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Title: The Catholic World, Vol. 27, April 1878 To September 1878 - A Monthly Eclectic Magazine
Author: Various
Language: English
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                     The Catholic World, Vol. XXVII

                     The Catholic World, Vol. XXVII

          A Monthly Magazine Of General Literature and Science

                              Vol. XXVII.

                    April, 1878, To September, 1878.

                 Copyright: Rev. Isaac T. Hecker. 1878.

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



 A Bishop’s Liberty of Conscience in the New German Empire, 66

 _Acta Sanctorum_, The Bollandist, 756

 Among the Translators, 35

 Anglican Development, 383

 Archiepiscopal Palace at Beneventum, The, 234

 Atheism, Pantheism _versus_, 471

 Beatitude in Human Nature, Principle of, 532

 Beneventum, The Archiepiscopal Palace at, 234

 Blessed Virgin, Breton Legends of, 696

 Breton Legends of the Blessed Virgin, 696

 Caxton Celebration, Lessons of, 359

 Christianity, Preparation for, 4

 Conrad and Walburga, 163, 312, 487

 Coronation of Pope Leo XIII., 280

 Destiny of Man in a Future Life, The, 145

 Diplomatic Service, A Sectarian, 223

 Dr. Ewer on the Question, What is Truth?, 577

 English Press, The, and the Pan-Anglican Synod, 850

 English Statesmen in Undress, 549, 813

 English Tories and Catholic Education in Ireland, 829

 Ewer, Dr., On the Question, What is Truth?, 577

 Faith, The Future of, 417

 France, Respectable Poverty in, 276

 French Proverbial Sayings, 204

 Future of Faith, 417

 German Glossaries, 259

 German Socialism, 433

 Have we a Novelist?, 375

 Helen Lee, 405, 454

 Hell and Science, 321

 Hermitages in the Pyrénées, 302, 460

 His Irish Cousins, 794

 Home-Rule Candidate, The, 16, 210

 Human Nature, The Principle of Beatitude in, 532

 Humanity, The Religion of, 660

 Italy, Regionalism _vs._ Political Unity in, 27

 Judaism, Relations of to Christianity, 351, 564

 Kitty Darcy, 337

 Lessons of the Caxton Celebration, 359

 Liberty of Conscience in the New German Empire, 66

 Literary Extravagance of the Day, 248

 Lope de Vega, 819

 Mabel Willey’s Lovers, 627

 Man’s Destiny in a Future Life, 145

 Marshall, The Late Mr., 106

 Mathematical Harmonies of the Universe, The, 721

 Montserrat, 74

 My Friend Mr. Price, 519

 New York, The Newspaper Press of, 511

 Newspaper Press of New York, 511

 Novelist? Have we a, 375

 Pantheism _vs._ Atheism, 471

 Parisian Contrasts, 597

 Papal Elections, 97

 Pearl, 671, 734

 Pilate’s Story, 51

 Pius IX., The Death of, 129

 “Political Rapacity of the Romish Church,” Strictures on, 111

 Pope Leo XIII., Coronation of, 280

 Preparation for Christianity, The, 4

 Prohibitory Legislation, 182

 Proverbial Sayings, French, 204

 Prussian Persecution in its Results, 644

 Pyrénées, Hermitages in, 302, 460

 Ralph Waldo Emerson, 90

 Regionalism _vs._ Political Unity in Italy, 27

 Relations of Judaism to Christianity, 351, 564

 Religion of Humanity, The, 660

 Respectable Poverty in France, 276

 Science, Hell and, 321

 Sectarian Diplomatic Service, 223

 Socialist Idea, The, 391

 St. Paul on Mars’ Hill, 779

 Thoreau and New England Transcendentalism, 289

 Three Roses, The, 837

 Tombs of the House of Savoy, 765

 Tractarian Movement in its Relation to the Church, 502

 Transcendentalism and Thoreau, 289

 Translators, Among the, 35

 Venerable Mother Mary of the Incarnation, 608

 Voltaire and his Panegyrists, 688


 A Romaunt of the Rose, 404

 A Soul’s Holy Week, 1

 A True Lover, 777

 Child-Wisdom, 595

 Created Wisdom, The, 486, 607, 818

 Dante’s Purgatorio, 272, 498

 Espousals of Our Lady, The, 754

 Juxta Crucem, 247

 Lac du Saint Sacrement, 834

 Lines, 161

 Malcolm of Scotland, 374

 On Calvary, 64

 One to One, 793

 On the Summit of Mount Lafayette, 643

 Palm Sunday, 104

 Rosary Stanzas, 180, 349, 470

 Sorrow, 336

 St. Ceadda, 15

 St. Cuthbert, 50

 St. Francis of Assisi, 390

 The Blue-Bird’s Note, 258

 The Fountain’s Song, 300

 The Moral Law, 659

 Unconscious Faculties, 670

                           New Publications.

 A History of the United States, 857

 Ancient History, 858

 An Introductory History of the United States, 857

 A Saint in Algeria, 859

 Art of Knowing Ourselves, 717

 Book of Psalms, 432

 Books for Summer Reading, 432

 Cantus Ecclesiasticus, 144

 Church and the Gentile World, The, 142

 Daily Meditations, 717

 De Ecclesia et Cathedra, 140

 Divine Sanctuary, 576

 Dosia, 859

 Elements of Ecclesiastical Law, 430

 Erlestone Glen, 719

 Ethics, or Moral Philosophy, 855

 Forbidden Fruit, 719

 Frederic Ozanam, 716

 “Ghosts,” 144

 Good Things, 576

 History of John Toby’s Conversion, 144

 History of Rome, 859

 History of the Middle Ages, 859

 Holy Church, 712

 Ireland, 718

 Legends of Holy Mary, 860

 Leo XIII. and his probable Policy, 143

 Le Progrès du Catholicisme Parmi les Peuples d’Origine Anglo-Saxonne,

 Letters of John Keats, 286

 Life of Henri Planchat, 286

 Life of Pope Pius IX., 285

 Manual of Nursing, 716

 Mysterious Castle, The, 717

 New Ireland, 137

 One of God’s Heroines, 287

 Our Sunday Fireside, 715

 Philochristus, 711

 Sayings and Prayers of the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, 143

 Select Works of Venerable Fr. Lancicius, S.J., 716

 Seven Years and Mair, 714

 St. Joseph’s Manual, 144

 St. Teresa’s Own Words, 717

 St. Winfrid, Life of, 713

 Thalia, 718

 The Christian Reformed, 715

 The Four Seasons, 288

 The Nabob, 140

 The Notary’s Daughter, 717

 The Precious Pearl, 718

 The Young Catholic, 860

 Thirty-nine Sermons, 288

 Total Abstinence, 719

 To the Sun, 287

 Vacation Days, 716

 Vatican Library, The, 143

 Voyage of the Paper Canoe, 714

 Way of the Cross, 144

 Wrecked and Saved, 719

 Young Girl’s Month of May, 288

                          THE CATHOLIC WORLD.
                   VOL. XXVII., No. 157.—APRIL, 1878.

                          A SOUL’S HOLY WEEK.


    What shall I spread beneath thy feet, dear Lord,
      Meek Son of David drawing near to-day
      With wide hearts’ worship for thy king’s array,
    With love’s full measure for thy blessing poured?
    How shall my weakness its deep longing prove?
      Not mine the martyr’s fadeless branch of palm,
      Nor mine the priestly olive giving balm,
    For hearts’ consoling, healing wounds with love.
    Alas! not mine baptismal robe unstained
      To offer thee with pure and child-like trust:
      Dark are its folds with clinging wayside dust.
    Yet even this poor raiment, world-profaned,
    Thou wilt not scorn, since veils it heart contrite
    Grieving so sore its trespass in thy sight.


    Rabbi, one little moment only, wait
      Till I kneel down and wet with tears of shame
      Thy blessed feet, thy garment’s sacred hem—
    O thou so long unheeded, loved so late!
    Let me pour forth the ointment of my soul,
      The precious store wherewith thou fill’st my vase,
      My love’s devotion and my sorrow’s grace;
    Withholding naught from thee that givest all.
    The more I give the richer grows my share,
      Since unto thee one cannot give and lose.
      Thou givest e’er; we but thy gifts diffuse.
    Worthless all gold unless thy stamp it bear.
    Worthless my tears unless their source be thee:
    What gem shall, then, outshine their purity?


    I dare not wish that my life’s days had been
      When thou, O Christ! didst come in human guise
      As seeming weak as poorest child that lies
    On mother’s breast in infant sleep serene;
    When thou the Father’s wisdom unto men
      Didst speak with lips of little more than child;
      Didst preach the kingdom of the undefiled;
    Didst pardon sin and pity human pain.
    I know thee now, although I have not seen.
      Perchance in those old days I had denied,
      With Bethlehem’s matrons turned my face aside,
    Spurned from my threshold heaven’s chosen Queen,
    And—O dread thought!—my God a mockery made,
    Even as Judas with a kiss betrayed!


    “Thy Saviour cometh.” O my soul, behold!
      Arise and greet Him smitten for thy sin,
      Wounded for thee the Father’s grace to win,
    True Shepherd, stricken for the frightened fold.
    Art thou asleep, my soul? Art thou afraid
      To meet the sorrow of that face despised?
      Ah! see the love with which thy love is prized:
    He bleeds for thee that hast so oft betrayed;
    His soul is sorrowful to death for thee,
      For thee is borne the crown of pitying thorn,
      For thee his people’s cruel taunts are borne,
    Carried the heavy cross to Calvary.
    He weeps thy sins: weep thou his infinite woe.
    What have we done that he should love us so?


    Was’t not enough, dear Lord, that thou shouldst give
      Thy body to the scourge, the thorn, the reed,
      That thou in dark Gethsemani shouldst bleed,
    The purple garment from rude hands receive,
    But that thou still must give thyself to bear
      New stripes, new Calvary in that dim life
      That is our refuge in the weary strife
    Earth offers all who seek thy life to share?
    O Love divine! was’t not enough to hold
      Thine own so dear thou lovedst to the end,
      Deep-wounded hands on Calvary to extend,
    Seeking poor earth in Love’s wide arms to fold,
    But still thou giv’st thyself, Love’s sacrament,
    As with thy love and sorrow uncontent?


    Dear Mother, unto thee I come to-day,
      Because I dare not look upon the face
      Of Him in whose least wound my sins I trace:
    Dear Mother, for his love’s sake bid me stay.
    He calls: “I thirst.” Ah! offer him my tears
      Repentance hath made pure of all their gall.
      Tell him, who nothing has would offer all,
    But yet to bring the gift unworthy fears,
    Lest so some added thorn be wreathed within
      The crown wherewith the wounded brow is bound,
      The mocking people’s sovereignty’s round
    That saints, with joy, shall lose all life to win.
    Mother, thy Son gives me in thy fond care:
    Fold thou my helpless hands in perfect prayer.


    “This day in Paradise.” O fortunate thief!
      What strange surprise, what happiness, was thine
      In that dim land to see the Sun divine,
    To win so soon the crown of late belief.
    This day in Paradise! O soul released
      By cleansing sign of Resurrection cross,
      Earth may bewail thy Lord: thine is no loss,
    With fresh forgiveness holding wealth increased.
    Soul, hast thou hung on Calvary’s cross with him,
      Thou, justly, like the thief, for thine offence,
      Breathe thou thy prayer of humble penitence:
    Glory of dawn shall break thy shadows dim,
    ’Mid which the Sun of Justice glad shall rise—
    Poor pardoned thief!—this day in Paradise!


    Through Lent, dear Lord, I seemed to walk with thee
      As thy disciples once; thy tender voice,
      From Mary won, making my soul rejoice
    E’en through the sorrow of Gethsemani,
    Though oft I wept such infinite love to grieve.
      And seemed thy human life to mine so near
      That ever shadowed all my joy the fear
    The end must come, and thou that life must leave.
    To-day with Magdalen I weep once more—
      My Lord is risen and my life’s love lost.
      O silly soul, on sorrow’s ocean tossed,
    Does he not tell thee, as to her before,
    “Be not afraid”?—to thee is he less near?
    Dead, yet arisen; crucified, yet here!


The period of six centuries before Christ may be taken as the immediate
period of preparation for Christianity—not in a precise numerical sense
of exactly six hundred years, but as a general term denoting an epoch
whose beginning is somewhat vague and indeterminate. Some of the great
events are prior to B.C. 600, and the larger number of those which are
important are much later. What we would do is to describe an historical
cycle including the great prophetic cycle of Daniel, which embraces
seventy weeks in the mystical numeration of Holy Scripture—_i.e._, a
period of four hundred and ninety years; beginning at the rebuilding of
the city and temple of Jerusalem, and ending with the promulgation of
the New Law to the nations of the earth by St. Peter. We consider this
last event as the culmination and ultimate term of the preceding
historical period of preparation, from which history takes a new point
of departure, thenceforward moving directly towards its final
consummation through its last period, the one in which we live. These
six centuries comprise what is specially the pre-Christian historical
period. The greatest part of ancient profane history is taken up with
the record of its events. The history of the ages going before is vague
and scanty, and even the chronology is uncertain. A few dates will show
how great a portion of what is known to us from childhood as historical
antiquity is comprised within this relatively recent and modern period.

Herodotus, the father of history, is said to have recited parts of his
history at the Olympic games, B.C. 456, and Thucydides, who was then a
boy, to have heard him; and this is also the date of the death of
Æschylus. The date of the battle of Thermopylæ is 480, of the death of
Socrates 399, of the birth of Alexander 356. The period of Confucius,
Lao-Tseu, and Pythagoras is in the vicinity of the year 550. The
beginning of the Persian Empire under Cyrus was in 559. The common date
of the building of Rome is 753 B.C. Carthage was destroyed in 146.
Julius Cæsar began his career in the year 80. Within this period
occurred also the restoration of the Jews to their own country, the
founding of the Jewish temple and community at Alexandria, the
translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, the rise and triumph of
the Asmonæan dynasty of the Machabees, the usurpation of Herod, and the
beginning of Roman supremacy in Palestine.

We now proceed to show the relation between this period and its great
events, as making the most important chapter in ancient universal
history, with the origin and extension of Christianity. The modern
rationalist theory of a purely natural origin of the Christian religion
by development from previous stages of purely natural phases of the
human intellect, should be refuted by a true exposition of the
connection between the natural and the supernatural causes which
concurred in producing the great historical phenomenon of Christianity.
The history of the one true and revealed religion, and specifically of
its latest form in Christianity, is not isolated and separate from the
general history of mankind.

It is a topic in universal history. The Christian era succeeds by a
close historical connection to the period which preceded it, and that
period was the outcome of the ages going before. These preceding ages
appear to us historically under a merely natural aspect. That is to say,
the nations of the earth have no divine revelation or religion. Their
religions are different and national, mere human creations, and their
polity, morals, philosophy, and literature are products of natural
intelligence. Their early history loses itself in obscurity or fable.
Hence the manifest connection of the Christian period with the ages
foregoing gives some plausible ground for the hypothesis that the origin
of Christianity is natural, that it is only an outcome of mere natural
progress and development. When we proceed to show a preparation for
Christianity in the ages immediately preceding, we may be asked if we do
not thereby tacitly admit and argue from this hypothesis. If God created
all mankind for a supernatural destiny, under a supernatural providence;
needing a divine revelation, in which a divine religion, one,
unchangeable, demanding absolute, universal faith and obedience, is made
known and imposed on the intellect and will of man as obligatory; how is
it that we seek for the causes and events which prepared the way for its
promulgation in a previous state of things so unlike that which we
declare God intended to produce by Christianity?

The answer to this is easy. God began by giving a revelation and a
divine religion to all mankind. The general falling away from this
primitive religion was not so far advanced as to make it necessary for
God to select a special race as the recipient and preserver of a renewed
form of the divine religion until two thousand years before Christ. The
period of the old and universal form of religion, therefore, embraces
all the time from the calling of Abraham to the creation of man, at
least two thousand years, and, according to the opinion of many, from
two thousand five hundred to four thousand years. During the entire
period of human history, therefore, from the creation of man to the
present moment, embracing from sixty to eighty centuries, the divine
religion derived from revelation has been more or less universally
promulgated, with the exception of its mediæval portion—that is, during
a time including from two-thirds to three-fourths of the whole time in
which the human race has existed. The period in which the mass of
mankind was left to itself apparently, without the law of God manifested
by revelation—the period called by St. Paul “the time of ignorance which
God winked at”—embraces only the remaining third or fourth part of time,
that is, twenty centuries. This state of ignorance was not original, and
not natural in the sense of being conformed to the exigencies of human
nature and human destiny, or intended and directly produced by the
Author of nature. It was the result of an apostasy, a degeneration, a
wilful departure, a rebellion, a schism, a voluntary fall from the
primitive state. Moreover, in this very state of apostasy, the
principles of all the good which remained, the principles of
civilization, science, virtue; political, social, and personal
well-being and improvement; were all remnants from the first period in
which the divine religion was universal. Therefore, when we point out in
heathendom the preparation for a new promulgation of the universal
religion, we are not tracing Christianity back to its natural causes and
to its origin, but are tracing the movement of humanity along its
re-entering curve, from the ultimate term of its departure, to its point
of contact with a new motive power, the true and divine cause of the
re-conversion and restoration of mankind through Christ, _qui restauret

In addition to this, we must remember that it is only wilful ignorance
and sophistical perversion of historical truth which assigns the origin
of the human race and its institutions to an unknown, pre-historic
chaos. Far back of the period of written, profane history, of
hieroglyphic and cuneiform inscriptions, of the scattered, uncertain
records of every kind which we can gather up from the remote past, the
authentic, written documents of the people of Judea throw a clear light
on the beginning of things. Divine revelation is in possession from the
beginning. Profane history is modern history. We alone are ancient; and
we may say to the infidel, as the Egyptian said to Solon: “You have
neither knowledge of antiquity, nor antiquity of knowledge.”

Even during the period of the universal excommunication of mankind from
the church of God that church existed, the divine revelation was
preserved and increased, and the line of continuity between the past and
the future was kept unbroken, in the nation of the children of Abraham.
It was from Juda that the Lawgiver and the law came forth to the
subjugation of the nations. The historical and rational basis of the
supernatural origin and power of Christianity reaches down, therefore,
to the first foundations of the world and the human race. So, then, we
can have no fear of searching after and pointing out any natural and
concurrent causes in the progress of human events which have prepared
the way for Christianity and facilitated its universal conquests. The
state of heathendom is not to be considered as a normal, natural, and
necessary stage in the evolution and progress of mankind, from which
Christianity was educed. The plan of divine Providence proposed to
conduct mankind from one degree of development to another, until the
perfection of religion and civilization was attained in the Catholic
Church and carried forward to its last results in the universal
resurrection and the everlasting kingdom of heaven, for which all the
progeny of Adam, without exception, were destined. According to this
plan, the church would always have been one and universal, and whatever
might have been the special mission and privileges of the people of
Israel, the covenant of God with them, and the possession of
divinely-revealed doctrine, discipline, and worship would not have been
exclusive. The national and exclusive constitution of the church in the
posterity of Abraham and Jacob through the Law of Moses was a
dispensation established on account of the general apostasy of mankind,
a measure of protection against an absolute and final defection of the
human race. And the preparation which went on in heathendom for the new
promulgation of the divine law to all the world by Jesus Christ was also
a measure of remedy and rescue, a “second plank after shipwreck,” thrown
to the nations who were drowning in a sea of errors and miseries.

The object of that preparation was to furnish a sufficient ground and
territory for the kingdom of Christ, the Catholic Church; to make ready
the people who were fit to receive his law and doctrine; to produce the
conditions and circumstances requisite for the universal conquest and
permanent dominion of Christianity in the world. The discipline of
divine Providence over the nations during the long centuries of their
wandering through the waste and howling wilderness of ignorance, error,
sin, warfare, and misery of all kinds, is like that over the children of
Israel during their wandering of forty years in the desert which lay
between Egypt and Palestine. They were condemned to this wandering as a
punishment for their unbelief and disobedience. This punishment was
nevertheless made the means of their training and education as a nation,
and a better generation, born in the wilderness, was formed, which was
fit to go into, conquer, and possess the Promised Land. We can also draw
an illustration front individual examples, of which history furnishes a
great number. A youth, highly gifted, brought up in faith and virtue,
well educated, and with every kind of means and opportunity for pursuing
a noble career to the glory of God, the welfare of men, and his own
highest advantage both in time and eternity, comes to the morning of his
manhood, with the straight path of duty stretching out its narrow and
ascending course before him. Instead of pursuing this path steadily from
the beginning, he is seduced to turn aside and wander over the more
pleasant lands which are on the border of his right road, following the
illusions of ambition, of pride, and of pleasure. For a while God leaves
him to his wanderings, but his mercy does not abandon him. Through
circuitous paths, through the lessons of experience, through trials,
disappointments, and sufferings, he is led back to the right road. He
becomes a hero, a saint, an apostle. The science, the fame, the
influence, the wealth, the experience he acquired during those years,
and which he labored to acquire for a low and unworthy end, are all now
made the means and instruments of fulfilling a noble and holy purpose.
Even his errors and sins serve as a warning lesson to others, and cause
in himself a more vivid appreciation of the goodness of God, the value
of divine faith and grace, and the happiness of a holy life.

In like manner the human race, in its youth, went forth from the
cradle-land of Armenia to take possession of the wide inheritance of the
earth. Carried away by the illusions of the senses and the imagination,
in the pride of its youthful strength, the human race sought to find its
destiny and create its paradise on the earth, forgetful of God, of his
law, of his doctrine, and of his promises. The colonization of new
countries, the foundation of empires and cities, the cultivation of
science, literature, art, and every sort of commerce, handicraft, and
industry, all that is included in the term civilization, employed the
energies of that portion of mankind whose doings find a place in
universal history, until everything was accomplished which was possible
to man and God saw fit to permit him to achieve. As for his relations
with the world above this earth, with the duration which is beyond time,
and with superhuman and divine powers, since he could not ignore them or
confine his intellect of divine origin and immortal destiny to merely
temporal and earthly things, he invented religions, or sought by the
light of reason to discover the truth about the supersensible world. The
result of all was that a state of things was produced in which mankind,
unable to proceed further, dissatisfied and sighing after something
better, cried out for God to come and accomplish the work which was too
much for man. A young man or a young woman, feeling deeply the emptiness
of all the enjoyments to be obtained by wealth, gives up his or her
fortune for charitable purposes. A prince, tired of war and politics,
devotes his castle and domain to the foundation of a monastery and
assumes the religious habit. An artist, a poet, an orator, a great
scholar, convinced of the futility of chasing the shadow of earthly
glory, consecrates his gifts and acquisitions to religion. In like
manner all that the human race had gained in civilization, in empire, in
wealth, in philosophy and literature and art, was so much material
accumulated for the spirit and genius of Christianity to appropriate and
employ in the work of the regeneration of mankind.

This statement is, of course, restricted to that part of the human race
which forms the principal subject of universal history and is included
within the sphere of the Greco-Roman intellectual and political
dominion. The Chinese, and the nations of similar origin and character,
are a nullity in universal history. The Hindoos have remained to this
day outside of the current of the catholic movement of Christianity. The
barbarian and savage races have only been capable of receiving
Christianity together with civilization from nations previously
civilized. What conquests Christianity may yet make among the great mass
of the heathen who constitute the numerical majority of mankind, only
the future can disclose. Probably the dominion of European intelligence
and political power will be a necessary condition for the extension of
the spiritual dominion of the Catholic Church in those regions of the
world, if it is ever accomplished. Leo says of the Mongolian races:

    “It seems to us that it is only their conversion to Christianity
    which can entitle them to admission into the domain of universal
    history as we have conceived its plan, and this conversion can
    hardly become general except through some kind of political
    subjugation and dependence. Certainly, the place of these nations in
    history is one foreseen by God; but the period of their intellectual
    importance for us has not yet arrived, and will perhaps never come
    until they are conquered by the Caucasian race and mingled with it.
    It is therefore only upon the Caucasians, in their great division of
    Semites, Japhetians, and Chamites, that we can direct our view, as
    being hitherto the workmen whose labors are recorded by universal

It is only with the past history of that select portion of the human
race which has advanced steadily on the road of progress toward the
completion attained in Christianity that our theme is concerned. Even
some portions of the Aryan race, as the Hindoos, have but little
connection with it. And in that later period upon which our attention is
at present specially directed, the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans make
the principal factors in producing the result which we wish to
estimate—viz., the preparation for the actual conquest and extension of
Christianity as a universal religion, which has been thus far achieved,
and has become an historical fact. Jewish faith, Hellenic intellectual
culture, Roman polity, were the chief agents in preparing the way for
Christianity as the world-religion and the world-subduing power. The
Hellenic philosophy and literature we leave aside for the present. The
Roman imperial and universal monarchy is the topic to be specially
considered in this article. This great world-subduing power is
historically and logically connected with the great monarchies of a
similar character which preceded it, and which are all presented under
one figure, that of a colossal statue, whose members are cast from
different metals, in the celebrated vision of Nabuchodonosor,
interpreted and recorded by the prophet Daniel. It is remarkable that
this vision, which presents emblematically a summary of the universal
political history of the world in prophecy, was given to the monarch of
the great Assyrian Empire, yet in such a way that it passed before his
mind like an evanescent flash. He could not understand or even remember
it until the great prophet of Juda repeated and explained it. The date
of this vision is a little later than B.C. 600, just at the beginning of
the period we are considering. “Thou, O king! didst begin to think, in
thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and He that revealeth
mysteries showed thee what shall come to pass. Thou, O King! sawest, and
behold there was, as it were, a great statue: this statue, which was
great and tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was
terrible. The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and
the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass: and the legs
of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. Thus thou sawest, till
a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the
statue upon the feet thereof, that were of iron and clay, and broke them
in pieces: but the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain
and filled the whole earth.”

Daniel then interpreted the vision as a prophecy of the destinies of the
world under four universal monarchies, the Assyrian being the first,
represented by the head of gold. The other three are manifestly the
Medo-Persian, Macedonian, and Roman. The weak feet and toes of the
statue are the extension of the empire among the barbarians of the West.
The prophet finishes by declaring that after the decadence of the last
empire God will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed or
transferred to another power, but which shall destroy entirely the whole
fabric of world-monarchy which was represented by the statue of gold,
silver, brass, and iron, terminating in clay—_i.e._, the Babylo-Roman
Empire. Thus, at the very beginning of the course of events which took
place during the six centuries of the period preceding the Messianic
epoch, the great prophet who is inspired to foretell with minute
distinctness the times of the Messianic kingdom is made the counsellor
and prime minister of the last monarchs of the Assyrian Empire, and of
the first of the succeeding Medo-Persian kings, and Nabuchodonosor and
Cyrus are instructed by divine revelation in the designs and purposes
for which God has raised them up to prepare the way for the coming and
reign of his Son upon the earth. The great world-empire, whose seat is
first established in Babylon, and afterwards transferred to Rome, has a
mission to accomplish, and, when that has been fulfilled, it is finally
abolished to make way for the Catholic Church and the Christendom of
which it is the nucleus, the Christian political, social, and moral
order, the unification and restoration to one universal fraternity of
the regenerated human race.

The Roman Empire, the inheritor of all the power, the civilization, the
intellectual and material wealth and grandeur of its predecessors, with
its own new and specific force in addition, made of the whole world one
dominion, brought the East into subjection to the West, and established
in Rome, the Eternal City, the permanent capital of the earth. Thus the
way was prepared, by the general diffusion of the Greek and Latin
languages, by universal commerce and communication between all nations,
by the organizing and educating force of political and military
discipline, and by many other efficient agencies, for a rapid and
irresistible transmission of the spirit, the doctrine, the moral law,
the entire supernatural and regenerating grace of Christianity
throughout the civilized world. At the same time the civilizing power
was brought into contact with that great mass of European barbarians who
were destined to form the most vigorous portion of Catholic Christendom.
Julius Cæsar is considered as the great author of modern European
civilization. The empire reached its acme in the reign of Augustus. Near
the close of his reign, and somewhere in the vicinity of A. U. C. 747,
the Temple of Janus was closed, and the epoch of universal pacification,
the effect of irresistible, triumphant Roman power, came to a world
which was expecting the advent of the Prince of Peace, and made a
moment’s stillness, a brief pause of silent wonder through the universe,
while the mystery of the incarnation and human birth of the great King
was accomplished.

Let us turn now to Judea, whose mission was much higher in the order of
moral grandeur, though not so dazzling to the imagination as that of
Rome. Daniel foretold the end of the captivity of the Jews when a period
of seventy years should be completed, and the birth and death of the
Messias after another period of seven times seventy years from the
rebuilding of the city and Temple. The schism and captivity of the ten
tribes had freed the kingdom of David from putrescent parts and given a
more pure and healthy life to Juda. The corruption of Juda found a
severe and efficacious remedy in the captivity which befell that tribe
also at a later period. A purified remnant, the _élite_ of the nation,
were restored to their own land under Cyrus. The city and temple were
rebuilt. Alexander the Great extended the same favor to the Jewish
nation which had been granted by the Persian monarchs. Under his
successors, the kings of Syria and Egypt, Judea flourished both in a
political and a religious sense for three centuries, although not exempt
from vicissitudes, a second temple was established in Egypt, and in
Alexandria, the new capital founded by Alexander, the Jews became
numerous and attained to great consideration and importance. The Hebrew
Scriptures were translated into Greek and the important books of the
second canon were written. Under Antiochus Epiphanes a new crisis
arrived, which threatened the total extinction of Judaism. A large
portion of the priests and people were infected with the corrupted Greek
civilization of that period, the practice of the Mosaic law was
forbidden and suppressed by the most oppressive edicts sanctioned by the
most cruel penalties, and Jerusalem was changed into an apparently
heathen city. The sacred ark containing all the hopes of the world in
the ages to come seemed about to be wrecked. But God raised up the
heroic family of the Machabees to rescue once more Jerusalem and Judea
from the ruin which seemed to be imminent.

There is no greater and more wonderful hero in all history than Judas
Machabeus, a new and more sublime Leonidas, standing with his small but
invincible host in the world’s Thermopylæ, as the defender, even unto
death, not of Greece but of all mankind; the saviour, not of mere
national and temporal interests, but of the precious inheritance of
faith, the supernatural treasure by which all men were to be enriched
with those blessings which are eternal. The history of the Asmonæan
dynasty, its period of glory and of decay, and, next, of the Idumæan
usurpation in the person of the cruel tyrant, Herod the Great, a mere
creature and dependent viceroy of the Roman emperor, brings us to the
end of the dispensation of Abraham and Moses, to the epoch of the new
Prophet, Priest, and King, who teaches, sanctifies, and rules mankind by
his own personal and inherent might and right, as the Emmanuel, who is
both the Creator and the Redeemer of the world.

St. Paul declares that the mystery of divine Providence respecting both
the Jews and the Gentiles, made known in the full Christian revelation,
was to “establish all things in Christ, in the dispensation of the
fulness of times” (Eph. i. 10). We infer from this statement, that all
the ages preceding the birth of Christ were a preparation for the
foundation of the Catholic Church, which was completed at the epoch of
his coming. The work of Judaism was done and its mission completed.
Henceforth it was only an obstacle in the way of the universal religion
which it had been created to serve. The oracles of God which it
preserved and transmitted, the faith which it inherited from Abraham,
its genuine spirit, the essence of religion which had been embodied in
its outward organization, were transmitted to Christianity. The lifeless
mass which was left behind was only fit to be buried as a putrescent
carcass. The mission of the Roman Empire was also completed, its
destruction decreed, and dimly foretold by the apostles. The entire
Greco-Roman civilization, with its philosophy, its literature, its
religious superstitions, had run its course, and its ultimate result was
an intellectual and moral abyss of vacancy and unfulfilled longing for
the truth and the good which alone can fill the frightful void in the
human soul and in universal humanity caused by the absence of God. St.
Paul says that Christ, having first descended to the lowest depth,
ascended to the highest celestial summit, “_ut impleret omnia_”—that he
might fill all things. The Emmanuel, the God in humanity, the very
sovereign truth and sovereign good impersonated in a twofold nature,
divine and human, is the only fulfilment of universal history, of human
destiny, as the term and expression of the thoughts and purposes of God.
His kingdom on the earth, the Catholic Church, is the instrument and
medium by which he extends his action through time and upon universal
humanity during the period of universal history which is now in the
process of fulfilment. The material part of the substantial essence of
this new Messianic empire was furnished by the commingling of the
elements of Judaism and Greco-Roman civilization. The vital and
informing principle was supernatural and divine, inspired into the now
organic structure by a new out-breathing of the creative and life-giving

This supernatural character of Christianity is capable of a rigorous
historical and rational demonstration. Rationalists, as they call
themselves, having first made themselves their own dupes, have duped the
great mass of the unlearned and the unthinking in this age, and even
imposed to a greater or a lesser degree on numbers of Catholics whose
instruction in sound Christian knowledge is defective and superficial,
by a shallow and pretentious system vaunted under the name of scientific
criticism. Like the pseudo-Smerdis, its pretence to be the true,
legitimate possessor of dominion, and heir to the acquisitions of reason
and experience historically transmitted from the past, is founded on an
illusory semblance of likeness to genuine science. As the impostor who
passed himself off on a credulous people for the son of Cyrus was
detected and exposed by stripping off the royal head-dress which he had
stolen, and showing that his head had long since been deprived of the
ears as an ignominious punishment for crime, so this base-born
rationalism, when the logic of facts and sound reasoning seizes hold of
it, meets the fate which befell the Persian usurper under the iron grasp
and death-dealing sword of Darius, the son of Hystaspes. It is an old
culprit, long since marked by the sword of truth, and doomed to perish
under the blows of the genuine offspring of the noble, ancestral chiefs
in the intellectual kingdom. Christianity is historical and rational,
resting on the principles of contradiction and of the sufficient reason.
That which has occurred and which exists cannot be denied or doubted,
and must be referred to a sufficient reason and an adequate cause. The
facts and events of the religion of Christ, as well those which preceded
as those which have followed his human birth, are historically certain.
The flimsy hypotheses of sceptical criticism have been destroyed by
critical science. The penetrating acid of critical investigation, a
solvent which is destructive of all counterfeits and semblances, has
only made more manifest and clear of all accidental adhesions the real
substance and imperishable solidity of the great historical structure of
the primeval and universal religion. The books of Moses and his
successors, the four Gospels and the other apostolic documents, together
with all else that is accessory and corroborative of sacred history in
the genuine records and works of antiquity, have come unscathed, and
with brighter and clearer evidence than before, out of the restless and
audacious researches of that modern school of rationalists who have
sought to destroy all ancient science and belief, to make way for a new
fabric of hypothesis which they call modern science and philosophy.
Their visionary systems stand confronted with unassailable facts and
convicted of falsehood. These great facts, from the creation of man to
the resurrection of Christ, and from his resurrection to the present,
actual existence of the Catholic Church, irresistibly, and with all the
force of invincible logic, demand the recognition of their sole,
assignable sufficient reason, a supernatural cause. It is because of
this necessary connection of the great facts upon which Christianity is
founded with a supernatural cause that rationalists deny, in so far as
that is possible, these facts. But, as they cannot deny altogether the
reality of all, they deny the principle of causality itself, like Hume
and the whole sceptical sect of pseudo-philosophers, or, at least, by
their hypotheses, ignore and subvert the principle of causality, through
the contradiction of necessary deductions from the principle which is
contained in these hypotheses.

The fact of Christianity cannot be denied, because it is too immediately
present and evident before the minds of all men. Unless one avowedly
abjures reason, it must be accounted for. The hypothesis of the
rationalists supposes that a young man of Galilee, without education,
evolved out of his own mind and the Scriptures of the Old Testament a
doctrine which he taught for about one year to the people of Judea and
Galilee, and was then crucified as a teacher of false doctrine and a
disturber of the religion of his country. The effect of his moral
excellence and heroism in dying for his convictions, together with that
of his teaching of a few simple and sublime doctrines of theology and
ethics, was the astounding revolution which has resulted in historical
Christianity. This is a theory of lunatics. The birth of Jesus precisely
at the period which was the fulness of the times, the promulgation of a
universal religion which appropriated and subjected to its dominion and
utility all the results of previous preparation, combined opposite
elements into a new form, conquered and regenerated the human race; and
all the phenomena of the origin and progress of Christianity; prove the
intervention of the same power which created the world and has governed
it since the beginning. The divine mission of Jesus is proved by the
work which he accomplished. The precise nature and comprehension of that
mission and work, as God intended it, and as Jesus Christ revealed it to
his apostles, is proved by the effect actually produced, by the argument
_a posteriori_, from the effect to the cause. The religion which
actually became universal is the religion which is founded on the
confession of the Trinity, the true and proper divinity of the Son of
God, his assumption of human nature by a miraculous birth from the
Virgin, his redemption of the human race, fallen through the sin of the
first Adam, by the cross, his absolute sovereignty over the earth and
the whole universe, and his delegation of authority to the apostles
under their prince and head, St. Peter. The conversion of the Roman
Empire to this religion demands a sufficient cause, and the only cause
to which it can possibly be traced is the divine power of its founder,
Jesus Christ. The law did not go forth from Sion and Jerusalem to the
whole world by virtue of any power which Judaism put forth. The Roman
imperial power did not undergo a transmutation into the kingdom of
Christ. Catholic theology was not the fruit of Greek philosophy, and the
regeneration of mankind was not the natural result of Greco-Roman
civilization. All these forms were overmastered and supplanted by a
superior force which overcame a most violent and stubborn resistance on
their part. They had only prepared the way, and were destroyed when
their work was done. Jesus Christ proved himself to be the possessor of
that divine power which had employed them to prepare his way before him,
by establishing his new kingdom upon their territory, and making their
work subservient to his own conquest and dominion. Rome was made the
seat of his own Vicar, the monarch of his spiritual kingdom. The
thirteen great dioceses of the Roman Empire were parcelled out to the
great princes of the church, the patriarchs, exarchs, and primates, who
received a delegated share of the supremacy of the Sovereign Pontiff of
the city of Rome. The great provincial cities were made the seats of the
metropolitans, and the thousands of minor cities the sees of the bishops
of the Catholic Church. This great work was substantially accomplished
within three centuries from the death and resurrection and ascension of
Jesus Christ. One must be demented not to recognize a supernatural cause
for this effect, and, as directed by and concurring with this first,
supreme, efficient cause, a chain-work of second causes extending
through all previous history backward to the origin of the human race
and of the great nations of the earth.

Mgr. Delille, Bishop of Rodez, thus contrasts the theory of universal
history which presents the incarnation of the divine Word as the central
fact of the whole circle of human events with that of modern

    “In presence of all the remains of the past actions of the human
    race which are buried in the catacombs of history, only two theories
    can be found by which to account for them—the theory of chance or
    fatalism, and the theory of a divine plan.

    “The first explains nothing, because it professedly ignores the
    final destination of humanity. Sitting amid the ruins, with its back
    turned to the future, it contents itself with making an inventory of
    the bones of the defunct generations, and weighing their dust. As
    the conclusion of this fruitless and melancholy work, it says:
    Things were thus and so, because they had to be so; they are either
    games of chance or evolutions of the universal substance. It is
    quite otherwise with that theory derived from the revelation of the
    divine plan by the way of faith, in which all the events of the
    world are viewed as an execution of a pre-conceived design of
    Providence, being nothing else than the restoration of fallen
    humanity by the Mediator. This is the true philosophy of history,
    illuminating the past of which it furnishes the explanation, and the
    future of which it gives foresight. In accordance with its results,
    the ancient era of the world can be defined, the preparation for the
    reign of the Messias, and the modern era, the reign of the Messias.”

In this present article it is especially some parts of the preparation
which immediately preceded the epoch of the Messias that are presented
to the reader’s consideration. It is one of the most interesting and
useful fields of exploration upon which any one who has taste and time
for solid reading can enter. There are not wanting in our modern
literature some excellent works in which the desirable information can
be obtained. In the German language the _Universal History_ of Leo, in
the first part, on ancient history, presents a condensed but most
complete, learned, and philosophical sketch of the great historical
events of the pre-Christian period, conceived entirely in accordance
with the idea we have here endeavored to present. In French, the
_History of the Universal Church_, by Rohrbacher, has remarkable merit
in this respect and is very full in its details. This subject is treated
most explicitly and comprehensively in a work by M. l’Abbé Louis Leroy,
entitled _Philosophie Catholique de l’Histoire_. In English the learned
works of Father Thébaud, and a recent one entitled _De Ecclesiâ et
Cathedrâ_, by Colin Lindsay, are especially valuable. As a French
bishop, Mgr. Angebault, of Angers, has said: “For the last hundred years
an effort has been kept up to make history lie by perverting it; it is
requisite that men of learning and sound faith should bring it back into
the right path from which it has been drawn away.”

History, like all the treasures of the past, belongs to Christianity and
the Catholic Church. A few years ago some marbles belonging to Nero,
which had been laid aside and become buried under the accumulated
deposit of ages, were unearthed, and became the property of Pius IX. as
sovereign of Rome; who made use of them for decorating a church. In like
manner it is our right to claim all the costly materials we can find and
dig out of the dust of all foregoing centuries, and our duty to use them
in adorning the walls of the temple of God on earth, his universal and
eternal church.

                              ST. CEADDA.

    Hark! what sweet sounds beneath these lonely skies!
      St. Mary’s Convent deep in yonder dell
      Lies hidden. Echoes thus the minster bell
    Through the thin air? or hear we litanies
    That, sung by monks at even-song, arise
      And heavenward, full of holy rapture, swell?
      No; but within the walls of yonder cell,
    Where, near his death, God’s faithful servant lies,
    Led by his brother’s soul, an angel throng
      Welcomes St. Chad, whose prayerful life is o’er.
      His feet shall tread the Mercian vales no more.
    His work is done. Hark! fainter sounds their song,
      While his glad spirit leaves its frame outworn,
      And homeward turns, on seraph-wings upborne.

                        THE HOME-RULE CANDIDATE.
                      _A STORY OF “NEW IRELAND.”_
                              CHAPTER III.
                              THE RIVALS.


On the return to Kilkenley I placed my guest beside Father O’Dowd in the
car, as I saw that the former was bursting with impatience to get at the
Home-Rule question. During the luncheon he had made several ineffectual
attempts at drawing out the priest, which were deftly shunted off in
favor of lighter subjects; but having extracted a promise from Father
O’Dowd that during the drive he would discuss the “idea” with him, no
sooner had the horse commenced to tear up the gravel in the little lawn
than the member for Doodleshire opened fire by asking if there was any
real issue at stake in the question.

“What is Home Rule? Is it Fenianism veiled or unveiled? Is it Repeal? Is
it less than Repeal or more than Repeal? Is it a surrender or—ahem!—a
compromise of the national demand, or is it a demand founded upon
the—ahem!—supposed necessities of the country at this present time?”

“I must go back a little in order to reply to your queries; as the
French say, _Il faut reculer pour mieux sauter_—one must draw back a
little, in order to make a better spring. You have heard, Mr. Hawthorne,
that the law of defeats separates the vanquished into two or three
well-defined parties or sections: one party more bitter in opposition
than ever, one party quietly put out of the way, who retire upon their
shields, and a little party who recognize no defeat. This is just the
outcome in Ireland of forty-eight and forty-nine. The Young Ireland
movement in forty-eight was never national in dimensions or acceptance—”

“Thrue for ye, father darlint,” exclaimed Peter O’Brien from his coigne
of vantage, and whose heart and soul were in the discussion. “The boys
wasn’t riz properly.”

Without noticing the interruption Father O’Dowd continued:

“O’Connell’s movement was from forty-two to forty-four; but from that
date, although Smith O’Brien and John Mitchel came to the front, the
country was not at their back.”

“Did not the Young Irelanders break with O’Connell on a war policy?”

“That is a fallacy. _They_ had no war policy, nor had he. It was the
blaze of revolution lighted in Paris in forty-eight that set men on fire
here. They seceded from O’Connell on the point of the celebrated test
resolutions, which declared it would not be lawful to take up arms for
the recovery of national rights. The non-acceptance of this declaration
led to the Irish Confederation. The confederates were decidedly
unpopular, especially after the death of O’Connell, whose demise was
laid at their door, and they themselves became the victims of secession.
John Mitchel and his following were for preparing the people for war
against England. Thus we had three parties and no real national
movement. When Paris hurled Louis Philippe from the throne, the pulse of
Ireland became intensely agitated, and two schools of insurrectionists
were to be found in the new insurrectionary party: one that declared
that Smith O’Brien wanted a rose-water revolution, the other that
Mitchel was a Red and wanted a _Jacquerie_. The refusal to rise for the
release of Mitchel led to bad blood, and the subsequent rising resulted
in a _fiasco_. The men who ordered it had no command from the nation,
and were but a fraction of a fraction.”

“Were you opposed to them, father—I mean your order?”

“Assuredly not in a combative sense, but in the sense of a decided
disapproval of the insurrection. They had also against them the bulk of
the Repeal millions.”

“But the cities—”

“Yes, the cities became imbued with the spirit of the revolution and a
desire to see it out, but, beyond their national antipathy to English
rule, the rural population had little or no participation in the
forty-eight movement.”

“They wor aisy enough beyant in Kilpeddher, where they bet Mickey Rooney
wud his own pike-handle an’ called him a bladdher-um-skite, no less,”
cried my coachman.

“Peter, be good enough to keep your observations to yourself,” I said,
struggling with a laugh.

“Faix I will, thin, Masther Freddy, for sorra a word the darlint father
is spakin’ I’d like for to lose. But as for th’ other _omadhaun_,”
lowering his voice to a confidential whisper, “I’d as lave be spakin’


“After the forty-eight movement had exhausted itself in transportations
and expatriations,” continued Father O’Dowd, “and the flower of
Ireland’s intellect and patriotism was literally pining away in
England’s penal settlements, the gaze of the country turned
instinctively toward one man, Charles Gavan Duffy, and behind him
crouched the terrible problem: ‘What next?’”

“Is this—ahem!—the Mr. Duffy who holds a somewhat prominent position in

“Only that of prime minister,” laughed the priest.

“And what was his—ahem!—policy in the crisis you mention?”

“A retreat all along the line. He tried the original Irish Confederation
policy, but received no support. He at last got together a party under
the banner of ‘tenant right.’ This was a move that brought the
Presbyterians of Ulster to take counsel with the Catholics of Munster;
it brought Repealers, and Anti-Repealers, and men of every shade of
politics and religion upon one common platform, and an organization was
formed to compel Parliament to pass a measure which would prevent the
eviction of the tenant farmer, except for the non-payment of rent, and
to prevent also the arbitrary raising of the rent.”

“That’s me jewel!” cried Peter, in an ecstasy of approbation. “Faix ye’d
think it was on th’ althar he was.” This latter observation being
addressed to me.

“You flooded us in the House, if I remember—ahem!—rightly, with a very
strange set of representatives as the outcome of this movement,”
observed Mr. Hawthorne.

“Yes, we sent you about thirty-five or forty members, returned at the
instance of the Tenant League and to work out its programme. They used
the new shibboleth to suit their own ends, and many of them being both
corrupt and dishonest, the pass was sold and the party bought up through
its leaders, Sadlier and Keogh. Some of us thought it was a goodly step
in the right direction to see Catholics on the bench, and lulled our
consciences with this soporific; but the cause of the poor tenant was
lost, and we grasped the shadow while the substance floated beyond our

“The curse o’ Crummle on Sadlier and Billy Keogh! Amin,” muttered Peter.

“A cohort of the exasperated section of the forty-eight party now came
to the front, who, seeing the utter and shameful defeat of the
Gavan-Duffy following, instantly raised their voices for war to the
knife, war to the bitter end, and out of this cry arose the Fenian

“I should like to hear your ideas upon this insane movement,” observed
the M.P., endeavoring to face Father O’Dowd, and succeeding only in
jerking himself partly off the car, to the hand-rail of which he clung
with the tenacity of an octopus. “What support did it receive?”

“It did not represent anything like the full force of Irish patriotism,
or even, indeed, a considerable portion of it. The bulk of the millions
who believed in O’Connell and Smith O’Brien stood with folded arms
outside this movement. Its policy was disbelieved in, although the
Fenians worked with an energy worthy of the highest admiration, while an
honest, manly, self-sacrificing spirit of patriotism marked the men who
were its martyrs. Never did braver men stand in the dock; and to the
Fenians Ireland owes that stirring up of public opinion upon Irish
subjects which hitherto had slumbered in a masterly inactivity. You see,
Mr. Hawthorne, as we say at whist, I am leading up to your strong suit,
and if I have been a little prolix—”

“My dear sir, I am receiving more information than the Bodleian Library
or all the blue-books could possibly give me.”

“Sorra a lie in that! Ah! wud ye?” The latter addressed to the horse, in
order to parry my inevitable censure.

“Well, sir,” continued the priest after he had duly acknowledged the
compliment bestowed upon him by my guest, “we had arrived at that stage
when, as Phædrus says:

    _Gratis anhelans, multo agendo nihil agens._

We had been checkmated, and Britannia smiled contemptuously at us from
behind the glistening bayonets of the regiments with which she flooded
the country. It was again the horrors of the lash and triangle,
loathsome details of the treachery of informers and prosecutors, the
chain-gangs at Portland and Chatham, and the terrible outrages inflicted
upon men whose only fault lay in loving Ireland not wisely but too well.
I shall pass over that, because there is a wicked beat underneath my
waistcoat, and _curæ leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent_. I shall come at
once to the question of Home Rule and dismiss it briefly; for there is
the stable dome of Kilkenley right over beyond that group of firs.”

“Yev more nor a quarther av an hour, yer riverince, for the baste’s
purty well bet up.”

“Five minutes will do me, Peter,” laughed Father O’Dowd. “The Irish
passion for national existence still glowed in our bosoms, and we cried
for light. A field for Irish devotion and heroism was what was wanted.
We were sick of the hecatombs of victims offered up by the last sad
effort. As you are well aware, Mr. Hawthorne, the Tory party came into
power during the Fenian scare, and they went to their work in a spirit
which would have shamed Oliver Cromwell himself. They fined, fettered,
imprisoned, and hanged, until a glut of vengeance seemed an
impossibility. ‘This is my chance,’ says Mr. Gladstone. ‘I’ll make
capital out of this Fenian scare, and, dashing at the Church
Establishment, I’ll gather in the straying bands which once formed the
rank and file of the liberal party. England wants a salve, and when she
finds herself doing a virtuous thing she will purge her conscience of
all her recent evil-doing.’”

“I never heard of Mr. Gladstone’s having used those words,” exclaimed
the member for Doodleshire pompously. “If he had used them in the House,
they would have been ordered to be taken down by the Speaker.”

“They are my words, not Mr. Gladstone’s.”

“Blur an’ ages!” began Peter O’Brien, but, upon my administering no
light touch of the whip to his shoulders, he suddenly pulled himself in.
“Now, I ax ye, Masther Freddy, isn’t that the hoighth, now—the hoighth
av an ignoraymus? Why, a turf creel—”

“Silence, sir!” I exclaimed, in a frenzy of terror lest my guest should
by any possibility overhear him.

“With the war-whoop of ‘Down with the Irish Church!’ Mr. Gladstone
bounded into office at the head of a majority only equalled by that of
Sir Robert Peel in forty-one, and, with the faculty of persuading
himself into a fervid conscientiousness upon any subject he likes, he
flung himself body and soul into the disestablishment of the church
established in Ireland. At this uprose the Irish Protestants, who
declared that, as faith had been broken with them by the English
government, they would repeal the Union by way of retaliation, and kick
another crown into the Boyne. ‘Break with us,’ said they, ‘and we’ll
break with you. We’ll become Irishmen first and anything else
afterwards.’ Well, Mr. Hawthorne, the Irish Church was disestablished—”

“I am happy to say that my humble vote was recorded in favor of that
measure,” interrupted the M.P.

“More power to ye for that, anyhow,” muttered Peter.

“And a good vote it was, Mr. Hawthorne. Well, sir, the Irish Protestants
were in a craze of indignation, and eagerly sought a vent for their
feelings of revenge. They wouldn’t touch Fenianism, and their minds
insensibly reverted to eighty-two, and to such Protestants as Grattan,
Flood, Curran, and Charlemont. Some of our most influential Protestant
countrymen were now prepared to take up the cudgels—peers, dignitaries
of the Protestant Church, large landed proprietors, bankers, merchants,
deputy lieutenants, and even fellows of Trinity College. This was no
Falstaffian army, no mere food for powder, but a band of men who had a
vast property at stake in the country, who saw a thousand reasons why
Irishmen alone should regulate Irish affairs. And now Mr. Butt comes
upon the stage.”

“The sorra a shupayriorer man in the counthry,” observed Peter, despite
my previous admonition. “An’, be the mortial, me own first cousin wud
have got six months for delayin’ Jim Fogarty’s ould ram from goin’ home
wan night, an’ he as innocint as a cluckin’ hin, av it wasn’t for the
shupayrior spakin’ av Counsellor Butt. ‘There isn’t a bigger rogue in
the barony, me lord,’ sez he, addhressin’ the binch, ‘but this wanst, me
lord, he wasn’t in it at all, at all.’ That’s what _I_ call spakin’ up.”

“Mr. Butt, in addition to defending Peter O’Brien’s kinsman,” said
Father O’Dowd, “was called to the front from an obscurity into which a
wild recklessness had hurled him, to defend the Fenian prisoners in
sixty-five. Mr. Butt became then a centre figure, and through the
meetings of the Amnesty Association, larger than any since Tara and
Mullaghmast, a centre figure he remained. The Protestants, who now
chafed under the disestablishment, were many of them Butt’s old
comrades, college chums, and political associates, and to them he
turned, urging them no longer to act the secondary _rôle_ of an English
garrison. ‘Act boldly and promptly now,’ he said in one of his powerful
addresses, ‘and you will save Ireland from revolutionary violence on the
one side and from alien misgovernment on the other. You, like myself,
have been early trained to mistrust the Catholic multitude, but when you
come to know them you will admire them. They are not anarchists, nor
would they be revolutionists if men like you would but do your duty and
lead them—that is, honestly and faithfully and capably lead them—in the
struggle for constitutional liberty.’ Mr. Butt made a great impression,
but of course was met with the old cry of ‘wolf,’ ‘Catholic ascendency,’
‘the tools of the priests,’ ‘yoke of Rome,’ and all that sort of low
Orange claptrap. The incidents of the defeat of ‘honest John Martin’ for
Longford are too recent to bore you with now, but in that election you
saw a Catholic people fighting their own clergy, who had foolishly
pledged themselves to support the Fulke-Greville-Nugent candidate, as
vehemently as they and their own clergy had ever fought the Tory
landlords. It was an exceptional and painful incident, but it vindicated
both priests and people from the unworthy sneers to which I have just
alluded. You are familiar with the meeting in Dublin held under the
presidency of a Protestant lord mayor, and the resolution
enthusiastically adopted that the true remedy for the evils of Ireland
was an Irish Parliament. And now, Mr. Hawthorne, having given you an
owre true but also an owre lang tale, I am happy to find ourselves
within hail of the hospitable roof of Kilkenley, and—yes, to be sure,
there are the ladies awaiting our arrival upon the steps.”

“Av that discoorse isn’t aiqual to the House o’ Lords, I’m an
_omadhaun_,” was Peter’s muttered observation as we rattled gaily up to
the house.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“Papa is enchanted with the priest,” said Miss Hawthorne.

It was just before dinner, and we were standing upon a small balcony
overlooking the lawn.

The moon was rising in all the consciousness of her harvest beauty.

“I am so glad.”

“He says that his reverence has the Irish question at his fingers’ ends,
and gave him more information than a dozen Commons debates or ten dozen
editions of Hansard. We are going over to visit Father O’Dowd, are we

What induced me to say: “I shall send you with great pleasure”?

“Send us! Are you not coming?”

“I fear not. Welstone will go. He is much better company.”

What a boy I was!

She looked at me in a puzzled, inquiring sort of way.

“What a glorious moon!” I said, bitterness in my heart.

“Don’t you find it a little chilly?” was her reply, as she turned into
the drawing-room.

My own, shall I call it temper, or insanity, or what? lost me this
chance, for which I had been longing with such fervent yearning. I felt
terribly irritated with myself and angered against her. She should have
expressed sorrow at my being prevented from going over to Father
O’Dowd’s. Had she cared one brass farthing she would have declined the
expedition; but instead of this she silently accepted Welstone’s
ciceroneship, and exclaiming, “Don’t you find it a little chilly?” left
me standing all alone, like the idiot that I was. And yet had I not
acted strangely, rudely, in intimating my intention of remaining at
Kilkenley? Was I not her host, and should I not make every effort within
the scope of my power to render her visit as agreeable as possible?

I followed her into the drawing-room. The light of two moderateur lamps
muffled in pink shades threw a delightfully tender glow all over the
apartment. Our furniture was very old-fashioned. It bad all been
purchased when my great-grandmother had been brought home, and was
esteemed a wonder of its kind then. The rosewood settees and
spider-legged chairs were upholstered in the richest flowered brocade,
very faded now, but highly respectable in their antiquity. The mirrors
were oval in gilt frames, an eagle holding a chain, to which was
appended a golden ball, surmounting each. A sofa large enough to seat a
dozen people in a row graced one wall, while a thin old-fashioned
card-table, over which many hundreds of guineas had changed hands,
adorned the other. In the alcove, in a stiff, formal, uncompromising
arm-chair, so utterly different from the inviting lounges of to-day, sat
Mabel, turning over the leaves of a scrap-book that had been made up by
my grandmother.

Dressed in simple white, with a sprig of forget-me-not in her golden
hair, she looked so lovely that my heart flew to her.

“I hope you haven’t caught cold. Shall I close the window, Miss

“Oh! dear, no; it was just a passing sensation, a shiver.”

“Somebody was treading upon your grave,” I said, alluding to the popular

“What do you mean by that?” she asked.

When I had told her, “I should like to know where I shall be interred.”

“I know where I shall be, if I am not hanged or lost at sea.”


“In the little churchyard close by; it’s in the domain.”

“Are all your family interred there?”

“We have head-stones since 1650. Cromwell’s troopers destroyed
everything, digging up the graves in the hope of finding armlets and
golden ornaments of our race.”

“I should like to visit the churchyard.”

“By moonlight?” I said laughingly.

“Oh! yes.

    “‘If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
    Go visit it by the pale moonlight,’

sings Scott.”

“Your wish shall be gratified.”


At this moment Mr. Hawthorne entered the room, carrying in his hand two

“Startling news!” he exclaimed.

“What is it, papa?” asked his daughter somewhat affrightedly.

“Nothing alarming, my dear.” Turning to me, “Your county member is

“Dead?” I cried.

“Dropped dead on the steps of the Carlton Club.”

“Is it Mr. Bromly de Ruthven?”


“That’s awfully sudden. I had a visit from him not ten days ago. He was
quite a young man, and, for his party, a rising one.”

“I cannot agree with you there, Mr. Fitzgerald,” said my guest in his
usual pompous style. “His speech—if speech it might be called—on the
malt question was a tissue of illogical absurdity. But now, Mabel, I
have a big surprise for you. The great conservative party—I call them
great, sir, although in opposition—have not been idle, and already has a
candidate been selected.”

“That’s rather quick work, Mr. Hawthorne.”

“Military machinery, sir—one man down, the next man forward. And whom do
you think they have selected, Mabel?”

“How should I know, papa?”


“I cannot. Some of the rejected at the last dissolution.”

“No; guess again. A friend of yours.”

“A friend of mine?” somewhat surprised.

“A particular friend, who telegraphs me to say that he will arrive here
to-morrow,” with a knowing smile.

I guessed the name. My heart told it me with a pang of envy.

“Not Wynwood Melton?” she said.

“The very man!”

_I_ knew it.

“I’m so glad!” she cried, clapping her dainty hands together. “It will
be great fun to have him in the house! What capital imitations he will
give us of Gladstone, Disraeli, Bright, and Whalley! And what stories!
Mr. Fitzgerald,” she added with considerable earnestness, “you must vote
for him.”

I think I was about to pledge myself to do so, forgetful of the dire
consequences of such a proceeding on my part, when her father

“He cannot, my dear. Mr. Fitzgerald is one of us—a liberal.”

“I am a liberal,” she laughed.

“I presume he will have a walk-over,” said Mr. Hawthorne.

“Who will have a walk-over?” asked Father O’Dowd, who had entered

“My friend, Mr. Wynwood Melton.”

“For a seat in Parliament?”


“Is there a vacancy?”


“In an Irish constituency?”

“You have not heard the news, then?”

“Not a word; and I may exclaim with Horace, _Est brevitate opus, ut
currat sententia_.”

“Well, reverend sir, your county member, Mr. Bromly de Ruthven, is


“Dead, sir. And Mr. Wynwood Melton is to have a walk-over.”

“Is he?” asked Father Dowd with a quiet smile. “Who says so?”

“Well, I suppose so. He is young, clever, rich, and, better than all,
the nominee of the Carlton Club, which means, of course, the De Ruthven

The priest gave a short laugh.

“Mr. Wynwood Melton will _not_ have a walk-over; _I_ promise you that.
Neither will he win the election; _I_ promise you that, too.”

“Is there another candidate in the field?”

“There _will_ be, please God.”

“Are you at liberty to name him?”

“I shall name him _now_, as I mean to carry the county for him; and,”
taking me by the shoulder, “a very good figure he will cut in St.

My heart gave one beat backward. Of name and fame I thought nothing. To
defeat Wynwood Melton I would give half my life. Here was a chance—one
of those marvellous chances which the whirl of the wheel turns out
occasionally to fit into the exact moment. It was a high stake, but I
would play for it. It was my solitary hope for an advantage over the man
whom Mabel Hawthorne loved. Yes, I would stand the hazard of the die.

“Mr. Fitzgerald dislikes politics,” observed Mabel.

“You may bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink,”
added her father.

“Besides, he will not be ungallant enough to oppose my nominee,” she

“I shall be greatly disappointed if my young friend will not stand in
the gap for the old county and the old faith,” said Father O’Dowd.

“How can you expect to carry him in the teeth of the overwhelming
majority which the conservatives possess in this county?” asked the M.P.

“Thank Heaven! we have the ballot, and now or never is the time to try
its efficacy.”

“Well, Mr. Fitzgerald, may I hope to meet you in St. Stephen’s?” asked
my guest.

“You may.”

“To oppose _my_ nominee?”


I braved even _her_ displeasure in my agony of anxiety to cross swords
with my rival.

“_Bravissimo!_” cried Father O’Dowd. “The day is ours. I knew you had
the Fitzgerald pluck, dashed with the hot blood of the Ormondes. I look
upon victory as certain. All the tenants on the De Ruthven estate are
good Catholics and will vote with us—_I_ know it. All the
Derryslaghnagaun people will come up to a man. Father Brady and Father
Tim Duffy will work the northern side of the county; Father Quaid and
Father Ted Walsh will carry the southern side; I’ll take the Ballytore
district, and—but no details now; dinner, and then I’m off. We’ll send
the ‘hard word’ round like wild-fire, and, Miss Mabel, you’ll see real
Irish bonfires on the hills to-morrow night. Tell your friend to stay
where he is, Mr. Hawthorne; for with Virgil I may say, _Animum pictura
pascit inani_. Why, I feel like a war-horse:

    “‘My soul’s in arms, and eager for the fray.’”

“What’s all this about?” asked my mother.

“Allow me to present to you the Hon. Frederick Fitzgerald Ormonde,
M.P.,” gaily exclaimed Father O’Dowd, informing her in a few words of
what _had_ happened and what was expected to happen.

“God bless my boy!” she faltered, and, bursting into tears, kissed me as
if I had been in my cradle.

It was a moment of fierce inner glow. I almost tasted the sweets of
victory—of victory over Mabel, for whom, had I consulted my own self, I
would have sacrificed anything—everything.

“We haven’t a minute to lose,” exclaimed my Mentor, all ablaze with
excitement. “We shall have to rush out and fight helter-skelter. A
surprise has been sprung upon us. Oh! for one week. My brave people will
be taken at a disadvantage if we be not up and stirring. Every dexterity
will be used to outwit us, every dodge resorted to, bribery especially.
We must arrange committees in every town and village to sit _en
permanence_ until you are elected. We must have special messengers by
the hundred. Ormonde, you will place all your horses at my disposal.
North, south, east, and west we must nail the Home-Rule flag to the
mast. North, south, east, and west the cry _Pro aris et focis_ must go
forth. This is our first genuine election under the ballot. We allowed
ourselves to be cozened by false promises when Mr. Gladstone sprung his
mine last year, but now the ballot, and free and fearless voting. No
more coercion, no more intimidation by landlords, no more bullying or
bribing. At last we have a chance of freeing the country from the yoke
which has been put upon its neck for centuries, and now we have a chance
of letting its voice be heard and to pass a verdict on the Act of

“I _do_ wish Mr. Melton was not in the field against _you_,” almost
whispered Mabel as I led her into dinner.

There was a something in her tone, like a faint note in melody, that
vibrated through me. What was it?

Father O’Dowd would only swallow a few mouthfuls of food. “Up, guards,
and at them! Eh, Mr. Hawthorne?”

“The duke never uttered those words. I can give you exactly what
occurred. When Napoleon was advancing at the head of the remnant of his
shattered army the duke—”

“Excuse me, my dear sir, but I have to marshal an army for _my_
Waterloo. _Animum curis nunc huc, nunc dividit illuc_—this way and that
way my anxious mind is turning. Ormonde, you’ll come over to me
to-morrow, and be prepared to address a meeting of your constituents.
Don’t be later than one o’clock. And now _sans adieux_ all!” And the
worthy priest, buttoning up his ulster, sprang upon the car.

In vain we implored of him to stay. In vain I asked to be permitted to
accompany him. No. “I am all aflame,” he cried. “I go to light a fire
that will not be extinguished until the high-sheriff is compelled to
declare a Catholic and a Home-Ruler the member for this Orangest of all
Orange counties. I feel like one inspired. _Nemo vir magnus sine aliquo
afflatu divino unquam fuit._” And with this quotation ringing in our
ears Father O’Dowd sped upon his mission out into the night.

“An’ so yer goin’ for to be the mimber? Good luck to ye, Masther Fred
darlint!” exclaimed Peter O’Brien, who was wild with delight at the
intelligence, regarding the election as a foregone conclusion.

“I hope so, Peter.”

“For to repale the Union, Masther Fred?”

“Not quite so fast, Peter.”

“Och, murther!” he groaned, with disappointment delineated in every
feature. “I thought ye wor for tee-total separation like Dan.”

“I’ll go as near to it as I can.”

“Do, avic; an’ begorr, av ye don’t take the consait out av some av thim
on th’ other side, I’m a boneen, no less. Mind the dalin’ thrick, and
keep your thumb on the ace av hearts—the card that always is thrumps.”

On the following morning, as I was preparing for my drive over to Father
O’Dowd’s, and endeavoring to pull my ideas together on the burning topic
of the hour, my mind being a prey to love, jealousy, politics, and
despair-a crushing _mélange_—an outside car whirled up the avenue, and
gracefully lounging upon the back cushion, attired in the fulness of
fashionable travelling costume, a cigar in his mouth, and dainty
lavender-colored kid gloves upon his hands, sat, or lay, Mr. Wynwood
Melton. I recognized him even before he came within clear eye-shot, and,
despite my bitter feeling against him, could not help paying him an
involuntary tribute of admiration.

