dwelling, in the house a good angel guardian; the
  Commendation of the Departing Soul is a constant appeal to the holy
  angels; and the prayer after death asks that the departed soul may be
  received by the holy angels and brought to Paradise, her real country.
  She even asks that an angel be deputed to guard the grave.

But we are not giving a devotional treatise: or attempting to propose
any new form. Our country is dear to us, and, although it were too
sanguine to hope that in the days of any now living the true faith will
reach such a point that its influence will be marked on the public mind
and heart, we cannot be insensible to the apparently formidable
gathering of heathen elements in a section of country where the very
climate seems to lend them new force in building up a great empire of
paganism.

A new impulse has been given to our Indian missions, which, owing,
doubtless, to causes easy of explanation, have never received from the
Catholic body at large in the United States the moral and temporal aid
they so richly deserved. In fact, the missionaries labored on, almost
ignored and forgotten, so that an attempt was made through the
instrumentality of the federal government to crush them out altogether.
This has roused Catholics to an interest in them, and this interest
should be kept up. By prayer, by alms, by direct aid, we must help the
missionaries and their coadjutors, the devoted religious women in the
missions, to fight the good fight, and root out, so far as lies in us,
the paganism of the Indian tribes, where still avowed or cloaked under
an external show of Christianity.

On another paganism, that of the Chinese, and on that of the Mormons, we
cannot apparently act yet directly, but we can meet them by prayer, and
in the regions infected Catholics should exercise the utmost vigilance
that this pagan influence should never enter their households, lest
their children, if not themselves, may at last imitate the wisest of
kings, not in his wisdom, but in his idolatry.

The great and festering sore of voodooism afflicting the negroes calls
for all our zeal, as Catholics, to help the bishops and clergy in the
South, and the English society which has entered this field, by prayer,
by material aid, by earnest and sustained efforts to preserve the purity
of faith among colored Catholics. The Church in the Southern States,
crippled by the disasters of the late war, is entirely unable to cope
single-handed with the new duty imposed upon it by the altered condition
of affairs. She appeals to us, and as Catholics we cannot remain deaf to
her call.



                         ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.


    O love! you lay the volume by
      That held you like a holy chime—
    _Life of St. Francis_—with a sigh
      Which says: “That was a pleasant time
    In old Perugia’s mountain-town
    On the Umbrian valley looking down—
      Flushed like an Eden in sublime
    Environment of mountains vast;
      And do not you, as I, recall
    What, morn and even, and first and last,
        Attracted most of all?

    “The peaks of Apennine we knew
      By heart—the many-citied land
    Where-through the infant Tiber drew
      A thousand streams in silver band,
    Filled with the murmur of the pines
    That told the olives and the vines
      They heard the sea on either hand.
    But, kindled on its lofty cape,
      A light-tower to that inland coast
    O’er waves of greenwood, corn, and grape,
        What object charmed us most?

    “Assisi seated in the sun!
      All round from Monte Sole’s height
    The insistent fascination
      Of its white walls enthralled our sight.
    And moon and starlight on its slope
    Showed but a dimmer heliotrope.
      We watched it many a mellow night:
    Once when a warrior comet came,
      And flashed, in high heaven opposite,
    A sheathless sword of pallid flame.
        Drawn from out the infinite.

    “To sweet St. Francis’ native town,
      Alas! we made no pilgrimage;
    Nor to St. Mary’s, lower down,
      His Portiuncula hermitage.
    We knew but by its star-like shine
    The splendors of Assisi’s shrine,
      In mystic triple stage on stage.
    It only asked one summer’s day—
      How strange it seems in you and me!—
    That narrow vale of Umbria
        Made severance like the sea.”

    O gentle wife! I cannot tell
      To wistful eyes of retrospect
    What _dolce far niente’s_ spell,
      In that midsummer, caused neglect;
    What imp, procrastination hight,
    Seduced us when we meant no slight.
      In life, all paradox and defect,
    Easy is difficult—the friend
      Next door to visit—duties small,
    To be done any day, that end
        In not being done at all.

    “How can this trite philosophy
      Console me in my great regret?”
    Nay, love, look not so tearfully,
      And we will find some comfort yet.
    What figure, think you, in those streets
    The gentle, loving youth repeats,
      Singing his gay French canzonet?
    Doth either temple’s sumptuous pride
      Suit stone and crust for bed and board,
    And bridegroom joyful in his bride—
        The poverty of our Lord?

    O brown serge holier than the cope!
      Was mystery veiled in long-sleeved gown?
    And awful was his girdle-rope?
      Were skirts that swept his ankles brown?
    Bore he, in hands and feet and side,
    The five wounds of the Crucified?
      Did high God send his seraph down,
    On the lone mount, to imprint such sign?
      His brethren wondered, overawed;
    Yet not even this made more divine
        That sweet-souled man of God!

    O happy swallows! circling skim
      And twitter o’er the gray church-towers.
    He called you sisters; ye with him
      Chirped sweetly when he sang the Hours.
    And ye, his brothers innocent,
    With whom he talked where’er he went,
      Play, lamb and leveret, in the flowers!
    Wise foolishness and melting ruth—
      That move deep chords, O love! in you—
    Born of child-instincts, or a truth
        He and the angels knew!

    “O Sun, my brother above all!
      Stars, Sister Moon, in praise accord.
    Chaste, humble, useful, precious, full,
      O Sister Water, freely poured!
    Robust and jocund, strong and bright,
    O Brother Fire! illume the night.
      Live tongues of beauty, praise the Lord!
    O Brother Wind! thy wonders weave
      In clouds and the blue sky above,
    Wherefrom all creatures life receive,
        And weave them all of love.

    “Confess the Lord, O Mother Earth!
      Through whom so beautiful thou art.
    To herb, fruit, flower, he giveth birth
      And color from Love’s eyes and heart.
    Serve God!” he sang. His sermons good,
    Dear to shy creatures of the wood,
      Could even to bole and branch impart
    Their glowing sense: a conscious soul
      Kin to his own in all things moved.
    His monument is grand—the whole
        Creation that he loved.

    O Life, that sought to imitate
      The one pure type, its perfect Chief,
    By its own purity separate
      As is the dew-drop on a leaf,
    Which yet doth from its luminous veil
    A glory to the flower exhale!
      Close sympathy with no touch of grief!
    Let fair Assisi on its slope,
      An unremote yet reachless star,
    Lend to our hearts another trope,
        So near and yet so far.

    O Poet, who in faltering rhyme
      First wove the Tuscan into song!
    O poem and miracle sublime,
      Thyself, in Dante sweet and strong!
    To his fourth circle of Paradise,
    To the King-splendor of the skies,
      Dost thou, the elder seer, belong.
    Thee “Sister Death” hath glorified;
      And what an image we have won:
    Through kindled mists of mountain-side,
        Assisi in the sun!

                           SIX SUNNY MONTHS.
    BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HOUSE OF YORKE,” “GRAPES AND THORNS,” ETC.
                              CHAPTER XI.
                       A MORNING WITH ST. PETER.


As the day approached for their visit to the crypt of St. Peter, Mr.
Vane absented himself very much from the house, and the last day was
spent entirely away, from early in the morning till late in the evening.
They understood that he was to make his First Communion with them, but
asked no questions, leaving him entirely free, and he gave no
explanation. The Signora and the two daughters made a Triduum for him in
the mornings; and so deeply did they feel the event for him that they
looked forward to their own Communion almost as if it were to be their
first, and lived as though in retreat for two or three days.

“I feel,” Bianca said, “as if I had been having clandestine interviews
with some one outside the house, and that now papa were going to invite
him home, and make a feast in his honor. Dear papa! how very good he is;
how much better than his daughters!”

She would have been quite shocked and alarmed had any one told her that
she entertained such a sentiment, but there was, in fact, in her heart
an undercurrent of pride in her father’s piety, and a feeling that the
Lord would certainly be particularly pleased with him.

At length the day dawned, the sweet bells of Santa Maria Maggiore, the
slipshod bells of Sant’ Antonino, all the bells in hearing, ringing
their three, four, five, and one out of the white silence of the aurora.

The Signora smiled to hear, through the open doors, Isabel start awake
at the sound, and exclaim in her clear voice: “The angel of the Lord
declared unto Mary.”

“I really must not have such a preference for Bianca,” she said to
herself, “especially now when Bianca has a lover. Isabel is very honest
and earnest.”

The Alba turned to a rosy silver, the silver deepened to gold, the north
and west were Tyrian purple, and the sun was on the eastern horizon,
painting the long lines of the aqueducts, and the billows of the
Campagna, and the towers, high roofs, and cupolas of the city with a
fiery pencil. A flock of goats pattered by in the street, to be milked
at the doors; hand-carts piled with fruit were dragged slowly in from
some garden near the walls; three men walked slowly past, in single
file, with large baskets on their heads piled with rich flowers. The
perfume of them came up to the window as the Signora leaned out. A
wine-cart came slowly down from the Esquiline piazza, laden high with
small barrels and half and quarter barrels, brought in by night to the
Roman shops from cool grottoes in the Castelli Romani, set here or there
on the beautiful mountains that were now a velvety blue under the
eastern sky. At the back of this cart was perched high the little white
dog, with his nose on his paws, and his eyes half shut, but all ready to
start up with a sharp bark if any one but looked hard at his precious
load. In front, under the side awning, slept the driver. The horse
dreamed along through the morning, and the little bunch of bells slung
to the cart jingled softly as they went.

“It is certainly earth, but a most beautiful earth,” the Signora
thought, sighing with content, as she went out to fasten the girls’
veils on for them.

“There is no need of putting on gloves,” she said, seeing Isabel drawing
hers on. “Didn’t you know, child, that one should not wear gloves when
going to Communion?”

“Live and learn,” said Isabel, and took her gloves off again. “I have
had a doubt on the subject, but I never knew.”

“Another little item you may not know,” the Signora said. “The
_canonico_ being a bishop, you have to kiss his ring before receiving.
He will himself touch it to your lips after he has taken the Host in his
finger and thumb to give you. When I first came here, I was embarrassed
by many of these customs, which everybody here takes for granted, you
know.”

Nothing could be pleasanter than Mr. Vane’s manner that morning—serious
and quiet, but less grave, even, than usual. Seeing Isabel’s eyes fixed
anxiously on him while the Signora spoke, he smiled and said: “I am glad
your education is not quite finished, my dear. I am still more ignorant,
and you must all teach me. I wish, Signora, that you would be so good as
to stay by me this morning, so that, if I should be in doubt, I may look
at you. I think you would be more correct and prompt than the children
here.”

“Certainly,” she said, “I will be near you.”

The porter had sprinkled and swept the stairs just before they went
down, and the place was shaded, fresh, and cool. Carlin was whistling to
his baby while his wife prepared breakfast—a whistling as soft and clear
as the song of a bobolink. The other birds adopted him, and answered him
back from the garden, a little surprised, it may be, at the length and
smoothness of his carol. The air was so richly scented with
orange-flowers that one might almost have thought worth while to bottle
it, and there was a rustling sound, exquisitely cool and pervading, of
falling water. In a shady corner near the door of the porter’s room was
a tiny brazier with a handful of glowing coals in it, and over this
Augusto was making his early cup of coffee. Out doors everything shone
with a golden color—the light, the houses, the streets—and in that frame
the sky was set like a gem, so blue that it could be compared to
nothing, and nothing could approach it.

They did not look about as they drove slowly through the city, but,
leaning back silent, had a mingled sense of Rome and heaven. It was
impossible for any of them to imagine anything more perfect, or to ask
for any addition to their happiness. Earth and heaven had united to
bless them, and every gift of earth worth the taking was theirs. To have
been sovereigns would have oppressed them; to have had millions at their
disposal would have been a care and annoyance. They had enough, and
their cup was running over.

The narrow streets were beginning to stir as they passed, and some were
dim, and all were in shade. Not a ray of sunshine touched them, except
in the piazzas, till they reached the bridge of Sant’ Angelo. Then all
was light, for the sun shot straight on through the Borgo, and all the
piazza of St. Peter’s was in a blaze. They were almost faint with the
heat as they walked up the ascent; but in a few minutes they were inside
the sacred door, where, before entering, summer and winter meet to give
the kiss of peace on the threshold, and the one quenches her fiery
arrows, and the other warms his frosty breath.

Not a person was in sight as they went in, but they heard, faintly and
far away, the mingled voices of the choir coming and going. The circle
of ever-burning lamps twinkled like a constellation before them, and
invited their steps. Half way up they paused before the chapel of the
Blessed Sacrament, which is an exception to the cheerful grandeur of St.
Peter’s. For this dim chapel gives a sense of remoteness and mystery,
and the inner chamber, from which the eyes can see no outlet, seems to
lead to some edifice still more vast; as though St. Peter’s were life
and day, but here was the way to death and night, yet a way not gloomy
and dreadful, but only solemn and mysterious. The Baptistery is merely
dark, and produces no such impression.

When they reached the bronze statue, the ladies kissed the foot and
passed on, but Mr. Vane stood thoughtfully there for some time before
following. And even then he did not pay the accustomed homage to the
venerable image. His soul had saluted it, may be; but he was of a
different sort from those who have the act of reverence always ready,
whether the heart move or not; who will kiss the relic between the
kisses of the shameless, and touch what is holy with lips that have just
lied, and which are prompt to lie again. This man’s outward devotion was
ever the blossom of a plant that grew in his heart, and filled it so
that the act was an overflowing.

Marion was already waiting for them at the grand altar. They recognized
each other silently, and seated themselves on the steps to wait, being
early. The Signora placed herself beside Mr. Vane, and, noticing that he
drew a deep breath, and looked about with a glance that took in their
position there in the centre of that immense cross, she pointed upward
where the dome, glorious with light and color, rested on the legend that
had turned the face of the world: “_Thou art Peter, and on this rock I
will build my church. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of
heaven._” The legend ran in a circle of gigantic letters rimmed with
gold, and the circle and the dome were as the ring and mitre of the
church let down from heaven, and hovering in air over the ashes of the
first pontiff.

A Mass was being said at the altar directly before them, at the end of
the south transept, but not a sound of it reached them. They saw
indistinctly the priest, and the mosaic crucifixion of St. Peter over
the altar. They heard the _coro_, now swelling loudly in a brave, manly
chant as the whole chapter joined, now sinking in a cadence, now fine
with a boy’s clear treble. The bronze canopy above them glittered in
every gilded point, the twisted columns that supported it soaring like
flame and smoke entwined. The wreath of lamps about the confession was
as bright as the ever-burning flames within them, and the polished
marble answered them back, blaze for blaze. Below—a frozen prayer—knelt
the guardian statue, its face turned to the screen behind which rest the
relics of St. Peter. Two or three persons, entering the church, looked
small as mice down the nave, and intensified the sense of magnificent
solitude about them. All this light and splendor seemed so independent
of, so superior to, human presence that human beings appeared to be only
permitted, not invited, to come. It was a temple for the invisible God.

“There is no outward difference,” the Signora said to Mr. Vane, “between
Catholicity and Protestantism which strikes me more than our ways of
going to church, and the reasons for going. Protestants go to hear a man
talk, and the man goes to talk to them. The affair is a failure if
either is missing; for the minister needs the people, and the people
need him. On the contrary, one person alone in a Catholic church may
accomplish a perfect act of worship. When the priest has offered up a
Mass, though no one assist, the world is better for it; and when a
worshipper has prayed all alone in the presence of the Blessed
Sacrament, he has performed a supreme act of piety. There is all the
difference between the dwelling-house of God and the house where people
go to talk about God.”

“I always felt as if there were too much wind in Protestantism,” Mr.
Vane said.

Presently a little company appeared coming out of the sacristy—two boys
in white _cotte_, the _canonico’s_ chaplain and another priest, also in
_cotte_, and, lastly, monsignor the _canonico_ himself, in a purple silk
soutane of a color so bright that it was almost red. They passed across
the basilica toward the pier of Veronica, and paused there at the
altar-rail till the Signora and her friends joined them. A pleasant
salutation was exchanged, and the Signora managed to whisper to the
_canonico_ that Mr. Vane was to make his First Communion that morning.
The beautiful face of the prelate brightened with a pleased surprise,
and he turned again and cordially offered his hand to the new convert,
who, to the delight of the ladies, bent and kissed the ring on it.

Then the boys lighted their wax tapers, and the party went in behind the
altar, down the narrow stair, and through the circling corridor, and
found themselves in the heart of St. Peter’s.

This chapel is a tiny place in comparison to the church above, but
capable of accommodating many more than the five who are permitted to
visit it at a time. Two persons could kneel abreast at each side of the
central passage, and four or five ranks, may be, might find room. The
end next the screen, visible in the confession from above, is open, the
altar being at the upper end, and the whole has not a ray of daylight.
From this chapel one can look back and see through the screen Canova’s
marble pontiff, and the ring of golden lamps on the railing of the
confession, and, perhaps, some worshippers kneeling outside the
sanctuary which one has had the privilege of entering. Directly overhead
are the grand altar and the dome.

The Signora took a _prie-dieu_ near the altar, motioning Mr. Vane to a
place beside her; the sisters knelt behind them at either side the
chapel; and Marion, quite apart, and behind the rest, leaned in a chair
and hid his face in his hands. He had been surprised into the situation,
and, though he had tried sincerely to do his best, was still a little
alarmed by it. Shaken out of his usual artistic mood, which regarded
first what appeared, and then peeped inside from without, he found
himself suddenly whirled into the centre, where, either from darkness or
from too much light—he knew not which—he could not see. It was one of
those moments of fear in persons who communicate seldom but sincerely,
which presently give place to the most perfect reassurance and peace.

The Mass was over. Monsignor laid aside his vestments, and knelt at a
_prie-dieu_ reserved for him; his chaplain placed a book on the desk
before him, and withdrew, and there was silence.

The church could do no more for them. She had brought them to St.
Peter’s tomb, and given them the Bread of angels.

It was impossible that the mind should not shake off the present and go
back to the time when the dust in the shrine before them lived, and
moved, and spoke, and when the invisible Lord in their breasts was the
visible Lord in the flesh, teaching, persuading, and suffering. The Lord
in their hearts said to the apostle in the shrine: “Wilt thou also go
away?” And the apostle answered him: “Lord, to whom shall we go?” And
again Peter said: “Lord, thou shalt never wash my feet.” And Jesus
answered him: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” The Lord
in their hearts was he who stood in the palace of the high-priest, bound
and smitten upon the cheek, and Peter, standing by, denied that he knew
him. The pallid lamps shone on the face of the Master turned for one
reproachful look, and the red light of the coals burned up, as if the
very fire blushed, in the face of the cowardly follower. They saw the
seaside, where the risen Lord stood and called, and Peter, no longer a
coward, but on fire with love and joy, flung himself into the sea to go
to him. And yet again, in this memory which had become a presence and a
voice, the Lord spoke to Peter: “Lovest thou me?” And Peter answered him
once, and again, and, grieving, yet again: “Thou knowest that I love
thee.” And Jesus said to him: “Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.”

O perfection of power and of obedience; for within this hour, which
memory, unrolling again her shrunken scroll, showed to be eighteen
centuries distant—within this hour both the sheep and the lambs had been
fed!

“I feel as though I had a garden in my heart,” Marion said to the
_canonico_ as they went up into the church again.

The two were walking slowly and last, and in speaking Marion bent and
kissed the prelate’s hand.

The hand held his a moment closely, and the _canonico_ replied: “Where
the Tree of Life is, there is always a garden.”

This conversation they had listened to between the Master and Peter
followed them down the church, whose splendors seemed rather like
virtues made visible than like any work of the hands of man. If they
should ever be so lost and ungrateful as to leave this fold, to whom,
indeed, should they go? And unless the Lord washed them from their sins,
surely they could have no part with him. They still saw the lessening
vision of the high-priest’s dim and solemn house as they passed down the
church and out through the first portal; then the second fell behind
them, and an Italian summer day caught them to its glowing breast.

“It seems to me,” the Signora said, “as if we had just been ordained,
and were being sent out as missionaries. Of course you go home to
breakfast with us, Marion,” she added.

“I was thinking of Fra Egidio this morning,” said Bianca softly, as they
drove home through the hot sunshine. “He used to say, instead of 'I
believe in God,’ 'I _know_ God.’”

“That blessed Fra Egidio!” struck in Isabel, who had lately been reading
about him. “He used to go into ecstasies, papa, whenever he heard the
names of God or of heaven. And when he went into the street, sometimes
people would call out, 'Fra Egidio, paradiso! paradiso!’ and instantly
he would be rapt into an ecstasy, and perhaps be lifted up into the air.
Why doesn’t some one go into ecstasies now at the thought of heaven?”

“Nobody prevents you, my dear,” her father said. “If you will be so lost
to the world and so given to God that the mere hearing his name will
lift you from the earth, so much the better.”

“You are quite right, papa,” she answered gently. “I had better look to
myself.”

He smiled and laid his hand tenderly on hers.

“I was particularly pleased with the account of the interview between
Fra Egidio and St. Louis,” the Signora said. “The king came incognito to
visit the ecstatic, and went to the convent in Perugia where he was
living. Fra Egidio, knowing supernaturally that he was there, and who he
was, went out to meet him. They fell on their knees on the threshold,
and embraced each other, and, after remaining for some time in that
silent embrace, rose and separated, without having uttered a word. That
was truly a heavenly meeting.”

Their attention was here attracted to a clergyman who walked slowly
along the shady side of their street, accompanied by his chaplain. This
prelate, the patriarch of Antioch, was of a venerable age, and wore a
long beard. He alone, perhaps, of all the prelates in Rome, appeared in
the street with the distinguishing marks of his rank—the chain and
cross, the red-purple stockings, sash, and buttons, and the green tassel
on his hat.

A little boy on the sidewalk caught sight of him, and instantly snatched
his cap off and ran to kiss the patriarch’s hand. The action was
perfectly natural and simple, and performed with a charming mixture of
reverence and confidence.

“How pretty it is!” exclaimed Isabel. “And there is another.”

A little girl had left her mother’s side, and run also to kiss the
patriarch’s hand as he passed. No idea seemed to have entered her curly
head that she was approaching too nearly a grand personage, or that he
would be annoyed or interrupted by her homage, any more than a crucifix
or a picture of Maria Santissima would have been.

“The Roman clergy have the sweetest manners with the poor,” the Signora
said; “and the highest dignitaries, when they are in public, are
approached with a facility which I found, at first, astonishing. I
recollect going to St. Agatha’s, the church of the Irish College, to the
Forty Hours, shortly after I came here. It is in a populous
neighborhood, as you know, and the streets swarm with children. A
clergyman came into the church and knelt at a _prie-dieu_ just in front
of me. There were a dozen or so children wandering about, and presently
they collected at this _prie-dieu_, and, sitting on the step or standing
at the desk, almost leaning on the priest’s shoulder, they stared at the
people and whispered to each other. I expected to see him send them away
or go away himself; but he only put his hands over his face and remained
immovable. I had almost a mind, for a minute, to go and speak to the
children, but, fortunately, did not. After a while, nervous, impatient
Yankee though I am, with a passion for an orderliness which strikes the
eyes, I began to see the beauty and true piety of this gentle behavior,
and to find something more edifying in that priest who suffered the
little ones to come near him, and near the Lord, than I should have
found if he had gone into an ecstasy before the Blessed Sacrament. It
was the sweetest charity. Indeed, much of that which seems to us to be
cowardice in the Romans is nothing but a spirit of gentleness fostered
by religion. They are non-combatants. The church found them a fiery and
warlike people, constantly committing deeds of violence, fond of
conquest, and impatient of control, and she has subdued them to
children. If they are too submissive to usurpation, that is better than
the other extreme. The lion has become the lamb, and the lamb is ever
the victim. And now here we are at home.”

Annunciata and Adriano had conspired to make the breakfast as festal as
possible, and had succeeded perfectly. But for the light west wind that
fluttered in at the still open windows, the air of the rooms would have
been too fragrant; and but for the long morning fast and drive, the
breakfast would have been too profuse. It was, in fact, both breakfast
and dinner, it being nearly noon when they sat down; and they sat two
hours talking before they separated. Just before they rose from the
table Annunciata came in, bearing a large dish covered with green
leaves, a smile of triumph on her face. She placed the dish in the
centre of the table, and looked at her mistress.

“_Brava!_” exclaimed the Signora. “Now, children, do you recognize that
leaf?” lifting one from the dish, and holding it up between a thumb and
finger. “Do you know what tree grows a hand for a leaf? Do you see the
shape?”

“'In the name of the prophet, figs!’” quoted Isabel.

“Yes, the first figs of the season, and perfect; just soft enough to
flatten on the plate and against each other, yet firm; and, withal,
sweeter than honey. You should see the woman who brings them to me—a
rosy, russet creature, with eyes as black as sloes, and pounds of gold
on her neck and hands. That gold she wears always. It is their way. She
has four gold chains, one hanging below the other, and each bearing a
medallion. Through these shines a large gold brooch. Her earrings are
immense hoops, and she wears gold rings on every finger, piled up to the
joints. She was once so ill that they thought best to give her Extreme
Unction, and, when the priest came to administer the sacrament, he found
her lying, pale and speechless, but with all her rings and lockets on.
These people do not value stones, but they glory in pure, solid gold.”

“Might it not be their dowry?” Mr. Vane asked.

“Very likely; sometimes it certainly is. Sometimes the dowry is in
pearls, and a _contadina_ will have strings and strings of them. I am
told, however, that the common people in Rome have a saying that pearls
are for butchers’ wives. I don’t know why, and one has been pointed out
to me as owning half a dozen strings of them. They are not a good
investment, however, for they are easy to spoil and easy to steal. A
very safe and sensible way for providing a girl’s dowry exists in one of
the towns near Rome. All along the river-bank is level land divided into
small lots. When a girl is born, the father buys one of these, if he is
able, and plants it full of a sort of tree that grows rapidly, and is
much used for certain kinds of wood-work. While the girl grows her dowry
grows; and when she marries, the trees are cut down and sold. I have
often wished that American fathers of families would make some provision
for their children when they are born, setting aside a sum, if it should
be ever so small, to increase with their years, and be a help in giving
them a start in the world. It seems a sin that parents should bring a
family of children into the world, all dependent on one life, and, if
that life be cut off, be thrown out helpless and unprovided for. How
often we see, by the death of a father whose labor or salary maintained
his family in comfort, the whole family plunged in distress and left
homeless! How would Bianca, here, like to have her dowry in pearls?”

“She has a mouth full of them,” said Marion hastily. He could not bear
that his lady should be thought in want of a dowry, when she was a
fortune in herself. “And those are not her only jewels.” He reached,
and, taking her hand, gathered together the little pink finger-tips like
a bunch of rosebuds. “She has ten rubies fit for a crown,” he said, and
touched his lips to the clustered fingers, while the girl laughed and
blushed.

Mr. Vane seemed to be struck with a sudden recollection. He put his hand
to his forehead and considered, then rose from his chair. “Wait a
minute,” he said, and went into his own room, where they heard him
opening his trunk, and searching about in it. Presently he returned with
a tiny morocco case. “It is the merest chance in the world that I did
not leave this in America,” he said. “I did not dream of bringing it.
Bianca’s mother left a pair of ear-rings for the girl who should marry
first.”

He opened the case and took them out—two large, pear-shaped pearls, of
exquisite lustre, hanging from a gold leaf, on which a small, pure
diamond glistened like a speck of water.

“And you could have such a treasure with you, and never say anything
about it!” the Signora exclaimed. “O the insensibility of men! And these
girls never saw the pearls before!”

She fastened the jewels in the pretty ears they were destined for.
“These are two gems you forgot in your enumeration, Marion,” she said.
“And, by the way, how fitting it is that, when the ears are shells,
there should be pearls hung in them!”

“I’m glad you think them so pretty,” Mr. Vane said with compunction. “I
really never did think of them before. Perhaps it was very stupid of
me.”

“On the contrary, it was very wise of you, papa,” Isabel said. “They are
a great pleasure to us all now; but if we had known of them, I should
now feel as if they had been taken away from me.”

“When you are engaged, you shall have a pair as pretty, if they are to
be found,” her father said.

They drank Bianca’s health; and, the talk still running on gems, Marion
told an incident of a ring which a friend of his had lost in the snow,
in some part of Germany, as he stood looking down on the town from a
hill outside. Several months afterward, going to the same spot, he saw
the ring at the top of a little plant. The first sprout had come up
inside it as it lay on the ground, and, growing, had lifted it, till it
stood almost a foot high, glistening round the green stem.

“What a disappointed little plant it must have been when its gold crown
was taken off!” the Signora said regretfully.

“It no doubt grew better without it,” Mr. Vane replied. “Besides, the
ring did not belong to it.”

It was the tiniest little intimation of a correction, and the Signora
was highly pleased. He saw the smile with which she received it, and was
content. Nothing can express more kindness than a gentle reproof, and
nothing can show more affection than to take pleasure in such a reproof.

When they had separated, the Signora went into the kitchen to give a
private and special commendation to Annunciata for her well-doing that
morning, and to glance at that part of her domain. She never omitted
this word of praise, and the faithful servant counted herself well paid
for any pains she could take when she had been assured that what she had
done had given pleasure.

This Roman kitchen was as little as possible like the New England
kitchen. Closets and pantries there were none; the single stone walls
did not admit of them. Two large cases of covered shelves took their
place. Instead of the trim range with its one fire-place, was a row of
five little furnaces, over each of which a dish could be set. A
sheet-iron screen extended out over these, like the hood of a chaise.
All the side of the chimney, where it extended into the room, shone with
bright copper and tin cooking vessels, hanging in rows. Underneath were
two baskets, one with charcoal, another with _carbonella_—the charred
little twigs from the baker’s furnaces, that can be kindled at a lamp.
One of the furnaces still had a glow of coals within it, and near by was
the feather fan that had been used to kindle and keep it bright. The
brick floor was as clean as sprinkling and sweeping could make it. They
never wash a floor in Rome, and only the fine marbles and mosaics ever
get anything better than that sprinkling and sweeping. The one window
looked across the court to the Agostinian convent attached to Sant’
Antonino, and to the little belfry with the two bells that never could
be made to strike the right number of times, and into the garden of the
_frati_, where rows of well-kept vegetables were drinking in the sun as
if it were wine.

This kitchen was quite deserted, except for the cat, who was standing,
with a very mild and innocent expression of countenance, close to the
closed door of a cupboard where meat was kept. She glanced calmly at the
Signora, and walked away slowly and with dignity.

“Where is Annunciata, Signor Abate?” inquired the Signora.

The cat turned and mewed with great politeness, but in an interrogative
tone, as who should say, “I beg your pardon?”

And then a splashing and bubbling of water from without reminded the
_padrona_ that her handmaiden was washing that day—was “at the
fountain,” as they express it.

“Why should I not go down for once and see how it seems there?” she
thought. “After all, this girl is dependent on me, lives with me, serves
me in everything, is at my call night and day, and I do not touch her
life except at certain points—the table, the cleanliness and order of
the house, and the errands she does for me outside. I don’t know much
about her, after all.”

She opened a door that she had never passed in the years she had lived
in that apartment, and descended a narrow stone stair that wound in a
steep spiral, lighted at each turn by a small hole pierced in the outer
wall. Down and down—it seemed interminable, but was, in reality, two
stories and a half. The landing was in a dim store-room a little below
the ground level, and used as a cellar. From this a passage and door led
into a small court enclosed between an angle of the house and a high
wall, like a room with the ceiling taken off. Here a spout of water
flowed into a double fountain-basin, where the girl stood washing and
beating linen on the stone border. As she worked, steadily, and too much
absorbed to see her mistress standing near her, tears rolled down her
face, and dropped one by one on the clothes in her hands.

The Signora looked a moment, astonished and shocked. Was this the girl
who had come and gone from early morning cheerfully at her bidding, and
who had smiled as she served the table within half an hour? She stood
awhile looking at her, then quietly withdrew, and, going up-stairs
again, rang a hand-bell from the window. Annunciata came up immediately,
quite as usual, with no sign of tears in her face, except a slight flush
of the eyelids, and made her usual inquiry: “_Che vuole?_”—What does she
wish for?

“I have several things to say,” her mistress replied. “I came out first
to thank you for having given us such a beautiful breakfast. Everything
was well done. I forgot you were at the fountain.”

The smile came readily, and with it the ready word: “It pleased
her?”—always the ceremonious third person.

“And now I want to ask you something,” the Signora went on kindly. “Sit
down. If you do not like to tell me, you need not. But I should be very
sorry if you had any trouble, especially anything in which I could help
you, and did not let me know. You have been crying. Are you willing to
tell me what is the matter?”

The girl looked as startled as if she had been caught in a crime, and
began to stammer.

“If it is something you do not want to tell me, I will not say any more
about it,” her mistress went on. “You have a right to your privacy, as I
have to mine. But if there is anything I can do for you, tell me
freely.”

There was a momentary struggle, then the tears started again, and all
the story came out. Annunciata had received, three days before, news of
the death of her only brother, who had died of fever in some little town
a day’s journey from Rome, and was already buried when she learned first
that he was sick.

The Signora listened with astonishment and compunction. For three days
this girl had gone about with a bitter grief hidden in her heart,
missing no duty, submitting, perhaps, to a little fault-finding now and
then, and weeping only when she believed herself unobserved, and all the
time, while she suffered, ministering to and witnessing the pleasures of
others.

“My poor girl, why did you not tell me at first?” she asked gently.

“Oh! why should I?” was the reply. “You were all so happy and you could
not bring the dead back.”

“I could have sympathized with you, and given you a few days’ rest,” the
Signora said. “I would not have allowed you to work.”

“It was better for me to work,” the girl replied, wiping her eyes. “I
should only have cried and worried the more, if I had been idle.”

There seemed nothing that could be done. That class of poor do not adorn
the resting-places of their dead, or the Signora would have paid the
cost; they do not wear mourning, or, again, she would have paid for it;
and this girl had no family to visit and mourn with. In her brother she
had lost all. The only service possible—and that she accepted
gratefully—was to have Masses said for the dead. That settled, the
Signora dismissed her to her work again, and shut herself into her
chamber, but not to sleep.

“O the unconscious, pathetic heroism of the suffering poor!” she
thought. “Where in the world have I a friend who would cover such a
grief with smiles rather than disturb my pleasure? Where in the world
does one see such patience under pain and hardship as is shown by the
poor? They sigh, but they seldom cry out in rebellion. They accept the
cross as their birthright, and both they and we grow to think that it
does not hurt them as it would hurt us. How clearly it comes upon me now
and then, why our Lord lived and sympathized with the poor, and why he
said it would be so hard for the rich to enter heaven!”

She was looking so serious and unrefreshed when the family gathered
again that they at once inquired the cause, and she told them.

“I feel as though I must have been lacking in some way,” she concluded,
“or a servant who has been with me so long, and who has no nearer friend
in the world than I am, would have come to me at once with her troubles.
If the relations between servants and employers are what they should be,
the servants should go to the master or mistress with all their joys and
sorrows, just as children go to their parents. I have been thinking that
there is one reason why, the world over, people are complaining of their
servants. They have contented themselves with simply paying their wages
and exacting their labor. There has been no sympathy. The association
has been simply like that of fish and fowl, instead of that of the same
creatures in different circumstances.”

“I have always thought that in America,” Mr. Vane said. “There is not a
country in the world, probably, where families have been, as a rule,
more disagreeable toward their servants, and servants so troublesome, in
consequence, to their employers. But I believe it is very seldom that a
good mistress or master does not make a good servant, so far as the will
goes.”

Seeing her still look downcast and troubled, he added: “You should not
reproach yourself. It is rather your kindness toward this girl which has
won such a devotion from her. If you had lacked in kindness and sympathy
toward her, she would have been far more likely to have shown her
trouble, and made it an excuse for not attending to her work as usual.”

“Do you think so?” she asked, brightening; and thought in her own mind,
“How very pleasant it is to be reassured when one is distressed about
things!”

And then later, when they heard Annunciata in the kitchen, the sisters
went out and spoke each a kind and pitying word to her, touching her
hard hand softly with their delicate ones; and when she came in later to
perform some service, Mr. Vane had also a word of sympathy. But,
greatest comfort of all, the Signora and Bianca went up to the Basilica
and arranged that a Mass should be said the next morning for the dead,
and Annunciata was told that she should go with them to hear it.

That evening the servants were instructed to deny the family to every
one but Marion, and, when the sun was low, they all went out on the
_loggia_ to see the night come in, and breathe the sweet freshness that
still came with it. For it is only in dog-days that the Italian nights
are too warm for comfort, and not always then. The great heat comes and
goes with the sun.

As they went into the _loggia_, there was a rustling noise in the garden
underneath, and out from the trees leaning against the wall flew clouds
of sparrows, and dispersed themselves in every direction. It would
appear that every twig must have held a bird.

“I am sorry we have disturbed their nap,” Mr. Vane remarked. “How
disgusted they must be with our curious nocturnal habits!”

They did not wish to talk, but only to think and see, and speak a word
as the mood took them. The miraculous shadow of St. Peter still hovered
above their spirits. They sat in silence, receiving any impression that
the scene might make.

Flocks of birds flew in from the seaward, all hastening to some nest or
tree-home, their bodies clear and dark, their swift wings twinkling
against the topaz sky. The evening star, at first softly visible, like a
diamond against another gem, began to grow splendid, while the glowing
west changed by imperceptible degrees to a silvery whiteness, and took
on an exquisite hint of violet, as if it thought, rather than was, the
color. The flowers disappeared in masses of dark green, the gray towers
and roofs deepened to black, the pure air was delicious and beaded with
coolness, like a summer drift sprinkled with snow. The _Ave Maria_ began
to sound here and there, echoed from one church to another. Now and then
some bell, besides the Angelus, rang out with a festal clangor for five
minutes, a musical chorus coming in from the southward.

“What a grand procession of saints walk for ever through the Roman
days!” the Signora exclaimed. “It would be something dazzling to the
mind, if one could live on a central height, and hear the bells announce
the different _festas_ as they come, singly or in groups, and know who
and what each saint is. For example, this evening we hear from the
Aventine the rejoicing announcement that to-morrow is the _festa_ of St.
Alexis in his church, and from another church is called out the name of
St. Leo IV., and from another St. Marcellina, the sister of St. Ambrose,
and twelve martyrs will be celebrated in another church. If we should go
to-morrow to either of those, we should find them adorned, sprinkled
with green out into the very street, High Mass or Vespers going on, and
the relics exposed on the altars. To-morrow night other bells will ring
in other saints and martyrs. The night after, from a church in Monte
Citorio will come the call, _Ecco_ St. Vincent of Paul! and the secular
missions and the Sisters of Charity will be doing their best in his
honor, and there will be cardinals, and pontifical vespers, and a
panegyric. Four or five churches will celebrate their special saints the
next day, and the next will be St. Praxides, on the Esquiline here; and
the day after we shall be invited to pay our respects to St. Mary
Magdalen. And then on to St. James the Great, which will be a great day;
and the day after comes St. Anna, the mother of the Blessed Virgin; and,
a little later, St. Ignatius marches by. What it would be to set the
world aside, sit aloft on some tower there, listen to the announcements
rung out from belfry after belfry, meditate, and look with the eyes of
faith on what comes! What faces of young maidens, delicate spouses of
Christ, bent like clusters of living flowers to listen to the voices
that praise them, turned again heavenward to ask for blessings on their
clients! What queenly women incline their crowned heads, when the
Sacrifice goes up in their name, to see who of those who offer it is
worthy and sincere! What glorious men, strong and shining, gaze down
into the battle-field where their triumph was won, to read in the
upturned faces of the combatants how the fight goes, and who needs their
aid! I sometimes think that the saints look only when they are called by
name, but that the Blessed Mother looks always. It is the mother who
goes after the child who forgets, and watches over it while it sleeps.”

The flocks of sparrows that had fled at their approach, weary of waiting
for them to go away, after peeping and reconnoitring the situation,
began to come back and flutter in under the foliage again. For a few
minutes the trees stirred all through with them, as if with a breeze;
then the little heads were tucked under the tired wings, and they all
went to sleep, and, perhaps, dreamed.

The family smiled and hushed themselves, not to disturb their rest. Each
heart was softly touched by the nearness of so many tiny sleepers. Peace
seemed to float silently out from under the thronged branches and laden
twigs of those motionless trees, in which no passer-by would have
detected a sign of life.

“I think,” the Signora said softly after a while, “that when the priest
comes next Holy Saturday to bless my house, I would like to have him
bless these trees too, that no net or trap may be thrown over them by
night, and no rifle be fired into them by day. The trees and their
tenants belong to my household.”

“Your house is blessed every year?” Mr. Vane asked.

“Yes. On Holy Saturday the priest goes round through every parish, a
little boy with him bearing holy water, and blesses all the houses, if
the people desire it. The custom is, too, to have ready on a table a
dish of boiled eggs, an ornamented loaf of cake, and a plate of
sausages. These are blessed, to be eaten Easter Sunday. I am not sure,
but I fancy that the custom is a remnant of times when the Lenten fast
was, perhaps, more strictly and universally observed than now. Now,
whether from a deterioration of health or of faith, very few persons
consider themselves strong enough to observe the regulations perfectly.
Modern civilization seems to be very weakening in every way.”

“I am inclined to think that good comes, or will come, out of all these
changes and seeming failures,” Mr. Vane observed. “If the races have
become weaker physically, their passions have also become weaker; and it
may be that, in order to tame them, it was necessary to reduce their
physical strength. We do so sometimes with wild animals. Perhaps when we
shall have learned better how to live, and, after running the circle of
follies, grown soberer and wiser, the increasing vitality will go more
in the intellectual and spiritual ways than it did before. I am hopeful
of the human race, from the very fact that it is so uneasy about itself.
The audacious boldness of some nations seems to me to spring from
desperation rather than confidence. There is no confidence anywhere.
Fear rules the world. Everywhere strong, or even desperate, remedies are
proposed, and philanthropic doctors abound.

    “Malgré les tyrans,
    Tout réussira,”

sing the communists; and I believe that things will come out right in
spite of every difficulty, and be more secure because of the
difficulties past. When we shall have looked about in vain in every
other direction, we shall at last learn to look upward for the solution.
But excuse me for talking so long in this beautiful silence. Your Easter
eggs were not meant to hatch such a sermon, Signora.“

They rose, presently, to go into the house, and, as they loitered slowly
along the passages, Mr. Vane remarked to the Signora: “I observe that
the natural direction of your eyes is upward.”

“Is it?” she asked. “Come to think of it, I believe you are right. It is
always cramping for me to look down. I recollect that, when I was a
child, if I dropped my eyes on being a little embarrassed, it was almost
an impossibility for me to raise them again.”

Going in past the kitchen, they found Adriano in chase of a cockroach
that had dared to show itself there, and they stopped to learn the
result, feeling that it interested them. It was not successful, and the
man rose from his knees very much vexed.

“These _bagarozzi_ don’t know what Ascension day is nowadays, or they
would hide themselves,” he said.

Mr. Vane asked what connection there was between _bagarozzi_ and
Ascension day, and the servant-man, albeit a little ashamed of having
committed himself to tell a story, explained:

“When I was young, it was a custom among the Roman boys, on the vigil of
the Ascension, to go down into our cellars, or those of our neighbors,
and catch as many _bagarozzi_ as we could. When evening came, we fixed
to the back of each one a bit of wax taper, melting the end to make it
stick. Half an hour or so after _Ave Maria_ we marshalled our bugs,
lighted the tapers on their backs, and sent them off in a procession.
While they went we sang a song we had. It was a pretty sight to see the
little tapers scampering off through the dark.”

“Why! I should think it would have scorched them!” Bianca exclaimed with
surprise.

The man laughed at her simplicity. “Who knows?” he said, with a shrug.
“They never came back to tell us.”

Isabel inquired what the song was to which this novel procession
marched.

The man laughed again and repeated the doggerel:

    “'Corri, corri, bagarone;
    Che dimane è l’Ascensione;
    L’Ascension delle pagnotte:
    Corri, corri, bagarozzi.’”

Which might be rendered: “Run, run, my noble roach; for to-morrow is
Ascension day—Ascension day of the little loaves. Run, roach, run.”

“What demons of cruelty children can be!” remarked Isabel as the family
went on.

Adriano laughed as he looked after them. “How queer these _forestieri_
are!” he said. “They want to see everything and know the name of
everything. The signorine here ask me the name of every tree and flower
in the garden, and every bird and bug that moves. How should I know? My
niece, Giovannina, says there’s an English-woman going about getting the
poor old women to tell her fables, and ghost-stories, and all sorts of
nonsense; and they say that she prints it in a book. They must be in
great need of books to read. Then the _padrona_ will stand and look at
the moon as if she never saw nor heard of it before, and expected it to
drop down into the garden and break into golden _scudi_. I saw her one
day this spring, on _Monte Cavallo_, stand half an hour and stare at the
sky, just because it was red where the sun went down. The sky is always
red when the sun sets in clouds. Two or three _signori_ thought she was
stopping to be noticed, and they walked about her, and one of them
leaned on the railing close to her, staring at her all the time, and by
and by spoke to her. I went up behind her, but she didn’t know I was
there. She hadn’t seen any one till she heard the man say good-evening
to her. You should have seen the way she looked at him. Then she caught
sight of me. 'Adriano,’ she said, 'I’ll give you a hundred lire to fling
that fellow over the terrace head first.’ I told her that it would cost
me more than a hundred lire to do it. She put out her lips—I suppose she
thought I was a coward—and muttered a word in English. Then she said to
me, as she turned her back on the man, loud enough for him to hear: 'How
dare such rascals come up when the sun shines!’ But she wouldn’t let me
walk beside her, but made me follow her all the way home. And she was so
mad that, when I started to say something as we reached the door, she
stopped me. 'When I want you to speak, I shall ask you a question,’ she
said.”

“The Signora is very kind,” Annunciata said.

“I didn’t say she wasn’t,” the man replied dogmatically. “But it doesn’t
become ladies to go into the street alone, nor to stop to look at
anything, nor to glance about them.”

The girl did not reply. She had been trained in the same opinions, and
did not know how to combat them. But sometimes it seemed to her that the
streets and the public places were for women as well as for men to see,
and that a woman should not be a prisoner because she had not a carriage
or a servant to attend her. Moreover, she sympathized, in her simple
way, with many of the Signora’s tastes. To her the song of the birds
they fed with crumbs from the windows was a sort of thanks, and she
regarded them as little Christians; and now and then, when she looked at
the sky, something stirred in her for which she had not words—a pleasure
and a pain, and a sense of being cramped into a place too small for her.
She could not express it all, and did not quite understand it. But there
was just enough consciousness to make Adriano’s _pronunciamiento_ rankle
a little. The inner ferment lasted while she polished the knives and her
companion blacked carefully a pair of boots; then she burst forth with
an expression of opinion which astonished even herself, for it sprang
into speech before she had well seen its meaning—an involuntary
assertion of nature. “I believe that women should settle their own
business, and men settle theirs,” she said. “I haven’t seen the man yet
that knows enough to teach the Signora how she ought to behave nor what
she ought to do; and many’s the man she could teach. Men are poor
creatures. Women can’t do anything with them without lying to ’em.
That’s what gives them such a great opinion of themselves, because most
women flatter them when they want to get anything out of them.”

“_Ma, che!_—well, to be sure!” exclaimed Adriano. It wasn’t worth
arguing about. He merely laughed.

Meantime, gathered in the _sala_, the family made plans for the coming
days while they waited for supper. Bianca, seated at the piano, was
trying to recall a fragment of melody she had heard a soprano of the
papal choir sing at a _festa_ not long before. “The cadence was so
sweet,” she said. “It was common—a slow falling from five and sharp four
to four natural—but the singer put in two grace-notes that I never heard
there before. He touched the four natural lightly, then sharped it, then
touched the third and slid to the fourth. It was exquisite, and very
gracefully done. His voice was pure and true, and the intervals quite
distinct.”

“I asked his name,” Isabel said, “and was disgusted to hear a very
common one, which I have forgotten. A beautiful singer ought to have a
beautiful, birdy-sounding name.”

“He can make his own name sound 'birdy,’ if you give him time,” Mr. Vane
said. “Take Longfellow as an example. There couldn’t be a more absurd
name. Yet the poetry and fame of the man have flowed around it so that
to pronounce the name, Longfellow, now is as though you should say
hexameter.”

And then what were they to do, and where were they to go to-morrow, and
the day after, and the day after? They ran over their life like a
picture-book which was so full of beauties they knew not which to look
at first. All felt that they were laying up sunny memories for the years
to come—memories to be talked over by winter evening fires in their
country across the sea; memories to amuse and instruct young and old,
and to enrich their own minds. And not only were they furnishing for
themselves and their friends this immense picture-gallery and library of
interesting facts and experiences, but they were expanding and vivifying
their faith. They were making the personal acquaintance, as it were, of
the saints, and seeing as live human beings those of whom they had read
in stories so dry as to make them seem rather skeletons than men and
women. To enter the chamber where a saint had prayed, had slept, had
eaten, had yielded up his last breath; to stand in some spot and think:
“Here he stood, on these very stones, and saw faces of heaven lean over
him, and heard mouths of heaven speak to him; or here, when such
temptations came as we weakly yield to or weakly resist, he fought with
prayer, and lash, and fasting”; to look at a hedge of rose-bushes, and
be told: “Here, when he was tempted, a man, weak as other men, flung
himself headlong among the thorns”—this was to waken faith and courage,
and make their religion, not an affair of holidays and spectacles, and
communions of once a year, but of every day, and of private hours as
well as of public.

“Half our Roman holiday is gone,” Mr. Vane said, “and for at least four
weeks of the other half the heat will allow us to do little or nothing.
I recommend you girls to treasure all your little pleasures, and keep an
exact account of them. The more fully you write everything out, the
better. These diaries of yours will probably be the most interesting
books you could have after a few years.”

“I am trying to forget all about America,” Isabel said, “to fancy that I
have always lived here, and always shall live here, and to steep myself
as much as possible in Italian life, so that, when I go back, I may see
my own country as others see it, but more wisely. It seems to me that a
country could be best judged so by one who knows it well, yet has been
so long withdrawn from it, and so familiar with other modes of life, as
to see its outlines and features clearly.“

“You are right,” Marion said.

“I never knew how beautiful, how more than beautiful, American nature is
till I had seen the famous scenes of Europe. One-half the superiority is
association, and half the other half is because attention has been
called to them by voices to which people listened. Our very climate is
richer. Here nobody knows how beautiful the skies can be. They like
sunshine, and rainy weather is for them always _brutto tempo_. The
grandeur of a storm, the exquisite beauty of showery summer weather and
of falling and fallen snow, they know nothing about. They endure the
rainy season for the sake of the crops, scolding and shivering all the
time. To watch with pleasure a direct, pelting, powerful rain would
never enter their minds; and if they see you gazing at the most glorious
clouds imaginable, it would be to them nothing but _curioso_. We do not
need to go abroad for natural beauty.”

It was getting late and time to say good-night. A silence fell on them,
and a sense of waiting. Then Mr. Vane said: “We have made a Novena
together for the communion of this morning. May we not once more say our
prayers together in thanksgiving?”

No one replied in words; but the Signora brought a prayer-book and
arranged the lamp beside Mr. Vane. He obeyed her mute request, and for
the first time, as head of the family, led the family devotions. Then
they took a silent leave of each other.



                         NATALIE NARISCHKIN.[8]


Footnote 8:

  _La Sœur Natalie Narischkin_, _Fille de la Charité de S. Vincent de
  Paul_. Par Mme. Augustus Craven. Paris: Didier et Cie., 35 Quai des
  Augustins.

The name of Narischkin is in Russia like the name of Bourbon in France,
Plantagenet or Stuart in Great Britain. The mother of Peter the Great
was a Narischkin, and her baptismal name was Natalie. The family have
always esteemed themselves too noble to accept even the highest titles,
regarding their patronymic as a designation more honorable than that of
prince. Madame Craven has just added to the list of her charming and
extremely popular works a new one, which is a companion to the _Sister’s
Story_, by writing the biography of a lady of the Narischkin family who
was a Catholic and a Sister of Charity. Natalie was a friend of
Alexandrine and Olga de la Ferronays. The narrative of her early life
retraces the ground, familiar to so many, over which we have
delightfully wandered in company with the fascinating group of elect
souls, whose passage over the drear desert of our age has been like the
waving of angels’ wings in a troubled atmosphere.

It seems scarcely correct to call Natalie Narischkin a convert. Her
parents belonged to the Russian Church, and of course she was taught to
regard herself as a member of the same. They resided, however, always in
Italy, and Natalie was accustomed, in her childhood and youth, to
associate freely with Catholic children and young people, and to
accompany them to the churches and convents where they were wont to
resort. Russian children receive infant communion, beginning with the
day of their baptism, several times a year until they attain a proper
age for confession, when there is a careful preparation and a solemn
ceremony for the first adult communion, as with us. They are confirmed
immediately after baptism. We are not told anything about Natalie’s
receiving either infant or adult communion, but it is to be presumed
that she was made to follow the usual practice, since there are Greek
churches in Venice and other Italian cities. Her early associations were
much more numerous, strong, and tender with the church of Italy and
France than with the estranged church of her own nation. There was no
difference in faith between herself and her Italian and French
companions to make her sensible that the religion in which she was bred
was different from the one in whose sacred rites she was continually
taking part, at whose altars and shrines she frequently and devoutly
worshipped. Even the peculiar ceremonies and forms of the Sclavonic and
Greek rites were less familiar to her than those of the Latin rite. The
only barrier between herself and her Catholic companions which could
make Natalie sensibly feel a separation between them was her exclusion
from participating in the sacraments administered by Catholic priests.
This separation between priests and people professing the same faith,
offering the same Sacrifice, administering and receiving the same
sacraments, could only puzzle and surprise the mind of a child; but it
requires a more mature understanding and complete knowledge to
appreciate the obligation of renouncing all communion with a
schismatical sect, however similar it may be to the true church. While
Natalie was a child some of the little boys and girls with whom she
played, particularly one little boy who became afterwards a martyr in
China, used to assail her with controversy. Her older friends were more
judicious, and waited patiently until her ripening intelligence and
expanding spiritual life should prepare her for a more complete work of
grace and a more perfect understanding of Catholic doctrine. In the
instance of Madame Swetchine we see how much study and thought are
necessary to produce in the mind of one who has grown up to maturity
under the influences of the Russian Church a firm intellectual
conviction that organic unity under the supremacy of the Roman See is
essential to the being of the Catholic Church, and not merely the
condition of its well-being and perfection. In Madame Elizabeth
Gallitzin we discern how, in another way, national prejudice, and
traditional hostility to what is regarded as anti-Russian, caused in her
bosom a violent struggle against reason and conscience, even though the
Catholic religion was that of her own mother. The case was wholly
different with Natalie Narischkin. She did not think about the question
of controversy at all, and was free from the national prejudices of a
Russian. Her mother took no pains to instil them into her mind, or to
place any obstacle in the way of the Catholic influences around her. She
grew up, therefore, a Catholic, with only an external barrier between
her inward sentiments and their full outward profession. The interior
cravings of her spiritual life were the chief and real motive prompting
her to pass over this barrier and find in the true church that which the
broken, withered branch could not give. The requisite theological
instruction in the grounds of the sentence of excision by which the
Russian hierarchy is cut off from Catholic communion was a subsequent
matter, and not at all difficult to one who was, like Natalie,
intelligent, candid, and full of the spirit of the purest Catholic
piety. There was really nothing in the way except the authority of her
mother, whose chief motive of opposition was the fear of the emperor’s
displeasure. When this obstacle was removed, Natalie easily and without
an effort leaped over what was left of the external barrier.

We have anticipated, however, what belongs to a later period of her
history. And going back to the time of her childhood, we will let Madame
Craven herself describe the situation in which she was placed while she
was growing up into womanhood. It will be noticed that Madame Craven
speaks in the plural number, indicating that Natalie is not the only
young Russian to whom her remarks apply. This will be understood when we
explain that her sister Catharine sympathized with her in all her
religious feelings, though she delayed, on account of her dread to
encounter the opposition of her family, until a much later period her
own formal abjuration.

    “The entire childhood of these young girls had been passed at
    Naples, and they had been there environed by impressions which
    nothing in their Greek faith, no matter how lively it might have
    been, could counteract. The adoration of Jesus Christ, the
    veneration of the Holy Virgin and the saints, faith in the power of
    absolution and the real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, were the
    grand and fundamental doctrines which they had imbibed with their
    mother’s milk. Brought up at a distance from their own country, they
    might almost have believed themselves to be in the centre of their
    own religion, living as they were within the bounds of that great
    church which possesses all the gifts claimed by their own, with the
    added power of distributing and communicating them to all, without
    distinction of place, language, nation, or race. It is difficult to
    comprehend how any Russian whose soul is imbued with piety, on
    returning to his own country after having been brought up abroad,
    can find himself at ease in the bosom of Greek orthodoxy. In truth,
    it appears to us that the limits of a national church must seem very
    suffocating to any one who has felt, even for an instant, the
    pulsation of that universal life in the heart of the Catholic Church
    which is unconfined by mountains, rivers, or seas, which is
    contained within no barriers of any kind whatever, and bears the
    name of no particular nation, because it is the mother of all
    nations collectively. Therefore no one ever has been or ever will be
    able to fasten any denomination of this sort upon the only church
    who dares affirm that she alone possesses the truth in all its
    completeness. At the first view one would say that every church
    ought to make this claim under the penalty of being deprived of any
    reason for its existence. It is nevertheless true that only one
    loudly proclaims it; and those who hate as well as those who love
    the Catholic Church alike declare that she is a church in this
    respect singular among all others. Thus has she preserved through
    all ages a designation expressive of the idea realized in herself,
    and will preserve the same for all coming time! A multitude of her
    children have separated themselves from her, yet none of them have
    succeeded in despoiling her of the glorious title which suffices to
    make her recognized everywhere and by all. As for other churches or
    sects, when it is not the name of some man or nation which they
    substitute for her name, it is some kind of term or epithet which,
    even when it aims at giving a semblance of antiquity, betrays
    novelty in the very fact that it is necessary to employ it in order
    to be understood; and this is true in our own day just as much as it
    was in the time of St. Augustine. The overwhelming force of good
    sense and all the laws of human language determine _that words
    express what they designate_! At this day, as well as at that
    earlier period, neither friends nor enemies will ever give this
    grand name of CATHOLICS to any except those to whom it really
    belongs, and the same good sense proclaims as an indubitable fact
    which is that church whose children these are.

    “Natalie had remained a long time without paying any attention to
    this controversy. She belonged all the while to the Catholic Church
    by all her pious habitudes, by all her childlike affections, finally
    and chiefly by the bond of the true sacraments which the Greek
    Church has had the infinite privilege of preserving, and which form
    a tie between ourselves and the Greeks whose value cannot be too
    highly estimated—a tie so powerful that even in one case where it is
    only imagined to have a real existence (_i.e._, with those Anglicans
    who persuade themselves that a chain wanting a multitude of links
    has not been broken) it has served in our days more than ever before
    to awaken in their hearts a sentiment inclining them to a nearer
    sympathy with our own. Belief in the truth of the words of Jesus
    Christ and in his real presence on the altar, the adoration and love
    of our Lord, the search after those who have possessed in the
    highest degree this faith and love, have opened the way by which a
    great number of souls have come to prostrate themselves before the
    tabernacles of the Catholic Church who had been previously outside
    of her visible fold, and had belonged to her only by virtue of their
    good faith and love of truth.

    “With how much greater reason must one who belonged to the Greek
    Church have felt herself closely united to those whose faith was
    professed and whose practices were approved in respect to such a
    great number of points by her own church, which has even ventured to
    adopt the counsels of perfection and to speak of the '_spiritual
    life_’ and of '_Christian perfection_,’ after the manner of
    Catholics!

    “But it is just here that she betrays her weakness; for when it is a
    practical question of undertaking and nourishing this spiritual
    life, where can she go to seek the living words, the sermons, the
    books, the apostolic men whom she requires? Where and from what
    source can one draw the vital force of this true and daily life, of
    this _living_ life, if I may hazard the expression, always similar
    to itself, yet unceasingly renovated like the seasons of the year?
    Where can this vivifying influence be found, except in that same
    Catholic Church which, although it makes the mind bend under the
    necessary and salutary yoke of authority, never permits uniformity
    to engender tediousness, and possesses in its completeness that
    deposit a part of which the Greek Church suffered to escape on the
    day when it broke the bond of unity? Since then, although apparently
    rich, she has remained empty-handed; and while the Basils, the
    Athanasiuses, the Gregories, the Chrysostoms, and the numerous other
    holy and immortal doctors have had immortal successors in the
    Occident, the church of the Orient, once queen of eloquence and
    science, has become mute; and her children know not to-day whether
    she can speak or even write, since it is not given to them to hear
    her any more break silence; and, if they would warm up their piety
    by holy reading, and give their minds the sustenance they require,
    they are forced to have recourse to the Catholic Church, since it is
    there alone they can find their necessary aliment. Truly, we cannot
    help thinking that if the barrier which separates Greeks from
    Catholics were not upheld by hatred, it must fall down in an
    instant. This hatred is something which has no argument whatever in
    its justification, and which accepts, in behalf of the church which
    it covers as a shield of defence, the very conditions of death,
    immobility and silence, in lieu of a living existence.

    “However this may be, and whatever more might be said on this vast
    and interesting subject, it cannot in any case be disputed that the
    divergences existing between us and the great Greek Church have
    nothing in common with those which separate us from Protestantism.
    Protestantism has tampered with and altered all our articles of
    faith, demolished the Christian mysteries most sacred to belief and
    dear to affection. It has retained neither the intercession of the
    saints, the worship of the Blessed Virgin, the sacraments of penance
    and the Holy Eucharist, nor the veneration of holy images. In fine,
    apart from the belief in the merits of our Saviour, of which every
    manifestation is severely restrained, there is nothing in common
    between Protestants and ourselves.[9] On the contrary, we may say,
    in respect to the Greeks, that for the simple faithful the
    difference between them and ourselves is invisible, because they
    have retained so many things which assimilate their religion to
    ours, as affecting the mind, the heart, and even the senses.
    Therefore, for many among them, the barrier does not become sensible
    until they find themselves disposed to pass over it in order to
    satisfy the inward need which they experience of participating in
    the riches of that other church, which seems so like their own, yet
    differs from it in possessing really what the other offers in a vain
    semblance.

Footnote 9:

      Our Protestant readers will excuse, we trust, a want of precise
      accuracy in some of these expressions, very easily accounted for
      by the fact that Madame Craven is a Catholic Frenchwoman, to whom
      all the various phases of Protestantism are confused in one vague
      and indistinct form.

    “What, then, must be the sentiments of a sincere, fervent, simple,
    and upright soul, already bathed in the light which radiates from
    the great mysteries of the faith, and touched by the infinite love
    of Jesus Christ revealed in them, when it discovers the nature of
    the obstacles which lie in her path?

    “She finds all the articles of her faith more solemnly affirmed; all
    the practices which her piety demands more numerous and accessible;
    confession, absolution, communion—all is there; and must she refrain
    from satisfying her thirst for them?

    “Is it credible that a soul thus thirsty for truth, faith, and love
    should be much disposed to recoil from the difficulty of accepting
    one word more in the confession of faith,[10] or of recognizing the
    head of the _universal_ church as the head of the church in the East
    as well as of that in the West? Again, is it credible that she will
    shrink back from the political obstacle, the greatest and most
    formidable of all—the only one, in fact, which she will find pain in
    overcoming and need courage to surmount?

Footnote 10:

      Filioque.

    “Such were the thoughts which importuned the mind of Natalie when
    she left Brussels, at the end of February, 1843, in order to return
    with her sisters to Paris, having resolved to ask the consent of her
    mother to her becoming a Catholic, and fully expecting that this
    permission would not be withheld.“

Natalie’s father died when she was fifteen years old. Evidently he had
not felt any hostility to the Catholic Church, for he was a great
admirer of the Jesuits. Madame Narischkin was not prejudiced, as is
shown by the fact that she never at any time was averse to the perpetual
intercourse kept up by her family, and especially by Natalie, with the
most cultivated and devoted Catholics of Europe, such as the La
Ferronays family, and never hindered her daughters from attending all
kinds of services in Catholic churches. She undoubtedly looked on the
Greek and Catholic churches as essentially identical with each other,
and therefore could not see any reason for passing from the communion of
the one to that of the other. She supposed that her daughter’s reasons
were rather sentimental than conscientious. She naturally felt unwilling
to have her take a step which would prevent her from ever again
receiving communion at the same altar with the other members of the
family. And she was, moreover, decidedly opposed to any act which would
expose the family to the emperor’s displeasure. It is not to be wondered
at, then, that she positively refused permission to Natalie to be
received into the Catholic Church. Natalie was at this time twenty-three
years of age, perfectly well educated, and fully instructed in the
grounds of the distinctive, exclusive claim which is made by the Roman
Church upon the obedience and submission of all baptized Christians. She
was competent to decide for herself, and in possession of a complete
right to act according to her conscience. It was thought proper,
therefore, by the priest who was her spiritual director, and by her
friends of the La Ferronays family, that she should be privately
received into the church at Paris. An accident frustrated their plan,
and Natalie was obliged to leave Paris with her mother without having
accomplished her intention. The nuncio and other priests of high
position at Paris, when they were informed about the matter, disapproved
of the course which M. Aladel had advised, and reproved severely the
ladies who had been concerned in the unsuccessful attempt to put it in
execution.

Natalie accompanied her mother and sisters to Stuttgart, and a few
months afterward to Venice. At her mother’s desire she had several
conferences with a Greek priest, which served only to strengthen her in
her well-formed and solid convictions. Nevertheless, she delayed her
formal reception into the Catholic Church, waiting for a more favorable
opportunity to accomplish this great desire of her heart. This
opportunity came very soon, but in a way which was unexpected and, to
her affectionate heart, most painful. During the summer of 1844 her
mother was suddenly taken ill and died. The marriage of her two sisters,
Mary and Elizabeth—both of whom had been some time before betrothed, the
first to M. de Valois, the second to the Baron de Petz—was delayed for a
year on account of this sad event, and the whole family was invited by
M. Narischkin’s elder brother Alexis to return to Moscow and reside
during the year of mourning in his house. Under these circumstances,
Natalie resolved to act for herself, and she was accordingly received
into the Catholic Church on the 15th of August, although none of her
family were made acquainted with the fact. She accompanied her brother
and sisters to Moscow, where they met with the most affectionate
reception from their uncle and their other relatives. Nothing occurred
to make any disclosure on her part necessary, until the time came for
all the members of the family to make their Easter communion. In Russia
this religious act, and all the preparations for it, are performed with
so much publicity that it was impossible for Natalie to escape from it
without observation. All the members of the family received the
communion together at the same Mass, with the single exception of
Natalie, who was nevertheless, as usual, present with the others, and
observed the sad and serious look with which her uncle regarded her, as
she remained in her place while all the rest of his family approached
the altar to receive the sacrament. She now felt that the time had come
when concealment was no longer possible, and naturally feared that a
severe trial awaited her. It turned out, however, quite differently from
what she had expected.

After their return from Mass her uncle sent for her, and in a most kind
and paternal manner remonstrated with her on her omission of so grave
and sacred a duty as the fulfilment of the precept of Paschal communion,
which he attributed to indifference and tepidity, demanding of her, in a
most affectionate manner, the reason which had induced her to abstain
from communion. He added, at the same time, that he would much rather
see her a Roman Catholic than indifferent to the obligations of
religion. Natalie had listened to him with downcast eyes, in silence and
trepidation. At these last words—prompted, perhaps, by some secret
suspicion that her residence abroad had actually been the occasion of a
change in her religion, and spoken with evident emotion and sadness—she
opened her heart, and gave her venerable uncle a full and unreserved
account of her conversion and of all the motives which led her to leave
the communion of the Greek Church. When she looked up timidly, at the
close of her recital to await her uncle’s answer, she saw his eyes
filled with tears and fixed upon her with an expression of tenderness
which banished all fear from her heart, and left upon it an indelible
impression of love and gratitude. He opened his arms to embrace her
affectionately, and assured her of his protection and unalterable
kindness. Her maternal uncle, Count Strogonoff, a man whose religious
character was both ardent and severe, and who was a thorough Russian of
the old type in all his principles and sentiments, when he was informed
of the truth, acted towards her in precisely the same manner, and even
took pains to distinguish her from her sisters by special marks of
affection. All her nearest relatives were informed of what had occurred,
but the strictest secrecy was enjoined in respect to all others, for
reasons which are obvious without any explanation. The only great trial
which Natalie had to encounter, now that she was relieved of the pain
and anxiety of keeping her secret from her nearest relatives, was the
privation of all opportunity of going to Catholic churches and receiving
the sacraments. Under the circumstances this was a privation she was
compelled to endure patiently, and during the year she passed at Moscow
she was only able to make one short visit, in company with some young
friends, to the French chapel, on Holy Thursday, which was three days
after the memorable interview with her uncle.

At the expiration of the year of mourning the young Narischkins returned
to Italy for the nuptials of Mary and Elizabeth, and Natalie’s uncle
arranged for her permanent residence with the latter, in order that she
might be free to practise her religion without any embarrassment to
herself or her family. She accordingly bade a final farewell to Russia,
and with her temporary sojourn in her native country the great trial of
her life was also terminated. We can easily imagine with what joy she
again revisited Italy, which had been the home of her childhood; and on
the occasion of this return Madame Craven’s genius has inspired her to
write one of her happiest and most beautiful passages, which we cannot
refrain from translating, although without any hope of preserving the
delicate aroma of the original.

    “We do not believe there is a person in the world who has once lived
    in Italy who does not cherish in his inmost soul the desire of
    returning there once more, or feel, when he again looks upon its
    beautiful sky, that wherever his native land may be, he has really
    come back to his own true country. For its beauty belongs to us as
    much as to those whose eyes behold it from the day when they are
    first opened to the light in infancy. It is no more their peculiar
    possession than it is our own; for to both alike it is only an
    irradiation from that supreme and essential beauty which is our
    common heritage and assured patrimony. This is doubtless the reason
    why we can never see the faintest reflection of this splendor of the
    eternal beauty without experiencing a sensation which causes the
    heart to dilate with joy and at the same time to repose in the
    tranquil security of possession. It seems to us that attentive
    reflection on what passes within us will show that, whatever degree
    of admiration any object of this world may awaken in our minds, even
    if it approaches to _ecstasy_, it is very rarely the case that we
    feel a positive _surprise_. Even if one who had never seen the
    glorious light and splendor of a happy clime were suddenly
    transported from the icy regions of the polar circle to the charming
    shores of the Bay of Naples, there is a latent image in the depths
    of the human heart, the original of which external things are the
    copy, whose presence makes one feel, even at the first glance on the
    sublime spectacle of the outward world, that all belongs to him and
    exists within his soul.

    “This reflection suggests another. We shall doubtless experience
    something similar to this when we escape from this sphere of shadows
    and images and emerge into the region of eternal reality. Certainly
    our hearts will then be opened to receive those unknown enjoyments
    'which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into
    the heart of man to conceive.’ Nevertheless, I think it is allowable
    to suppose that, as we shall see the poor human form clothed in
    Jesus Christ with all the glory of the divinity, so we shall also
    find the reality of all those shadows which in this lower world
    charm our eyes and fascinate our hearts. Happy will it then be for
    those who have not suffered themselves to be captivated by these
    shadows, when they are able to exclaim in a transport of ineffable
    happiness: 'Behold at last those objects too beautiful and too
    transitory to be loved on the earth by our souls, because they must
    either suffer the loss of these or be lost themselves! Here they
    are—real, substantial, enduring, transfigured, unfading! We have
    found all those things which we desired and sought for, and amid all
    these possessions is our eternal abode!’”

Natalie found a very pleasant home with her brother-in-law, the Baron de
Petz, during the next three years. It does not appear from the narrative
whether he was a Catholic or a Greek in religion. He was certainly a
most kind and affectionate brother, and her sisters were always loving
and considerate, so that no alienation ever separated the hearts of her
near relatives from her own so long as they lived. We shall see
presently how noble and tender was the conduct of her brother Alexander.
And we anticipate the regular order of events in order to mention in
this connection another near relative, Prince Demidoff, whose affection
for Natalie was extraordinary, and who acted with singular and admirable
generosity not only toward herself, after she had become a Sister of
Charity, but also to other members of the same congregation. While he
was residing in Italy he established a spacious hospital at his own
expense, which he confided to the care of these religious. At Paris he
authorized Sister Natalie to draw on him without limit, at her own
discretion, for charitable purposes. It is extremely delightful to
witness and record actions of this kind, so honorable to human nature,
and showing what a high degree of intellectual and moral refinement, as
well as how much of a truly Christian and Catholic spirit, is to be
found among a certain class of the ancient Russian nobility. And what a
contrast do they present to the ignoble persecutions, the mean and petty
defamations, to which so many even of those who attempt to assume the
guise of Catholics have descended in respect to converts in England and
the United States. We do not forget, however, that there are many
instances among ourselves of a similar conduct to that of the
Narischkins, as there are doubtless others of an opposite kind in
Russian families under similar circumstances.

Natalie Narischkin, in the midst of the splendors, gayeties, and most
refined enjoyments of the world, during the period of her peaceful,
happy youth, ere the severe trials of life had cast their shadow upon
her spirit, had been pious, reserved, pearl-like in her purity of
character, always aspiring after Christian perfection. After she had
begun to participate in all the spiritual advantages thrown open to her
by her Catholic profession, her distaste for the world and attraction
for the spiritual life increased rapidly, and an inclination toward the
religious state gradually matured into a certain and settled vocation.
Her friends made some opposition for a time, though not so much as is
frequently encountered in the bosom of pious Catholic families. Her
brother Alexander examined carefully her reasons and motives, and, being
convinced that she was acting with prudence and deliberation, gave his
free consent and the promise of his assistance in carrying out her
intention, accompanied by the singular request that she would leave the
choice of an order to his decision. She had made no choice herself, and
when her brother selected the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity
of St. Vincent de Paul, she was quite satisfied. In fact, she had a
predilection for the Convent of the Rue de Bac in Paris, which had been
one of her places of favorite resort in former years. Her brother
discussed the whole matter with M. Aladel, a Lazarist priest of Paris,
and Natalie conferred not only with him but with several other
experienced directors, who concurred in approving her vocation as a
Sister of Charity. Here, accordingly, she entered, in her twenty-eighth
year, and here she worked and suffered, as one saint among a thousand
others, in an institute where heroism is as common as the ordinary
virtues are elsewhere, and sanctity is the universal rule. During her
religious life, which had twenty-six years of duration, she was first
the secretary of the superior-general, and afterwards the superior of a
small community in the Faubourg St. Germain. She died in 1874.

The narrative of Natalie’s religious life, enriched as it is with
copious extracts from her letters and numerous personal anecdotes, is
interesting and edifying as it is presented in the pages of Madame
Craven’s biography. No doubt an English translation will soon place it
within the reach of all our readers; and as it is precisely just one of
those histories which is spoiled by condensation, we will not attempt to
give it in an abridged form. Leaving aside, therefore, all further
personal details, we shall confine our attention to that one aspect of
our subject which has the most general interest and importance—viz., the
position and attitude of the members of the national church of Russia in
reference to the Catholic Church. As an illustration of this topic we
have presented the history of the conversion of a Russian lady of high
birth and education—one specimen of a number of equally choice souls
whom the Russian Church has produced but has not been able to retain,
and who are, we trust, the precursors of all the people of their nation
in returning to the bosom of Catholic unity. Although Natalie Narischkin
had lived so very little in her own country, she was nevertheless an
ardent and patriotic Russian in her sentiments, and of course, as a
well-instructed and devout Catholic, had very much at heart the
religious welfare of her own nation. Among all the illustrious Russian
converts, Count Schouvaloff, who became a Barnabite monk, was the most
zealous in promoting the great work of the reconciliation of the Russian
Church to the Holy See. Madame Craven tells us how enthusiastic Natalie
was in her interest in the cause which this good man consecrated by the
oblation of his own life as a sacrifice for its success—a sacrifice
which he offered in obedience to the counsel of Pius IX., and which was
accepted by God.

    “When Father Schouvaloff—who, like herself, was a Russian, a
    convert, and devoted to the religious life—had given a definite form
    to this desire, and had founded an association of prayers in aid of
    this object which all Catholics were invited to join, there was not
    a single person in the world who responded more fervently to this
    appeal than Sister Natalie. The desire of propagating the truth,
    natural in the case of all who have embraced it, is particularly
    strong in those who have come from the Greek Church. To see the
    fatal barrier which separates the Eastern from the Western Church
    fall down, and to hear henceforth these two communions designated
    only by one common name: _The Church!_—no one else can comprehend
    the ardor of this desire in the hearts of those Russians who are
    animated both by the love of the truth and the love of their
    country.

    “While we are on this topic we cannot help remarking how surprising
    are the tentative advances toward union between the Greek Church and
    Protestantism which we have recently witnessed. Such an alliance the
    clear mind of Natalie, even before her conversion, rejected with
    repugnance as impossible and absurd. Does not, in fact, the most
    simple reflection suffice to demonstrate that by uniting herself to
    the Catholic Church the Greek Church would preserve the traditions
    of her venerable antiquity together with the august dogmas which she
    holds, and would, at the same time, in ceasing to be local and
    becoming universal, recover the power of expansion and
    evangelization which she has lost by her schismatical isolation? In
    this case she might be compared to a princess of high lineage
    regaining, by a return to the bosom of the family to which she
    belonged, the royal rank from which she had fallen. But, in truth,
    to make a union with Protestantism would be for her the worst of
    misalliances, for she would then resemble a princess marrying a
    _parvenu_ and with the utmost levity renouncing all the rights of
    her high birth and illustrious descent.”

Some of our readers may find it difficult to understand the anomalous
position in which the Russian Church stands, so completely different
from that of any of our Western sects, and requiring only the one act
necessary for its corporate reunion to the Catholic body for its
rectification, and yet so completely severed from the true church in its
actual state that it is not a branch, a limb, or any kind of part or
member of the same, but only a sect, completely outside of the universal
church. Some Catholics may suppose the Russian Church in a worse
condition than it is in reality. They may not understand that its
priesthood and sacraments are any better than those of the English or
Scandinavian churches, which have an outward form of episcopal
constitution. Or, if better informed on this head, they may ascribe to
it heresy, and regard some of its differences of rite and discipline as
vitiating essentially the Catholic order. On the other hand, these
misapprehensions being set aside, and the likeness of the Russian Church
to the Catholic Church clearly understood, they might find it difficult
to perceive that essential difference which, as Madame Craven remarks
with truth, is to most of the Russian laity invisible. Still more will a
Protestant having a tincture of Catholic opinions and sentiments fail to
see why a member of the Russian Church should be convinced of the
imperative obligation of abjuring the Greek schism and passing over to
the communion of the Roman Church.

The question of heresy is easily settled by the way of authority. We
have only to inquire, therefore, whether the Holy See has ever condemned
the adherents of the schism begun by Photius and renewed by Michael
Cerularius, of heresy as well as schism, and whether the standard
authors in theology consider them as heretics in view of their
ecclesiastical position and in virtue of general principles, although no
formal judgment has been pronounced by the Holy See. It is certain that
no such formal sentence has ever been pronounced by the Holy See. The
Nestorian and Monophysite sects of the East have been formally condemned
as heretical. But the _soi-disant_ Orthodox Church likewise condemns
these and all other heretical sects condemned by the Roman Church before
the time of the schism. At the Council of Florence the Greeks were not
judged to have professed any heresy, the Council of Trent was specially
careful to abstain from any such condemnation, and the Council of the
Vatican equally refrained from it. The same is true of all the official
pronouncements of the popes. In the exercise of practical discipline,
when it is a question of reconciling Greeks, whether they are in holy
orders or laymen, they are treated as schismatics, but not as heretics.
Theologians also, in treating of the doctrine of the several national
churches in communion with the schismatical patriarchate of
Constantinople, which they hold in common as their profession of faith,
regard it as orthodox, conformed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church,
and consequently free from any mixture of heresy. The only doctrines in
regard to which any one could suppose the Greek Church to be heretical
are the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son, and the supreme,
infallible authority of the Pope. The Greek Church has never, by any
solemn, synodical act, denied the procession of the Holy Spirit from the
Son. The omission of the _Filio-que_ from the Creed is not in itself
equivalent to such a denial, and the Roman Church has never required the
Orientals to insert it as a condition of communion. Neither has the
Greek Church ever by any solemn act denied the supremacy and
infallibility of the Pope. The liturgical books, and specifically those
of the Russian Church, contain abundant testimonies to the Catholic
doctrine on this head. The heretical doctrines of individuals, whether
prelates, priests, or laymen, are therefore their own personal heresies,
and not the doctrine of the public formularies of faith, which remain
just what they were at the time of the separation. The only conciliar
decrees of a dogmatic character which have been enacted since that time
by a synod which could be regarded as representing the so-called
Orthodox Church are those of the Synod of Bethlehem, in which the
principal heresies of Protestantism are condemned. There is only one
essential vice, therefore, in the constitution of the Russo-Greek Church
which needs to be healed, and that is its state of rebellion against the
See of Peter. The one act of abjuring the schism implies and involves in
it the recognition of all the decrees of the Holy See and of œcumenical
councils during the period which has elapsed since the rebellion of
Photius, by virtue of the doctrine of the infallibility of the Catholic
Church which the Greek Church professes.

Any Catholic can understand from this explanation how completely
different is the position of the people of Russia who belong to their
national church from that of the Protestants of Western Europe and the
United States. They have the Catholic faith explicitly taught to them,
and believed as firmly as it is by ourselves in all those things which
relate to the great mysteries of religion and its practical duties and
devotions. They hold implicitly, so long as they are in good faith, all
that the Catholic Church believes and teaches, although they are
ignorant of the full and complete doctrine of the centre of unity and
chief source of authority in the church. They have bishops and priests
whose ordination is valid, the sacrifice of the Mass, the seven
sacraments, the fasts, feasts, ceremonies, and outward forms of worship
which they had before the schism. In fact, as Mrs. Craven remarks, the
difference between their church and the Catholic is invisible to the
eyes of the majority, and, if they were to-day to be restored to their
ancient union with the universal church, there would be no perceptible
change in their customs. There are differences in discipline and ritual
between the Latin and the various Oriental rites, but it is a fixed
maxim of the Roman Church not to require the Eastern Christians to adopt
the discipline and ritual of the Western church in matters which are not
essential, when they are received into her communion.

These things being as they are, it becomes naturally somewhat difficult
to those who have not carefully studied the question to understand why
it is a strict obligation, and necessary to salvation, for a member of
the Greek Church who discovers that it is in a state of schism to abjure
its communion. We can see, in the case of Anglicans believing in nearly
all Catholic doctrine so far as even to acknowledge the primacy of the
pope and desire a corporate reunion with the Catholic Church, that, so
long as they believe in the validity of their own orders and other
sacraments, it is very hard for them to realize that they are not in the
communion of the true church. They generally find their ground of
security give way under their feet by their loss of confidence in the
validity of their ordinations. But it is not easy to convince them that,
apart from this essential defect in their church, and apart even from
the question of its heretical doctrine, the mere fact of schism makes an
ecclesiastical society, no matter how much it resembles a church in
outward appearance, as really a mere sect as amputation makes the most
perfect and beautiful hand a mere piece of dead matter. A mere
collection of bishops, priests, and baptized persons, professing the
true faith, administering and receiving the true sacraments, is not a
portion of the Catholic Church, if the organic, constitutive principle
of lawful mission and jurisdiction is wanting, which gives pastoral
authority to the persons who possess the episcopal and sacerdotal
character, and thus makes the collection of people under their rule a
_lawful_ society, under _lawful_ pastors, and under the supreme rule of
the _Chief Pastor_, who is the Vicar of Christ. It is not enough,
therefore, for a person to profess the faith and receive the sacraments
in order to keep fully the law of Christ. It is necessary to profess the
faith in the external communion of the lawful pastors, and to receive
from them, or priests whom they have authorized to minister within their
jurisdiction, the sacraments. Bishops and priests who exercise their
functions in a manner contrary to the law sin by doing so, and those who
communicate in their unlawful acts also sin, and thus both parties
profane the sacraments and incur the censures of the church.
Nevertheless, if they act in invincible ignorance and good faith, they
are excused from sin and escape the censure. And, in case of necessity,
the church even dispenses from her ordinary laws. Any priest is
authorized to administer sacraments in any place, to any person not
manifestly unworthy, in case of necessity. So, also, one may receive the
sacraments in a similar case from any priest, if there is nothing in the
act which implies a direct or tacit participation in heresy, schism, or
manifest profanation of sacred things.

The Russian clergy and people, we must suppose, are generally in good
faith, and therefore innocent of any sin in respect to the schism of the
national church. There is, therefore, no reason why they should not
administer and receive the sacraments worthily, so as to receive their
full spiritual benefit, and thus sustain and increase the living
communion with the soul of the church and with Christ which was begun in
them by baptism. The external irregularity of their ecclesiastical
position cannot injure them spiritually when there is no sin in the
inward disposition or intention. Moreover, it is morally and physically
impossible for the Russian clergy and people, generally, to alter their
position. They are, therefore, really placed in a necessity of
administering and receiving the sacraments without any further and more
direct authority from the Holy See than that which is virtually conceded
to them on account of the necessities of their position. Since the
church always exercises her power, even in inflicting censures and
punishments, for edification and not for destruction, we may suppose
that she tolerates the irregular and disorderly state into which they
have been brought by the fault of their chief rulers, so long as it is
out of their power to escape from it, and are not even aware that the
irregularity exists.

It is plain, however, that every one who knows that the Russian
hierarchy is destitute of ordinary and legitimate authority, and has the
opportunity of resorting to the ministry of lawful Catholic pastors, is
bound, under pain of incurring mortal sin and excommunication, to comply
with this obligation. The excuse of ignorance and good faith is no more
available after the law is made known. The reason of necessity ceases as
soon as recourse is open to the authority which has a claim on
obedience. The censures pronounced on the authors and wilful adherents
of schism take effect as soon as one knowingly and wilfully participates
in and sustains or countenances rebellion against the supreme authority
of the Catholic Church.

The position of the Russian Church is utterly self-contradictory and
untenable. By a special mercy of divine Providence it has been kept from
coming to a general and clear consciousness of the fundamental heresy,
which lies latent in the Byzantine pretence of equality to the Roman
Church, from which the schism took its rise. The immobility which has
characterized it, and to which the privation of all authority
independent of the state has greatly contributed, has kept it from
committing itself to any formal heresy. It has broken its connection,
but it has not run off the track or fallen through a bridge. We cannot
suppose that it will long remain stationary on the great road along
which the march of events, the progress of history, is proceeding. It
seems to be awaiting the propitious moment when, reunited to the source
of spiritual power, it shall again move on in the line of true progress.
When this event takes place, we may safely predict that the name of
Natalie Narischkin will be honored in Russia together with that of
Alexander Newski, the special patron of the imperial family; and that
the empire will be filled with convents of the Daughters of Charity, the
countrywomen and imitators of her who, more illustrious by her virtue
than by her descent, was appropriately named “The Pearl of the Order.”



                              UP THE NILE.
                                  III.


We had a letter of introduction to the Governor of Assouan from a person
we had never seen. It came about in this way: Ali Murad, our consul at
Thebes, sent by Ahmud a letter to his friend, the governor of Edfoo,
asking him to give us a letter to his excellency at Assouan. This
letter, worded in the usual extravagant style of the Orient, stated that
the dahabeeáh _Sitta Mariam_ contained a party of distinguished
travellers who were in high favor at Cairo, and should everywhere be
received with the greatest kindness and attention. His excellency was a
fine-looking negro, well dressed in European style, patent-leather
boots, fancy cane. I looked at first for eye-glasses, but on second
thought concluded that this was too much to expect from him. He came on
board to visit us, accompanied by his secretaries and servants, very
pompous and haughty in his bearing towards the crew, polite—nay, almost
obsequious—to us. Head sheik of the cataracts is on board; a deal of
talking by every one at the same time; no one listening; a lull;
governor lights a fresh cigar; secretaries, servants, and crew roll
cigarettes; Reis Mohammed appears with the certificate of tonnage. There
is no fear of obliteration or erasure in this; no danger of wearing out
or the characters fading by lapse of time. It might have belonged to the
pleasure barge of antiquity-hidden Menes or one of the corn-boats of the
Hyksos. It was a bar of solid iron three inches wide, four long, and
half an inch in thickness. Deeply-cut figures showed the boat to be of
380 ardebs burden. An agreement was finally entered into: Ahmud was to
pay the sheik nine pounds and ten shillings to take the boat up and down
the cataracts, exclusive of backsheesh. Out of this the governor
received two pounds and ten shillings as his commission. This making
arrangements for ascending the cataracts is the most serious drawback to
the pleasure of a Nile voyage. True, the dragoman undertakes this, but
the howadjii are present and witnesses of the altercations, the loud
talking, and the great noise and confusion attendant upon it. We being
such distinguished travellers on paper, and the governor being impressed
with that fact, our contract was entered into with less confusion than
is usually incident to this arrangement. Four sheiks or chiefs of the
cataract control the proceedings. This office is hereditary, and
formerly they were despotic in the exercise of their power. Twenty
English or American sailors could take a boat up the cataract in
one-third the time it took nearly two hundred natives to perform that
office for us. But no dragoman would dare incur the enmity of these
powerful sheiks by attempting the ascent without their permission. Their
power is somewhat curtailed now by orders from the viceroy, so that
instead of, as heretofore, extorting as much as possible from the
frightened dragoman, their prices are regulated by a fixed tariff—so
much for every hundred ardebs.

We are now fairly started on the ascent; it is early in the morning, and
a light breeze is blowing from the north. The head sheik is on board.
What an appropriate name he has! Surely his father was a prophet and
foresaw the future life of his son—Mohammed Nogood! Not the slightest
particle of good did he do. He squatted on a mat, smoked his pipe, and
took no heed of what passed around him. Old Nogood, as we called him,
was with us for three days, and during that time he never opened his
mouth unless to grumble, and never raised his hand except to remove the
pipe from his mouth, being too lazy even to light it; a sailor performed
that onerous duty for him.

We sailed through narrow, tortuous channels against a rapid stream to
the island of Sheyál at the foot of the first bab or gate. The first
cataract, as it is termed, is a series of five short rapids on the
eastern shore, where the ascent is made, and one long and one short one
on the western shore. These rapids are called gates. We stopped at the
foot of the first. Three finely-built Nubians, _in puris naturalibus_,
save turbans on their heads, came sailing down the turbulent and surging
waters astride of logs. Borne on with great velocity, they seize hold of
our boat as they reach it, in a moment are on deck, their heads bare,
the turbans girded around their loins. “Backsheesh, howadjii!” They
deserve it for this feat. It made the howadjii shudder to see them in
these raging waters. An impromptu row now springs up between our pilot
and old Nogood. The boat is aground, and more help is needed to push it
off. Here is the dialogue, as translated by Ahmud:

Pilot (old man with gray whiskers, costume soiled and tattered
coffee-bag): “O Mohammed Nogood! send some of your people to move the
boat.”

Old Nogood: “O pilot, you jack-ass! why do you not attend to the helm
and mind your business?”

Intense excitement on board, during which the pilot swears by Allah and
the Prophet that he will not stay on the boat after such an insult, and
goes off in high dudgeon. The howadjii, having locked up everything
portable below stairs, are seated on the quarter-deck enjoying the scene
in a mild manner, and waiting to see what will come next. The prospects
of being kept here for an indefinite time are delightful. The head sheik
is angry and the pilot has disappeared. But the silver lining of the
dark cloud soon shines out. The second sheik takes command, and Nogood’s
son comes aboard as pilot—very unlike his father, a hard worker and a
quiet sort of man. We are ready to start now, but where are the men to
pull us up? None can be seen. The river is here filled with broken and
disjointed rocks—small islets. A great fall was here once, no doubt;
hence the rapids now. The sheik throws two handfuls of sand in the air.
Immediately from all sides, like the warriors of Roderick Dhu, rise the
Shellallee. From behind every rock come forth a score or more. Three
long ropes are made fast to the boat. A hundred men take hold of two;
the third is turned two or three times around a rock, the end being held
by a dozen men. This rope is gradually tightened as the boat moves up,
to hold it in case the others should break. By the united help of the
wind and this struggling mass of naked humanity we move slowly up the
first gate, not ten yards long. In the same manner we pass the second
and third gates. Our friends the log-riders are useful to us now.
Plunging into the boiling, seething waters, that rush with such force it
seems impossible for man to struggle against them, they make ropes fast
to this rock; now they detach them, and, taking the end between their
teeth, swim to another and make fast again. Picture to yourself such a
scene, if you can. I cannot describe it satisfactorily to myself. Hear,
if you can, nearly two hundred men all shouting at the same time, giving
orders, suggesting means, no one listening, no one obeying, each acting
for himself—Old Nogood alone seated quietly on the deck smoking his
pipe; our boat possessed by four score of these black Shellallee,
half-naked, running to and fro, shouting and yelling, but doing nothing
to help us. Pandemonium itself could scarce furnish such a scene of
confusion. Babel was a tower of silence compared with this discord.
After passing the third gate we sailed into a quiet haven and moored
there for the night. It was only three P.M. But they are five-hour men
here, commencing work at ten and stopping at three. We were kept waiting
all the next day, as two other boats were ahead of us, and they took
them up first. On the third morning we left our moorings and sailed
under a fresh breeze about one hundred yards up the stream to the fourth
gate. The fourth and fifth are in reality but one continuous rapid; but
as a stoppage is made when half-way up to readjust the ropes, the
natives divide it into two gates. The water rushes here with great
rapidity—more so than in the other gates, as these are narrower. A stout
rope was made fast to the cross-beams of the deck on the starboard bow,
and the other end carried around a rock some distance off. Owing to some
mistake there was no rope on the port side. The men were pulling on a
rope carried directly ahead, when it suddenly parted; the boat swung
around to starboard and struck a rock with great force, knocking off
several planks six inches thick and seven feet long. They were picked up
by the felluka, which floated around promiscuously, manned by five small
boys. These planks were carved in scroll-work, and painted in bright
colors. Reis Mohammed had carefully bound straw around them before
starting, so that they might not even be scratched. He clenched his
teeth and swore like a trooper; the only words intelligible to us were
“Allah,” “Merkeb,” “Mohammed.” Reis Mohammed Hassan, Nogood’s successor,
was standing on the awning piled up on the front of the quarter-deck.
Every one else began to shout, gesticulate, and run around to no
purpose; but he, shouting while he undressed, threw off his gown and
turban, and, with his drawers on, jumped overboard, swam to a rock on
the port side, and made fast a rope. A Nubian, attired in a girdle, now
waded out into the rapid as far as he was able, and a rope was thrown
him from the rock against which the boat rested. After three attempts he
caught it and made it fast some distance ahead. A fourth rope was
carried ashore and seized hold of by sixty men. We were then pulled into
a narrow pass, through which the water dashed like a mill-race, and so
narrow that the boat grazed the rocks on either side. For a moment we
remained stationary; the next the strong wind and the efforts of the men
overcame the force of the current, and we moved slowly on. Shortly after
we reached the head of the rapids, the ropes were withdrawn, the Nubians
left us, and we sailed gallantly up to Philæ the beautiful.

We are now in Nubia, among a different race of people. We have passed
the cataract. Hear the concise account given by the father of travellers
concerning this ascent: “I went as far as Elephantine,” he says, “and
beyond that obtained information from hearsay. As one ascends the river
above the city of Elephantine the country is steep; here, therefore, it
is necessary to attach a rope on both sides of a boat as one does with
an ox in a plough, and so proceed; but if the rope should happen to
break, the boat is carried away by the force of the stream.” This land
of Cosh is very different in appearance from the one we have just left.
The hills are mostly of granite and sandstone, and they approach nearer
the river. In some parts the mere sloping bank, not more than ten feet,
can be cultivated in a perfectly straight line; on its top the golden
sands meet the growing crops. The river is filled with sunken rocks. Had
we struck here, it might have been serious, unlike running on the
sand-banks in the lower country. Reis Dab, our new pilot, knew the river
well and kept a sharp lookout; so on we sailed day after day without
stopping. There are no printed newspapers along the Nile, but the
natives have a cheap, primitive method of journalism. They need no
expensive press, no reporters to search far and wide for news. As soon
as another boat appears in sight all is excitement on board. When we
come within hailing distance the journals are exchanged as follows: Far
away over the waters comes a voice from the approaching boat: “How are
you all? Who are you? All well?”

“We are dahabeeáh _Sitta Mariam_, Father H—— and party on board. Who are
you?”

“How is Mohammed? Fatima has a sore foot. Ali has gone up the river on a
corn-boat.” And thus they go on telling all the news. “How many boats up
the river? What is going on further down?” The shouting is kept up until
the boat passes out of hearing. When we reached Syria, in April, our
dragoman there, who had never been in Egypt, knew all about our
movements on the Nile. They were communicated from one to another simply
by word of mouth, and finally reached his ears.

It is a bright, beautiful moonlight evening. The glittering
constellations are reflected deep down in the calm waters beneath us, so
distinctly that they seem to have fallen there. Not a ripple disturbs
the surface of the water, scarce a breath the stillness of the air. It
is a gala night. Ahmud has distributed candles and hasheesh to the crew.
They have illuminated the deck and are playing, singing, and dancing.
Reis Ahmud, with a sober face, beats the drum, his whole soul seemingly
concerned in his occupation. Abiad has the tamborine, a pretty one,
inlaid with mother-of-pearl. He has been smoking hasheesh—his favorite
pastime. His eyes are closed, his head sways backwards and forwards as
he sings; he seems to pour out his very life’s spirit in the song. The
rest of the crew group around, squatted on the deck, joining in the
chorus. Reis Mohammed sits apart; he is fishing. Ahmud, Ali, Ibrahim,
and the Nubian pilot look on. Now they become excited; the hasheesh is
working on them. Louder, still louder the singing. Abiad surely will not
live long; he must be in Paradise now. His soul is going out piece by
piece from his lips. The funny little old cook jumps up, puts a wooden
spoon in his belt for a pistol, some sugar-cane stalks for swords and
daggers. He is a Bedouin. More uproarious the shouting, intermingled
with catcalls. He dances the war-dance of the nomadic sons of the
desert. The howadjii have come out now; they are interested in this
strange, picturesque scene. The excitement is at its height. A lighted
candle is placed upon a small stick and put in the river; the current
carries it down still burning. There is not wind enough to blow out the
flame, and as it floats onward it looks like some will-o’-the-wisp or
fairy spirit of the waters reposing serenely on their bosom. The second
stage of the hasheesh now comes on; one by one they quiet down. Soon
Abiad falls asleep; some of the others follow; a strange stillness
succeeds this hilarious uproar. To-morrow will come the reaction, and
for a few days they will do but little work.