I knew what brought him to Kilkenley. It was not to seek my vote, it was
not to visit Mr. Hawthorne—it was to see Mabel; and now, with a dull,
dead ache at my heart, I should play host to my rival in love and my
opponent in the hustings. I hastened downstairs and met him in the hall.
I resolved that no one should come between me and my _devoir_ as a

Melton was a pale, finely-featured, almost effeminate-looking young
fellow, whose _Henri Quatre_ beard and thin, dark moustache set off a
round, carefully-groomed head—one of those heads that reveal the
execution done by double brushes and hand-mirrors, as a woman’s bespeaks
the delicate manipulations of the _fille de chambre_. He was quite
pictorial in his get-up, from a Vandyke collar to black velveteen coat,
knee-breeches, purple stockings, and shoes with great strings almost
resembling those coquettish rosettes so much in vogue with ladies whom
nature has blessed with Lilliputian feet. He might, but for his soft
plaid woollen ulster, have represented one of the old portraits of my
ancestors that hung in the dining-room; and as he stood thus I could not
avoid contrasting my own homely appearance with his, and bitterly
flinging the heavy odds into the scale against myself.

“Mr. Melton?” I said.

“Yaas,” with a drawl and a bow.

“You are welcome to Kilkenley,” extending my hand.

“Mr. Ormonde! Ah! glad to meet you. What a drive I’ve had, over such
roads and such a vehicle! Caun’t say I like your cars. _Per Bacco!_
one’s spine gets divided into sections during the drive. You’ve got old
Hawthorne here. I suppose he has bored you to death. I expected to find
this place like the enchanted wood—everybody asleep, even the princess.”

“Whom you would like to awaken as in the fairy tale,” I added bitterly.

“Don’t care for kissing. How does Miss Hawthorne like this precious

“I assume she will like it all the better for your arrival.”

I was going to resent the impertinence, but withheld the burning retort
that rose to my lips.

A self-sufficient smile appeared as he almost yawned:

“I should hope so.”

At this moment Mabel appeared upon the steps.

“Ah! Mr. Melton,” she exclaimed, a bright, happy flush upon her lovely
face; “this is a surprise,” shaking hands with him.


“Of course. You have introduced yourself, I see, to Mr. Ormonde.”

“How’s the governor?” not noticing her observation.

“Papa is wonderfully well; his trip has agreed with him _à merveille_.
He will be able to encounter the late hours of the coming session
without flinching.”

“They shau’n’t catch me sitting up, except at the club. You know what
brought me over?”

“Oh! dear, yes.”

“I saw the De Ruthven lot, and, as I could have been elected without
leaving London, I’m doosid sorry I came away, except,” he added, “for
the pleasure of seeing you.”

“Are you quite sure of being returned?” she asked.

“Rather,” with a quiet, self-satisfied smile.

Miss Hawthorne glanced at me.

“You are to be opposed,” I said.

“Haw! haw!” he laughed. “That for opposition,” flinging away his

“But I tell you it will be a fierce fight, Mr. Melton,” exclaimed Mabel.
“You’ve got a foeman worthy of your steel.”

“Some cad of a farmer’s son or a briefless Irish barrister. Ireland
wants Englishmen to sit for her and _upon_ her.”

“I am going to oppose you, Mr. Melton,” my heart beating very fast as I
uttered the words.

“Aw!” And extracting an eye-glass from the folds of his coat, he
deliberately stuck it in his eye and coolly surveyed me from head to

I would have knocked him heels over head, if Miss Hawthorne had not been

“Fire away,” he said; “but, if you take my advice, you will not run your
head against a stone wall.”

“And if you take my advice,” I hotly retorted, “you’ll take the next
train _en route_ for London, for you have come upon a bootless errand.”

“_Nous allons voir_,” with a shrug.

“Yes, we shall see the outcome.”

“You don’t mean to go on?”

“To the bitter end.”

“The sinews of war are at my command.”

“The sinews of the county are at mine; but come,” I added, suddenly
recollecting my position of host, “let us talk the coming campaign over
a cutlet and a bottle of champagne.”

We entered the house together. Mr. Hawthorne met us in the hall.

“Glad to see you, Wynwood, although,” with a ponderous laugh, “I find
you in the camp of the enemy.”

As I proceeded cellarwards to look up the wine I heard Mr. Melton say:
“_That_ cad; I’ll lick him into a cocked hat.”

“You’ll eat those words, my fine fellow,” I muttered, “or my name isn’t
Ormonde; and for every sneer against Ireland you’ll have my riding-whip
across your shoulders.”

I couldn’t play the hypocrite, I couldn’t act the Arab, and, while
sharing bread and salt with mine enemy, plot his downfall as soon as he
quitted my tent; so, making a very plausible excuse, I betook myself to
my gay little dog-cart, and was about to give the mare her head when
Peter O’Brien whispered to me:

“Isn’t that the spalpeen that’s cum over for to thry a fall wud ye,
Masther Fred?”

“That is Mr. Melton,” I replied.

“That’s enough. The boys is waitin’ for to ketch him below at the
crass-roads; and faix it’s little he’ll be thinkin’ av Parlimint if
Teddy Delaney wanst gets a rowl out av him.”

“Peter,” I said, “if there is any insult offered to Mr. Melton while on
my land, I’ll take it as to myself, and I will not contest the county. I
pledge my honor to this.”

“Shure a little bit av a fight wudn’t be amiss.”

“I won’t have it.”

“The pond below is convaynient.”

“Silence, sir!”

“Tim Moriarty, the boy that dhruv him from the station, only wants the
word for to land him in Brierly’s Pool”—a great slimy ditch about half a
mile from the gate lodge.

I’m afraid I swore at my retainer.

“_Wirra, wirra!_ is there to be no _divarshin_ at all, at all?” he
muttered to himself as I ordered him to let go the mare’s head.

Miss Hawthorne suddenly appeared upon the steps.

“_Bon voyage_,” she gaily cried. “Go where glory waits you.”

“I am going to lick that cad into a cocked hat!” I fiercely shouted,
dashing from her presence like a lightning-bolt.



Matters do not run smoothly in United Italy. There is a screw of
considerable magnitude loose in the national machine. It jerks in its
motion, pitches, staggers, and men who affect a knowledge of the
mechanism of nations predict for Italy—unless the screw adverted to
receive proper attention—a dead, disastrous standstill. There are
fashions in politics nowadays, as there are in the styles of dress, just
as capricious, just as irrational, equally expensive in their own
sphere, but unconscionably malicious. It is the fashion, then, in the
politics of Italy, to attribute to the Papacy the only obstacle to the
full enjoyment of political unity and its consequent blessings. The
deep-rooted antipathy of the Vatican to a _nationality_ in Italy, its
traditional hatred of new institutions, and its equally prolonged and
powerful influence over the people—who, after all, are the mainspring of
action—all this is adduced by the liberal party in explanation of the
palpable want of unity in Italy.

The explanation may be satisfactory to conceited sciolists, especially
if a hatred of the Papacy be one of the component parts of their moral
constitution. Latterly, however, a veritable enemy to the political
unity of Italy has begun to assert itself, in a manner so striking as to
alarm even the most sanguine liberals. Not a spectre but a startling
reality assists at the deliberations of the Italian legislature, and,
insinuating itself with deadly effect into every department of
governmental administration, produces jealousies, feuds, and schisms
which threaten ultimately to dismember the nation. This danger is what
is called _Regionalism_.

Solomon’s apothegm on the newness of nothing under the sun is applicable
to Regionalism. It is of ancient birth in Italy, albeit of recent
manifestation, at least in its present form. It may be defined as the
interested affection which an Italian has for the geographical part of
the Peninsula in which he was born—for the abode of his domestic gods,
so to say, with its surroundings. The affection must be _interested_,
and of its very nature aim at effecting the prevalence of the interests,
moral or material, of his own region over those of the others. A
Platonic affection for one’s own natal region does not, according to the
liberals, constitute Regionalism; for, say they, such an affection
merely contemplates historical rights, and the love of one’s rights is
purely Platonic. Moreover, this affection should be directed to the
_region_ and not to the city or town of one’s birth. An interested
affection for the latter has its own appellation already, being known as
_amore di campanile_, and bears the same relation to Regionalism as a
part to a whole. But the Regionalism of today, which threatens to
produce fatal consequences in Italy, is referable to those portions of
Italy which in times past formed separate states, or at least notable
portions of an independent state, which, in its history, its traditions,
its genius, its style of speech, and its interests, differed from the
other states of Italy—as, for instance, Tuscany from Piedmont, the two
Sicilies from Lombardy and Venice, or even the island of Sicily itself
from continental Sicily, Venice from Lombardy.

Having explained our terms, we would remind the reader of the fact that,
when the question of uniting Italy into one body with Piedmont at the
head was first mooted, a formidable obstacle at once presented itself in
the shape of the difficulties arising at once from the different and
almost contradictory elements to be united. It was argued—and with
reason, too—that to build up a new state upon the foundation of new
institutions, and annul disparities which had existed for centuries, was
easier to plan than to carry through. The conflict of interests, of
local affections and jealousies, notoriously characteristic of the
Italian states, was pronounced by the distinguished statesmen of Italy
and Europe a fatal obstacle, if not to the formation, at least to the
preservation, of unity. Count Cavour himself was of the number of those
who proposed such a consideration, and, for his own part, expressed
himself perfectly satisfied if Lombardy and Venice were but annexed to
Sardinia. But the liberals and sectarians were urged on to the
unification of Italy by the irresistible force of Mazzini’s mind, and to
do so quickly, even without Venice and Rome, because the arms of
Napoleon III. were at their disposal. A happy opportunity had presented
itself, and they seized it. They obviated the difficulties alleged above
by a heroic compact. Arrogating to themselves the right of representing
the sentiments of the Italian people at large, and assuming the moral
personality of the various regions to which they belonged, they
proclaimed to the whole world that the all-absorbing desire of the
people was to be united in one nation, and that they sacrificed for ever
upon the altar of their country the interests, traditions, jealousies,
and local affections which had hitherto divided them, and swore to seek
no other glory for the future but the one only glory of Italy united.

Cavour resigned himself with so much tact to the situation that he
seemed to have created it. And thus, by assiduous application of his
maxim, that, in order to _make Italy, morality must be put aside_, and
of that other, promulgated by Salvagnoli, _one cannot govern and tell
the truth_, the great undertaking was accomplished. Two Italies soon
began to exist, the _legal_ and the _real_, which, as Iacini, a minister
of the Italian Cabinet, wrote, are directly contradictory to each other.
_Legal_ Italy, the supplanter, conquered, and _real_ Italy had to bow
the head and submit to a series of civil and fiscal persecutions without
example in modern history. But Regionalism was immolated to unity, and
the world lauded the sacrifice.

Italy is a land of promise, or rather a promissory land. Promises are
given with amazing facility—only to be equalled, however, by the
reluctance with which they are fulfilled. While it was a question of
sacrificing the interests of some one else—the majority of the liberals
who labored in the construction of the national fabric had very little
of their own to sacrifice, but everything to gain—all went well,
especially while the novelty of the situation lasted. But when the
excitement consequent on the formation of the nation had subsided,
people began to perceive that the much-vaunted political unity of the
country was not real. The promissory notes of the liberals touching the
eternal sepulture of provincial differences remained unhonored. The
practical sacrifice was impossible. It is now more than eighteen years
since the promise was given, and during that time Venice and Rome have
been added to the kingdom of Italy, with a view of consolidating for
ever the nationality. But the great obstacle remains unmoved, ay, and
avows itself, by the eloquence of facts, immovable.

We assert this much on the authority of a member of the Italian
Parliament. In an address to his constituents, delivered on the 9th of
September last, Federico Gabelli said: “Do differences and divisions
exist in the country? Yes, great ones; and no wonder. We have had in
Italy different histories, different glories, different sufferings, and
different styles of education. We have ideas, habits, tendencies, and
characters, different in different regions. For many years we were
unknown to one another. The sole fact of our accomplished unity—the
living together, so to speak—has revealed to us the existence of these
great diversities. But the most profound diversity has been constituted
by the material wants of the different parts of Italy. I do not take
into account the petty desires of municipalities. I look at the matter
very broadly. A real difference exists between the wants of the
northerners and southerners, greater still between the demands of the
two parties. There, the great word is said, the fearful phrase
pronounced—a real and profound disparity between _meridionali_ and
_settentrionali_ (southerners and northerners). But why hide it? Is it
possible to hide it? This division is felt by all, but all are afraid to
declare its existence. They are afraid (and their fear is honorable,
because inspired by the holy love of country) to compromise, by the
declaration, the grand fact of the unity of Italy.”

Great was the scandal produced among the liberals by this declaration of
Gabelli, and greater still when he subsequently made a careful diagnosis
of the evil, and prescribed a remedy—nothing less, by the bye, than a
confederation similar to that proposed by Pope Pius IX. thirty-one years

When the first Italian legislature assembled in Turin it was observed
that nearly all the deputies formed themselves into groups, separate and
divided, not politically in parties, but geographically in regions.
There was the Tuscan group, the Sicilian group, the Neapolitan group,
and later on the Lombard and the Venetian groups, which were the
occasion of constant lamentations on the part of the Piedmontese. Then
began the general struggle for power, to the almost incurable laceration
of poor, real Italy. All the _martyrs_ and _confessors_ of the country
clamored for offices in compensation for their heroic sufferings. As
their number bordered on the infinite for such a puny state as Italy, so
infinite was the number of positions created, and, consequently,
infinite was (and continues to be) the number of peculations. But with
masterly tact the Piedmontese element maintained the preponderance in
power, and so great was the fury of the other patriots that they
finally, with one accord, devoted all their energies to the
extermination of _Piedmonteseism_. The molestations and bitternesses
which fell to the lot of Count Cavour in the struggle that ensued were,
in the opinion of many Piedmontese, among the causes which hastened his
death. Whenever a new ministry was to be formed, to the personal
rivalries which are inseparable from such an occasion were superadded
the jealousies, the intrigues, and the pretensions of the different
regions. Every region clamored for the exaltation to the ministerial
bench of its own representative, not as the exponent of a political
principle, but as the defender of some provincial interest. The _Unità
Cattolica_, apropos of this, observes (September 21, 1877): “When it is
a question of forming a cabinet in England, in France, in Spain, do they
take care to have representatives of the various English, French, and
Spanish regions? Certainly not. Personages are chosen according to their
opinions, not according to the regions from which they come. But here in
Italy a ministry cannot spring into existence but there enters at least
one Piedmontese, one Neapolitan, one Lombard, one Sicilian, one Tuscan.
Examine all our ministries, from 1861 down, and you will find that they
were formed more on a regional than a political basis.” This is quite
true as regards the past few years. Formerly, however, as we have
already intimated, the Piedmontese held the majority in the cabinets, to
the unquenchable ire of the other provincials.

Another cause of jealousy to the provinces, and the occasion, at least,
of the pre-eminence of the Piedmontese, was the existence of the capital
at Turin. The Peruzzi-Minghetti ministry, however, according to the
convention with Napoleon III. of September 14, 1864, succeeded in having
the capital transferred to Florence. This roused the hatred of the
Piedmontese against the Tuscans, and was the cause of some bloody scenes
in Turin. But Lanza and Sella, both Piedmontese, vindicated their
countrymen by bearing the national _lares_ away from the banks of the
Arno, and enshrining them for ever, as they thought, on the banks of the
Tiber. Nor did the evil disappear with the annexation of the Venetian
province and the Pontifical territory. The Venetians constituted another
group in Parliament, and, if the Romans did not do likewise, it was
simply in default of the necessary elements, considering the aversion of
the Eternal City and the neighboring provinces for the invaders. Rome
became what the Baron d’Ondes Reggio predicted—a very Tower of Babel.
The war of interests broke out afresh and was carried on with redoubled
fury. The combatants ranged themselves into two grand divisions of
northerners and southerners. The Tuscan group alone enacted the part of
moderator. The Piedmontese element asserted its pre-eminence anew in
Rome, and invaded not only every department of state, but extended its
ruling influence even over municipal matters. The patriots of meridional
Italy prepared themselves, during the intervals when a common attack
against the church did not withdraw their attention from provincial
feuds, to give battle to the Piedmontese, whose ascendency was stoutly
maintained by Ponza di San Martino, Lanza, Sella, and General Cadorna.
The language of the southern papers was in something like the following
tenor: “Here we are at last in Rome! It is high time now that the
patronage of the Piedmontese should be suspended, and a check put upon
that political monopoly which they arrogate to themselves as a right of
conquest. They gave us a dynasty—good. They also gave us a constitution,
but we mean to perfect it and adapt it to the demands of progressing
civilization. But in Rome Italy belongs to the Italians, not to the
Piedmontese. Piedmonteseism oppresses us. Everything in the kingdom has
a subalpine odor—the organic laws, bureaucratic systems, fiscal
arrangements. The administrative machine is run entirely by Piedmontese.
The ministers, their secretaries (with rare exceptions), the
supernumeraries who lackey these—all Piedmontese. The secret offices are
given to Piedmontese, and the Piedmontese enjoy the sinecures of the
secret funds. The national bank itself is but a transformation of the
old subalpine bank. The army is in the hands of the Piedmontese, with a
Piedmontese as the Minister of War. In short, the nerve and fibre of
government is Piedmontese. There must be an end of this!”

It took seven years of laborious intrigues, amalgamations, and
combinations of parties to effect the downfall of the Piedmontese. Their
obituary notice is dated March 18, 1876. On the same day began the reign
of the Neapolitans, and within the short space of nineteen months they
have so thoroughly disposed of Piedmonteseism in every branch of civil
and military administration that even the word _Buzzurri_
(chestnut-roasters), applied seven years ago by the Romans to their new
masters, has become obsolete. The Venetian Gabelli has given us a
description of the condition of affairs at present. In the discourse
alluded to he proposes a league of the septentrionals. He says: “There
is nothing, gentlemen, that drives people to an abuse of power more than
the certainty of having so much of it that there is no danger of being
made responsible for the abuse. The meridionals are in this position
to-day, because they are supported therein by the division of the
septentrionals. A part, and a great part, of our votes and forces is
subordinate to the votes and forces of the meridionals. But is it true
that in Parliament they vote for regional interests?” He answers in the
affirmative, and adduces a series of amusing yet startling facts to
prove his assertion. He then continues: “I might go on indefinitely with
the enumeration of facts proving the existence of the struggle of
interests between the northerners and the southerners. This struggle is
real and active. Many preach that, even admitting the unfortunate
existence of these divisions in the country, they should be kept secret,
should not be proclaimed or discussed; above all, they should not be
considered as a test in government. What would you say, gentlemen, of
the logic of a physician who would reason in this wise: ‘I have a
patient prostrate with typhoid fever. But, as this disease is very
serious, I will hide it from myself, deny its existence; and because
this disease can terminate fatally for my patient I will treat it as a
simple inflammation of the bowels.’ That physician would be a fool. But
would those rulers be more logical who, recognizing the existence of a
condition so serious for the country, would persist in governing without
taking it into account? The struggle of interests is an evil. Let us
cure it. But to cure it let us begin with an exact diagnosis, and with a
recognition that the evil exists. Without an exact diagnosis an
efficacious cure would be a miracle. I am for unity. But the unity, and
even the existence, of Italy might be threatened by mistrust in our
systems of government, by the ever-increasing discontent. The country
will always be governed badly, unless consideration be had for its
actual condition. I am for unity. But I hold it to be _fatal_ for Italy
to pass through a crisis determined by the war of northern and southern
interests. What the vicissitudes of this war will be, or who will
prevail, no one can foresee. If we northerners remain united and form a
compact party, our more advanced civilization, and, let us speak
frankly, our honesty, more extensive and serious, will ensure for us a
just predominance. If we continue to be divided, while the southerners
form one phalanx, we will have to submit to the law of their interests,
to the influence of a social condition entirely different from our own.”

We have said nothing in reference to Regionalism—of that faction in the
liberal camp which is always conspiring against the _monarchical_ unity
of Italy, with a view of substituting a regional confederation of
independent republics; nothing of the multitude of liberals who are
clamoring for administrative decentralization, as a restoration, in
part, of the independence in administration which was taken from the
individual regions by political unity; nothing of the absolute
impossibility of having a territorial army in Italy, for the reason that
Regionalism might assert itself in a more material style, to the
imminent peril of the government. We have simply narrated facts
furnished by the liberals themselves—_by legal_ Italy, which assumes to
be the nation. Narration has the force of demonstration in this
instance, and clearly establishes the fact that Regionalism exists in
the very core of Italy, nay, rules supreme, regulating politics,
constituting parties, biassing every discussion, and threatening, in the
long run, not only the unity of the nation but the monarchy personified
in the unity.

This much established, a very reasonable doubt may be put forth as to
whether the unity of Italy be accomplished, even among the liberals, who
arrogated to themselves the right and the faculty to unite it, spite of
the nature, the history, the traditions, the genius, and the diverse and
contrary interests of the Peninsula. That there is a species of unity we
do not question. But it is neither moral nor organic unity, such as
forms one whole, ordained to a living purpose, founded on the same
principle, agreeing in its operations, harmonious in its members. It is
a mechanical and artificial unity, without bonds of life, without order
in purpose, without concord in action, without harmony in its parts; in
short, it is merely _fiscal_, not national, unity. This is a logical
conclusion, derived entirely from a consideration of _legal_ Italy.

Our conclusion does not assume a more favorable aspect for the unity of
Italy if we consider its passive subject—that is to say, the immense
number of Italians who were united against their own wish; who never
entered into the calculations of the demagogues; who, in deference to
the Unity described above, have been outraged in the tenderest
affections of the heart and in the most sacred rights of nature; who
have gathered no other fruits from unity than regional, municipal, and
domestic impoverishment; who perceive that, in the name of this unity,
their nation is perverted and their religion vilified, and who
consequently recognize in the government naught but an enemy of their
purse, their conscience, their family, and their liberty.

From what has been said already the absurdity and, we will add, the
malice of the accusation that the Papacy is the only obstacle to the
perfection and enjoyment of political unity in Italy become quite
apparent. The most powerful obstacle to such unity is not in the Papacy,
but in the very nature of things; it is in the history of ages, in the
varied character of the people, in the contrariety of the material and
moral interests of the different portions of the country. Let liberalism
eradicate from its bosom the gnawing worm of Regionalism; let it
reconcile opposing interests, quiet regional passions, which are the
seeds of civil war; and, having done this much, let it effect a unity
with the _real_ country. Until this much be accomplished, to charge the
Papacy with the ill success of the national unity is absurd. It is
malicious, also, inasmuch as it manifestly tends to separate the people
from the Catholic Church, making them regard the spiritual head of the
church and their father in the faith as an enemy of their country. Nay,
were the liberals successful in effecting their daring purpose, which is
the separation of the people from the see of Peter, then indeed would
the political unity of Italy receive its death-blow; then indeed would
the bond which unites the Italian people be severed, the bond of one
faith, the bond of the only unity they really can boast of—religious
unity. It were well if the demagogues of Italy bestowed the necessary
consideration upon the incomparable uniting force of religion to a
people, instead of promoting and hailing with delight every measure
devised to destroy it. Since they deem it advisable to affect Prussian
and Russian ways and means, why do they not perceive the manifest wisdom
of Bismarck’s measures against the Catholic Church?—measures the
fundamental purpose of which is not the extinction of the church, as
much as the establishment of a firm and lasting basis to the unity of
the empire in a uniformity of worship—Protestant, of course. And with
this intent were the Falk laws promulgated. Russia, too, fully alive to
the importance of a religious uniformity as the indestructible basis of
political unity, has peopled Siberia and the squalid prisons of the
empire with non-conformists to the so-called _Orthodox_ creed of the
land. Never yet was there a dynasty which did not find its main support
and perpetuation in the religious unity of its subjects. True or false
though the religion may have been, the principle of support was there.
And Italy’s patriots, with the connivance, not to say the active
concurrence, of a petty provincial dynasty, would perpetuate unity by
sowing religious discord among the people; by making of a people, one in
faith, in baptism, and actual religious profession, a discordant,
divided multitude of Evangelicals, Calvinists, Waldensians, Quakers,
Presbyterians, and Methodists. The discord produced in Italy to-day by
Regionalism is a great and, in all probability, a fatal evil to the
unity of the country. Add the religious disunion of the people to that
caused by Regionalism, and the result will be simply chaotic.

The reader may add to these conclusions: If the Pope came to terms with
Italy, as she now exists, would not the political unity of the country
improve, not to say receive its formal perfection, in consequence? We
answer, the hypothesis is inadmissible. Waiving the fact that, as
governments are conceived nowadays, the Pope cannot be the subject of
any one of them, and that he cannot in conscience accept terms from the
Italian government without compromising rights which he is bound to
maintain—though in fact they be trampled under foot and no human
probability predict their restoration—it is sufficient for us that he
declares a _Non possumus_. But admitting the supposition of a
reconciliation, of a cession of imprescriptible rights, would the
confusion which now predominates in Italy give place to order? Would the
only beatitude to which Italy now aspires be realized? Would the
political unity of the nation be established for ever? Would the war of
interests cease? Would the interests themselves change their nature?
Would the “more civilized” northerners of Italy leave off increasing
their prosperity at the expense of the southerners, and these be content
with contributing as taxpayers of the land, not as rulers? Would
Sicilians and Calabrians live _en famille_ with Venetians and Ligurians?
Would Turin, and Venice, and Modena, and Parma, and Florence, and Naples
forget that they were once the flourishing capitals of separate,
independent states, and be beatified in their present condition, simply
the residence of a prefect, and he a favorite of an ill-favored
ministry? The glory of being made the capital of Italy _presumably_
satisfies Rome. Think you, however, that the old city is never
retrospective? If the puny provincial cities and regions, in struggling
for their own regional interests and asserting their importance, cause
people to yield to dark forebodings, and to re-peruse and reflect upon
the history of the Italian states, what confusion could not the mistress
of the world produce, were she to fall back upon her eighteen centuries
of glory as the centre of Christendom?

The great obstacle to the enjoyment of political unity in Italy is not
in the Vatican, but in the character, genius, history, traditions, and
conflicting interests of the Italians themselves, and it is called

Footnote 1:

  _Del Regionalismo in Italia—Civiltà Cattolica, Quad._ 656.

                         AMONG THE TRANSLATORS.
                         VIRGIL AND HORACE.—IV.

In passages of quiet beauty such as the first six books are full of—the
_Odyssey_, we may call them, of the _Æneid_, as the last six are its
_Iliad_—Conington is almost always happy. Take, for instance, the
picture of the happy valley in Elysium (book vi. 703):

    “Meantime, Æneas in the vale
      A sheltered forest sees,
    Deep woodlands where the evening gale
      Goes whispering thro’ the trees,
    And Lethe river which flows by
    Those dwellings of tranquillity.
    Nations and tribes in countless ranks
    Were crowding to its verdant banks;
    As bees afield in summer clear
    Beset the flowerets far and near,
    And round the fair white lilies pour,
    The deep hum sounds the champaign o’er.”

In such lines, too, Mr. Morris, judging from his own poetry, should be
at his best; and here again it is hard to choose between him and his

    “But down amid a hollow dale, meanwhile, Æneas sees
    A secret grove, in thicket fair, with murmuring of the trees,
    And Lethe’s stream that all along that quiet place doth wend;
    O’er which there hovered countless folks and peoples without end.
    And as when bees, amid the fields in summer-tide the bright,
    Settle on diverse flowery things, and round the lilies white
    Go streaming, so the fields were filled with mighty murmuring.”

Hypercriticism might here point out as a blemish the use of the same
word “murmuring” to express the different sounds indicated in the Latin
by the words _sonantia_ and _murmure_; these are just the delicacies to
be looked for in Virgil and not to be overlooked by his translator.
Moreover, the line,

    “A secret grove, in thicket fair, with murmuring of the trees,”

asks considerable good-will and knowledge of the Latin to make it sound
quite reasonable, and “diverse flowery things” we have some private
doubts about. But “hovered” is certainly a better equivalent for
“_volabant_” than “crowded,” which gives no hint of the shadowy,
unsubstantial nature of these dwellers in the realms of Dis—_animæ,
quibus altera fato corpora debentur_:

    “Là, les peuples futurs sont des ombres légères,”

as Delille puts it by an anticipative paraphrase. Here Mr. Cranch may
meet his antagonists on somewhat better terms, though still we seem to
miss in his lines the poetical flavor, which he rarely catches

    “Meanwhile, Æneas in a valley deep
    Sees a secluded grove, with rustling leaves
    And branches; there the river Lethe glides
    Past many a tranquil home; and round about
    Innumerable tribes and nations flit.
    As in the meadows in the summer-time
    The bees besiege the various flowers, and swarm
    About the snow-white lilies; and the field
    Is filled with murmurings soft.”

The pathos, too, of his author—that exquisite pathos of Virgil which
pervades the _Æneid_ like a perfume, which one feels not more in the
eloquent compression of the _En Priamus_ wherewith Æneas recognizes his
country’s painted woes on the walls of the Carthaginian temple, or the
passionate heartbreak of the

    “O patria, o divûm domus, Ilium, et incluta bello
    Mœnia Dardanidum,”

or the subtle, touching beauty of the epitaph on Æolus, scarcely to be
read even now without a quiver of the eyelids:

                “Domus alta sub Ida,
    Lyrnessi domus alta, solo Laurente sepulcrum,”

than in the

    “Vivite felices, quibus est fortuna peracta
    Jam sua,”

of the farewell to Helenus, or the manly fortitude of the hero’s
admonition to his son:

    “Disce, puer, virtutem ex me verumque laborem,
    Fortunam ex aliis”

—the pathos of the _Æneid_ Prof. Conington has not been unsuccessful in
preserving, as we might show in more quotations than we have room for.
But for the expression of sublimity or intense emotion the octosyllabic
verse is scarcely so apt; and in striving to do justice to the tragic
grandeur of the second book, the passionate despair of the fourth, and
the elevated majesty of the sixth, or even the splendid rhetoric of Juno
and Turnus in the tenth and eleventh, Prof. Conington must often “have
been made sensible,” as he says in his preface, “of the profound
difference between the poetry of Scott and the poetry of Virgil.” In the
battle-scenes, however, he takes his full revenge, and in his
nimble-footed verse Turnus falls on with a fire and fury, or swift
Camilla scours the plain with a grace and lightness, which most of his
competitors toil after in vain. And in rendering those epigrammatic
turns of phrase of which the _Æneid_ is full, and which are so
characteristic a feature of Virgil’s style, we know of no version which
surpasses his. Take such examples as these:

    “Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem”:

    “No safety can the vanquished find
    Till hope of safety be resigned”;

                    “Mixtoque insania luctu
    Et furiis agitatus amor et conscia virtus”:

    “A warrior’s pride, a father’s pain,
      In mingled madness glow”;

    “Sed neque currentem se nec cognoscit euntem
    Tollentemve manu saxumque immane moventem”

(how well in the heavy movement of the last line the sound echoes the
sense!—a beauty which the translator certainly misses):

    “Running, he knew not that he ran:
    Nor, throwing, that he threw”;

the description of Turnus’ horses in book xii.:

    “Qui candore nives anteirent, cursibus auras”:

    “To match the whiteness of the snow,
      The swiftness of the breeze”;

or Corœbus’ appeal to his comrades in book ii.:

    “Dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?”

    “Who questions, when with foes we deal,
    If craft or courage guides the steel?”

Have we not here all needful fidelity united to the air of genuine
poetry? Compare Mr. Cranch’s versions of the first and last of these

    “The only safety of the vanquished is
    To hope for none”;


                “Whether we make use
    Of stratagem or valor who inquires
    In dealing with an enemy?”

If Æneas and Corœbus had harangued their fellow-Trojans in this wise, we
doubt if they would have helped them so gallantly to make some of the
finest poetry in the _Æneid_. There is no trumpet in such lines as

Nevertheless, in spite of many suspicious flavors of prose in his
version, Mr. Cranch, we suppose, is to be called a poet. The Boston
muses are liberal to their votaries, and do not ask that a man shall be
Shakspere or Milton before crowning him with all their laurels. At
least, we may fairly say that he is a gentleman of accomplishments
and—we should be tempted to add culture, the proper term, we believe,
for a person “in society” who knows all the things that are proper for
“persons in society” to know, were it not that glib dilettanteism and
newspaper sciolists have well-nigh sent that much-abused word into the
Coventry of cant. Mr. Cranch is, moreover, a writer of much poetic taste
and no little poetic faculty, as he has shown in many pleasant essays in
many varieties of metre. Among the kinds of metre which he can write,
however, his version of the _Æneid_ has not convinced us that
blank-verse is included; or, to put it more agreeably, if not more
justly, we are not persuaded that the kind of blank-verse he writes is
best fitted to do justice to Virgil.

So much we are led to say, because in his preface Mr. Cranch hints that
only a poet can or should attempt to translate the _Æneid_, and asserts
that only in blank-verse can it be fitly translated at all. Into that
interminable controversy as to whether any but a poet can translate a
poet, or whether rhyme is a curb or a spur, a help or a hindrance, to
the judicious translator who knows how to follow its inspiration, we do
not propose to enter. But Mr. Cranch, in declaring against the rhymed
couplet of Dryden and his followers, delivers himself in a way which to
us seems to imply a curious misconception of Virgil’s manner, and leads
us to anticipate on the threshold one of the points in which Mr.
Cranch’s version most strikingly fails. “The incessantly-recurrent
rhyme,” he says, “gives an appearance of antithesis which disturbs the
very simplicity and directness of the original.” Adjectives are apt to
be used somewhat vaguely—or, as our Western friends would say in their
delightful, breezy idiom, “to be slung about with a looseness”—in
speaking of the style of ancient writers, of which so few of us nowadays
know enough to be justified in speaking at all. We have no desire to
meddle more than is needful with these dangerous epithets, double-edged
weapons as they are. But unless we have read Virgil quite amiss, he is
especially fond of antithesis, which Mr. Cranch seems to think he is
not; and he is not especially simple or direct, which Mr. Cranch seems
to think he is. Not that he cannot be, as in truth he often is, both
simple and direct; but that simplicity and directness are not the
features of his style which we should select to characterize it, as we
should select them, for example, to characterize the style of Homer.
Whatever simplicity Virgil has belongs, we think, to the general
conception and conduct of his story, by no means to the manner of his
telling it, to the general quality of his thought or style. What
directness he has belongs to the general movement of his verse and the
necessities of epic composition, and is in spite of a tendency to dwell
curiously on incidents not in the track of his narrative, to turn, as it
were, from his epic path and linger over wayside flowers of rhetoric or
sentiment—a tendency illustrated by that subtlety of allusion which all
his critics have remarked, and the habit of hinting at two or three
modes of expression while employing one. These characteristics of his
poetry would naturally have resulted from the quality of his genius—the
genius of taste the Abbé Delille calls it; he was the first of the
_racinien_ poets, says Sainte-Beuve[2]—and the character of his time.
The age he wrote for was one of extreme literary and social refinement,
of keen philosophical speculation; the Latin he wrote in was already a
literary language—as much so as the French of Racine or the English of
Pope. The age of Augustus, in many points, was strikingly like that of
Louis XIV. in France and of Charles II. or, still closer, of Queen Anne
in England, as has been more than once pointed out. Sainte-Beuve, with
his usual insight, has seized upon this resemblance to explain why
Virgil, in the account of the shipwreck in the first book (vv. 81
_seq._), which is an ingenious cento from the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_,
should have dropped two of Homer’s most striking similes: that the
pilot, struck by the falling mast, went overboard “like a diver,” and
that the scattered swimmers—_rari nantes in gurgite vasto_—were borne
like sea-birds on the wave. Virgil omits these images, says the French
critic, just because they are so salient, so life-like, so frank and
real. “Comparisons of that sort the age of Augustus, like the age of
Louis XIV., rather eschewed. They were by no means to the taste of
Frenchmen in the days of Saint-Evremond and Segrais (I use extreme terms
purposely)—men of society, of the drawing-room, nice scholars who had
been often in the Hôtel Rambouillet but little at sea, and to whom
divers and sea-birds were unfamiliar sights. The Frenchman of that time
preferred general descriptions to images too minutely particularized,
and so, too, in a measure, did the Roman of the time of Augustus and the
circle of Mæcenas. Mæcenas is not so far, either in taste or philosophy,
from Saint-Evremond.”

With some reservations, much the same thing applies to the ages of
Dryden and of Pope—to Pope’s age and to Pope himself more strictly,
perhaps, than to Dryden or his time; so that one is half inclined to
think it a caprice of literary destiny that Pope should have been set to
translate Homer, and Dryden Virgil, rather than the reverse. Not that
the result would have been a better Homer, if we may judge from Dryden’s
sample work in the first book of the _Iliad_; a better Homer than Pope’s
was perhaps not to be looked for in an age which in its poetry thought
it fine to call a spade—about which it was apt to be only too
plain-spoken in free fireside prose—an agricultural implement, and the
bucolic person who wielded it a swain. Pope’s famous ironical essay in
the _Guardian_ on his own and Ambrose Phillips’ pastorals is a curious
illustration of the then passion for putting Nature into hoops and
periwig. Phillips, in a dim, blundering way, is nearer right with his
Cecilias and Rogers, who talk at least like ploughmen and milkmaids,
than Pope with his gentle Delias and sprightly Sylvias, who converse
like masquerading duchesses; but as all the world happened to be
masquerading, the laugh was with Pope.

Yet, as between the Greek and Roman poet, it should seem that the former
_ought_ to have been more congenial to Dryden, and the latter to Pope.
In many of the points where Pope was farthest from Homer he was nearest
to Virgil—not least in his love of antithesis, his epigram and point,
his brilliant rhetoric, the studied elegance, nay, the artifice, of his
style. Even in his most didactic vein he would scarcely have been so far
from Virgil as in his most epic strain he was from Homer. Virgil is not
averse to a bit of sermonizing _sub rosa_; he writes with a moral; his
Æneas is a sort of fighting parson born before his time. One cannot help
feeling, too, in his most impassioned moments, that he is writing with
his eye on his style, as Pope always is, as we can never fancy Homer
doing. Is the rhetorical artifice any less plain in

    “O dolor atque decus magnum rediture parenti”

than in

    “Daphne, our grief, our glory, now no more”?

Is the antithesis less pointed in

    “Qui candore nives anteirent, cursibus auras”

than in

    “Sees God in clouds, and hears him in the wind”?

There are hardly more lines of the kind in Pope than in the _Æneid_.

When, therefore, Mr. Cranch tells us that he has taken blank-verse
rather than the rhymed couplet in order to avoid the appearance of
antithesis, and to secure the clear simplicity and directness of his
original, he shows us where to look for some of his failures. His
simplicity is too often baldness, his directness not seldom prose, and
to the pointedness of the Latin he does much less than ample justice.
His blank-verse seems to us monotonous in its modulation and is not
always correct. Lines like the following occur too often:

    “Thou seekest counsel, gracious sovereign,
    In matters which to none of us are dark
    Nor needing our voices. All must own
    They know what best concerns the public good,
    Yet hesitate to speak.”

Indeed, we must confess that we are at a loss to know what Mr. Cranch
means by saying: “I am far from pretending that my versification may not
frequently fail to convey the movement of the Latin lines to the ear of
those to whom they are familiar.” If he means that his versification
often, or even sometimes, or at all, conveys the movement of the Latin
lines to his own ear, then his ear must be as curiously constructed as
the “arrected ears” he bestows on Æneas in the famous shepherd simile in
the second book.[3]

But it is ungracious to linger on faults which we have only dwelt on
because they seemed to flow from what we must take to be a misconception
on the part of Mr. Cranch of the true spirit of his author. His version
has certainly the merit of fidelity to the sense of the original, though
this, it seems to us, is sometimes bought by a sacrifice of the spirit.
His verse is, for the most part, what he claims it to be, smooth,
flowing, and compact, though it does not recall to us, as to him, the
best models of blank-verse, and he does not sin, as one other of our
translators does, against that “supreme elegance” which is Virgil’s
chief fascination. We find him best in the least essentially poetic
passages, which is, perhaps, not so bad a sign as it appears. The speech
of Juno in the tenth book is no unfavorable specimen of his best style:

          “... Then, stung with rage,
    The royal Juno spake: ‘Wherefore dost thou
    Force me to break my silence deep, and thus
    Proclaim in words my secret sorrow? Who
    Of mortals or of gods ever constrained
    Æneas to pursue these wars, and face
    The Latian monarch as an enemy?
    Led by the fates, he came to Italy;
    Be it so: Cassandra’s raving prophecies
    Impelled him. Was it we who counselled him
    To leave his camp and to the winds commit
    His life? or to a boy entrust his life
    And the chief conduct of the war? or seek
    A Tuscan league? or stir up tribes at peace?
    What gods, what unrelenting power of mine,
    Compelled him to this fraud? What part in this
    Had Juno or had Iris, sent from heaven?
    A great indignity it is, forsooth,
    That the Italians should surround with flames
    Your new and rising Troy, and that their chief,
    Turnus, should on his native land maintain
    His own, whose ancestor Pilumnus was,
    Whose mother was the nymph Venetia.
    What is it for the Trojans to assail
    The Latins with their firebrands, and subdue
    The alien fields and bear away their spoils?
    Choose their wives’ fathers, and our plighted brides
    Tear from our breasts? sue with their hands for peace,
    Yet hang up arms upon their ships? Thy power
    May rescue Æneas from the Greeks, and show
    In place of a live man an empty cloud;
    Or change his ships into so many nymphs.
    Is it a crime for us to have helped somewhat
    The Rutuli against him? Ignorant
    And absent, as thou sayst, Æneas is;
    Absent and ignorant, then, let him be.
    Thou hast thy Paphos, thy Idalium too,
    And lofty seat Cythera. Why, then, try
    These rugged hearts, a city big with tears?
    Do we attempt to overturn your loose,
    Unstable Phrygian state? Is it we or he
    Who exposed the wretched Trojans to the Greeks?
    Who was the cause that Europe rose in arms
    With Asia, or who broke an ancient league
    By a perfidious theft? Did I command
    When the Dardanian adulterer
    Did violence to Sparta? Or did I
    Supply him weapons and foment the war
    By lust? Thou shouldst have then had fear for those
    Upon thy side; but now too late thou bring’st
    Idle reproaches and unjust complaints.”

In rendering the phrase _fovive cupidine bello_ (“or battles flame with
passion fanned,” says Conington) Delille has a characteristic touch
almost worthy of Segrais:

    “Me vit-on allumer, pour embraser les terres
    Au flambeau de l’amour les torches de la guerre.”

In the speech of Turnus in the eleventh book the Trojans become
“brigands” and “barbarous assassins,” quite as if the Rutuli chief were
a deputy of the Left Centre addressing his friends on the Right. If the
good abbé had written a few years later he would no doubt have made them
Communists. But his speech of Juno, though rather free, has many fine
touches; and, indeed, the French seems to hit off the women’s part of
the _Æneid_ better than our English. Thus, the dumb rage with which Juno
must have listened to Venus is well hinted in the line,

    “Junon muette écoute auprès de son époux,”

though it is by no means so literal as Cranch’s.

Of the three translators of Virgil we are now considering, Mr. Morris
certainly brought to his task the greatest natural and acquired gifts.
Nay, had we been asked from the ranks of living English writers to pick
out the one who could give us Virgil most fitly, with least loss of
majesty or beauty, in an English dress, we think we should have named
the author of _Jason_ and the _Earthly Paradise_. For Mr. Morris is not
only a poet—a poet of very nearly the first order; whereas Mr. Cranch,
we are constrained to say in the teeth of the Boston muses, is hardly
more than a poet by brevet—he is also a classical scholar who, in point
of general acquirements at least, is a rival whom even Prof. Conington
would respect. Since the time of Dryden, and not excepting him, we know
of no English poet—unless, perhaps, Pope and the present laureate—whose
natural genius should seem to have fitted him so well as Mr. Morris to
interpret the _Æneid_. His own poetry shows many of the most distinctive
qualities of Virgil’s verse: its elegance, its pathos, its pregnant
allusiveness, above all the pensive grace, the under-note of tender
sadness, that runs through all the strain of the _Æneid_, the underlying
_motif_ of its theme. And though the form of narrative verse, in which
Mr. Morris has chiefly exercised his powers, is sufficiently remote in
tone and spirit from the tone and spirit of epic narrative, yet here and
there, as in passages of _Jason_ and of the _Lovers of Gudrun_, he has
come as near to striking the true epic note as any modern poet we
recall, unless it be Mr. Matthew Arnold in his admirable and touching
fragment of _Sohrab and Rustum_. Add to this his minute and
well-digested knowledge of classic mythology and legend, and his rare
mastery of the Saxon and Romance elements of the language, in which so
much of its tear-compelling power resides—what Joubert might have called
_les entrailles des mots_—his possession of the secret, so hard to
learn, of the sweetness of short and simple words,[4] and we had every
reason to expect from Mr. Morris a version of the _Æneid_ which should
be in the highest degree original, elegant, and fresh, which should even
take rank as the best English translation of Virgil’s poem that had yet
appeared. That pre-eminence, indeed, has by many English critics been
assigned to it; but to their verdict we cannot assent.

Fresh and original this version certainly is; for it is altogether
unlike any that has preceded it, in conception, in method, in treatment,
we might almost say in metre, since Mr. Morris’ long Alexandrines are,
in metrical effect, no more the Alexandrines of Phaer than those of
Chapman. Elegant it is, too, so far as regards artistic workmanship and
finish; that everything that Mr. Morris sets his hand to is sure to
have. But it is not the elegance of Virgil; it is not even the elegance
of the _Earthly Paradise_. The final grace of proportion and fitness it
has not, and in spite of many and singular beauties—of beauties which
scarcely any living English writer that we know of, except Mr. Morris,
could give us—it is not to us, upon the whole, a satisfactory version.
Nay, it is most unsatisfactory, and it is so because of the two
qualities which should otherwise have made its chief charm—its freshness
and its originality; because to the attainment of these Mr. Morris seems
to us to have sacrificed the most important quality of all in a
translation—fidelity to the spirit of his author.

We need go no farther than the title-page to read the story of his
design and, as we incline to hold, his failure. “The _Æneids_ of Virgil
_done_ into English verse” is what he offers us, and the affectation of
the title runs through the performance and mars it. If from the result
we may derive the intent, Mr. Morris set out to produce such a version
of the _Æneid_ as might have been written anywhere between the time of
Chaucer and Phaer, had any poet then lived who joined to the simplicity
and freshness of his own age the culture and self-consciousness of ours.
At least, this is the only way we can account for Mr. Morris’ choice of
the peculiar style in which he has seen fit to couch, we might almost
say to smother, his version—a style which is not, indeed, the style of
Chaucer, or of Phaer, or of Chapman (to whom it has been rashly referred
by an English critic in the _Saturday Review_), or, for the matter of
that, of any other English author we are acquainted with, living or
dead; but which is nevertheless plainly inspired by the same effort in
the direction of mediævalism and the earlier manner that has borne such
pleasant fruit in the author’s former productions. But the effort is
here carried, it seems to us, to “a wasteful and ridiculous excess,” and
is, besides, quite out of place in a translation where the writer is not
free to form his own manner, but is bound to the manner of his original;
unless, indeed, Mr. Morris finds in the style of Virgil the same effect
of quaintness and antiquity which he has striven but too successfully to
give his translation, and that he is too good a scholar to permit us to
believe. Virgil’s style was that of his age, and his unfrequent
archaisms, such as _faxo_ for _fecero_, _aulai_ for _aulæ_, and the
like, can scarcely have produced on the reader of the Augustan era any
stronger impression of quaintness than such poetical forms as “spake”
and “drave” and “brake” produce on us when we meet them in English
poetry today. We must, therefore, assume that Mr. Morris aimed at some
such reproduction of the literary manner of a past age as Thackeray
gives us in _Esmond_, or Balzac, with still greater ingenuity but much
worse art, in the _Contes Drolatiques_. This, and a resolve to use only
Saxon words as far as possible—a right idea in the main, perhaps, for
translation from the Latin, certainly a most interesting and instructive
one—and (a less useful idea) to say nothing in the common way which
could at all be said out of the common, seem to have been his
controlling influences. To these he has subordinated all else but verbal
fidelity, and the result is a queer composite production of a strong
mediæval flavor—a romanticized _Æneid_ which one of the seekers after
the _Earthly Paradise_ might have told his comrades

              “Under the lime-trees’ shade
    By some sweet stream that knows not of the sea,”

but which, except for fidelity to its meaning, seems to us hardly nearer
being Virgil’s _Æneid_ than Pope’s _Iliad_ was to being Homer’s. Close
it certainly is; we may say marvellously close. Indeed, so far as we
have been able to collate, it surpasses in this respect all previous
rhymed versions, even Conington’s, and falls but little below any of
those in blank-verse. Not only does it render the Latin line for line—no
trifling task, even for the Alexandrine, with its unvarying fourteen
syllables against the average fifteen of the hexameter—but not seldom
word for word. Moreover, notwithstanding its exactness, it reads as
smoothly and as spiritedly as an original poem; it is everywhere set off
with those verbal graces of which Mr. Morris is a master, and the metre,
which has many merits for the purpose, is throughout handled with
admirable skill. Wherein and how, then, does it fail of giving us

Because, we answer, not only is Virgil’s tone—his coloring, his local
atmosphere-conspicuously absent from Mr. Morris’ translation, not only
is the tone of the latter as unlike the tone of the _Æneid_ as can well
be, but it is even carefully, studiously, nay, laboriously, removed from
it. It may be taken as a rule in translation that any word is out of
place which violently disturbs the associations that belong to the
original, the train of ideas raised by the original in the reader’s
mind. For instance, when Mr. Theodore Martin makes use of the word
“madrigal” in his translation of the _Carmen Amœbæum_ of Horace, we
somehow feel that he has struck a false note; we are sensible of a
discord. The word to the English reader brings up associations wholly
foreign to Horace and his time, turns the thoughts of the English reader
into a widely different track, and dispels the Horatian effect. Mr.
Morris not only does this in single words, but his very design is based
on doing it as often as he can; his entire vocabulary is carefully
selected with a view to doing it uniformly throughout his work. From the
stately towers of Ilium, city of the gods, the _arces Pergameæ and
incluta bello mœnia Dardanidum_; from the splendid temples of Carthage;
from the fertile plains of Hesperia, the royal city of Laurentum, and
the mighty hundred-pillared palace of Picus; from the Ausonian
battle-fields, ringing with the clatter of chariots, the clang of sword
on helm and spear on buckler, the shouts and shocks of the contending
heroes—from all the scenes and characters so familiar to us in the
Virgilian story, Mr. Morris ushers us into a strange, remote, wild
Westland, where all the famous doings we thought we knew so well are
transformed in the most grotesque fashion. It is a land of “steads” and
“firths,” of “meres” and “leas” and “fells,” he takes us into, inhabited
not by a people but by “a folk,” who are not named but “hight”; who
dwell in “garths” and “burgs” and worship “very godheads” in “fanes”;
who never by any chance go anywhere, but either “wend” or “fare” when
they are not engaged in “flitting”—a mysterious kind of locomotion which
they sometimes achieve by means of “wains”—and who hold converse among
themselves not in words but in “speech-lore,” which they at times
condescend to speak, but very much prefer, when the rhyme will give them
the ghost of a chance, “to waft” through “tooth-hedge” (_ore locutus_).
In this mysterious region are neither times nor numbers, but only
“tales” and “tides”; what would be mere tillers of the soil (_agricolæ_)
in Virgil are here become “acre-biders” or “field-folk,” who for cattle
have “merry, wholesome herds of neat” (_læta boum armenta_), and for
horses “war-threatening herd-beasts.” Here things are rarely carried,
but, like the “speech-lore” above spoken of, are “wafted” whenever
humanly possible, and are never done or made when they can by any means
be “dight.” Here we are puzzled to recognize our old friends, the Muses,
under the disguise of “Song-maids”; we fairly cut those amiable sisters,
the Furies, when they are introduced to us as the “Well-willers”; and of
the heroes who roar and ruffle so gallantly through the battlefields of
the _Æneid_ we have scarcely a glimpse, but instead a “tale” of “lads of
war,” “begirded” with “war-gear” and led by “Dukes of man,” who are for
ever falling on and smiting or being smitten by a “sort of fellows”
dight in “war-weeds,” who fare around in “war-wains” and “deal out
iron-bane” (_dant funera ferro_) with “shot-spears” or “weapon-smiths”
and “wound-smiths” instead of simple javelins and swords. Following Mr.
Morris’ lead, in short, we find ourselves in a land where Virgil would
be as much at home as he would in Asgard or Valhalla, or as the hero
Beowulf might be in Elysium. It is a pleasant land enough in its way,
and the folk are entertaining folk, but we feel that we have left the
_Æneid_ behind us.

It is far from our wish or aim to set Mr. Morris’ work in an unworthy or
ridiculous light. Our respect for him is too great, our admiration too
sincere, to treat any performance of his lightly. But some such
impression as that we have given above is the chief one left on our mind
by reading his _Æneids_. We are no longer in Italy but in Norseland, or,
if in Italy, an Italy after the Gothic irruption; Æneas and Turnus,
Pallas and Lausus, _fortisque Gygas fortisque Cloanthus_, are no longer
Trojans or Rutules, but Norse jarls and vikings. They bear their Latin
names, but that is all that is Latin about them: the hand is the hand of
Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob. What associations connect
themselves in the mind of the English reader with such words as “garth”
and “burg” and “firth”? Are they not as unlike as possible to any that
belong to Virgil? Do they not disturb and trouble, even totally obscure,
the effect the English reader habitually derives from Virgil—these
incongruous words dropped into the clear current of the poet’s manner—as
a stone flung into a limpid pool may trouble and obscure it? What is
there in common between Morris’ “lads of war in vain beleaguered” and
Virgil’s _nequidquam obsessa juventus_?—between Morris’ “very Duke of
man” and Virgil’s _ipsis ductoribus_? (v. 249). What impression is the
English reader apt to get from phrases like “flitting by in wain”? It is
certainly not that of a hero rushing to battle, but, if any—and we are
not sure that upon our own mind any very tangible impression is left at
all—rather of a bucolic ghost disappearing somewhere in a spectral
hay-cart. To say Carthage is to be “Lady of all lands” is surely to
produce an utterly different effect from that of _dea gentibus esse_ (i.
17); and they must have shrewder eyes than ours who can find in such
lines as

    “Lo! what was there to heave aloft in fashioning of Rome,”


    “Those fed on good hap all things may because they deem they may,”

anything more than the shell of Virgil’s

    “Tantæ molis erat Romanam condere gentem”


    “Hos successus alit; possunt quia posse videntur,”

where the pretence of verbal fidelity only makes the verbal affectation
more annoyingly weak. These ever-recurring eccentricities of phrase
tease the reader and spoil half his enjoyment. In a translator whose
daily speech was of “trowing” instead of “trusting,” of “tale” for
number or “sort” for company, of “wending” and “wafting,” and “folk” in
the singular, and who used “very” rather profusely, and on slight
provocation, as an adjective, and “feared” and “learned” as transitive
verbs, and agreed with some modern great men in thinking grammar
generally a bore, such lines as

    “O Palinure, that _trowed_ the shies and soft seas overmuch”;

    “These tidings hard for us to _trow_ unto our ears do win”;

    “In all thou needest toil herein, from me the deed should _wend_”;

    “A hundred more, and youths withal of age and _tale_ the same”;

    “There with his hand he maketh sign and mighty speech he _wafts_”;

    “From the open gates another _sort_ is come”;

    “And her much _folk_ of Latin land were fain enow to wed”;

    “Hard strive the _folk_ in smiting sea, and oar-blades brush the

    “The straits besprent with many a _folk_”;

    “To Helenus his _very_ thrall me very _thrall_ gave o’er”;

    “So with their weapons every show of _very_ fight they stir”;

    “But _learn_ me now who fain the sooth would wot”;

    “About me senseless, _throughly feared_ with marvels grim and

    “And many a saying furthermore of God-loved seers of old
    _Fears_ her with dreadful memories”;

    “Nor was he _worser_ than himself in such a pinch bestead”

—such lines in a translator to whom this dialect was still a living
language would not seem unnatural. They would be simply the expression
of the effect made by Virgil on the mind of that age, and so far, since
every age has its own idiom, they would not necessarily be un-Virgilian
at all. Even such extraordinary phrases as

                                  “An ash ...
    Round which, sore smitten by the steel, the _acre biders_ throng,
    And strive in speeding of the axe,”


    Cum ferro accisam crebrisque bipennibus instant
    Eruere agricolæ certatim”;


                      “When Jove, a-looking down
    From highest lift on sail-skimmed sea, and lands that round it lie,
    And shores and many folk about in topmost burg of sky,
    Stood still,”


                      “Cum Jupiter, æthere summo
    Despiciens mare velivolum terrasque jacentes
    Litoraque et latos populos, sic vertice cœli


    “An ancient mighty rock, indeed, which lay upon the lea,
    Set for a landmark, _judge and end of acre-strife to be_,”


    “Saxum antiquum, ingens, campo quod forte jacebat,
    Limes agro positus, litem ut discerneret arvis”;


    “No footstrife but the armed hand must doom betwixt us twain,”


    “Non cursu, certandum sævis est comminus armis”

—such phrases as these, if to any translator at any time they could have
seemed a natural way of saying things, would not then, in such a
translator’s version, have struck us with more than the passing and not
unpleasant sense of quaintness which is part of the charm we find in the
diction of a past age when used by its lawful owners. But when a poet of
the nineteenth century sacrilegiously invades the tomb and seizes upon
this castoff and moth-eaten verbal bravery of buried ages to bedeck
himself withal, it is much as if he should come to make his bow in a
modern drawing-room arrayed in the conventional dress-coat, Elizabethan
ruff and trunks, Wellington boots, and a Vandyke hat. The novelty might
please for a moment, but the incongruity must offend in the end. In the
very time which Mr. Morris so much admires they knew this to be false
art. “That same framing of his stile to an old rusticke language,” says
Sir Philip Sidney in his _Apologie for Poesie_, speaking of _The
Shepherd’s Calendar_, “I dare not alowe, since neither Theocritus in
Greeke, Virgile in Latin, nor Sannazar in Italian did affect it.”

Still worse is it when our amateur of second-hand finery, the
_bric-à-brac_ of language, selects such a poet as Virgil—Virgil, whose
name is a synonym for supreme, for perfect elegance, whose “taste was
his genius”—as a lay figure to drape with these shreds and tatters of an
obsolete, fantastic verbiage, “mouldy-dull as Eld herself”—to quote and
illustrate at once from Mr. Morris[5]—and smelling of the grave. This
persistence in going out of the way to hunt for archaisms at once—to
repeat a word which best hits our own feeling—teases the reader and
distracts him. We seem to feel Mr. Morris amiably tugging our
coat-sleeve at every turn to point out this or that fresh eccentricity
of language. We fancy we see him chuckling and rubbing his hands
gleefully here and there over the discovery of some more than usually
exasperating way of violating the usages of modern speech. So vexed and
harassed, it is impossible to get much taste of the _Æneid_; through
this word-jugglery we catch such glimpses of it as of the painted scene
a conjurer has set behind him to throw his tricks into relief Of a piece
with this laborious renaissance of a forgotten tongue are the studied
mispronunciations, such as Ænĕas for Ænēas and Erāto for Erăto:

    “So did the Father Ænĕas, with all at stretch to hear”;

    “To aid, Erāto, while I tell what kings, what deedful tide”;

the false rhymes, such as “wrath” and “forth,” “poured” and “abroad,”
“abroad” and “reward,” which might be forgiven to the stress of so
long and difficult a task had we not such reason for suspecting them
to be intentional; the occasional use of phrases familiar, even low,
and totally at variance with Virgil’s lofty and cultivated style, such
as “gobbets of the men” for _frusta_, iii. 632; “Phrygian fellows”
(_Phrygii comites_); “those Teucrian fellows”; “the other lads” for
_juventus_; “but as they gave and took in talk” (_hac vice sermonum_);
“he spake and footed it afore” (_dixit et ante tulit gressum_);
“unlearned Æneas fell aquake” (_Horruit ... inscius Æneas_)—surely a
most undignified proceeding for a hero; “so east and west he called to
him, and _spake such words to tell_” (_dehinc talia fatur_)—the list
is long, scarce a page but would swell it; or the compound epithets
which Mr. Morris—herein, no doubt, taking his cue from Chapman, but
not so happily or with such good reason—has coined profusely. “In the
Augustan poets,” says Prof. Conington, “compound epithets are chiefly
conspicuous by their absence, and a translator of an Augustan poet
ought not to suffer them to be too prominent a feature of his style.”
This assertion must be qualified with regard to Virgil, who, in
imitation of his model, Homer, and in obedience, perhaps, to a
supposed law of epic composition, has too many compounds to permit it
to pass unchallenged—such, for instance, as _armisonus_ (_Palladis
armisonæ_—“Pallas of the weapon-din”), _velivolus_ (“sail-skimmed”),
_legifer_ (_legiferæ Cereri_—“Ceres wise of law”), _letifer_
(“deadly”), _cælicolus_ (“heaven-abider”), _laniger_ (“woolly”),
_noctivagus_ (“nightly-straying”), and the like. Yet, not content to
render these by English compounds even where it is not always
expedient—since the compound form in our own language will often, from
its strangeness in a familiar tongue, seem strained and awkward, where
in the less familiar Latin it seems only natural and elegant[6]—Mr.
Morris has introduced many other compounds of his own invention for
which there is no authority in Virgil at all, which in many instances
are discordant with his style and not seldom downright grotesque—such
combinations as “hot-heart” for _ardens_, or “cold-hand in the war”
(_frigidus bello_) or even “fate-wise,” “weapon-won,” “war-lord,”
“battle-lord,” “air-high,” “star-smiting,” “outland-wrought,”
“heaven-abider” (_cœlicolus_), “like-aged,” “goddess-led,” etc., which
meet us at every turn. And what _are_ we to say of such inventions as
“murder-wolf,” “death-stealth” (“on death-stealth onward the Trojan
went”—_hic furio fervidus instat_), “dreaming-tide” for _somnus_,
“war-Turnus,” “weapon-great,” “helpless-fain” for _nequidquam avidus_,
“hero-gathered stone” (_lapis ipsi viri_), “anger-seas,”
“wounding-craft,” “bit-befoaming,” “speech-masters,” or those others,
if possible still more extraordinary, already mentioned,
“weapon-smith,” “wound-smith,” “tooth-hedge”? These, and scores of
other such we have marked for notice, are surely as little like Virgil
as they are like any English that is spoken to-day; and they are
scarcely less potent than Mr. Morris’ archaisms in disturbing and
altering the Virgilian tone. Of a like effect are the quaint and
unconsequential translations now and then of Latin names—as of _Musæ_
into “Song-maids,” _Eumenides_ into “Well-willers,” _Avernus_ into
“Fowlless,” and soon—whereby for a perfectly familiar and intelligible
term of the Latin is substituted in the English a grotesque and
puzzling word, and which again stops the current of the story until
the reader can readjust his mind to the novel ideas it awakes. The
most unclassical of readers has his notions formed of the Muses and
the Furies, at least, if not of the Eumenides; but of these
Song-maids—who might as well be milk-maids—and of these
Well-willers—who rather suggest well-diggers—he must form a new notion
as he reads. And one might add, at the risk of seeming to split hairs,
that in thus translating the word _Eumenides_ we lose much of the
effect of that euphemism with which the Greeks, like all strongly
imaginative peoples, sought to keep disagreeable subjects at arm’s
length—the form τι παθεῖν, as a synonym for dying, is exactly
paralleled by the Irish phrase “suffered,” applied to an executed
rebel—or perhaps to ward off the wrath of these ticklish neighbors, as
Celtic races, again, are in the habit of calling fairies “the good
people.” A more substantial objection is that Mr. Morris seems
capricious in the matter, for we see no particular reason for his
translating one such name and others not at all—-why he should not
give us Quail-land for Ortygia, or Chalk Island for Crete, as well as
Westland for Hesperia, or Fowlless for Avernus.

It is a result of these affectations, or—for we are loath to press the
charge of affectation against a poet whose own writing is so genuine and
sincere—of these peculiarities of style, which have on the reader all
the seeming and effect of affectation, that the pathos of Virgil, the
one quality to which Mr. Morris should have been best fitted to do
justice, he has greatly impaired. Affectation is fatal to pathos; one
cannot have much feeling for the woes which are carefully set forth in
verbal mosaic. Take but a single example—a passage in Virgil already
referred to—which sets forth admirably that faculty the Latin poet has
to so curious a degree of infusing sadness into mere words, but in which
Mr. Morris is little behind him. It is the death of Æolus, which Mr.
Morris renders thus:

    “Thee also, warring Æolus, did that Laurentine field
    See fallen and cumbering the earth with body laid alow;
    Thou diest, whom the Argive hosts might never overthrow,
    Nor that Achilles’ hand that wrought the Priam’s realm its wrack.
    Here was thy meted mortal doom: high house ‘neath Ida’s back—
    High house within Lyrnessus’ garth, grave in Laurentine lea.”

It only needs to compare this with the original to see how far it misses
the pathos of the Latin; it needs only to compare it with Mr. Morris
himself, where he has forgotten or failed to be sufficiently archaic, to
see the reason of the miss. Take, again, the passage from the shipwreck
in the second book already referred to:

    “Now therewithal Æneas’ limbs grew weak with chilly dread;
    He groaned, and, lifting both his palms aloft to heaven, he said:
    O thrice and four times happy ye that had the fate to fall
    Before your fathers’ faces there by Troy’s beloved wall!
    Tydidĕs, thou of Danaan folk, the mightiest under shield,
    Why might I never lay me down upon the Ilian field?
    Why was my soul forbid release at thy most mighty hand,
    Where eager Hector stooped and lay before Achilles’ wand,
    Where huge Sarpedon fell asleep, where Simois rolls along
    The shields of men and helms of men and bodies of the strong?”

The word “wand” for _telo_ has an odd look, but that may be forgiven to
the rhyme; and the rest is simple, emotional, and true. In like happy
moments of oblivion we catch an echo of _Jason_, as in the opening of
book vii.:

    “The faint winds breathe about the night, the moon shines clear and
    Beneath the quivering, shining road the wide seas gleaming lie....
    The fowl that love the river-bank and haunt the river-bed
    Sweetened the air with plenteous song and through the thicket fled.”

The rising of the Rutules in vii. 623 is an animated picture unmarred by
too many of the mannerisms we have spoken of:

    “... All Ausonia yet unstirred brake suddenly ablaze;
    And some will go afoot to field, and some will wend their ways
    Aloft on horses dusty-fierce; all seek their battle-gear.
    Some polish bright the buckler’s face and rub the pike-point clear
    With fat of sheep; and many an axe upon the wheel is worn.
    They joy to rear the banners up and hearken to the horn.
    And now five mighty cities forge the point and edge anew
    On new-raised anvils: Tibur proud, Atina stanch to do,
    Ardea and Crustumerium’s folk, Antennæ castle-crowned.
    They hollow helming for the head; they bend the withe around
    For buckler-boss; or other some beat breastplates of the brass,
    Or from the toughened silver bring the shining greaves to pass.
    Now fails all prize of share and work, all yearning for the plough;
    The swords their fathers bore afield anew they smithy now.
    Now is the gathering trumpet blown; the battle-token speeds,
    And this man catches helm from wall; this thrusteth foaming steeds
    To collar; this his shield does on, and mail-coat threesome laid
    Of golden link, and girdeth him with ancient trusty blade.”

Passages like this—and, indeed, there are many of them—only deepen our
regret that Mr. Morris should let a whim of doubtful taste deprive us of
what might have been otherwise the best rendering of the _Æneid_ yet.
One other passage we will give, and then cease to tax longer the
patience of the reader. It shall be the gallant picture of Turnus
sallying forth to battle (xi. 486), which, as it is taken from the like
description of Paris, near the end of the sixth _Iliad_, will permit us
to compare Morris’ manner with Chapman’s:

    “Now eager Turnus for the war his body did begird:
    The ruddy gleaming coat of mail upon his breast he did,
    And roughened him with brazen scales; with gold his legs he hid;
    With brow yet bare, unto his side he girt the sword of fight,
    And, all a glittering, golden man, ran down the castle’s height.[7]
    High leaps his heart, his hope runs forth the foeman’s force to
    As steed, when broken are the bonds, fleeth the stabling place,
    Set free at last, and, having won the unfenced open mead.
    Now runneth to the grassy ground wherein the mare-kind feed;
    Or, wont to water, speedeth him in well-known stream to wash,
    And, wantoning, with uptost head about the world doth dash,
    While wave his mane-locks o’er his neck, and o’er his shoulders

Compare Chapman, _Iliad_ vi. 503 (Οὐδέ Πάρις δήθυνεν ἐν ὑψηλοῖοι

                        “And now was Paris come
    From his high towers, who made no stay when once he had put on
    His richest armor, but flew forth; the flints he trod upon
    Sparkled with lustre of his arms; his long-ebb’d spirits now flow’d
    The higher for their lower ebb. And as a fair steed, proud,
    With full-giv’n mangers, long tied up, and now his head-stall broke,
    He breaks from stable, runs the field, and with an ample stroke
    Measures the centre; neighs and lifts aloft his wanton head,
    About his shoulders shakes his crest, and where he hath been fed,
    Or in some calm flood wash’d, or stung with his high plight, he
    Amongst his females; strength put forth his beauty, beautifies,
    And like life’s mirror bears his gait: so Paris from the tower
    Of lofty Pergamos came forth.”

Is not the modern older in style than the ancient?

We lay aside Mr. Morris’ book with a mingling of admiration and regret.
The critical and poetical ability shown in it is of the first order—no
man could have spoiled Virgil so thoroughly as we think Mr. Morris has
in places who did not know him _au bout des ongles_, just as a clever
parody shows true appreciation of an author—and its ingenuity is
amazing. But one feels it to be a wasted ingenuity, and the predominant
sentiment with which we leave the book is one of annoyance that a man
should so wilfully do ill what his very errors prove him capable of
doing so well. Yet for all that the book wins upon us as most of Mr.
Morris’ work has a way of doing; and if one could but get reconciled to
a Norseland Æneis, we should no doubt find it pleasant enough.

Perhaps we cannot better dismiss our subject than by saying, in the
old-time fashion of comparison, that of these three translations
Conington’s will probably be read for the story by those who know Virgil
not at all; Mr. Cranch’s for its literalness by those who half know
Virgil and are willing to know him better; and Mr. Morris’ for its very
ingenuity of perversion by those who know Virgil so well that to see him
in any new light, even a false light, only adds a fillip to their love
for him.

Footnote 2:

  Cf. what Joubert says of Racine: that “his genius, too, lay in his
  taste,” and that he is “the Virgil of the ignorant.”

Footnote 3:

  “And stand and listen with arrected ears”—_atque arrectis auribus
  adsto_. We may add that to our mind Simmons’ version of this simile,
  which we regret not to have space to quote, is one of the very best.

Footnote 4:

  Dr. Johnson never learned it. “His heroic lines,” he said of Cowley,
  “are often formed of monosyllables; but yet they are often sweet and

Footnote 5:

  “Eld the mouldy-dull, and empty of all sooth,” is Mr. Morris’
  equivalent for “_verique effeta senectus_,” _Æn._ vii. 439.

Footnote 6:

  Mr. Matthew Arnold’s remark to a like effect in his admirable essay on
  translating Homer was curiously anticipated by Tickell in the preface
  to his (or Addison’s) version of the first book of the _Iliad_, where
  he says the double epithets of the _Iliad_, “though elegant and
  sonorous in the Greek, become either unintelligible, unmusical, or
  burlesque in English.” He adds: “I cannot but observe that Virgil,
  that sunge in a language much more capable of composition than ours,
  hath often conformed to this rule.”

Footnote 7:

  Mr. Morris here unaccountably sacrifices an opportunity. _Decurrens
  aureus arce_ the Latin is, and yet he gives us “castle” instead of
  “burg,” which, in his own translating dialect, is the true meaning of
  _arx_. To such shifts will rhyme reduce the ablest translators!

                             ST. CUTHBERT.

    Behold the shepherd lad of Lammermuir
      Tending his small flock on the uplands bleak.
      Alone he seems, yet to his young heart speak
    Voices that none may hear except the pure.
    His dreaming eyes—where duller souls, secure
      Of earth alone, see naught—are quick to seek
      Angels howe’er disguised; and week by week
    The higher call within grows clear and sure.
    Now see him, humbly clad, with staff in hand,
      Thread the wild vales of Tweed and Teviot,
    To bear God’s Word through a benighted land,
      And bless with prayer each peasant’s lonely cot.
    Brave soul wert thou, though few thy worth may sing,
    Thou chosen saint of England’s noblest king.

                            PILATE’S STORY.

Caligula was reigning, C. Marcius was prætor at Vienne, in Dauphiny,
when a litter, escorted by a number of cavaliers, one evening entered
the triumphal gate of this metropolis of Gaul. Many gathered together at
the unusual display. On the door of the modest little house before which
they stopped, and which stood close by the Temple of Mars, was the name
of F. Albinus in bright red letters. An old man, tall in stature, but
now bent with age and fatigue, alighted from the litter, and, preceded
by two of his attendant Hebrew slaves, entered the reception-room, where
he was greeted by his friend, the master of the house.

After having bathed and received the usual attentions at the hands of
the slaves, he proceeded with his host to the supper-room to enjoy the
evening meal. The lamps were lighted, and Albinus was alone with the new
guest, with whom he entered into conversation as soon as the dish of
fresh eggs was placed before them.

“Many years have passed since we separated,” said Albinus; “let us empty
a cup of Rhone wine to your return.”

“Yes, many years!” sighed the old man; “and cursed be the day whereon I
succeeded Valerius Gratus in the government of Judea! My name is
unlucky; a fatality is attached to all who bear it. One of my ancestors
left the stamp of infamy on the name of Roman when he passed under the
yoke in the Caudine Forks, after fighting against the Samnites; another
perished in Parthia, fighting against Phraates; and I—I—”

The wine remained untasted, while his unbidden tears fell into the cup.

“Well! you—what have you done? Some injustice of Caligula exiles you to
Vienne; and for what crime? I read your affair in the _tabularium_. You
were denounced to the emperor by your enemy, Vitellius, the prefect of
Syria; you punished a few Hebrew rebels who, after assassinating some
noble Samaritans, entrenched themselves on Mount Garizim. You were
accused of doing this out of hatred to the Jews.”

“No, no, Albinus; by all the gods! it is not the injustice of Cæsar
which afflicts me.”

“What exactions did you impose?”


“Did you carry off any Jewish women?”


“Did you gibbet any Roman citizens, as Verres did in Sicily?”

Pilate did not reply.

“I always took you to be good and sensible,” continued Albinus; “hence I
did not hesitate to proclaim aloud in the city that your spoliation and
exile were an outrage. It was never referred to the senate. The whole
affair was evidently owing to some caprice of Vitellius.”

“Albinus, let us talk of other things. I am tired, having just arrived
from Rome. Serious things for to-morrow, says the sage. This Rhone wine
is exquisite.”

“Beware of it, Pontius; it disturbs the brain.”

“So much the better. But I am not afraid of it. I am accustomed to the
wine of Engaddi; that is a potent Bacchus.”

“As you please. But tell me, you who come from Rome, what stirs men’s
minds there? Have you aught to interest my ear?”

“The auguries are bad. I did not recognize Rome; she no longer goes
forward, but steadily sinks!”

“What say you?”

“I say what is. From here you cannot detect the mysterious subterranean
noise which rumbles as with the approach of that invisible, superior
power now irresistibly pushing the empire to its ruin. Our gods are
vanquished; they abandon us. Listen, Albinus; let me this evening throw
a smile to your _Penates_, and no more words of what is sorrowful. Night
is the mother of sadness, but the _triclinium_ counsels gayety. Tell the
child to turn me a cup of wine of Cyprus, and ask the slave to bring my
sandals and prepare my bed. I love not the gloom of night; let us haste
to sleep, that the day may sooner come.”

Albinus bowed, and the desires of Pilate were complied with. As the
slave approached him with a silver hand-basin for washing his hands,
Pilate’s face turned pale as with fright, while the light of his eyes
was terrible to behold.

The next day was the eve of the kalends of August. Pilate took a walk
with Albinus in the Roman city of Vienne, and listened abstractedly to
the conversation of his friend, who pointed out the various localities
as they passed along, and the many splendid monuments rising on every

“There is left no trace of the domination of the Allobroges here,” said
Albinus. “Since the death of Julius Cæsar they have ceased to disturb
the city. Life is quiet and peaceable at Vienne, and you can spend here
the years which the gods still grant you in secure contentment.

“Here before us is the palace of the emperors; it is not so grand, so
sumptuous as that on Mount Palatine, but it is good enough for those who
never visit it. Look to the left, and see the temple of Augustus and
Livia; unless your eyes are weakened by the sun of Judea, you can read,
from here, the inscription: _Divo Augusto et Liviæ_. Beyond is that
dedicated to the Hundred Gods. If we go down to the river we can get a
little fresh air on the bridge. Vienne, as you may have already
remarked, is a very pleasant place of residence; the climate is quite
mild, being so thoroughly sheltered by the surrounding mountains from
the violence of the winds. We are only fifteen leagues from Lyons; and
by the Rhone our away to both Marseilles and Arles is shortened. These
three important cities are under the government of Vienne, as Tiberius
has decreed; so thank fate, which has sent you to so pleasant a place of

Albinus remarked a look of trouble in the face of the old man, whose
eyes were fixed on a point of dust in the direction of the river-bank,
and from which were seen gradually to emerge horsemen with armor
glistening in the sun.

“It is the prætor,” said Albinus; “he has been visiting the works at the
amphitheatre. That is his daily ride.”

“Let us avoid the prætor,” said Pilate; “may he never know my face!”

As they reached the “Quirinal” street on the way back, they were met and
separated by a crowd of idlers who, attracted by the trumpets, had
gathered from every side to witness the passage of the prætorian escort.
Pilate found himself isolated, and soon became an object of interest, as
is the case with one who seeks alone to stem a popular current. His
dress was enough to attract insulting remarks. For from his long sojourn
in Judea Pilate had insensibly adopted Hebrew fashions in dress,
gesture, and deportment. His very figure, black hair, and dark
complexion (he was of Iberian origin) betrayed more the Hebrew than the

“Let the Jew pass; he is going to the synagogue,” said one at his side.

“Mothers! watch your little ones,” said another; “the wolf is out of the

“We had better take him and crucify him,” muttered a third.

But nothing further was done to molest him, and Pilate passed safely
through the crowd, with head sunk upon his breast and suppliant bearing,
as far as the head of the street, where a different scene awaited him.

Seeing a house which closely resembled that of Albinus (for a number of
them were similar in construction), and finding the door standing open,
he hastily entered, glad to find its shelter at last, and closed the
door behind him.

A fearful cry chilled the blood in his very veins; he heard his own name
uttered, and thrust his fingers in his ears at the ominous sound.

The master and his family were at their daily labor, as basket-makers,
beneath the interior peristyle called the _impluvium_. When he entered
the master recognized Pilate, for he knew the more than famous name of
the stranger whose exile to Vienne had been made public. “Pilate!
Pilate!” he cried; and the women and children dropped their wicker-work
as they, too, repeated this formidable name, stained with the blood of
God himself. The family were Christians.

Pilate asked an asylum, but they did not understand him, as he spoke a
sort of Hebrew-Latin and they were Gallic Allobroges. Still, as they
caught the name of Albinus twice or thrice repeated, the father made
signs to the rest of the family to be seated, and, as if recalling some
divine precept of charity learned in the secret assembly of the
faithful, he approached Pilate and quietly showed him the house of his
neighbor Albinus. Pilate crossed the street and entered his friend’s

Albinus was not over-displeased when the rude crowd separated him from a
companion whose appearance bade fair to compromise him before the
public. Like a good courtier he prudently stayed to see the prætor,
shouted _Vivat imperator!_ and praised the rare magnificence of the
escort and the beauty of the horses; after which he quietly returned to
his house, where he found his friend in an agony of despair.

“I am recognized,” cried Pilate as Albinus entered; “the little children
pointed their fingers at me on the street. O Albinus! remember that our
lips as very children uttered words of friendship; remember that we
played together on the banks of the Tiber; that we have sat at the same
banquets and raised our cups in the same libations. Remember the past
and protect me beneath the inviolable shelter of thy roof. I seek a
refuge beneath the sacred wings of thy hospitality.”

Albinus was too moved for utterance, and silently pressed the hands of

“There are Christians, then, at Vienne also?” asked Pilate, as he passed
his hand over his aching brow.

“Oh! yes, as there are everywhere,” replied Albinus, “except in our
temples. You are afraid of those people, then?”

“Ah! yes, yes. I fear them. I fear everybody. Jews, Romans, Pagans—all
are odious, terrible to me! The Romans see in me a criminal fallen into
disgrace before Cæsar; the Jews, a severe proconsul who persecuted them;
and the Christians, the executioner of their God!”

“Their _God_! their _God_! The impious wretches!”

“Albinus, have a care what you say!”

“They adore as a God that Jesus of Nazareth who was born in a stable and
put to death on a cross?”

“They would not adore him if he had dressed in garments of velvet and
lived in princely halls.... Albinus, I am about to submit my life to
your judgment; you will see whether I am worthy of the hospitality which
you offer me.”

Changing his seat for one more comfortable, Pilate continued:

“Albinus, order your doors to be closed, and let a slave watch at the
porch, as when a young virgin first enters the doors of her spouse. The
ear of Cæsar is everywhere on the alert. And now listen. All my
misfortunes spring from the death of this man, this Nazarene. Tiberius
cursed me because of him; Caligula now exiles me because of him; for
this boldness of the Christian sect, which to-day threatens the empire,
began at the foot of Calvary. If Jesus had not been put to death, his
followers would never have crossed the Jordan nor the sea of Cæsarea. It
is the death of that man which has made so many martyrs. But could I
prevent that death?

“When I was about to set out as successor to Valerius Gratus, Sejanus
summoned me to the Palatine and gave me his instructions. ‘You are
intimate,’ he said, ‘with the Roman policy; hence a few words will do.
Judea is a beautiful country; after completing its conquest we must
strengthen its possession by a paternal government. Let all your care be
to draw blessings down upon the Roman name. We have left the Jews a king
of their own race, their temple, their laws, their religion. They are a
brave and haughty race, with heroic deeds inscribed in their history,
and which they well remember. Govern them wisely, that they may regard
you more as a stranger visiting than as a master holding the reins.’

“I set out with my wife and my servants. When near the quarter of the
_Tres tabernæ_ I met Tiberius, then returning from Pannonia. Recognizing
the imperial escort, I immediately alighted to salute Cæsar. He had
received at Brundisium my nomination, and confirmed it, and now,
offering me his hand most graciously, he said:

“‘Pontius, you have a fine government; let your hand be firm and your
speech conciliatory. Act in public matters according to your own good
sense, and never forget the eternal maxim of the Romans:

    ‘Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.[8]

Go and be happy.’

“The auguries were favorable, you see.

“I reached Jerusalem, took solemn possession of the government, and gave
orders for a splendid feast, to which I invited the tetrarch of Judea,
the high-priest, and the other Hebrew dignitaries and princes of the
people. At the appointed time not a guest appeared! This was a mortal
affront. Some days later the tetrarch deigned to honor me with a visit,
but he was cold and full of dissimulation. He pretended that their
religion did not permit them to sit at our table nor offer libations
with Gentiles. I thought best to accept this excuse graciously; but from
that day the conquered were in declared hostility with the conquerors.

“Jerusalem was, at that time, the most difficult subject-city in the
world to govern; the people were so turbulent that from day to day I was
always expecting a sedition. To suppress this I had only a centurion and
a handful of soldiers, so I wrote to the prefect of Syria to send me a
reinforcement of troops, but he answered that he had hardly enough for
himself. Ah! what a misfortune that the empire is so large; we have more
conquests than soldiers.

“Among the thousand rumors which circulated about me there was one that
attracted my special notice. Public rumor and my secret agents alike
reported that a young man had appeared in Galilee with a remarkable
sweetness of speech and a noble austerity of manner, and that he went
about the city and the borders of the sea, preaching a new law in the
name of the God who had sent him. I at first thought that this man
intended to arouse the people against us, and that his words were
preparatory to a revolt. But my fears were soon dissipated; Jesus the
Nazarene spoke as a friend rather of the Romans than of the Jews.
Passing one day, in my litter, near the pool of Siloe, I saw a large
gathering of people, and remarked in the midst a young man standing with
his back to a tree and quietly addressing the crowd. I was told that it
was Jesus, but I could have guessed it at once, so different was he in
appearance from those who listened. He seemed about thirty years of age,
and the wonderful reddish-blond tint of his hair and beard gave a
luminous appearance to his noble countenance. Never have I seen so mild
a glance, so calm a face; he was a striking contrast to the dark skins
and black beards of his auditors. From fear of disturbing the liberty of
his speech by my presence I passed on, leaving my secretary to mingle
with the crowd and hear his words. This man’s name was Manlius; he was
grandson of that chief among the conspirators who awaited Catiline in
Etruria, and, having dwelt many years in Judea, understood perfectly the
Hebrew tongue. He was, moreover, sincerely devoted to my interests, and
I could always trust him. On my return home I found Manlius awaiting me
with a detailed account of the speech which Jesus had pronounced. Never
in the Forum, never in the books of sages, have I met anything
comparable to the maxims which had that day reached the ears of Manlius.
One of those rebellious Jews such as abound at Jerusalem having asked if
tribute were to be paid to Cæsar, Jesus answered him: ‘Render under
Cæsar what is Cæsar’s, and unto God what is God’s.’

“Thence the great liberty which I gave to the Nazarene; it was doubtless
in my power to arrest him at any time, put him on a galley, and send him
to Pontus, but I should have felt myself acting against justice and good
Roman sense. The man was neither seditious nor rebellious. I gave him,
perhaps without his knowledge, the benefit of my protection; he was free
to act, to speak to the people, to fill a whole square with his
audience, to create a legion of disciples to follow him from city to
desert, or lake to mountain, and never did an order from me interpose to
trouble either orator or auditory. If some day—may the gods forefend!—if
some day the religion of our fathers fall before the religion of Jesus,
Rome will pay a noble tribute to her own generous toleration, and I,
unhappy I! will be called the instrument of what the Christians call
Providence—what we call fate.

“But this great liberty which Jesus enjoyed from my protection
displeased the Jews—not the common people, but the rich and powerful.
True, they were the very ones whom Jesus did not spare in his discourse,
and that was for me an additional political reason for allowing him free
speech. He told them—that is, the Scribes and Pharisees—that they were a
race of vipers and no better than whited sepulchres. And another time he
sharply criticised the ostentatious charity of the rich man, saying that
the mite of a poor widow woman was far more precious to God. New
complaints against the insolence of his speech came to me nearly every
day. Deputations came with their griefs before my tribunal. I was told
that he would be assaulted; that it would not be the first time that
Jerusalem had stoned those who called themselves prophets; and that if
the prætor refused them justice they would appeal to the emperor.

“So I was beforehand with them. I at once wrote letters to Cæsar, and
the galley _Ptolemais_ carried them to Rome. My conduct was approved by
the senate, but I was refused the reinforcement of troops which I asked,
or at least I was given to hope that the garrison of Jerusalem should be
strengthened after the war with Parthia was terminated. That was an
interminable delay, for our wars with Parthia never end.

“Being too weak to repress a sedition, I determined to make a move which
would pacify the city, without obliging me to make any humiliating
concessions; so I at once sent for Jesus of Nazareth.

“He received my messenger with due respect, and came straightway to the

“O Albinus! now that age has weakened every part of my bodily frame, and
that my muscles in vain ask a little vigor from my thin and cold blood,
I am not astonished if Pilate occasionally trembles; but I was younger
then, and my Spanish blood, mingled with the Roman which coursed through
my veins, was proof against any ordinary emotion of fear. When I saw the
Nazarene enter my _basilica_, where I was walking, it seemed as if a
hand of iron held me to the marble of the pavement. I thought I heard
the very bucklers of gilt-bronze, dedicated to Cæsar, sigh as they hung
against the columns. The Nazarene was as calm as innocence itself; he
stood before me, with a single gesture, as if to say: Behold me. For
some time I remained contemplating, with mingled terror and admiration,
this extraordinary man, type of a physical perfection unknown to any of
the innumerable sculptors who have given face and form to so many gods
and heroes. ‘Jesus,’ said I at last, when my emotion had subsided—‘Jesus
of Nazareth, for nearly three years I have allowed you freely to speak
in public and everywhere, nor do I now regret it. Your words have ever
been those of a true sage. I know not whether you have ever read
Socrates or Plato, but there is in your language a majestic simplicity
which raises you far above even those great philosophers. The emperor
has been informed of it, and I, his humble representative at Jerusalem,
count myself happy to have allowed you the toleration of which you are
worthy. I must not, however, disguise from you that your words have
provoked against you powerful and terrible enemies; be not astonished
that you have thus become an object of hatred, for so was Socrates to
those who encompassed his death. Your enemies are doubly irritated,
against you and against me: against you, because of your sharp
criticisms; against me, because of the liberty which I have allowed you.
I am even accused of complicity with you to destroy what little civil
power has been left to the Hebrews by Rome. I give you no commands, but
I charge you seriously to spare the pride of your enemies, that they may
not stir up against you a stupid populace, and that I may not be obliged
to detach from these trophies the axe and the fasces, which should serve
here only as an ornament and never as an occasion of fear.’

“The Nazarene answered me:

“‘Prince of the earth, thy words spring from a false wisdom. Tell the
torrent to stop midway on the mountain-side, lest it uproot the trees of
the valley. The torrent will tell thee it obeys the voice of God. He
alone knows whither goeth the water of the impetuous stream. Amen, amen
I say unto thee, before the roses of Sharon bud the blood of the just
shall be shed.’

“‘I do not wish your blood to be shed,’ I exclaimed hastily. ‘You are
more precious in my eyes, because of your wisdom, than all those
turbulent and haughty Pharisees, who abuse our Roman patience, conspire
against Cæsar, and mistake our forbearance for fear. The dolts!—not to
know that the wolf of the Tiber sometimes conceals himself under an
innocent fleece! But I will defend you against them; my prætorium is
open to you as a place of refuge. You will find it an inviolable

“He shook his head quietly with an air of godlike grace, and replied:

“‘When the day comes, there will be no shelter on earth, nor in the
depths, for the Son of Man. The only asylum of the just is above. What
is written in the books of the prophets must be accomplished.’

“‘Young man,’ said I, ‘I have just made you a request. I now give you a
command. The preservation of order in the province confided to my charge
requires it. I demand that the tone of your speech become more moderate.
Beware of opposing my will! You know my intentions; go and be happy.’

“With these words my voice lost its severity and became mild again, for
it seemed that a harsh word could not be uttered before this
extraordinary being, who calmed the storms of the lake with a motion of
his head, as his own disciples testified.

“‘Prince of the earth,’ said he, ‘I do not bring war to the nations, but
charity and love. I was born the very day when Cæsar Augustus proclaimed
peace to the Roman world. Persecution cannot come from me; I expect it
from others, and do not flee before it. I go before it, in obedience to
the will of my Father, who has appointed my way. Keep thy foolish
prudence. It is not in thy power to stop the victim at the foot of the
altar of expiation.’

“Saying these words, he disappeared like a luminous shadow behind the

“What could I do further? Fate could not be averted. The tetrarch who
then reigned in Judea, and who has since died, devoured by worms, was a
foolish and a wicked man. The chiefs of the law had chosen this man to
be the tool of their hate and vengeance. To him the whole cohort
addressed themselves in their thirst for vengeance against the Nazarene.

“Had Herod consulted only his passion, he would have put Jesus to death
at once; but although he regarded his impotent royalty as a matter of
importance, still he shrank from an act which might injure him with

“Some days later I saw him coming to the prætorium. He began a
conversation with me on indifferent subjects, in order to conceal the
true object of his visit; but, as he rose from his seat to go, he asked,
with an air of indifference, what I thought of the Nazarene.

“I replied that Jesus seemed to me one of those grave philosophers such
as arise among the nations from time to time; that his language was by
no means dangerous; and that it was the intention of Rome to leave to
this sage perfect liberty of speech and action.

“Herod smiled at me with malignity, and with an ironical gesture

“The great feast of the Jews was near at hand, and their leaders
determined to take advantage of the popular exaltation which is always
manifested at the Paschal season. The city was crowded with a turbulent
rabble, who shouted for the death of the Nazarene. My emissaries
reported that the treasure of the Temple had been used to stir the
popular feeling. The danger was imminent, and my very power was insulted
in the person of my centurion, whom they hustled about and spat upon.

“I wrote to the prefect of Syria, then at Ptolemais, and asked for one
hundred horse and as many foot-soldiers, but he reiterated his former
refusal. I was alone, in a mutinous city, with a few veterans, too weak
to suppress the disorder, and with no choice but to tolerate it.

“They had already seized Jesus, and the triumphant people, knowing that
they had nothing to fear from me, and hoping, on the word of their
leaders, that I would tacitly acquiesce in their designs, rushed after
him through the streets, shouting: ‘Crucify him! crucify him!’

“Three powerful sects had coalesced in this plot against Jesus: first
the Herodians and the Sadducees, who had a double motive—hatred against
him and impatience at the Roman yoke. They had never forgiven me for
entering the holy city with the banners of the empire; and although I
made them an unwise concession in this matter, the sacrilege still
remained in their eyes. Yet another grief stood against me, because I
had wished a contribution from the treasures of the Temple towards
certain buildings of public importance, and which had been coarsely
refused. Then the Pharisees, who were the direct enemies of Jesus: they
did not trouble themselves about the governor, but for three years they
had angrily heard and endured the severe language of Jesus against their
weaknesses. Too weak and pusillanimous to act alone, they eagerly
embraced the quarrel of the Herodians and Sadducees. Besides these three
parties, I had also to struggle against a crowd of those idle, worthless
beings who are always ready to rush into a sedition out of love for
disorder and a taste for blood.

“Jesus was dragged before the council of priests and condemned to death;
after which Caiphas, the high-priest, made a hypocritical act of
submission by sending the condemned man for me to pronounce the sentence
and have it executed. My answer was that as Jesus was a Galilean it did
not concern me; so I sent him to Herod. The wily tetrarch pretended
great humility, protesting his remarkable deference for the lieutenant
of Cæsar, and left the fate of the man to be determined on by me. My
palace resembled a citadel besieged by an army; for at every moment the
seditious crowd was reinforced by fresh arrivals from the mountains of
Nazareth, the cities of Galilee, the plains of Esdrelon. It seemed as if
all Judea had invaded Jerusalem.

“My wife was from Gaul, and had, like most women of her nation, the gift
of reading the future. She now came, and, throwing herself in tears at
my feet, exclaimed: ‘Beware of laying a violent hand on this man. His
person is sacred. I saw him in a dream this night; he walked upon the
waters, he rode upon the wings of the wind, he spoke to the tempest, to
the palm-trees of the desert, to the fish in the waters, and they all
responded to his voice. The torrent of the brook Kedron was as blood
before me; the imperial eagles were in the dust, and the columns of this
very prætorium were crumbled, while the sun was in darkness, as a vestal
at the tomb. There is misfortune about us, Pilate; and if you do not
believe in the words of the Gaul, listen hereafter to the maledictions
of the senate and of Cæsar against the cowardly proconsul!’

“Just then my marble staircase trembled, as I may say, beneath the steps
of the angry multitude. They had returned with the Nazarene. Entering
the hall of justice, followed by my guards, I demanded in a stern voice
of the crowd: ‘What will ye?’

“‘The death of the Nazarene!’ shouted the mob.

“‘What is his crime?’

“‘He has blasphemed; he has predicted the ruin of the Temple; he calls
himself the Messias, the Son of God, and says that he is the King of the

“‘The justice of Rome does not punish these crimes by death!’

“‘Seize him! Crucify him! crucify him!’

“Their ferocious cries seemed to shake the very foundations of the
palace, and but one man amid all this tumult was calm: it was the
Nazarene! One might have taken him for the statue of innocence in the
temple of the Eumenides.

“After many useless efforts to withdraw him from the hands of the
self-willed multitude, I had the fatal weakness to command what, at the
time, occurred to me as the only thing that might perchance save his
life. I ordered him to be beaten with rods, and, calling for a basin,
washed my hands before the crowd, which, if not hearing my voice, might
at least catch the allegorical meaning of my act.

“But they would have his life. Often in our civil troubles I have seen
what an angry crowd can be capable of, but all my memories and
experience of the past were effaced by what I saw then. I might almost
say that Jerusalem was peopled by all the infernal spirits of Hades, and
as they crowded about me there seemed an odor as of sulphur exuding from
their bloodshot eyes and inhuman countenances. Their very movements were
not as of men, but, like the waves of an angry sea, they rolled and
dashed, in ceaseless undulations, from the prætorium to Mount Sion;
yelling, shouting in a most unearthly manner, such as never in the
troubles of the Forum or the seditions of the Pantheon assaulted a Roman

“The day had slowly darkened, as in a winter evening, such as we saw it
when the great Julius died—’twas also near the ides of March—and I, the
mortified governor of a province in full and unrestrained rebellion,
stood leaning against a column, gazing through the gray, unnatural light
at the infuriated spirits who bore the innocent Jesus to his death.

“It became gradually quiet about me, for the whole population had
followed to the place of execution, leaving the city as silent and as
mournful as the tomb, even my very guards having disappeared, save the
centurion alone. I, too, felt alone; isolated from the rest of mankind,
and in my strangely-excited heart, I understood that what was passing
around me pertained rather to the history of the gods than to that of
men. The sounds brought by the wind from Golgotha announced to my
horrified ear a death-agony such as never human nature underwent before.
Dense leaden clouds shrouded the pinnacle of the great Temple, and
thence seemed to envelop the vast city as with a veil of impenetrable
darkness. Terrible signs of perturbation were manifest on earth and in
the air, prodigious enough to make Dionysius the Areopagite exclaim:
‘Either the Author of nature suffers or the whole universe is being

“At the first hour of the night I wrapped myself in a cloak and walked
down into the city towards the gate leading to Golgotha. The sacrifice
was consummated! The attitude of the people was no longer the same, for
the crowd re-entered Jerusalem, disorderly, of course, but silent and
moody, as if filled with shame and despair. Fear and remorse were in
every heart. My little cohort passed by, as silent as the populace; the
very eagle had been draped as in mourning, and in the last ranks I heard
some soldiers talking in a curious manner of things which I could not
comprehend. Others were relating prodigies somewhat like those that have
often terrified Rome by the will of the gods. Now and then I came across
groups of men and women in grievous sadness as they moved over that
sorrowful way, or as, in some cases, they turned back towards the mount
of expiation, expecting, perhaps, some new prodigy.

“Returning to the prætorium, my own breast seemed to embrace all the
desolation of this painful scene, and as I climbed the stairs I saw, by
the lightning flash, the marble still covered with His blood. There
stood, awaiting me in most humble attitude, an old man, accompanied by
several women, sobbing in the darkness.

“Throwing himself at my feet, the old man wept.

“‘What do you ask, my father?’ I said in a mild voice. He answered:

“‘I am Joseph of Arimathea, and I come to beg, on my knees, the favor of
burying Jesus of Nazareth.’

“Raising him up gently, I promised that his wishes should be complied
with. At the same time I called Manlius, who went with some soldiers to
superintend the burial, and to place a few sentinels over the grave,
that it might not be profaned. A few days afterwards the grave was
empty, and the disciples of Jesus published everywhere that their Master
had risen again, as he had foretold.

“There now remained for me a last duty to perform: to send a full
account of this extraordinary event to Cæsar, which I did that very
night; and the minute relation which I gave was not yet completed when
daylight appeared.

“The sound of trumpets drew me from my task, and, glancing towards the
gate of Cæsarea, I saw an unusual stir among the soldiers and sentinels,
and heard in the distance other trumpets playing Cæsar’s march; it was
my reinforcement of troops, two thousand in number, who had, in order to
arrive more promptly, made a night-march. ‘Oh! the great iniquity had to
be completed,’ I cried, wringing my hands in despair. ‘They arrive the
next morning to save a man who was sacrificed the day before. O cruel
irony of fate! Alas! as the Victim said on the cross: ”All is

“From that moment, invested with abundant power, I set no limits to my
hatred against the people who had forced me into both crime and
cowardice. I struck terror into Jerusalem. And, as if further to excite
my vengeance, I shortly afterwards received a letter from the emperor,
wherein he blamed my conduct very severely. My official account of the
death of Jesus had been read before a full senate, and had excited a
profound sensation. The image of the Nazarene, honored as a god, had
been placed in the sacred place of the imperial palace. The courtiers,
who were opposed to me, seized the pretext to begin that long series of
accusations which now, years after the death of Tiberius, have at last
brought me to this city of exile, where my life is to go out in anguish
and remorse.

“I have told you all, Albinus, and my words have opened to you my
innermost soul; you will surely do me the justice to say that Pilate was
more unfortunate than wicked.”

The old man ceased; tears rolled down his furrowed cheeks, while his
fixed and hollow eyes seemed to gaze with fright upon some scene,
invisible to other eyes, the lugubrious phantasm of an ever-present
past. Albinus was wrapt in sombre thought, seeking in what manner of
speech to simulate pity for his guest.

“Pontius,” said he, “your misfortunes are not ordinary ones, yet there
may be a balm for the ulcers of your memory and heart. You must invoke
the Fates, whose good-will may disarm the anger of the gods.”

Pilate gave such a smile, amid his tears, as distressed the prudent

“The city is a bad place for you,” pursued Albinus; “hatred is at home
in public assemblies, and Janus, who watches at the threshold, cannot
protect the domestic hearth against violence from without. Why not ask
of our mountains the quiet and peace which seem refused to you here? The
air of the fields invites repose and counsels forgetfulness of canker

“I fear to understand you,” said Pilate, turning suddenly pale and with
quivering lips. “Yes, I am afraid I comprehend your meaning too well;
like a serpent, you take a long turn to attain your end. You wish to
close the door of your house against the old man!”

“The gods, whom I invoke, and who hear me,” said Albinus, “know that I
have never violated the sacred laws of hospitality, but—”

“Yes,” interrupted the old man—“yes, towards others, but towards me you
will find an excuse for violating them. I understand—do not finish! I
must spare a friend the embarrassment of words which his lips refuse to
utter. Albinus, I feel the spirit of a Stoic revive in me; the waxen
torch flashes up yet once before going out. Listen; I am about to salute
your _Penates_. I will depart.”

Albinus lowered his eyes and was silent.

“Well! well! your silence speaks, as Marcus Tullius says. I will call my

“Your servants?” said Albinus, as Pilate rose from his seat. “Your
servants? You have none; they have fled from you!”

“It is well!” answered Pilate.

“One alone has remained faithful—an old soldier.”

“Ah! that is Longinus; I know him. Tell the servant to call Longinus,
and permit me to blow out your lamp; the oil is exhausted, and here is
the dawn.”

“Oh! blame me not, Pontius. Let not your farewell insult my household

“I blame you? No, I pity you. The blood of Rome weakens in every vein;
there are no Romans now. Let altars be everywhere erected to Fear; the
house of Albinus is built on the very threshold of the Temple of Mars!”

And Pilate uttered a loud, hard laugh, which ceased at the entrance of
the soldier.

“May your fidelity be rewarded, Longinus! You did not follow the
deserters. Albinus, do you know what this soldier did? He was in the
spearmen; he was at Golgotha, at the foot of the gibbet, when the
Nazarene died; he pierced his heart with his lance. Longinus will die a
Christian. Have you girded on your sword, old soldier, my last friend?”

The soldier made a sign of assent.

“All is, then, ready.” And Pilate saluted Albinus.

                  *       *       *       *       *

An hour after these two men had reached midway the side of a mountain
overlooking the city of Vienne. The sun was rising in all the calm
beauty of a summer morn; its first rays glistened upon the gilt-bronze
dome of the Temple of Victory and the marble roof of the Temple of the
Hundred Gods. Mysterious night still reigned in the sacred woods which
crowned the dwelling of the Immortals. The city, inclined towards the
Rhone, seemed listening in unbroken silence to the harmonious murmurings
of the stream; the hill-tops floated in an atmosphere of molten gold,
while the noise of cascades, the song of birds, and the countless
melodies of a fresh, delicious morning, rising from valley to
mountain-top, filled all whose hearts were light with joy and gratitude
to the Powers above.

Pilate halted, his eyes fixed on a dark chasm which, yawning, stood
before him. In the depths below could be heard the mournful plash of
waters, to the eye unseen; dense brush, interwoven with dwarf oaks and
the wild fig, hung over and, half-concealing, yet increased the horrid
abyss, and a piece of the rock, detached and hurled over, struggled and
tossed awhile among the resisting vines before dropping into the gloomy
waters to send up a series of ill-boding, mournful echoes.

Pilate smiled at the gulf of horror, then turned to contemplate the
immense sublimity which surrounded his agony of despair; he thought of
the death of the Nazarene—that death so calm amid the universal distress
of nature—and wept bitterly.

“Longinus,” said he, “put up your sword; I do not need it. I can die
without you; I do not wish you to soil your hands with my blood, for you
are yet covered with another blood which will never be effaced. Yes,
Longinus, the Sage of Golgotha was one of the superior intelligences;
retain that belief. All who stained their hands with his blood have
perished miserably; think of Herod and Caiphas. Tiberius likewise was
suffocated in his bed at Capreæ, and I yet survive—I! See how I imitate

And he threw himself into the abyss. Longinus heard the interlacing
branches crack, but saw only the torn remnants of a toga here and there
adhering to the thorny plants which grew upon the sides. He heard the
dull bound of the body from rock to rock, and a last unearthly cry of
agony, enhanced by echo, and fading to the splash of water as its
disturbed surface leaped and glistened in the rays of the now
penetrating sun.

So died the man under whom Christ suffered.

Footnote 8:

  Spare the submissive and crush the haughty.

                              ON CALVARY.


        In the strong sunshine lies Jerusalem,
        Undarkened yet by shadow of the doom
        That hideth in the terror-freighted gloom
        Lying afar along the low hills’ hem.
        Twinkle the silver-leavèd olive-trees,
    Resting in garish light ’neath heaven’s cloudy seas.

        From Calvary’s Mount descends the winding train;
        Glitter the Roman eagles in the sun,
        Leading the soldiers and the people on
        To tread the city’s dolorous streets again,
        Whose blood-tracked stones would cry, had they but breath,
    “Woe! woe! Jerusalem, for this day’s deed of wrath.”

        Almost unheeding passes on the crowd,
        Save, here and there, turned from the populace,
        Rests look of doubting or malignant face
        On That we see not in death’s anguish bowed.
        Wild cries of hate mount up and break the still
    And ominous glare that broodeth dumbly o’er the hill.

        Our sad hearts hear the very footsteps fall,
        The horse-hoofs striking hard against the stones,
        And distant echoes of heart-broken moans—
        Jerusalem’s daughters mourning so the thrall
        Of Him, their fairest one, to death betrayed,
    The hands that blessed their little ones so sore arrayed.

        Where is the dying King the cross uplifts?
        We cannot see him, and our upraised eyes
        Meet but the awful gloom in far-off skies,
        The lurid moon dull gazing through the rifts
        Of gathering darkness; here the waiting glare
    Of cruel sunshine making all the city fair.

        Fain would we kneel with Magdalen and weep,
        Clasp wounded feet in passionate embrace,
        Win with the loved disciple word of grace,
        Vigil with God’s woe-stricken Mother keep:
        We cannot find Him, and blaspheming cries
    From that retreating train still in fierce chorus rise.

        Is He not here? Lo! sadly looking down,
        Just at our feet a shadow strange we trace
        Falling across the sunlit grassy place—
        The likeness of three crosses darkly thrown,
        And His, the centre one, e’en so most fair
    Through semblance of a form divine it dim doth bear.

        Here, ’gainst the sunshine traced, lie those bent knees
        That knew the sorrow of Gethsemani
        As trembled they ’neath its dread mystery;
        Here droops the thorn-crowned head in silent peace,
        And here, in the unswerving shadow lined,
    Are stretched the arms that bear the ransom of mankind.

        So rests unseen the presence of the Lord
        Whose shadow seems as blessèd aureole,
        A holy writing on a sacred scroll,
        Rich oil from consecrated vessel poured—
        All merit his, the Infinite Son of God,
    Whose death so lightly falls on earth’s poor, soulless sod.

        Within the painted shadow is no life,
        Save in the grassy sward whereon it falls.
        Beyond arise the city’s firm-built walls.
        With spring’s swift-coursing sap the boughs are rife
        Of the gnarled olives with their silver leaves
    Shining against the dusky veil the storm-wind weaves.

        We see the wild-faced moon in skies far-off,
        The bare and weary light of undimmed sun,
        And Caesar’s glittering eagles leading on
        The thoughtless people, who, with jeer and scoff,
        An abject God in proud derision scorn,
    Alike from barren shade and living presence turn.

        O weary thought! hath earth lost sight of Him?
        And do her children with dulled vision grope,
        With fain-believing heart and doubting hope,
        His cross a parable with meaning dim?
        A shadow resting in the feeble clasp
    Of them that fear the bitterness of truth to grasp?

        Is all that sorrow of the Son of Man
        A dreary darkness shutting out the light?
        Poor human pain dwarfing eternal might?
        An o’ergrown bramble with its prickly span
        Piercing the delicate leaves of earth-born flowers,
    And blighting with harsh touch kind nature’s generous powers?

        Alas! that men that Infinite Love should fear,
        Should dread its glory and its shade despise,
        Banish its semblance from imploring eyes,
        Give men but empty shadow to revere—
        Blind beggars leaving them unto whose cry
    None answereth when He of Nazareth goes by.

        Of this sad modern world of ours to-day
        The artist’s picture seemeth counterpart,
        When men erase old lessons from the heart,
        Striving who farthest from the cross may stray—
        Swift, swift descending ’neath the eagles’ shine,
    Some longing face still turned to meet the gaze divine.

        In her long-ordered way the earth moves on,
        The moon doth change with steady law her face,
        Swift-growing grass still hides our footsteps’ trace,
        And dew falls softly when the day is done:
        All nature’s tale seems old, but one thing strange—
    The Christ of God a shade the westering sun shall change!

        Nay, fear not! Stand to-day as e’er of old
        The faithful Maries, who brave vigil keep,
        The loved disciple with a love as deep
        As in old days lay shrined in heart of gold;
        And rests God’s patience till from shadowed sod
    The piercing cry break forth, “This was the Son of God.”


The diocese of Paderborn is one of the largest in Germany. Its bishop,
Dr. Conrad Martin, has just published a little work[10] which may vie
with Silvio Pellico’s _Le mie Prigioni_, being an account of a three
years’ banishment from his see. It is not “poetry _and_ truth,” remarks
the writer of this pamphlet in his preface, “but only the truth which is
written down in these pages.”[11] And true to his statement, the bishop
tells us in dispassionate language of his captivity, of its joys and
sorrows, of the friends who were so true to him in his adversity, of the
whole Catholic Church, who shared his banishment in a measure, and of
that most august prisoner whose sympathy is so freely given to his
suffering brethren, and whose captivity is in itself, perhaps, a pledge
that they too must taste of his own chalice.

With the presentiment of future events, or rather of the storm which was
about to break over their pastor on account of the _Kulturkampf_, the
people of Paderborn came in large numbers in the spring of 1874 to
assure him of their love and devotion. The demonstration began on the
25th of March, when the train deposited five thousand pilgrims in the
ancient city of Paderborn. They repaired to the bishop’s house, and
terminated the meeting by simultaneously falling on their knees to
recite aloud the Apostles’ Creed. These deputations lasted for two
months, and on one occasion the number of deputies amounted to fifteen
thousand. It is not an insignificant fact to see how well and bravely
the flock stood by the pastor in his hour of need. But at last the cloud
burst. Repeated infringements of the May Laws were laid to the bishop’s
charge; and the fine in proportion rose to a sum altogether beyond his
means, and a corresponding term of imprisonment was the only
alternative. Here an unknown, and therefore doubly generous, benefactor
interposed, and paid the money required without the bishop’s knowledge.
But, to use his own simple language, Dr. Martin, “from higher
considerations, thought he could not accept the benefit,” and protested
against it,[12] whereas the local authority said that he could. At last
an answer came from Berlin deciding that he should submit himself to
imprisonment. As the bishop would not consent to that, force was used,
and on the 4th of August, 1874, he was taken from his house through a
dense crowd of sympathizers to his prison, where he was witness of a
scene “not to be described by words.” Bouquets of flowers fell at his
feet from all sides, and the steps leading up to the abode of his sorrow
were thick with them. Two works had been near his heart as a pastor—the
establishment of ecclesiastical institutions for the fitting education
of the clergy, and the labor of love which is expressed by the perpetual
adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This touching devotion was therefore
one of the first-fruits of his own workings, and it has become widely
known through the world. But never before had the bishop of Paderborn
shared the prison common to malefactors of every degree. The prisoner
was then conducted to his two cells. One he describes as “certainly not
roomy, but still not wholly unpleasant”;[13] the second was to serve
merely as a bed-room. Loneliness is the prisoner’s trial, and when first
the bishop heard the lock and key tell him of his utter solitude, sad
thoughts pressed themselves upon him. Many years before he had paid a
pastoral visit to this same prison, and his own encouraging words spoken
then came home to him now. “Could you only have imagined then,” he said
to himself, “that you yourself should be confined in the same dungeon,
and come to need the recommendation to resignation and patience which
you gave to those prisoners? Oh! what a change, what a comparison _then_
and _now_—_then_, when there was no _Kulturkampf_, but an undisturbed
and joyous peace. _O tempora, o mores!_”[14] But the angel of
consolation was at hand. The thought of that divine Providence whose
care of us is so beautifully specified in Holy Scripture brought peace.
“Every hair of our head is numbered.” The bishop determined upon active
endurance, and during those first few hours of his imprisonment planned
for himself an order of duties for the coming solitary days. That night
the breaking of a pane of glass in his bed-room window, caused by the
hurling of a stone from an unknown hand outside, was a little alarming,
and, in spite of inquiries on the subject, it could not be discovered
whether the missile was directed by a friend in a serenading spirit, or
by a foe who might have taken umbrage at the demonstrations of intense
affection on the part of the people of Paderborn.

For the rest the bishop, according to his own account, had small cause
for complaint during his confinement at Paderborn.[15] His food was
provided and sent from his house. He was allowed to read and write when
and what he liked. Strict supervision was, however, exercised on his
correspondence and on the visits which he received. These were permitted
in the presence of a third person only, and letters might be read and
sent under the same condition. The Holy Sacrifice, which was his daily
refreshment, supplied many deficiencies in that lonely heart. But the
“body of death” had still to suffer much from privation of air and
exercise. It is true that once a day the prison bolt was withdrawn for
an exercise of two hours in the court-yard. This had to be taken in
common with the other prisoners, in a very limited space, so that the
bishop often preferred to sit by an open window in his room, there to
enjoy what air he could get.

On the 17th of August, the eighteenth anniversary of his episcopal
consecration, the widowed cathedral of Paderborn was filled with an
assembly of the bishop’s faithful children, who celebrated the occasion
by heartfelt prayers for him to God. Flags adorned the houses of the
Catholic inhabitants. But the pastor’s heart was further gladdened by
the intelligence that from the very first day of his captivity a certain
number of the faithful gathered every evening in the _Gaukirche_ to
offer up the rosary for their oppressed church. And now, after the lapse
of three years, the same practice is kept up, and who would be so
presumptuous as to say that the divine Head of the whole body will not
allow pleading so constant finally to bring about the desired end? It
reminds us of that supplication of the infant church to remove Peter’s
chains, or of a case which was brought before our personal observation
in Germany.[16] Our Lord’s presence in the Holy Eucharist had been
banished from his sanctuary through the working of the May Laws, but the
villagers succeeded each other during the day in unremitting prayer
before the altar where he once dwelt.

Upon the bishop’s six weeks of confinement followed eighteen of custody.
The only distinguishable difference between the two consisted in the
non-bolting of the prison-door from the exterior. On the outset he was
saddened by the command to surrender his office as bishop. The summons
came to him through the Oberpräsident von Kühlwetter, whose attitude to
Dr. Martin from the beginning of the _Kulturkampf_ had been most
hostile. One act in particular of the bishop’s seems to have roused the
enmity of the non-Catholic party, but the principle of authority must
fall to the ground where demands wholly contrary to his conscience are
urged upon a spiritual ruler. The act in question had been a certain
pastoral letter in the affair of the Old Catholics. The bishop replied
immediately that “devotion to the Catholic Church had been his first
love, and that it would be his last.” Ten days of respite were allowed
for the reconsideration of the question, under the threat of ultimate
expulsion from his dignity. But, thanks to an energetic nature and the
quiet peace which is the fruit of a brave determination, it had small
influence over the bishop. He labored to finish his work on the
_Christian Life_, and time, which is so often the greatest trial of the
prisoner, passed rapidly away. His feast-day was the next small event to
break the monotony of his life. From his window he could see the festive
appearance of some neighboring houses, and from far and wide came wishes
of sympathy and affection. The telegraphic messages and letters of
congratulation numbered over eight hundred on this day, and proved a
provision of encouragement for several succeeding days. They were the
flowers of persecution, and as such most dear to the bishop’s Catholic

Oppression does indeed often bring the work of the Lord to a timely and
palpable development, and we may echo the prisoner’s words: “Would years
of hard work have given evidence of so close a union as well as this
short and fleeting sorrow?”[17] At the same time two other addresses
reached him which were a source of particular joy: the one from a good
number of Belgian noblemen, who thereby drew forth a remonstrance on the
part of Prince Bismarck, the other from two imprisoned bishops of the
far west who were themselves confessors of the faith, and protesting by
their personal suffering against the evil spirit of Freemasonry. They
were the bishops of Para and Pernambuco, who, profiting by the journey
of a priest to Europe, took occasion to express their love and sympathy
to the fellow-sufferer in Germany who was bearing the self-same
testimony to Catholic truth as they themselves. Comfort, too, came from
the Holy Father, who sent first a gold medal, and then, on the feast of
St. Conrad, a telegraphic message of greeting and good wishes. But the
price of these favors was suffering and greater suffering. The threat on
the part of the secular power to depose the bishop was now carried out.
Many and grievous had been his shortcomings, according to the standard
established by the May Laws, and amongst the accusations brought against
him was the erroneous charge that he alone amongst the German bishops
had worked in favor of the Papal Infallibility at the Vatican Council.
Extensive quotations from his pastoral letters were given in the
indictment, whilst the words he had addressed on various occasions to
his faithful children, their constant devotion to him, the legal
measures recently carried out, and the cause now pending were alleged as
the ground why he could not continue to exercise his office. He was
invited to appear on the 5th of January, 1875, to answer these charges,
after which day, and having simply refused to accept the act of
deposition, it was nailed to his door inside. There it remained quietly
hanging, says the bishop with dry German humor, “without my casting one
single glance upon its contents.”[18] The feast of Christmas, which
occurred in the midst of these cares, found him not altogether joyless.
The prison chapel bore for him a resemblance to the lonely grotto of

The bishop fancied that after enduring his twenty-four weeks of
imprisonment he might hope for fresh air and liberty. That hopefulness
was rather surprising. Instead of the accomplishment of this
expectation, his house was stripped of its furniture (which was
afterwards sold), and he himself was conveyed on very short notice to
the fortress of Wesel, it being explicitly stated that this penalty was
the consequence of the before-mentioned pastoral regarding the Old
Catholics. The same sympathizing crowd met him on his way to the
station, and his private secretary accompanied him by choice to the
scene of his new imprisonment. It was on the 20th of January, 1875, that
the bishop entered on the two months’ penalty at Wesel, and there he
seems on the whole to have been better off than at Paderborn. He could
walk freely on the ramparts, and enjoy to a certain extent social
intercourse with the other prisoners, who were in most cases priests of
his own diocese. Three cells were assigned to him for his use; the third
was an act of thoughtfulness on the part of the commandant, who had
reserved it for the bishop’s daily Mass. If, indeed, it had not been for
the Holy Sacrifice—for every day, Dr. Martin remarks, “holy” Masses were
said up till ten o’clock by the imprisoned priests[19]—the fortress
would have borne a resemblance to the middle state where souls are
detained for a time on account of their sins. The supervision exercised
was slight, beyond the visitation of all the cells twice every day. Once
when the bishop was taking exercise on the ramparts which overlooked the
Rhine—in itself like the face of an old friend to Dr. Martin—some of the
faithful who descried him in the distance knelt for his blessing. The
act, the bishop knew not how, was communicated to the commandant, who
forbade him in writing to repeat it. At Wesel correspondence was free,
and even newspapers of all kinds were permitted. Feelers were sent out
by the government to test the bishop’s sentiments with regard to his
civil deposition, but his consent could never be obtained. And he was
cheered and supported by an address which was brought to him towards the
middle of March by a nobleman on the part of his diocese. It contained
these words: “It is true that your lordship as bishop has been deposed
by the Royal Court of Justice in Berlin, but you are, and will remain,
our bishop, and we will be faithful to you until death.”[20] Two thick
volumes bore the signatures to this statement, and they numbered
ninety-six thousand.

After his life in the fortress the bishop was refreshed by a little
breathing-time in a friendly house in Wesel itself. His host had just
married and taken his bride to Rome. On their return they brought to the
exiled pastor a new token of sympathy from the Holy Father in the shape
of another gold medal. The days passed pleasantly for the bishop, as far
as that was possible out of his diocese, until he made the discovery
that he had not yet paid the entire penalty of the famous pastoral. He
was sentenced to another month’s imprisonment in the fortress. “I had
always thought,” he writes, “that for one offence it sufficed to be
punished once. But the powers of the state said no.”[21] Summer had
come, and a return to the fortress in that season was no small penance.
The sun’s penetrating rays made the prisoner’s little cells almost
intolerable, and the bishop’s health began visibly to decline. He lost
his appetite and his sleep, and the only remedy, according to the
doctor, to produce return of vital power would have been change of air
and a course of sea-baths. But for this desired end he learned from the
mayor of Wesel that it would be necessary to undergo an examination from
the district doctor, and to procure a written statement that such
treatment was necessary. Moreover, it was enjoined that the place chosen
for the cure should be at least twenty miles distant from the diocese of
Paderborn. A Protestant district doctor was accordingly consulted, and
his opinion exactly corresponded with the bishop’s own account of his
state, whereupon Dr. Martin gave himself up to the pleasant hope of soon
being able to leave Wesel. “I wished for haste the more,” he says, “as
my state became worse from day to day. The continual agitation in which
I was kept helped to aggravate things. For day after day I received
tidings of new ruins which the unhappy _Kulturkampf_ worked in my poor
diocese.”[22] In the autumn of 1873—that is, after the promulgation of
the May Laws—the bishop had given faculties to four newly-ordained
priests. This is the most natural and harmless action of a bishop, for
what spiritual act can take place without that exercise of his
jurisdiction? Pronouncing a priest competent for the care of souls is
analogous to the action in law of giving a brief to a barrister. What if
the church should require a barrister to present himself to the bishop
for approbation before he received such a brief? But the May Laws
completely confuse spiritual and temporal things. The bishop was accused
of breaking article fifteen of those regulations, which runs that
“spiritual rulers are bound to present such candidates as are about to
receive a spiritual office to the _Oberpräsident_, whilst at the same
time the office is specified.” If the barrister obtain briefs after he
has been called, the bishop does not meddle with him; but because the
priests in question _had_ exercised their faculties Berlin thought well
to condemn the bishop to a further imprisonment of six months.

But now a new phase began in the life of Dr. Martin. Having “waited and
waited” for the permission to follow out the cure which a disimpassioned
authority had pronounced absolutely necessary, he resolved to act in
spite of the law, and to fly from Wesel. He considered this course not
only allowable, but even obligatory, seeing two principal reasons. His
health was seriously endangered, if he could not have the required
treatment, and that health belonged not to himself but to his diocese.
Furthermore, in Wesel his movements were so closely watched that one
single act of the pastoral office might give the government a plea for
still more rigorous measures. Therefore on the 3d of August he wrote an
official letter stating his intended departure from Wesel on the morrow;
and so, as the clock struck the hour of midnight, he was quietly
crossing the bridge over the Rhine, and on the following day, the 5th of
August, he was received at the Castle of Neuburg by the family of
Ausemburg. How full his heart was of his appointed work we may gather
from the attempt to return to Paderborn. At Aix-la-Chapelle two railway
authorities recognized him, and he was counselled by a valued friend to
go back to Holland in “God’s name!” The document which reached him a few
days later proved the soundness of the advice. It was from the Minister
of the Interior at Berlin, announcing to him the fact that he was from
henceforth an outlaw in the eyes of his country. The May Laws further
exhausted their bitterness against him by the warrant which was issued
from the district court in Paderborn for another imprisonment of six
months. But it seems that these punishments did not affect the bishop’s
peace of mind. Amidst tokens of universal love and devotion he was
spending his time chiefly with the Ausemburg family, occupying his
leisure with writing on religious subjects, amongst which one was
Devotion to the Sacred Heart. After his fruitless attempt to join his
bereaved flock he had directed his efforts in the first place towards
his own physical restoration. After a three weeks’ cure in Kattwyk,
which worked a wonderful change for the better in his state, he visited
the bishops of Haarlem and Roermond, and rejoiced his spirit by
witnessing some of the fruits of the new and vigorous Catholic life
which has been promoted in Holland by the re-establishment of the
hierarchy. Whilst Dr. Martin was with the bishop of Haarlem he received
intelligence of the dreadful fire which the “dear Paderstadt” had

These peaceful days, however, were not of long duration. They were
shortened by one of the bitterest experiences which a pastor can be
called upon to endure—that is, an unfaithful friend. A priest of his
diocese (the only one besides Mönnikes, he remarks) had gone over to the
enemies of the church, and vainly had the bishop tried the power of
loving exhortation. He was obliged at last to use that spiritual weapon
which has ever been obnoxious to a world impatient of restraint, and to
pronounce excommunication, fully conscious of the possible consequences
of the step, and therefore prepared to accept them. The government of
Holland was too weak to protect an exile. It gave way under more
powerful pressure, and the bishop was ordered to leave.

“I prayed to God for light,” he says. “I asked St. Joseph (it was in
March, 1876) to lead me where I should go.”[23] His steps were directed
to Catholic Belgium; but whatever the character of the population may
be, that of the policy of its government is rightly defined by the
bishop as the effort to keep out of the way of Prince Bismarck’s
complications, which effort is the _ne plus ultra_ of political wisdom.
He was not, therefore, much astonished when he received orders to leave
the Belgian frontier.

A homeless, houseless exile, the bishop once more wandered forth in
strict _incognito_, we are not told where, but the place must have been
wisely chosen, for there he remained in great retirement from April,
1876, till the following April. Then it was that Rome, the home of all
Catholic hearts, once more awoke his desires; but, owing to the
well-known sentiments of the Italian government, he was aware that the
journey had its dangers for a bishop under the ban of the _Kulturkampf_.
He set out, nevertheless, and on his journey through France experienced
numberless consolations and the warmest reception from the French
bishops. Persecution imprints on the heart the device, _Cor unum et
anima una_.

On the 24th of May, 1877, the feast of St. Monica, he arrived in Rome
for the fifth time. Men are trying to make even the Eternal City new,
and as the bishop walked through the familiar streets he felt that the
voice might indeed be the voice of Jacob, whilst the hands were the
hands of Esau. The Colosseum, consecrated by remembrances so
heart-stirring, now appeared to him as a dearly-loved face whence the
spirit had fled. It is the nature of Rome to be the most conservative of
cities, and never are natural laws overturned with comfort. These were
the German bishop’s thoughts as again he compared what had been to what
was, the more so as he found the improvement wholly exterior and
material, and, along with finer streets in course of erection, was
obliged to notice a lowering of moral tone in their inhabitants. Even
the faces of the men he met seemed to have altered; for, he says, they
are mostly not Romans, but a kind of heterogeneous mob gathered from all
quarters of the globe.

When Pius VII. returned to Rome after the persecution which had
threatened to annihilate his power, he invited his enemy’s family to
partake of hospitality in that city, as the land of great misfortunes;
but now the Holy Father, his successor, could offer nothing but an
affectionate greeting to a bishop who had borne so noble a witness to
the truth. The shadow of Pius IX.’s captivity must fall upon all his
children. An exiled bishop sought refuge in Rome as the home of his
father, and Rome could not give him what he sought. By the advice of
several cardinals Dr. Martin changed his residence and went out only in
secular dress, but not before he had been denounced by unfriendly papers
as one who was under arrest. On the 24th of May, in consequence of
continued persecution from the press, and in honest fear of more serious
ill-treatment, strengthened by the loving farewell and the apostolical
blessing of the Holy Father for himself and his diocese, the bishop of
Paderborn set out for an unknown place of exile, happy at least in his
resemblance to One who, coming unto his own, was not received by them.

The early church wrote the acts of her martyrs, in order that the
remembrance of their deeds should never perish, and the church of the
nineteenth century may be allowed to record the struggle of her
confessors not only for a perpetual memorial of them, but also that
others who are not in the fight may realize at once the presence of the
battle-field and the nature of the warfare. We have seen that it exists;
its nature cannot be better defined than by the words of him whose
confessorship we are recording:

“The Papacy is in fact the one and only point round which the
_Kulturkampf_ is raging, and I am convinced that if the ‘deposed’ and
banished bishops were to break off their connection with the Papacy
to-day, to-morrow they would be re-established in all their honors and
privileges.... On the 3d of August last it was three years since I
parted from my beloved flock. After God that flock is daily my first and
last thought. My prayers, my anxieties, my studies, and my occupations
of whatever nature belong to it. I will be true to it till death, and I
hope by God’s grace that it will be true to me. Hours of temptation come
upon me sometimes, it is true—hours when the painful doubt suggests
itself whether I shall ever return to it. But I take courage to myself
again through a trusting look up to God. He has counted every hair of
our heads, and, if my return is in accordance with his providence, no
_Kulturkampf_ will have power to prevent it. But should it be his good
pleasure that I close my eyes to this world separated from my flock, I
say with most humble resignation: May His will be done!

“But even supposing that all we ‘deposed’ and exiled bishops should die
in banishment, the church, and the church in our German Fatherland, will
finally conquer. He to whom all power in heaven and on earth is given is
her protector; and, let her enemies be as numerous and powerful as it is
possible to be, an hour will come when of them also it will be said:
‘They who sought after her life are dead.’”[24]

Footnote 9:

  _Three Years of my Life._ By Dr. Conrad Martin, Bishop of Paderborn.
  Mainz, 1877.

Footnote 10:

  _Drei Jahre aus meinem Leben._

Footnote 11:

  _Ibid._ p. 3.

Footnote 12:

  _Ibid._ p. 8.

Footnote 13:

  _Ibid._ p. 14.

Footnote 14:

  _Ibid._ p. 15.

Footnote 15:

  _Ibid._ p. 16.

Footnote 16:

  At Künigstein, in Nassau.

Footnote 17:

  _Drei Jahre aus meinem Leben_, p. 23.

Footnote 18:

  _Ibid._ p. 30.

Footnote 19:

  _Ibid._ p. 37.

Footnote 20:

  _Ibid._ p. 41.

Footnote 21:

  _Ibid._ p. 45.

Footnote 22:

  _Ibid._ p. 51.

Footnote 23:

  _Ibid._ p. 83.

Footnote 24:

  _Ibid._ pp. 160, 169.


    O streams, and shades, and hills on high,
      Unto the stillness of your breast
    My wounded spirit longs to fly—
      To fly and be at rest;
    Thus from the world’s tempestuous sea,
      O gentle Nature, do I turn to thee!

    —_Fray Luis de Leon._

No one visits Barcelona, or ought to visit it, without going to
Montserrat, the sacred mountain of Spain, and one of the most
extraordinary mountains in the world: the naturalist, to study its
singular formation and the thousand varieties of its flora; the mere
tourist, to visit its historic abbey and explore the wonderful grottoes
with which the mountain is undermined; and the pilgrim, as to another
Sinai, torn and rent asunder as by the throes of some new revelation,
where amid awful rifts and chasms is enthroned its Syrian Madonna, like
the impersonation of mercy amid the terrors of divine wrath. It is one
of those wonderful places in Catholic Christendom around which centres
the piety of the multitude. Hermits for ages have peopled its caves. The
monks of St. Benedict for a thousand years have served its altars.
Saints have kept watch around its venerable shrine. The kings and
knights of chivalric Spain have come here with rich tributes to offer
their vows. And the poor, with bare and bleeding feet, have, century
after century, climbed its rough sides out of mere love for their
favorite sanctuary.

Poets, too, have come here to seek inspiration. Several Spanish poets of
note have celebrated its natural beauties and its legendary glory.
Goethe could find no more suitable place than this wild, mysterious
mountain for the scenery of one of the most wonderful parts of
_Faust_—the scene where he makes the _Pater Ecstaticus_ float in the
golden air, the hermits chant from their mystic caves, and the bird-like
voices of the spirits come between like the breathings of a wind-swept

We took the Zaragoza railway, and in an hour after leaving Barcelona
were in sight of the towering gray pinnacles that make Montserrat like
no other mountain in the world. It rises suddenly out of the valley of
the Llobregat more than three thousand five hundred feet into the air,
and looks as if numberless liquid jets, sent up from the bowels of the
earth, had suddenly been congealed into colossal needles or cones. These
cones unite in a rocky base, about fifteen miles in circumference, which
is cleft asunder by an awful chasm, at the bottom of which flows the
torrent of Santa Maria. The base of the mountain is fringed with pines,
but the cones are ash-colored and bare, being utterly devoid of
vegetation, except what grows in the numerous clefts and ravines. This
serrated mountain, standing isolated in a broad plain, strange and
solitary, seems set apart by nature for some exceptional purpose. It
looks like a vast temple consecrated to the Divinity. Even the Romans
thought so when they set up their altars on its cliffs. It is the very
place for the gods to sit apart, each on his own pinnacle, and talk from
peak to peak, and reason high, and arbitrate the fate of man.

The sharp needles which give so peculiar an appearance to the mountain
are mostly of a conglomerate stone composed of fragments of marble,
porphyry, granite, etc., and not unlike the Oriental breccia. Some say
that these enormous clefts have been produced by the agency of water or
volcanic force; others, that the mountain, like Mt. Alvernia in Italy,
where St. Francis received the sacred stigmata, was rent asunder at the
great sacrifice of Mount Calvary, of which these profound abysses and
splintered rocks are so many testimonials. Padre Francesco Crespo, in a
memorial to Philip IV. on the Purísima Concepcion, says of it:
“Astonishing monument of our faith, divided into so many parts in
sorrowful proof of the death of the Creator!” And Fray Antonio, a
Carmelite monk: “And in Montserrat is verified that which was spoken in
St. Matt. xxvii.: And the earth did quake and the rocks were rent.”