We have had great trouble to keep our birds. We have now preserved some
seventy specimens, from the small black chat to the large crane. The
rats will carry them off. So now we suspend them from the centre of the
ceiling. The same rat never carries away two birds. I cannot identify
each particular rat, and yet I am morally certain of the truth of the
above proposition. The skin, when taken off the bird, is covered on the
inside with a heavy coating of arsenical soap containing a large amount
of arsenic, enough to cut short the career of at least one rat. So if
they did carry off our birds, we had the satisfaction of knowing that
the birds carried them off in turn. We have been very anxious to kill a
crocodile; they are very scarce below the first cataract, but as soon as
we passed Philæ we promulgated the following general offer: To the first
man who points out a crocodile to any of the howadjii we will give a
half-sovereign. If the pilot, or any one in his stead, brings us within
reasonable shooting distance, we will present him with one pound; if we
kill and secure the crocodile, we will make presents all around. This
offer kept them on the alert. Every eye was strained to see the first
crocodile—and it takes a practised eye to discern one; for to the
uninitiated they appear to be logs of wood lying on the sand. Early on
the morning of January 15 the pilot came to us with eyes aglow and
pointed out a timsah (crocodile). We were tied up on the west bank, and
the reptile was lying on a sand-bank near the eastern shore. There was
considerable difference of opinion among the crew, many of them
insisting that it was not a timsah. “But,” asks the pilot, “what is it,
then? There are no rocks on the sand-banks; it can scarcely be a log,
for these are rarely met with in this part of the river.” A council of
war was held, and a plan of attack was determined on. Mr. S—— and I,
with Ali, the pilot, and four sailors, crossed the river to the
sand-bank about half a mile below the spot where slept the timsah in
blissful unconsciousness of the fate awaiting him. Bent almost to the
ground, we crawled cautiously along. When we had proceeded about a
quarter of a mile we found, to our disgust, that the bank upon which we
were was separated from the bank on which lay the timsah by twenty yards
of water of some depth. The pilot now asked us to fire, but the distance
was too great, and we began to be suspicious. The timsah did not move;
it was almost too quiet to be real. Mr. S—— and I placed ourselves in
the bow of the boat, covered the object with our double-barrelled guns,
and ordered the sailors to pull directly towards it. For a few moments
the excitement was intense. At the first movement of the timsah four
bullets would have shot forth on their death-errand. Nearer and nearer
we came. A moment more, and Abiad jumps from the boat, and with a loud
shout rushes up the bank and catches hold of the supposed timsah. “Come
here, O Reis Dab!” cried he, “and skin your timsah. Stop, I will do it
for you.” And he holds up to our astonished eyes a sheepskin. How
crestfallen was the pilot, and how the others joked him! It was a
chicken-coop covered with a sheepskin, containing three putrid chickens,
which had fallen from some dahabeeáh, and, carried by the current on the
bank, became embedded there, and was left high and dry when the waters
receded.

We have a number of pets on board: a live turtle, a soft-shelled fellow,
in color like the mud of its own Nile; a hawk who does not reciprocate
our friendship, and snaps at us when we go near him; six chameleons—what
strange creatures these are! We have had some twenty of them at
different times. As far as we could observe, they ate nothing, and yet
throve well as long as we were in their own latitudes. As we returned
towards the north they died one after the other. The chameleon is formed
somewhat like a lizard, about eight inches in length. Their feet look
like a mittened hand—that is to say, a large toe corresponds to the
thumb, and the rest of the foot, being solid, appears like the hand
enclosed in a mitten. They have very large heads compared with their
bodies, and eyes like a frog. They change their color, and, under my own
observation, made the changes from light green to yellow, black, brown,
blue, and dark green. We would tease them sometimes, and, when
irritated, yellow spots would appear over their bodies, and they would
try to bite us as we placed our fingers in their large mouths. Their
favorite pastime was to climb to the top of a palm branch fastened in
the deck; here the first one would remain. The second would hang from
the tail of the first, and the third support himself from the second in
the same manner. In this position they would remain for hours. If
another one wanted to reach the top of the branch, he would crawl
deliberately up the backs of the others, who regarded this conversion of
themselves into public highways with perfect indifference. Sometimes one
of them would roam away and be lost for a day or two, and then be
accidentally found in the centre of a basket of tomatoes or on the
summit of the main-yard.

On January 17 I strolled into a small village. The houses consisted of
four walls of sun-dried clay with a small opening for a doorway; some
few had palm branches stretched from wall to wall—apologies for roofs.
As I walked on I met a group of young girls; one was reclining on the
ground, while the others were dressing her hair. This operation is a
very tedious one, and is not repeated oftener than once a month. The
hair, which falls to the shoulders, is twisted into numerous braids, the
ends of which are fastened with small balls of mud; and to complete the
toilet oil is poured over the head. The hair being black and coarse, and
the oil giving it a glossy appearance, it presents the effect of braided
black tape. Although many of these girls had beautiful eyes and handsome
features, yet the howadjii never cared to approach too near them; for
the oil runs down in little streams from the crown of their heads to
their feet, and their faces appear as if polished with the best French
varnish. Our young Nubian cook left us here. This is his home, and he
will remain here until we return. He is only twenty years of age, and
has not seen his wife for three years. So he takes out of the hold some
bracelets, a dozen or two made of buffalo horn, all for his wife, and
she will wear them all at the same time, half on each arm. How her eyes
will brighten when she sees those bright tin pots and those robes,
green, yellow, blue! Surely Suleymán must love his dark-eyed, oily-faced
wife. From Assouan to Wady Sabooa, about one hundred miles, no Arabic is
spoken. Thence to Wady Halfa it is spoken in many towns. When we pass
through a town the whole population turn out _en masse_, preceded by a
leader, who carries on his shoulder the town gun, an old flint-lock
musket, generally marked Dublin Castle, carried, mayhap, at Yorktown or
Brandywine. A barrel of great length is secured to the stock by six or
seven brass bands. Powder is scarce, and the first demand—the gun being
put forward to show the need—is always the same: “Barood ta howadjii”
(Powder, O howadjii!) We used cartridges altogether, and sometimes, when
they were particularly green, we imposed upon them in this way:

Scene, the river-bank. Howadjii has just fired and brought down a bird.
Large numbers of Nubians surround him. Gunman comes forward: “Barood ta
howadjii.” “Mafish barood ta Wallud” (I have no powder, O boy!) “See
these green boxes” (showing cartridges). Wallud looks attentively at
them. “Inside each is an afreet [spirit or devil]; we put this in the
end of the gun, point it at the bird, 'Imshee y afreet’ (Go, O spirit!),
then off he flies and kills the bird.” This ruse was successful two or
three times; they looked with awe upon the green boxes, and made no
further demands. Often, however, a shout of derision followed this
recital. They knew what cartridges were as well as we did. Reis Ahmud
pointed out the first real timsah, and received the promised
half-sovereign.

On January 19, 1874, at three P.M., we made fast beneath the ever-open
eyes of the giant guardians of rock-hewn Ipsamboul. To my mind
Ipsamboul, or Aboo-Simbel, is the most interesting temple on the Nile,
not even excepting majestic Karnak; for most of the other temples are
built in the same manner in which the edifices of the world have been
constructed from the earliest ages down to the present time, by stones
cut and squared, placed one upon another and held together by clamps,
cement, or other means. True, the style and shape in which these stones
are cut and arranged differ very much in Egypt and in Greece, in ancient
and in modern times; but the taking of numbers of small pieces, and, by
joining them together, forming a whole, is common to them all.
Aboo-Simbel is not constructed in this way. The side of the mountain
facing the river was cut to form a right angle with the surface of the
plain, and made smooth and even as a wall, save some projections
purposely left at regular distances, and which afterwards were shaped
into gigantic figures of victorious Rameses; a small hole was pierced
into this surface a few feet above the ground; it was made larger, and
carried in further and further full two hundred feet, its roof seemingly
upheld by Osiride columns. A similar gallery was cut on either side of
this main one. Transverse galleries crossed these, leading to rooms ten
in number, and all this cut out of the solid rock, no cement, no clamps,
not a joint anywhere—a huge monolithic temple. The inside of the roof is
perfectly regular in its lines, with a smooth, even surface; the outside
is the rugged mountain top. Surely this was the way to build for
immortality.

This style of building, although rare, is not confined to Egypt alone,
but was most probably copied from it. I have since seen it in the
Brahmin caves of Elephanta in Bombay harbor, and on a small scale in the
tombs of the Valley of Josaphat. The temple faces the river and stands
close to the bank. As we approach we are struck by the magnitude of the
four colossal figures of Rameses II. They are seated on thrones, and the
faces that remain are quite expressive. The height without the pedestal
is sixty-six feet; the forefinger is three feet in length. Father H——,
Madam, and I seated ourselves comfortably on the big toe, and, as I
looked upwards into that gigantic face, I thought of the myriads of
events, marking epochs of time, that had happened in the great world
outside since first the sculptor’s hand had changed the rugged mountain
side into these semblances of their warrior-king. The overturner of his
dynasty, the illustrious Sesac, had led the victorious Egyptians into
the very heart of the Holy City, and carried off from the Temple the
golden shields which Solomon had there hung up. Cambyses had marched
with thundering tread, laying waste on every hand with fire and sword
from Pelusium to Thebes, making this once mighty kingdom a province of
far-off Persia. Greece rose from a handful of half-savage shepherds to
be the focus of intellect, art, and science, around which clustered the
shining lights of the world. Alexander overran the whole of Western
Asia, and established in the Delta his mighty race of Macedonian
emperors. Rome was founded, sat on her seven hills the proud mistress of
the world, fell, and was swallowed up in the rush of succeeding
generations. Christianity, starting from its humble Judean home, spread
from sea to sea, from the peasant’s hut to the royal palace,
revolutionized the world, civilized nations, and, encircling the globe,
led back its proselytes to unfold its sacred truths to the descendants
of its apostles. Mohammedanism carried its bloody and relentless arms
over the vast plains of Asia, through the fruitful valley of the Nile,
to the centre of Continental Europe, and was driven back, tottering and
gradually receding, to its Eastern cradle. The great republics of the
middle ages lived their short span of power, and were lost in the mighty
empires that absorbed them. A new world was discovered, and new
governments founded therein. And during all this, unshaken by war or
tempest, unmoved by change or revolution, these giant figures gazed with
never-closing eye upon the swift-flowing river at their feet. Those who
give themselves the trouble to inform the world that a perfectly unknown
person has visited a monument, and that that unknown person has
mutilated it by inscribing his name thereon—a reprehensible practice
unfortunately so common in Egypt—may study here the earliest known
inscription of this kind. On the leg of one of the figures is cut in
rude characters the following inscription in Greek: “King Psamatichus
having come to Elephantine, those that were with Psamatichus, the son of
Theocles, wrote this. They sailed and came to above Kerkis, to where the
river rises ... the Egyptian Amasis. The writer was Damearchon, the son
of Amoebichus, and Pelephus, the son of Udamus.” This was written at
least six hundred and fifty years before Christ, and the scribblers,
desirous of cheap notoriety, are as unknown as their numerous followers
who now disfigure the monuments of the world.

Over the entrance is a statue of the god Ra (Sun), to whom Rameses
offers a figure of truth. We enter a grand hall supported by eight
Osiride pillars, pass through it to a second of four square pillars
which leads to the _adytum_. A number of small chambers are found on
both sides of the main hall, and the interior of the walls is covered
with intaglio figures and hieroglyphics. At the end of the _adytum_ are
four figures in high relief. There is but one opening to the temple—the
entrance door—through which alone light can enter. As the first rays of
the morning sun were peeping over the Arabian hills, we climbed the
steep bank and entered the temple. A flood of golden light poured in,
searching every corner, lighting up the figures at the end of the
_adytum_ full two hundred feet from the entrance. It seemed as though
mighty Ra, as each morn he rose to shower his beneficence upon the
world, looked first with soul-melting tenderness upon the home where he
would love to linger; slowly he moves on, and with a last fond, longing
look he leaves it in darkness till he return next morn. Bats swarm now
in its gloomy chambers, and dispute the right of entrance with the
howadjii. Alongside the large temple is a smaller one of the same
description. A night or two after this we had an altercation on board
wherein Reis Mohammed met his match. It was about nine o’clock on a
beautiful moonlight night. We were sailing before a light breeze, when
suddenly the boat struck a rock. Reis Mohammed winced as though it were
himself grating on the rock, and, rushing up to the Nubian pilot who was
at the helm, swore by Allah that he would beat him with a stick. The
pilot was not at all intimidated. He said in a quiet way that he was
sorry, but reminded the irate captain that he was now in his—the
pilot’s—country, and that if he struck him he would call out to his
people on the bank, who would come aboard and kill the captain. This
ended the affair. On January 22 Ahmud brought a beautiful little gazelle
on board, for Madam to play with, as he said. She named it Saiida, and
it soon became a great favorite with us all. At four P.M. of the same
day we reached our destination and tied up at Wady Halfa, a
long-stretched-out line of mud-built houses on the east bank. We had
travelled seven hundred and ninety-eight miles in forty-one days,
including stoppages. A two hours’ donkey-ride over the sands of the
desert, and we reached the Ultima Thule of Nile travellers—the rock of
Abooseer, overlooking the second cataract. This is much more wild,
rapid, and turbulent than the first, and, excepting when the Nile is at
its greatest height, is impassable. Almost every traveller who has been
here has left his mark upon this rock—a custom which is to be approved
here; for no beauty is defaced, but a register of travellers is kept
which possesses interest to their friends who may subsequently visit
this place. There were six dahabeeáhs there on our arrival, four of them
flying the United States flag. We made our presents to the men. They
brought us in safety up the Nile; will they do the same going down? So
we gave Reis Mohammed one pound, Reis Ahmud ten shillings, one pound
each to Ali, Ibrahim, and the cook; and two pounds and ten shillings to
be divided among the crew. While we were lying at Wady Halfa the crew
prepared the boat for the downward voyage. They took down the trinkeet
or large yard from the foremast, and placed in its stead the smaller one
from the stern. There are three modes of progression in descending. If
there be no wind at all, the men row, five oars on each side; but when
the surface of the stream is ruffled by the slightest breath of wind,
the men immediately stop rowing, and the boat drifts down with the
current. If the wind blow from the south—which is very unusual during
the winter—we sail, using, however, only the small balakoom, swung, as I
have said, from the mainmast. Some of the planks of the deck are taken
up, and an inclined plane made by resting one end of a plank against the
cross-beams on a level with the floor of the deck, and the other
touching the bottom of the hold. In rowing the men start from the top of
this inclined plane, and, walking backwards down it, make five distinct
movements in each stroke. As their feet touch the hold they sit down and
pull out the stroke.

On January 25, at one in the morning, we left Wady Halfa on the homeward
voyage. Ahmud requested us to permit him to bring a slave on the boat.
He told us that he had no children, and that he had seen a very fine
little boy of nine years whom he could purchase for seventy dollars. His
request was refused. We spent an hour or more one beautiful moonlight
night seated on the sand beneath the colossi of Aboo-Simbel. We engaged
a celebrated hunter to assist us in crocodile-hunting—Abd-el-Kerim,
slave of the god, a Nubian with a huge flat nose. The dress of this man
of prowess was not elaborate, consisting of a skull-cap and a pair of
drawers. He carried the flint-lock musket which I have before described.
The lock was carefully bound up in a piece of cloth. We moored the
dahabeeáh on the west bank about four miles below Aboo-Simbel. We then
rowed about a mile up the river in the small boat, and landed on a
sand-bank. Abd-el-Kerim constructed a crocodile of sand—head, tail,
legs, and all. We had laid a systematic plan of attack. At sunrise the
next morning we were to conceal ourselves behind the sand timsah and
wait the coming of the natural ones, thinking that they would take our
sand-constructed reptile for one of the family, and go quietly asleep
alongside of it. I rose before the sun the next morning, but Kerim did
not make his appearance until eight o’clock—he called it sunrise—when
the sun was pretty well up in the heavens, and the day began to grow
warm. As I stood on the forecastle waiting for him, two Polish
dahabeeáhs hove in sight. I knew the party on board; they were
distinguished naturalists who were collecting specimens for the museum
at Warsaw. They hunted in the most thoroughly systematic manner. The
young count, who was not as deeply engaged in the study of natural
history as the others, spent an evening with us a week or two afterward,
and told us a very amusing story about the rest of the party. They were
anxious to secure a certain species of bird. After consulting their
books and putting together the general knowledge they possessed
concerning the habits of this bird, they established as a positive fact
that the said bird would appear on the banks of the Nile at ten o’clock
to perform his morning ablutions. So at half-past nine they went out to
meet him, but, to their intense astonishment, he did not appear until
half-past eleven—overslept himself, no doubt, not being aware of the
distinguished company awaiting him. They have been in a great state of
excitement ever since, said our young friend, endeavoring to study out
the cause of this strange proceeding, as they termed it, of the bird
being one hour and a half behind time. As I watched the boats came on,
and our sand timsah caught the eye of their dragoman. He rushed
down-stairs, woke up the howadjii, who soon appeared on deck. Telescopes
were levelled, and, having satisfied themselves that it was a crocodile,
they jumped into the small boat and made straight for it. Two of them
were in the bow with their rifles cocked covering the timsah. The
greatest care and caution were observed. Only a small portion of the
heads of the men were visible above the gunwale, and occasionally I
could see the dragoman wave his hand as a signal of caution. Finally
they stepped on the bank, cautiously approached, saw the deception, and
in quick haste retired in evident disgust. I enjoyed this scene all the
more as it partially recompensed me for the failure of my first attempt
at shooting a crocodile.

About half-past eight Kerim and I concealed ourselves behind the sand
timsah, lying flat on our backs. Besides his old flint-lock, which would
do good service, we had two double-barrelled guns loaded with heavy
balls, and a six-barrelled revolver. I lay in this position for two
hours, not even daring to indulge in a cough, which I was sorely tried
to repress, and even breathing as quietly as possible. Kerim touched me
and told me to peep over the back of the timsah; I did so, and saw ten
crocodiles, some swimming in the water and others on the banks, but none
near enough to shoot at. I then turned on my face and lay down again.
Almost immediately an enormous crocodile stepped out of the water on the
bank where we were, within ten feet of us, but seemed to be frightened
at something and immediately plunged in again. About two o’clock Kerim
turned over, and in so doing spied a flask protruding from my pocket. He
took it out, offered it to me, and said, “Take a drink!”—a delicate hint
that he wanted some himself. He did not refuse when I offered it, but,
filling the cup with twice as much as an ordinary drink, he swallowed it
down, rolled his eyes, and ejaculated, “Taib” (good). We found it would
be of no avail to wait longer here, so we called the felluka and rowed
very quietly a short distance down the stream to a bank upon which two
timsahs were lying asleep; at the other end were some rocks. We crept
over the rocks until we reached the one nearest the reptiles. At least
one hundred yards still separated us from them. Resting my gun on a
rock, I took careful aim, fired, and saw the ball strike the side of one
of the crocodiles; but its only effect was to hurry him into the river,
otherwise he paid no attention to it. We concluded to give up
crocodile-hunting now, so we sailed on. At one point a little below this
I counted thirty-eight sawagi in sight at one time. These sawagi
(singular sagéar) are to Nubia what the shawadeefs are to Egypt. They
are of Persian origin, and consist of an endless chain, to which are
attached buckets made of burnt clay. The chain passes over a wheel at
the top, which is made to revolve by another wheel driven around by
buffaloes. These wheels are of wood and never greased. Their creaking
and straining are music to the owner’s ears, who in some instances will
travel many thousand miles riding the buffaloes round the well-worn
circle of their own loved sagéar.



              LETTERS OF A YOUNG IRISHWOMAN TO HER SISTER.
                            FROM THE FRENCH.


JULY 28, 1869.

Lord William is in England, and baby Emmanuel in vain asks for “papa.”
What a beautiful child he is! My Guy is very handsome also, and I am
proud of him. Johanna yields up to me all her prerogatives, and, were it
not that he resembles Paul, I could persuade myself that he is quite my
own, my dear godson.

Berthe intends to go to Lourdes, to obtain from Mary Immaculate the cure
of her daughter. Poor mother! she deceives herself; the child cannot
remain in this world, and the day approaches when we shall say,
Yesterday the bird was in the cage, but is now flown hence! This morning
Anna and the sick girl were leaning over my balcony, looking at the blue
sky, over which light clouds were flying. “How beautiful the sky is!”
said Anna. “Very sweet, very beautiful, very good,” answered Picciola,
joining her hands. “The beauties of nature are admirable, but—” “Kiss
me, dear, and don’t look up to heaven in that way; one would think you
were going there!” “The truth is that I shall go soon; dear Anna, pray
God to comfort my mother!” Anna flew into the room: “Madame, O madame!
is this true that Madeleine is telling me?” And she was sobbing.
Picciola covered her with kisses, saying: “Why will no one listen when I
speak of my happiness?” When Anna was more calm I sent her to her
mother, and said to my darling: “Then let us talk about heaven
together.” “But, aunt, it grieves you also. Yet I, although the pain of
those I love goes to my heart—I feel in myself an indescribable
gladness. Oh! if you knew how I thirst for heaven.” “And who tells you
that you are going to leave us, dear child? Our Lady of Lourdes will
cure you.” “If you love me, do not ask me this; I must not be cured,”
she murmured, with a sort of prayerful expression. What do you think
about this child, dear Kate?

Our thoughts are much taken up, as you may imagine, with the Council and
with Ireland. Adrien has read to us from a goodly folio, come from the
Thebaid of our _saint_, the most sinister predictions with reference to
the present time.

Good-by for a little while; I slip this note into Margaret’s envelope.


AUGUST 1, 1869.

St. Francis of Sales used to say: “People ask for secrets that they may
advance in perfection; for my own part, I know of only one: to love God
above all things, and my neighbor as myself.” And Bossuet, that other
great master of the spiritual life, said: “Give all to God, search to
the very depths, empty your heart for God; he will know very well how to
employ and to fill it.” This is what Gertrude has done, who just now
quoted these two thoughts to console me. Alas! yes, I cannot resign
myself to see her depart, this enchanting soul, so worthy of love.
“Remember,” Gertrude said to me, “that God undertakes to give back
everything to those who have given him all. I perceive many sacrifices
for you, dear Georgina; be worthy of God’s favors, for suffering is one
of these.” And she quitted me. She lives so near to God that every word
she utters seems to me an oracle, and now I am afraid. O poor soul!—a
reed bending to every wind.

“Turn thee to Him who comforts and who heals.” Help me, dear Kate! René,
Margaret, and Marcella agree in diverting my attention, but the blow has
been given! O my God! If a whole family might but enter heaven all at
the same time! if there were no tears of departure! I communicated this
morning, and promised our adorable Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist to
sacrifice my heart to him.

Berthe, Raoul, and Picciola set out to-morrow for Lourdes; we have not
ventured to dissuade the poor mother from this idea. I had a foolish
longing to follow them, but I saw in this a first sacrifice, and offered
it to obtain courage. If, however, Mary would be pleased to cure her!
They will make a novena there, and not return until the 16th. What a
long time without seeing her!

Our country neighbor has installed himself, and yesterday paid us his
first visit. My mother gave him a more than amiable reception. We all
thanked him for the care with which he had attended Anna, who threw her
arms round his neck with the greatest simplicity. Marcella replied
gracefully to the civilities of the good doctor, who accepted an
invitation to dinner. My mother finds him very well bred. He is fifty
years of age, very tall, with an open and expressive countenance, most
extensive learning, skill, wit, fortune, and above all _faith_; he is
thus in every way worthy of my friend. René has explained this to me,
and has ended by requesting me to favor this marriage.

Margaret, on leaving me this evening, whispered in my ear: “Dear, will
our fair Roman be insensible? The aspirant belongs _to the very first
quality of nature’s noblemen_.”

Good-by, dear Kate; pray much!


AUGUST 6, 1869.

Picciola is at this moment at the miraculous Grotto. Impossible to turn
my thoughts away from this child; I see her everywhere. Nevertheless, I
cannot complain of any want of distractions; we are out continually.
Three days ago M. de Verlhiac (the doctor) gave us a princely reception
in his _divor_. What life! what gayety! Marcella is very pensive and
seeks to be alone. Margaret raves about the doctor, and will have him at
all our parties; Anna can no longer do without him, my mother likes his
conversation, the gentlemen seize upon the slightest pretext for going
to the _Blue Nest_—the name given by Margaret to the dismantled manor of
M. de V. You see, dear Kate, all is for the best. Your advice is not,
however, useless to me. Oh! how well you have realized what Marcella is
to me. But I am not so selfish as to place my affection in the way of
her happiness, and I shall know how to make the sacrifice. M. de V.
requested an interview with me yesterday. I had remained alone with my
mother, who feared to take so long a drive, and it was in her presence
that I received our new neighbor. He appeared greatly embarrassed—he,
who is so fearless! At last, after a great deal of circumlocution, he
related how he had become acquainted with our dear Italians; how much he
felt interested in the pretty invalid, whom he had attended with truly
paternal solicitude; how the desire had arisen in his heart to become
the father of this attractive young creature; and how we had unknowingly
destroyed the fragile edifice of his dreams by carrying away from him
Mme. de Clissey and her daughter. Their sojourn of last winter had
convinced him that without this union he could not be happy. Marcella
had answered his proposal by a refusal, which he does not know how to
explain.

My mother looked at me, and M. de V. continued: “I know not, madame,
whether I am mistaken, but I am persuaded that you have some influence
on this determination which crushes my life. Madame de C. does not wish
to separate from you.” I was much moved by this confidence, and so much
the more because my mother, who had formerly been acquainted with the
mother of the good doctor, had told me that morning that she looked
forward to this union with pleasure. I promised to do _my duty_. This
conversation lasted three hours. M. de V. is really a remarkable man,
and I cannot understand Marcella’s singular behavior. Margaret advises
me to speak to her about it; but I think it more prudent to wait. The
pretty little Anna unconsciously enlightened me somewhat. This morning,
in my room, she was caressing her mother and saying: “Why, then, are you
so cold to this good doctor, who likes you so much and who is so like
papa? If you knew how affectionately he kisses me!” Marcella blushed and
spoke of something else.

Dear Kate, my heart is full; M. de V. has only one dream after that of
marrying my friend, which is to settle at Naples. It would then be a
permanent separation! “You are in your spring-time, my daughter,” my
mother said to me; “beware of the autumn! The lightest breath then
carries away by degrees our happiness and our hopes.”

God guard you, dearest!


AUGUST 9, 1869.

The doctor has become our habitual companion. He loves poetry, “this
choice language, dear to youth and to those whose hearts have remained
young”—another connecting link with Marcella. “But they are made for
each other,” says Margaret. This southerner shivers at the most delicate
breeze of the north. “Good friend, what will you do in winter?” exclaims
Anna on seeing him hermetically enfolded in a mantle lined with fur when
he arrives of an evening. “Dear, I shall do as the swallows do.” “Bah!
you will not go to Athens.” “And why not, if you will go with me?” “Oh!
I do not travel without my mother.”

This fragment of conversation shows you that M. de V. is always driving
at the same point. Every one rivals the other in extolling the loyalty,
the learning, the distinction of the doctor. He must be immensely rich,
for he throws gold with open hands among our poor, builds up cottages,
gives work to all. Gertrude says: “There is in this man an apostle and a
Sister of Charity.” Marcella never utters a word about our dear
neighbor, but appears to suffer when others speak of him. Yesterday
Margaret wanted to get my mother to promise that we should spend the
summer of 1870 in England. “Will you not come also, monsieur?” The
handsome countenance of the doctor darkened, and he answered briefly:
“Who can promise?” “Oh! _do_ promise, good friend,” exclaimed Anna; “you
told me you wished not to leave me!” “Anna, will you water my verbenas?”
tranquilly asked Marcella. The child bounded into the garden.

Berthe writes to me every day. The horizon is dark there; the poor
mother perceives the full truth.

_A Dieu_, Kate; may he alone be all to us!


AUGUST 16, 1869.

René has written to you, dear sister; thus you know how my time has been
occupied. Oh! what a beautiful procession. What singing! What
decorations! A corner of Italy in Brittany, to believe the good doctor,
who has valiantly paid with his person.

Picciola is here. I have just been to kiss her under her curtains. This
pilgrimage has produced a double benefit: it gave the poor parents a few
days of hope, and the Immaculate Virgin has caused them to understand
all. “She belongs to God before she belongs to us.” Are not these truly
Christian words the acceptance of the sacrifice? And Picciola: “How
sweet it would have been to die there, dear aunt! But I am very happy to
see you again.” O my God!

Margaret is expecting Lord William. Can you picture to yourself the
aspect of our colony—our numbers, the noise and movement, the joyous
voices calling and answering each other, the animation, the eagerness,
of this human hive? Our Bretons say they wish we were here always.

Edith writes often. Lizzy is somewhat silent; the saintly Isa is too
much detached from earth to think of us in any way except in her
prayers. My letters to Betsy have produced an unexpected effect, thanks
to your prayers; this good and charming friend assures me that going to
holy Mass and visiting the poor help her marvellously, and that now the
days appear too short.

Yesterday we were talking on the terrace—talking about all sorts of
things. The word _ideal_ was pronounced. “Who, then, can attain his
ideal?” exclaimed M. de Verlhiac. “Life almost always passes away in its
pursuit; an intangible phantom, it escapes us precisely at the moment
when it seems within our grasp.” “It is, perhaps, because the ideal does
not in reality exist on earth,” said Gertrude. “The Christian’s ideal is
in heaven!” Whereupon the meditative Anna cried out: “Oh! if only the
good God would make haste to put us into his beautiful heaven all
together, the _south_ and the _north_! You would not feel cold up there,
good friend!” “Then will the angels place us thus by families?” asked
Alix timidly. “Hem! hem! the house is large,” said the doctor; “and, for
my part, I see no inconvenience that this 'corner of Italy in Brittany’
would suffer by arranging itself commodiously there on high.”

At this moment Adrien took up a newspaper and read us a fulmination in
verse against the centenary of Napoleon, by a writer whose independent
pen “is unequalled in freedom and boldness,” according to the ideas of
some. M. de V. disapproves strongly: “Cannot a man be of one party
without throwing mud at the other? May not the sufferings on St. Helena,
the torture more terrible than that of the Prometheus of antiquity, have
been accepted by God as an expiation? How far preferable would a little
Christian moderation be to all this gall so uselessly poured out into
the public prints! And what do they attain, republicans or royalists,
after so many words and so much trouble? Great social revolutions arrive
only at the hour marked by Providence.” “At all events,” said Johanna,
“it is this much-boasted printing which enables us to read so much that
is good and so much that is hurtful.” “O madame! Writing, printing! What
favors granted to man! What feasts for the understanding and the heart!
The genius of evil has known how to draw from these admirable sources
the means of perdition; what is it that man has not turned against God?
But the divine mercy is greater than our offences, and the Christian’s
life ought to be a perpetual _Te Deum_. Providence pours out in floods
before us joys, favors, enjoyments without number, as he scatters
flowers in the meadows, birds in the air, angels in space; he has given
us poetry, this eternal charm of the earth:

    “'Langue qui vient du Ciel, toute limpide et belle,
    Et que le monde entend, mais qu’il ne parle pas.’”[11]

Footnote 11:

  Language which comes from heaven, limpid and beautiful, And which the
  world understands, but does not speak.

You perceive, dear Kate, that I want to make you acquainted with the
doctor. But good-night.


AUGUST 22, 1869.

Well, dearest, the marriage is arranged. Let me, however, first speak to
you about Picciola. She is an angel! She invariably forgets herself, and
thinks only of the happiness of others. It is she who organizes our
festivities. Dear, delicious child! Thérèse and Anna know not how to
show her tenderness enough. I forget what day it was that Marcella said
to me: “I think that now I need not be any longer uneasy about my
child’s health; there has been no change since that beneficial winter.”
Picciola was by me. I looked at her; her eyes shone with a singular
brightness, and she said almost involuntarily, and so low that I alone
heard her: “Oh! she will be no longer ill.“ Marianne was right: there is
a mystery in this, and I want to know what it is. I shall question Mad;
she will not resist me. I have entreated the doctor to cure her, and his
answer was: “Who can arrest the flight of the bird?“ Thus all is in
vain; and yet, in spite of myself, I have moments of wild hope. What a
large place this child has taken possession of in my heart!

M. de V. had placed his interests in my hands; it was therefore your
Georgina herself who renewed his _proposal_. At the first word Marcella,
much moved, formally refused, begging me to speak to her of something
else. Then we had a long explanation. This dear and excellent friend did
not want to separate herself from us, out of gratitude! And she was
sacrificing her heart; for the devotedness and high character of M. de
V. inspire her with as much sympathy as respect. It needed all my
eloquence to convince her. In accepting she secures her daughter a
protector; the increase of her fortune will allow her still more
latitude for the exercise of her benevolence. I know that she loves
Italy, and dreams of seeing it again, which would be impossible were she
to remain with us; by refusing she crushes out the life of M. de V.,
etc., etc.

By way of conclusion I drew her into my mother’s room, where we also
found René and Edouard, and all four of us together succeeded in
obtaining her _consent_. All, then, is well as regards this matter. Anna
is in a state of incomparable joy, as the old books say. We are all
happy at the turn affairs have taken, but each in our different degrees.
And you, dear Kate? Ah! news of Ireland and again of Edith: Mary is not
well. Poor Edith! Good-by, dearest; René calls me, and I must send to
the post.


AUGUST 25, 1869.

Yesterday’s _fête_ was admirable, according to the doctor, who is a good
judge. How impatient he is to carry off Marcella from us! The wedding is
fixed for the 20th of September, and the same day the happy couple are
to start for Italy. Thus I have not even a month in which to enjoy the
society of this delightful friend, so truly the sister of my soul, whom
God gave me almost on the grave of Ellen. I busy myself with her about
the preparations. Gertrude, the austere Gertrude, sets out to-morrow for
Paris with Adrien and M. de V., whom she will direct in the choice of
the _corbeille_. Don’t you admire that? Marcella is calm, serious, but
also, she owns to me, profoundly happy.

There will be no more meeting again, I foresee plainly; they will _cast
anchor_ down there, but our spirits will be always united before God.
Margaret greatly rejoices in the happiness of our dear Roman. Lord
William arrived yesterday, and joyous parties are going on. The _little_
angel of the good God is always on the point of taking her flight.

    _Ah! mon âme voudrait se suspendre à ses ailes
              Et la garder encore!_[12]

Footnote 12:

  Ah! my soul would fain cling to her wings, and keep her still!

René procures me the most agreeable surprises. There has never yet been
the least shadow of a cloud between us. You say well, dearest, that with
him I shall have happiness everywhere; why, then, should I have
hesitated to procure a like happiness for Marcella? I did not tell you
that about a year ago this dear friend lost nearly the whole of her
fortune, which was in the hands of a banker? Happily, we were the first
to hear of it, and have concealed the disaster. Gertrude desired to join
us in this hidden good work, and I have with all my heart paid the half
of the amount. I am still more glad now to have done so. Hitherto the
interest has been sufficient, but, lest the secret should be discovered,
Gertrude undertook to arrange the matter with her banker. As it is a
considerable sum, we are selling our carriages and one of René’s farms,
lest it should make too much difference to our poor; my mother is
surprised, but asks no questions. We shall try to live without
carriages—so many people live happily, and yet always go on foot! I am
certain that you will approve of this, dear Kate. Marcella is too proud
to consent to marry M. de V. without any fortune of her own. René is
delighted with this arrangement; I believe that he also is in love with
the poverty of St. Francis. Oh! how good God is to us! All my kisses to
you.


AUGUST 28, 1869.

Read yesterday some pretty things on Montaigne. The author of the
_Essays_ loved “with a particular affection” poetry, “in which it is not
allowable to play the simpleton.” Marcella presented me with a charming
poem on Friendship. Oh! I know very well that her warm affection is
mine. Listen to this passage taken from a dramatic story which has come
into Brittany: “There are redeeming souls, born for salvation. In the
path of the divine Crucified One walk silent groups whose mission is to
suffer for those who enjoy all the good things of life, to weep for
those who sing at feasts, to pray for those who never open their lips in
prayer. A large number of these mysterious flowers which perfume the
King’s House are even unconscious of their destiny. They follow it,
without asking what end is answered by their solitude, and to what
purpose are their tears.”

You write to me too deliciously, dear Kate! It is very kind of you to
ask after the two _adopted_ little girls. They have been claimed by a
relation, and left us after having remained a week. This fresh eclogue
could not have had a better ending. The dear children write to Picciola.
They are happy; their relative gave us a most favorable impression.

Yesterday a long walk with Margaret, who loves our heaths, our fields of
broom, our reedy places, our customs, and who is always ready when there
is a good work to be done. My mother is not well—“The effect of old
age,” she says. Would that I could keep away all pain from that dear
head! Mme. Swetchine says: “All the joys of earth would not assuage our
thirst for happiness, and one single sorrow suffices to fold life in a
sombre veil, to strike it throughout with nothingness.” How true this
is!

St. Augustine is one of René’s patrons; you may imagine whether we have
not prayed to him very much. Gertrude writes to me: “Here are some lines
which I commend to your meditations: 'All passes, all vanishes away, all
is carried away by the river of Eternity. The most sacred and sweet
affections we see broken, some by absence—that sleep of the heart—others
by a culpable inconstancy; many, alas! by death. The days of our
childhood, the years of our youth, the friendships begun in the cradle,
the more serious attachments of riper age, the affections of home, the
bonds formed at the altar—all are touched, withered, annihilated by the
inexorable hand of time.’ Dear Georgina,” continues Gertrude, “all lives
again, all arises from its tomb, all becomes again resplendent with God!
Hope, then! _Excelsior._”

Lord William has brought us a most interesting book—_Our Life in the
Highlands_, by Queen Victoria. What soul! What heart! Why is she not a
Catholic? My poor Ireland, when wilt thou recover thy freedom? O
Ireland! _patria mia!_

Thérèse regrets Anna’s approaching departure, but she is courageous. The
_babies_ do not take it in the same way, and Marguérite told Anna
plainly: “All that you may say to me is of no use. I know Italian,
mademoiselle: _Chi sta bene, non si muove._”[13] I had to preach for an
hour before I could persuade Marguérite to consent to apologize to the
dear little Italian, who cried so much at being accused of inconstancy.
These little people!

Footnote 13:

  “He who is well off stays where he is.”

Good-by, dear Kate; Picciola sends you a kiss.


AUGUST 30, 1869.

I have just been telling the children the beautiful story of St. Felix
and St. Adauctus, as the charming imagination of Margaret had arranged
it at the convent. How they listened to me. On turning round I was taken
by surprise: René was there! You know that I like to be alone when
fulfilling the functions of _professor_—a title which I usurp from the
good _abbé_, whose charity frequently takes him from home. “Are you
displeased?” asked _my brother_. _Displeased!_ But he and I are
altogether one—one and the same soul. Picciola makes profound
observations thereupon. Margaret tells me that she said to her: “The
soul ought in this world to be with God as Uncle René is with Aunt
Georgina, and as you and Lord William.” Margaret was delighted with this
comparison.

Letter from the saintly Isa; one might call it a song of heaven. “O
charming felicities which I find in this paradise of intelligence and
friendship, incomparable joys of the religious affections, delights of
the sensible presence of Him who is my all, how dear are you to me!”

Picciola is sleeping in an easy-chair two steps from me. She seems to
have scarcely a breath of life left. I questioned her as discreetly as
possible; she understood immediately: “Later, aunt, I will tell you.”

What! have I not told you about my six children? The eldest has been
taken as _femme de chambre_ by Margaret, the second occupies the same
post for Anna, and Thérèse claims the third. The youngest go to school.
Johanna wished to take charge of them, but I said, “No, thank you”; she
has a family and I am free. René wants to talk business to you. I give
up my sheet of paper to him. May God be with us!


SEPTEMBER 5.

Only a fortnight more to enjoy the presence of Marcella! The
_travellers_ are home again. The _corbeille_ is splendid; but the pious
projects of M. de V. are still more so. Did I tell you that he had been
connected with M. de Clissey, in a journey the latter took to Naples? M.
de C. loved Marcella then, and spoke only of her. He was on the eve of a
dangerous expedition. “Promise me,” he said to M. de V., “that in case
of my death you will marry her!” M. de V. promised. This is like the
tales of knight-errantry. M. de Verlhiac was unable to be present at his
friend’s marriage, and, as he was at that time of an adventurous turn of
mind, he went away to New York and had no news of the De Clisseys. It
was only on Marcella’s account that he settled temporarily at Hyères.
You see, this is altogether a romance, but in the best taste possible.
M. de V. told us all this after his proposal had been accepted.

All France is interested in the Council; we are praying for this
intention. What times we live in, dear Kate! The church is on the eve of
terrible trials, say the _seers_.

Picciola wishes to write to you; but will her poor little hand have the
strength to do so? Oh! how touching she is in her serenity. She
communicates with great fervor twice a week.

Lizzy, the happy Lizzy! has a son! _Gaudete et lætare!_ I rejoice in her
joy! Edith is ill; Mistress Annah says seriously so. Always a shadow!

Farewell, dearest. I have quantities of things to attend to. A thousand
kisses.


SEPTEMBER 10, 1869.

M. de Verlhiac overwhelms us with presents—no means of refusing them.
Marcella appears very happy, although as the time of departure
approaches there is an occasional shade upon her brow. The health of M.
de V. cannot accommodate itself to Brittany, and the _Blue Nest_ was
only a pretext. My mother is purchasing this well-named habitation, to
sell it when an opportunity offers. Since we have launched out so
strongly in good works, no one allows superfluities.

Gertrude saw Karl, who sighs for the day when he shall offer up at the
altar the true and spotless Victim. I love what you tell me of your
thoughts on seeing our sister. Ah! dearest, all that God does he does
well; great sacrifices suit great souls.

My mother gives _fêtes_—to us, you understand. But what _fêtes_! What a
large share is left for the poor! What a still larger part given to God!
Lucy, the amiable Lucy, gives herself unheard-of trouble for our
pleasures. Gertrude gracefully lends herself to our passing follies, to
which her dark toilet makes a contrast. I asked her two days ago if she
did not sometimes regret the luxuries to which she was accustomed.
“Regret, Georgina! Listen to Ludolph the Chartreux: 'The Christian is
happy, for, whatever may be his poverty, he has always in himself
wherewith to buy the pearl and the treasure; no other price is asked but
himself.'”

Sarah is in Spain, whence she sends me magnificent descriptions of the
Pyrenees. “When will you come and gather roses on the banks of the
Mancanares?” asks my lively friend.

Picciola is asking for me. You would be uneasy. May God have you in his
keeping!


SEPTEMBER 18, 1869.

René has replaced me in my assiduous correspondence—I have so much to
do! Will these words make you smile? Nothing, however, is more true; in
our hive every bee has its share of work. M. de V. can no longer keep
himself quiet; Marcella weeps at the thought of going away for ever.
René mentions the possibility of our again visiting Hyères, and I want
to persuade the future couple to give their solemn promise to go
thither. It seems as if a part of my heart were going to leave me.

The Bishop of —— will bless the marriage. Oh! would that I could put off
this date. It is so sweet to have them here, these dear friends and the
charming little Anna! Good-by, Homer! Good-by, our studious hours, our
intimate conversations, our so perfect friendship! _Her_ room will
remain furnished just as it now is; I shall make it a museum of
souvenirs. You know that I have taken the portraits of all three. They
wished for copies; so you see why I was too busy to write to you. Only
two days more—two days: what is that?

My mother is very thoughtful on my account. For my sake she dreads this
departure, this great void; but René is at hand, so ingeniously good and
devoted, so attentive, so fraternal! Dearest, pray that _they_ may be
happy!


SEPTEMBER 21, 1869.

_She_ is gone! These two days have passed away like a dream. I cannot
bring myself to realize this idea. Oh! what difference there is between
the apprehension and the reality, from the expectation of sorrow to
sorrow itself! But _she_ will be happy! How beautiful she was; Anna so
graceful, and all three so affectionate! I am now counting the hours
until I receive a letter. I am going to occupy myself—study with René,
pray with Picciola, meditate with Gertrude. And Margaret—oh! I must make
up to her all the time given to Marcella, whom she regrets almost as
much as I do.

Picciola occupies me, and very much. She has felt this separation
exceedingly, being very fond of Anna. Good-by till to-morrow, dear Kate;
I feel myself incapable of writing.

22d.—A word from Mme. de Verlhiac—a greeting written yesterday morning
in the carriage. They go farther and farther away. How could I flatter
myself that I should be able to keep for myself alone these two Italian
flowers? Gertrude has asked me to aid her in a singular operation: the
accounts of all her farmers have to be clearly arranged. Adrien does not
like these commonplace details. He found yesterday in the woods a little
fellow of six years old, roguish as an elf, his hair a tangled bush, his
face, hands, and feet alarmingly dirty. “Will you take charge of this
child for an hour?” René asked me, as he had letters to write to his
brother. What trouble I had to make the little savage clean! Margaret
acted as currier; I was quite alone, dreaming of the past. This awoke
me, I can assure you. When he was _white_, I went to find Johanna, who
gave me a whole suit of clothes. This little wilding was the torment of
his mother; we are going to tame him. As a beginning I have put him to
school. He is enchanted to see himself so _fine_, and looks at himself
as if he were a relic. At the same time he is greedy, untruthful,
obstinate, lazy—all vices in miniature.

We are going to-morrow to the town; this always amuses the _babies_.
Happy age, when every little change is a festivity! If you knew what a
strange sensation I experienced this morning on entering the
drawing-room and not finding the two dear faces so long visible there! I
thought I should have wept or cried out—it would have done me good—but
Gertrude began to converse with me, and the feeling passed away.

I never talk to you now either about my godson or the beautiful
Emmanuel; it is very remiss. Both are charming and do not make much
noise. Dear little beings! And the day will come when they will be our
protectors, these two little nestlings whose warblings are so charming a
harmony to our ears. I wish you could hear Margaret say, “My son!” This
word has in her mouth such a penetrating sweetness!

Dear Kate, may God be with us!


SEPTEMBER 28, 1869.

Can it possibly be true? Père Hyacinthe quits his convent and in some
sort separates himself from the Roman Catholic Church. The bad
newspapers vie with each other in their applauses, while the good ones
groan. Louis Veuillot energetically blames. Pride has much to do with
this great fall. Let us pray that he may come back, this apostle who has
lost his way! Another star fallen!

Picciola daily grows weaker, and I now know, alas! why she is dying. I
would fain give the account with her touching simplicity, but this charm
belongs to her alone.

This morning I was in her room; she has not got up since the 22d. “Are
you alone, aunt?” “Yes, dearest.” “Because I have something to say to
you. I have to ask your pardon.” Poor angel! “My life was my own, was it
not, aunt? I could give it away?” “And why, then, did you give it away,
my child?” “Aunt, do not be so distressed. You love Mme. Marcella very
much, and Anna also. Well! last year, at Orleans, during the winter,
Anna had the fever. The doctor came; he examined her a long time, and it
was I who conducted him to the door. I asked him if my little friend was
very ill. 'She is consumptive, this beautiful child, and will not be
cured without a miracle.’ I was very much struck, but did not show it in
any way, and from that day I offered all my prayers for her recovery.
The day of my First Communion, O aunt! I was so happy. The good God had
given me everything. I tried to find a sacrifice to offer to him, and I
had nothing but my life; so I asked him to take this in exchange for
that of Anna. I felt at the same moment that I was heard, that my prayer
would be fully granted. Oh! how happy I was. But, my poor dear aunt, I
see you so sad that I am almost sorry; but then you have other nieces,
and Mme. Marcella has only one daughter. Do you forgive me?”

My God! my God! Can you understand, Kate, what I felt? “My mother must
not know of this,” continued the gentle victim, after a long effort.
“You will comfort her, dear aunt! Oh! it is so consoling to die for
others. I have a confidence that I shall go to heaven. Monsieur le Curé
has told me not to be afraid. I have always suffered ever since my First
Communion; but my cross was not heavy like that of our Lord! Oh! I long
so for heaven. On earth it is so difficult to keep one’s self always in
the presence of God; we shall see him on high. Aunt, what joy it is to
die!”

Berthe came into the room, from which I hastened precipitately to hide
my tears. I felt thoroughly overcome. What self-devotion! What angelic
desires! I told all to René, who had already his suspicions: Anna had so
delicate a chest, while our Mad’s constitution was so strong. God has
accepted the exchange. Poor Berthe! When she received Marcella with so
sisterly a welcome, how little she imagined that with her death entered
our dwelling! I am proud of Picciola—but I weep!

Ah! dear Kate, let us bless God for all.


SEPTEMBER 30, 1869.

I live as in another world since this revelation. “The holy angels will
come and take me,” said Picciola. Margaret, Berthe, Thérèse, Gertrude,
and I succeed each other in watching by her. “All my body is broken!”
she exclaimed in her delirium; otherwise, never a complaint. She prays,
and likes to hear singing; she is full of tenderness. I have no news of
Edith. Anna has written from Lyons.

Pray for those who remain, dear Kate!


OCTOBER 1, 1869.

She has received the last sacraments; her room exhales the perfume of
incense. We are all there, whispering prayers.

_2d October._—She is in heaven! “Dear angels, thanks, I come!” And her
soul fled away. Oh! how I suffer. I loved her too much! I write to you
near to _her_—near to _her_ who is no longer there. I could have wished
to follow her when the _abbé_ said: “Go forth from this world, Christian
soul!”

Did you know her well, this flower of heaven whose fragrance was so
sweet; this soul, open to every noble sentiment; this exceptional
understanding, which assimilated everything and was ever advancing?

My mother is well-nigh broken down; Berthe is kneeling, and still
kissing this brow so pure, these eyes whose gaze we shall behold no
more.

Raoul and Thérèse weep together; Gertrude occupies herself in attending
to the sad details; and as for me, I would pour upon this paper all the
desolation of my heart.

Shall I have the courage to paint her thus—inanimate—dead? O my God! it
is, then, true? That caressing arm will never again pass itself round my
neck. That beloved voice will no longer resound in my ears. That aërial
footstep will no more reveal her presence. She is gone! She was full of
life, and freely, voluntarily she has accepted death and has left us
alone.

Kate, how shall I pray, how shall I bless God? If you knew how I loved
her!


OCTOBER 12, 1869.

I am beginning to rise up. For ten days I have been in a state of
delirium. I saw Madeleine constantly by me, spoke to her, told her to
wait for me—that I did not wish to live without her. René was in
despair; but his prayers and yours have been heard. A strange calm has
succeeded to the disorder of my thoughts; I have the certainty that
Picciola and Edith have entered into everlasting rest. Yes, Edith! How
did I learn that she was dead? I do not know, but René saw that I knew
it and no longer sought to hide it from me. Adrien leaves us to-day to
go and bring hither Mary and Ellen, and also Mistress Annah, who is
wanted by Margaret. They compel me to stop. I love you.


OCTOBER 20, 1869.

I am still weak, dear Kate, but my soul is strengthened. Let us love
God, let us love God! I went at noon to the cemetery, to the beloved
grave. René accompanied me. Oh! how he also loved her. How sweet she was
when she spoke of him! Raoul has taken Berthe and Thérèse into Normandy
for a fortnight; their intense grief made him anxious. It is all like a
dream; but, alas! _she_ is no longer here. Let us so live that we may
rejoin her!

A friend of René’s gave Edith the comfort of embracing her son; our dear
friend’s will is addressed to me. René is utterly opposed to the young
girls being brought up with us, and we shall no doubt place them at the
Sacred Heart. René is right: no one could ever take the place of
Picciola in my heart.

Margaret and Gertrude have been angels of consolation to me. How shall I
ever repay their tenderness! Ah! it is good to be so loved. Let us
always love each other in Jesus, dear Kate!


OCTOBER 25.

The orphans are come, very touching in their mourning garments. The good
Mistress Annah has grown ten years older. Edith died the death of a
saint! How painfully this word death sounds in my heart!

My mother does not wish that Berthe should see _them_ here; the generous
Adrien offers to accompany them, but Margaret solicits this privilege,
with the secret intention, we believe, of paying the first year’s
expenses. Kind Margaret! I should like to have kept these children, but
in every point of view it is impossible. René fears that I may love them
too much—and you also, dear Kate. Thus it is decided that they are to
leave us on the 5th.

I send you the _journal_ of the last days of Edith; Mistress Annah
wished to give me this consolation, sweet and bitter at the same time.
Dear old friend! what good care we are going to take of her. I should
like to have her here. Karl will be made a priest on Christmas Eve; we
shall therefore be in Paris towards the 10th of December. For how long?
I do not yet know. My mother has changed very much since our _angel_ is
no longer here. O Christ! O Saviour! O Sovereign Friend of our souls!
take compassion on our sorrows.

Johanna is here, by me, with my beautiful godson on her knees, smiling
and playing with him in a thousand ways. Oh! how sweet was Picciola in
this same place. Alix and Marguérite come every minute to talk to me, to
amuse me. Margaret occupies herself in reading to me serious and
absorbing things; but—I constantly see _her_, my little dove that is
flown away.

Marcella is at Naples; the letter of mourning reached her there. She
does not know what her daughter’s life has cost us, nor will she ever
know it. Ah my God! who would have believed that?

Send me your good angel, dear, beloved sister!

TO BE CONTINUED.



                  PRESBYTERIAN INFIDELITY IN SCOTLAND.


The people of England, as his Eminence Cardinal Manning is fond of
saying, never abandoned the Catholic faith; it was torn from them by
violence. The people of Ireland were made of sterner stuff; they clung
to the faith, successfully resisting the pitiless persecutions to which
they were subjected. But the people of Scotland joyfully received the
new gospel and took it into their hearts with zealous ardor. In England
the sovereign imposed the new religion upon the people, and they
submitted to it; in Ireland the whole authority of the civil power,
exercised in the most cruel forms, was exhausted in vain attempts to
compel the apostasy of the people. In Scotland the people apostatized by
their own motion and the Reformation there was essentially a popular
movement. The late Archbishop Spalding, in his _History of the
Protestant Reformation_, says that the Reformation in Scotland spread
from low to high; that it “worked its way up from the people, through
the aid of the nobles, through political combinations and civil
commotions, to the foot of the throne itself, and, after having gained
the supreme civil power and deposed first the queen-regent and then the
queen, it dictated its own terms to the new regent and the new
sovereign; and thus, by the strong arm, it firmly established itself on
the ruins of the old religion of the country.” The true explanation of
the fact that the Reformation in Scotland was a popular movement is to
be found in the words of a Protestant writer[14] quoted by Archbishop
Spalding: “Scotland, from her local situation, had been less exposed to
disturbance from the encroaching ambition, vexatious exactions, and
fulminating anathemas of the Vatican court” than other countries; that
is to say, the authority of the Holy See for a long time prior to the
Reformation had been scarcely felt in Scotland; the wise and wholesome
provisions of the canon law had fallen into disuse; the civil power had
thrust its own creatures into benefices and bishoprics; and the people
had become disgusted by “the scandalous lives, ostentatious pomp, and
occasional exactions of the unworthy men who had been thus unlawfully
foisted into the bishoprics and abbeys.”

Footnote 14:

  Thomas McCrie, minister of the Gospel, Edinburgh.

In England and Ireland the influence and authority of the popes had
not been thus disregarded; the church there had been kept tolerably
pure, and the affection of the people had not been alienated by the
faults and crimes of prelates and priests. In Ireland to-day, after
three hundred and thirty-six years of Protestant assaults upon the
faith, Catholic truth remains as firmly as ever rooted in the hearts
and exemplified in the lives of the people. In England the effects of
the retention of Catholic tradition are still to be seen: some of the
great fasts and festivals of the church are observed as legal
holidays; marriages are not solemnized at a later hour than that which
formerly was fixed for the celebration of the nuptial Mass; and
respectable Protestants, belonging to the Nonconformist societies as
well as to the Established Church, abstain from marrying or giving in
marriage during Lent.[15] But in Scotland the “blessed Reformation”
swept away all these “rags of Popery”; it had full course to run and
be glorified; and it made such thorough work that, for example, only
within the past few years has even the most modest recognition of
Christmas day as a festival been permitted. The Scottish Reformers,
having burned the religious houses, stripped and disfigured the
churches, and driven the priests from the land, set up the Bible as
their fetich, and ordained that it should be worshipped in conformity
with the precepts embodied in certain creeds and confessions of faith
which they framed to suit themselves. For three hundred years the
Scottish Presbyterians have been the most ardent Protestants in the
world, and have boasted most loudly of their devotion to, and their
implicit faith in, the written Word of God. This, and this alone,
contained in itself all that was necessary for salvation; and it were
better that a man should never have been born rather than that he
should take away from, or add one word to, what was written in this
book. God had not on the day of Pentecost called into being, by the
power of the Holy Spirit, a body commissioned “to teach all whatsoever
he had commanded until the consummation of the world”; he had simply
caused a book to be written. “In the books of the Old and New
Testaments,” they declared in their “Standards,” “the revelation of
God and the declaration of his will are committed wholly unto writing
... and they are all given by inspiration of God to be the only rule
of faith and life.” This has been the nominal faith of the Scotch
Presbyterians ever since the dawn of the Reformation, and it is their
nominal faith to-day. It has long been difficult, however, for the
admirers of Scotch Presbyterianism to reconcile the fact that they
were at once “the most Bible-loving and whiskey-loving people on the
face of the earth”; that their sexual immorality was threefold that of
the English, and tenfold that of the Catholic Irish; and that marriage
among them had become divested of every form of religious sanction.
Close observers of what was going on in Scotland had, indeed, from
time to time perceived evidences of the existence and extension of a
curious phase of scepticism among the people—a hypocritical and
speculative scepticism. The leading journal of the country had for
many years, with great skill and with the evident approbation of its
constantly-increasing circle of readers, devoted itself to the
stealthy inculcation of rationalism and of secularism in education. In
private, and sometimes in public, leading members of the various
branches of the Presbyterian Church had indulged in covert sneers at
this or that article of faith, and every attempt to reprove or punish
these heresies by the discipline of the church resulted in failure.
Events have now occurred which reveal in a startling manner the extent
to which infidelity has made conquest of the Scotch Presbyterian
ministers, and which show that those among them who still care to
profess their adherence to their standards of faith are unwilling or
afraid to attempt either the correction or the expulsion of their
atheistic brethren.

Footnote 15:

  Moreover, the favor with which that parody of Catholic ceremony and
  Catholic truths known as ritualism has been received in England,
  especially among the common people, is an evidence of the imperfect
  manner in which the Reformation there has done its work.

A new edition of the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ has lately been
published, the article “Angels” and the article “Bible” in which work
were written by Professor W. R. Smith, of the Free Church College of
Aberdeen. Both these articles contained statements which, in the
moderate language of the official report before us, and from which we
shall quote, “awakened anxiety in the minds of ministers and members of
the church.” The affairs of this college are managed by a committee, who
are authorized to “originate and prosecute before the church courts
processes against any of the professors for heresy or immorality,
according to the present laws of the church.” On the 17th of May last
this committee “had their attention called” to these writings of
Professor Smith; on the 19th of September they appointed seven of their
number—Mr. Laughton, Principal Rainy, Principal Douglas, Sir Henry
Moncreiff, Professor Smeaton, Dr. Gould, and Professor Candlish—to
consider the two articles, and to report to the committee what action,
if any, should be taken upon them. On the 17th of October the
sub-committee, two members dissenting, reported that they did not find
it necessary to say anything about Professor Smith’s views concerning
“angels,” but that it would be advisable in the first instance to ask
the professor if he had any explanation or apology to offer respecting
his article upon the Bible. On the 14th of November the committee
received a communication from Professor Smith not at all in the nature
of an apology; and on the 17th of January—eight months having been taken
for consideration of the matter from the commencement—the committee made
their report, which is addressed to the General Assembly of the church.
They state that “after carefully examining the article 'Bible,’ and
considering with attention the explanations which Professor Smith has
been good enough to furnish,” they have not found in the article
sufficient ground “to support a process for heresy”—a conclusion from
which one member of the committee, Dr. Smeaton, dissents, as will
appear, with good reason. It is true, the committee go on to say, that
Professor Smith’s statements relating to “the date, authorship, and
literary history” of certain books and portions of books in the Bible
not only “differ from the opinions which have been most usually
maintained in our churches,” but are “such as have been maintained by
writers who treat the Scriptures as merely human compositions.” But the
committee magnanimously decline to “assume that this circumstance is of
itself a ground either of suspicion or complaint,” inasmuch as “much
liberty of judgment should be maintained.” They confess, again, that
they “have observed with regret that the article does not adequately
indicate that the professor holds the divine inspiration” of the Bible,
and that he does not “adequately state the view of the Bible taken by
the Christian church as a whole.” “A clear note on this point” was much
needed, but the professor would not give it, and “the committee are
compelled to regard this feature of the case with disapprobation,” since
it would have been so easy for the professor, by “a single sentence or
clause of a sentence, at successive stages of his argument,” to have
“prevented the injurious effect which the committee deprecate.” The
professor gave “decided opinions in favor of some of the critical
positions maintained by theologians of the destructive school,” and he
consistently refrained from blowing hot and cold, as the committee
wished him to do, “by showing decisively that he did not agree with
their destructive inferences.” But since, in his communication to the
committee, Professor Smith “admits direct prediction of the Messias in
the Old Testament,” and receives three of the four gospels as “authentic
and inspired,” the committee—Professor Smeaton again dissenting—did not
think it wise to prosecute him for heresy on these points. They stumbled
sadly, however, in their attempts to explain why they resolved to acquit
him of flagrant heresy in the expressions of his views “with respect to
portions of the Pentateuch, and more particularly to the Book of
Deuteronomy.” It would be bad enough, they say, had Professor Smith
contented himself with maintaining that the Book of Deuteronomy in its
present form could not have been written, for philological reasons,
until eight hundred years after the death of Moses. But this would not
necessarily prove that the author of the book was not inspired and did
not faithfully record the history as it occurred. Professor Smith did
worse than this; for he affirmed “that instructions and laws which, in
the Book of Deuteronomy, appear as uttered by Moses, are certainly
post-Mosaic, and so could not, as a matter of fact, have been uttered by
him.” Professor Smith, say the committee, holds:

    “1. That various portions of the Levitical institutions, to which a
    Mosaic authorship is assigned in the Pentateuch, are of later date,
    having come into the form in which they are exhibited only by
    degrees, and in days long subsequent to the age of Moses. This is
    held to be established by discrepancies between different parts of
    Scripture, which are held to arise when the Mosaic origin is
    assumed.

    “2. In particular, the Book of Deuteronomy, in portions of it which,
    _ex facie_, bear to be the record of utterances by Moses, makes
    reference to institutions and arrangements much later than his time.

    “3. This is to be accounted for by assuming that some prophetic
    person, in later times, threw into this form a series of oracles,
    embracing at once Mosaic revelations, and modifications, or
    adaptations which were of later development; all together being
    thrown into the form of a declaration and testimony of Moses.

    “4. That, viewed especially with reference to the literary
    conceptions and habits of that time and people, the method thus
    employed was legitimate, and was such as the divine Spirit might
    sanction and employ. It was designed to teach that the whole body of
    laws delivered were the fruit of the same seed, had received the
    same sanction, and were alike inspired by the Spirit which spake by
    Moses.

    “5. The sub-committee do not understand the professor to mean that
    this involved any fraud upon those to whom the book was delivered.
    It was given and taken for what it was; however, it may subsequently
    have been misunderstood, in the professor’s view, in so far as it
    came to be believed to be an ordinary historical record of actual
    Mosaic utterances.”

The committee found themselves “obliged to regard this position with
grave concern.” They did not feel willing to admit the force of the
evidence which Professor Smith relied upon as establishing the
non-Mosaic character of some of the Deuteronomic laws; and “the
hypothesis of inspired personation applied to such a book as
Deuteronomy” appeared to them “highly questionable in itself and in its
consequences.” This is stating the case very mildly, especially as they
go on to say that the so-called “explanations produced by Professor
Smith in his statement have not relieved the apprehensions of the
committee,” but, on the contrary, have rather served “to make more
evident the stumbling-block for readers of the Bible arising from a
theory which represents a book of Scripture as putting into the mouth of
Moses regulations that are at variance with institutions which the same
theory supposes him to have actually sanctioned.” This theory is “liable
to objection and is fitted to create apprehension.” It ascribes to the
author of the book “the use of a device which appears unworthy and
inadmissible in connection with the divine inspiration and divine
authority of such a book as Deuteronomy.”... “The admissions that the
statements of the book regarding Moses are not true in the obvious sense
will operate in the way of unsettling belief.” The committee are
compelled to admit that the article is “of a dangerous and unsettling
tendency.” Nevertheless, they declare that they cannot and will not
exercise the rights and discharge the duties of their office by
instituting a process against Professor Smith for heresy. He has written
a most heretical, dangerous, and really blasphemous article, and has
caused it to be published in a book of the highest character and of the
most extensive circulation. But they have “a cordial sense of his great
learning,” and he has been good enough to say that although he has
proved that the Holy Spirit lied in certain portions of Deuteronomy, and
lent himself to the perpetration of a fraud in other portions, still he
can accept the book “as part of the inspired record of revelation, on
the witness of our Lord and the _testimonium Spiritus Sancti_”—the
testimony of the same Holy Spirit to whom he has imputed the crimes of
falsehood and of fraud! Therefore they declare that they find no fault
in Professor Smith other than that of being a little too free in the
utterance of his opinions, and, accordingly, they decide to let him go.

From this free and easy deliverance four members of the committee
dissented, but on different grounds. One of them thought that Professor
Smith’s views respecting angels were as “destructive” and as full of
“negations” as were his statements concerning the Bible, and that he
should have been arraigned for heresy on this ground. Another—Professor
Candlish—was of the opinion that there was no “ground in the articles
for concern about Professor Smith’s views”; and a third—Mr.
Whyte—insisted that, instead of indulging in “timid and cautious” blame,
the committee should have expressed their real feelings of approbation,
and given utterance to “a hearty and grateful acknowledgment of the
goodness of God to their church in the succession of eminent theologians
and teachers he was raising up among them,” and of whom Professor Smith
was the chief! The fourth dissentient was Dr. Smeaton, of whom we have
already spoken, and who, save the member who was distressed about
Professor Smith’s opinions respecting angels, seems to have been the
only orthodox person upon the committee. An appendix to the report sets
forth the reasons for his dissent at great length, but their purport may
be given in a few words. The finding of the committee was “wholly
inadequate to the gravity of the offence”; Professor Smith had offered
no retractation of his heresies, and he should have been arraigned at
the bar of the church. It is absurd for the committee to avow “regret
and grave concern” at the expression of heresy by a luminary of the
church, and then to “accept a mere profession of loyalty as a sufficient
reason for abstaining from further action.” He exposes the inconsistency
of the committee’s statement that the professor’s views, while
“injurious,” “destructive,” and “naturalistic,” are still compatible
with the belief that the book which he declares to be a forgery was
inspired by the Holy Ghost.

    “I hold,” says Dr. Smeaton, “that the doctrine of inspiration and
    Professor Smith’s views are irreconcilable, and that this will be
    evident if, for example, we take account of his theory of
    Deuteronomy or of his conception of the Song of Solomon. The view
    which he propounds as to the origin of Deuteronomy is that it is a
    fictitious personation of Moses by another man, in the unspeakably
    solemn position of professing to receive and communicate a divine
    revelation, and that the book was not composed until many centuries
    after Moses’ death. The point at issue is not alone the age and
    Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy, but whether this book of Scripture
    is supposititious, and whether it was after a great interval of time
    composed and put into the mouth of Moses by another. This fraudulent
    personation-theory is the lowest depth of criticism; for, as has
    often been said, the mythical criticism had still this redeeming
    point, that it did not impute to the writers conscious fabrication.
    The supposititious or personation-theory, on the contrary, is not in
    keeping with the character of an honest man, and wholly inconsistent
    with that of an ambassador from God; and the attempt to exculpate
    the writer who is said to have put his words into the mouth of
    Moses, on the supposition that it was well known at the time, only
    widens the sphere of the fraudulent deception, and makes the
    receivers of the book act in collusion with the writer in his crime.
    This theory, which I never expected to encounter in Scotland,
    overlooks the important fact that, in the very book to which such an
    origin is ascribed, we find the repeated condemnation of false
    prophets, of false testimony, and of adding to, or diminishing from,
    the Word of God; and we must therefore suppose the writer practising
    deception while exposing falsehood in every form. Professor Smith
    must make his choice between the reception of the book as an
    inspired revelation, with all that it purports to be, as written in
    the time of Moses, and as the work of Moses, or reject it altogether
    as a fraud and entitled to no respect. There is no middle way. He
    cannot maintain its fictitious origin, and yet assert its
    inspiration. However convenient it may be for a speculative
    theologian to oscillate between the two ideas, as the necessities of
    a daring criticism may suggest, the notion of a fabricated prophetic
    programme or of an inspired forgery will be regarded by the general
    community, as it has always been regarded by me, as no better than
    the very quintessence of absurdity. The robust common sense of
    mankind scouts the possibility of the combination. For my part, I
    could not stultify myself before the church and the world by
    allowing such an incoherent and self-contradictory juxtaposition of
    terms. But such a theory, if it could be endured for a moment,
    would, it is evident, render inspiration incapable of vindication or
    defence. And the enemies of revelation, I believe, could desire no
    more effective weapon in their warfare than the power to proclaim
    that a Christian church permitted a theological teacher to represent
    any one book of Scripture as an inspired fabrication. But the
    question forces itself on our minds: If one book may be so
    described, what is to be the limit of this license, and how far is
    the concession to be extended in the way of giving a chartered right
    to similar caricatures of the sacred oracles? I am obliged to add
    that, in my judgment, Professor Smith’s treatment of the Book of
    Deuteronomy is tantamount to dropping it from the inspired canon.
    And the same thing may be said of his mode of representing the scope
    and purport of the Song of Solomon, to which he denies the spiritual
    sense, and all that allusion to the communion between the Bridegroom
    and the Bride which the church of all ages—notwithstanding the
    wayward tendencies of a few individual writers—has always regarded
    as immediately connected with its divine origin; for no reason can
    be shown for its inspiration and canonical rank if it is to be
    interpreted on the low exegetical conception that it is an earthly
    love-poem. It will not do to say that this is a dispute about the
    authorship of a book, and that the authorship of a book is of small
    moment. I have already stated how much more is involved. But the
    references to the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy, not only by
    Peter and Paul (Acts iii. 22; Rom x. 6; x. 19), but by the Lord
    Jesus Christ himself (Matt. xix. 8), are so express and definite
    that the denial of that one accredited fact tends to shake the
    inspiration of many other books of Scripture which explicitly assert
    or imply it. In conclusion, I regret that the committee, fettered by
    the interpretation which they have put upon their functions, have
    not sent up with their report a strong recommendation to the
    Assembly to deal effectually with the negative and destructive
    opinions brought to light in Professor Smith’s articles as wholly
    inconsistent with our recognized doctrines, and contrary to the
    genius of every Reformed Presbyterian church. This is the first
    instance that has occurred in any Scottish church of an attack on
    the genuineness of any book of Scripture on the part of an
    office-bearer within the church. And the question now raised, and
    which must be decided one way or other, is whether the negative
    criticism, with the rationalistic theology which uniformly goes
    along with it, is to claim a legitimate position within the pale of
    the Free Church of Scotland? To that I cannot consent. The
    Continental churches, having neither our spiritual independence nor
    our Scriptural discipline, can be no guide to us in this matter.
    Under the control of the state, they are obliged to allow all manner
    of latitudinarian opinions, and have ceased to put forth any
    ecclesiastical testimony on great questions. We have what they want,
    and are bound to call the spiritual independence and Scriptural
    discipline, which are our distinctive privilege, into active
    exercise or the side of the divine authority of Scripture.
    Unfaithfulness or weak concession at this juncture would allow two
    classes of professors, students, and preachers antagonistic to each
    other, and end in the long run, as all such false alliances must
    end, in an ultimate separation between the rationalistic and
    evangelical elements, as incapable of existing together. Any man of
    long views, or who has looked into the history of the church, must
    see this; and, therefore, in the exercise of that inherent authority
    which we possess, the church must at once nip these opinions in the
    bud, and do so effectually. On one point I have not the shadow of a
    doubt. An attack on the genuineness and authority of Scripture,
    whether dignified by the title of the higher criticism or prompted
    by the lower scepticism, ought never to be permitted within the
    church on the part of any office-bearer. We can keep criticism
    within its proper limits, and this occasion may have been permitted
    to occur that we may show to other churches how we can act in the
    exercise of our independent jurisdiction.”

These bold and true words of Dr. Smeaton had no effect upon the decision
of the committee; and, so far as that decision goes, it must now be
taken for granted that it is _not_ heresy for a minister of the
Presbyterian Church to teach that portions of the Holy Scriptures are
fictitious, supposititious, fraudulent, and deceptive. By the same
decision the Free Church of Scotland has “rendered inspiration incapable
of vindication or defence,” and has placed it within the power of the
enemies of revelation to say that a Christian church permits a
theological teacher to represent Scripture as an inspired fabrication.
It might have been expected, however, that this decision would have been
received with horror and consternation by the Bible-loving laity of
Scotland. The very contrary has proved to be the case, and the only
reproof which the committee seems to have received is in the nature of a
reproach for their weak affectation of disapproval of Professor Smith’s
heresies while really sympathizing with them. The ministers of the Free
Church of Scotland are wholly dependent upon the laity for their
support, and the control of the laity over them is far-reaching, if it
be not absolute. The decision in the case of Professor Smith would have
been different had not the laity of the church long since ceased, in a
great measure, to cherish that reverence for the written Word which
distinguished their ancestors. The Edinburgh _Scotsman_ expresses its
belief that there will be “very extensive satisfaction” at the decision
of the committee, and confidently assumes that “it will ultimately
become the collective judgment of the Free Church.” Dr. Smeaton, it
says, is the one member of the committee belonging to the old orthodox
party in the church—“a party whose diminishing numbers entirely preclude
the possibility of any view springing out of their turn of mind
successfully asserting itself against the influence of the majority that
has enjoyed so long and mollifying an experience in turning closed into
open questions.” Open questions! The inspiration and authenticity of the
Bible have become an open question among the Scotch Presbyterians, with
the probability that it will soon be decided by a verdict against the
book. The _Scotsman_ ridicules the committee for pretending to regard
Professor Smith’s position with “grave concern” while they themselves
“substantially sympathize with him,” or else know that so many of the
people agree with him that to prosecute him for heresy would be
dangerous.

Nor is it the Free Church of Scotland alone which has thus, to all
appearance, lost its faith in the Scriptures and in the “Standards.” The
Rev. David Macrae, of Gourock, one of the most talented and popular
ministers of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, declared
recently in the presbytery of that body that he and very many—almost
all—of his fellow-ministers had ceased to believe, and in some cases to
preach, the traditional creed of the church. He, for one, was henceforth
resolved to be honest, and was determined no longer to profess what he
had ceased to believe, but the majority of his brethren, he thought,
would continue for some time to be hypocrites. “The relation of the
clergy to the Standards was not an honest one,” he said; “the professed
was not the actual creed of the church; our church is professing one
creed while holding, and to a large extent preaching, another. I am
determined to strike a blow, even though it should be my last, to
liberate the church I love from the tyranny of a narrow creed and the
hypocrisy of a professed adherence to it.”

The lapse of the Scotch Presbyterians into infidelity may seem to be a
startling event, but it was inevitable. If the Bible could have saved
them, they would have been safe; but the Bible in itself never yet saved
any one, for God did not ordain that it should be written and preserved
for that purpose. The Bible, indeed, points out the way to salvation; it
is a finger-post directing men to the gate of heaven, but it is not that
gate itself, nor even the key which opens it. All non-Catholic sects are
certain, sooner or later, to lead their adherents to that pit of
perdition on the brink of which the Scotch Presbyterians now seem to be
standing—the blind lead the blind, and both fall into the ditch. The
Catholic Church in Scotland is small and weak; it is only within a very
few years that her growth there has been at all perceptible, and the
hierarchy has not been re-established there since it was swept away by
the Reformation. But the rapid decline of Scotch Protestantism into
practical infidelity may have a favorable effect upon the interests of
the church. The really pious of the people—and there are many such—may
now begin to turn their eyes towards the living Teacher of God’s word,
and listen to her unerring voice; and when they enter her fold they can
say that they have abandoned the church of their fathers in order to
return to the church of their forefathers.



                  HOW PERCY BINGHAM CAUGHT HIS TROUT.


One lovely evening towards the end of the month of June, 187-, an
outside car jingled into the picturesque little village of
Ballynacushla. The sun had set in a flood of golden glory; purple
shadows wooed midsummer-night dreams on crested hill and in hooded
hollow; a perfumed stillness slept upon the tranquil waters of the
Killeries, that wild but beauteous child of the Atlantic, broken only by
the shrill note of the curlew seeking its billow-rocked nest, or the
tinkle of the sheep-bell on the heather-clad heights of
Carrignagolliogue. Lights like truant stars commenced to twinkle in
lonely dwellings perched like eyries in the mountain clefts, and night
prepared to don her lightest mourning in memory of the departed day.

The rickety vehicle which broke upon the stillness was occupied by two
persons—a handsome, aristocratic-looking young man attired in
fashionable tourist costume, and the driver, whose general “get-up”
would have won the heart of Mr. Boucicault at a single glance.

“That’s a nate finish, yer honner,” he exclaimed, as, bringing a wheel
into collision with a huge boulder which lay in the roadway, he decanted
the traveller upon the steps of the “Bodkin Arms” at the imminent risk
of breaking his neck.

The “Bodkin Arms,” conscious of its whitewash and glowing amber thatch,
stood proudly isolated. Its proprietor had been “own man” to Lord
Clanricarde, and scandal whispered that a portion of the contents of
“the lord’s” cellar was to be found in Tom Burke’s snuggery behind the
bottle-bristling bar.

The occupant of the car was flung into the arms of an expectant waiter,
who, true to the instincts of that remarkable race, had scented his prey
from afar, and calmly awaited its approach. This Ganymede was attired in
a cast-off evening dress-coat frescoed in grease; a shirt bearing traces
of the despairing grasp of a frantic washerwoman; a necktie of the
dimensions of a window-curtain, of faded brocade; and waistcoat with
continuations of new corduroy, which wheezed and chirruped with every
motion of his lanky frame. His nose and hair vied in richness of ruby,
and his eyes mutely implored every object upon which they rested for a
sleep—or a drink.

“You got my note?” said the traveller interrogatively.

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir.” Of course they had it. The post in the
west of Ireland is an eccentric institution, which disgorges letters
just as it suits itself, and without any particular scruple as to dates.

“Have you a _table d’hôte_ here?”

This was a strange sound, but the waiter was a bold man.

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir! Would you like it hot, sir?”

“Hot! Certainly.”

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir! With a taste of lemon in it?”

“I said—Pshaw! Is dinner ready?” said the traveller impatiently.

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir; it’s on the fire, sir,” joyously responded
the relieved servitor, although the fowls which were to furnish it were
engaged in picking up a precarious subsistence at his very feet, and the
cabbage to “poultice” the bacon flabbily flourishing in the adjoining
garden.

“Get in my traps and rods”—the car was laden with fishing-tackle of the
most elaborate description. “Have you good fishing here?”

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir—the finest in Ireland. Trouts lepping into
the fryin’-pan out of the lake foreninst ye. The marquis took twoscore
between where yer standing and Fin Ma Coole’s Rock last Thursday; and
Mr. Blake, of Town Hill—more power to him!—hooked six elegant salmon in
the pool over, under Kilgobbin Head.”

“I want change of a sovereign.”

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir—change for a hundred pound, sir. This way,
sir. Mind yer head in regard of that flitch of bacon. It gave Captain
Burke a black eye on Friday, and the county inspector got a wallop in
the jaw that made his teeth ring like the bell in the middle o’ Mass.”
And he led the way into the hotel.

The charioteer, after a prolonged and exciting chase through several
interstices in his outer garment, succeeded in fishing up a
weather-beaten black pipe, which he proceeded to “ready” with a care and
gravity befitting the operation.

“Have ye got a taste o’ fire, Lanty Kerrigan?” addressing a diminutive
personage, the remains of whose swallow-tailed frieze coat were
connected with his frame through the medium of a hay-rope, and whose
general appearance bore a stronger resemblance to that of a scarecrow
than a man and a brother. “I’m lost intirely for a _shough_. The
forriner [the stranger] wudn’t stand smokin’, as he sed the tobaccy was
infayrior, but never an offer he med me av betther.”

“Howld a minnit, an’ I’ll get ye a hot sod.” And in less than the time
specified Lanty returned with a glowing sod of turf snatched from a
neighboring fire.

“More power, Lanty!” exclaimed the car-driver, proceeding to utilize the
burning brand. “Don’t stan’ too nigh the baste, _avic_, or she’ll be
afther aiting yer waistband and lavin’ ye in yer buff.”

“What soart av a fare have ye, Misther Malone?” asked Lanty, now at a
respectful distance from the mare.

“Wan av th’ army—curse o’ Crummle an thim!—from the barrack beyant at
Westpoort.”

“Is it a good tack?”

“I’ve me doubts,” shaking his head gravely and taking several wicked
whiffs of his _dhudheen_. “He’s afther axin’ for change, an’ that luks
like a naygur.”

“Thrue for ye, Misther Malone! Did ye rouse him at all?” asked the other
in an anxious tone. He expected the return of the “forriner” and was
taking soundings.

“Rouse him! Begorra, ye might as well be endayvorin’ to rouse a griddle.
I’m heart scalded wud him. I soothered him wud stories av the good
people, leprechauns, an’ banshees until I was as dhry as a cuckoo.”

“Musha, thin, he must be only fit for wakin’ whin _you_ cudn’t rouse
him, Mickey Malone.”

“I’d as lieve have a sack o’ pitaties on me car as—” He stopped short
and plunged the pipe into his pocket, as the object of the discussion
suddenly appeared upon the steps.

“Here is a sovereign for the car and half a sovereign for yourself,”
exclaimed the young officer, tossing the coins to the expectant Malone.

“Shure you won’t forget the little mare, Captain?”

“Forget her? Not likely, or you either, Patsey.”

“Ye’ll throw her a half a crown for to dhrink yer helth, Major?”

“Drink my health? What do you mean?”

“Begorra, she’d take a glass o’ sperrits wud a gauger, Curnil; an’ if
she wudn’t I wud. Me an’ her is wan, an’ I’ve dacent manners on my side,
so I’ll drink yer honner’s helth an’ that ye may never die till yer
fit.”

“That sentiment is worth the money,” laughed the traveller, tossing the
half-crown in the air and disappearing into the hotel.

“Well, be the mortial frost, Misther Malone,” cried Lanty Kerrigan in an
enthusiastic burst of admiration, “but yer the shupayriorest man in
Connemara.”

Percy Bingham, of the —th Regiment of the Line, found Westport even more
dreary than the Curragh of Kildare. From the latter he could run up to
Dublin in the evening, and return next morning for parade, even if he
had to turn into bed afterwards; from Westport there was nothing to be
done but the summit of Croagh Patrick or a risky cruise amongst the
three hundred little islands dotting Clew Bay. “_Lasciate ogni speranza
voi ch’entrate_” was written upon the entrance to the town. All was
dreariness, dulness, and desolation, empty quays, ruined warehouses, and
squalid misery. The gentry, with few exceptions, were absentees, and
those whom interest or necessity detained in the country spent “the
season” in London or Dublin, returning, with weary hearts and empty
pockets, to the _exile_ of their _homes_, there to vegetate until spring
and the March rents, wrung from an oppressed tenantry, would enable them
to flit citywards once more. To Bingham, to whom London was the capital
of the world, and the United Service Club the capital of London, this
phase in his military career was a horrid nightmare. Born and bred an
Englishman, he had been educated to regard Ireland as little better than
a Fiji island, and considerably worse than a West African station; and,
filled to the brim with Saxon prejudice, he took up his Irish quarters
with mingled feelings of disgust and despair. An ardent disciple of
Izaak Walton, he clung to the safety-valve of rod and reel, avenging his
exclusion from May Fair and Belgravia by a wicked raid upon every
trout-stream within a ten-mile radius of the barracks, and, having
obtained a few days’ leave of absence, arrived at Ballynacushla for the
purpose of “wetting his line” in the saucy little rivers that joyously
leap into the placid bosom of the land-locked Killeries.

“So my dinner is ready _at last_,” exclaimed Bingham pettishly. A good
digestion had waited two mortal hours on appetite.

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir!” replied the waiter. “A little derangement
of the cabbage, sir, lost a few minutes, but” cheerily “we’re safe and
snug now anyway. There’s darling chickens, sir! Look at the lovely
bacon, sir! Survey the proportions of the cabbage, sir!” And rubbing his
napkin across his perspiring brow, he gazed at the viands, and from the
viands to the guest, in alternate glances of admiration and respect.

“Have you a _carte_?”

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir—two of them; likewise a shay and a covered
car.”

“A wine carte, I mean.”

“No, sir; we get the wine from Dublin in hampers.”

Percy Bingham forgot that he was not in an English inn where the waiters
discuss vintages and prescribe peculiar brands of dry champagne.

“What wines have you?”

“We’ve port wine, sir, and sherry wine, sir, and claret wine, sir, and
Mayderial wine, sir,” was the reply, run off with the utmost rapidity.

“Get me a bottle of sherry!”

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir.”

In a few minutes the gory-headed factotum returned with the wine, and,
uncorking it with a tremendous flourish of arm, napkin, head, and hair,
deliberately poured out an overflowing glassful of the amber-colored
fluid, and drained it off.

“What the mischief do you mean?” demanded the young officer angrily. “I
wanted for to make _certain_ that your honner was getting the right
wine.” And placing the bottle at Percy Bingham’s elbow, he somewhat
hastily withdrew.

The gallant warrior enjoyed his chicken and bacon and “wisp of cabbage.”
The waiter had made his peace by concocting with cunning hand a tumbler
of whiskey-punch, hot, strong, and sweet, which Bingham proceeded to sip
between the whiffs of a Sabean-odored Lopez. Who fails to build castles
upon the creamy smoke, as it fades imperceptibly into space, wafting
upwards aspirations, wishes, hopes, dreams—rare and roseate shadows,
begotten of bright-eyed fancy? Not Percy Bingham, surely, seated by the
open casement, lulled by the murmuring plash of the toying tide, gazing
forth into the silent sadness of the gray-hooded summer night. He had
lived a butterfly life, and his thoughts were of gay parterres and
brilliant flowers. “Of hair-breadth 'scapes i’ the imminent deadly
breach” he knew nothing. His game of war was played in the boudoir and
drawing-room; his castle was built in May Fair, his châtelaine an ideal.
The chain of his meditation was somewhat rudely snapped asunder by an
animated dialogue which had commenced in some remote region of the
hotel, and which was now being continued beneath the window whereat he
reclined. The waiter had evidently been engaged in expostulating with
Lanty Kerrigan.

“Don’t run yer head against a stone wall, Lanty _avic_. Be off to
Knockshin, and don’t let the grass grow under yer feet!”

“Faix, it’s little ould Joyce wud think av me feet; it’s me back he’d be
lukkin for, an’ a slip av a stick. Sorra a step I’ll go.”

“Miss Mary must get her parcel anyhow.”

“Let her sind for it, thin, av she’s in sich a hurry.”

“An’ so she did. Get a lind av a horse, Lanty.”

“Sorra a horse there’s in the place, barrin’ an ass.”

“Wirra! wirra! She’ll take the tatch off the roof; the blood of the
Joyces is cruel hot.”

“Hot or cowld, I’m not goin’ three mile acrass the bogs—-”

“_You_ could coax it into two be manes av a sup, Lanty.”

“Sorra a coax, thin. Coax it yerself, sence yer so onaisy.”

“What’s the row?” asked Percy Bingham from the window.

“It’s in regard to a parcel for Miss Joyce, yer honner,” replied Lanty,
stepping forward.

“And who is Miss Joyce?” said Percy, intensely amused.

“O mother o’ Moses! he doesn’t know the beautifullest craythur in the
intire cunthry,” exclaimed Lanty, hastily adding: “She’s the faymale
daughther av ould Miles Joyce, of Knockshin beyant, wan av the rale owld
anshient families that kep’ up Connemara sence the times av Julius
Saysar.”

“And you have a parcel for her?”

“Troth, thin, I have, bad cess to it! It kem up Lough Corrib, an’ round
be Cong, insted of takin’ the car to Clifden, all the ways from Dublin,
in a box as big as a turf creel. It’s a gownd—no less—for a grate party
to-night; an’, begorra, while _it’s_ lyin’ here they’re goin’ to stay at
Frinchpark.”

“It’s too bad,” thought Bingham, “to have the poor girl sold on account
of the laziness of this idle rascal. Her heart may be set upon this
dress. A new ball-dress is an epoch in a young girl’s existence, and a
ball dress in this out-of-the way place is a fairy gift. _Hinc illæ
lachrymæ!_ How many hopes cruelly blasted, how many anticipated
victories turned into humiliating defeat. If it were not so late—By
Jove! it shall _not_ be.” And yielding to a sudden impulse, Percy
Bingham ordered Kerrigan to start for Knockshin.

“It’s five mile, yer honner, an’—”

“There is sixpence a mile for you. Go!” And in another instant the
parcel-laden Lanty had taken to the bog like a snipe.

Percy Bingham attacked his breakfast upon the following morning with a
gusto hitherto unknown to him. “I wonder did that girl”—he had forgotten
her name—“get the dress in time? I hope so. How fresh these eggs are! I
wonder if she’s as pretty as that ragamuffin described her? These salmon
cutlets are perfection. I must have a look at her, at all events. 'Pon
my life! those kidneys are devilled to a grain of pepper. This ought to
be a good trout day. One more rasher. By George! if the colonel saw me
perform this breakfast, he’d make me exchange into the heavies.”

Lighting a cigar and seating himself upon a granite boulder by the edge
of the inlet, the purple mountains shutting him in from the world, he
proceeded to assort his flies and to “put up” his casts.

“Musha, but yer honor has the hoighth av decoys!” observed Lanty
Kerrigan, touching the dilapidated brim of his caubeen, and seating
himself beside him. There is a masonry amongst the gentle craft which
levels rank, and “a big fish” will bring peer and peasant cheek by jowl
on terms of the most familiar intercourse.

“Yes, that’s a good book,” said Percy, with a justifiable pride in his
tone. The colors of the rainbow, the ornithology of the habitable globe,
were represented within its parchment folds. “This ought to be a good
day, Lanty.”

“Shure enough,” looking up at the sky. “More betoken, I seen Finnegan’s
throut as I come acrass the steppin’-stones there below.”

“Finnegan’s trout! What sort of a trout is that?” asked the officer.

“Pether Finnegan was a great fisher in these parts, yer honor. Nothin’
cud bate him. He’d ketch a fish as shure as he wetted a line, an’ no
matther how cute or cunnin’, he’d hav thim out av the wather before they
cud cry murther. But there was wan ould throut of shupayrior knowledge
that was well fed on the hoighth av wurrums an’ flies, an’ he knew
Pether Finnegan, an’, begorra, Pether knew _him_. They used for to stand
foreninst wan another for days an’ days, Pether flappin’ the wather, an’
th’ ould throut flappin’ his tail. 'I’ll hav ye, me man,’ sez Pether.
'I’ll have ye, av I was to ketch ye in me arms like a new born babe',
sez he. 'I never was bet be a man yet,’ sez he, 'an’ be the mortial I’m
not goin’ for to be bet be a fish.’ So he ups, yer honor, an’, puttin’ a
cupple o’ quarts o’ whiskey in his pockets for to keep up his heart, he
ups an’ begins for to fish in airnest an’ for the bare life. First he
thried flies, an’ thin he thried wurrums, an’ thin he thried all soarts
av combusticles; but th’ ould throut turned up his nose at the entirety,
an’ Pether seen him colloguerin’ wud the other throuts, an’ puttin’ his
comether on thim for to take it aisy an’ lave Pether’s decoys alone.
Well, sir, Pether Finnegan was a hot man an’ aisy riz—the heavens be his
bed!—an’ whin he seen the conspiracy for to defraud him, an’ the young
throuts laffin’ at him, he boiled over like a kittle, an’ shoutin’,
'I’ll spile yer divarshin,’ med a dart into the river. His body was got,
the bottles was safe in his pockets, but, be the mortial frost, th’ ould
throut got at the whiskey an’ dhrank it every dhrop.”

“I must endeavor to catch him,” laughed Percy Bingham.

“Ketch him!” exclaimed Lanty indignantly. “Wisha, _you_ wudn’t ketch
him, nor all the fusileers an’ bombardiers in th’ army wudn’t ketch him,
nor th’ ould boy himself—the Lord be betune us an’ harm!—wudn’t ketch
him. He’s as cute as the say-sarpint or the whale that swallied Juno.”

“What do the trout take best here?” asked Bingham, whose preparations
were nearly completed, his rod being set up and festoons of
casting-lines encircling his white felt hat.

“Wurrums is choice afther a flood; dough is shupayrior whin they’re
leppin’ lively; but av all the baits that ever consaled a hook there’s
non aiquail to corbait—it’s the choicest decoy goin’. A throut wud make
a grab at a corbait av the rattles was in his troath an’ a pike grippin’
him be the tail.”

Lanty Kerrigan was told off as cicerone, guide, philosopher, and friend.

“I suppose I am safe in fishing these rivers. No bailiff or hinderance?”
asked Percy Bingham of the landlord of the “Bodkin Arms.”

“There’s no wan to hinder you, sir; so a good take to you,” was the
reply. “I hope ye won’t come across old Miles Joyce, for if ye do
there’ll be wigs on the green,” he added under his breath as he turned
into the bar.

              A cook it was her station,
              The first in the Irish nation.
    Wud carvin’ blade she’d slash away to the company’s admiration,

sang Lanty Kerrigan, prolonging the last syllable—a custom with his
class—into a kind of wail, as he merrily led the way through a narrow
mountain pass, inaccessible save to pedestrians, in the direction of the
fishing-ground. It was a sombre morning. Nature was in a meditative
mood, and forbade the prying glances of the sun. The white mists hung
like bridal veils over hill and dale, mellowing the dark green of the
pine-trees and the blue of the distant Atlantic, occasionally visible as
they pursued their zigzag, upward course. A light breeze—“the angler’s
luck”—gently fanned the cheek, and the sprouting gorse and tender ferns
were telling their rosaries on glittering beads of diamond dew.

“This is Lough Cruagh, yer honor, an’ there’s the boat; av ye don’t
ketch the full av her, it’s a quare thing.” The lake, a pool of
dark-brown water, lay in the lap of an amphitheatre of verdureless,
grim, gaunt-looking mountains. It was a desolate place. No living thing
broke upon the solitude, and the silence was as complete as if the
barren crags had whispered the single word “hush” and awaited the awful
approach of thunder. A road ran by the edge of the lake, but it was
grass-grown and showed no sign of traffic, not even the imprint of a
horse’s foot.

“Now she’s aff,” cried Lanty, seizing the oars. “Out wud yer flies, an’
more power to yer elbow.”

The sport was splendid. No sooner had his tail-fly touched the water
than an enormous trout plunged at it with a splash like that of a small
boy taking a header, and away went the line off the reel as though it
were being uncoiled by machinery—up the lake, down the lake, across the
lake; now winding in, now giving the rod until it bent like a whip; now
catching a glimpse of the fish, now fearing for the line on the bottom
rocks.

“If the gut howlds ye’ll bate him, brave as he is,” exclaimed Lanty
Kerrigan in an ecstasy of apprehension.

The fish was taking it quietly—_il faut reculer pour mieux
sauter_—preparing for another effort. Percy Bingham wiped the
perspiration from his brow; his work was cut out for him.

“Now’s the time for a dart o’ sperrits,” said Kerrigan, dexterously
shipping his oars and unfastening the lid of the hamper. “Ye won’t, yer
honner?”—Bingham had expressed dissent. “Well, begorra, here’s luck, an’
that it may be good,” pouring out a dropsied glassful and tossing it
off. “That’s shupayrior,” with a smack; “its warmin’ me stomick like a
bonfire! Whisht!” he added in an alarmed whisper, “who the dickens is
this is comin’ along the road?”

A mail phaeton, attached to a pair of spanking grays, came swiftly
and silently along the grass-grown causeway. An elderly,
aristocratic-looking man was driving, and beside him sat a young and
beautiful girl. “Be the hokey! we’re bet; it’s ould Miles Joyce
himself,” cried Lanty Kerrigan.

“Is that Miss Joyce, the young lady to whom you took the box last
night?” asked Percy somewhat eagerly.

“Och wirra! wirra! to be shure it is, an’ that same box is our only
chance now.”

“Pull nearer shore, Lanty,” said the young officer, who was very anxious
for a stare. “Good style,” he muttered. “Tight head, delicious plaits,
Regent Street hat—_ma foi!_ who would think of meeting anything like
this in a devil’s punchbowl? Pull _into_ shore, man,” he testily cried.

“Shure I’m pullin’ me level best.”

“Not _that_ shore, you idiot. Pull for the carriage.” Lanty was
straining in the opposite direction.

“Are ye mad, sir?” whispered Kerrigan. “I wudn’t face ould Joyce this
blessed minit for a crock o’ goold.”

The carriage drew up, and the driver in an authoritative voice shouted:
“Bring that boat here.”

“We’re bet; I tould you so,” gasped Lanty, reluctantly heading the boat
in the direction of the carriage. A few strokes brought them to the
beach.

Percy Bingham raked up his eye-glass and gazed ardently at Mary Joyce,
who returned the stare with compound interest. Irish gray eyes with
black, sweeping lashes, hawthorn-blossoms on her brow, apple-blossoms on
her cheeks, rose-buds on her lips, purple blood in her veins, youth and
grace and modesty hovering about her like a delicious perfume.

“May I ask by whose authority you are fishing here?” Mr. Joyce was pale,
and suppressed anger scintillated in his eyes. There are a great many
things to be done with impunity in Connemara, but poaching is the seven
deadly sins rolled into one. “Thou shalt not fish” is the eleventh
commandment. Bingham felt the awkwardness of his position at a glance,
and met it like a gentleman.

“I cannot say that I am here by any person’s authority. I am stopping at
the 'Bodkin Arms’—”

“Och murther! murther! howld your whisht,” interposed Lanty in a hoarse
whisper.

“Silence, fellow!” cried Bingham. “I am stopping at the 'Bodkin Arms,’
and, upon asking the proprietor if there was any hinderance to my
fishing, he replied that there was none. I ought, perhaps, to have been
more explicit with him.”

“Av coorse ye shud,” interrupted Lanty.

“And I can only say”—here he stared very hard at Mary Joyce—“that it
mortifies me more than I can possibly express to you to be placed in
this extremely painful position.”

“Do not say one word about it,” said Mr. Joyce in a courteous tone.
“With the proprietor of the 'Bodkin Arms’ I know how to deal, and with
you too, Lanty Kerrigan.” Lanty wriggled in the boat till it rocked
again. “But as for you, sir, all I can say is that I regret to have
disturbed your fishing, and I wish you very good sport.” And he bowed
with haughty politeness.

“I thank you very much for your courtesy,” bowed Bingham, who had by
this time landed from the boat, “but I shall no longer continue an
intruder.” And seizing his rod, he snapped it thrice across his knee and
flung it into the lake.

It was Mary Joyce’s bright eyes that led him to this folly—he wanted to
be set right with her.

“Oh! how stupid,” she exclaimed, starting to her feet.

“Thrue for ye, miss,” added Lanty—“two-pound tin gone like a dhrink, an’
an illigant throut into the bargain.”

“A wilful man must have his way,” said Mr. Joyce; “but I hope, sir, that
you will afford me an opportunity of enabling you to enjoy a day’s sport
in better waters than these.” And lifting his hat, he waved an adieu as
the fiery grays plunged onwards and out of sight.

And Mary Joyce! Yes, that charming little head bent to him, those
sweeping lashes lifted themselves that the glory of her gray eyes might
be revealed to him, the rose-bud lips had dropped three perfumed petals,
three insignificant little words, “Oh! how stupid”; and these were the
first words in the first chapter of Percy Bingham’s first love.

He found the following note awaiting him at the hotel:

    “KNOCKSHIN, June 28.

    “Mr. Joyce will be happy if Mr. Bingham will take a day on
    Shauraunthurga—Monday, if possible—as Mr. J. intends fishing upon
    that day. A salmon rod and flies are at Mr. Bingham’s disposal.