We stopped at the station of Monistrol, two miles from the town of that
name which stands at the very foot of the mountain, and walked along the
banks of the Llobregat by an excellent road, often bordered with olives
at the right, while the other side was overhung by cliffs fragrant with
rosemary and wild thyme. We passed several cotton manufactories, for
this is the region of contrasts: Industry is running to and fro in the
fertile valley, while Contemplation kneels with folded palms on the
rocky heights above. But what divine law is there that makes physical
activity superior to moral, or productive of greater results, as so many
would have us believe in these _cui bono_ days? Who knows what rich
returns the cloud-wrapped altar above has rendered to these heavens? or
how much the proud world owes to the solitary Levite who in the temple
keeps alive

    “The watchfire of his midnight prayer”?

Monistrol derives its name from monasteriolum—a little monastery, which
was built here by the early Benedictines. It is said that Quirico, a
disciple of St. Benedict, came to Spain in the sixth century, and,
hearing of an extraordinary mountain in the heart of Catalonia, called
Estorcil by the Romans, he came to see it and said to his disciples: “On
this mount let us build a temple to the _Mater pulchræ dilectionis_.”
His project was not realized till three centuries after, but he is
believed to have built a small convent at the foot of the mountain.

It was late in the afternoon when we drew near the spot where St.
Quirico and his disciples set up their altar, and the little white town
of Monistrol lay closely hugged in at the foot of the mountain, behind
which the sun sets by two o’clock, so that it was already in the shadow.
On the outskirts we were surrounded by a swarm of swarthy gipsies ready
to tell our future destiny for a _real_, as if we did not already know
it! We crossed one of those bombastic bridges so common in Spain, as if
there were a flood for the immense arches to span, and just beyond met
the cura—a tall, thin man, with an abstract, speculative look, but who
proved himself able to give good practical advice, which we followed by
going to the little _posada_ hard by for the night, and awaiting the
morning to ascend the holy mountain. It was a clean little inn, but as
primitive as if it had come down from the time of St. Quirico. Not a
soul could we find on presenting ourselves at the door, and it was only
by dint of repeatedly shouting _Ave Maria Purísima!_ that a brisk little
woman at length issued from some cavernous depth, as if called forth by
our magical words. She gave us a dusky little room, with a crucifix and
colored print of St. Veronica over the bed, and, after exploring the
town, we took possession of it for the night while the tops of the
mountain, that rose up thousands of feet directly behind the house, were
still flushed with light.

The following morning was warm and cloudless, though in the middle of
February. The _tartana_ came at ten o’clock—a wagon with a hood, drawn
by three stout mules—and we set off with two men and three women, all
Spanish, and all as gay as the crickets on the wayside. If their
forefathers ascended the mountain with streaming eyes and unshod feet,
they, at least, went up on stout wheels, and with many a song and quirk,
though perfectly innocent withal. They were light-hearted laborers,
released from toil, going with their lunch to spend a holiday at Our
Lady of Montserrat’s. Just after starting we passed the little chapel of
the Santísima Trinidad, built, as the tablet on it says, to commemorate
the happy ending of the African war in 1860. We soon left Monistrol
below us. The view at every moment became more extended as we wound up
the steep sides of the mountain. At the right was always the towering
wall of solid rock, while the left side of the road was often built up,
or at least supported, by masonry. Vines and olives clung to the crags
as long as they could find foothold, and here and there was an aloe on
the edge of the precipice. The bells of Monistrol could be heard far
below. The plain began to assume a billowy appearance, swelling more and
more to the north till lost in the mountains. The air grew more
exhilarating. In two hours’ time we came to a chapel with a tall cross
before it, and nearly opposite suddenly appeared the abbey of Our Lady
of Montserrat, seven or eight stories high, with a cliff rising hundreds
of feet perpendicularly behind, divided by deep fissures, and
terminating in needles that looked inaccessible, but where we could see
a hermitage perched on the top like the nest of an eagle. There is no
beauty about the convent, or pretension to architecture, but there is a
certain austere simplicity about it that harmonizes with the mountain.
The narrowness of the terrace has prevented its extending laterally, so
it has been forced to tower up like the peaks around it. The mountain,
as M. Von Humboldt says, seems to have opened to receive man into its
bosom. But nearly everything is modern, and everywhere are ruins and
traces of violence left by the French in their ravages of 1811. Passing
through an arched gateway, we found ourselves in a close, around which
stood several large buildings for the accommodation of pilgrims. These
are of three classes, according to the condition of the visitor, and
named after the saints, such as Placido, Ignacio, Pedro Nolasco,
Francisco de Borja, etc. The poor have two houses for the different
sexes, where they are lodged and fed gratuitously. Bread is distributed
to them at seven in the morning; at noon, more bread with olla and wine;
and at night the same. Pilgrims of condition sometimes go to receive the
bread of charity, which they preserve as a relic. No one, rich or poor,
is allowed to remain over three days without special permission. Even
the better class of rooms are of extreme simplicity, containing the bare
necessaries for comfort. They are paved with brick, and the walls are
plastered, but not whitewashed. A man brought us towels, sheets, and a
jug of water, and left us to our own devices. The visitor offers what he
pleases on leaving. Nothing is required. Meals are obtained at a
restaurant at fixed prices. After taking possession of our rooms we went
to pay homage to Our Lady of Montserrat.

The first thing that struck us on entering the large atrium, or court,
that precedes the church, was a marble tablet recording one of the
greatest memories of Montserrat:

    B. Ignativs—A—Loyola—
    no M—D—XXII.—F. Lavren ne
                  to. Abb. dedicavit.
                  An. 1603.

For here it was that in 1522 came the chivalrous hero of Pampeluna, who
had passed his youth in the court of Ferdinand V., trained in the
practice of every knightly accomplishment, but now smitten down, like
St. Paul, by divine grace, and come here in accordance with the
principles of Christian chivalry in which he had been nurtured, to
devote himself to Jesus and Mary as their knight. He laid aside his
worldly insignia, and put on the poverty of Christ as the truest armor
of virtue, and, on the eve of the Annunciation, kept his vigil of arms
before the altar of Our Lady, whom he now chose as the _Señora de sus
pensamientos_—“no countess,” as he said, “no duchess, but one of far
higher degree”—and he hung up his sword on a pillar of her sanctuary as
a token that his earthly warfare was over.

    “When at thy shrine, most holy Maid,
    The Spaniard hung his votive blade
      And bared his helmèd brow,
    ‘Glory,’ he cried, ‘with thee I’ve done!
    Fame, thy bright theatres I shun,
      To tread fresh pathways now;
    To track thy footsteps, Saviour God!
    With willing feet by narrow road;
      Hear and record my vow.’”

So, in the _Book of Heroes_, Wolf-dietrich, “the prince without a peer,”
stopped short in his career of glory, and, going to the abbey of St.
George, laid his arms and golden crown on the altar and consecrated
himself to God.

On the other side of the entrance is a similar tablet relating to St.
Peter Nolasco, a knight of Languedoc, who, after serving in the
religious wars of the times, ascended Montserrat on foot, and, when he
arrived at the threshold of the house of Mary, fell on his knees, and in
this position approached her altar, where he spent nine days in watching
and prayer. It was during one of his prolonged vigils that he conceived
the project of founding the celebrated Order of Mercy, which required of
its members to give themselves, if need were, for the liberty of their
brethren in bondage, and which in the course of about four hundred years
(1218-1632) ransomed, at the price of millions, four hundred and ninety
thousand seven hundred and thirty-six Christians (among whom was the
great Cervantes) from the prisons of the Moors, where they had endured
sufferings no pen could describe.

Dwelling on these saintly memories, we passed through the arcades of the
court, green and damp with mould, and came to the church. The exterior,
of the Renaissance style, is by no means striking. There are columns of
Spanish jasper on each side of the door, with niches between for the
twelve apostles, of whom only four remain. And over the entrance stands
our Saviour giving his blessing to the pilgrim. There is a single nave
of fine proportions, divided transversely by one of those iron _rejas_,
or parcloses, peculiar to Spain, with a succession of chapels at the
sides, by no means richly decorated. It was noon, and there was not a
person in the large church. Divested of its ancient riches, and simply
ornamented, it needed the crowds of pilgrims for whom it was intended to
give it animation and effect. But the antique Virgin was there, in the
centre of the retablo over the high altar, surrounded by lights, and we
were glad of the silence and solitude that surrounded her.

The sacred image of Our Lady of Montserrat is believed to be one made by
St. Luke the Evangelist at Jerusalem, and brought to Spain by St. Peter,
and long preserved in a church erected by St. Paciano at Barcelona under
the title of the Blessed Maria Jerosolimitana,[26] where it was still
venerated in the time of San Severo, a bishop under the rule of the
Goths. According to an old chronicle, it was to preserve it from the
profanation of the Moors that, on the tenth of the kalends of May, 718,
Pedro the bishop, and Eurigonio, a captain of the Goths, took the holy
image of the Blessed Mary, and carried it to the mountain called
Asserado, and hid it in a cave.

Amid all the wars and commotions of that age, it is not surprising that
the remembrance of the holy statue became a dim tradition, and the
precise spot of its concealment utterly forgotten. It was not till two
centuries after that some young shepherds, guarding their flocks at the
foot of the mountain, observed that every Saturday night, as soon as the
darkness came on, a light descended from the heavens and gathered in a
blaze around one of the lofty peaks. Their story was at first made light
of at Monistrol, but, coming to the ear of the curate, a great servant
of God and Our Lady, he resolved to ascertain its truth for himself.
Accordingly, the next Saturday night, he set forth at an early hour with
a number of people for the most favorable point of observation. As soon
as it grew dark the supernatural light was seen, and a soft, delicious
music heard issuing as from the depths of a cave. The curate did not
venture to approach, but returned to consult the bishop of Vich, then
residing at Manresa, the former place being in the hands of the Moors.
This bishop, whose name was Gondemaro, took the curate and other members
of the clergy, and, accompanied by several knights, ascended the
mountain at the usual hour of the wonderful occurrence. They found the
cliff enveloped in a cloud of fragrance. A shower of stars settled
around the summit like a crown, and dulcet symphonies came forth from
its bosom. This phenomenon lasted till midnight, when the music died
away, the stars returned to their spheres, and silence and darkness
resumed their empire.

The bishop passed the remainder of the night in dwelling on what he had
witnessed, and at the first ray of dawn summoned the curate and
requested him to take the necessary means for examining the place by
daylight. He was not obliged to repeat the command. The curate took his
parishioners, and, accompanied by the bishop, went in procession along
the banks of the Llobregat, and up the sides of the mountain as far as
practicable. Then he despatched several young shepherds, who could climb
the rocks like goats, to explore the cliff. After no little fatigue and
danger they discovered a cave on the edge of a precipice, and within it
the sacred image of the Mother of God, surrounded by an odor like that
of a garden of flowers. The joyful cries of the shepherds, repeated by
all the echoes of the mountain caves, made known their discovery. The
bishop took the statue in his arms, and, desirous of carrying it to
Manresa, they went circling the wild peaks with songs of joy in the
direction of Monistrol; but when he attempted to go past a certain place
on the mountain his feet became fastened to the ground like iron to a
loadstone. The Virgin had chosen the mountain for her abode, and would
not abandon it. After the first moment of astonishment the bishop
comprehended the meaning of the Soberana Señora, and a chapel was soon
built to receive the statue, which he entrusted to the care of the
curate of Monistrol.

But this was not the first chapel on the mountain. The oldest was that
of San Miguel, on the other side of the ravine of Santa Maria, said to
have been built out of the ruins of a temple of Venus. We went to see it
that afternoon. It stands on a lofty ridge of the mountain to the north,
commanding a magnificent prospect. Beneath is the whole valley of the
Llobregat, but what below seemed like a vast plain here looked like the
sea in a storm, in which wave after wave succeeded each other till lost
in the Pyrenees. And these, capped with snow, looked like the foaming
sea, run mountains high, all along the northern horizon. The whole
country was dotted with villages. The river looked like a thread of
silver winding through the surging valley. The sounds came up from below
in a subdued murmur. At the right lay the Mediterranean, calm as a sea
of crystal. Behind the chapel rose the tall cones, like the watch-towers
of a vast fortress.[27] The solitude, the wildness, the awful depths
over which we hung made a profound impression on us all. “How easy for
the soul to rise to God in such a place!” we said. “Let us remain here
the rest of our lives. With books to read, the chapel in which to pray,
the mountain-side on which to meditate, and such a glorious view of
God’s world around us, what more in this world could we ask for?” Every
now and then came the peal of the convent bells. The air was fragrant
with the balsamic odor of the shrubs. The glowing sun lit up mount and
sea. And a certain melancholy about these gray peaks and unfathomable
abysses, the ruined hermitages and violated chapels, and even the wintry
aspect of yonder plain, gave them an additional charm. While sitting on
the rocks a Spaniard came along with his daughter, and, entering into
conversation, we learned that they were visiting the holy mountain for
the last time together, she being on the point of entering a sisterhood.
They both showed the most lively faith, and talked with enthusiasm of
Montserrat, telling us how it had been rent asunder at the Crucifixion.
After they had gone on in the direction of Collbato we sat a long time
in silence, and then went slowly down the winding path, bordered with
laurel, holly, heather, and shrubs of various kinds. On the way we met a
long file of pupils from the abbey, ranging from ten to twenty years of
age, all in gowns and leather belts like young monks. Two of the
Benedictine fathers came behind them.

It was nearly night when we got back to the monastery, and as soon as we
had dined we went to the church. It was wrapped in utter darkness, all
but the sanctuary, which was blazing with lamps around the Madonna and
the tabernacle. We knelt down in the obscurity close to the _reja_. In a
short time thirty or forty students entered in their white tunics, and,
encircling the altar, began the _Rosario_ in a measured, recitative way
that was almost a chant. Then they gathered around the organ and sang
the _Salve_ and _Tota pulchra es_ with admirable expression. The
lateness of the hour, the vast nave shrouded in darkness, the blazing
altar, with the black Madonna above in her golden robes after the
Spanish fashion, the groups of worshippers motionless as statues, the
venerable monks of St. Benedict in the choir, and the white-robed
singers around the organ, gave great effect to the scene. We wished we
might keep our vigil before the altar, like St. Ignatius; but one of the
lay brothers, with a queer old lantern that must have been handed down
from the Goths, began to hustle us out of the church as soon as the
devotions were over, and we went stumbling through the dark court into
the open air; and giving one look at the violet heavens, across which
flashed a shooting-star, and to the tall black cliffs that overshadowed
us, we went to our rooms, our hearts still under the influence of the
music. The bells of the monastery kept ringing from time to time as long
as we were awake, and they roused us again at an early hour the
following morning, as if the _laus perennis_ were still kept up as in
the olden time.

It was not yet day, but we hurried to the early Mass, which is sung with
the aid of the students, followed by another chanted by the monks, and
the sun was just rising out of the sea when we came from the church. As
soon as breakfast was over we went to visit the cave of Fray Juan Garin,
which is in the side of an enormous cliff it seemed fearful to live
under. He was lying there in effigy, with his book and rosary, a
water-jar at his feet, and a basket at his head, as if he had just gone
to sleep. His legend, though not pleasing, is too closely connected with
the early history of the mountain to be wholly omitted. It has been
sung, too, by poets, and one scene, at least, in his life has been
perpetuated in sculpture.

Fray Juan Garin is said to have been born in the ninth century of a
noble family of Goths at Valencia, and in the time of Wifredo, Count of
Barcelona, became a hermit on the lone heights of Montserrat. He is
represented as a man of wasted aspect, with a long beard, who lived in
the cave of an inaccessible cliff, and, when he went forth, carried a
long staff in his hands, which were embrowned by the sun. Here he
attained to such consummate sanctity that the very bells which hung
between the two pillars before the ancient chapel of SS. Acisclo and
Victoria rang out of their own accord whenever he approached. Every year
he made a pilgrimage to the capital of the Christian world, and
tradition says the bells of the Holy City spontaneously rang out at his
arrival, like those of Montserrat. It would seem as if this holy hermit,
regardless of the world, and by the world forgot, could have nothing to
disturb his peace. But the great adversary had his evil eye on him, and
resolved on his fall. For this purpose he turned hermit himself, as in
the old rhyme, and put on a penitential robe and long white beard, which
made such an impression on the count of Barcelona, when he presented
himself before him, that he took his advice and brought his beautiful
daughter Riquilda, who was thought to be possessed, to try the efficacy
of Fray Juan’s prayers.

Meanwhile, the devil established himself in the very cave on the top of
the cone above the monastery still known as the _Ermita del Diablo_, and
soon after the two hermits met as if by accident.

They looked at each other, but without at first breaking the holy
silence that set its seal on their contemplative life. At length the
Diablo addressed Fray Juan, saying he was a great sinner who had come to
the mountain three years previously to seek pardon of God for his
innumerable offences in solitude and mortification, and expressing
surprise that they had never met before. Garin at first repulsed his
advances, as if by instinct, but the Diablo continued to speak with so
much unction on the redoubled fervor that would result from a holy union
of prayer and penitential exercises that Garin at length yielded, and
finally let no day pass without meeting him and unveiling the innermost
recesses of his heart.

We will not enter into the details of the tragedy which ended in the
murder of the beautiful Riquilda. But when Fray Juan awoke to a sense of
his crime, he was seized with so terrible a remorse that he once more
set off for Rome to throw himself at the feet of him to whom are given
the keys of earth and heaven, and confess his heinous sin. But the bells
no longer rang out as he drew near. He was now

    “A wretch at whose approach abhorr’d,
            Recoils each holy thing.”

Even the pope, with the power to him given to wash men’s sins away, had
no ghostly word of peace for him. But he sent him not away in utter
despair. He imposed on him by way of expiation to go forth from his
presence like a beast of the earth, to live on the herbs of the field,
and keep an unbroken silence till a sinless child a few months old—O
power of innocence!—should assure him God had remitted his sin.

And Fray Juan submissively went forth from the Holy City on his hands
and feet, and directed his weary course once more to Montserrat.
Meanwhile, the Virgin, as Mr. Ticknor says, “appearing on that wild
mountain where the unhappy man had committed his crime, consecrates its
deep solitudes by founding there the magnificent sanctuary which has
ever since made Montserrat holy ground to all devout Catholics.”[28]

In the course of time Fray Juan’s garments were worn out; exposed to the
blazing sun of Spain, he grew swarthy of hue, and his body became
covered with hair that made him look like a wild beast, for which, in
fact, he was taken by the royal foresters, who fastened a rope around
his neck and led him to Barcelona, where he was put in the stables of
the count’s palace of Valdauris, and became at once the wonder and
terror of the people.

Not long after the lord of Catalonia made a great feast to celebrate the
birth of his son, now four or five months old, and one of the guests
expressing a wish to see the curious beast from Montserrat, Fray Juan
was led into the hall. As soon as he appeared the infant prince,
speaking for the first time in his life, said: “Rise up, Fray Juan
Garin; thou hast fulfilled thy penance. God hath pardoned thee.” And the
penitent rose up and resumed his original form as a man.[29] He then
threw himself at the count’s feet and confessed his crime. Wifredo could
not refuse a pardon God had granted through his child. He ordered Fray
Juan to conduct him to his daughter’s grave, and, followed by all the
lords and knights of his court, he went to the mountain, and there,
beside the newly-erected chapel of the Virgin, he found the tomb of the
princess. When it was unsealed, to their amazement Riquilda opened her
eyes and came forth from the grave. Around her neck was a slight mark,
like a thread of crimson silk. As Faust says of Margaret:

    “How strangely does a single blood-red line,
    Not broader than the sharp edge of a knife,
    Adorn her lovely neck!”

The overjoyed count took his daughter back to Barcelona, where an
immense crowd came to see her whom the great _Madre de Dios_ had
awakened from the sleep of death. One of the knights of the court,
struck with her beauty, requested her hand in marriage, but Riquilda
felt that after so strange a restoration to life, she ought to
consecrate herself to God on the mount where the wonder had been

Wifredo, who was a great builder of churches, determined to erect a
magnificent convent on the mountain. Fray Juan worked on it with his own
hands, and after its completion retired to a cave, where he penitently
ended his days. The convent was peopled with nuns of noble birth, and
Riquilda placed at their head. Eighty years after Count Borrell, who was
now lord of Catalonia, fearful of a Saracen invasion, substituted monks
and transferred the nuns to the royal foundation of Santa Maria de

This legend of a rude age, gross in some of its details, has been
celebrated in several poems, one of which, still read and admired, takes
a high place in Spanish literature. This is _El Monserrate_, by
Cristóbal de Virues, a dramatic poet, who was a great favorite of Lope
de Vega’s. Virues had served as a captain in the Spanish wars, and taken
part in the battle of Lepanto. He belonged to an age when, as Mr.
Ticknor says, many a soldier, after a life of excess, ended his days in
a hermitage as rude and solitary as that of Garin.

The old counts of Barcelona made great donations to the convent of
Montserrat, as well as the kings of Aragon after them. The monks were
exempted from imposts and taxes, and made honorary citizens of
Barcelona. They not only had possession of the mountain, but held feudal
sway over several towns and lordships. The rule of St. Benedict is known
to have been observed here in 987, when Prior Raymundo was at the head
of the house. It was a dependence of the abbey of Ripoll until the
fourteenth century, but on account of its miraculous Virgin, and the
extraordinary history of its foundation, it at once acquired great
celebrity, and not a day passed without numerous pilgrims. In the
twelfth century there were so many that Don Jaime el Conquistador
ordered all who went to the mountain to take with them the provisions
necessary for their subsistence. These pilgrims, who were often from
distant provinces, used to come with bare feet, sometimes with torches
in their hands, or bearing heavy crosses, or scourging their bodies, or
with a halter around their necks and manacles on their hands, as if they
were criminals. And when the monks saw them coming in this manner, they
went out to meet them, and released them from their vow by special
authority from the pope, and brought them in before the holy image of
the Mother of God, where their sighs and tears broke forth into piteous

These pilgrims had a kind of sacred character which prevented them from
being cited before tribunals till they returned, except for crimes
committed on the way, under a penalty of five hundred crowns. Leonora,
the wife of Don Pedro el Catolico, was the first queen of Aragon to
visit the sanctuary, and Don Pedro the Great the first king. The latter
passed the night before the altar of Our Lady, imploring her aid against
the French, who were invading Catalonia. Don Jaime and his wife Blanca
came together and endowed the monastery, of which their son was then
prior. Don Pedro el Ceremonioso came twice: on his way to the conquest
of Majorca, and again at his return, when he presented a silver galley
in thanksgiving for his success. Queen Violante, wife of Juan I., came
here with bare feet, out of pure love for the Virgin, bringing with her
rich gifts.

When Ferdinand the Catholic was nine years old his mother brought him to
Montserrat and consecrated him to the Virgin. After the conquest of
Granada he and Queen Isabella came here together, with Prince Juan,
their son, Isabella, widow of Don Alonso of Portugal, Doña Juana,
afterwards called _la Loca_, and others of the royal family. They
brought with them the two young sons of the last king of Granada, who
were baptized under the names of Juan and Fernando. In the retinue were
the great Cardinal Mendoza and a number of prelates. On this or some
other occasion their Catholic majesties presented two magnificent silver
lamps to burn before Our Lady of Montserrat, and Queen Isabella gave
twelve yards of green velvet, and two of brocade, to the sacristy.

It was about this time that thirteen monks from Montserrat were chosen
to accompany Christopher Columbus in order to establish the faith in the
new regions he might discover. At their head was Dom Bernardo Boil, a
noble Catalonian, who was raised to the dignity of patriarch and papal
legate. Columbus gave the name of Montserrat to an island he discovered
in 1493, on account of the resemblance it bore to the holy mountain of
Spain, and the first Christian church erected in America was called
Nuestra Señora de Montserrat.

Charles V. came to Montserrat when nineteen years of age, accompanied by
his tutor, Adrian of Utrecht, afterwards pope. They found the court full
of soldiers, with lighted torches in their hands, and the Count Palatine
at the head of an embassy to offer him the crown of Carlo Magno in the
name of the electors of Germany. Charles went to prostrate himself at
the feet of the Virgin, and the following day left for Barcelona, after
giving the father abbot the title and privileges of _Sacristan Mayor_ of
the crown of Aragon. He subsequently bestowed many gifts on the abbey,
and gave it rule over the town of Olessa and other places. He visited it
repeatedly, and not only remained several days at a time, but is even
said to have tried the monastic life he afterwards embraced in the
convent of Yuste. The third time he came here was in 1533, and on Corpus
Christi day he walked in the procession with the monks, carrying a
lighted candle in his hand. He liked to pass such great solemnities in a
monastery, contributing by his presence and generosity to the brilliancy
of the festival. He always invoked Our Lady of Montserrat before
engaging in battle, and attributed to her his victories. He was at
Montserrat when he received notice of the discovery of Mexico by
Hernando Cortes, and when he heard of one of his important victories
over the Moors. And on St. Margaret’s day, 1535, the parish of Santa
Maria del Mar at Barcelona sent a deputation of twelve persons to the
mountain, habited as penitents, to pray for the success of the royal
arms. They united with the monks and hermits in a devout procession
around the cloister, and made such prevailing prayer at the altar of Our
Lady that Charles V. that very day took possession of Tunis. When the
emperor, in 1558, found he was dying, he called for the taper blessed on
the altar of Montserrat, and holding it in one hand, with the crucifix
that had been taken from the dead hand of his mother Juana in the other,
this great monarch, who, as he acknowledged to his kinsman, St. Francis
Borgia, had never, from the twenty-first year of his age, suffered a day
to pass without devoting some part of it to mental prayer, now slept for
ever in the Lord.

Isabella of Portugal, wife of Charles V., likewise came here, and in her
train the Marques de Lombay, afterwards Duke of Gandia, and Viceroy of
Catalonia, now venerated on our altars under the name of San Francisco
de Borja. With him was his wife, the beautiful Leonora de Castro, lady
of honor to the empress. As a memorial of her visit, Isabella presented
the church with a silver pax of artistic workmanship worth two thousand
ducats, and a little ship garnished with diamonds valued at 10,800

Some years after Doña Maria, daughter of Charles V., came here with her
husband, Maximilian II., Emperor of Austria, to obtain a blessing on
their marriage, and she spent several days here on her return to Spain.
Her page, at that time, was the young Louis de Gonzaga, son of the
Marquis of Castiglione, who afterwards entered the Society of Jesus, and
is now canonized.

With this empress came also her daughter, the Princess Margarita, who
prostrated herself at the feet of the Virgin and implored the grace of
becoming the spouse of her divine Son. Tradition says the Virgin gently
inclined her head in token of consent. At all events, the princess,
after her prayer, took a dagger from one of the cavaliers, and with
blood from her own veins thus wrote:

“I solemnly pledge myself to become the spouse of Christ, to whom I here
offer myself, begging his Virgin Mother to be my mediator. In faith of
which I subscribe myself,


She placed this vow in the Virgin’s hand, and afterwards fulfilled it by
becoming a nun in the royal foundation of the Carmelites at Madrid under
the name of Sr. Margarita de la Cruz. This interesting document was long
preserved in the abbey, but disappeared when the house was ravaged under

Philip II., the monarch who boasted that the sun never set on his
dominions, visited Montserrat four times, one of which was on Candlemas
day, when he took part in the procession, devoutly carrying his taper.
He presented Our Lady with a silver lamp weighing over a hundred pounds,
and an elaborate retablo for her altar which cost ten thousand

Don John of Austria came here after the battle of Lepanto, and brought
several flags taken from the enemy, as trophies to the Virgin of
Montserrat, and hung up in the centre of the church the signal-lantern
taken from the vessel of the Turkish admiral.

The abbey at this time was one of the richest in Spain. It was
surrounded by ramparts and towers for defence. It had its courts and
cloisters full of sculptures, and carvings, and tombs of precious
marble, whereon knights lay in their armor, and abbots with mitre and
crosier. But the church was too small for the number of pilgrims, and
dim in spite of its seventy silver lamps. Abbot Garriga, one of the
ablest men who ever ruled over the monastery, resolved to build a new
one. This distinguished abbot rose from the humblest condition in life.
When he was only seven years old his father, a poor man, ascended the
mountain on an ass, with a kid in one pannier and his son in the other,
and offered them both at the convent gate. The porter accepted the kid,
but refused the boy. The father, however, persisted in leaving him, and
the abbot, struck with his intelligence, gave him a place in the school.
He received the monastic habit at the age of nine. While a novice he
used to lament the inadequate size of the church, and predicted he
should rebuild it. He subsequently became abbot, and fulfilled his
prophecy, but he ended his days in the lofty hermitage of St. Dimas,
where he had retired to prepare for eternity.

When the new church was completed, as the Virgin could not be removed
under penalty of excommunication, the sanction of the pope had to be
obtained. Philip III. came to take part in the ceremony, and with him a
crowd of courtiers and Spanish grandees. On Sunday, July 11, 1593, the
king and all the court went to confession and holy Communion in the
morning. In the afternoon the sacred image was taken down from the place
it had occupied for centuries, and clothed in magnificent robes, given
by the Infanta Isabella and the Duchess of Brunswick. Then the
procession was formed, preceded by a cross-bearer carrying a cross of
pure silver, in which was set a piece of the Lignum Crucis surrounded by
five emeralds, five diamonds, a topaz as large as a walnut, and a great
number of pearls. Then came forty-three lay brothers, fifteen hermits,
and sixty-two monks, chanting the _Ave Maris Stella_, each one carrying
a wax candle weighing a pound. After them were twenty-four scholastics,
and then the statue of Our Lady, borne by four monks in orders, wearing
rich dalmaticas. Over it was a gorgeous canopy supported by noble lords.
Behind followed Abbot Garriga and his attendants, and, after the
peasant’s son, King Philip III., bearing a torch on which was painted
the royal arms, and a long train of lords and ladies, the highest in the
realm. With all this pomp the Madonna was borne up the nave of the new
church, and, amid the ringing of bells and the chant of the _Te Deum_,
was placed on her silver throne, given by the Duke of Cardona.

All the kings of Spain, down to the end of the eighteenth century, came
here with their votive offerings. The church had a font of jasper, a
_reja_ of beautiful workmanship that cost fourteen thousand ducats, and
around the altar of the Virgin burned over two hundred costly lamps, the
gifts of kings, princes, and nobles. She had four gold crowns studded
with gems; one estimated at fifty thousand ducats, sent by the natives
of Mexico converted to the faith. The monstrance for the exposition of
the Host gleamed like the sun with its rays of sparkling jewels.
Chalices were covered with rubies. There were golden candlesticks for
the altar, and ornaments of amber and crystal, and vestments of cloth of
gold embroidered with precious stones, and a profusion of other valuable
things that may to Judas eyes seem uselessly poured out in this favored

To this wonderful church, for the gilding of which he had contributed
four thousand crowns, came Don John of Austria in the seventeenth
century, and, penetrating into the sanctuary, he placed his hands on the
sacred altar, and in a distinct voice pronounced the following: “I swear
and promise to maintain with my sword that the Blessed Virgin Mary was
conceived without the stain of original sin from the first instant of
her being,” which vow was repeated by all the knights in his train.
There was formerly a painting in one of the chapels to commemorate this

Many children of the first families of Spain used to be brought to
Montserrat and consecrated to the Virgin. Sometimes they were even left
here to pass their boyhood. Don John of Cardona, a Spanish admiral, who
distinguished himself in the wars with the Turks, and at one time was
viceroy of Navarre, was educated here, and said he valued the honor of
being a page of Our Lady of Montserrat more than having been the
defender of Malta against the infidel. He took for his standard her
glorious image, and, when he died, was buried, at his own request, at
her feet. So were many others, famous as soldiers or statesmen, reared
on this secluded mountain. The pupils, as now, wore a semi-monastic
dress. They daily recited the Office of the Blessed Virgin, sang at the
early Mass, and ate in the monks’ refectory. Nor were they all nobles.
There were peasants’ children, too, among them, but they were all reared
together in that simplicity of life that seems traditional among the
Benedictines. The divine words that for ever ennobled the innocence of
childhood have done more to efface artificial distinctions in monastic
houses than the second sentence in the Declaration of Independence has
ever done in our beloved republic. But in Spain there has always been a
certain courtesy towards the lower classes that has tended to elevate
them, or, at least, to maintain their self-respect. It is said that the
dignity of man in that country seems to rise in proportion as his rank

Among the more recent memories of the school, it is told how, September
30, 1860, Queen Isabella II. came here with her son, now King Alfonso
XII., then only three years old, and had him made a page of Our Lady of
Montserrat, and he was clothed in the dress of the pupils in the
presence of the court.

But to return to the history of the abbey. The day came when all its
riches were suddenly swept away. Catalonia was the first to rise against
the government of Napoleon. Montserrat, being considered almost
impregnable, was made a depot of provisions and munitions of war. It was
fortified, and bristled with cannon like a citadel. Suchet attacked the
mountain. It was vigorously defended by three hundred Spaniards
entrenched in the defiles, but the French succeeded in gaining
possession of it. The monastery was blown up. The hermitages were
ruined. The hermits were “hunted like chamois from rock to rock,” and
the treasures of the church were carried off as spoils of war. All the
testimonials of the faith of Spain that had been accumulating here for
centuries were swept away: the gold and the jewels, the paintings and
carvings, the Gothic cloister and the tombs of alabaster—all, all
disappeared. Only one priceless jewel remained, around which all the
others had been gathered—the ancient Madonna brought from the East,
which was once more concealed in a cave, as in the time of the Moors.

Towards the close of our second day on Montserrat we passed through an
avenue of cypresses behind the monastery, and came to a small terrace on
the very edge of the precipitous mountain-side, around which was a wall
adorned with great stone saints that were gray and mossy, and worn by
the elements. Against the wall were seats, and, in the centre of the
plot, a tank for gold fish, with a few plants and shrubs around it. Here
is an admirable view to the northwest, and we stood leaning a long time
against the wall, looking at the broad _Vega_ beneath, and the long
range of Pyrenees that stood out with wonderful distinctness against the
pure evening sky. Directly beneath us was Monistrol, and, beyond,
Manresa, only three leagues off, but seemingly much nearer; and along
yonder road winding through the Valley of Paradise, as it used to be
called, must have gone St. Ignatius from Montserrat in his newly-put-on
garments of holy poverty, which could not, we fancy, hide his courtly
bearing or eagle glance.

Nothing could surpass the exquisite gradations of light and color that
passed over the landscape while the sun was going down. The pleasant
valley grew dim. Manresa receded, and her white walls soon looked like a
ship at sea. A purple mist began to creep up the mountain-sides. The
snowy summits were suffused with a blush of rosy light. The last gleam
of the sun, now below the western horizon, flashed from peak to peak
like signal-fires, and then died away. The purple hills grew leaden. The
rosy peaks became paler and paler till they were actually livid, and
finally faded away into mere fleecy clouds.

Then we walked reluctantly back through the tall, dark cypresses to the
convent, and through the shadowy cloister to the church, which we found
dark but for the usual cluster of lamps around the altar, suspended
there—beautiful emblem of prayer—to consume themselves before God, in
place of the hearts forced to live amid the cares of the world.

There is an old legend, embodied in a Catalan ballad, that tells how an
angel one night ordered Fray José de las Llantias, a lay brother of
Montserrat, now declared Venerable, to quickly trim the dying lamps lest
the world be overwhelmed in darkness because of iniquity.

The next morning, after the usual offices, we went to receive the father
abbot’s blessing and visit the treasury of the Virgin—no longer filled
with countless jewels, but containing many touching offerings that tell
of perils past, such as soldiers’ knapsacks and swords, sailors’ hats,
innumerable plaits of hair, etc. Then we went up a winding stair, on
which, at different turnings, three white angels pointed the way, to
kiss Our Lady’s hand, according to the custom of pilgrims. Afterwards we
took a guide, and went to visit several of the hermitages, most of which
are still in ruins. That of the Virgin has been restored, and from below
looks like a small château rising straight up from the edge of the
precipice overhanging the ravine of Santa Maria. The ancient _Cueva_, or
cave, where the Madonna was found, is now converted into a pretty chapel
lighted by small stained windows. The adjoining cell has a balcony that
hangs over the abyss, commanding a lovely view.

The hermitage of San Dimas, or Dismas, is on one of the most
inaccessible peaks.

    “Gistas damnatur, Dismas ad astra levatur,”

says the old Latin rhyme. This cell is now in ruins, but it was once
fortified and had a drawbridge. Col. Green entrenched himself here in
1812 with a detachment of soldiers, and cannon had to be put on a
neighboring height to dislodge him. It was in one of its chapels the
great Loyola made his general confession, and to a Frenchman. In ancient
times there was a den of robbers here, for which reason it was placed
under the protection of the Good Thief when it was converted into a

The hermitage of Santa Cruz is approached by a flight of one hundred and
fifty steps cut in the solid rock. It is said to be so called because
Charlemagne, when fighting against the Moors in the north of Spain,
ordered a white banner, on which was a blood-red cross, to be set up on
this peak. Here lived the Blessed Benito de Aragon for sixty-three
years. The hermits generally lived to an advanced age, to which the pure
air, as well as their simple life and regular habits, conduced. There
are about thirteen of these hermitages scattered over the mountain. That
of Santa Magdalena, one of the most picturesque, is two miles from the
monastery. They are all built on a uniform plan. There is a chapel, and
connected with it is a small house containing an antechamber, a cell
with an alcove for a bed, and a kitchen. On one side there is a little
garden with a cistern. The hermits made a vow never to leave the
mountain. On the festival of St. Benedict they received the Holy
Eucharist together and had dinner in common. On certain days in the year
they descended to the abbey, and always took part in the great
solemnities. Their director, appointed by the abbot, lived in the
hermitage of San Benito. Their rule was very austere. They observed an
almost continual fast, and their abstinence was perpetual. Fish, bread,
and the common wine of the region constituted their food. Most of their
time was passed in exercises of piety, varied by the culture of their
little gardens. They were allowed no pets of any kind, but the birds of
the air became so familiarized with their presence as to approach at a
signal and eat from their hands. This was no small pleasure, for there
are nightingales, goldfinches, robin red-breasts, larks, thrushes, etc.,
in abundance on the mountain. When ill they were removed to the
infirmary at the abbey.

The most elevated hermitage is that of San Geronimo. The way to it lies
along the edge of deep ravines, over steep cliffs, through narrow
fissures—a rough, fatiguing, enchanting excursion. There is a fresh
surprise at every instant, from the continual variety of nature. We
gathered fragrant violets, daisies, the purple heather, delicate ferns,
branches of holly and box, that grew in crevices along the
mountain-paths. We were so fatigued when we arrived that we were glad to
sit down against the crumbling walls of the hermitage, and eat our
lunch, and take a draught from the cool cistern. The cell is on the
brink of a gulf worn by torrents, into which it makes one giddy to look.
Close by rises a tall cone which is the highest point of Montserrat.
Here is a magnificent prospect of mountain, and sea, and four provinces
of Spain. On the north is Catalonia and the glorious Pyrenees; at the
east the blue Mediterranean, with the Balearic Isles in the distance; to
the south the coasts of Castillon and Valencia; and to the west Lerida
and the mountains of Aragon.

The hermit of San Geronimo was always the youngest, and as the others
died he descended to a cell less exposed to the inclemency of the
seasons, leaving his place to a new-comer. It is a solitary peak,
indeed, to live on, and yet in sight of so vast a world. We were there
at noon, when the sun was in all its splendor, lighting up the snows of
the mountain and the waves of the sea. The wind began to rise with a
solemn swell, giving out that hollow, ominous sound which De Quincey
says is “the one sole audible symbol of eternity.” The holy mountain,
shivered into numberless peaks; the abysses and chasms that separate
them, only inhabited by birds of prey; the variety of aromatic plants
that grow in the rich soil collected wherever it can find room; the
exhilarating air; the marvels of creation on every side, seemingly
“boundless as we wish our souls to be,” constitute an abode in which one
would wish for ever to live. The lines of Fray Luis de Leon in his
_Noche Serena_ might have been inspired by this very spot:

    “Who that has seen these splendors roll,
      And gazed on this majestic scene,
    But sighed to ’scape the world’s control,
      Spurning its pleasures poor and mean,
      And pass the gulf that yawns between?”

Footnote 25:

  Mr. Bayard Taylor.

Footnote 26:

  This church is now that of San Justo y San Pastor which perpetuates
  the memory of the holy image by a chapel and confraternity of Our Lady
  of Montserrat, as well as by frequent pilgrimages to the mountain

Footnote 27:

  The Moors called Montserrat _Gis Taus_—the watch-peaks or towers.

Footnote 28:

  _History of Spanish Literature._

Footnote 29:

  There was formerly an old sculpture in this palace of the counts of
  Barcelona, representing the prince in the arms of his nurse, and the
  hermit of Montserrat at their feet. This is now in the museum of
  antiquities in the old convent of San Juan at Barcelona.

                          RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

Tall, gaunt, with clear-cut and unmistakably New England features, and
feet that would not admit of Cinderella slippers, is the _tout ensemble_
which Emerson photographed upon our retina when we heard him lecture
recently. We liked his calm and self-poised manner. There was no heated
concern when the Sibylline leaves on which his lecture was written
became inextricably mixed. Paradoxically enough, his theme was “Orators
and Oratory.” His high, shrill voice, his ungainly manners, and his
utter absence of gesture make him the most unattractive of speakers. But
there was a certain “fury in his words” which fastened the attention.
The next thing to being an orator is to love oratory; and his reverence
and admiration for the eloquent in speech pass his own eloquent

Emerson’s sentences are so pointed that frequently the point is so fine
as to be lost. His eloquence is anything but Asiatic, and, indeed, its
terseness very much resembles affectation. He is called the American
Carlyle, but his proper title is the American Montaigne. There is not an
idea in Emerson that cannot be traced to the garrulous old Frenchman.
The first reading of Emerson is an era in a young man’s life. The short,
apothegmic sentences strike him with the force of proverbs. The happy
quotation and illustration seem inspirations of genius. The misty
transcendentalism has a roseate hue, in delightful contrast with the
bald practicality of Watts’ hymns and orthodox sermons. The stimulating
style, resultant from exquisite taste and the manly resolve to carry out
Pope’s advice about the “art to blot,” is high perfection when compared
with the weak and weary prosing of moral essayists. Yet there is nothing
original in Emerson. He has contributed little or nothing to the body of
ideas. Not even his poetry, which is supposed to be productive of ideas,
presents anything new or striking. The passion for nature-worship, which
Wordsworth carried to its highest expression, becomes tiresome and
unnatural in Emerson’s short metre and careless versification.

What is the source of his power? Why do New England critics rave over
him? Even J. Russell Lowell, who, with all the limitations of a narrowed
culture, ranks respectably as a literary critic, cannot find words in
which to laud the New England philosopher. _He_ finds the secret of his
influence to consist in his “wide-reaching sympathy” and his being able
to understand the use of a linchpin equally with the stellar influences.
Lowell himself is under the witchery of mere words. His cultivated mind
is drawn to the beautiful by acquired æsthetic taste. His estimate of
Dante, as published in the _New American Cyclopædia_ and afterward in
_Among my Books_, fills the thoughtful Italian student with amazement.
He is a critic of words, and is childishly led by a bright figure or
exquisite metaphor. Emerson, whilst seeming to disregard words, pays
profound attention to their collocation and effectiveness. This school
is not a school of thoughts but of words; and it is under this aspect
that we intend examining it. It is the thorough embodiment of poor
Hamlet’s objection to the book which he is reading: “Words, words,
words.” We read and read, and are charmed with Thucydidean terseness and
Solomonic wisdom; but when we begin to reflect “all the riches have
escaped out of our hands.” It is about time to expose this wily old
philosopher, who has been throwing rhetorical dust into the eyes of
several generations. He may have a noble manhood; he may be sincere; but
there can be no question that it is the _ignotum pro magnifico_ which
has been the cheap cause of his popularity.

Thomas à Kempis tells us that “words fly through the air and hurt not a
stone.” There is certainly no objection to a writer’s careful
elaboration of his style. The study of words is a part of rhetoric. But
there is a subtle and elusive application of words, outside of their
obvious and generally-used meaning, which is at once a rhetorical and a
logical vice. And as ideas fail, so words are sedulously cultivated. The
style is the man, as Buffon did _not_ say; but what of an affected
style? If there is any truth in the saying, it convicts Emerson of being
stilted, unnatural, and affected. No man thinks by jerks and starts, and
no man writes so. The fanciful and abrupt indicate either affectation or
an unbalanced intellect. All the great philosophers write calmly and
equably. The sustained strength of Plato, on whom Emerson professes to
model himself, is in direct contrast with the abruptness of Seneca, who
was a mass of conceit and hypocrisy. We have no quarrel with Mr. Emerson
on account of his studied style; only, with Sydney Smith, we object to a
discourse in which are hung out preconcerted signals for tears or
excitement. It is quite easy to form a quaint style. The success of
Charles Lamb’s imitation of Sir Thomas Browne, or of Bret Harte’s or
Thackeray’s burlesques of popular novels, shows how quickly a ready
writer can fall into a philosophical diction. Emerson attempts the
epigrammatic. Like Pythagoras, he disdains reasons. The _ipse dixit_, he
supposes, will suffice for his disciples. He contradicts himself on his
very self-satisfactory theory of “not being in any mood long.” He
admires opposite characters; but, to the credit of American good sense
be it said—good sense even in a _philosophe_—he does not “boil over,”
like Carlyle, in all sorts of oddities of hero-worship. The Yankee hard
head which he has cannot be softened by all the philosophy and poetry in
the world; and, notwithstanding his ethereal views, he drives a hard

Can we review this philosopher to the satisfaction of our readers, or
must they peruse him themselves in order to form a vague idea of his

It may be Emerson’s boast that he has no system. This restlessness under
any, even nominal, _régime_ is a characteristic of contemporaneous
philosophy outside the church. There is liberty enough in the church;
and, in fact, beyond it we see nothing but imprisonment, for nothing so
practically chains the intellect of man as irresponsible freedom. It is
like the liberty of the ocean enjoyed (?) by a mariner without sails or
compass. A Catholic philosopher can speculate as much as he pleases. The
security of the faith gives him a delightful sense of safe freedom. Like
O’Connell’s driving a coach and four through an act of Parliament, he
may go to the outermost verge of speculation. St. Thomas moves the most
outrageous fallacies, speculations, and objections, and discusses them,
too, with all the boldness of intellectual freedom. It is Dr. Marshall,
we think, who shows that all intellectual activity and freedom are
enjoyed within the spacious bounds of Catholic truth. Even in theology
there are wide differences. The Catholic intellect is supposed to be
completely bridled. We once read a powerful arraignment of our
Scriptural proofs for purgatory, written by an eminent Protestant
theologian. He must have been surprised to learn that Catholic
theologians do not attach all importance to the Scriptural argument for
purgatory. The different schools of Catholic theology argue _pro_ and
_con_. as keenly as old Dr. Johnson himself would have desired, but
without the slightest detriment to the unity of the faith. Nothing can
be falser than the received Protestant notion that we are helplessly
bound by a network of petty definitions and regulations. There are,
however, great and immovable principles which are understood to guide
and vivify the Catholic intellect. And such systemization is necessary
to all knowledge. Without it a man’s mind, like Emerson’s, wanders
comet-like, attracting attention by its vagaries, but is of no
intelligible use to the universe, and gives no light, except of a
nebulous and perplexing nature.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, who, of all American writers, had the true
transcendental mind, ridicules it unsparingly. His doleful experience
upon Brook Farm, when he attempted to milk a cow, may have had a
practical awakening effect upon his dreams. In a little sketch entitled
_The Celestial Railroad_, in which he whimsically carries out Bunyan’s
_Pilgrim’s Progress_, he introduces Giant Transcendentalism, who has
taken the place of Giant Pope, and Giant Despair, that interrupted
Christian’s progress to the Delectable Mountains. Giant
Transcendentalism is a huge, amorphous monster, utterly indescribable,
and speaking an unintelligible language. This language, which Emerson
strives to make articulate, we read with mingled amusement and
astonishment in the German writers. Emerson is not a member of the
_Kulturkampf_, like Carlyle. His mind does not take in their wild
rhapsodies. His essay on Goethe (in _Representative Men_) is cold and
unappreciative when compared with the Scotchman’s eulogies. We firmly
believe that no healthy intellect can feed upon Fichte, Schelling,
Hegel, or even Kant, who was the most luminous intellect of the group.
Emerson has not the stolid pertinacity of Herr Teufelsdröckh. His genius
is French. He delights in paradox and verbal gymnastics. Carlyle works
with a sort of furious patience at such a prosaic career as Frederick
the Great’s. He gets up a factitious enthusiasm about German _Herzhogs_
and _Erstfursts_. Emerson would look with dainty disdain upon his
Cyclopean work among big, dusty, musty folios and the hammering out of
shining sentences from such pig-iron.

Whence his transcendentalism? We believe that it has two elements,
nature-worship and Swedenborgianism. Of nature-worship we have very
little. Like Thomson, the author of the _Seasons_, who wrote the finest
descriptions of scenery in bed at ten o’clock in the morning, we are
frightfully indifferent to the glories of earth, sea, and sky, whilst
theoretically capable of intense rapture. This tendency to adore nature,
and this intense modern cultivation of the natural sciences, we take as
indicative of the husks of religion given by Protestantism. Man’s
intellect seeks the certain, and where he cannot find it in the
supernatural he will have recourse to the natural. The profound
attention paid to all the mechanical and natural sciences, to the
exclusion, if not denial, of supernatural religion, is the logical
result of the absurdity of Protestantism. Perhaps Emerson’s poetic
feeling has much to do with his profound veneration for fate, nature,
and necessity, which are his true god, with a very little
Swedenborgianism to modify them.

And here we meet him on his philosophy of words. A word, according to
St. Thomas, should be the _adæquatio rei et intellectus_, for a word is
really the symbol and articulation of truth. Where words convey no clear
or precise idea to the mind they are virtually false. The terminology of
Emerson falls even below Carlyle’s in obscurity. What does he mean by
the one-soul? What by compensation? What by fate and necessity? _Explica
terminos_ is the command of logic and reason; yet he maunders on in
vague and extravagant speech, using terms which it is very probable he
himself only partly or arbitrarily understands. He is not master of his
own style. His own words hurry him along. This fatal bondage to style
spoils his best thoughts. He seems to aim at striking phrases and ends
in paradox. His very attempt to strengthen and compress his sentences
weakens and obscures his meaning. The oracular style does not carry
well. He is happiest where he does not don the prophetic or poetical
mantle. When we get a glimpse of his shrewd character, he is as gay as a
lark and sharp as a fox. He muffles himself in transcendentalism, but
fails to hide his clear sense, which he cannot entirely bury or
obfuscate. It seems strange to us that such a mind could be permanently
influenced by the fantasies of Swedenborg, whom he calls a mystic, but
who, very probably, was a madman. The pure mysticism of the Catholic
Church is not devoid of what to those who have not the light to read it
may seem to wear a certain air of extravagance, which, apparently, would
be no objection to Emerson; but it is kept within strict rational bounds
by the doctrinal authority of the church. We do not suppose that Emerson
ever thought it worth his while to study the mystic or ascetic theology
of the church, though here and there in his writings he refers to the
example of saints, and quotes their sayings and doings. But it must be a
strange mental state that passively admits the wild speculations of
Swedenborgianism with its gross ideas of heaven and its fanciful
interpretations of Scripture. Besides, Emerson clearly rejects the
divinity of Jesus Christ, which is extravagantly (if we may use the
expression) set forth in Swedenborgianism, to the exclusion of the
Father and the Holy Ghost. He is, or was, a Unitarian, and his allusions
to our Blessed Lord have not even the reverence of Carlyle.

Naturalism, as used in the sense of the Vatican decrees, is the proper
word to apply to the Emersonian teaching. He has the Yankee
boastfulness, materialistic spirit, and general laudation of the natural
powers. His transcendentalism has few of the spiritual elements of
German thought. He does not believe in contemplation, but stimulates to
activity. In his earlier essays he seemed pantheistic, but his last book
(_Society and Solitude_) affirmed his doubt and implicit denial of
immortality. He appears to be a powerful personality, for he has
certainly influenced many of the finer minds of New England, and, no
doubt, he leads a noble and intellectual life. His exquisite æstheticism
takes away the grossness of the results to which his naturalistic
philosophy leads, and it is with regret that we note in him that
intellectual pride which effectually shuts his mind even to the gentlest
admonitions and enlightenments of divine grace.

It is a compliment to our rather sparse American authorship and
scholarship that England regards him as the typical American thinker and
writer. We do not so regard him ourselves, for his genius lacks the
sturdy American originality and reverent spirit. But Emerson made a very
favorable impression upon Englishmen when he visited their island, and
he wrote the best book on England (_English Traits_) that, perhaps, any
American ever produced. The quiet dignity and native independence of the
book charmed John Bull, who was tired of our snobbish eulogiums of
himself and institutions. Emerson met many literary men, who afterward
read his books and praised his style. He has the air of boldness and the
courage of his opinions. Now and then he invents a striking phrase which
sets one a-thinking. He has also in perfection the art of quoting, and
his whole composition betokens the artist and scholar.

There is a high, supersensual region, imagination, fantasy, or
soul-life, in which he loves to disport, and to which he gives the
strangest names. One grows a little ashamed of what he deems his own
unimaginativeness when he encounters our philosopher “bestriding these
lazy-pacing clouds.” He wonders at the “immensities, eternities, and
fates” that seem to exert such wondrous powers. When Emerson gets into
this strain he quickly disappears either in the clouds or in a burrow,
according to the taste and judgment of different readers. There is often
a fine feeling in these passages which we can understand yet not
express. Sublime they are not, though obscurity may be considered one of
the elements of sublimity. They are emotional. Emerson belongs rather to
the sensualistic school; at least, he ascribes abounding power to the
feelings, and, in fact, he is too heated and enthusiastic for the
coldness and calmness exacted by philosophical speculation. Many of his
essays read like violent sermons; and his worst ones are those in which
he attempts to carry out a ratiocination. He is dictatorial. He
announces but does not prove. He appears at times to be in a Pythonic
fury, and proclaims his oracles with much excitement and contortion. It
is impossible to analyze an essay, or hold on to the filmy threads by
which his thoughts hang together. It is absurd to call him a philosopher
who has neither system, clearness of statement, nor accuracy of thought.

It is a subject of gratulation that Emerson, who has been before New
England for the past half-century, has wielded a generally beneficial
influence. With his powers and opportunities he might have done
incalculable harm; but the weight of his authority has been thrown upon
the side of general morality and natural development of strength of
character. We know, of course, how little merely natural motives and
powers avail toward the building up of character; but it is not against
faith to hold that a good disposition and virtuous frame of mind may
result from purely natural causes. He has preached the purest gospel of
naturalism, shrinking at once from the bold and impious counsellings of
Goethe and from the muscularity of Carlyle. He has given us, in himself,
glimpses of a noble character, and his ideals have been lofty and pure.
New England could not have had a better apostle, humanly and naturally
speaking. Its cultivated and rational minds turned in horror and disgust
from its rigid Calvinism, its _outré_ religious frenzies, and its sordid
and prosaic life. They found a voice and interpreter in Emerson. He
marks the recoil from unscriptural, irrational, and unnatural religion.

Puritanism, always unlovely, despotic, and gloomy, began to lose its
hold even upon the second generation of the Puritans. Its life will
never be thoroughly revealed to the sunshiny Catholic mind. Perhaps its
ablest exponent was Nathaniel Hawthorne, who, in the _Scarlet Letter_,
revealed its possibilities and, in fact, actualities of hideousness. We
have no fault to find with any elements of stern self-control or ascetic
character that it might develop, but its effect on the intellect was
darkening and crippling. The whole Puritan exodus from England was a
suppressed and blinding excitement. The rebound from their harsh and
unbending discipline was terrific. The frowning-down of all amusement,
the irritating espionage over private life, the high-strung religious
enthusiasm which it was necessary to simulate if not feel, the abnormal
development of ministerial power and influence, and the baleful gloom of
Calvinistic doctrine, were elements that had necessarily to be
destroyed, or they would madden a nation. They could no more endure, if
it were possible to extirpate them, than could a colony of rabid dogs.
Human nature, as created by God, tends to preserve the primal type. It
asserts its functions, its rights, its powers, and its aptitudes. After
a century, in which religious intolerance ruled New England with a rod
of iron, the long-pent-up storm burst with indescribable fury and
scattered orthodoxy to the four winds. The people breathed more freely;
the atmosphere cleared; there was a healthy interchange of sentiment.
The predominance of public-school education, combining with the
multiplication of books, developed that crude and half-formed culture
which has characterized New England to the present day. The
best-educated portion of the Union, filled with all the insolence of a
little learning, aspired to rule the nation, and succeeded. Its ideas
were zealously propagated. Wherever a Yankee settled he planted all New
England around him. The peddler did not need religion, but the
philosopher did. The culture of æsthetics engaged some; others went off
into Socinianism. The doctrines of Fourierism had charms for many, among
whom was Emerson. He longed for an ideal life. The country was not
leavened then, as now, by the solid thought and practice of Catholicity.
The mystic radiance and grace of the Adorable Sacrament did not sweetly
pervade the whole atmosphere of the land. Satan was busy and jubilant.
The strangest and most eccentric forms of religion sprang up like rank
mushroom growths, with neither beauty nor wholesome nutriment. It was
then that Emerson’s call to a high manhood seemed to have the right ring
in it. At least, it attracted and fixed the wandering attention of New
England. For many a winter he lectured, speaking great words, the heroic
wisdom of old Plutarch and the practical sense and insight of Montaigne.
His fine scholarship won the scholars and his homely maxims charmed the
farmers. It was well that in that dreary, chaotic period there was a
brave and bold speaker who did not entirely despair of humanity, even
when he and his companions had broken adrift from their anchorage in the
rotten and worn-out systems of Protestant theology.

The grace of the faith has thus far escaped the Concord philosopher, but
who shall speak of the ways of God? The theologian will solve you
quickly all questions in his noble science, except questions upon the
tract of grace. There he hesitates, for the most intimate and personal
communications of God with the soul take place in the mystery of grace.
Every man has his own _tractatus de gratia_ written upon his own heart
in the all-beautiful handwriting of God, sealing us, as St. Paul says,
and writing upon us the mark that distinguishes us as his beloved. It is
the miserable consequence of the New England system of early education,
which inheres in a man’s very spirit, that it perversely misrepresents
the Catholic Church. It is simply astounding how little Americans know
about our divine faith. They have never deemed it worth their while to
examine it, taking it for granted that all that is said against it is
true. We remember, as a boy, reading Peter Parley’s histories, which
were very popular in New England, and not a page was free from some
misrepresentation of the church. Emerson classes “Romanism” with a
half-dozen absurd theories; which goes to show that he has not even
reached that point of culture which, according to its advocates,
understands and embraces all the great creeds of humanity, in their best
and most universal truth.

Mr. Emerson is now in the sere and yellow leaf, and it is to be feared
that his intellectual pride, and that nauseating flattery which
weak-minded people assiduously pay to men of great intellectual
attainments, have left in him a habit of vanity which is fatal to truth.
We have known very able men who were prevented from seeing the truth of
Catholicity by the dense clouds of incense that their admirers
continually wafted before their shrines. The fulness of divine faith
which he lacks, and for which he seems mournfully to cry out, is in the
happy possession of the humblest child of the Catholic religion; not, as
he would think, merely instinctive or the result of education, but
living and logical, the gift and grace of the Holy Ghost. Emerson is no
theologian, though once a Protestant minister, which fact, however,
would not argue much for his theology. But he has a heroic and poetic
mind whose native strength manifests itself even in the very eccentric
orbit through which it passes.

                            PAPAL ELECTIONS.

In view of the sad affliction which has so recently befallen the church
in the demise of Pope Pius IX.—now of happy memory—we shall preface this
article on papal elections with a brief account of the ceremonies that
follow upon the death of a Sovereign Pontiff.

As soon as the pope has breathed his last amidst the consolations of
religion, and after making his profession of faith in presence of the
cardinal grand-penitentiary—who usually administers the last
sacraments—and of the more intimate members of his court, the
cardinal-chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, accompanied and assisted
by the right reverend clerks of the apostolic chamber, takes possession
of the palace and causes a careful inventory to be made of everything
that is found in the papal apartments.[30] He then proceeds to the
chamber of death, in which the pope still lies, and, viewing the body,
assures himself, and instructs a notary to certify to the fact, that he
is really dead. He also receives from the grand chamberlain of the
court—_Monsignor Maestro di Camera_—a purse containing the Fisherman’s
ring which His Holiness had used in life. The cardinal, who, by virtue
of his office of chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, has become the
executive of the government, sends an order to the senator of Rome, who
is always a layman and member of one of the great patrician families, to
have the large bell of the Capitol tower tolled, at which lugubrious
signal the bells of all the churches throughout the city are sounded.
Twenty-four hours after death the body of the pope is embalmed, and lies
in state, dressed in the ordinary or domestic costume, upon a bed
covered with cloth of crimson and gold, the pious offices of washing and
dressing the body being performed by the penitentiaries or confessors of
the Vatican basilica, who are always Minor Conventuals of the Franciscan
Order. It is next removed to the Sistine Chapel, where it is laid out,
clothed in the pontifical vestments, on a couch surrounded with burning
tapers and watched by a detachment of the Swiss Guard. On the following
day the cardinals and chapter of St. Peter assemble in the Sistine and
accompany the transport of the body to the chapel of the Blessed
Sacrament in the Vatican basilica, where it remains exposed for three
days, the feet protruding a little through an opening in the iron
railing which closes the chapel, that the faithful may approach
and kiss the embroidered slipper. The nine days of funeral
services—_Novendialia_—which the Roman ceremonial prescribes for the
pope now begin. These are his public obsequies. For the first six days
the cardinals and prelates of the court and Holy See assemble daily in
the choir chapel of the canons of St. Peter, where, the Office for the
Dead being chanted, a cardinal says Mass; but during the remaining three
days the services are performed around an elevated and magnificent
catafalque which in the meanwhile has been silently erected in the great
nave of the basilica. This structure is a perfect work of art in its
way, every part of it being carefully designed with relation to its
solemn purpose, and in harmony of form and proportions with the vast
edifice in which it is reared. It is illustrated by Latin inscriptions
and by paintings of the most remarkable scenes of the late pontificate,
and adorned with allegorical statues. A detachment of the Noble Guard
stands there motionless as though carved in stone. Over the whole is
suspended a life-size portrait of the pope. A thousand candles of yellow
wax and twenty enormous torches in golden candelabra burn day and night
around it. On each of these three days five cardinals in turn give the
grand absolutions, and on the ninth day a funeral oration is pronounced
by some one—often a bishop, or always at least a prelate of distinction
whom the Sacred College has chosen for the occasion. In former days the
cardinal nephew or relative of the deceased had the privilege, often of
great importance for the future reputation of the pontiff and the
present splendor of his family, raised to princely rank, of selecting
the envied orator. Ere this, however, the final dispositions of the
pope’s body have been made. On the evening of the third day, the public
having been excluded from the basilica, the cardinal-chamberlain,
cardinals created by the late pope, clerks of the chamber and chapter of
St. Peter, headed by monsignor the vicar—who is always an archbishop _in
partibus_—vested in pontificals, assemble in the chapel of the Blessed
Sacrament, in which the pope still lies in state. The body is then
reverently enfolded in the gold and crimson cover of the couch, and
taken up to be laid in a cypress-wood coffin, into which are also put
three red purses containing medals of gold, silver, and bronze, as many
of each sort as there were years of the pontificate, bearing the pope’s
effigy on one side, and a design commemorative of some act of his
temporal or spiritual government on the other. If there should be a
relative of the late pope among the cardinals, he covers the face with a
white linen veil, otherwise this last office of respect is performed by
the major-domo. When the coffin has been closed it is placed inside of a
leaden case, which is immediately soldered and sealed, while the metal
is hot, with the arms of the cardinal-chamberlain and major-domo. A
brief inscription is cut at once on the face of this metal case, giving
simply the name, years of his reign, and date of death. The coffin and
case are now enclosed in a plain wooden box, which is covered with a red
pall ornamented with golden fringes and an embroidered cross, and
carried in sad procession to the uniform temporary resting-place which
every pope occupies in turn in St. Peter’s, in a simple sarcophagus of
marbled stucco which is set into the wall at some distance above and
slightly overhanging the floor of the church, on the left-hand side of
the entrance to the choir chapel. A painter is at hand to trace the name
of the pope and the Latin initials of the words High Pontiff—_Pius IX.,
P.M._ Before the pope’s body is taken up from the chapel of the Blessed
Sacrament, some workmen, under the direction of the prelates and
officers of the congregation for the supervision of St.
Peter’s—_Reverenda Fabrica di San Pietro_—have broken in the sarcophagus
at the top and removed its contents (which in this case were those of
Gregory XVI., who had been there since 1846) to the crypt under the
basilica until consigned to the tomb prepared, but not always in St.
Peter’s, either by the pope himself before his death[31] or by his
family or by the cardinals of his creation, and the new claimant for
repose takes his place there.

During the nine days that the obsequies of the pope continue the
cardinals assemble every morning in the sacristy of St. Peter’s to
arrange all matters of government for the States of the Church and the
details of the approaching conclave. These meetings are called general
congregations. At them the bulls and ordinances relating to papal
elections are read, and the cardinals swear to observe them; the
Fisherman’s ring and the large metal seal used for bulls are broken by
the first master of ceremonies; two orators are chosen, one for the
funeral oration and the other for the conclave; all briefs and memorials
not finally acted upon are consigned to a clerk of the chamber, etc.,
etc. On the tenth day the cardinals assemble in the forenoon in the
choir chapel of St. Peter’s, where the dean of the Sacred College
pontificates at a votive Mass of the Holy Ghost, after which the orator
of the conclave—who, if a bishop, wears amice, cope, and mitre—is
introduced into the chapel, and, after making the proper reverences,
ascends a decorated pulpit and holds forth on the subject of electing an
excellent pontiff: the pope is dead; long live the pope; the Papacy
never dies![32]

After the sermon and the singing by the papal choir of the first strophe
of the hymn _Veni Creator_, the cardinals ascend in procession to the
Pauline Chapel in the Vatican palace, where the dean recites aloud
before the altar the prayer _Deus qui corda fidelium_, and afterwards
addresses his brethren on the great business which they are about to
engage in, exhorting them to lay aside all human motives and perform
their duty without fear or favor of any man. All the persons who are to
remain in conclave, as the prelates, custodians, conclavists or
attendants on the cardinals, physicians, barbers, servants, are passed
in review, and take an oath not to speak even among themselves of
matters concerning the election. Every avenue leading into the conclave,
except the eight loop-holes or windows, as mentioned in a former
article, are carefully closed by masons; one door, however, is left
standing to admit any late-coming cardinal, or let out any one expelled
from, or for whatever cause obliged to leave, the conclave. It is locked
on the outside by the prince-marshal, and on the inside by the
cardinal-chamberlain, both of whom retain the key of their own side. The
lock is so combined that it requires both keys to open the door. On the
following day the cardinal-dean says a votive Mass _de Spiritu Sancto_,
at which all the cardinals in stoles receive Holy Communion from his
hands.... _Fervet opus_....

                  *       *       *       *       *

As soon as the cardinal upon whom the requisite two-thirds of all the
votes cast have centred consents to his election, he becomes pope. This
consent is absolutely necessary, and, although the Sacred College
threatened Innocent II. (Papareschi, 1130-1143) with excommunication if
he did not accept,[33] it is now admitted that no one can be constrained
to take upon himself such a burden as the Sovereign Pontificate.

Thirty-eight popes, from St. Cornelius, in 254, to Benedict XIII., in
1724, are recorded in history as having positively refused to accept the
election, although they were afterwards induced by various motives,
however much against their own inclinations, to ratify it. As soon as he
has answered in the affirmative to the question of the cardinal-dean,
proposed in the following very ancient formula: _Acceptasne electionem
de te canonicè factam in Summum Pontificem?_ the first master of
ceremonies, turning to certain persons around him, calls upon them in an
audible voice to bear witness to the fact.[34] The new pope then retires
and is dressed in the ordinary or domestic costume of the Holy Father,
three suits of which, of different sizes, are ready made, and disposed
in the dressing-room for the elect to choose from. It consists of white
stockings, cassock and sash with gold tassels, white collar and
skull-cap, red mozzetta, stole, and shoes. He then takes his seat on a
throne and receives the first homage—_adoratio prima_—of the cardinals,
who, kneeling before him, kiss his foot and afterwards his hand, and,
standing, receive from him the kiss of peace on the cheek. We see, from
the ceremonial composed in the thirteenth century by Cardinal Savelli,
that the present custom is not very different from the mediæval one;
for, speaking of the pope’s election, he says: _Quo facto ab episcopis
cardinalibus ad sedem ducitur post altare, et in ea, ut dignum est,
collocatur; in qua dum sedet electus recipit omnes episcopos cardinales,
et quos sibi placuerit ad pedes, postmodum ad osculum pacis._ The custom
of kissing the pope’s foot is so ancient that no certain date can be
assigned for its introduction. It very probably began in the time of St.
Peter himself, to whom the faithful gave this mark of profound
reverence, which they have continued towards all his successors—always,
however, having been instructed to do so with an eye to God, of whom the
pope is vicar. In which connection most beautiful was the answer of Leo
X. to Francis I. of France, who, as Rinaldi relates (_Annal. Eccles._,
an. 1487, num. 30), having gone to Bologna, humbly knelt before him and
kissed his foot, _se lætissimum dicens, quod videret facie ad faciem
Pontificem Vicarium Christi Jesu_. “Thanks,” said Leo, “but refer all
this to God himself”—_Omnia hæc in Deum transferens, et omnia Deo
tribuens_. To make this _relative_ worship more apparent a cross has
always been embroidered on the shoes since the pontificate of that most
humble pope, St. Gregory the Great, in the year 590. It is curious to
read of the objection made to this custom by Basil, Tzar of Muscovy, to
Father Anthony Possevinus, S.J., who was sent to Russia on a religious
and diplomatic mission by Gregory XIII. in the sixteenth century. His
eloquent defence of the custom, appealing, too, to prophecy,[35] is
found in the printed account of his embassy (_Moscovia_, Cologne, 1587,
in fol.)

When the pope is dressed in the pontifical costume he receives on his
finger a new Fisherman’s ring, which he immediately removes and hands to
one of the masters of ceremonies to have engraved upon it the name which
he has assumed. The popes have three special rings for their use. The
first is generally a rather plain gold one with an intaglio or a cameo
ornament; this is called the papal ring. The second one, called the
pontifical ring, because used only when the pope pontificates or
officiates at grand ceremonies, is an exceedingly precious one. The one
worn on these occasions by Pius IX., and which his successor will
doubtless also use, was made during the reign of Pius VII., whose name
is cut on the inside. It is of the purest gold, of remarkably fine
workmanship, set with a very large oblong diamond. It cost thirty
thousand francs (about $6,000), and has a contrivance on the inside by
which it can be made larger or smaller to fit the wearer’s finger.
(Barraud, _Des Bagues à toutes les Époques_. Paris, 1864.) The
Fisherman’s ring, which is so called because it has a figure of St.
Peter in a bark throwing his net into the sea (Matthew iv. 18, 19), is a
plain gold ring with an oval face, bearing the name of the reigning pope
engraved around and above the figure of the apostle, thus: _Leo XIII.,
Pont. Max_. On the inside are cut the names of the engraver and of the
major-domo. The ring weighs an ounce and a half. It is the official seal
of the popes, but, although the first among the rings, it is only the
second in the class of seals, since it serves as the privy seal or papal
signet for apostolic briefs and matters of lesser consequence, whereas
the great seal of the Holy See is used to stamp the heads of SS. Peter
and Paul in lead, and sometimes, but rarely, in gold, on papal bulls.
This ring was at first a private and not an official one, as we learn
from a letter written at Perugia on March 7, 1265, by Clement IV. to his
nephew Peter Le Gros, in which he says that he writes to him and to his
other relatives, not _sub bulla, sed sub piscatoris sigillo, quo Romani
Pontifices in suis secretis utuntur_. From this it would appear that
such a ring was already in well-known use, but it cannot be determined
at what period it was introduced, or precisely when it became official,
although it is certain that it was given this character in the fifteenth
century; but another hundred years passed before it became customary to
mention its use in every document on which the seal was impressed by the
now familiar expression, “Given under the Fisherman’s ring,” which is
first met with in the manner of a curial formula in a brief given by
Nicholas V. on the 15th of April, 1448: _Datum Romæ, apud Sanctum
Petrum, sub annulo Piscatoris, die xv. Aprilis, MCCCCXLVIII.,
pontificatus nostri II._[36]

Briefs are no more sealed with the _original_ ring, which is always in
the keeping of the pope’s grand chamberlain, who, as we have said,
delivers it to the cardinal-camerlengo on the pope’s decease, to be
broken in the first general congregation preliminary to the conclave,
according to a custom dating from the death of Leo X. A fac-simile is
preserved in the _Secretaria de’ Brevi_ which serves in its stead; but
since June, 1842, red sealing-wax, because too brittle and effaceable,
is no longer used, but in its place a thick red ink or pigment is
employed. _Briefs_ are pontifical writs or diplomas written on thin,
soft parchment and more _abbreviated_ than bulls, and treating of
matters of less importance, requiring, therefore, briefer
consideration[37]—whence, perhaps, they derive their distinctive name,
although it has been suggested that the word comes from the German
_Brief_, a letter, and was introduced into Rome from the imperial court
during the middle ages. They are signed by the cardinal secretary of
briefs, and differ from bulls in their manner of dating and their forms
of beginning and ending. Their heading always contains the name of the
reigning pope and the venerable formula, _Salutem et apostolicam
benedictionem_, which was first used by Pope John V. in the year 685.
When the pope sends a brief to a person who is not baptized he
substitutes for this form the other one, _Lumen divinæ gratiæ_. Both
briefs and bulls are always dated from the basilica nearest to which the
pope resides at the time; thus, we understand why the brief erecting the
diocese of Baltimore was dated (6th of November, 1789) from St. Mary
Major’s, although Pius VI. was then living at the Quirinal palace.
Another of the very ancient and venerable forms used by the popes is
_Servus servorum Dei_—Servant of the servants of God. It is a title
first assumed by St. Gregory the Great in the sixth century as a hint to
the arrogant patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, who had taken
the designation of _universal bishop_, which belongs only to the Roman
Pontiff: “Whoever will be first among you shall be servant of all” (Mark
x. 44).

As soon as the cardinal who has been elected gives his assent to the
election, the cardinal-dean asks him what name he would wish to take.
This custom of assuming a new name is very old, and has been much
disputed about by writers on papal matters. The great Baronius has
expressed the opinion in his _Ecclesiastical Annals_ that John XII., who
was previously called Octavian, was the first to make the change, which
he did probably out of regard for his uncle, who was Pope John XI.
Cardinal Borgia has observed in this connection, as showing that the
change of name was yet a singularity, that the pope used to sign himself
_Octavian_ in matters relating to his temporal, and _John_ in those
relating to his spiritual, government. Martinus Polonus started a fable
that Sergius II., elected in 844, was the one who first changed his
name, because known by the inelegant appellation of Pigsnout—_Bocca di
Porco_; but the truth is, as Muratori says in one of his dissertations
on Italian antiquities (_Antiquitatum Italic._, tom. iii. dissert. xli.
p. 764), that Sergius IV. (1009-1012), and not Sergius II., had this
only for a surname or sobriquet, as was commonly given in that age at
Rome, but was baptized Peter. He changed his name, indeed, according to
the custom then becoming established as a rule, but, as Baronius
observes, not _ob turpitudinem nominis (Os porci), sed reverentiæ causa:
cum enim ille_ PETRUS _vocaretur, indignum putavit eodem se vocari
nomine, quo Christus primum ejus sedis Pontificem, Principem
Apostolorum, ex Simone Petrum nominaverat_. It has long been usual for
the new pope to take the name of the pope who made him cardinal. There
have been, however, several exceptions even in these later times. In
some special cases, as in the signature to the originals of bulls, the
pope retains his original Christian name, but, like all sovereigns, he
omits his family name in every case. There have also been exceptions to
this change, and both Adrian VI. and Marcellus II. kept their own
names—the only two, however, who have done so in over eight hundred

The word pope—in Latin _Papa_, and by initials _PP._—was once common to
all bishops, and even to simple priests and clerics; but when certain
schismatics of the eleventh century began to use it in a sense opposed
to the supreme fatherhood of the Roman Pontiffs over all the faithful,
clergy as well as people, it was reserved as a title of honor to the
bishops of Rome exclusively. Cardinal Baronius says, in a note to the
Roman Martyrology, that St. Gregory VII. held a synod in Rome against
the schismatics in the year 1073, in which it was decreed “_inter alia
plura, ut _PAPÆ_ Nomen unicum esset in universo orbe Christiano, nec
liceret alicui seipsum, vel alium eo nomine appellare_.”[38] Another
singularity about one of the pope’s titles deserves to be noted. The
word _Dominus_ in Latin—lord—was originally used only of Almighty God,
and a contracted form—_Domnus_—was employed in speaking of saints,
bishops, and persons of consideration; but in course of time, although a
vestige of the once universal custom still lingers in the _Jube Domne
benedicere_ of the Office recited in choir, the term _Domnus_ came to be
specially reserved to the Roman Pontiff, for whom we pray in the litany
as _Domnum Apostolicum_. Cancellieri, who, as usual, has sought out an
abstruse subject, gives everything that can be said upon the matter in
his _Lettera sopra l’Origine Delle Parole Dominus e Domnus e Del Titolo
Don che Suol Darsi ai Sacerdoti ai Monaci ed a Molti Regolari_. In Roma,

Footnote 30:

  The apostolic chamber, called in Rome the _Reverenda Camera
  Apostolica_, dates from the pontificate of Leo the Great, who
  constructed in the year 440 a small but elegant suite of chambers
  which served as a sanctuary for the bodies of the apostles SS. Peter
  and Paul until proper crypts, called _Confessions_, had been prepared
  for them beneath the high altars of their respective basilicas at the
  Vatican and on the Ostian Way. When these relics had been deposited in
  their present resting-places, the Leonine sanctuary was used, as a
  strong and venerable place, to contain the public treasury of the Holy
  See, which was given into the safe-keeping of certain officials called
  _camerarii_. Their successors are the present _chierici di camera_,
  who are eight in number and form one of the great prelatic colleges of
  Rome. The present institution was reorganized by Pope Urban V. in the
  fourteenth century. The cardinal-chamberlain is _ex officio_ its head,
  and it acts as a board of control over the finances.

Footnote 31:

  It is known to all visitors to Rome that Pius IX. prepared a beautiful
  tomb for himself before the high altar of St. Mary Major’s.

Footnote 32:

  Roman bibliophilists anxious to possess—what is rare indeed—a complete
  set (_una biblioteca_, as the Italians say) of the funeral orations
  pronounced over the popes, and of the hortatory discourses addressed
  to the Sacred College about to enter conclave, eagerly contend at
  book-sales for these pamphlets, which are always in the choicest Latin
  of the age, and sometimes have a sentimental value on account of the
  subsequent fortunes, or misfortunes, of their authors. They are much
  more than mere literary curiosities for book-worms to feed upon. The
  form of the title-page, excepting of course in proper names and dates,
  is about the same in all; for instance, _Oratio habita ad Collegium
  Cardinalium in funere Innocentii IX., Pont. Max., vi. Id. Januarii,
  1592_: Romæ, 1592, in 4to: by Father Giustiniani, a famous Jesuit; and
  _Oratio habita in Basilica SS. Apostolorum Petri et Pauli pridie
  Kalend. Aprilis, 1721, ad Emos. et Rmos. cardinales conclave
  ingressuros pro Summo Pontifice eligendo_: Romæ, ex Typographia
  Vaticana, 1721, in 4to: by Camillo de Mari, Bishop of Aria.

Footnote 33:

  Arnulfus of Seez apud Muratori, _Rerum Italicarum Scriptores_, tom.
  iii. p. 429, says that on this occasion the cardinals told the elect
  of their choice: _Si acquiescis, exhibemus obsequium; si recusas,
  exigimus de inobedientia pœnam_; and on his still hesitating _parabant
  excommunicationis præferre sententiam_.

Footnote 34:

  This notarial function which the first master of ceremonies here
  performs is the reason why he is always an apostolic prothonotary; but
  his title to this prelatic rank rests entirely on _custom_, since he
  is not appointed by papal brief, as others are. It is by a similar
  analogy, although in matters theological, that the master of the
  Sacred Palace, who is always a Dominican, ranks with the auditors of
  the _Rota_.

Footnote 35:

  “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nurses: they shall
  worship thee with their face toward the earth, and they shall lick up
  the dust of thy feet.”—Isaias xlix. 23, which St. Jerome interprets of
  the apostles; but in Peter’s successors all honors and prerogatives
  continue. A very learned writer of the last century, Gaetano Cenni,
  has gone profoundly into the historical and antiquarian part of this
  singular and most venerable custom, in his dissertation _Sul Bacio De’
  Piedi Del Romano Pontefice_, which is the thirty-fourth of the third
  volume of Zaccaria’s great collection of dissertations on subjects of
  ecclesiastical history—_Raccolta Di Dissertazioni Di Storia
  Ecclesiastica_.... Per cura Di Francesco Antonio Zaccaria, etc.
  Seconda edizione. Four vols. Rome, 1841.

Footnote 36:

  The celebrated antiquarian Cancellieri has written with his usual
  diffuseness and erudition on this matter in a little work, _Notizie
  sopra l’Origine e l’uso dell’ Anello Pescatorio_, etc., etc.,
  published at Rome in 1823.

Footnote 37:

  Briefs, says the learned Benedictine Mabillon, _De Re Diplomaticâ_
  (lib. ii. cap. xiv.), _brevi via, seu manu, remotis omnibus ambagibus,
  absolvuntur; quippe quæ a Pontifice, ut plurimum sponte et absque rei
  longa discussione conficiuntur_.

Footnote 38:

  We had the good fortune once to pick up at a book-sale in Rome for a
  few cents a rare and curious little book on this topic, which gives
  the very marrow of the subject in a very agreeable form: _Lettera di
  A. L. Nuzzi, Prelato Domestico Del Sommo Pontefice Sull’ Origine ed
  Uso Del Nome PAPA_. Padova, 1 Settembre, MDCCXCVIII.

                              PALM SUNDAY.

    Claiming the hill-crowned city as its own,
      The gray cathedral rears its rough-hewn front
      Like ancient fortress built to bear the brunt
    Of leaguering ram on e’er unyielding stone;
    Signing with holy cross the land it claims,
      Its walls protecting seek the infinite blue
      Grown, softly falling painted window through,
    High heaven brought down to shape life’s noblest aims.

    In this strong fortress, safe from those salt waves
      Of doubt that curve and break and evermore repeat
      The weary lesson of life incomplete,
    Moaning and groping in unsunny caves,
    Beating against a rock that will not break,
      Flinging their bitter anger far on high,
      Seeking to chill the tender flowers that lie
    Close nestled to the rock for its warmth’s sake,

    I kept sad feast one doubting April day,
      When robins’ song had drifted from the hills,
      When buds were bursting, and the golden bells
    Of town-nursed bloom were ringing ill away.
    With folded hands St. Helen’s glance beneath,
      I trod in thought the highway of the cross—
      Jerusalem’s triumph blending with her loss,
    The palm-bough changing for the thorny wreath.

    And clasped the folded hands about the bough
      Of northern hemlock that as palm I bore,
      Listening the words of sorrow chanted o’er—
    The old evangel’s solemn voice of woe;
    O wondrous power of a passing breath!
      O tearful sweetness of that voice of God
      Breaking amid the clamor of the crowd
    Of Jews and soldiers hastening him to death!

    Often the chant bad stirred my soul before
      In humbler church, till had familiar grown
      Almost each word and every varying tone
    That with each added year a new grace wore;
    But never grace so pitiful as this
      That filled the arches with all deep distress,
      With passionate sense of human guiltiness—
    Our God sore bruised for our infirmities!

    Oh! blinding sweet the vision that awoke
      Within my soul to fill my eyes with tears!
      To-day was it, not in those long-past years,
    That Heart divine, with love unbounded, broke.
    Oh! blinding sweet in its strange melody
      The voice that, rending heart, called from the cross,
      In that dark hour of life’s bitterest loss,
    “_Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani!_”

    O strong gray walls! blessed was that little space
      Ye left our souls with Christ on Calvary,
      Where hearts might weep their living cruelty,
    In their own depths Jerusalem’s lesson trace.
    O cross-boughed branch of spicy northern spruce
      That witness bore on that dim April day
      To faith no waves of doubt shall wash away,
    To love’s dear chains no envious state shall loose,

    Blessing was ours who bore thee that gray morn
      Through all the heedless glances of the street,
      Through longing looks that knew thy meaning sweet,
    And spoken words of unbelieving scorn.
    Alas! for those, of eyes and heart both blind,
      Who in such symbol find but empty rite,
      Who, dazzled by a false and flickering light,
    See not the cross wherewith the palm is signed.


                  THE LATE Mr. T. W. M. MARSHALL.[39]

On the 14th of December, 1877, died, at the age of sixty-two years and a
half, Mr. T. W. M. Marshall. He had borne a long and trying illness of
many months with invariable patience and resignation, and gave up his
soul to his Maker and Redeemer after a most Christian preparation. He
has well deserved that some more explicit notice of his life and what he
did in it should be made public than what has hitherto, so far as we
know, been given in any native or American source of information. The
following slight account is drawn up by one who has known him well for
nearly a quarter of a century.

Mr. Marshall was born the 19th of June, 1815; was educated under Dr.
Burnup at Greenwich and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was ordained
in the Anglican Church by the bishop of Salisbury in 1842. In 1844 he
published his _Notes on the Episcopal Polity of the Church of England_,
for which he received the thanks of the then archbishop of Canterbury,
Dr. Howley. This was the prelate, it may be remarked, to whom the
writers of the famous _Tracts for the Times_ dedicated their translation
of what they called “this library of ancient bishops, Fathers, doctors,
martyrs, confessors of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church,” with, as they
added, “his grace’s permission, in token of reverence for his person and
sacred office, and of gratitude for his episcopal kindness.” We mention
this, because thanks from such a man in such an office for a work on the
episcopal polity of the Church of England in 1844, when that polity was
not a little canvassed, was an omen of good things to come for the
writer, who was then nestled in a very small and poor cure among the
Wiltshire downs, once a house of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
These prospects were blighted for ever by Mr. Marshall’s conversion in
the following year, 1845. Indeed, he seems in that year to have
committed two acts, one blameless and the other highly to be commended,
which yet in their conjunction foreboded a life of no small anxiety in
temporal matters; we mean to say that his marriage was followed in a few
months by his reception into the church at Oscott by Dr. Wiseman. Thus
the nest in the southern hills was lost just as he wanted its shelter
most, and instead of the future protection of him whom the Tractarian
dedication called “The most reverend Father in God, Lord Archbishop of
Canterbury, Primate of all England”—a patron, it may be added, of one
hundred and seventy livings, besides canonries and options—Mr. Marshall,
at the age of thirty, with a young wife, commenced a new life without a
profession and without prospect, and with fifty pounds in his pocket. It
may be said Mr. Marshall was true all his life long to the spirit which
he thus showed at the first crisis of it.

It may be conjectured that the studies made by Mr. Marshall in composing
his work on the episcopal polity of the Church of England predisposed
his mind in the following year to seek admission into that world-wide
community over which presides the head and source of the episcopate.

It was hardly possible that a clear and conservative and eminently
logical mind such as that with which he was naturally endowed could have
its attention fixed for so long a time as is requisite to compose a
well-thought-out work upon the relations of the bishops to each other
throughout the world, without coming to the conclusion that the Anglican
episcopate rests on no definite basis whatever; without noticing that no
one of its defenders has ever yet been able to state on what positive
basis it claimed to stand. It exists, in fact, by reviling the Church of
Rome, being itself nothing else but a fragment of Western Christendom
severed by Tudor lust and despotism from the _compages_ of Christian
unity to which it once belonged, and dragging on an existence in
subjection to the state which eminently represents in ecclesiastical
matters the insular pride and independence of the English mind. Its root
is national, not Catholic; its soil human, not celestial; and for a
thinking mind, such as Mr. Marshall’s, to examine its position could
lead but to one result when it was accompanied by such honesty of
purpose as, by the grace of God, Mr. Marshall possessed and manifested.

For let none misconstrue what Mr. Marshall was doing. To give up at
thirty years of age, just married, with no private fortune, the
profession of clergyman in the Church of England to become a Catholic
layman, was an act not only of remarkable honesty but of superhuman
courage. At thirty human life presents a long avenue of years. The
prospect of traversing these in poverty and obscurity, with a young wife
by your side, when the reasonable hope of honor and affluence has just
been presented, is one which perhaps it requires greater trust in God,
greater fortitude to meet, nay, to choose, than those, for instance,
exhibited who heard themselves ordered to summary execution by the
“abagi jussit” of the refined and philosophic Roman gentleman, Pliny the
Younger, for having addressed their hymns in the early morning to Christ
their God.

Anything, humanly speaking, more absolutely hopeless than Mr. Marshall’s
position, after taking that step in 1845, as a married ex-clergyman
convert, cannot be conceived. At that time private education offered no
emolument, for pupils were entirely in the hands of institutions taught
by priests or of individual priests; and as even now the services of a
priest, well educated and intellectually gifted, are thought among
Catholics in England to be adequately remunerated by the salary of one
hundred pounds a year, what chance had a married convert to pick a
living out of that mode of employing his brains? Much more was
writing—that is to say, for Catholic objects—unremunerative. Brains are
still at a fearful discount among Catholics in England. They are not
paid as much as the lowest unskilled labor; and if this is true in 1878,
judge how it was true in 1845. The writer believes that it was the very
last time he saw Mr. Marshall when he complained bitterly of the
inadequate remuneration that he received for writing. Then, further, for
any occupation in the outside world, to be an ex-clergyman Catholic
convert was the worst possible recommendation. The writer remembers a
most distinguished author in Anglican history quitting the railway
carriage in which he was sitting, in order not to converse with one who
had lately deserted what was called “the church of his baptism”—as if
Christian baptism was insular in its nature, and was a peculiar
possession belonging to the “penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.” Such
is the lot which, for a whole generation since Mr. Marshall’s conversion
in 1845, he and a host of others have voluntarily encountered. Mr.
Marshall may be taken as a typical instance of the class. He may be
spoken of freely now. He has run his course; he has kept the faith; he
knows now fully, as none of us yet know, the wisdom of such a course; as
he knew once, as none of us can more fully feel, the folly of such a
course in the estimation of the world.

Most unexpectedly, however, and in a way that he could not the least
have foreseen, this common lot of indigence and inaction, in which the
_work_ of life and the _head_ which supports it are together taken away
in the case of a married clergyman-convert, was terminated about three
years after by his appointment as an inspector of schools in the
government system of primary education. The Catholics were entering into
that system in 1847, and, as a consequence of the rules and conditions
obtained by the Catholic poor-school committee with reference to such
entry, the appointment of a Catholic to the office of inspector by the
government, whose nomination, however, was to be approved by the
committee as representing the Catholic body, became necessary. The first
so appointed was Mr. Marshall, and he held the office from 1848 to 1860.
There cannot be a doubt that the functions which he there had to
discharge were in certain respects functions which required great
delicacy of touch. It was not without many suspicions that Catholic
clergy admitted an officer of the government into their schools. That
those who had been in old times forbidden every act of their ministry,
pursued by ferocious spies of the state into their most secret
lurking-holes, unearthed in order to be tortured by the race of Cecils
and Walsinghams, and then hanged, drawn, and quartered—this in the first
stage of the state’s enmity; then, in the second, who had been
contemptuously ignored, and left to struggle with every trial of
poverty, and to collect their scattered sheep in holes and corners—that
the descendants and inheritors of such men, in whom the royal blood of
Peter was flowing, should suspect at first the servants of a government
which had done such things in hatred of Peter’s royal blood, this was
most natural. We are convinced that during the five years in which Mr.
Marshall was the only Catholic inspector of primary schools, he did much
by courtesy, and yet more by his character as an uncompromising
Catholic, to do away with this suspicion, and to lead an ever-increasing
number of Catholic primary schools to accept inspection. By this conduct
he indirectly raised greatly their standard of efficiency in secular
instruction; and he commenced that union of the spiritual and the
secular authority in the work of education which is now bearing great
fruit, and which is incomparably fairer to the dearest interests of
Catholics than the system existing in the primary schools of the United
States. We think, indeed, that Mr. Marshall, in his anxiety to
conciliate, may sometimes have pushed the limits of indulgence somewhat
too far. It is honorable to him that he never spared in his reports to
government the open commendation of religious teachers. Some of those
reports contain the most enthusiastic praise of Catholic teaching which
we remember to have read. And they were reports of a government

His occupation of inspector ceased in 1860; and being fully conversant
with the circumstances which led to his quitting a post of honor and
trust, which was then producing to him an income of eight hundred pounds
a year, we must express our strong feeling that it was a great error of
judgment on his part which led him so to act that it was possible to
deprive him of this office. He was thus thrown back into all those
difficulties of maintenance which he had so bravely encountered fifteen
years before. It is true that Mr. Marshall was in fibre an author; the
elementary character of the education he had to control, and the
constant iteration of its petty details, besides the exclusion from his
range of inspection of all those religious instructions in which he
would naturally have taken a great interest—these things galled him. He
fled for refuge to the more interesting subject of “Christian Missions,”
on which he composed the well-known work published by him at Brussels in
1862, but which, in spite of the vast number of volumes which it
required him to look over for his facts, he managed to compose before he
quitted the inspectorship. If he could have had the place of a professor
in some great Catholic institution, which would have afforded him a
moderate income and a fitting subject on which he could have thrown the
powers of his most active and apprehensive mind, that would have been to
him an earthly elysium. But elysiums are not of the earth, at least not
of nineteenth-century earth to Catholics in England. He gave up eight
hundred pounds a year to be for the rest of his life a vigorous, witty,
sarcastic, and trenchant Catholic champion and a wanderer on the face of
the earth. From henceforth he was of those who have “no abiding city.”
If he began this second stadium of his life with an act of imprudence
which religion did not call for, which, in our individual judgment, we
think it did not even justify, he traversed those seventeen years of
bitter trial with the spirit of a confessor, and he ended them with the
death of an humble, contrite, earnest Christian. He on whose words,
defending Catholic doctrines, illustrating Catholic truths, excited
multitudes in great cities have hung, who could make them thrill through
with the emotions which he felt himself, died in a small room over a
shop in an obscure outskirt of London, tended by an unwearied,
uncomplaining affection which had been proof against every sorrow and
every trial, and was the only earthly consolation left to him. In the
eyes of the world it was a sad end of an agitated life. But we make bold
to say that he is not sorry now for his choice; and that what he
accepted rashly he transformed by endurance into matter for lasting
reward, for the praise which does not pass away.

For in this last stadium of his life he showed most conspicuously that
which we consider to have been the special honor of it. Let us state
succinctly the remaining facts in that life, and then pass to a brief
consideration of them. Mr. Marshall went in 1869 to the United States
with his family, intending to settle there, which intention, however, he
abandoned on a further acquaintance with the country. He lectured there
during the winters of 1870-1 and 1871-2 on “The Liberty of the Catholic
Church,” “St. Paul and Protestantism,” “Ireland’s Providential Mission,”
in most of the large cities. In 1872 he brought out _My Clerical
Friends_, and later on _Protestant Journalism_, reprinted from the
London _Tablet_, for which he wrote a series of articles on Russia and
on ritualism. It was the latter series which was brought to an abrupt
termination by his illness in June, 1877. In 1866 he was decorated with
the Cross of St. Gregory the Great by the Holy Father as a recognition
of his services in the cause of the church; and in 1871 he received the
honorary degree of LL.D. in the Jesuit College at Georgetown, near
Washington. He broke down at the age of sixty-two. A life which, under
less trying circumstances, might have been considerably prolonged, in
the possession and exercise of those mental gifts with which he was
richly endowed, was thus terminated before its natural time.

What is the lesson which it presents to us? We say without hesitation
that the Cross of St. Gregory which the Holy Father presented to him
hung on the breast of a true Christian knight. Not for gold nor earthly
honor would he sacrifice one jot of Christian liberty. He preferred to
be paid poorly for his work as a Catholic than to be paid richly, as he
might have been, had he chosen to lay out the gifts of eloquence and
clear reasoning and the power of satire which he possessed, in some of
many non-Catholic causes. Had he even chosen to write, as many Catholics
think themselves constrained to do, on secular subjects, merely taking
care not to offend the spirit of the time—intensely anti-Catholic as
that spirit is—had he written with all his energy and wit, not against
his religion, but keeping it in his pocket, he would, we think, not have
died at sixty-two nor in penury. But, so doing, he would not have been
worthy of the Cross of St. Gregory; he would have been the world’s
journeyman, not the Cross’s knight. Rather than so live, he has died
_sans peur et sans reproche_, with his career shortened, as is the wont
of knights; with his shield battered but stainless; with his lance
unlowered. God grant many knights of such temper to his church in the
last quarter of the nineteenth century, for the times are coming when
they will be wanted!

Footnote 39:

  In our last number we published an article on the works of this
  illustrious Catholic layman by one closely connected with him.
  Immediately on receiving the sad news of Dr. Marshall’s death we wrote
  to his friend, Mr. T. W. Allies, who will be known to our readers as
  the author of _The Formation of Christendom_, asking him to prepare
  for THE CATHOLIC WORLD a more adequate notice than we had seen of one
  who had done so much for the Catholic cause. The result is the present
  article, which, though it comes after the other, will be none the less
  pleasing to our readers, coming from such a pen as that of Mr. Allies,
  and dealing as it does rather with the personal life and character
  than with the public work of its subject.—ED. C. W.


Following the advice once given by an old Anglican preacher to a
newly-fledged brother, “When you have nothing else to say, pitch into
the pope,” Rev. Mytton Maury contributes to the January number of the
_American Church Review_ an article having for title “The Political
Rapacity of the Romish Church.” Intrinsically the article hardly
deserves a reply, owing to the recklessness with which it puts forth
mere assertions and inferences as though they were facts; while yet it
should, perhaps, under present circumstances, not be silently passed by
without at least a statement of historical truth in regard to some of
the events and their causes, which are therein so perverted as to seem
to present a sort of partial foundation for deductions that are utterly
false. The explicit aim of the article is to show that “in recent as in
past times, the unalterable aim of the Church of Rome has been the
establishment of its unconditional supremacy, as in things spiritual, so
in things political.”

It is the old, often-exploded tale that took very well with the
_gobemouches_ in the days when everything said against the church, true
or false, was grist to the Protestant mill, but which cannot stand for a
moment against a clear, full, and impartial examination of history. The
gist of Mr. Maury’s argument is that, as the demeanor of the Papacy was
intolerably overreaching and overbearing during the pontificate of
Gregory VII., as the Church of Rome is always the same, as not even the
gratitude which Pope Pius VII. owed (_teste_ Maury) to the Allied Powers
who overthrew Napoleon was sufficient to make that pontiff bate a jot or
tittle of the rights of the church, and as not even outrage, injustice,
and spoliation were sufficient to induce Pius IX. to forget or barter
any of the doctrines or claims of the church, so there is nothing to be
expected of any future occupant of the Holy See but that he shall be
politically a ravening wolf. _Q. E. D._ There pervades the article a
curious after-taste of a once straight-forwardly-asserted but
throughout-insinuated straining on the part of the church in these
United States after political aggrandizement—a charge well suited in
itself, could it only be made plausible, and we think intended, to catch
the ears of the groundlings. Reference is made to a late pamphlet of Von
Sybel, from which the writer would seem to have culled his one-sided
statements; and we have in the meantime tried to procure that pamphlet,
deeming it far better to examine the original than to refute mere
_excerpta_. The _brochure_ in question has not yet been received, and we
must content ourselves with a refutation of the ill-founded charges and
an exposition of the baseless statements contained in Mr. Maury’s

There is an exquisite appropriateness in the fact that the charge of
_political rapacity_ comes from a minister of that sect of which Henry
VIII., half-Catholic, half-Protestant, and wholly beast, was the
acknowledged supreme head, the so-called bishops of which sit in the
British House of Lords, and owe their appointment to anybody, Jew or
Gentile, who may happen to be prime minister. Lord Melbourne—by no means
a model Christian, unless as entitled to the name by being an adept in
profanity—leaves us ample testimony of the cliquing and caballing by
which the appointments to vacant sees were secured, and puts on record a
jocose saying that they (bishops and deans) just died to plague him. It
is true that their presence in the Lords means nothing, and that they
have no power but that of being a little obstructive. That, however, is
not their fault. They would fain have more power, if they could. Even in
their dioceses they have no sort of effective power belonging to a
bishop. Neither clergy nor laity obey them even in spiritual matters,
whether in England or in the United States; nor can we for our life see
why, on Protestant grounds, in view of the utter nullity of their
office, so far as its influence for good is concerned, they have not
long ago been abolished, as much more valuable articles have been done
away with. In political life other sinecures have in this century been
got rid of. Irish disestablishment, which these bishops opposed to their
utmost, will infallibly prove the precursor of a similar _fait accompli_
in England. If, after that, the members of their sect choose to maintain
them, and even to add to their number, we can have no sort of objection,
because then those who utterly repudiate their ministry will not, as
now, be obliged to contribute to their support. They may, if they
please, match the American army in the proportion of highly-paid, showy,
and useless officials to the number of rank and file; in fact, they come
in the United States pretty near doing so already. But that is not our
business, since we do not pay for them; still, we cannot help having an
opinion in the matter.

Again, an impartial observer might reasonably think that a preacher of a
sect whose ministers, and, we suppose, their congregations, are of every
persuasion or utter want of creed touching the essentials of faith, from
the narrowest Calvinism to the most pronounced Puseyism—some of whose
highest dignitaries deny the inspiration of Scripture, while others are
Universalists, and others, again, denounce the doctrine of baptismal
regeneration—a sect which has, in short, less claim to consistency
either of faith or practice than any other of all Protestantism—would
have enough to attend to in trying to find out what his church did
believe and what he should preach, without travelling away to Rome and
back to the days of “Hildebrand” for the purpose of raking up falsehoods
or misapprehensions with which to bespatter or cast suspicion upon the
Church of Rome. This is, perhaps, but a matter of taste; and Mr. Maury’s
idea both of taste and duty differs from what ours would be in the same
premises. In any case let us see what he has to say, giving his
statements such credit as they may prove to deserve.

It is strange, by the way, how the ignorant and insane prejudice which
exists among many Protestants against the church warps otherwise fair
minds and kindly hearts in the consideration of any question in which
she is a party or her rights are in question. We venture to say that if
any government attempted the same sort of tyrannical interference at
this day with the Jews, not to speak of any Christian sect, that Prussia
is now striving to exercise over the Catholics of her dominion, a cry of
righteous indignation against the wanton and palpable injustice would go
up from all the rest of Christendom. We should, perhaps, except the
Anglicans, who are less a sect of Christendom than a clique or set of
recipients of government pap, with no fixed doctrinal or moral
principles save an overweening idea of their own eminent respectability,
a thorough knowledge of the buttered side of their own bread, and a keen
appreciation of number one. They have become hereditarily accustomed to
consider Anglicanism less as a scheme of doctrine and morals than as an
institution for distributing government patronage among their ministers,
and for securing in these a somewhat superior police in aid of the
state. Yet some of the best minds even among these have been very
outspoken in condemnation of the aggressions of Prussia upon the
principles of religious freedom. Let us imagine even a George Washington
appointing the rabbins who should minister to the adults, and the
teachers who should instruct in Judaism the rising generation of Hebrews
in this country. Is there anybody who does not see at a glance the wrong
thereby done these people? Does any one need argument on the subject?
Suppose, in addition, he were to claim the right to appoint the
instructors in the rabbinical seminaries, to select schismatic or
suspended rabbins for the purpose, and to insist on prescribing the
curriculum of the establishment in which young men are instructed for
their ministry. Would we not all consider them very unjustly treated,
and do our utmost to rectify the wrong? Yet this is exactly what the
Prussian government has for some years been attempting to do with the
Catholics within their territorial limits; and the vast majority of
Protestants either look on with indifference or actually encourage the
efforts made for rendering the church but a subordinate bureau of
government under Bismarck and Falk, of whom it would be exceedingly
difficult to say whether they are Protestants, simply infidels, or
downright atheists. What is certain is that they are not Catholics and
that they hate the church. Not long since the body of a drowned man was
being towed ashore in the East River, and a considerable crowd had
gathered to see it, when some one on the edge of the dock remarked, “Oh!
it’s only a negro.” Nobody took any further interest in the corpse, and
the crowd dispersed at once, every one going his way. So, in this case,
the idea seems to be that it is only the Catholics that suffer. But
these gentlemen will find out, in the long run, that it is a blow at
liberty of conscience (for which theoretically they express great
regard), struck, it is true, at Catholics only as yet; they will find
out, if any sect of Protestantism but holds together long enough, or
ever believes anything with sufficient seriousness to imagine it vital,
that the same Prussian government has just as strong an objection to any
other decided conscience as to the Catholic. In the references that Mr.
Maury makes to this struggle we will assume him to be honest; and, in so
doing, we must also take for granted that he does not understand the
nature of the contest between Prussia and her Catholic population, else
he would not attempt to represent it as a flaming instance of “unsparing
political rapacity” on the part of the church. The fable of the wolf and
the lamb has rarely had a more apt illustration.

It will simplify matters very much if we state once for all at the
outset that Mr. Maury entirely mistakes the ground held by the church or
by Catholic writers on her behalf when he represents them as apologizing
for what he calls _mediæval pretensions_, and deprecating any
apprehensions as to their renewal. No Catholic writer takes any such
ground; and as the salient instances adduced of such mediæval
pretensions is the controversy about investitures, and the action of
Pope Gregory VII. towards Henry IV. of Germany, which produced their
meeting at Canossa, we, as Catholics, have no apology to make for
either. As head of the church, Pope Leo XIII. must to-day protest just
as strongly against the right of lay investiture in spirituals; and had
he lived at that day, he could, as minister of the sacrament of penance,
in view of the shameless debaucheries, atrocious cruelties, monstrous
acts of injustice, and heinous sacrileges of Henry, not have done
otherwise than impose on the emperor a penance that should be known of
all men. The church has yet to learn that one of her members, though he
may wear a crown, is any more exempt from her spiritual jurisdiction
than if he were clad in corduroy and wielded the pick. St. James would
seem quite to have agreed with her; and as before God in heaven, so
there can be within the church of God no exception of persons. We
accept, then, as crucial instances by which this alleged political
rapacity of the church is to be tested, both the question of
investitures and the excommunication and deposition of the Emperor Henry
by St. Gregory. They really contain all that can or need be said on the
subject at issue. If it be shown that only malevolence and ignorance of
the times and circumstances could have twisted them to an apparent
support of the accusation founded upon them, and not now for the first
time brought against the church, we shall have accomplished our task.
Apart from what he says on these matters, which are essentially but one
transaction, the rest of Mr. Maury’s article is but _des paroles en

In the middle ages and under the feudal system all the lands of each
separate country were looked upon as belonging to the sovereign, and
were held of him _in feudum_ (hence the name of that system)—on
condition, namely, of certain services to be rendered. In no country had
the feudatory process got such vogue and attained such magnitude as in
that portion of the Holy Roman Empire now going by the name of Germany,
about the beginning of the eleventh century. There is no Holy Roman
Empire now. Each separate parcel of it has had perhaps twenty different
forms of government since, and may within a hundred years have as many
more. That emperor was at that time essentially the master of
Christendom; and between him and the few smaller monarchs then existing
there was no breakwater, no umpire, but the pope. Now, it came to pass
in course of time that many bishops and abbots in Germany became
possessed, by legacy, gift, purchase, or otherwise, in their own
personal right or as appanages of their sees or abbeys, of farms,
estates, demesnes and castles, to the possession of each of which was
attached the condition of rendering at stated times some certain
services to the sovereign as their liege lord. Many archbishops,
bishops, and abbots there also were who were not simply ecclesiastical
rulers but at the same time temporal lords. The people, who
unfortunately had then and for ages afterward very little to say, or at
least could say but little effectively, in regard to how they should be
governed, have left on record an enduring monument of the view they
entertained as to the difference between the rule of the secular knights
and the ecclesiastical regimen in that most trustworthy of all forms,
that evidence which cannot be forged—_i.e._, the proverb. To this day
there is not a dialect of Germany that has not, in one form or other,
the saying: “Unterm Krummstab ist gut leben”—_Happy the tenant whose
landlord bears the crosier_. They were well cared for, kindly treated,
and their complaints attended to by their clerical landlords, which, we
all know, was far from being the case with the serfs and _villeins_
under the marauding knights. There was no reason for objection to the
service or homage by which ecclesiastical persons, dioceses, or abbeys
held those lands; and with the usual care of the church, which has
always laid stress first on the physical well-being of the people and
then on their moral improvement—deeming the former at least highly
conducive to the latter, and esteeming it of no use to leave a moral
tract in a house where there is no bread—the church, we repeat, for the
benefit of the people, encouraged at that time the holding of these
lands by ecclesiastics, and neither pope, prelate, nor people complained
for over two hundred years of the acts of homage—observe that the homage
of the middle ages is not our homage of to-day—by which those estates
were held. And this, too, though the rulers of the church, having nearly
all the prudence, wisdom, and learning then existing in Christendom,
must have known, just as well as we do to-day, that every acre of land
beyond what is indispensably necessary held by the church, and every
building that can be utilized for any other than an ecclesiastical
purpose, is simply an inducement to the extent of its value, a
temptation to plunder, sure to be acted upon sooner or later by the
civil government, until that one shall arise which the world has never
yet seen, in which right shall ever be stronger than might.

But under Conrad II. and Henry III. the possession of these lands began
to give rise to an abuse which had not been foreseen. Both these
emperors were chronically in want of money. They were afflicted with a
standing incapacity to pay what they borrowed; and there resulted, as a
natural consequence, an exceeding hesitancy on the part of lenders to
take the royal word in lieu of funds. The name was no doubt regal,
imperial, and all that, but the paper to which was attached the
signature or _thumb-mark_ of his imperial majesty was not what would now
be denominated on ’Change gilt-edged; and money must be procured. In the
words of another and later august emperor: _Kaiser bin i, und Knödel
muss i hale_. So these emperors commanded on sundry occasions, when a
bishop or abbot died, that the ring and pastoral staff, emblems and
insignia of spiritual dignity and jurisdiction, should be brought to
them. They appropriated the revenues during the vacancy of the diocese
or abbey, prevented the canonical elections from being held, or refused
to allow the prelates elect to exercise their functions. But to men of
this stamp a lump sum of money in hand was of far more importance than a
regularly-recurring income, and they began to give over the ring and
crosier to that cleric (of course noble, and of course unfit) who could
pay the highest price for them. This knave was then supposed to become
bishop or abbot, so far, at least, as to have a right to the
temporalities of the see or abbacy—generally all that such a man would
care about. In this way dioceses were kept vacant for a series of years
and flourishing monasteries went to ruin, since the pope would not (save
where a deception was resorted to) permit the consecration of flagitious
persons. We need not argue to show that this was simony of the basest
sort. The thing had become so general in Germany, and the effect such,
at the time of the accession of Henry IV., that, instead of the election
of a bishop by the clergy of the diocese, or of an abbot by the monks of
the monastery (which is the only canonical mode), the power of
appointing and installing both had been seized by the emperor; and it
may more readily be imagined than described in words what sort of men
the purchasers were. Bishoprics and other prelacies were shamelessly put
up at auction; and not merely the right to the temporalities (in itself
sufficiently unjust) but the sacred authority itself was currently
believed to be conferred by the investiture _per annulum et baculum_. It
was only when things had come to this pass—one plainly not to be borne,
unless with the loss of all ecclesiastical liberty and the grievous
detriment of religion—that the Roman pontiffs, who had previously
intervened but in special instances of complaint, deemed that the foul
system must be plucked up by the roots. A more flagrant abuse, or one
more imperatively demanding redress, it would be hard to find in all

Henry IV. made no scruple whatever of selling all ecclesiastical
benefices to the highest bidder, and had already twice disposed in that
way of the archiepiscopal see of Milan. He seems to have been a sort of
prototype of Henry VIII. of England, but to have ruled over a people of
a much less elastic conscience and possessing a stronger sense of
religion. In the early part of his reign he sought by all means in his
power to procure from the pope a divorce from his wife, Bertha, using
the basest means for the purpose of tempting her into seeming
criminality. He saw at the time a Gospel light beaming from the eyes of
another Anne Boleyn of that day. The refusal of the pope, coupled with
the threats of his subjects (we mean the nobility, for there were at
that time no subjects in the modern sense), who were more willing to put
up with his tyranny than to see the innocent empress treated as poor
Katharine of Aragon subsequently was, caused him to desist; but he was a
monster of lust, injustice, mendacity, and cruelty. Hildebrand, while
yet cardinal, wrote to him that, should he ever become pope, he would
surely call him to account for his tyranny, licentiousness, and for his
making merchandise of benefices. Having been elected in 1073, Hildebrand
assumed the tiara under the name of Gregory VII.; wrote at once to the
Countess Mathilda not to recognize or countenance in any way the
simoniacal bishops of Tuscany; to the archbishop of Mainz to the same
effect concerning the intruding prelates of that country; and to Henry
himself he addressed at intervals three several letters, warning him of
the injury he was doing to religion by his uncanonical and simoniacal
course toward the church of God, and exhorting him to desist from his
detestable presumption. These several letters and all of them having
proved of no effect, he issued his decree, the important words of which
begin: _Siquis deinceps_.

This decree, repeated and confirmed in several Roman synods under St.
Gregory, iterated and amplified by Victor III. in 1087, and reiterated
by Urban II. in two councils, ended in an agreement between Paschal II.
and the Emperor Henry V. that the emperors should cease henceforward to
claim the right of investiture, while the bishops and abbots should give
up the estates for which they owed service to the crown. It was found
impossible to carry this agreement into effect, principally on account
of the unwillingness of the people to accept the proposed change of
masters; and the last-mentioned pope granted to the emperor that he
might go through the form of investiture _per annulum et baculum_,
“providing the elections of bishops and abbots were freely and
legitimately held by the clergy and monks, _all stain of simony being
removed_.” However, this agreement, notwithstanding that the liberty of
the church was fairly guarded by its provisions, was regarded by the
Catholic world as but a temporary repressal of the arrogant claims of
the state, which would infallibly be but held in abeyance, to burst
forth again under the pretext of the form by ring and crosier; and the
agreement was recalled in 1112. The matter was at length finally
settled, to the entire satisfaction of the church, by a convention at
Worms between Callistus II. and Henry V., which mutual agreement was
definitely sanctioned by the First Council of Lateran.

It would be hard to imagine anything more absurd in the face of history
than the charge of rapacity, and that, too, _political_ rapacity,
alleged against St. Gregory because he would not allow ecclesiastical
benefices, abbacies, and bishoprics to be sold like meat in the
shambles, and the miscreants who could gather together the largest sums
of money to minister at the altar and bear rule over God’s people. That
controversy was not excited on account of, or in opposition to, the
homage exacted or the investiture conferred on the transfer of secular
estates. Those ceremonies were both legal and right. Nobody objected to
them then, nor would anybody object to them at this day if lands were
held on feudal tenure. If Mr. Hayes chose to grant an estate to the
archbishop of Cincinnati in trust for the church (the archbishop has no
other use for it), on condition that the archbishop should appear on a
certain day of every year and bow three times reverentially toward him,
we suppose there is not a Catholic in the State of Ohio that would enter
the smallest objection to the annual ceremony. But let Mr. Hayes, or any
President of the United States, on the death of, say, the bishop of
Columbus, send for or take his crosier and ring; still more, let him
appoint some one (cleric or not), who is willing to pay for the billet,
to the vacant see, and we promise that there would be unpleasant times
and doings. There never has been but one legitimate way to preferment,
high and low, in the church—that is, the canonical; and now, as in the
days of the apostle, he that comes not in by the door, the same is a
thief and a robber. As to the statement that the action of the pope, in
abolishing investiture by ring and crosier, was in any sense a blow
aimed at the independence of civil government, it is simply false; while
it is manifest that neither the dignity, the liberty, nor even the very
existence of the church was consistent with simony and the advancement
of the most unworthy men to her dignities. The pope, whoever he might
be, could not have acted otherwise than did St. Gregory; and had the
latter not done as he was inspired by the Almighty to do, he could, when
dying at Salerno, not have used those words which thrill one as do no
other dying words, save those uttered from the cross: “_Dilexi_,” said
the dying saint—“_dilexi justitiam et odi iniquitatem: propterea morior
in exilio_.”

So far is the whole, or any portion, of the history of the church from
lending even a semblance of color to the alleged political rapacity of
the popes, or any of them, that the plain inference of the man who reads
true history in order to find out truth will be that they invariably
spurned every consideration of the kind. To keep what influence they
held, or to gain any in future, their plan would have been to divorce
those bestial monarchs whenever they desired it—to play (like Parker and
the Elizabethan bishops) a perpetual minor accompaniment to the
monarch’s fiddle. Had they done these things, leaving duty undone and
right disregarded, there would have been fewer execrable, political
anti-popes in history, fewer popes would have died in exile, and there
would have been no trouble whatever about investitures. The complaisance
displayed by Luther and Melanchthon toward the landgrave of Hesse, if
shown by the pope toward the original head of Anglicanism, would have
obviated the necessity for any outward change of religion in England
herself. It must be admitted that conscience and not interest seems to
have carried the day at Rome.

Under the head of this controversy about investitures, of which we have
given the true, as Mr. Maury has given a false and garbled, history
(principally from Mosheim, who seems to have manipulated every event
simply with a view to favoring Protestantism), he has made incidentally
several random and several false assertions. Observe that we do not
attribute to him wilful falsehood; but his zeal outruns his judgment,
and, if a statement seems to make in his favor, he is not sufficiently
careful in verifying it; _e.g._, “In view of the fact that this church
(the Catholic) is making rapid advances in the acquisition of political
influence in the United States,” etc.

Here is a statement very glibly uttered and flatly untrue. The church,
as such, neither has nor desires to have any political influence in this
or in any other country; and we challenge the assertor to the proof of
his slander. Her members have votes like other people; and there are
probably in the United States within her communion (taking the ordinary
statistics and ratio of voters to population) about a million voters.
But they vote on both sides, like their neighbors; and whenever there
are three parties the third always presents a sprinkling of Catholic
voters. The proportion of Catholic office-holders in our country never
has been in any sort of proportion to the Catholic population; nor do we
mention the fact to complain of it. Our prayer is that they may be long
kept out of the foul wallow. The only prominent official that we can for
the moment recollect was Judge Taney. We believe there is one Catholic
in the present Senate, but we doubt very much whether the present House
of Representatives contains ten Catholic members. Men like James T.
Brady and Charles O’Conor are not apt to be chronic office-holders.
These alleged advances toward political aggrandizement, if made at all,
have not been made in the dark or in a corner. They must be capable of
being pointed out. Put your finger on them; show them to us. What are
they? Where are they? Where were they made? We had occasion lately in
these pages to insist that the statement was false by which Catholics
were represented as all voting one way, or as voting under the direction
of their priests and bishops; and we reproduce the words then used,

    “But we appeal to the Catholic voters of this country, of American
    or foreign birth, to answer: Has your bishop or parish priest ever
    undertaken to dictate to you how you should vote? Has your vote, on
    whatever side given, interfered in the slightest degree with your
    status in the church? Do you know of a single instance in which one
    or the other of these things has taken place? We cannot lay down a
    fairer gage. If such things happen, they cannot occur without the
    knowledge of those among and with whom they are done. Had the proof
    been forthcoming, the country would have rung with it long ere this.
    We demand and defy the proof.”

We stand now by what is therein said, adding that people who are
unwilling to be brought to law should not assert, at least in print,
what they do not know to be true, or might, with very little pains,
ascertain to be false. It will not do to make hap-hazard assertions,
merely on the ground that they will be well received by a portion of the
community, whether small or large. There are people who do not think
that it is honest, and who characterize such conduct by a very harsh
name. If a writer in the _Church Review_ chooses to address
Episcopalians, and those alone, on matters connected with their own
special organization, we shall care but very little what he says, and
shall certainly not interfere. With them be it. But he shall not make
sweeping, false statements about the Catholic Church, without being
informed that, however it may have happened, these utterances lack the
essential element of truth.

Again, he says: “They (the bishops and abbots) assumed the leadership of
the soldiers of the district over which they had jurisdiction,” etc.

We did not imagine that there was any man at this day, pretending to an
inkling of education, who did not know that it has at no time been
lawful for a clergyman of the Church of Rome to bear arms. Clergymen
bearing arms are excommunicated by the law of the church. Mr. Maury, in
another part of his article, undertakes to give a definition of canon
law which is misleading, and bears every appearance of having been
culled from some writer who knew as little of the canon law as does Mr.
Maury. The drill-master needs only to see a recruit take up a musket in
order to state positively: “My lad, you never had a lesson on
musket-drill in your life.” To us Mr. Maury’s uncouth and largely false
definition of canon law is proof positive that he never opened a book on
the subject in his life. And yet he undertakes deliberately to enlighten
people upon its nature in print. Fie, Mr. Maury! Let us give you your
first lesson on canon law, and it is this: Those clerics who enlist are
irregular, and it is prescribed by canon law that “_they shall be
punished by loss of their grade, as contemners of the holy canons and
profaners of the sanctity of the church_.” Of course we, like others,
have frequently read that little story, well befitting a Protestant
ecclesiastical history, in which it is stated that a certain bishop of
Beauvais was taken prisoner in arms, and that, on the pope’s interceding
for him, the coat of mail in which the prisoner is said to have been
clad was sent to His Holiness with the message: “_Discerne an hæc sit
vestis filii tui._” It is more than probable that the story was made for
the sake of the supposed jest. Certain it is that the attempt to trace
it deprives it of any authority, while even as a fiction it shows on the
part of its author what Mr. Maury has not—viz., a knowledge of the canon
law on the subject. Did not a late bishop of Louisiana act as a
major-general in the army? Now, canon law is not binding on members of
that sect, nor are its ministers at all bound to know the canons,
unless, indeed, they undertake to instruct others upon them, and then we
humbly submit that things are different.

Once more: “It (the state) expressly limited its right to the temporal
advantages belonging to the endowments, and made no claim to conferring
the spiritual functions,” etc.

What the state actually did was this. It said: “We have sold to the
highest bidder this see or that abbacy. We know full well that to be
simony, and that the person on whom we have conferred the crosier and
ring is _ipso facto_ excommunicated by reason of that simony. We also
know him to be an unfit, and even a grossly immoral, person. But there
he is; and you must either consecrate him or that prelature shall not be
filled. At all events he shall have the revenues. He has bought and paid
for them.” How any man of ordinary honesty, how any one not previously
determined by his prejudices to make out a case, should talk of its “not
suiting the views of the ambitious pontiff that the church should be
subjected to the state even to this limited (_sic!_) extent,” is one of
those things that must remain a mystery till the day when we shall be
able to look back on the affairs and actions of this world with a
clearer mental vision than any we have borne while in it. Mr. Maury’s
sect, founded by a king, the doctrines of which (if it have any) are in
England defined by a parliament and its practice decided by the courts,
the convocation of which has for two hundred years not ventured to
cheep, and then hardly above its breath, can of course endure, in view
of the loaves and fishes, to be subject to the state in _all_ matters.
But the church of God can only, like her Master, render to Cæsar the
things which are Cæsar’s; and she does not deem conscience to be one of
his perquisites. Instructive, if not edifying, reading in regard to the
results brought about by the secular power’s appointment of bishops,
deans, etc., may be found in the lives, autobiographic and otherwise, of
the prime ministers of England. The doctrines of Anglicanism are now,
notwithstanding parliaments and courts, just what they have been from
the beginning—a series of incomprehensible shifts and evasions, a set of
enigmas with no fixed response to any of them. The columns of the London
_Times_ will show how “livings” are disposed of, canted at public sale,
puffed into fictitious value by representations of the age of the
present incumbent and the short-livedness of his family. If we must take
instructions from anybody, surely ministers of such a sect as this are
not the persons to be listened to either in matter of religion or of

Further on, and in relation to the decree of Pope St. Gregory, we find:
“It is impossible to conceive of (_sic_) presumption surpassing that
which inspired this, or to imagine a more absolute disregard of the
rights of sovereigns. It was a declaration of war by the church upon the
state. Disobedience to it was absolutely unavoidable under the existing
system of feudal tenure,” etc.

After what has been given of the history of this controversy it is but a
work of supererogation to show that each one of the statements in these
three sentences is a separate and distinct falsehood. St. Gregory
excommunicated and debarred from entrance into the church the simoniacal
holders of bishoprics or abbacies, as also every emperor, duke, marquis,
count, knight, or other person who should presume to confer the
investiture of a bishopric or other _ecclesiastical_ dignity; he finds
no fault with the temporal homage or service due on account of secular
estates, whether pertaining to the incumbent or to the prelature. Being
head (not of a sect nor of _a_ church, but) of the church, he was not,
like a titular archbishop of Canterbury, a mere figure-head, whose
presence served to give a false show of authority to ecclesiastical
decrees made by a collection of laymen, perhaps not even Christians; and
his excommunication must consistently strike all the accomplices in a
most nefarious work. It is impossible for a Catholic to conceive how the
pope could have acted otherwise than he did, since the church knows to
this day, and will till the end of time know, no different rules to
apply to those of her members who are highest in temporal dignity from
those which affect the poorest inmate of the almshouse. The state had
now for nearly a century been making war upon the church; and as to the
impossibility under feudal tenure of anything but disobedience to the
decree of His Holiness, we see in point of actual fact that the matter
was quietly and satisfactorily settled by the withdrawal on the part of
the state of the offensive and impious claim to confer investiture _in
spiritualibus_. No one found any fault with the purely temporal homage,
and it was only when, by seizure and sale of cross and crosier (with
which, according to the rude ideas of many people in that age, was
involved the spiritual authority), the king put forth a claim to the
power of appointing bishops, that the church withstood him to the face.
He strove to usurp a spiritual power which never belonged to him or to
any other temporal authority. We can all see in history what has been
the fate of those sects of Protestantism which, for the sake of mere
existence or of temporary courtly favor, have given up the rights and
powers that would have been inherent in them, were they a church. Their
doctrines are a mass of doubt and contradiction. Their ministry, having
neither authority nor message to the world, consists of dumb dogs that
bark not. Perhaps Anglicanism has been the most successful of them. Is
there any thoughtful man, even among its own members, that can in reason
look hopefully forward to its future?

But it will be objected: “All this, however satisfactory so far as it
goes, only proves that Henry IV. attempted a very gross outrage against
the church; and we freely admit that the pope could then, as he can, in
case of necessity, now, excommunicate from the church. The church would
be a sham if he could not. But how about the claim to the right of
deposing kings, set up by the popes and carried out by St. Gregory
against the emperor of Germany?” We entirely acknowledge the
reasonableness of the question, not merely from the Protestant point of
view, but from the general standpoint of our own days; and we propose to
answer concisely (allotted space allowing nothing else) the question
put, though a complete response thereto would require a separate book.
Meantime, we refer such as wish a full and expansive treatise on the
subject to M. Gosselin’s “Pouvoir du Pape au Moyen-Age.”

This power was not, nor was it ever claimed to be, inherent in the
Papacy, but was simply the result of a necessity, alike felt and
acknowledged by all in those turbulent and unruly times, for some
tribunal of final arbitrament. It had its source in the common consent
of all Christendom—in the fact that the popes were, in the language of
Count de Maistre, “universally recognized as the delegates of that power
from which all authority emanates. The greatest princes looked upon the
sacred unction as the sanction and, so to speak, as the complement of
their right.” Even the highest of all the monarchs of the middle ages,
the German emperor, derived his august character and was regarded as
emperor in virtue of the unction and coronation by the pope. It was “the
public law of the middle ages,” as Fénelon has well explained; and it is
the universal acquiescence in that law which explains the conduct of
popes and councils in deposing incompetent or vicious rulers. “In
exercising this power,” says M. Gosselin, “the popes but followed and
applied the principles received, not merely by the mass of the people
but _by the most virtuous and enlightened men of the age_.” We sometimes
nowadays have sense enough to avoid a war by leaving the decision of a
question to a convention of arbitrators, as in the case of the Geneva
conference; sometimes to a single umpire, as the difficulty about the
occupancy of the island of San Juan was submitted to the decision of the
late king of Belgium. Several international disputes, which might
doubtless otherwise have eventuated in war, have been left to the
emperor of Brazil as arbiter. We know very well that the right to bind
by such decisions is in no way inherent in the sovereignty of Brazil or
of Belgium, but in the fact that mankind agrees to abide by their
decision in the matters submitted to them. Now, in those days, while
unfortunately, as history shows us but too many proofs, knaves and
scoundrels existed as now, yet while feudalism lasted the theory was
that civil society was completely swayed by the spirit of Christianity.
All the new governments which had sprung up from the _débris_ of the
Roman Empire were indebted both for foundation and nurture, during what
may be termed their infancy and childhood, to the fostering care of the
popes and bishops. Had it not been for the church, mankind would without
doubt have relapsed into a state of barbarism. It is not, then, matter
of surprise that common consent should, under those circumstances, have
vested in the pope the right of deposing a sovereign in cases where no
other remedy existed. Our sole remedy nowadays for such evils rests in
the power of insurrection, which may or may not be successful, but must,
in either case, be the cause of at least as much misery and far more
actual bloodshed than the evils it was meant to remedy. There is room
_extra ecclesiam_ for difference of opinion on the subject, and minds
do, no doubt, honestly differ as to which of the two is the better plan.
For our own part, while we utterly disclaim the remotest sympathy with
the feudal system, yet we are not prepared to say that it was not the
best possible in that age, and should most unhesitatingly give the
preference, first, to papal intervention, as being least likely to be
biassed, and, second, to any fixed and recognized, fairly impartial
tribunal, rather than risk the doubts and undergo the horrors of
rebellion, successful or otherwise. Far be it from us to wish to recall
the middle ages with their utter disregard for the rights of the people,
who, but for the popes, would have had none to put in a word in their
behalf; and it was only under the feudal system that the public law of
Europe could call for the interference of him whom all then believed the
vicegerent of the Almighty. Laws, nationalities, customs, languages, and
religion have all changed. What then was legal and desirable, nay,
absolutely necessary, is no longer law; and the lapse of whole nations
and of large parts of others from the faith of Christ has abrogated a
custom which, like all other civil regulations, could but derive its
authority from international consent. It may, however, “be doubted
whether in a historical light,” to use the words of Darras, “the system
of the middle ages was not quite equal to our modern practice.” But this
troublesome and invidious duty thus thrown upon the popes was, however,
never claimed to be an integral or essential part of their authority,
but simply to attach temporarily to the office by law, consent, and
necessity. Of course there were then, as there are now, men who imagined
that the political system of their day would never change, and that the
Holy Roman Empire and the feudal system would last for ever. It is well
to remember that there is but one institution that is sure and steadfast
among men—the church to which He has promised who can perform.

The right and duty of excommunicating professing Catholic kings and
princes is, on the other hand, and always has been, inherent in the
Papacy, to be exercised by the pope when all other means have failed, in
case of stern necessity and for the good of the church. Such right is
inseparable from his office, and can be exercised just as fully from the
Catacombs or from a dungeon as from the high altar of St. Peter’s at

It astonishes us somewhat to find that the mind sufficiently clear to
indite the following sentiments should have failed so completely to
understand the nature of the struggle over the investitures, and should
have seen but through a glass darkly the condition of governments, men,
and things requiring the application of his doctrines to practice. Mr.
Maury says, and says well:

    “It is to be admitted that the intervention of the popes in foreign
    political affairs in early and mediæval European history was not
    unfrequently matter of moral necessity. The papal authority
    constituted for those periods the High Court of International
    Arbitration. Not seldom the pontiffs stood forth as the solitary
    champions of right and justice.... We cannot but make ample
    allowance for their interference; nay, in many cases we must admire
    it.... In the case of the popes themselves moral necessity must
    often be allowed to have more than justified their interference in
    the domestic policy of foreign governments,” etc.

We must hasten through the remainder of Mr. Maury’s article. A great
portion of it strikes wide of the mark, having no application to the
point at issue, which we understand to be the political rapacity of the
“Romish” Church. The sketch of the career of Napoleon, his imprisonment
of the pope, the theological opinions of the _canaille_ of generals that
the Little Corporal gathered about him, and the action (not of the
French people, but) of the rude rabble of the large cities at the time
of the Revolution, would seem even to evince that the rapacity existed
elsewhere. Again, it would be mere waste of ammunition to argue with an
opponent who seriously maintains that gratitude for what he terms “the
restoration of the Papacy” ought to have induced Pius VII., or any other
pope, to govern the church thenceforward on such principles as would
meet the approval of the so-called Holy Alliance. The man who can
entertain such a notion has not the first rudimentary idea making toward
a conception of what the church of God is, however well he may
understand that of Queen Victoria.