    “—— BINGHAM, ESQ.”

Percy Bingham sent a polite acknowledgment and acceptance, and wished
for the Monday. It was very late that night when the warrior returned to
his quarters. He had been mooning around Mary Joyce’s bower at
Knockshin.

“What Masses have you here, Foxey?” asked Bingham of the waiter, whose
real name was Redmond, but to whom this appellation was given on account
of the color of his hair.

“The last Mass is first Mass now, sir. Father James is sick, and Father
Luke, a missioner, is doing duty for the whole barony.”

“Is Mr. Joyce, of Knockshin, a Catholic?” This in some trepidation.

“Yes, sir, _of_ course, sir—wan of the ould stock, sir; and Miss Mary,
his daughter, sir, plays the harmonicum, sir, elegant.”

“What hour does Mass commence?”

“That’s the first bell, sir, but they ring two first bells always.”

Percy Bingham belonged to a family that had held to the faith when the
tide of the Reformation was sweeping lands, titles, and honors before
it. He fought for the Catholic cause when it became necessary to strike
a blow; and as he was the only “popish” officer in the regiment, his
good example developed into a duty.

Just as he arrived at the church door the Joyce carriage drew up. Mr.
Joyce handed out his daughter. The gray eyes encountered those of the
young officer, who lifted his hat. Such a smile!—a sunbeam on the first
primrose of spring.

“I was glad to get your note, Mr. Bingham. Could you manage to come over
to breakfast? Military men don’t mind a short march.” And Mr. Joyce
shook hands with him.

“Am I to have the pleasure of hearing Miss Joyce’s harmonium to-day?”
asked Percy.

“No; Miss Joyce’s harmonium has a sore throat.”

Poor Bingham struggled hard to say his prayers, to collect his wandering
thoughts. He was badly hit; the ruddy archer had sent his arrow home to
the very feathers. He humbly waited for a glance as Miss Joyce drove
away after Mass, and he got it. He was supremely happy and supremely
miserable.

The “missioner,” a young Dominican, very tall and very
distinguished-looking, crossed the chapel yard, followed by exclamations
of praise and admiration from _voteens_ who still knelt about in
picturesque attitudes: “God be good to him!” “The heavens open to him!”
“May the saints warm him to glory!” while one old woman, who succeeded
in catching the hem of his robe, exclaimed enthusiastically:

“Och, thin, but it’s yerself that knows how to spake the word o’ God;
it’s yerself that’s the darlint fine man. Shure we never knew what sin
was till ye come amongst us.”

Percy Bingham found Knockshin a square-built, stone mansion, with a
“disinheriting countenance” of many windows, surrounded by huge elms
containing an unusually uproarious rookery. A huge “free classic” porch
surmounted a set of massive steps, supported by granite griffins
grasping shields with the Joyce arms quartered thereon. A lily-laden
pond, encircled by closely-shaven grass sacred to croquet, stood
opposite the house, and a pretentious conservatory of modern
construction ran along the greater portion of one wing.

The gallant warrior, regretting certain London-built garments reposing
at Westport, arrayed himself in his “Sunday best,” and, being somewhat
vain of his calves, appeared in all the woollen bravery of
Knickerbockers and Highland stockings.

Miss Joyce did the honors of the breakfast-table in white muslin and
sunny smiles. Possessing the air of a high-born dame, there was an Irish
softness, like the mist on the mountains, that imparted an indescribable
charm to all her movements, whilst a slight touch of the brogue only
added to the music of a voice ever soft, gentle, and low.

Percy, who could have talked like a sewing-machine to Lady Clara Vere de
Vere, found his ideas dry up, and, when violently spurred, merely
develop themselves in monosyllables. He had rehearsed several bright
little nothings which were to have been laid like _bonbons_ at her feet.
Where were they now?

She knew some men in the service—Mr. Poynter in the Rifles. Did he know
Mr. Poynter, who danced so well, talked so charmingly, and was _so_
handsome? Yes, he knew Poynter, and hated him from that moment. Did he
know Captain Wyberts of the Bays, the Victoria Cross man whom she had
met at the Galway Hunt Ball? He knew Wyberts, and cursed the luck that
placed no decoration upon _his_ tunic but a silken sash.

“By the way, you _must_ be the gentleman who interested himself in my
toilet on Friday night. Lanty Kerrigan spoke burning words in your
favor, if _you_ are the _preux chevalier_. Are you?”

“I assure you, Miss Joyce, I didn’t know who you were at the time, when
the blackguards seemed lazy about your parcel.”

“If you had known me, would that have made any difference, Mr. Bingham?”
she asked laughingly.

“It would.”

“In what way?”

“I would have thrashed Lanty Kerrigan and have brought the parcel
myself.” He threw so much earnestness into this that the red blood
flushed up to the roots of Mary Joyce’s rich brown hair. “I must see to
my tackle,” she said in a confused way.

“Are you an angler, Miss Joyce?”

“Look at my boots”—a pair of dainty, dumpy little things such as
Cinderella must have worn on sloppy days when walking with the prince,
with roguish little nails all over the soles crying, “Stamp on us; we
like it,” and creamy laces fit for tying up bride-cake.

“By Jove!” exclaimed Percy Bingham, and that was all he was able to
reach at that particular moment. He thought afterwards of all he could
have said and—didn’t.

A walk of half a mile brought them to the Shauraunthurga, or “Boiling
Caldron,” whose seething waters dashed from rock to rock, and boiled in
many whirlpools as it rushed madly onwards to the wild Atlantic.

What did Bingham care about the fishing? Not a dump. He stood by _her_
side, set up _her_ cast, sorted _her_ flies, spliced the top joint of
_her_ rod, and watched with feverish anxiety the eccentric movement of
_her_ gorgeous decoy, as it whirled hither and thither, now on the
peat-brown waters, now in the soap-suds-like foam.

“_Bravissima!_ Splendidly struck!” he cried with enthusiastic delight—he
felt inclined to pat her on the back—as the young Galway girl, with
“sweet and cunning” hand, hooked her fish with the _aplomb_ and
dexterity of a Highland gillie. “Give him line, plenty of rope, and mind
your footing!”

“A long hour by Shrewsbury clock” did Mary Joyce play that salmon. Her
gloves were torn to shreds, her hat became a victim to the
Shauraunthurga, her sheeny hair fell down her shoulders long below her
waist, her boasted boots indicated eruptive tendencies, but the plucky
girl still held on. “Let me alone, please,” she would cry as her father
or Bingham tendered their services; “I’m not half-tired yet.” The color
in her cheeks, the fire in her eye, the delicate nostril expanded, the
undulating form—the British subaltern saw all this, and almost envied
the fish, inasmuch as it was her centre point of interest.

“The landing-net! Quickly! I have him now!”

Percy Bingham darted forward, caught his foot in the gnarled root of a
tree, and plunged headforemost into the boiling waters. An expert
swimmer, he soon reappeared and swam towards the bank, still grasping
the net. Finding his right arm powerless, and having succeeded in
gaining footing, he placed the net beneath the fish, which with a bound
sprang clear, and, breaking the line that Miss Joyce had slackened in
her anxiety for the safety of her guest, was, in an exhausted condition,
floundering down the stream, when Percy, by a supreme effort, clasped it
fiercely in his left arm and flung himself on to the bank.

“_Your_ fish after all. But you look ill, Mr. Bingham—dreadfully ill,”
cried the agitated girl. “Your arm—”

“Is broken,” he said.

Assisted by Mr. Joyce and his daughter, and with the fractured limb in a
sling constructed of handkerchiefs and fishing-line, poor Bingham
returned to the house. He fought bravely against the pain, and attempted
one or two mournful jokes upon the subject of his mishap; but every step
was mortal anguish, and he expected to feel the serrated edges of the
bones sawing out through his coat-sleeve.

“I must insist upon being permitted to return to my hotel, Mr. Joyce,”
said Percy Bingham when they had arrived.

“If you want _every_ bone in your body broken, you’ll repeat that again,
Bingham. Here is a room ready for you, and here, in the nick of time, is
Doctor Fogarty.”

“I cotch him at the crass-roads,” panted the breathless messenger whom
Mr. Joyce had despatched in quest of the bone-setter.

“A broken arm, pooh hoo! And so it is—an elegant fracture, pooh hoo! You
did it well when you went about it. Lend me your scissors, Miss Mary,
and tear up a sheet into bandages. I’ll soon set it for him, pooh hoo!
Ay, wince away, _ma bouchal_; roar murdher, and it will do you good,
pooh hoo! Some splints now. Fell into the river, pooh hoo! After a
salmon. You landed him like a child in arms. I forgive you, pooh hoo!
I’ve room for the fish in me gig, and broiled salmon is—pooh hoo! That’s
it; the arm this way, as if ye were goin’ to hit me. Well done, pooh
hoo! _Ars longa est_; so is your arm—an elegant biceps, pooh hoo! Now,
sir, tell me if there’s a surgeon-major in the whole British army,
horse, foot, and dragoon, that could set your arm in less time, pooh
hoo?” and the doctor regarded the swathed and bandaged limb with looks
of the profoundest admiration.

“I shall want to get to barracks—”

“Ne’er a barracks will ye see this side of Lady Day; so make your mind
easy on that score, pooh hoo! Keep in bed till I see you again, pooh
hoo! I’ll order you something to take about bed-time, but it _won’t_ be
whiskey-punch, pooh hoo!” And the genial practitioner pooh-hoo’d out of
the apartment.

How delightful is convalescence—that dreamy condition in which the
thoughts float upwards and the earthly tenement is all but etherealized!
Percy Bingham, as he reclined upon a sofa at an open window, through
which the perfume of flowers, the hum of summer, with the murmur of the
rolling Shauraunthurga, stole like strains of melody, lay like one
entranced, languidly sipping the intoxicating sweets of the hour,
forgetful of the past, unmindful of the future. The events of the last
few days seemed like a vision. Could it be possible that he would
suddenly awake and find himself in the dismal walls of his quarters at
Westport, far, far away from chintz and lace and from _her_? No; this
was _her_ book which lay upon his lap; that bouquet was culled by _her_
fair hands; the spirited sketch of a man taking a header spread-eagle
fashion was from _her_ pencil and must be sent to _Punch_. She was in
everything, everywhere, and, most of all, in the inner sanctuary of his
heart.

He had not seen much of her—a visit in the morning like a gleam of
sunlight; a chat in the gloaming, sweet as vesper-bell; occasional
badinage from the garden to his window, and that was all. How could he
hope to win her, this peerless girl, this heiress of the “Joyce
country,” whose gray eyes rested upon mead and mountain, lake and
valley, her rightful dower? He sickened at the thought. Had she been
poor, he would woo, and perhaps—It was not to be. He had tarried till it
was too late; he had cut down the bridge behind him, burned his boats,
and he must now ford the river of his lost peace of mind as best he
might.

Days flew by, and still the young officer lingered at Knockshin. Like
the fairy prince in the enchanted wood, he could discover no exit.
Croquet had developed into short strolls, short strolls into long walks,
long walks into excursions. His arm was getting strong again. Mr. Joyce
talked “soldier” with him. He had been in the Connaught Rangers, and
went through pipe-clay and the orderly book with the freshness of a
“sub” of six weeks’ standing. Mary—what did she speak about? Anything,
everything, nothing. Latterly she had been eloquently silent, while
Percy Bingham, if he did not actually, might have fairly, counted the
beatings of his heart as it bumped against his ribs. They spoke more at
than to each other, and when their eyes met the glance was withdrawn by
both with electrical rapidity. It was the old, old story. Why repeat it
here?

“Mary, Jack Bodkin, your old sweetheart, is coming over for a few days’
fishing,” exclaimed Mr. Joyce one morning upon the arrival of the
letter-bag.

Miss Joyce blushed scarlet—a blush that will not be put off; a blush
that plunges into the hair, comes out on the eyelids, and sets the ears
upon fire—and Percy Bingham, as she grew red, became deadly white. The
knell had rung, the hour had come.

“This is from the colonel,” extending a letter as he spoke, the words
choking him, “and—and I must say good-by.”

“Sorry for it, Bingham, but duty is duty. No chance of an extension?”
asked Joyce.

“None, sir.”

And _she_ said not a word. There was crushing bitterness in this. Mr.
Bodkin’s arrival blotted out _his_ departure. Would that he had never
seen Knockshin or Mary! No, he could not think that, and, now that he
was about to leave her, he felt what that severance would cost him.

The car was waiting with his _impedimenta_, and he sought her to say
farewell. She was not in the conservatory or drawing-room, and as a last
chance he tried the library. Entering noiselessly, he found Mary Joyce
leaning her head upon her hands, her hands upon the mantel-piece and
sobbing as if her heart would break.

“I beg your pardon!” he stammered. “Is—is—anything the—”

“A bad toothache,” she burst in passionately, without looking up.

What could he do? What could he say?

“I—I—do not know how to apologize for—for—intruding upon your
anguish”—the words came very slowly, swelling, too, in his throat—“but I
cannot, _cannot_ leave without wishing you good-by and thanking _you_
for the sunniest hours of my life.”

“You—you are g-going, then?” without looking round.

“I go to—to make room for Mr. Bodkin.”

She faced him. Her eyes were red and swollen, but down, down in their
liquid depths he beheld—something that young men find once in a
lifetime. He never remembered what he did, he never recollected what he
said, but the truth came out as such truths will come out.

“And to think that you first learned of my existence through the medium
of a pitiful ball-dress!” she said, glowing with beautiful happiness.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“I shall not require the car,” said Percy Bingham an hour later,
throwing Lanty Kerrigan a sovereign.

“Bedad, ye needn’t have tould me,” exclaimed Lanty with a broad grin. “I
seen yez coortin’ through the windy.”



  PROF. YOUMANS _v._ DR. W. M. TAYLOR ON EVOLUTION AND THE COPERNICAN
                                THEORY.


The _Popular Science Monthly_, conducted by Mr. E. L. Youmans, labors
hard (December, 1876) to support the assertion made by Professor Huxley
that evolution is already as well demonstrated as the Copernican theory.
This assertion had been refuted by the Rev. Dr. William M. Taylor in a
letter to the New York _Tribune_, and it is against a portion of this
letter that Mr. Youmans strives to defend Mr. Huxley’s evolutionary
views. We ourselves have given a short refutation of Professor Huxley’s
lectures on evolution,[16] and we had no intention to revert to the same
subject; but since opposite writers are unwilling to acknowledge defeat,
but pretend, on the contrary, that their opponents do not make a right
use of logic, it may be both instructive and interesting to inquire what
kind of logic is actually used in this controversy by the evolutionists
themselves.

Footnote 16:

  See THE CATHOLIC WORLD for February, 1877, page 616.

“It is significant,” says Mr. Youmans, “that nearly all the divines who
have spoken in reply to Prof. Huxley commit themselves to some form of
the doctrine of evolution.” This statement is not correct. Divines
admit, as they have ever admitted, the development of varieties within
the same species; but the pretended evolution of one species from
another they have never admitted, and they do not look upon it as
admissible, even now. There may be some exception, for divines are still
human and may be imposed upon by false science; but the truth is that
those among them who have replied to Prof. Huxley never meant to “commit
themselves” to any form of the doctrine of evolution as presented by
him. They admit, as Mr. Youmans remarks, “that there is _some_ truth in
it”—which is by no means strange, as false theories have often been
evolved from undeniable facts; but they raise “a common protest against
the idea that it contains _much_ truth,” which shows that these divines
were quite unwilling to commit themselves to the doctrine. Hence it is
plain that, if the conduct of these divines is “significant,” it does
not signify a yielding disposition, but the contrary.

Prof. Huxley had said that the evidence for the theory of evolution is
demonstrative, and that it is as well based in its proofs as the
Copernican theory of astronomy. “This,” says Mr. Youmans, “is thought to
be quite absurd. It is said that Huxley may know a great deal about
animals and fossils, but that obviously he knows very little about
logic. His facts being admitted, a great deal of effort has been
expended to show that he does not understand how to reason from them.”
We agree with the critics here alluded to, that Prof. Huxley’s assertion
concerning the demonstrative character of his proofs is “quite absurd.”
As to his knowledge of logic, there might perhaps be two opinions; for a
man may know logic, and make a wilful abuse of it; but it is more
charitable to assume that his illogical conclusions proceed from
ignorance rather than malice. After all, we are not concerned with the
person of the professor, but with his lectures; and, whatever logic he
may know, his lectures are certainly not a model of logical reasoning.
The passage which Mr. Youmans extracts from Dr. Taylor’s letter, and
which he vainly endeavors to refute, is as follows:

    “Indeed, to affirm, as he [Prof. Huxley] did, that evolution stands
    exactly on the same basis as the Copernican theory of the motions of
    the heavenly bodies, is an assertion so astounding that we can only
    'stand by and admire’ the marvellous effrontery with which it was
    made. That theory rests on facts presently occurring before our
    eyes, and treated in the manner of mathematical precision. It is not
    an inference made by somebody from a record of facts existing in
    far-off and pre-historic, possibly also pre-human, ages. It is
    verified every day by occurrences which happen according to its
    laws. But where do we see evolution going on to-day? If evolution
    rests upon a basis as sure as astronomy, why do we not see one
    species passing into another now, even as we see the motions of the
    planets through the heavens?... We know that astronomy is true,
    because we are verifying its conclusions every day of our lives on
    land and on sea. We set our clocks according to its conclusions, and
    navigate our ships in accordance with its predictions; but where
    have we anything approaching even infinitesimally to this, with
    evolution?”

Mr. Youmans remarks that the author of this passage is said to be a man
of eminence and ability. “That may be,” he adds, “but he certainly has
not won his distinction either in the fields of logic, astronomy, or
biology.” To prove this, he makes the following argument:

    “When a man undertakes to state the evidence of a theory, and gives
    us proofs that equally sustain an opposite theory, we naturally
    conclude that he does not know what he is talking about. This is
    very much Dr. Taylor’s predicament. In trying to contrast the
    evidence for evolution with the demonstrative proofs of the
    Copernican theory, he cites facts that are not only as good, but far
    better, to prove the truth of its antagonist, the Ptolemaic theory.”

Our readers will probably ask how it is possible to prove that a thing
is black by the very facts which prove, even better, that the thing is
white? That certain facts may be insufficient to prove either the one or
the other of two opposite theories every one will admit; but that facts
which are good to prove the movement of the earth are even better to
prove its immobility, is what Mr. Youmans alone has the privilege of
understanding.

Dr. Taylor, in his argument against Prof. Huxley, assumed the truth of
the modern astronomical theory, and said that this theory was proved by
facts presently occurring before our eyes; which is not the case with
the hypothesis of evolution. But, as he did not mention in particular
those facts which are considered to constitute the most irrefragable
proof of the theory, his silence about them is interpreted by Mr.
Youmans as an effect of ignorance. It is not our affair to defend Dr.
Taylor; but we think that this interpretation is unfair. The reverend
doctor was not writing a treatise of astronomy; he was simply stating a
known doctrine, of which it was not his duty to make the demonstration.
On the other hand, even if we admitted that the reverend doctor knows
but little of astronomy, we do not see that this would weaken his
argument; for, whether he knows much or nothing in this branch of
science, it remains true that the Copernican theory is proved “by facts
presently occurring before our eyes”—which is not the case with the
hypothesis of evolution. It is to this truth that Mr. Youmans should
have given his attention, if he desired “to win any distinction in the
field of logic”; but his peculiar logic shrank from this duty, and
prompted him to prefer a gratuitous denunciation of his opponent.

Mr. Youmans pretends that Dr. Taylor “talks as if the Copernican theory
is something that anybody can see by looking up in the sky.” Dr.
Taylor’s words do not admit of such a nonsensical construction. The
Copernican theory, he says, “rests on facts presently occurring before
our eyes, and treated in the manner of mathematical precision.” This
obviously means that the Copernican theory is based on both observation
and calculation. Now, surely Mr. Youmans will not maintain that we can
find mathematical formulas and make astronomical calculations by simply
“looking up in the sky.”

He goes on to say that the Ptolemaic theory was the fundamental
conception of astronomy; that it guided its scientific development for
two thousand years; that it was based on extensive, prolonged, and
accurate observations; that it was elucidated and confirmed by
mathematics; that it was _verified_ by confirming the power of
astronomical prevision; and that the planetary motions were traced and
resolved on this theory with great skill and correctness, elaborate
tables being constructed, which represented their irregularities and
inequalities, so that their future positions could be foretold, and
conjunctions, oppositions, and eclipses predicted.

These and similar remarks of the scientific editor would tend to prove
that the Congregation of the Holy Office had very good and substantial
grounds for condemning the heliocentric theory, and that Galileo was a
visionary; for the theory which he impugned was “confirmed by
mathematics,” and “verified by confirming the power of astronomical
prevision.” We are quite sure, however, that this is not what Mr.
Youmans intended to prove; and yet it does not appear why he should fill
a column of his magazine with such a panegyric of a defunct theory. We
concede—and the fact has never been disputed—that astronomy owes an
immense debt to the ante-Copernican investigators for their careful
observations and laborious calculations; but we do not see how this has
anything to do with Dr. Taylor’s criticism. Had the reverend doctor
denied that there was any real knowledge of astronomy before Copernicus,
his critic might have been justified in trying to enlighten him about
the merits of the Ptolemaic astronomers; but Dr. Taylor had not
committed himself on this point, and therefore had no apparent need of
being enlightened on the subject. The information, consequently, which
Mr. Youmans volunteers to offer him is superfluous, not to say
impertinent, and, inasmuch as it professes to be an argument, is a
complete failure; for it aims at proving what no one has ever denied.

But the scientific editor in giving his needless information commits
another blunder, which we could hardly expect from a man of science, by
affirming that the Ptolemaic theory “was elucidated and confirmed by
mathematics.” Mathematics confirmed nothing but the order and quality of
the phenomena, and the law of their succession. Before Kepler and Newton
no mathematics could decide whether the sun revolved around the earth or
the earth around the sun. Astronomical phenomena were known, but this
knowledge was a knowledge of facts, not of their explanation. The
Ptolemaic hypothesis was not inconsistent with the facts then observed,
but it was _assumed_, not _verified_. If such a theory had been
verified, its truth would be still recognized, and the Copernican theory
would have had no chance of admission. But evidently it is not the
theory that has been verified, but only the apparent movements of
celestial bodies. Thus “the elaborate tables” by which the future
positions of the planets could be foretold prove indeed the accuracy of
ancient astronomical observations and calculations, but they are no
evidence that the geocentric theory was correct.

Mr. Youmans informs us, also, that “Copernicus did not abolish, but
rather revised, the old astronomy.” If the words “old astronomy” are
taken to express merely the knowledge of celestial phenomena, we have
nothing to reply; but if those words be understood to mean the Ptolemaic
theory, the assertion is ridiculous. Indeed, Copernicus, as Mr. Youmans
says, “simply recentred the solar system”; that is, he simply put the
sun, instead of the earth, in the centre of the planetary orbits.
Nothing but that. But who does not see that to give a new centre to the
solar system was to suppress the old centre, and therefore to _abolish_
the geocentric theory? Why Mr. Youmans should labor to insinuate the
contrary we cannot really understand. Dr. Taylor, against whom he
writes, had said nothing concerning either the personal views of
Copernicus or the old system of astronomy, but had simply maintained
that the so-called Copernican theory, as mentioned by Prof. Huxley, and
as understood by all—that is, as perfected by Kepler, Newton, and
others—stands to-day on such a basis of undeniable facts that we can no
longer hesitate about its truth. This statement might have been
contradicted two centuries ago; but we fancy that it ought not to give
rise to the least controversy on the part of a modern cultivator of
science, however much determined to find fault with his opponent.

Dr. Taylor had said, as we have noticed, that the Copernican theory
“rests on facts presently occurring before our eyes.” Mr. Youmans
answers: “So does the Ptolemaic theory; and not only that, but, if the
test is what occurs before our eyes, then the Ptolemaic theory is a
thousand times stronger than the Copernican.” If this answer expresses
the real opinion of Mr. Youmans, we must conclude that he alone, among
physicists, is ignorant of the fact that terrestrial gravitation is
modified by the centrifugal force due to the rotation of the earth, and
that this fact is established by experiments which “occur before our
eyes” when we make use of the pendulum in different latitudes. What
shall we say of the aberration of light? Is not this phenomenon a proof
of the movement of the earth? Or does it not “occur before our eyes”?
Mr. Youmans may say that these facts do not occur before all eyes, but
only before the eyes of scientific men. But Dr. Taylor had not
maintained that all the facts connected with the Copernican theory occur
before all eyes; and, on the other hand, Foucault’s pendulum, even
though oscillating before unscientific eyes, makes visible to the
dullest observer the shifting of the horizontal plane from its position
at a rate proportional to the sine of the latitude of the place, thus
showing to the eye the actual movement of our planet. It is true,
therefore, that the Copernican theory “rests on facts presently
occurring before our eyes.”

But, if the Copernican theory is so obvious, “why,” asks Mr. Youmans,
“did the astronomers of twenty centuries fail to discern it? Why could
not the divines of Copernicus’ time see it when it was pointed out to
them? And why could not Lord Bacon admit it a hundred years after
Copernicus?” The _why_ is well known. The Copernican theory was at first
nothing more than a hypothesis; and its truth, even after Kepler and
Newton, was still in need of experimental confirmation. Had Lord Bacon
or the divines of Copernicus’ time seen what we see with our eyes in
Foucault’s experiment, there is little doubt that they would have
recognized at last the truth of the new theory. But let this suffice
about the certitude of the Copernican theory.

The second part of Mr. Youmans’ article regards the theory of evolution.
This theory assumes that the immense diversity of living forms now
scattered over the earth has arisen from gelatinous matter through a
long process of gradual unfolding and derivation within the order of
nature (that is, without supernatural interference) and by the operation
of natural laws. Mr. Youmans says that this theory “is built upon a
series of demonstrated truths.” This assertion would have some weight,
if such a building had not been raised in defiance of logic; but we have
already shown that Prof. Huxley’s _Three Lectures on Evolution_ teem
with fallacies most fatal to the cause he desired to uphold. Hence,
while we admit that “demonstrated truth” is a very solid ground to build
upon, we maintain that not a single demonstrated truth can be logically
alleged in support of the theory of evolution. But let Mr. Youmans speak
for himself:

    “It is a fact accordant with all observation, and to which there
    never has been known a solitary exception, that the succession of
    generations of living things upon earth is by reproduction and
    genetic connection in the regular order of nature. The stream of
    generations flows on by this process, which is as much a part of the
    settled, continuous economy of the world as the steady action of
    gravity or heat. It is demonstrated that living forms are liable to
    variations which accumulate through inheritance; that the ratio of
    multiplication in the living world is out of all proportion to the
    means of subsistence, so that only comparatively few germs mature,
    while myriads are destroyed; that, in the struggles of life, the
    fittest to the conditions survive, and those least adapted perish.
    It is a demonstrated fact that life has existed on the globe during
    periods of time so vast as to be incalculable; that there has been
    an order in its succession by which the lowest appeared first, and
    the highest have come last, while the intermediate forms disclose a
    rising gradation. It is a demonstrated truth of nature that matter
    is indestructible, and that, therefore, all the material changes and
    transformations of the world consist in using over and over the same
    stock of materials, new forms being perpetually derived from old
    ones; and it is a fact now also held to be established that force
    obeys the same laws. All these great truths harmonize with each
    other; they agree with all we know of the constitution of nature;
    and they demonstrate evolution as a fact, and go far toward opening
    to us the secondary question of its method.”

These are, according to Mr. Youmans, the “demonstrated truths” on which
the theory of evolution has been built, and which, according to the same
writer, “demonstrate evolution as a fact.” We think, on the contrary,
that the only fact demonstrated by this passage is the blindness
(voluntary or not) of a certain class of scientists. A cursory
examination of it will suffice to convince all unprejudiced men that
such is the case.

That the stream of generations flows on “by reproduction and genetic
connection in the regular order of nature” is indeed a fact accordant
with all observation, and to which there never has been known a solitary
exception; but all observation proves that the regular order of nature
in generation is confined within the limits of the species to which
parents belong. This precludes the possibility of drawing from this fact
any conclusion in favor of evolution.

That living forms “are liable to variations, which accumulate through
inheritance,” is _not_ a demonstrated fact. We see, on the contrary,
that all such accidental variations, instead of accumulating, tend to
disappear within a few generations, whenever they cease to be under the
influence of the agencies to which they owe their origin. But let us
admit, for the sake of argument, that all living forms are liable to
variations which accumulate through inheritance; then we ask whether all
such variations are confined within the limit of each species, or some
of them overstep that limit. If they are confined within that limit, the
fact proves nothing in favor of the evolution of species. If, on the
contrary, any one says that they overstep that limit, then the fact
itself needs demonstration; for it has never been observed. Therefore to
argue from this fact in favor of evolution is to beg the question. We
have no need of dwelling on Mr. Youmans’ statement that the ratio of
multiplication in the living world is out of all proportion to the means
of subsistence, so that only comparatively few germs mature, while
myriads are destroyed. The statement is true; but it has nothing to do
with the theory of evolution. That, in the struggles of life, the
fittest to the conditions survive, is another fact which does not in the
least bear out the theory. For the fittest among animals are those which
enjoy the plenitude of their specific properties, and which, therefore,
are best apt to transfuse them into their offspring whole, unmixed, and
unimpaired.

We are told, also, that life has existed during periods of time so vast
as to be incalculable. This we admit. But then, in the succession of
life, there has been an order, “by which the lowest appeared first, and
the highest have come last, while intermediate forms disclose a rising
gradation.” This, too, we may admit, though not without reservations;
for Prof. Huxley himself confesses that numerous intermediate forms do
not occur in the order in which they ought to occur if they really had
formed steps in the progression from one species to another; for we find
these intermediate forms mixed up with the higher and the lower ones “in
contemporaneous deposits.” But, even supposing that the lowest forms
precede the highest, what evidence would this be in favor of evolution?
The order of succession may indeed prove that the lower forms existed
before the higher forms were created; but it does not show that the
lower forms are the parents of the higher. This is merely assumed by the
evolutionists as a convenient substitute for proof; that is, they first
assume that evolution is a fact, and then conclude that the fact of
evolution is established.

Lastly, that matter is indestructible, and that therefore all the
material changes and transformations of the world consist in using over
and over the same stock of materials, is a doctrine which has no special
bearing on the question. When a new individual of any living species is
generated, its organism is indeed formed out of old matter; but this had
no need of demonstration. What our evolutionists ought to show is that
new individuals of a certain species have been generated by individuals
of some other species; and this surely cannot be shown by a recourse to
the indestructibility of matter. That matter is indestructible is,
however, a groundless assertion. For though natural forces cannot
destroy it, God, who has created it, and who keeps it in existence, can
always withdraw his action, and let it fall into its primitive
nothingness. And as to the so-called “fact” now also held to be
established, that “force obeys the same laws”—that is, that force is
indestructible, and that new forms of force are perpetually derived from
old ones—we need only remark that the theory of transformation of
forces, as held and explained by our advanced scientists, is but a
travesty of truth, and an impotent effort to upset the principle of
causality. Neither statical nor dynamical forces are ever transformed.
Indeed, they have no form attached to them. What our modern physicists
call “transformation of force” is nothing but the change of one kinetic
phenomenon into another—that is, a succession of modes of movement of
various kinds. Now, modes of movement are modes of being, not of force,
though they are the measure of the dynamical forces by which they have
been produced. The force with which any element of matter is endowed is
constantly the same, both as to quality and as to quantity. Its exertion
alone, owing to a difference of conditions, admits of a higher and a
lower degree of intensity. As we do not intend at present to write a
treatise on forces, we will only add that the forces of matter are
exercised on other matter by transient action, but cannot perform
immanent acts calculated to modify their own matter. If they could do
this, matter would not be inert. Hence animal life, which requires
immanent acts, cannot be accounted for by the forces of matter. And
therefore, whatever our scientists may say about the conservation of
energy and the transformation of forces, they have no right to infer
that animal life can be evolved out of matter alone; and they have still
less right to pretend that such is “the fact.”

What shall we say, then, of Mr. Youmans’ assertion that the alleged
reasons “demonstrate evolution as a fact”? We must say, applying Dr.
Taylor’s words to the case, that the assertion is “so astounding that we
can only 'stand by and admire’ the marvellous effrontery with which it
has been made.” A man of Mr. Youmans’ ability can scarcely be so
ignorant of logic as not to see that his reasons demonstrate evolution
neither as a fact nor as a probability, and not even as a possibility;
but when a man succeeds in blinding himself to the existence of a
personal God, and substitutes nature in the place of her Creator, we
need not be surprised if his logic turns out to be a clumsy attempt at
imposition.

Dr. Taylor had asked why we do not see one species passing into another,
even as we see the motions of the planets through the heavens. The
question was pertinent; for Prof. Huxley had maintained that “evolution
rests on a basis as sure as astronomy.” Mr. Youmans answers: “To this
foolish question, which has nevertheless been asked a dozen times by
clerical critics of Huxley, the obvious answer is that what requires a
very long time to produce cannot be seen in a very short time.” We think
that the question was not _foolish_, and that the answer of Mr. Youmans
is a mere evasion. For, if evolution is a fact, we must find numerous
traces of it not only in the fossil remains, but also in the actual
economy of nature. If the bird is evolved from the lizard, there must be
actually among living creatures a numerous class of intermediate forms,
some more, others less developed, exhibiting all the stages of
transformation through which the lizard is gradually developed into a
bird. Thus, because the acorn develops into the stately oak, we find in
nature oaks of all the intermediate sizes; and because babyhood develops
into manhood, we find in nature individuals of all intermediate ages. In
like manner, if the evolution of one species from another is not a
fable, we must find in nature specimens of all the intermediate forms.
Dr. Taylor’s question was, therefore, most judicious. That Mr. Youmans’
reply to it is a mere evasion a little reflection will show; for the
length of time required for the process of transformation would only
prove that the intermediate forms must remain longer in existence;
whilst the fact is that such forms do not exist at all.

“There has been much complaint,” says Mr. Youmans, “that Prof. Huxley
undertook to put the demonstrative evidence of evolution on so narrow a
basis as the establishment of the genealogy of the horse; but this
rather enhances than detracts from his merit as a scientific thinker.”
Here the case is misstated. Had Prof. Huxley really demonstrated
evolution by the genealogy of the horse, no one would have complained
that the basis was too narrow; but as it became manifest that the basis
was not only narrow but questionable, and that it afforded no evidence
whatever of evolution, it was thought that it required a “marvellous
effrontery” on the part of Prof. Huxley to maintain before the American
public that the genealogy of the horse gave “demonstrative evidence” of
evolution. This is the reason why there has been so much complaint.
Prof. Huxley simply insulted his audience when he asked them to believe
that evolution was a demonstrated fact.

Mr. Youmans tells us that the vital point between Prof. Huxley and his
antagonists is the question of the validity of the conception of order
and uniformity in nature. “Prof. Huxley holds to it as a first
principle, a truth demonstrated by all science, and just as fixed in
biology as in astronomy. His antagonists hold that the inflexible order
of nature may be asserted perhaps in astronomy, but they deny it in
biology. They here invoke supernatural intervention.” This statement is
utterly false. There is no question about the order and uniformity of
nature; and it is not to Prof. Huxley or to modern science that we are
indebted for the knowledge of this uniformity either in astronomy or in
biology; the world has ever been in possession of this indisputable
truth. The real question between Prof. Huxley and his antagonists is
that nature, according to the professor, is independent in its being and
in its working, and has an inherent power of fostering into existence a
series of beings of higher and higher specific perfection, from the
speck of gelatinous matter even to man; whereas nature, according to the
professor’s antagonists, and according to science, revelation, and
common sense, is not independent either in its being or in its working,
and has no inherent power of forming either a plant without a seed or an
animal without an ovum of the same species. If Prof. Huxley had had any
knowledge of that part of philosophy which we call metaphysics, and
which our advanced scientists affect so much to despise because they
cannot cope with it, he would have seen the absurdity of his assumption;
and if Mr. Youmans had consulted the rules of logic, he would not have
said that the “uniformity of nature” was with Prof. Huxley a “first
principle”; it being evident that uniformity clashes with evolution,
which is a change of forms.

The last argument of the editor of the _Popular Science Monthly_ in
behalf of evolution is as follows:

    “Obviously there are but two hypotheses upon the subject—that of
    genetic derivation of existing species through the operation of
    natural law, and that of creation by miraculous interference with
    the course of nature. If we assume the orderly course of nature,
    development is inevitable: it is evolution or nothing. If the order
    of nature is put aside and special creation appealed to, we have a
    right to ask, On what evidence?... There is no evidence. There is
    not a scintilla of proof that can have a feather’s weight with any
    scientific mind.... Has anybody ever seen a special creation?”

We answer, first, that even if it were true that “there is no evidence”
in support of the _creation_, it would not follow that there is any
evidence, either scientific or of any other kind, in support of the
_evolution_ of one species from another. Indeed, in spite of all the
efforts of “advanced” thinkers, we have not yet been furnished with “a
scintilla of proof that can have a feather’s weight” with a
philosophical mind; on the contrary, we have been informed by no less an
authority than Mr. Huxley that “no connecting link between the crocodile
and the lizard, or between the lizard and the snake, or between the
snake and the crocodile, or between any two of these groups,” has yet
been found—a fact which, if not destroyed by further discoveries, is “a
strong and weighty argument against evolution,” as the professor
confesses. Hence it is evident that the existing palæontological
specimens, far from proving the theory, form a strong and weighty
objection against it. The consequence is that, even if we had no
evidence of the creation of species, it would yet be more reasonable to
accept creation, against which no objection can be found, than to accept
evolution.

But we are far from conceding that the creation of species is
unsupported by evidence of a proper kind. Mr. Youmans may laugh at the
Bible; but we maintain that the Biblical record constitutes historical
evidence. He may also laugh at philosophical reasoning, for his mind is
too “scientific” to care for philosophy; but we believe that
philosophical evidence is as good, at least, as any which can be met
with in the _Popular Science Monthly_. Animals have a soul, which
elicits immanent acts; they know, they feel, they have passions; and, if
we listen to some modern thinkers, they have even intelligence and
reason. Now, matter is essentially inert, and therefore cannot elicit
immanent acts. Hence animals are not mere organized matter; and
accordingly they cannot be evolved from matter alone. Their soul must
come from a higher source; it must be created. Science has nothing to
say against this; it can only state its ignorance by asking: “Has
anybody ever seen a special creation?” Of course nobody has; but there
are things which are seen by reason with as great a clearness as
anything visible to the eye; and this is just the case with creation. On
the other hand, why should Mr. Youmans pretend that creation must be
seen to be admitted, when he admits evolution, though he has never seen
it? If seeing is a condition for believing, why did he treat as
_foolish_ Dr. Taylor’s question concerning the passing of one species
into another? Why did he ask: “Has the writer ever seen the production
of a geological formation?” Surely, if evolution were proved to be a
fact, we would admit it, without having seen it; but, since it is
creation, not evolution, that has been shown to be a fact, we are
compelled to admit it, even though nobody has had the privilege of
seeing the event.

When Mr. Youmans declares that “there is not a scintilla of proof” (in
favor of special creations) “that can have a feather’s weight with any
scientific mind,” he evidently assumes that no scientific mind has
existed before our time; which is more than even Huxley or Darwin would
maintain. But infidel science is equally blind to the scientific merit
of its antagonists, and to the blunders which it is itself daily
committing. Thus Mr. Youmans, no doubt to show that he has a “scientific
mind,” speaks of the derivation of species “through the operation of
natural law”—a phrase which has no meaning; for law is an abstraction,
and abstractions do not operate. Nor is it more “scientific” to assume
that the creation of species was “a miraculous interference with the
course of nature”; for the course of nature required the creation of
species, just as it now requires the creation of human souls for the
continuance of humanity; and God cannot be said to have interfered with
the course of nature by doing what nature required but could not do. Is
it any more “scientific” to write _Nature_ with a capital letter? Of
course, if there is no God, nature is all, and atheists may write it
_Nature_. Mr. Youmans does not tell us clearly that there is no God; but
he shows clearly enough that to his mind _Nature_ is everything; which
is, in fact, a virtual denial of a personal God. If we were to inform
him that nature is only a servant of God, he would perhaps ask, “On what
evidence?” And because we would be unable to point out a chemical
residuum or a geologic formation wherein God could be made visible to
him, he would conclude that “there is no scintilla of proof that can
have a feather’s weight with a scientific mind.” He then assumes that in
the orderly course of nature the evolution of species is “inevitable.”
It did not occur to his scientific mind that before making such an
assertion, it was necessary to examine how far the powers of nature
extend; for he might have discovered that matter is inert, and that it
was a great blunder to assume that inert matter produced animal life.

He further supposes that when special creations are appealed to, “the
order of nature is put aside.” He therefore pretends that the order of
nature would not allow of the creation of plants and animals, evidently
because it was nature’s duty to perform without extrinsic intervention
all those wonderful works which we attribute to the wisdom and
omnipotence of the Creator. We maybe unscientific; but we defy Mr.
Youmans to show, either scientifically or otherwise, the truth of his
assumption. To tell us that the evolution of life from dead matter was
within the order of nature, without even attempting to prove that nature
had a power adequate to the task, is just as plausible as to tell us
that Prof. Huxley has created the Niagara Falls or that Mr. Darwin has
painted the moon. And yet the author of such loose statements airs his
scientific pretensions and speaks of “scientific minds”!

We have no need to follow Mr. Youmans any further; for what he adds
consists of assumptions cognate to those we have already refuted.
“Genetic derivation,” he says, “is in the field as a real and undeniable
cause”—which is an open untruth. “Has anybody seen a special creation?”
This is irrelevant. “Do those who believe in a special creation
represent to themselves any possibility of how it could have occurred?”
Probably they do, if they have read the first chapter of Genesis.
“Milton attempted to form an image of the way the thing was done, and
says that the animals burst up full-formed and perfect like plants out
of the ground—'the grassy clods now calved.’ But clods can only calve
miraculously.” Quite so; but we must not be afraid of miracles, when we
cannot deny them without falling into absurdities. “Nature does not
bring animals into the world now by this method, and science certainly
can know nothing of it.” Yes; but there are many other things of which
infidel science is ignorant. And yet we fancy that, when animals have
been once created, even infidel science might have discerned that their
procreation no longer required “the grassy clods to calve.”

But enough. We conclude that, so far from being possible, so far from
being probable, so far from being proved, the hypothesis of the origin
of animal forms by evolution is simply unthinkable; it is a violation
not only of the order of nature, but of the very condition of thought
and of the first principle of science, which is the principle of
causality. When will our scientific men understand that there is no
science without philosophy?



          A WAIF FROM THE GREAT EXHIBITION, PHILADELPHIA, 1876


    “Their store-houses full, flowing out of this into that.

    “They have called the people happy that hath these things: but happy
       is that people whose God is
    the Lord.”—Ps. cxliii.


I.


    With face storm-lined and bronzed, no longer young,
      That seemed as if its soul’s dim life had grown
      On lonely farm, in rugged inland town
    Lying, a narrow world, bleak hills among,
    A stranger gazed amid the wealth and glare
      Of all the nations’ gathered industry
      Where rose the light, symmetric tracery
    Of Munich’s altars worked in colors fair;
    Where good St. Joseph with the lilies stood;
      And soft-eyed martyr with her branch of palm,
      And full, sweet lips smiling with happy calm,
    Seemed beaming witness 'mid the multitude
    Of glittering toys and earth’s huge, unworked store,
    Of nobler purpose man’s life resting o’er.


II.


    Here stretched its naked arms the blessèd Rood,
      Whose desolation eloquent below
      God’s Mother sat in soundless deeps of woe,
    Her sad knees holding all her earthly good.
    Here stood the stranger with a look intent
      Wherein no light of recognition woke,
      As if he read in some strange-lettered book.
    Then, asking what these unguessed figures meant,
    An answer came: “Our Lord, dead 'neath the Cross.”
      “Ah! yes, and that is Mary, I suppose—
      The Mother.” Ah! what wondering thoughts uprose
    To die in silence, winning so some loss,
    Perchance, unto two lives. Sweet Mother, pray
    That soul accuse not mine on judgment day!


III.


    So strange and sad the simple question seemed;
      As if on those far hills God’s voice had built,
      Upon those souls for whom his blood was spilt
    Some shadow rested, amid which scarce gleamed
    The mournful splendor by his dark Cross thrown:
      As if stern life grew but more hard and bare,
      Missing the presence of the Maiden rare
    Whose God made her unstained flesh his own;
    Who held him on her arms a helpless child,
      With love no mother ever knew before;
      Holding, when Calvary’s dread hours were o’er,
    The Man of Sorrows where her Babe had smiled—
    Her arms the cradle of the Almighty One,
    Her arms His spotless shroud, life’s labor done.


IV.


    Alas! such faith to men denied who grope
      Half in a fear begotten not of love,
      Half in cold doubt, seeking all things to prove,
    To none hold fast, with whom divinest hope
    Holds naught more excellent than earth’s to-days;
      For whom in vain doth Israel’s lily bloom,
      With its white sunshine lighting hours of gloom,
    Shining 'mid thorns that seek to crush its grace—
    So dimming the broad rays of love divine
      With earthly shadow cast on earthly things
      That folded keep their gift of heavenly wings,
    Lest, soaring, they lose sight of lesser shrine
    Lest, heart so kindling with the Spirit’s fire,
    Feet lowly tread that eyes be lifted higher.


V.


    Slow turning through the glimmering aisles to range,
      Amid the hum the loitering footsteps wrought
      I lost the questioning face, but not the thought
    Of that dim life, to which the night seemed strange
    Of Calvary’s God, to whom all life is owed—
      That clouded life wherein Faith’s pure sunshine
      Casts faintest gleam of its strong light divine
    That strengthens soul, makes fair the daily load.
    Far down the hall full notes of organ poured,
      And broke in song strong voices manifold;
      Glad alleluias all exultant rolled,
    As if proclaiming on each soaring chord:
    “Happy the people of this wealth possessed!”
    Nay, Happy they whom God the Lord hath blessed.



                        ENGLISH RULE IN IRELAND.


                                  II.


The present condition of a people is the latest phase of a life that has
run through centuries, in all the events of which there may be traced
the relation of cause and effect, and whose continuity has never been
interrupted, though at times the current may seem to leave its channel,
or even to disappear. The past never dies, but with each succeeding
moment receives a fuller existence, survives as a curse or a blessing.
The passion which urges the human mind back to ages more and more
remote, until the gathering darkness shuts out even the faintest glimmer
of light, is not mere curiosity, nor even the inborn craving for
knowledge; rather is it the consciousness that those ancient times and
far-off deeds still live in us, mould us, and shape our ends. We were
with Adam when he plucked and ate the forbidden fruit, and that his act
should work in us yet, like a taint in the blood, seems to be a
postulate of reason not less than a truth of tradition or revelation.
The cherishing of great names, the clinging to noble memories, the use
of poetry, music, sculpture, painting, architecture, or any art, to give
form and vividness to glories, heroisms, martyrdoms, are but the
expression of this consciousness that the present is only the fuller and
more living past. No vanity, much less scorn or hate, should prompt any
one to lift into the light the glory or the shame of a people’s history.
As we tread reverently on the ground where human passions have contended
for the mastery, we should approach with religious awe the facts which
have made the world what it is.

There are many persons, who certainly have no prejudices against the
Irish people, many true and loyal Irishmen even, who strongly object to
the prominence given to the sorrows and sufferings of Ireland. They
would have us forget the past and turn, with a countenance fresh and
hopeful as that of youth, to the future. Sydney Smith, full of English
prepossessions but an honest lover of liberty, who labored as earnestly
and fearlessly as any man of his generation in behalf of the wronged and
defenceless, could not restrain his impatience when he thought of the
fondness with which Irishmen cling to old memories and sacred
associations. In his opinion the object of all government is roast
mutton, potatoes, claret, a stout constable, an honest justice, a clear
highway, and a free chapel. “What trash,” he exclaimed, “to be bawling
in the streets about the Green Isle, the Isle of the Ocean, the bold
anthem of _Erin go bragh_! A far better anthem would be, Erin go bread
and cheese, Erin go cabins that will keep out the rain, Erin go
pantaloons without holes in them.”

This may be very well, but we are persuaded that there is not an abuse
or an evil in Ireland to-day which has not its roots in the remote past,
or which can be understood or remedied without a knowledge of Irish
history.

The bold anthem of _Erin go bragh_, which so provoked Sidney Smith, is
the thread that leads us through the labyrinth. It is because the Irish
are not English that England is neither able nor willing to treat them
justly; and if she has rendered herself guilty of the greatest social
crime in all history, it is because she has clung for centuries with
terrible obstinacy to a policy which left the people of Ireland no
alternative between denationalization and extermination. When in England
the national spirit dominated and absorbed the religious spirit, the
Irish, who had so long maintained their separate nationality, adhered
with invincible firmness to the old faith. This was imputed to them as a
crime, and became the pretext for still more grievous persecutions. If
they were resolved to be Irish and Catholic, England was not less
resolved that they should be outlaws and beggars. They were to have no
bread or potatoes, or cabins that would keep out the rain, so long as
they persisted in singing the bold anthem and acknowledging the
supremacy of the pope. The history of Ireland is in great part the
history of her wrongs; for a long time to come, doubtless, it will be a
history of suffering; and if those who write of her find that they are
placing before their readers pictures of death, exile, persecution,
beggary, famine, desolation, violence, oppression, and of every form of
human misery, they are but describing the state to which her conquerors
have reduced her.

But there are special reasons for dwelling upon the wrongs of Ireland.
For three hundred years the Irish people themselves and their faith have
been held responsible, wherever the English language is spoken, for the
crimes of England. The backwardness of Irish industry, and the seeming
want of energy of the people in improving their condition, are
habitually imputed by statesmen and public instructors to a peculiar
indolence and recklessness in the Celtic race, fostered and encouraged
by what is supposed to be the necessary influence of the Catholic
religion.

The Irish are probably not more Celtic than the French, who assuredly
are not excelled in thrift and industry by any other people. There is no
country more Catholic than Belgium, nor is there anywhere a more
prosperous or laborious people. Irishmen themselves, it is universally
admitted, are hard workers in England, in the United States, in Canada,
in Australia—wherever, in a word, the motives which incite men to labor
are not taken from them; and yet the popular prejudice on this subject
is so flattering to Anglo-Saxon and Protestant pride that it remains in
the public mind like a superstition, which no amount of evidence can
affect. In a former article we have attempted to trace some of the
causes to which the poverty and misery of Ireland must be attributed,
and we shall now continue the investigation. During the three centuries
immediately following the Conquest the country was wasted by wars,
massacres, and feuds, carried on by the two armed nations, which
fiercely contended for the possession of the soil. The Anglo-Norman
colony, entrenched within the Pale, and receiving constant supplies of
men and money from the mother-country, formed a kind of standing army,
ever ready to invade and lay waste the territories still held by the
native population. The Irish people, in self-defence, and also with the
hope of driving the invader from their shores, turned their whole
attention to war. All the pursuits of peace were forgotten, and the
island became a camp of soldiers, who, when not battling with the common
enemy, turned their swords against one another. In such a state of
society no progress was possible. Then came three centuries of religious
wars to add more savage fierceness to the war of races. Under Elizabeth,
James I., Cromwell, and William of Orange the whole country was
confiscated. The Catholics were driven from their lands, hunted down,
their churches and monasteries were burned or turned over to
Protestants, their priests were martyred or exiled, their schools
closed, their teachers banished, their nobles impoverished; and to make
this state of things perpetual the Penal Code was enacted. To this point
there was complete harmony between the home government and the English
colony in Ireland. But England has rarely poured out her treasure or her
blood for other than selfish and mercenary motives. She therefore
demanded, as the price of her assistance in crushing the Irish
Catholics, that the commerce and industry of Ireland should be
sacrificed to her own interests. The House of Commons declared the
importation of Irish cattle a public nuisance. They were then
slaughtered and salted, but the government refused to permit the sale of
the meat. The hides were tanned. The importation of leather was
forbidden. The Irish Protestants began to export their wool; England
refused to buy it. They began to manufacture it; an export duty,
equivalent to prohibition, was put on all Irish woollen goods. They grew
flax and made linens; England put a bounty on Scotch and English linens,
and levied a duty on Irish linens. Ireland was not allowed to build or
own a ship—her forests were felled and the timber sent to England. The
English colonies were forbidden to trade with her; even the fisheries
were carried on with English boats manned by Englishmen. By these and
similar measures Irish commerce and industry were destroyed. Nothing
remained for the people to do but to till the soil. In this lay the only
hope of escaping starvation. But they no longer owned the land; it was
in the hands of an alien aristocracy, English in origin and sympathy,
Protestant in religion. The Catholic people, without civil existence,
were at the mercy of an oligarchy by whom they were both hated and
despised. These nobles owed their titles, wealth, and power to the
violence of conquest, and, instead of seeking to heal the wounds, they
were resolved to keep them open. In France and in England the Northmen
were gradually fused with the original population. They lost their
language, customs, almost the memory of their cradle-land. Even in
Ireland a considerable portion of the Norman conquerors became
Irish—_Hibernis hiberniores_. But this partial assimilation of the two
races was effected in spite of England, who made use of strong measures
both to prevent and punish this degeneracy, as it was termed. Had the
union between the Irish and the Normans not been prevented by this
violent and interested policy, a homogeneous people would have been
formed in Ireland as in England, and the frightful wrongs and crimes of
the last seven hundred years would not have been committed.

But the interests of England demanded that Ireland should be kept weak
and helpless by internal discord; and she therefore used every means to
prevent the fusion of the two races. The “Irish enemy,” ever ready to
break in upon the settlements of the Pale, was the surest warrant of the
loyalty of the English colony to the mother-country, whose assistance
might at any moment become essential to its very existence. The native
population, on the other hand, was held in check by the foreigner
encamped in the land. Had the Irish and the English in Ireland united,
they would have had little trouble in throwing off the yoke of England.
It was all-important, therefore, that they should remain, distinct and
inimical races. All intercourse between them was forbidden. Their
inter-marriage was made high treason. It was a crime for an Englishman
to speak Irish, or for an Irishman to speak English. The ancient laws
and customs of the Irish were destroyed, and they were denied the
benefits of English law. As yet the English and the Irish professed the
same religious faith; but now even this powerful bond of union was
broken. Enemies on earth, they looked to no common hope beyond this
life. Three centuries of persecution and outrage followed, during which
the Catholic Irish were reduced to such a state of misery and beggary
that the only thing which remained in common between them and their
tyrants was hate.

Here we have come upon the well-spring of all the bitter waters that
have deluged Ireland. The country is owned and governed by a few men who
have never loved the country and have always hated the people.
Throughout the rest of Europe, even in the worst times, the interests of
the lords and the peasants were to some extent identical. They were one
in race and religion, rendered mutual services, gloried in a common
country, and shared their miseries. The noble spent at least a part of
the year on his estates, surrounded by his dependants. Kind offices were
interchanged. The great lady visited the peasant woman in her sickness,
and the humanities of life were not ignored. Elsewhere in Europe the
great land-owners, whether lay or ecclesiastical, were, with rare
exceptions, kind to the poor, indulgent to their debtors, willing to
encourage industry, to advance capital for the improvement of the land,
and thus to promote their own interests by promoting those of their
tenants. The privileged classes were not wholly independent of the
people. If they were not restrained from wrong-doing by love, they were
often held in check by a salutary fear.

But nothing of all this was found in Ireland, where the landlords were
in the unfortunate position of having nothing to fear and nothing to
hope from the people. They lacked all the essential conditions of a
native aristocracy. Their titles were Irish, but all their interests and
sympathies were English. They were the hired servants of England, and
they were not paid to work for the good of Ireland. They drew their
revenues from a country to which they rendered no service; they were
supported by the labors of the people whom they oppressed and hated; and
they rarely saw the land from which they derived their wealth and
titles, but lived in England, where they found a more congenial society,
and were not afflicted by the sight of sufferings and miseries of which
they knew themselves to be the authors. If the people, maddened by
oppression or hunger, revolted, the Irish landlords were not disturbed;
for an English army was at hand to crush the rebellion, which was never
attributed to its true cause, but to the supposed insubordination and
lawlessness of the Irish character. In England there existed a middle
class, which bridged over the chasm that separated the nobles from the
peasants, and which rendered the aristocracy liberal and progressive by
opening its ranks to superior merit wherever found; but in Ireland there
were only two classes of society, divided the one from the other as by a
wall of brass. The authority of the Protestant oligarchy over the
Catholic population was absolute, and they contracted the vices by which
the exercise of uncontrolled power is always punished. To the narrowness
and ignorance of a rural gentry were added the brutality and coarseness
of tyrants. The social organization prevented the infusion of new blood
which had saved the English aristocracy from decay and impotence, and
the general stagnation of political and commercial life in Ireland had
the effect of helping on the degeneracy of the ruling caste. Everything,
in a word, tended to make the Irish landlords the worst aristocracy with
which a nation was ever cursed; and, by the most cruel of fates, this
worst of all aristocracies was made the sole arbiter of the destinies of
the Irish people, of whose pitiable condition under this rule we have
already given some account.

We turn now to consider the causes which have brought a certain measure
of relief to the people of Ireland; and we must seek for them, not in
the good-will or sense of justice of Irish or English Protestants, but
in circumstances which took from them the power of continuing without
some mitigation a policy which, if ruinous to the Irish people, was also
full of peril to England.

It is pleasant to us, as Americans, to know that the voice which
proclaimed our freedom and independence was heard in Ireland, as it has
since been heard throughout the earth, rousing the nations to high
thoughts of liberty, ringing as the loud battle-cry of wronged and
oppressed peoples. The great discussions which the struggle of the
American colonies awoke in the British Parliament, and in which the very
spirit of liberty spoke from the lips of the sublimest orators, sent a
thrill of hope through Irish hearts, while the Declaration of
Independence filled their oppressors with dismay. In 1776 we declared
our separate existence, and in 1778 already some of the most odious
features of the Penal Code were abolished. “A voice from America,” said
Flood, “shouted to Liberty.” Henceforward Catholics were permitted to
take long leases, though not to possess in fee simple; the son, by
turning Protestant, was no longer permitted to rob his father, and the
laws of inheritance which prevented the accumulation of property in the
hands of Catholics were abrogated. This was little enough, indeed, but
it was of inestimable value, for it marked the turning-point in the
history of Ireland. A beginning had been made, a breach had been opened
in the enemy’s citadel. But this was not all that the American
Revolution did for Ireland.

The sympathies of the Presbyterians of the North went out to their
brethren who were struggling on the other side of the Atlantic. They
also had grievances compared with which those of the colonies were
slight; their cause was identical, and the success of the Americans
would be a victory for Ireland; if England triumphed beyond the seas,
there would be no hope for those who, being nearer, were held with a
more certain grasp. Hence, in spite of the bitter hate which in Ireland
separated the Protestants from the Catholics, they were drawn together
by a common interest and sympathy in the cause of American independence.
England’s wars, both in Europe and in her transatlantic colonies, were a
constant drain upon her resources, and it became necessary to supply the
armies in America with the troops which were kept in Ireland to hold
that country in subjection. General Howe asked that Irish papists should
not be sent as recruits to him, for they would desert to the enemy. The
best men were therefore picked from the English regiments and sent to
America; Ireland was denuded of troops; the defences of her harbors were
in ruins; and she was exposed to the attacks of privateers. Something
had to be done, and Parliament agreed to allow the Irish militia to be
called out. As an inducement to Catholics to enlist, they were promised
indulgences in the exercise of their religion, but this promise aroused
Protestant bigotry, ever ready to break forth. The plan was abandoned,
and the defence of the country was committed to the Volunteers.

In the meanwhile Burgoyne had surrendered to the Americans at Saratoga,
France had entered into alliance with the colonies, and French and
American privateers began to swarm in the Irish Channel. The English
Parliament, now thoroughly alarmed, and eager to make peace with the
rebels, passed an act renouncing the right of taxing the colonies, and
even offered seats in the House of Commons to their representatives.
These concessions, which came too late to propitiate the Americans,
served only to embolden the Irish in their demands for the redress of
their grievances. The Americans were rebels, and were treated with the
greatest indulgence; the Irish were loyal, and were still held in the
vilest bondage. This was intolerable. To add to the distress, one of the
periodical visitations of famine which have marked English rule in
Ireland fell upon the country, and the highways were filled with crowds
of half-naked and starving people.

Thirty thousand merchants and mechanics in Dublin were living on alms;
the taxes could not be collected, and in the general collapse of trade
the customs yielded almost nothing. The country was unprotected, and
there was no money in the treasury with which to raise an army. Nothing
remained in this extremity but to allow the Volunteers to assemble; for
the summer was at hand, and every day the privateers might be expected
to appear in the Channel. Company after company was organized, and in a
very short time large bodies of men were in arms. The Catholics also
took advantage of the general excitement. If the Protestants were in
arms, why should they remain defenceless?

Never before had there been such an opportunity of extorting from
England the measures of relief which she would never willingly consent
to grant. The threatening danger, however, had no effect upon the
British Parliament.

The Irish Parliament met in 1779, and the patriots, strong in the
support of the Volunteers who lined the streets of Dublin, demanded free
trade. The city was in an uproar; a mob paraded before the Parliament
House, and with threats called upon the members to redress the wrongs of
Ireland. Cannon were trailed round the statue of King William, with the
inscription,“Free trade or this,” and on the flags were emblazoned
menacing mottoes—“The Volunteers of Ireland,” “Fifty thousand of us
ready to die for our country.”

“Talk not to me of peace,” exclaimed Hussey Burgh, one of the leading
patriots. “Ireland is not at peace; it is smothered war. England has
sown her laws as dragon’s teeth, and they have sprung up as armed men.”
All Ireland was aroused. The Irish, said Burke in the English House of
Commons, had learned that justice was to be had from England only when
demanded at the point of the sword. They were now in arms; their cause
was just; and they would have redress or end the connection between the
two countries. The obnoxious laws restricting trade were repealed and in
the greatest haste sent over to Ireland to calm the tempest that was
brewing there.

The effect went even beyond expectation. Dublin was illuminated,
congratulatory addresses were sent over to England, and people imagined
that Ireland’s millennium had arrived. But the consequences of centuries
of crime and oppression do not disappear as by the enchanter’s wand; and
one of the evils of tyranny is the curse it leaves after it has ceased
to exist. In the wildness of their joy the people exaggerated the boon
which they had wrenched from England; the sober second thought turned
their attention to what still remained to be done.

In 1780 Grattan brought forward the famous resolution which declared
that “the king, with the consent of the Parliament of Ireland, was alone
competent to enact laws to bind Ireland.” The time could not have been
more opportune. The American colonies were in full revolt; Spain and
France were assisting them; England had been forced into war with
Holland, and her Indian Empire was threatening to take advantage of her
distress to rebel. In the midst of so many wars and dangers it would
have been madness to have provoked Ireland to armed resistance, and
Grattan felt that the hour had come when the Irish people should stand
forth as one of the nations of the earth; when all differences of race
and creed might be merged into a common patriotism, and Celt and Saxon,
Catholic and Protestant, present an unbroken front to the English
tyrant. “The Penal Code,” he said, “is the shell in which the Protestant
power has been hatched. It has become a bird. It must burst the shell or
perish in it. Indulgence to Catholics cannot injure the Protestant
religion.”

The Volunteers were, with few exceptions, Protestants, and their
attitude of defiance made the English government willing to place the
Catholics against them as a counterpoise; and it therefore offered no
opposition to measures tending to relieve them of their disabilities.
But, under Grattan’s influence, the Volunteers themselves pronounced in
favor of the Catholics by passing the famous Dungannon resolution: “That
we, [the Volunteers] hold the right of private judgment in matters of
religion to be equally sacred in others as in ourselves; that we rejoice
in the relaxation of the penal laws against our Roman Catholic
fellow-subjects; and that we conceive these measures to be fraught with
the happiest consequences to the union and prosperity of the inhabitants
of Ireland.”

In February, 1782, Grattan again brought forward a motion to declare the
independence of the Irish Legislature, and again it was thrown out. The
Dungannon resolution was then introduced, and it was proposed to abolish
all distinctions between Protestants and Catholics. But to this the most
serious objections were raised, and it was found necessary to make
concessions to Protestant bigotry. The Catholics were permitted to
acquire freehold property, to buy and sell, bequeath and inherit; but
the penal laws which bore upon their religion, and their right to
educate their children at home or abroad, as well as those which
excluded them from political life, were left on the statute-book.
Fanaticism was stronger than patriotism, and the enthusiastic love of
liberty was again found to be compatible with the love of persecution
and oppression. But this injustice in no way dampened the ardor of the
Catholics for the national independence; and when, on the 16th of April,
1782, Grattan moved a Declaration of Rights, inspired probably by our
own Declaration of Independence, he was greeted with as wild a tumult of
applause by the Catholics as by his Protestant countrymen. “I found
Ireland,” he said, “on her knees. I watched over her with an eternal
solicitude. I have traced her progress from injuries to arms, and from
arms to liberty. Spirit of Swift, spirit of Molyneux, your genius has
prevailed. Ireland is now a nation. In that new character I hail her,
and, bowing to her august presence, I say, _Esto Perpetua_!”

The overwhelming popular enthusiasm bore everything with it, and
opposition was useless. “It is no longer,” wrote the Duke of Portland,
the viceroy, “the Parliament of Ireland that is to be managed or
attended to; it is the whole of this country.”

In England the Whigs, who were in power, felt how hopeless would be any
efforts to stem the torrent, and they therefore yielded with grace. Fox
admitted that Ireland had a right to distrust British legislation
“because it had hitherto been employed only to oppress and distress
her.” Ireland had been wronged, and it was but just that concessions
should now be made to her. The day of deliverance had come, and, amidst
an outburst of universal enthusiasm, Ireland’s independence was
proclaimed.

The Catholics were the first to feel the benefits of this victory. The
two Relief Bills, introduced into Parliament in their favor, were
carried. They were permitted to open schools and educate their own
children; their stables were no longer subject to inspection, or their
horses above the value of five pounds liable to be seized by the
government or taken from them by Protestant informers; and their right
to freedom of religious worship was fully recognized. They recovered, in
a word, their civil rights; but the law still excluded them from any
participation in the political life of the country, and they were still
forbidden to possess arms. Nevertheless, another step towards Catholic
emancipation had been taken. Two other laws, beneficial to all classes
of citizens, but especially favorable to the poor and oppressed
Catholics, date from this time: the Habeas Corpus Act was granted to
Ireland, and the tenure of judges was placed on the English level.

Unfortunately, the social condition of the country was so deplorable
that this improvement in the laws conferred few or no benefits upon the
impoverished and downtrodden people. But at least there was some gain;
for if good laws do not necessarily make a people prosperous, bad laws
necessarily keep them in misery. The landed gentry and Protestant clergy
continued without shame to neglect all the duties which they owed to
their tenants, whose wretchedness increased as the fortunes of Ireland
seemed to rise. To maintain the Volunteers the rents were raised, and
the poor peasants, already sinking beneath an intolerable burden, were
yet more heavily laden. The proprietors of the soil spent their time in
riot and debauch while the people were starving. They were the
magistrates and at the same time the most notorious violators of the
law. “The justices of the peace,” says Arthur Young, “are the very worst
class in the kingdom.”

The clergy of the Established Church were little better. Like the
landlords, they were generally absentees, and employed agents to raise
their tithes, in the North from the Presbyterians, and in other parts of
the island from the Catholics. “As the absentee landlord,” says Froude,
“had his middleman, the absentee incumbent had his tithe farmer and
tithe proctor—perhaps of all the carrion who were preying on the carcase
of the Irish peasantry the vilest and most accursed. As the century
waned and life grew more extravagant, the tithe proctor, like his
neighbors, grew more grasping and avaricious. He exacted from the
peasants the full pound of flesh. His trade was dangerous, and therefore
he required to be highly paid. He handed to his employer perhaps half
what he collected. He fleeced the flock and he fleeced their shepherd.”
“The use of the tithe farmer,” said Grattan, “is to get from the
parishioners what the clergyman would be ashamed to demand, and to
enable the clergyman to absent himself from duty. His livelihood is
extortion. He is a wolf left by the shepherd to take care of the flock
in his absence.”[17]

Footnote 17:

  _The English in Ireland_, vol. ii. p. 453.

In the midst of the general excitement the Catholic peasants grew
restless under this horrible system of organized plunder and extortion.
They banded together and took an oath to pay only a specified sum to the
clergyman or his agent. The movement spread, and occasional acts of
violence were committed. All Munster was organized, and a regular war
with the tithe proctors was begun. In the popular fury crimes were
perpetrated and the innocent were often made to suffer with the guilty.
Yet so glaring were the wrongs and so frightful the abuses from which
the peasants were suffering that they everywhere met with sympathy. The
true cause of these disorders was social and not political. Misery, and
not partisan zeal, had driven the Catholics to take up arms. The cry of
hungry women and children for bread resounded louder in their ears than
the shouts of the patriots. They were without food or raiment, and in
despair they sought to wreak vengeance upon the inhuman tyrants who had
reduced them to starvation. Even Fitzgibbon, afterwards Lord Clare, was
forced to admit that the Munster peasants were in a state of oppression,
abject poverty, and misery not to be equalled in the world, and that the
landlords and their agents were responsible for the degradation of these
unfortunate beings.

Ireland was still a prey to agitations, hopes, and sufferings when the
French Revolution of 1789 burst upon Europe. The cry of Liberty,
equality, fraternity sounded as revelation to the struggling patriots.
Hitherto they had contended for freedom, in the English and feudal
sense, as a privilege and a concession; they now demanded it as an
imprescriptible right of man. The American Declaration had indeed
proclaimed that all men were free and equal, or of right ought to be;
but this was merely a pretty phrase, a graceful preamble, in a charter
which consecrated slavery and inequality. In America there were no
privileged classes, and the people had not groaned beneath the tyranny
of heartless and effete aristocracies; the evils of which their leaders
complained, compared with those which weighed down the European
populations, were slight, almost imaginary. But in France Liberty and
Equality was the fierce and savage yell of men who hated the whole
social order as it existed around them, and who, indeed, had no reason
to love it. The spirit of feudalism was dead, and its lifeless form
remained to impest the earth. The nobles, sunk in debauch and sloth,
continued their exactions, upheld their privileges, and yet rendered no
service to the state. Corruption, extravagance, maladministration,
infidelity, and licentiousness pervaded the whole social system. France
was prostrate with the foot of a harlot on her neck, and the people were
starving. Little wonder, when the torch was applied, that the lurid
glare of burning thrones and altars, the crash of falling palaces and
cathedrals, should affright and strike dumb the nations of the earth—for
God’s judgment was there; little wonder that Ireland, sitting by the
melancholy sea, chained and weeping, should lift her head when the God
of the patient and the humble was shattering the whitened sepulchres
which enshrined the world’s rottenness.

In Belfast the taking of the Bastile was celebrated by processions and
banquets amid the wildest enthusiasm, and the name of Mirabeau called
forth the most deafening applause. The eyes of Ireland were fastened on
France; the cause of the Revolution was believed to be that of all
oppressed peoples who seek to break the bonds of slavery. “Right or
wrong,” wrote an Irish patriot, “success to the French! They are
fighting our battles, and, if they fail, adieu to liberty in Ireland for
one century.”[18] Even the manners and phraseology of the Revolution
became popular in Ireland. The Dublin Volunteers were called the
National Guard, the liberty-cap was substituted for the harp, and
Irishmen saluted one another with the title of citizen.

Footnote 18:

  Tone’s _Memoirs_, vol. i. p 205.

Out of this French enthusiasm grew the Society of “United Irishmen,”
which soon superseded the Volunteers. The United Irishmen made no
concealment of their revolutionary principles. They demanded a radical
reform in the administration of Ireland, and threatened, if this was
denied, to break the bond which held them united with England. They
openly proclaimed their intention of stamping out “the vile and odious
aristocracy,” which was an insuperable obstacle to the progress of the
Irish people; and to accomplish this they invited the French to invade
Ireland. The landlords, they said, show no mercy; they deserve to
receive none.

However little sympathy the Catholics might feel with men who
entertained such violent opinions, they were their natural allies; and
the English government, following its old policy of doing what is right
only under compulsion, hastened to make concessions. From June, 1792,
Catholics were admitted as barristers; they were allowed to keep more
than two apprentices; and the prohibition of their marriage with
Protestants was withdrawn. In 1793, when France had declared war against
England, still further concessions were made. The penalties for
non-attendance at Protestant worship were abolished. “On the eve of a
desperate war,” said Sir Lawrence Parsons in the House of Commons, “it
was unsafe to maintain any longer the principles of entire exclusion.”
The Catholics were admitted to the franchise, but were not made eligible
to Parliament; they were at the same time declared capable of holding
offices, civil and military, and places of trust, without taking the
oath or receiving the sacrament. This is the third emancipation of the
Catholics of Ireland. The American Revolution brought about the first,
and the independence of the Irish Parliament the second.

In the meantime the crimes and excesses of the French Republicans had
cooled the zeal of the Irish patriots. The Catholics grew suspicious of
leaders who applauded the assassins of priests and the profaners of all
sacred things. A reaction had set in, and the English government seized
the opportunity to order the people to lay down their arms; and this
order was intentionally executed with such cruelty as to provoke
insurrections, which, in the lack of leaders and of any plan of action,
were easily suppressed. The agents of the United Irishmen had, however,
succeeded in interesting the French Republic in the cause of Ireland,
and in December, 1796, General Hoche set sail for Bantry Bay with
fifteen thousand men; but the fleet, scattered by a storm, was unable to
effect a landing. In August, 1798, General Humbert disembarked in
Killala Bay at the head of fifteen hundred men who had been drawn from
the armies of Italy and the Rhine, but he found the Irish people
completely disarmed, and the country in the possession of a powerful
English army. He nevertheless pushed forward into the interior of the
island, routed an army of four thousand men, and finally, when his force
had been reduced to eight hundred, capitulated to Lord Cornwallis at the
head of thirty thousand. A third expedition, sent out in the month of
September of the same year, met with no better success. The Rebellion of
'98 had blazed forth and had been quenched in blood. That it was not
unprovoked even Mr. Froude confesses.

“The long era of misgovernment,” he says, “had ripened at last for the
harvest. Rarely since the inhabitants of the earth have formed
themselves into civilized communities had any country suffered from such
a complication of neglect and ill-usage. The Irish people clamored
against Government, and their real wrong, from first to last, had been
that there was no government over them; that, under changing forms, the
universal rule among them for four centuries had been the tyranny of the
strong over the weak; that from the catalogue of virtues demanded of
those who exercised authority over their fellow-men the word justice had
been blotted out. Anarchy had borne its fruits.”[19]

Footnote 19:

  _The English in Ireland_, vol. iii. p. 348.

During the violence of the conflict, and in the heat of passion, both
the rebels and the British soldiers committed crimes for which no excuse
can be offered; but the horrible and deliberate brutality of the English
after the suppression of the outbreak has never been surpassed by them
even in Ireland. When at length the appetite for torture, mutilation,
and hanging palled, the British ministry resolved to suppress the Irish
Parliament. Nothing was to be feared from the people, for their spirit
had been crushed; the lavish expenditure of money in open and shameless
bribery overcame the scruples of their Protestant representatives; and
thus, after a struggle of six hundred and thirty-one years (1169-1800),
corruption triumphed where every other means had failed. The _Union_ was
declared to exist; but Ireland was permitted to retain its name, its
institutions, laws, and customs, subject, however, to the pleasure of
the imperial Parliament.

The Rebellion of 1803, which accomplished nothing, and that of 1848,
which met with no better fate, close the fateful list of Ireland’s wars.

Men have never fought in a juster cause, and, had they triumphed, their
names would live for ever in the scroll of the world’s heroes. They have
not bled in vain, if Irishmen will but learn the lesson which their
failures teach. Not by arms, but by the force of the holiest of causes,
is Ireland to obtain the full redress of her wrongs. They only who are
her enemies or who are ignorant of her history would wish to excite her
people to rebellion. That England will grant nothing which she thinks
herself able to withhold we know; but these periodical outbreaks have
invariably given her an opportunity of strengthening the grasp which
political agitation had forced her to relax. Wars which lead only to
butcheries are criminal, and they destroy the faith of patriots in their
country’s triumph; while defeat brings divisions and feuds among those
who had stood shoulder to shoulder on the field of battle.

After the Union Ireland relapsed into a period of lethargic indifference
which might have been mistaken for healthful repose. The Protestant
ascendency entered again upon the beaten paths of tyranny and
oppression, and the Catholics suffered in silence.

The obstinate bigotry of George III. had prevented Pitt from fulfilling
the promise, made at the time of the union of the two kingdoms, to
relieve them of their civil disabilities, and the prime minister, whose
intentions were honest, withdrew from the cabinet. But this step,
however it might exonerate him from further responsibility in the
matter, brought no relief to the Catholics; and as the sad experience of
the past had taught them the hopelessness of resorting to violent
measures, they entered upon the course of peaceful agitation which,
under the wise and skilful direction of O’Connell, compelled the British
Parliament, in April, 1829, to concede to them the rights which had been
so long and so cruelly withheld.

“The Duke of Wellington,” said Lord Palmerston, “found that he could not
carry on the government of the country without yielding the Catholic
question, and he immediately surrendered that point”; and George IV.
signed the act of Catholic Emancipation with a shudder.

This great victory, important in itself and its immediate results, was
yet more important as an evidence of a radical change in the policy
henceforward to be followed in seeking redress of Irish grievances.

For seven hundred years England had been busy in efforts to form a
government for Ireland, and the result was the most disgraceful failure
known in history. For seven hundred years Ireland had rebelled, plotted,
invoked foreign aid, in the hope of throwing off the galling yoke; and
after centuries of bloodshed she found herself more strongly bound to
England. In the presence of this great historical teaching both nations
seemed prepared to pause and deliberately to examine their mutual
relations, and both seemed to feel that the special objects at which
each had been aiming were unattainable. The geographical position of the
two countries renders their union inevitable so long as either is able
to subjugate and hold the other in the bonds of a common government. Had
Ireland been in condition to maintain her independence, England,
surrounded by enemies, could never have risen to the position which she
has held for centuries. The national aspirations for power and dominion
could not be realized while Ireland was permitted to retain her separate
existence, and her conquest was therefore inevitable the moment England
felt herself strong enough to undertake it; nor can the wildest
visionary seriously believe that there is the faintest hope that the
connection between them will ever be dissolved except in their common
ruin. So long as England’s power remains, so long will she hold Ireland
with the unerring instinct with which a vigorous people clings to its
national life; and should England’s downfall come, there is no good
reason for thinking that it would not be the knell of Ireland’s doom.
They have the same language, the same fundamental principles of
government, the same commercial and political interests; and under these
common influences the differences and antagonisms which still exist are
likely to become more and more inactive. The English people are not
without their own grievances, which, in some respects, are more serious
than those of the Irish—the consequences of feudalism, which in England
has been able to resist more successfully than elsewhere the social
movements of modern times. Henceforward Ireland is the natural and
necessary ally of the more liberal and fair-minded portion of the
English people, and she will co-operate most efficiently in helping them
to bring about the reforms which are so much needed.

For the perfect religious liberty which can exist only after the
disestablishment of the Anglican Church England will be indebted to
Ireland, whose people have already compelled the British Parliament to
admit principles and adopt measures which will inevitably lead to the
dissolution of the union between church and state throughout the whole
extent of the empire. The Irish land system must be sacrificed as the
Irish Church has been sacrificed; and this will be the first step
towards a complete revolution in the system of land tenure throughout
Great Britain. The growing influence and increasing number of English
Catholics will help greatly to create a more cordial and genuine
religious sympathy between the two races of these sister islands; and
this sympathy will be still further strengthened when the church in
England, through the disestablishment and disintegration of Anglicanism,
shall have gained a position and power which will give to her special
weight in forming public opinion. As the community of interests of the
two countries becomes more manifest, political parties will cease to be
influenced by national or religious prejudice, and will be constituted
upon principles which relate to the social interests of the people.
England has already confessed the radical error of her Irish policy, and
her leading statesmen have admitted that the cause of its failure lay in
its viciousness—in the fact that it wantonly violated the rights and
interests of the people because they belonged to a different race and
held a different religious faith. Her legislation was unjust because it
was narrow and exclusive—favored a class and a creed, and, in order to
favor these, repressed and crushed the national energies. The government
believed, whether truly or falsely, that it could rule Ireland only by
fostering divisions and feuds among her people; and to do this it sought
by every means to intensify and embitter the prejudice which separated
the English from the Irish, the Protestant from the Catholic. With this
view Scotch and English colonies of Protestants were planted in Ireland,
and, lest the intercourse and amenities of life should soften the
asperity of religious bigotry, the government took special care to
encourage the hatred which kept them aloof from the natives, first by
local separations, and afterwards by the social distinctions which arose
from the enforced poverty and ignorance of the Catholic population. The
American Revolution taught England, if not the iniquity, the folly of
this conduct; and from 1778 to the present day she has been slowly
receding from a course in which she had grown old. She has receded
unwillingly, too, and with hesitation, and has thus often increased the
discontent which she sought to allay. Nations, like individuals, find
that it is hard to recover from inveterate habits of wrong-doing. The
wages of sin must be paid; repentance can save from death, but not from
humiliation and punishment. Nor has England repented, but she has
entered in the way of penitence; she has made some reparation, but has
not by any means done all that must be done before Ireland can be
content. For nearly half a century now—that is, since 1829—there has
been, we believe, a sincere desire to govern Ireland fairly, chiefly, no
doubt, because English statesmen had come to see that it was not
possible to govern her in any other way; but these good intentions have
been thwarted by the constitutional repugnance of the English people to
apply strong and efficacious remedies to social disorders. Nowhere else
among civilized nations are ancient abuses guarded and protected with
such superstitious veneration. Hence the government thought to satisfy
Ireland by half-measures of redress, and these it took so ungraciously
that they seemed to be wrung from it, and not conceded with good-will.
Men are not grateful for favors which are granted because they can no
longer be withheld.

Englishmen still forget that Ireland has the right to be treated by them
not merely with justice, but with generous indulgence. So long as the
root of the evil is left untouched little will be accomplished by
pruning the branches. Ireland’s curse is the system of land tenure,
founded on confiscation and organized to perpetuate a fatal antagonism
between the proprietors and the tillers of the soil. Irishmen will be
disaffected and rebellious so long as the national prosperity is
blighted by a state of things which leaves their country in the hands of
men who are happy only when they are away from it.

Parliament has passed several land acts, but it would seem that they had
been purposely so framed as to produce no good results. That it is
possible to change the land system of Ireland radically, without doing
injustice to any one, is admitted, and various projects by which this
might be done have been laid before Parliament. This is not a question
of tenant-rights; it lies far deeper. Nor is there any parity in this
respect between England and Ireland. In England the land is owned by the
people’s natural leaders; in Ireland it is owned by the people’s natural
enemies. This land question is far more important than any question of
Home Rule; and if Parliament will but give a proper solution to this
problem, Home Rule will no longer be seriously thought of.

When landlordism vanishes from Ireland, the day of final reconciliation
will be at hand. With it will disappear the filibusters, revolutionists,
and Fenians, whose disturbing influence in Irish politics is made
possible by the wrongs which the English government has not the will or
the courage to redress. There are other grievances than the land system,
but it will not be difficult to do away with them when the country shall
have been given back to the people. With a free press, free speech, and
an organized public agitation sustained and increased by the sympathies
and interests of the masses of the people of England, it will be found
impossible to withhold much longer from Ireland full and complete
justice; and nothing less will satisfy her people.



                      TENNYSON AS A DRAMATIST.[20]

Footnote 20:

  _Harold_: A Drama. By Alfred Tennyson. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co.
  1877.

  _Queen Mary_: A Drama. By Alfred Tennyson. Boston: James R. Osgood &
  Co. 1875.


Alfred Tennyson is to-day one of the household gods of English-speaking
peoples. He has a place in every library, a niche in every memory, an
echo in every heart. He has unquestionably added a new and brilliant
page to the great book of English literature. He has set there something
that was not there before, and that is not likely to fade away with
time. Doubtless there are men who would deny this. There are literary
Gorgons who would, if they could, stare every man into stone. There are
critics whose nature seems to distil venom, and who find no sweetness
save in their own gall. To men of this class the very fact of a man
being praised is in itself sufficient cause for condemnation. Over and
above these there are probably some who honestly dislike or do not care
for Tennyson. For such we do not speak, but for the great mass of
English readers in whose estimation Tennyson occupies a very
conspicuous, if somewhat undefinable, position. By them he is liked, and
liked better than any living poet; and, indeed, he has given excellent
reasons for being so liked.

That there have been greater English poets, even his most enthusiastic
admirers must allow; that there have been few sweeter, all who have read
him and others will admit. Indeed, sweetness, with its twin-sister
purity, is one of the marked characteristics of Tennyson’s verse. No man
ever mistook Tennyson for a Pythoness, a Cassandra, a Jeremiah. He is
not heroic like Homer. Much of the idyllic grace, but little of the real
massiveness, of Virgil he has. He cannot scoff like Horace, or Byron, or
Shelley. He cannot scourge like Dante, observe with the luminous
philosophy, the high inspiration of Shakspere, or build up a mighty
edifice like Milton. He can do none of these things. In some respects he
is perhaps less than the least of these poets. He is a sweet singer,
made for sunshine and peace and harmony; the poet of the happy household
over whose threshold passes from time to time the sad shadow of a quiet
sorrow; not the poet of despair, of wrath, of agony, of the fiercer
passions or tumultuous joys, whose very excess is pain.

True it is that, as he sang in his earlier days,

    “The poet in a golden clime was born,
      With golden stars above;
    Dower’d with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
        The love of love.”

But he is not such a poet. Never has he given voice to the hate of hate,
the scorn of scorn, or to that of which both of these are born—the love
of love. Whenever he has attempted it he has failed. He is too retiring,
too domestic. “With an _inner_ voice” his river runs, and we have to
listen with ears nicely attuned to catch its whisper and its meaning. So
inner is it, indeed, that it is often obscure and quite escapes the dull
hearing of ordinary men. His first volume, published in 1830, is almost
fulsomely dedicated to Queen Victoria, who is certainly not a heroic
figure, whatever else she may be. It is a picture gallery filled with
Claribels and Lilians, and Isabels and Madelines, and Marianas and
Adelines—all very sweet and delicate and dainty, but not inspiring. He
sings to “the owl,” he dedicates odes “to memory,” he lingers by “the
deserted house,” chants the dirge of “the dying swan,” and so on. In
1832 he enlarges his gallery by the addition of the lovely “Lady of
Shalott,” “Mariana in the South,” “Eleänore,” and we come nearer to the
poet’s heart in “The Miller’s Daughter,” whom he evidently prefers to
the haughty and much-abused “Lady Clara Vere de Vere.” Something, too,
of his more marked peculiarities show here in the “Palace of Art” and
that dreamy, delicious poem, “The Lotos-Eaters.” He is intensely
English—an admirable quality, be it remarked _sotto voce_, in an English
poet laureate. He closes the volume with some strong verses:

    “You ask me, why, tho’ ill at ease,
      Within this region I subsist,
      Whose spirits falter in the mist,
    And languish for the purple seas?

    “It is the land that freemen till,
      That sober-suited Freedom chose,
      The land, where girt with friends or foes
    A man may speak the thing he will;

    “A land of settled government,
      A land of just and old renown,
      Where Freedom broadens slowly down
    From precedent to precedent....”

The intense difference between the spirit here expressed and that of his
more immediate and brilliant predecessors and countrymen, Byron and
Shelley and Keats, may possibly account in some degree for the hold
which Tennyson has taken on the English heart. He was a man, too, who
felt the throbbings of the age and touched with skilful fingers the
pulse of Time. Though anxious for the future, he was troubled with no
“Dreams of Darkness,” or hollow-eyed despair, or morbid imaginings. He
realizes change; he has hopes for a world over which he sees a God
ruling. He sings boldly of “immortal souls,” and knows no “first dark
day of nothingness.” He warns the intelligence of his countrymen to—

    “... pamper not a hasty time,
      Nor feed with crude imaginings
      The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings,
    That every sophister can lime.

    “Deliver not the tasks of might
      To weakness, neither hide the ray
      From those, not blind, who wait for day
    Tho’ sitting girt with doubtful light.

    “Make knowledge circle with the winds;
      But let her herald, Reverence, fly
      Before her to whatever sky
    Bear seed of men and growth of minds.”

These lines are noble, true, and Christian; and again:

    “Meet is it changes should control
      Our being, lest we rust in ease.
      We all are changed by still degrees,
    _All but the basis of the soul_.

    “So let the change which comes be free
      To ingroove itself with that which flies,
      And work, a joint of state, that plies
    Its office, moved with sympathy.

    “A saying, hard to shape in act;
      _For all the past of Time reveals
      A bridal dawn of thunder-peals,
    Wherever Thought hath wedded Fact_.

    “Ev’n now we hear with inward strife
      _A motion toiling in the gloom—
      The Spirit of the years to come
    Yearning to mix himself with Life_.

    “A slow-develop’d strength awaits
      Completion in a painful school;
      Phantoms of other forms of rule,
    New Majesties of mighty States—

    “The warders of the growing hour,
      But vague in vapor, hard to mark;
      And round them sea and air are dark
    With great contrivances of Power.”

This was published in 1832, a period when agitations about the suffrage,
and the Corn Laws, and Catholic Emancipation—questions that shook
England to its foundations, only to fix them deeper than before—were
rife or looming up like awful spectres in the dim mist of the future.
Tennyson did not dread them, though he realized their vastness and
importance. Most certainly the verses just quoted stamp him as a close
observer of events in those days and a man of right moral balance, to
whom might with some measure of truth be applied his own words:

    “He saw thro’ life and death, thro’ good and ill,
      He saw thro’ his own soul.
    The marvel of the everlasting will,
        An open scroll,

      Before him lay....”

Still, these nobler passages are only fragments. He prefers his quiet
mood. In 1842 appeared the first of his idyls, the “Morte d’Arthur.”
Here again the better nature of the poet—a nature that we are grieved to
see apparently soured and crossed, not softened and made more venerable,
by the hand of Time—breaks forth in the grand prayer of the dying king:

    “If thou shouldst never see my face again,
    Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
    Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
    Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
    For what are men better than sheep or goats
    That nourish a blind life within the brain,
    If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer,
    Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
    For so the whole round earth is every way
    Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.”

It was the Catholic instinct breaking through the wall of prejudice and
false teaching which, in centuries of separation from the truth, have
grown up around the English heart, that gave voice to this beautiful
conception. Many are the instances where non-Catholic poets have leaped
up to truths of this kind which the whole force of their training and
education ran counter to. It is, as it were, the flash of inspiration
coming on them in spite of themselves and issuing in music. The divinity
of their art has lifted them above all prejudice into the sun-bright
heaven. Thus Byron sings to the Blessed Virgin in strains that a saint
might envy. Unfortunately, the instances are many also where men lifted
up on the heights of inspiration, or by the deep yearnings of their own
soul, have, as it were, glanced into heaven and seen the face of Truth,
only to fall back again to their lower level, dazed and blinded by the
very glimpse that was revealed to them. And we find them deny with their
own lips and actions what their greater selves had announced.

It is not our purpose to enter into an elaborate criticism of Tennyson.
That task has been done time and again, and by pens infinitely better
fitted for it than ours. We are only taking touches here and there to
bring out the poet in his truest colors, in his best and his worst
lights, in order to add point to the main purport of this article, which
is to show that Tennyson has mistaken himself and his powers in the
_rôle_ which he has thought fit to assume in his later years. In his
earlier dreams he is full of high thoughts and large aspirations. “My
faith is large in Time, and that which shapes it to some perfect end,”
he tells us. He looks forward longingly to “the golden year.” He is
possessed with the spirit of Christian purity, and gives constant
expression to it, notably in “St. Agnes” and “Sir Galahad.” In “The Two
Voices” he argues down atheism. He lays bare the grinning savagery of a
wasted intellect and debauched life, only to punish it with the power of
a man who knows what virtue is and feels it in his soul. He sometimes
catches those inarticulate murmurs of the heart which breathe in
feelings rather than in words, where feeling is too deep for words, and
they well out in song, as in the

    “Break, break, break,
      On thy cold gray stones, O sea!”

while in the “In Memoriam” the poet, stricken to the heart, has given
voice to that sorrow, and the effect it has on our life, which most of
us have felt when some bright intelligence has been taken from our side,
whose young years were blossoming fair with promise of a great and good
future.

In all this he is excellent, perhaps unsurpassed; in all that is sad, or
sweet, or picturesque, or naïvely joyous our hearts are with him. He
stands alone in his dainty pictures of scenery, of women, of certain
men. He touches the commonplaces of the time with a magic pencil. He
beguiled the hard and stubborn Saxon, which yielded reluctantly even to
the greatest masters of English verse, into a music it had never known
before. He built up fairy castles, and galleries and cities of old time,
and peopled them with a fair array of Arthurs and Launcelots, of
Guineveres and Elaines, of Merlins and Gawains, whose very names were
music, and whose deeds were just such as befitted scenes of witchery. He
is, moreover, a man of marked personality and nationality in his
writings. He is an Englishman and nothing else. He does not care to be
anything else or more; for he can see nothing greater. All his scenery
is English; his characters are English; his thoughts, feelings, and
aspirations English. Byron’s corsairs and giaours and Childe Harolds
would fight as fiercely, frown as darkly, sin as deeply, in any
civilized language as in English—in warmer languages even better,
perhaps; Shakspere’s profound observations and reading of character
would have reached the world through any other channel as surely as,
perhaps more readily than, through the English; some would doubt whether
Milton ever wrote English at all. But all Tennyson is English or
nothing. His dawns, his gloamings, his sunrises, his sunsets, his
landscapes, his fens, his fogs, his smoke, his moonlight and moonlight
effects, his winds, his birds, his flowers, his reeds and rushes, his
trees, his brooklets, his seas, his cliffs, his coloring, his ruins, his
graveyards, his walks and rides, his love of good cheer, his hums of
great cities, his profound respect for the respectable, are all English.
He has the sturdy English common sense and no small share, as will be
seen, of English prejudice; and, though he feels something of the
movements of the outer world, he has all the English narrowness of
vision. So that, while his works will probably never become a part of
any other literature than the English—for they would not be understood
elsewhere—they have won their way into the English heart for their very
_homeliness_, if for no higher reason. So long as this English poet was
content to sing to us, we were content to listen, were his lay sad or
gay. He had been singing all our life, and we were not weary of his
music, even though the music was all pitched in much the same key. We
never tire of a familiar voice that we love. But when we would be roused
and wrought up by some martial strain, by some great event, by one of
those movements that catch the heart of a people and sway it and hold it
captive, by the “thoughts that breathe and words that burn,” Tennyson
fails. Surely, for such an Englishman as he, the death of the Duke of
Wellington ought to have proved an inspiring theme. It is true that as
the years went on, and the memory of Waterloo faded, and the hero of
Waterloo moved about and took his part in civic affairs, people (and
people are ever ready to weary of their gods, if their gods are too near
them and live too long) began to clip and cut down the gigantic
proportions of the Iron Duke’s colossal figure. Indeed, before he died
it is safe to say that half England regarded England’s hero as rather an
ordinary sort of person and a worthy but extremely fortunate soldier.
Still, death generally brings back the liveliest memories of deeds that
are, or are thought to be, great and good, and a true poet’s song who
believed all of Wellington that Tennyson’s poem expresses might well
have been tipped with fire when Wellington died. Yet Tennyson’s funeral
ode is poor, tame; where not tame, forced; and, like all such
compositions, indefinitely strung out. All his readers know the opening:

    “Bury the Great Duke
      With an empire’s lamentation,
    Let us bury the Great Duke,
      To the noise of the mourning of a mighty nation,
    Mourning when their leaders fall,
    Warriors carry the warrior’s pall
    And sorrow darkens hamlet and hall!”

It is plain from the start that he is writing for a public. This great
duke needs a capital G and a capital D to impress duly that public, the
British (which is always ready to be awed by capitals attached to
titles), with the great duke’s immensity. There is something of the
heavy English undertaker about this—a display, a forced solemnity, a
measured tread, a sense of sham. The great duke is lost sight of in the
funereal trappings, the crowd, and accompaniment. See how Byron seizes
on the very heart of an event, and in a few lines pictures for us the
whole, the before and after. He is describing the greater man by whose
fall the great duke rose to fame:

    “Tis done—but yesterday a king!
      And arm’d with kings to strive—
    And now thou art a nameless thing:
      So abject—yet alive!
    Is this the man of thousand thrones,
    Who strew’d our earth with hostile bones,
      And can he thus survive?
    Since he, miscall’d the Morning Star,
    Nor man nor fiend has fallen so far.”

This indeed is “the scorn of scorn,” and the entire ode is replete with
it. Byron, who had been a great admirer of Napoleon, could not consent
to his idol lowering himself so far as to receive his life from England.
He could not forgive himself for yielding to

    “That spell upon the minds of men

                  *       *       *       *       *

      That led them to adore
    Those Pagod things of sabre-sway,
    With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.”

“O civic muse,” cries Tennyson,

            “To such a name,
    To such a name for ages long,
    To such a name
    Preserve a broad approach of fame,
    And ever-ringing avenues of song.”

Here lies the whole secret of the ode’s comparative poverty. Tennyson is
by position, if not by profession, “a civic muse,” and the civic muse is
never heroic or great. It is more apt, like Turveydrop, to be “a model
of deportment,” especially when it follows the advice of Mrs. Chick and
“makes an effort.” This, for instance, is eminently civic:

    “Where shall we lay the man whom we deplore?
    Here, in streaming London’s central roar.
    Let the sound of those he wrought for,
    And the feet of those he fought for,
    Echo round his bones for evermore.

    “Lead out the pageant: sad and slow,
    As fits an universal woe,
    Let the long procession go,
    And let the sorrowing crowd about it grow,
    And let the mournful martial music blow;
    The last great Englishman is low.”

We hope that Wellington was not “the last great Englishman.” If so,
English greatness must indeed be “low.” But the thought is irresistible:
Is not the undertaker’s hand again visible in all this? How different is
it from the sad, simple, manly beauty of the lament of a poet, whose
name scarcely stands in the list of English authors, for one of those
soldiers who gloriously failed! Here is how Wolfe sings of the burial of
Sir John Moore:

    “Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
    As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
    Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
    O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

    “We buried him darkly at dead of night,
    The sods with our bayonets turning,
    By the glimmering moonbeam’s fitful light
    And the camp-fires dimly burning.”

Again, is this a worthy echo of “a people’s voice”?

    “And thro’ the centuries let a people’s voice
    In full acclaim,
    A people’s voice,
    The proof and echo of all human fame,
    A people’s voice, when they rejoice
    At civic revel and pomp and game,
    Attest their great commander’s claim
    With honor, honor, honor to him,
    Eternal honor to his name.”

What wearisome and forced repetition, what commonplace allusions! This
is not Tennyson. The very verse is burdened with its vulgar prose, and
halts and stumbles in clumsy confusion meant for art. And here is his
description in the same poem of the battle of Waterloo:

    “Dash’d on every rocky square
    Their surging chargers foam’d themselves away;
    Last, the Prussian trumpet blew;
    Thro’ the long-tormented air
    Heaven flash’d a sudden jubilant ray,
    And down we swept and charged and overthrew.
    So great a soldier taught us there,
    What long-enduring hearts could do
    In that world’s earthquake, Waterloo!”

The best expression in it, the last, is borrowed from Byron’s wonderful
description of the same battle:

    “Stop! for thy tread is on an Empire’s dust!
    _An Earthquake’s spoil_ is sepulchred below!”

Again in Byron these two lines tell the whole story, as does that other,

    “The grave of France, the deadly Waterloo!”