Only two further points shall we briefly notice. One is the restoration
of the Jesuits by Pius VII.—a fact upon which Mr. Maury lays great
stress, as indicating the political rapacity of the church. The order
had been suppressed by Pope Clement in 1773, not as having been proved
guilty of any wrong whatever, but simply because their existence as an
order, under the then circumstances and state of feeling in Europe,
seemed to that pope and his council to give not cause but pretext for
scandal to a certain portion of nominal Christendom. It is admitted that
the prime movers in exciting this enmity against the Jesuits were the
infidels in France, the Pombal faction in Portugal, the persons bearing
in Spain the same relations to the monarch which were in France held by
Madame de Pompadour, and those weak people who believe all that is
diligently sounded in their ears from the rostrum or presented to their
eyes by the press. Pope Clement deemed it the most prudent course to
suppress the order, and he did so. It was their duty to obey, and they
obeyed to the letter. Had he been a Protestant archbishop or bishop,
would he have been so thoroughly obeyed? Would there even have been a
pretence of obedience? Had the Jesuits been the wily knaves they are
frequently represented as being, would they have disbanded on the
instant? Has any association in history, we will not say so powerful,
but even one-tenth part so numerous, so able, and so well disciplined,
ever been extinguished by the myrmidons of the most powerful civil
government? Had they been Protestants, we should at once have had a new
and powerful sect. Had they been merely a conscienceless, oath-bound
society, they could have gone on, despite all the civil governments on
earth. Being Jesuits, they obeyed the mandate of the Vicar of God. Pius
VII. deemed the time opportune for their revival. It may be that his
experience of the favor shown to the usurping Napoleon during the period
of his own imprisonment, and the manifest tergiversations of nearly all
the higher French clergy at that unhappy time, caused him to long for
the faithful Jesuits. Of this we know nothing. His right to restore them
was just as clear as had been that of Pope Clement to suppress them. We
propose neither to go into a eulogy of the Jesuits nor to defend them
from the slurs and slanders cast upon them, mostly by those who know
little more of them than the name. They need no eulogy from us, and are
quite competent to defend themselves by word and pen. Mr. Maury (who
seems to be an ardent Jesuit-hater; we know nothing of him but his
article) is evidently one of those who fancy that the church is a
political party, and that, on gaining an advantage over her opponents,
she may bargain to shift principles and suit discipline to those who
have been instrumental in bringing about the result. We quite agree with
him, however, that, judging by all history, the church does not seem to
regard herself in that light. Very many popes have died in exile. For
seventy continuous years the head of the church was in captivity at
Avignon. Pope Pius VII. was long a prisoner at Savona. For all that we
know, the present pontiff may yet have to hide in the Catacombs. But
neither in the past has there been, nor will there be found in the
future, a pope who for personal duress or temporal domain (however clear
his right thereto) will barter away one iota of the sacred deposit of
faith and practice. The church leaves it to the politicians to seek foul
ends by base means—to bargain that “in case you commit this forgery or
that perjury for me, I shall, on attaining power, see that you are not
only held guiltless but rewarded.” Were this her way of acting, she
would be very unlike her Founder, and certainly would not be the
institution with which our Saviour has promised to be till the
consummation of the world. Mr. Maury would seem to think that he is
making a point in charging the church with being true to her principles,
with being changeless, with not giving way to feelings of gratitude (?)
so far as, upon occasion, to give up her position as the conservatrix of
faith and morals. He repeats the charge, under different forms, sundry
times in the course of his article. Does he perchance not know that this
is exactly the characteristic of the church in which Catholics glory?
Did he never hear of the church before? Does she now come before his
mental vision for the first time? One is really tempted to think so from
the fact that he speaks of the pope’s styling himself “God’s vicar upon
earth,” as though it were a new title never assumed until Pope Pius used
it in his encyclical of March, 1814. If it will do Mr. Maury any good or
save him future labor in writing, we can inform him that we Catholics
would have neither faith nor confidence in a church that could sway and
swerve, that allowed herself to be ruled by politicians or by heretics;
and that we all believe Pope Leo XIII. to be, like his predecessor St.
Peter, “God’s vicar here on earth.” Let him stop the first Catholic boy
he meets who attends catechism class, ask him what is the pope, and he
will get that answer in so many words.

The other point is this: Mr. Maury takes it very ill that the church
should find fault with the Falk laws and the supervision that the German
government claims and attempts to exercise over her in that country;
while he asserts that no fault is found with the Bavarian government,
which (he says) exercises the self-same jurisdiction over the church
that Germany is now striving to carry out. The latter part of his
statement is untrue. But, admitting that it were true, cannot even Mr.
Maury see that there would be all the difference in the world between
permitting to a Catholic ruler certain rights of supervision touching
ecclesiastical matters, and giving the same rights to infidels,
rationalists, transcendentalists, atheists—in any case to non-Catholics?
Perhaps we should hardly expect this, since, unless our information be
very incorrect, wardens or vestrymen, or both, may be, and often are, in
his own sect, not mere non-communicants but of no profession of religion
whatever. That such is the case in England we know; and Mr. Thackeray
painted from life both the Rev. Charles Honeyman and Lady Whittlesea’s
chapel, which is there depicted as a speculation of Sherrick, the Jewish
wine-merchant. True, the Bavarian government has adopted a new
constitution subsequent to the establishment of its concordat with the
Holy See; and we are far from denying that things would be on a very
unsatisfactory footing in Bavaria were the reigning house to become
Protestant, or the government, by an accidental (and we admit possible)
influx of free-thinkers, to determine to give trouble. This, however,
has not yet taken place, and the proverb holds that it is unnecessary to
greet his satanic majesty till one actually meets him. We doubt not but
that any overt act against the freedom of the church will, in that
country, be as promptly resented and rendered as thoroughly ineffective
as has hitherto been the case in Prussia. All the power and influence of
the German government has, so far, been unable to push the so-called Old
Catholics into even a decent show of repute; and no Catholic in
communion with the pope will ever lend himself to any such thing as the
Bismarckian scheme of a German national church, or national church of
any other empire, kingdom, or republic. An independent provincial church
is to the mind of the Catholic an utter absurdity; and no proposition
looking to any such end would for a moment be entertained at Rome.
Catholics do not and cannot exist without being in communion with the
pope, whosoever or wheresoever he or they may be. It seems grievously to
vex Mr. Maury that in no single instance has the church allowed herself
to be made, as has the legal sect in England, a mere tool in the hands
of the state; and he takes pains to stigmatize what he ironically
describes as the “gentle suavity” of Pope Pius and the Cardinal
Consalvi, intimating that it was mere stratagem; but he forgets that
there is no sort of hypocrisy in doing the best that can be done under
given circumstances, providing always that no principle be given up.
Even on his own showing the church has under no circumstances abandoned
for a moment the principle that she should and must be entirely free
from any control of the state _in matters spiritual_. Were it any one of
the little sects that set up such claim for religious freedom as against
governmental interference, a cry in its favor would go up along the line
from Dan to Beersheba; but in the case of mother church it only
furnishes a reason for an article on her political rapacity. Some
original genius once remarked that consistency is a jewel. It certainly
is very rare; and here is a radiant instance of it on the part of our
opponents. The moment that the state presumes to trench upon the domain
of conscience we must all obey God rather than man. _Usque huc et ne
plus ultra._ Up to that point we stand ready to act and obey loyally as
citizens. Beyond that line we neither can nor will be bound; and they
who demand that we should put our consciences in the keeping of
Reichstag, Parliament, or Congress know but little of human rights and
less of the rightful domain of civil law.

A little reflection might have shown Mr. Maury the absurdity of his
statement that Consalvi demanded of the Bavarian government the
expulsion of the Protestant population of that country, then amounting
to nearly a million. Surely Mr. Maury is joking! In the many centuries
during which the popes have had full sway in the Eternal City, not one
of them has ever proposed the expulsion of the Jews, a large number of
whom have at all times resided in Rome. Mr. Maury represents Cardinal
Consalvi as an eminently shrewd man, whereas he must have been little
better than an idiot to entertain such an idea, much more to express it
in writing, even to the dullest court in Europe. He never did do so.
Surely this must be, like several other statements of the writer which
we have not time at present to take up, a _lapsus pennæ_ into which
haste in writing and zeal for “the good cause” betrayed him. Authority
for it we have been utterly unable to find, though the account of the
negotiations of that cardinal are in the main given with tolerable
fulness in the books at our hand.

That system of religion is surely in a very bad way the hold of which on
the minds and consciences of its adherents cannot be maintained without
the aid of government; nor does it deserve the name of religion at all
when its ministers are such as those must be who owe their appointment
to the back-stair intrigues by which men attain political offices. The
Roman Curia has shown both wisdom and a high sense of honor in
persistently refusing, on principle, to recognize any other than the
canonical election of her prelates. But it does seem somewhat hard that
her unwillingness to curry favor with the various reigning houses and
their ministries should be attributed to _political rapacity_. So far as
the pope is concerned, he was just as much the head of the church under
the persecution of Diocletian as in the days of Leo X., and is just as
really and effectually the father of all the faithful to-day as on the
day when the Papal States were restored to him by Pepin in 768. The
minds of men have, however, become so accustomed to acts of injustice
that they regard them with comparative indifference. The justice of the
pope’s claim to the patrimony of St. Peter is infinitely clearer and of
far more ancient standing than that of any sovereign in Christendom to
the throne he occupies. Necessary to the existence of the Papacy those
states certainly are not, save in the sense that he who is not a
temporal sovereign must to a certain extent be a subject, and that an
ill-disposed government, under or within control of which the pope may
be, will always be in a condition to hamper him, and to put trammels on
his intercourse with his people over the entire world. As it may well be
doubted whether there ever was a period when the Holy Father was more
firmly entrenched in the affections and confidence of his faithful
children than now, when despoiled of territory, courtly pomp and
splendor—all of which he might have retained had he been willing to
stretch principle to compliance with iniquity—so a more unsuitable
season could hardly, in the view of any impartial on-looker, have been
selected for charging the church with political rapacity. Had she
possessed that, or desired its results, her position, however high in a
worldly point of view, would hardly have been so honorably glorious in
the eyes of her faithful members.

                         THE DEATH OF PIUS IX.
                       THE CONCLAVE AND ELECTION.


ROME, February 21, 1878.

He is no more! As a Christian, he loved justice with the charity of his
divine Master; as a priest, his vows; as a bishop, his flock; as a
Sovereign Pontiff, he kept the deposit of faith with a great,
intelligent love. And we loved him dearly in life, as pontiff never was
loved before, and shall ever think of him as the one colossal figure of
justice, unmoved and immovable, of the nineteenth century. _In memoria
æterna erit justus ille; ab auditione mala non timebit._

We thought, as we gazed upon his loving face on the Feast of the
Purification, and the seventy-fifth anniversary of his First Communion,
that he never looked better. He looked younger, ’twas said by those
present. His face had a glow that suggested his early manhood. His
voice, too, was vigorous and robust as he addressed the parish priests,
the heads of the religious orders, and the rectors of the colleges, who
had presented him with the Candlemas taper, according to custom. And
when he had thanked all present, and requested them to bear his thanks
to the faithful for having offered up prayers to God and the Virgin
Immaculate for his recent recovery from illness, he pronounced the
sweetest little homily, so characteristic of Pius IX., on the necessity
of giving religious instruction to the little ones. Alas! it was the
sweetest song of the swan, because the last.

                            THE LAST HOURS.

Towards evening, on the 6th inst., it was observed by his physicians
that the Holy Father was somewhat feverish. This excited no alarm, for
such attacks seemed but the lingering traces of his recent illness. The
Pope retired to bed at his usual hour, about ten o’clock. His rest,
however, was not tranquil. He seemed to be oppressed in his breathing.
About four o’clock on the morning of the 7th he was seized with a
shivering chill, his breathing became quick and hard, his pulse excited.
About half-past six o’clock the fever came on with greater force,
producing an utter prostration of the august patient. His mental
faculties remained clear and undisturbed, and at half-past eight he
received the Viaticum with great devotion from the hands of his
sacristan, Mgr. Marinelli. The malady became more intense, the
catastrophe inevitable; so at nine o’clock he was anointed. Meanwhile,
the news of the Pope’s sudden and dangerous illness had spread through
the city, and the cardinals hastened to the Vatican. By order of the
cardinal-vicar the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in all the churches of
the city. That fact contained the dread significance that the Pope was
dying. The Romans flocked to the churches and prayed fervently against
the crisis, yet trembled at the thought that, when the Blessed Sacrament
would be restored to the tabernacle, all would be over, well or ill. The
cardinals and prelates assembled around the bed of the sufferer knew too
well what the issue would be. He knew it himself, for, taking the
crucifix from under his pillow, he blessed them. His suffering
increased. At one o’clock p.m. Cardinal Bilio, the grand-penitentiary,
began to repeat the last prayers of the church for the dying. The Holy
Father pronounced distinctly, though with the greatest difficulty, the
act of contrition. Then he subjoined in a voice that betokened great
trust, _“In domum Domini ibimus”_—We will go into the house of the Lord.
When the cardinal came to pronounce the last address to the departing
soul, he hesitated at the word _proficiscere_ (depart); but the Pope
added quickly, “_Si! proficiscere_”—Yes! _proficiscere_. When he had
repeated the exhortation the cardinal knelt down and asked the dying
Pope to bless the cardinals. There were present Cardinals Borromeo,
Sacconi, De Falloux, Manning, Howard, and Franchi. He raised his right
hand and made the triple sign of the cross. It was the last Apostolic
Benediction imparted by Pius IX. At half-past two in the afternoon the
rumor spread through the city that the Pope was dead. Telegrams to the
same effect were sent to all parts of the world by the correspondents of
the press. The secretary of the Minister of the Interior had caused a
bulletin of the same tenor to be posted up in the vestibule of
Parliament. But the agony of death had not even set in upon the
venerable patient, though all hope of a change for the better was
abandoned. At half-past three the struggle began in very earnest. It was
a sight that brought copious tears to the eyes of the beholders—Pius IX.
in his agony. Never more strongly than during those supreme moments did
the youthful vitality of the Pontiff manifest itself. Two hours and a
half of a death-agony is something we associate only with robust
constitutions in the flower of manhood. At five o’clock the physician
requested Cardinal Bilio to pronounce a second time the recommendation
of the departing soul. He did so, and then, kneeling down, he began the
rosary, giving out for contemplation the Five Sorrowful Mysteries. At
the fourth—the carrying of the cross—he stopped, looked anxiously at the
face of the Pontiff, stood up, and gazed still more eagerly upon those
loving features. The eyes had closed sweetly, a pearly tear, just born,
glistened on the lids, the lines of agonizing pain seemed to disappear
perceptibly—it was all over, and the _Angelus_ bell rang out over a
fatherless city, ay, a fatherless world.

                      HOW ROME RECEIVED THE NEWS.

The news created no excitement. There was no crowd to speak of in the
Square of St. Peter. Only a few loiterers stood for a moment gazing up
at the bronze doors which open into the Vatican; but they “moved on” at
the quiet request of a policeman. There were no soldiers visible—nothing
war-like, if exception be made to the bristling bayonets of the Swiss
Guards. Soon after the _Ave Maria_ the bronze doors were closed, and the
loiterers betook themselves across the Bridge of St. Angelo into the
city. There all was quiet, too, save and except the theatres; _they went
on performing_, though the authorities had a superabundance of time to
order them to be closed. The two lesser theatres, in which Pulcinella
gives nightly amusement to the unlaved of Rome, closed of their own
accord on hearing of the Pope’s death. The other theatres received
official notice to suspend performances until further notice, on the
following day. During the day of Pius IX.’s suffering King Humbert and
Queen Margherita sent repeatedly to the Vatican to inquire after his
health. During the night the following notification from the
cardinal-vicar of Rome was affixed to the churches:


    “Raffaele, of the title of _St. Croce in Gerusalemme_,
    cardinal-priest of the Holy Roman Church, Monaco La Valletta,
    Vicar-General and Judge-Ordinary of Rome and its district,
    Commendatory Abbot of Subiaco.

    “The Majesty of God Omnipotent has called to himself the Sovereign
    Pontiff, Pius IX., of holy memory, as we have just been advised by
    the most eminent cardinal-chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, to
    whom it belongs to give public testimony of the death of the Roman
    Pontiffs. At this announcement the Catholic people in every corner
    of the world, devoted to the great and apostolic virtues of the
    immortal Pontiff and to his sovereign magnanimity, will mourn. But
    above all let us weep profoundly, O Romans! for to-day has
    unfortunately ended the most extraordinarily glorious and prolonged
    pontificate which God has ever granted to his vicars on earth. The
    life of Pius IX., as Pontiff and as sovereign, was a series of most
    abundant benefits, both in the spiritual and temporal order,
    diffused throughout all the churches and nations, and especially
    upon his own Rome, where at every step monuments of the munificence
    of the lamented Pontiff and father are met with.

    “According to the sacred canons, in all the cities and distinguished
    places solemn obsequies and suffrages shall be celebrated for the
    soul of the deceased hierarch, and every day, until the Holy
    Apostolic See be provided with a new chief, solemn prayers shall be
    offered up to implore from his divine Majesty a most speedy election
    of the successor of the never-to-be-sufficiently-lamented deceased.

    “To this effect, 1. Notice is given that public and solemn funeral
    services will be celebrated in the patriarchal Vatican basilica by
    the chapter thereof, whither, as soon as possible, the body of the
    immortal Pontiff will be carried, and placed, according to custom,
    in the chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament. 2. It is ordained that in
    all the churches of this illustrious city, as well of the secular as
    the regular clergy, and privileged in any way, all the bells be rung
    in funeral notes for the space of an hour, from three to four,
    to-morrow. 3. As soon as the precious mortal remains of the
    Sovereign Pontiff be carried into the Vatican basilica, solemn
    obsequies shall be celebrated in the aforesaid churches. 4. The
    reverend clergy, secular and regular, are exhorted to offer up the
    unbloody Sacrifice in suffrage for the soul of the august deceased,
    as has always been done, and the communities of both sexes, as also
    all the faithful, are invited to recommend his blessed soul in their
    prayers. 5. Finally, it is prescribed that in each of the aforesaid
    churches, in the Mass and other functions, the collect _Pro
    Pontifice_ be added as long as the vacancy of the Apostolic See
    shall last.

    “Given from our residence, February 7, 1878.

    “R. CARD. MONACO, Vicar.
    ”PLACIDO CAN. PETACCI, Secretary.”

Soon after the soul of Pius IX. had departed his physicians returned to
the chamber of the dead, now guarded by two of the Noble Guards—who
never lose sight of the body until it is consigned to the tomb—and made
a formal autopsy, which they couched in these terms: “We, the
undersigned, attest that His Holiness Pope Pius IX., already affected
for a long time by slow bronchitis, ceased to live, through pulmonary
paralysis, to-day, February 7, at 5.40 p.m.—Dr. Antonini, physician; Dr.
Ceccarelli, surgeon; Dr. Petacci, assistant; Dr. Topai, assistant.”

Dr. Ceccarelli then composed the body reverently on the bed, and covered
it with a white cloth; whereupon it was carried into a neighboring
chamber, looking north, towards the Belvedere wing of the palace.
Detachments of the chapter of St. Peter’s kept a vigil, reciting psalms
the night long. On the following morning, the 8th inst., Mgr. Macchi,
Master of the Chamber, attended by Mgri. Casali del Drago and Della
Volpe, Participating Secret Chamberlains of His Holiness, repaired to
the apartment taken possession of the previous evening by Cardinal
Pecci, Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, and gave him a formal
announcement of the death of the Pope. The cardinal, having put on robes
of violet, which is the mourning of the church, repaired in procession
with the rest to the room in which the venerable remains lay, to effect
a solemn mortuary recognition. All knelt down and prayed for a while in
silence. His eminence then recited the _De profundis_, and, standing up,
he reverently raised the cloth from the face of the dead. Taking a
little silver hammer from the hand of a master of ceremonies, he struck
the forehead of the Pontiff with it thrice, pronouncing at each stroke,
in a loud voice, the name of the Pope. After a momentary silence he
turned to those present and said: _Papa vere mortuus est_—The Pope is
indeed dead. The cardinal then tendered a request to Mgr. Macchi, Master
of the Chamber, for the Fisherman’s ring, which was still on the finger
of the Pope. The monsignore removed it and gave it to the cardinal, who
wrote a receipt for it. Thereupon Mgr. Pericoli, Dean of the Apostolic
Prothonotaries, knelt down and read the following attestation: “This
morning, February 8, at eight o’clock A.M., the Most Eminent and
Reverend Cardinal Pecci, Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church,
accompanied by the College of Clerics of the Chamber, by Mgr. the
Vice-Chamberlain, by Mgr. the Auditor of the Reverend Chamber, by the
advocate-general of the Apostolic Chamber, by the procurator-general,
and by the two secretaries and chancellors of the Chamber, repaired to
the private rooms of His Holiness, in one of which he found on the death
bed the corpse of his same Holiness.

“Having ascertained the death of the Holy Father, and recited opportune
prayers in suffrage of the blessed soul, his aforesaid most reverend
eminence made a request to the Most Illustrious and Reverend Mgr.
Macchi, Master of the Chamber of His Holiness, for the Fisherman’s ring,
which was immediately consigned by the same Mgr., the Master of the
Chamber, to the most eminent chamberlain, who received it, with a view
of presenting it in the first cardinalitial congregation (to be broken);
for which ring his most reverend eminence gave an act of receipt to the
aforesaid Mgr. the Master of the Chamber.

“Whereof, at the request of the most eminent and reverend chamberlain, a
solemn act was drawn up, _rogated_ by the Most Illustrious and Reverend
Mgr. Pericoli, cleric of the Chamber, and Dean of the College of
Apostolic Prothonotaries, the act being signed by the most eminent and
reverend chamberlain, by the others above named, and by the two secret
chamberlains of His Holiness, the Most Illustrious and Reverend Mgri.
Casali del Drago and Della Volpe, in the quality of witnesses.

“According to the injunctions made by the eminent and reverend
chamberlain to the clerics of the Reverend Apostolic Chamber, these
assembled in the presence of his most reverend eminence, in an apposite
congregation, and in the regular manner, divided among themselves the
different offices.”

                            THE INTERREGNUM.

The supreme government of the church during the vacancy of the Apostolic
See belongs to the cardinal-chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, and to
the deans of the three orders of cardinals—bishops, priests, and
deacons. These are respectively Cardinal Pecci, Cardinal Amat, dean of
the cardinal-bishops, Cardinal Schwarzenberg, dean of the
cardinal-priests, and Cardinal Caterini, dean of the cardinal-deacons.
Cardinal Simeoni’s office as Secretary of State ceased with the death of
Pius IX., and will be discharged _ad interim_ by Mgr. Lasagni, secretary
of the Council and of the Consistory. He retains the office of prefect
of the apostolic palaces. Every day during the _Novendiales_ (that is,
the nine days on which solemn obsequies are celebrated for the deceased
pontiff) there is a congregation of the cardinals, whereat their
eminences appear with the rochet uncovered, as a sign of jurisdiction.
They are all popes _in fieri_. In consideration of this a cardinal
always rides alone in his carriage during the vacancy. Moreover, during
the conclave, in the general reunions of the cardinals, each one has a
canopy erected over his seat. When the election takes place all the
canopies are removed, save that which is over the seat of the

Immediately after the ceremony described, an extraordinary congregation
of the cardinals was held in the palace of the Vatican. Object, the
manner of celebrating the funeral services; and the question, Where is
the conclave to be held? The first question was disposed of quickly, it
being unanimously resolved to observe the constitutions as regards the
funeral. The question of where the conclave should be held presented
many difficulties, considering the political circumstances of the Holy
See at present. The foreign cardinals, and Cardinal Manning in
particular, supported the proposal of not holding the conclave in Rome,
not only because little faith was to be placed in the Law of the
Guarantees, but for the reason that it would be a new and powerful
protest against the usurpations consummated by the Italian government.
The Italians overruled these considerations, and constituted a majority
in favor of holding the conclave in Rome. Cardinal Manning’s project of
holding the conclave at Malta received thirteen votes.[40] Some city on
the Adriatic coast of Austria was also proposed, but with little favor.

Pending this discussion the canons of St. Peter’s washed the body of the
Holy Father in scented water, and then gave it to the physicians to be
embalmed. This was on the evening of the 8th inst. They performed the
operation in the traditional way, taking out the _præcordia_ and
embalming them separately; afterwards the body. The _præcordia_,
according to an old tradition, are interred in the parish church near
which the pontiff dies; consequently those of Pius IX. will be buried in
St. Peter’s. Had he died at the Quirinal, the church of SS. Vincenzo and
Anastasio would receive them. The operation of embalming was brought to
a successful termination on the morning of the 9th.

The city on the 8th presented a sad appearance. All the shops were
closed, traffic for the most part was suspended, the Bourse was closed,
and the soldiers marched to and from their regular stations without
music. There were no amusements in the evening, and very few people to
be seen in the streets. A shadow rested on the city. There was a great
blank. Something was wanting—is wanting. The world seems strange,
purposeless, and unutterably dreary without Pius IX.

                           THE DEAD PONTIFF.

After the embalming process his body was vested in the white cassock,
the red cope bordered with ermine, and the _camauro_, or red cap,
likewise bordered with ermine, placed on the head. He was then laid out
on a modest catafalque, under a canopy, in one of the halls of the
Vatican. The Roman nobles and persons of distinction were permitted to
see him. Never have we seen death so beautiful as in Pius IX. His face,
always aglow with a sweet smile, was now doubly sweet and restful. There
was not a trace of pain left on it, and its beautiful whiteness seemed a
supernatural glow which God had breathed there for his well-meriting
servant. The hands, too, clasping his beloved crucifix, seemed to have a
warmth about them which is not associable with death. Indeed, he seemed
to sleep, did our Holy Father. Towards nightfall the body was habited in
full pontificals, golden mitre, red chasuble, red satin gloves,
gold-embroidered, and red satin slippers, also richly wrought in gold;
and when darkness descended upon the Eternal City they carried Pius IX.
down into St. Peter’s. The Swiss Guards formed themselves into a double
line in the halls of the Vatican and along the _Loggie_ of Raphael,
whose classic beauty, recently restored and enhanced, will bear
testimony ages hence to the munificence of Pius IX. as a Mæcenas.
Masters of the horse in their fantastic and quaint liveries, the canons
of St. Peter’s bearing torches and chanting the psalms, mace-bearers
robed in sable velvet, and a detachment of the Swiss, bearing their
pikes reversed, preceded the bier. This was borne on the shoulders of
the throne-bearers, and a square was formed around it by the Noble
Guards in full uniform and the penitentiaries of St. Peter’s. They were
followed by the domestic prelates of the papal household, and the
secular and military officials, likewise in dress uniform. The cardinals
succeeded, marching two abreast, bearing torches, and responding to the
psalms as intoned by the clergy in advance. They were followed by a
detachment of the Palatine Guard. The Roman nobles, and other personages
of distinction, brought up the rear of the procession. The flaming
torches lighting up the halls, the corridors, the regal stairway, down
which the _cortège_ moved, the liveries of the servants, the uniforms of
the soldiers, the robes of the priests, the purple of the cardinals,
and, above all, that already heaven-lit face looking upwards, as if in
placid and joyous contemplation of the Truth Eternal, the assertion and
vindication of which was his dearest object in life, produced a
sensation in the beholder which baffles description, there being no term
of comparison to which we can liken it. And the muffled psalmody in
those silent halls, inexhaustibly silent because of the circumstance and
the hour, seemed to be, what it indeed was, the music of another and a
tranquil sphere, where there is no “hostile domination,” no death.

The procession entered St. Peter’s, by an inner door communicating with
the palace, at seven o’clock. It was met by the chapter of St. Peter’s,
who led the way to the chapel of the canons in the right aisle. The bier
was placed precisely within the iron railing of the chapel, so that the
feet of the venerable Pontiff extended outside sufficiently far to allow
the people to kiss the papal slipper. It gently inclined towards the
railing, thus giving a perfect view of its precious burden even at a
distance. It was covered with a red silk pall, delicately embroidered
with gold thread. At either side hung a red cardinalitial hat of the
primitive form, which used to be carried before His Holiness in grand

At an early hour on Sunday morning, long before dawn, the steps of the
great temple were crowded with people, waiting for the moment when the
bronze doors would swing open and admit them to view the remains of
their father. Detachments of the Italian soldiery had taken up positions
within the vestibule and outside. Others marched around the basilica and
entered by the sacristy door. They formed a double line from the door of
entrance on the left, up along the corresponding aisle, across the nave,
and down to the door of egress. Those stationed at the iron gates of the
vestibule had a difficult task in trying to stem the onflowing and
irresistible tide of thousands of people when the gate at last swung
open. They acquitted themselves well, poor fellows, and as reverently
too, both within and without the temple, as could be expected under the
circumstances. As the people entered the temple at half-past six A.M. a
solemn Mass of requiem had already commenced in the chapel of the
canons. It was the first of the _Novendiales_. Throughout that day and
the three following a continuous stream of people of all classes flowed
into and out of St. Peter’s, and every individual paused, at least, to
contemplate that figure lying in peaceful repose, a heavenly contrast,
to the intelligent, against the pleasure-surfeited and revolting mass
which defied the embalmer’s art, yet was enshrined at the Quirinal not a
month since. And thou, Mark Minghetti, who didst abandon this sainted
figure to serve that other in the name of liberty, forsooth, what has
brought thee into St. Peter’s, and face to face with the holy dead?
Speak, thou whose deeds for the past quarter of a century have been at
cross-purposes with good faith; unbosom thy sentiments as thou didst
linger at the catafalque of thy old and too-trusting master! Thou, too,
Visconti Venosta, author of the notorious _Memorandum_ of 1870, wouldst
gaze once more on the face of him thou conspiredst to betray? Many a
traitor besides these two went there, and the exponents of their
iniquity, the liberal papers, said that Pius IX. seemed to sleep, and
commended the martial bearing of the four Noble Guards who stood erect
and vigilant around the catafalque.

On Wednesday, the 13th, in the churches of St. Mary Major and St. John
Lateran, solemn obsequies were also celebrated, and every parochial
church in the city was on that day the scene of pious suffrages for the
soul of Pius IX. In the basilicas lofty catafalques were erected,
surmounted by a tiara, and surrounded with blazing torches. That in the
church of St. Mary Major bore, inscribed on its four sides, a pithy yet
adequate panegyric of the Pontiff—_Religio, Fides, Spes, Caritas_.

                             THE LAST ACT.

It is Wednesday evening; the great aisles of St. Peter’s at seven
o’clock are empty. The bronze doors are shut. Torches, blazing in the
nave of the basilica, reveal to our gaze a procession of cardinals
emerging from the door of the sacristy, and moving with measured and
reverential steps to the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament; the domestic
prelates of the papal household, already there; the canons in
surplice—one of them, Mgr. Folicaldi, in black pontificals and a snowy
mitre, attended by deacons and subdeacons of honor, also in black; the
officials, civil and military, of the palace in full dress; the Noble
Guards; the Swiss in burnished helmets and cuirasses; the little
garrison of the Vatican; the gentlemen of the pontifical court, and the
Roman nobles. All form themselves into a procession. The choir sings the
_Miserere_. Eight canons take up the catafalque. The procession moves up
past the bronze statue of St. Peter, around the tomb of the apostles,
and down the further aisle, to the chapel of the canons. It is the
funeral of Pius IX. The catafalque is placed in the middle of the
chapel. Arranged in order on the floor are three coffins—one of
cypress-wood, one of zinc, and a third of chestnut. The officiating
prelate blesses the first, sprinkling it with holy water, and then
incensing it. Meanwhile, the cardinals press around the bier, and
reverently kiss that sacred right hand which had so often blessed them,
and the feet of the Pontiff. All who can come near enough do likewise.
Mgr. Ricci, major-domo, spreads a white cloth over the face of the
Pontiff, thus hiding it for ever from the view of man. The canons take
up the pall, with its precious burden, and place it in the coffin. When
the body had been properly composed, Mgr. Macchi, Master of the Chamber,
placed beside it three purses of red velvet, containing respectively as
many medals, gold, silver, and bronze, as there were years of the
pontificate of Pius IX. A violet ribbon was sealed crosswise over the
body to the edge of the coffin, with four separate seals: that of the
cardinal chamberlain, that of the major-domo of the palace, a third of
the archpriest of St. Peter’s, and a fourth of the chapter. Two masters
of ceremonies spread a red silk cloth over the body, and a third dropped
at the feet a tin tube containing a roll of parchment, on which was
written in Latin the eulogy of the Pontiff. The carpenters do the rest.
On the lid of the zinc coffin there is the following inscription:

    PII. IX. P.M.

When the workmen had closed the last coffin they carried it out of the
chapel to a place on the left, where there was an opening in the wall
high up. It was the temporary resting-place of Gregory XVI., and is of
every deceased pope until he obtain permanent sepulture. It is
surmounted by a marble sarcophagus adorned with a tiara. By means of
ropes and pulleys they hoisted the coffin into the niche, and, after
having walled up the aperture with bricks and cement, they laid on the
outside a small slab of marble, with this inscription:

    PIUS IX. P.M.

A cardinal was heard to say in a voice of emotion, as all quietly moved
away: _Tanto nomini nullum par elogium_!

Two days after, the will of Pius IX. was opened by the
cardinal-chamberlain in the presence of the relatives. It was written
with his own hand, and dated in the year 1875. A few codicils were added
since that date. He bequeathed 100,000 francs to the poor of Rome. He
always loved them, and it was to perpetuate the memory of that love that
a subscription was immediately opened after his death by the Italian
Catholic journals, under the title of “Pius IX. Eternal in charity.” To
this end, by the advice of the cardinal-vicar of Rome, a sumptuous
church will be erected on the Esquiline, and dedicated to the Sacred
Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Conception. Side by side with the
church will rise up two extensive asylums for the poor, old and young,
of both sexes.

                             THE CONCLAVE.

The funeral services performed by the Sacred College of Cardinals
began in the Sistine Chapel on Friday morning, the 15th. They were
attended by the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, by the
Roman nobility, and persons of distinction who received invitations. A
wish was expressed indirectly by the King of Italy to be present. The
cardinal chamberlain took no notice of this indirect wish. The
obsequies lasted for three days. After each service the Sacred College
gave a reception to the diplomatic personages in the Hall of the
Consistory. Pending these events, the preparations for the conclave
were completed. The story of the Vatican above the apartments of the
Holy Father was divided off into little cells for the cardinals and
their attendants. The windows outside were covered with gratings, and
the court of St. Damasus entirely walled up to prevent any
communication with the outer world. Physicians, an apothecary,
barbers, cooks, and bakers, were appointed. On Monday morning, the
18th, the Mass of the Holy Ghost was celebrated in the Pauline Chapel
by Cardinal Schwarzenberg. All the cardinals and officers of the
conclave were in attendance. The diplomatic corps assisted in stalls
allotted to them. A Latin oration _De eligendo Summo Pontifice_ was
read after the Mass by the Secretary of Briefs. This might be termed
the formal inauguration of the conclave. At half-past four of the same
evening the cardinals all, of the Holy Roman Church, with but three
exceptions—their Eminences Cullen, McCloskey, and Paya y
Rico—assembled in the Pauline Chapel, whence, having recited the usual
prayers, they proceeded in procession to the Sistine Chapel, singing
the _Veni Creator Spiritus_. There the sub-dean of the Sacred College,
Cardinal di Pietro, read the Papal Constitutions on Conclaves, after
all but the cardinals had been invited to withdraw. The reading of the
constitutions was followed by a solemn oath, pronounced by the
cardinals in a body, to observe them faithfully. This oath had
previously been sworn in the presence of the cardinal-chamberlain,
Pecci, by the patriarchs, archbishops, and auditors of the Rota, who
were to mount guard at the cells of the cardinals to prevent their
communicating each with the other. The marshal of the conclave, Prince
Chigi, had also been sworn. The doors of the chapel were then opened,
a cleric took up the processional cross, reversing the figure toward
the cardinals, who followed, each one accompanied by a Noble Guard,
and all entered the precincts of the conclave. Each cardinal entered
the cell which had fallen to him by lot. That night, in company with
the cardinal-chamberlain, and the deans of the three cardinalitial
orders, and the apostolic prothonotaries, the marshal made a formal
visitation of the cells and precincts of the conclave, after which the
chamberlain consigned to him a purse containing the keys, and, with
the other cardinals, retired to his cell. The doors of the cells and
the general entrance of the conclave were locked, and a formal
document attesting the operation was read and subscribed to. The reign
of silence and communion with the Paraclete began. Pending the
inspirations of the Holy Spirit, let us glance at the world outside.

                       ROME DURING THE CONCLAVE.

In deference to the conclave the government postponed the opening of
Parliament until the 7th of March. Whether this was done from a sense of
genuine reverence for so sacred and imposing an assembly, or with a view
of showing their loyalty to the Law of the Guarantees, is not definitely
known. But the fact aroused the indignation of the radicals. They at
once proposed to organize a mass meeting of disapproval of the
Guarantees, and, accordingly, demanded the required permission from the
Minister of the Interior. He refused it. _Inde ira_. As may be supposed,
speculations were rife in all circles as to the future Pontiff. It was
hoped, and asserted pretty generally, that Cardinal Pecci would be
elected. It was _feared_ by all Italians, liberals, conciliators, and
non-compromittals, that Cardinal Manning, who is exceedingly unpopular
in radical Italy, would, through some unexpected combination of
circumstances, come out of the conclave a pontiff. It was reported that
the Sacred College itself was divided into three parties—the
conciliating, of which Cardinal di Canossa was supposed to be the
exponent and hope; the extreme rigorists, of whom the favorite was the
young Cardinal Parocchi, of Bologna; and the _statu-quoists_,
represented by Cardinals Bilio and Simeoni.

On Tuesday, the 19th of February, an immense concourse of people,
assembled in the Square of St. Peter’s, witnessed the traditional
_sfumata_, or smoke, rising from a particular chimney of the Vatican,
which signalized the burning of the votes at the first scrutiny in the
Sistine Chapel. This meant no election. It has been ascertained since
that Cardinal Franchi’s name was called out twenty times at that
verification. On the following day, the memorable 20th, at half-past
twelve p.m., the smoke again arose over the Vatican, and the multitude
began to move away towards the Bridge of St. Angelo. Comparatively few
people remained. But about an hour after they observed the window of the
great balcony of St. Peter’s to open. An acolyte appeared bearing a
cross, and then Cardinal Caterini, who, from old age, infirmities, and
the emotion of the moment, could scarcely make himself heard to the
following effect: _“Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam
Eminentissimum et Reverendissimum Dominum Pecci, qui sibi nomen


This announcement was received with cheers in the square below. The
great bell of the basilica began to ring joyously, and every bell in the
Eternal City re-echoed the glad news to the people, and hurried them in
haste to St. Peter’s. Let us go back an hour in our narrative. The votes
were counted at noon, and the name of Cardinal Pecci was read aloud
_forty-four_ times, thus giving him the two-thirds majority required for
election. The sub-dean of the Sacred College then opened the door of the
chapel and ushered in the master of ceremonies. With the assistance of
others, he lowered all the canopies which covered the seats of the
cardinals, with the exception of number _nine_ on the gospel side of the
altar. The sub-dean of the Sacred College, accompanied by Cardinals
Schwarzenberg and Caterini, approached his Eminence Cardinal Pecci, and
asked him if he accepted the election: “_Acceptasne electionem in Summum
Pontificem?_” He replied that, albeit unworthy of the great charge, he
would submit to the will of God. The sub-dean continued: “_Quomodo vis
vocari?_” “_Leo Decimus Tertius_” was the reply. He was then conducted
into the sacristy by two cardinal-deacons, Mertel and Consolini, and
attired in the white cassock, red slippers bearing the cross, the
rochet, red cope, stole, and white cap of the Sovereign Pontiff.
Returning to the chapel, he received the homage of the Sacred College,
after which Cardinal Schwarzenberg, just nominated pro-chamberlain of
the Holy Roman Church, placed upon his finger the Fisherman’s ring. The
Pope immediately retired to his cell. The cardinals followed his

Meanwhile, the people had assembled in great numbers in the square and
in the basilica, awaiting the appearance of His Holiness. It was not
known whether he would give his blessing from the outer or the inner
balcony of the temple. The traditional place was outside. Consequently,
on the appearance of any one at the window of either balcony, there was
a precipitous rush of the people in that direction. The noise in the
basilica was like the roar of a storm-tossed sea. At last—it was
half-past four o’clock—two prelates opened the window of the balcony
which looks into the church, and hung over the railing some red bunting.
Soon after the anthem _Ecce sacerdos magnus_ was heard, and then a
powerful, robust voice, _Sit nomen Domini benedictum_. It reminded
people of another voice which erst rang out benedictions with the
clearness of a trumpet from the outer balcony. But the figure which now
appeared was tall, spare, yet imposing, and the features, worn and wan
with rigid austerities, were lit up by large, brilliant orbs, that
beamed gladly on the excited people below. When he had pronounced the
trinal blessing in a firm voice, a great, deafening cheer arose,
startling the dormant echoes of the vast edifice, and sending them
quivering from nave to transept, and thence aloft into the gigantic dome
itself. Again and again did the _evvivas_ burst forth from every lip,
and high, unmistakably pronounced above them all rang out the Saxon
_hurrah_! Every difference, political and religious, was forgotten in
that moment of joy. Jew from Ghetto, deputy from hostile Parliament,
officer and private of invading army, dissenting Anglican from Albion,
and downright, practical American joined in the shout of _Viva il Papa!
Viva Leone!_ His Holiness stood for a moment gazing on the enthusiastic
multitude, then motioned with his hands, as if to deprecate any
demonstration, and moved away. He did not appear at the outer balcony.
We forbear putting any construction on this circumstance. The conclave
was opened formally in the evening by the marshal, and the cardinals
retired at nightfall to their homes. The new Pontiff moved to his
apartments, and the attendants read in the severe lines of thought which
had settled on his brow that he wished to remain alone for the night.

Glad words of congratulation are exchanged in all circles throughout the
city, and a universal, spontaneous confidence has sprung into existence;
for the man who has just blessed the Catholic world as its father is
pious, learned, and very severity itself in firmness.

The Church is no longer a widow.

Footnote 40:

  The Roman Correspondent of the London _Tablet_, February 23, denies
  the truth of this “project” so far as Cardinal Manning is
  concerned.—ED. C. W.

                           NEW PUBLICATIONS.

    NEW IRELAND. By A. M. Sullivan, Member of Parliament for Louth.
    Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1878.

Mr. Sullivan has invented for his country a new name that is pregnant
with meaning and significance. At least, the name is new to us, and it
represents a great fact. The old Ireland, the land of confiscation and
bitter penury, of enforced ignorance and compulsory poverty, of chronic
revolution and periodical famine, the exercise-ground of political
proscription and religious persecution, is passing away under our eyes.
A new Ireland is indeed springing up in its place—by no means a land as
yet flowing with milk and honey, and stripped of all that cumbered it
and darkened its life before, but a land full of hopeful possibilities
for all good in itself and for good to its neighbors and the world at

It was less to describe this hopeful and bright land, whose day has not
yet come, but whose morning we see dawning in the east, than to set
forth in a clear light the stages that led up to it, that, we take it,
induced Mr. Sullivan to write his brilliant, most interesting, and
valuable book, which, perhaps, no pen but his could have written, or at
least written so well, with its series of graphic pictures, its
passionate reasoning, flecked with the gayest humor and most mournful
pathos. It is in itself an epitome of the Irish character, with a
notable improvement. The despairing courage of a “forlorn hope” that
marked such writings in the past has yielded here to a resolute and
practical purpose, which of all things is the most striking and hopeful
sign of a really new Ireland.

Ireland as it stands to-day presents a problem of the deepest interest
not only to a thinking Christian man, but also to the student of
political history. It, of all nations and peoples, has resolutely
refused to follow after the _ignis fatuus_ of the revolutionary spirit
of the age. This it has done in the face of the most pressing incentives
to join hands with the agents of social and political disorder. From the
first day of English rule in Ireland that country has been, perhaps,
_the_ worst-governed country in the world; and this ill-government is
only _beginning_ at last to cease. No better soil could have been
offered as a battle-ground for the agents of evil. Yet, owing chiefly to
the essentially conservative and Christian character of the Irish race,
informed and strengthened by a true conception and grasp of the religion
of Jesus Christ, the Irish people, as a people, has steadfastly refused
to achieve right by doing wrong. For this the English government has to
thank that religion which it was its avowed and persistent purpose to
root out of the Irish heart, in which most wicked and revolting purpose
it would certainly have succeeded long ago, were not God more powerful
than all the force and machinations of man, inspired and guided by the
spirit of evil. Ireland has at last shaken off some of the strongest
chains that bound her, a bleeding nation, to her own earth; and she has
succeeded in doing this by a persistent adherence to the right. She
would not die, because Heaven made her immortal, and because the
principle of immortality was grafted deep in her soul by an Almighty
hand. She would not live at a gift; she would not accept a false life at
a sacrifice of principle. She waited and suffered on. Her patience and
her constancy, her virtue and her faith, have overcome all things. A new
era opens before her. The question of questions is: What will she do
with it?

Mr. Sullivan goes back in his narrative fifty years, and gives us the
salient measures and movements that have affected the Irish people
during that period. The state of education in Ireland fifty years ago,
“O’Connell and Repeal,” “The Ribbon Confederacy,” Father Mathew and the
temperance movement, the famine in “the black forty-seven,” the “Young
Ireland” movement, agrarian crime and its causes, the land question, the
“Tenant League” party, the “Phœnix” conspiracy, the Fenian movement, the
Disestablishment of the Irish Church, and the “Home-Rule” movement—these
form the chief headings of Mr. Sullivan’s chapters. They are all worthy
of study, and must be studied in order to get a right view of the actual
state of Ireland—not under the Tudors or the Stuarts or Cromwell, but
here and now, within the knowledge of most of us. Much of what Mr.
Sullivan has written was already sufficiently well known. It was well,
however, to link all of these together, to weave them into a continuous
narrative, and show how singularly one played into the other, how
necessarily one was a sequel of the other, until the story is laid down
at our own doors. We are thus enabled to see how this series of
catastrophes, acting, apparently, independently of each other, wrought
up secretly to the whole that is before us. The awful shocks that moved
the nation, now this way and now that; that tossed it up as by a
volcanic eruption; that shattered it and cast it to the ground as though
by the convulsion of an earthquake, senseless and bleeding, and bereft
of life; the storms that devastated it; the famine that decimated it—all
were instruments of Heaven rudely, to all seeming, but surely working to
a great end. Or, if the political philosophers prefer it, they were
mighty and gigantic social and political forces working through the dark
up and into freedom and light. They made Ireland a spectacle to the
nations; they scattered her children over the world, bearing their
crying wrongs to all lands; they welded together those who were left at
home into a hard and compact mass; they shocked and shamed the power
that was chiefly answerable for them into a sense of dawning justice. It
was in such throes as these that the new Ireland had its birth.

It seems to us that never before was Ireland so well fitted to play a
large part in history as it is to-day. It is now, to a great extent,
certainly it is in the right way of being, its own master, its own
law-giver, its own educator, its own priest. It has grasped the
realities of political life and political power. These it has in its
hands, and we do not well see how they can be taken from it. This fact
ought to smother any smouldering fires of revolution that may be left,
and it will smother them effectually, if the English legislature, as
seems to us likely, can only rise to the fact that the best cure for
discontent is to remove the discontent by removing its cause. We do not
say that Ireland will leap at once into full national life, prosperity,
and social happiness. That, even in a far from complete state, must be a
work of time, and care, and struggle, not alone to the Irish but to all
peoples. The Irish, however, have now in their own hands the adequate
means of national representation; and this, it seems to us, is the great
first step towards a true national life. Whether in after-years that
life will have its centre in London or in Dublin seems to us a question
hardly worth discussing just now. We like to take hold of actual facts
and shape the future out of them. At present Ireland is represented in
the English Parliament by a strong, resolute, and able body of Irishmen.
These men may not be collectively or individually the ideals of
political wisdom and sagacity. They may not have any great leader among
them. They may be a little new in their harness yet. But their power, as
a united body, is very great and undeniable, and it can be constantly
exercised and increased. To expect that in a session or two they are
going to wring from the English government repeal of the Union, or total
separation, or even one-tenth part of the measures that Ireland needs in
order to secure such prosperity as she has, or to advance it, or to do
away with crying and cruel evils now existing, is to expect altogether
too much. It is like expecting a city to be built in a day because some
of the chief artisans and implements and material for the building are
already on the ground.

Great and grave and manifold grievances still exist in Ireland.
Steadfastness and patience and right political representation must
succeed in removing these in time. Great dangers also threaten the
country, not the least of which is the very freedom to which it is at
last rising. The hardest problem in regard to freedom is to use it
wisely and well. It would be a sad thing for the Irish people if on the
altar of a new-found freedom they sacrificed their grand old
conservative spirit, their deep sense of the supernatural, their
reverence for the church and the things of God. For them to drift into
the liberalism of the age would be to destroy them. They have gained
what they now possess by having been steadfast Catholics and steadfast
Irishmen. Let them so continue. We rejoice at the growing sympathy in
political and social life between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants.
There is no harm in that; on the contrary, it is a great good. But to
pass beyond that in matters vital to the faith would be wrong. To
renounce, for instance, the right principles of education would be
wrong. Let the Protestants go their way in all freedom, security, and
peace, but let the Catholics also hold to their way, and insist on it.

Mr. Sullivan is least satisfactory in a point on which we are most
deeply interested—the actual position of Ireland to-day, in its
industries, its mode of life, its social condition, its educational
status, its income, its outlay, how money circulates in the country, how
the people are housed, fed, and clothed, compared with former years.
These are matters on which, of all things, we desire as full and
accurate information as could be obtained, for they are the outward and
most visible signs of a people’s progress. Indeed, they are practically
the only gauge by which to measure the actuality of that progress. But
on this subject Mr. Sullivan gives us only a few rather hesitating words
in his last chapter, with the consoling assurance that, “despite all
disaster and difficulty, Ireland is marching on.” This is a very serious
defect in a work dealing with “New Ireland,” and to remedy it we have
applied to another quarter, as seen in the preliminary article on
“Ireland in 1878” (THE CATHOLIC WORLD, March, 1878). This will be
followed by others on the same subject, taking up just the matters which
Mr. Sullivan has allowed to escape him.

With this exception, we heartily congratulate the author on his latest
volume. He is himself one of the political chieftains who has nobly
helped to make a new Ireland. He is a very able and ready man, whose
value was at once recognized in the English Parliament, and whose
services to his country and to the party which he materially helped to
form have been of the most marked and important character. His life has
been an honorable one, and he has well earned the fame that now attends
him. No man who looks hopefully to the new Ireland can help following
with sympathy and interest the future career of A. M. Sullivan.

    DE ECCLESIA ET CATHEDRA; or, The Empire-Church of Jesus Christ. An
    epistle by the Hon. Colin Lindsay. Vols. i. and ii. London:
    Longmans, Green & Co. 1877. (For sale by The Catholic Publication
    Society Co.)

Mr. Lindsay, who is a Scottish convert of some ten years’ standing, and
was formerly one of the principal lay-leaders in the ritualistic party,
has already won a high reputation by a valuable work on St. Peter’s
Primacy. The present one is original in its conception and different
from any other on the same subject in its method of treating the topics
indicated by the title. The grand principles and laws of the church and
the Papacy are considered in their universal character as forming the
ground-plan of the government of divine Providence over the human race
from the beginning. It has a wide historical sweep, and embodies a great
mass of solid learning and sound reasoning. The author is sometimes
fanciful in his theories and occasionally deficient in theological
accuracy of expression, as well as in his style and construction of
sentences. These are but faults of minor importance, however, not
seriously detracting from the great merits of his most interesting and
instructive work. It is quite in the same line of argument with the
articles on Historical Christianity we have lately published, and those
who are interested in that important and very attractive aspect of
religion will find the greatest profit and pleasure in perusing it. One
most valuable and quite novel portion of the author’s exposition of the
apostolic and divine institution of the Papal Supremacy, is his
application of the principle of reserve contained in the discipline of
the secret to the particular doctrine in question, as explaining the
guarded and reticent manner in which the sacred writers and the early
Fathers speak of those high prerogatives of the Christian hierarchy and
its chief, which would give umbrage to the Jewish priesthood and the
Roman emperors. Full justice could not be done to Mr. Lindsay’s
comprehensive and elaborate production without making a long and careful
analysis and review of his positions and his manner of supporting them.
We trust many of our readers will gain a much better knowledge of its
contents than we could possibly give them in this way, by making a
careful study of the work itself. It contains a complete historical
demonstration of that which we think will soon be as universally
admitted as any other great fact of undisputed history—that Catholicity
and Christianity are identical and convertible terms, and that ancient
and modern Catholicity are one and the same identity in respect to all
which pertains to their essence and integrity as the one, universal
religion, whose continuity has remained unbroken since the creation, and
is destined to be coeval with the world.

    THE NABOB. From the French of Alphonse Daudet, author of _Sidonie,
    Jack_, etc. By Lucy H. Hooper. Author’s edition. Boston: Estes &
    Lauriat. 1878.

_Sidonie_ and _Jack_ have been briefly noticed in these columns. _The
Nabob_ is a large advance upon either. Possessing all the
characteristics that individualized those stories, it is larger in
scope, firmer in touch, fuller in character, more vigorous and finished
in execution. As far as writing, plot, and development go, it is a very
remarkable book. We must say of it, however, as we said of its
predecessors, it is not a pleasant story. There is a kind of hot-house
effect about it, a forced process, so to say, that, while fascinating
for the moment, is not natural and healthy. We breathe in an overcharged
atmosphere. There is any quantity of intoxicating odors, of lights and
flowers, and soft music and rich costumes and beautiful faces. But the
light is not the blessed sunlight; the odors and flowers oppress us with
their heaviness like those around a bier; the beautiful faces are
painted, and we sigh for something fresh and free, even if it be not
half so elegant or well “made up.” There is from the beginning a
brooding sense of a storm coming, and the storm comes with awful and
repulsive vehemence.

Doubtless the author meant to produce just such an effect and to achieve
just such a result. If this were his chief intention he is to be
congratulated on his success. He has given a highly dramatic
story—melodramatic, in fact. There is wit enough and humor enough
throughout; but even the wit is biting and the humor sour. The laughter
has the sardonic tone of Mephistopheles, and an honest man shivers a
little even while he joins in it. Every scene fits with niceness; the
curtain always falls on a strong situation; there is not a dull incident
throughout; and if nearly everybody in whom you have been interested
gets murdered, or destroyed, or run away with, or debauched at the end,
what will you have? A melodrama is a melodrama, and Paris is its

_The Nabob_ is a story of Parisian life, as Parisian life is popularly
supposed to have been when Napoleon III. was the arbiter of Europe and
Paris Europe’s capital—a capital, if the novelists are to be believed,
of political, social, literary, scientific, and moral charlatanism.
Doubtless this is true to a great extent; for the leader of it all had,
unfortunately for France and himself, much of the charlatan in his
disposition. There is everything there but honesty and purity; or if
honesty and purity there be, they are kept severely in the background.
Their garb is too homely, their faces are too fresh, for this garish
light and exotic atmosphere. They are out of place in this fashionable
dance of death, as we say here the scholar and the gentleman are out of
politics. There is a wonderful duke and statesman—De Mora—whose habit is
to give a bored half-glance to the affairs of France, and the rest of
his time to dilettanteism and _amours_, looking all the while to a quack
doctor’s globules to keep his eyes bright, his step elastic, and his
nerves steady enough for an evening party. There is a sculptor—Felicia
Ruys—full of the noblest aspirations, but whose bringing up has been
bad. She has been among Bohemians from her infancy, and she is left
alone among them, under the care of an old aunt, a famous dancer in her
day, whose wonderful toes had turned the crowned heads of Europe.
Felicia’s noble nature finds itself bound in by an iron barrier of
wickedness. She is surrounded always by a vicious circle from which she
sees no outlet or escape. Is it so wonderful that she mistakes her
narrow circle for the universe, and sees nothing but wickedness in all
the world? How many do this in real life!

There is the wonderful Nabob himself, risen from nowhere, to whom one of
the strange turns of Fortune’s wheel sent a fabulous fortune gathered by
his own hard and not too scrupulous hands in Algeria. He is ignorant,
vulgar, low, without any very strong moral sense, but with a really kind
and good heart: he goes to Paris with his millions, and his millions
conquer Paris—as long as they last. All the charlatans circle around
him. He is a rich man; he wants now to be a great and a distinguished
man; and it is truly wonderful to see how many kind friends spring up to
make this rich man great and distinguished in a day. Even the Duke de
Mora condescends to sell him his cast-off pictures at ducal prices; the
illustrious and philanthropic Dr. Jenkins—Jenkins the great—feeds him on
his globules at fees that are fortunes; Felicia Ruys makes a bust of
him, and would have married him only that he is stupid enough to have
been burdened with a wife; Moessard, one of the vampires of the press,
writes the Nabob up, and, when the Nabob at last closes his pocket,
writes the Nabob down. And so they go on all of them, in a whirl of
gold-dust and pearl-powder and moral filth that is their world until
they are swept out, each in his or her way, on the strong eddy that is
for ever noiselessly, silently, relentlessly sweeping off human lives
into the vast and eternal hereafter.

Alphonse Daudet has all the gifts that a powerful novelist needs, and
has cultivated them to the highest degree. He writes with that
passionless tone of an intense but calm observer who sees things as they
are, and sees deeper and farther than other men, and paints his picture
with pitiless truth. He misses nothing that can add even incidental
effect to the firm yet delicate stroke of his pencil. He writes with
that apparent effortless ease which is really the result of the
strongest effort in a man who is perfectly master of his work. He has
even, we believe, that highest quality—a moral purpose in what he
writes. But though he sees virtue and the possibilities of virtue even
in his Paris, vice seems too strong for it and always to get the best of
the bargain, even if in the end it goes out in darkness, disaster, and
despair. This undertone of despair of the good is principally what
imparts so unhealthy and morbid an air to his stories. Thackeray
pictured bad enough people, and with an awful accuracy. But the devil
never had it all his own way in Thackeray’s stories, as he has not in
real life. He invariably came out of the fight with his tail between his
legs, very limp and woe-begone, and in a disgraceful condition
generally. There was rude health and pure blood in all Thackeray’s
stories strongly set off against the other side. If M. Daudet could only
muster moral pluck enough to make his virtuous people a little more
robust and aggressive—and there are plenty of such virtuous people in
Paris—his stories would gain rather than lose in tone and make much more
pleasant reading than they do at present. After all, we tire of a crowd
of “awfully wicked” people, going through all their wickedness for our
special edification and instruction.

Miss Hooper’s translation is excellent.

    GOSPEL. Considerations on the Catholicity of the Church soon after
    her Birth. By the Rev. Aug. J. Thébaud, S.J. Vol. I. New York: Peter
    F. Collier. 1878.

We can do no more now than acknowledge the receipt of advance sheets of
this first volume of a work that promises to be one of great value and
importance. Father Thébaud needs no introduction to our readers. He is
known to them as a man of wide and accurate knowledge, keen observation,
and deep thought. These qualities are not conceded to him idly and for
the sake of saying something graceful. They are too rare in these days,
and are still more rarely found united in one person. Nothing, then,
that comes from the pen of this learned Jesuit can be thought unworthy
of careful attention by an intelligent Catholic reader. The title of the
present volume gives some indication of the scope and aim of the work.
These are still further set forth in the following words, which we quote
from the preface:

“Her (the church’s) expansion took place instantaneously, as soon as the
apostles began to preach. Thenceforth her universal sway on earth began,
never to end until the last day, when she will be transferred to heaven.
The whole world at the time was comprised in the three old continents.
It is doubtful if there were already on this western hemisphere any of
the nations which were found in it when it was discovered by Europeans
at the end of the fifteenth century.... The church, therefore, became at
once universal if she filled the greatest part of the old world, and
subdued the chief nations that inhabited it. It can be proved at this
time that her conquests in Asia went much further than was for a long
time believed, and that she was rapidly spreading toward the Eastern
ocean when Moslem fanaticism arrested her in her career. A like result
follows an attentive study of her early progress in the interior of
Africa. Of Europe all concede that she rapidly attained the leadership,
and that she was afterwards mainly instrumental in giving birth to
European civilization.

“But what renders more attractive the detail of all these considerations
is the enumeration of the obstacles she had to surmount in so arduous a
task as this. The main one was not only the natural opposition between
the leanings of corrupt human nature and the doctrines of the Gospel,
but in particular the extreme dissimilarities existing between the
various races of man—dissimilarities in aptitudes, in thoughts and
ideas, in language and manners, but especially in religion and worship.
For the Gospel of Christ was preached not only at a time of a high
civilization, but also of great corruption and religious disintegration.
The primitive traditions of mankind were then nearly all forgotten; the
pure religion and morality which existed at first had given place to the
most degrading polytheism; and, worse yet, this polytheism had lost all
the homogeneity it may have possessed formerly in many countries, and
had become a mere jumble of absurd superstitions.

“This is, in a few words, the portraiture of humanity which met the
apostles at every step, and which must be examined in detail to
understand the difficulty of their task.”

We defer to a later number the criticism which a work of this kind

    THE VATICAN LIBRARY. New York: Hickey & Co. 1878.

The “Vatican Library” has been started by Mr. P. V. Hickey, the active
and enterprising editor of the _Catholic Review_, with the aim of
supplying the general Catholic public with the best Catholic works in
the cheapest possible form. Such an object is on the face of it its own
best recommendation. Two volumes from the “Library” have already reached
us: a twenty-five-cent edition of Cardinal Wiseman’s beautiful story of
_Fabiola_, one of those stories that is destined never to grow old, and
an original story (price ten cents) entitled _The Australian Duke_. The
latter we have not yet had an opportunity of examining. Both volumes are
handsomely produced—very much more so, indeed, than many far more costly
books. Quite a series is promised of “cheap, amusing, entertaining, and
instructive Catholic literature.”

An attempt of this kind, seriously undertaken, and not in a haphazard
fashion, cannot be too highly commended. Whatever tends to cheapen
Catholic books—books, that is, that are really Catholic—and spread them
abroad among the people is a good and noble work. More harm is probably
done by cheap literature in these days than by any other means. The
readiest and most effectual antidote to this universal literary poison
is undoubtedly a literature such as the projectors of the “Vatican
Library” aim at supplying. But they cannot work alone. Generous and
earnest Catholics must help them generously and earnestly. It goes
without saying that the attempt must prove a failure unless it is
seconded on all sides. The purchase of a single copy of a ten cent book
will not help the publishers very materially. The books are chiefly
intended for those who have the will to read but not the means to
purchase. In such a case it is for those who have the means to come
forward and help their poorer brethren all they can by placing in their
hands books that cost next to nothing, yet are in themselves a long
delight and unceasing source of sound instruction.

    LEO XIII. AND HIS PROBABLE POLICY. By Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, D. D.
    New York: Peter F. Collier. 1878.

This little biographical sketch of ninety-six pages has for title on the
cover, “Who is the new Pope? and What is He Likely to Do?” As to who the
new Pope is, Dr. O’Reilly gives a pleasing and picturesque sketch of him
whom it has pleased Providence to call to the highest dignity in the
church and on earth. The personal familiarity of the author with the
scenes where the present Pontiff passed his early youth and strong and
vigorous manhood add value to the charm of a brisk and stirring
narrative. Those who wish to know the character of Leo XIII., what
manner of man he is, and how he passed his life previous to being
summoned to sit in the chair of Peter, will find Dr. O’Reilly’s sketch
by far the best of any that we have thus far seen. Speculations as to
the future policy of the Pontiff can hardly prove very satisfactory just
yet. It may be as well for impatient men to wait a little, and not
attempt to forestall the Holy Father. What his future policy may be can
only be made plain by his own words and acts. He has thus far spoken
very little and done very little. Indeed, he has scarcely had time to do
either one or the other. His position is one where the most extreme
caution and circumspection are needed, and it augurs well for his future
“policy” that he is so very slow to declare any policy at all. The
present state of Europe hardly admits of a hard-and-fast line of
“policy” to be drawn by any one. It is enough for us to know that the
church is safe in whatever hands it falls, so far as regards the deposit
of faith. For the rest, the march of circumstance must greatly influence
the actions of the supreme head of the church. Prayer is rather needed
at this crisis than advice. These observations are not at all intended
disparagingly of Dr. O’Reilly’s interesting _brochure_, but of a
well-meant tendency manifesting itself, among our non-Catholic friends
chiefly, to map out beforehand a convenient little policy for Leo XIII.
which shall make everybody happy here and hereafter.

    MERCY. Edited by a member of the order, authoress of _Catherine
    McAuley, Venerable Hofoauer_, etc. New York: The Catholic
    Publication Society Co. 1878.

A beautiful little book made up of beautiful maxims and prayers. Such a
gem will, we are sure, meet with a welcome reception by religious of all
orders. Its reading will also benefit those who are not religious.

    “GHOSTS.” Father Walworth’s Reply to Robert G. Ingersoll. A Lecture
    delivered at St. Mary’s Church, Albany, Jan. 20, 1878. Albany:
    _Times_ Company Print.

    THE HISTORY OF JOHN TOBY’S CONVERSION. With his Views on Temperance,
    the Liquor Trade, and the Excise Law. A Lecture by the Rev. C. A.
    Walworth. Albany News Company. 1878.

These are two excellent lectures, deserving of a wide circulation. The
first is a plain, common-sense yet effectual and eloquent reply to a
lecture by Mr. Ingersoll, who has recently gained some notoriety as a
preacher of a very “cheap” and very “nasty” form of infidelity. Father
Walworth’s is just the kind of argument to apply to men of average
intelligence who are as open to the teachings of truth, when plainly
presented to them, as they are apt to be carried away by a bold assault
of scoffing infidelity. The lecture is a straightforward, manly,
matter-of-fact defence of religion as against no-religion, none the less
effective and thorough because the lecturer has contrived to conceal
under the guise of a popular form of address the wide knowledge and
learning which give its inherent force to what he says. Mr. Ingersoll
ought to feel peculiarly flattered at being answered by a gentleman and
a man of real power and culture.

The second lecture is the story, very tenderly and charmingly told, of a
drunkard’s conversion. It brims over with real humor and flashes with
“palpable hits”; while there is a touch here and there of pathos that
brings tears to the eyes, and that could only be the outcome of a tender
heart that loves its fellows and sorrows over the woes for which their
vice and folly are chiefly answerable.

    ST. JOSEPH’S MANUAL: Containing a selection of Prayers for Public
    and Private Devotion. With Epistles and Gospels for Sundays and
    Holydays. Compiled from approved sources. By Rev. James Fitton.
    Boston: Thomas B. Noonan & Co. 1877.

This is an old friend with a new and very pleasing face. The _St.
Joseph’s Manual_, compiled by the skilful hand of Father Fitton, has
long been, and is likely to continue long to be, a favorite prayer-book
with Catholics. It is formed on an intelligent plan. It is a book of
wise instruction as well as devotion. The first seventy pages are
devoted to a clear and sound exposition of Catholic doctrine and
practice. With regard to this valuable portion of the book we would
offer two suggestions for future editions: 1. The English here and there
would be better for a little trimming; 2. A special chapter on the dogma
of Papal Infallibility, which might be made brief and concise as the
rest, would do no harm. For the rest, the volume is everything that
could be desired. It contains over eight hundred pages, printed in a
large, clear type very grateful to the eye. The illustrations are,
without exception, excellent. Indeed, the whole work reflects real
credit on the publishers.

    Matthæum, Marcum, Lucam et Joannem, editus sub auspiciis Sanctissimi
    Domini nostri Pii Papæ IX., curante Sacrorum Rituum Congregatione.
    Fasciculi III. Chronista, Christus, Synagoga. MDCCCLXXVII.
    Ratisbonæ, Neo Eboraci et Cincinnatii sumptibus, chartis et typis
    Frederici Pustet, S. Sedis Apost. et Sacr. Rit. Cong. Typographi.

These three superb volumes exhibit the same elegance and taste in
composition that mark all the ritual and choral works edited by Mr.
Pustet, and for which his house has earned a so deservedly high
reputation. Besides the chant of the Passion as appointed for Palm
Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Good Friday of the Holy Week, the second
volume contains a form of chant for the _Lamentations_, and the third
volume the chant of the _Exultet_.

    THE WAY OF THE CROSS. Drawn by N. H. J. Westlake, F.S.A. With a
    letter of approbation by His Eminence Cardinal Manning. Devotions by
    St. Alphonsus Liguori. Baltimore: Kelly, Piet & Co. 1878.