So with Tennyson’s “War Songs” and “National Songs,” published in the
edition of 1830 and wisely omitted in later editions. They are not much
above the level of many fledglings’ performances in a like strain. They
fall dull on the heart:

      “There standeth our ancient enemy,
        Hark! he shouteth—the ancient enemy!
      On the ridge of the hill his banners rise;
        They stream like fire in the skies;
      Hold up the Lion of England on high
        Till it dazzle and blind his eyes.

    _Chorus_: Shout for England!
              Ho! for England!
              George for England!
              Merry England!
              England for aye!”

Here are the chorus and full chorus of his “National Song”:

        “For the French, the Pope may shrive ’em.
    For the devil a whit we heed ’em:
    As for the French, God speed ’em
        Unto their heart’s desire,
    And the merry devil drive ’em
        Through the water and fire.
            Our glory is our freedom,
              We lord it o’er the sea;
            We are the sons of freedom.
                We are free.”

As Mr. Tennyson has been wise enough—for shame’s sake, presumably—to
omit these and similar sorry pieces from his later editions, it may seem
unfair to quote them against him now. We quote them, however,
intentionally, to show that there is a strong streak of English
narrowness and Protestant bigotry in his nature which we were happy to
think dead, until within the last few years it has cropped out again. In
1852 there were probabilities of war between England and France, then
under Louis Napoleon. Tennyson thought to rouse his countrymen, and the
strongest appeal he can make is to religious bigotry:

    “Rise, Britons, rise, if manhood be not dead;
    The world’s last tempest darkens overhead;
          The Pope has bless’d him;
          The Church caress’d him;
    He triumphs; may be we shall stand alone.
          Britons, guard your own.

    “His ruthless host is bought with plunder’d gold,
    By lying priests the peasants’ votes controll’d.
          All freedom vanish’d,
          The true men banish’d, etc.

    “Rome’s dearest daughter now is captive France,
    The Jesuit laughs, and reckoning on his chance,
          _Would unrelenting,
          Kill all dissenting_,
    Till we were left to fight for truth alone.
          Britons, guard your own.”

And this is the gentle Tennyson! But we forbear from comment other than
the verses themselves suggest, and turn at last to our more immediate
object.

Whatever fault may be found here and there with Tennyson, one thing is
certain: his renown was great and his fame established chiefly by his
earlier and better works and by the peculiar characteristics which we
have attempted to point out. The poet, however, seems not to have been
satisfied. He was weary of the graceful path by which he ambled gently
up to fame, and would seek by a new and rugged road a higher place than
he already occupied in that temple where are gathered the mighty men who
have wrought with the pen monuments more enduring than marble. In an
evil hour he tempted fate, and fate gave him a severe warning. Weary of
the minstrel's lute which had charmed the world, he would be what the
poets of old were thought to be—a _vates_, an inspired prophet-and his
vaticination was _Queen Mary_.

As that drama has been dealt with in these pages by another pen, we
shall not touch on it here more than to say that never were the minds of
Tennyson’s countrymen better prepared to receive and applaud a work
intended, as this plainly was, to be an outcry against Rome and a
picture of one of the fierce struggles between England and Rome. Mr.
Gladstone had prepared the way and set all the world warring on
“Vaticanism.” Tennyson could not have chosen a better time for the
publication of his drama, and, were it a work of power and passion, it
could not have failed to catch the heart of the people. Never, on the
other hand, could he have chosen a better time for a higher duty: that
of, in the words of his great master, still in his right hand carrying
gentle peace “to silence envious tongues.” If the drama failed, it
failed in the face of every incentive to success.

Fail it did. It was plain, even to friendly critics, that the author of
_Queen Mary_ was not a dramatist, and so it was hinted generally in the
mildest possible terms. What was the reason of the failure?

We have shown, we believe sufficiently, that Tennyson failed wherever he
attempted to yoke the passions. His hand was too weak to curb them. His
genius is reflective, introspective, descriptive. It has not the flash,
the white heat of inspiration. It is always Tennyson who is singing,
talking to, arguing with us, describing for us. He is a person, not a
voice—a very pleasing, scholarly, refined, and in the main right-minded
person—but he is for ever giving utterance to his own peculiar thoughts
in his own peculiar style. The highest form of poetry, as of oratory, is
not this. It is that undefinable and truest expression of feeling, of
hope, of agony, of despair, of wrath, of courage, of any of the passions
that lie dormant in the human breast, which at once elicits a responsive
echo from the heart of humanity, so that we do not say, How sweet, how
tender, how strong is this man, but, How true to nature is this thought!
Thus it is that the greatest poets are the voices of all the world;
their works the inheritance of all the world. In their highest heights
they belong to humanity, and to no nation.

The dramatic we believe to be the highest form of poetry, because it
alone attempts to portray life itself, life in action; it is not a
description, however magnificently done, of life. There lies between it
and all other forms of poetry the difference that exists between the
painting of a hero and the hero himself. The one is the man, thinking,
living, moving, breathing, speaking his thoughts, doing his deeds; the
other after all is only an image, more or less vivid, of him on canvas.
It may catch the color of the eye, the expression of the countenance,
the texture of the dress, the shape, the form; but at the very best it
is a picture, no more, infinitely removed from the reality.

If this be a right conception of the difference between dramatic and all
other kinds of poetry—and it seems to us to be, although it might need
more elaboration to impress it upon the reader’s mind—it will be plain
that the dramatic poet needs nothing short of the highest inspiration in
order to make him catch the very breathings of men’s souls and throw
them into living forms, as truly as the master actor loses his own
personality and lets it sink or become absorbed utterly in the various
characters he portrays. No mere change of costume will effect the
metamorphosis needed to impress the spectator with the reality of the
change in character. In the same way no clipping of a poem into acts and
scenes, and no allotting of certain lines to certain different names,
will convert a descriptive poem into a drama. All the world will at once
detect the fraud or the inherent defect.

A not uncommon phase of an exasperated mind is to refuse to recognize
failure. Tennyson tried again, rather hastily, and in the same
direction, with the satisfactory result of making a more disastrous
failure than before. The blunder of _Queen Mary_ has been emphasized in
_Harold_. The first named may have left some minds in doubt whether or
not its author could construct a drama; the production of the second has
effectually set all such doubts at rest. The critics who in the first
instance were kind are in the second cruel. We have rarely seen a more
general and resolutely contemptuous dealing with the pretensions of any
writer at all than in the treatment which _Harold_ has received at the
hands of critics of every shade of opinion, English as well as American.

_Harold_ is simply narrative throughout—spoken narrative, indeed. A
drama must be _act_. Scenes prior to and leading up to the Norman
Conquest of England are depicted with more or less beauty of limning,
but they are loose, shifting, independent of each other. There is no
secret thread to link the whole and give it a unity of purpose and of
plan, without which there is no drama. There are five acts. There might
have been fifty, or only two, or only one, so far as the slow working of
the whole up to the catastrophe at the conclusion goes. The first act
opens in London at King Edward’s palace. Almost the first twenty pages
are occupied by various characters in discussing the appearance,
meaning, and portent of a comet. This is, of course, the old stage trick
used to knit the coming horror with troubles in the air. Shakspere uses
it often, notably in _Julius Cæsar_, but with him the troubled elements
obey the magic wand of Prospero and minister to man, and are but the
accompaniment of great events. Tennyson’s comet is too much for his
characters. They puzzle themselves about it until we grow tired of it
and its three tails.

After the comet has run its course, the characters being brought
together to discuss it, Harold intimates to the king his intention to go
to Normandy; the king warns him not to go; then follows a lively
discussion on personal matters between the queen, Harold, and his
brothers, which almost ends in a fight; the comet or “grisly star” is
introduced again, and the scene ends apropos of nothing in particular,
unless a hint of a coming plot on the part of Aldwyth. The second scene,
the best in the drama, is a very sweet piece of love-making between
Harold and Edith, upon which Aldwyth again throws her shadow, and the
act ends. The second act wrecks Harold at Ponthieu, whence his
transition to the power of Count William of Normandy—or Duke William, as
we are more in the habit of calling him—is easy. Indeed, to a dramatist
there was no reason whatever for the first scene of this act, as the
story of Harold’s capture might, if it were necessary, have been told in
a line or two while Harold was actually in the power of William. The
rest of this long act is taken up with William’s compelling Harold to
swear, on the relics of the saints, to help him to the crown of England.
The third act presents the death of King Edward, who wills the crown to
Harold. The second scene gives another piece of love-making between
Harold and Edith, not so happy as the first, and announces the invasion
of Northumbria by Tostig and Harold Hardrada. The fourth act opens in
Northumbria. In the first scene of it the factions of the rival
chieftains are put an end to by the marriage of Harold with Aldwyth, and
thus the only attempt at a shadow even of a plot is summarily disposed
of. The other scenes are before and after the battle of Stamford Bridge,
and the act closes with news of the landing of the Normans. The fifth
act opens on the field of Senlac. Harold has a dream in his tent, too
like that of Richard III. in conception. Stigand describes the battle of
Hastings to Edith, and the death of Harold. Here the drama should have
closed. Anything after it on the stage would certainly come tamely. But
Tennyson cannot resist the temptation to search for the body of Harold,
and with the finding of it, the death of Edith on it, and what in
ordinary parlance would be called William’s directions for the funeral
arrangements, the play closes.

Such is _Harold_—narrative, narrative, narrative throughout; very
excellent narrative some of it, but no drama, no centre of interest
around which the whole is made to turn. The misfortune about all
historical plays is that the reader begins with a full knowledge of all
the circumstances, and to make them dramatically interesting needs a
most skilful adaptation of plot and counterplot, a slow unfolding of
events from some necessary cause, a development of character, a silent
Fate, so to say, moving in and out, and, in spite of all things, shaping
events to one great end, so that, while we feel the consummation
impending, we yet know not how, or when, or where, or by what
instrumentality it will come. There is nothing of this in _Harold_.

It has been seen that Tennyson has no great love for the Pope. Indeed,
if some of the lines quoted represent the man, he has, of late years at
least, the heartiest hatred for the Catholic Church. We cannot help
that, however much we may regret it. We must take men as they are, and,
if Tennyson hates the Pope, why let him hate him and be happy. The Pope
can exist and rule the Catholic Church, and be obeyed, revered, loved,
and honored by intellects as bright at least as Mr. Tennyson’s, for all
that gentleman’s hate. A true dramatist, however, sinks, or at least
disguises, all his private personal feelings in depicting known
characters or types of character. This is only to be true to nature, to
art, and to history. Where there is question regarding the right reading
of a character or a period, a writer is of course at liberty, after
having consulted respectable authorities, to form his own estimate. Men
who lived in the eleventh century must be true to their time. To make
such men think, argue, reflect, question, doubt on most matters,
particularly on matters of faith, just as do men of the nineteenth
century, is a gross solecism. It is absurd and self-condemnatory on the
face of it. To make eleventh-century Catholics speak of the Catholic
faith, and Rome, and the pope after the fashion of the average
Protestant or infidel journalist in these days, is absurd, not to
characterize such practice by a harsher expression. This is what
Tennyson has gone out of his way to do in _Harold_; and the only
impression with which we rise from its perusal is that the writer
detests Normans and Catholics. Between the Vere de Veres and the Pope
Tennyson has lost his temper and his right hand has forgotten its
cunning.

The drama presents no character of any special interest. Harold, Edward
the Confessor, and William of Normandy, the three principal personages,
are much the same first as last. In stage terms, William may be set down
as the “heavy villain” of the piece, and a very heavy villain he is;
Edward the Confessor as the “first old man”; and Harold as the “walking
gentleman.” Edward is made—unintentionally too, it would seem—one of the
silliest old men that ever walked the boards. As for his sanctity,
imagine a saint speaking of himself in this style:

                          “And I say it
    For the last time, perchance, before I go
    To find the sweet refreshment of the Saints.”

Saints, in the Catholic Church at least, are not, as a rule, quite so
sure about finding “the sweet refreshment of the saints.” Indeed, they
have far graver doubts on this point often than sinners. But lest some
of his courtiers might feel tempted to doubt the rapid transit to heaven
of a man so thoroughly sure of his place beforehand, the king informs
them:

    “I have lived a life of utter purity:
    I have builded the great church of holy Peter:
    I have wrought miracles.”

True, every word of it. But it might have occurred to Mr. Tennyson that
Edward the Confessor was mindful, at least, of that admonition: “Let not
thine own mouth, but another’s, praise thee.” There never was a saint,
to our knowledge, so fond of talking about himself, his miracles, his
good deeds, his place here and hereafter. Listen to this again:

    “And miracles will in my name be wrought
    Hereafter. I have fought the fight and go—
    I see the flashing of the gates of pearl—
    And it is well with me, tho’ some of you
    Have scorn’d me—ay—but after I am gone
    Woe, woe to England! I have had a vision:
    The seven sleepers in the cave at Ephesus
    Have turn’d from right to left.”

The whole thing is incongruous. It smacks rather of a converted
“brother” giving his “experiences” and how he “got religion” before a
highly-wrought meeting of “Christian workers.” Had the “devil’s
advocate” only caught scent of any such expressions in the life of the
real Edward, it is to be feared he would never have been canonized.
Saints are not in the habit of canonizing themselves. The only thing
that occurs to us as on a par with Mr. Tennyson’s picture of a saint is
one by Mr. William Cullen Bryant in a short and remarkably silly poem
recently published by him. It is entitled “A Legend of St. Martin,” and
the saint, while still in the flesh, speaks as follows:

    “Thus spake the saint: 'We part to-night;
    _I am St. Martin_, and I give you here
    The means to make your fortunes.’”

The author’s favorite churchman is Stigand, who, whether Catholic or
heretic, no man who had read the history of the time carefully and
honestly could by any possibility hold up for admiration. Mr. Tennyson,
however, may consider himself excused on points of historical accuracy,
inasmuch as he informs us in his dedication that “after Old-World
records—such as the Bayeux tapestry and the Roman de Rou—Edward
Freeman’s _History of the Norman Conquest_,” and Bulwer Lytton’s
historical romance treating of the same times, “have been mainly
helpful” to him “in writing this drama.” But he cannot be excused for
such culpable negligence in searching out authorities when attempting to
depict in a truthful manner a most important historical epoch. Had he
taken the easy pains of going a little deeper into history and
authorities, it would probably have been better for himself and his
drama, or perhaps, with his evident bias, he would not have written it
at all. He loves Stigand, a thoroughly bad prelate, simply because
Stigand was against the pope. If Tennyson selects his Catholic heroes
from all men who have been against the pope, he will find his hands full
of very queer characters, some of them worse than Stigand. Imagine even
Stigand saying, in the exact tone of a modern unbeliever:

                    “... In our windy world
    What’s up is faith, what’s down is heresy.”

Certain modern Anglican prelates and ministers, or any man who
acknowledges no unchangeable deposit of divine truth, might speak in
just such a strain. The words, if they mean anything, mean simply that
there is no such thing at all as real faith or doctrine. Stigand knew
better than that. His peculiar vice was a very English one—an overdue
and unscrupulous regard for this world’s goods. This Catholic prelate
tells Harold of a sum of money which he keeps concealed at the other’s
service, to be asked for at his “most need,” in the following eloquent
style:

    “Red gold—a hundred purses—yea, and more!
    If thou canst make a wholesome use of these
    To chink against the Norman, I do believe
    _My old crook’d spine would bud out two young wings
    To fly to heaven straight with_.”

Tennyson doubtless considers this very English and spirited. Stigand may
have disliked the Normans, and doubtless did. With all our hearts! But
this mode of expressing his dislike is, in the mouth of a Catholic and a
prelate, surely not in character.

Again he asks:

    “... Be there no saints of England
    To help us from their brethren yonder?”

As though a Catholic or Christian could dream of the saints warring in
heaven or of affixing nationality to sanctity! Tennyson’s Edward, with a
solitary gleam of intelligence, rebukes him thus:

                  “Prelate,
    The Saints are one, ...”

yet immediately falls into the absurd blunder he rebukes by adding:

      “But those (Saints) of Normanland
    Are mightier than our own.”

While witnessing the battle of Hastings Stigand cries out in an ecstasy
of admiration at Harold’s prowess: “War-woodman of old Woden!” Could any
Christian man, Catholic or non-Catholic, couple a Christian warrior’s
name with the detestable deity of the pagan North?

The character of Harold, too, is incongruous. He is represented as a
most brave, wise, and honorable man, incapable of fear or falsehood:
“broad and honest, breathing an easy gladness.” He weakens in many
places. We cannot here go into a historical inquiry respecting the
alleged oath of Harold on the relics of saints to help William to the
crown of England. Much is made of it by Tennyson; so let us take all the
facts for granted. A man such as Harold is here represented to be would
rather have died than taken the oath, if he never meant to keep it. On
the other hand, once taken, and knowing it to be false, we doubt whether
the resolute Saxon soldier would have troubled himself much about the
matter. He acts as a coward throughout while in William’s power. A
strong man would not rail in secret at William for forcing him to take
an oath which the swearer knew to be a lie. He would take it or not take
it with the best grace possible. “Horrible!” exclaims Harold when the
relics on which he has sworn are exposed. Harold was sufficiently man of
the world—a man who had passed his life in camp and court—to have
uttered no such weak cry. In the first place, if he swore falsely, such
an exclamation showed at once that he never intended to keep his
promise. In the second place, it would have been perfectly plain to
William that he could place no reliance on the oath of such a poltroon.
The same failure to apprehend the character of the man is apparent in
the womanish tirade into which Harold breaks after William has left him:
“Juggler and bastard—bastard: he hates that most—William the tanner’s
bastard! Would he heard me!” A moment before he might have heard him,
but Harold dared not speak his thoughts. Certainly the man who never
lost a battle save the one in which he lost all—the man who conquered
Wales, crushed the terrible invasion of Harold Hardrada and Tostig,
braved his own sovereign, seized on the English throne with a grasp that
only death could shake off, and died so gloriously on Hastings—never
“played the woman with his eyes and the braggart with his tongue” in
this poor fashion. Here again speaks the reader of modern infidel
literature in the mouth of the unspeculative soldier of the eleventh
century:

    “I cannot help it, but at times
    They seem to me too narrow, _all the faiths_
    Of this grown world of ours, whose baby eye
    Saw them sufficient.”

“_All_ the faiths!” We wonder how many “faiths” Harold knew of or
contemplated. Indeed, it seems to us that Mr. Tennyson here speaks for
himself, and in a manner that causes some suspicion of his having lost
something of his own earlier and more robust belief. Harold continues:

                        “But a little light!—
    And on it falls the shadow of the priest;
    Heaven yield us more! _for better Woden, all
    Our cancell’d warrior-gods, our grim Walhalla,
    Eternal war, than that the Saints at peace;
    The Holiest of our Holiest one should be
    This William’s fellow-tricksters_; better die
    Than credit this, for death is death, or else
    Lifts us beyond the lie.”

Which is heathenism and atheism beautifully combined. He goes on, still
in his atheistic vein, when Edith bids him listen to the nightingales:

    “Their anthems of no church, how sweet they are!
    Nor kingly priest, nor priestly king to cross
    Their billings ere they nest.”

And again, when Gurth brings news of the pope’s favoring William’s
cause, Harold laughs and says of it:

    “This was old human laughter in old Rome
    Before a Pope was born, when that which reign’d
    Call’d itself God—a kingly rendering
    Of 'Render unto Cæsar.’”

Harold must have lately risen from a perusal of Mr. Gladstone’s pamphlet
on _Vaticanism_ when he spoke thus, so we pardon his aberration. That
pamphlet is too strong for weak intellects.

    “The Lord was God and came as man—the Pope
    Is man and comes as God,”

he continues, still in the Gladstonian vein. He reminds Edith that love
“remains beyond all chances and all churches”—a dictum and doctrine that
would be strange even in a Protestant Harold. “I ever hated monks,” he
says in another place, which may account for his having founded Waltham
Abbey. He grows more and more Protestant towards the end, and the
saintly relics over which he was so terrified at having sworn a false
oath he terms the “gilded ark of mummy-saints.” And here is his final
legacy to England:

          “... And this to England,
    My legacy of war against the Pope
    From child to child, from Pope to Pope, from age to age,
    Till the sea wash her level with her shores,
    Or till the Pope be Christ’s.”

This is Tennyson’s legacy, not Harold’s. It seems strange that it should
have fallen into careless hands; not ours, but those of the poet’s
coreligionists. The fact is that the world is growing weary of little
anti-papal tooters. Great enemies of the papacy it applauds and tries to
excuse; but at the mouthings of the little people it yawns. If Tennyson
has shown anything in this as in his other anti-Catholic effusions, it
is that when moved by rancor he can descend to all the small bitterness
of a common and weak order of mind. We cannot go further into an
examination of _Harold_, and, indeed, the task is not worth while. He
has failed in the one character which, to a true dramatic genius,
offered magnificent opportunities—William of Normandy, who was perhaps
the greatest and the wisest sovereign that England has as yet known. A
gallant soldier; a wary yet bold and successful general; an astute
statesman; a lover of learning; a resolute if severe ruler; a man who
could bide his opportunity, then move on it with the flash and fatality
of the lightning, yet withal a man of almost ungovernable passions, with
the old taint running in his blood and through all his successful
life—this was a character that it is as great a pity Shakspere did not
draw as that Tennyson should have been rash enough to attempt to draw.
In what ought to be the chief scene of the play, the battle of Hastings,
there is no battle at all. The weak device is resorted to of setting a
description of it as it proceeds in the mouth of Stigand, who watches
the field from “a tent on a mound.” Norman and Saxon, Harold and
William, are not brought together for the final death-grip. Shakspere's
battle-scenes are more vivid than those of any painter. They illuminate
history and print themselves indelibly on the mind. Cut the
battle-scenes out of _King John_, _Henry IV._, _Henry V._, _Macbeth_,
_Julius Cæsar_, _Henry VI._, and you mutilate the plays. Stigand’s
description of the battle of Hastings might be dropped from _Harold_ and
not missed. Why should not Harold die as Hotspur dies, or as Macbeth, or
Brutus, or any of the others—his face to the victorious foe, the fitting
ending of the tragedy? Mr. Tennyson was not equal to the task, either in
this scene or at Stamford Bridge. The last clash and conflict of human
passion he can only look at from afar off and reflect upon when it is
over. He cannot take it in hand and present it. He would do well to
retire from the field where empires, and men and events that make or
unmake empires, are the subjects of song, and go back to the pretty
scenery, the calm truth, and the graceful verse that have made his name
dearly loved and justly honored.



                          ANGLICANISM IN 1877,
           AS AFFECTED BY THE PUBLIC WORSHIP REGULATION ACT.


We should feel inclined to apologize to our readers for again
introducing the English Establishment to their notice, were it not that
since, a year ago, we considered Anglicanism in connection with the “Old
Catholic” conference at Bonn, the increasing agitation within the state
church cannot but have continued to attract the thoughtful attention of
those who, from the bark of Peter, watch the weary tossing of the
Anglican craft and the mutinous condition of a portion of her crew.

Since the period to which we allude, the fact that the whole tendency of
the Alt-Catholic movement is rationalistic and anti-Christian is
beginning to be understood by all really religious Protestants, and we
now see the better part of them holding aloof from the movement, and
even the Ritualist journals condemning whatever advances were made
towards it. The cause is now advocated only by the Broad-Church party,
which distinguished itself by its emphatic encouragement of the apostate
Loyson, one of the apostles of the new sect, who went last summer to
London to enlighten the English public on ecclesiastical questions. On
the other hand, the High-Church movement is, if anything, in the
direction of the Catholic Church, while Alt-Catholicism is a distinct
counter-agitation, and thus anything like a cordial fraternization
between the two is impossible. The attempts of the High-Church party to
obtain at least as much as a recognition of the validity of their orders
from the Orientals—attempts which were renewed at the Bonn
conference—have again signally failed. One of the “Unionist” leaders
himself laments that “the Oriental Church stands entirely aloof from the
Church of England, sweepingly and roundly condemns all its members,
denies the validity of their baptisms and ordinations, and practically
refuses to aid them in any shape or form.”

There is no doubt that at the present moment a tremendous struggle has
arisen in the Establishment between the would-be Catholic and the
Protestant elements; the latter not only pleading its three centuries’
possession, but also, and truly, declaring itself to be the very basis
and _raison d’être_ of the schism. This claim is urged at the present
time with a vehemence and jealous irritation aimed ostensibly at the
“Romanizing practices” of their brethren, but the venom of which betrays
itself to be especially called forth by the ceaseless, active,
self-denying energy of these incorrigible early risers—an irritation not
difficult to comprehend on the part of those who, with all their
professions of Evangelical piety, have, generally speaking, an exceeding
shyness of hard work, detest the Counsels of Perfection in general and
the practice of self-denial in particular, take up the pen much more
readily than the cross, and prefer bridling their neighbor’s tongue
rather than their own. Nevertheless, with regard to a certain class
among the Evangelicals, and these the more earnest, it is only just to
say that their condemnation of Ritualists and their practices is
sincerely a matter of principle. They regard the one as the guides and
the other as the direct means to “idolatry”—a term which they have all
their lives been taught to consider as synonymous with the Catholic
religion.

When St. Edward the Confessor lay on his death-bed in the palace of
Westminster, he foretold to his queen, St. Edith, and to Stigand that,
in punishment for the sins of the land, God would permit the enemy of
mankind to send a mission of wicked spirits into it, who should sever
the Green Tree of Old England from its root, and lay it apart for the
space of three furlongs; but that the tree should after a due time
return to its root and revive, without the help of any man’s hand. The
traditional interpretation of this prophecy has been that the English
Church would be cut off for the space of three centuries from its parent
stem, but that, after that time, the severed church should return to its
ancient allegiance.

And what do we now see? Movement, awakening, and life where for three
centuries have reigned the gloom and chillness of the tomb.

From the time of Elizabeth downwards not only the teaching but the
general aspect of what is called the Church of England was intensely
anti-Catholic. A brighter day first dawned for England when she
hospitably received and succored the exiled priests of France. The
precious leaven of their holy teaching and example never has been lost.
Later, in 1829, the emancipation of the Catholics of the British Empire,
under George IV., marked a fresh epoch in the history of the Catholic
Church in England. The discussions which attended the passing of this
act helped to increase a knowledge of her tenets, and prepared the way
for their better appreciation; besides which, the restoration of some of
the most illustrious families of the realm to their ancient and
hereditary seats in the House of Lords, together with the admission of
Catholics into the Lower House, tended further to the removal of many
prejudices. Since Newman and Pusey, in 1833, recalled their brethren to
the study of the Fathers of the church, many steps have been taken in
the Establishment in the direction of the ancient paths—steps which
Catholics have noted with interest and hope, though they perceive that
but too often men who have been attracted towards the truth rest
apparently contented with a bad imitation of its external manifestations
and a garbled or “adapted” representation of its doctrines, forgetting
that truth distorted ceases to be truth, and often is a lie. They marvel
also that the invariable opposition of the pseudo-episcopate does not
help these men, who are the present life of their system, to see that
their imaginary “Catholicity” is wholly unauthorized and unrecognized by
their ecclesiastical superiors, and that the hierarchy of their church
is as consistently and persistently anti-Catholic as the constitution of
that body itself. They are resisted and condemned by their bishops, and
from their bishops they have no appeal except to a lay tribunal whose
interference _in sacris_ they repudiate.

By the terms of a new Appellate Jurisdiction Act, recently passed in
both Houses of Parliament, the jurisdiction of the Privy Council has
been transferred to a new Court of Appeal. It was then provided that
episcopal assessors should in future sit on the bench with the lay
judges; and though it is by the latter that the judgment is pronounced,
the bishops are allowed to make remarks on what is passing. They are to
sit in rotation in the new court. The two archbishops and the Bishop of
London are also to sit in turn, _ex officio_, and the rest in
quarternions, beginning with the junior four (Chichester, St. Asaph,
Ely, and St. David’s). It is impossible to say what may be the results
of this equivocal assessorship, with regard to which the London _Morning
Post_ disrespectfully observes that “the plan offers no security
whatever that the assessors shall be fit for their office beyond the
fact that they are bishops”; calmly adding that “since the purpose for
which their presence is required is the imparting to the judges of a
certain kind and quality of information when desired, it is a serious
defect to the scheme that it provides no guarantee that the prelates who
sit shall possess any proper aptitude for their position.”[21]

Footnote 21:

  The following from the London _Weekly Register_ may tend to show
  whether this doubt is reasonable or otherwise: “The vicar of St.
  Barnabas, Leeds, is fatigued with parochial work and wishes to take a
  little rest. He asks his Lordship of Ripon to let him name a clergyman
  who shall take his duties for a few weeks or months. His lordship
  replies that he cannot do so, because—but the language is too
  episcopal to be misquoted: 'If there is truth in the reports which,
  from time to time, appear in the public papers, you are in the habit
  of breaking what you must know to be the law.’ His Lordship of Ripon
  reads the papers, and, finding it inconvenient to leave his palace at
  Ripon and make a call upon a clergyman in Leeds, he refuses leave of
  absence to that clergyman, on account of newspaper reports.” The
  church-wardens take up their vicar’s cause, and, in a very proper
  “memorial,” represent the needs of his case to his paternal diocesan.
  But all is useless. “The law, the law,” says the bishop, and remains
  comfortably in his palace, while he forbids his hard-working vicar to
  take a holiday, though he does not even condescend to specify his
  offence. And yet the Anglican bishops do not apparently object to a
  due amount of repose for themselves, if we may judge from the fact
  that at the very time we write there are no fewer than fifteen of the
  “missionary bishops” of the Establishment who, after a few years of
  absence, and even these years agreeably diversified with visits to
  their friends in England, have returned thither “for good,” and are
  now settled with their wives and families in comfortable rectories at
  home—an arrangement more convenient for croquet-parties than
  “conversions.”

Upon this another journal asks: If it be true that Anglican bishops are
corporately incompetent as advisers of lay judges, even on the doctrines
of their own particular communion, of what use are they at all? If they
cannot, without the aid of civilians, interpret the Articles, why not
make bishops of the lay judges, instead of paying thousands a year to
each of these gentlemen, who do not apparently know their own business?
In any case, how Ritualists can remain, with satisfaction to their
consciences, in a communion whose highest arbiter is not even a
sub-deacon, is perplexing to any one who regards the church as a
divinely-instituted system. We have been reminded by _Presbyter
Anglicanus_ that it is a necessary ingredient in any system of
discipline that the superior should not be judged by the inferior, the
teacher by the taught; and that the twelfth canon of the African Code
ordains that, “if a bishop fall under the imputation of any crime, he
shall have a second hearing before twelve bishops, if more cannot be
had; a priest before six, with his own bishop; a deacon before
three—_according to the statutes of the ancient canons_.” Again: “It was
a recognized principle in the primitive church that the deposition of an
ecclesiastic required the intervention of more bishops than were needed
for his ordination. The Anglican bishops notwithstanding their
professions of regard for the primitive church, are content that a
presbyter, ordained and instituted by a 'bishop,’ should be deprived by
a layman. And they talk of apostolic order!”

The writer just quoted, who is now safe in the Catholic Church,
described, just before his conversion, the present condition of
ecclesiastical discipline in the Anglican Church as follows: “The
ecclesiastical courts which survived the Reformation and the great
rebellion have been ... abolished; the bishop of each diocese has ceased
to be the ordinary of that diocese, and the whole clergy of the Church
of England are rendered amenable to, and are even directed in their
conduct of public worship by, a layman, whose office has been created in
the year of grace 1874 by the imperial Parliament, and who, besides
playing the part of a pseudo-dean of the Arches and principal of the
Provincial Court of York, is also to be the national ordinary, the
Parliamentary vicar-general of the Establishment, exercising
jurisdiction in every parish from Berwick-on-Tweed to the Channel
Islands.” And this is the system to which unquestioning, unrepining,
absolute submission is required of the clergy by the bishops of the
Anglican communion.

Nor is this all; not only is it now the case that secular law courts
decide what may or may not be taught and practised in the Anglican
Church, but they also claim to decide who shall and who shall not be
admitted to its rites and sacraments. Lawyers are thus not only the
doctors and _ceremoniarii_ of Anglicanism, suspending or depriving
ecclesiastics at pleasure, but they are also to be, in the last resort,
the stewards of Anglican sacraments.

A case was lately pending before the Judicial Committee in which the
action of a “priest” in refusing communion was reviewed and judged by
the court. A parishioner of a Ritualist pastor having declared that he
did not find in the Bible sufficient evidence for the existence of evil
spirits to incline him to believe in the devil, the clergyman prohibited
his coming for communion until he did believe in the devil. The
parishioner wrote a complaint to the bishop, and the latter took his
part against his parish “priest” and for the devil. The matter being
referred to the Judicial Committee, the bishop’s verdict was confirmed
in favor of the sceptical parishioner and of his Infernal Majesty.

Nor can any individual cases of this kind be matter of surprise when we
reflect to what the doctrinal decisions of the supreme courts of the
Anglican Establishment have, with the consent of her entire episcopate,
as expressed in their famous “allocution” on the Public Worship Act,
pledged her clergy. According to the final and irreversible authority
acknowledged by that episcopate, the Church of England holds, 1, that
the doctrine of baptismal regeneration is an open question; 2, that it
is an open question whether every part of every book of Scripture is
inspired; 3, that there is no “distinct declaration” in the formularies
of that church on the subject of everlasting punishment, and that the
words “everlasting death” in the exposition of the Lord’s Prayer given
in the catechism “cannot be taken as necessarily declaring anything
touching the eternity of punishment after the resurrection”; 4, that
Anglican bishops are the creatures of English law and dependent on that
law for their existence, rights, and attributes.[22]

Footnote 22:

  See _Christianity in Erastianism_. A letter to Cardinal Manning. By
  _Presbyter Anglicanus_.

“The Church of England,” said Dr. Stanley, the Protestant Dean of
Westminster, in a sermon recently preached at Battersea, “is what she is
by the goodness of Almighty God and of his servant Queen Elizabeth.” If
he had said, “of Henry VIII. and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth,” we
could have agreed with him, particularly as the riper years of the
Establishment continue so suitably to fulfil the promise of such
parentage; but to Catholics there is a revolting profanity in classing
together the goodness of God with that of one of the most implacable
persecutors of his church—a persecutor, not from conviction of the
justice, but the iniquity, of her cause, and from a persistent
determination to extinguish in her realm the ancient faith, whose very
existence was a condemnation of the state religion arranged by her
father and Cranmer, improved by her brother and his Genevese assistants,
and re-fashioned to her own liking by herself. The sentence pronounced
by the Protestant historian Chalmers upon this powerful and unprincipled
queen is that “she was a woman without chastity, a princess without
honor, and a sovereign without faith”; and, as if by way of a satanic
parody on the vision of the Immaculate Virgin in the Book of
Revelations, we see Elizabeth, the offspring of an adulterous union,
trampling under her despotic foot the Bride of Christ.

“The Church of England,” continued the dean, “was, it is true, a
compromise,” and “he was not a true son thereof who used it as a weapon
for promoting this or that doctrine, but, _after the example of
Elizabeth_, and for the interests of the nation, used it as a broad
shield under which he might work for good,”[23] etc., etc. The sense of
which, in plain English, appears to be that the said church prefers
general indifference to doctrinal truth, the “interests of the nation”
to the glory of God, and the “example of Elizabeth” to purity of faith
and life.

Footnote 23:

  Hentzner furnishes us, by the way, with a singular testimony to
  Elizabeth’s “goodness” when, among other things of the same nature, he
  tells us that, in the latter years of her reign, executions for high
  treason (this being the term applied to denial of the royal supremacy
  in the church fully as much as in the state) were so frequent that he
  counted at one time on London Bridge no fewer than 300 heads. She
  herself on one occasion pointed out to the French ambassador the same
  ghastly trophies adorning the gates of her own palace.

But Dean Stanley represents one only of the four principal sections into
which the Church of England has divided itself; and however complacently
the “Broad” and even “Moderate High” Churchmen may regard the marshy
nature of the ground in which the foundations of their faith, if faith
it can be called, are laid, and congratulate themselves on the fact that
it is neither land nor water, but something of both, there are earnest
men who have no fancy for being amphibious, and who spare no pains and
toil to drain away the stagnant waters from their morass, in the sincere
conviction that beneath the miasma-breeding mosses there lies, for those
who dig deep enough to find it, the imperishable rock.

Of this number seems to be the Rev. Arthur Tooth, vicar of St. James’,
Hatcham, who is now in prison because he chooses to act upon the
principle of “no compromise.” We honor a man who is willing to suffer
for conscience’ sake, and to uphold the right of the church to decide in
ecclesiastical causes, but at the same time we cannot but feel that Mr.
Tooth is more conscientious than logical, and that by his present
opposition he is breaking the solemn promise and oath which, as a
clergyman of the state church, he took, at his ordination, to a
state-church bishop.

Mr. Tooth, on account of certain ritualistic practices—_i.e._, the use
of “Catholic” vestments, conducting the communion service so as to make
it resemble as much as possible Holy Mass, having “a crucifix in the
chancel, little winged figures on the communion-table, lighted candles
on a ledge where he had been ordered not to place them, etc., etc.—was,
by order of Lord Penzance and with the approval of his own bishop, Dr.
Claughton of Rochester, interdicted from officiating again in the
diocese. The writ of inhibition was served him on a Sunday morning
before the commencement of the service; he not only took no notice of
the writ, but also on the following (Christmas) day publicly resisted
his substitute. Canon Gee had been appointed by the bishop to read the
service in the place of Mr. Tooth, but, on his arriving at the church,
the latter gentleman, backed by about forty of his male parishioners,
met him at the door and refused to allow him to enter, upon which Canon
Gee, after protesting against this insubordinate proceeding on the part
of his refractory brother, was forced to retire. Having thus disposed of
the episcopal delegate, the vicar proceeded to display an unusual pomp
in the ceremonial. Six splendid banners were carried in procession, on
one of which was embroidered the monogram of Our Blessed Lady,
surrounded by the words, _Sancta Dei Genitrix_.” The church was crowded
to suffocation, partly with worshippers, and also very largely by people
who had come from curiosity, as was evident by their behavior no less
than by their murmured expressions of ridicule or indignation; a crowd,
not only of “roughs,” but numbering many well-dressed people, had
assembled outside. On one occasion, the 14th of January, in particular,
the scenes both within and without were disgraceful. “Inside,” we are
told, “there was a good deal of fighting and scuffling, especially at
the lower end,” while outside the crowd, besides breaking down the
fences, shouting “No popery,” yelling, and in various ways demonstrating
their inclination to break the laws as well as the parson did, had they
not been kept in some abeyance by a strong body of three hundred police,
joined in singing loudly the national anthem, vociferating with especial
emphasis and vigor the line “Confound their knavish tricks”—improved by
some to “popish tricks” in honor of the occasion. Some time after the
service was over, so as to give the mob time to thin, the sight of Mr.
Tooth issuing from the church under the protection of “twenty stout
policemen of the F Division” had in it something almost ludicrous to
those who reflected that all this commotion arose from the fact of his
having spurned the “secular arm.”

When, on the 20th of January, the Rev. R. Chambers, who has been
appointed curate in charge of the parish of Hatcham by the Bishop of
Rochester, went, accompanied by the bishop’s apparitor, and, producing
his license, requested Mr. Tooth to hand over to him through the
church-wardens the possession of the church, the vicar replied that he
refused to take any notice of the document or the application. He was
therefore committed for contempt of court, and is now lodged in
Horsemonger Lane jail.

It is not necessary to give more than two portions of the very temperate
explanations with which Lord Penzance has accompanied his
judgment—namely, those portions which are aimed at the delusions
supposed to be most important in the controversy. These delusions are,
in brief, 1st, that the new Public Worship Act was an innovation upon
Anglican custom, and an invasion of its rights; 2d, that obedience
should be rendered to an ecclesiastical and not to a lay superior. The
answers of Lord Penzance to these assumptions are, substantially, as
follows:

“1. It would be well if those who maintain these propositions were to
read the statutes by which the ritual of the Church of England at the
time of the Reformation was enforced—I mean the statutes establishing
the two successive prayer-books of King Edward VI. and the prayer-book
of Queen Elizabeth, which regulated the ritual of the reformed church
for the first hundred years after its establishment. They would there
find that a clergyman departing in the performance of divine service
from the ritual prescribed in the prayer-book was liable to be _tried at
the assizes by a judge and jury_ (the bishop, _if he pleased_, assisting
the judges), and, if convicted three times, was liable to be _imprisoned
for life_. The intervention, therefore, of a temporal court to enforce
obedience in matters of ritual is at least no novelty; the novelty, as
far as the Church of England is concerned, is rather in the claim to be
exempt from it.

“2. But suppose this claim, for the sake of argument, to be admitted;
what, then, are the ecclesiastical courts to whose judgment the
Ritualists would be willing to defer? Unless every clergyman is to
settle the form of worship for himself, and there are to be as many
forms of worship as there are parishes in the land, who is it that, in
his opinion, is to determine what the rubrics of the prayer-book
enjoin?—for we suppose him to consider himself bound by the directions
of the prayer-book. What is the court to which he is willing to render
obedience? Is it the court of his bishop? If so, he must surely be aware
that by the ecclesiastical law of this country, as well before the
Reformation as since, an appeal from the bishop’s court lies, and has
always lain, to the court of the archbishop, this Court of Arches, whose
jurisdiction he now denies. What question, therefore, is there of a
secular court, or an invasion of the rights of the Church of
England?[24]” And the judgment passed by Lord Penzance was contained in
the following words: “Applying these powers as I am bound to do, I have
no hesitation in pronouncing Mr. Tooth to be contumacious, and in
contempt for disobeying the inhibition pronounced by this court, and I
direct the same to be signified to the queen in chancery, with a view to
his imprisonment.”

Footnote 24:

  A writer in the London _Times_ gives the following answer to the
  ecclesiastical assumptions of Mr. Tooth: “I will enumerate some of the
  acts on ecclesiastical matters which have become law without the
  consent of the priesthood, and which therefore the present agitators
  bind themselves to disallow and disobey: The act of Edward VI. on the
  Sacrament, on Chantries, on Images, on Fasting; the Acts of
  Uniformity, both of Edward VI. and Elizabeth; the Act of Toleration;
  the act abolishing the burning of heretics, under William III.; the
  acts, both of Charles II. and William III., for the observance of
  Sunday; the various Marriage Acts of William III., George II., and
  Queen Victoria; the various acts both for the repression and the
  relief of Roman Catholics during the same range of time; the acts
  during the late and present reigns against pluralities and against
  non-residence; the acts suppressing the Irish bishoprics, suppressing
  half the cathedral dignitaries in England, and, finally,
  revolutionizing the Irish Church; the act for abolishing the services
  drawn up by Convocation for the political anniversaries of the
  seventeenth century. These and many other laws, many of them of
  unquestioned beneficence, most of them of unquestioned obligation, all
  of them passed by Parliament, and by it alone, must be set aside by
  those who make it a point of conscience to disobey any law which has
  been imposed on the church by secular authority.”

And now the strife of tongues which preceded this climax was comparative
calm to that which at present rages. All the winds of Æolus, each trying
which can blow the hardest, seem let loose at once in the distracted
Establishment. By the Ritualist party the confessor for disobedience in
Horsemonger Lane jail is already dubbed “the martyr, Tooth”; while
another party rejoices that, by the contumacy of this “parson in
revolt,” the state church is “forced into a clear, practical assertion
of her old and hitherto unquestioned right to restrain and punish
disobedient and delinquent 'clerks.’” Further, the London _Times_,
dilating after its own infallible fashion upon Mr. Tooth and “his
pranks,” dares to aver that “to parade a banner calling the Virgin Mary
the 'Mother of God’ is little less than sheer blasphemy.”

At a large meeting of the “English Church Union” it became evident that
the changes in law procedure produced by the Public Worship Regulation
Act are producing a murmur in favor of “disestablishment” within the
Church of England herself. One of the reverend speakers at this meeting
said that “the issue had now merged from one about the color of a stole
to a question of church and state,” and the honorable chairman agreed
that “establishment might cost too dear.” Archdeacon Denison declared
that this case of “dear Arthur Tooth” would prove to be “a
life-and-death struggle with Protestantism,” thus making the old mistake
of putting mere ritualism in the place of the Catholic Church. Canon
Carter moved that “the Church Union denies that the secular power has
authority in matters purely spiritual,” upon which a journal reminds him
that, from the days of the Reformation, it has been one of the
conditions on which the state church enjoyed the emoluments and
privileges of establishment that her clergy should perform certain
duties in a way laid down by law. Whether, as in the case of Mr. Tooth,
they have or have not done so is a matter which the law leaves a
particular court to decide. If Mr. Tooth does not relish the action of
these tribunals, two courses are open to him, and only two. Either he
may give up those practices which they declare obnoxious within the pale
of the Established Church, or he may leave the Establishment and
continue them elsewhere. The latter step would entail the sacrifice of
the endowment, or, as the Ritualists would say, it would involve the
guilt of schism; in which case the whole matter resolves itself into a
choice of sins: the clergyman must either commit the sin of obeying Lord
Penzance, and so retain the endowment, or he must commit the sin of
“schism” and fling the endowment away. Thus the Church Unionists are by
no means logical in comparing their present position to that of
Chalmers, Buchanan, Guthrie, Cunningham, and other leaders of the Free
Kirk of Scotland previously to 1843; for these men gave up all thought
of state endowment, or even of ministering in buildings dependent on the
state, and purchased the independence of their ministrations at the cost
of all state temporalities. This is a very different matter from
attempting to have the temporalities and the independence together.[25]

Footnote 25:

  Certain evicted Ritualists, however, do not appear to be much affected
  by the measures taken to repress them, if it be true that the Rev. R.
  P. Dale, who has been suspended for three years, and his former parish
  merged into another, takes the matter very philosophically, and, in
  default of his own parish, finds every Sunday in one place or another
  a complaisant brother-clergyman, who lends him his church and his
  pulpit, from which he braves the pseudo-episcopal thunders.

Another observation made by Canon Carter was, though not in itself more
true, yet, for him, much more to the point—namely, that “the only
persecution now carried on in England is against the High-Church party.”
It is on this fact that the Ritualists stand triumphant. They can
honestly plead that they, the High-Church party, have done more than all
the other parties put together for the revival of faith and devotion in
England. They can also plead that they are men of education, of courage
and energy and self-denying zeal, and that to them is due whatever
residuum is left of Catholic sentiment and tradition in the
Establishment. The marvel is that any of these really earnest men should
continue so blind to their anomalous position.

On the same day that the English Church Union held its assembly a
meeting of the ultra-Protestant school took place at the Wellington
Hall, Islington, where about one hundred and twenty clergymen and laymen
partook of breakfast, after which they proceeded to deliver themselves
of a large amount of the peculiar and incoherent insipidities with which
the readers of the _Rock_ must be painfully familiar. One specimen will
suffice, which, as our readers will perceive, is not lacking in the
unctuous accusations in which the “Evangelicals” are apt to excel: “As
in Germany,” they said, “the Jesuits devoted all their self-denying
energies to opposing the spread of the true doctrines, so here in
England there was an able and resolute body of men who opposed
themselves to the true principles of religion, and who, by services
rendered attractive to the eye and ear, appealed by the senses to the
understanding. Many of these men were no doubt sincere, and were thus
unconsciously doing the work of Satan. This was the powerful opposing
force with which the Evangelical body of the Church of England had to
contend.”

Now, we must beg leave to observe that for these “Evangelical” gentlemen
to talk of Ritualists as unconsciously doing the work of Satan is simply
absurd. Did not the “beam in their own eye” blind them, we would ask
them to take a glance backward and think of forty years ago, when,
through the length and breadth of the land, they locked up their
churches from Sunday afternoon to the following Sunday morning, and
sometimes even longer; for the writer can recall three villages (there
may or may not have been many more) in Leicestershire alone where, less
than forty years ago, there was only one service on the Sunday, and that
alternately in the morning and afternoon. We have heard of the wag who
chalked on the church door of an Evangelical rector, “_Le Bon Dieu est
sorti: Il ne reviendra que dimanche prochain_.” And truly, if the good
God _did_ come back, it would not be, in many instances, to find his
house “swept and garnished.”

Forty years ago! Sitting in the old family pew in the chancel of A ...
stone church, through the long, monotonous sermons of the worthy rector,
whose favorite subjects were “saving faith” and abuse of popery, what a
help it was to patient endurance to watch the merry, loud-voiced
sparrows fluttering in and out of the broken diamond panes of the
chancel windows, through which long sprays of ivy crept and clung
lovingly up the poor old walls, bare of everything but whitewash, of the
once Catholic church—walls that the damp of many an autumn and winter
had dyed with streaks of green, deeper and brighter in hue than the
faded, ink-stained rag of moth-eaten green baize that covered the
rickety wooden table standing where, in old days, the most holy
Sacrifice had been offered upon a Catholic altar. Childhood, before
opportunities for comparison have been afforded, is not hard to please,
and we used to think that that verdant chancel might have been in the
mind of the sweet Psalmist of Israel when he sang, “The sparrow hath
found her a house, and the swallow a nest, where she may lay her young:
even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts!” And yet our worthy rector (a rich
pluralist with a large family) was a kind-hearted, easy, amiable man,
and not in any way addicted to the hunting and drinking practices of
certain of his clerical neighbors; his house was the perfection of
refined not overloaded luxury, and the well-kept gardens of that most
pleasant of rectories were a paradise of smooth lawns, gay parterres,
and shady shrubberies sloping down to the banks of the winding Soar. The
rector led a mildly studious life when in the country (for half his year
was spent in London), visited much among the “county families,” and
shyly and rarely entered the cottages of the village; but religion in
that village was well-nigh dead. If amiable clergymen of this stamp are
not “unconsciously doing the work of Satan” themselves, they at any rate
give Satan plenty of time and opportunity to do his own work himself
among their flock, and to do it very effectually, too.

Yet it is the descendants of men like these who are foremost in groaning
down and persecuting the self-denying, hard-working clergy who are
always at their posts! The preachers of sentiment are furious against
the upholders of the necessity of dogmatic truth. The idlers in family
and social circles are desperate against enthusiasts who at least _try_
to hear confessions and to be priests. We cannot admire the consistency
of the Ritualists—for unhappily it does not exist—but the inconsistency
of their “Evangelical” accusers is simply “the impeachment of energy by
twaddle.”

A correspondent of the London _Times_ calls attention to the fact that
while Mr. Tooth, who is perfectly orthodox as regards the creeds of the
church, is prosecuted for extremes in ritual, a brother clergyman is
allowed to preach open infidelity from the pulpit unmolested. “The
Public Worship Bill,” he writes, “has been passed to repress crimes so
grave as over-magnificence in the services, but does not deign to meddle
in so small a matter as that of vindicating the Divinity of our Saviour,
which is fearlessly impugned in a pulpit which the Bishop of London
himself has condescended to occupy.”

It is much to be doubted whether the Anglican bishops, when they
obtained from Parliament the Public Worship Regulation Act, had the
remotest idea of the tempest which, Prospero-like, they were summoning
around them, but which, unlike Shakspere’s magician, they would be
powerless to allay. And if this is the result obtained by the act just
mentioned, a still more recent one, the “Scotch Church Patronage Act,”
another measure intended by Lord Beaconsfield as an additional buttress
to ecclesiastical establishments, has produced similar storms in the
North. It has led to proceedings in connection with the “settlement” of
a parish clergyman at New Deer in Aberdeenshire which recall the furious
battles between the “intrusion” and non-intrusion parties that split the
Established Church of Scotland into fragments thirty-four years ago, and
has besides almost succeeded in uniting three-fourths of Scotland into a
solid disestablishment phalanx. The Presbyterian Kirk, moreover, in
addition to subjects of contention presented from without, has certain
characteristic squabbles of its own. A question having recently arisen
on the subject of unfermented wines in the celebration of what is called
communion, the session has maintained that it “has a right to change the
elements of communion, and in so doing is discharging its proper
functions.” Why not? If local churches can make their own doctrines,
what, we should like to know, is to hinder them from making their own
sacraments as well?

Our object in this article has been merely to sketch the present
condition of affairs in the English Establishment; but as we have in
concluding taken a momentary glance at Scotland also, we cannot leave
unnamed the Green Isle of the West, whose centuries of suffering and
oppression have at last, we earnestly trust, given place to times of
peace and long prosperity.

Should the reviving hopes of many hearts be realized, and the Green Tree
of England’s ancient church again spread its vigorous branches over the
land that was once “Our Lady’s Dowry”; and should the grand old northern
abbeys, Melrose, Jedburgh, Paisley, and even, it may be, Iona, receive
again as in past ages their cowled and consecrated sons, still England
and Scotland will have but returned to the faith which Ireland has never
lost, and which no human or Satanic power has been able to wrench from
her. No! For, rather than let the cross be torn from her bleeding
embrace, she suffered herself to be nailed upon it.



                        THE ASHES OF THE PALMS.


THE DISCIPLE.


    “Are ashes scarce that palms must burn,
    Those sweet memorials of the only day
    Of triumph that thou hadst, my Prince,
      Upon this woeful earth?”


THE MASTER.


    “All glory unto ashes, child, must turn,
    Of which this deathly world can make display.
    These ashes on proud heads convince
      Proud hearts of glory’s worth.”


THE DISCIPLE.


    “If palms to ashes must,
    So be 't. _I_ still will live to praise,
      Though glory’s gage should burn.”


THE MASTER.


    “E’en thou art naught but dust.
    The mark thy forehead bears betrays
      To what thou shalt return.”


ASH WEDNESDAY



                           NEW PUBLICATIONS.


    AN OLD WORLD AS SEEN THROUGH YOUNG EYES; OR, TRAVELS AROUND THE
    WORLD. By Ellen H. Walworth. New York: Sadlier & Co. 1877.

Every school-girl who reads this book will wish that she had an uncle
who would send for her one day, while she is dreaming over her
lesson-book, and invite her to accompany him around the world. This is
what happened to Miss Ellen Walworth in June, 1873, and the volume
before us is composed of the letters which she wrote home during her
tour, and which were published as they were received in an Albany
newspaper, attracting at the time considerable attention. They are the
production of a school-girl of fifteen, but slightly altered from their
original form, and this makes their peculiarity and their special
interest. The course of her travels was through Scotland, Ireland,
England, Belgium, the country of the Rhine, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt,
China, Japan, and home by way of San Francisco. The letters are just
what they should be—natural, lively, juvenile descriptions of the little
incidents of travel and the scenes witnessed, with the freshness and
vividness of letters written at the time and on the spot to which each
one successively belongs. Two extremely interesting letters of Father
Walworth, written with his well-known charm of style and minute accuracy
of statement, are included in the collection. One of these contains a
description of the Coptic rite, the other an account of the present
state of the mission in Japan, with many interesting historical
particulars. Our young folk will find this a very entertaining volume,
and older people may read it with pleasure. It is a book very creditable
to the young author, and also an evidence of the kind of culture which
is given to young girls by the accomplished ladies at Kenwood. We
subjoin one specimen of the style in which the letters are written, not
at all childish, although suffused with a childlike gayety:

    “I remember what dispute arose among the passengers the day we went
    down Lake Zurich. There were mountains all around us, but from the
    end of the lake towards which we were steering rose quite a high
    range. Over their summits the clouds extended up some distance, and,
    strange to say, a succession of peaks were to be seen above the
    clouds, suspended, as it were, in the sky, and having no connection
    with the peaks below, except a close resemblance in form. Their
    outlines were distinctly marked against the clear blue sky, but they
    had a strange, chalky, light appearance, as if they could be blown
    away by a breath. Some of the passengers said they were merely
    unusual forms taken by the clouds; others insisted that they were a
    reflection of the peaks below—a species of _Fata Morgana_. A few old
    Alp frequenters, among them our friend of the gravel acquaintance,
    ventured to assert that they were real mountains, but their idea was
    laughed down as ridiculous. While the dispute was the hottest, the
    wind, by a strange freak, dispersed the clouds almost in an instant,
    and we had before us one of the mighty ranges of Switzerland, beside
    which our mountains of the lake shore were mere hillocks.

    “From the foot of Lake Zurich we took the railroad carriages for
    Ragatz and Chur. This journey is among my most vivid recollections
    of Switzerland: for we were following the courses of the valleys and
    streams through that wonderful range of mountains that we had seen
    from the lake. We twisted ourselves into every possible position to
    see the snow-capped summits directly above us, and our
    fellow-travellers—English, French, and Germans—became so excited
    over the scenery that they would call out to each other—for, though
    the language might not be understood, the gestures were
    unmistakable—and they would rush from one side of the cars to the
    other, even dropping down on the floor, to get a sight from the
    car-windows of the very tip-top of the mountains. The enthusiasm
    seemed contagious; there were haughty Englishmen, stolid Germans,
    fashionable young ladies, and confirmed dandies equally forgetful of
    appearances. Indeed, as we passed peak after peak, now clustered
    together, now opening and showing beautiful valleys between, or
    dark, shaded chasms, the jagged rocks taking new shapes and hues
    every instant, it was like watching a grand and ever-varying
    kaleidoscope.”


    MUSICA ECCLESIASTICA. A collection of Masses, Vespers, Hymns,
    Motets, etc., for the service of the Catholic Church. New York: J.
    Fischer & Bro.

Of this publication the Part 16 sent us, containing motets for singing
at the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, is a collection well suited
for use at that function. But we must object to the title of the general
work, as neither this nor any figured _music_ can be sung by
ecclesiastics, as such, officiating in any service of the Catholic
Church. The only melody properly styled _musica ecclesiastica_ is the
Gregorian chant. Definitions are always of grave moment. Suppose that
some one of our enterprising publishers should present the public with a
manual of prayers such as the _St. John’s Manual_, the _Key of Heaven_,
or the _Mission Book_ under the title of “Manual for the Clergy,
consisting of prayers, litanies, hymns, and other devotions _for the
service of the Catholic Church_”; it is plain that it would not receive
the imprimatur of a Catholic school-boy.

Under a proper title we give our hearty encouragement to the work which
our German Catholic brethren abroad and here in the United States have
within the last few years pursued with such praiseworthy zeal in the
composition of music for the use of our choirs, which, if we do not
think it to be the most suitable and most consistent in tone with the
letter and spirit of the Catholic ritual, is decidedly a vast
improvement upon the sensual, operatic style of music whose melodies and
harmonies have emasculated the devotion and vitiated the taste of, we
regret to say, almost the majority of Catholics in modern times.


    THE COMPREHENSIVE GEOGRAPHY. Nos. 1, 2, and 3. New York: P. O’Shea,
    37 Barclay St. 1876.

We are inclined to think that this series is the best of the many which
have of late years been presented to the public, and certainly do not
know of any which are superior to it in any respect except in the
department of physical geography; and it is as complete even in this as
it could well be without an additional volume specially devoted to that
subject.

The feature which should particularly recommend it to Catholics is the
prominence which it gives to facts connected with religion. There is no
branch of study for the young in which it is so important that religion
should be prominent as geography, with the exception, of course, of
history. Even the best text-books hitherto published are perhaps a
little too reticent in this respect. The desire to accomplish this
object has in the present work led to the introduction of some rather
unnecessary details; but this is a fault on the right side.

We hope that this series will become popular, as it deserves to be, in
Catholic schools.


    THE COMPLETE OFFICE OF HOLY WEEK ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN MISSAL AND
    BREVIARY. In Latin and English. New edition. Revised and enlarged.
    18mo, pp. 563. New York: The Catholic Publication Society. 1877.

This edition of _Holy Week_ is a new and corrected one; it is printed
from large type on good paper, and is well and substantially bound.
Moreover, it is complete, containing all the offices of the church from
Palm Sunday to Easter Tuesday, inclusive. This edition is the only
correct one now published in this country. It has been carefully read by
persons competent to guarantee against the gross blunders that are apt
to disfigure Catholic works of the greatest importance. The price is so
low that the book is within the reach of every one, thus enabling them
to follow easily the services of the church during Holy Week.



                          THE CATHOLIC WORLD.
                     VOL. XXV., No. 146.—MAY, 1877.


                      THE PRUSSIAN CHANCELLOR.[26]


Footnote 26:

  _Two Chancellors, etc._ By Julian Klaczko. Translated by Frank P.
  Ward. New York: Hurd & Houghton.

  _Pro Nihilo_ and other pamphlets on the Arnim question.

M. Julian Klaczko is by birth a Polish Jew and is a convert to the
Catholic Christian faith. He was for a time employed in the office of
the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was afterwards a member of
the imperial parliament. He has, however, generally been a resident in
France, where his numerous essays on political topics have been
published, all of which have attracted much attention and won for their
author a high reputation. We have already, in our number for last March,
made some observations on the career and policy of one of the two
chancellors, whose lives and public actions, so far as they had
progressed at the time of its publication, were sketched in the work
whose title is given below. This work is one of the most interesting
political _brochures_ of our time, and we propose to continue in the
present article the review of it commenced in our previous one,
confining our attention chiefly to the chancellor of the German Empire.

Prince Bismarck has been characterized by M. Thiers as “a savage full of
genius.” He is one of Carlyle’s “heroes”—an expression synonymous with
that of the clever French statesman, and denoting a giant in whom is
embodied intellectual and physical force, irrespective of any moral
direction. To this native strength, which has remained through life to a
great extent rude and uncultivated, and not in any way to a regular and
careful education, Otto von Bismarck is indebted for the success he has
achieved. His studies were finished on his entrance at the university,
and never resumed. It is doubtful whether he ever passed the legal
examination required before entering the civil service in Prussia.
Nevertheless, such a man is always a sort of extraordinary professor to
himself. He has read literature and studied men and events. It is absurd
to call such a man uneducated; and, although he does not possess the art
of speaking or writing according to rule, he is able to use both his
tongue and pen with an original power which sometimes rises to the
highest level of eloquence, and to coin expressions which, once uttered,
can never be forgotten. We have quoted one in our former article, about
the “iron dice of destiny,” and we will give one more, which we think is
unsurpassed in the annals of modern speech:

    “One of his most happy, most memorable inspirations he suddenly drew
    one day from the libretto of the _Freischütz_.

    “In this opera of Weber, Max, the good and unfortunate hunter,
    borrows a cartridge from Robin, the evil spirit, and immediately
    kills an eagle, one of whose feathers he proudly sticks in his cap.
    He then asks for some more cartridges, but Robin tells him that they
    are 'enchanted balls,’ and that, in order to obtain them, he must
    surrender himself to the infernal spirits and deliver his soul to
    them. Max draws back, and then Robin, sneering, tells him that he
    hesitates in vain, that the bargain is made, and that he has already
    committed himself by the ball he made use of: 'Do you think, then,
    that this eagle was a free gift?’ Well! when in 1849 the young
    orator of the Mark of Brandenburg had to implore the Prussian
    chamber not to accept for the King of Prussia the imperial crown
    which the parliament of Frankfort offered him, he ended by crying
    out: 'It is radicalism which offers this gift to the king. Sooner or
    later this radicalism will stand upright before the king, will
    demand of him its recompense, and, pointing to the emblem of the
    eagle on that new imperial flag, it will say: _Did you think, then,
    that this eagle was a free gift?_’”

The suggestion will doubtless present itself immediately to the minds of
many of our readers that the poetic myth of the _Freischütz_ is likely
to be fulfilled in sober, actual reality when the German imperial drama
is played out, and that Bismarck will prove to have been the Robin of
William I. But this is an anticipation, and we return to our sheep and
our young wolf. An equally marked and well-known trait of Bismarck’s
style in speech and writing is a cold, biting, ironical humor, which
often assumes the outward guise of frankness, sometimes ferocious,
sometimes farcical, but always dangerous and often deadly when the
master of the weapon is wielding it in a real fight. The general tone of
his disposition is contemptuous and misanthropical, as of one who
alternately sneers and laughs at mankind in general, on the whole
despising the game of life, yet going in for deep play with all his soul
when the chance presents itself, for mere occupation and amusement; just
as he plunged into the Burschen-life in his youth and hunted bears at a
later period in Russia. There is no trace of philanthropy in his
character; as an enemy he is relentless, and no gentle or noble
sentiments hamper his progress in the way of his policy of “blood and
iron.” Yet there is a most tender and devoted affection manifested in
his letters to his sister, Malvina von Arnim—“Maldewinchen”; so far as
we know he has been a kind husband and father; there seems really to be
something genuine in his long friendship for Prince Gortchakoff; and all
the world knows that he risked his life to rescue a servant from
drowning. The impression we have received from all we have ever read or
heard about him is, that his natural disposition, like that of Napoleon,
is generous and noble, but, like his, has been perverted by ambition.

His early life did not promise any great achievements. He went by the
name of “Mad Bismarck,” and was always restless, unsettled, without
steady application to any definite aim. What his real inward convictions
are or have been, in religion, philosophy, and the higher sphere of
political ethics, is very difficult to determine, at least for us who
are at a distance; or even to decide how far he has ever formed and
cherished any deep and settled convictions at all. Practically, he has
been a Pyrrhonist and Epicurean, a heathen and a materialist, using all
things and all ideas as so many counters of no value except for his own
game. The opinions which he professed at the outset of his political
career were those of “the party of the cross,” that old-Prussian,
religious, monarchical, conservative party represented by the
illustrious Baron von Gerlach, which has been in opposition to the
administration of the chancellor, and is now in a quasi-alliance with
the Catholic party.

    “'I belong—' such was the defiant declaration of Herr von Bismarck
    in one of his first speeches in the chamber—'I belong to an opinion
    which glories in the reproaches of obscurantism and of tendencies of
    the middle age; I belong to that great multitude which is compared
    with disdain to the most intelligent party of the nation.’ He wanted
    a _Christian state_. 'Without a religious basis,’ said he, 'a state
    is nothing but _a fortuitous aggregation of interests, a sort of
    bastion in a war of all against all; without this religious basis,
    all legislation, instead of regenerating itself at the living
    sources of eternal truth, is only tossed about by human ideas as
    vague as changeable_.’”

What can be finer or truer than this statement, in which the whole of
his own policy as chancellor of the German Empire is condemned in
advance out of his own mouth? In every important respect his avowed
opinions and political action were diametrically opposite to those of a
later date. In fact, his bold and even extravagant advocacy of the cause
of the house of Hapsburg, at a moment when (1850) the attitude of
Prussia towards Austria was most humiliating, was the first occasion of
launching him into the career of foreign affairs. He was sent, with much
misgiving on the part of the king and his minister, as Prussian
plenipotentiary to the Diet of Frankfort; and here he began to go to
school to Prince Gortchakoff, now commenced that world-renowned
friendship between these two statesmen which has altered the course of
history and for whose _dénoûement_ we are at this moment intently
watching.

It would be idle to suppose that these two men traced out beforehand the
common policy which they have since pursued in concert. It was
impossible for any human sagacity to foresee the conjunctures which have
since arisen, and have furnished to Bismarck the opportunities of which
his genius has availed itself to destroy and to upbuild great political
fabrics. They could only plan, in general, the aggrandizement of Russia
and Prussia, by the breaking down of the traditional policy of coalition
and balance among the European powers. All that we can see clearly
respecting the incipient working of Bismarck’s mind at this period is,
that he contracted an aversion for Austria, a contempt for the German
confederation, and a mean opinion in general of the diplomats who had
the management of the European state-craft. The idea of a new era of
absolutism in a few great, conquering nations—an absolutism “tinged with
popular passions,” or, according to his favorite expression,“spotted
with red”—dawned on his mind and became gradually more distinct. Some
extravagant projects were at times bubbling in his restless brain, and
he often threatened to abandon the career of regular diplomatic service
and go into politics “in his swimming-drawers.” But when the Prussian
administration proposed to him to go to Russia as resident ambassador,
with a view, as he expressed it, of “putting him on ice” to cool him
down, he consented to don a “bear-skin” instead of the aforesaid
habiliments of a _sans-culottes_.

On the 1st of April, _his birth-day_, 1859, Herr von Bismarck arrived in
the capital of the Russian Empire, of which his former colleague at
Frankfort was already the chancellor. Among the Russians he was
extremely popular; for he took extraordinary pains to make himself
agreeable to them, and seemed to have turned himself into a Russian, for
the time being, in donning the bear-skin. Notwithstanding his outward
hilariousness, he was inwardly morose, dissatisfied with the course
which Prussian and European politics were following, and feeling himself
condemned to honorable exile and inaction. He was once so severely ill
through chagrin that his life was in danger. He said on his recovery
that he had gone “half-way to a better world,” and expressed regret that
he had not completed the journey. He thought of abandoning politics
altogether, and with difficulty overcame his impatience sufficiently to
bide his time a little longer. Gortchakoff said that Russia “did not
sulk, but meditated.” Bismarck sulked and meditated. But meanwhile the
course of events was preparing for him his opportunity. The strange and
mixed drama in which Napoleon III., destined to be its principal victim,
was the chief actor—whose critical moments were Sebastopol, Solferino,
Sadowa, Sedan—was going on. This great actor, once regarded as a sphinx
of political wisdom, but now designated by no more honorable title than
the “dreamer of Ham,” holds a conspicuous place in the group of those
apparently and temporarily great men to whom belongs the epitaph sadly
composed for himself by the expiring Joseph II., Emperor of Austria:
“Here lies the man who failed in all his undertakings.” More than this,
he is a signal instance of that blind fatuity by which those men who set
themselves to counteract the order of divine Providence are seduced, as
the King of Israel was by the “lying spirit” in the mouth of his
prophets, to ruin themselves and become the executioners of divine
vengeance on their own persons.

If Louis Napoleon had had good sense and moral principle enough to
imitate Charlemagne, he might have confirmed his dynasty, established
France in solid power and prosperity, and earned true glory as a
benefactor of Christendom. But he was not “of the seed of those men by
whom salvation was brought to Israel.” He aspired to imitate Cæsar and
Napoleon without possessing their genius. He imitated the profligacy of
Cæsar in his youth, the perfidy of Napoleon in his old age. His early
vices avenged themselves in the pain and disease which unmanned and
incapacitated him for action in the last eventful crisis of his career.
His criminal alliance with Carbonari and conspirators in his youth
entangled him afterwards in a mesh which he had not courage, even if he
had the wish, to break. By his alliance with the Turk he prepared an
enemy in Russia, who became one principal cause of his final downfall
and the humiliation of France, while he gained nothing beyond a
momentary prestige of glory for his army. By his Italian campaign, and
his subsequent support of Prussia against Austria, he weakened the power
which would otherwise have befriended France in her dire distress; and
he built up a kingdom which abandoned and betrayed him, at the cost of
incurring the malediction which falls on all betrayers and oppressors of
the Holy See.

By his greed of territory in annexing Savoy he alienated for ever his
former ally, England. By the war above alluded to and his miserable
Mexican _fiasco_ he used up the splendid army of France, and was found
_minus habens_ when the day of destiny came on him unprepared. He
deliberately fostered the military and political increase of Prussia,
and then madly dragged down upon France that terrible power which,
having first outwitted, in the second place crushed him.

We have read of some one who drew an enigmatical figure, in which a
crowned serpent is represented twining from his tail upward through a
combination of four letters S, and strangled by the upper crook of the
topmost letter. In this figure is strikingly symbolized the course of
events in Europe from the Crimean war to the Prussian conquest. During
Bismarck’s residence in Russia, which followed Sebastopol, came the day
of Solferino. The immediate effect of this battle was an attempt to
mobilize the Prussian army, which disclosed to the crown-prince, now
Emperor of Germany, its miserable condition, and suggested to him the
plan of its entire reformation. This plan he afterwards carried out,
accomplishing it with unprecedented rapidity and skill by the aid of Von
Moltke and Von Roon, against the violent opposition of the parliament
and the whole people. Thus was Bismarck’s great instrument of making
force bring right under subjection prepared for him in advance, without
his concurrence. The connivance and concurrence of Russia were already
secured, most cordially so far as further designs on Austria were
concerned, and at least conditionally and passively in respect to
ulterior projects of improving Prussia’s position.

The “Iron Count” is now about to try the strength of his Thor’s hammer
on the head of the sphinx. Bismarck is about to become the head of the
Prussian state, and try his craft and strength in a contest for
supremacy with Louis Napoleon. He was called home toward the end of 1861
for consultation and to assist at the coronation of King William, and
returned to St. Petersburg only to close up the affairs of his mission
and take farewell. In May, 1862, he was at Berlin, and evidently
destined for the post of Chief Minister. He was, however, _ad interim_
sent on the mission to Paris, _to take the measure of Louis Napoleon_
and study more nearly the position of European affairs, which all
centred at that time in the Tuileries. We should rather say that he went
to Paris to _complete_ these studies and observations. Already, in 1858,
he had sounded the French emperor in respect to his sentiments towards
Prussia, and found them most encouraging. During the same year Louis
Napoleon had sent this singular message by Count Pepoli to the court of
Berlin: “In Germany Austria represents the past, Prussia represents the
future; in linking itself to Austria Prussia condemns itself to
immobility; it cannot be thus contented; it is called to a higher
fortune; _it should accomplish in Germany the great destinies which
await it, and which Germany awaits from it_.” Consider this language,
and then think of the prison of Wilhelmshöhe and of the reflections
which must have passed through the mind of the unfortunate dreamer so
rudely awakened by the thunder of Von Moltke’s guns! King William had
had an interview with Louis Napoleon at Compiègne, for which Bismarck
had aided him in preparing, and it was partly the result of this
interview which had determined him to call the bold cavalier of the Mark
to his side. The dreamer’s vague and scheming mind revolved vast
projects of Pan-Latin, Pan-German, Pan-Sclavonian combinations, uniting
the three great races and the three great churches, with their
respective centres at Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg, in a triple
alliance of universal monarchies, to dominate the world, to inaugurate a
new era, to bring on the millennium of civilization, and to place the
name of Louis Napoleon at least on a par with those of Moses, Alexander,
Julius Cæsar, Constantine, and Charlemagne.

We have read in the autobiography of some German philosopher that in his
youth he was ravished with ecstasy in thinking of “_the wheels of the
eternal essences_”! The visionary projects of this unfortunate imperial
seer remind us forcibly of this boyish philosopher. While he was letting
France drift on towards the _Où allons nous?_ of Mgr. Dupanloup, he was
driving his imaginary chariot, on the “wheels of the eternal essences,”
through airy regions, casting an occasional undecided glance on Belgium
and the frontiers of the Rhine. Bismarck was not long in taking his
measure, and it appears that Prince Gortchakoff had long since learned
the passes by which he could magnetize him at pleasure. With his own
peculiar, knavish frankness, Bismarck avowed his own objective aim—the
rectification of the Prussian frontiers—and found it easy to amuse the
decaying emperor with vague hints of compensation to France by allowing
the annexation of Belgium and the territory on the left bank of the
Rhine. As for the opinion which was formed respecting Bismarck himself,
at this time and during the first period of his administration, by the
emperor and the diplomats, it appears now strangely comical. They could
not bring themselves to regard him as serious, and were thrown
completely off their guard by his consummate acting. As late as 1865,
when he visited the French emperor at Biarritz, the latter, while
listening to his harangues during the promenades which they took
together on the beach, would slyly press the arm of Prosper Merimée, and
even whispered once in his ear: “He is crazy.” M. Benedetti in the
following year told General Govone that he considered Bismarck to be “a
maniacal diplomat,” adding that he had _long known his man_, and had
_followed him up_ for fifteen years. There is something grimly amusing
in this play of the cat and the mice, notwithstanding its tragical
results and the pity we must feel for the victims who thought themselves
so extremely astute, but were lured on by one deeper in craft than they
were, as easily as the meditative, solemn bruin was enticed by Reynard
the fox to go after honey.

Bismarck left Paris, convinced of three things as the result of his
studies: First, that Louis Napoleon was a “great unrecognized
_incapacity_.” Second, that “liberalism is only nonsense which it is
easy to bring to reason; but revolution is a force which it is necessary
to know how to use.” Third, “that England need not enter into his
calculations.” He returned to Berlin to assume the office of Minister of
Foreign Affairs and commence the work of rounding off Prussia. Austria
was the one decided antagonist whom he had to meet in the critical
struggle for supremacy in Germany. He was not afraid of her single power
unaided by allies, but he was anxious to make doubly sure of the
neutrality of France and Russia. Circumstances favored him most
remarkably in producing an alienation between these two powers, which
was an efficacious preventive of any amicable concord between the two to
check his plans, and in persuading each one more decisively to connive
at them. The Polish insurrection, encouraged by France and Austria,
embroiled Alexander II. with Louis Napoleon, and renewed all the former
rancor of St. Petersburg against Vienna. Bismarck was cunning enough to
make secret preparations for taking advantage of the insurrection, if it
proved too strong for Russia to quell, by occupying Poland with Prussian
troops, and securing the final disposition of the whole Polish question
for himself. At the same time he so managed as to strengthen the bond
between himself and Gortchakoff, and, in the actual event, to bind
Russia and Prussia closely together by an open common policy in respect
to Poland. Favored by fortunate circumstances, by the co-operation of
military chiefs who showed a genius in organizing and leading the
Prussian army which astonished the world, by a fatuity in Louis Napoleon
and a complaisance in the Russian chancellor beyond his most sanguine
expectations, he played during the next four years, like a Paul Morphy
of politics, four or five games at once with masterly skill. King
William of Prussia and all the other rulers and statesmen of Europe were
but pieces or pawns to be played with, taken, or checkmated; and on the
day after the battle of Sadowa he was really master of the situation.

The objective point at which Bismarck aimed in the year 1862 was to make
Prussia the most powerful state in Europe and completely independent of
every other state or coalition of states. For this end it was necessary
to destroy the German _Bund_, to deprive Austria of all power in
Germany, to increase the Prussian territory, and to establish its
hegemony in Germany. All this was accomplished, before the close of the
year 1866, by means of the imbroglio of the Schleswig-Holstein
succession. When Christian IX. succeeded to the throne of Denmark, his
right to the succession in the duchies was disputed, because it came
through a female line debarred from inheriting by the ancient law of
Schleswig and Holstein. The designs of Prussia upon these duchies were,
however, of a much earlier origin, and had their birth from the liberal
party and its revolutionary movements in 1848. In a speech delivered in
the Prussian chambers, April 21, 1849, Herr von Bismarck declared that
the war provoked in the duchies of the Elbe was “an undertaking
eminently iniquitous, frivolous, disastrous, and revolutionary.” We will
not pretend to determine the question of the validity of King
Christian’s title, as between himself and the people of the duchies. It
is evident enough, however, that the matter was one which interested all
Europe, and ought to have been calmly, justly determined, in a manner
consonant with the interests of the kingdom of Denmark, of the people of
the duchies, of the confederated states of the German _Bund_, and of
Europe. In fact, the doubt respecting Christian’s title was seized upon
by Bismarck as a mere pretext for absorbing the disputed territory,
_with its fine Baltic sea-port of Kiel_, into Prussia. The Prince of
Augustenberg, the chief claimant against Christian, had been induced, a
short time before the accession of the latter to the Danish throne, by
the influence of Bismarck himself, to sell his claim on Holstein to the
government of Copenhagen. No sooner was the old king dead than Bismarck
declared that this same prince was the rightful duke. At a later period
he brought forward several other claimants, that these rival claims
might neutralize each other. How he cheated Lord John Russell; how he
used the German _Bund_ as a tool for his own purposes and then
scornfully pushed it aside; how he drew Austria into a war against
Denmark, followed by a joint occupation of the duchies, and then
commenced a quarrel against her for their sole possession; and how
England, the declared protector of Denmark, looked tamely on while it
was despoiled and maimed, we have not time to relate in detail. It was a
great blunder in France, England, and Russia to permit what they could
easily have prevented. On the part of Austria it was a stupendous and
suicidal folly to make itself an accomplice in a conspiracy for
destroying the bulwarks of its own power. This was soon made manifest,
but too late to escape the consequences of a fatal blunder. Prussia
being ready for action, the _Bund_ and the claimants of the duchies were
summarily shoved aside. The question of the right of succession in the
duchies was referred to a high Prussian court for adjudication. It was
decided that _the King of Denmark alone_ had possessed the right of
sovereignty in Schleswig and Holstein, and that, by the cession which he
had been forced to make after being conquered in war, this right was now
vested in Prussia and Austria. Austria was politely requested to sell
her share to Prussia, which she declined to do, and the next step was to
wrest it from her by force.

The dark intrigues—at the time so hidden from sight and so almost
desperate, even in the view of the “maniacal diplomat” who held their
threads in his hand and wove them into a mesh around his victim—by which
Bismarck planned the ruin of Austria, have since been fully disclosed.
With the government of Victor Emanuel a strict and secret treaty was
contracted. At the same time, and for several years after, a
correspondence was kept up with Mazzini, looking to the overthrow of
Victor Emanuel in case of any action on his part unfavorable to the
schemes of the arch-conspirators. Arrangements were made for fomenting
an insurrection in Hungary under the leadership of Garibaldi. The
neutrality and connivance of Louis Napoleon were secured by playing upon
his Italian sympathies and holding before him vague expectations of
compensation for France.

Prince Gortchakoff lent an underhand but most valuable help to his
friend all through, beginning with the attack on Denmark. It was Louis
Napoleon, whose incapacity and weakness were not yet fully revealed even
to Bismarck’s keen eye, who was most feared and distrusted. Enfeebled as
he was in respect to whatever capacity he had really possessed in his
prime, and weakened as was the power of France, yet, with the help of
the statesmen and soldiers who were at his disposal, he still retained
the power of determining the main issue in the politics of Europe, and
Bismarck knew it. He would not stir in any decisive action until well
assured that he had mastered the French emperor by his superior craft.
He had less difficulty in this than he anticipated. Louis Napoleon, like
most other European observers, overrated the military strength of
Austria, and underrated the new Prussian army with its almost untried
leaders, Von Roon and Von Moltke; which even Bismarck himself somewhat
distrusted up to the last moment. The French emperor desired and hoped
for the liberation of Venetia. But he expected the defeat of the
Prussian army in Germany, and for himself the _rôle_ of a mediator, an
umpire, a general referee for settling all things on the basis of a new
treaty of peace. He let Bismarck play his game out, with what result is
known to the world. Although victorious in Italy, Austria nevertheless
ceded Venetia to Louis Napoleon, who handed it over to Victor Emanuel.
The victory of Sadowa agreeably surprised the victor, brought despair to
the vanquished, and astonished the world. If all the other great powers
had not been alienated from each other, and under a fatal spell of the
arch-fiend, Robin’s master, whose enchanted balls had brought down the
Austrian eagle, they might have intervened to prevent the grave ulterior
consequences of this fatal day of Sadowa. If Louis Napoleon had not been
paralyzed and demoralized to the extent of utter imbecility, he might
have interfered alone, and successfully, in this his last opportunity
for saving his dynasty and saving France. Nobody interfered. There was a
weak show of negotiations, but Bismarck had his own way in everything.
Before the end of the year 1866 his spoils were all gathered in and
safely garnered, and the centre was shifted from Paris to Berlin.

The area of Prussia had been increased, by the annexation of Hanover,
Hesse-Cassel, Nassau, Frankfort, and the duchies of the Elbe, from
108,000 to 135,000 English square miles, and its population from
19,000,000 to 23,000,000. It was, moreover, the head of a North German
Confederation, and practically had control of the South German States,
with the certainty of having all Germany outside of Austria to
co-operate with it and follow its lead in case of hostilities with
France. These were the “moral conquests of Prussia in Germany” which the
king, as prince-regent, had announced to the nation when he assumed the
reins of government. This was the fulfilment of “the federal obligations
toward the Emperor Francis Joseph,” so much talked of at Potsdam, while
the future chancellor was hunting bears in Russia. Such was the sequel
of the protest of Berlin against the Piedmontese annexation. The
prophecy of Cavour was fulfilled: that “Prussia would one day, thanks to
Piedmont, profit by the example which had been given to it.”

The “Piedmontese mission of Prussia,” vaunted by the French democratic
press, was well inaugurated and pretty near fulfilment. Louis Napoleon’s
oracular sayings about the “great destinies of Prussia” proved to have
something else in them than “the stuff which dreams are made of.” He had
no longer to utter the philanthropic complaint: “_The geographical
position of Prussia is badly defined._” It was perhaps not quite perfect
in the opinion of Bismarck, but it was certainly vastly improved, and
destined to a still further rectification which had probably not been
revealed to the imperial dreamer.

Having disposed of his _first_ accomplice in the great scheme, gradually
matured during his sulky meditations at Frankfort and St. Petersburg
under the tuition of his master in diplomacy, Prince Gortchakoff—namely,
having put down Austria—Bismarck proceeded with his next plot: against
his accomplice in the one just successfully carried into execution.
Austria had been lured on by the expectation of sharing in the
spoliation of Denmark, defrauded of her portion of the spoils, and
stripped of a great part of her original possessions, to the advantage
of Prussia. In like manner Louis Napoleon was disappointed of the
acquisitions he hoped to receive as a reward for conniving at the
spoliation of Austria; he and his dynasty were overthrown completely,
and we trust finally; France was humiliated to the dust and compelled to
ransom herself from captivity by the price of her treasure and her
territory. The disruption of the European bond left France, as Austria
had been left, at the mercy of her perfidious ally, converted into an
open and relentless enemy.

During the preliminaries of peace at Nikolsburg, afterwards ratified by
the treaty of Prague, by which the German hegemony of Prussia was
established, Bismarck persuaded the French emperor through his envoy,
the unfortunate M. Benedetti—the same one who knew his man and followed
him up so skilfully—that “the reverses of Austria allowed _France and
Prussia to modify their territorial situation_.” Hints were thrown out
about the Rhine provinces and Belgium. After Prussia had completed her
own modification of her territorial situation for the time being,
Bismarck continued, while Prussia was taking a rest and making all her
political and military arrangements perfect, what he called his
“dilatory negotiations” with Louis Napoleon. The latter was asking for
compensations, for which he had not stipulated when he placed his
services at the disposal of his employer. Mephistopheles qualified this
demand as a “policy of _pour boire_.” You engage a _fiacre_ in Paris,
you pay the stipulated price to the driver, and he presents his hand
again, unless you anticipate him by a voluntary gratuity, with the
familiar phrase: “Pour boire, monsieur, s’il vous plaît!” If you are a
good-humored gentleman, you hand over a few sous and he departs
contented. If you are gruff and parsimonious, and show unwillingness to
comply with his polite request, he will reiterate it with less deference
and civility. Whereupon, if you are violent and profane, and have
sufficient command of the French language to speak after the manner of
the _gamins de Paris_, you refer him to a person beyond the “_Porte de
l’Enfer_.” The history of the secret treaty of offensive and defensive
alliance between France and Prussia, giving the aid of France to carry
out the further programme of Prussian ascendency in Germany, and the aid
of Prussia to secure Luxembourg and Belgium to France, signed by France,
though not signed, _only laid up in her archives_, by Prussia, is well
known. A previous project of a treaty ceding the Rhine provinces to
France was shown to the South German plenipotentiaries and drove them
into a secret and strict alliance with Prussia. The work of Nikolsburg
and Prague was completed, the whole military force of North and South
Germany was at the disposal of King William, and nothing was wanting but
a war with France to make him emperor of Germany, with Alsace and
Lorraine as additional provinces of his kingdom, and all expenses paid
by the French treasury. Bismarck could now drop the mask whenever he
pleased, and bully the unfortunate emperor into the folly of trying to
expiate his past misconduct by _baptizing himself in the fire_ of
Prussian artillery and _mitraille_. This dark and tragic act in the
drama of the Downfall of Europe is summed up with consummate truth and
terseness in that little masterpiece entitled _The Fight in Dame
Europa’s School: showing how the German boy thrashed the French boy, and
how the English boy looked on_:

    “Only one boy—his favorite fag—did William take into his confidence
    in the matter. This was a sharp, shrewd lad named Mark, not
    over-scrupulous in what he did, full of deep tricks and dodges, and
    so cunning that the old dame herself, though she had the eyes of a
    hawk, could never catch him out in anything absolutely wrong. To
    this smart youth William one day whispered his desires [of annexing
    part of Louis’ garden] as they sat together in the summer house
    smoking and drinking beer. 'There is only one way to do it,’ said
    Mark. 'If you want the flower-beds, you must fight Louis for them,
    and I believe you will lick him all to smash. You see, old fellow,
    you have grown so much lately, and filled out so wonderfully, that
    you are really getting quite formidable. Why, I recollect the time
    when you were quite a little chap!’ 'Yes,’ said William, turning up
    his eyes devoutly, 'it has pleased Providence that I should be
    stout. Then, my dear Mark, what do you advise me to do?’ 'Ah! that
    is not so easy to say. Give me time to think, and when I have an
    idea I will let you know. Only, whatever you do, take care to put
    Master Louis in the wrong. Don’t pick a quarrel with _him_, but
    force him, by quietly provoking him, to pick a quarrel with _you_.
    Give out that you are still peaceably disposed, and carry your
    Testament about as usual. That will put old Dame Europa off her
    guard, and she will believe in you as much as ever. The rest you may
    leave to me.’ An opportunity of putting their little plot into
    execution soon occurred. A garden became vacant on the other side of
    Louis’ little territory [Spain], which none of the boys seemed much
    inclined to accept. It was a troublesome piece of ground, exposed to
    constant attacks from the town-cads, who used to overrun it in the
    night and pull up the newly-planted flowers. 'Don’t you think,’ said
    Mark one day to his friend and patron, 'that your little cousin, the
    new boy [Prince Hohenzollern], might as well have that garden?’ 'I
    don’t see why he should not, if he wants it,’ replied William, by no
    means deep enough to understand what his faithful fag was driving
    at. 'It will be so nice for Louis, don’t you see, to have William to
    keep him in check on one side, and William’s little cousin to watch
    him on the other side,’ observed Mark innocently. 'Ah! to be sure,’
    exclaimed William, beginning to wake up, 'so it will; very nice
    indeed. Mark, you are a sly dog.’ 'I should say, if you paid Louis
    the compliment to propose it, that it is such a delicate little
    attention as he would never forget—even if you withdrew the proposal
    afterwards.’ 'Just so, my boy; and then we shall have to fight.’
    'But look here, won’t the other chaps say that I provoked the
    quarrel?’ 'Not if we manage properly,’ was the reply. 'They are sure
    to fix the cause of dispute on Louis rather than on you. You are
    such a peaceable boy, you know; and he has always been fond of a
    shindy.’ So Dame Europa was asked to assign the vacant garden to
    William’s little cousin. 'Well,’ said she, 'if Louis does not
    object, who will be his nearest neighbor, he may have it.’ 'But I do
    object, ma’am,’ cried Louis. 'I very particularly object. I don’t
    want to be hemmed in on all sides by William and his cousins. They
    will be walking through my garden to pay each other visits, and
    perhaps throwing balls to one another right across my lawn.’ 'Oh!
    but you might be sure that I should do nothing unfair,’ said William
    reproachfully. 'I have never attacked anybody.’ 'That’s all my eye,’
    said Louis. 'I don’t believe in your piety. Come, take your dear
    little relation off, and give him one of the snug corners that you
    bagged the other day from poor Christian.’ 'Come, come,’ interposed
    the Dame, 'I can’t listen to such angry words. You five monitors
    must settle the matter quietly among yourselves; but no fighting,
    mind. The day for that sort of thing is quite gone by.’ _And the old
    lady toddled off_ and left the boys alone. 'I wouldn’t press it,
    Bill, if I were you,’ said John, in his deep, gruff voice, looking
    out of his shop-window on the other side of the water. 'I think it’s
    rather hard lines for Louis—I do indeed.’ 'Always ready to oblige
    you, my dear John,’ said William; and so the new boy’s claim to the
    garden was withdrawn. 'What shall I do now, Mark?’ asked William,
    turning to his friend. 'It seems to me that there is an end of it
    all.’ 'Not a bit,’ was the reply. 'Louis is still as savage as a
    bear. He’ll break out directly; you see if he don’t.’ 'I have been
    grossly insulted,’ began Louis at last, in a towering passion, 'and
    I shall not be satisfied unless William promises me never to make
    any such underhand attempts to get the better of me again.’ 'Tell
    him to be hanged,’ whispered Mark. 'You be—no,’ said William,
    recollecting himself, 'I never use bad language. My friend,’ he
    continued, 'I cannot promise you anything of the kind.’ 'Then I
    shall lick you till you do, you psalm-singing humbug!’ shouted
    Louis. 'Come on!’ said William, lifting up his hand as if to commend
    his cause to Heaven, and looking sanctimoniously out of the whites
    of his eyes. 'Come on!’ shouted William, thirsting for more blood.
    '_Vive la guerre!_’ cried poor Louis, rushing blindly at his foe.
    Well and nobly he fought, but he could not stand his ground. Foot by
    foot and yard by yard he gave way, till at last he was forced to
    take refuge in his arbor, from the window of which he threw stones
    at his enemy to keep him back from following. And when William, who
    talked so big about his peaceable disposition, and declared that he
    only wanted to defend his 'fatherland,’ chased him right across the
    garden, trampled over beds and borders on his way, and then swore
    that he would break down his beautiful summer-house and bring Louis
    on his knees, everybody felt that the other monitors ought to
    interfere. But not a foot would they stir. Aleck looked on from a
    safe distance, wondering which of the combatants would be tired
    first. Joseph stood shaking in his shoes, not daring to say a word
    for fear William should turn round upon him and punch his head
    again; and John sat in his shop, grinding away at a new rudder and a
    pair of oars. 'Come and help a fellow, John,’ cried Louis in despair
    from his arbor. 'I don’t ask you to remember the days we have spent
    in here together when you have been sick of your own shop. But you
    might do something for me, now that I am in such a desperate fix and
    don’t know which way to turn.’ 'I am very sorry, Louis,’ said John,
    'but what can I do? It is no pleasure to me to see you thrashed. On
    the contrary, it would pay me much better to have a near neighbor
    well off and cheerful than crushed and miserable. Why don’t you give
    in, Louis? It is of no mortal use to go on. He will make friends
    directly, if you will give back the two little strips of garden; and
    if you don’t, he will only smash your arbor to pieces, or keep you
    shut up there all dinner-time and starve you out. Give in, old
    fellow; there’s no disgrace in it. Everybody says how pluckily you
    have fought.’”

The ingenious author has made a mistake about Aleck and Joseph. Aleck
was in league with William, and his threats alarmed Joseph and kept him
from interfering. Bismarck had succeeded in reconciling Gortchakoff to
the sacrifice of all the old friends and family connections of Russia in
Germany. Moreover, he had in some way convinced him so completely that
it was for the interest and future advantage of Russia to ally itself
closely with Prussia, that he turned a deaf ear to the advances of
France and Austria in reference to the Oriental question, and gave a
strong moral support, which in case of need he was ready to transform
into active military co-operation, to his most iniquitous and oppressive
measures against France. M. Thiers was convinced of this when Prince
Bismarck handed to him his Russian portfolio and allowed him to read at
leisure thirty letters which it contained, while he sat by quietly
smoking a cigar and enjoying the chagrin and discomfiture of the aged
statesman. Besides this, we must consider that England had a reason for
coolness towards France in the unprincipled negotiations of the French
government respecting England’s _protegée_, Belgium. And at last, when
England did wish to interfere to obtain for France more favorable
conditions of peace, and made propositions for concerted action to St.
Petersburg, it was Russia which threw cold water upon the plan and kept
all Europe back while William was finishing up his quarrel with Louis.
It cannot be doubted that Bismarck had given Gortchakoff to understand
that, when the proper time came, Prussia would secure for Russia a fair
field and no interference for a decisive and final effort to destroy the
European empire of the Turk. Fuad-Pasha, said to have been one of the
greatest statesmen of Turkey, while lying on his death-bed at Nice
dictated a political testament, which was sent, after his mortal career
had closed, to his sovereign, the sultan. In this document he had said:
“When this writing is placed before the eyes of your majesty, I will no
longer be in this world. You can, therefore, listen to me without
distrust, and you should imbue yourself with this great and grievous
truth: that _the empire of the Osmanlis is in danger_. An intestine
dissension in Europe, and _a Bismarck in Russia_, and the face of the
world will be changed.” The date of this document is January 3, 1869.

The conflict between Prince Bismarck and the Catholic Church has been
treated of repeatedly in former articles in this magazine. We will,
therefore, abstain from going over that ground again. It has been
surmised that the policy of the Prussian chancellor in respect to the
church has been dictated to him by the necessity of satisfying the
demands of the radical-liberal party. We cannot think that it is to be
accounted for simply on this ground. The general idea and fundamental
principle of Bismarck has been to destroy the community of nations which
was the remnant of ancient Christendom, and raise up an independent,
self-subsisting, absolute, and dominating German Empire. It is an
essential part of this plan to destroy the principle of unity and
community centred in the Holy See, and to make the emperor absolute head
of all churches within the boundaries of his state. The idea is wholly
pagan and despotic, and includes the subversion of all right except that
which is a conceded privilege derived from the sovereign will of the
state. Not only, therefore, is all international right ignored by it,
but every right of municipalities, of orders, of legislative and
judicial bodies, of subordinate members of the government, of
associations and individuals, is suppressed and merged in one paramount
right of force, of physical power—in a word, of tyranny, the worst, as
Plato long ago taught, of all possible political organisms.

In perfect harmony with the oppressive, persecuting policy of Prince
Bismarck toward the church has been his conduct toward the Prussian
nobility, the legislative chambers, and all those who have in any way
asserted their rights against his despotic might. This is illustrated in
the case of the Count Harry von Arnim.

We had intended to go more deeply into the merits of this affair than we
now find our remaining space will permit. Catholics have little reason
for cherishing amicable sentiments toward this unfortunate victim of a
relentless persecution under the forms of law. He has been one of the
most artful and persistent enemies of the Holy See among the statesmen
of Europe. The pamphlet _Pro Nihilo_, on account of which, in great
part, he was condemned of treason by a Prussian court, is sufficient, by
itself, to show that if he had been in power he would have been more
dangerous than even Bismarck. His cold contempt is more offensive to
Catholic feelings than the violence of his successful rival.
Nevertheless, there is in him more of honor, probity, veracity, and the
courtesy of a gentleman than is at this day very common among
diplomatists of the “new era.” Besides, he has been tricked, insulted,
ill-used, and all but crushed in pieces by a cruel enemy, and therefore
we cannot help sympathizing with him. There is something deeply tragic
in his story. The gist of it lies in this: that he would not be a blind,
subservient tool in the hands of the chief of the administration, that
he dared to think for himself, and that the old Prussian nobility had
fixed their hopes on him as a desirable successor to the chancellorship,
in case anything happened to Prince Bismarck. Hence the long,
perfidious, and in the end brutal warfare waged against him by his
unscrupulous and relentless enemy, who has for the time being triumphed,
according to his own maxim, _La force prime le droit_. The Count von
Arnim is still, however, a formidable antagonist. With the pen, on the
field of legal argument, in the subtle tactics of diplomatic writing, he
is superior to his persecutor, and master of a force dangerous even to
the man who can command armies. He has a host of friends and
sympathizers in Prussia, of allies throughout Europe. M. Benedetti was
not mistaken when he applied the epithet “maniacal” to the man who was
called “mad” by the friends and boon companions of his youth. His
madness is not without method, and, like that of Charles XII. of Sweden,
has given him a certain prestige of heroism and success. On the day of
Solferino that prestige sat on the helmet of Napoleon III. Sedan,
Wilhelmshöhe, and Chiselhurst were still invisible in the future. The
career of Bismarck is not yet finished, nor can the destiny which awaits
the empire he created be foretold. It is reported that he has recently
replied to those who asked him whether there would be war in Europe over
the Eastern question: “_The devil only knows!_” He appears to regard his
Satanic Majesty as the god of modern Europe and the supreme controlling
power in modern politics. Formerly the name of God was frequently on his
lips, and his thoughts spontaneously referred all things to him. It was
God who decided battles and controlled the destinies of nations. Men of
great genius cannot escape from their clear and vivid intuitions of the
supersensible. One who has had the insight and the sentiment of the
meanness of the world, and the sole grandeur of eternal principles of
truth and morality, belonging to a mind naturally great, cannot be a
complete dupe of the illusions by which he deceives and subdues the
multitude. We can see this deep melancholy of a mind which cannot be
satisfied with the trivialities of life, and is restlessly yearning
after something greater, in all the wild conviviality, restless
scheming, audacious enterprise, ironical sporting in word and deed with
all persons and things held in awe and regarded as sacred in the common
sentiments of humanity, in the whole career of this Carlylean hero.
Satan, we have no doubt, has had a great control over the rulers and the
politics of modern Europe. Bismarck can see this, and has assuredly not
forgotten his own prophecy of the results of the policy of adorning
one’s self with the feathers of eagles which have been brought down by
the devil’s bullets. When he says that “the devil only knows whether
there will be war in Europe,” we hear Robin telling Max that he has
concluded an infernal compact and must stand by it. We know, however,
that although the devil knows his own plans, and tries to guess at those
of God, he cannot fathom or thwart these plans of one who is infinitely
stronger and wiser than he is, and has often before made him catch
himself in his own mouse-trap. Bismarck is like the legendary giant
Christopher, while he was in the service of the demon, thinking him to
be the strongest master he could serve. He has acted as if he supposed
that God had given up Europe to the devil’s dominion, yet he betrays his
conviction in a hundred ways that there is a stronger power than the
revolution or the anti-Christian despotism “spotted with red,” which is
only biding its time. He despises and sneers at his own master, because
he sees him wince at the crucifix on the cross-road. We think it quite
probable that in his secret soul he venerates Pius IX., as did Mazzini,
and is convinced that if anything on earth is great, true, and as
enduring in the future as it has been in the past, it is the Catholic
Church. His fear of it, and his war _à l’outrance_ against it, show an
estimate of its power which can have no rational foundation except in an
unwilling, hostile apprehension of its divine origin. The shallow,
clever Count von Arnim is a cool, quiet sceptic. So, we conjecture, is
Prince Gortchakoff. Bismarck is too deep for that sort of smooth, placid
incredulity. He fears an ultramontane as children are afraid of a bear
under the bed. He is afraid of Jesuits, afraid of nuns, afraid of
children singing hymns in honor of the Sacred Heart.

We think he has some reason to be afraid. The waters are rising around
him, and it is likely that he will yet have to plunge into them “in his
swimming-drawers.” “Sooner or later radicalism will stand upright before
the king, will demand of him its recompense, and, _pointing to the
emblem of the eagle on that new imperial flag, it will say: Did you
think, then, that this eagle was a free gift?_”

“Without a religious basis a state is nothing but _a fortuitous
aggregation of interests_, a sort of bastion in a war of all against
all; without this religious basis all legislation, instead of
_regenerating itself at the living sources of eternal truth_, is only
tossed about by human ideas as vague as changeable.” This is the great
case of Bismarck _versus_ Bismarck. His renunciation of his own
principles, and maniacal following of passion against reason, is but a
type of the conduct of Europe. The modern Germany has renounced and made
war upon the principles which were the foundation of its old imperial
greatness. France has done the same; Italy has done the same, with a
worse and more parricidal impiety. Europe has done it, and the natural
consequence is “war of all against all.” “La force,” says Lacordaire,
“tôt ou tard, rencontre la force.” “_A house divided against itself
cannot stand_”; and such a house is the one which Bismarck has built.
The Napoleonic fabric was overwhelmed by the volcanic fires of Sedan. We
believe that there will be a Sedan for the similar fabrics of Cavour and
Bismarck, for the whole structure of modern European politics. And where
can be found these “living sources of eternal truth” at which
“legislation can regenerate itself”? Let us remind our readers that the
Encyclical and Syllabus of Pius IX. were proclaimed in 1864, between the
epochs of Solferino and Sadowa. We think they will easily understand why
the Holy See condemned the principles of “accomplished facts” and
“non-intervention,” and perceive to what an abyss these principles have
conducted Europe. They will remember that the date of the Council of the
Vatican is 1870, between Sadowa and Sedan, and perceive the import and
reason of our conclusion, that the source of regeneration for Europe is
the same source from which European Christendom received its birth and
the life of its youth and manhood. To quote again from Lacordaire: “On
n’emprissonne pas la raison, on ne brûle pas les faits, on ne déshonore
pas la vertu, on n’assassine pas la logique.” That policy of which
Prince Bismarck is the great master is the policy of fraudulence,
perfidy, violence, and tyranny. The whole European apostasy and
conspiracy against the Holy See—the centre of religious unity and
political equilibrium for Europe and the world—is a revolt against
reason, history, morality, and the logic by which the sequences of
principles and events are demonstrated and applied to the concrete
matter of human destiny. These are indestructible powers, and no
artillery can overthrow them or fraud pervert their decisions. “_There
is no kingdom of hell upon earth_,” but only a continuous resistance of
the infernal powers to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which from time to
time breaks out into a revolution. And the same calm, historic record,
in which past Catholic historians have narrated the successive defeats
of these revolutionary enterprises will, in each new chapter added by
succeeding centuries, continue the chronicle of similar failures;
placing the impartial mark of indelible dishonor against the names of
all those who have sought for greatness by fraud and violence.



                                VERONICA
                           A LEGEND OF MÉDOC


    _In fines terræ_
    _Verba corum._

Descending the river from Bordeaux amid verdant isles, and between
shores that produce some of the choicest wines of France, we soon come,
on the right, to Blaye, with its chivalric memories of Orlando and the
fortress that makes it the Key of Aquitaine, as it was in the days of
Ausonius, who says:

    “Aut iteratarum qua glarea trita viarum
    Fert militarem ad Blaviam.”

At the left we pass Pauillac, the ancient villa of St. Paulinus of Nola.
The Gironde soon becomes a sea. The shore lowers and is on a level with
the waves. The poor hills of Saintonge escape to the north, and the
white houses of Royan become visible on the far-off shore. The sea-gull
flies over our head, tireless as the ceaseless waves that feed him. We
see the white tower of Cordouan at a distance framed in a dazzling sea
of blue and gold, out of which it rises two hundred feet above low tide,
full of grace and majesty, like an enchanted castle. It is said to stand
on the remains of the ancient isle of Antros, which Pomponius Mela, in
the first century, places at the mouth of the Gironde. We cannot resist
the temptation to climb its three hundred steps for the sake of the
wonderful view over fell and flood. The foundation of this tower is lost
in obscurity. Even its very name is a mystery. Some think it of Moorish
derivation, and that the first light-house here was built by the
Saracens—a most ridiculous supposition; for the Moors, though they
destroyed a great deal in Aquitaine, certainly had no time for building,
whatever their taste for architecture. Others say it was due to Louis le
Débonnaire, and that he appointed a keeper to light a beacon-fire and
sound a _cor_, or horn, night and day, to warn the sailor of the perils
of the coast; but any one who ever heard the noise of the tumultuous
waves breaking high against the cliff of Cordouan can imagine the
inefficiency of the most vigorous lungs in such violent storms as are
proverbial on the Bay of Biscay. The poor keeper would have needed the
Horn of Thunder of the Armorican legend, given St. Florentius by a
Norman chief to summon aid when attacked by his piratical horde, or the
magic oliphant of Orlando, then kept hard by at Blaye, wherewith its
owner once blew so terrible a blast that all the birds dropped dead in
the forests of Roncesvalles and it was heard for twenty miles around.

The earliest historical knowledge we have of a light-house here is from
a charter of the fourteenth century, by which we learn that the Black
Prince built a tower on the cliff of Cordouan, with a chapel dedicated
to the Blessed Virgin, kept by a hermit. In 1409 the hermit’s name was
Geoffroy de Lesparre, who subsisted by levying two _grossos
sterlingorum_ on every vessel from Bordeaux laden with wine—a toll that
Henry IV. of England authorized him to double.

As for the modern tower of Cordouan, Louis de Foix was

    “Le gentil ingénieur de ce superbe ouvrage.”

He was one of the architects employed by Philip II. of Spain in building
the Escorial, and the inventor of the mechanism by which the waters of
the Tagus were carried to the highest part of the city of Toledo. Some
curious things are related of this ingenious architect while in Philip’s
service. The ill-conditioned prince, Don Carlos, seems to have placed
confidence in him; for he commissioned De Foix to furnish him with a
book heavy enough to kill a man with a single blow. The architect made
one of twelve tablets of stone, six inches long and four broad, bound in
steel covers embossed with gold, which weighed over fourteen pounds, and
might have had for its motto the excellent _mot_ of Callimachus on the
danger of weighty books. De Thou relates the account of this momentous
tome, which is also referred to in the list of Don Carlos’ expenses, and
says De Foix told him the idea was by no means an original one of the
prince’s, but suggested by a similar volume improvised in his
grandfather’s time by Don Antonio de Acuña, Bishop of Zamora, who,
confined in the castle of Simancas for taking part in the rebellion of
the Comuneros, covered a brick of the size of his breviary with leather,
and with this volume of decisive theology killed his keeper and made his
escape. Perhaps Don Carlos overlooked the fate of the bishop, who was
overtaken by the keeper’s son and hanged on the battlements of the
castle of Simancas. All who have visited the Armeria Real at Madrid will
remember the armor of this belligerent prelate.

De Foix also invented several curious clocks for Don Carlos, who seems
to have inherited Charles V.’s taste for chronometrical instruments.
Every one knows the anecdote of the servant who, suddenly entering the
emperor’s room one day, overthrew the table and broke to pieces the
thirty watches on it. The emperor laughed and said: “You are more
successful than I, for you have discovered the only means of making them
all go alike.” Among these clocks of complicated mechanism made for the
prince by De Foix was one in the shape of an antique temple adorned with
columns, that indicated the hours, days, months, and other things.

Don Carlos, as if conscious of the insecurity of his life, also ordered
De Foix to construct a machine with pulleys and weights by which he
could himself open and shut his chamber door while in bed, and yet no
one could enter the room against his will. De Foix seems to have been
faithless to the prince; for on the 18th of January, 1568—by the king’s
order, to be sure—he stopped the movement of the pulleys, unknown to Don
Carlos, whose chamber was thus opened and he conveyed to prison. De
Thou’s account of this is confirmed by the letter of an Italian at
Madrid written eight days after, in which the door with its pulleys is
mentioned.

Louis de Foix (or _sans foi_) is said to lie beneath the tower he
erected; so we could not say: “Light be the turf above thee!” even had
we been disposed.

Six or eight miles south of Cordouan we came to Soulac, amid the
sand-dunes and salt marshes, with its antique church of Notre Dame de la
Fin des Terres, held in great veneration by the sailors of the middle
ages, and recently dug out of the sands in which it had been buried for
one hundred and twenty years. In fact, it had been partly buried since
the fourteenth century. Few churches have so strange a history as this.
Tradition attributes its original foundation to the pious Veronica, on
whose linen veil the weary Saviour, on his way to Calvary, left the
impress of his sacred face. It was strange to come upon her traces on
this distant shore, and we took great interest in hunting up all the
local traditions respecting her. Lady Eastlake considers her _de trop_,
both morally and pictorially, and regards her very existence as
problematical; but we who have so often met her in the sorrowful _Via
Crucis_, and pondered on the touching lesson she has left us, feel how
utterly that somewhat stringent author is mistaken. Seraphia, Bernice,
Beronica, or Veronica—no matter by what name she is called—is a being
full of reality to us. As to her identity with the Syro-Phœnician woman
of the Gospel, we are disposed to say with Padre Ventura: “It is not
certain the _hémorroïsse_ was the same as Veronica, but it is probable
that she who had the wonderful favor of wiping the sweat and blood from
the divine face of our Saviour was the same matron who touched the hem
of his garment with so much courage and faith, and gave such a testimony
to his divinity.” Even if the contrary were proved, this would not
affect the ancient tradition respecting her apostolate in France, which
modern research is far from shaking. Holy chroniclers of the middle ages
assert that Veronica was not only an intimate friend of the Blessed
Virgin, but one of the women whom Jesus healed of their infirmities and
who consecrated themselves to his service, following him in his round of
mercy, and aiding him with their substance. The learned Lucas of Bruges
declares her positively the Syro-Phœnician woman healed by our Saviour,
who, says Julian in his chronicles, lived part of the time at Jerusalem
and part at Cæsarea of Philippi. Eusebius says he saw with his own eyes
the monument she erected at Cæsarea in memory of her cure, on which she
was represented at the feet of her divine Benefactor—a memorial
destroyed by Julian the Apostate.

A Polish poet, Bohdan Zaleski, thus alludes to the traditional intimacy
of Veronica with the Holy Family in lines full of graceful simplicity in
the original:

“Joseph and Mary have lost the child Jesus at Jerusalem. Elizabeth comes
to tell them he has been found. 'It must be either in the Temple, then,
or at Veronica’s,’ replies Mary.

“The Holy Family go to visit Elizabeth. Jesus, afar off, joyfully hails
the aged matron, as well as Veronica, Martha, and Salome.

“Joseph makes the accustomed prayer to thank God for his gifts. Jesus
breaks the bread and blesses it. Veronica passes around the basket and
distributes the bread among the guests.”

Pilgrims for centuries have mentioned Veronica’s house as at the corner
of a street near the spot where Jesus fell for the second time under the
weight of his cross. She is said to have been the wife of St.
Amadour—the Zaccheus of the Scriptures, who in early life, says the
legend, was in the service of the Blessed Virgin. He had watched over
the childhood of Jesus, and this was why he was so joyful to receive him
in his house. After the Crucifixion he and Veronica attached themselves
anew to the service of Mary, with whom they remained till her glorious
Assumption. According to a lesson in the breviary of Cahors—founded on
an old MS. of the tenth century by Hugo, Bishop of Angoulême, which Père
Odo de Gissey, who collected all the traditions respecting St. Amadour,
declares he had seen—Saul, the persecutor of the church, wished to force
Amadour and Veronica to return to the old law. They were condemned to
die of hunger, but an angel of the Lord mercifully delivered them from
the power of their persecutors and conducted them to a bark, ordering
them to abandon themselves to the mercy of the waves and land wherever
their boat should come to shore, there faithfully to serve Christ and
his holy Mother.

One old chronicle says the demon invoked the winds, swelled the waves,
and unchained the very furies against the frail bark. Death at every
moment seemed at hand in its most frightful form. But the venerable
matron, in the height of danger, seized the sacred relics she brought
with her, and, raising them to heaven, invoked the assistance of God.
Wonderful to relate, the storm at once ceased, a favorable breeze sprang
up and brought the boat safely to the western coast of France to a place
called Solac, in face of the setting sun. Here she built, as best she
could, a church in honor of the blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, and
deposited therein with due honor the holy relics of Our Lady she brought
with her.

Bernard de la Guionie, a Dominican of the thirteenth century, says that,
by a particular providence of God, they brought with them many precious
relics of the Blessed Virgin, such as her hair and shoes, and even some
of the _Sanctum Lac_ that nourished the divine Word. It is generally
believed this relic gave the name of Solac, or Soulac, to the
place—_Solum Lac_, because the other relics of the Virgin were
distributed among various churches. This relic was not once considered
so extraordinary. It was not only venerated in many parts of Christendom
as the symbol of the divine Motherhood, but it became a symbol of the
supernatural eloquence and sweet doctrine of several doctors of the
church. Every one who has visited the magnificent gallery at Madrid will
remember Murillo’s beautiful painting representing St. Bernard deriving
the food that lent to his lips such sweet, persuasive eloquence from the
pure breast of the gentle Deipara. The dignity and grace of the Virgin
in this painting are something marvellous, and take away everything that
might seem human from the subject.

We have all heard of the Grotto of Milk at Bethlehem, with its rock of
offence to so many scoffing tourists. It is only those who have a
profound faith in the Incarnation that venerate everything associated
with the divine Infancy. St. Louis of France built the beautiful
Chapelle du Saint Lait in the Cathedral of Rheims to receive the relic
that gave it its name. A like relic was venerated in the church of Mans
in the time of Clovis. And a vial was borne before the army at the
battle of Askalon, in 1224, which reminds one of Rubens’s painting at
Brussels in which the Madonna bares her breast before the awful Judge,
as if he could refuse nothing at the sight of the bosom on which he had
so often been pillowed, and where he had been nourished. There is an old
legend of a similar vial of this sacred _laict_ being brought from the
Holy Land by a pilgrim, who, weary, stopped one day to repose by a
fountain near Evron, and hung the reliquary on the hawthorn bush that
overshadowed him, and went to sleep. When he awoke, the bush had grown
into a tree and the relic was far beyond his reach. He tried to cut the
tree down with a hatchet, but could make no impression on the wood.
Feeling an inward assurance this was the spot where Providence wished
the relic to be honored, he gave it to the bishop, who built thereon a
church, which became known as Notre Dame de l’Epine Sainte. The high
altar enclosed the hawthorn tree. François de Châteaubriand, abbot of
Evron in the sixteenth century, gave this church a beautiful reliquary
of silver gilt, in the form of a church, beneath the dome of which was a
tube for the relic. Devotion to this relic still exists at Evron.

But to return to Soulac. It is not surprising the Syro-Phœnician woman
should come to this distant shore. We know by Strabo that the ancient
Phœnicians and Carthaginians came to traffic on this coast, and even
went to Great Britain. Soulac was probably the ancient Noviomagos spoken
of by Ptolemy. The old legend of Cénebrun speaks of Veronica as _la Dame
Marie la Phénicienne_, who came from the East under marvellous
circumstances, learned the language of Médoc, and built a church beside
which God caused a fountain of fresh, soft water to spring up out of the
salt shore for the cure of tertian fevers so common in this region.
Moreover, it appears she was in such constant relations with the
governor of Bordeaux, appointed by Vespasian, that, to facilitate the
intercourse between Soulac and the capital, a Roman road was
constructed, “very level and as straight as a line—_rectissimum sicut
corda_.” If Vespasian had anything to do with it, we may be sure it was
straight; for we know how, to rectify a bend in the Flaminian Way, he
bored a tunnel through a rock a thousand feet long.

It was at Bordeaux that Veronica converted Benedicta, a woman of
distinguished birth, and the wife of Sigebert, a priest of the false
gods, who, attacked by a cruel malady, and hearing of the marvels
wrought by St. Martial, said to Benedicta: “Go and bring the man of God;
perhaps he will take pity on me.” St. Martial gave her the miraculous
staff of St. Peter, at the touch of which Sigebert recovered the use of
his limbs. He at once proceeded to Mortagne, accompanied by a great
number of soldiers and other followers, all of whom were baptized by St.
Martial. At his return to Bordeaux he overthrew all the pagan altars,
with the exception of one, which St. Martial purified as a memorial of
the triumph of the true faith. The inscription graven thereon is still
to be seen in the museum at Bordeaux: _Jovi Augusto Arula donavit. SS.
Martialis cum templo et ostio sacravit_—Arula gave this altar to Jupiter
Augustus. Martial consecrated it with the temple and vestibule.

Benedicta continued to work miracles with St. Peter’s staff, and greatly
contributed to the propagation of the faith in the province. She died in
the odor of sanctity, and was buried in the oratory of St. Seurin at
Bordeaux, where her remains are still honored on the 8th of June.

Sigebert, whose name signifies the powerful or courageous, became the
first bishop of Bordeaux, where he is honored as a martyr under the name
of St. Fort. To his _sanctum feretrum_ at St. Seurin’s people formerly
went to take solemn oaths.

The foregoing reference of the old chronicler to Vespasian reminds us of
the part Veronica is said to have had in the destruction of Jerusalem. A
curious old play of the middle ages tells us Vespasian was afflicted
with the extraordinary inconvenience of a wasp’s nest in his nose, and,
after trying every known means of dislodging it, sent for the great
Physician of the Jews. Finding he had been put to death by his own
nation, he demanded some of his followers, whereupon Nicodemus, Joseph
of Arimathea, and Veronica are said to have gone to Rome. The emperor
expressing a desire to see a portrait of Christ, Veronica held up the
_Volto Santo_ before him, at the sight of which he was instantaneously
healed. In his gratitude he vowed to take vengeance on the murderers of
Jesus, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem. The connection between
this legend and the traditional respect in which Veronica was held by
Vespasian’s representative at Bordeaux is curious.

Some say it was Tiberius who was cured of the leprosy by the holy veil,
which accounts for his leniency to the Christians and his placing a
statue of Christ among the gods. These legends, confused by time, may be
regarded as traces left by Veronica at Rome, where a constant tradition
asserts she herself brought the _Volto Santo_.

This precious relic must have been in great repute to have been placed
at St. Peter’s in 707 by Pope John VII. When removed to the Santo
Spirito, it was confided to six Roman noblemen, each of whom had one of
the keys that gave access to it. For this service they annually received
two cows at Whitsuntide, which were eaten with great festivities. In
1440 it was restored to St. Peter’s, where it is preserved in a chamber
within one of the immense piers that sustain the wondrous dome. None but
a canon of the church can enter this chamber, but the Vera Iconica is
annually exposed from the balcony. It seems to have all the solemn
gravity traditional in the Greek representations of our Saviour.
Petrarch respectfully speaks of it as the _verendam populis Salvatoris
Imaginem_.

Veronica’s statue is beneath—one of the guardians that stand around the
tomb of the apostles. Perhaps she came to Rome with St. Martial; for
there are traces of her wherever he announced the Gospel. Else remembers
their visit, and says, when they left its walls, they directed their
course towards Gaul. Mende and Cahors carefully treasure the shoes of
the Virgin she brought, and Puy has some of her hair. St. Antoninus,
Archbishop of Florence, says that, according to the ancient traditions
of the churches of Italy and France, Amadour and his wife Veronica
accompanied St. Martial to Gaul. And St. Bonaventure, the great
Franciscan, in the thirteenth century, in one of his homilies,
represents St. Veronica in a humble cabin at Pas-de-Grave visited by St.
Martial.

St. Amadour embraced the solitary life, and is believed to have been the
first hermit of Aquitaine. His whole life is painted on the walls of the
subterranean chapel at Roc Amadour, where he died. The inscriptions
attached to these frescoes thus sum up the legend respecting him:

1. Zaccheus, because he is small and unable to see Jesus in the crowd,
climbs up into a sycamore-tree. Jesus, perceiving him, says: Zaccheus,
make haste and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house.

2. Zaccheus is Jesus’ disciple. Veronica, his wife, becomes one of
Mary’s attendants. They are persecuted for the faith, but an angel comes
to deliver them from the prison in which they are confined.

3. An angel orders Zaccheus and Veronica to put to sea and land at
whatever port the vessel shall enter, there to serve Christ, and Mary
his holy Mother.

4. The vessel arrives on the coast of Médoc at a place called Soulac,
where they live in fasting and prayer. St. Martial visits them and
blesses an oratory they have erected in honor of St. Stephen.

5. Zaccheus, at the order of St. Martial, goes to Rome to see St. Peter.
St. Veronica remains in the Bordelais country, where she dies. Zaccheus
returns to Soulac, where he erects two monasteries and retires from the
world.

6. St. Amadour, in the year of our Lord 70, chooses as his hermitage and
place of retreat a cliff inhabited by wild beasts, since known as Roc
Amadour.

7. The inhabitants of the country are almost savages. St. Amadour
catechises them and makes known the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

8. St. Amadour erects an altar on the cliff in honor of Mary. This
humble altar, now so glorious, is consecrated by the blessed apostle
Martial, who visits our saint several times in his retreat.

9. St. Amadour, at the approach of death, is transported before the
altar of Mary, where he expires.

Veronica herself is said to have carried in her apron the turf or clay
which served to build the chapel of Soulac. It was a mere cabin, which,
with the spring, was enclosed in the church built at a later period.
This was probably destroyed by the Normans when they ravaged the coast
of France to the terror of the people, who doubtless joined heartily in
the verse then added to the liturgy, beginning:

    Auferte gentem perfidam
    Credentium de finibus, etc.

According to the traditions of Aquitaine, Veronica lived to a great age,
and, if already in the Temple at the Presentation of the Virgin, she
must have been about a century old at her death. She is believed to have
died about the year 70. She was, at first buried with great honor at
Soulac in the oratory she had so signally endowed. It was Sigebert, or
St. Fort, who, says tradition, went to Soulac to pay her the last
honors. It was long the custom of the bishops of the diocese, before
taking possession of their see, to visit her tomb, and render homage to
the venerable traditions of the place. Her remains were afterwards
carried for safety to Bordeaux, where her tomb, of the Roman style, is
still to be seen in the crypt of St. Seurin. She is said to have been of
uncommon stature, and this has been confirmed by the recent examination
of her remains, so wonderfully preserved amid the storms of so many
ages. Placed under the seal of the archbishops of Bordeaux, and watched
over with religious care, a source of miraculous grace, and the object
of popular veneration, they have escaped the perils of wars and civil
commotions. Cardinal de Sourdis, who opened her tomb in 1616, said her
festival had been celebrated in his diocese from time immemorial on the
4th of February.

Her remains were carefully examined a few years since by a learned
anatomist, who not only declared them of great antiquity, but said the
articulation of certain bones showed the advanced age at which she died.
Thus science comes to the aid of tradition. The popular belief as to her
majestic stature was likewise confirmed by this examination.

Veronica’s oratory, probably destroyed by the Normans, as we have said,
was afterwards rebuilt by the Benedictines, but at what precise time is
doubtful. We only know there was a monastery at Soulac in 1022, which
became dependent on that of Sainte Croix at Bordeaux. In 1043 Ama,
Countess of Périgord, gave the lands of Médrin to the monastery of
_Sancta Maria de Finibus Terræ, ob remedium animæ suæ necnon parentum
suorum_, to relieve the poverty of the monks who there served God and
worthily fulfilled their duty. An old Benedictine chronicle says the
devotion of the faithful towards this holy spot increased to such a
degree that the monks were soon enabled to build a larger church, which
they enriched with much silver and many relics. This was in the twelfth
century. This church, of the Roman style, to which the Benedictines were
partial, enclosed the miraculous fountain of St. Veronica, which had
always been in great repute, and had an altar to her memory where solemn
oaths were administered as at the tomb of St. Fort. Her statue stood
over the fountain, and, before leaving the church, the devout, after
drinking of the water and bathing their eyes, used to cross themselves
and make a reverence to “Madame Saincte Véronique.”

This church was no sooner completed than it began to be invaded by the
sands, which every year grew higher and higher. The lateral doors had to
be walled up, and the pavement raised three times to be on a level with
the sands without. Veronica’s fountain was kept open, but soon became a
well. The monastery and town finally disappeared under the dunes in the
latter part of the thirteenth century. The monks returned when the sands
were stayed. They found the church filled to the chancel arch and the
capitals of the pillared nave. They removed part of the roof, raised the
Avails, and so arranged the church that it continued to be used till
devastated by the Calvinists of the sixteenth century. It was hardly
repaired before the sands besieged it anew and soon buried it utterly,
with the exception of the top of the belfry, which a boy could easily
scale, presenting a curious and picturesque appearance on the lone
shore. Under Louis XV. the open arches of this steeple became a kind of
light-house, and the pines sown by Brémontier soon took root among the
arches of the church totally hidden in the sands.

Tradition says Soulac was once important as a port, and alive with
commercial activity. Henry III. of England embarked at old Soulac for
Portsmouth about the middle of the thirteenth century, which shows how
extensive have been the sand deposits since. Once the church was so near
the water that in great storms the foundations were washed by the waves,
though built on a slight acclivity. It appears by documents still
preserved at Bordeaux that the sands in 1748 covered the greater part of
Soulac, causing the loss of many salt marshes and other sources of
revenue. Many other parishes on the shores of Médoc have wholly
disappeared. The church of La Canau was rebuilt three times before the
moving sands. Sainte Hélène has transported hers ten kilometres, leaving
behind what is now an islet with a few trees to mark the spot where it
once stood, still called by the people Senta Lénotte, or Ste.
Hélenotte—that is, little St. Helen.

St. Pierre de Lignan, or, as called in old titles, Sanctus Petrus in
Ligno—St. Peter on the Wood, or Cross—said to have been originally built
by Zaccheus, or St. Amadour, in memory of the martyrdom of the apostle,
which he had witnessed at Rome, has been abandoned two hundred years,
and now lies under the waves of the ocean.

Pauillac, sung by Ausonius in his epistle to Théon:

    “_Pauliacus tanti non mihi villa foret_,”

is likewise half-buried in the sands.

But to return to Soulac. The thirteenth century was the most glorious
era in the history of Notre Dame de la Fin des Terres. Its popularity
was at that time increased by a terrible pestilence that visited Médoc.
The people had recourse to prayer, and went in crowds to the sanctuary
of Soulac, vowing to renew their pilgrimage annually. The most noted of
these pilgrimages was that of Lesparre, a small town which excited our
interest by its reminiscences of the English occupation of the country.
Its ruined fortifications; the square tower, sole remnant of the ancient
castle, and the church with its Saxon arches and coarse sculpture—all
bespeak great antiquity. In the twelfth century the castle and village
around it were held by Baron Eyquem, a contentious lord, who liked
nothing better than a brush with his neighbors. Perhaps it was this
quarrelsome turn of mind that recommended the lords of Lesparre so
strongly to the favor of the English sovereigns. Henry III. of England
summoned Baron Eyquem to his aid at Paris. The baron’s son also served
the same king with all the forces he could muster, and Henry so counted
on his devotedness that, in 1244, after promising to reward his
services, he commissioned him to aid by his sword and counsel in
repelling the King of Navarre, who had invaded Guienne. During the
entire contest between England and France the Sires of Lesparre remained
faithful to the English; and when the last hour of English rule in the
country sounded, the Baron de Lesparre took the lead in an effort to
replace Guienne under its dominion. He went secretly to England with the
lord of Candale and several notable citizens of Bordeaux to assure the
king that the whole country would rise in his favor as soon as the
banner of St. George should be once more seen on the Gironde. The
English eagerly responded by sending the valiant Earl of Shrewsbury,

            “The Frenchman’s only scourge,
    Their kingdom’s terror, and black Nemesis,”

to Bordeaux, but their last chance was lost by the defeat at Castillon
in 1453, in which the gallant old earl, immortalized by Shakspere—doubly
immortalized—was slain. The Baron de Lesparre was banished, and the
following year beheaded at Poitiers for breaking his bounds. Charles
VII. of France then gave the Seigneurie de Lesparre to the Sire
d’Albret, to whom in part he owed the triumph of his arms.

Lesparre having lost two-thirds of its inhabitants by a pestilence, the
remainder, in their terror, went to prostrate themselves before the
altar of Notre Dame de la Fin des Terres, and made a solemn vow to
return every year, if spared. The account of this annual pilgrimage
reminds one of the caravans of the desert. The pilgrims were divided
into two bands. A part were mounted on horseback, preceded by the
cross-bearer and the _curé_; the rest followed on foot with baskets and
sacks of provisions. The four bells of Notre Dame de Lesparre pealed
joyfully out over the marshes to announce their departure. They stopped
at every chapel they came to, to salute its tutelar saint by some hymn
in his honor, and then kept on their way, chanting the litanies. Most of
these chapels were dedicated to saints specially invoked in time of
pestilence; for every grief of the middle ages left its record in the
churches. There was St. Catharine, always popular in this region. Then
came St. Sebastian, now destroyed, but which gave the name of La Capère
(the chapel) to a little village we passed, and St. Roch still standing
at Escarpon. As soon as the caravan came in sight of the belfry of
Soulac, on a height between St. Vivian and Talais, the pilgrims
descended from their horses to salute the Virgin on their knees. Arrived
at the holy sanctuary, each one offered his candle streaming with
ribbons—a necessary adjunct in all religious offerings in Médoc. An
enormous mass of these old ribbons have been preserved at new Soulac.
After their devotions the pilgrims went out on the seashore to take
their lunch. The next day they returned to Lesparre in the same order.
This annual pilgrimage was continued for five centuries, which accounts
for the vivid recollections of it among the people. Near the manor-house
of the Baron d’Arès, now buried in an immense dune, flowed a fountain as
late as 1830, but since filled up, where the pilgrims stopped to quench
their thirst, with the pious belief that St. Veronica had brought here a
vein of the sacred spring that flowed for the healing of the people in
her sanctuary.

Lesparre, once the capital of Médoc, has now only about a thousand
inhabitants. From the tower there is an extensive view over the broad
moor with its patches of yellow sand, here and there an oasis with a few
vegetables, and perhaps an acre or two of oats, barley, or maize, which
grow as they can. In winter this vast heath becomes a marsh. The water
stands in pools among the sand-hills. The peasant shuts himself up with
his beasts, and warms himself by the peat-fire, while the pools freeze
and the sands grow white under the icy breath of the sea-winds.

St. Veronica’s Church, so venerated in the middle ages, has within a few
years been dug out of the sands and repaired. The miraculous statue of
Notre Dame de la Fin des Terres has been restored to its place on her
altar, and, after a silence of one hundred and twenty years, the bell
once more awakens the echoes of the sand-hills, thanks to the interest
taken by Cardinal Donnet in reviving a devotion to this ancient place of
pilgrimage. Veronica is once more honored in the place where she died—a
devotion that seems significant in these times. Perhaps she comes to
hold up anew the bleeding face of Christ for the healing of the nations.
The _Volto Santo_ is said to have turned pale a few years since when
exhibited at Rome. We may well believe it, in view of all the wounds
since inflicted on Christ’s Bride—the church. “O Veronica!” cries Padre
Verruchino, a Capuchin friar, “suffer us, we pray thee, to gaze awhile
at thy holy veil for the healing of our sin-sick souls!”

An old MS. of the thirteenth or fourteenth century at Auch contains the
following sequence: _De Sancta Veronica Memoria_, showing how well our
fathers in the faith, even in those dark ages, knew how to rise above
every type and shadow to the substance of things hoped for. It is good
to echo the prayers of those earnest times.

    Salve, sancta facies
      Nostri Redemptoris
    In qua nitet species
      Divini splendoris,
    Impressa panniculo
      Nivei coloris,
    Dataque Veronicæ
      Signum ob amoris.

    Salve, decus seculi,
      Speculum sanctorum
    Quod videre cupiunt
      Spiritus cœlorum.
    Nos ab omni macula
      Purga vitiorum,
    Inque nos consortium
      Junge Beatorum.

    Ave, nostra gloria,
      In hac vita dura,
    Labili et fragili,
      Cito transitura.
    Nos perduc ad patriam,
      O felix figura,
    Ad videndam faciem
      Christi, mente pura.

    Esto nobis, Domine,
      Tutum adjuvamen,
    Dulce refrigerium,
      Atque consolamen,
    Ut nobis non noceat
      Hostile conamen,
    Sed fruamur requie.
      Nos dicamus: Amen.[27]

Footnote 27:

  Hail, holy face of our Redeemer, in which shines the image of the
  divine Splendor, imprinted on a veil white as snow, and given to
  Veronica in token of his love!

  Hail, glory of the world, mirror of the saints, whom the celestial
  spirits long to behold. Purify us from the stain of every vice and
  bring us to the society of the Blessed!

  Hail, our glory, in this rough, uncertain life, so soon to pass away!
  Lead us to our true country, O blessed symbol! that with a pure heart
  we may behold the face of Christ.

  Be to us, O Lord! a sure help, the sweet refreshment and consolation
  of our woes, that the efforts of the enemy may not injure us, but that
  we may enter into the fruition of true rest. Let us say: Amen.



                          DANTE’S PURGATORIO.
                           _CANTO FIFTEENTH._
                      TRANSLATED BY T. W. PARSONS.

    Between the third hour’s close and dawn of day,
      Much as appears of the celestial sphere
    Ever in motion, like a child at play,
      So much appeared now of the sun’s career
    To be remaining towards his western way.
      There it was evening; here the middle night;
    And on our front, the rays directly beat,
      For we had circled so the hill that right
    On towards the sunset we inclined our feet;
      When on my brows I felt a load of light,
    Greater in splendor than before had been,
      And o’er my sense, as ’twere from things unknown,
    A stupor stole; and of my palms a screen
      I made against the excess of light that shone.

    As when from water or a mirror’s face
      The ray leaps upward to the opponent side,
    Mounting in like mode as through equal space
      The ray descendeth, and with line as wide
    From the direct line of a falling stone
      (As science shows, and art hath verified),
    So did I seem, by some reflected light
      Before me there, to be so struck that fain
    I would have suddenly withdrawn my sight.

    “What is it, gentle Father, that in vain
      I shield my visage from, and still towards us
    Seems as in motion?” He made this reply:
      “Marvel not if, as yet, the splendor thus
    Of heaven’s bright household overpowers thine eye.
      This one is sent to ask men up the height;
    Soon it shall be that to behold these things
      Will cause thee no dismay, but bring delight,
    Even as thy soul due disposition brings.”
     Soon as we reached the blessèd angel’s side
    He said, with glad voice: “Here you enter in
      By steps more easy than you yet have tried.”
    We thence departed, and, ascending now,
      Heard _Beati Misericordes_ chanted
    Below, behind us, and, “Be joyful thou
      To whom to conquer in this pass is granted!”

    My Master and myself in lonely mood
      Still mounting, I considered as I went
    How I might gather from his word some good,
      And turned to him inquiringly: “What meant
    That spirit of Romagna speaking so
      _Of partnership forbid_?” He made reply:
    “Of his own worst defect he now doth know
      The torment; therefore, do not wonder why
    Others he chides to make their penance less.
      Because you point your wishes at a prize
    Where part is lost if it permit largesse,
      Envy’s bad bellows move your selfish sighs.
    But if the love of the supernal sphere
      Heavenward exalted every wish of yours,
    Your bosom would not harbor that low fear;
      For so much more as there they speak of Ours,
    More love in that celestial cloister glows,
      And so much more of good each soul secures.”

    “Now to be satisfied my hunger grows,”
      I answered, “and my mind is more in doubt
    Than if no question I had asked of thee.
      How comes it, that a blessing parcelled out
    More rich its many owners makes to be
      Than if a few possessed it?” He replied:
    “Because thy mind its reasoning cannot stretch
      Beyond those things of earth to which ’tis tied;
    Thou from true light dost only darkness fetch.
      That Good ineffable and infinite
    Who dwells above there, runs to love as fleet
      As to a lucid body a ray of light,
    And so much giveth as it finds of heat.
      Broad as the flame of charity may burn,
    The eternal flame above it grows more great:
      And more their number is who heavenward yearn.
    More for his love there are, and they love more,
      Like mirrors that each other’s light return.
    Now, if thou hunger still, despite my lore,
      Thou shalt see Beatris, and sure, she will
    Give unto this and every wish repose;
      Only may those five wounds remaining still,
    That heal in aching, like the twain soon close.”

    Whiles I was musing, and would fain have said,
      “Thou hast contented me,” I looked, and, lo!
    To the next cornice we had come; here fled
      All power of speech, mine eyes were ravished so!
    For, seized with ecstasy, I seemed to be
      Rapt in a sudden vision of a crowd
    Met in a temple. I could also see
      That entering, 'mid those men, a woman stood
    With sweet mien of a mother, saying: “Why
      Hast thou so dealt with us, my darling son?
    Behold, in every place thy sire and I
      Have sought thee sorrowing.” Soon as she had done
    This vision vanished, and I next beheld
      Another lady, with such drops besprent
    As down the cheeks flow from a bosom swelled
      With scorn of some one and by anguish rent;
    Saying: “If thou be ruler of the town,
      About whose name the gods had such a strife
    And whence all knowledge gleams to give renown,
      Pisistratus! avenge thee on his life
    Whose bold embrace hath brought our daughter down!”
      And her lord seemed to me benign and mild,
    Answering with aspect that her fury stemmed:
      “What should we do to one that harmed our child,
    If one caressing her be so condemned?”
      Next I saw people raging hot in ire,
    Slaying a youth with stones, and shouting loud:
      “Martyr him! martyr him!” in tumult dire;
    And I saw him drop down before the crowd
      Dying, but lifting, ere he did expire,
    Looks that might win compassion for his foes;
      And with such eyes,—they seemed the doors of heaven!
    Praying the most high Father that, for those
      Who wrought such wrong, their sin might be forgiven.

    Soon as my mind that from itself had swerved
      Came back to true things that outside it lie,
    I knew my dreams false, but their truth observed.
      My leader then, who could perceive that I
    Walked like a man by somnolence unnerved,
      Said: “Come! what ails thee that thou canst not keep
    Thy footing straight, but more than half a league
      Hast moved, with faltering steps, as if by sleep
    Or wine o’ercome, and eyes that show fatigue?”
      I answered: “O sweet Father! I will tell,
    If thou wilt hear me, all that I have seen,
      While my limbs failed me and my strength so fell.”
    And he replied: “Shouldst thou thy visage screen
      Beneath an hundred masks, I still could spell
    Each slightest thought of thine, and read thy dreams.
      This vision came lest thou be self-excused
    Thy heart from opening to the peace that streams
      From love’s eternal fount o’er all diffused.
    I did not ask 'what ails thee,’ as men speak,
      Who look with mortal eye that cannot see
    The soul without its body. Thou wast weak,
      And I, to strengthen, reprehended thee.
    So men are wont dull servants to reprove
      That when their watch comes round are slow to stir.”

    During these words we did not cease to move
      On through the evening, and attentive were
    To look beyond us, far as vision might,
      Against the level sun’s o’erpowering rays;
    And towards us, lo! a vapor, dun as night,
      Little by little growing on our gaze,
    Deprived us of pure air and dimmed our sight,
      Nor was there shelter from the blinding haze.



                           SIX SUNNY MONTHS.
    BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HOUSE OF YORKE,” “GRAPES AND THORNS,” ETC.
                              CHAPTER XII.
                         “TO BE, OR NOT TO BE.’


The Signora’s life in these days was disturbed by a doubt that was all
the more troublesome because she was obliged to solve it unaided, and
that without delay. What should she do with Mr. Vane?

Advice could be of no use, even if she had been willing to ask it. He
satisfied perfectly all the conditions concerning which outward
influence could have weight with a woman of character and refinement. It
is always possible to tell a woman that she should not marry a man, the
reasons given being good ones; but it is never possible to tell her that
she should marry him, if she does not wish, however excellent he may be.
The question with the Signora was, Should she marry at all? She
certainly did not wish to marry. Was she willing? Here came up a host of
arguments for and against, till she was as tormented and uncertain as
Hamlet. If Mr. Vane would have consented to spend his life in Rome and
remain her friend, without asking for more, she would have been
satisfied, and have thought that her life had gained by him a sweetness
she had never known, nor even thought of. For she had not been conscious
of anything wanting, till his companionship had taught her that one
niche in her house was vacant. She contemplated the possibility of
marrying him only in order to keep him near her, not because she wished
to change their relations. But the choice was forced upon her to lose
him or to marry him.

It was a choice between two evils. Her life had been so exquisite, so
nearer perfect than any one but herself could know, that to introduce
new and important interests there was a dangerous experiment. How much
more likely they would be to disturb than to complete the harmony! And
yet, how pleasant was that masculine presence, like a shady tree in the
midst of a sunny garden of flowers! How pleasant the sense of a superior
physical strength and manly sympathy ever near! How pleasant the
consciousness of constantly pleasing one worth pleasing by the thousand
little feminine ways and words, and by the very being what she was, like
a fragrant rose set in a chamber, silent and gracious. How many little
pleasures he gave her which a man gives only to the woman he prefers to
all others! It seemed to her she had never been well listened to before.
Then to see her do a favor to any one, perform some graceful little act
that might pass unregarded by others, even go about her ordinary duties,
gave him a vivid pleasure. He appreciated the very rose in her hair, the
ribbon at her throat, the bow on her slipper. Little things: but it is
the little pleasures which make life sweet, as the little displeasures
may do more than afflictions can to make it bitter.

She watched to see what danger there might be of certain small
annoyances which she had seen fretting the course of many a married
life, and he came out triumphantly from the ordeal. He did not hang for
ever about the house till the women grew tired of him, any more than he
went to the opposite extreme of staying away too much. He preserved a
respectful ignorance of household affairs, in which he held that women
should be autocrats, and at the same time listened with interest to any
details that might be vouchsafed him, as to curious particulars of a
country he had never visited, but which sent him important supplies. He
was habitually polite to women, but never gallant, and he would have
given a civil reply to a civil question proffered him even by an
infamous person; and in the most private life, he dropped only ceremony,
never respect. As far as personal habits went, he was a man who might
have been a hero, even to his _valet-de-chambre_.

Point by point the Signora tried him, and still found no defect which
could seem to indicate a disagreeable habit or an intolerable opinion.
She could but laugh—a little nervously, indeed—at her own perplexity.

“You dear soul!” she thought, “why will you not do something hateful and
set my mind at rest?”

He would not. He was not even guilty of the one fault that might
naturally have been expected of him under the circumstances: he had no
appearance of hanging upon her words and looks, as if for some
indication of a change of intentions regarding him. She was free to act
herself perfectly, without fear of misinterpretation. And yet, in spite
of his forbearance, she felt that time was committing her, and that she
must soon either decidedly prevent or decidedly receive a renewal of his
offer.

The Signora might easily be accused by persons of little refinement of
being one who did not know her own mind. On the contrary, she was rather
exceptionally prompt and clear as to her requirements. But she was past
the age when women usually marry in haste to repent afterward at
leisure; and was, moreover, one of the comparatively few women who are
fitted by their character to be friends to men without marrying them.
The insidious sisterhood which ends in wifehood or in mischief she saw
through and reprobated. “No man can have a sister,” she was wont to say,
“other than the daughters of his mother. But he may have a friend. And
no man has a right to expect sisterly service and familiarity from a
woman not born his sister. It is a snare.” As a friend, she would never
have charged herself with the care of Mr. Vane’s collars and cravats,
advised him regarding the most becoming cut of his beard, nor performed
the sentimental service of “bathing his fevered brow” when he had a
headache, though she might have done all these things as a sister or a
wife.

It was, altogether, a perplexing and even painful situation, and the
Signora found all her pleasure disturbed by that ever-present fear of
either throwing away a good which she might afterward regret, or
committing herself to a state of life which she might regret still more.
The weather added to her annoyance. Summer had reached its meridian heat
rather prematurely, the sun poured his rays down in a torrent, and at
noon the city was like a martyr at the stake. The nights began to lose
their freshness and be scorched about the edges; the early stars,
instead of shedding dews, were like the coals left in a half-swept oven;
and the mornings languished on the horizon. It was a time for not only
_dolce far niente_, but _dolce pensar niente_. Besides, people, being at
this season so shut up together, need to be at ease with each other.
There was very little to call them out, few friends left in town, and
but few _festas_.

On one of these days came the _festa_ of the Nativity of St. John the
Baptist, the vigil of which is unique in Rome, being a real witch’s
holiday, according to popular superstition. It is an ancient belief
among the people that on this vigil the witches have liberty to go about
where they will; and, since the world all goes to St. John Lateran, the
witches go there too. In order to detect them it was the custom to
procure a stick with a natural fork at the end. This fork was placed
under the chin, the two prongs coming up over the jaws. Looking at a
person over it in this wise, it could be known if he or she were a
witch. Moreover, since it was believed that the witches would take
advantage of the absence of the heads of the family to enter the houses
and do harm to the children, the little ones being their favorite prey,
a new broom was bought, and set, broom-end upward, outside the door.
Before entering, the witch was obliged to count every spill of the
broom. As a further precaution, some salt was sprinkled on the
threshold, and, in case that should not prevent their entering, these
words were repeated while sprinkling it: “Come tomorrow to borrow salt
of me.” The witch who entered was constrained to come and knock at the
door the next day, and ask the loan of a little salt. For the further
safe-keeping of the children during the night, the mothers hang some
object of devotion about their necks or bind it around their bodies,
and, when they are about going to sleep, whisper the _Credo_ in their
ear, repeating every word twice, thus: “I believe, I believe, in God, in
God,” etc.

“What do they think a witch would do to the children, if she should
enter?” we asked our Roman informant.

“Take off the object of devotion and touch them, or do something to them
so that they would die,” was the reply. “A child that has been touched
by a witch pines away to a skeleton, and dies, without any one being
able to find out what ails it. I believe, and I do not believe,” she
said with a shrug. “Who knows? The Scriptures tell of evil spirits
having power. Who knows how it may be? My sister, however, lived and
died persuaded that her only child was touched by a witch, though it was
not on St John’s eve. She had been getting her baby to sleep one day,
when a neighbor came and called her to the door for some reason. She
went out, leaving the door open and the baby in its cradle. When she
returned, there was an old woman bending over the cradle and talking to
the child—an ugly, dirty old creature, that she had never seen before.
My sister took fright at once, and called out to her to go away. 'I saw
the door open and heard the baby crying, and I came in to soothe it,’
the old woman said. My sister told her she had no right to come in, and
chased her away. On the threshold the woman turned and shook her finger.
'You will repent this,’ she said. In fact, the babe, which had been
healthy, and was just dropping peacefully asleep, began to moan and cry,
and nothing could pacify it. My sister examined and found that the
little devotion it wore had been taken away. From that day the child
pined. She got nurses for it, she tried everything possible, but nothing
helped it. Finally, she carried it to the church of St. Theodore, in the
Roman Forum, where all the mothers carry their sick babies. The priest
blessed it, but told her that it was too late: the child would die. And
it did die. She tried then one proof more. She took all its clothes that
it died in, and that it had on when the witch touched it, put them in a
grate, and kindled a fire under them. They burned as if there had been
gunpowder among them. That was a sure proof, they said. But for me,”
continued the story-teller, with another shrug, “I believe, and I don’t
believe. _Chi lo sa?_”

It is curious to find how this witch-idea is embodied in every nation,
and always with very nearly the same features: old, ugly, child-hating,
powerful for petty malice, but a slave to the most trivial spells,
repelling, disgusting—a fair representation of the utter despicableness
and feebleness of evil.

At the first soft fall of twilight the family of _Casa Ottant’Otto_
stepped into a carriage and drove out to the Lateran by the roundabout
way of the Roman Forum. From the Colosseum up to the church, all about
the church and palace, in a part of the piazza, and the ends of the
streets leading to it, every nook and door-way and every rod of ground
had its table or booth, some lighted by a soft olive-oil lamp, others
clear and bright with petroleum, others flaring with the red light of a
torch. Piles of cakes of every shape and size, wine in bottles, flasks,
and jars, cones of the delicious Roman lemons, that are so juicy and
fragrant, trinkets, scarfs, knick-knacks of various sorts, covered the
tables and counters. Here and there a more ambitious salesman, probably
a Jew, had erected a little shop. Everywhere were pinks and lavender.
Each table and counter held sprigs and bunches, and men, women, and
children went about with their arms full of it. A little crowd of these
noisy venders surrounded the carriage the moment it stopped, and the
ladies supplied themselves with lavender for their drawers, and bought
large bunches of red pinks, and each of them a St. John’s bouquet. This
bouquet consists of a little white flower surrounded by pinks, and
outside four sprigs of lavender. The lavender for drawers is ingeniously
done up. A bunch is gathered with long stems to the sweet gray seeds and
blue flowers, and a string is tied close under their little chins. The
stems are then turned back to make a cage for the cluster, and tied
again at the other end; and yet again turned back and tied a third time,
so that only glimpses can be had of the caged bloom; and all is
lavender.

“We should have come to first Vespers, if we wished to think of the
austere St. John,” the Signora said. “The scene is simply picturesque
and beautiful at this hour, and will be bacchanalian later. The world
doesn’t begin to come till twelve o’clock, and at that time it will be
almost impossible to move for the crowd, which does not disappear
entirely till daylight.”

They drove off toward Santa Croce, and, turning there, stayed awhile
under the soft dusk of the trees, looking back on the twinkling lights
and crowding figures, and talking a little. The fiery half-ring of the
three days’ moon touched the tip of a pine-tree in the west and kindled
it; the stars overhead seemed to be melting out of their orbits in a
glowing rain; the air was full of a sweet fragrance and delicately
fresh. Sounds of laughter and mingled voices reached them now and then.
But all—the wafts of air, the sounds, the radiating lights, the
motions—were so soft that the whole might be a great picture which they
half imagined to be alive.

The Signora leaned back in her seat and gave herself up to the scene,
mingling with it the ever-present thought: What should she do with this
man who sat opposite her? His face was turned to look back, so that she
saw the profile, a fine one. She felt very feminine and weak just
then—not at all like taking care of herself all her life long, being
both mistress and master of her house, and her own adviser and support.
The spirit of strength, of an enthusiastic liberty of effort and labor,
faded and fainted within her. They could not live in such a scene. She
wanted to be taken care of. All the insidious arguments of the sluggard
began to whisper themselves to her. Of what use was this constant toil
and strain, which was but a daily rolling up hill of a burden that every
night rolled down again? Of what use the study, the thought, the
self-denial? All had seemed pleasant; but, come to think of it, where
had been the repose? Had she ever looked at a flower without, after the
first glance, studying how she should present its beauties in words to
other eyes? Had she ever drunk a sunset with all its color down into her
own soul, and left its glory there, but speedily her pen must dip the
light of it up to shine on a page for others to see? Whither had fled
the long, tranquil sleep, the calm folding of the hands, the deep and
steady thought for thought’s sake? There was no one in the world, it
seemed to her, who thought so much of others as she did. She analyzed
her pains, her religious emotions, her very temptations, for them, and
studied her own breathing that she should be able to tell them how they
breathed. And what was the return? Bread, and not too much of that. She
had studied her art as the painter, the sculptor, and the musician
study, making a science of it, and not one in a hundred looked on it as
any more than an idle and facile play. She had felt her way, by a
natural gift and an acquired power, into the depths of souls, and had
led them out alive into the light; yet how many an ignorant critic and
shallow moralist had set up his wooden or card-paper model for her to
follow!

How odd she had not known before how tiresome it was! She had at times
felt tired, but to know that all was tiresome, and vanity of
vanities—that had but just broken on her. This soft and joyous scene,
usurping the hours of sleep, making the work of the day to follow an
impossible thing to be done, and finding its playground under the
stars—this was what had opened her eyes. A careless laugh had done it.
She looked at Mr. Vane and thought: “I hope he won’t ask me to-night,
for if he should I shall certainly promise to marry him; and I do not
like cutting Gordian knots with sudden resolutions. I would rather untie
this a little more leisurely,” she considered, still looking at him. “If
I want honors and favors, I could win more by giving good dinners than
by writing good books. A dinner is more powerful than an epic; for
anybody can take in a dinner, but everybody cannot take in an epic. If I
want friends and the reputation of being amiable, the good-natured
complacency of prosperous ease will go a great deal further than the
somewhat over-earnestness of a serious life.”

She snatched her eyes and her thoughts quickly away from the subjects
that occupied both, and began to talk; for Mr. Vane turned, as if aware
of being observed, and looked at her.

“I must have a little longer to think,” she said to herself, with a
fluttering heart. “It will never do to decide to-night.”

“If we are going to keep up our character of a sober and orderly
household, we must soon be on our way home,” she said. “The witches are
certainly abroad—I almost see them—and we have no spell to prevent their
getting into our carriage.”

Mr. Vane had been holding his breath for the last few moments. He knew,
without looking, what eyes were on him, and almost knew what thoughts
were passing in the Signora’s mind. He felt that his fate was in the
balance. The prize seemed to be within his grasp; for to hesitate, even,
seemed to give consent. At the first word he felt that hope grow dim.
Consent would have lingered in that enchanted scene, would have given
itself up to some ideal dream, forgetting the flight of time. She was
evidently resisting, if not refusing.

“Let us take one turn round by the wall and Santa Croce,” he said. “Then
we will go. I don’t think I shall ever have another drive just like
this, and I would like to prolong it a little.”

“Prolong it as much as you please!” the Signora exclaimed, with quick
compunction. “I only made a suggestion, which came from habit. If you
like to stay, I shall be pleased.”

His voice, a little quickened and a little deepened, had seemed to have
a touch of reproach in it, as though he should say: “Think, at least, a
little of me!” But his answer to her was quite friendly: “You were
right. We had better not stay long. One turn will be enough.”

They went on, the Signora fighting now two forces instead of one—for
pity for him was added to pity for herself. What a beautiful and noble
patience his life had shown, and with what a sweet dignity he had
covered that painful thought that he had never been first to anybody!

As they passed round near the wall, approaching Santa Croce, the trees
hid all the lights from them. The two daughters, one at either hand of
the father, leaned on his arm and sighed with delight; Marion, seated
beside the Signora, leaned forward to touch Bianca’s hand, unable in
that shadow to see her. The darkness touched their faces like a down, so
thick and moist was it, and so full of fragrance.

They came out before Santa Croce, and, turning, went back as they had
come. More than one of the company would have liked to propose walking
back along the avenue, but did not venture to do so. A few minutes
brought them to the piazza of St. John’s again, and into the midst of a
crowd of eager buyers and sellers. Here and there out of some dim corner
a face shone red in the flare of a half-shaded torch, small figures ran
and danced across the lights, black as _silhouettes_; the whole coloring
was Rembrandt.

Then home through the quiet streets, where occasionally they met a
couple or a party, all going toward St. John’s.

“It seems to me a kind of Santa Claus time, except that it is hot
weather,” Bianca said when they reached home. “I feel as though somebody
ought to come down the chimney to-night.”

“By the way,” the Signora exclaimed, “I have never introduced you to my
Santa Claus. How ungrateful I am! I am going to tell you my little
story; for I am almost sure that you four good people are as ignorant of
the genealogy of the Santa Claus of Christmas fame as I was when I came
to Rome. If you are wiser, then you can at least hear how I was
enlightened. When I had been in Rome but a little while, I made the
acquaintance of an elderly prelate, who was so kind as to do for me many
of those little services which a stranger needs, and was of the greatest
use to me in many ways. I seldom, almost never, asked anything of him,
but it was constantly happening that he offered some kindness at the
very moment it was needed. I never went to visit a city new to me but he
introduced me to some influential friend there, and I never heard of a
new old sight to see but he could tell me how to gain the best view of
it. His kindness was so pleasant and opportune that after a while,
without the least intention of being disrespectful however, I came to
call him in my own mind Santa Claus. His Christian name is Nicholas. One
day, while talking with me, he asked if I had any of the manna of St.
Nicholas of Bari. I replied that I did not even know what it was. He
looked at me in astonishment, and explained that it was a limpid
substance like water which had oozed from the bones of St. Nicholas the
Great, without ceasing, for more than fifteen hundred years, the saint
having been born somewhere late in the third century; that every morning
the sacristan gathers it with a sponge and preserves it in bottles; and
that the people of Bari and all that region have so great a faith in the
saint and his miraculous 'manna’ that they use it for every malady. He
ended by promising to send to his brother, an archbishop somewhere in
the south of Italy, to procure a bottle of this precious liquor for me.
In a few days he brought it. Here it is!” The Signora brought from a
little shrine that closed with a door in the wall, and displayed, a
bottle filled with what appeared to be the brightest and most limpid
water. “Monsignor showed me a similar bottle that he has had forty
years,” she continued, “and it was as pure and bright as this—perfectly
unchanged. He had opened it, now and then, to take out a few drops. Some
years ago he gave a bottle also to the Holy Father, who keeps it beside
his bed on a little shelf. Here is the picture of my saint.”

It was a quaint old print, copied, doubtless, from a picture in the
church of St. Nicholas, in Bari, and represented the sainted archbishop
standing on the shore, with the sea and ships behind him. At his right
knelt a youth on the sands; at his left three infants were rising out of
a tub, commemorative of two of his miracles.

“After having given me this relic of his great patron, Monsignor, full
of zeal for his honor and of pity for my ignorance, began to tell me
something of his life, and how knowing of an impoverished noble family,
driven to desperation by need, and almost deciding to sell the daughters
to a life of vice, since they had no money to marry them, this young
saint went slily by night, and dropped a bag of gold in at the window
sufficient for a _dot_ for the eldest; and, after a while, in the same
manner, provided for the others, the family rejoicing over their escape
and repenting of their evil resolution. When Monsignor had got so far
with his story, I broke out, 'Why, it is Santa Claus!’ And, sure enough,
it was. The great saint was no longer a stranger to me. I had known,
without knowing, him all my life, from the time when I had first read
the wonderful illustrated story-books of Christmas, and seen my mother
hang my stocking in the chimney-corner before taking me off to bed on
Christmas eve.”

The Signora was very glad to have this little story to tell by way of
making an inclined plane to the saying of good-night. Undercover of it
she escaped to her own room without being entrapped into a private
interview, which she almost suspected Mr. Vane of plotting.

Then they had a little expedition for the morning to see the making of
tapestry in the great hospice of St. Michael.

“If the weather and the time of day were not so hot,” the Signora said,
“we would go a little further on, to the scene of a miracle of Santa
Francesca Romana; but I don’t believe we shall be able to do so. A
little way from the hospital is the Porta Portese, and outside that is
the vineyard where that beloved saint and her companions worked one
January day from dawn till noon, without having anything to eat or
drink. They had forgotten to bring provisions; and Francesca, when she
saw her companions suffering from thirst, accused herself of having
neglected to provide for them. She was then, you know, a
mother-superior, and these were her oblates. Well, the youngest of them,
almost crying with thirst, begged to be allowed to go to a fountain out
on the public road. The saint told her to be patient, and, withdrawing
herself, began to pray: 'Lord Jesus, help us in our need; for I have
been thoughtless in neglecting to provide food for my sisters.’ 'She’d
much better take us home at once,' said the poor little nun to herself.
And then Francesca, rising from her knees, pointed to a tree around
which twined a vine loaded with large clusters of grapes—just as many
clusters as there were poor nuns to eat them. They had passed this very
tree again and again, and seen the vine dead and withered that very day.
That same Santa Francesca is one of the dearest saints in the calender,”
the Signora said. “Though, to be sure,” she added, “when we think over
their lives, each one seems to be the dearest.”

“My idea of saintliness is always associated with asceticism,” said
Isabel.

“If only the asceticism be not sour, as it never is with the saints,”
responded the Signora with a sigh. “About the most uncomfortable company
one can have is that of a person who, we cannot doubt, is virtuous in
many ways, but who looks upon one with an expression full of suspicion
and condemnation, without seeming aware that in so doing he has
committed a sin against charity which, according to St. Paul, renders
his other virtues nothing. To my mind, one of the first requisites of a
Christian character is to mind one’s own business.”

“Oh! I don’t mean asceticism that goes only far enough to stir up the
bile,” Isabel said, “but that which clears the heart, so that the light
of charity shines quite through it and brightens every object it looks
upon.”

They were already on their way to the asylum of St. Michael—that immense
establishment, which contains a little world within itself, where beauty
and charity dwell together; where the young find protection and
instruction, and the old a refuge, under the same roof; where music,
sculpture, painting, and kindred arts have made their home. Here the
poor, instead of being swept away like dead leaves from a garden, to
decay in obscure disgrace, slip, consoled and unashamed, into the grave,
like fallen leaves that die in peace between the embracing roots of the
green tree they once helped to adorn. The long, arched corridors were
fresh and cool, the brilliant day entering only in a tender light, or,
here and there, in some splash of gold that burned only the spot it fell
upon. Fountains murmured in the courts, and all the business of the
place moved with a subdued and leisurely action which made work seem a
pleasure. It was not toil, but occupation—that wise and healthy degree
of work which makes work possible for many years, instead of crowding
the force of a whole life into a few feverish days. There was not a face
which showed anxious and nervous hurry. All were calm and cheerful.

Our friends did not attempt to see anything more than the
tapestry-making and mending, the first in the men’s department, the last
done entirely by women and girls. The two immense halls devoted to these
works, with the ante-chambers, were completely hung with old tapestries,
making a softly and richly-colored picture-gallery of the whole place.
In the manufacturing hall upright frames held the great squares of the
warp, with the design drawn or stamped carefully on the
closely-stretched threads. Behind these sat the weaver, working in the
figures with long spools of colored wools, pressing down closely each
stitch with a little instrument he held in the left hand. A score or
more of these bobbins hung at the back of the tapestry, each to be
caught up and woven in in its turn. Across the lower part of the carpet
already a yard was splendidly woven of solid and brilliant color. In
another part of the hall hung a large picture for a future weaving—a
balcony with a vine and figures—and on a table under it were arranged
the myriad selected shades and colors that composed it. Here all in the
work was brightly colored; but when they went to the other part of the
building, where the women were occupied in restoring, it was like
passing from dazzling midsummer to a late October day. The very light
and atmosphere of the place seemed different. Stretched on large frames
laid out like country quilting-frames were dim old tapestries with
figures of gods and goddesses, of mythical heroes and heroines, or of
historical persons and events, the fabrics all more or less ragged, but
inestimably precious. Girls were grouped around these, mending, directed
by an artist. Hanging on the walls were other tapestries that had been
repaired, and so perfectly that it was impossible to distinguish what
part had been restored without looking at the wrong side of the work.
Lying in bunches and snarls on the work, or hanging in long rows of
varied hues on the wall, were skeins of wool, of every shade and color,
dim, dark, soft, or pallid, like colors seen by night, by the stars, or
by the moon, or colors guessed at by eyes half-blind or by eyes that are
dying. There was a suggestion of tragedy in those old new colors, as in
sad or blighted faces of children. And how much more of interest and
tragedy in the old tapestries for which they had lost all their
brightness! Nothing else is so interwoven with romantic possibilities as
old tapestry. Luxury, which may have been regal, clings to it, but it is
the luxury of olden times, when the beggar touched the prince. Mystery
and terror are its companions; for who knows who or what may sometimes
have been hidden behind that splendid curtain? Lifting its fold on some
day of an age gone by, what white, cold face might have been found there
between it and the wall, what sliding figure of a hiding spy, what
twinkle of a dagger-point in the dusky corner! And then what pageants
does it not suggest of the times when life was a picture!

“It really takes one out of the nineteenth century,” Mr. Vane said.

“The weaving of this tapestry,” the Signora told her friends, “was first
taught here by a monk—I have forgotten in the time of what pope. This
monk was a backslider and ran away from his convent; after being absent
ten years he repented, and came back to throw himself at the feet of the
Holy Father. 'Give me any penance, Holy Father,’ he said, 'and I will do
it gladly.’ The pope, rejoiced to receive this prodigal, asked him where
and how he had passed the ten years of his absence, and was told that
they had been spent in the tapestry-works of Coblentz, where he had
learned all the art of tapestry-making. 'Go, then, to St. Michael’s,’
said the pope, 'and teach them to make tapestry. That shall be your
penance.’ And so it was done; and that is the origin of the work in
Rome. The story was told me by a prelate who was formerly director of
St. Michael’s.”

It was too near noon when the inspection was over for them to go to
Santa Francesca’s vineyard. They could only hide themselves in the large
covered carriage, and drive slowly home through the almost silent
streets. They sighed with contentment when they reached the doorway,
where, through the half-open valves, the floor showed freshly sprinkled
and all the place cool and softly lighted.

Isabel glanced back into the street. A sick beggar, who was at his post
on a doorstep of the opposite convent so constantly that one might well
believe he had no other home, leaned back and seemed to sleep, his
pallid face whiter than the white stone it lay against. A poor man slept
in the shadow of the garden wall above, lying flat on his face on the
pavement. Further up, a woman, with two little children clinging to her,
sat on the ground in the shadow, and ate her dinner of a piece of bread.

“It seems to me,” the girl said thoughtfully, as she followed the others
up-stairs, “that there should be a perpetual thanksgiving society which
every one who has a home or a roof to cover them should join.”

The Signora touched Isabel’s arm affectionately and smiled in her
pretty, sober face. She found this girl changing, or, rather, developing
into something nobler and more serious than she had expected.

“There is a Perpetual Thanksgiving Society in Rome, my dear,” she said.
“I am so glad you have had the thought without having heard of it. It is
one of the most beautiful societies in the world. It has its meetings
the third Thursday of every month, at the Caravita, a little church that
used to belong to the Jesuits. There is an instruction, Benediction of
the Blessed Sacrament, and afterward the _Magnificat_ is sung. The
special objects of the association are to thank God constantly for the
good we receive through the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, the Sacred
Heart, and by the intercession of the Virgin Mary; and the special
festas of the society are Epiphany, Pentecost, Corpus Domini, Sacred
Heart, Annunciation, Visitation, Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin, St.
John the Evangelist, St. Gertrude, St. Felix de Cantalice, and Our Lady
of Grace. The loveliest thing of all is the practice enjoined on the
members of making constantly the aspiration, 'Thanks be to God.’ I wish
this society were in every town in the world. We beg, we are always
begging, and the showers are always coming down. How beautiful is the
idea of a society which asks nothing, but sends up a perpetual _Deo
gratias_, as the earth sends up mists in return for the rain!”

“I shall join that society at once,” Isabel said with decision.

The Signora laughed. “You had better take off your bonnet and have some
dinner now,” she said.

“Your society pleases me very much,” Mr. Vane remarked. “But the most
perfect act of thanksgiving I know is that in the _Gloria_: 'We give
thee thanks for thy great glory.’”

There was a little moonlight reception and tea-party that evening out on
the _loggia_. Clive Bailey came to take leave before going away for a
few weeks into the country. Mr. Coleman also had been unexpectedly
called to England on business, and was so afflicted about going that the
Signora was vexed.

“I cannot bear to have a man about who cannot get along without me,” she
said privately to Isabel, “especially when I can get along perfectly
well without him. When a man falls into that dependent and moony state,
he loses all his character and becomes despicable. It disgusts me the
more, besides, because it is usually the strong-willed, driving women
who have such masculine appendages. I do hope I’m not getting into that
way. For pity’s sake, tell me if I show signs of it. I have seen
ladies—I recollect at this moment a lady, clever, pretty, prompt, and
circumscribed in character, who makes all her familiar gentlemen
acquaintances either hate her or serve her like dogs. I’ve seen her take
a man whom I thought a very respectable sort of person, with a mind of
his own, and, by dint of smiling and scolding, rewarding him promptly
when he was good, and punishing him promptly when he didn’t obey, end by
making a perfect ninny of him. He couldn’t brush his boots or tie his
cravat except just as she directed him; if she was vexed with a person,
he didn’t dare be civil to them; if she was reconciled to the same, he
immediately beamed upon them with the most unconscious and imbecile
servility. Yet the two were not lovers, and never dreamed of being so, I
presume, and both of them would have been astonished, or would have
pretended to be astonished and indignant, if one had hinted that his
firmness had been nothing but starch, and she had washed that out of
him. I wouldn’t be such a woman for the world. I wouldn’t be a driving,
positive woman for anything. I wouldn’t be a woman persistent in small
things for my eyes. Mr. Coleman makes me feel as if I were growing so.”

“Nonsense!” Isabel laughed. “It isn’t in you to be so. Mr. Coleman needs
change of scene, that is all. He has been circling round you so long
that he has got dizzy.”

“Well, I’m glad he’s going off at a tangent,” the Signora replied, only
half-reassured. “He certainly would provoke me dreadfully, if he were to
go on in this way under my eyes. Don’t let him come near me this
evening, and don’t give him a chance to say good-by to me. Take him
quite off my hands—that’s a dear girl.”

Isabel promised, and kept her promise so well as to make of the poor
bewildered gentleman as nearly an enemy as he was capable of being to
any one. He had another source of disquiet, too, and that was the
exceeding politeness and cordiality with which the Signora treated the
very cruel relative who had come to take him away, and whom he had
brought up with him that evening in the vain hope that she would help
him to escape. On the contrary, she merely sealed the compact.

“You are quite right, sir,” she said. “These affairs of property can so
much better be attended to in person than by proxy.”

“Besides,” replied the cousin, “a man who has property in the country
has really some duties there. He should spend a little of his money for
the benefit of the state, his neighbors, and the church.”

He privately despised this city of Rome, which he now visited for the
first time. Its dinginess, its dirt, and its religion disgusted him.

“Church!” echoed the Signora with calm inquiry. “I was not aware that
Mr. Coleman belonged to any church.”

“He has certainly deteriorated very much since he left England,” was the
rather sharp response, “but our family are all Catholic.”

“Indeed!” she exclaimed, in real surprise. “I have always understood
from Mr. Coleman that his family belonged to the English Episcopal
Church.”

“We claim that to be the Catholic Church, madam,” the gentleman
responded proudly. “Or, rather, we claim the title for that older branch
of it which now restores the ceremonies and beliefs it laid aside for a
while.”

“Oh! the family are Ritualists,” said the Signora.

The gentleman drew himself up. “The term does not describe us,” he said.
“We have a ritual, of course; but that is not all. I consider the title
trivial and disrespectful.”

“I did not intend the least disrespect in the world,” the Signora made
haste to say. “I merely repeat the name I have heard. I have always
considered Ritualism very—refined—and”—she seemed to be laboriously
seeking some words of suitable praise—“and—delicate. It has many
beauties—and—in short, is, it seems to me, an—eminently—lady-like
religion.”

Mr. Vane took pity on the Englishman, who looked confounded, as if not
knowing whether to believe his ears, which had heard, or his eyes, which
beheld, the perfectly simple and courteous expression of his
entertainer. Mr. Vane, without seeming to have heard a word, introduced
the subject of property, on which men can always talk unflaggingly for
any length of time.

The Signora gave her attention to an enthusiastic Catholic lady, who was
making a pilgrimage of her visit to Italy. This lady was one of those
charming Christians who sometimes puzzle us a little. Her whole life was
given up to what may be called religious pursuits. She attended
functions unceasingly, and on every day was to be found in the church
dedicated to the saint whose day it was. She visited relics, shrines,
and scenes of religious events, and she did all with an enthusiasm which
expressed itself in the most gushing manner. In short, she luxuriated in
religion. She knew all about the lives of the saints, and spoke of them
with the ease and familiarity of an intimate friend. One could perceive
by her conversation that she believed them to be particularly watchful
over her, and rather more ready to do her favors than to attend to the
wishes of most others. She exhorted people a little now and then,
gently, with the air of one who knows. The whole manner of the woman, in
things religious, was that of a favorite daughter in her own father’s
house, to which the world at large was welcomed with a smiling charity
and hospitality. But that others were there also in their own father’s
house, and equally beloved by him, did not seem to occur to her. The
clergy and all religious she admitted and gave precedence to, seeking
and admiring them almost as she did the saints. But, after them, she
seemed to walk alone; or rather, she entered with them, and others
waited a permission. People in the laity, like herself, were, in some
mysterious manner, assumed to be unlike her. The silence of deep
religious feeling in others she treated as indifference, and sometimes
strove, with seeming good intention, to stir up the souls of those
already more deeply moved than herself. She abounded in little
devotions, little pictures, little lamps and candles, a multiplicity of
pious knick-knacks, enough to bewilder a person of simpler tastes. She
wore every scapular, and all the medals she could get, and her girdle
was laden with rosaries. By most people she was called a very pious
woman; by many she was believed to be a saintly woman. She certainly was
a fairly good woman and a nice lady of religious tastes. But, looked at
by clear eyes, she was a little puzzling, like some others of her kind.
One missed there a central virtue, the sweet humility that makes little
of its own goodness, and the charity which rejoices to see others
beloved and preferred. With such assumption, one would have expected
these virtues. Looking so, moreover, one suspected the existence of a
deep and pernicious pride. How did she receive a word of exhortation
from an equal? Not as she expected her own exhortations to be received,
certainly, but with an expression of astonishment, mortification, and
even displeasure. When did she sacrifice herself for others, and say
nothing about it? when did she do an act of charity, and conceal that
she had done it? when did she hesitate to obtain for herself an
advantage because it was to be at the cost of another, unless that other
were a person in orders or in religion?

The Signora looked at this lady, and liked her, and admired her in many
ways, but she could not help wishing that there were a little less
self-complacency in spiritual matters, and a little more willingness to
sacrifice her own wishes and aims at times. The thought would intrude
itself into her mind that it was less a real, working Christian that she
beheld than a religious sybarite. She could not say of her, as a famous
author has said of some characters rather similar, that “their celestial
intimacies did not seem to have improved their earthly manners, and
their high motives were not needed to account for their conduct”; but
she was frequently pained to perceive a striking discrepancy between the
profession and the practice.

“I have been to-day for the first time to see Santa Maria degli Angeli,”
the lady said, in the gay and pleasant way habitual to her. “There seems
to be no one left there but a few old, old men. They were in choir when
I went to the church, but I should never have suspected it. I asked the
sacristan if there would be a Mass soon. 'After _coro_,’ he said. I
asked when _coro_ would be, and he replied, looking at me with some
surprise, that it was going on then. I had heard a sound like a little
company of bumble-bees among the clover, but that it had anything in
common with the great, ringing chorus of St. Peter’s or the other great
churches I never dreamed. By and by choir and Mass were over, and they
all came out. Such a group of dear old Rip Van Winkles! They were all
tall, had long hair and long beards of white, or streaked black and
white; they drooped in walking, and their black and white robes, not
very fresh, gave me a strange impression of antiquity and decay. It must
have been the color and oldness of their clothes that made me think of
Rip Van Winkle. I was quite ashamed of the thought. More than one head
among them would have answered for a St. Jerome. That dear St. Jerome!”
she added, drooping into pensiveness, as if, in uttering the name, she
had been rapt away.

She recovered herself after an instant, and came back smilingly to the
present. “You have no idea what a devotion I have for St. Jerome,” she
said.

“I can quite understand it,” the Signora replied. “His character is one
to inspire a great admiration and reverence. Here in Rome one becomes
more familiar, in a certain way, with the saints. One is so much nearer
their earthly lives, their relics and their _festas_ abound so, and one
comes so constantly upon places which they have inhabited or visited,
that one has a sense of shame and humiliation at coming no nearer their
virtues.”

The lady smiled. “I had not thought of that,” she said. “I approach the
saints with all confidence and simplicity.”

“That is a very pleasant feeling,” the Signora said calmly, “and, to an
extent, may be a virtue. But do you not think that we should have also a
feeling of awe in view of that splendid faith of theirs, and of that
sublime constancy and ardent charity, which led them to face torments
and death without flinching, while our lives seem but a series of
compromises, and dispensations from everything that does not agree with
our delicate and pampered natures? It seems to me that, if we remember
the difference between our lives and theirs, we shall almost expect that
when we approach their shrines they will perform one miracle more, and
speak an audible reproof to us.”

The lady looked disconcerted and a little displeased. But, some one
interrupting them, the subject was dropped.

After they were gone Mr. Vane displayed a letter he had received that
day from the prior of Monte Cassino, inviting him and his family to
visit their monastery. This clergyman had been on very friendly terms
with Mr. Vane in America, where he had spent a good many years, and now,
hearing of his conversion, was anxious to renew a friendship which would
have a charm it had not before possessed, and to welcome to a
brotherhood of faith one who had always been kin to him by a community
of generous nature.

“He writes that we can stay a few days on the mountain and see
everything there at our leisure,” Mr. Vane said. “There is a house
outside the gate where you ladies can stop, and I can have a bed inside.
What do you say to it?”

The invitation was accepted by acclamation. Monte Cassino was one of the
places to see in Italy—a gem of nature, religion, and art. Before
sleeping that night their plans were made. They would put off the visit
a little, hoping for cooler days, as the journey was one of five or six
hours. Meantime they had a little trip to Genzano in view, to see the
_festa_ of the Santissimo Salvatore. And close upon them was Santa Maria
delle Neve.

To Be Continued.



                             “MAY-FLOWERS.”


    Dear Mother, on our country’s breast—
      Our country that is thine—
    Our poets place as scutcheon flower
      Small argent stars that shine
    With pallid light when scarcely wake
      The leaf-buds from their sleep,
    When, nursing summer’s waiting bloom,
      The storm-stained leaves lie deep.

    Fair, little stars that faintly gleam
      Like planets sunset-dimmed,
    The dearer for their glory scant
      On barren heavens limned.
    Pale May-flowers, whose stainless cheek
      Seems born of winter snow—
    One rosy drop of living blood
      Flushing the veins below.

    Whose faint-breathed perfume seems to rise
      Like prayer of anchorite,
    The heart that pours its incense forth
      Low hidden from our sight;
    Whose sweetness seems like nimbus pale
      Crowning some saintly head,
    The light of self-forgotten life
      In holy odor shed.

    Kind Mother, see, these little flowers
      Our land is given to wear,
    When still the forest arches stand
      Of leafy tracery bare;
    When still the heavens’ softened blue
      Grows dim with wind-swept snow,
    And lonely-seeming Phœbe chants
      Disconsolate and low.

    This precious bloom bears thy dear name—
      Though given unaware—
    And in its gentle life we trace
      The gleam of thine more fair.
    In France’s thoughtful land they give
      Bright flowers to be thine eyes,
    Within their blue forget-me-nots
      Thy glance’s calmness lies.

    Upon our matin blossom rests
      No depth of peaceful blue,
    Yet breaks the rosy dawn of love
      Its cheek’s pure whiteness through.
    Amid the darkened leaves it lies
      In blest humility,
    A lowly handmaid of the Lord,
      Unstained of earth, like thee—

    A hidden life e’er pouring forth
      An offering pure of prayer;
    The sweet unconsciousness of grace
      Soft’ning the rude, bleak air.
    The blood-stained heart the sword hath pierced
      The spotless breast within,
    The quiet shining on a world
      Bitter and drear with sin.

    A crown of stars that perfects all
      With heaven-won aureole—
    Let France’s blossom claim thine eyes,
      Claim ours thy spotless soul;
    Whose gracious blessing ever rest
      On this broad land of ours,
    That not in vain her poets’ shield
      Be quartered with May-flowers.



                      THE LEPERS OF TRACADIE.[28]


Footnote 28:

  This article is condensed from one which appeared in the _Revue
  Canadienne_, by M. de Bellefeuille.


    “Ah! little think the gay, licentious crowd,
    Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround—
    Ah! little think they, while they dance along,
    How many pine! how many drink the cup
    Of baleful grief! how many shake
    With all the fiercer tortures of the mind!”

—THOMSON’S _Seasons_.

    “In a rage, I returned to my dwelling-place, crying aloud: 'Woe unto
    thee, leper! Woe unto thee!' And as if the whole world united
    against me, I heard the echo through the ruins of the Château de
    Bramafan repeat distinctly: 'Woe unto thee!' I stood motionless with
    horror on the threshold of the tower, listening to the faint tones
    again and again repeated from the overhanging mountains: 'Woe unto
    thee!'”

—XAVIER DE MAISTRE.

On the low and miry land forming the borders of the county of Gloucester
in New Brunswick, fifty miles from Miramichi and twenty-five south of
Caraquet, between a narrow river and the waters of the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, stands a little village. The situation it occupies is dreary
and sad to a degree. On one side moans the gray sea, on whose dull and
turbid waters rarely is seen a sail. On the other stretches a long, low
line of coast, dotted at intervals by the huts of the fishermen. The
whole landscape is painfully monotonous, desolate, and mournful. The
cottages are mean in the extreme, while the simple church is without
architectural merit. Afar off frowns forbiddingly a large building shut
in by high walls. In this melancholy spot the passing traveller says to
himself: “Is this place accursed alike by God and man?”

Accursed, alas! it has indeed been by despairing lips and hearts; for
the building is the lazaretto of Tracadie. Before the year 1798 no
register was kept of baptisms, marriages, or burials in the parish.
Since that date, however, and up to 1842, Tracadie was under the care of
the _curés_ of Caraquet, a neighboring parish.

On the 24th of October, 1842, arrived the first resident priest, M.
François Xavier Stanislas Lafrance, who remained there until January,
1852. M. Lafrance has since died. At Tracadie he was succeeded by the
present _curé_, M. l’Abbé Ferdinand Gauvreau,[29] with whose name the
history of these poor lepers must always be interwoven.

Footnote 29:

  The author writes: From this excellent and faithful priest I have
  obtained the greater part of my information on this subject. In
  addition, M. Gauvreau has allowed me free use of his notes and
  documents.

Probably the most terrible chastisement inflicted on a guilty people is
that known as leprosy. In ancient times it was only too well known, for
it was then more frequent than in our day. It made such fearful ravages
in certain parts of the world that its very name was whispered in
accents of horror and dread.

From time immemorial has this scourge been looked upon as utterly
distinct from all other diseases; more virulent in its effects; more
insidious in its approaches, and above all by reason of the frightful
manner in which it distorts and disfigures its victims.

Leprosy has probably been known from the creation of the world. Nothing
in history leads us to reject this idea, and, indeed, many interpreters
who have exercised their talent on certain obscure passages of Holy Writ
have found no better way of defining the terrible sign with which God
marked the fratricide Cain than by supposing it to be leprosy. The alarm
that has always been felt in regard to this most loathsome disease
arises not alone from its hideous results, but also from the conviction
that has always existed as to the absolute hopelessness of cure.

Before the time of Moses leprosy was well known. The first mention made
of it in Holy Writ is in the fourth chapter of Exodus. God, having
chosen Moses to deliver the Hebrews from the tyranny of the Egyptians,
orders him to present himself before his afflicted people and to
announce himself to them as their deliverer. Moses objected, saying:
“They will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say,
The Lord hath not appeared unto thee!” Then the Lord, to convince Moses
of his divine mission, said unto him, “Put now thine hand into thy
bosom,” and he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out,
behold his hand full of leprosy, white as snow—“_instar nevis_.”

Here, then, was leprosy easy to recognize, since it had the whiteness of
snow. Let us not forget this peculiar feature, for we shall see it again
later.

From this incident we see clearly that the disease was by no means
unknown to Moses, because on seeing his hand he said: “_Leprosam instar
nevis._” Therefore we have a right to believe that the disease existed
before Moses. To the support of this opinion Dom Calmet, in his
_Biblical Dictionary_, cites Manetho the Egyptian, Lysimarchus, Appian,
Tacitus, and Justin, who have advanced the idea that the Jews went out
from Egypt on account of the leprosy. Each one of these historians
narrates the events in his own fashion, but all agree that the Hebrews
who left Egypt were attacked by leprosy.

Not only does leprosy fasten on mankind, but it clings to clothing and
to the stone walls of houses. It is to be presumed, however, that the
leprosy brought by the Israelites out of Egypt was not of this malignant
type; for Moses, by the order of God, takes pains to mention another and
more virulent kind known in the land of Chanaan, the promised land of
the Israelites.

In Leviticus, chapter xiii., we find the following: “If there be a spot,
greenish or reddish, in the garment, of wool or of skin, the garment
must be shown to the priest; and the priest shall look on the plague,
and shut it up for seven days; and if at the end of the time the spots
have spread, the priest will burn the garment, for it is a fretting
leprosy. If the priest find, however, that the spots have not spread, he
shall order the garment to be washed; and, behold, if the plague have
not changed his color, and be not spread, it is unclean: thou shalt burn
it in the fire.”

As to the suspected taint of leprosy in their houses, let us see their
method of proceeding: “When you be come into the land of Chanaan, if you
think there be leprosy in the house, he that owneth the house shall go
to the priest, who shall order the house to be emptied. If the priest
finds in the walls hollow streaks, greenish or reddish, he shall shut
the house for seven days. The priest shall come again the seventh day,
and shall look; and if the plague be spread, the stones shall be taken
away, and cast into an unclean place without the city. Then the rest of
the house shall be scraped within and without, and they shall pour the
dust without the city, and they shall take other stones and put them in
the place of these, and other mortar to plaster the house.

“And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, it is a
fretting leprosy, and the house is unclean and shall be destroyed.”

Thus it is seen that the leprosy known to the ancients—this lamentable
scourge, “this eldest daughter of death”—attacked in its fury not man
alone, but his clothing and the very walls of his house. The primary
cause of an evil so malignant and so wide-spread must for ever remain a
mystery. The learned Dom Calmet, as commentator of the Bible rather than
as a physician, offers a theory in his notes on Leviticus. He maintains
that the disease is caused by a multitude of minute worms. These
parasites glide between skin and flesh, gnawing the epidermis and the
cuticle, and then the nerves, producing, in short, all the symptoms that
are remarked in the beginning, the progress, and the end of leprosy. Dom
Calmet concludes by saying that “venereal diseases are but forms of
leprosy which were only too well known to the ancients.” In this century
leprosy still exists in some portions of Italy and in Norway to a very
considerable extent, according to the reports of Drs. Danielson and
Boëk. It is still to be met with in Turkey in the village of
Looschori—the ancient Mytilene of the Ægean Sea—in the Indian
Archipelago, on the coast of Africa, and in the West Indies. I myself
have seen it in Jerusalem and at Naplouse, ancient Samaria; at Damascus
also, where there is a lazaretto very poorly supported by public
charity. To Mr. Charles A. Dana, one of the editors of the _New American
Cyclopædia_, the _maladie de Tracadie_ is not unknown; for he says that
leprosy exists in Canada and in other portions of America.

But to return to the Scriptures: Moses is not the only one of the
inspired writers who speaks of leprosy, and more than once our blessed
Lord, on his journeys through Judea, exercised his charity and showed
his goodness by curing lepers who threw themselves at his feet,
entreating mercy. Job was struck by the hand of God with this scourge,
and has described it with marvellous beauty and pathos. He was forsaken
by his wife and his friends in his humiliation and suffering; they
shrank from him, saying that he must have committed some fearful crime
to have drawn upon himself so heavy a chastisement. A similar horror of
this disease existed among all nations. In Pérsia no citizen infected by
it could enter a village or have any intercourse with his
fellow-creatures, while a stranger was driven pitilessly forth into the
desert (Herod., _Clio_).

Æschines, giving an account of his sea voyage, states that, the ship
putting into Delos, they found the inhabitants suffering from leprosy,
and the travellers hurried away in fear and trembling, lest they
themselves should fall victims.

In Egypt Pliny[30] says that when this evil attacked kings, it was most
unfortunate for their people; for to cure them baths of warm human blood
were believed to be efficacious.

Footnote 30:

  _Hist. Nat._, l. xxvi. c. i. proem.

In later days we find that lepers have been the victims of most unjust
and cruel laws among almost all nations. Thus, among the Lombards, in
643, one law ordered not only that lepers should be confined to isolated
localities, but declared them also civilly dead, deprived them of their
property, and confided them to the charity of the public. Several
provinces in France adopted this law with some qualifications. In
certain localities even the posterity of lepers were excluded—as at
Calais—from all rights of citizenship, and in 757 an ordinance of Pepin
le Bref permitted divorce between a healthy wife and leprous husband, or
a healthy husband and leprous wife. Charlemagne augmented the severity
of laws already so hard. He ordered lepers to live apart, permitted them
no social intercourse whatever, and finally, as their crowning misery,
these unfortunates saw themselves thrust on one side by the church
itself from communion with the faithful.

At the time of the separation of the lepers from family, home, and
friends, the church pronounced over them the prayers for the dead.
Masses were said for the repose of their souls, and, to complete the
mournful illusion, a handful of earth was thrown upon their bodies. They
were forbidden to enter any church or any place where food was prepared,
nor could they dip their hands in a running stream, nor accept food or
anything handed them, save with a fork or the end of a stick. They were
compelled, moreover, to wear a particular costume that could be seen and
recognized from afar off, and, under threats of severe penalties for
disobedience, were ordered to ring a little bell to announce their
coming. More recently, in France, lepers herded together, in secluded
places, which were called _léproseries_. In the year 1244 there were
throughout all Christendom 19,000 of these léproseries, and in France
alone 2,000.

There these poor wretched creatures passed their desolate lives,
separated from the outside world, without occupation or interest, save
that of watching the slow but sure progress of their companions toward
the inevitable and horrible death that was impending.

In the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, says Mgr. Gaume,
leprosy extended its ravages over a large part of the world. The
pestilence attacked suddenly all parts of the body at once, drying it
up, as it were; and, like the plague, leprosy was unquestionably most
contagious. To receive the infection it was but necessary to touch the
clothes or the furniture, or even to breathe the tainted air;
consequently, every one fled in dismay at the sight of a leper. They
were driven from the vicinity of towns, and they were seen from afar
wandering over the fields and hillsides like living corpses, while at a
distance they were compelled to signal their approach by a rattle or
bell. Abandoned by the whole world, and a prey to horrible sufferings,
they called on death to deliver them.

The King of France, anxious to protect his subjects from exposure to
this disease, formed a complete code of laws for lepers. “Every person,”
said M. Deseimeris in his _Medical Dictionary_, “who is suspected of
leprosy must submit to a thorough examination by a surgeon. The
suspicion confirmed, a magistrate takes possession of the individual to
dispose of him according to law. If he be a stranger, he must be sent at
once to the place of his birth, bestowing first upon him, however, the
poor gifts of a hat, a gray mantle, a beggar’s wallet, and a small keg.
The poor creature, on arriving at his native village, must carefully
avoid all contact with his fellow-creatures.” Even the church rejects
him. Each town or village was compelled to build for his reception a
small wooden house on four piles, and, after the death of its inmate,
the house, with all that was in it, was consigned to the flames.

As the number of lepers was constantly increasing, the erection of so
many of these small tenements became a source of great expense. It was
therefore finally decided to unite them under one roof, and give them
the name of a léproserie. In this way their support became less onerous,
while their seclusion was far greater, and their diet and medical
treatment was easier of regulation.

Louis VIII. published in 1226 a code of special laws for the government
of léproseries. These laws were intolerably severe. A leper once
incarcerated within the walls of a lazaretto incurred the penalty of
death if he passed over the threshold again; scaffolds were erected
where they could be seen from the hospital, thus keeping this fact ever
in the remembrance and before the eyes of the miserable inmates.

I have recounted these details to demonstrate the utter horror with
which leprosy was regarded. It must not be supposed that only the
ignorant and superstitious were overwhelmed by foolish dread, or that it
was an idle prejudice, a relic of barbarism; for in the nineteenth
century we witness the same horror, and here on our own shores encounter
the same rigorous legislation. We should also find the lepers as uncared
for, as shunned and neglected, as they were of old, were it not for the
Catholic Church, which, with its customary zeal in all labors of charity
and mercy, aroused in the hearts of a humble priest and a few weak nuns
the wish and determination to consecrate their lives to the service of
this most miserable class of their fellow-creatures.

The first settlements on the Miramichi River were made after the treaty
of Utrecht in 1718 by the subjects of France—Basques, Bretons, and
Normans. Under the administration of Cardinal Fleury stringent measures
were taken to encourage and protect these colonies. After a time, when
their prosperity seemed secure, a certain Pierre Beauhair was sent from
France as intendant to rule and arrange matters for the French
government. He erected a small villa on a point of land that since his
death bears his name, at the mouth of the northwestern branch of the
Miramichi River. The island opposite l’Ile Beauhair was strongly
defended, and tradition states that the intendant built within the walls
of the fort a foundry for cannon, and other buildings for the
manufacture of munitions of war.

During the summer of 1757 the colony on the Miramichi suffered much from
the war between France and England, which sadly interrupted their
traffic in fish and furs. Consequently, the following winter was one of
great suffering, and many of the colonists died of hunger. Two transport
ships, laden with provision and supplies of all kinds, were sent out by
the French government in 1758, but both vessels were captured by the
English fleet then assisting at the siege of Louisburg.

While these colonies were enduring suspense and starvation a French
vessel, called the _Indienne_, from Morlaix, was wrecked at the mouth of
the Miramichi near the “Baie des Vents”—a name now corrupted into “Baie
du Vin.” Tradition states that this ship, before coming to America, had
traded in the Levant, and that a large number of bales of old clothes
had been taken on board at Smyrna. The clothes were strewn upon the
beach after the vessel went to pieces, were seized by the inhabitants,
dried, and afterwards worn. However this may be, it is certain that from
that date arose a most terrible pestilence among the Canadians, who were
already decimated by famine. The first victim of this malady was M. de
Beauhair, and he, with eight hundred others, it is said, were buried at
Point Beauhair. The survivors abandoned Miramichi and fled, some to
l’Ile Saint-Jean—now Prince Edward’s Island—and the greater number
settled along the western coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where they
formed scattered hamlets under the names of Niguaweck, Tracadie, and
Pokemouche, combined in one parish—that of Caraquet.

For eighty years, although it was known that isolated instances of
leprosy existed in the different colonies, they attracted little or no
public attention up to 1817, when a woman named Ursule Laudry died of
the disease.

An account written by one of the nuns of l’Hôtel Dieu attributes a
somewhat different origin to this scourge. This good sister writes that
the disease was carried to New Brunswick in 1758 by a ship from the
Levant; the vessel having made the port late in the autumn, the crew
were paid off and dispersed, many seeking a temporary home in Caraquet.
Unfortunately, this crew was afflicted by a malady that was unsuspected
by any one. The colonists were kind to the sailors; the women washed
their clothes and in this way contracted the disease, which was
transmitted from one to another and from father to son, and in time
acquired its peculiar features. Hamilton Gordon, the Lieutenant-Governor
of New Brunswick in 1862, has assigned a similar origin to the malady in
an interesting pamphlet entitled _Wilderness Journeys in New Brunswick
in 1862-3_.

    “A vague and uncertain tradition exists,” he says, “that somewhere
    about a hundred years ago a French vessel was wrecked on the coast
    of Gloucester or Northumberland, and that among the crew were some
    sailors from Marseilles, who in the Levant had contracted the
    hideous leprosy of the East, the veritable elephantiasis Græcorum;
    however this may be, it is beyond all question that for many years a
    part of the French population of these two counties has been sorely
    afflicted by this mysterious disease, or by one that closely
    resembles it, and which may be, indeed, the form of leprosy so well
    known on the coast of Norway.”

    “It is difficult,” says in his turn M. Gauvreau, _curé_ of Tracadie
    and chaplain of the lazaretto, in a letter published in the _Journal
    de Montreal_, November 30, 1859—“it is difficult to persuade one’s
    self that this malady could be the spontaneous generation of the
    locality where it now exists. The geographical position of Tracadie
    is on the sea-coast, with the fresh currents of a river close at
    hand, the waters of which are salt for eight or nine miles above the
    mouth. The soil in some portions is sandy, in others clayey; in the
    vicinity are no marshes, no stagnant water, consequently no
    injurious malaria. These facts seem to justify the opinion which I
    have long held, and which as yet I see no reason to change, that the
    poisonous virus was not the growth of this spot, but was brought
    here by some traveller.”

These traditions are, in the main, probably correct as to the origin of
the scourge in this Canadian village. The inhabitants of other villages
than Tracadie subsist almost entirely on fish, are equally poor, equally
ill-fed and insufficiently clothed, living in the same damp and foggy
atmosphere; but it is only in Tracadie or its vicinity that a leper is
to be seen. The inhabitants of Labrador and Newfoundland eat fish almost
exclusively, and live amid similar climatic conditions, paying no more
enlightened attention to hygienic laws, and yet the “maladie de
Tracadie” does not attack or decimate them.

From the date of the introduction of this disease into the village it
increased slowly but steadily until 1817, when certain precautions began
to be taken; but not until 1844 did the authorities try any active
precautions. In that year a medical board was organized, who made a
report of their investigations to the government, and later in the same
year an act of the Provincial Legislature was passed, renewed and
amended in 1850. It authorized the lieutenant-governor to establish a
health committee. This committee recommended the erection of a lazaretto
on l’Ile de Sheldrake, an isolated spot in the middle of the Miramichi
River eighteen miles above Chatham. “Whoever was found to be
unquestionably tainted by the disease,” says the article, “must be torn
from his family, using force if needful. The husband must be taken from
his wife, the mother from her children, the child from its parents,
whenever the first symptom of leprosy declares itself. An eternal
farewell to all they hold most dear must be said, and the poor creature
is sent to the lazaretto. It often happens that a leper refuses to go
quietly; he is then dragged by ropes like a beast to the shambles—for
none is willing to lay a finger upon him. Often the unhappy beings are
driven with blows to the very door of the lazaretto.” Things, of course,
could not long remain in this brutal condition. The lepers, driven to
desperation by their physical and mental sufferings, by a wild longing
for the liberty denied them, and for the sight of their loved ones,
sometimes effected their escape.