A very beautiful little volume, whose title explains itself. It is
brought out in a tasteful and convenient form, and is admirably adapted
for the Lenten season. The name of Mr. Westlake is sufficient guarantee
for the superiority of the drawings.

                          THE CATHOLIC WORLD.
                    VOL. XXVII., No. 158.—MAY, 1878.


Doctrine and speculation concerning the destiny of man in that future
which follows the termination of his earthly life, have always held a
most important place in all religions and systems of philosophy. Nothing
interests the human mind so much, when it escapes in any degree from the
spell of present, sensible preoccupations, and is awakened to the
sentiment of its own perennial nature and duration. The recent agitation
of the public mind in England and the United States concerning
retribution in a future life has shown how universal and deeply seated
is the anxiety to know what lies beyond the veil which separates the
period of existence on this side, from the endless duration on the other
side, of the common grave into which all human generations descend. The
question of eternal punishment has occupied the pulpits and the press,
as the one most deeply disturbing the general mind of that great mass of
men whose traditions and beliefs are derived from Christianity, although
they are themselves actually separated from the great Christian body,
the Catholic Church. That which strikes the mind of an instructed
Catholic most forcibly in all this discussion is the want of clear and
settled principles in philosophy and theology, the lack of the requisite
premises and data, the absence of any sure criterion for deducing
certain conclusions, testing and determining doctrines and opinions. The
controversy seems to be interminable, for all those who have no lawful
and unerring external criterion in authority. And it really is so. For
this reason, we regard it as the only practicable way for a Catholic to
take in treating of this subject, that he should present the doctrine of
revelation as defined and declared by the church; and resort to reason
and the Holy Scripture, only to refute objections to the Catholic
doctrine from these sources, and to present corroborative proofs and
explanations, in so far as these can be found and their validity as
certain or probable established.

We do not propose to discuss directly the subject of the reality and the
nature of eternal punishment. There is a previous question respecting
the destiny for which man was originally created, upon which depends the
whole solution of the subsequent one concerning the necessity or
contingency of its attainment. We must know what this destiny is, and
what are the means ordained by the Creator for securing its fulfilment,
before we can know whether there is a danger of final and irretrievable
failure on the part of those who are placed in the way of attaining
their end, involved in the very nature of these means.

In plain words, is there a heaven for man hereafter, and what is the way
to obtain it? The doctrine of hell is the shadow of the doctrine of
heaven, and follows it necessarily, when it is rightly presented.

The idea of heaven is that of a state of endless and perfect beatitude,
in the possession of the sovereign good, and of every kind of inferior
good suited to the nature of man. This idea is absolutely incompatible
with every form of atheism, which does not acknowledge the existence of
the sovereign good. It is entirely above the scope of philosophy and
natural theology. For, although God, the sovereign and infinite good, is
manifested by the light of reason, as the first and final cause of all
things, the light of reason does not disclose the possibility of a light
intrinsically superior to the natural light, by which the created spirit
can see God in his essence, and thus obtain the sovereign good as its
own proper possession. Much less can it discover any reason why man
should be regarded as destined to such an elevation above his own
natural mode of knowledge. The utmost that can be proved by pure
philosophy is the possibility of a perfect and permanent state, in which
the ideal of humanity only partially realized in this life is brought
into complete and actual existence. It is certainly most consonant with
the dictates of sound reason to expect that God will bring all
reasonable creatures to a state of permanent felicity, unless they
voluntarily thwart his benevolent purposes. But it does not seem
possible to determine with certainty whether this benevolent will of God
determines him to put an end to all moral and physical evil in the
universe or not, from arguments of pure reason. The whole subject of the
existence of evil must remain covered with obscurity, so long as it is
considered in the light of mere rational philosophy. It is only by the
light of divine revelation that the dealings of God with the human race
become intelligible, and we are able even to reason about the future
destiny of man in a satisfactory manner. Even those who profess to be
guided by this light, if they follow the rule of private judgment, fail
to obtain clear and consistent ideas. The proper idea of the heaven for
which men were created, if not lost, is obscured in the minds of the
greater part of those who profess to be Christian believers and yet
reject the authority of the Catholic Church. All other doctrines
connected with this fundamental one are similarly obscured and
perverted, rendering the theology which rests on them absurd or

It is supernatural beatitude which the revelation of God proposed by the
Catholic Church discloses to faith as the end for which man was created.
By its very essence and definition it is infinitely beyond and above the
end which human nature spontaneously aspires to attain, in which it
finds the perfection and scope corresponding to its essence and its
capabilities. To attain this end it needs grace, or a supernatural mode
of being and acting, elevation above every nature excepting only the
divine, transformation, and, in a sense, deification. Such a destiny for
a mere creature, especially one which is lowest in the intellectual
order, would be inconceivable, and incredible, unless explicitly
revealed by God. Even when it is made known by revelation, its intrinsic
possibility cannot be apprehended or proved by reason. It is one of the
mysteries which is above reason, and the utmost we can do by a rational
argument is to prove that it has been revealed by God, and therefore
rationally demands our assent to its truth because of the divine
veracity. We can, however, by a rational argument, prove that such an
elevation of a created nature must necessarily be supernatural and
cannot be effected by any evolution of a natural capacity, or expansion
of the intrinsic being even of a pure spirit, although it were to
increase in intelligence by an indefinite progress for ever.

Cognition is a vital act, immanent in the intelligent spirit, determined
in perfection by the essence of the spirit itself, and incapable of
transcending its limits as a created and finite being. By this act other
beings are received into and united with the intelligent being,
according to the mode of the recipient; that is, ideally, by a
representation through which they are perceived and known as objects in
their own proper reality outside of the subject. This representation
cannot exceed the capacity of the intelligence which is its active
recipient. The idea by which a created spirit receives God into itself
and unites itself to him, cannot represent his essence and produce
immediate cognition, because the essence of God absolutely and
infinitely transcends all genera and species of created beings. The
highest angel can perceive no essence which intrinsically transcends his
own, and must therefore represent God to himself by and through himself,
that is, analogically and by abstractive not intuitive cognition. His
intellectual vision is as utterly incompetent to perceive the essence of
God, as the sensible vision of man is to see a pure spirit, or his
finger to touch the points of an argument. The indefinite increase of
the power of sensible vision will never bring it any nearer to spiritual
vision, and, in like manner, the indefinite increase of intelligence
will never bring it any nearer to divine intuition. The essence of a
created spirit is finite and its intellectual light is finite. Its
immediate intelligible object is within the limits of its created
nature. As the mind of man cannot rise to any natural knowledge of God
except by discursive reasoning from first principles on the works of
God, that is, by the argument from effects to the first cause, so the
purely spiritual being cannot rise above his own intellectual cognition
of God as the cause and first principle of his own intelligent nature.
It is vain, therefore, to think that it is the grossness of the body, or
the body itself, which hinders the human spirit from seeing God.
Separated from the body, and elevated to an equality with the highest
angel, it could never possess itself of an intelligible object outside
of its own supreme genus as a created spirit, outside the limit of
created and finite being.

It is evident that all the perfection and felicity of an intelligent
being is measured and determined by its intelligence. It possesses the
object in which it voluntarily rests as its chief good by cognition, and
according to the mode of its cognition. No creature, therefore, by its
nature, can rise to that state of immediate communion with God which is
properly called friendship, which demands as its basis a similitude and
equality resulting from a real filiation, such as the creative act
cannot impart to a being brought into existence out of nothingness. The
possession of the sovereign good belongs exclusively to the nature of
God. To the created nature is due only a participation and imitation of
that sovereign good within its own specific and finite limits of being.
The heaven in which God eternally dwells in his own infinite beatitude
is not therefore the natural term and end of man’s future destiny, nor
of the natural destiny of any higher order of creatures. The distance
dividing the most perfect beatitude of created nature from that of the
uncreated and creative nature is equally infinite with the distance
between the essence of God and created essences. The Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit alone have natural society, each person of the
Blessed Trinity with the other persons, in unity of intelligence and
volition, in the possession of the divine essence, the sovereign good,
the absolute beatitude.

A created spirit cannot be raised to this divine level, unless God so
unites his divine essence with the essence of his creature, in an
interior and vital union penetrating to its very centre and the seat of
its intelligent and vital action, that in the essence of God present to
it as immediately as it is present to itself, it sees as through a
divine medium that same divine essence as its immediate object, without
losing its own proper act and distinct individuality.

That God can and does thus elevate created nature we know by divine
revelation. Jesus Christ is true God and true man in two distinct
natures and one person for ever. All the blessed in heaven are
affiliated to God after his likeness, in an inferior degree which leaves
them in their distinct personalities. This state of glory is properly
speaking what is called the kingdom of heaven. Annexed to it, as the
proper inheritance of those who share in the royalty of the Son of God,
is every kind of the most perfect natural beatitude, in the possession
and enjoyment of everything which the universe contains, according to
the different natures of men and angels.

It is evident, without any reasoning on the subject, that in proposing
this supernatural and purely gratuitous beatitude to created beings, God
might select whom he pleased as the recipients of so great a grace, and
prescribe any conditions which are possible and reasonable for securing
its permanent possession. It is perfectly consonant with justice and
goodness, that it should be made a prize and reward of merit, and that a
state of trial and probation should be appointed for those who were
permitted to aspire to this reward. Divine revelation, whose teachings
are confirmed by universal experience, makes known to us, that in fact
God did place the angels, and afterwards mankind, in a state of
probation for this supernatural destiny. A probation must be real and
not illusory. It involves the possibility and danger of failure. It must
have a prescribed period for each individual and for the whole number.
When this period is finished, those who have failed are by the very
terms of the probation finally excluded from the hope of retrieving
their loss. Divine revelation informs us that the probation of the
angels was terminated long ago, and resulted in the winning of eternal
beatitude by a certain number and the loss of it by the others. One
among the chiefs of the angelic hierarchy rebelled against God and drew
after him many other spirits, and with these fallen angels for his
ministers and associates, he has continued and will continue on the
earth the revolt he began in another sphere, until the day appointed for
the final judgment. He has continued it on this earth, by seducing men
to join in his rebellion, and making war against Jesus Christ and his
kingdom, the universal church. The conditions of human probation are of
a very special and peculiar nature, in accordance with the specific
nature of mankind, which is extremely different from that of the angels.
The angels, as pure spirits and having a simple, intellectual essence,
were created singly, and in the actual possession from the first instant
of existence of their complete being. Man was made a rational animal, by
the law of his nature increasing numerically by generation, and
progressing from an inchoate state to his perfection through gradual and
successive stages of growth. The first progenitors of the race alone,
were immediately created, in full maturity of perfection, and endowed
with all the natural and supernatural gifts suitable for their high
destination, to be transmitted to their offspring. Their disobedience
and fall entailed on themselves and their descendants the loss of the
supernatural destiny and of all the gifts and privileges connected with
it. Nevertheless, the human race was restored again by another
dispensation, which is that of the Redeemer Jesus Christ. All those who
receive from him the grace which he merited by his atonement, and do not
wilfully and finally reject this grace, obtain in the end a complete
resurrection to the glory and beatitude of heaven. The rest of mankind
are for ever excluded from the kingdom of heaven. This is a summary of
first principles and fundamental truths pertaining to the very essence
of Christianity. In so far as the destiny of mankind is concerned, the
first constitution of human nature in the person of the common
progenitor of the race in the state of grace and integrity, with a right
to the kingdom of heaven; the ruin of the whole human race by the sin of
Adam; the redemption of the race through Jesus Christ; are the sum of
the teaching of the Old and New Testaments, of the traditional doctrine
concurrent with it, and of the common belief of all generations of men
who have professed to make this doctrine their rule of faith, especially
those who have lived in the full light of Christianity. It is idle to
pretend to call any doctrine different from this by the name of
Christianity, for the whole world knows that this is of the very essence
of the genuine, historical religion which acknowledges Jesus Christ as
its founder. Those who reject it, and yet call themselves Christians,
are only philosophers, professing a merely natural religion, partly
constructed from materials borrowed from Christianity and altered to
suit their own private notions, but really in its fundamental principles
and distinctive character nothing more than a system of rationalism. The
traditional and orthodox Christianity has invariably taught that all men
naturally descending from Adam and Eve need salvation, and can receive
it only through an act of gratuitous mercy on account of the merits of
the divine Redeemer. No man is entitled by the rights of his natural
birth to heaven, or capable of obtaining a right to it by any exertion
of his natural powers. All are under a doom of exclusion from the
kingdom of heaven. That future state, with all its circumstances of
locality and other adjuncts and environments, to which all are destined
by virtue of this doom, is called in the authorized language of the
Catholic Church _Infernum_, in the English language, _Hell_. The
doctrine of hell as an eternal state is therefore necessarily the shadow
which must accompany the doctrine of heaven. It is impossible for any
one to believe in salvation by grace through Jesus Christ, without
implicitly at least acknowledging that all men might have been left
under the doom of destination to the infernal state, without any
prejudice to the justice or the goodness of God. The case is not one
whit altered, if one supposes that all men are actually saved because
Christ died for all. If the mercy of God were universal, it would still
remain evident that mercy is not identical with justice. It could not be
argued that any man has a natural right to salvation, because salvation
is bestowed as a boon upon all men. It is vain, therefore, to argue on
_à priori_ grounds, that all men must eventually be saved. In truth, it
has never been a doctrine of traditional and orthodox Christianity, that
the simple fact of redemption placed every one of the human race in the
possession of an inalienable right to final salvation. That many never
recover the lost right to heaven, and that many who have obtained it
lose it again irretrievably and for ever, is the common and universal
doctrine of Christians. The efforts made to twist the language of Christ
and the apostles into a contrary sense are so futile, that only a fixed
determination to force the Holy Scripture into agreement with one’s own
private opinions and feelings can account for them. The doctrine of the
Catholic Church is unalterably determined. The fallen angels were not
redeemed by Jesus Christ, and for them there is no restoration to the
place which they have forfeited. Of men, all, be their number greater or
smaller, who have been regenerated by the grace of Christ, and have
passed out of this life in the state of grace, will obtain the kingdom
of heaven, and the remainder will be forever excluded. The notion of an
ἀποκατάστασις or future restitution of all angels and men, proposed as a
mere theory by Origen, and alluded to by one or two other Catholic
Fathers of the early ages as a possible conjecture, was universally
reprobated and condemned by the church as soon as it attracted general
attention. There is no doubt as to the Catholic faith on this matter.

The recent discussion has turned chiefly on the question of moral
probation, the cause and reason of the mutability and liability to error
in the intellect and perversion in the will of rational beings, and the
manner and extent of their passing through the state of mutability to a
state of permanent stability in good or evil. The errors of Origen were
derived from the Platonic philosophy. So far as the _Periarchon_ really
presents his fanciful conjectures, we must consider them as vagaries of
a man who, although richly endowed with intellectual gifts and moral
virtues, was destitute of a truly rational and Christian philosophy, and
therefore unable to think consistently, when he ventured beyond those
primary doctrines of the faith which were clearly known to him. We
perceive the same cause of aberration and incoherence in most of the
current statements and expositions of theological opinion which appear
in our modern publications. It would seem that Origen considered it to
be a necessary law of creation, that God must create all souls alike,
and in an elementary state, with a most capricious and uncontrollable
liberty to choose good or evil, so that they were for ever liable to
indefinite mutations of character and condition, and could never become
stable in one fixed position. His state of restitution was no more
permanent and eternal than the previous one of degradation. There is no
eternal heaven possible, according to his hypothesis, or rather that of
the _Periarchon_, any more than an eternal hell. Our modern Protestant
religious writings are affected by a similar tendency to a chaotic
confusion of ideas. It would be an endless task to attempt to follow
them through the maze of conflicting and incoherent reasonings with
which they contend mutually, and strive to construct some sort of
rational and credible eschatology. It is only in Catholic theology based
on dogmas of faith, and a philosophy in harmony with this theology
derived from the ancient masters of intellectual science, that a remedy
for this chaotic state of things can be found. We cannot do more at
present than merely state a few sound and certain principles, without
attempting to reproduce the arguments by which they have been often and
fully demonstrated.

The first principle we lay down is, that God can impart his own
immutability of intelligence and will to intelligent beings. It is
because his intelligence is infinite that God is immutable, that is, can
never change his mind. His will necessarily conforms to his
intelligence, and he therefore is, and is in full possession of, the
sovereign good, by his self-existing essence.

The intelligent creature participates in this intelligence, in that
degree of being which God gives him. The object of the spontaneous and
natural act of intelligence is the real verity of being, and by his
intelligent nature he can never be deceived. The object perceived by the
intelligence contains in it the good, toward which the will moves by a
spontaneous and natural act. It is only necessary that the object be so
placed before the intellect that it compels assent, to make all error,
voluntary or involuntary, impossible. The good which is thus perfectly
presented necessarily draws the will to itself, and thus immutability in
good is produced. Error in the intellect is an accident and a defect in
nature, and all perversion of will or evil choice is a consequence of
error. The liability of sinning is therefore no necessary adjunct of the
spontaneity or liberty of will which is an attribute of intelligent
beings. It is removed by making the intelligence perfect. It is easy,
therefore, for God to make any intelligent being immutably good, even
from the beginning of his existence, since it is easy for him to give to
nature any degree of perfection, within the purely natural order.

In the supernatural order, the gift of the intuitive vision of the
divine essence imparts to the recipient the knowledge and possession of
the sovereign good, with which it is immovably united by a spontaneous
and necessary act. It can no more lose its beatitude than it can lose
its essence. It is as impossible for one of the blessed to be changed
into a sinner, as for an angel to become an ape.

Liability to error and sin belongs, therefore, not to any necessary
order of things, resulting from natural and necessary laws which God is
obliged to follow in creation and providence, but it is a condition of
defectibility pertaining to a law of probation which God has established
by his sovereign will.

This defectibility supposes an equilibrium or indetermination of the
will in respect to contraries which is overcome by a self-determining
power. Such an equilibrium can only exist, when opposite objects, in
which some good corresponding to the spontaneous tendency of the will is
contained, are presented to the intellect as desirable and worthy of
choice; in such a way that the motives for choice balance each other.
The will must follow the intellect, and therefore an error in the choice
must be preceded by an erroneous judgment, which is possible only when
the object presented to it does not compel assent. Moral probation
requires that there should be an obligation, arising from the eternal
law of God or a positive command, to choose one of the opposite objects
and reject the other. It is this which makes these objects contrary to
each other in a moral respect, and is the reason why liberty of choice
between them is called the liberty of contrariety, and the determination
to the one is a virtuous, while that to the other is a vicious act. It
is easy to understand this liberty of contrariety and the moral
discipline which is requisite for its due control and direction, in
respect to human nature. From its complex constitution, the sensible
good is often opposed to the rational good, and reason, which ought to
govern, is easily deceived by the imagination. In the case of pure
spirits, it is more difficult to see how they can be subject to any
illusion, or capable of undergoing any moral probation. In the natural
order, they are perfect, and cannot err in the apprehension of that
which is truly desirable as their chief good. They are not, therefore,
capable of probation in the moral order of pure nature. But in the
supernatural order, the object proposed to them being presented in an
obscure, supernatural light, which does not compel assent, there is room
for a suspension of the act of consent, and a power of rejecting the
sovereign good by a voluntary self-determination, in adhering to the
inferior object which they naturally comprehend and love. In fact, it
was in this way that the fallen angels sinned and rebelled against God.
In like manner, Adam, who was elevated to a perfect state like that of
the angels, and enjoyed absolute dominion over all sensible
concupiscence, underwent a supernatural probation, in which he fell
through the seduction of Eve, who was the instrument of the demon, who
had previously made her the victim of his diabolical sophistry.

The only moral order which is known to exist as an order of probation,
in reference to an ultimate destination and end of intelligent
creatures, is the one which is supernatural. If we conjecture that the
universe is filled with intelligent beings who are neither angels nor
human beings, we have no need and no reason to imagine that they are
subject to a moral probation with the trials and pains connected with
the order under which angels and men were constituted. The great problem
of the reason of probation is one which is restricted within the sphere
of those beings who have been constituted by the Creator in the order of
a supernatural destiny. The difficulty of the problem arises exclusively
from the moral and physical evil which is an incident of probation. In
itself, the sufficient reason for probation is obvious and evident. The
origin and nature of evil really present no insoluble difficulty, when
the principles of sound theology and philosophy are understood. The
difficulty consists in accounting for the permission of sin and misery
in view of the known attributes of infinite goodness and almighty power
in God. If the final conclusion of the vicissitudes and temporary evils
of the state of probation were a universal ἀποκατάστασις, including the
eternal abolition of evil in the universe and the attainment in general
and in each individual of a permanent good of the highest order, to
which the temporary conflict of good and evil was a necessary means, the
human reason might be completely satisfied. But, although in general,
and in a multitude of individuals, this is really the predestined and
certain result, it is not the case with another multitude, the whole
number, namely, of those who finally forfeit the sublime destiny to
which they had an original right, but which they have lost
irrecoverably. There is a repugnance in the human mind to the
contemplation of permanent and eternal evil in the universe, and this is
much increased by the human sensibilities, and natural sympathy with
those of our own kind who suffer even the consequences of their own
violation of the eternal law. This repugnance causes the effort to find
a way of escape, or at least of mitigating the severe integrity of the
truth by resorting to some kind of fatalism. These efforts are all
futile and foolish. It is absurd to question the infinite goodness or
the infinite power of God. The fact that moral and physical evil exists,
is only too well known by experience. There is but one way to account
for it, which is that God permits it as incident to the law of moral
probation. We can have no knowledge of the finality of evil except from
the divine revelation. And, that revelation having made known to us that
the decision of destiny for each individual at the term of his probation
is irreversible, it is reasonable, as well as imperative in respect to
faith, to assent to the judgment of God because of his own knowledge and
veracity, whether we can or cannot understand how and why that judgment
is consistent with his goodness.

There is no prohibition placed on the exercise of intellect and reason
in seeking to understand these revealed doctrines, provided we respect
the authority which God has established as our extrinsic rule and
criterion of truth. Under this regulation, reason can go very far toward
solving the problem of the origin, nature, and reason of evil.

The origin of evil is in the abuse of free-will by intelligent beings
who are placed by the Creator in a state of probation. Its nature is
merely privative, consisting in deficiency and disorder. The sufficient
reason for permitting it is either that it is a necessary incident to
any order of moral probation, or to such an order as the one actually
established, in view of the greater glory of God and the greater general
good of the universe. The evil condition, or state of deficiency and
privation, into which intelligent beings are degraded in consequence of
their abuse of the power of free choice, is the natural consequence of
their voluntary sin, and is, in itself, permanent and irremediable.
Since the order of probation is supernatural, and the power of
efficaciously electing the sovereign good is a grace freely given by
God, sin, which is a supernatural death, is eternal in its duration and
consequences, unless God restores the lost state of grace by his divine
power. He can easily do it, and it is therefore vain to attempt, as it
were, an apology for the Almighty, by pretending that he actually does
all that is possible, to restore the fallen, and to bring every
intelligent being to the perfection for which he was originally
destined. It is by the will of the Almighty, that each one who has been
placed in a state of probation, if he passes out of that state with the
guilt of sin upon him, is for ever deprived of the grace which is
absolutely necessary for expiation and restoration. The probation of
angels ended long ago, and those who sinned were left without any offer
of pardon and reconciliation. The pardon which is offered to men, is
offered to them as a gratuitous act of mercy on the part of God, which
is available so long as they live and have the use of reason and
free-will. Probation ceases with death, and all merit and demerit become
eternal. The doom awarded to merit is eternal reward, to demerit eternal
punishment. The final privation of that good which is the reward of
merit, and of that grace which is necessary for making the least
movement toward it, is a penalty which God has annexed to sin. This is
the Christian and Catholic doctrine, and to deny it is equivalent to a
complete renunciation of the genuine Christian religion. The recent
developments of the extent to which this fundamental tenet of orthodox
Protestantism is disbelieved or doubted among the various sects, are an
evidence that their dogmatic and historical basis is crumbling and
passing away with unexpected rapidity. The genuine dogmatic system of
Protestantism is Calvinism. And although the Calvinistic system retains
a number of the fundamental articles of Catholic faith, its omissions
and additions and perversions make it as a whole self-contradictory and
absurd. The principle of private judgment logically results in
rationalism, and no such system as Calvinism can long stand a rational
test. All other theological systems which have sprung up as
modifications of the Luthero-Calvinistic system are too incoherent and
incomplete to be permanent. An irresistible current is sweeping away all
these fabrics hastily built upon the sand, leaving only a confused
_débris_ of truths and errors to the amazement of mankind. While this
breaking up of old and general beliefs and convictions is in many
respects lamentable and dangerous, we recognize, nevertheless, that
there is a divarication in the irresistible logical current which is
sweeping them into the sea of oblivion. The tendency of the general mind
is not exclusively destructive. There is a yearning and an effort toward
universal truth, and a deeply-seated conviction that this truth is
really contained in Christianity rightly understood, which makes a
strong and wide counter-current, bearing away from the tide that sets so
strongly toward materialism and atheism. We recognize in the views and
arguments more or less rationalistic which have been recently put forth
in respect to the future destiny of the human soul, a revival of ethical
and theological ideas in respect to the relation of the soul toward God,
which are more in harmony with the Catholic faith than those of the old
Protestant belief. The intrinsic, inherent good qualities and state of
the soul itself, its voluntary determination to the good, its actual
perfection in spiritual excellence and virtue, are acknowledged to be
the ground and measure of the relation of friendship with God, and the
want of this subjective fitness and worthiness is confessed to be a
necessary cause of a corresponding alienation. The state of interior
rectitude, integrity, and likeness to God, is acknowledged to be the
necessary qualification of congruity and condignity in the soul, which
gives it an aptitude to receive from the Creator that permanent and
perfect enjoyment of its highest good which constitutes its everlasting
beatitude. Sin is acknowledged to be the supreme evil of the soul which
deprives it of its true good and degrades it below the order in which
its proper excellence and felicity are placed. Therefore, the whole
question of the final restoration of all intelligent beings who have
lapsed from good, is resolved into a question respecting the cessation
or the perpetual continuance of a moral order, under which renovation is
possible, and the possibility sure to become actual, by a necessary and
eternal law, in every individual instance. What is the criterion by
which those who maintain this ἀποκατάστασις intend to determine its
truth or falsity? It must be either divine revelation distinctly and
certainly made known, or pure human reason. Every one who thinks
logically must select between the two. As we have before said, we judge
it by the criterion of revelation. What is the Christian, that is, what
is the Catholic doctrine, founded on the veracity of God, clearly
declared, and unalterable? We have already stated it, and it is known to
all men. Those who still profess that they have in the Scriptures
interpreted by their own private judgment an infallible rule of faith,
are bound to demonstrate that their doctrine is clearly taught in the
Scriptures, or is at least compatible with what is taught in them. It is
open to any Catholic writer to discuss the matter with them on that
ground if he thinks fit to do so, and it may be of some utility. It is
equally suitable to discuss the question on purely philosophical grounds
with those who do not admit revelation. But, as this is not our present
purpose, we confine ourselves to the statement of what is the Catholic
doctrine, and merely affirm that it is impossible to bring any
conclusive argument against it, either from Scripture or from reason. It
is really only the objections from reason which have any weight in the
minds of men. Now, it is impossible to prove from reason that God may
not propose to intelligent creatures a supernatural end to be attained
by their voluntary operation under a moral law, and fix definite limits
to their probation; or that it is not just to leave those who have
misused their liberty by turning away from their prefixed end, in the
permanent state of privation of their sovereign good. Nor is it possible
to prove that penalties are not justly inflicted as a retribution for
violations of law, in the state which succeeds the term of probation. It
is God alone who is the judge of the nature and quantity of retribution
which is due according to justice to individual demerits. Reason is not
qualified to criticise the divine judgment which has decreed an eternal
penalty for sin. The only rational mode of inquiring into the penalty
for sin in the future life, is by seeking to ascertain what the divine
revelation actually discloses and teaches on this momentous subject.
This is determined with certainty by the Catholic rule, and taking all
that is contained in this certain doctrine as a point of departure and a
regulating principle, a theological and philosophical exposition of its
relations with the other known principles and doctrines of revelation
and reason manifests its harmony with all these truths, in a
sufficiently clear light to command a firm rational assent. If all
difficulties and obscurities are not completely removed, many
misconceptions and apparent objections are dissipated, while the
obscurity which finally remains is shown to be a necessary accompaniment
of the dim light, by which the human mind, in its present condition,
perceives these remote objects of eternity; and to make part of that
limitation of knowledge which is an element of our moral discipline.

It is a demonstrable truth, contained in the first principles both of
natural and revealed theology, that God has made all things for good,
and that he will not permit the abuse of free-will by his creatures to
thwart the final attainment of the end he has proposed, by causing
permanent disorder in the universe. St. Thomas teaches that the
punishment of the future life is decreed for this very reason. “It
pertains to the perfect goodness of God, that he should not leave
anything inordinate in existing things. Now, those things which exceed
their due quantity are comprehended in the order of justice which
reduces all things to equality; but man exceeds his due measure of
quantity when he prefers his own will to the divine will by satisfying
its desires inordinately; and this inequality is removed, when man is
compelled to suffer something contrary to his own will according to
God’s established order” (_Con. Gent._, iii. 146). F. Liberatore,
commenting on this text, says: “Punishment is therefore a certain
reaction of reason and justice for the restoration of the disturbed
order. The argument which demonstrates the necessity of a sanction for
the natural law, shows also that when God punishes those who commit
mischievous acts he is not impelled by a movement of vengeful ire, but
only by the love of goodness and order. For retribution, which proceeds
from the order of justice according to the quality of the works done,
imports in its very notion the concept of rectitude and goodness”
(_Eth._, c. iii. art. 2).

In respect to the essential nature of the punishment, the same author
lays down the proposition: “That the punishment of retribution for the
impious consists principally in the loss of their ultimate end. By those
good works which are commanded by the law, man puts himself on the road
which leads straight to his end. For virtuous actions are a kind of
steps by which a man walks toward this end; while on the other hand by
vicious actions he deflects from his end and goes in an altogether
opposite direction. Therefore, when the time destined for the journey
has expired, it will necessarily follow that the one who has travelled
by the road leading to his end should attain his end. Again, it is
necessary for a similar reason that the one who through disregard of his
end has followed a road leading in an entirely opposite direction should
be deprived of the attainment of his end. It is a contradiction to
assert that a way leading to a certain term does not lead to it; and
equally absurd to say that this same term is reached by a way which
leads directly away from it. Therefore, it necessarily follows that at
least the loss of the ultimate end should follow the violation of the
natural law and be, as it were, a certain internal and natural sanction
for it. But the loss of the end inflicted in view of the acts which one
has committed has the nature of a punishment.

“Nevertheless, that by no means suffices for a complete retribution
corresponding to the works done; but a positive infliction of
punishments according to the diversity existing between individuals is
requisite. Therefore they are not all to be made to receive an exactly
equal punishment (which would happen if they were only deprived of the
attainment of their end), but to be chastised by a greater or lesser
positive punishment according to the quality of their transgressions.
This is required for still another reason, viz., that by their vicious
acts they have not only despised their end but also positively disturbed
the right order.” (_Ibid._)

The reproach of dualism, and of a failure to establish a final
subjugation of evil by good and of disorder by the triumph and
domination of order, made against the orthodox doctrine, is shown by
these arguments, in connection with other well-known principles of
Catholic theology and philosophy, to be groundless. There is no dualism
in God, for his creative act, and all that he does for bringing it to
its ultimate term, proceeds from love diffusive of the good of being in
a wise and benevolent order. There is no dualism in the essence and
being of intelligent creatures, in respect to God or each other. Their
essence is good, and all nature whatsoever is essentially good. No evil
substance does or can exist. Evil is privation and disorder. The
temporary disorder, which is permitted as an incident to the liberty of
a state of probation and movement toward a stable order, is rectified in
the final ordination of all things under the supremacy of sovereign law.
The loss of some good, which might have been added to the actual sum of
good if all had attained their end, is compensated by the greater good
which God has brought out of evil. Reason and order and law are
vindicated and satisfied, by the compulsory subjection and homage of
those who have refused to give their concurrence and pay their just
tribute of obedience and labor freely. Privation does not disfigure the
spiritual universe in which all that is requisite to consummate order
and beauty exists, any more than empty space disfigures a stellar
system. The good has therefore a complete and universal triumph, which
leaves no deordination in the universe.

Disorder is only in the moral order of liberty in the election of
contraries, by which the permanent order of those who exercise this
power is determined. Those who rise above the moral order go to a higher
order which is permanent; those who fall below it go to an order beneath
which is permanent. The moral order passes away, and with it all
conflict between opposing moral forces. Those who have fallen below
their proper destiny receive precisely what is due to them and results
naturally from their voluntary choice. Whatever is superadded to the
misery naturally involved in the state of alienation from God and the
frustration of their proper end, is directed to remove and prevent but
not to perpetuate and increase deordination; and thus eternal
punishment, whatever its nature, qualities, and instrumentalities may
be, really restricts the limits of evil. It is the _bonum honestum_ and
not the _bonum delectabile_ which is the just and reasonable object of
the primary and direct complacency of intelligent beings. The _bonum
delectabile_ is secondary. That which is most contrary to this highest
good is the revolt of free-will against the will of God. When the term
allowed by the Almighty for the rebellion of Lucifer to run its course
has been reached, it will be suppressed by that act of sovereign power,
which places each one of those who have merited exclusion from heaven in
a fixed and unchangeable state, precisely suited to his character. No
further disturbance of the moral order is possible, no further privation
can be incurred, no new injuries can be attempted against any of God’s
creatures. Those who suffer, actually endure nothing beyond the
retribution justly due to the demerits of their state of probation, and
their suffering compensates in the order of the _bonum honestum_ for
their offences against that order, restoring the disturbed equilibrium
of justice. It is an effect of the divine goodness frustrated (in
respect to them) of its intention, and deprived of its due quality as
_bonum delectabile_ by their own voluntary opposition to the benevolent
will of God. Socrates and Plato taught that it is better even for the
one who deserves punishment to undergo it than to remain in impunity.
Assuredly it is better for the common order which he has violated.
Impunity for great political frauds is the greatest of disorders in a
community, and the punishment of the criminals is a reparation to the
public honor and the sanctity of right, which adds decorum to a state.
This is in virtue of an eternal and universal law, and holds good in the
supreme order, with which the ethical constitution of human society is
in an analogical resemblance. Justice reduces all things to equality, by
subjugating the inordinate wills of created beings under the coercive
force of the reaction of reason and order against their rebellion. The
inequality removed by this violent reaction is measured by the voluntary
and free excesses of the rebels and transgressors against the sovereign
will of God. Beyond this measure, there is no violence done to the
spontaneous desires and natural tendency to good intrinsic to the
essence of every intelligent being. Unless there is an inequality caused
by voluntary contrariety to the divine will, there is no opposition, and
therefore there must be a perfect harmony and equality of proportion
between the eternal order and the wills of those who are subject to it.
Therefore, there is no such thing possible as pain, discontent,
deficiency from the _bonum honestum_ and _bonum delectabile_ of nature,
in the eternal world, except that which is the retribution for voluntary

The thousands of millions of human beings who never attain the use of
reason, never run the risks of probation, and pass into the eternal
state without merit or demerit, enjoy the good of being which is
consonant to their nature in whatever actual condition it exists. Those
whose nature is regenerate, and spontaneously seeks the sovereign good
of the supernatural order, go immediately into the kingdom of heaven.
Those whose nature is not regenerate possess an immortality in which
they enjoy the natural good of being. There is no such thing as
fatality, calamity of chance, misfortune, or deordination of any kind in
the true ἀποκατάστασις and restitution of all things, which succeeds the
present inchoate, temporary order. It is the absolute and universal and
eternal reign of God by his eternal law, which is identified with the
physical and spontaneous laws of being, and gives liberty of action
within the ordained circumference, without any possibility of escape
from the orbit assigned to each individual existence.

We return now to that which we proposed at the beginning as a primary
question, not for those who are already certain by Catholic faith, but
for inquirers into the mystery of human destiny beyond the veil. Is
there a heaven, and what is the way by which it can be attained? Modern
rationalism presents at best nothing higher that the eternal state into
which human nature fell by the transgression of Adam, and from which we
are redeemed by Christ. This species of philosophical and semi-Christian
Theism, which is respectable in pagans and those who are in a similar
condition of dim enlightenment, has no intellectual foundation which can
stand or give support, in opposition to the clear Christian revelation.
The firm assent to its really sound and rational principles and their
logical conclusions, inexorably demands a further assent, to the
physical, moral, and metaphysical demonstration by which the certain
truth of Christianity is made evident to reason. A consistent and
thorough rejection of Christianity reacts with irresistible logical
violence against the first premises of natural theology. The prevailing
rationalism is materialistic and atheistic. The contrary of Catholic
faith, the real error of the age, the logical alternative of genuine
undiluted Christianity, is anti-spiritual, anti-theistic Nihilism. To
those who have a repugnance for the hell which is the shadow of heaven
in Catholic doctrine, the night-side of the supernatural, this system
cannot be very attractive; unless they are in despair, and already so
unhappy and hopeless that existence seems to them an intolerable evil.
In this system there is nothing besides hell. Hell is the necessary,
eternal reality, the only being. The negation of all eternal good, of
all beatitude whether natural or supernatural, is the one, fundamental
dogma of Pessimism.

The aspiration and longing for beatitude which cannot be wholly
extinguished in any human soul, and which manifests its vehemence even
in the most gloomy and despairing utterances of scepticism, is strong
and vivid among the multitude of half-believers, whose Christian descent
has left in their minds, as an heirloom, some indistinct idea of the
heaven of Christian theology. Even though they practically seek to
satisfy their thirst for the true good by the pleasures of the present
life, they wish to cherish the hope of a higher future happiness in the
next world. Therefore, they eagerly welcome any plausible teaching or
speculation which seems to make a happy immortality their sure ultimate
destiny, and are glad to think they run no risk of losing it, and need
not give themselves trouble to find the way to gain it. Conscience, and
the moral sense which has had a semi-Christian education, will not
permit those who still cling to their traditional religion to believe
that the majority of adults are actually fit for perfect happiness, or
capable of passing out of this life at once into heaven, without
undergoing some thorough transformation of character. The view presented
by the most reasonable and high-toned of the writers and preachers who
have recently advocated universal salvation, or a doctrine tending in
that direction, places a prospect of indefinite trial and suffering
before those who have sinned during their mortal career, as awaiting
them hereafter. Its happy termination in the heaven promised to the good
is something which is inferred by their own reasonings and conjectures,
but which cannot be proved with certainty by reason, much less shown to
be a promise of the divine word. Over against this there is the general
belief of mankind; the general consent of those who have read the Holy
Scriptures in the interpretation of their plain and obvious sense; and
the teaching of the Catholic Church from the very beginning, which she
will certainly never change. It is much more reasonable to take the
authority of the church as the criterion of truth in regard to this
momentous matter than to decide it by private reasonings or private
interpretations of Christian doctrine. The Catholic doctrine proposes a
heaven of supernatural beatitude and glory to every one, and points out
a sure way by which any one may secure it, no matter how much he may
have sinned in the past. It is the most rational course to begin at once
to follow the road which leads to the right end, and leave with God the
responsibility of administering his own just and sovereign laws by
giving to each one that retribution which he has deserved.

    NOTE.—The reader is referred for a more full exposition of the
    relation of the supernatural to the natural order, and the other
    principal topics belonging to the subject of the future destiny of
    man, to the following works: _Aspirations of Nature_, by the Rev. I.
    T. Hecker; _Problems of the Age_ and _The King’s Highway_, by the
    Rev. A. F. Hewit; _Catholicity and Pantheism_, by the Rev. J. de
    Concilio; _The Knowledge of Mary_, by the same author; and _Catholic
    Eschatology_, by H. N. Oxenham.


    O precious book! in lines of fire I see
      Upon each page the record of a soul
    Which soared above the clouds, serenely free,
      Which read with eagle eye the mystic scroll;
    To whose ecstatic love th’ Eternal Three
      Sublime and hidden mysteries did unroll.
    A heart, a living heart, is throbbing here!
      A heart whose every fibre[41] thrilled to One
    Unknown to human wisdom, yet most clear
      To him, whose spirit, as a luminous sun,
    Caught from the splendors of high heaven’s sphere,
      A light for centuries set in shadows dun.
    O shadows dark and sad! with prophet-gaze
      Did he foresee your baneful, blinding cloud
    Enwrap man’s reason, soul, and heart? the ways
      Of God enveloped in a death-like shroud
    Of folly, prejudice, and pride? Amaze
      Had seized that noble soul! Yet he had bowed
    ’Neath persecution’s fury; toiled with heart
      Undaunted, while upraised were savage hands
    To strike, as Jews of old, the deadly dart.
      Through sufferings borne with joy he won those bands,
    Through burning zeal and (his own heavenly art)
      Divinest meekness, which all power commands.

    What secret charm had he so early learned
      Which made a joy of pain? of sacrifice
    His life-long pleasure? Soul and heart had burned
      Within love’s fiery crucible where dies
    Nature and self and sense; for God he yearned;
      For God and souls were poured his nightly sighs.
    Thou sacred volume, fruit of years of prayer,
      Of holy contemplation, seraph love,
    Dost unto me this hidden charm declare;
      With his own life each word is interwove.
    His holy pen would oft, methinks, repair
      To Calvary’s shade or to the olive grove,
    And, deep within the Wounded Side, would seek
      The living flame, as strong as death, which breathes
    In each dear line. Methinks he still doth speak,
      And with celestial sweetness still bequeathes
    His dying legacy of love; his meek
      And gentle lessons in the soul inwreathes
    Like flowers, the garden of the Spouse to grace.

    O zeal inflamed and generous! No rest
      While heart and hand the path to heaven may trace
    For souls brought back on Calvary’s bleeding crest;
      No rest while he one tender lamb may place,
    All bruised, for healing on the Saviour’s breast.
      No sweet repose of prayer and love while pure
    And virgin hearts, aspiring heavenward, pine
      For light and guidance in the way obscure
    And thorny leading to the mystic shrine—
      The “inner temple,” where God, throned secure,
    Binds fast the soul in his embrace divine.
      No rest for him while still on earth the fire
    His Master brought remains unkindled; while
      One human heart, Grief’s trembling, deep-toned lyre,
    Vibrates not to his Master’s touch with smile
      Of peace, ev’n while the chords are breaking; higher,
    And higher still! the sacrificial pile
      Awaits a host of generous souls who mount
    With ardor at his word; new strength endows,
      And, like the phœnix,[42] they from Light’s own Fount
    Draw odorous flames of love; while sacred vows
      Bind them, like Isaac, hand and foot, who count
    The sword and fire but pleasure with their Spouse.

    O priceless heritage of poet-saint!
      What wisdom born of Heaven adorns each page!
    To fancy seems some master-hand to paint;
      To intellect speaks philosophic sage;
    Passion impulsive yields to sweet constraint,
      And heart and will bow down in every age.
    Strange spell which o’er the soul it casts! the strong,
      Clear message more like ancient prophet’s tone;
    Again, to his full gaze as mysteries throng,
      Its breathings are the loved disciple’s own;
    And now it rises like th’ ecstatic song
      Of some grand seraph veiled before the throne!

Footnote 41:

  If I knew there was one fibre in my heart which was not all God’s I
  would instantly pluck it out.—_St. Francis de Sales._

Footnote 42:

  St. Francis draws many beautiful illustrations from this mythical
  bird. The ancients asserted that when age had exhausted the strength
  of the phœnix it built a funeral-pile of aromatic gums and wood on the
  top of some high mountain, and, ascending it when the sun was in his
  meridian splendor, lit the pile by the fanning of its wings, and was
  consumed to ashes. From these ashes sprang another phœnix.

                          CONRAD AND WALBURGA.
                               CHAPTER I.

Among the many beautiful paintings by world-known artists which adorn
the old Pinakothek in Munich is one symbolizing Innocence, by Carlo
Dolce. It represents a lovely, rosy-cheeked girl gazing frankly at you;
down her shoulders floats a stream of golden hair, and clasped to her
bosom is a lamb.

Before this picture, one spring day in the year 1855, stood a gentleman
admiring it with all the rapture of one who knows how difficult it is to
achieve such a miracle of art—to place upon canvas a face so instinct
with life, so full of that divine something which only genius can

“It is indeed beautiful, most beautiful,” thought Conrad Seinsheim. “And
yet,” after an inward pause, during which his eyes rested on a young
lady who was copying it—“and yet real flesh and blood, when cast in the
mould of beauty, infinitely surpass aught that was ever accomplished by
brush or chisel.”

It was only a profile view he had of her face—for the painting hung in a
corner, and she was in the corner too, with her left side next to the
wall—but this view sufficed to send a thrill through every fibre of his

Conrad was no longer a very young man; his age was five-and-thirty, and
he had already seen a good deal of the world. His father, a wealthy
merchant of Cologne, had died, leaving him a handsome fortune, and with
his last breath almost had urged him to marry. And Conrad had travelled
and visited well-nigh every capital in Europe, enjoying to the utmost
the pleasures which choice society affords, but had not yet found the
woman whom he could really love. The fair women whom he had met had been
mere butterflies of fashion, idlers basking in the smiles of men as vain
and idle as themselves. But here, at last, was one who came up to his
high ideal of female loveliness, and who withal was not a drone. But it
was Walburga’s expression, rather than the exquisite classic outline of
her countenance, that made his heart throb as it did; it imaged a soul
nourished upon the visions of genius. The girl was evidently enjoying,
with delight too deep for words, this Carlo Dolce; and, guided by the
light of sympathy, its ethereal life, which other copyists might have
missed, she was catching and retaining, and you might almost have
fancied, from her mien of rapture, that she knew the spirit of the old
master was hovering over her and guiding her delicate white hand.

“The sunshine of her soul is inspiring, and fills me with gladness too,”
exclaimed Conrad inwardly. “She does not turn to look at me; she goes
right on, filled with the joy of her work. Oh! have I not found here the
being whom I have been so vainly seeking?”

After admiring the young artist a few minutes he continued his way along
the gallery. But his mind was too occupied with the living picture which
he had just seen to care a jot for anything else, and all the rest of
the day this vision of beauty haunted him.

At three o’clock the Pinakothek is closed; and at this hour Walburga
betook herself to her humble but cosey home in Fingergasse,[43] where,
summoning her friend, Moida Hofer, who lodged with her, and who kept an
old curiosity shop in the same street, the two sallied forth for a
stroll in the English Garden.[44] They were fast friends, these girls,
having been many years together, and never were they so happy as in each
other’s company. And now, while they wandered through this delightful
park, they talked about their school-days, and rejoiced that not yet a
day of parting had come.

“Well, as for me, I shall never marry, you know,” spoke Walburga.

“Oh! yes, you will,” the other smilingly answered. Yet in her heart
Moida believed that what Walburga said might be true. Her dearest friend
was born with an affliction, a weighty cross—one which likely enough
would prove a barrier to marriage. Moida, however, had no such cross,
and already she had a devoted lover, whose name was Ulrich, and who,
moreover, was the brother of Walburga.

Ulrich was uncommonly handsome and the last representative of the
ancient and noble family of Von Loewenstein. But he was poor, and far
off seemed the day when he should make Moida his bride. The latter,
however, was patient. She built for herself no castles in the air; she
was one of those practical souls, full of common sense, which is the
genius of everyday life, and nobody had ever heard her utter a sigh.
“Sometime or other our honeymoon will come,” she would tell her
betrothed; “therefore, much as I love you, my Ulrich, I’ll not die of

It would have been hard to find two young women more unlike in
temperament as well as looks than Moida and Walburga; and perhaps ’tis
why they dwelt in such harmony together. Miss Hofer, instead of being
tall like her friend, was short and plump, with a little sprightly nose
turning upward toward the sky, and she had a somewhat broad mouth. But
there was a pretty dimple in her chin—a very pretty dimple; just the
place for a kiss to hide itself—and she had lovely blue eyes, and such a
fund of mirth and humor that it was impossible ever to be sad in her
company. Of painting Moida knew absolutely nothing. But she was glad
that she was not an artist; “for if I were,” she would say, “how could I
find time to attend to my curiosity-shop and keep our little household
in order? Ulrich is an artist, and so are you, Walburga; and we must not
all three be making mountains and heads.”

“No, indeed. And I don’t know what I should do without you,” spoke
Walburga, as they sauntered along the gravelled path by the lake. “You
can’t tell how much I lean upon you. I really believe I am better since
I took your advice about the skull.”

Walburga, who was of a nature inclined to melancholy, had for more than
a year kept a skull in her bed-room, and before it she was wont to
meditate sometimes for hours, until the ugly thing stole away the bloom
from her cheek and drew a black mark under each of her eyes. Her
appetite, too, began to fail; and ’twere not easy to say what might have
happened if she had been living alone. But one morning, while she was
plunged in one of her reveries before this death’s head, Moida
approached, and, after kneeling beside her and saying a prayer—for Moida
was a good girl, and quite as pious as Walburga, only in a different
way—she reverently took the skull in her hands and said: “Now, dear
friend, I think ’tis time to put this aside. ’Tis making a ghost of you.
It has honeycombed you with scruples, and I am sure that your
father-confessor would approve of the reformation which I am going to
inaugurate. Therefore take one more good look at this eyeless, grinning
object ere it disappears from your sight for ever.”

These bold words so astonished Walburga that for about a minute she
could not reply, and she turned to Moida with an expression which might
have deterred anybody with less spirit and determination from proceeding
further. But Moida—who, let us here remark, was a descendant of Andreas
Hofer, the Tyrolese patriot—was not in the least frightened by the
other’s flashing eyes.

“I will use this skull with reverence,” she continued. “I promise you it
shall be laid in consecrated ground; if necessary, with my own hands
I’ll bury it in God’s-acre. But here in this room it shall be no more.”

“Well, I declare!” exclaimed Walburga, presently bursting into a laugh,
“you are the dearest, sauciest girl I ever met.”

“Then say I may do it,” went on Moida. “For, although I am very
determined, yet I prefer not to be too great a despot and carry the
skull off absolutely against your will.”

“Well, let me bury it myself,” answered Walburga.

“Agreed! But I’ll accompany you to God’s-acre; for I know one of the
grave-diggers, and before another hour this poor old head shall be
resting in peace underground.”

So the skull was buried, after which Walburga’s cheeks recovered a good
deal of their bloom. And now, while she and her friend are enjoying
themselves in the open air this mild spring day, she looks more
sprightly than we have ever seen her before.

“Pray tell me, Moida,” said Walburga, after they had gone round the lake
and were on their way home, “what is Ulrich doing at present? You had a
letter from him this morning, had you not?”

“Oh! yes,” answered the other, her ever-bright countenance growing
brighter. “The dear fellow is in the Innthal,[45] where he means to make
a sketch of the home of his ancestors.”

“Dear, sweet spot!” murmured Walburga.

“Ay, and dear Tyrol!” added Moida. “And he tells me Loewenstein Castle
has been sold by the state to a rich gentleman from Cologne, who has
engaged Ulrich to restore its faded frescos, and he is beside himself
with delight. The least thing raises his spirits ever so high, and now
he imagines that this undertaking will be the beginning of his fortune.
I must caution the dear boy, in my answer, not to indulge in dreams.”

“Ah! true; he is given to dreaming, like myself,” said Walburga, shaking
her head. “But this is a hard world, as you have often told me, and
dreams will not feed us. I must sell my paintings—sell them—and not work
for pure love of the beautiful.”

“Yes, indeed. Murillo, Raphael, and all of them had to eat, and bread
costs money,” said Moida.

“Well, I hope this new-comer is a good man, and may he know how to keep
his castle. Alas! if our family had known how to manage things, instead
of letting everything go at loose ends. If there had been heads among us
like yours, Moida, I should not have been living to-day in narrow, dingy
Fingergasse, trying hard to make the two ends meet, and not always

“But then I should never have known you; a grand lady dwelling in a
castle would not stoop to look at me.”

“Oh! true; and ’twas worth coming down in the world—down to a humble
abode—in order to know you.” Then, after a pause: “But what else does my
brother say about this gentleman?”

“Well, he says he is not a bit handsome, and that he looks stern. Ulrich
says, too, he is passionately fond of art, is a believer in the
aristocracy of nature, and declares he doesn’t know who his
great-grandfather was. The only thing that is really not good about him
is that he has no faith.”

“No faith!” sighed Walburga. “Well, at any rate, Moida, he’ll not suffer
for want of company; for it cannot be denied that very few of those
learned men are ever seen inside a church. Oh! how comes this?”

Moida shrugged her shoulders, but made no response. The truth is,
although a very good girl, she did not think deeply on religious
subjects. Walburga, on the contrary, was often much distressed by the
infidelity which she saw spreading around her, and trembled for her dear
brother, who had once declared that out of every hundred students who
frequented the university with him seventy lost their belief in a God
after being there six months; and nothing is so dead as a dead faith.
And now she was not certain that Ulrich himself went to church; for of
late he had been away from her a good deal. Walburga called to mind,
too, a grave conversation which she once had with him about religion,
when he told her something that had left a deep impression upon her.

“Believe me, sister,” said Ulrich, “a boy may be very good at home and
have the best religious instruction from his parents, yet their advice
and teaching will prove but a slender safeguard against the perils of
the university. This is the age of science; ’tis impossible to prevent
young men from studying chemistry and geology. They will flock to our
halls of learning and crowd round our great professors, who are
atheists, like moths about a lamp, heedless of the risk they run. Now,
sister, I verily believe one true Christian university would be worth a
thousand Sunday-schools. The great need of the day is to Christianize
science—ay, Christianize it; make it a beacon-light and not a consuming

“Moida,” spoke Walburga, after dwelling a moment on these words of her
brother—“Moida, do you think Ulrich says his prayers and goes to church
as he used?”

“Oh! yes, I am quite sure he does,” replied her friend. “He declares
that for love of me he will always be good.”

“Well, although ’tis not the best reason he might have for keeping his
faith, yet some fish are held by a very slender line,” added the other,
smiling. “So, thank God! he loves you.”

Thus conversing about Ulrich and Tyrol, and listening to the merry songs
of the birds, the girls continued their walk. It was dusk when they got
home. And what a snug little home it is!

But before we enter let us call the reader’s attention to three letters,
“C M B,” chalked upon the door. They stand for Caspar, Melchior,
Balthasar, the names which tradition gives to the wise men who came with
gifts for the infant Saviour; and beneath the letters, and likewise
marked in chalk, are three crosses and the year of our Lord.[46]

But now open the door and see how clean and neat everything is within.
Yonder quaint-looking closet, standing between the two bed-rooms, albeit
a century old and more, shows no sign of age; not a particle of dust
rests upon it, not a spider’s web. The floor, too, is well scrubbed and
polished, and looks all the better for having no carpet. In one of the
windows are a couple of flower-pots, wherein are blooming two
magnificent roses; while in the other window is a cage containing a
nightingale. The bird at this moment begins to warble a sweet melody to
greet Walburga, who is its mistress; while Moida, who also has a pet,
finds it no easy matter to prevent Caro—a black, shaggy poodle—from
tearing her in pieces for joy.

“Poor, dear Caro!” she said, holding him at arm’s length, “the horrid
police would kill you, if they knew you were alive, and so I must keep
you shut up within doors. Poor, dear Caro!” And this was true. In Munich
aged dogs are not allowed to live; and Caro is toothless and nearly
blind. But his heart is as young as ever; and his tail—oh! how much
expression there is in a dog’s tail. How it wags to and fro! How it
whisks up and down! How it thumps on the floor! Moida sometimes, for
fun, would try to hold fast Caro’s tail while she spoke endearing words
to him. But in vain. No sooner would she open her lips than away it
went, ten times quicker than the pendulum of a clock, and as impossible
to clench as if ’twere a bit of machinery driven back and forth by

Nothing could better show the difference between Walburga and her friend
than a glance at the different books which each of them reads. In
Walburga’s sleeping-chamber, on a table close by her bed, lie two
well-fingered volumes: one is _Master Eckhart, the Father of German
Mystics_; the other is _Blessed Henry Suso’s Little Book of Eternal
Wisdom_. For a number of years these have been well-nigh her constant
companions, and she knows them almost by heart. More than once have they
inspired her to renewed effort when she felt disheartened, as well as
lightened the cross which afflicted her. “The swiftest steed to carry us
to perfection is suffering,” says Eckhart; and these words Walburga
often repeats to herself.

But in Moida’s apartment, instead of the mystics we find a song-book, an
arithmetic, and the Regensburg book of cookery.

While Caro was frisking about and yelping, the nightingale, as we have
already observed, was warbling a song for its mistress, who stood
listening with a pensive air.

“You shall never die in a cage,” she murmured presently. “’Tis a shame
to keep you even one day a prisoner.”

“How so?” exclaimed Moida, who had quick ears, and was a mortal foe to
anything like mere sentimentality. “Are not birds created for our
pleasure? And you take such care of yours! Why, I’m sure he is quite as
happy as if he were flying about in the groves, hunting here and there
for food, chased by other birds, and journeying hundreds of miles to
find a warm climate in winter; whereas you give your pet plenty to eat—I
sometimes think too much (Moida was economical)—and whenever it is cold
your room is turned into a hot-house to please him.”

“Ah! but, Moida dear,” answered Walburga, “he has no playmate, no other
little bird to love; and what is life without love?”

“Well, he loves you, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, and very much. But that is not the kind of love I mean. He has no
mate to sing to. I am sure, in the song he is giving us now, he is
sighing and pining for some other pretty bird whom he might kiss and
caress and woo.”

“Well, I do declare!” exclaimed Moida, bursting into a laugh. Then,
suddenly becoming grave: “But, no, no, I mustn’t laugh. I agree with
you: love _is_ everything, and Ulrich is my nightingale. Why, every
letter he writes to me is a sweet song of love.”

For several minutes after Moida uttered these words Walburga remained
silent. They had awakened in her breast longings which had better have
slept for ever. But we cannot escape from ourselves; and she was born
with a nature full of tenderness and sympathy. It made her yearn for
something which she might call all her own, something to serve and
cherish and suffer for. Home! home!—this was the secret craving of
Walburga’s soul. But, alas! she had barely the glimmer of a hope that
this happiness would ever be hers; and even good Eckhart’s words, which
she now repeated to herself, did not bring her the usual comfort.

The poor girl, too, was an orphan; her brother was away from her, and a
day would come when Moida would fly off into Ulrich’s arms. “And, oh!
then I’ll be lonely indeed,” she sighed.

While Walburga was thus musing on her fate Moida took up her zither,[47]
and, seating herself by the open window, sang in a rich contralto voice
one of the old Volkslied, beginning:

    “Ach. wie ist’s möglich dann,
    Das ich dich lassen kann!
    Hab dich von Herzen lieb,
      Das Glaube mir!”

which may be rendered:

    “Ah! how can I from thee depart?
    Believe me, my heart’s love thou art!”

When the song was finished Walburga, in whose eyes tears were
glistening, said: “Nobody can beat my nightingale singing except you.
Oh! who will sing for me when you are gone?”

“Gone! Why, I never mean to leave you, dear Walburga; no, never!” cried

“Ah! Ulrich will carry you away; and then—”

“Yes, yes, so he will, the dear boy! and then I’ll take you in my arms,
and carry you away too, and thus we’ll all three fly off together,”
interrupted the sunny-hearted girl.

Then Moida sang another song, and another, and another, until one by one
all the stars came out of their hiding-places in the sky; and never did
they shine down upon two warmer friends than these.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In the fairest valley of Tyrol, and perched on a spur of the mountain, a
thousand feet above the swift-flowing river which gives the Innthal its
name, stands Loewenstein Castle. How admirably placed it is! From afar
the enemy might be espied approaching; and when he came near it needed
stout lungs as well as a bold heart to climb the steep ascent which led
to its walls, for ’tis like an eagle’s eyrie to get at. When the castle
was built many an eagle used to soar above its battlements, and the
dense pine forest which covered the land was the haunt of wolves and

Tyrol is wild enough to-day. What must it have been in the ninth
century? The Roman legions had once marched through the valley on their
way to conquer Germany. But Rome had fallen, and only here and there an
earthwork, or a paved road, or a sentinel-tower was left to tell how far
her soldiers had penetrated into the wilderness. Afterwards barbarians
and wild beasts had it all to themselves as before—had it all to
themselves, until by and by, in the course of time, afoot, or perchance
mounted on an ass which had carried him across the snowy Brenner—poor
ass! how it must have longed for sunny Italy again—came a monk. St.
Benedict bade him go forth and preach the Gospel; and lo! here he was,
quite at home amid these shaggy-looking men, very Esaus for hairiness,
and in manners a shade removed from cannibals. And this monk’s track had
been followed ere long by other monks, until finally what Roman power
could not do they did.

Round about the monastery the trees were felled and the land made to
bloom; no farmers better than those old monks. And they cultivated the
barbarians, too, as well as the soil.

Then, when times were ripe for him to appear, when there was something
to plunder, on the mountain-side the robber-knight built his fastness;
and Loewenstein did its share of plundering in those good old times.

But there was a chapel attached to the castle, and the baron’s lady was
devout, if he was not. Gently, little by little, she persuaded her
consort to take part in her devotions, and in the end made a pretty fair
Christian of him. But the Von Loewensteins loved dearly to fight; the
dust of the battle-field was sweeter than incense to their nostrils; and
so to the Holy Land they went, nor missed a single Crusade. The knight’s
bride with her own hands would buckle on his armor, then go take her
post on the topmost turret, waving adieu as long as her swimming eyes
could see the gleaming helmet that sometimes never gleamed again for

Many a century has rolled by since those brave days of battle-axes and
healthy men; and now Loewenstein is only a ruin. But the monastery still
stands, the grayness of its old age hidden by the greenness of its ivy,
and St. Benedict would not find things much changed if he were to make
his brethren a visit.

It is sunset, and the new owner of Loewenstein has just returned from
Munich, whither he went to enjoy himself awhile in the Pinakothek.

“What a pleasure ’twill be,” Conrad Seinsheim is saying to himself, “to
restore this ancient castle! Happily, one tower is left, and in it I can
make shift to dwell until the rest of the edifice is completed.” Then,
speaking aloud: “And I will embellish my home with beautiful paintings
and statuary; and the first statue shall be a woman.” Here he turned his
deep-set, heavy-browed eyes upon a young man who was seated beside him
sketching the ruin. The latter looked up and smiled.

“And a living woman it is to be,” added Conrad.

“Have you found your dream, then, sir?” inquired Ulrich, tossing back
the long, unkempt hair which he persisted in wearing, albeit it troubled
him not a little, for ’twas constantly falling in his eyes.

“I believe I have,” replied Conrad. Whereupon he went on to tell of the
young lady whom he had seen copying Carlo Dolce’s picture of Innocence.
While he was speaking a faint tinge of red spread over Ulrich’s cheek;
for Moida had written that his sister was making a copy of this very
painting. Suddenly he laid his pencil aside and rose to his feet. Conrad
observed him in silence, but without any air of contempt; if he did not
pray himself, he respected none the less those who did, and the
monastery bell was ringing the _Angelus_. As Ulrich murmured the prayer
he could not help thinking that likely at this very moment Moida was
saying it also.

When the sound of the bell died away Conrad passed with him into the
tower, where they began examining its faded frescos.

“These must have a strange effect on you,” remarked the former.
“Doubtless yonder barely perceptible figure of a lady stretching forth
her hand and clasping another hand—her lover or husband, perhaps—was one
of your ancestresses!”

“Well, it is indeed sad for me to view such ruin and decay in the place
where myself and so many of my name were born,” answered Ulrich. “I feel
all the while as if I were moving about among ghosts. But then ’tis
many, many years since Loewenstein was anything better than what it is
to-day. The wind, I have heard my dear mother say, used to blow in
through the chinks in the wall and rock my cradle.” Here the poor fellow
gave a rueful smile. “You see,” he continued, “old families die hard. It
often takes them more than one generation to get down to the bottom of
the hill. Why, my parents were little better off than the owls when they
inhabited this ruin; and ’twas high time to quit it when they did. But
we are out at last on the broad world, and I can truly say I thank God
that a man like yourself has bought my ancestral home. Again let me
thank you, sir, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness
in giving me employment.”

These words, uttered in a frank, manly tone, pleased Conrad, who, when
he first met the young artist, had taken him for a silly fellow that was
clinging to the shadow of a great name while too proud to do any work.
Ulrich certainly had rather a haughty mien; but, thanks to the girl to
whom he was betrothed, he had acquired a good deal of common sense, and,
moreover, he had a warm heart. So that Conrad, who pitied his threadbare
appearance, soon grew to like him, and during the past week had made the
youth take up his quarters with him in the tower.

“Well, I deem it a great piece of good-fortune to have fallen in with
you,” said Conrad. “For, although I don’t believe in spirits coming back
to molest those who occupy their former abodes, yet, really, to have
passed a night here alone might have made my flesh creep. How old is
Loewenstein, do you know?”

Ulrich, who knew pretty well the whole history of his house, now
proceeded to relate it, briefly of course; yet he told enough to make
the other long to hear more. And when he had finished Conrad said:

“Although I am an ardent believer in the aristocracy of nature,
nevertheless I feel all the more drawn to you for being a Von
Loewenstein.” After a pause he added: “I wonder who my Dream will turn
out to be? Will she appreciate dwelling in a castle? Oh! yes, I am sure
she will.”

And Conrad went on to tell again of Walburga’s look of rapture as she
stood at her easel, and of her tall, graceful figure:

“I am sure, too, her hair is all her own; in fact, every part of her is
as classic as her face.”

While he thus gave utterance to his admiration for Ulrich’s sister
Ulrich’s heart was in a flutter, and he could not help thinking what
happiness ’twould be if Walburga were one day to become mistress of
Loewenstein. Yet at the same time he thought it not a little strange
that Conrad should express such unbounded admiration for one who did not
expect, any more than he did himself, that ever a man would wish her for
his bride.

“But tell me,” pursued Conrad, twitching his sleeve, “is there no dear
girl whom you have fallen in love with? Artists, of all men, you know,
are the most prone to the tender passion.”

“Oh! indeed there is,” answered Ulrich—“as sweet a girl as ever
breathed. Once a week she writes to me and I to her.”

“Well, who is she? Where does she live?”

“In Munich, sir. Her name is Moida Hofer; and, although of peasant
descent, I call her noble, for many of our mountaineers have owned their
rough acres for generations, and, moreover, Moida’s grandfather was
Hofer the Patriot.”

“Really! Oh! then, don’t let her slip; marry her by all means, for she
belongs to my nobility,” exclaimed Conrad with enthusiasm. “And of
course she is beautiful?”

“Every girl, sir, is beautiful when a man loves her; and I detest Greek
noses and Roman noses since I have known Moida, for she hasn’t one.”

Here the other burst into a loud laugh, which frightened away a couple
of bats that had been circling about their heads; for bats and swallows,
as well as owls and hawks, found their way into this ancient chamber,
which had not been occupied till now since Ulrich and his sister left it
as children.

“And you should hear Moida sing,” continued Ulrich; “and hear her talk,
too. Oh! she is so wise. She knows how to preach to me and tell me of my
faults without ever making me angry. I was living in Cloudland before I
met her. She said: ‘Ulrich, come down out of the clouds and earn your
bread’; and ’tis owing to her that I persevered in my art-studies and am
able to paint a little.”