An attempt was finally made to ameliorate their condition, and in 1847
the lazaretto was removed to the spot where it now stands, about half a
mile from the parish church of Tracadie. A large tract of land was here
purchased by the government, and the present building was erected,
surrounded by a wooden wall twenty feet high, set thick with nails to
hinder the escape of the lepers. The windows of the lazaretto were
barred heavily with iron, and thus added to the melancholy aspect of the
building. The lepers, weary of the revolting resemblance to a prison,
themselves tore most of the bars away, and, when the nuns arrived there
they at once ordered the remainder to be removed.

In 1868 the nuns from the Hôtel Dieu of Montreal took possession of the
lazaretto of Tracadie. For some few years a strong necessity had been
felt for the reorganization of this institution. A wish was expressed
that it could be placed under the care of the Hospital Nuns. I have now
before me a letter from the Rt. Rev. James Rogers, Bishop of Chatham, in
which is given an account, for the _Conseil Central de la Propagation de
la Foi_ at Paris, of the steps that had been taken up to December, 1866:

    “Since my first visit to the establishment,” says the bishop, “I
    have always thought that it would be most desirable to place it
    under the care of the Sisters of the Hôtel Dieu, who would watch
    over the souls and the bodies of these sufferers, whose number
    varies from twenty to thirty. But so many great and pressing needs
    claimed my attention—while my resources were insufficient even for
    the alleviation of physical suffering, and also, perhaps, for the
    spiritual wants of certain souls—I was compelled to postpone my
    plans in regard to the lazaretto, until my diocese could satisfy the
    religious needs of its inhabitants by an increase of the number of
    priests, and by the erection of chapels in places where they had
    long and earnestly been demanded, and also by the establishment of
    schools for the Christian education of youth. Another obstacle to
    the immediate execution of my intention was the lukewarm approbation
    and co-operation of the government. The total lack of suitable
    lodging for the nuns, as well as the uncertainty whether the
    Protestant element which pervades our government and our legislature
    would be willing to grant us funds or permit us to make needful
    preparations for the sisters to take charge of the lazaretto—all
    conspired as hindrances to my desires.

    “Last spring I petitioned the government, but political changes
    interfered, and no steps were taken until now. This is the reason
    why the worthy _curé_ of Tracadie continues to be the only priest
    who administers the consolations of religion to that portion of his
    flock so bitterly afflicted.”

The steps taken by Bishop Rogers seem to have been singularly
felicitous. He obtained from Bishop Bourget the assistance of the nuns
of the Hôtel Dieu of Montreal, and the government appears to have
regarded with favorable eyes this regeneration of the lazaretto, which
produced in a very brief period of time the best possible results upon
the patients. Abbé Gauvreau draws a sad picture of the state in which
these poor creatures lived before the nuns went to their assistance. In
a letter dated April 28, 1869, addressed to the mother-superior of the
Hôtel Dieu of Montreal, he says:

    “I am absolutely incapable of describing the state of abject misery
    in which our poor lepers passed their lives before the coming of the
    sisters. I can only say that from the hour of their transfer from
    l’Ile aux Bec-scies (Sheldrake) at the entrance of the river
    Miramichi, discord, revolt, and insubordination toward the
    government, divisions and quarrels among themselves, made the
    history of their daily lives. The walls rang with horrible
    blasphemies, and the hospital seemed like a den of thieves.”

The Board of Health spared nothing to make the lepers comfortable. Good
food, and abundance of it, appropriate clothing, and careful medical
attendance were liberally provided; but, in spite of these efforts, the
hearts of these poor creatures were as diseased as their bodies. Some of
them revolted against the summons of death, notwithstanding the constant
exhortations of the chaplain, and even after their last communion clung
strongly to the futile hope of life. Of this number was one who had been
warned by the physician that his hours were numbered and that a priest
should be summoned. His friends, and those of his relatives who were
within the walls of the lazaretto, implored him to prepare for death.
“Let me be!” he cried. “I know what I am about!”

About nine o’clock in the evening he begged his companions in misery not
to watch at his bedside, and, believing himself able to drive away
Death, who was hurrying toward him with rapid strides, insisted on
playing a game of cards. The game had hardly begun, however, when the
cards dropped from his hands and he fell back on his bed. Before
assistance could reach him all was over.

With the arrival of the nuns a new order of things began. Without
entering into a detailed account of all the labors performed by the
sisters since their arrival, it is enough to state that cleanliness and
order prevail and true charity shows itself everywhere. The poor
creatures, who formerly revelled in filth and disorder, now see about
them decency and cleanliness. They are induced to be submissive and
obedient by the hourly example of the sisters; their modesty and
reserve, their virtue and careful speech, their watchful care and
devotion, their tender attention to the sick, teach the inmates of the
hospital the best of lessons. It is easy to imagine with what joy the
poor lepers welcomed the nuns who came to consecrate their lives to this
service, and also to understand with what affection and respect these
holy women are regarded.

    “The enclosed grounds of the lazaretto,” says Governor Gordon in his
    _Wilderness Journeys_, “consist of a green meadow three or four
    acres in extent. Within these limits the lepers are permitted to
    wander at their will. Until recently they were confined to the
    narrowest limits—a mere yard about the lazaretto. I entered these
    dreary walls, accompanied by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Chatham,
    by the secretary of the Board of Health, by the resident physician,
    and by the Catholic priest of the village, who is also the chaplain
    of the institution.

    “Within the enclosure are several small wooden buildings, separated
    from each other, consisting of the kitchen, laundry, etc. A
    bath-house has recently been added to these, which will be a source
    of infinite comfort to the patients. The hospital contains two
    larger halls—one devoted to the men, the other to the women. Each
    room has a stove and a table with chairs about it, while the beds
    are ranged against the wall. These halls are both well lighted and
    ventilated, and at the time of my inspection were perfectly clean
    and fresh. At the end of these halls is a small chapel arranged in
    such a way that the patients of both sexes are able to hear Mass
    without meeting each other. Through certain openings they also
    confess to the priest and receive the holy communion.”

Many changes in the interior arrangements of the lazaretto followed the
arrival of the sisters. The patients and the nuns now hear Mass at the
same time. The male patients occupy two rooms twenty-five feet square,
while similar apartments above are reserved for the females. The grounds
of the lazaretto have also been enlarged.

    “Before giving the characteristics of this appalling disease,” says
    Mr. Gordon, “I wish to reply to a question which you undoubtedly
    wish to ask: How is this malady propagated? No one knows. It seems
    not to be hereditary, since in one family the father or mother may
    be attacked, while the children entirely escape. In others the
    children are leprous and the parents healthy. In 1856 or '57 a woman
    named Domitile Brideau, wife of François Robichaud, was so covered
    with leprosy that her body was one mass of corruption. While in this
    state she gave birth to a daughter, whom she nursed—the mother
    shortly afterward dying in the hospital. Meanwhile, the child was
    absolutely healthy, and remained until she was three years of age in
    the hospital without any unfavorable symptoms being developed. The
    girl grew to womanhood and married, and to-day she and her children
    are perfectly healthy. Many similar examples might be cited.”

This malady, then, can hardly be contagious, since in one family husband
or wife may be attacked, while the other goes unscathed. There is now at
Tracadie a man, François Robichaud by name, who has had three wives; the
two first perished of leprosy, the third is now under treatment at the
lazaretto—the husband in the meanwhile enjoying perfect health. In one
family two or more children are lepers, while the others are untainted.
One servant-woman resided for eight years in the hospital, ate and drank
with the patients, yet has never shown any symptoms of the disease. The
laundress of the institution lives under its roof, and has done so for
two years; she is a widow, her husband having died of the scourge, she
being his sole nurse during his illness. She is in perfect health. It
has also happened more than once that persons suspected of leprosy, and
placed in the hospital, after remaining there several years and
developing no further symptoms, are discharged as “whole.”

All the patients now in the hospital agree that the disease is
communicated by touch, and each has his own theory as to where he was
exposed to it—either by sleeping with some one who had it, or by eating
and drinking with such.

I am strongly persuaded that this disease, whatever may be its origin,
is greatly aggravated by the kind of life led by the natives of
Tracadie, who are all fishermen or sailors. Their food is fish,
generally herring, and their only vegetables turnips and potatoes. Such
is their extreme poverty that there are not ten families in Tracadie who
ever touch bread.

Let us follow Governor Gordon into the lazaretto.

    “At the time of my visit,” he says, “there were twenty-three
    patients, thirteen men and ten women. They were all French and all
    Catholics, belonging to the lower class. They were of all ages, and
    had reached various stages of the disease. One old man, whose
    features were distorted out of all semblance to humanity, and who
    had apparently entered his second childhood, could hardly be
    sufficiently aroused from his apathy to receive the benediction of
    the bishop, before whom all the others sank on their knees.

    “There were also young people who, to a casual observer, seemed
    vigorous and in health; while, saddest of all sights was that of the
    young children condemned to spend their lives in this terrible
    place. Above all was I touched by the sight of three small boys from
    eleven to fifteen years of age. To an inexperienced observer they
    had much the look of other children of their own age and class.
    Their eyes were bright and intelligent, but the fatal symptoms that
    had sufficed to separate them from home and kindred were written on
    their persons, and they were immured for life in the lazaretto.

    “The greatest sympathy must naturally be felt for these younger
    victims when one thinks of the possible length of years that
    stretches before them, hopeless and cheerless; to grow to manhood
    with the capacities, passions, and desires of manhood, and condemned
    to live from youth to middle age, from middle age to decrepitude
    possibly, with no other society than that of their companions in
    misery. Utterly without occupations, amusements, or interests, shut
    off from all outside resources, their only excitement is found in
    the arrival of a new disease-stricken patient, their only occupation
    that of watching their companions dying before their eyes by inches!

    “But few of the patients could read, and those who could were
    without books. There was evident need of some organization that
    might furnish the patients with employment. Both mind and body
    required occupation. Under these circumstances I was by no means
    surprised to learn that in the last stages of the disease the mind
    was generally much weakened.

    “The suffering of the majority of the patients was by no means
    severe, and I was informed that one of the characteristic features
    of the malady was profound insensibility to pain. One individual was
    pointed out to me, who by mistake had laid his arm and open hand on
    a red-hot stove, and who knew nothing of it until the odor of
    burning flesh aroused his attention.”

After Governor Gordon’s visit the condition of the lepers was much
improved. The sisters taught the young to read and employed them in
making shoes and other articles.

The investigations of Governor Gordon, although made during a brief
inspection of the lazaretto, are correct as far as they go, but are far
from complete. The Abbé Gauvreau has been for eighteen years chaplain of
the hospital. He has watched keenly the progress of the disease in over
a hundred cases. He has noted every symptom of its slow and fatal march.
He has been present at the deathbeds of many of the lepers, and he
recounts with horror the terrible scenes he has witnessed.

    “Without wishing to impose my opinions on you,” he says, “I cannot
    resist the conviction that, apart from divine will, this scourge of
    fallen man is a most subtle poison introduced into the human body by
    transmission or by direct contact, or even, perhaps, by prolonged
    cohabitation.

    “But whichever of these suppositions is the more nearly correct,
    when once the poison is fairly within the system its action is so
    latent and insidious that for some years—two, four, or even more—the
    unfortunate Naaman or Giezi perceives in himself no change either in
    constitution or sensations. His sleep is as refreshing and his
    respiration as free as before. In a word, the vital organs perform
    all their functions and the various members are unshorn of their
    vigor and energy.

    “At this period of the disease the skin loses its natural color, its
    healthy appearance, and is replaced by a deadly whiteness from head
    to foot. This whiteness looks as if the malady had taken possession
    of the mucous membrane and had displaced the fluids necessary to its
    functions. Without knowing if the leper of the Orient possesses
    other external indications, it is certain that in this stage the
    malady of Tracadie is precisely similar to the leprosy of the
    ancients—I mean in the whiteness of the skin. In the second stage
    the skin becomes yellow. In the third and last it turns to a deep
    red; it is often purple, and sometimes greenish, in hue. In fact,
    the people of Tracadie, like myself, are so familiar with the early
    symptoms of the disease that they rarely fall into a mistake.

    “Only one death has ever occurred in the first stage—that of Cyrille
    Austin. All the other cases have passed on to the second or third
    stages before death; and, strangely enough, it has been remarked by
    the patients themselves that the treatment of Dr. La Bellois had
    always a much better chance of success during the third period than
    during the second.

    “At first the victim feels devouring thirst, great feverish action,
    and a singular trembling in every limb; stiffness and a certain
    weakness in the joints; a great weight on the chest like that caused
    by sorrow; a rush of blood to the brain; fatigue and drowsiness, and
    other disagreeable symptoms which now escape my memory. The entire
    nervous system is then struck, as it were, with insensibility to
    such a degree that a sharp instrument or a needle, or even the blade
    of a knife, buried in the fleshy parts or thrust through the tendons
    and cartilage, causes the leper little or no pain. Some poor
    creature, with calm indifference, will place his arm or leg on a
    mass of burning wood and tar, and let it remain there until the
    entire limb, bones and all, is consumed; yet the leper feels no
    pain, and may sleep through it all as quietly as if in his bed.”

In another letter the abbé gives the following example of this
astonishing insensibility:

    “One of these afflicted beings who died at the lazaretto, and to
    whom I administered the last sacraments, lay down to sleep near a
    hot fire; in his slumbers he thrust one arm and hand into the
    flames, but continued to sleep. The overpowering smell of burning
    flesh awakened one of his companions, who succeeded in saving his
    life.”

One of the nuns says: “Since we reached Tracadie two of the patients
have burned their hands severely, and were totally unconscious of having
done so until I dressed the wounds myself.” In regard to this torpidity
of the system, M. Gauvreau remarks that it is but temporary, but he
knows not its duration; and the nun adds that the torpidity is not
invariable with all the patients, and with some only in a portion of the
body. In certain individuals it is only in the legs; in others, in the
hands alone; but all complain of numbness like that of paralysis.

    “By degrees,” says M. Gauvreau, “the unnatural whiteness of the skin
    disappears, and spots of a light yellow are to be seen. These spots
    in some cases are small and about the size of a dollar-piece. When
    of this character, they appear at first with a certain regularity of
    arrangement, and in places corresponding with each other, as on the
    two arms and shoulders—more generally, however, on the breast. They
    are distinct, but by degrees the poison makes its way throughout the
    vitals; the spots enlarge, approach each other, and, when at last
    united, the body of the sick man becomes a mass of corruption. Then
    the limbs swell, afterward portions of the body, the hands, and the
    feet; and when the skin can bear no further tension it breaks, and
    running sores cover the patient, who is repulsive and disgusting to
    the last degree.

    “The entire skin of the body becomes extremely tender, and is
    covered with an oily substance that exudes from the pores and looks
    like varnish. The skin and flesh between the thumb and forefinger
    dry away, the ends of the fingers, the feet, and hands dwindle to
    nothingness, and sometimes the joints separate, and the members drop
    off without pain and often without the knowledge of the patient.

    “The most noble part of the being created in the image of God—the
    face—is marred as much as the body by this fell disease. It is
    generally excessively swollen. The chin, cheeks, and ears are
    usually covered by tubercles the size of peas. The eyes seem to
    start from their sockets, and are glazed by a sort of cataract that
    often produces complete blindness. The skin of the forehead thickens
    and swells, acquiring a leaden hue, which sometimes extends over the
    entire countenance, while in other cases the whole face is suffused
    with scarlet. The explanation of these different symptoms may be
    found, of course, in the variety of temperaments—sanguine, bilious,
    or lymphatic. This face, once so smooth and fair, has become seamed
    and furrowed. The lips are two appalling ulcers—the upper lip much
    swollen and raised to the base of the nose, which has entirely
    disappeared; while the under lip hangs over the chin, which shines
    from the tension of the skin. Can a more frightful sight be
    imagined? In some cases the lips are parched and drawn up like a
    purse puckered on strings. This deformity is the more to be
    regretted is it precludes the afflicted from participation in the
    holy communion. Leprosy—that of Tracadie, at least—completes its
    ravages on the internal organs of its victims. It attacks now the
    larynx and all the bronchial ramifications; they become obstructed
    and filled with tubercles, so that the unhappy patient can find no
    relief in any position. His respiration becomes gradually more and
    more impeded, until he is threatened with suffocation. I have been
    present at the last struggles of most of these afflicted mortals. I
    hope that I may never be called upon to witness similar scenes.
    Excuse me from the details. If I undertook them my courage would
    give out; for I assure you that many of you would have fainted. Let
    me simply add that these lepers generally die in convulsions,
    panting for air; frequently rushing to the door to breathe; and,
    returning, they fling themselves on their pallets in despair. The
    thought of their sighs and sobs, the remembrance of their tears,
    almost breaks my heart, and their prayers for succor ring constantly
    in my ears: 'O my God! have mercy on me! have mercy on me!’

    “At last comes the supreme moment of this lingering torture, and the
    patient dies of exhaustion and suffocation. All is over, and another
    Lazarus lies in Abraham’s bosom!”

After the above vivid picture of this loathsome disease we naturally ask
if the evil be such that no medical skill can combat it with success.
The Hospital Nun in the infirmary of the lazaretto tells us all that she
has yet learned upon this point.

In 1849 and 1850 Dr. La Bellois, a celebrated French physician residing
at Dalhousie, treated the lepers for six months and claimed to have
cured ten of them: T. Goutheau, Charles Comeau, T. Brideau, A. Benoit,
L. Sonier, Ed. Vienneau, Mme. A. Sonier, M. Sonier, Mme. Ferguson,
Melina Lavoie. “All the above cases are now quite well, and the
treatment I adopted was entirely for syphilitic disease, thus
establishing without any doubt the nature of the disease” (extract from
La Bellois’ report, Feb. 12, 1850).

Meanwhile, from the report of the secretary of the Board of Health—Mr.
James Davidson—we gather that all the sick above mentioned returned
after a time to the hospital; that they died there, with the exception
of three, of whom two died in their own houses and the third still
lives. Of this one Dr. Gordon, of Bathurst, says: “The disease is slow
in its progress, but it is sure, and the fatal termination cannot be far
off.”

Dr. Nicholson undertook the treatment at the lazaretto. By a certain
course of medicine, the details of which he kept a profound secret, and
with the aid of vapors, he wonderfully improved the physical condition
of the lepers, who in many instances indulged sanguine hopes of
recovery. Unfortunately, however, this physician suddenly abandoned his
profession, and, to the sorrow of his former patients, died three years
later. The lepers soon relapsed into their former hopeless state, and
since then no change has taken place.

    “On our arrival at Tracadie,” said the sister, “we found twenty
    inmates of the hospital, and since three more have been admitted.
    These poor creatures, being firmly persuaded that we could cure
    them, besieged us with entreaties for medicine, and were satisfied
    with whatever we gave. At first I selected three who had undergone
    no medical treatment; these three were also the only ones who
    suffered from contraction of the extremities. The first, twenty-two
    years of age, had been at the hospital four years, and as yet showed
    the disease only in the contraction above mentioned, and in a
    certain insensibility of the feet and hands. The second, fifteen
    years old, had been in the hospital for two years, his hands and
    feet were drawn up, and he suffered from a large swelling on the
    left foot. This young fellow is very delicate, and suffers intensely
    at times from spasms of the stomach. The third case is a lad of
    eleven, who for two years has suffered from the disease. His hands
    are twisted out of shape, and his body is covered with spots, red
    and white; these spots are totally without sensibility. I have
    administered to these patients the remedies as prescribed by Mr.
    Fowle—_Fowle’s Humor Cure_, an American patent medicine. The first
    and second patient experienced no other benefit from this remedy
    than a certain vigor previously unfelt. To the third the sensibility
    of the cuticle returned, but the spots remained the same. This in
    itself is very remarkable, because in no previous case have these
    benumbed or paralyzed parts regained their sensation. To another, a
    patient of twenty-two, I gave the same remedy. For eight years he
    had been a martyr to the virulence of the disease. When we arrived
    at the lazaretto, we found his case to be one of the worst there.
    His nose had fallen in; the lips were enormously puffed and swollen;
    his hands equally so, and looked more like the paws of a bear than
    like the hands of a human being. The saliva was profuse, but the
    effort of swallowing almost futile. Soon after taking this same
    medicine the saliva ceased to flow and he swallowed with comparative
    ease.

    “On the 23d of January he was, by the mercy of God, able to partake
    of the holy communion, of which he had been deprived for four years.
    His lips are now of their natural size, and he is stronger than he
    has been for years. But the pains in his limbs are far worse than
    they have ever before been. I have also given Fowle’s cure to all
    the patients who had been under no previous medical treatment, and
    invariably with beneficial results. In some the tint of the skin is
    more natural; in others the swelling of the extremities is much
    abated; but the remedy seems always to occasion an increase of pains
    in the limbs, although it unquestionably acts as a tonic upon the
    poor creatures. In all of them the mouth and throat improve with the
    use of Fowle’s cure. And here let me say that this disease
    throughout bears a strong resemblance to syphilis. In both diseases
    the throat, the tongue, and the whole inside of the mouth are
    ulcerated. In both diseases the voice is affected to such a degree
    that it can hardly make itself heard. They cough frightfully, and
    some time after our coming a leper presented himself for admission
    at our hospital doors. The poor creature was covered with ulcers and
    every night was bathed in a cold perspiration. After he had rested
    for a few days, I gave him a powerful dose of _la liqueur
    arsenicale_, which has since been repeated. The night-sweats have
    disappeared, and the ulcers are healed, with the exception of one on
    the foot. His lips are still unhealthy, but he is much stronger, and
    the spots on his person are gradually disappearing.

    “Two others, later arrivals have taken _la liqueur arsenicale_ and
    have improved under its use. Suspecting that the origin of this
    malady may be traced to another source, and remembering the opinion
    of Dr. La Bellois, I gave the bichloride of mercury, in doses of the
    thirty-second part of a grain, to the worst case in the hospital. It
    is too soon, however, to judge of its effects. The improvement in no
    one of these cases is rapid, but we trust that it is certain. We
    look to God alone for the success for which we venture to hope. I
    can find no statistics which will enable me to give you the number
    of victims that have fallen under this dread malady of Tracadie. I
    find, however, a letter from M. Gauvreau, bearing the date of
    November 30, 1859, that sixty persons perished from its ravages in
    the previous fifteen years, and that twenty-five of both sexes, and
    of all ages, were then inmates of the lazaretto, awaiting there the
    end of their torments.”

In 1862 Mr. Gordon said that he saw twenty-three patients at the
hospital, and the Sisters of the Hôtel Dieu found twenty there when they
reached the lazaretto, and have since admitted three in addition; it
does not seem, therefore, as if the “eldest sister of Death” had relaxed
her hold on this unhappy village. Yet if the disease can but be confined
to this locality, wonders will be achieved. Good care, regular medical
attendance, incessant vigilance, with intelligent adherence to hygienic
laws, may eventually cause its entire disappearance from our soil. Let
us hope that the faithful sisters will succeed in their good work; for
we ourselves, every one of us, have a personal interest in it.
Unfortunately, this good result is far from certain, as the Abbé
Gauvreau desires us to understand.

    “One or more of these unfortunates,” he says, “feeling the insidious
    approaches of the disease, and shrinking from the idea of the
    lazaretto, have at times secretly escaped from Tracadie. They leave
    Miramichi on the steamer, intending to land at Rivière-du-Loup, at
    Kamouraska, perhaps at Quebec or at Montreal. As yet no ulcers are
    visible, nor, indeed, any external symptoms which could excite the
    smallest suspicion. On landing at some one of the places mentioned
    they procure situations in different houses, and remain in them for
    a month or two, perhaps, saying nothing all this time of their
    symptoms to any one, not even to a physician. They eat with their
    master’s family, and, even if they take the greatest precaution,
    they convey this poisonous virus to their masters. When they have
    reason to fear that suspicion is about being aroused, they depart,
    but it is too late, and they go to scatter the contagion still
    further.

    “The following instance came under my own observation: A youth
    suffering from this disease, and dreading the lazaretto, went to
    Boston, where he secured a position on a fishing vessel, hoping that
    the sea air, with the medicines that he would take, would effect his
    cure. He soon found that these hopes were groundless, and was
    obliged to enter the hospital in Boston, where, in spite of the care
    and attention bestowed upon him by the physicians of the medical
    school at Cambridge, he died, far from friends and home.”

One naturally asks, with a thrill of horror, whether, before the
admission of this poor creature to the hospital, he did not transmit to
his shipmates the poisonous virus that filled his own blood.

The total disappearance of this disease—if such disappearance may be
hoped for—will be due exclusively to the noble and untiring exertions of
the sisters. Tracadie and its afflicted population would not alone owe a
debt of eternal gratitude to these Hospital Nuns. America itself would
share this feeling. With an example like this of charity and
self-abnegation before us, we cannot cease to wonder at, and to deplore,
the narrow minds of those persons who condemn the monastic institutions
of the church. Let us compassionate all such; for to them light is
lacking, and they have yet to learn the great truth that the duty most
inculcated by the church, after the love of God, is the love of our
neighbors.



         TESTIMONY OF THE CATACOMBS TO SOME OF THE SACRAMENTS.


In a former article,[31] whilst following Mr. Withrow and other
Protestant controversialists through their evasions and
misinterpretations of the evidence to be found in the Catacombs on
behalf of certain points of Catholic doctrine and practice, we pointed
out that prayers either _for_ the dead or _to_ them were the only two
articles on which it would be reasonable to look for information from
the inscriptions on the gravestones. We said that these prayers were
likely to find expression, if anywhere, by the side of the grave. As
they took their last look on the loved remains of their deceased friend
or relative, the affectionate devotion of the survivors would naturally
give utterance either to a hearty prayer for the everlasting happiness
of him they had lost, or to a piteous cry for help, an earnest petition
that he would continue to exercise, in whatever way might be possible
under the conditions of his new mode of existence, that same loving care
and protection which had been their joy and support during his life; or
sometimes both these prayers might be poured forth together, according
as the strictness of God’s justice, or the Christian faith and virtues
of the deceased, happened to occupy the foremost place in the
petitioner’s thoughts.

Footnote 31:

  THE CATHOLIC WORLD, Dec., 1876, p. 371 Jan., 1877, p. 523.

When, therefore, we proceeded in a second paper to question the same
subterranean sanctuaries on another subject of Christian doctrine—the
supremacy of St. Peter—we called into court another set of witnesses
altogether: to wit, the paintings of their tombs and chapels. Exception
has been taken against the competency of these witnesses, on the plea
that they are not old enough; they were not contemporary, it is said,
with those first ages of the church whose faith is called in question.
To this we answer that the objection is entirely out of date; it might
have been raised twenty or thirty years ago, and it might have been
difficult at that time satisfactorily to dispose of it. Those were days
in which writers like M. Perrot in France could affect to pronounce
dogmatically on the age of this or that painting, solely on the evidence
of its style, without having first established any standard by which
that style could be securely judged. There are still a few writers of
the same school even at the present day, such as Mr. Parker in England,
who assigns precise years as the dates of these subterranean monuments
with as much confidence as if he had been personally present when they
were executed, and (we may add) with as wide a departure from the truth
as if he had never seen the pictures at all. Such writers, however, have
but few disciples nowadays. Their foolish presumption is only laughed
at; and it is not thought worth while seriously to refute their
assertions. Men of intelligence and critical habits of thought are slow
to accept the _ipse dixit_ of a professor, however eminent, upon any
subject; and all who have studied this particular subject—the paintings
in the Catacombs—are well aware that the question of their antiquity has
now been carried beyond the range of mere conjecture and assumption; it
has been placed on a solid basis of fact through the indefatigable
labors of De Rossi. Those labors have been directed in a very special
way towards establishing the true chronology of the several parts of the
Catacombs; and when this had been done, it was manifest to all that the
most ancient _areæ_ were also those which were most abundantly decorated
with painting, whilst the areæ that had been used more recently—_i.e._,
in the latter half of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century—were
hardly decorated at all. This gradual decline of the use of pictorial
decoration has been traced with the utmost exactness through the
successive _areæ_ of a single Catacomb; six or seven tombs being found
thus decorated in the first _area_, two in the second, one in the third,
none at all in the fourth; and the same thing has been seen, with more
or less distinctness, throughout the whole range of subterranean Rome.
Then, again, every casual visitor to them can see for himself that
before the abandonment of burial here—_i.e._, before the year 410—many
of the paintings were already considered old enough to be sacrificed
without scruple to the wishes of those who would fain excavate new tombs
in desirable sites. Men do not usually destroy to-day the paintings
which they executed yesterday; certainly they do not allow the
ornamentation which they have just lavished on the tombs of their
fathers to be soon effaced with impunity. We may be sure, then, that
those innumerable paintings which we see broken through in order to make
more modern graves must have been of considerable antiquity at the time
of their destruction. Then, again, it must not be forgotten that some of
these paintings were actually appealed to as ancient testimony in the
days of St. Jerome, on occasion of a dispute between that doctor and St.
Augustine as to the correct rendering of a particular word in his Latin
translation of the Scriptures. Finally, it is notorious that the fine
arts had rapidly decayed and the number of their professors diminished
before the days of Constantine—in fact, before the end of the third
century.

We cannot, however, pretend to give in these pages even a brief summary
of De Rossi’s arguments and observations whereby he establishes the
primitive antiquity of Christian art in the Catacombs. We can only
mention a few of the more popular and palpable proofs which can be
appreciated by all without difficulty; and we will only add that it is
now possible, under the sure chronological guidance of De Rossi, to
distinguish three successive stages in the development of painting in
the Christian cemeteries, the latest of which was complete when the
Constantinian era began, and the first falls hardly, if at all, short of
even apostolic times. This is no longer denied by the best instructed
even among Protestant controversialists; they acknowledge that painting
was used by the earliest Christians for the ornamenting of their places
of burial; only they contend that it was done “not because it was
congenial to the mind of Christianity so to illustrate the faith, but
because it was the heathen custom so to honor the dead.” The author of
this remark, however, has omitted to explain whence it comes to pass
that the great majority of the paintings which survive in the cemeteries
are more engaged in illustrating the mysteries of the faith than in
doing honor to the dead.

But we must not pursue this subject any further. We have said enough, we
think, to establish the competency of these paintings as witnesses to
the ancient faith, and we will now proceed to question them concerning
one or two principal mysteries of the faith—those that are called its
mysteries _par excellence_: its sacraments. We do not doubt that, if
duly interrogated, they will have some evidence to give. We say, if duly
interrogated, because it is the characteristic of ancient Christian art
to be eminently symbolical; it suggested rather than declared religious
doctrines and ideas, and it suggested them by means of artistic symbols
or historical types, which must be inquired into and meditated upon
before they can be made fully to express their meaning. This is of the
very essence of a symbol: that it should partly veil and partly manifest
the truth. It does not manifest the truth with the fulness and accuracy
of a written historical description, or it would cease to be a symbol;
on the other hand, it must not be so obscure as to demand a sibyl for
its interpretation; it must have a tendency to produce in the mind of
the beholder some leading feature of the object it is intended to
represent. And where should symbols of this kind be more abundantly
found for the Christian preacher or artist than in the histories of the
Old Testament? Ancient Christian art, says Lord Lindsay, “veiled the
faith and hope of the church under the parallel and typical events of
the patriarchal and the Jewish dispensations.”

We need not remind our readers that the principle of this method of
interpreting Holy Scripture has express apostolic sanction; but few who
have not studied the subject closely will have any adequate idea of the
extent to which it was followed in the ancient church. We will give a
single example, selected because it closely concerns the first mystery
of which we propose to speak—the Sacrament of Baptism.

Tertullian, who lived at the end of the second and beginning of the
third century, wrote a short treatise on this sacrament. This treatise
he begins by bringing together all that Holy Scripture contains about
water, with such minuteness of detail that he is presently obliged to
check himself, saying that, if he were to pursue the subject through all
Holy Scripture with the same fulness with which he had begun, men would
say he was writing a treatise in praise of water rather than of baptism.
From the first chapter of the Book of Genesis to the last of the
Evangelists, and even of the Apocalypse, he finds continual testimony to
the high dignity and sacramental life-giving power of this element. The
Spirit of God, he says, moved over it at the first; whilst as yet the
earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep,
and the heaven was as yet unformed, water alone, already pure, simple,
and perfect, supplied a worthy resting-place on which God could be
borne. The division of the waters was the regulating power by which the
world was constituted; and when at length the world was set in order,
ready to receive inhabitants, the waters were the first to hear and obey
the command and to bring forth creatures having life. Then, again, man
was not made out of the dry earth, but out of slime, after a spring had
risen out of the earth, watering all its surface. All this is out of the
first two chapters of Genesis; and here he makes a pause, breaking into
that apology which has been already mentioned. Then he resumes the
thread of his discourse, but passing much more briefly over the
remainder of the Old Testament. He notes how the wickedness of the old
world was purged by the waters of the Deluge, which was the world’s
baptism; how the waters of the Red Sea drowned the enemies of God’s
people and delivered them from a cruel bondage; and how the children of
Israel were refreshed during their wanderings through the wilderness by
the water which flowed continuously from the rock which followed them,
“which rock was Christ.” Then he comes to the New Testament, and briefly
but eloquently exclaims: Nowhere is Christ found without water. He is
himself baptized with it; he inaugurates in it the first manifestation
of his divine power at the wedding-feast in Cana; when he preaches the
Gospel, on the last and great day of the feast, he stands and cries,
saying, “If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink.” He sums up
his whole gift to man under the image of a fountain of water, telling
the Samaritan woman that he has living water to give, which shall become
in him that receives it a fountain of water springing up unto life
everlasting. When he gives instruction upon charity, he instances a cup
of cold water given to a disciple; he sits down weary at a well and asks
for water to refresh himself; he walks on the waves of the sea, and
washes his disciples’ feet; finally (Tertullian concludes), “this
testimony of Jesus to the Sacrament of Baptism continues even to the
end, to his very Passion; for, when he is condemned to the cross, water
is not absent—witness the hands of Pilate; nay, when wounded after death
upon the cross, water bursts forth from his side—witness the soldier’s
spear.”

There may be something in this symbolism that sounds strange to modern
ears; but we are not here criticising it; we have nothing to do with its
merits or demerits, but only with the fact of its general use—so general
that it was the one principle of exegesis which every commentator on
Holy Scripture in those days followed, and we have every right to
suppose that Christian artists would have followed it also. When,
therefore, we find in the Roman Catacombs (as, for example, the other
day in the cemetery of San Callisto) a glass vessel, very artistically
wrought, with fishes in _alto rilievo_ swimming round it in such a way
that, when full of water, it would have represented a miniature image,
as it were, of the sea, is it a mere fanciful imagination which bids us
recognize in such ornamentation a reference to holy baptism, and
conjectures that the vessel was perhaps even made for the administration
of that sacrament? It may be so; but we cannot ourselves think so; we
cannot at once reject the explanation as fanciful; the work of the
artist corresponds too exactly with the words of the theologian to allow
us to treat the coincidence as altogether undesigned. “We little fish
are born,” says Tertullian, “after the likeness of our great Fish in
water, and we cannot otherwise be safe than by remaining in the water.”
And we seem to ourselves to read these same words, written in another
language, in the beautiful vessel before us. We read it also in another
similar vessel, which looks as though it had come out of the same
workshop, yet was found in an ancient cemetery at Cologne; and in
another of bronze, dug up in the vineyard over the cemetery of
Pretextatus, that used to be shown by Father Marchi in the Kircherian
Museum at the Roman College. In all these instances we believe that this
is the best account that can be given, both of the original design of
the vessel and also of its preservation in Christian subterranean
cemeteries. However, if any one thinks otherwise, we do not care to
insist upon our explanation as infallibly certain. We will descend into
the Catacombs themselves, and look about upon the paintings on their
walls or the carving on their gravestones, and see whether baptism finds
any place there also.

And, first, we come across the baptism of our Lord himself. We are not
now thinking of the subterranean baptistery in the cemetery of Ponziano,
with the highly-decorated cross standing up out of the middle of it, and
Christ’s baptism painted at the side. For this is one of the latest
artistic productions in the Catacombs—a work of the eighth or ninth
century possibly. We are thinking, on the contrary, of one of the
earliest paintings in a most ancient part of the excavations, in the
crypt of Lucina, near the cemetery of Callixtus, with which, in fact, it
is now united. We shall have occasion to return to this same chamber
presently for the sake of other paintings on its walls having reference
to the Holy Eucharist; just here we only call attention to the baptism
of our Lord, which is represented in the space over the doorway. We do
not know of any other instance of this subject having been painted in
the Catacombs besides the two that we have mentioned, but it is quite
possible that others may be hereafter discovered; but of baptism as a
Christian rite, veiled, however, under its types and symbols, we have
innumerable examples.

Few figures recur more frequently among the paintings in the Catacombs,
and none are more ancient, than that of a man standing in an open box or
chest, often with a dove, bearing an olive-branch in its mouth, flying
towards him. When this was first seen after the rediscovery of the
Catacombs in the sixteenth century, men set it down to be the picture of
some ancient bishop preaching in a pulpit, and the Holy Ghost, under the
form of a dove, inspiring him as to what he should say, according to the
legend told of St. Gregory the Great and some others. Nobody now doubts
that it was intended for Noe in the ark; not, however, the historical
Noe and the historical ark—for nothing could be more ludicrously false
to the original—but those whom that history foreshadowed: Christians
saved by the waters of baptism and securely housed in the ark of the
church. Some persons, who seem to take a perverse delight in assigning a
pagan rather than a Christian origin to everything in the early church,
account for the difference between the Biblical and the artistic
representation of the ark by saying that the Christian artist did but
copy a pagan coin or medal which he found ready to his hands. It is
quite true that certain coins which were struck at Apamea in Phrygia
during the reigns of Septimius Severus, Macrinus, and Philip the
elder—_i.e._, at different periods in the first half of the third
century—exhibit on one side of them a chest, with a man and a woman
standing within it, and the letters ΝΩ, or ΝΩΕ, written on the outside;
and that these figures were intended to be a souvenir of the Deluge,
which held a prominent place in the legends of Phrygia. It is said that
the town of Apamea claimed to derive its secondary name of κιβωτός, or
ark, from the fact that it was here that the ark rested; and it is quite
possible that the spread of Christian ideas, gradually penetrating the
Roman world, and filtering into the spirit even of those who remained
attached to paganism, may have suggested the making of the coins we have
described; but it is certain, on the other hand, that we can claim
priority in point of time for the work of the Christian artists in the
Catacombs. The coins were struck, as we have said, in the beginning of
the third century; the earliest Christian painting of the same subject
is assigned to the beginning of the second.

But whatever may be the history of the forms under which Noe and the ark
are represented, there can be no question as to their meaning. We have
the authority of St. Peter himself (1 iii. 20, 21) to instruct us upon
this point; and Tertullian does but unfold what is virtually contained
in the apostle’s words when he says that the ark prefigures the church,
and that the dove sent out of the ark and returning with an olive-branch
was a figure of the dove of the Holy Spirit, sent forth from heaven to
our flesh, as it emerges from the bath of regeneration. And if we quote
Tertullian again as our authority, this is not because he differs in
these matters from other Christian writers who preceded or followed him,
but because he has written at greater length and specially on that
particular subject with which we are now engaged. St. Augustine, writing
two hundred years later, gives the same explanation, and says that “no
Catholic doubts it; but that it might perhaps have seemed to be a merely
human imagination, had not the Apostle Peter expressly declared it.” It
is, then, from no private fancy of our own, but simply in conformity
with the teaching of all the ancient doctors of the church, that we
interpret this scene of a man standing in an ark, and receiving an
olive-branch from the mouth of a dove, as expressing this Christian
doctrine: that the faithful obtain remission of their sins through
baptism, receive from the Holy Spirit the gift of divine peace—that
peace which, being given by faith in this world, is the gage of
everlasting peace and happiness in the next—and are saved in the
mystical ark of the church from the destruction which awaits the world.
And if the same scene be rudely scratched on a single tomb, as it often
was, and sometimes with the name of the deceased inscribed upon the
chest, we can only understand it as denoting a sure and certain hope on
the part of the survivors that their departed friend, having been a
faithful member of the church, had died in the peace of God and had now
entered into his rest.

We pass on to another of the Biblical stories mentioned by several of
the Fathers as typical of baptism; and we will select as our specimen of
it a painting that was executed about the very time that Tertullian was
writing his treatise on that sacrament. It is to be seen more than once
on the walls of a series of chambers which open out of a gallery in the
Catacomb of San Callisto, not far from the papal crypt. The first figure
that greets us from the wall on the left-hand side as we enter these
chambers is Moses striking the rock and the water gushing forth. Are we
to look upon this as a mere historic souvenir of the Jewish legislator,
or are we to see in it a reference to Christian baptism? The artist in
the present instance does not allow us to doubt. Side by side with it he
has painted a fisherman, and we need not be reminded who it was that
compared the work of the Christian apostle to that of fishermen; and
immediately he adds, with still greater plainness of speech, a youth
standing in the water, whilst a man pours water over his head. Finally,
he fills the very little space that remains on the wall with the picture
of a paralytic carrying his bed, and it would be easy to show that the
Fathers recognized in the pool of Bethsaida, to which place this history
belongs, a type of the healing waters of baptism. Was it possible for
the Christian artist to set forth the sacrament more unequivocally?
There is no legend to interpret the painting, but surely this is not
needed. The mystery is veiled, indeed, from all who were uninstructed;
but it was perfectly intelligible to all the baptized; it was veiled
under types and symbols taken partly from the Old Law and partly from
common life.

We need hardly say that this same figure of Moses striking the rock
occurs in scores of other places throughout the Catacombs; but we have
selected this particular specimen, both because it appears with a more
copious _entourage_ of other symbols determining its sense beyond all
dispute, and also because it is here brought, as we shall presently see,
into immediate proximity with the other sacrament, to which it is a
necessary gate of introduction—the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. But
before we pass on to examine the symbols of the Holy Eucharist, let us
first inquire whether there is anything further about baptism to be
gleaned from the Catacombs—not now from their paintings, but from their
inscriptions.

We must remember that the most ancient inscriptions were very brief—very
often the mere name of the deceased and nothing more, or a short
ejaculatory prayer was added for his everlasting happiness. It is clear
that we should search here in vain for any mention of the sacraments. By
and by, when it became usual to say something more about the deceased,
to mention his age and the date of his death or burial, or other similar
particulars, perhaps room might be found also for saying something about
his baptism. Accordingly, there are not wanting monuments of the fourth
or fifth centuries which tell us that the deceased was a neophyte, or
newly illuminated—which means the same thing: viz., that he had been
lately baptized—or that he had lived so many months or years after he
had received the initiatory sacrament of the Christian covenant.
Occasionally, also, a faint reference may be found to another
sacrament—the Sacrament of Confirmation. This was often, or even
generally, administered in olden times immediately after baptism, of
which it was considered the complement and perfection. “From time
immemorial,” says Tertullian (_ab immemorabili_), “as soon as we have
emerged from the bath [of regeneration] we are anointed with the holy
unction.” Hence it is sometimes doubtful which sacrament is intended, or
rather it is probable that it was intended to include both under the
words inscribed on the epitaphs—the verbs _accepit_, _percepit_,
_consecutus est_ (the same as we find in the fathers of the same or an
earlier age), used for the most part absolutely, without any object
whatever following them; but in one or two cases _fidem_ or _gratiam
sanctum_ are used. An epitaph of a child three years old adds:
_Consecuta est D. vi. Deposita viii. Kal. Aug._ Another says simply:
_Pascasius percepit xi. Kal. Maias_; and a third: _Crescentia q. v. a.
xxxiii. Accepit iii. Kal. Jul._ A fourth records of a lady that she died
at the age of thirty-five: _Ex die acceptionis suæ vixit dies lvii._; to
which we append another: _Consecutus est ii. Non. Decemb. ex die
consecutionis in sæculo fuit ad usque vii. Idas Decemb._ This last
inscription is taken from a Christian cemetery in Africa, not in Rome;
but it was worth quoting for its exact conformity with the one which
precedes it. In both alike there is the same distinction between the
natural and the spiritual age of the deceased—_i.e._, between his first
and his second birth. After stating the number of years he had lived in
the world, his age is computed afresh from the day of his regeneration,
thus marking off the length of his spiritual from that of his merely
animal life.

A Greek inscription was found a few years since on the Via Latina,
recording of a lady who had belonged to one of the Gnostic sects in the
third century, that she had been “anointed in the baths of Christ with
his pure and incorruptible ointment”—an inscription which probably
refers to two separate rites in use among the Gnostics, in imitation of
the two Christian sacraments. Of a Christian lady buried in Spoleto, her
epitaph records that she had been confirmed (_consignata_) by Pope
Liberius; this, of course, belongs to the middle of the fourth century.
And we read of a boy who died when he was a little more than five years
old: _Bimus trimus consecutus est_—words which were a veritable enigma
to all antiquarians, until the learned Marini compared with them the
phrases of Roman law, _bima trima die dos reddita_, _bima trima die
legatum solutum_, and pointed out that as these phrases undoubtedly
signified that such a portion of the dowry or legacy was paid in the
second year, and such another portion in the third, so the corresponding
words in the Christian epitaph could only mean that the deceased had
received something when he was two years old, and something else when he
was three; and although the particular gifts received are not mentioned
because of the _disciplina arcani_, we can have no difficulty in
supplying baptism and confirmation. De Rossi adopts this interpretation;
indeed, it does not seem possible to suggest any other.

It seems, then, that there is not much evidence to be derived from the
Catacombs as to the Sacrament of Confirmation; that, on the contrary,
which has reference to the Holy Eucharist is most precious and abundant,
and it is generally to be found in juxtaposition with monuments which
bear testimony to the Sacrament of Baptism. The chamber in the crypt of
Lucina which gives us the oldest painting of the baptism of our Lord
gives us also what are probably the oldest symbolical representations of
the Holy Eucharist; and certainly the chambers in the cemetery of San
Callisto, in which we have just seen so many and such clear
manifestations of the Sacrament of Baptism, contain also the most
numerous and the most perfect specimens of the symbolic representations
of the Holy Eucharist carried to their highest degree of development,
yet still combined with mysterious secrecy. Before enumerating these in
detail it will be best to make two or three preliminary remarks helping
to clear the way before us. First, then, we may assume as known to all
our readers, both that the doctrine about the Blessed Sacrament belonged
in a very special way to the discipline of the secret, and also that
from the very earliest times one of the most common names under which
our Blessed Lord was spoken of was the _fish_, because the letters which
go to make up that word in Greek were also the initials of the words
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. And, secondly, we must say a few
words about the different circumstances under which a fish appears in
the artistic decorations of the Catacombs; at least, of the different
kinds of feasts or entertainments in which it seems to be presented as
an article of food. These feasts may be divided into three classes:
First, the fish merely lies upon a table—a sacred table or tripod—with
one or more loaves of bread by its side, and not unfrequently with
several baskets full of bread on the ground around it; secondly, bread
and fish are seen on a table, at which seven men are seated partaking of
a meal; and, thirdly, they are seen, perhaps with other viands also, at
a feast of which men and women are partaking indiscriminately, and
perhaps attendants also are there, waiting on the guests, pouring out
wine and water, hot or cold. Paintings of this latter class have not
uncommonly been taken as representing the _agapæ_, or love-feasts, of
the early church. But this seems to be too literal an interpretation,
too much out of harmony with the symbolical character of early Christian
art. More probably it was meant as a representation of that
wedding-feast under which image the joys of heaven are so often set
forth in Holy Scripture; and in this case it is not necessary to suppose
that there was any special meaning in the choice of fish as part of the
food provided, unless, indeed (which is not at all improbable), it was
desired to direct attention to that mystical food a participation in
which was the surest pledge of admission to that heavenly banquet,
according to our Lord’s own words: “He that eateth this bread shall live
for ever.” However, it is not necessary, as we have said, to suppose
this; it is quite possible that in these instances the fish may have
been used accidentally, as it were, and indifferently, or for the same
reason as it sometimes appears on pagan monuments—viz., to denote the
abundance and excellence of the entertainment.

Paintings of the first class, however, are much too peculiar to be thus
explained, neither is there anything resembling them in the works of
pagan artists which could have suggested them; and those of the second
class, we hope presently to show, can only have been intended to
represent a particular scene in the Gospel history. It is only with
paintings belonging to one or other of these two classes that we need
concern ourselves to-day. And, first, of the bread and fish when placed
alone, without any guests at all. In the crypt of Lucina it appears
twice on the wall opposite our Lord’s baptism, and in a very remarkable
form indeed. The fish is alive and apparently swimming, and he carries
on his back a basket full of loaves, in the middle of which is a vessel
of glass containing some red liquid. What can this mean? Nobody ever saw
anything like it in nature. We know of nothing in pagan art or mythology
which could have suggested it. Yet here it finds a place in the chamber
of a Christian cemetery, and as part of a system of decoration, other
parts of which were undoubtedly of a sacred character. Is this alone
profane or meaningless, or does not rather its hidden sense shine forth
distinctly as soon as we call to mind the use of the fish as a Christian
symbol on the one hand, and the Christian doctrine about the Holy
Eucharist on the other? The fish was Christ. And he once took bread and
broke it, and said, This is my body; and he took wine and blessed it,
saying, This is my blood; and he appointed this to be an everlasting
ordinance in his church, and promised that whosoever should eat of that
bread and drink of that chalice should inherit everlasting life. Here
are the bread and the wine and the mystical fish. And was it possible
for Christian eyes to attach any other meaning to the combination than
that it was intended to bring before them the remembrance of the
Christian mysteries, whereby death and the grave were robbed of all
their gloom, being only the appointed means of entrance to a
never-ending life? If anybody is tempted to object that the vessels here
represented as containing the bread and wine are too mean ever to have
been used for such a purpose, we must remind him that it had already
been put on record by archæologists, before the discovery of this
monument, that the early Christians in the days of poverty and
persecution continued to use vessels of the same humble materials as had
been used in the sacrificial rites of Jews and Gentiles before them, and
that these were precisely such as are here represented. Nay, further
still, that even when vessels of gold and silver had come into use in
the church, still there were exceptional times and circumstances when it
was lawful, and even praiseworthy, to return to the more simple and
ancient practice. St. Jerome praises St. Exuperius, Bishop of Toulouse
in his day, because, having sold the church-plate to relieve the
pressing necessities of the poor, he was content to carry the body of
Christ in a basket made of wicker-work, and the blood of Christ in a
chalice of glass. Most assuredly St. Jerome would have been at no loss
to interpret the painting before us.

But let us now pass on into the cemetery of San Callisto, and enter
again the chamber in which we saw Moses, and the fishermen, and the
ministration of baptism, and the paralytic. Let us pursue our walk round
the chamber, and immediately after the paralytic, on the wall facing the
doorway, we come to the painting of a three-legged table with bread and
fish upon it, a woman standing on one side in the ancient attitude of
Christian prayer, and a man on the other stretching out his hands over
the fish and the bread, as though he were blessing them. Can it be that
we have here the act of consecration of the Holy Eucharist, as in the
adjacent wall we had the act of baptizing, only in a somewhat more
hidden manner, as became the surpassing dignity of the greater mystery?
Nobody, we think, would ever have disputed it, had the dress of the
consecrator been somewhat more suited to such an action. But his breast
and arm and one side of his body are considerably exposed, as he
stretches out his arm from underneath his cloak; and modern taste takes
exception to the exposure as unseemly in such a time and place. We have
no wish to put a weapon into the hands of the anti-ritualistic party.
Nevertheless, we believe that it is pretty well ascertained that at
first no vestment was exclusively appropriated to the celebration of
Mass. We are not sure that Dean Stanley was in error when he wrote the
other day that St. Martin, the Apostle of Gaul and first Bishop of
Tours, wore a sheepskin when he officiated, and that “he consecrated the
Eucharistic elements with his bare arms coming through the sheepskin.”
And at any rate it is certain that in the days of Tertullian, to which
the picture before us belongs, many ministers of Christ’s word and
sacraments used the pallium as the dress most suitable to their own
profession. The writer we have named published a short treatise on the
subject, in which, with his usual wit and subtlety, he commends its use,
and he concludes with these words: “Rejoice, O Pallium! and exult; a
better philosophy claims thee now, since thou hast become the vestment
of a Christian.” Forty years later a fellow-countryman of this writer,
St. Cyprian, expressed a strong objection to the dress, both as immodest
in itself and vainglorious in its signification. Thus everything
conspires to support the interpretation which the picture itself
suggests and the age to which it has been assigned; and we conclude with
confidence that those who first saw it never doubted that it was meant
to set before them the most solemn mystery of their religion.

They would have recognized the same mystery again without hesitation,
under another form, in the painting which follows immediately
afterwards, in which seven men are seen seated at a table, partaking of
bread and fish. Our own thoughts, as we look at it, fly naturally to the
last chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, where such an incident
as this is minutely described after the miraculous draught of fishes
which was the occasion of it. But unless we are very familiar with the
writings of the Fathers, our thoughts would probably go no further; they
would rest in the mere letter of the narrative; we should not penetrate
beneath the surface, and see (as all the Fathers saw), in every
circumstance related, a prophetic figure of the whole history of the
church: first, the immense number of souls caught in her net, then the
union of those souls with Christ, “the fish that was already laid on the
hot coals” (_Piscis assus, Christus passus_), their incorporation with
him through partaking of that living Bread which came down from heaven,
and consequently their sure hope of abiding with him for ever in the
world to come. This is no private or modern interpretation; it is drawn
out at greatest length by St. Augustine; but it is to be found also in
all other patristic commentaries on Holy Scripture; and the marvellous
unity, not only in dogmatic teaching, but even in the use of allegories
and artistic symbols, which reached from east to west in the ancient
church, warrants us in assuming that it was not unknown to him who
selected this scene as the central piece of decoration for the principal
wall of this chamber.

Next after it he painted Abraham with his son Isaac, the ram, and the
faggot for the sacrifice—a type both of the sacrifice on Mount Calvary
and (in a yet more lively manner) of the unbloody sacrifice still
perpetually renewed on Christian altars.

Thus there is the most exact similitude between the illustrations used
to set forth the Holy Eucharist on the one wall and those of holy
baptism on the other. Both sacraments are at the same time veiled from
unbelievers, yet indicated to the faithful, by types taken from the
history of the Old Law, by incidents belonging to the life of Christ,
and by representations, sufficiently simple yet obscure, of the actual
manner of their administration. And then the last wall was reserved for
the setting forth of our resurrection, in the example of Lazarus, which
was, in truth, the natural end and completion of all that the sacraments
led to.

We have not left ourselves space to speak at length of the miracles of
changing water into wine, or the multiplication of the loaves and
fishes, as other figures of the Holy Eucharist often to be seen in the
Catacombs. That they were painted there in this sense we cannot doubt,
when we consider how they were connected with that sacrament in the
sermons and catechetical instructions of the early church. In the first
miracle the substance of water was changed into the substance of wine;
in the second a limited substance was, by Christ’s power, so multiplied
as to be made present in a thousand places at once, capable of feeding a
thousand persons, whereas a minute before it had been only present in
one place and was sufficient only to satisfy the appetite of one. The
analogy is obvious; but these miracles do not seem to have entered so
early into the system of decoration of the Catacombs (except in a very
fragmentary and indirect manner), neither do they anywhere enter into so
long and beautiful a series of mystical figures, as those others which
we have been just now examining. Those form a series of rare and very
special interest. They are repeated, as we have already said, in several
successive chambers, whose date can be determined, by a number of
concurrent indications, as not later than the first quarter of the third
century. In these chambers the same histories and the same symbols are
repeated in the same style, freely changed in their arrangement and in
some accessories of the composition, yet constant in their hidden
meaning and theological sense; and that sense is briefly this: the idea
of a new life imparted to the Christian soul by baptism, fed by the Holy
Eucharist, and continued uninterruptedly throughout eternity.



                            TWO MAY CAROLS.
                           BY AUBREY DE VERE.


                               DARKNESS.


    The authentic Thought of God at last
      Wanes, dimly seen, through Error’s mist:
    Upon that mist, man’s image cast
      Becomes the new God-Mechanist.

    The vast _Idea_ shrivels up:
      Truth narrows with the narrowing soul:
    Men sip it from the acorn’s cup:
      Their fathers drained the golden bowl.

    Shrink, spelled and dwarfed, their earth, their skies;
      Shrinks in their hand their measuring-rod;
    With dim, yet microscopic eyes
      They chase a daily-dwindling God.

    His temple thus to crypt reduced,
      For ancient faith is space no more,
    Or her, its Queen.[32] To hearts abused
      By sense, prime truths are true no more.

Footnote 32:

  Father Newman has, I think, remarked that in the Protestant scheme
  there is _not room_ for Mary.


                                 LIGHT.


    The spirit intricately wise
      That bends above his ciphered scroll
    Only to probe, and analyze,
      The self-involved and sunless soul,

    _Has_ not the truth he holds—though plain;
      For truth divine is gift, not debt:—
    Her living waters wouldst thou drain?
      Let down the pitcher, not the net!

    But they, the spirits frank and meek,
      Nor housed in self, nor science-blind,
    Who welcome truths they did not seek;—
      Truth comes to them in every wind.


    Beside his tent’s still open door,
      With open heart, and open eye,
    The patriarch sat, when they who wore
      That triad type of God drew nigh.

    The world of faith around us lies
      Like nature’s world of life and growth:
    Seeing, to see it needeth eyes
      And heart, profound and simple both.



              LETTERS OF A YOUNG IRISHWOMAN TO HER SISTER.
                            FROM THE FRENCH.


NOVEMBER 16, 1869.

Thérèse has followed her sister.... At the last moment reason returned;
she looked at her mother and said: “Here is Mad; give me your blessing!”
O my God! it is, then, true—the nest is empty.

Kate, how are Berthe and Raoul to be consoled?


NOVEMBER 22, 1869.

Margaret is here again—a ray of sunshine after the storm, in this
dwelling, twice visited by death. Oh! how we wept in embracing her. And
with what affection she hastened to Berthe, this devastated,
disinherited, wounded, and bleeding heart! “How shall we leave this
cemetery now?” said my mother to Gertrude. Oh! I would wish to remain
here with her. To return to Orleans, to find their traces everywhere,
would be too much grief. What a crushing blow! What incredible,
unforeseen suddenness! It is enough to take away one’s reason. Raoul
speaks no more, hears no more, sees no more; Berthe is in tears: we have
to console and support them. Help us with your prayers, happy Kate, who
witness no death! In the middle of the park are two trees which Raoul
planted on the day his daughters were born. They are to be transplanted
to their tombs. Dear children, so united, so beautiful, and inseparable,
even in death! O the mother! what sorrow is hers. Ought children to die
before their mother?

Mme. de T—— is heroic in self-denial, and yet these deaths revive all
her troubles. Ah! who could have foretold that my happiness would so
soon have declined, and that God would so quickly have claimed his
portion of our treasure! See, here are Gertrude and Berthe—two mothers
without children: Ellen and Edith in eternity; Marcella at Naples. I now
experience an indescribable apprehension, and count the beloved heads by
which I am still surrounded.... I remember the L—— family, carried off
in one year.

A radiant letter from Marcella, who does not yet know of our mourning.
_Beati qui lugent!_ Let us love God, let us love God!

It is in him that I cherish you, my Kate.


NOVEMBER 28, 1869.

All our Ireland in letters of fraternal condolence. The saintly Isa
speaks to me sweetly of the happiness of the souls thus called away, and
exhorts me to perfect love. Lizzy invites me to cross the Channel to
receive the consolations of those whom I consoled formerly. Sarah and
the others comfort me in our beloved tongue. O Kate! it was so
beautiful, our peaceful home, with its assembly of children and
grandchildren, forming, as it were, a glorious crown around my venerated
mother; and now a void has been made, the birds have spread their wings,
and, like the dove from the ark, return no more.

O charming towers, silent witnesses of our happiness! O vast sea, coming
to murmur at our feet! O flowers they loved! O thickets where their
voices, fresh and pure, resounded! O lawn whereon they tried their
earliest steps; dear abode which witnessed their growth! O forests
through which they sped along, lively and swift of foot, in chase of
butterflies or of their favorite dog! O solitary paths which they so
often traversed to go and lavish on the poor their gold and their
love!—speak to us of _them_, and of _them_ always.

Dear Kate, pray for the desolate parents. “All my future has vanished,”
says Berthe. May God be with her! Everything else is very small in
trials so great as these. My mother begs you to ask for fifty Masses at
Fourvières; we have not the strength to write.

Life, the sunshine, and blue sky—all have disappeared. Adieu, dear
sister.


DECEMBER 5, 1869.

Adrien is reading to us _Herminie de la Bassemoûturie_, a true narrative
of a life of suffering and humiliation, borne with a courage so heroic
and supernatural that one’s heart kindles at it. Margaret is going away,
perhaps to-morrow. On the 30th Heaven sent Lucy a dear little daughter,
who was baptized yesterday without any pomp. Gertrude was godmother, and
the godfather is a brother of my pretty sister’s. They have called this
little daughter of Brittany _Anne_—a good name.

_Dec. 6._—I have just returned from accompanying our friends as far as
to D——. Emmanuel continued to send me kisses while the carriage went
slowly away.... Dear Margaret! how much I regret her. Everybody loves
her, wherever she goes. Now we are alone.... Johanna, Paul, and their
children leave us this evening to spend some months at Paris. I never
tell you about Arthur and Edward, whose vacation is over, and who are
very good friends together. The _abbé_ remains with us, that we may not
be deprived of daily Mass. From henceforth follow me in thought into the
great drawing-room, once so bright with the dear young creatures whom I
so loved, and there you will see, in her large easy-chair, my mother,
whom grief has aged, with your Georgina on a low chair at her feet.
Gertrude, with needlework in her hands, occupies the other side of the
fire-place, Berthe is near her, then Adrien, René, Raoul, Edouard, and
the _abbé_ round the table, near which is seated also the charming Lucy.

But a ray from on high pierces the sombre veils: our dear ones see God;
they contemplate him in eternal ecstasy. I had bought at Orleans a
poetic little picture—a lily broken on earth, which flowered again in
heaven—and underneath it a verse of the beautiful lines by Mlle.
Fleuriot on the death of _Alix_. How this lily recalls Picciola to my
mind! René is working at a miniature which he intends to give to Berthe:
in the foreground the twins are embracing a poor old man; in the
distance are two lilies on a tomb and two doves taking flight. I am
continuing the _History of the Popes_; it will be for Marguerite and
Alix.

How I wish you were here! My heart aches for Berthe, formerly so happy,
and so lonely now. Ah! what burning tears are those that spring from the
hearts of mothers when God takes back from them the precious ones lent
them for a day. O remediless grief, deep void, unfathomable abyss!

Yes, we shall remain in Brittany. The noise of the festivities of this
world would be to us a martyrdom; but I am athirst for my Kate, and it
seems as if I shall be stronger when her gentle hand has laid balm upon
my wounds. René and I will be in Paris on the 23d for a few days.

Mistress Annah shed many tears at the moment of leave-taking. Margaret
was pale and greatly moved; why should there be any separations, sister?
Ah! doubtless because earth would be too delightful. May God be always
with you!


DECEMBER 12, 1869.

Do you know that Overbeck is dead? Edith MacMoor sends me long and
interesting details from Rome. Edith has taken up her abode in the city
which is the fatherland of Catholics, and her old sympathy with me, she
says, has reawakened before the _Sibyls_. Dear, ardent soul, always so
amiable! O our artist, so beloved, so admired! The world is no more
anything to me but a _Campo Santo_.

Have you heard of the _Pearl of Antioch_? I am reading this Christian
romance with René.

On the 8th we observed as a special festival the opening of the great
sittings of this Council which will crown with a new glory the reign of
Pius IX. Our life is quite monastic: no more joyous laughter rings along
the corridors; silence—the “first power in the world,” as the Père
Lacordaire called it—dwells with us. We are in mourning for our beloved
children, and these dark dresses are of a solemn sadness which strikes
our visitors. Every day, no matter what the weather may be, René
accompanies me to the cemetery. In spite of the cold, there are flowers,
and this marble is almost _joyous_. The _Revue_ gives an interesting
story—“Laurence,” an account of a young girl who wished to die because
her sister, on whom she lavished all her love, had departed to heaven. I
do not think that Thérèse wished for death, but think rather that
Picciola asked of God that she might share her felicity.

Lucy is well, and thanks you for your sisterly prayers. We are expecting
news from Margaret and Marcella. Mary and Ellen write regularly to
Berthe and to me. Good and kind hearts, full of gentleness and
affection!

Kate dearest, what do you say to my idea?—the adoption of these children
would console my sister. Would it be well to propose it to her?

I find René changed. Pray for us.


DECEMBER 15, 1869.

Margaret sends me her Journal since the departure, every line of which
is redolent of poetry and affection. Emmanuel is hourly asking for us.
Marcella sends me pages bathed with tears: “Why did you allow me to go
away, dear and generous friend? I feel that your soul would have taken
refuge with mine in these sad days.”

Kate, what, then, is happiness, since it lasts so short a time?

Marcella is going to spend the winter at Rome; Anna continues to grow
both taller and stronger, “but the departure of her friends makes her
wish for heaven, and everything gives me the presentiment that in a few
years my beloved one will enter a convent. You will scold me for
thinking this so long beforehand, but you will agree with me that her
piety is beyond what is ordinary. I have so unlearnt happiness that I
live always in uncertainty.” A friend of Adrien’s tells him of the
reception given at Naples to the happy family party: Mme. de V—— is
allied to the Princess of X——. How fair a future has opened before my
friend! “To return to Rome, where so many of my memories linger, was my
earnest desire; blessed be God, who permits it to be realized!”

René is writing to you. Good-by for to-day, dearest sister!


DECEMBER 18, 1869.

Read an admirable pastoral letter by Mgr. Berthaud. “It is a fountain of
living water, a springing fountain,” writes Louis Veuillot, who has the
happiness to be in Rome.

Berthe yields to the entreaties of her mother, who begs her to go to her
in her old castle on the banks of the Rhine. Lucy is going away at the
same time to show her sisters the beautiful little Anna, her rosebud. I
look forward with fear to the feeling of solitude which will seize upon
us after they are gone. O my God! these will all return, but thou
keepest thine angels.

The happy Karl sends the most fraternal letters that he has ever yet
addressed to me. He is now in retreat, almost ready to mount the steps
of the altar and accomplish Ellen’s last desire. “I am never lonely,” he
writes. What ardor consumes him! How he burns to shed his blood for
Christ! “My whole soul springs forth towards those disinherited souls
who know not God! If you still take an interest in your unworthy
brother, wish for him crosses, trials, sorrows, and persecutions. But I
am not worthy to participate in the Passion of my Redeemer, and it may
be that my cross may be the burden of a useless life.” Saintly friend!
noble heart! His director, who is a relative of our good _abbé_, never
wearies in his praises of Karl. According to all probability, he will
set out for Marseilles the day after his ordination, where the first
ship that sails will take him on board. What am I, my God, by the side
of this brother left me by Ellen?

I am coming to see you, dear Kate, to refresh myself with you—a too
rapid apparition, too fleeting a happiness, and one in which I scarcely
can believe.


DECEMBER 22, 1869.

Dear Kate, this sacrifice must also be made. Yesterday a frightful
accident threw us all into the greatest agitation. My mother’s horses
ran away. The footman, losing all presence of mind with terror, leaped
down and was killed by the fall. He was taken up quite mutilated....
Horrible! horrible! My mother has fever; we remain. The unfortunate
Antoine will be buried to-morrow morning. He leaves three children. He
was an excellent Christian, and was preparing to make his Christmas
communion.... I am writing to Karl, and at the same time to the
venerable superior to obtain permission for our friend to give us one or
two days previous to quitting France and Europe.

My mother was coming back from the town, whither we had all gone to take
those of our party who were leaving. René and I were to have taken our
departure this evening. All in this world is nothingness, except the
pure and holy love of God. I had so set my mind on this journey that I
can only give it up by doing violence to my heart. But if the shock my
mother has undergone should bring on an illness, I should never forgive
myself for having gone away.

Pray, dear Kate!


DECEMBER 25, 1869.

My mother is better, dear sister, although the doctor condemns her still
to repose. The good _curé_ is very unwell, and, since my mother would
not have been able to attend the midnight Mass, the _abbé_ offered to
say it at the parish church. Ah! if the twins had been here. We left the
house at ten. What a night! What impressions! In a clear and calm night,
with the sky spangled with thousands of stars, to go through
hedge-bordered paths to this old Breton church, so vast and so full; the
singing, the sounds of the organ played by René, the _Gloria in
Excelsis_, so sweet and grand, the numerous communions, the
dimly-lighted sanctuary—all these things had about them an indescribable
old-world poetry, a certain interior and heavenly charm, which made me
ask if we were not at Bethlehem, and if we were not suddenly about to
behold with our bodily eyes, like the shepherds, the adorable new-born
Saviour in the manger. “The Cedar of Lebanon is gone forth from the
hyssop in our valley.” Lord Jesus, grant thy blessing upon France!

It is two years to-day since Ellen entered into glory. With what ecstasy
_she_ must behold Karl at the altar! Dear Kate, I know not what
atmosphere is surrounding me, but it seems to me that every sorrow
brings me nearer to God.

My mother was visibly affected on reading your kind lines; how she loves
us! Gertrude is more saintly than ever; her self-denial is increasing.
She has owned to me that she never loses the presence of God. We five
form a severe group, in which the highest questions are discussed.
Gertrude is on fire when she speaks of charity. There is no sort of
mortification in which she does not take delight; how I startled her
yesterday by coming suddenly upon her as she was exchanging her shoes
for those of a beggar! She fasted on bread and water the three last days
of Advent, and has asked me if I would go with her barefoot to the
crucifix on the mountain, the path to which is covered with brambles.
You see she is a worthy imitator of the _Acta Sanctorum_.

_A Dieu_, best beloved!


DECEMBER 28, 1869.

Karl arrives on the 31st. Dear Kate, his letter showed me heaven. Good
news of everybody, and my mother is in the drawing-room. So the year is
about to end—this year, so eventful, and so plentiful in tears! O my
God! how many loving looks follow me no more. In my meditation this
morning I asked myself whether I am yet submissive and resigned. Alas! I
truly wish whatever God wills, but I am weak.

Just now two little birds came and perched on my window, fluttering as
if wanting to come in. I opened it gently and crumbled a cake for them,
and the pretty little hungry creatures pecked up the crumbs gladly. Then
they flew away, and I began to think of the two sweet birds which,
almost before we were aware, have flown away also. I was so proud of
this beautiful family, so happy to belong to it! Oh! you know well,
Kate, that it is above all for the sake of the poor father, the
sorrowing mother, that I regret these two attractive creatures! Raoul
writes that Berthe is more calm, and he thinks she will remain some time
where she is. What an image of death is this silence and the solitude
that now surrounds us! I work hard, take long walks, teach two little
boys their catechism, and yet, in spite of everything, as soon as René
is no longer there, as soon as I recall the past, my heart is ready to
break.

“Take care, my dear daughter,” my mother says to me. “Strengthen your
soul; throw yourself upon God.” And Gertrude: “The thought of God
softens everything. He has permitted it—let us submit; let us live in
heaven.”

Would that we could go thither together, dear sister!

Accept all my best wishes for the New Year—wishes for every day and
every hour, for your earthly and eternal happiness.


JANUARY 5, 1870.

Dear Kate, how good God is! This is the cry of my heart, crushed beneath
the weight of its gratitude. Karl has been our Good Samaritan. If Berthe
and Raoul could only hear him! What unction in his words!

He made his appearance like the angel of Providence amongst us. It was
in the evening. René had gone to wait for him; we had heard no noise,
when the door opened.... It was he! There was a moment of emotion and
tears, and when he consented to bless us, and I saw him in the light, I
understood the words of Gertrude: “He has found true happiness.” Then
his Mass the next day, the Communion, and Thanksgiving said aloud, the
chanting of the _Magnificat_ and of the _Lætatus_—it was heaven. This
impression still remains; thanks to a concurrence of circumstances in
which I perceive the intervention of our good angels, the newly elect of
the priesthood remains with us until the 20th—an unhoped-for and most
precious favor. Alas! shall we see him again?

He has given me a little book which he had kept by permission of his
superior; you are aware that this generous Karl despoiled himself of
everything before giving _himself_ also to God. This _Basket of
Eucharistic Flowers_ is full of sweetness to my heart. I find in it some
verses on Picciola—not mine, but the flower—and the heavenly utterances
of the pious Marie Jenna, my favorite poetess. Listen to this:

    “Oui, cette vie en larmes est féconde;
    J’ai peu vécu, j’ai déjà bien souffert.
    Mon Dieu, j’ai soif, et les routes du monde
    Ne me sont rien qu’une aride désert.
    Mais à tes pieds mon âme se repose.
    O tendre Ami, Divin Consolateur,
    Qu’importe à moi de perdre toute chose,
    Si je te garde, amour de mon Sauveur!”[33]

Footnote 33:

      Yes, this our life is plentiful in tears.
      Though I am young, still I have suffered much.
      My God, I thirst! and this world’s weary ways
      Are but an arid desert unto me.
      But at thy feet my soul finds her repose,
      O tender Friend and Comforter Divine!
      What matters it to me if I lose all,
      But still keep thee, my dearest Saviour’s love!

And this cry of the soul:

    “Jesus, pour seul bonheur, ah! donnez-moi des larmes
            Que vous consolerez.”[34]

Footnote 34:

      Jesus, for my sole happiness, oh! give me tears
              Which thou wilt wipe away.


JANUARY 10, 1870.

Karl has spoken to me much of you, dear sister. He wishes that his last
sculpture in Europe should be for our chapel: René and his brothers have
for some time past been working at a pulpit; the principal figure will
be our missionary’s work. He has consented to let me prepare his
baggage. Kate, I was complaining of our solitude, and now it has become
sweet to me, because I love God more. Oh! what a blessing to the soul it
is to love.

I am slipping these few words in with René’s, and send you a thousand
loving messages.


JANUARY 14, 1870.

Impossible not to give you the history of our day, although it is very
late. I wished to go to Auray with Karl, and my mother felt strong
enough to go with us. On the way we met with a German, poor as Job, a
true disciple of Luther, his Bible in his hand. His gentle and
melancholy air interested us. We entered into conversation with him,
Karl preached to him, he came with us to Auray, and when we came out of
the church he told us that his mother was a Catholic, that the sight of
our fervor had touched him, etc., etc. In short, we brought him back
with us to the château, and Karl is going to catechise him and finish
his conversion. You see the good Saint Anne has indeed had a hand in
this. Is it not a charming episode?

15th.—Letters: 1st, Margaret, who sends you her heartful of good wishes;
2d, Marcella, with the chronicle of the Council and the account of an
audience with the Holy Father; 3d, Lizzy, who wants to make me admire
her Daniel; 4th, Lucy, who is impatient to come back, because her pretty
Anne cannot be happy without us, says our amiable sister; 5th, my Kate.
I mention all in chronological order; you know very well that you are
first in order of affection. But how short it is, dearest! Tell me soon
the reason of this brevity; you must have so much to say!

_A Dieu_, my dearest Kate. All and each of the happy inhabitants of my
Brittany offer you their homage and respect.


JANUARY 19, 1870.

Well, dearest, he leaves us to-morrow—this friend, this good brother and
generous priest. Our German is converted, but for reasons of prudence
the baptism is deferred. The worthy man does not wish to quit us, and
does his utmost to render himself useful. He is passionately fond of
music, and teaches it to our pastors, who in return _strengthen_ him (as
he says) in the catechism. How sadly we shall miss Karl! But then,
souls, souls! Ah! I would not keep him back, even if I could.

I have had a strange dream. I was with you in your cell. You seemed to
be asleep; I spoke to you, but you did not answer me. I went to kiss
you, and in this kiss I felt so strange a thrill, as if your beautiful
face had been of marble, that I woke, crying out in a manner which
alarmed René. It is in vain that I say to myself again and again that it
is but a dream; the impression remains—a profound terror, and an anguish
which oppresses my heart. Write to me; reassure me, dear Kate. I have
lost faith in happiness. What am I saying? So long as I belong to God,
and nothing can separate me from him, shall I not have the only
happiness worthy of the name?

Karl promises to write to us. He is going to China, that literary
country, where barbarism and civilization are so strangely mingled. My
mother, _the Adriens_, and we are putting together our savings to give
them to the dear missionary, that with them he may have more facilities
in his work of gaining souls. How I bless fortune on these occasions!

A thousand lovingnesses, dear sister—the dearest of sisters.


JANUARY 26, 1870.

We accompanied Karl to his ship, which I visited, and which we saw start
on her voyage. Thus he is now between sea and sky, exposed to tempests.
Oh! “how beautiful are the feet of those” who have left all—family,
friends, country, repose, comforts, enjoyments—to go in search of the
lost sheep. It seems to me that the angels of faith and love must spread
their wings over the vessel and keep far away all contrary winds.... We
seem as if impregnated with sanctity. Grief is a powerful lever to raise
one to God and to transform souls!

You do not write. René is uneasy and tries in vain to conceal his
anxiety from me. Did you receive his letter of the 24th? Dear Kate, if
you are ill, send one word and we will hasten to you. O my God! Ill!
You! Could it be possible? That terrible dream is always before my eyes.
You will scold me, dearest.... Remember that for some months past I have
suffered so much that even the thought of a misfortune overwhelms me.

Oh! may God guard you, darling Kate, my sister, my soul. Take care of
yourself for the love of me.

My mother entreats you to write; she suffers on account of my anxiety.
My God! grant that that may have been only a dream.


JANUARY 29, 1870.

Still nothing; perhaps your letter is lost.... May God protect you! The
_Univers_ pleases me. Mgr. Berthaud has had a triumph at Sant’ Andrea
della Valle—the dear church where we have prayed. “His imagery is rich
and abundant,” writes Louis Veuillot, “because his faith keeps alive in
him a perpetual enthusiasm for the works, the mercies, and the love of
God. His thoughts are an endless song. What he says he sees; what he
sees he admires and adores. External things, enveloped and, as it were,
transpierced by the rays of the divine Sun, appear to him as magnificent
as he describes them to be. Things are the works of God; men are the
children of God, divinities in flower, called by their adoption to the
ineffable glory of the divine union. As soon as they are in their way,
their vocation, their order, their accidental defects are effaced; there
is no more ugliness, there are no more rags, no more miseries—all is
already transfigured, already at the attainment of its end, and the
lyre, vibrating to the touch of a sacred enthusiasm, gives forth sounds
at once vehement and sublime.”

What eulogy! What style!

Mgr. Mermillod made a magnificent discourse at Saint Louis des Français,
on the perpetuation in the church of the Gospel scene of the Magi. “The
action of God in the world, the redemption of souls, the perpetuity and
definition of the truth, all repose upon these three great weaknesses: a
Child at Bethlehem, a Host in the tabernacle, an aged man at the
Vatican.”

Kate dearest, I admire, but nothing dispels my preoccupation, the
dominant note of my thoughts—you! yourself! Why this silence? I must
know it! Write to me; I am suffering....


JANUARY 31, 1870.

It is here, on my writing-table, this white page on which you have
traced but one word.... “It was not a dream!” We start at once; this
note will precede us by a few hours. Oh! live for me, my beloved sister;
ask God to cure you.

My God, I have so often prayed thee to preserve her to me—to let her
live as long as I!

                  *       *       *       *       *

JOURNAL OF GEORGINA AFTER HER SISTER’S DEATH.

FEBRUARY 15, 1870.

    O amare! O perire tibi!
    O advenire ad Deum!

Still would I write to you, beloved sister who have left me! Oh! can
this be possible? You, my Guardian Angel! It is in heaven that I now
look for you, that I now behold you—in heaven, your true home—in heaven,
where you have found again our mother. O my God! my God! Always shall I
remember this last journey, of which you were the object; the anguish on
the way, the haste to arrive, the chill that fell on my heart at the
gate of the convent. Oh! you knew that I could not bear to see you
suffer; and then, perhaps, you might think you would recover, for I
cannot believe that you desired to die.... Ah! to see you dying; to
embrace you, watch by you, hear the last effusions of that tenderness to
which my mother had bequeathed me; to see this flame, which was my life,
die out, and yet not die myself—Kate, Kate, I can think only, speak
only, of you!

I have been very ill. I feel weak, very weak—almost discouraged to live.
Tell me that you are not gone away; soul of my sister, speak to my soul!
Oh! how it seems to me as if I had lost everything. You it was who gave
so great an interest to my life, animating everything with your
affection. And now....


FEBRUARY 28.

Dear Kate, obtain strength for me. I desire to live for René. Why did
you not stay with us, my beloved? I have bitter regrets.... I should
have wished to nurse you, to keep you here. O foolishness of love! what
right have I to wish to keep you from your own country? Dear sister, the
correspondence which was my daily delight must not end: I will write my
journal for _you_. God, who is so good, even when he separates two
hearts which were one, could not refuse anything to his elect. Ask him,
then, my sister, that you may every day come to me, if even only for an
instant. Oh! would that I could see you. It seems to me that with you
all died; that nothing more will ever in this world smile on me, that
the eternal mourning of my soul can never more be comforted. Our friends
write to me. Margaret and Marcella weep with me. My mother, Adrien,
Gertrude, and René are full of unspeakable tenderness and solicitude
towards me; and yet I have scarcely any response to make them but my
tears. All is night around me: the Sun has set.

Oh! speak to me, Kate—only one word, one vibration of your dear voice,
one of your smiles. Is it true, my God, that for twenty-five days past
this face so dearly loved has been covered with a shroud?

Is it true? Has death indeed come between us? Had we not enough of
absence and of separation, that other mourning of the soul? I still hear
her last word.... Oh! who will give me back my past joys, fled away, and
the affection which enfolded all?

Adrien is reading me the _Beatitudes_, by Mgr. Landriot. There are some
admirable conferences on the divine words, _Beati qui lugent_. “There
are,” says the Père Lacordaire, “tears in all the universe; and they are
so natural to us that even if they had no cause, they would flow
_without_ cause, solely from the charm of that ineffable sadness of
which our soul is the deep and mysterious well.” Again: “Melancholy is
the great queen of highly sensitive souls; she touches them without
their knowing how or why, in a secret and unexpected moment. The ray of
light which gladdens others brings veils to them; the festive rejoicing
which moves and delights others pierces them with an arrow. It is with
much difficulty that God and our Lord can scatter from the heart which
loves them these vain and chilling clouds; the suffering is so much the
more difficult to vanquish from having a less real cause.”

Oh! the cause of my sorrow, can I forget it? Kate, obtain strength for
me. How truly I feel you present!


MARCH 5.

We are come back to Brittany. They say that I have become a mere shadow.
Kate dearest, I wish to be courageous, but my poor human nature gives
way on this Calvary. O my memories! They are a golden book in which I
read every hour, in which every leaflet recalls my other self, her
devotedness and love. Your papers have been given to me—the private
pages which God alone has read with me. How you have loved me! Dearest,
I weep no more, except over myself. You were hungering for heaven, as
were Mad and Thérèse, Ellen and Edith. Oh! gone—you also, you my
guardian angel!

I wanted to write, to relieve myself a little; my heart swelled, and I
could do nothing but sob. I have fearful moments. Oh! speak to me, Kate.
Last night I seemed to witness your death again. Oh! those eyes, those
eyes which I almost worshipped—I had to close them. Kate, what is
happiness? Mine has fled away like a cloud, and I seek after it in vain.

I know that you are happy, and yet my selfishness grieves. Pray for your
Georgina!


MARCH 8.

Strange blindness of heart! You were to me so sweet, so infinitely
precious, that the thought of an _adieu_ without ever meeting here again
had never occurred to me.

You were six years old when you imprinted your first kiss on the brow of
your Georgina. Our most distant memories show me your beloved image. You
never left me; the sight of you was a talisman that stopped my tears;
your voice taught me my first baby-words. Oh! this union of ours from
the very cradle was my mother’s pride—this mother, so beloved and so
beautiful, who saw herself over again in you. You did not know that you
were fair; you early disdained earthly frivolities; and how much it must
have cost you, later, to remain in the world for me!

Everywhere you were surrounded by sympathy and respect; your sisterly
devotion made you an aureole. Kate, who was like you?

Tell me that you hear me, that you see me every day. How shall I live
without you? A great void has been made in me; my heart is like a
desert. Ah! I loved you too well, and our God is a jealous God.

I adore his will, and, in spite of my inexpressible desolation, I kiss
his divine hand beneath the blow which overwhelms me. I desire to become
truly your sister by sacrifice and love.

Help me! I know not how to climb up Calvary!


MARCH 10.

No, I cannot believe that it is at an end; that I have no more a sister.
At times I believe myself to be under the influence of a nightmare. My
black dress—this sombre vestment which made me afraid—is become dear to
me since I wear it for you; but ... what faintings of heart! In what an
ocean of grief my soul is plunged!

To-day I wished to go out and visit my poor; my strength failed. Kate,
sorrow is killing me.


MARCH 12.

An unexpected consolation—a visit from the Père de G—-. His touching,
penetrating words roused me. Pardon me, Kate! I was cowardly. God
forbids not tears, but he forbids despair. Alas! formerly I comforted
others, and now I am unwilling to accept any solace in my trouble; I
wish for no truce to my regret. Oh! be happy, soul of my sister. Obtain
for me grace to love much, more than ever, all who suffer, all the elect
of misfortune. The gentle Abbé Perreyve used to say: “The greater part
of souls would remain closed to other souls, if they had not suffered;
trial bruises them, and compels them to shed around them floods of
love.”

I loved them already—these dear poor of the good God! But I feel that my
time belongs to them, that I owe myself also to those who love me, and
that it remains to me to pray and suffer while I love.

Help me, dear Kate, help me!


MARCH 15.

How kind René is, dear Kate, and how fraternal! He understands my wish
to write to you still, to continue my life so violently cut in twain,
and unceasingly to speak to you. I am stronger, but not yet resigned.
Can one be resigned to such a loss?

I saw yesterday a young girl whom Gertrude knows, and who has opened her
heart to me as to a friend. With what ardor of desire she dreams of the
religious life! God permits her to be cruelly tried: her mother is
utterly opposed to her departure. There are several other sisters, one
of whom shares the aspirations of my new acquaintance. How they both
suffer! Would that a heavenly light might illuminate the heart of their
mother, who little comprehends the martyrdom of her children! How
everything is at cross-purposes in this poor world! People are saddened
by things at which they ought to rejoice, and _vice versâ_. Mothers, who
have had experience of the cares and pains of marriage and the
world—mothers, who know too well the sum of happiness that may be
expected from even the best-assorted unions—make themselves miserable at
the mere thought of their daughters’ union with God, as if he were not
the Supreme Good, the Spouse _par excellence_, the faithful Friend, the
plenitude of every virtue and of love! Ah! it is because everything in
this world has its shades and its defects, and because few souls know
truly how to love.

Thus is it that there is a mixture and alloy in my affection for you
when I weep for you so bitterly, dear sister of my life!

Nothing can separate our souls. I am yours in life and death!


MARCH 18.

Berthe’s brother has just sunk under a malignant fever. The poor widow
is ill of grief. Three such beautiful children, whom he loved so much—so
many powerful bonds which bound him to this world so suddenly broken—all
this makes the grief immense. Gertrude said to me: “Why, then, are those
mourned for who enter the port—those who go hence to rest in God? They
only who remain behind are really to be pitied.” Ah! what deadly
affliction must not our friend feel, widowed of her happiness, which
nothing can restore to her—nothing, until that hour when, delivered in
her turn from this life sown with crosses, she too shall see God, and,
with God, him whom she weeps!

Kate, would that I could see you and embrace you again as in that last
hour! Everywhere death, everywhere mourning!


MARCH 21.

Count de Montalembert died on the 13th of March. It is a great funereal
date. May God receive him into his glory! I was just now hearing some
beautiful pages by Alfred Nettement, dead also the 14th of November—dead
in the breach, in those combats of pen and thought so worthy of
admiration and of enthusiasm when their object is the defence of the
church. Our dear M. de Riancey is also dead, faithful, to his last
moment, to this proscribed monarchy, which sees its best defenders
falling one by one. O my God! what losses. Kate, if I could forget you
for a single instant, would not these deaths lead me back to the thought
of you?

Adrien has given me _The Book of All who Suffer_, by M. Gautier. How
well this good brother was inspired!

Marcella, Margaret, Lizzy, Isa, and so many other kind hearts write to
me frequently, but nothing can replace my Kate!


APRIL 1.

Dear sister, I have suffered fearful pains for ten days past. My good
René has been to me like a Sister of Charity. I am like Thérèse, I
cannot live without my other _self_. Oh! to see you, to hear you, to
kneel by you, and kiss your beloved hands.

Until now I did not know what separation meant. I remember with a sort
of remorse how joyous my first letters were after that first farewell
which was to be so soon followed by a farewell that seems eternal. I saw
you as having attained the object of your dreams. I entered with glad
heart into this new life where all was golden. Kate, I am ungrateful!
God has permitted me to know no other troubles than those which should
not be such to the Christian—death, the beginning of true life for those
who love God. Help me, that I may be strong; my sadness clouds so many
brows!


APRIL 8.

Nelly, who flattered herself that she would recover, has bid adieu to
this poor world, in which she suffered so terribly, although possessing
numerous certainties of happiness, if it be true that anything can be
certain here below, even when one is only twenty years old.

My new young friend visits me often; her fervent piety and the ardor of
her desires find an echo in my heart. You were thus, O sister of my
soul! at her age, in that spring-time of life thrice happy and thrice
blessed when one belongs to God.


APRIL 15.

The Duchess de Berry died on the 10th, at her castle in Upper Styria,
far from Naples, far from France, far from her son. Yet another grand
figure disappeared! Kate, do you remember our presentation to this
heroine? But she is now with you, in the true fatherland of souls, far
from agitations and sufferings. Call us, call us, all together—all our
_corner of Brittany_; I, too, am athirst for heaven.

What a day was this Good Friday! Made four times the _Way of the Cross_
for the souls in purgatory. Is there any possibility that you are in
that place of expiation, dear Kate? Oh! tell me, or rather assure me,
that you are in heaven. Gaston yesterday asked his mother to show him
Mme. Kate up in the sky; he believes that you have become a star.
Charming belief!


APRIL 16.

A year ago, and I was full of joy and hope. O my happy days with my
sister! you have for ever fled away.


APRIL 17.

God be praised! I saw you this morning.... Oh! do not let me be told
that it is a dream. I _saw_ you, dear Kate; your beautiful hair falling
over your shoulders, and you were smiling. Happiness enough for one
whole day!

Christ is risen! The weather is splendid; we are in the full bloom of
spring; bright sunshine, songs of birds, verdure everywhere; joy in our
souls. Kate, I weep no more; you are in heaven!


APRIL 19.

Walk with Amélie, the future _religieuse_ of whom I spoke to you. She
relieves herself a little to me of some of the desolation that fills her
heart. She is not allowed to depart, and yet the delay requested is
expired. Her grief makes my heart ache, and I would that it were given
me to smooth for her the way to the cloister. For that I should be
obliged to go out, to visit the mother; and as soon as I see any one I
burst into tears. Do you blame me for the fidelity of my regrets? In
listening to Amélie I understand what you must have undergone when once
the Lord’s choice was clearly manifested. Pardon me for having wished
still to hold you back!

Gertrude, our saint _par excellence_, speaks admirably of heaven. Lucy
weeps with me, and makes her pretty Anne wipe away my tears. Kate, will
you read this?


APRIL 26.

Minds are much occupied respecting the _plébiscite_. My politics are not
of this world; I hear what others say, and that is all. Sister, what is
earth? I fear and pity it.

Berthe is at Paris, somewhat preoccupied by present agitations. My poor
soul passes through the most varying states: nameless anguish,
indescribable discouragement, sweet and pure joys; one thing comes as a
repose to the other, and life slips away.... Amélie came to me
yesterday; she talked long of _her crosses_, glad to be understood,
compassionated, and loved; she would willingly have remained with us for
the night. Her home, where she was formerly so happy, appears to her now
an insupportable place of abode, and her life, with all its struggles
and contradictions, is a real martyrdom.

I read her, from the _Pilgrimages of Switzerland_, a beautiful page on
Christian resignation. Oh! how I would wish to console others—I, who
cannot be consoled, alas!


APRIL 30.

Kate, I have been dreaming of you. Why did you go away so soon, sweet
sister, so beloved?

A cousin of Amélie’s died the day before yesterday, after two years of
marriage. See how short a time human felicity lasts! Every terrestrial
happiness reunited on this charming head for so short a time! Her poor
mother had buried all her other treasures one by one, and concentrated
her affections and her hopes on this idolized daughter, the only one
spared to her, and who was to be stricken down after two years of so
happy a union! Were these two souls truly religious? I know not. Ah! who
will comfort the mother, if God is not her comforter? Alas! these rapid
destinies, these human fragilities, these futures broken, these deaths,
this mourning—will they not open the eyes of those who persist in not
seeing? Amélie is always breathlessly eager to attain her object, and
distressed at the hindrances which hold her back. How pitiful that
difficulties so contemptible and vulgar should be raised in order to
turn aside the flight of this poor soul from the heavenly Bridegroom! I
can only conceive a mother with an absolute devotion, a complete
self-forgetfulness, a perpetual _sursum corda_. But these miserable
obstacles, these calculated delays, to enchain this dear Amélie in spite
of her tears and ardent longings—how they make me suffer! It appears
that for three years she has been soliciting her mother’s consent. My
God, where are the hearts which see but thee in all things? Mme. de
Vals[35] is overwhelmed by this catastrophe. All the family is in a
state that breaks one’s heart. Oh! if these distressing scenes had only
shown Mme. de Vals the vanity of earthly illusions; if she had only
understood that we must cling to God above all!

Footnote 35:

  The mother of the young wife who died.

Kate, my sister in heaven, pray for this friend of your Georgina, and
pray also for me, who cannot live without my sister!


MAY 5.

The month of flowers, the month of songs, the month of the ever-blessed
Virgin, comes to me with bright memories. My own Ireland, mother,
sister, where are you? What cowardice is mine!

Brittany is smiling, rosy under a beautiful sun; the sea is calm and
magnificent. I have just been leaning over my balcony and looking long
at this grand spectacle: the blue sky, the green sea, in the grand and
majestic silence of immensity. Was there not a Christian meaning in the
words of the philosopher of antiquity who said: “God does all in
silence”? How fine is this expression!

Dear Kate, bless me! I go out, move about, wish to be useful; I work
with Gertrude, with my mother, with René. But I drag heavily the cross
of your absence. I complain to God without ceasing. Love makes
everything sweet and light: I have, then, no love?

From this month of May will date for your Georgina the adoption of a
prayer, sweet among all others—the Office of the Blessed Virgin. Oh!
these psalms, these hymns, these harmonious supplications—how sweet they
are to my poor soul! I love especially the _Lætatus_. Lucy and René sing
it with an expression which charms me. You, dearest Kate, have entered
there, into the house of the Lord!


MAY 12.

I am reading the _Interior of Jesus and Mary_, by the Père Grou, the
_Conferences_ of Père de Ravignan, and our dear _Review_. The letters on
the Council interest me particularly. I try to imagine that I am reading
them with you; that your dear head is resting on my shoulder.... Oh! the
fair and happy times which return to my memory. We so loved the
_Chansons de Gestes_, those pretty French ballads which my mother
translated with so peculiar a charm! M. Léon Gautier has published a
thoughtful and exquisite study on France under Philip Augustus; he
brings on the scene the fair Aude, the _fiancée_ of Roland, who died on
hearing of the death of her Paladin—I can understand love like this!—and
the charming little Aelis, and Sibylle de Lusignan, and the Duchess
Parise, and Aye d’Avignon, and the courageous Ameline, and Berthe, the
wife of Duke Girart, and Guiboure, that magnificent type of the
Christian woman! Do you remember, sister, Count Robert of Flanders
refusing a crown because he was in haste to see his son again? the
little Garnier nursing his father, stricken with leprosy? the mother of
the sons of Aimon—Belissende and Heustace? How we had learnt to love
those middle ages!

Pray for Amélie, dear Kate; she is so unhappy! O inestimable favor,
priceless benefit, incomparable fidelity of the religious vocation! how
little are you understood in this world.

It seems as if I heard you saying to me: _Speranza! Pazienza! Coraggio!_


MAY 16.

My soul is fallen again into an abyss of desolation. It is strange, and
at the same time painful, these struggles between myself and myself;
between nature which revolts and grace which submits. On this day four
years ago where were we? Kate, help me!


MAY 28.

I have been travelling a little, and my moments have all been employed.
René wants to give me change and distraction; but I cannot drag my
thoughts away from these images of death. Hélène has written me a
letter, saintly and sweet. Alas! who does not suffer here below?


JUNE 5.

I have just quitted Amélie, who is keeping her room from indisposition.
Her mother is kind, I believe, but how severe in aspect! Berthe and
Raoul arrived yesterday. Kate, I dreaded this meeting again, our hearts
were all so sad! Berthe is more tranquil than I had expected; she has
seen Mary and Ellen, the dear exiles! who showed her that they greatly
desire to see us. Inspire me, dear Kate. Lucy is going away again; the
house without children is like a heaven without angels. Johanna will not
return for two months.


JUNE 12.

René would like to bring the two orphans himself. My mother approves.
They will occupy the apartments of the twins. Kate, who will replace
you?

More funereal letters: two friends of our dear ones who have flown away
have also been summoned to their Father’s house. Happy souls! if they
were prepared; but poor mothers whose joy they were!


JUNE 17.

Dear Kate, I thought I saw you yesterday evening.... A young and amiable
religious, collecting for her poor, caused me a thrill. I calmed myself
and conversed with her. Her life is admirable. But what emotion
afterwards, and poignant grief!

Sister dearest, let me hope that you read these lines; that there exists
a means of communication between heaven and earth; that you have not
wholly quitted me! It was so sweet to write to you, to confide
everything to you. I should like to write your life; to relate to myself
the story of our childhood—that golden morn when so many smiles and joys
surrounded us; but these souvenirs are so distressing!


JUNE 24.

Mary and Ellen are sleeping beneath those curtains of gauze which I have
so often parted.

They are grown, and prettier than ever. With what grace they presented
themselves yesterday! And already I am anxious; have they not been taken
sufficient care of? I know not, but their almost constant cough
oppresses me like a remorse; and to replace their mother....


JUNE 29.

Berthe loves our orphans, who rarely quit her. Gertrude draws me with
her in her walks, in her life of devotedness and labor, and I let it be
so. I am no more _myself_; my better part is wanting. Oh! you were my
strength, my counsel, my happiness.

Feast of SS. Peter and Paul—a glad festival for the Christian. Louis
Veuillot, who has the happiness of being at Rome, writes there charming,
sublime incomparable pages; he counted on the _desired dogma_ being
proclaimed to-day, but all is not so easy, even in the things of God.
Anniversary of the death of _Albert_.


JULY 1.

Mary and Ellen are very attractive. Decidedly we shall keep them with
us. Berthe sees in them a resemblance to her doves; my mother likes
their smiles for the poor, for flowers, for every living thing, their
precocious reason, and their already remarkable piety. Lucy is gone.
What voids! and how different to '67, the happy year, at least during
its first months! Trial, you used to tell me, is a grace; that those
favored with the good things of this world ought to expiate their
enjoyments. Kate, I submit!


JULY 4.

The letters of Marcella and Margaret are frequent. My friend beyond seas
speaks of returning soon; she knows what a balm the sight, the beloved
sight, of her brings. Marcella quits Naples and its blue sky no more;
Anna writes to me of her joys, without suspecting what a price the
health of which she is so proud cost us.

The _abbé_ takes in the _Univers_, rendered so attractive by the truly
magic pen of the author of the _Parfum de Rome_. Finished _La Marquise
de Montagu_, an interesting book, the style of a great lady of the
seventeenth century. Reading is worth less than prayer, but both
ameliorate exile.

René is carving an altar for the parish church. He and Adrien are making
curious studies in the precious MSS. of the _Saint of the Sea-shore_.
What splendid gifts God has bestowed upon this friend of my soul!


JULY 8.

The pious and learned editor of _Eugénie de Guérin_, who also revealed
to the world the treasures of Cayla—M. Trebutien—is just dead. René
assures us that _Eugénie_ must have opened to him the gate of Eden. Oh!
I love to believe this. Amélie is at the height of her wishes: her
mother has suffered herself to be vanquished by our united entreaties,
and her entry into Carmel is fixed for the 6th of August. Another
separation. God wills it thus.


JULY 14.

Marie Jenna, the sweet poetess, has written some noble pages on the
regretted M. Trebutien. “It is the hand of a friend still trembling with
emotion that has written this”; it is the first cry of affection and of
grief, but of pure and holy affection, and of grief resigned and
Christian in the highest acceptation of the word. “If this were a
learned man, an antiquary, an artist, above all he was a soul—a soul,
that masterpiece of God, that thing so fair that he himself delights in
it, that he has profoundly loved, even when, having lost the attraction
of innocence, she had no other attraction than misfortune. He was an
ardent Catholic, he prayed, he loved God. He, who so hungered after
justice, love, and beauty, could not but love God! The gifts of the
understanding exercised over him an irresistible magic; but if he lived
by intelligence, he lived still more by the heart. His friendship was
full of strength and tenderness; he gave himself without measure.”

Ah! dearest Kate, I forget that you are no longer here. Ellen is
extremely sympathetic towards me; she listens to me, speaking of you,
for hours together. This morning, after a long account, in which her
mother’s name and yours recurred a hundred times, she said to me with
feeling: “I am going to pray God to put me soon where they are.”

O Blessed Virgin! may she stay with us.


JULY 18.

Arthur is ill. Johanna writes agitated and sorrowful pages. My saintly
Kate, pray for us!

The rumors of war which have for some days been circulating are taking
consistency. What is about to become of this poor country? Will the hour
of vengeance strike, or will mercy again carry the day? Epidemic
maladies and drought have already spread desolation everywhere.

Kate, I would fain penetrate into the future. O folly! What would it be,
when I cannot even support my present grief?

René has had three attacks of fever. O this dear invalid, this son of
liberty and space, restless as a lion! in repose. Dear, good friend!
Come, then, and see him, dear Kate, when three times a day he attends to
an unfortunate child whose wounds horrify everybody. “The hand of M.
René passes over my sores like the wing of an angel!” What charming
praise, and especially in Breton, in the mouth of this frightful little
lad, who is distressed at his own ugliness! Gertrude is teaching him the
catechism; Mary and Ellen prepare his meals with their little white
hands. Ellen has lovely eyes of sea-blue, very dark.


JULY 24.

The _Univers_ of Wednesday, the 20th, is splendid: “The Infallibility is
proclaimed! _Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia!_ The times are hard; war,
pestilence, famine; but the year 1870 will be none the less immortal.
This will be called the Century of Pius IX., the Pope of the Immaculate
Conception and of the Infallibility.” Great joy in the Catholic world.

Here is war with Prussia—that power which, whatever may be said, is
truly redoubtable. Happy the people whose history is wearisome!
Misfortune to those who depart from the path traced for them by
Providence! What a magnificent page might France have added to her
history had she so willed! “Archimedes asked but a lever and a fulcrum
to move the world,” said the Père Lacordaire at Notre Dame; “but in his
time this lever and this fulcrum were unknown. They are known now: faith
is the lever; and the point of support, the Breast of the Lord Jesus.”

Who, then, will lift this lever? My God! may they who seek thee find
gladness and joy in thee. _Tristis es, anima mea!_

Arthur is better; our dear Parisians are returning to us; the horizon is
so dark to those who see things rightly! Berthe is gone to the town for
the funeral of a friend of her childhood who passed through the greatest
trials in the world. She made a most edifying death, preserving the
fulness of her faculties to the last, blessing her children, and putting
all her soul into her last directions. And when she had said all, and
was asked if she desired nothing, she answered with her failing voice:
“I desire nothing but God!” The long agony of her heart, the suffering
which has killed her, this painful martyrdom—all is over, and the
Blessed Virgin, whom she so loved, must have welcomed her into glory.
_Amen!_ The two little children, alarmingly pale, followed the coffin.
How one would pity them, if God were not the Father of orphans!

Spain in a state of revolution. Queen Isabella has abdicated in favor of
Prince Alphonso. Poor Spain! Where is Isabella the Great, the Catholic?

Adrien is reading to us the tenth volume of the _Histoire du Monde_, by
De Riancey. The illustrious and lamented author wrote from Rome, after
receiving from the Pope and the Comte de Chambord precious tokens of
affection: “Now I am almost ready to sing my _Nunc Dimittis_, and there
remain only the joys of heaven to be added.“ Dearest Kate, I said
something like this when I still possessed you....

[TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT MONTH.]



                              UP THE NILE.
                              CONCLUSION.


The dignity of some of these half-clad Nubians is almost beyond
conception. As we walked through the town of Korosko we saw numbers of
elephants’ tusks, ostrich feathers and eggs, and great piles of
gum-arabic. We told Ali to pick up a handful of the gum, and then
demanded the price. With a shrug of the shoulders, the owner answered in
the most indifferent manner: “Whatever you please.” Ali offered him one
piastre. The merchant took out his purse and coolly handed a piece of
the same value, saying: “If you cannot pay more than that for the gum,
you must be very poor; take this for backsheesh.” “Well,” broke in Mr.
S——, unable to restrain his indignation, “would you like us to give you
two pounds for that handful of gum?” “Oh! no,” he replied quietly;
“whatever you please.” He was finally satisfied with the amount first
offered.

This Korosko is an important town; for from here the direct road lies
across the desert to Aboo-Hamed, Shendy, Sennaar, and Khartoom. The bend
in the river between this place and Derr is so great that the river
flows south-southeast. Going up, we were detained some time. The north
wind, which carried us up thus far, was now almost dead ahead, and we
were obliged to wait till it died out. The temple at Wady Sabooah a few
miles below is of the time of Rameses II. His favorite amusement, to
judge from the figures on the temple walls, was to catch hold of a few
score of his enemies by the hair of the head, all at once, and in one
hand too, while with the other he knocked them about with a club. The
old temple was afterwards used as a Christian church. In the time of the
great temple-builder a figure of some god stood in the adytum; the
Christians covered it with plaster (it was a bas-relief), and then
painted on it a picture of St. Peter. The other figures are not altered,
and the result is that the great Rameses is now making offerings to a
Christian saint.

I was anxious to obtain a dress—a full dress—of a Nubian young lady. I
did not propose to introduce this style at home—it would scarcely be
suited to our winters, although it might answer in summer—but it would
be a pleasant thing to show it, and, when some fair one should ask what
it was, to reply: “Oh! that is a dress that belonged to a lady friend of
mine in Nubia; she gave it to me to remember her by.” Just think how
jealous all the men would be! Frank carefully treasures up a ribbon, and
Charley considers priceless a lock of hair which his fair one has
worn—small trinkets compared with mine, even if I cannot put mine in a
locket. So I am bound to have one by fair means or foul.

The reader will probably be anxious to know what this dress is. Well, he
must not be shocked; he must remember the climate is warm, and the
immediate descendants of Eve set the fashion here. The full costume
consists of a leather girdle, from which hangs fringe of the same
material, about six inches long, ornamented with shells. I have one. It
belonged to a very pretty, dark-eyed young lady of thirteen, from whom I
purchased it as a curiosity. The girl’s wardrobe being unusually well
stocked, she sold me her best for the small sum of six piastres.

The people are very much afraid of the evil eye, more dangerous on this
account: that no one can tell who possesses it. Even some of the
innocent howadjii may have it; if they look at any one who is near, he
or she is instantly possessed by some spirit and becomes sick. But they
have medicine; for they immediately send to some priest and inform him
in what way the sufferer is afflicted. For a small fee he writes out a
portion of the Koran which will cure the disease. This is enclosed in a
leather bag and worn on the arm or around the neck. The disease is not
only cured, if the extract be the right one, but all future danger from
the evil eye is averted.

We have been visiting temples and tombs almost every day for the past
week, and have been very much annoyed by the crowds that followed us and
in many cases prevented us from properly inspecting. On Feb. 6 we
visited the little temple of Baybel Welly. I put into operation a plan I
had thought out last night. I wanted to try the effect of sarcasm on
these half-civilized Nubians. The temple was very small and the crowd
pushed in after us. We withdrew, and I then spoke in a quiet, dignified
manner to the one who appeared to be the leader. “This temple is not
large enough for both of us to visit at the same time. We will wait
outside until you and your friends finish your examination, and then we
will look at it. If you find anything particularly interesting, you will
be kind enough to inform us.” At first he did not take the point; after
a time a light broke upon him, and he replied: “You go in; I will keep
these walluds out.” And he did so.

I have told of the presents we gave the crew. They made a common pool, a
sort of joint-stock company on the mutual-benefit plan. Reis Mohammed
was treasurer. They held a meeting and resolved to declare a dividend,
after the manner of many modern railway dividends—for it was paid out of
the capital. A very noisy confab prevailed for an hour or more; then
votes were cast, and it was resolved “that the treasurer be instructed
and empowered to purchase a calf at a price not exceeding seven dollars,
said calf to be served up immediately for the use of the stockholders.”
This should furnish a hint to antiquarians; perhaps they may be able to
trace back the origin of our modern corporations to the old Egyptians.
The similarity of management should afford some clue.

On the 10th of February we reached Philæ. On the mainland opposite is
the small town of Belal. Here is an old mosque; from its minaret the
first Moslem call to prayer in Nubia was made. It is February 12, and we
are still lying at Mahatta, waiting for the Shellallee, to take us down
the cataract. They will not come to-day, so we go to visit the quarries
of syenite granite from which the obelisks were taken. Two of the party
mount the diminutive donkeys; I want to oversee them, so I climb on a
camel. He kneels for me to mount, and then rises at command. The camel
rises with three distinct motions. I have said that he kneels for one to
mount; this will hardly convey the proper idea. His legs are doubled
underneath and his belly touches the ground. With the first motion he
raises himself on his fore-knees, then straightens up his hind-legs, and
then his fore-legs. The effect of this motion upon the rider is very
curious. He is first pitched violently backwards, but before he has time
to fall off is thrown forwards again; and just as he feels certain that
he is about to dive into the sand, he regains his equilibrium, and off
goes the camel. When he walks, the rider sways back and forth; his run
is not unlike the trot of a horse.

An unfinished obelisk—one that has never been entirely detached from the
rock—shows us the means employed by the Pharaos for cutting out these
immense masses. Holes were cut along the whole line of the block a few
feet apart. Into these wooden wedges, saturated with water, were firmly
driven. The swelling of the wood, causing an equal pressure, split the
rock in a straight line. Just above where we are moored is the body of a
man lying in the water. His hands are tied behind his back—probably a
slave from away up country, beaten to insensibility and then thrown into
the river. Perhaps he stole a few piastres, or was not sufficiently
quick in obeying his master’s commands. It is a sickening sight, this
putrid, bloated corpse, so we ask Ahmud to have it taken out and buried.
It was carried by the current into this little cove some four days ago;
hundreds of people pass it daily, yet no one will remove it. Ahmud says
it is the duty of the governor to bury it, and, unless he does so, the
natives will let it remain until the fish and vultures eat it up. “If I
see the governor,” continues Ahmud in the most unconcerned way, “I will
speak to him about it.”

Early next morning the Shellallee assembled and preparations were begun.
To make the descent it is requisite that the water should be smooth and
not a breath of wind stir the air. The day was all that could be
desired; so at six A.M. began the charge of the black brigade. On they
come from every quarter; every rock sends forth two or three. We have
sixty or seventy on board. Ali says that most of them come to get a
place to sit down and smoke their chibouks. There is the usual amount of
talking, and at a quarter to seven we cast loose from our moorings and
stood out into the stream. God’s flag was tied to a post on the port
side of the quarter-deck—a red flag with two yellow stars and a diamond,
the latter representing the sword of Mohammed, and over all the sacred
name “Allah.” This was placing the dahabeeáh under the divine protection
to ensure a prosperous descent. Our old friend Nogood was with us,
seated by the flag, smoking a long pipe and reading the Koran. Another
sheik was seated on the opposite side telling his beads. Four men stood
at the helm, and two at each oar. To judge from the noise and
excitement, you would be led to think that no boat had ever descended
the cataracts before. Ahmud was so nervous that tears came into his
eyes. The balance of the Shellallee squatted on the deck, lit their
chibouks, and never moved until we hustled them off at Assouan. The
current carried us swiftly on to the west bank, and we neared the great
gate. A piece of wood was thrown overboard; it was a guide to the
steersmen. Now all was quiet; not a word was uttered on board. The
rowers stopped, the howadjii held their breath; a moment more we rounded
the corner almost at a right angle, and shot into the great rapid. The
boat grazed the rocks on the port side. The waves dashed over the bow.
Directly ahead the rocks rise perpendicularly to the height of twenty
feet. The howadjii shudder; surely we will be dashed to pieces. Before
we have scarce time to think, before we are at the bottom of the rapid,
the rudder is jammed hard to starboard, the boat swings round at a right
angle; we are in smooth water—we have descended the cataract in safety.
This rapid is two hundred feet long between the rocks, about seventy
feet broad, and falls from six to seven feet. Old Nogood springs up now
with astonishing activity, and snatches the turban from Reis Mohammed’s
head. This is his perquisite. It is the custom for the head sheik to
take both tarbosh and turban from the captain’s head when the descent is
safely accomplished. This was all very well when these descents were
first made, there being then some doubt as to their safe accomplishment.
Now numbers of boats are taken down every year and an accident rarely
happens. This custom should be done away with—at least, so thought Reis
Mohammed; for he put on the oldest tarbosh he had, and it was so bad
that Nogood would not take it. Every one shook hands all around. One of
the Shellallee cut his foot very badly; I put court-plaster upon it, and
then bound it up with my own handkerchief. He smiled and asked for
backsheesh.

About nine we reached Assouan. Every one wanted backsheesh, even those I
told about who sat on the decks smoking chibouks, and had never raised a
finger to help us. Finally we got rid of them all. What a relief it was
to be alone again with our little family!—for we are coming to love our
sailors; they have been with us so long, and, in spite of their few
faults, they are a good set and we have had no serious trouble with
them. There is a modern temple at Kom Ombos, about thirty miles below
Assouan, built by one of the Ptolemies about one hundred and fifty years
before Christ. It is interesting, and, notwithstanding its recent
construction, we examined it with care. There is another of these
Ptolemaic temples at Edfoo, one of the most interesting temples on the
Nile. True, it is far younger than Karnak, but then it is the
best-preserved temple in Egypt. As a perfect specimen of an Egyptian
temple, complete in all its parts, it stands unrivalled. Let me go into
details here and describe this temple. It will give an idea of all the
others; for the temples of ancient Egypt were all constructed on the
same plan, except rock-hewn Ipsamboul, which has been described before.
The Egyptian temple was not a place of public worship, like a Greek or
Roman temple, or a Christian church. It was an edifice erected by a king
in honor of some triad of divinities to whom he wished to pay special
homage in return for benefits conferred or in hope of future favors. A
rude brick wall surrounded the whole enclosure and shut out from the
vulgar gaze all that took place inside. This wall is almost entire at
Edfoo, but a small portion of it having been destroyed. A gateway admits
us into the enclosure, and we pass through an avenue of sphinxes to a
second gateway with its propyla, or immense pyramidal tower, on either
side. Over the gateway is a winged scarabæus in high relief. The
pyramidal towers are covered with intaglio sculptures representing the
king holding a brace of his enemies by the hair, and about to knock off
their heads with a club. Flag-staffs were attached to the outside of
these towers, rising many feet above their summit. Entering a large
hypæthral hall through this second gateway, we see before us the portico
of the temple itself. We enter this between two columns; from these to
the side walls are screens reaching about half-way to the roof. A little
further on we reach the sanctum sanctorum—a magnificent monolithic
chamber of polished gray granite, in which was kept the hawk, the emblem
of the god Horhat, who was the principal divinity of this temple. The
rest of the naos, or portion of the temple behind the portico, and in
which this sanctuary was placed, was cut up into a number of small
chambers used for religious purposes. Within the enclosure was the
temenos, or grove, thickly planted with trees, and near at hand was a
lake. The whole length of this temple, including the gateway and wall of
circuit, is four hundred and fifty feet. The breadth of the propylon—the
inner gateway with its pyramidal towers—is two hundred and fifty feet
and its height one hundred and fifteen feet. The sculptures all over the
walls are extremely interesting. Some give the names of the several
chambers of the temple, and their dimensions in cubits and parts of
cubits, so that the modern measurements can be compared with the ancient
ones. Others give valuable information respecting the ancient geography
of Egypt.

During the reign of Psammenitus, son of Amasis, a most remarkable
prodigy befell the Egyptians, says Herodotus; for rain fell at Egyptian
Thebes, which had never happened before nor since, to my time, as the
Thebans themselves affirm. For no rain ever falls in the upper regions
of Egypt, but at that time rain fell in drops at Thebes. In the year of
grace one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four the same remarkable
prodigy befell the Egyptians, say I; for rain fell at Egyptian Thebes.
If we did not know the dignity and sober character of that ancient
traveller, we might suppose a sarcastic witticism lay hid in the closing
part of the above story. See how cautious he is: the rain fell in drops.
Well, that is precisely the way it fell when we were there. And the
drops could be counted. There was no shower. The dust was not even laid.
But it rained. I saw it—perhaps the first time in three thousand years.
It is no small affair for a man to be able to say to his grandchildren
in years to come: “It rained when I was at Egyptian Thebes—in drops, you
know.”

Ten days tied up at Luxor, measuring the columns of Karnak, looking at
the endless procession of gods and warriors, and going far into the
mountain-side to search for the sarcophagi of Egypt’s long-departed
rulers. The ruins of Thebes are familiar—at least to every one who has
read any of the numerous works on Egypt; so I will not describe them.
There is one place, however, not mentioned in the guide-books about
which I will say something. Behind the temple of Dayr el Medeeneh, on
the western shore, there are several mummy-pits. Mr. S—— and I
determined to visit them. We descended a well about ten feet deep, at
the bottom of which we found a narrow passage, so low that we were
obliged to crawl. This led into a large chamber filled with bodies. Ali
begged to accompany us, but, when he caught sight of the first body, he
beat a hasty retreat to the upper air. Truly, it was a solemn, ghastly
sight. The mummies were piled up to what depth no one knows; as they
then were they had filled up the room to a level with the narrow
passage, forming a floor over which we walked. The Arabs had been there
hunting for scarabæi and other antiques to sell to travellers, and in so
doing had handled the corpses without care or ceremony. Here was a man
standing on his head with his feet resting against the wall; there a
woman broken in two, the legs placed astride the neck; corpses all
around in every conceivable position—grinning, staring corpses, enough
to give one the nightmare for weeks to come. Beneath this top row they
were placed in layers. I found the body of a young woman well preserved,
and with hair banged across the forehead, like the French style of a few
years ago. I carried the body out to show it to the rest of the party,
thinking somewhat of bringing it home. “Desecrating graves,” “robbing
sepulchres,” and words of like import met my ears, and, feeling somewhat
abashed, I took the body back, but detached the hair and brought it with
me. In this pit we found numbers of the small clay figures of Osiris.
They were rudely made—for these were the fellaheen, or lower class, who
were thrown into a common pit. They were embalmed in the cheapest way,
which was done, according to Herodotus, by thoroughly rinsing the
abdomen in syrmæa, and then steeping it with natron for seventy days.

The boy who owned my donkey was sick, so Fatma, his little black-eyed
sister, attended for him. She was a pretty, bewitching little creature,
yet of a marriageable age—thirteen, I think. Day after day she ran
behind my donkey, urging it on, and occasionally coming up alongside to
make some pleasant remark and disclose teeth like Oriental pearls. When
we were parting I gave her a small present and asked her if she would go
with me to America. “Certainly.” And the little one jumped and clapped
her hands with joy. “Do you know where America is situated?” I asked.
“Not exactly, but down the river, somewhere near Alexandria, is it not?”

Here we are at Keneh, and when we see a fine large house, in appearance
not unlike a provincial theatre, we naturally ask who inhabits it. The
consuls of France and Prussia—the lion and the lamb lying down together.
Here they live together in the same house on the best of terms, just as
if King William had never marched into Paris or Napoleon III. had not
surrendered at Sedan. We did not meet them, but very probably they were
like Ali Murad—natives, with a faint idea that there had been some
misunderstanding between France and Prussia; but then they were not
concerned with that, so they smoke their pipes together and let the
outside world take care of itself. Passing Sheik Selim’s place on March
9, we stopped and sent some of the sailors with presents. We arrived at
Bellianeh, whence we proposed to visit the interesting temple of Abydos.
We rode for six miles through rich fields of grain, principally wheat,
and reached the modern village of Arabat, called by the Arabs Madfuné
(the buried), from the ancient buildings that until recently lay all
around covered with desert sand. On entering the town we saw a gang of
men working at excavations under the charge of an overseer, who
quickened their movements with a bamboo. We saw pictures of this on the
tombs four thousand years old. A fine-looking man, with an immense red
turban on his head, broke from the gang, rushed up to us, threw himself
on the ground, embraced our feet, and piteously implored us to take him
away. He was a sheik of a neighboring village, he said, and had been
torn from his family and pressed into service. In proof of this he
produced a long document, about as intelligible to us as the
hieroglyphics on the temple wall. It was done by order of the viceroy,
so we could not interfere, and he went reluctantly back to his work. His
appeal to us angered the overseer, who struck him a fearful blow with
the bamboo that felled him to the ground. Said—good-hearted Said—took
the man’s part, and for a time it looked as though we were going to have
a lively row. But it all evaporated in talk; the overseer promised not
to beat him any more, and then he and Said became the best of friends.

These workmen are not paid very much—five cents a day; but their work is
not very heavy—at least, as they do it. One man fills a small basket
with earth, then sits down and smokes a cigarette. The basket is dragged
about twenty feet, emptied out, then he has a little talk with some of
his friends. We were looking for the celebrated tablet of Abydos, but
the passage-way was so filled up with sand that we could not approach
it. This tablet is called the new one, although M. Mariette supposes it
to be the original of the fragmentary one found in the temple of Rameses
II. at this place and now in the British Museum. It contains figures of
Sethi and Rameses offering homage to seventy-six kings, their
predecessors, beginning with Menes and ending with Sethi I., and has
been of incalculable benefit to the historian. But we are going farther
back than Menes, for there is the Kóm es Sultan, the Holy Sepulchre of
the ancient Egyptians—the tomb of Osiris. It is not a natural tumulus,
but is formed by the heaping up of tombs during many ages one upon
another. Are they not the tombs of those rich Egyptians that Plutarch
tells of who came from all parts of the country to Abydos to be buried
near Osiris?

A few days after we were strolling along the east bank when we came upon
a Coptic church. Entering, we saw a novel rendering of the legend of St.
George and the dragon. I have said before that St. George is the patron
saint of the Copts, and here they turn the dragon into a Turk,
substituting a real enemy for a mythical one. St. George, on a spirited
steed, is frantically endeavoring to pin a Turk to the earth. He has his
lance run through the neck, but the Turk is a tough fellow and is
fighting so hard, while the horse is balancing himself in the most
incredible manner on one leg, that it is a question which will get the
upper hand.

As we run close to the bank scores of urchins salute us with that now
familiar cry, “Backsheesh, howadji”—“Alms, O shopkeeper”—not that they
took us for shopkeepers, but then these were the first to travel for
purposes of trade; and when others, travelling for pleasure alone,
came after them, no distinction was made by the natives, but all were
classed in the same category. Everywhere in the East, from the poorest
beggar to the sultan himself, is heard the same demand, “Backsheesh,
howadji”—from the great ones couched in hidden terms and well-set
phrases, but as well understood as the outspoken clamor of the rabble.
After careful study and deliberation I have classified the different
uses of this phrase. I have divided them into eleven different
demands, expressing the following ideas: First, the distant or dubious
demand. This is made by small urchins from the bank as we sail by. The
tone of voice indicates that they doubt very much whether they will
receive anything, but deem it worth while to make the attempt,
although sometimes a quarter of a mile of water separates us from
them. Second, the salutative demand from older ones. As we ride or
walk through the country we meet an Arab. “Naharak Saiid” (May the day
be good to you), say we. “Backsheesh, howadji,” he replies in the same
salutative tone, and moves on. Surely he cannot expect anything; he
does not even stop. Third, the imperative demand, growled out in a
fierce tone by half-grown boys—your-money-or-your-life demand of
highwaymen. This is always unsuccessful. Fourth, the curtailed demand
from over-lazy ones, as this: “Backshee, howadj”—a very indifferent
one. Fifth, the plaintive demand—the fourteen-children and
seven-year-widow story listened to by tender-hearted people. Sixth,
the non-expective demand, a mere matter of form, and surprise
exhibited if complied with. Seventh, the interrogative demand—to wit:
“Did it ever occur to you, O howadji! that a small present would be
acceptable to your petitioner?” An idea similar to this frequently
crossed the howadji’s mind. Eighth, the confidential demand from the
donkey-boy when near the end of a trip. In a low whisper, and with a
knowing look: “Howadji and I understand one another; it is all right;
about two piastres will do.” Ninth, the future demand: the praises of
the donkey are sounded when starting out; professions of fidelity and
attachment on the part of the attendant are loud and constant; he will
show you everything, and—“Backsheesh kabeér dahabeeáh” (Much
backsheesh on the return to boat), in a matter-of-course tone. Tenth,
the infantile demand, from imps scarce able to talk: “Backtheeth,
howath”—most successful of any. Eleventh, the fraudulent demand,
practised principally in Nubia. A mother holding an infant in her
arms: “Backsheesh for the baby, O howadji!” and when the kind-hearted
traveller places a coin in the little dimpled hand held out to receive
it, the mother takes possession of it for her own use. When the
traveller approaches a town, every child is snatched up into some
one’s arms—it is immaterial whether the mother gets her own child or
some one belonging to another—and presented to him.

Little Saida, our gazelle, broke her leg at Thebes; we sent for the
barber, who is doctor also, to bind it up. He performed the operation in
a bungling way, and mortification set in a few days after. She had
become a great pet, and was beginning to know us and eat from our hands.
So we concluded it was best to kill her, as she was suffering very much.
Wishing to preserve the skin, she was hit on the head with an axe, so as
not to injure it. After the skin had been removed we offered the body to
the crew for a meal. Reis Mohammed threw it overboard, saying that it
was not killed in the proper way for them to eat: it should have been
shot, or else the throat cut, after repeating certain passages from the
Koran. It is strange to see how obedient these Arabs are to the sacred
writ. They are fond of meat, but do not have it very often. On one
occasion we were lunching in a temple. When we had finished, some fine
slices of ham were left. I gave them to Ali for himself and the two
sailors who were with us, and whose lunch had consisted of dry bread.
Without a moment’s hesitation he threw them to a dog who was near us,
saying that it was good food for dogs and Christians, but not for Arabs.

On the summit of the rocks of Gebel Aboofayda, near their southern end,
are the caverns of Moabdeh, commonly called the crocodile mummy pits. We
stopped and procured some fine specimens—small crocodiles which had been
treated as gods five thousand years ago. Every one in this country seems
to know every one else. It seemed to me that, when our crew wanted to
see any one, they simply called out the name—Ali, Mohammed, or whatever
it was—and he soon appeared. When purchasing goods it makes no
difference whom you pay, whether owner or not, provided you pay some
one. Many people marvel how the old Egyptians transported their obelisks
and colossi from the quarries at Syene to their destination several
hundred miles down the river. Back of the Christian village called Ed
Dayr en Nakhl, on the east bank nearly opposite Rhoda, are a number of
grottoes cut into the mountain-side. In one of them is one of the most
interesting paintings found in any of the Egyptian tombs, which will
enable us to understand how these immense masses of stone were conveyed
from one place to another. We had great difficulty in finding this
grotto; for, although it is mentioned in the guide-book, the natives
seemed unaware of its existence. At last we found it, away up on the
mountain-top, the entrance so filled up with débris that we were obliged
to crawl in. But we were well paid; for we saw the famous painting of “A
Colossus on a Sledge,” which, as far as I am informed, is the only one
of the kind in Egypt. The person represented by the colossus was called
Thoth-ôtp, and was of high distinction in the military caste. He is
styled the king’s friend, and one of his children was named Ositarsens,
after the king. This grotto was his tomb. The figure is seated and
placed upon a sledge, being firmly secured to it by ropes. One hundred
and seventy-two men, in four rows of forty-three each, pull the ropes,
attached to a ring in front of the sledge, and a liquid—most probably
oil—is poured from a vase by a person standing on the pedestal of the
statue, in order to facilitate its progress as it slides on the
ground—or more probably on a tramway made for the occasion, though that
is not indicated in the picture. Some of the persons engaged in this
laborious duty appear to be Egyptians; others are foreign slaves who are
clad in the costume of their country. Behind the statue are four rows of
men, three in a row, representing either the architects and masons or
those who had employment about the place where the statue was to be
conveyed. Below are others carrying vases filled with water, and some
rude machinery connected with the transportation of the colossi,
followed by taskmasters with their wands of office. On the knee of the
figure stands a man, who claps his hands to the measured cadence of a
song to mark the time, and to ensure a long pull, a strong pull, and a
pull all together. Before the statue a priest is presenting incense in
honor of the person it represents. At the top are seven companies of
men—a guard of honor, or perhaps reliefs for dragging the sledge. Beyond
are men slaying an ox and bringing the joints of meat to the door of the
building to which the statue was to be transported. From this we may
judge with tolerable certainty how the great obelisks were conveyed to
the temples before which they were set up, and how the great stones of
the Pyramids were transported from their mountain-beds.

We are now rapidly sailing down stream and nearing civilization. In a
few days we reached the lofty cliffs of Gebel et Tayr, which rise
abruptly from the river to a height of several hundred feet. On its
summit stands the Coptic convent of Sitta Mariam el Adra (Our Lady Mary
the Virgin). As we approached several of the monks jumped into the
stream—not from the top of the cliff, however—and swam out towards us.
They seized hold, jumped aboard, entirely naked, and saluted us with
“Ana Christian, ya howadjii” (I am a Christian, O howadjii!) Of course
we could not resist this appeal, but a few paras satisfied them, and,
putting the coins in their mouths, they swam back to shore, to sit like
birds of prey waiting for their next victims—for they never miss a
dahabeeáh that passes. This Gebel et Tayr—“The Mountain of the Bird”—has
a strange legend attached to it. It is said that all the birds of the
country assemble annually on this mountain, and, having selected one of
their number to remain there till the following year, they fly away into
Africa, and only return the next year to release their comrade and
substitute another in his place.

A funny accident happened to Reis Ahmud. We had grounded on a sand-bank,
where we remained sixteen hours, and the usual means were being employed
to pull the boat off. An anchor was thrown out some seventy feet ahead
in the direction of the channel. A rope was attached to this, and the
other end carried through a pulley on the deck. The entire crew pulled
upon this rope, when it became entangled in a block on the starboard
side. Reis Ahmud went forward to release it, and, without slackening the
rope, he began to pry it with a long pole. The strain on the rope was of
course very severe. He succeeded in raising it over the block, but it
acted like the string of a bow, and Ahmud, being in the place where the
arrow usually is, was struck by it. He was shot directly over the top of
the kitchen, and plunged headlong into the water on the other side of
the boat as though he had been shot out of a catapult. The expression of
fear, terror, and uncertainty as to what struck him, shown plainly in
his face as he went flying over the boat, pole in hand, was most
ludicrous. Fortunately, he was not hurt. A bad fright and thorough
ducking will teach him to avoid strained ropes in future. Some statues,
a few fragments of granite, and some substructions are all that can be
seen of the ruins of a city which, if there is any truth in the
descriptions given of it, must have exceeded any modern city as much as
the Pyramids exceed any mausoleum which has been erected since those
days (Curzon). So one day was enough at Memphis, and still on to the
south we sailed. Now the great Pyramids loom up in the distance, and at
ten of the morning of March 30 we reach the iron bridge at Cairo, our
long Nile journey over. That night we left our dahabeeáh, and bade
farewell to our crew. I have travelled far and wide throughout this
world of ours, but I know of no trip that has afforded me more real
satisfaction and pleasure than these four months on the Nile. The
expense is not very great; a party of four can contract with a good
dragoman to supply boat, crew, provisions, and everything necessary for
the voyage for from five to six pounds sterling a day. The winter of
1873-'74 was cold for Egypt. The superintendent of the viceroy’s
sugar-works at Rhoda informed us that it was the coldest winter known in
Egypt for seventeen years. See what a cold winter is in the Orient—for
these observations I took myself: Average thermometer from December 20,
1873, to March 28, 1874, sixty-nine degrees. Highest thermometer during
same period, eighty-two degrees on February 21, 1874; lowest, February
8, 1874, sixty degrees. The observations were taken in the cabin—in the
shade, of course—at noon of each day.



                                  MAY.


    The month of Maia—Cybele’s Roman name[36]—
      Ere Rome was Christ’s. And ’twas for Vulcan’s priest
    To kindle at her shrine the rosy flame
      On sweet May-day. Womb’d in the fruitful East,
      Not vainly Westward, as the myths increased,
    This purer rite, nor unprophetic, came:
      A flower that should be gather’d for the feast
    Of Truth—with more that erst deck’d Pagan shame.
    Not now the mother of vain gods[37] we pray,
      But Her, the God-Man’s Mother, ever a maid:
    And still to her this fairest month of May
      Assign—our hearts upon her altar laid,
    That her chaste love, descending with its fire,
    May purge them from the dross of base desire

B. D. H.

Footnote 36:

  Maia, or Majesta: not to be confounded with Maia, the mother of
  Hercules.

Footnote 37:

  Cybele was the “Mater Deûm” of the Greeks and Romans.



            THE FRENCH CLERGY DURING THE LATE WAR IN FRANCE.


The war of 1870 between France and Germany has taken the place, in the
minds of the French, of those other, not more glorious, but more
successful, wars with which the very word “war” was formerly associated.
They were used to think of nothing but triumphs; individual losses were
swallowed up in national exultation; and they connected with the
memories of the two Napoleons the peculiarly French axiom that there
existed no such word in their language as “impossible.” _That_ is still
true to-day, notwithstanding the reverses through which they have
passed; for moral heroism stands upright on a lost battle-field as well
as on a triumphant one, and the nation can say with its chivalrous
monarch of old: “All is lost, save honor.” If the discipline was faulty,
if the management was indiscreet, if the government was weak, if
circumstances were contrary, there was still individual courage, and not
only among the soldiers, but among all classes. The very misfortunes of
the country roused the spirit of women, priests, students, exiles, of
the weak and the poor, the secluded and the helpless; never was there
such spontaneous truce to all differences, such generous sacrifice of
personal comforts and, what is more, of personal antipathies; all good
men and true shook hands across the barriers of politics, religion, and
caste, and, with one mind and heart, did each his best in his own way
for his suffering country. Of course there were cowards, time-servers,
and place-seekers, making profit out of their fatherland’s necessities,
getting into safe, so-called official, berths, and generally skulking;
but they were not the majority, and it is superfluous to ask here if
every nation has not its scum.

The part which the French clergy took in the war of 1870 exceeds that
taken by them in any previous war, when some few members of their body
acted as salaried chaplains to the troops. Even during the “wars of
religion” under Henry IV. of France few priests accompanied the troops;
the _abbés_ of Turenne and Condé’s times were officers and gentlemen
rather than pastors and nurses; during the wars of the great Napoleon
public opinion would have frowned down their services; and the
successful wars of the Crimea and of Italy under the late emperor,
though they stirred the clergy more, were yet _too_ successful to vie as
a field of action with the ever-present needs of city and country
parishes. But the last disastrous conflict was emphatically a _home_
war; each family in the quiet hamlet where his cure of souls lay came to
the parish priest, asking blessings for its departing members and
prayers for its dead ones; each wife and mother claimed his comforting
words and poured her sorrows and fears into his ears; soldiers on the
march made his presbytery their natural home, slept and ate there, asked
him for common little necessaries, and made sure of getting no denial
had they asked for anything he possessed; boys whom he had christened
came home to die, and it was he who gave them the last sacraments and
read the burial service over their graves; in a word, he lived on the
battle-field even while still cooped up in his village. It was not
strange, then, that he should easily take one step further, and go
himself to share abroad the same danger whose face was so familiar to
him at home. A German historian, writing of the late war, says that
there was more patriotism found among the French clergy as a class than
in any other class in the whole nation. General Ambert, a soldier and a
civil servant, has gathered together[38] many interesting episodes of
the war relating to the heroic behavior of the priests, who from the
beginning came eagerly to ask leave to act as chaplains for the love of
God and their neighbor only; for when war was declared there were but
forty-six accredited chaplains in the whole army. Not only parish
priests presented themselves, but also hundreds of monks, brothers, and
confraternity-men; every order was represented—Jesuits, Capuchins,
Dominicans, Benedictines, Carmelites (the most distinguished of whom was
Père Hermann, who died at Spandau), Trappists (of whom one convent alone
furnished thirty-five), Cistercians, Oratorians, Lazarists,
Redemptorists, Christian Brothers (of whom nineteen died during the war,
besides those who were the victims of the Commune), and other
brotherhoods, old orders and new, their members drawn from all classes,
from the Legitimist nobleman to the peasant and the artisan, from the
doctor of laws or of theology to the brother-scullerer or porter. One
day in mid-winter, during the armistice, the Christian Brothers had been
for more than twelve hours unceasingly at work digging in the snow for
the bodies of the French dead of Petit-Bry, Champigny, and Croisy. Two
Prussian officers, at the head of a detachment of their men, were doing
the same for the bodies of the Germans. It was a bitterly cold night,
the wind blew the flames of the torches about, and nothing was heard but
short, business-like sentences, the sound of pickaxes breaking the ice,
and that of the carriers’ feet as they bore the dead away on rough
litters. The Prussian officers looked admiringly at the silent brothers,
and one said to the other: “We have seen nothing so fine as this in
France.” “Except the Sisters of Charity,” answered the other.

Footnote 38:

  _L’Héroïsme en Soutane._ By General Ambert. Paris: E. Dentu, Palais
  Royal. 1876.

One day Brother Nethelmus, of St. Nicholas’ School, Paris, was wounded
by a ball, which proved his death-blow two days later, and hardly was he
buried before a young man asked to see the superior, and said to him
very simply: “I am the younger brother of Nethelmus, and have come to
take his place.” “Have you your parents’ consent?” asked the superior.
“My father and mother blessed me before I left, and bade me come,” said
the youth, as if nothing was more commonplace.

The service of the wounded was the priests’ favorite field of work, and
it was in this that they most frequently met death themselves. The Abbé
Géraud, after the defeat of Mans, being chaplain of the Vendean
_francs-tireurs_, was seeking out the most dangerously placed among the
wounded. The latter had in many cases been abandoned by the drivers of
their ambulances, who, in the general rout and panic, had unharnessed
the horses and run away. On one of these carts were two soldiers and two
officers of “Mobiles”—one of whom tells the story—all badly wounded and
trembling with cold and ague. Many a man ran past them, intent on his
own safety and heedless of their piteous appeals, and the men despaired
of help, when they saw a priest running quickly towards them with cheery
looks and words, telling them he was looking for them. The first thing
he did was to take off all his available clothing to cover the men and
warm them a little; then, stopping some of the runaways, he begged,
promised, and reproached so effectually as to induce several to help
him. “Push the wheels, my fine fellows,” he cried, as he harnessed
himself to the shafts, and from the battle-field he drew the cart to a
village, where he never rested till he had begged for his charges food,
coverings, and straw, and at last a horse, with which he drove them to
the nearest hospital. He continued his labors throughout the war. The
Abbé de Beuvron, who has lived with the soldiers for fifteen years in
various times and climates, tells us of the priests at Fröschwiller,
who, after confessing and anointing the dying placed in the village
church, saved the wounded while the building was in flames, and
persuaded the Prussians who guarded the wells to let them have a few
drops of water for the sick; this blockade lasted for four days, after
which fifteen Alsatian peasants were condemned to be shot for having
mutilated the bodies of some Prussian soldiers. This system of shooting
the first-comer for a crime committed by an unknown person was one of
the most cruel features of the late war. These poor wretches, taken at
random—some mere boys, some old, infirm men—were tied with their hands
behind their backs to one thick rope which kept them all on a level. The
Protestant clergyman, who had himself gone to the general and asked the
lives of these men, came to beg M. de Beuvron to intercede for them; he
was equally unsuccessful, and, when he begged as a Catholic priest to be
allowed to see the condemned, the general smiled and said: “You are
welcome; I will give you an escort.” But on addressing the poor men the
priest found that they understood no French, and he could not speak
German. He pointed to heaven, and spread his hands while he gave them
absolution, and they, with one accord, fell on their knees, sobbed and
prayed, and bowed their heads. This solemn, silent service seems to us
as noble as the most magnificent of triumphant processions, with chants
and rejoicings, and imperial _cortége_ following—this, the last moment
between time and eternity, between faith and vision.

It is M. de Beuvron who has said with truth: “It is the country parish
priest who makes Catholic France.” And Prince Frederick Charles of
Prussia echoed this sentiment when he said at an official dinner in
1872, at the table of the Bavarian ambassador: “There is in France but
one class that is noble and patriotic, earnest, courageous, worthy of
respect, and really influential, and that is the clergy. Impossible not
to admire it as it appeared on the recent battle-fields.” Some of these
heroic men preserved their incognito; one is mentioned by the London
_Times’_ correspondent who followed the Saxon regiments. “There is a
man,” he writes, “whom I have noticed, since Sedan until the struggles
before the walls of Paris, constantly following the wounded. He has
neither horse nor conveyance, but, stick in hand, he follows the track
of the army, and, with the consummate finish of the man of the world and
the tenderness of a woman, he attends and comforts the dying. He is a
French priest, a Benedictine.... The other day I met him suddenly on a
field of battle, and he asked me to direct him to where the wounded
were. He had walked twenty miles that day. No government pays him; he is
a volunteer in the best sense of the word.... He is in the prime of
manhood, of handsome build, distinguished-looking, and with no less than
courtly manners.” Another unknown volunteer, but a layman, was found
dead at Forbach. No one had seen him till the day of the battle, and he
wore a dark dress and cap and a fancy rifle. At the moment when the
battle began he suddenly joined a brigade and fought like a hero. His
purse held a large sum of money in gold, and his linen, unmarked, was
remarkably fine, while round his neck was a medal hanging by a silken
ribbon. There was nothing to identify him.

But to return to our parish priests, of whom many refused rich rewards
and promotion after the war, as M. du Marhallach, who, though he
accepted the Legion of Honor, declined the bishopric of Quimper, and,
when his townsmen forced him to represent them in the National Assembly,
managed to resign before long and return to humbler scenes of usefulness
in his country parish. If a book were to be filled with incidents of the
devotedness of the country priests, there would yet be ten times as many
unknown and unrecorded. As the Prussians entered the village of Verrey,
slaying all in their way—men, women, and children—the _curé_, M. Frérot,
was almost ubiquitous among the dying. He was wounded twice with
bayonets, and, as he retreated into his garden, the soldiers fired and
wounded him twice more. He dragged himself to the doctor’s, where some
wounded were being attended to, and got his wounds dressed, when the
doctor, taking the flag of the Geneva Association with him, undertook to
get him safe into his own (the doctor’s) house, where some of the
wounded had been carried for safety. The enemy, heedless of the flag,
fell upon him again with ball, bayonet, and gun-stocks till he fell down
insensible. He died a few days after, glad, as he said, if his death
could be in any way useful to his country. Useful! Yes, as an example;
but how many precious lives are lost thus, while vile, worthless ones
preserve themselves! One can only compare the pouring out of such blood
to the “waste” of the precious ointment which our Lord so highly
commended.

The Abbé Miroy, of Cuchery, near Rheims, died another kind of death: he
was judicially murdered for having allowed arms to be hidden in the barn
of his house. When asked for this permission, he was in the first agony
of grief at the news of the death of his parents at a hamlet burnt by
the Prussians. However, whether responsible or not—and probably as a
Frenchman he saw no harm in passively helping in the defence of his
country—he was shot at Rheims, at daybreak, on a bleak February morning
and a Sunday. It was during the armistice. His people put this
inscription on his tomb-cross: “Here lies the Abbé Charles Miroy, who
died a victim to his love of country.”

M. Muller, parish priest of Sarreguemines, when asked for the keys of
his church, flatly refused to give them up, and, on being threatened,
answered:

“How many shots do you fire on a condemned man?”

“Eight and the '_coup-de-grâce_.’”

“Very well, then, before you cross the threshold of my church to
desecrate it fire these eight shots and the _coup-de-grâce_ at me; for
you shall only step in over my dead body.” There were many like
instances; for the priests knew well that the enemy delighted in
wantonly outraging the most sacred feelings of the people by profaning
and robbing their churches. A barbarous story is told (General Ambert
vouches for it) of the treatment undergone by the aged Abbé Cor, of
Neuville in the Ardennes, who had considerably delayed the march of the
Prussians by certain information given to the French, and who,
notwithstanding his age (he was more than eighty), was tied to a horse’s
tail and dragged along for a good distance, with another rope tied to
his leg, with which a soldier pulled him up whenever he fell. At last
the soldiers got tired, and threw him into a ditch, and, marvellous to
relate, he recovered. One of his parishioners cried out in pity: “O
father! what a state you are in.”

“Oh!” he answered cheerfully, with a twinkle in his eye, “it is only my
_old_ cassock!”

The parish priest of Gunstatt was brought before an improvised council
of war just after the battle of Forbach; what was requested of him the
book does not say, but his answer just before he was shot points to
something evidently against his country’s interests: “I prefer death to
the crime of betraying France.”

If these facts, which speak for themselves, allow us to make any
commentary, we can think of none so appropriate as this: how does this
France contrast with the feverish, theatrical, rationalistic, immoral
France presented to us by a certain wide-spread form of French
literature? No country is so libelled by its own writers as France.
Granted that many novels represent “life as it is,” yet it is not the
undercurrent of life, not the life of the majority. It is the
artificial, sensational, exceptional life of large cities and of
reckless cliques; and, besides this, novels have a trick of magnifying
this diseased life into illusive dimensions. It fills the eye of the
foreigner, it shapes his judgment, it draws his curiosity, till the
sober, prosaic, quiet, respectable, and vital life of the country fades
out of his memory. He forgets the _vie de province_, the impoverished
gentlemen living in dignified retirement, like Lamartine and his mother
at Milly, like the family in one part of a _Sister’s Story_, like
Eugénie de Guérin with her homely, housekeeping cares; the cosey homes
of the middle classes, their precise, thrifty, cheerful ways; the family
bond that enables different families to live patriarchally in a
fellowship which few Anglo-Saxons would or could imitate; the
peasant-proprietors with their gardens and little farms; the healthy
rural, natural life that is everywhere, and even _in_ cities; the
kindliness, the simplicity, and the innate refinement which ought to
make many a traveller of the Anglo-Saxon race blush for his surliness
and brutal, superficial, haughty way of setting down every foreigner as
a monkey or a barbarian.

Among the country priests there were not only heroes, but strategists.
Towards the beginning of the war a French column was on its way to join
the main body, and had to retreat through a hilly, wooded, and unknown
tract to avoid being surprised by the enemy. No one knew just what to do
or advise, and the little maps were very unsatisfactory. The general
stopped at a Lorraine village and sent for the authorities. The mayor
and most of the inhabitants had fled in anticipation of danger; only the
_curé_ was left, with a few sick and old people. He was over seventy
himself, tall and large, his hands and face swollen and his feet
protected by huge wooden shoes. The general did not hope for much advice
from him, but the old man sat down and explained that he was gouty and
unable to get about, but knew the country. When the general had joked
about this impromptu council of war, and the priest in return had
reminded him how often the church had had occasion to help the army
before, they examined the map together, and the _curé_ took a pencil and
quickly drew certain lines in a most business-like manner, calculating
how long such a road would take to traverse, how much headway would be
gained over the enemy, what points would be a safe resting-place for a
few hours for the tired troops, the route which, believing the bridge to
be destroyed, the Prussians would probably follow, the houses where the
general would find willing and able contributors to the necessities of
his men—in a word, every chance and every detail that an accomplished
commander would have thought of. Then he asked for four soldiers, two to
be placed in the steeple to look out for the Prussians and toll the bell
the moment they came in sight, and thus give the understood signal to
the column at its masked resting-place; and two to watch with him at the
entrance of the village.

“_Monsieur le curé_,” cried the general, “you are a hero!”

The old man sneezed violently—he took snuff—and laughed as well, as he
said: “_Mon général_, the seminaries are full of such heroes as _I_ am.
It is no heroism to love one’s country. Now, when you have given your
orders, I shall carry you off to the presbytery and give you a roast
chicken and some good omelet; and I think Turenne would have been glad
sometimes to barter a few of his laurel branches for an omelet.”

The priest and the two soldiers had a long and cold watch through the
night. At three o’clock in the morning the latter were getting tired,
but the old man said: “Hist! do you see something over there?” The men
peered through the dark and saw nothing; there was a wide circle of old
trees and a road across—a well-known spot, the Fontaine wood. But the
priest both saw and heard, or else he guessed by instinct. “See, they
are creeping nearly on all fours behind the trees; now they stop to
listen, they are gathering together. There is an officer speaking to
them in whispers. It is time to ring the bell. Go now, children.”

“But how can we leave you alone?” said the soldiers.

“Never mind me; God will take care of me. Your general’s orders were to
leave the moment the bell rang.” And as his companions withdrew he rang
his little bell and the church tocsin immediately answered. Its sound
was nearly drowned by the discharge of the Prussian rifles. The old man
knelt down and began the Lord’s Prayer; he had not said the second line
before a ball hit him and he fell. The French column escaped without the
loss of one man; and when the general reported to his superior in
command, the latter, lighting a cigar, said: “That priest was a brave
fellow.” But the general was to meet him once more. The _curé_ was not
killed, but was afterwards condemned to be shot, which sentence was
commuted to exile on account of his great age; and when he met his old
friend, who believed him dead, he greeted him with the cheerful
question: “Well, how did you like my omelet?” The other caught him in
his arms and repeated with as much tenderness as admiration: “You are a
hero!”

The next story we choose from the many related by Ambert is one of pure
Christian self-sacrifice, and one that has its daily counterpart in
hospitals and plague-stricken cities, even in peaceful times. Small-pox
in an aggravated form had broken out among the French troops, and, on
the approach of an infected battalion of Mobiles to a village not far
from Beaune, a _gendarme_ was sent on to bid the inhabitants lock their
doors and keep out of the way, while the sick were taken through to an
isolated camp-hospital at some distance. There were hardly any
able-bodied men left in the village, as they were off harassing the
Prussians and watching their movements, and the women, in their
loneliness, felt a double fear. The patients came. A death-like silence
prevailed; no face was seen at door or window. The sick men dragged
themselves slowly and painfully along, asking for nothing, touchingly
resigned to their lot of lepers and outcasts, though many of them were
raw recruits of a few weeks only, whose homes were in just such villages
as the familiar-looking one they were crossing now. They had passed the
last houses, but at the door of one a little apart from the rest one
soldier fell, and, seeing how hopeless it was to urge him further, a
sergeant placed him on the doorstep and knocked at the door for help. No
answer; and the battalion resumed its march, while the sergeant went
back to tell the mayor. When he was out of sight a man and two women
came hastily and furtively out of the house, carried the unconscious
soldier some distance to the foot of a tree, and there left him. The
sergeant had found the parish priest on his way back from a sick-call,
and asked him to tell the mayor, as he was in a hurry to join his
regiment. They came to the house, and, not finding the sick man, asked
the owner where he was; the man half opened the shutter and pointed in
silence to the tree. Without even seeking help, the priest, finding the
soldier still alive, carried him home in his arms and laid him on his
own bed. The hubbub was great in the parish; the old housekeeper
indignantly remonstrated, but the priest gave her a few clear and severe
orders as to her own liberty of staying away, and the substitute whom he
had the means of sending for to replace him in church, also the manner
of bringing him his food once a day, and then went out to speak to his
excited parishioners. “There,” he said, pointing to a placard on the
wall of the mayoralty, “you read 'Liberty, fraternity, equality.’ Am _I_
to be deprived of the _liberty_ of helping my neighbor? Is he not our
_equal_, and does not _fraternity_ require that we should give him every
chance for his life? I cannot forget that the good shepherd lays down
his life for his sheep.”

“But he does not even belong to the parish!” murmured the crowd.

“In such times as these,” said M. Cloti with enthusiasm, “all France is
my parish, and every brave fellow who dies for you is my parishioner.”

And for sixty-five days and nights he watched the stranger, Jean
Dauphin, made his bed every night, cooked his food, mixed his medicines,
swept the rooms, and scarcely slept or ate himself. The doctor had
insisted on the utmost cleanliness, but said that, with all precautions
possible, only a miracle could save the soldier’s life. Charity wrought
the miracle, and by the fortieth day the patient was sitting up
listening to the priest reading to him. Only one person in the village
caught the disease—the daughter of the man who had spurned the soldier
from his door; and, though she did not die of it, she lost her beauty
for ever. Some months after the doctor asked the priest if he knew at
the time that he was risking his life, and that there was but the barest
chance of escape for him. “Yes,” said M. Cloti simply, “I knew it.”

A terrible barbarity was the occasional punishment of the _bastonnade_—a
kind of “running the gauntlet.” This occurred once at the village of
Saint-Calais, where the enemy found some guns hidden in the belfry, and
one hundred and forty-five male inhabitants, including the mayor, Baron
Jaubert, and the priest, were seized. They were compelled to walk slowly
between a double row of Prussian soldiers armed with clubs and sticks,
and received merciless blows on their bare heads, their shoulders, back,
arms, and legs. The number being odd, the priest was placed last and
alone, so that both rows were able to reach and torture him. He fainted,
and was given a glass of water, after which the torture began again; and
when he fell the second time, his head was found to be split in five
places, and his body was thrown aside for dead. He recovered, however,
after a long and severe illness, but the baron died of his wounds. One
priest, at Ardenay, was maltreated and imprisoned and finally carried
away to Germany for having kept on his steeple a tricolor flag which had
been there since 1830. Some priests whom one can forgive for their
patriotism, but who were perhaps too forward, as ministers of peace, to
foment war, used to go on the battle-fields and search the bodies of the
dead for cartridges for the living; but these instances of enthusiasm
were exceptional, and it should be remembered that some among the clergy
were old soldiers.

Among the prisoners of war the priests found ample room for their
ministry. Some of the clergy were themselves prisoners, while some left
their country and volunteered for this special service. There was much
to do. Besides saying Mass and administering the sacraments, there were
the ignorant to instruct, the scoffers to convert, the young to protect,
and the intemperate to reclaim. In that forced idleness many gave
themselves up to drunkenness and grew reckless and desperate. This sin,
which in our time seems to have sprung into new life and strength,
showed itself lamentably strong among the captives, and the priests, to
counteract it, had to attend not only to the spiritual needs of their
charges, but to invent amusements and occupations to wean the soldiers
from gross self-indulgence. Father Joseph, a missionary and military
chaplain, published an interesting work on the prisoners, their
behavior, pastimes, etc., the statistics of their captivity, their
treatment, and such little things. During the war, more than 400,000
were taken prisoners. Letters with contributions came constantly through
and from the country _curés_. Father Joseph, who was stationed at Ulm,
quotes many of these letters, of which the following is a specimen: “I
venture to recommend to your care one of my parishioners, made prisoner
at Strasbourg. I recommend his soul to you—for it is his most precious
possession—but also his bodily wants; I am afraid he is in need of
clothes. If your circumstances allow it, be kind enough to give him what
is needful; if not, set the whole to my account, and I will reimburse
you. Our country will bless you for your charity.... May our soldiers,
whom so many have labored to demoralize, be led to understand these
truths; for then only will they be worthy of victory.” This dignified
attitude of resignation to the hard lesson God allowed the unsuccessful
war to teach France specially characterized the clergy of all ranks, but
it did not take one jot from their eager and hot patriotism. Another
country priest, over eighty years of age and nearly blind, begins by
excusing himself on that score for his bad handwriting, and, mentioning
one of his flock among the prisoners, says: “The poor boy must suffer
terribly. Help him and comfort him; I shall look upon all that you do to
him as done to me. It is long ago since it has been dinned into the
people’s ears that we are their foes, while in truth they have no better
friends; we are accused of not loving our country, while, on the
contrary, we are her most devoted sons.... I fear that my age will
prevent me seeing the end of her troubles, but it will be a comfort to
me in death that to my latest breath I shall have labored in her
service.” Charitable committees abroad and at home, mostly under church
superintendence, sent food, money, and clothing, books, papers, games,
etc., to the prisoners. Mgr. Mermillod’s committee at Geneva, and those
of Lausanne and Bordeaux, chiefly distinguished themselves; but in this
work religious fellowship overcame national prejudice, and the clergy
and sisters of the Catholic Rhineland cordially helped their so-called
enemies. They vied with the French in ministering to the prisoners in
the several cities where the latter were confined; but not only they,
for there were numberless Germans, both civil and military, who behaved
generously, kindly, and delicately towards the prisoners.

We have already mentioned the terrible custom of choosing at random
hostages or victims in reprisal for the acts of some unknown men. This
took place once at Les Horties, a village where, despite the Prussian
sentries, two hot-headed youths succeeded in picking off three German
soldiers. The shots were returned, but the agile youths got away
unscathed. A detachment was sent forthwith into the village, with orders
to seize the first six men they happened to meet. This was done, the
hostages guarded by the Prussians, and the mayor given till eleven
o’clock the next morning to give up the real offenders, under penalty,
if it proved impossible, of seeing the six men shot. Those who had fired
on the Prussians were strangers, who hovered constantly on the outskirts
of the enemy, accomplishing, most likely, some vow of vengeance for a
wrong done by soldiers to some near and dear to them. There were many
such. Heaven forgive them! for they brought untold sorrow on the heads
of families like their own, whose death they were so blindly trying to
revenge. It was out of the mayor’s power to give up the culprits, and no
prayers or tears made any impression on the Prussian officer in command.
The women’s lamentations were terrible; the men’s despair appalling. One
of them, a widower of forty with five children, was all but out of his
mind, blaspheming horribly and crying out: “Yes, yes, it was my
three-year-old Bernard who fired on the wretches. Let them take me and
my five boys, and let the rest go!” The priest, M. Gerd, was unable to
comfort him, and slowly left the school-room where the poor victims
waited their fate. Going to the headquarters of the German captain, he
said: “I believe you only wish to shoot these men as an example;
therefore the more prominent the victim, the greater the lesson. It
cannot matter to you individually _who_ is shot; therefore I have come
to beg of you as a favor to be allowed to take the place of one of these
men, whose death will leave five young children fatherless and homeless.
Both he and I are innocent, but my death will be more profitable to you
than even his.” “Very well,” said the officer, and the _curé_ was bound
with the rest of the men, and the man he had saved left him in tears.
The night passed, and, like the martyrs of Sébaste, whose fortitude was
strengthened by the young heathen who joined them in the stead of one of
themselves who had faltered, these unhappy men were transformed by the
priest’s words and examples into unflinching heroes. The hour came, and
he walked at their head, saying aloud the Office of the Dead, the people
kneeling and sobbing as he passed, when the condemned met a Prussian
major who was passing by chance with some orders from the general. He
was struck by the sight of the priest—an unusual one, even during this
“feast of horrors”—and inquired into the matter, which seemed less a
thing of course to him than it had to the captain. He countermanded the
order and referred the whole thing to the general, who called the _curé_
before him. It ended in the former saying that he was unable to make an
exception in any one’s favor, but that for _his_ sake he would pardon
every one of the hostages, and, when the priest had left, he turned to
his officers and said energetically: “If all Frenchmen were like that
plain parish priest, we should not have long to stay on this side of the
Rhine.”

But here is another story, very like this one and more tragic, which has
not come within Ambert’s knowledge, and to which we are indebted to an
English novelist, who, vouching for its truth, has worked it into a
recent tale. Neither name nor place is given, but it runs thus: The same
thing happened as at Les Horties, and a certain number—I forget how
many—male inhabitants were condemned, all fathers of families. After
vain appeals for mercy from the priest, the mayor, the old men, and the
women, the former called all his people into the church, which had been
pillaged and half burnt some time before. He went into the pulpit and
held up a common black cross; it was the only ornament or symbol left of
the simple village church treasury.

“My children,” he said in a voice trembling with sobs, “you know what
has happened, and how many hearths are going to be left desolate. Here,
in God, in Christ, is our only comfort and our only strength. I have no
ties but such as bind me to each one of you equally. I have but one life
to give, but I will gladly take the place of one of these fathers of
families, and trust to God to protect you when I am gone. Now, if any of
you feel that God will give you grace to die in the stead of any other
of your brethren, say so, and God bless you!” He knelt and bent his head
on his clasped hands in prayer; silence, only broken by suppressed
sobbing, filled the church. The women were in agonies of weeping; the
men’s faces worked as if in some mighty struggle. Presently one young
man rose up and said: “Father, I will follow you; I have neither wife
nor children. I will take such a one’s place.” And then rose another
youth, giving up all his hopes of the future for the sake of another of
the victims; and the women crowded round them, blessing them, crying
over them, pressing their hands, and calling them heroes and deliverers.
Those for whom no substitutes had appeared caught the high spirit of the
occasion, and bore their fate like Christians and men. No Providence
interposed in this case, and the priest was allowed to consummate his
sacrifice. Such courage was more than human.

The part taken by the sisters of various orders in the scenes of the war
and the Commune was one which neither France nor Germany will ever
forget. They shared every danger to which the soldiers themselves were
liable, even that of being shot in cold blood, which was the fate of
four sisters at Soultz, near Colmar, on the Rhine. They were found
nursing the wounded, and the Prussians accused them of advising and
encouraging the inhabitants to resist. There was no inquiry, no form,
but a few of the scum of the invading army dragged the women away at
once, set them against a wall, and shot them. During the retreat after
the battle of Reischoffen a Sister of Charity made her way among the
disorganized troops, seeking some one to help. Balls and shells were
whizzing past, and frightened horses wildly galloping by. A cry was
heard as a man fell mortally wounded, and the sister stopped, knelt
down, and began her work; but hardly a minute after a ball struck her
and carried off both her legs. She fell in a swoon by the soldier’s
side. M. Blandeau, who tells the story, did not know her name; he only
says pointedly: “She was a Sister of Charity.” An officer of the French
Army of the Rhine gives an account of a Trinitarian nun, Sister Clara,
who the night of the 16th of August, 1870, after a bloody battle, was
tending the wounded in a barn; they were in such pain as not to be able
to bear being carried to a safer place, and all they cried for was
“Water, water!” Every five minutes the nun went quietly in and out,
under the fire of the enemy, to fetch as much water as her scanty number
of vessels would hold; you would have thought she was armor-plated, to
judge by her calm and smiling demeanor. The next day began the dreary
retreat towards Metz; the wounded were heaped on carts and wagons, and
there again was Sister Clara, comforting, helping, encouraging the men,
giving water to one, changing the position of another. She left on the
last cart, holding against her breast the head of the nearest wounded
man; but not half a mile further the column was made prisoner by a
detachment of Uhlans, the ambulances cut off, and in the _mêlée_ a shot
struck and killed the sister, who was probably buried by and among
strangers. At Forbach the superior of the Sisters of Providence, whose
house was a hospital and asylum at all times, was killed by a shell, and
at Metz no less than twenty-two Sisters of Charity died either from
wounds, disease, or exhaustion in the service of the soldiers. At
Bicêtre, during the siege of Paris, eleven died of small-pox in one day,
and a request having been made for the same number to supply their
place, thirty-two presented themselves at once. At Pau, at Orleans, at
Mans, at Nevers, and in numberless other cities, as well as in impromptu
hospitals, canvas towns, villages, and battle-fields, the Little Sisters
of the Poor, the Sisters of Charity, the Visitation Nuns, and other
orders too many to mention distinguished themselves. Many sisters were
forced later on to accept the Legion of Honor, but a far greater number
of those who deserved it did not live to have it offered. At the siege
of Paris their courage seemed absolutely superhuman. An officer once met
near Châlons, on the road to Paris, a blind and wounded soldier led by a
Sister of Charity. He was an old veteran from Africa, without relations,
of a terrible temper, and with not much religion. The Prussians had left
him on the road, finding him an encumbrance among the prisoners. The
sister found him and undertook to lead him to the _Invalides_, where,
she said, he had every right to claim a home. In all weathers this
strange couple plodded along. She begged food and shelter for him, and
always gave him the best; but he was fractious and not very grateful.
One day the weather was a little finer, and he heard a lark sing; he
seemed quite touched and happy. The sister asked him to kneel down and
repeat the “Our Father” after her, and he did not refuse. This was the
beginning of his conversion. But the Sister now grew ambitious, and
wanted to restore his physical sight to him as well as his spiritual; so
she said: “We will not go to the _Invalides_ after all, but I will take
you to the best surgeons and the most famous oculists in Paris, and beg
them, for the love of God and their country, to do their utmost to cure
you; and if God sees fit to let them succeed, you will promise me to be
a good Christian as long as you live, will you not?” Three months later
the soldier was as hearty as ever and had recovered his sight, while the
sister had long been at work in a country school; but at Notre Dame des
Victoires may be often seen a veteran praying on his knees before the
grated door of the shrine—praying for his deliverer.

The Pontifical Zouaves formed a volunteer regiment of their own during
the war, and fought like lions; most of their members were the
descendants of old French families whose sympathies are with the last of
the exiled Bourbons, and who, while they reject the empire and the
republic equally, and keep out of the way of office or active employment
of any kind, even to the prejudice of their career and to the point that
many of their young men are forced to make a life for themselves in
foreign service or by emigration, yet are full of real love of their
country. The virtues of such enthusiasts always come out in adversity,
while in prosperity their attitude of aloofness may seem rather
childish. In the last war they fought nobly. Plenty of Breton peasants
joined them; they have nearly the same traditions and fully the same
faith; in fact, they have long been natural allies.

The incidents of the Commune—a period so much more terrible and shameful
than that of the war—have been so often and fully described that we will
not add much to this sketch by going over the fearfully familiar
subject. Every one knows the phase of rabid feeling which came uppermost
among the Communists: the hatred of God, religion, and priests—even a
more rabid feeling than that entertained towards owners of property. The
clergy were thus forced to be prominent in that national delirium: the
chief victims were ecclesiastics. In Paris and other places it has been
noticed that a certain class of lazy, good-for-nothing men live from
hand to mouth around the barracks and the churches, living on the alms
of soldiers and priests, inventing excuses to account for their
indolence, cheating and lying and taking ravenously all they can get.
When a revolution comes, these men become denunciators, assassins, and
leaders. It is they who cry the loudest against the army and the
priesthood—the “butchers” of Versailles and the “hypocrites” in
cassocks. Raoul Rigault spoke their sentiments when he said to the
porter of M. Duguerry’s house (the famous parish priest of La Madeleine,
shot with Archbishop Darboy at La Roquette): “God! you fool!” (the man
had exclaimed, as is the custom, innocently meant, in France, '_O mon
Dieu!_') “Hold your tongue; how dare you speak of God! Our revolution is
against your God, your religion, and your priests. We will sweep all
that rubbish away!” And, by way of contrast to this plain confession of
faith, here are the words of M. Duguerry in prison to his biographer,
the Baron de Saint-Amand: “My dear friend, if I knew that my death would
be of any use to the cause of religion, I should kneel down and beg them
to shoot me.” But it is not necessary to multiply quotations to show the
intense hatred of the Commune towards religion and its ministers. Holy
Week in 1871 was indeed the _Passion_ Week of many of the latter. The
devilish conduct of many women recalled the worst excesses of the Reign
of Terror. A woman with a military cap on rode at the head of the escort
of the hostages, three of them Jesuit Fathers, who were taken from La
Roquette to Belleville to be shot. She swore and yelled and gave orders,
insulting the priests especially. On the Boulevards, as the condemned
passed, riots took place, and disorderly crowds nearly killed the
prisoners in their impatience. Women again were prominent, brandishing
guns, knives, and pistols, throwing bloody mud on the priests, and
blaspheming as badly as any man; it would have been safer to run the
gauntlet of a crowd of maniacs let loose from the asylum. Mgr. Surat was
killed in the streets on another occasion by a young girl of sixteen,
who deliberately put a pistol to his forehead. “Mercy, mademoiselle!”
cried the priest quickly; but with an untranslatable slang play on his
words[39]—equivalent, say, to “You shall have it hot and peppery,” or
some such phrase—she drew the trigger and stretched him dead at her
feet. The Abbé Perny, in his evidence before the council of war, says:
“I have lived among the savages for twenty-five years, but I never saw
among them anything to equal the hatred on those faces of men and women
as we passed them on our way from Mazas to La Roquette.”[40] Father
Anatole de Bengy, a Jesuit, was a remarkable man who had been military
chaplain in the Crimea, and was volunteer chaplain of the troops during
the last war till the siege, when he attached himself to the Eighth
Ambulance. He had a singular power of commanding the love, obedience,
and confidence of others; he was brave and good-tempered, and such a
thorough soldier that Marshal Bosquet said of him: “Upon my word, if
there are many Jesuits of that kind, _I_ say hurrah for the Jesuits!”
His letters are full of pleasantry and life. He tells his friends how he
helps “our poor soldiers,” and jokes about his tramps with “his bundle
on his back,” which phrase, he says, “always rouses a certain pity in
the listener; but indeed, my dear Aymard, the bundle (_le sac_) does not
deserve its bad name: it urges the body forward, and its inconveniences
are fully made up for by the advantages it gives rise to. Some thinker
should undertake the Praise of the Bundle, and rehabilitate it in the
eyes of pilgrims.” The words of this manly and brave priest at the
funeral of Commander de Dampierre would serve as his own eulogy: “The
fountain-head of duty is in the three world-famous words, _God wills
it_.” When his name was called at La Roquette, on the list of condemned,
the Communist official stumbled over it, and Père de Bengy stepped
briskly forward, saying: “I know my name is on the list—Bengy; here I
am.” M. Crépin, a shoe-maker, who was condemned, but saved by the
entrance of the troops, saw the butchery of Belleville, and in his
evidence said: “Let no one speak ill of the clergy before me again! I
have seen them at home now; I know them by experience; I have witnessed
their courage and been comforted by their words.”

Footnote 39:

  _Tu l’auras maigre et non pas gras_ (_grasse—grâce_).

Footnote 40:

  At Ménilmontant a woman named Lefêvre proposed, amid cheers and
  bravos, to undermine the Cathedral of Notre Dame, fill it as full as
  it would hold with priests and nuns, and blow it up. At a club-meeting
  another woman—Leblanc—cried: “We must flay the priests alive and make
  barricades with their carcasses”; and at Trinity Church a woman argued
  thus on the existence of God: “Religion is a farce got up by men, and
  there is no God; ... if there were, he would not let me speak so.
  Therefore he is a coward, and no God....” And there were other and
  even more revolting things said and done.

The Dominicans of Arcueil transformed their school into an ambulance
during the siege, and Père Bengy happened to be chosen chaplain. But the
Commune was to elicit greater sacrifices. The monks might have left, but
did not, and reopened their hospital for the wounded wild beasts, whose
curses sounded upon their watchers even from their sick-beds. The Geneva
flag was hoisted, and the Sisters of St. Martha acted as domestic
servants, besides many other women and girls. There were twenty wounded
in the hospital on the 19th of May, 1871, when the Commune arrested the
inmates of the house, thirty-eight persons—priests, lay brothers,
tradesmen and servants in their employment, some of them foreigners,
nuns, married women and widows, two young girls, and a child of eight
years old, daughter of the tailor, who was afterwards shot with the
priests. The latter were, with a devilish show of mercy, offered their
liberty if they would take arms against the Versailles troops, and, when
they refused, they were condemned. Their death took place a few days
later, and the shooting was not done with military precision, but
bunglingly, so that the victims were rather butchered than shot. After
the bodies had ceased to breathe they were savagely mutilated, the heads
and larger bones hacked with axes, and the flesh pierced with bayonets.
Some of the priests managed to escape in the crowd and smoke, all of
them wounded, however; and one was saved by a woman who hurriedly threw
her husband’s clothes to him. According to the saying of a National
Guard who escorted the Belleville victims to their death, and who, on
being asked by a passer-by, “Where are they taking those men to?”
answered gravely, “To heaven,” the road these priests walked was truly
the “narrow road that leadeth to salvation.”

Surely, if any class of French citizens did their duty in troublous
times and deserve well of their country, it is the clergy.



                        DE VERE’S “MARY TUDOR.”
                                PART II.


We said, in our last article,[41] that the Catholic reader would find
this second play much more painful than the first. We are sure, too,
that the non-Catholic reader will deem it inferior in point of interest.
Yet we do not agree with the London _Spectator_ that there is an
“artistic chasm” between the two plays. At any rate, whatever
constructive defects are to be found in the present performance, there
is no falling off in dramatic power.

Footnote 41:

  THE CATHOLIC WORLD, March, 1877, p. 777. We regret to be informed by
  the publisher that this really great drama is now out of print.

The play is preluded by an “Introductory Scene,” in which Mary is
discovered prostrate on the tomb of Jane Grey. This does not at all
surprise us after the remorse we have witnessed in the last scene of the
preceding play. Holding herself criminally responsible for the execution
of her cousin, it was natural for her to perform “penances severer than
the Church prescribes.” The gentle Fakenham—now Abbot of Westminster—may
well express anxiety for his penitent.

                            “Pray God
    Her mind give way not: sorely is it shaken.
    These tearful macerations of the spirit,
    These fasts that chain all natural appetites,
    Nor mortify the sinful flesh alone,
    Must be restrained: or death will close the scene.”

While he is soliloquizing Gardiner enters with Elizabeth. Fakenham has
requested the latter’s presence.

                      “Whate’er hath passed,
    Be sure her Grace hath ever truly loved you.
    Therefore we trust your coming may dispel
    The baleful visions that enthrall her spirit;
    Dispersed, as fiends before rebuking Saints.”

Elizabeth answers:

    “You hope too much. Awakened jealousy
    Preys on her, like the Egyptian’s asp.”

But she is mistaken; for presently the queen, on recognizing the “veiled
mourner,” says tenderly:

                                   “I part
    The tresses on thy brow; and gaze upon thee
    _With the strong yearning of a blighted love_.
    I know thee, sister! Take me to thine arms—
    And let me weep.”

The weeping revives Mary’s energy, but that energy takes a shape in
which we see the old despair combined with a new fanaticism.

    “ELIZABETH.     These mingling tears wash out
    All venom from past sorrow—”

    QUEEN.               “Not from mine!
    Immedicable evil hath infected
    The fount of life within me. I shall die
    In premature decay; and fall aside
    As withered fruit falls from a blasted branch.
    I, like a mother by her dying babe,
    Have closed the eyes of hope; and o’er my heart
    Torpid despair fans with his vampire wings.”

Then, suddenly apostrophizing the “Eternal Majesty,” she appeals, as one
“hemmed in by dark conspiracies” and “baited by schismatics,” for
“prescience to detect” and “strength to control them”; deeming herself,
once more, “the Lord’s Vicegerent,” to execute his judgments.

    “Fly, brood of darkness! for my prayer hath risen:
    And God will hear, and smite, as once he smote
    The sin of Korah: and the earth shall ope
    And swallow blasphemy; and plagues leap forth
    Consuming impious men: even _till the Church,
    Swinging her holy censer in the midst,
    Shall stay the pestilence_, God’s wrath appeased!”

This is a fine allusion to the destruction of the three schismatical
upstarts in the wilderness; and it is surprising to see a Protestant
author attribute to Catholics so much knowledge of the Bible.
Nevertheless, poor sinful mortals never make a greater mistake than when
they fancy themselves ministers of what they call the “justice” of Him
“whose thoughts are not as our thoughts.”

Perhaps Fakenham was about to make some such reply; for this
poet-created Mary Tudor—after pausing, we suppose, to take
breath—continues:

    “Answer me not. I rise from this cold grave,
    My penitential couch, with heart as frozen
    As the dead limbs beneath, and will unbending
    As this hard stone that shuts her from the world.”

Thus we are fully prepared for anything she may do; yet, in fact, she
proves singularly innocuous.

The play opens with a discussion between Gardiner and Fakenham on the
subject of the queen’s marriage. Both are agreed that she ought to
marry, for the good of State and Church; but either has his eye on a
very different candidate for her hand. The abbot’s candidate is Reginald
Cardinal Pole—a character to whom our author does full justice as among
the loftiest of his time. Fakenham thus describes him as a “student at
Padua”:

                  “A nobler presence
    Never embodied a more gracious soul:
    Ardent, yet thoughtful; in the search of knowledge
    Unwearied, yet most temperate in its use.
    _Whate’er he learned he wore with such an ease,
    It seemed incorporated with his substance;
    And beamed forth, like the light that emanates
    From a saint’s brow._”

And again:

                “Oft have I watched him sitting
    For hours, on some rude promontory’s edge,
    Wrapt in his mantle, his broad brow, sustained
    With outspread palm, o’ershadowing his eyes.
    And there, as one of Titan birth, he lingered
    In strange community with nature; mingling
    With all around—the boundless sky, the ocean,
    The rock, the forest—looking back defiance
    Unto the elements: _as some lone column
    Beneath the shadow of a thunder-cloud_.”

For the thought in these last six lines Sir Aubrey seems indebted to
Lord Byron, that poet “of Titan birth”—who, indeed, would have sat for
the picture far better, we imagine, than Pole; except that, instead of
“looking defiance at the elements” (an attitude for which we see no
reason in Pole’s case either), his face would have shown ecstatic joy at
“mingling with all around.”

    “Ye elements, in whose ennobling stir
    I feel myself exalted!”

    (_Childe Harold_, canto iv.)

The way Gardiner sneers at Fakenham’s candidate, and then introduces his
own, affords us an opportunity of correcting the author’s misconceptions
of this prelate. First, then, there is no proof whatever that Gardiner
was blood-thirsty, or even severe. Had he been the relentless persecutor
he is popularly represented, his own diocese of Winchester would have
become the scene of numerous executions for heresy; whereas, in fact,
not one such execution can be shown to have taken place there. Neither,
again, is there any more evidence that he egged on Mary to acts of
cruelty. If he did make the attempt, he failed signally; for the real
Mary Tudor was personally guiltless of a single act of intolerance even.
The only authentic instance in which Gardiner played the part of evil
genius to the queen was when he urged her to retain the Royal Supremacy
established by her father—her title and authority as head of the English
Church—a counsel which elicited the witty reply: “Women, I have read in
Scripture, are forbidden to speak in the church. Is it, then, fitting
that _your_ church should have a dumb head?” At the time of giving this
bad advice Gardiner belonged to the anti-papal party—which, of course,
was therefore schismatical, though nominally Catholic. And this
time-serving adhesion was the one great sin of his life. He repented of
it some time before his death, and publicly lamented it in a sermon at
St. Paul’s Cross, preached on occasion of the reconciliation of the
kingdom with the Holy See; nevertheless, the memory of it so weighed
upon his conscience when he lay on his death-bed that he asked to have
the Passion of Our Saviour read to him, and, when the reader came to the
denial of Peter, said: “Stop! I, too, have denied my Lord with Peter;
but I have not learned to weep bitterly with Peter.”

We may here remark that, had our author been acquainted with the above
facts of Gardiner’s history, he would not have sacrificed truth to
poetic effect by making him die suddenly after the burning of Cranmer;
nor, again, have put into his mouth such an un-English argument as this
against Pole’s fitness to share the throne with Mary:

                  “He is _but an Englishman_:
    And ’tis an adage older than the hills
    That prophets are not honored in their land.”

One so anxious, as Gardiner must have been at that time, to keep
_foreign domination_ out of England could never have advocated the
marriage of his sovereign with “Spanish Philip,” nor, indeed, have been
likely to call the latter’s father

    “That wisest monarch, most devout of Christians,
    Potent of captains, fortunate of men.”

But, of course, the poet stands to his colors. Having selected Gardiner
for the villain _par excellence_, he makes him welcome even foreign
domination in the person of a bigoted prince, who, he knows, will imbrue
his hands in the blood of heretics.

Philip does not come upon the scene till the third Act; but the
intervening scenes form a prelude to his advent.

First we have the queen in council on the question of her marriage, and
particularly of the Spanish prince’s suit. While asking Gardiner’s
advice she betrays her love for Reginald, and is quickly crushed into
abandoning that hope by the chancellor’s daring assurance that her
cousin is certainly Pope. Accordingly, she yields reluctant assent to
the prayer of Philip’s ambassador. Then, in the same scene, follows a
“patient hearing” of Ridley and Latimer, whose contumacious spirit is
well shown by the dramatist. Mary treats them with great forbearance,
and leaves them to ponder what she has said. The closing passage of this
scene is noteworthy. Latimer boasts:

                     “O queen! that day is past
    When spiritual knowledge was confined to priests.
    Our very babes drink knowledge as they suck.
    Each stripling, as he runs, plucks from each bough
    The fruit of knowledge.”

Mary’s reply is of surprising force and beauty:

                            “Ah, sirs, have a care!
    The tree of knowledge was an evil thing,
    _With root in hell, and fruitage unto death_.
    But in the self-same garden likewise grew
    Another mystery, the tree of life.
    This too bore fruit, unseen till after-time:
    And this was Christ. Children of Adam, we,
    _Condemned to cultivate what first we stole,
    Must tend the second tree with watchful love,
    Or perish by the poison of the first_.”

The remaining scene of this Act and the opening scene of the next are
taken up chiefly with the disturbance occasioned by the approaching
nuptials. Underhill, the “Hot-Gospeller,” is introduced, together with
riotous citizens and the antagonists Sandys and Weston. Underhill is an
honest fellow, and loyal to his queen, whose panegyrist he becomes at
the play’s close. Though the rioters are in the minority, the rebellion
becomes strong enough to attack Whitehall Palace, where Mary is seen at
the opening of the second Act. Her masculine valor is here displayed.
First she leans from the window to encourage her soldiers, then actually
sallies forth to head them in person, and wins the day by thus risking
her life. In the second scene Underhill excites the indignation of
Sandys by his chivalrous defence of the queen not only as the one

    “Whom the Lord gives to rule o’er Israel,”

but for her clemency.

    “UNDERHILL. _The queen is not well served_.
        You heard yourself
    How, leaning from the Holbein gallery,
    Where she so long stood target to your shafts,
    She bade her furious knights to spare, and spake
    Peace to the suppliant throng.”

    “SANDYS.                    Yet your fierce captains
    Do ramp along the streets with bloody staves,
    Hunting the white-faced citizens like rats;
    Or at their own doors summarily hang them.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “UNDERHILL. Not fifty thus have died: a sorrowful sum
    If measured by domestic pangs, yet _small
    If balanced by the evil of their plots_:
    Small if contrasted with the precedents
    Of former feuds. In Henry’s time, they say,
    Full seventy thousand their viaticum
    Had from the hangman.”

But our author does more than make Underhill her apologist. He seems
anxious, every now and then, to remind us that he privately thinks much
better of his heroine than the history he has read allows him to
represent. He sets off the gentler side of her nature in strong contrast
to the vindictive, and, indeed, attributes the latter to inherited
qualities for which she is not responsible. Accordingly, in the third
and fourth scenes of the second Act Mary’s generous forgivingness, and
especially to Elizabeth, shines out gloriously.

Count Egmont, Philip’s envoy, has placed upon her finger his master’s
betrothal ring, when Renaud, the Spanish ambassador, strikes in with:

                                “Permit me
    To be so bold as to suggest ’twere prudent
    His Grace delayed till treason be put down.
    _Too many prisoners your Grace releases_.

    QUEEN. It was the custom of my forefathers
    To pardon criminals upon Good Friday.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    RENAUD.                Pardon me: there may be
    Some guiltier. Our prince must be kept back
    Should your Grace yield to mistimed clemency.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Forgive my plainness. Can King Philip come
    While criminals remain unjustified?
    _Your sister waits her trial._

    GARDINER.                      Let me speak.
    While she, the princess, lives, there is no safety
    For England, for the Church.”

Here Bridges, Lieutenant of the Tower, enters with a sealed warrant.

    “BRIDGES. Your Grace will pardon, if, in a case like this,
    Your servant feels misgiving. This sealed warrant
    Commands me yield the princess—to be dealt with
    As sentence shall direct.

    QUEEN.                    O thou good servant!
    Thy queen, on her heart’s knees, thanks and rewards thee.
    Whose is this deed? By God’s death, answer me!
    Ay, Gardiner, thou shalt answer for this thing,
    If thou hast done it.

    GARDINER.             Let me see the paper.
    A sorry trick to fright the princess! Trust me,
    I had no hand in it.      [_He tears the warrant._

    QUEEN.                  _Inhuman hounds!
    That worry your poor victim ere you slay it._
    But I shall balk your malice. Silence, Gardiner!
    Too much already hath been said: your tongues
    Are deadlier than poison. Bridges, through you,
    Who pitied poor Jane Grey, I shall henceforth
    Secure my sister. You have known and loved her.
    You are my servant now. Receive your knighthood.”

Thus foiled in their design, Renaud and Gardiner pretend, of course,
that they did not for a moment mean the death of the princess, but only
her removal; and the Spaniard goes on to explain that this “removal” was
to be effected “by a bridegroom’s sweet compulsion”—mentioning Philibert
of Savoy as a suitor—and then, finding that offer contemptuously
rejected, suggests “the kind keeping of the Hungarian queen.”

    “QUEEN.            Be content, sir.
    _My sister hath but one friend in this council—
    Myself_, companion of her youth. _It may be
    She hath compassed ill against me: yet will not I,
    Who fostered her lone childhood, now destroy her
    By death or exile._ You are malcontent.
    Conform ye to my will: I shall not swerve.”

In the following scene, where Mary and Elizabeth have it all to
themselves, the generosity of the former is the more touching by reason
of her reproaches, which Elizabeth can only answer by acting a part
which such a dissembler could very easily feign. Mary shows strong
grounds for suspecting her loyalty, but nobly acquits her and replaces
on her finger the ring which was the pledge of love between them,
saying:

    “Or innocent or guilty, I forgive you.”

We regret that space does not allow us to transcribe this scene in full.

We pass to the third Act, which introduces the two best-drawn characters
of the play—Philip and Reginald Pole.

In these two men the author has illustrated—perhaps unconsciously—the
antipodal extremes of the moral results of the Catholic religion. In
Pole we see a character perfectly Christlike in its mixture of majesty
with gentleness; in Philip one who has degraded faith into superstition,
and made doctrines and means of grace the instruments of selfishness and
passion. The greater the good in a system, the greater the evil into
which it may be perverted. The amiable Fakenham tells Gardiner, in the
previous scene, his mind about the Spaniard’s portrait:

                       “A moody man,
    Whose countenance is ghastly, bearing dismal:
    For ever wrangling, rude. His glance is sinister,
    Stealthy: his laughter a sardonic sneer.
    _I would rather face a vulture o’er a corpse,
    Than such a man, whose hell is in himself._
    He is a tree of death.”

Gardiner may well wince as he replies:

              “You have a caustic brush:
    The canvas burns beneath it.”

Yet poor Queen Mary fondly looks forward to the coming of her affianced
as (to borrow Byron’s exquisite metaphor)

             “the rainbow of her future years—
    Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears.”

Neither does she betray any foreboding in consequence of the storm that
ushers in her wedding-day. The bridegroom, on the contrary, peevishly
exclaims:

    “A sorry day for our solemnities!
    I kiss this crucifix. Avert the omen,
    Most holy James of Compostella!”

_He_ does not see in this conjugal union

    “The cloud-compelling harbinger of love.”

The “omen” is not unfelt, though, by some of the spectators,
particularly when Doctor Sandys gives tongue about it. The wedding-scene
is simple enough. The queen says, very prettily, when Philip offers a
diamond ring:

                    “Nay, my lord:
    I would be wed, like any other maiden,
    With the plain hoop of gold.”

It is the remaining half of the play which makes the whole so inferior
to the first play. Not that, as we have said, there is any deficiency of
dramatic power. Philip and the cardinal are masterfully handled. Full
justice, too, is done—from the author’s stand-point—to the characters of
Gardiner, Cranmer, and the rest. But a thick gloom overhangs the entire
picture; and the glaring historical untruth of much of it is no relief
to Catholic eyes.

Philip and Pole clash instantly. The Spaniard has a presentiment of this
at the moment when Sir John Gage announces

    “The cardinal legate’s boat hath touched the beach.

    QUEEN. The cardinal arrived! My dear, dear cousin!
    Go, my lord chamberlain—go, Sir John Gage,
    And bear our greetings to his Eminence.
    Let his legantine cross be borne before him;
    And all appliances of holy state
    Attend his blessed footsteps. This our king,
    And we, shall welcome him on Whitehall stairs.

    PHILIP. You are right gracious to the cardinal.
    In Spain we condescend less.

    QUEEN.                        Ah! you’ll love him,
    As I do, when familiarly you know him.

    PHILIP.   I somewhat doubt it.”

In the next scene, when the cardinal has congratulated the queen on the
return of England to the faith—telling the nation:

                              “Be sure
    The light devolving from great Gregory
    Still shines from Peter’s chair. Who turns from it
    Renounces hope. Peace ripens in its beams”—

and Mary has joyfully responded:

    “Here stand we without question, king and queen;
    And, with our Parliament, implore the pope
    For reconciliation. Take this missive:
    It is sincere. Kneeling we crave your blessing!”—

Philip interjects:

    “Your Eminence shall pardon my stiff knees—
    Stiff, Spanish manners. Ha! I cannot kneel.”

No wonder the queen faints as the cardinal blesses her.

Philip, having thus early begun with insolence, loses no time in showing
the mixture of brute and devil that he is. He threatens to leave England
because his sanguinary counsels are not taken; whereupon we are rejoiced
to see the author make Mary as well as Pole defend the policy of “free
discussion.” Of course Gardiner supports Philip eagerly. Presently—so
outrageous is Philip’s conduct to his wife—the cardinal’s indignation
can contain itself no longer, and his dignified remonstrance stings the
king into exclaiming:

    “Were I a basilisk, I’d look thee dead!”

Gardiner urges Pole to retire; but the hero answers:

                  “Not so. My heart is strong:
    And like some stalwart wrestler, who hath need
    Of exercise, and doubts nor heart nor limb,
    I shrink not from the combat. _He who carries
    His cross, a daily burden, well may stand
    In front of any giant of the ring
    Who boasts he can move spheres._”

And again he warns the monster:

                        “Ay: you are great
    Above us by your station, as the vulture
    Upon his mountain pinnacle. What then?
    The arrow makes a pathway in the air:
    _The peasant’s hands can reach the feathered tyrant_,
    _And from the vale quench his despotic eye_.”

—“Vulture,” mark: not eagle.

We find a profound study in Mary’s love for Philip, and particularly in
its persistence. How she could feel toward such a man anything beyond
wife-like duty—she, too, who had loved Reginald Pole from her
childhood—is mysterious indeed. It will doubtless be said that the poet
intends this new love for a part of her madness—like her passion for the
worthless Courtenaye: her craving for love being such as to invest any
spouse with “Cytherea’s zone.” Then, again, the treatment Pole receives
at Philip’s hands, and his sublime bearing under it, ought to have the
result of alienating her affections from the Spaniard even more than the
latter’s behavior to herself. Hear her cry, one moment:

                          “Poor heart!
    Thou wilt not break! Insult unmitigated!
    Witnessed—by him!—by Pole! O Reginald!
    Avenged!”

And the next, see her so overjoyed by an usher announcing “the king”
that she springs up from the suppliant posture in which she has just
been praying

                          “that even as the thief
    On the third cross I may have peace in heaven”—

springs up, and exclaims wildly:

                  “The king! King Philip!
    O speed him hither! Stay: here’s for thy news—
    A jewel from my finger. Haste thee, friend.”

And again, though his Majesty enters “moodily,” she can actually greet
him thus:

    “O Philip. Philip! art thou come to me?
    _And shall there not now be an end of weeping?_
    I was thinking of thee—whom else think I of?
    I talked of thee—of whom is all my talking?
    But thou art here again: _and my poor heart,
    Like a caged bird, is beating at its bars,
    To fly forth to the comfort of thy bosom_.
    Speak—speak—_my soul_! and give me peace.”

Verily, this _is_ madness! Who has ever seen so extraordinary a picture
of woman before? Has not the poet drawn something impossible? Not at
all. He simply displays, we think, an unusual knowledge of the feminine
heart. A much less acquaintance with that organ should prevent surprise
at any phenomena it may exhibit—particularly in the shape of undeserved
love or unreasoning constancy.

Of course the poor woman’s fondness only irritates her lord, instead of
appeasing him; so he tells her bluntly what he has come for—to deliver
his ultimatum; which is, first, the removal of the legate; and,
secondly, the death of the heretical prelates. Of his feeling towards
the cardinal he says:

    “Call it not hatred, but antipathy:
    Such as the callow chicken feels for hawks,
    Or wild horse for the wolf. Aversion call it:
    That wraps me in a cold and clammy horror
    When we approach. I know he cannot harm me;
    _And have small doubt he would not if he could_.
    But still, my flesh creeps if I do but touch him,
    As when one strokes a cat’s hair ’gainst the grain.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                              Odious is his garb
    Of ostentatious purple; jewelled hands;
    _That beard down-streaming like the chisel’d locks
    Of Moses from the hand of Angelo_.”

Like a gleam of sunshine, for a moment, comes a happy description of a
visit from Elizabeth to the queen. Underhill is the narrator. It is in
the ninth scene of this too long third Act.

                          “Her royal barge
    Was garlanded with flowers, festooned around
    An awning of green satin, richly broidered
    With eglantine and buds of gold. The bright one
    Beneath this canopy reclined in state,
    Fairer than Cleopatra with her Roman.
    Her royal sister on the bowery shore
    Of Richmond met her, kissing her 'tween whiles;
    Her wan cheek flushing to a healthier glow.
    With hospitable care, and love, she led
    Elizabeth to where, shrined in green leaves
    And flowers, a tent, curtained with cloth of gold
    And purple samite, stood; whose folds were wrought
    With silver fleur-de-lys and gold pomegranates.
    The music they so love breathed in their ears
    Like amorous blandishment: and when the morn
    Rippled along the wave with soberer ray,
    The princess stept once more into her barge,
    And floated down the current like a swan.”

Yet one more quotation from this Act; for we shall have but little to
cite from Acts fourth and fifth. The cardinal, after arguing with
Gardiner against the severe measures that are being taken under his and
Bonner’s supervision, and defending the queen from the charge of
approval—her consent having been forced, and things of which she was
ignorant done in her name—finds relief in conversing with Fakenham,
whose virtues he thoroughly appreciates. The latter speaks of his
friend’s failing strength; and Pole, at a loss to account for it, says
he has “heard of vampire poisons,” but instantly suppresses the
suspicion. They have been up all night, apparently.

    “CARDINAL.             A sudden sunburst!—Lo!
    God’s Image in our heart is as yon orb
    Unto the universe; _the eye of nature,
    Dispersing rays more eloquent than tongues_;
    Beams that give life as well as light; whose absence
    Wraps in cold shadow all that moves and breathes.
    At times that Image walks through spheres remote;
    Unobvious to the largely wandering eye:
    Then nightmare darkness sits upon the soul:
    Then, by its own shade mantled, waits the soul,
    Like some dark mourner, lonely in his house.
    _But the harmonious hours fulfil themselves;
    And sunrise comes unlooked for, peak to peak
    Answering in spiritual radiance. This is indeed
    So palpably to meet Divinity,
    That hence the Pagan erred, not knowing God._”

In the fourth Act we have, first, the recall of Pole to Rome, contrived
by Philip and Gardiner. The queen refuses to let him go; but while, in
obedience to her, he remains in England, he resigns his legateship in
submission to the interdict. Then comes the picture-scene, which is
admirably contrived. The poor queen stops before Philip’s picture and
talks to it as if it were a shrine. The original enters and brutally
disenchants his worshipper. After a bitter interview, in which Mary
accuses him of conjugal infidelity, the Spaniard takes his departure,
answering her “Begone!” with a sudden “For ever!”

    “QUEEN (_alone_).       I submit to God’s decree.
    Was it for this my maiden liberty
    Was yielded?—to be spurned, despised, and still
    Bear on without redress? O grief! O shame!
          [_She approaches the picture of Philip._
    Back, silken folds, that hide what was my joy,
    And is my torture! Back!—See, I have rent you,
    False, senseless idol, from thy tinselled frame!
    I wrench thee forth—I look on thee no more!
    And thus—and thus—      [_she tears up the picture_]
    I scatter thee from out
    The desecrated temple of my heart!      [_A pause._
    My brain is hot—this swoln heart chokes my throat
    Yet I am better thus than self-deceived.
    Die, wretched queen! O die, dishonored wife!
    _I pant for the cold blessing of the grave!_”

Next follows the trial of Ridley and Latimer. Cranmer, too, is present,
and disputes, but is not on trial. The contrast between Gardiner and
Pole is admirable. Mary, too, is represented as sedulously just. Ridley
and Latimer speak, of course, as if perfectly conscientious and worthy
of martyrdom, but make no attempt to disprove the principle of
submission to authority, insisting solely on their own infallibility.
The cardinal is at last compelled to say of them:

                    “This is very grievous!
    Madam, so please you, these be heated men,
    Who may not be convinced, and will not bend.”

He has better hopes of Cranmer; but his gentle earnestness is lost upon
him no less.

Here be it remembered that it was the secular, and not the
ecclesiastical, arm which inflicted the death-penalty for obdurate
heresy. This penalty was the law in those days—days when every kind of
felony was more severely punished than now. Whatever we moderns may
think of this law, we must not forget that heresy is the greatest and
most pernicious of crimes; and, again, that it was only formal and
aggressive heresy that got itself arraigned and condemned. Moreover,
what made the civil power so severe upon it was the fact that it was
always coupled with sedition and treason.

But before we close our remarks upon the executions in Mary’s reign, let
us look for a moment on the beautiful scene which intervenes between the
one we have been examining and the prison-scene at Oxford—the last of
the fourth Act.

Mary and Reginald are closeted together. The holy priest seeks to
comfort his cousin.

                        “Poor soul!
    Be to yourself more charitable. Think
    That One there is who answers for your faults
    And multiplies your merits.

    QUEEN.           Hope rests there:
    Or I were mad.

    CARDINAL.     All men are born to suffer.
    What are the consolations of the Scripture,
    The fruit of exhortation and of prayer,
    If now you quail? No, you shall quail no more.

    QUEEN. _My web of life was woven with the nettle._
    My very triumphs were bedewed with tears.
    What now is left?

    CARDINAL.     Religion. _As the sunbow
    Shines in the showery gloom and makes the cloud
    A shape of glory_, in thy path she stands
    A herald of high promise. Blessed emblem!
    Religion bids thee hope. This gloomy life
    Must be amended. We must draw thee hence.

    QUEEN. Thanks be to God! time works while
    we grieve on.
    _Deprive not sorrow of the shade she needs,
    The sad quiescence of desponding thought_.
    Job also raised his voice, and wailed aloud,
    And so was comforted. Remember, also,
    In weeping I can pray. Should I not?

    CARDINAL.                               Yea.
    Pray with thanksgiving: ’tis the sum of duty.”

The sublimity of this passage needs no comment. The rest of the scene is
equally touching. Mary speaks for an instant of Philip. She is still
obliged to say:

    “Whene’er I turn my thoughts to God, one image
    Stands between me and heaven. Instead of prayer
    A sigh for Philip trembles on my lips.

    CARDINAL. To pine thus for the absent, as men mourn
    The dead, is sinful.

    QUEEN.       Speak no more of him.
    Thoughts holier be my guide.”

Then Reginald teaches her what it is

    “To stablish thrones on bounty; reign through love.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    _The chief of greatness is surpassing goodness_:
    And that outsoars the ken of mortal eyes—
    Hidden with God.”

She offers him the archbishopric of Canterbury. He answers musingly:

                    “He who hath stood
    Upon the first step of the papal throne,
    And vacant left the Vatican, may look
    With eye undazzled on the chair of Lambeth.”

Then he accepts, and presently the queen observes:

    “I have long thought it strange that you refused
    The greater honor though the heavier burden:
    The proffered crown of Rome.

    CARDINAL [_after much agitation_]. Look not alarmed. [_A pause._
    You touch the mind’s immedicable wound.
    O God! that I had died before I knew thee!
    Pardon me—pardon me!

    QUEEN.                   We both need pardon.
    Let us forget the past. God strengthen us!

    CARDINAL. Fear not. _Henceforth we gaze upon each other,
    As the two Cherubim upon the Ark—
    The living God between._

    QUEEN.                   Then take my hand.
    It will be colder soon. May God be with you!”

This “immedicable wound” is the poet’s Protestant fancy, yet the pathos
of the scene is exquisite.

The prison-scene at Oxford gives us, first, Masters Ridley and Latimer
taking leave of Cranmer; then Cranmer watching their execution from the
window, and Gardiner, unobserved, watching him. The famous recantation
number one takes place; and the subsequent despair of the wretch closes
the fourth Act.

The fifth Act we do not care to analyze minutely, so much of it is
sickeningly untrue. Mary has become fanatical again. Pole tells her that
“the poor, by thousands, perish in the flames.” This is utterly false.
All the executions under Mary’s government did not amount to more than
two hundred and seventy-seven, and “from this list of 'martyrs for the
Gospel’ must be excluded,” says a learned writer, “the names of those
who suffered for political offences or other crimes.” Dr. Maitland, the
celebrated librarian of Lambeth, in his _Essays on Subjects connected
with the Reformation in England_, speaks of “the bitter and provoking
spirit of some of those who were very active and forward in promoting
the progress of the Reformation; the political opinions which they held,
and the language in which they disseminated them; the fierce personal
attacks which they made on those whom they considered as enemies; and,
to say the least, the little care which was taken by those who were
really actuated by religious motives, and seeking a true reformation of
the Church, to shake off _a lewd, ungodly, profane rabble_, who joined
in the cause of Protestantism, thinking it, in their depraved
imaginations, or hoping to make it by their wicked devices, the cause of
liberty against law, of the poor against the rich, of the laity against
the clergy, of the people against their rulers.” From this rabble, then,
came the “poor” who “perished in the flames.”

As to Oxford’s pretended “martyrs,” Ridley and Latimer were inciters of
sedition and brought upon themselves the vengeance of the law; while
Thomas Cranmer was, without exception, the most unmitigated miscreant in
the whole disgraceful business of what is called the Reformation. Who
will question that he richly deserved the stake after bringing to it so
many victims, in Henry’s reign, for denying doctrines which he himself
was secretly denying at the time? There are living Anglican writers who
rejoice in calling all these boasted reformers a set of “unredeemed
villains.”

Of course, as we said in our review of the first play, we acquit the
author of all conscious prejudice. The last words he puts into his
heroine’s mouth—“Time unveils Truth”—are an appeal to “the avenger,” who
will not fail to do her justice yet. It was a noble thought to make
Underhill, the Hot-Gospeller, her panegyrist. Oxford vaticinates:

                              “Awful queen!
    Hardly of thee Posterity shall judge:
    For they shall measure thee—

    UNDERHILL.             Let me speak, sir:
    For I have known, and been protected by her,
    When fierce men thirsted for my blood. I say not
    That she was innocent of grave offence;
    Nor aught done in her name extenuate.
    But I insist upon her maiden mercies,
    _In proof that cruelty was not her nature_.
    She abrogated the tyrannic laws
    Made by her father. She restored her subjects
    To personal liberty; to judge and jury;
    Inculcating impartiality.
    Good laws, made or revived, attest her fitness
    Like Deborah to judge. She loved the poor:
    And fed the destitute: and they loved her.
    _A worthy queen she had been if as little
    Of cruelty had been done under her
    As by her._ To equivocate she hated:
    And was just what she seemed. In fine, she was
    _In all things excellent while she pursued
    Her own free inclination without fear_.”



                                NANETTE.
                  _A LEGEND OF THE DAYS OF LOUIS XV._


                                   I.


A police report is scarcely the place where one would look to find an
idyl—least of all a French police report. But just as one comes at times
upon a shy violet nestling in the dusty city ways, even in such an
unpromising quarter, and in the records of a still more unpromising
time, did the present writer stumble upon a veritable romance—

                          “Silly sooth
    That dallies with the innocence of love
    Like the old age.”

Let the reader judge if it be not a genuine violet.

Of the many strange functions of the Parisian police in the days of the
well-beloved Louis XV.—and altogether most worthless of his name—one of
the strangest appears to have been that of furnishing for the amusement
of the royal circle regular reports, or rather novelettes, of all
episodes, striking or romantic, that came under their notice. The French
have always had a taste for the dramatic aspect of the law, and to this
day a _procès-verbal_ reads often like a _feuilleton_ of Ponson du
Terrail. It may be supposed that, in the narratives which thus tickled
the languid leisure of Louis, a rigid adherence to truth was not deemed
essential where a slight embellishment enhanced the interest. But all
had probably a basis in fact, which one is fain to hope was more than
usually broad in so innocent and touching a history as that of Nanette
Lollier, the Flower-Girl of the Palais Royal.

In the year 1740 there dwelt in the parish of St. Leu, at Paris, an
honest, hard-working couple named André Lollier and Marie Jeanne Ladure,
his wife; the former of whom held a subordinate position in the Bureau
of Markets, while the latter attended to their fish-stand. Between them
they earned ample to keep the pot boiling comfortably, had it not been
for the prodigious number of small mouths that daily watered around that
savory and capacious vessel; and when there came a sixteenth, it is to
be feared that honest André received it rather ruefully and altogether
as a discord in the harmony of existence—a blessing very much in
disguise. So despite the new-comer’s beauty and precocity and countless
pretty baby ways, her aggrieved parents were only too glad to accept her
godmother’s offer to take her off their hands and to bring her up. By
that good lady—who seems to have been really a most kind-hearted person,
although she _was_ a beadle’s widow—the little Nanette (so the child had
been named) was carefully instructed in such branches of learning as a
young person of her station was at that time expected to know, and
which, in truth, were not very many. There is little doubt that one
young lady of Vassar would have put the entire faculty of St. Cyr to
rout.

But Nanette was soon found to possess a fine voice, and pains were taken
to cultivate it—so successfully that when, at the mature age of twelve,
the youthful chorister made her _début_ in a Christmas anthem at the
parish church, everybody was delighted. And when during the following
Holy Week she sang a _Stabat_ better than many persons four times her
age, everybody said at once she was a prodigy.

Now, we all know what comes to prodigies. The praises, pettings, and
presents this prodigy received turned her small and not very wise head.
Good Mère Lollier wished to make a fish-mongress of her; mademoiselle
spurned the proposal. What! she, a genius, a beauty, a divine voice,
waste her life on horrid, ill-smelling fish? (She made no objection, you
will observe, to dining on them when her mother cooked them for her, but
that was quite a different matter.) She soil her pretty fingers with
scales, haggle over herrings, or dicker about dace? Perish the thought!
Her mother did it, to be sure, but then—her mother was not a genius. (Do
young ladies nowadays ever reason thus?) No; she would be a flower-girl
and sing her nosegays into every buttonhole—or wherever else they then
wore their nosegays—in Paris. The manners of the fish-market even then
lacked something of the repose of Vere de Vere, and Mère Lollier’s only
answer to this astounding proposal was a slap and—we regret to say—a
kick. She was not aware that genius is not to be kicked with impunity.
She soon discovered it to her sorrow; for in her way she loved Nanette,
and kicked her, we may be sure, only in kindness.

Shortly after this affront Nanette disappeared, and from that moment all
trace of her was lost. Word came to her parents from time to time that
she was well, but of her whereabouts their most persistent efforts could
gain no tidings. Her absence lasted three years; how or where passed no
one—we sniff the touch of the embellisher here—could ever discover, nor
would she herself divulge. At last one fine morning comes a message to
Mère Lollier that her daughter is at the convent of the Carmelites, and
will be handed over to them in person, or to any priest who comes with
an order from them.

Beside herself with joy, Mère Lollier, with just a hasty touch to her
cap—even a _Dame de la Halle_ is, outside of business, a woman—rushes
off to M. le Curé with the great news. In those days M. le Curé was the
first applied to in every emergency of joy or grief: perhaps it would
have been better for Paris if the custom had not been survived by others
less wholesome. The good priest lent a sympathetic ear; for the piety
and industry of the Lolliers had made them prime favorites with him, and
he had, besides, taken a lively interest in the fate of his little
chorister. A _fiacre_ is called at once, and the _curé_ and Mère
Lollier, with her eldest son, a strapping sergeant in the French
guards—not then such pigmies as absinthe has left them now—fly to the
convent at such a pace as only the promise of a fabulous _pourboire_ can
extract from a Parisian cab-horse. The lady-superior greets them in the
convent parlor and presently ushers in a lovely young girl—what! a
girl?—a princess, to whom Mère Lollier with difficulty represses an
inclination to courtesy, while M. le Curé wipes his spectacles and the
gaping sergeant at once comes to a salute. But the princess speedily
puts an end to their doubts by embracing them all in turn with the
liveliest emotion. It is indeed Nanette, but Nanette developed into such
beauty and grace and sprightliness as many a princess might envy. Nor is
her moral nature less improved. She is now as modest and docile as
before she was vain and headstrong; only—she will still be a
flower-girl. And yet women are sometimes called weak!

Before the young lady’s appearance in the parlor the superior had
explained to her wondering auditors how a strange lady the evening
before had brought Nanette to the convent—“Hum!” says M. le Curé
dubiously, taking snuff—and on leaving her had left at the same time
20,000 francs for her dowry, if she wished to become a religious—“Ha!”
says M. le Curé thoughtfully, brushing away the snuff that has fallen on
his band. Then he beams upon Nanette, rubbing his hands encouragingly,
while Mère Lollier nods acquiescence and the sergeant shifts to the
other leg and gapes. But Nanette, in spite of these diverse
blandishments, respectfully but firmly declined to be a religious. Her
vocation was to be a flower-girl, and a flower-girl she would be.

“’Tis the devil’s trade,” cries the _curé_, quite out of patience.

“All roads lead to heaven, my father,” answers Nanette mildly.

So a flower-girl she becomes; and it must be confessed that, in spite of
Undine, beauty seems more at home with the flowers than with the fishes.


                                  II.


One bright morning in the summer of 1756 the loungers under the
chestnuts which then adorned the garden of the Palais Royal—that
forehanded and long-headed (though, long as his head was, he could not
keep it long) personage, Philippe Égalité, thought shops would be more
ornamental as well as more useful, so he put the chestnuts in his pocket
and built that splendid colonnade which is the wonder and delight of the
wandering American—the loungers in the shade of the Palais Royal
chestnuts were conscious of a new sensation. Not that sensations were
just then going begging. By no means. One or two royal gentlemen, by
laying their crowned heads together, had already contrived that famous
misunderstanding which was to turn a large part of three continents into
a shambles for the next seven years; to cost the “well-beloved,” in
Canada and India, the brightest jewels of his crown, and to make of
Montcalm, for losing one and his life with it, a hero, and of
Lally-Tollendal, for having the bad taste to survive the loss of the
other, a traitor or a martyr as you were for him or against him. So
often is it that for precisely the same services a grateful and
discriminating country decrees to one of her sons a monument, to another
a halter. Perhaps there is not so much difference between the two—to the
dead men, at least—as some folks imagine.

But the heroes we are to deal with are by no means of the stuff of
martyrs, and fighting, beyond an ornamental pass or two in the Bois de
Boulogne, they vote vulgar and _bourgeois_. Here under the chestnut
blossoms is a sensation much more to their taste. It is a new
flower-girl. But what a flower-girl! Figure to yourself, then, Mme. la
Duchesse, a flower-girl arrayed in silks and laces and jewels a
marchioness would give her head for (marchionesses’ heads were rated
higher then than they came to be before the century was over), with a
golden shell for her flower-basket, lined with blue satin and suspended
by an embroidered scarf from the daintiest waist in the world—a
flower-girl with the face of a seraph and the figure of a sylph, with
eyes of liquid light and hair of woven sunshine, with the foot of
Cinderella and a hand—a hand only less perfect than that of Madame,
which your humble servant most respectfully salutes.

News so important must be sent post-haste to Versailles. A score of
noblemen sprang to the saddle and rushed to lay their hearts and their
diamonds at the feet of this strange paragon. But Nanette, young as she
was, could tell base metal from good. The jewels she took from her
adorers with smiling impartiality; the other sort of trinkets—sadly
battered by use, it must be confessed, and not worth much at any
time—she rejected with equally smiling disdain. Always gracious, gay,
and self-possessed, sparkling with raillery and wit, she yet maintained
a maidenly reserve that abashed the boldest license, and her reputation
grew even faster than her fortune.

And the latter grew apace. She became the rage. Her appearance on the
Palais Royal, followed at a little distance by footmen in livery and her
maid, gathered about her straightway all the gallants and wits in Paris.
Her basket was emptied in a trice, and emptied again as often as
refilled by her servants. It was deemed an honor to receive a nosegay
from her pretty fingers, and more louis than half-franc pieces repaid
them.

Great ladies came to her _levées_—for such they really were—and even
deigned to accept from the beautiful flower-girl the gift of a rose or a
violet—gifts always sure to be recompensed in noble fashion with jewels
or costly laces, rich silks or pieces of plate. Within two years Nanette
had thus accumulated in houses, lands, and rents an annual income of
forty thousand francs, besides loading her kindred with presents.

Naturally, this circumstance did not cool the ardor of the followers
whom her beauty had attracted. One of these was particularly noticeable
for his assiduity. He was a young man about twenty-two years old, of
distinguished air and handsome features, tinged with that shadow of
melancholy thought to be so irresistible to the feminine imagination.
His clothes, too, were in his favor; for though irreproachably neat and
faultlessly cut, they had plainly seen their best days. We all know what
a sly rogue Pity is, and how untiringly he panders for a certain
nameless kinsman. Every afternoon found the melancholy young man at the
garden awaiting the flower-girl’s coming. On her arrival he would
advance, select a flower, pay a dozen sous, exchange a word, perhaps,
and disappear till the following day. Once he was absent, and the fair
florist’s brow was clouded. In other words, Nanette was extremely cross,
and many an unlucky _petit-maître_ was that day unmercifully snubbed for
presuming on previous condescension. The garden trembled and was
immersed in gloom. But presently the laggard made his appearance,
Nanette’s lovely face was again wreathed in smiles, the garden breathed
freely once more, and the _petit-maîtres_ were astonished to find their
vapid pleasantries received more graciously than ever. From this
remarkable circumstance the sagacious reader will doubtless form his own
conclusion; and we do not say that the sagacious reader will be wrong.

In point of fact, we may as well admit at once that Nanette, without
knowing it, was already in love with this handsome, melancholy stranger,
of whom she knew nothing, except that he was noble, since he wore a
sword. She would have given half she was worth to know even his name,
but she dared not ask it. As often as the question trembled on her
tongue she felt herself blushing violently and unable, for the life of
her, to open her lips. Her modesty had not been educated away by a
season in the civilizing atmosphere of the court.

Chance at last befriended her. One evening the brilliant Marquis de
Louvois, after talking awhile with the unknown, came up to the Count de
la Châtre, who was seated beside her, and said to him:

“This ass of a De Courtenaye puts me out of all patience. The king has
asked why he does not come to Versailles. I repeat to him his majesty’s
flattering question. Well! it goes in one ear and out the other. Can one
so bury one’s self in Paris?”

Think of that, good Americans, before you die! In the year of grace 1756
Paris was only a burying place for Versailles! So that 1870 had a
precedent.

“What else is he to do?” asks the count. “It takes money to live as we
do, and his father, poor fellow, left him nothing but a name, which,
although one of the first in France, is rather a drawback than
otherwise, since it won’t permit him even to marry for money anything
less than a princess; and rich princesses like to get as well as to
give.”

“True, true,” murmurs the compassionate marquis. “I had forgotten.
More’s the pity; such a good-looking fellow as he is—”

“And a connection of the royal family.”

“Faith, the king is not over and above kind to his cousins.” And the
gentlemen dismiss the royal poor relation from their noble minds as they
would brush a grain of snuff from their ruffles, and stroll off, humming
an aria from the latest opera of the famous Favart, the little Offenbach
of his little day. Forgotten art thou now, O famous Favart! and thy
immortal airs are as dead as Julius Cæsar.

But not so easily did M. de Courtenaye’s tribulations pass from the mind
of Nanette, who had lost not a word of this conversation. She thought of
him all through a wakeful night; she was still thinking of him the next
morning—having arisen for that fond purpose long before the household
was stirring—when she was startled by feeling a kiss upon her arm. She
sprang up with a little cry of anger and alarm; but her frown changed to
a smile when she recognized the offender. It was Marcel, the handsome
Marcel, her favorite brother, a year her senior, but so like her they
were often mistaken for twins.

“O Marcel!” she cried, “how you frightened me. How was one to look for
such gallantry from one’s brother?”

“But if one is the brother of Nanette?” says Marcel still more
gallantly.

Marcel has been in good company and flatters himself he has quite the
_bel air_. As an apprentice to M. Panckoucke to learn the bookseller’s
trade, wherein his sister, when he got old enough, was to set him up for
himself, he had many opportunities of seeing and hearing the wits of the
capital, not without profit to mind and manners. Indeed, he fairly
considered himself one of them already.

“Yes, my dear little sister,” he added with a patronizing air, “you are
positively the talk of the town. Go where I will—and you know I go into
the best circles,” he says pompously, adjusting his ruffles as he has
seen the dandies do—“I hear of nothing but the beautiful, the witty
Nanette. Why, it was only the other day I was at M. de Marmontel’s”—the
ingenuous youth did not deem it essential to state that he had been sent
in the honorable though humble capacity of “printer’s devil” with a
bundle of proofs for correction (the proofs, indeed, of the _Contes
Moraux_: the dullest, surely—always excepting the delightful,
interminable romances of the incomparable Mlle. de Scudéry—ever penned
in the tongue of Montaigne and Molière,) but his sister understood his
harmless vanity and did not so much as smile—“at M. de Marmontel’s with
the Duke de Nivernais, the Count de Lauraguais, M. de Voltaire, and the
Prince de Courtenaye.”

Nanette started slightly, but her brother did not perceive it. It is the
way of brothers, and this brother, besides, was for the moment rapt in
contemplation of the greatness reflected upon him by association with
these great names. He fairly grew an inch in stature as he rolled them
out, dwelling fondly on the titles. It is something to have a king speak
to you, if only to ask you to get out of the way. Marcel continued:

“The talk was all of you. M. de Lauraguais, not knowing me to be your
near relation, presumed to deny your wit and to question your virtue.”

Nanette’s beautiful eyes flashed in a way that would have made the
slanderer uncomfortable had he seen it.

“Insolent!” she murmured, clenching her little fists.

“You may imagine how my blood boiled,” went on Marcel. “I was on the
point of doing something rash when M. de Courtenaye took up the cudgels
in your behalf. 'M. de Lauraguais,’ he said with grave severity, 'is it
possible that you, a gentleman, can give currency to the lies set afloat
by baffled libertines or malicious fools against the reputation of a
defenceless girl? My life upon it, Nanette is as pure as she is lovely;
and were proof of her innocence needed, I should ask none better than
these stories of lovers whom no one has seen, or can even name. Why, had
Nanette a lover, all Paris would ring with it in an hour.’ The
impassioned earnestness of the prince made the company smile; but M.
Diderot, siding with him, said he was sure you were better than the best
that was said of you.”

Nanette’s eyes filled with tears. Had the youthful pedant been less
intent on showing his familiarity with fashionable life, he must have
had his suspicions aroused by her agitation. As it was, he was not even
enlightened when Nanette, suddenly flinging her arms about his neck in a
tender fury, kissed him twice or thrice passionately. He took the kisses
complacently as a guerdon for his story. Fraternal obtuseness in such
cases is simply limitless. “By the way, Nanette,” he added, “why
wouldn’t it be a good idea to thank the prince by sending him some of
your prettiest flowers? I can take them to-morrow with some books I am
to convey to him.”

“Nonsense!” says Nanette incredulously. “I don’t believe you even know
where he lives.”

“Don’t know where he lives?” cries Marcel indignantly. “Perhaps you will
tell me next I don’t know where the Hôtel Carnavalet is, or how to find
the Rue Culture Ste. Catherine? Don’t know where he lives, indeed!” And
Marcel flings out of the room in a state of high dudgeon that his
acquaintance with a great man should be doubted, and, worst of all, by
Nanette. We are sorry to say he slammed the door after him. The best of
brothers will do such things under strong provocation. But Nanette only
smiled—the wily Nanette!


                                  III.


The next morning, at his frugal breakfast in a rather lofty apartment of
the Hôtel Carnavalet, the Prince de Courtenaye read with much amazement
the following letter:

    “MY DEAR COUSIN: I am an old woman and your near relation. I have
    long observed with pain the poverty which keeps you from assuming
    your proper station. I have wealth, and not many years to keep it.
    What is a burden to me will be a help to you. Suffer me, then, from
    my superfluity to relieve your necessity—I claim it as the twofold
    privilege of age and love—and accept as frankly as I tender it the
    25,000 francs which I enclose to procure you an establishment suited
    to your rank. On the first of every month 4,000 francs will be
    forwarded to you in addition.”

Some commonplaces of civility ended this remarkable but not unpleasant
epistle—would that such a one some celestial postman might leave at the
door of the present writer, to whom documents of a far different
nature—but this is a painful and unnecessary digression. Let us
continue. The prince read the queer communication with conflicting
emotions, in which wonder predominated. He was not aware of any wealthy
aunt or female relative particularly prone to this sort of furtive
benevolence; but his connections were legion, and women were odd fish.
Still, his honor seemed to him to forbid his accepting a fortune so
acquired. But older and wiser heads stifled, or at least silenced, his
scruples; and secretly resolving to leave no stone unturned to discover
his mysterious benefactress, and to return to her or to her heirs every
sou of the money, which in his heart he accepted only as a loan, he
resigned himself to his good-luck with tolerable cheerfulness.
Henceforth no more elegant equipage was to be seen than the Prince de
Courtenaye’s. He became the fashion; he was the life and talk of every
_salon_—as we should say, the success of the season. Nevertheless, he
failed not to go every afternoon to the garden of the Palais Royal for
his nosegay, with this difference only: that he now paid francs instead
of sous.

A year sped away, spent by the prince in buying nosegays and in sharing
the gayeties, though not the dissipations, of the court; by Nanette in
continuing to perfect herself secretly in all the feminine
accomplishments of her time, so that now, at the age of nineteen, she
was not only peerless in beauty, but as cultivated as Mme. de Sévigné
and as learned as Mme. Dacier—no, not as Mme. Dacier—no mere mortal was
ever so learned as Mme. Dacier; but let us say as Mme. de La Fayette,
who could set Father Rapin right in his Latin and silence Ménage. Was it
for herself she underwent these prodigious labors? It is not known that
she ever mentioned. But she still sold nosegays and still reaped a
golden harvest.

One evening the Count de la Châtre was again sitting beside her when the
Marquis de Louvois once more accosted him.

“My dear fellow,” said he, “what the mischief ails Pierre?” (he spoke of
De Courtenaye). “He must be going mad. Have you heard his latest freak?
Mlle. de Craon, one of our wealthiest heiresses, with a royal dowry and
a princely income, is proposed to him, and what do you think? He refuses
her—positively refuses. What bee is in his bonnet?”

“Love.”

“Love! Is it one of the Royal Princesses, then?”

“I imagine not.”

“Who then? Some divinity of the _coulisses_, I’ll wager.”

“Louvois,” said the count gravely, “you wrong our friend. De Courtenaye,
as you know, abhors vice, and I am much mistaken if she whom he loves is
not a virtuous woman.”

Louvois shrugged his shoulders as only a certain kind of Frenchman can.
Virtue was a word not in his dictionary.

The next day the prince received this note, the second from his unknown
relative:

    “MY NEPHEW: Why do you decline to marry Mlle. de Craon, who unites
    all that is illustrious in birth and splendid in fortune? I will
    provide you with the capital of the income I now allow you. Accept
    also as a wedding-gift for your intended the jewels I send herewith.

    “If you consent, wear for eight days in your buttonhole a carnation;
    if you refuse, a rose.”

With the letter came a handsome jewel-case containing a million of
francs in bills—it is well for the romancer to be liberal in these
matters—and a magnificent parure of diamonds of the purest water, valued
by the Tiffany of the time at 100,000 more.

That afternoon it was noticed in the garden that Nanette was unusually
pale and silent. The Prince de Courtenaye entered at his usual hour; the
nosegay in his buttonhole bore neither pink nor rose. He drew near the
flower-girl, who offered him a posy with a hand she vainly tried to make
steady. Like his own, it had neither pink nor rose.

The prince examined Nanette’s offering attentively, smiled sadly, stood
for an instant in a musing attitude twirling the bouquet in his fingers,
and then suddenly, as one whose mind is made up:

“My child,” he said, “will you make me the present of a rose?”

Nanette fainted.


                                  IV.


When the flower-girl recovered she found herself in her own room, her
family around her. But her eyes sought in vain the one face she most
wished to see. Her mother and sisters told her with prodigious clamor
and excitement, all talking at once at the tops of their voices, how she
had fainted—“from the heat,” the gentleman said. “Yes, from the heat,”
murmured Nanette softly, closing her eyes—how a great nobleman, the
Prince de Courtenaye, had raised her, and how, without waiting for a
carriage, and rejecting all aid, he had borne her in his arms to her
house near by.

Nanette listened with closed eyes and a happy smile. All this was balm
to her poor, sorely-tried heart. She even ventured to ask what had
become of the kind gentleman. He had waited, they told her, to hear the
doctor’s report giving assurance of her safety, and had then gone away,
invoking for her their most zealous care. Presently the prince’s valet
came to inquire after her health; but he himself did not come. Nanette
was wounded, but she said nothing. Even pain in such a cause was too
sacred a thing to be shared with another. Woman-like, she hugged her
grief as though it were a treasure, and smiled, without knowing why, at
the empty compliments of a crowd of _petits-maîtres_, who, after the
fashion of the time, had rushed to pay her their condolences, and who
ransacked Dorat for their vapid homage. Each took the smile to himself
and redoubled his insipid gallantries. But Nanette was too much in love,
if she had not been too clever, to heed them. So she contented herself
and them by smiling.

At heart she was happy, in spite of the prince’s neglect. At least he
would not marry; so much was secure. But the future: might he not have
surprised her secret—she blushed as she thought it—and would he seek to
abuse his power? No, she felt he was too noble for that, and, come what
might, she would enjoy the present hour, the happiest she had known. So
in vague, delicious hopes, and doubts not less delicious; in fluttering
fears and half-formed, undefined resolves; in pain that seemed to be
pleasure and pleasure whose sweetest element was pain—all the exquisite
_mélange_ of confused and dreamy emotions which take possession of a
young and innocent heart so soon as it has fairly admitted to itself it
loves—Nanette awaited her prince. She knew he would come; her heart told
her so. And she was not deceived.

Early the next day he was announced. She essayed to rise as he entered,
but sank back into her chair, half from weakness, half from agitation,
murmuring incoherent excuses for her awkwardness. In an instant the
prince was at her feet.

“Ah!” he cried, “I have found you out at last, my good cousin. But I am
not come to return you your benefactions; only to beseech you to make it
possible for me to keep them by adding to them a still more precious
boon.”

“And that is—?”

“This fair, kind hand. Ah darling! you cannot refuse it me when you have
already given me your heart.”

In sacrificing his name to this obscure young girl the prince was no
doubt conscious of doing a noble and magnanimous act. And so it was—how
noble, can only be realized by those who know the measureless distance
which, in the days of Louis XV., divided the nobility from the people,
or the insolent disdain with which the former looked down on the
latter—a disdain commemorated to this day in the use of the word
_peuple_ to indicate a vulgar fellow. But if he thought to conquer
Nanette in generosity, he was mistaken. The flower-girl, after a
moment’s reflection, begged her lover to give her till to-morrow to
answer. He consented reluctantly, but not doubting the result. Who could
have looked in the eighteenth century to see a fish-monger's daughter
refuse the hand of a French prince?

De Courtenaye arose the next morning satisfied with himself and with the
world, and more in love than ever. He longed impatiently for the message
which should summon him to the feet of his adored mistress to receive
the seal of his happiness. At last, after, it seemed to his eagerness,
an age of waiting, his servant brought him a letter. He glanced at the
superscription; it was in the well-known hand. He pressed the dear
characters to his lips and tore the missive open with trembling fingers.
This is what he read:

    “Love blinds you. A marriage with me would dishonor you. You love me
    too well for me to refuse you the most convincing proof of my love.
    I give you up, and I give up life for you. When you read this the
    flower-girl Nanette will have quitted the world for ever. Do not
    scruple to keep the money you have received, in your aunt’s name; it
    is yours by right. A kinsman, who accomplished your father’s ruin,
    simply made me the instrument of his tardy atonement. I leave to my
    family a fortune ample for their wants. Adieu! Think of me sometimes
    in the cloister, wherein I take refuge from my heart, and where I
    shall never cease to pray for you.”

So ends the history of Nanette Lollier. The Archbishop of Paris in
person, it is said, conducted her to the convent of her choice, and the
Palais Royal went into mourning. The prince was almost wild with grief;
but his prayers, his supplications, his almost frenzied entreaties,
could not shake Nanette’s resolve. He never married. The allusion in the
flower-girl’s letter recalled to him certain rumors current at the time
of his father’s death; but, as our chronicler shrewdly surmises, the
story of the kinsman was simply a device of Nanette’s affection to
disarm her lover’s pride.

This is the romance of Nanette, the flower-girl of the Palais Royal, as
it is recorded in a chronicle of the time. In the foul and fetid annals
of that most polluted reign, barren alike of manly honor and womanly
virtue, it comes to us like a jewel we lift from the mire, or a
fresh-blown rose we rescue from the kennel. Let us not ask if it be
true. Stories of disinterested love, of magnanimity and devotion, let us
rather accept as always true, saving our incredulity for narratives of
another sort. For our own part we had rather believe Tiberius to be a
myth than that Cordelia is a fiction; that Nero never fiddled in his
life than that Henry Esmond never put his birthright in the fire to
spare his benefactress pain.



                           NEW PUBLICATIONS.


    CLASSIC LITERATURE, PRINCIPALLY SANSKRIT, GREEK, AND ROMAN. With
    some account of the Persian, Chinese, and Japanese in the Form of
    Sketches of the Authors and Specimens from Translations of their
    Works. By C. A. White, author of _The Student’s Mythology_. New
    York: Henry Holt & Co. 1877.

We find on p. 12 of this new _Hand-book of Classic Literature_, as it is
entitled on the back, among the “most commendable maxims” of the
_Pancha-Trantra_—a work on morals composed by Hindoo sages—the
following: “As long as a person remains silent he is honored; but as
soon as he opens his mouth men sit in judgment upon his capacity.” The
young people who will make use of this book, which is principally
intended for their benefit and pleasure, must be the final judges of the
capacity of its author to make classic literature intelligible and
interesting to their minds. The author appears to understand them, and
to have acquired that experience and skill in adapting instruction to
the juvenile mind, by practical familiarity with young students in the
class-room, which is almost necessary to ensure success in preparing a
good text-book. The _Hand-book of Classic Literature_ is not intended as
a manual for lessons and recitations. It is not exclusively intended for
those who study Latin or Greek; and we are not aware of any considerable
number of young people who are studying Sanskrit, Persian, or Chinese,
so that evidently no such class of pupils could have been in the eye of
the author. In fact, the aim of the author is to give some general
notion of the ancient authors and their principal works, and some fine
specimens of the best translations which have been made into English, to
those who do not study the ancient languages at all, or at most learn
only the rudiments of one or two of them. Three-fourths of the volume
are devoted to the Greek and Latin classics. The remaining eighty pages
are divided between the Sanskrit, Persian, and Chinese, with a brief
notice of the Japanese. The most elaborate and valuable portion of the
work is that devoted to Greek literature. The author has made use of the
best critical works and selected a large number of the most excellent
translations. So much learning, pains, skill in faithful and idiomatic
rendering, and even poetic genius, have been expended by English
scholars in translating the Greek classics that any reader of
intelligence and taste may understand and enjoy to a very great extent
these ancient masterpieces without learning a word of Greek. We notice
as particularly discriminating and just the criticisms of the author on
the three great tragedians. Specimens of several different authors who
have translated Homer are presented, and a number of extracts from
Aristophanes and others of the generally less known poets. There must be
many whose curiosity will be excited by these choice morsels to read the
entire translated works themselves. Next in interest to the sketches and
translations from the Greek are those from the Sanskrit and Persian, on
account both of the novelty of the subject-matter to the generality of
readers, and also the intrinsic beauty of the selected passages. The
author writes enthusiastically about Zoroaster, and we think with great
justice. The song of the tea-pickers, from the Chinese, pleases us
extremely, and is one of the prettiest and most touching of the minor
pieces in the volume. The author has shown remarkable judgment and good
taste in making this compilation, and writes in all that part of it
which is of original composition in a style of peculiar accuracy and
felicity of diction. The strict and conscientious regard in which the
old saying _Maxima reverentia debetur pueris_ has been kept throughout
is an example for all those who write for the young. There is nothing
which can endanger the faith or damage the moral delicacy of the young
Christian pupil in all this volume filled up with the literature of
heathen nations. On the contrary, its effect is salutary, and shows
beautifully not only the great obscurity in which those gifted pagans
lay from the want of a clear revelation of truth, but also that the
human mind everywhere, in all times, naturally Christian, longs for the
light.

The mechanical execution of the _Classical Hand-book_ is remarkable for
beauty and accuracy. We have noticed only two or three typographical
faults in the whole volume. It is a most attractive book to take up and
read. We have said that it is not properly a class-book. It is a
reading-book for higher pupils, and a companion for lectures, suitable
for reference or use in class-readings. We recommend it most cordially
to all higher schools, especially academies for young ladies, and others
where classical studies are not made one of the chief branches of
instruction. The great number of choice and elegant extracts from the
best writers, many of which are unfamiliar, as well as the historical
notices and criticisms, make this book equally suitable for use in
families and literary circles, especially for reading aloud, as for
schools. We wish for the author the best reward which can be bestowed on
one who is devoted to the culture of young pupils—the love and gratitude
of their generous, affectionate hearts.


    THE CRADLE OF THE CHRIST: a Study in Primitive Christianity. By
    Octavius Brooks Frothingham. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 1877.

The author of this volume is one of the representative men of the left
section of Unitarianism in this country. He is distinguished by a clear
style, a finely-cultivated imagination, and his writings are
characterized by a pervading placidity which is only occasionally
ruffled by a mocking scepticism that suggests the too close proximity of
Dr. Faust’s intimate friend.

The volume abounds in sweeping assertions, slovenly-expressed ideas, and
lacks throughout the cement of a sound logic. It fosters on Cardinal
Wiseman and Dr. Newman opinions which can only be accounted for on the
supposition of the author’s inaccurate scholarship or his contempt for
the intelligence of his readers. (See preface, page 5.) Among other
things, he informs his readers that “it has been customary with
Christians to widen as much as possible the gulf between the Old and the
New Testaments, in order that Christianity might appear in the light of
a fresh and transcendent revelation, supplementing the ancient, but
supplanting it” (page 10). The custom of St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and
Catholic theologians generally is precisely the contrary. There is a
remarkable book by a Catholic on this very point, published in our own
day, entitled _De l’Harmonie entre l’Eglise et la Synagogue_, par Le
Chevalier P. L. B. Drach, a converted rabbi. The rabbi, in his two
volumes, aims at showing that a Jew, in becoming a Catholic, does not
deny or change his religion, but follows out, completes, and perfects
it. The Jewish Church and the Catholic Church are identically one, and
the former is to the latter as the bud to the full-blown flower.

With a criticism that kills beforehand the life it would dissect, Mr. O.
B. Frothingham ends by coolly telling his readers that Christianity is
extinct. And with a self-satisfied air he naïvely exhorts them, by the
efforts of their imagination, to build up a new and superior religion to
Christianity. His readers will, we opine, politely decline this task,
and leave to him who had the genius to conceive the idea its
accomplishment. What a pity he did not tell them what he means by the
imaginative faculty! For if in this, as in other things, he follows his
foreign masters, we have no reason to expect as the result of its
exercise in this direction, other than an additional illusion to the
long list of religious vagaries given to the world, from Simon Magus
down to Joe Smith and the Fox girls.

A scholar who has read the volume describes its contents as
“theological, philosophical, and speculative old shreds picked up in
German and French tailor-shops and cunningly sewed together in the shape
of a cloak by a 'cute’ Yankee apprentice, in order to cover the nudity
of the latest form of the unbelief of New England.”

The book before us shows no mean literary skill, but contains nothing
original in the way of thought or erudition, not even an original error,
though its errors are many more than the number of its pages.


    THE PROBLEM OF PROBLEMS, AND ITS VARIOUS SOLUTIONS; OR, ATHEISM,
    DARWINISM, AND THEISM. By Clark Braden, President of Abingdon
    College, Ill. 8vo. pp. 480. Cincinnati: Chase & Hall. 1877.

Recent scientific research has at last put the orthodox world on its
mettle and elicited expressions of opinion from all shades of believers.
Coquetting with dangerous premises, even in the guise of science,
toleration of views implicitly or indirectly infidel, and a general
disposition to compromise, are not indicative of a healthy tone in any
organization avowedly Christian. Yet such tendencies have for a long
time characterized the relation of the various Protestant sects towards
scientism, and one of the greatest outcries raised against the Syllabus
proceeded from its alleged intolerance of, and general hostility to,
unhampered scientific inquiry. But coaxing and cajoling, and a
concurrent cry against the stupidity of Catholics, had no weight with
Messrs. Spencer, Huxley, Tyndall, and Draper, who went on just as ever
dealing their blows against revelation and all positive forms of belief,
as though his Lordship of Canterbury were a myth and his faith a sham.

At length consistency compelled the representative men of the various
denominations to resist the further encroachments of an irreligious
philosophy, and they are beginning to do so with the bitter
consciousness that they were the very ones who most ridiculed the
sagacity of the Holy Father when he censured the tone and tendency of
modern scientism. But it is better late than never; and if the gentlemen
who, from Princeton to Abingdon, feel themselves called upon to do the
work will only graciously allow that they are eleventh-hour workers, we
will find no fault with their intention, but confine ourselves to a
criticism of its execution.

The _Problem of Problems_ is the latest addition to the
religio-scientific controversy, and it is entitled to serious
consideration because of the earnestness of the author and the elaborate
character of the work. This elaborateness is, however, more apparent
than real, and consists in a measure of diluted thought and diffuse
expression. Whether it is unfortunately a peculiarity of Western authors
to strip a thought entirely bare and leave nothing to suggestion, as the
charge is made, we are not prepared to say, but certain it is that Mr.
Clark Braden has gone far towards justifying such a suspicion. He is not
satisfied with a placid presentment of his own views, nor with a brief
arraignment of what he deems to be the errors of others, but he must
reiterate, emphasize, and in general lash himself into a state of
incandescence not at all needful for his purpose. Dignified opposition,
even if a little tame, is somewhat more congenial to the frigid tastes
of persons living east of the Alleghenies than those fervid utterances
which mistake sound for sense. This, however, is an error of form which
does not necessarily militate against the intrinsic value of the work,
nor do we think that an allusion to it is likely to discompose the
learned author; for in a little prologue, addressed to “Reviewers and
Critics,” he courts and solicits dispassionate and impartial criticism.
In addition he requests that all publishers send him a copy of what
their _imprimatur_ has allowed critics to say concerning his book. We
presume this is right; but when the request comes coupled with the
condition that every one undertaking to comment on his work must not do
so before having read it from cover to cover, we fear that it will not
always be faithfully complied with, or that he will have to read some
pages in which gall and wormwood abound more than the milk of human
kindness. The reason of this we have hinted at. The book is prolix and
repeats to a fault. Many excellent thoughts are covered up in a mass of
verbiage which emasculates and obscures them. We wish the author had the
academic fitness to cope with his antagonists—whose culture has made
their productions marvels of composition and terribly enhanced their
influence for evil. We are sorry that this charge should be the main one
to prefer against a book which was prompted by the best of motives and
which really exhibits rare evidences of argumentative power. Take even
the opening sentence, and we find ourselves face to face with a flagrant
grammatical inaccuracy: “One of the wise utterances of one whom his
contemporaries declared spoke as never man spoke was, that no wise man,
etc.” Here, apart from the slovenly repetition of “one” we find no
subject for the first “spoke,” unless it be “whom,” and that is in the
objective case. Similar mistakes occur throughout, and give painful
evidence that Mr. Braden began his scientific investigations before he
had made himself familiar with Blair or Lord Kames. We would, in
connection with this same matter of style, suggest that the too frequent
use of interrogation not only mars the beauty of a page, but has an
inevitable tendency to wearisome diffuseness. Lest, however, we may be
suspected of harshness towards the author, we select a passage at
random, that the reader may judge for himself how little Mr. Braden is
acquainted with the quality of a good style. On page 171 he says: “We
have no horses on the pampas of the New World, _although they existed as
the most adapted to horses of any portion of the globe for ages_, and
there were _equine types in the New World for several geologic epochs_.
Multitudes of cases might be given where man has carried animals into
places where they did not exist and they flourished, and even improved,
thus showing that the conditions were especially fitted for them, yet
had not produced them, although they had existed for vast ages. Hence
conditions have failed to evolve what was especially fitted to them, and
just what they would produce, did they produce anything.” We submit that
these sentences are not only clumsy in construction, but are positively
ungrammatical, and no one who undertakes the guidance of others along
the thorny paths of scientific research has a right to tax the general
patience with slipshod composition of this kind. Such examples as those
given are not isolated, but disfigure nearly every page. On page 87 we
find the following; “There was at first use of bodily organs in
appropriating food and slaying for food animals, and the use of
spontaneous productions of the earth, like animals.”

So much for the form of the book. The matter is indeed better, though
necessarily much impaired by the many faults of style. In consideration
of fair play towards the author we will not accept his own standard of
judgment while passing an opinion on his book; for we would then have
either to mistrust our own intelligence entirely or to utter unqualified
censure of all that he has written. In his appeal to “Reviewers and
Critics” he says: “If there is censure or condemnation of what is
written, let it be only after the critic understands what he condemns,
and _because he understands it_.” Now, we do not propose to condemn any
portion of the book _because we understand it_; for we freely confess
that there is much valuable thought to be found in its pages, and the
author gives proof of having a good logical mind, not hampered, indeed,
by the subtleties of _Port Royal_ or the _Grammar of Assent_, but sturdy
and vigorous, with a Western breadth and freedom. We have not space to
give even an outline of the plan Mr. Braden has mapped out for himself.
Method is an important feature of a scientific and argumentative work,
and, when judiciously adopted, goes far to promote the purpose of the
author.

Clearness, natural development, logical sequence of thought, and ready
conviction are the results of a suitable method, while confusion,
weariness, and dissatisfaction follow from a neglect thereof. Mr.
Braden’s lack of method will do much in the way of injuriously
interfering with the effect of his book. Divisions and subdivisions
without number, irrespective of reason, may swell the dimensions of a
work, but do not certainly contribute to the satisfaction of the reader.

If all Mr. Braden has written in the present volume were presented in a
more orderly and attractive manner his book would be a valuable
contribution to polemics, but the faults we have indicated will
constantly militate against its usefulness.

In the Appendix both Draper and Huxley come in for a share of censure,
but while the author utterly fails to make a point against Draper, he so
overloads with irrelevant matter his review of Huxley’s three lectures,
delivered in this city, that the reader rises from the perusal of it
with a tired memory and a dissatisfied mind.


    THE CHILDHOOD OF THE ENGLISH NATION; or, The Beginnings of English
    History. By Ella S. Armitage. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 1877.

The authoress of this “little” book tells us, in her preface, that when
she began to write it “no _short and simple_ history of England had
appeared _which made any attempt to give unlearned people an insight
below the surface of bare facts_,” but that “since then numerous works
of the kind have appeared.” Yes, indeed, too numerous; yet, as far as we
know, not one of them so pretentious as this. With a very readable style
and a great show of erudition (an appalling “list of authorities” is
appended to her volume) she sets up for “an interpreter to those who
have no knowledge of history,” taking for her theme what she is pleased
to call the “childhood of the English nation”—by which she means the
history of England “till the end of the twelfth century.” Of course,
therefore, she has to deal largely with the work and influence of the
Catholic Church. Now, when those who are not Catholic undertake to
expound a philosophy to which they have not the key—to wit, the
philosophy of any part of history with which Catholic faith has been
concerned—we can pardon their mistakes, provided they evince that
humility which is the mark of fair-mindedness. But, if this condition be
wanting, we can only regard their attempt as a piece of insufferable
impertinence; their very concessions to our cause—a trick quite
fashionable of late—but making them the less excusable.

Here, then, lies our quarrel with the writer of this book. She goes out
of her way to theorize on matters she does not understand, instead of
confining herself to “bare facts.” For example, after acknowledging (p.
19) that “there is no saying how long the English might not have
remained heathen if Pope Gregory I., in the year 597, had not sent
missionaries to bring them to the faith of Christ,” she must needs
endeavor to account for the Papacy as follows:

“Gregory was Pope or Bishop of Rome from 590 to 604. In his time the
popes of Rome had not yet risen to the position of universal bishops and
supreme heads of the church, though they were tending towards it. All
men were agreed that there must be one, and only one, visible, united
church, but all had not yet made up their minds that the Bishop of Rome
was to be the head of that church. The church of the Welsh, for example,
and that of Ireland (!), owed no obedience to Rome. The pope himself did
not dare to call himself universal bishop: 'Whosoever calls himself so
is Antichrist,’ said Gregory I. Still, it was natural that Rome, which
had been the ruling city of the one universal empire, the queen of the
West, should be the chief centre of the one universal church, and that
the Bishop of Rome should become the head of the church, and all other
bishops should bow to his authority. This was what did come to pass in
time, but at the time of which I am now speaking it seemed very
uncertain; for things had sadly changed with Rome. She had no emperor
now; the emperor was at Constantinople; Italy was invaded by barbarians,
Rome herself was scourged by plague and famine. The Bishop of
Constantinople tried to set himself up as Universal Bishop and Head of
the Church; and that the popes afterwards won the day in this struggle
was largely due to the great influence which Pope Gregory I. gained by
his wisdom and his powerful character.”

The cluster of absurdities contained in this passage would be “matter
for a flying smile,” were it not that the ignorance displayed looks too
much like perverted knowledge. Can the lady have really failed to
perceive the transparent nonsense of supposing that such a power as the
Papacy originated in people making up their minds that the church ought
to have a visible head, and that the Bishop of Rome was the right man
because, forsooth, Rome _had been_ the seat of empire? If, again, she
knows what St. Gregory said to the ambitious John of Constantinople, why
does she not quote a few more of his remarks? “_The care of the whole
church_,” said he, “_was committed to Peter; yet he is not called
'Universal Apostle_.’” “_Who does not know that his see_ (of
Constantinople) _is subject to the Apostolic See_ (of Rome)?” St.
Gregory, like his predecessor St. Pelagius, refused the title of
Œcumenical Patriarch, or Universal Bishop, for himself out of humility;
how, then, could he tolerate the assumption of it by a bishop who did
_not_ sit in Peter’s chair?

But we need not cite this book further to show that it is valueless in
Catholic eyes.


    DR. JOSEPH SALZMANN’S LEBEN UND WIRKEN DARGESTELLT VON JOSEPH
    RAINER, PRIESTER DER ERZDIÖCESE MILWAUKEE, PROFESSOR AM
    PRIESTERSEMINAR SALESIANUM. St. Louis: Herder.

The Salesianum is an ecclesiastical seminary near Milwaukee which enjoys
a very high reputation for the learning of its professors, the solidity
of its course of studies, and the strictness of its discipline. Near it
there is a Normal College for the training of school-teachers, and
another college for the intermediate education of boys. The man who was
the principal founder of these excellent institutions was the Very Rev.
Joseph Salzmann, D.D., an Austrian priest, who came to Wisconsin as a
missionary thirty years ago and finished his earthly course in January,
1874, honored and regretted throughout the United States. The venerable
Archbishop of Milwaukee first conceived the idea of founding a seminary
to educate priests for the Northwest more than thirty years ago, while
praying at the tomb of St. Francis de Sales, and this is the reason of
the name Salesianum by which the seminary was christened. The first
rector was the present learned Bishop of La Crosse, Dr. Heiss. Dr.
Salzmann succeeded him in office in 1868. The Rev. Professor Rainer, in
the little volume before us, gives an interesting account of the whole
life of Dr. Salzmann, but especially of his great and arduous work of
founding and establishing the Salesianum, which we may truly call a
heroic achievement. He was a thoroughly learned and accomplished
scholar, a man of sacerdotal dignity and personal attractiveness, an
eloquent preacher, with fair and seductive prospects before him in his
own beautiful Catholic land. He was well fitted to adorn those positions
in the church which are surrounded with the most outward _éclat_, and
give the opportunity of enjoying all the ease, comfort, and pleasure in
literary pursuits and quiet seclusion which are lawful and honorable in
the priesthood. Nevertheless, he chose the life of a Western missionary,
and devoted the greater part of his time and energies, not to the
intellectual and attractive employments of preaching and instruction in
the sciences, but to that most repugnant and arduous work of collecting
money and looking after the drudgery of building, providing, caring for
the material wants of new, poor, struggling institutions. It is not
possible for any who have not been brought up in some one of the old
Catholic countries of Europe to estimate the sacrifice made by young men
of refined character and education, and strong love of home and country,
when they devote themselves to missionary labor in a new country, and to
its hardest, most repulsive departments. There are special difficulties
and hardships to be encountered by those who work among our German
population. When they are bad or indifferent Catholics, they are the
most obstinate and unmanageable people with whom a priest can have to
deal, and very difficult to reclaim. Apostate and infidel Germans have a
brutality in their hatred to the Catholic Church and all religion which
is extremely odious and cannot be fully appreciated by one who has not
come into personal contact with that class, whose only god is beer and
whose church is the lager-beer saloon. _Zur Hölle_ is the appropriate
motto we have seen over one of these dens in New York. When thoroughly
imbued with the Catholic spirit, the German people are admirable. The
wonderful work of Christian civilization wrought out among them in past
ages is known to all readers of true history. Dr. Salzmann, and others
like him, are worthy successors of the apostolic men whose names are
recorded in the history of the church. They are the men who carry on the
true Cultur-Kampf in the vast realms of our Western territory. Their
acts are worthy to be classed with those so charmingly related in _The
Monks of the West_ and _Christian Schools and Scholars_. A keen Western
speculator said that “a bishop was worth as much as a railroad to a
Western town.” All that is wanted to repeat in the immense regions of
our new States and Territories the creation and development of great
civilized and Christian communities is the virile force, the manhood, of
those early times. Land and material resources exist in prodigal
abundance. It is men that are wanted—masses of people with strength and
spirit to abandon our crowded cities and old States and colonize new
domains, and men with the ability and virtue of leaders, guides,
founders, instructors, legislators, rulers, and benefactors. We trust
that the modest recital of the life of one generous young priest who
left his charming Austrian home to engage in this work may find its way
among the educated young men and young ecclesiastics of Germany. There
is work here for some among the hundreds of such young men, full of
vigorous health, full of intellectual vigor, full of sound learning, who
are at a loss to find a sufficient sphere for their activity in their
own country.

The greatest and noblest project of Dr. Salzmann was one which he could
not even begin to carry into execution—that of founding a university, a
new _Fulda_, for the Germans of America. We do not think that such an
institution could or should remain permanently an exclusively German
university. We desire, nevertheless, to see this grand idea carried out,
as a special work of our Catholics of German origin and language, under
the direction of a _corps_ of learned German professors, and with
special reference to the education of youth who are of the same descent
or who wish to study the language and literature of Germany. Time and
the course of nature will eventually blend all our heterogeneous
elements together, but we do not believe in violent efforts to hurry on
the process. All that we can borrow from any European language or
literature, all the recruits we can gain from the nurseries of scholars
or population in the Old World, is so much added to our intellectual,
social, and political strength and breadth. Of course the English
language and literature, American history and institutions, ought to be
assiduously studied by the learned foreigners who are domesticated among
us, and taught to their pupils of a different mother-tongue. This may be
done without abdicating the advantage which they possess, and which
others must acquire at the cost of great labor, by being born heirs to
the inheritance of their own immediate ancestors.

The great practical question of the moment is that of Catholic
education. The advocates of compulsory secular education are the enemies
of religion, of their country, and of true culture. The seminaries,
colleges, and schools where Catholic priests, youths, and children are
trained in sound religious knowledge, morality, and science are the
fortresses and the centres of real civilization. Whoever does a great
work in the cause of Catholic education is a benefactor to the church
and the country. Such a noble and meritorious man was Dr. Salzmann, a
priest powerful in word and work, a model for the young ecclesiastics of
the Salesianum to imitate, an encouraging example for all who are
laboring to found and perfect similar institutions. The diocese of
Milwaukee was a poor and feeble little bishopric when the venerable Dr.
Henni was consecrated in 1844. Now it is a metropolitan see, with above
190,000 Catholics in its diocesan limits, above 180 priests, several
flourishing institutions for the higher education of both sexes, and
schools in almost every parish. The Salesianum, where the first rector,
Dr. Heiss, was professor of Greek, mathematics, physics, philosophy, and
moral theology, numbers thirteen professors and two hundred and fifty
students. Surely, the prayers and labors of a good bishop, seconded by
those of able and zealous priests, can work wonders now as well as in
the best ages of the past. Indeed, works which a St. Francis of Sales
was unable to accomplish are now successfully performed within a short
time and with comparatively little difficulty. Assuredly, we cannot fail
to recognize a special benediction of God upon the church of the United
States.


    THE CONSOLATION OF THE DEVOUT SOUL. By the Very Rev. Joseph
    Frassinetti, Prior of Santa Sabina, in Genoa. Translated by
    Georgiana Lady Chatterton. London: Burns & Oates. 1876. (For sale by
    The Catholic Publication Society.)

The worth of a book ought to be estimated chiefly from its intrinsic
merits, yet, even without being acquainted with these, we may often
obtain a fair idea of its character by knowing something about the
author.

Father Frassinetti was an extraordinary man. He was born in the city of
Genoa on Dec. 15, 1803, and died there on the 3d of January, 1868.
Thirty-nine years of his life were spent in the priesthood, with an
unsullied reputation for piety and zeal, and a wide-spread fame as a
preacher, director of consciences, and writer on spiritual matters. A
uniform edition of his works, which are all in Italian, was published
shortly before his death in ten volumes, and dedicated to the late
Cardinal Patrizi, Vicar of Rome.

The first volume of his collected works contains _Il conforto dell’
Anima Divota_, of which we have the excellent translation before us. Its
author was not only a remarkably learned man, but also a singularly
pious man—one whom our Holy Father Pope Pius IX. called, in a certain
brief, a priest _spectatæ doctrinæ et virtutis_—and distinguished by the
rare faculty of being able to communicate his knowledge to others, and
of knowing how to lead others on to personal holiness. Nearly forty
years of his life were passed in leaching his fellow-men by word and
example how to love, serve, and honor God and save their souls. That
such a one should have written this little book on _The Consolation of
the Devout Soul_ is a sufficient guarantee of its usefulness and
doctrine. The work is divided into five chapters and an appendix, in
which the author successively defines what is meant by Christian
perfection, shows that it is not a thing too difficult to be acquired,
solves certain objections against facility of sanctification, explains
the beauty and utility of Christian perfection, points out the means of
arriving at this much-desired end, and concludes with a short treatise
on the holy fear of God. Several notes are added.

This translation bears the _imprimatur_ of the devout and learned Bishop
of Birmingham. We earnestly recommend it to the members of religious
orders, and to people who serve God in the world.


    THE CODE POETICAL READER, for school and home use. With marginal
    notes, and biographical notices of authors. By a Teacher. London:
    Burns & Oates. 1877. (For sale by The Catholic Publication Society.)

This Reader is made up of eighty short poems from British and American
authors. Each selection is accompanied by marginal notes and is headed
by a short biographical notice. The plan is excellent, the publishers’
work is well done, but the biographical notices are so brief as to be of
little value, and the marginal notes are nothing more than commonplace
definitions of difficult words. Perhaps it is hardly just to call the
words referred to difficult, since the majority of the poems are as
simple in diction as _Lord Ullin’s Daughter_. The fault may be
attributed partly to the marginal-note plan, since an absence of notes
would leave an unsightly page. Still, this is no excuse for careless
definitions: _unfriended_ is a poor substitute for _forlorn_;
_California_ is not _a mountainous country of North America on the
Pacific coast_; _Indian_ is a name given to the _aboriginal_ inhabitants
of America, not to the _ancient_ inhabitants; _pollution_ does not mean
_to corrupt_; concealing can hardly mean at once _hiding_ and _to keep
secret_. In the lines from _The Village Blacksmith_,

    “Each morning sees some task begun,
    Each evening sees its close,”

the word _close_ is defined _finished_. These are a few inaccuracies out
of many. The selections comprise some of the most exquisite short poems
in the language, there being few extracts and but one translation. Were
it not for the absence of selections from Catholic sources, this would
be a desirable class-book. Why Adelaide Procter, Aubrey de Vere, Gerald
Griffin, Davis, McGee, are excluded, and Bret Harte honored in two
places, is a mystery. Nor do other poets fare better. Caswall is not
mentioned; in truth, there is not one poem from a Catholic author.
Catholics are not the only persons who suffer from the editor’s
discrimination. Tennyson is excluded, while Rev. Charles Kingsley
contributes two pieces. Six selections come from Longfellow. These facts
show that it was not for want of space that Catholic poems find no room
in a text-book published by a Catholic firm. Nor was it merit alone that
prompted the editor in his selection. The book seems to have been
prepared for schools in which neither the name nor the sentiment of a
Catholic writer might enter. The system that excludes the grace and
purity of Adelaide Procter, the sweetness and vigor of De Vere, and the
perfect rhythm of Tennyson will bring forth bitter fruit, and those who
assist the projectors in their plans may expect to reap the usual
harvest of ingratitude, together with the unpleasant memory of having
closed their eyes to the merits of Catholic poets because of the
hostility of some so-called non sectarian school-board.


    SUMMA SUMMÆ. Pars Prima—De Deo. Confecit ac edidit T. J. O’Mahony,
    S.T.D., Philos. in Collegio OO.SS., Dublinii, Professor. Dublinii:
    apud M. H. Gill et Fil.; Lond.: Burns et Oates; Paris: J. Lecoffre
    et Soc. 1877.

This summary of the _Summa Theologica_ of St. Thomas is chiefly intended
as an aid to ecclesiastical students in the study of the great work of
the Angelic Doctor. The first part only is yet published. Dr. O’Mahony,
of All-Hallow’s College, its author, with great skill and painstaking,
has endeavored to make the order and arrangement of topics and divisions
in the _Summa_ more intelligible by means of a convenient
type-arrangement and distinctive headings, and to facilitate the
understanding of the text by an analytical abstract which contains many
literal quotations, followed by a synthetic synopsis of subjects. The
work seems to have been done intelligently and well, and its utility is
obvious to every student who has attempted to read even one page of the
_Summa_. It is neatly printed, and we trust may soon be completed.


    WHY ARE WE ROMAN CATHOLICS? BECAUSE WE ARE REASONABLE MEN. By
    Hermann Joseph Graf Fugger Glött, Priest of the Society of Jesus.
    From the German. London: Burns & Oates. 1877. (For sale by The
    Catholic Publication Society.)

A clear, solid, and short exposition of the Catholic faith, in view of
actual objections against its reasonableness. It would be well if there
were more works of this kind. The rational side of revealed truth needs
a various development to meet the many intellectual demands of our age.
Besides, there are many sincere persons in Protestant communities who
are disposed to be Christians, but are in suspense because of the
inconsistency of Protestantism with reason. These need only the
obstacles to faith to be removed for them to become Catholics. For such
this short treatise will be of special service. It should be also read
by Catholics, as they ought to be prepared when asked to know how “to
give a reason for the hope that is in them.” The author shows a familiar
knowledge of the anti-Christian writers of our day, is free from all
bitterness, and we hope to hear from his pen in this field again. The
translation reads as if written in English.


    CARTE ECCLESIASTIQUE DES ETATS-UNIS DE L’AMERIQUE. LYONS. 1877.

A few copies of this chart have been sent to this country, and we have
received one through the courtesy of Father Perron, of Woodstock
College. It is a handsome, well-executed, and, so far as we have
discovered, correct map of the provinces and bishoprics of the United
States. Such a map is convenient and valuable. We think it would be
improved by making each of the provinces of one distinct color, and
marking the dioceses by broad colored lines, and the States by similar
black lines. The titles of the provinces and dioceses might also be
printed in large letters, and the sees receive more conspicuous signs.
The chart is published by the Society of Catholic Missions, 6 Rue
d’Auvergne, à Lyon. Directeur, M. l’Abbé Stanislas Laverrière. All the
profits are given to the missions. We suggest to our Catholic publishers
to send for copies and keep them on hand for sale.


    HEROIC WOMEN OF THE BIBLE AND THE CHURCH. By the Rev. Bernard
    O’Reilly, D.D. With art illustrations. New York: J. B. Ford & Co.
    1877.

We can do no more now than call the attention of our readers to this
most beautiful work—beautiful in every sense—of which we have received
advance sheets. The author’s name needs no introduction to Catholic
readers. We reserve for a future date a fuller notice of a
well-conceived and admirably executed work, one too of great practical
utility. Father O’Reilly’s statement in the preface, that “the
publishers have spared neither labor nor expense to make this book most
beautiful in form,” is obviously true at the first glance.



                          THE CATHOLIC WORLD.
                    VOL. XXV., No. 147.—JUNE, 1877.


                           THE PAPAL JUBILEE.
                       SONNETS BY AUBREY DE VERE.


                                   I.
                         THE GREAT PILGRIMAGE.


    What beam is that, guiding once more from far
    Earth’s Elders Rome-ward over sea and land?
    What Sanctity, serene as Bethlehem’s star,
    From East and West leads on each pilgrim band?
    God’s light it is—on an unsceptred Hand!
    God’s promise, shining without let or bar,
    O’er sleeping realms that yet may wake in war,
    Forth from that Brow Discrowned whose high command
    Freshens in splendor with the advancing night
    Missioned to blot all godless crowns with gloom:—
    Like fruits untimely from a tree in blight
    Such crowns shall fall. Even now they know their doom!
    Advance, pure hearts! Your instinct guides you right
    The Bethlehem Crib, this day, is by Saint Peter’s tomb.


                                  II.
                     THE JERUSALEM OF THE NEW LAW.


    “The Tribes ascend.” Ten centuries and nine
    Have well-nigh passed since first the earth’s green breast
    Confessed, deep-graved, those feet that Christ confessed,—
    Those feet which, then when earth was Palestine,
    Circled her Salem new. Mankind was thine,
    O Rome, that time. All nations sent their best
    To waft thee offerings, and their faith attest:—
    They love thee most who love thee in decline.
    The noble seek thy courts. What gibbering crew
    Snarls at their heels? The brood that fears and hates;—
    Prescient Defeat in bonds, that jeers the brave:
    Ascend, true hearts! Such tribute is your due!
    In Rome’s old triumphs thus the car-bound slave
    Scoffed, as he passed, of Fortune’s spite, and Fate’s.[42]

Footnote 42:

  In the Roman triumphs a captive slave was bound to the car of the
  conqueror, into whose ear his office was to whisper of fortune’s
  instability.


                                  III.
                         THE CONFESSOR PONTIFF.


    Full fifty years are past since first that weight
    Descended on his head which made more strong
    His heart, his hands more swift to war with wrong—
    His martyred Master’s dread Episcopate:
    Full thirty years beside the Apostles’ Gate
    He reigned, and reigns: he roamed, an exile, long:
    Restored, he faced once more the apostate throng,
    Unbowed in woes, in greatness unelate.
    New Hierarchies he sped to realms remote:
    Central, by Peter’s Tomb he raised his hands
    Blessing his thousand bishops from all lands;
    Confirmed their great decree. False kings he smote:—
    How long, just God, shall Treason’s banner float
    O’er faith’s chief shrine profaned by rebel bands?



                        POPE PIUS THE NINTH.[43]

Footnote 43:

  _Pie IX.: sa vie, son Histoire, son Siècle._ Par J. M. Villefranche.
  Lyons. 1876.

  _Rome: its Ruler and its Institutions._ By John Francis Maguire, M.P.
  New York. 1858.

  _Italy in 1848._ By L. Mariotti. London. 1851.

  _The Secret Societies of the European Revolution, 1776-1876._ By
  Thomas Frost. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1876.

The whole Catholic world prepares to celebrate on the 3d of June of this
year the fiftieth anniversary of an episcopate which has no parallel in
the history of the church. Our Holy Father Pius IX. has surpassed most
of his predecessors in the importance of his labors, and has far
exceeded them all in the length of his pontificate. He was young when he
reached the dignity of bishop, but Leo XII., to whom he owed his
promotion, had already discerned the beauty of his character.
Sinigaglia, where he was born, on the 13th of May, 1792; Volterra, where
he passed six years at college; Rome, where he studied theology, abound
with stories of the sweet and sunny disposition, the fervent piety, and
the burning zeal which illustrated even his tenderest years. He was six
years of age when the venerable Pius VI. was dragged away into
captivity, and the biographers of Pius IX. speak of the excitement which
stirred his boyish heart, and the prayers which he poured out night and
morning at his mother’s knee for the outraged church. His earliest
recollections of the Papacy were a fit preparation for what he was to
undergo in after-life. The Holy Father appeared to his young eyes, not
as the crowned pontiff, but as the suffering and heroic confessor. He
saw Pius VII. following Pius VI. into banishment. He saw the last inch
of territory taken from the Holy See. One of his uncles, a canon of St.
Peter’s, was driven from Rome on account of his fidelity to the pope;
and another uncle, who was Bishop of Pesaro, was thrown into prison for
the same cause. He had finished his course at college and was living at
home when Pius VII. returned from exile, and he was presented to the
pontiff as he passed through Sinigaglia on the road to Rome. The Mastai
family were distantly related to Pius VII., and the pope took an
interest in his kinsman. But there was an obstacle which seemed likely
to defeat the young Mastai’s desire to enter holy orders. He was subject
to fits of epilepsy. The physicians gave him no hope of a cure. About
the time of the pope’s return, however, the violence of the disorder
began to abate, and his health was soon so far restored that he was
encouraged to continue his studies for the church. He always ascribed
his relief to the protection of the Blessed Virgin. In 1819 he was
ordained priest by special dispensation, and appointed to the humble
duty of serving the asylum for poor children established in the Via
Giulia in Rome by a pious mason named Giovanni Borgi. It was called the
Asylum Tata Giovanni, because “Tata Giovanni”—or Papa John—was the name
which the lads used to give their protector. The Abbate Mastai had been
a good friend and helper of Papa John, and was glad of the privilege of
continuing his work now that the benevolent old man had gone to his
reward. He occupied a little chamber in the asylum. He ate at the table
with the boys. He spent all his income in their service. He kept his
regard for them long after they had grown up, and even as Pope he
remembered the names of his pupils and followed their fortunes with a
tender interest. It has often been said that Pius IX. never forgot
anybody.

The first employment which brought him into public notice was a mission
to the New World. Some of the clergy of the South American states had
petitioned the Holy See to fill their long-vacant bishoprics. Many years
had passed since the close of their war of independence with Spain, but
the mother-country still asserted the authority which she no longer
attempted to enforce, and claimed the right of presentation to sees long
withdrawn from her jurisdiction. The church in South America remained,
consequently, in lamentable confusion until the Sovereign Pontiff
resolved to re-establish order by the exercise of his prerogative,
without government interference from either side; and the embassy of
which we speak was despatched in consequence. Monsignore Muzi, with the
title of vicar-apostolic, was at the head of it, and the Abbate Mastai
was appointed adjunct.[44] Before the expedition sailed Pope Pius VII.
died, but Leo XII. confirmed the selections made by his predecessor;
and, indeed, the choice of the Abbate Mastai had been made originally by
his advice. On the voyage the ship was driven by stress of weather into
the Spanish port of Palma, in the island of Majorca. The governor threw
the embassy into prison and kept them for some days in seclusion, on the
ground that the country to which they were bound was in rebellion
against the Spanish crown. “Then,” said the Pope, in telling this
adventure nearly half a century afterward, “I realized the necessity of
the papal independence. They sent me a ration of food every day from the
ship, but I was allowed neither letters nor papers. I was initiated on
this occasion, however, into the little stratagems of solitary
prisoners; for we hid our correspondence in loaves of bread.” The
embassy got away at last and spent two years of fatigue and danger in
South America, visiting the missions of Chili, Peru, and Colombia,
traversing the awful passes of the Cordilleras, and crossing the
continent in bullock-carts—a journey which took them nearly two months.
Once, in going by sea from Valparaiso to Callao, their vessel, caught
near the coast in a gale, was driving upon the rocks when a fisherman
put off in his boat, boarded them in the midst of the storm, and brought
them through intricate passages into the harbor of Arica. The next day
the Abbate Mastai visited the hut of this daring pilot, and left with
him a purse containing about four hundred dollars. After becoming Pope
he sent the man a second purse of equal value and his picture. The
fisherman was overwhelmed with gratitude. The first four hundred dollars
had proved the making of his fortune. He gave the second to the poor,
and placed the picture of the Pope in a little chapel which he had built
on a spot overlooking the sea.

Footnote 44:

  For a full account of this mission see THE CATHOLIC WORLD for January,
  1876.

The embassy returned to Rome in 1825, and the Abbate Mastai was
appointed canon of Santa Maria in Via Lata, a little church on the
Corso, with an oratory in which pious tradition relates that St. Paul
and St. Luke used to teach the faith to the first Christians of Rome. He
was also promoted to the prelacy and placed at the head of the great
Hospital of St. Michael. “The Hospital of St. Michael,” says one of the
latest of the biographers of Pius IX., “is a city in itself, and its
administration is a real government.” Founded two centuries ago by
Innocent X., it grew, by the additions of later pontiffs, to be one of
the greatest and grandest asylums in existence—a house of refuge for the
young, a retreat for the aged and infirm, a hospital for the sick, a
reformatory for Magdalens, a home for virtuous girls, and, besides all
that, a school of arts and industries. When Monsignore Mastai assumed
the presidency of this vast and complicated institution, every
department of it was in a deplorable state of disorganization. Nearly
all the earnings of the boys and girls in the industrial schools went
towards the support of the establishment, and yet there was an enormous
deficit in the revenues. Bankruptcy seemed at hand. The new president
took up his task with magnificent ardor and equally magnificent
discretion, with the enthusiasm of a reformer and the practical sagacity
of a man of business. In two years the disorder was at an end. The
expenses of the institution were brought within its income, yet its
charity was enlarged rather than restricted, and a large share of the
earnings of the boys was paid into a savings’ fund, to be returned to
them when they went out into the world. Monsignore Mastai had obtained
this remarkable result in part by his talent for business; but not
wholly by that, for when the work was done his own patrimony had
disappeared. “Of what use is money to a priest,” said he, “except to be
spent in the cause of charity?” So it happened that when Leo XII. called
him to the archbishopric of Spoleto in 1827 he had not money enough to
pay for his bulls. The last acre of his estate was sold for the
customary fees, and he entered Spoleto as penniless as the apostle whom
our Lord commanded to take the tax-money from the mouth of a fish.

The first years of his episcopate were passed as any one who had watched
the labors of his priesthood might have predicted that they would be. He
was rarely seen by the courtiers of the papal palace, but his people
knew him as the friend and father of the poor, and loved him for a
tenderness and generosity almost without bounds. He filled his diocese
with good works, founding seminaries and asylums, introducing charitable
orders, always setting a practical example of beneficence by attending
personally to the wants of the unfortunate. He spent in alms the last
copper in his purse, and sold the ornaments from his parlor for the poor
when his purse was empty. It was the golden time of his life—a time of
peace and consolation. The church in Italy just then was at rest. A long
period of political disturbance had been followed by comparative quiet.
Convents and pious schools were multiplied, and the saintly Archbishop
of Spoleto found himself in the midst of a devout clergy and a grateful
people. There was a short outbreak in the Romagna in 1831, premature and
easily suppressed, and it was then that the archbishop was brought for
the first time into contact with the spirit of revolution destined to
make such a bitter and memorable war upon him in later years. Among the
adventurers implicated in the movement were two scions of the Bonaparte
family. The elder brother died during the enterprise; the younger lived
to become emperor. There is a story that when Louis Napoleon fled from
the ruin of the revolt in the Romagna, he knocked one night at the door
of the Archbishop of Spoleto, and owed his safety to the charity of that
most charitable of men. It is a story which rests upon no very firm
authority, and yet, though often published, it stands uncontradicted. It
is certain, however, that in the last days of the insurrection the
archbishop did show his tenderness for the unfortunate in a signal
manner. Four thousand revolutionists, pursued by Austrian troops,
presented themselves before Spoleto. The archbishop went out to meet
them. He persuaded them, since their cause was lost, to lay down their
arms. He gave them several thousand crowns for their immediate needs. He
pledged his word that they should not be molested. Then he performed the
still more difficult task of inducing the Austrian commander to ratify
the promise. The pursuit was abandoned; the insurgents retired quietly
to their homes. Pope Gregory XVI., however, was not pleased with this
transaction, and the archbishop was called to Rome to defend himself. We
must presume that his explanation was satisfactory; for the next year he
was advanced to the see of Imola. This is only a suffragan see, but it
is more important in itself than the archbishopric of Spoleto, and is,
moreover, what is called a cardinalitial post—under ordinary
circumstances a step towards the higher dignity of the scarlet hat. It
was held by Pius VII. when he was Cardinal Chiaramonti. The promotion of
Bishop Mastai came in due course. His creation as cardinal was announced
in December, 1840, having been reserved _in petto_ since the previous
year, and he took his title from the church of SS. Peter and
Marcellinus. With his new dignity he adopted no new mode of life. Works
of charity and devotion still filled his days. The love and respect of
all classes of men still encompassed him. It is the best proof of the
tranquil and happy course of his episcopate that of the nineteen years
which he passed at Spoleto and Imola there is hardly an incident to be
related.

His whole life thus far seems to have been a providential preparation
for the two great works for which he was destined by Almighty God. On
the spiritual side of the church he was to bring about the consolidation
of Catholic dogma and the complete definition and development of the
authority of the church over the minds and hearts of her children. On
the secular side, after showing the perfect compatibility of the
temporal power with the needs of modern society, he was to guide the
church with fortitude and prudence, and give the Christian world a
shining example of constancy during the trying days that were to see
that power destroyed. What better training could he have had for this
double destiny than so many years of charitable labor and close
intercourse with God? He issued at last from his pious retirement with a
character enriched by the daily practice of virtue, a disposition
sweetened by the habit of self-sacrifice, a resolution strengthened by
reliance upon God, and a heavenly courage that was proof against the
threats and buffets of the world.


                                   I.


We have spoken of the brief season of repose in Italian politics about
the time of our Holy Father’s elevation to the episcopate. It was,
indeed, only a transient gleam of sunlight in the midst of a tempestuous
era. We come now to a period of universal disturbance. This is not the
place to discuss the causes of the great revulsions of 1848. Probably
they were more complex and reached further back than the world generally
supposes. But whatever may have been the local provocations for revolt
in particular states, it is clear that, for more than a quarter of a
century before the date with which we are now occupied, the
revolutionary tendencies of all Europe had shown a unity of direction
which implied a single guiding impulse. It is not credible that a few
clubs of political enthusiasts, visionary young students, hare-brained
apothecaries, and metaphysical breeches-makers should be able by the
fire of their own genius to set a continent in flames. The revolutionary
propaganda of 1830-1848 found in every country of Europe a combustible
population only waiting for the spark. Some states were rotten with
social and moral disorders of long standing; some, like Poland, were
writhing under an oppression which moved the sympathies of the whole
world; some fretted under the restrictions of antiquated forms of
government, unsuited to the wants of an expanding society. Thus the
generous and patriotic were easily hurried into enterprises whose true
purpose they were far from suspecting. The central influence which
vitalized and directed all the scattered tendencies towards revolt was
the conspiracy of the secret societies. “In the attempt to conduct the
government of the world,” said the British prime minister last autumn,
in his address at Aylesbury, “there are new elements to be considered
which our predecessors had not to deal with. We have not only to deal
with emperors, princes, and ministers, but there are the secret
societies—an element which we must take into consideration, which at the
last moment may baffle all our arrangements, which have their agents
everywhere, which countenance assassination, and which, if necessary,
could produce a massacre.” Lord Beaconsfield’s statement was a very mild
one. The secret societies had become, at the time of which we write, the
most formidable force in European politics. There was not a corner of
the Continent in which their power was not felt. Intimately allied with
Freemasonry, their origin dates back to a remote, unknown time. They
were already strong in the eighteenth century, and their share in the
great French Revolution is well understood. They became formidable in
the Illuminism of Weishaupt in Germany a hundred years ago. They
appeared in the Tugendbund, which had so large a share in the overthrow
of the governments imposed upon the German states by Napoleon I. They
were busy in Russia, in Greece, in Ireland, in Spain, and even in the
Swiss Republic; in Italy they have never been idle since the first
appearance of the Carbonari at the beginning of the century; in France
they are the only power which seems to be permanent. As early as 1821
the Italian revolutionist, Pepe, gave Carbonarism an international
character by establishing in Spain a secret association of the “advanced
political reformers of all the European states”; and in 1834 Mazzini
made a much more effective union of the revolutionary elements when,
with the aid of Italian, Polish, and German refugees, he founded at
Berne the society of Young Europe. The organization of Young Germany,
Young Poland, and Young Switzerland dates from the same time and place,
and Switzerland became the centre of all the agitations of the
Continent. Young Italy had been grafted upon Carbonarism by Mazzini as
early as 1831.

Many of these associations, as we have already intimated, professed an
excellent object. They would have been comparatively harmless, if they
had not attracted and deceived the good. The Tugendbund, for instance,
originally aimed at the deliverance of Germany from a foreign yoke;
Young Poland captivated the noble and the ardent; even the Carbonari had
an alluring watchword in the Unity and Independence of Italy. But there
was always an ulterior purpose, revealed only to the initiated. That
purpose was one and unchanging, and it was the bond which united all the
leaders of the vast conspiracy from the Irish Sea to the Grecian
Archipelago, from Gibraltar to Nova Zembla. It was the establishment
everywhere of an atheistic democracy; or rather the destruction
simultaneously of all religion, all government, and all social bonds.
Kings and priests were equally hateful to the “Illuminated.” There was
to be no recognition of God in their republic. It was hostile not only
to the Catholic Church as an organization, but to Christianity as a
moral influence. The Illuminati were founded in the midst of the Masonic
lodges of Bavaria; they passed thence into Austria, Saxony, Holland,
Italy, and Switzerland; they were carried to Paris by Mirabeau, who was
initiated in Germany; they were united with the Freemasons all over
France. Recognized as the parents of the later societies, they sounded
as early as 1777 the key-note of the whole complex movement. Findel, the
Masonic historian of Freemasonry, declares that “the most decisive
agent” in giving the order a political and anti-religious character was
“that intellectual movement known under the name of English deism, which
boldly rejected all revelation and all religious dogmas, and under the
victorious banner of reason and criticism broke down all barriers in its
path.” But Weishaupt found still too much “political and religious
prejudice” remaining in the Freemasons, and consequently devised a
system which, as he expressed it, would “attract Christians of every
communion and gradually free them from all religious prejudices.” The
“illumination” of the brethren was to be accomplished by a course of
gradual education in which Christianity was carefully ignored. It was
only in the higher degrees that the initiated were taught that the fall
of man meant nothing but the subjection of the individual to civil
society; that “illumination” consisted in getting rid of all
governments; and that “the secret associations were gradually and
silently to possess themselves of the government of the states, making
use for this purpose of the means which the wicked use for attaining
their base ends.” We quote this from the discourse read at initiation
into one of the higher degrees, and discovered when the papers of the
fraternity were seized by the Elector of Bavaria in 1785. The same
document continues: “Princes and priests are in particular the wicked
whose hands we must tie up by means of these associations, if we cannot
wipe them out altogether.” Patriotism was defined as a narrow-minded
prejudice; and, finally, the illuminated man was taught that everything
is material, that religion has no foundation, that all nations must be
brought back, either by peaceable means or by force, to their pristine
condition of unrestricted liberty, for “all subordination must vanish
from the face of the earth.” The ceremonies of initiation into the
lodges of the Carbonari remind us so strongly of this explanation of the
principles of Illuminism that it is impossible to resist the conclusion
that the two associations are closely connected. The neophyte was taught
the same doctrine in both: that man had everywhere fallen into the hands
of oppressors, whose authority it was the mission of the enlightened to
cast off. Here, however, as in the earlier society, the pagan character
of the proposed new life was only revealed by degrees to those who were
prepared for it. The conspirators seem to have accommodated their system
of education to the peculiarities of national training and disposition.
For example, they humored the religious tendencies of the Italians by
retaining the name of God and the image of the crucifix in the
ceremonial of the lower degrees, and even published a forged bull, in
the name of Pope Pius VII., approving the Carbonari; while in the
training of Young Germany just a contrary course was adopted. “We are
obliged to treat new-comers very cautiously,” says a report from a
propagandist committee established among the Germans in Switzerland, “to
bring them step by step into the right road, and the principal thing in
this respect is to show them that religion is nothing but a pile of
rubbish.” Indeed, the rampant atheism of the secret societies of
Germany, and also of France, has always been notorious. Of the still
more horrible manifestations of impiety to which they were carried in
Italy we hesitate to speak, lest we be suspected of sensational
exaggerations. All that we have said thus far of the principles and
practices of the Masons, Illuminati, and Carbonari is quoted from their
own books and papers, and may be found in the work of their admirer and
apologist, Thomas Frost, the title of which we have placed at the head
of this article. For a more startling picture of their inner mysteries
we refer the reader to Father Bresciani,[45] who lived in Rome in 1848
and had direct testimony of horrors which almost defy belief. Mr. Frost,
however, gives a glimpse of the worse than pagan spirit of Carbonarism
when he describes the initiation into the second degree—a ceremony
wherein the candidate, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross,
personated our divine Lord, and knelt to ask pardon of Pilate, Caiphas,
and Herod, represented by the grand master and two assistants, the
pardon being granted at the intercession of the assembled Carbonari! In
all the societies an abstract morality was taught which was not the
morality of Jesus Christ, and laws were laid down at variance with the
laws of the state. Assassination was one of the chief duties which the
fraternity enjoined upon its votaries. The initiated fancied that they
emancipated themselves from all subordination; but they bound themselves
by the most awful penalties to murder any one, even friend or brother,
who might be pointed out for death by some unseen, unknown, and shadowy
authority.

Footnote 45:

  _The Jew of Verona._ English translation, 2 vols. 12mo. Baltimore.
  1854.

When Pope Gregory XVI. came to the throne the conspiracies of ten years
were just ripening. He was assailed in the very first month of his
pontificate by the rising in the Romagna, and he spent the fifteen years
of his reign in a struggle to keep down the evil spirit whose apparition
then alarmed him. All Europe during these fifteen years was a volcano
sending forth the deep mutterings and sulphurous vapors which presage an
eruption. France was never at peace from the overthrow of Charles X. in
1830 till after the re-establishment of the empire—if even she is at
peace yet. Every capital in Germany was in nightly danger of the dagger,
the torch, and the barricade. Switzerland, though a free republic, was
no less severely tormented by conspiracies than the monarchical
countries, and after several years of contention her secret societies
took arms in 1844 to compel the Catholic cantons, against the
constitution of the confederation, to expel the Jesuits. In Poland, at
the very moment when the nobles were preparing a revolt against the
Austrian yoke, a socialistic and agrarian rising of the peasants against
the nobles filled Galicia with massacres of incredible barbarity. In
Italy the Carbonari negotiated for a while with the Duke of Modena, by
whose aid they proposed to expel the Austrians from Lombardy and Venice,
and unite the states of the north and centre under one sovereign—of
course with the further object, held in reserve, of getting rid of the
Duke of Modena as soon as they had no further use for him: a scheme
almost exactly like that which Young Italy tried a few years later with
Charles Albert of Sardinia. Defeated in this project and crushed in
attempts at insurrection, they worked for some time in secret, but they
worked with furious energy. The doctrines of Illumination were carried
into every corner of the peninsula. A score of local secret associations
came into existence, adding to the wickedness of the parent society some
peculiar brutality of their own. Ancona had its “Society of Death,”
Sinigaglia its “Infernal Association,” Leghorn its “Society of Slayers,”
Faenza its “Band of Stabbers.”

Between 1831 and 1840, however, the policy of the Italian revolutionists
was greatly modified. Mazzini established Young Italy under the
conviction that the old methods of conspiracy must fail. Instead of
wasting their strength in vain efforts to overturn the Italian princes
singly, he urged the brethren to concentrate their energies upon a
movement for the expulsion of the Austrians and a consolidation of all
the Italian states. The fate of pope, and kings, and princes could be
settled afterwards. “All questions as to forms of internal policy,” he
wrote, “can be put off till the close of the war of independence.” Italy
and independence! This was a programme, not for the secret societies
alone, but for the whole peninsula. It captivated the generous, the
impulsive, the ardent, the ambitious. It brought to the same work
poetry, patriotism, and religion, the pistol, the dagger, and the
poisoned cup. What was to be done with Italy, when it was united and rid
of the Austrians, was one of the secrets of the initiated never
explained to the common people; but remarkable illustrations of the
inner character of this movement were found in 1844 among certain papers
seized by the police in Rome. “Our watchword,” wrote one of the leaders,
“must be Religion, Union, Independence. As for the King of Sardinia, we
should seek some favorable opportunity to poignard him. I recommend the
same course to be pursued in regard to the King of Naples. The Lombards
may second our efforts by poison, or by insurrection, under the form of
little 'Sicilian Vespers’ against the Germans. Functionaries or private
citizens who show a hostile spirit must be put to death. Let them be
arrested quietly during the night, and the report be circulated that
they have been exiled or sent to prison, or have absconded.” Mazzini
himself a little later, in an address to Young Italy, gave a significant
explanation of his idea. “In your country,” said he, “regeneration must
come through the princes. Get them on your side. Attack their vanity.
Let them march at the head, if they will, so long as they march your
way. Few will go to the end. If they make concessions, praise them and
insist upon something further. The essential thing is not to let them
know what the goal of the revolution is. They must never see more than
one step at a time.” And he urged also the importance of “managing” the
clergy. “Its habits and hierarchy make it the imp of authority—that is
to say, of despotism”; but the people believe in it, and we must make
its influence of use. With the Jesuits, however, he proclaimed war to
the knife. None of the socialists and infidels were willing to make any
terms with the sons of St. Ignatius.

In the prosecution of this new scheme of revolution the conspirators
obtained invaluable help from a most unexpected ally. The erring genius
of the unfortunate Abbate Gioberti did more for them than the
machinations of the lodges. Carried away by visions of a new Italy and a
new Catholicism, he forgot the divine mission of the church in
speculations as to what she might accomplish in purely secular
enterprises. His great error was in thinking of religion as an agent of
civilization rather than an instrumentality for saving souls, and thus
he was led into the blunder of attempting to unite God and the world in
an equal partnership. He conceived the idea of an Italian federation
with the King of Sardinia as military head and the Pope as spiritual
president—a sort of dual empire like that of Japan, with a tycoon at
Turin, a mikado at the Vatican. But the clergy were to abdicate their
dominion over the minds of men, and bend their energies to effecting an
alliance of religion with a material progress that in his theory had
outstripped the church and become for ever incompatible with
ecclesiastical tutelage. He wished the priests to put themselves at the
head of the new social movements, and, hand in hand with the political
agitators, to lead Italy to a material glory such as no nation on earth
had ever seen. His book, _Del Primato_, was welcomed with unparalleled
enthusiasm. The charm of a brilliant style, the force of an original,
cultivated, and poetic mind, the glamour of a philosophy which seemed to
meet all the wants of an exciting and uneasy time, turned the heads of
the whole nation. Gioberti, Cesare Balbo, Massimo d’Azeglio, were the
creators of a new literature, and all Italy read them with flashing eyes
and quickening pulse. Theirs was a reform which seized upon the fancy of
good and bad alike, and hurried into a common delusion the heedless
Christian and the veteran Carbonaro, the young, the imaginative, the
adventurous, and the artful. Mazzini, who afterwards became one of
Gioberti’s bitterest enemies, was too shrewd to undervalue this
influence. He sought an interview with Gioberti in Paris; he offered
terms of co-operation; he even went through the form of renouncing what
he styled his own “more narrow views,” and proposed a National
Association which, adjourning all questions of forms and spirit of
government, faith or scepticism, God or the devil, should unite Italy in
the single purpose of creating an Italian nation. Different as the aims
of the two men were—for Gioberti included even the Austrian government
of Lombardy and Venice in his union—they embraced each other for the
moment. Together they swept the peninsula. Every city from Palermo to
Milan was aflame with the new ideas. The soberest patriots lost their
composure, and many of the clergy began to dream wild dreams of
political change, and to see visions of reformed conspirators kneeling
at the feet of a democratic pope. We look back upon those days from the
vantage-ground of experience, and we wonder that men should have been so
deceived. But 1848 had not then given the lie to the professions of
1846. Devout Italians at that time did not see, as we do, that the
secret societies which assailed the church on one side of the Alps with
fire and sword could not be sincere in offering to place it in a new
position of power and glory on the other, nor did they realize the
extent of the conspiracy to overwhelm religion, government, and social
order throughout Europe in one general ruin.

That conspiracy was more formidable in Italy than anywhere else, and it
was more formidable not only because it was better organized, but
because it involved so many men of blameless character and offered to
satisfy a lofty national aspiration. During the last years of Pope
Gregory XVI. an explosion seemed inevitable. Probably nothing kept it
back except the age and infirmities of the venerable pontiff; the
leaders preferred to wait for his death. He died on the 1st of June,
1846. The whole peninsula was instantly in commotion, and the symptoms
of violence in Rome were so alarming that people doubted the possibility
of an election. Austria, as the power most directly interested in the
secular politics of the Holy See, was understood to demand a continuance
of the restrictive policy of Gregory; France, on the contrary, was said
to desire a moderately liberal pope. To avoid pressure upon the
conclave, as well as to forestall an outbreak, the Italian cardinals
resolved to begin their deliberations at once and finish them quickly.
Without waiting for their distant colleagues, they entered the Quirinal
on the 14th, the doors were closed, the guards were set, and the
balloting began. Two ballots are taken in the conclave every day. The
persons whom public opinion selected as most likely to command the
necessary thirty-four votes were Cardinals Gizzi and Lambruschini. The
modest and retiring Cardinal Mastai seems to have been little known by
the outside world, though his merit was no secret to the Sacred College.
He was appointed scrutator, to open and read the ballots. At the first
session of the conclave his name was proposed by Cardinal Altieri,
Prince-Bishop of Albano, and the first scrutiny showed that he united a
large party of the cardinals. On the second ballot he gained a little.
On the third his vote was twenty-seven—only seven less than a majority.
He retired to his cell and spent the whole time in prayer till the
evening meeting. He came to the performance of his functions pale and
agitated. When the ballots were taken from the chalice in which they had
been collected, he read his own name on the first, on the second, on the
third, on every paper up to the eighteenth. He could not go on; he
begged the conclave to commit the rest of the task to another. But to
change the scrutator in the midst of the vote would invalidate the
election. The cardinals gathered around him; for some time he sat
terrified and almost insensible, while streams of tears flowed down his
cheeks. On the completion of the count it was found that he had the
suffrages of thirty-six out of the fifty-four cardinals present. As the
whole assembly rose to confirm the choice by unanimous acclamation, the
Pope-elect fell upon his knees, and profound silence reigned in the
Pauline Chapel while he communed with Almighty God.

It was on the following day, June 18, that, according to custom, the
bricked-up window in the front of the Quirinal Palace was broken open,
and the cardinals came out upon the balcony to announce to the waiting
multitude the choice of a new pope. It is said that men turned to one
another in surprise when they heard the name, and asked who this
Cardinal Mastai could be. But when his beautiful and benignant face
appeared among the throng, and his hand was raised in that gesture of
benediction which all who have seen him will for ever associate with his
memory, he won the love and admiration of the Roman people; and the true
Romans have loved him ever since.

The story of his first days in the pontificate reads like a charming
romance. He called the steward of the palace and said to him: “When I
was bishop I spent for my personal expenses a crown a day; when I was
cardinal I spent a crown and a half; and now that I am Pope you must not
go beyond two crowns.” He went about the city alone to search out abuses
and to look into the condition of the poor. He presented himself without
warning at public institutions. He knocked at the doors of religious
houses at night. He startled the congregation at St. Andrea del Valle by
appearing unannounced in the pulpit to preach against blasphemy. He
delighted children by visiting the schools. He talked freely with the
humble whom he met in the streets and on the country roads. He gave
lavishly to the needy. A poor market-gardener lost his horse and walked
boldly into the palace to ask the Pope if he could not spare an old one
from the Quirinal stables. A secretary found the man on the stairs and
took his message to the Holy Father. “Yes,” was the Pope’s reply; “and
give him this money, too. He must be very poor, or he never would come
to the Quirinal to get a horse.”

But Pius IX. was not ignorant of the dangers which surrounded his
throne. He chose his course promptly. It may be doubted whether stern
measures of repression could have accomplished any good in the
excitement of that time, but at any rate he had no taste for them. He
favored the idea of a national confederation under the presidency of the
Pope, wishing to accomplish it by a friendly alliance of the existing
governments, not by war and revolution. For the rest, he looked forward
to a reform in the administration of his states, and the introduction of
liberal and popular institutions as fast as the old forms could be
safely changed, and he purposed to rule by kindness, generosity, and
confidence. Yet, as we shall see, he did not lack firmness when firmness
was needed. One of his first acts was to declare an amnesty for
political offences, and a characteristic anecdote is told of him in
connection with it. He called a council of his principal advisers and
asked their votes upon the proposed measure of mercy. To his chagrin, a
majority of the balls voted were black. He took off his white cap and
placed it over them; “Now,” said he, “they are all white.” The prisons
were opened. The exiles returned. One thousand six hundred persons were
restored to freedom and friends. Rome was in a tumult of joy. The
populace thronged about the pontiff whenever he went abroad, and waited
long hours before the palace windows to get his blessing. On the feast
of St. Peter’s Chains a great number of the pardoned received communion
from the Holy Father's hands, and the occasion was celebrated with
lively demonstrations. Nor was the Pope satisfied with an easy act of
clemency. He made a close personal study of the administration. A
multitude of petty abuses were swept away. The taxes were reduced. The
liberty of the press was enlarged. Industries were fostered; railways
were planned. The Jews were relieved of burdensome and humiliating
restrictions. Then the old municipal privileges of Rome were restored,
and a long stride ahead was made by the formation of a lay consulta of
state and the popular representation of the provinces in the central
government.

Nothing could surpass the enthusiasm of the people at this dawn of a new
political era. It was almost a continuous holiday in Rome, with gay
processions by day and torch-light parades by night, public banquets in
the vineyards and gardens, triumphal arches spanning the streets, the
papal colors fluttering from every window and decorating every breast.
Because those colors were white and yellow, it became a point of honor
with delighted Romans to breakfast every morning on boiled eggs. Nor was
it only Italy which raised the chorus of applause. All over the world
the Papacy shone with a glory which it had hardly displayed since Leo
XII. The Protestants of New York held a monster meeting of felicitation
at the Broadway Tabernacle, where cordial letters were read from
ex-President Van Buren and Vice-President Dallas, and an enthusiastic
address to the Pope, prepared by Horace Greeley, was adopted by
acclamation. The British government offered its congratulations. The
French ministry, led by M. Guizot, rivalled the French opposition, led
by M. Thiers, in resolutions and speeches of encouragement. Mazzini,
true to the policy already explained, addressed to the Holy Father a
letter of ostensible sympathy and praise. Such halcyon days might well
have filled the most wary with a dangerous confidence.

The Pope was not deceived. He knew that under this outward show of peace
the conspiracy was active. The first attempt of the revolutionary party
was to separate him from the cardinals. Three weeks after the amnesty,
as he drove under one of the arches erected in his honor, the mob
stopped some of the prelates of his suite and refused to let them pass.
Certain demonstrations at the popular out-of-door repasts became so
significant that the gatherings had to be forbidden. Before the end of
the year the cry of “Viva Pio Nono!” changed to “Viva Pio Nono Solo!”
and mingled with shouts of “Down with the Jesuits!” and “Death to the
retrograders!” The next summer Rome was thrown into a fever of rage by
an invention so outrageous and yet so ridiculous that one reads of it
with amazement. It was alleged that Cardinal Lambruschini, the Austrian
government, and the General of the Jesuits had organized a plot to fall
upon the populace on the anniversary of the amnesty, and in the midst of
the massacre to get possession of the Pope and put a stop to his
liberalism. The _fête_ appointed for the anniversary was given up, and
the excitement enabled the revolutionists to depose the old police and
throw the city into the arms of the civic guard, of which they were
really the directing force. On New Year’s day, 1848, the Pope was
molested in the street by a disorderly mob, shouting menaces against
“reactionists” and “Jesuits.” The violence of the radical faction
increased; their demeanor became more and more insulting; the danger of
riot grew imminent; the civil guard showed plain symptoms of disloyalty.
Yet all this while the Holy Father persevered in his reforms. He took no
step backward. He withdrew no concession. The measure of popular liberty
was constantly enlarging, the administration becoming more thoroughly
representative. If it was “progress” that the agitators wanted, what was
this?

We cannot understand the history of this strange time without bearing
in mind that the danger arose, not from anything the Pope had done or
failed to do, but from the steady and stealthy advance of the pagan
conspiracy. Rome, under the mild rule of Pius IX., became the resort
of all the chief revolutionists of the Continent, and it is hardly too
much to say that the particular house in Rome where they met and
plotted with the most comfort was the British embassy. Palmerston’s
policy was always to encourage radical movements on the Continent.
When he sent Lord Minto, therefore, as a special envoy to Italy, the
parlors of that nobleman were instantly thronged by the Carbonari. In
this diplomatic sanctuary gathered a strange company of princes and
demagogues—Ciceruacchio, the orator of the rabble; Prince Charles
Bonaparte, the radical in purple; Sterbini, the poet, physician, and
journalist; Tofanelli, the tavern-keeper; Materazzi, patriot and
joiner; Galetti, the grocer, who became Minister of Police in one of
the later democratic cabinets.

A letter of Mazzini’s, written in 1847, taught Young Italy that the time
for action was close at han