“You certainly have talent,” said Conrad, “judging by the sketches in
your portfolio. But let me ask why you do not marry?”

At this question Ulrich heaved a sigh.

“Is it want of money?”

“Well, our honeymoon will come some day or other,” said the youth,
evading a response. “She is patient—more patient than I. She cheers me
up; knits stockings for me; makes me shirts; in fact, she does as much
for me almost as if she were my wife. Dear, dear, dear Moida!”

“May I inquire how Miss Hofer earns a livelihood?”

“She keeps a small store, an old-curiosity shop, where one may buy for a
mere trifle chairs and mirrors, and clocks and engravings, together with
many other articles that at some time or another adorned noble houses.
You may find there a number of things that used to belong to

“Indeed! Then I’ll buy out her whole stock—upon my word I will—and back
to this spot shall come every chair and mirror and clock. O Ulrich,
Ulrich! why didn’t you tell me this before?”

After thus conversing awhile within the tower, and it being settled that
the young man was to begin on the morrow his labor of restoring the
frescos, they passed out by what must once have been a stately
passage-way, but was now so encumbered with fragments of stone and
mortar that Conrad and Ulrich were obliged to stoop very low, at one
place almost to creep, in order to emerge into the open air. As we have
already observed, the tower was the only portion of the castle not
entirely in ruin; the rest of the building was so shattered by time that
it was difficult even for imagination to picture it as it had been in
the days of its glory.

“Here,” said Ulrich, “used to be the chapel. On this spot the first Mass
was offered up in Loewenstein.”

“Well, I will rebuild this, too, unbeliever though I am,” said Conrad.
“And oh! would that my dead faith might be quickened as easily as these
crumbled stones can be put into shape again. But, happily, women are
still prayerful, and the young lady whom I hope to win shall have her
chapel to pray in. But, alas! what desolation has come to this hallowed
spot—what desolation! Everything gone except one tomb. I must not tread
upon it, for doubtless one of your race lies buried underneath.”

“Only a few words on the monument are legible,” said Ulrich, stooping
and brushing off the dust with his hands:

    ‘Hic jacet Walburga;
    Requiescat in pace!’

The rest I cannot make out; but I remember hearing my father say that
this Walburga was a Hungarian princess, who married Hugo von Loewenstein
toward the close of the fourteenth century.”

“How sad is the fall of old families!” observed Conrad after a moment’s
silence, during which his eyes remained fixed on the blurred slab at his
feet. “But I sometimes believe there is a law which governs the strange
and solemn procession of generations: as the wheel of time goes round
and round, the king takes his turn at beggary, and the beggar shuffles
off his rags and mounts up to the throne.”

“Therefore at some future day, if your notion be correct, I, or one of
my descendants, will get this castle back again,” said Ulrich, smiling.

“Nowadays,” pursued Conrad, as if in soliloquy, “people affect to be
democratic; we win our spurs by speculating in cotton, or grain, or some
other stuff, instead of by brave deeds on the battle-field. Well, well,
I for one prefer the helmet and the battle-axe to the chinking of the
money-changers.” Then, turning to Ulrich: “It surprises you to hear me
say this, eh?”

To tell the truth, it did surprise him; but Ulrich did not show it.

“Well, a fortnight ago I would not have spoken thus,” he continued. “But
the truth is, the veriest democrat loves in his secret heart a pedigree;
and if he hasn’t one, he’ll pay somebody to make him a family-tree; and
then he’ll buy a ruin, as I have done, and get to feel as I feel,
perhaps. Why, Ulrich, I do believe somebody has thrown a spell over me;
ay, this fair lady sleeping under the old stone here has touched me with
her spirit wand. Why, I feel as if I were a Loewenstein—I do! I do!”
Here Conrad brandished his cane and repeated aloud the Loewenstein
motto: _Intaminatis fulget honoribus_.

“How it would please Walburga to hear him talking thus!” said Ulrich
inwardly. “Proud as she is, I think her heart might incline towards

It should perhaps be observed that hardship had wrought little effect
upon Walburga. It had scarcely bent her spirit at all; and not once
since she quitted the home of her forefathers had she returned to visit
the dearly-loved spot. “It would be too bitter a sight to see vulgar
people wandering amid its ruins,” she would tell her brother. “I’d
rather have Loewenstein disappear entirely, be covered up by the
mountain, than that some rich upstart should buy it, then pull down the
mite that is left of its glorious walls, and erect a modern villa in
their stead.”

Nor had she for several years entered Moida Hofer’s store, where so many
curious objects were exposed for sale; and once, when her friend had
disposed of a Loewenstein clock, one of the primitive kind, with
pendulum swinging in front—ay, and disposed of it, too, for a pretty
good price—Moida did not dare mention the fact. Indeed, the
old-curiosity shop was now a banished theme of conversation between

By and by, after telling Ulrich for the twentieth time how finely the
castle was to be renovated, Conrad said: “Now let us go in and take some
repose; for to-morrow, you know, we are to be up early—you to do a good
day’s work, while I must be off by the first train to Munich, where I am
determined to have another look at my Dream.”

With this they went back into the tower, and after trying, but without
success, to drive the bats out of their dormitory, Conrad and Ulrich lay
down to rest. The former was soon fast asleep; but the youth, who had a
more vivid imagination, stayed awake a whole hour thinking of the many
who had occupied this chamber in days gone by. The moon shimmering in
through the iron-barred window over his head flung a weird halo round
about the lady painted on the wall; and he could not but think what a
very, very ghostly chamber it was.

A month had gone by since Ulrich had laid eyes on Moida Hofer—only a
month, yet it seemed as long as six months. So next morning, when Conrad
was making ready to descend the hill on his way to Munich, the youth
thrust his hand into his pocket, and, drawing forth some small pieces of
silver, counted them over carefully. With anxious heart he counted them,
and to his great delight found that there was just enough money to carry
him to his betrothed and back. The other, who had a quick eye, was not
slow to read what was passing in Ulrich’s mind, and said: “Is there any
message you wish delivered to Miss Hofer? Or perhaps you will accompany
me? Do; and we may visit her curiosity-shop together. To-morrow will be
time enough to begin work on the frescos.”

“Well, I own, sir,” replied Ulrich, “’twould give me great happiness to
see my lady-love; and I’ll labor all the harder for making her a visit.”

Accordingly they both set out for Munich, which was reached in four
hours—eight it seemed to the impatient travellers, who as soon as they
arrived went straight to Fingergasse.

Never was street better named, for it is little broader than a finger,
and consequently only at high noon does the sun cheer it with its rays.

But this morning Fingergasse looked anything but dismal to the young
artist, who knew that a pair of bright eyes were about to greet him, and
already were shooting floods of light into his heart.

“Why, Ulrich! Ulrich!” These were Moida’s first words as she flew
towards him. Perhaps in presence of a stranger she may have expected
only a warm shake of the hand in response or a pat on the cheek. But in
an instant the arms of her lover were twined about her neck. Then, when
the greeting was over, Conrad Seinsheim was introduced, and we need not
say that the girl surveyed him carefully. Moida found him not handsome
like her Ulrich; rather the opposite. But she admired his broad forehead
and the energy which flashed through his eyes; even his air of sternness
did not displease her, for she recognized in him a man with opinions of
his own, a man of power and decision.

And now, reader, blame her not for telling Conrad frankly and in her
most winning way that her store was the best place in town to find
old curiosities. “Why, sir,” said Moida, “I have even some
fourteenth-century chairs from Loewenstein Castle, of which
doubtless you have heard. ’Tis the oldest castle in Tyrol, and——”

“Moida,” interrupted Ulrich, “did I not write to you that——”

“Oh, hush! hush!” said Moida, blushing and putting her plump hand over
his mouth.

“Well, I am here,” observed Conrad, trying hard not to smile—“I am here
purposely to buy everything your store contains; for I am now owner of
Loewenstein, and mean to fit it up as far as possible in true mediæval

“Really!” exclaimed Moida. “Really!”

Whereupon Conrad did smile outright at her look of surprise and joy.
Then presently she turned towards Ulrich, and her lips moved as if she
were trying to speak. But he could only guess what she wanted to say.
Yes, Moida, if Conrad purchases all that your little store holds, then
indeed you may name your wedding-day. And if a radiant expression can
make a homely face beautiful, it would have been difficult to find a
more beautiful girl than Moida at this moment.

After speaking volumes to Ulrich through her blue eyes, she turned again
to Conrad and said in an earnest tone: “O, sir! how kind you are. I
cannot find words to express my thanks.”

The latter waved his hand, as if to say, “Pray do not thank me,” then
set about examining the curiosities. These consisted of nine chairs
ranged side by side along the wall, half a dozen breast-plates and
helmets, a stack of arquebuses and pikes, three crossbows, some silver
plates and goblets, a ewer, a couple of clocks which had not ticked in a
century, an earthenware stove quaintly embossed with scenes from Holy
Writ, and apparently a countless number of smaller objects, such as
seals, rings, miniatures, and coins.

Picking up one of the miniatures, Conrad exclaimed: “Why, I declare,
this is very like a young lady whom I saw lately in the Pinakothek, only
here is a full view of her face, whereas I saw but the profile of my

At this remark Moida stepped up and whispered: “’Tis the portrait of
Walburga, the spouse of Hugo von Loewenstein; and ’tis the only thing I
am not willing to part with.” The other turned towards her a moment with
an air of disappointment; then, perceiving that she was in earnest, he
let the subject drop.

A few minutes later Conrad was on his way to the picture-gallery, while
Ulrich remained to enjoy the company of his betrothed. The first thing
Moida did was to run out and fetch him a mug of beer. This may seem too
trivial a fact to relate; nevertheless, truth may as well be told. She
knew that in Tyrol he had had only water or wine to drink; and what can
equal Munich beer? As Ulrich quietly sipped the delicious beverage, her
quick eye ran over his buttons. She took them all in at a glance, and in
another moment Moida’s needle was busy mending a rent in his sleeve. But
while the girl sewed, she ever and anon peeped up at his face, and
thought to herself: “In the whole kingdom of Bavaria there is nobody can
compare with my Ulrich.” And, moreover, full of common sense as Moida
was, there was nothing she admired more than the two sword-cuts on her
dear boy’s cheek, in shape like a cross; and well did she remember the
day when he received them, now five years ago. For, like most German
students, Ulrich had belonged to a corps (his was the Teutonia), and
occasionally engaged in a duel. It was on that memorable day that he
addressed her the first tender word, after having had his wounds sewed
up; while Moida, as she listened with fluttering heart and drooping
eyes, thought to herself: “I am the third one to whom he has said this.
Oh! I wonder which of us will win?”

Then she pretended that she did not care a straw for him; whereupon
Ulrich presented her with a beautiful nosegay—four florins it cost
him—and the rest we need not narrate.

“By the way, how is Caro?” inquired Ulrich, after holding the glass to
her lips and making Moida take a sip of the beer.

“As frisky as if he were a puppy,” answered the latter, highly pleased
at the question. Ulrich knew it would please her.

“Well, wouldn’t it be nice to have the old dog settled at Loewenstein,
where he might get plenty of fresh air and be outdoors as much as he
chose?” added the youth.

“Ay; but what chance is there of that?—unless you were to take him; and
he’d be rather troublesome.”

“No pet of yours would ever trouble me,” rejoined Ulrich. “And let me
tell you, Moida, strange things happen in the world.”

With this he proceeded to reveal how much Conrad Seinsheim admired a
certain young lady whom he had seen in the Pinakothek.

“’Tis the very one you heard him say that miniature is so like; and I
know he is gone there now purposely to see her again. And it must be
Walburga, for isn’t she copying Carlo Dolce’s picture of Innocence?”

Leaving Ulrich and his betrothed to discuss the possibility of a union
between a Von Loewenstein and a Seinsheim, let us follow the footsteps
of Conrad.

He found the one of whom he was in quest seated at her easel, perhaps a
trifle nearer the wall than before, and with the same expression on her
face which had so ravished his heart the first time he lighted upon her.
She seemed not to notice his approach, and when at length Conrad
ventured to ask if the copy she was making were for sale, Walburga
replied, apparently with indifference, and without taking her eyes off
the canvas: “Yes, sir, it is.” Yet how his question set her heart
a-throbbing! For the sale of the picture would enable the girl to pay
several bills that were due, as well as take a trip to Nuremberg, which
for years she had been longing to visit; for Nuremberg was the
birthplace of Albert Dürer.

“How differently Miss Hofer would have answered me!” thought Conrad,
observing Walburga with close attention. “She would have looked me full
in the face and completed a bargain forthwith; ay, and persuaded me,
too, to offer a high price for the picture.” Then aloud, and addressing
Walburga in courtly German style: “Well, if the gracious lady will allow
me to possess her beautiful copy, I shall be delighted. For I have just
bought an old castle in the Tyrol, which I mean to restore, as far as
money may, to its former state of grandeur, and I promise you your
painting shall adorn the fairest chamber in it.”

“An old castle, indeed!” murmured Walburga, still without glancing at
him. She wondered whether it might be Loewenstein. Then presently,
unable to contain her eager desire to know if it was or not, she said:
“May I ask, sir, in what part of the Tyrol your castle is?”

“In the Innthal, not far from Innspruck; and it once belonged to the
noble house of Von Loewenstein.”

At these words a flush crimsoned the girl’s cheek for a moment, then
disappeared, leaving her paler than before; while her brush, always so
steady, now tremblingly touched the canvas. At length, after vainly
endeavoring to master her feelings, she let the brush drop and buried
her face in her hands.

Conrad’s curiosity was here raised to a high pitch; for although Ulrich
had not told him that he had a sister an artist, yet he was
quick-witted, and since he had seen the miniature in the old
curiosity-shop—and Moida, we remember, had informed him that it came
from Loewenstein—Conrad had been hoping that the young lady whom he
called his Dream might prove to be one of the Loewenstein family, a near
relative of Ulrich’s—his sister, perhaps.

“And why not?” he asked himself. “A likeness may be handed down through
many generations; it may vanish for a space, like a lost stream, then
reappear in the person of a far-off descendant. And verily, this
charming girl is the living image of Walburga, the bride of Hugo von
Loewenstein. And, oh! if I am right, what a treasure she will be. True,
I am not highborn, and she may not view me at first with favor. But I’ll
go through fire to win her!”

Presently Walburga uncovered her face, and for the first time stole a
furtive glance at the one who stood beside her. Then quick her eyes were
fastened on the canvas again; and while Conrad was wondering at her
shyness a tear rolled down her cheek. His curiosity to know who she was
now increased tenfold, and he said, in a voice the tenderness of which
he did not care to conceal:

“Gracious lady, pray be not offended if I ask whether you have ever been
to Loewenstein?”

“I was there once; I never wish to lay eyes on it again,” answered
Walburga, trying to conceal her emotion.

“Would it offend you if I were to inquire the reason why?” pursued
Conrad, now scarcely doubting who she was.

For more than a minute Walburga did not trust herself to speak. Finally
she said:

“What spot, sir, can be so sad as an abandoned home? Parting with our
birthplace to strangers does not tear up the deep roots whereby our
heart clings to it. We feel towards it as towards a dear friend whom we
have deserted. O sir! for many, many years—for centuries”—here Walburga
drew herself proudly up—“my race held the castle which now is yours; and
I love it so much that I cannot speak of it with calmness. A friend dies
and we hide him in the earth; a dead home remains, mournfully gazing on
us whenever we pass by. ’Tis why I will not go near dear, dear
Loewenstein: nothing so ghostlike as an abandoned home!”

By this time tears were glistening in the dark, cavernous eyes of her
listener; and when Walburga finished speaking Conrad said:

“Gracious lady, you cannot imagine how precious to me the old ruin has
become. I love it, too.”

Here for the second time Walburga looked at him, but, as before, only by
a swift side-glance. Then she said: “I must return you thanks, sir, for
your kindness to my brother. He wrote to a young lady, his betrothed,
all about it, and she told me; and I sincerely rejoice that Loewenstein
has fallen into the hands of a gentleman like yourself.”

“Then you are Ulrich’s sister?” exclaimed Conrad.

“His only sister, and he my only brother. You cannot tell how I miss

“Well, he accompanied me today, and is now with Miss Hofer.”

“Indeed! How delighted I am!”

“And I am much pleased with his lady-love,” added Conrad.

“Well you may be, sir. She is the salt of the earth. Ulrich needs a
shrewd, practical woman for his wife; for the dear fellow is somewhat of
a dreamer like myself. We both of us live in the past. But now do let me
know how you came to meet Moida Hofer.”

“It happened in this wise: Your brother told me there were in her
curiosity-shop many relics from Loewenstein, which I determined to
possess. And really, I was charmed with the few words she addressed to
me; her ways are so sprightly and winning. And I, for my part, am
curious to know how you fell in with the granddaughter of Hofer the

“Well, I’ll tell you all about it,” answered Walburga, as she went on
finishing the golden hair of her picture. “You must know, sir, that
Ulrich and I were left orphans at an early age, and immediately after
the death of our parents the castle fell into the hands of the state;
for there were many taxes unpaid, as well as heavy debts owing here and
there. So away went Loewenstein. But, although quite penniless, God sent
us in our uttermost need a generous lady, who had no children of her
own, and who adopted us and gave us a home in Munich. This lady had a
small fortune, enough to live comfortably on and to educate us. Ah! what
should we have done without her? Well, ’twas during this happy period
that Ulrich made Moida’s acquaintance. She was then an orphan, too, and
clad in the picturesque costume of Tyrol; a real mountain daisy she was,
and brother fell in love with her. Shortly thereafter our adopted mother
died, bequeathing to us her fortune, and we little thought we should
ever suffer want. But, alas! the bank where our money was placed failed,
and all, or nearly all, was lost. Then poor Ulrich, who had already
become engaged to Moida, feared that he could not be married—at least
not so soon as he had hoped. ’Twas a bitter disappointment to them both.
But Moida said: ‘Let us be patient and hope. I will never give you up.’
Brother and I were now fortunately well advanced in our art
studies—Ulrich, moreover, had passed through the university—and we
resolved to try and earn our bread by painting.

“But ’tis easier to paint a picture than to sell one”—here Walburga’s
cheek reddened—“and so for Ulrich and I ’twas Lent all the year round;
and we grew very thin, for we did not even eat fish. Until one day dear
Moida discovered our miserable plight: we had done our best to conceal
it. Then she insisted on doing her utmost to help us. She made me share
her lodging; she even clothed me. And this was most noble in her, for
Moida knew that our high-born acquaintances had told Ulrich he would be
marrying infinitely beneath him if he married her. Yet not one of those
proud families extended to us a helping hand. About this time Moida had
set up a little store—the one she keeps to-day. But she would not let me
help her to dispose of anything; she treated me as if she knew I was not
born for such drudgery—sometimes archly saying I could not make a good
bargain, which perhaps was true.

“But when the furniture of dear Loewenstein was sold at auction, and
when Moida bought it all, oh! from that day I have not set foot in her
curiosity-shop; for I know every clock and cup and pike and helmet, and
’twould break my heart to see this man and that coming in and cheapening
those precious heirlooms. But Moida is not displeased with me for
holding aloof; she respects my feelings, although not at all a
sentimental girl herself. Unhappily during the past year business has
been very dull, and she sells but few things, while the rent of the
store keeps high; and only that my friend has great spirit she might
almost fall into despair. Yet even now, in what I may call her darkest
hour, she tells Ulrich to be cheerful, that their wedding-day will come
sooner or later.”

“Yes, yes; very soon,” murmured Conrad, who felt tempted to lay bare at
once his whole heart to Walburga. But a moment’s reflection deterred
him: it might appear too abrupt, for the young lady had never seen or
spoken to him before. So, while admiring her more and more, he resolved
to wait a little.

But Walburga’s voice sounded so sweetly to his ears that Conrad urged
her to go on and tell him something more about herself and Moida.

Whereupon Walburga smiled and hesitated; for although she had scarcely
paused an instant with her brush, yet his presence was felt to be a
distraction. If she interested him, it was no less certain that he
interested her. She could not feel towards Conrad as towards a stranger;
she knew that he had befriended Ulrich; that he was now the owner of the
place where she was born; and that the many precious things which debt
and the auction-sale had scattered to the winds he was bent on
recovering and taking back to Loewenstein. What wrought most potently
upon Walburga was the evident interest which he showed in herself.
Instead of buying her picture and then retiring, Conrad had dallied half
an hour by her side, and prevailed on her to talk about her affairs with
an openness at which she inwardly blushed.

Nor was he at all like the other sight-seers who were wont to visit the
gallery. The two shy glances she had given him had convinced her that
Conrad was no ordinary man; that whatever his origin—even if he did not
know who his great-grandfather was, as Ulrich had written to Moida—yet
his was not a grovelling, low-born soul.

Accordingly, after remaining silent well-nigh a minute, Walburga yielded
to his request and proceeded to tell him more about herself. “Moida and
I and two others, sir,” she resumed, “have a home together—which makes
four of us in one small lodging.”

“Four!” repeated Conrad, just a little disturbed and wondering who the
other two might be.

“Yes, four. There is myself, Moida, Caro, and a nightingale.”

“Oh! indeed—Caro and a nightingale,” ejaculated her admirer, with a
sense of relief he was hardly able to conceal.

“And never was a more peaceful home. Up under the roof it is; but that
gives us fresh air, and into our dormer windows the sunshine comes
sooner than into any other windows on the street.”

“And you have the sweetest of all birds to sing for you,” observed

“Yes, indeed. But I sometimes think of giving my pet his freedom. Moida
laughs at me for it. Moida is——”

“Not in the least sentimental,” interrupted the other, with a smile.

“Well, true, she is not. But my bird is now a prisoner, and I am sure he
must feel lonesome where he is.”

“Oh! believe me, he is far happier as your prisoner than if he were
enjoying the freedom of all the woods in Bavaria,” said Conrad, with a
faint tremor in his voice.

“Indeed!” exclaimed Walburga, answering his emotion by a crimson spot on
her cheek.

“Well, you may be right,” he added presently. “Your kind heart may tell
you that your nightingale sighs for some other little bird to love.”

At these words the sweet, pink blush spread itself with the quickness of
light over Walburga’s whole cheek, and she answered:

“I declare, ’tis just what I told Moida.”

“And what did she say?”

“Moida said—and no harm in repeating it—she said Ulrich was her

“Her nightingale! Well, really, your friend _is_ sentimental; and I envy
your brother. It must be the greatest of earthly joys to be happily
wedded, as they soon will be.”

Here Walburga’s countenance grew suddenly pensive, and she murmured to
herself: “Ay, the greatest of earthly joys.”

Conrad noticed the change in her expression and wondered at it. Then he
thought to himself: “’Tis time for me to withdraw; I may be wearying

But ere he retired he said: “May I come again, gracious lady, tomorrow
or the day after? I sometimes have melancholy moods, but these lovely
pictures bring the sunshine back to my heart; and the loveliest picture
of all is in this part of the gallery.”

“You may, sir, if it pleases you,” was the answer he received. Then,
making an obeisance, Conrad went away, leaving Walburga hardly in a fit
state to continue her work; and she inwardly repeated the words which he
had uttered about her nightingale: “Far happier as your prisoner than
enjoying the freedom of all the woods in Bavaria.”

“What did he mean?” she asked herself. “What did he mean?”

A few minutes later the girl rose and went away too, still murmuring the
question: “What did he mean?”


Footnote 43:

  The narrowest street in Munich; hence the name.

Footnote 44:

  The name of the park in Munich.

Footnote 45:

  Valley of the Inn.

Footnote 46:

  These are made afresh every year on the feast of the Epiphany.

Footnote 47:

  An instrument not unlike a guitar.

                            ROSARY STANZAS.
                          SORROWFUL MYSTERIES.


_Luke_ xxii. 44.

    No impious hand, no torture-instrument
    The Son of Mary yet has touched. Alone
    His prostrate form upon the ground is rent
    With cruel agony of blood to atone
    For thy too easy life. A heart of stone
    Could but dissolve before the piteous sight.
    All through the _Holy Hour_ he made his moan,
    Beneath the olives, on the sacred height;
    Wrongs of the ages saw in vision that dread night!


JOHN xix. 1.

    An act, a little word, of God made man
    Bears in itself his own immensity;
    To him the universe is but a span,
    A world’s full ransom his one tear might be.
    Not as we reckon outlay reckons he,
    Until his boundless love has lavished all.
    The knotted scourge precedes the fatal tree.
    Couldst thou return him less, if he should call?
    Or would the martyr’s palm thy coward soul appall?


JOHN xix. 5.

    A crown of thorns for him, a crown of bays
    For such as I! A fool might surely deem
    The servant greater than his Master. Praise
    Might to the sinner merest irony seem,
    The while the Sinless One is made a theme
    Of ribaldry. Before his crown of thorn
    Honor and earthly glory are a dream,
    A phantom flimsier than of vapor born:
    By that pierced brow the crown of all the worlds is worn.


MATT. xi. 30.

    Simon to bear thy cross they would compel;
    Yet for the deed, though done against his will,
    On him and on his sons rich blessing fell,
    As old traditions say. How richer still
    The graces that the heart’s long thirst will fill
    For him who runs that sacred load to meet,
    And bear it upward to the holy hill!
    To share His burden be my footstep fleet:
    True love will make his yoke unfelt, his burden sweet.


JOHN i. 29.

    Behold, the Lamb of God is crucified!
    His head is bowed, to impart the kiss of peace;
    Stretched are his arms, to draw thee to his side;
    Opened his heart, thy heart’s love to increase.
    His all is spent to purchase thy release.
    Canst thou, my soul, love great as this refuse?
    Henceforth in thee let sin’s dominion cease,
    And with the Mother of the martyrs choose,
    Rather than him in death, a whole world’s wealth to lose.


It has been well said that “the best government is that which governs
least”; and it might with infinite propriety be added that the
legislative body stultifies itself when it passes laws that cannot
possibly be carried into effect. One such law on our statute-books, yet
constantly and notoriously violated, does more to destroy that political
morality with which our people are, to say the least, not
overburdened—of which certainly there is no surplus—than would ten wrong
practices against which no law exists. We learned, during the late war,
of how little avail legislation is when it undertakes to regulate and
declare the value of gold; and it is designed briefly to set forth in
this article that the proposed much-vaunted prohibitory legislation
touching alcoholic liquors is false in theory, must be unsuccessful in
practice; that remedial (not _repressive_) measures are what is
required; and to suggest means by which the end aimed at by such
enactments can be attained without invading the domain of the church,
the free-will of humanity, or placing the state in the odious light of
executor of a grinding tyranny exercised by a temporary majority over a
recalcitrant minority.

And here, in the outset, let it be understood that there is no
difference between ourselves and the most ardent favorers of the Maine
Law, or any similar enactment on this matter, concerning the detestable
nature of drunkenness, which we both admit to be a damning sin in the
sight of God and a crying scandal before man. That it is a loathsome
vice is a proposition requiring only to be stated, not argued. Even the
wretched being who is enthralled by it will admit this and lament his
deplorable condition. The days are past when Fox, Pitt, and Sheridan
went openly drunk to the House of Commons; when the usages of the
highest society were such that we still retain therefrom the saying,
“Drunk as a lord”; when the literature of the age informs us everywhere
that _gentlemen_ were not expected to be sober after dinner; when Burns
could write in Presbyterian Scotland, “I hae been fou wi’ godly
priests”; and when, in our own country, the first thing on entering and
the last on leaving a house was a visit to the sideboard. Drunkenness is
now deservedly considered by the entire community not only a vice but an
inherently vulgar one. Fashionable society will not tolerate it, and
there is no pretence of usage any longer set up that will even partially
condone it. In short, it is the one unpardonable sin against modern
society, and we are well pleased to see it ranked in this category. But
while detesting drunkenness, and deprecating, in the strongest manner,
the habitual use of intoxicating liquors, we dislike very much to
perceive a tendency on the part of the public to ignore the fact that
there are other sins besides the abuse of liquor, and that it is not by
legal provision that people are to be kept sober. As Almighty God has
been pleased to leave us our free-will, the reason is not evident why
frail man should seek to take it away; and we object utterly to that
queer manipulation by which the word “temperance” itself, the proper
meaning of which is “moderation in any use or practice,” should be
restricted to the moderate use of alcoholic drinks, much more that it
should falsely be twisted and perverted into implying a total abstinence
from them. Why should we be wise above what is written? Has Almighty God
failed his church? Are we prepared to admit that Christianity is a
miscarriage? This we tacitly do when we invoke to her aid the arm of the
civil law. It is not to be doubted but there are persons so
unfortunately constituted that they cannot use stimulants of any kind
without abusing them. “Madam,” said Dr. Johnson to a lady who asked him
to take a little wine—“madam, I cannot take a _little_, and therefore I
take none at all!” Such persons must plainly abstain entirely; whether
they shall do so of their own accord, by taking a simple pledge or by
joining a “temperance society,” is for themselves to answer. In any case
there is no safety for them save in total abstinence; but said
abstinence, to have any merit whatever, must be voluntary, not one of
legal enforcement.

While attention had, from time to time within the last century, been
called to the intemperate use of alcoholic liquors, it is only within
comparatively recent times that any organized efforts have been made to
grapple with this monstrous evil. The first association for the purpose
was made in Massachusetts in 1813. By its means facts and statistics
were gathered and published for the purpose of calling the attention of
the public to the magnitude of the evil, and suggestions made for its
abatement or suppression. Similar associations were soon formed in
adjoining States, and these again organized branches, until associations
of the kind existed in nearly all the Eastern and Middle States. About
1820 there was formed in Boston “The American Society for the Promotion
of Temperance,” which in 1829 had over one thousand auxiliary societies,
no State in the Union being without one or more. The influences relied
upon by this institution were the dissemination of tracts in which were
portrayed the evil effects of the use of alcohol, and the employment of
travelling lecturers to deliver addresses in favor of temperance. The
first society professing the principle of total abstinence from
intoxicating liquors was formed at Andover in 1826. These several
societies, under one form or other, soon spread largely not only in our
own country but in Canada, England, and Scotland, until they existed by
hundreds in each; and about this time the word _temperance_ began to
lose its normal signification, and to be used as a synonym for total
abstinence from the use of liquors. _Teetotalism_ became the popular
cry. The country was taken by storm; lecturers loomed up all over the
States, administered the “pledge” publicly to hundreds of thousands;
various minor denominations refitted their terms of communion in
accordance with the new war-cry. In Ireland the cause of total
abstinence was so successfully advocated by Very Rev. Father Mathew that
he is stated to have administered the pledge to more than a million
persons within three years from 1838; and since that time there has
been, in the popular mind, no such thing as temperance, except in the
sense of total abstinence from all that can intoxicate. All the former
associations which proposed to themselves any such secondary and
inefficient object as moderation in the use of liquors, or which
administered either a partial pledge or one merely for a specified time,
were disbanded or fell out of sight. Societies of Washingtonians, Sons
of Temperance, Good Templars, and Rechabites sprang up, most of them
secret and with signs, passwords, grips, tokens, etc., the members of
which were pledged neither to touch, taste, handle, buy, sell,
manufacture, nor use as a beverage the _accursed thing_. In 1851 the
Legislature of Maine passed the well-known “Maine Law,” by which it was
made penal to manufacture, have in possession, or sell intoxicating
drinks. The law was repealed in 1856, and it has since been lawful to
distil, keep, or sell spirits under certain restrictions, but
drinking-houses are prohibited. A similar law was enacted in
Massachusetts in 1867. In many of the States there is a law prohibiting
the sale of liquors on Sunday, and in a majority the _local-option_ law
(which leaves the question whether license to sell spirits shall be
granted or not to the decision, at the polls, of the people of each
city, town, township, or county) is now in full blast, with results that
we shall glance at hereafter. A political party has been formed in many
States, under the name of “prohibitionists,” which, though as yet but
rarely sufficiently numerous or powerful to elect a governor on that
single issue, yet numbers adherents enough frequently to hold the
balance of power between the two prominent parties, and thus extort from
candidates very important concessions in their own interests. They are
active, energetic, conscientious in the main, and they besiege the
various legislatures with petition upon petition against the
liquor-traffic, which, to their minds, is the sum of all iniquities. The
various religious sects come to their aid, loudly decrying all traffic
in, and use of, spirituous drink. Matters have been brought to such a
pass that a man’s reputation is imperilled by taking a glass of liquor;
and there is yet wanting but the one further step of making its use
illegal and its procurement impossible—a course strongly and
unhesitatingly urged by almost all the various supporters of what is
nowadays called _temperance_, and which seems quite likely to succeed,
should the upholders of these views increase in numbers for a few more
years as they have done within the last two decades.

It is a law of all fanatical movements, and one of their most peculiarly
dangerous features, that they readily enmesh large numbers of people,
and that their workings, tendencies, and developments fall of necessity,
in the long run, into the hands of the extremists, the _intransigentes_,
among themselves. Nor has this movement proved an exception, as is seen
in the attempt made by legal enactment to coerce people into the
practice of an enforced abstinence from stimulants—an abstinence _not_
shown to be physiologically desirable, _not_ commanded by the church,
and most assuredly _not_ inculcated in Scripture. But in secret
societies always, in sectarian combinations generally, and oftentimes in
political parties, the experience of all ages shows that people first
set up for themselves a master, and then obey him like so many slaves.
They do this, too, under the delusion, for the most part, that they are
carrying out their own convictions of right. It is much easier to join
one of these secret organizations in a flush of curiosity, enthusiasm,
or other temporary excitement than it afterwards proves to leave them in
calm blood. Ties of acquaintance and _quasi_ friendship have been formed
which most men strongly dislike to break. Good care is usually exercised
that “the rhetorician, from whom,” as Aristotle says, “it is an error to
expect demonstration,” shall be on hand to stimulate, exhort, inspirit,
and incite to still further and more vigorous exertion; the boundaries
between right and wrong fade away from the mental view; and few start in
on this false track who fail to accompany their misled companions as far
as the archbigot or archfanatic may choose to take them.

Within the Catholic Church a large number of total-abstinence societies
have been formed, of course with her sanction. Most of these are at the
same time _beneficial_ institutions, which in case of sickness give the
member, and in case of death to his nearest kin, a certain allotted sum.
But probably most priests on the mission will say that the great mass of
Catholics who feel the necessity _for them_ of such abstinence take the
pledge as individuals at the hands of the priest, either for a certain
term or for life, without joining any special society. An immense amount
of good has thus been accomplished, particularly among the poorer and
laboring population, a very large proportion of whom are Catholics, and,
from their circumstances and inevitable surroundings, most in danger of
falling into temptation in the matter of drink, as well as most certain
to suffer very severely from its effects. But it has at no time been,
nor is it now, any part of the teaching of the church that her children
shall not manufacture, buy, sell, and use (should they be so disposed)
vinous, malt, or spirituous drink. Condemning the abuse of them, and
reprobating drunkenness as a mortal sin, she yet allows to her children
the moderate use and enjoyment of that wine which our Blessed Lord
himself made for the use of the guests at the wedding at Cana, as well
as of the other forms of it, which no physician or chemist ever found to
be injurious _per se_ until it chimed in with a cry emanating from a
large, an influential, _possibly_ a well-meaning, but in our view
_certainly, if so_, a false-thinking, or it may be a deceived, portion
of the community.

And here it may be well to note the unpardonable arrogance of assumption
with which the intemperately temperate of all sorts take it for granted
that all intelligence and morality belong peculiarly to those who
inculcate or practise this one principle of abstinence from liquors. We
see it displayed most offensively, indeed, among the variously bedizened
and becollared gentry of the divers oath-bound secret societies, and
among such sectaries as practically make total abstinence a term of
communion; but truth compels us to go further, and to admit the
tendency, even among Catholics, on the part of those who have ardently
attached themselves to the societies got up with this view, to treat all
outsiders as though living on a lower plane of piety and morality than
themselves. “Stand thou off, for I am holier than thou” is too
frequently their language in effect, if not in words; and, indeed, that
is an almost inevitable effect of what the Scotch call “unco guidness.”
However, the teaching and tenets of the church remain what they have
always been, and the Catholic manufacturer or vender of wines and
spirits, the total abstainer and the moderate drinker, go to confession,
receive absolution and holy communion, together; nor do intelligent or
well-instructed Catholics imagine for a moment that the formal pledge of
abstinence from intoxicants, or membership in a total-abstinence
society, are anything more than _adminicula_ to the individual whom his
own weakness, the circumstances under which he earns a livelihood, or
other reasons place in peculiar danger with reference to this vice.

But there must be some strong reason why an all-pervading necessity has
been felt, in this century, for doing something in regard to
drunkenness, the need of which (if ever previously perceived) has
certainly never been acted upon by the most enlightened nations, whether
of antiquity or of modern times. Lot was made drunk; Noe was drunk;
Nabal and the Ephraimites were “drunken withal”; and all the evils and
phenomena of intoxication are fully described in various passages of the
Old Testament, always with reprobation, but there is not to be found in
the entire book the slightest disapproval of the use of the fruit of the
vine. On the contrary, oblations of wine to the Deity are enjoined upon
the children of Israel; and the most horrible judgments denounced by the
prophets of God upon the Jews consist in their being deprived of wine.
In New Testament times our Saviour was called by the Pharisees (the
prototypes of our ultra-abstainers) a wine-bibber; yet the same Jesus
does not deem it at all necessary to proclaim himself on the teetotal
side, or to leave us any precept against the use of wine. On the
contrary, he institutes in wine the sacrament of his love, thus
rendering the manufacture of wine necessary till the end of time. He
himself changes water into wine. His apostles nowhere discourage its
use, while they frequently speak of and upbraid professing Christians
with its abuse, and one of them actually advises another to drop water
and use a little wine for sanitary reasons. It would be sheer waste of
time to undertake to refute those very ignorant or very dishonest
persons who try to make it appear that wine, when mentioned in Scripture
with commendation, is merely the unfermented juice of the grape, and
that the _shechar_, _tirosh_, and _yayin_ were only intoxicating when
excess in their use was reprobated. Either these people know better, and
are wittingly making use of a dishonest argument, or their ignorance is
too dense to be penetrated by any proof, however cogent. The reader who
may wish to see this branch of the subject succinctly yet exhaustively
treated should refer to an article in the _Westminster Review_ for
January, 1875, entitled “The Bible and Strong Drink.”

The Greeks and Romans cultivated the vine very largely, made and used
wine habitually; but their whole literature, while teeming with
reference to the use, in no single instance commends the abuse, of wine.
That the Spartans were accustomed to make their slaves intoxicated, in
order by their example to deter young men from becoming addicted to the
vice, is as well attested as any fact in history; while even in the
worst periods of Roman story drunkenness is invariably referred to as
disgraceful in itself, never to be predicated of people entitled to
respect, and relegated, even at the _Saturnalia_, to the rabble and to

In the _Stromata_ of St. Clement of Alexandria, who lived in the latter
part of the second century, we find allusion made to a few who at that
day attempted to disturb the harmony of the church by imitating the
example which they professed to consider set them in the narration by
the Prophet Jeremias of the story of the sons of Jonadab-ben-Rechab, and
we find those persons classed by him with those of whom the apostle
speaks, as “commanding to abstain from that which God hath ordained to
be received with thanksgiving.” Two centuries later St. Chrysostom and
St. Augustine both pointedly condemn, as acting “plainly and palpably
contrary to Scripture and to the doctrine of the Church,” some who,
fancying they had attained spiritual information not generally
accessible, tried to introduce among Christians the vow of the
Nazarites. From that time till the former half of the present century we
read, indeed, of drunkenness as existing; for that matter, we know of
its existence in the earliest ages, and in all times and countries
since, just as we do of incontinence, of theft, and of suicide by
poison. It was reserved for the nineteenth century to attempt to do away
with the possibility of the vice of drunkenness by rendering penal the
production of the means; which is as though the law should step in to
render men chaste by emasculation, theft impracticable by the abolition
of property; and not in the least more feasible than would be the
carrying out of an edict against the production of animal, mineral, or
vegetable poisons.

Now, we should not in the least object to any well-devised and practical
legislation that would do away with drunkenness entirely, if that were
possible, which it unfortunately is not; nor will it ever be the case so
long as the human race exists upon earth. The question, then, arises,
What would be _practical_ legislation in the matter? This, in turn,
involves an inquiry into the latent causes of the great commotion raised
within this generation on the subject. It will be fresh in the memory of
reading people in the United States that some two years ago one of our
ablest metropolitan journals employed an agent to purchase samples of
every possibly adulterable commodity from the most reputable venders in
that city, drugs of the same description from the most respectable
apothecaries—in short, specimens of everything on sale that was capable
of deterioration by admixture of foreign substances; and that, on
handing them over to a competent chemist for analysis, there was not a
single instance of an article so purchased and tested that was not found
adulterated to the last extent. All, without exception, whether articles
of food, drink, medicine, or products of the arts and manufactures, were
debased and corrupted—always, of course, with an inferior and cheaper,
frequently with an absolutely injurious, and in some instances with a
poisonous, admixture. The exposure occupied the columns of the paper
referred to for some two weeks, and was then discontinued; not, however,
without leaving food for reflection in the minds of the thoughtful. Now,
when we consider the still greater temptation, the patent feasibility,
and the larger gains resulting from adulteration of the various liquors,
owing to the many hands through which they must and do pass before
reaching their consumers, and the almost total impossibility, as things
are, of detection, we shall have strong reason _à priori_ to believe
that such adulteration takes place. But we have before us at this moment
a book of some two hundred pages, entitled the _Bar-keeper’s Manual_, in
which the facts are laid down, the method explained, the ingredients
unblushingly named, the manipulations described, and a clear reason thus
afforded why the use of liquors _nowadays_ is so ruinous to health, so
productive of hitherto comparatively unknown forms of disease, and has
become in this century especially such a crying abomination. In this
book (which forcibly recalls to our mind an advertisement for “a man in
a liquor store” that we once saw, and which wound up by stating that no
one need apply who did not understand “doctoring” liquors) recipes are
given for making from common whiskey any kind of gin, brandy, rum,
arrack, kirschwasser, absinthe, etc., as well as any other desired brand
of whiskey; together with full directions for mixing, diluting,
coloring, adding strength, bead, and fruitiness, as well as for
flavoring them each up to the required mark. When we find among the
ingredients recommended (and evidently used, as the result of experience
in this diabolical laboratory) nux vomica, cocculus indicus, strychnia,
henbane, poppy-seed, creosote, and logwood, to impart strength to the
false liquor, we need not inquire after the thousand other less
pernicious articles used to supply color, odor, or bead to the noxious
compounds. Now, from conversations held with persons who have been
engaged in the liquor business in its various forms, as well as from
reliable information long since spread before the public, but to quote
which _in extenso_ would occupy too much space, we may generalize these
facts, which we take to be not only undisputed but indisputable; viz.,
that _wines never_, and brandies, gins, etc., _rarely_, reach our shores
in their pure state; that the same assertion is true of every imported
liquor; that the subsequent adulteration is something fearful to
contemplate; and that the advocates of prohibitory laws are talking
within bounds when they call such preparations _poisons_. We may further
learn that rarely indeed do our home-manufactured liquors pass in a pure
state into the hands of the first purchaser; and that, after they have
passed through two or three subsequent hands, whatever they may have
become, they are anything in the world but pure liquors. By the time,
then, that they reach the small groceries, drinking-shops, doggeries,
and the lowest classes of saloons, all liquors will, on an average, have
passed through at least seven or eight hands, each man quite as eager as
the last to make all the gain he possibly can upon the article; and
adulteration (he has the _Manual_ before him) presenting the safest and
easiest plan, it follows that the laborer or artisan, those whose
poverty forces them to frequent the lowest and meanest places, will be
supplied with the most villanous article possible to be conceived under
the name of liquor. Mr. Greenwood, in his work, _The Seven Plagues of
London_, says:

    “Where there is _no pure liquor_—and there is little such in London,
    even for the wealthy—perhaps nothing used by man as a stimulant is
    liable to greater and more injurious adulterations than _gin_; and I
    assert that it is _not_ to-day _to be procured pure_ (I speak not of
    merely _injurious_ but) of _absolutely poisonous_ drugs at a single
    shop in London to which a poor man would go or where he would be

Mr. Nathaniel Curtis, the founder and first Worthy Chief of the Order of
Good Templars, has (though his deductions from the facts are entirely
different from ours) made it abundantly evident that the adulteration of
all liquors, fermented, vinous, and ardent, is carried on in a most
reckless manner and without regard to consequences in our own country.
His words are:

    “From the tramp’s _glass_ of beer, through the sot’s _glass_ of rum,
    _jorum_ of whiskey, or _pull_ of gin, up to the merchant’s madeira
    or sherry and the millionaire’s _goblet_ of champagne, we have shown
    them all to be, not what the drinker supposes—and that were bad
    enough in all conscience—but _universally drugged_, most frequently
    _poisoned_, and not in one case of ten thousand containing more than
    a small percentage of the article the purchaser paid for.”

We might multiply authorities, chemical, medical, and purely statistic,
on this subject to an indefinite extent, but it would occupy too much
space; besides which, reading men are already sufficiently convinced of
the facts. Within the last few years such a mass of damning evidence has
been put before the public on this subject that the man must be wilfully
blind who does not admit adulteration of the most injurious sort to be
the rule in all the various branches and phases of the liquor-traffic.
One quotation, however, we must make from the pages of the _Dublin
Review_, July, 1870, article “Protestant London,” in which the writer
suggests something very like our own view, though he seems to have an
idea that the wholesale adulteration was, in England, confined to
fermented liquors, which is indeed a grave mistake, whether as regards
England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, or in fact any of the countries
peculiarly afflicted by this demon of drink. The writer says:

    “Yet the effects of beer in England are confessedly far worse than
    those of wine in France. We believe the real explanation of this to
    be its adulteration. It is by drinking, at first in moderation,
    adulterated beer that the habit of intoxication becomes a slavery,
    by which men are afterwards led on to the abuse of gin. There are at
    this moment thousands of habitual drunkards among us who would never
    have been drunkards at all, had they not been betrayed into the
    snare by drinking in moderation adulterated beer—that is, _if the
    beer sold in public-houses were not universally adulterated_. This
    evil, at least, law well administered might meet and uproot.
    Government should _not_ allow men both to _cheat_ and _poison_ their
    neighbors with impunity.”

It is, then, not at all surprising that _mania a potu, delirium
tremens_, and other disorders arising from the abuse of good or the use
of drugged liquor should have become so common in this country as to
furnish a good or, at any rate, a plausible reason why many
conscientious persons have attributed to the use of liquor effects due,
either solely or in great measure, to the stupefying and poisonous
decoctions vended under that name. But while this would have been, at
all times as it is now, an excellent and an all-sufficient reason for
trying to induce people to refrain, whether by pledge or otherwise, from
such infernal compounds, and for having analysts appointed by law to
examine and test the liquors sold in every tavern, we insist that it is
no argument at all for doing away by law with the use of liquor _in
toto_. We believe sincerely that no single measure (that can be carried
out) would do more to lessen the national curse of drunkenness than the
appointment of competent chemists to see to the purity of the liquors
vended. And, considering the advanced state of chemical science among
us, is it absurd to suppose, that if the government were determined that
so it should be, the selling of adulterated liquor might not easily be
made so dangerous a trade as to be very soon given over? It is
lamentable that people are so eager for gain that they will and do
adulterate everything capable of the process. Physicians tell us that it
is nearly impossible to get at the ordinary drug-stores any of the
higher-priced medicines in their pure state; that opium, quinine, etc.,
are nearly always impure, mixed with foreign ingredients; and that, for
this reason, their prescriptions often fail of the intended effect.
This, certainly, is no good reason for enacting a law to abolish
entirely the use of adulterable drugs; nor because tea, coffee, sugar,
tobacco, mace, mustard, and pepper are rarely found pure should we
therefore abandon their use altogether.

Here, of course, it will be contended that the cases are not parallel;
that whereas the abuse of liquor, or the use of the drugged article
going by that name, renders man like the brute, degrades and obliterates
the image of God in us, yet such is not the case with the adulterated
commodities of food or with the drugs referred to. True, the analogy
does not hold equally good throughout in each case, but the principle is
exactly the same in all. We will go further, admitting that liquor is in
very few cases an absolute necessity; but what a large number of mankind
regard it as of prime importance to their well-being, to their comfort,
or, finally, to their enjoyment! How few of the great mass of humanity,
on the other hand, are of that unfortunate constitution of mind, of
body, or of both that they cannot restrain themselves within the bounds
of moderation in the use of liquor vinous or fermented! Suppose even
that the passage of a prohibitory law by the majority were consonant
with church and Scriptural teachings, would it be fair or reasonable
that for the lamentable weakness of the very few the comfort and
enjoyment of the vast mass of humanity should be lightly set aside as an
unconsidered trifle? That Anglican bishop who said he “would rather see
England free than England sober” expressed a noble sentiment, and we
think, with him, that enforced sobriety (as would be that produced by
such a law) would be dearly purchased at the expense of virtual slavery.
Some one pithily condemns _that false system of morality that begins by
pledges of total abstinence_, but the falsity of such a scheme is
trifling compared with that which would invite us to come and admire a
nation sober, enforcedly sober, _de par la loi!_ As well ask us to
applaud the sobriety of the convicts in the penitentiary. We are not
placed in the world to be free from temptation, but to resist it. All
theologians assure us that this is a state of probation, nor is it the
business of the civil code either to abolish property lest many may
steal, or to suppress the manufacture of liquor lest some shame
themselves and sin against God by getting drunk. Again, if you begin
this business, where is it to end? Human beings are very full of kinks
and crotchets. Each half-century is sure to have its peculiar vagary.
What may not be that of the next one? King James considered tobacco as a
direct emanation from the devil; and John Wesley was no whit behind him
either in the belief or its expression. It is certainly quite as
unnecessary, quite as much an article _de pur luxe_, as beer, wine, or
spirits. Who is bail to me that, the principle once established of
suppressing human nature by act of Congress, future Good Templars,
prospective Rechabites, Sons of Temperance yet to come, nay, the whole
Methodistic fraternity, may not revivify the views of Wesley and thunder
anathemas against Yaras, Fine-cut, and Cavendish? Or there may arise an
expounder of Scripture who shall deduce thence a system of vegetarianism
(quite as unlikely doctrines and practices have been deduced from Holy
Writ) to his own satisfaction and that of crowds greater than wait on
the ministrations of our latest evangelists. Of course then, marshalled
to victory by the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,”
they will soon have a law enacted forbidding to us all beefsteak or
mutton-chop! There is, in short, no end to the antics and absurdities
that may, nay, that must, arise under the ægis of such a precedent as
this law would furnish. We, for our part, fully believe in rendering to
Cæsar what belongs to him; but it is the province of the church,
representing God upon earth—of religion, in other words—so to dispose
man as to enable him to withstand temptation to sin and crime; and the
business of the civil power to punish him _for offences committed_, not
to remove all temptation to wrongdoing. In short, the law is not held to
an impossibility, which this would plainly be, unless the world were
made a _tabula rasa_. The assumption, therefore, by the civil law, of
the divinely-conferred duty and prerogative of the church would, in any
case, be a usurpation, were it even practicable. We shall see that in
the case before us, at least, it would be purely impossible to carry out
the legal mandate by all the power of the government, were it multiplied
a hundred-fold.

The heavy tariff on foreign, and the large internal revenue tax on
domestic, liquors, necessitated by our civil war, have also been a great
inducement to the adulteration of spirits, as well as to the advance of
that already too wide-spread practice of cheating the government in
matter of revenue, now so common as hardly to be regarded in the light
of a moral wrong. Howsoever it may have come about, the fact is that the
tone of political morality with us is about as low as it has ever been
in any country that the sun shines on. From the Stocking & Leet trial,
through the troubles of Tammany’s magnates and the charges of complicity
with smugglers pending against some of our most prominent mercantile
firms, down to the “crooked whiskey” cases of to-day, as well as the
constantly-bandied and the sometimes thoroughly proven charges of
bribery against our most highly-placed public men, we see everywhere
either a desperate resolution to evade all law, or a serene belief that
deception and the withholding of tax and tariff legally due cease to be
cheating and swindling when the government is the party of the second
part. It is now clearly made out that, since the laying on of high
duties and revenue tax, it has cost our government an average of three
dollars to collect every two dollars received from that source in the
public treasury; while as to the amount of which the government is
annually defrauded, no calculation other than an approximate one can, of
course, be made, but those whose position gives them the best chance to
form an accurate judgment place the yearly sum at the minimum of
$80,000,000. Before our late war we had a federal treasury ever full.
Indeed, but a very short time before that dismal experience the general
government distributed a large surplus among the States; our treasury
notes were always above par, and our simple government bonds at high
premium. With the advent of war came the necessity for raising a large
and an immediate revenue. Taxation, direct and indirect, was resorted
to, the like of which has rarely (if ever) been known in civilized
countries. Paper money, redeemable at the pleasure of the government,
was issued. Gold and silver entirely disappeared. An army of internal
revenue officers had to be created, and a supplementary host of
detectives to ferret out infractions of the new-made laws. The tax on
common whiskey was placed at two dollars and fifty cents per gallon, and
corresponding sums on foreign liquors; Cognac, for example, being rated
at seven dollars per gallon. Our people were not accustomed to, and did
not like, taxation; and the government neither knew how to suggest, nor
its officials how to carry out honestly and skilfully, any well-devised
plans for the collection of revenue on such a gigantic scale. Here there
was a strong inducement at once both to the illicit manufacture and to
the increased adulteration of liquors, the latter of which (though
existing too largely before) took, from that time, large strides in
advance, and both have uninterruptedly continued their progress till the
present day, threatening (unless most stringent measures be taken for
their repression) to ruin our country, morally, and a large number of
her citizens temporally and eternally. It is true that the tax on
home-manufactured spirits was largely cut down in 1870, and that on
foreign wines and liquors heavily curtailed; but those at all acquainted
with the subject know how little this step, taken after eight years of
the reverse practice, was likely to interfere with clandestine
manufacture, and how immensely it tended to give a superadded impetus to
the practice of adulteration. Our internal revenue officers are now
legion, yet they do not collect one-half of the revenue that should be
collected; and of that one-half not more than two-fifths inures to the
benefit of the treasury. Our detectives swarm everywhere, yet illicit
distillation and poisonous adulteration of liquors are on a very rapid
increase. Now, a very large number of people, learned and lay, rich and
poor, of practical experience in the use of liquor, and deriving their
information from the experience of others, or from reading, are strongly
of the opinion that the best and most practicable mode of decreasing
actual drunkenness, and of mitigating or diminishing the acknowledged
evils of drink, would be the furnishing of pure liquors instead of the
noxious compounds now on sale. Certainly, to put the matter in the
mildest terms, there prevails a very extensive belief, founded, we
think, upon good reason, that if pure liquors alone were sold
drunkenness would not prevail as it now does. It is not contended that
intoxication would thereby be done away with, any more than that the
most skilful devices can ever entirely prevent theft, forgery, murder,
or other crime; but we insist that the tendency to drunkenness, now so
inseparable (as experience shows) from the use of the drugged article,
would not exist in a tithe of the instances nor to a hundredth part of
the extent that we daily see. Certain it is that in the last century,
and until adulteration began to prevail extensively in the present, the
terrific effects of liquor-drinking now known to us, under so many
different names and forms of disease, did not present themselves with
any frequency; and it is equally certain that just in proportion to the
universality of adulteration has been the commonness and virulence of
mania and delirium resulting from drink. We have said that stringent
measures should be taken to guard the interests of the comparatively
helpless consumers, so that they may have some reasonable ground for
believing that in taking a glass of ale or beer they have not imbibed a
dose of _cocculus indicus_, that a drink of whiskey does not of
necessity imply an undefined amount of _nux vomica_, or that the
symptoms resultant from a mixture of brandy and water at dinner are not
due to _strychnia_ or _creosote_. We found it much easier during the war
to raise prices on account of the enhanced value of gold than it has
since proved to diminish them in accordance with the approximation of
greenbacks to coin. So, too, in this matter of suppressing adulteration
of drink (which is the remedy we propose, and which will be just so far
valuable as it is thorough and uncompromising, while comparatively
useless unless rigidly and strenuously carried out), we have called into
play a practice, we have evoked a demon, which is not to be abolished or
banished by feeble instrumentality. We shall illustrate what may be done
here in our own country by what has been successfully accomplished in
Sweden (a country in which drunkenness and its attendant evils had
attained a magnitude beyond, perhaps, any other of Europe); nor can we
do it better than by the following account taken from Dr. Carnegie’s
late book, entitled _The License Laws of Sweden_:

    “In the town of Gothenburg, however, these measures (_prohibitory
    laws_), partly from local reasons, were not found sufficiently
    restrictive; and a committee, appointed in 1865, readily traced a
    concurrent progress between the increasing pauperism and the
    increasing drink. The laws were evaded, the police set at naught,
    and nothing remained but to inaugurate a radically new system. This
    consisted of various measures, all subordinate to one great
    principle—viz., that no individual, either as proprietor or manager,
    under a public-house license, should derive any gain from the sale
    of liquor. To carry out this principle in its integrity the whole
    liquor-traffic of the town was gradually transferred to a company,
    limited, consisting of the most highly respected gentlemen of the
    town, who undertook, by their charter, to carry on the business in
    the interests of temperance and morality, and neither to derive any
    profit from it themselves nor to allow any person acting under them
    to do so. The company now rent all the houses and licenses from the
    town, paying a moderate interest on the capital invested, and making
    over the entire profits of the trade to the town treasury. The
    places for drink—the number of which was immediately curtailed—are
    of two classes, public-houses and retail shops, both bound to
    purchase their wine and spirits (analyzed and authoritatively
    pronounced pure) from the company, to sell them without any profit,
    to supply good food and hot meals on the premises, and not to sell
    Swedish brandy except at meals. The public-houses are managed by
    carefully-chosen men, who derive their profits from the sale of malt
    liquors (also analyzed before being put on sale), coffee, tea, soda
    and seltzer water, cigars, etc., and from the food and lodgings. The
    retail shops are managed entirely by women, who have a fixed salary
    but no share in the profits. This system began to work in October,
    1865. Its effects have been at once perceptible. In 1864 the number
    of fines paid in Gothenburg for drunkenness was 2,164; in 1870, with
    a largely increased population, 1,416. Cases of _delirium tremens_
    in 1864 were 118; in 1868 but 54. Nor are the financial effects less
    encouraging. In 1872 the company realized in net profits no less
    than £15,846, which, being paid over to the town, far more than
    covers the entire poor-rate. Another pleasant fact is that this
    large amount of trade is virtually carried on without any paid-up
    capital, the whole outlay of the company having only amounted to

It is interesting to learn from the same authority whence the above
extract is taken that whilst the consumption of liquor in Sweden is
still enormous, it has been reduced (mainly owing to the care exercised
in testing its purity, and partially, also, to well-regulated
restriction) from ten gallons per head throughout the kingdom in 1860 to
about two gallons in 1870, which is about the same proportion as in
Scotland at present; and that the universal testimony of the Swedish
philanthropists, far from favoring absolute prohibition, looks rather to
purity of liquor, conjoined with moderate restriction, and finds the
results eminently satisfactory. But while we point to their experience,
as well as to common sense, right reason, the practice both of the
ancient and modern world till the beginning of this agitation of a
factitious temperance; while we invoke the teachings of Scripture for
those who profess to be guided in matters of morals and doctrine by
that, and by that alone, and appeal to the constant practice and to the
authority of the church, which should, with Catholics, be paramount to
all other considerations, yet we are painfully aware that to produce
conviction in the minds of extremists is a task that no logic can
accomplish. It is, like the cure of the vice itself which gives occasion
for this article, only to be accomplished by the grace of God. The
English-speaking world—the most enterprising and energetic portion of
the human race—occupying, for the most part, regions which suggest
toiling and striving physically and mentally so as, in the opinion of
many of them, to necessitate an occasional resort to alcoholic
stimulants, have used these liquors largely, we will say too largely, if
you please. Other shrewd and unscrupulous Anglo-Saxons have stepped in
and poisoned, for gain, the cup which they thought one of refreshment.
Death and disease, drunkenness and dipsomania, have been so long and so
frequently the result that the attention of the public is imperatively
called to it. “Take the pledge,” says one; “that will settle the
matter”—forgetting that without the help of God no pledge is of any
account, and that with his grace no pledge is needed. “Join the order,”
bawls another; “here you find the sovereign panacea for drink”—oblivious
of the fact that these secret institutions are never permanent, rarely
at peace within themselves, constantly shifting in views and practice,
and that in joining them the neophyte simply takes as many masters as
there are members, exchanging the slavery to drink for one still more
galling and quite as sinful. “No license to sell less than a quart,”
says yet another. The quart is soon disposed of, and many another quart
and gallon go the same road. “Sell no liquor, open no drinking-house on
Sunday,” screams a full-throated chorus of religionists. This, too, is
tried, and the poor man, obliged to choose between entire dulness and
intoxication, prepares himself on Saturday night for a Sunday’s drinking
bout. “No license less than three hundred dollars,” suggest the cannie
property-holders; and, presto! higher adulteration; more poison in the
drink; a higher rate per glass, it may be, but not a tippling-shop less
in country or city. “No license at all,” is the next cry. It is tried;
adulteration becomes still more barefaced, but the same amount of
drinking is done, it can hardly be said clandestinely, for it is done in
the face of day, and everybody knows or may know of it. Macrae’s
_America_ tells us that when an investigation was instituted into the
workings of the prohibitory or no-license system in Boston, there were
found to be in that city over two thousand places where liquor was
vended by the glass, and that the average annual amount spent per head
(men, women, and children included) for liquor in the entire State was a
little over ten dollars. “_We’re all for the Maine Law here_,” said a
man to Mr. Macrae, “_but we’re agin its enforcement_.” It may here be
stated once for all, without possibility of successful contradiction,
that not one of these laws, whether for Sunday-closing, higher license,
no license, partial license, or entire prohibition, ever was carried
out, or ever had any other effect than possibly to add to the cost, and
certainly to enlarge illicit distillation and set an enhanced premium on
the adulteration of liquors.

    Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi!

Maine was obliged, after a few years’ trial, to abrogate her prohibitory
law; and the most ardent favorers of _local option_, which has now had a
full and fair trial in many States, confess it a failure. Our own
experience of it is that drunkenness is nowhere so rife as in the midst
of those very regions where no license is granted and entirely
prohibitory laws are supposed to prevail; and there is surplusage of
testimony to the facts.

Strange, certainly, it seems to us, that among the various modes, some
plausible and some supremely silly, that have been proposed and acted
upon with a view of checking the ravages of intemperance, so few should
have suggested, and none should have acted upon the idea of trying, what
might be the possible effect of pure liquor. Common sense should have at
once suggested it, and a portion of the redundant and exuberant
philanthropy of the age might have been well, at least harmlessly,
employed in making an experiment which could in no case have worked
disastrously, as all those plans have done which familiarize the people
with systematized violation of law, to gratify the morbid craving for
those poisons the use of which, growing with every indulgence, soon
leaves the victim incapable of resisting the craving that never abandons
him but with life. Most people, however, once fairly inoculated with the
views of the temperance societies (we refer to the _secret_ institutions
under that name), see everything but from one point of view; the vision
becomes jaundiced, prejudice carries the day, argument is of no avail,
moderate measures are futile, liquor in any shape, alcohol in any
quantity, are the _accursed thing_, and those who deal in them, nay,
those who see no objection to their use, are _Amalekites_. What to them
are the vested interests of the eight hundred thousand persons engaged
in the manufacture and sale of liquor in the United States alone? What
the employment of hundreds of thousands engaged in its transportation?
What care they about the wives and families of either? It is of no sort
of consequence to them that over sixty million dollars accrue to the
federal treasury, even under the present extremely defective system of
collection, from the tax on domestic liquors; half as much more from the
tariff on foreign wines and spirits; and that the amounts paid for
municipal, county, State, and federal purposes, by license on
liquor-selling and drinking-houses, are simply incalculable. As well
plant and try to cultivate the sands from high-water mark to ebb-tide as
attempt to reason with such people! They are the _communists_ of our
country, the _impracticables_, the men of one idea, and that idea a
wrong one. We would much like to be able to reach them, to be able to
make them hear the words of genuine truth and soberness; but they are
“joined to their idols,” as Ephraim of old; the doctrines of the
“lodge,” the rulings of the _W. Patriarch, W. Chief Templar_ (or
whatever else may be the name of the presiding _Grand Mogul_), are of
more avail to them than all the philosophy and all the logic of ancient
and modern times. What are the Fathers of the church to the Rev.
Boanerges Blunderbuss, at Brimstone Corner, who explains to the
satisfaction of his hearers that wine, “which cheers the heart of God
and of man,” is but the unfermented juice of the grape, and that our
Saviour, at his last supper, squeezed out some three or four clusters of
grapes into the goblet whence he and his disciples drank? Talk to one of
these people about the desirableness of some regard for the habits and
customs of the multitudes in this wide world who use wine and spirits
without abusing them; he regards you with a withering contempt for your
ignorance, and informs you that _they are all drunkards_ and must be
_reformed_; that if five glasses of wine make a man drunk, one-half of a
glass must make him one-tenth part drunk; that liquor is never
necessary, even in disease as a remedy; that the Good Samaritan was
really poisoning the poor fellow to whom he gave the wine; and he leaves
on your mind the general impression that Solomon had yet a great deal to
learn from Sons of Temperance and prohibitory-law men when he
over-hastily recommended in his Proverbs to “give drink to the
sorrowful.” Just as impracticable, though in a different way and for a
different reason, is the man who has no sympathy for habits and needs
which he never knew; who never had a generous impulse in his life; whose
every act is based on cold reason and personal interest; who seldom or
never took, and who never longed for, a glass of wine since his
wedding-day; who has no sympathy for those differently situated in life
or of different physiological diathesis. He has neither genuine sympathy
for the unfortunate drunkard nor fellow-feeling for those who use
liquor. Mistaking oftentimes his own plentiful surroundings for honesty,
the want of temptation for temperance, and his own success in life for
virtue, we need expect from him no other cry than “do away with the
whole thing.”

Those poor degraded wretches at the other extreme of society who, from
congenital inclination, bad surroundings, evil training, folly, disease,
or the gnawing remorse engendered by failure in life, have fallen a prey
to the accursed poisons sold as drink, their intellect shattered and
their physical constitution prostrate, do not, we confess, deserve a
very ardent sympathy from a community for which they have done little
but harm. Still, that community was to blame that received money for
licensing the houses that sold them narcotics instead of beer, henbane
instead of wine, and liquid damnation for strong drink. It is, at least,
a duty which we owe in future to all who can control themselves that,
when they ask for bread, they shall not be furnished with a stone.

We are very anxious not to be misunderstood. This article is not
intended to be either a recommendation of, or an excuse for, tippling
habits, still less as an argument in favor of the drinking usages of the
last century or of any other period distinguished for copious drinking.
The personal habits and practice of the writer are opposed entirely to
the use of wine, beer, or spirits. His profession does not render them
necessary nor his taste crave them, and he would that in this one
respect the world “were altogether such as” he is; but he cannot ignore
the fact that all men are not so constituted physically, so situated in
a worldly point of view, or mentally disposed in the same way. What all
can clearly see is that a cry is being raised, an attempt being made, to
add in a clandestine and illegitimate way something that shall in effect
be tantamount to a precept, and that this something so foisted upon us
is opposed to the practice of the church, consequently to the
Scriptures. We see that this cry has become fashionable, a fear of being
reckoned with the “vulgar herd” (for drunkenness is a vice of the
vulgar) or a fear of giving offence causing many to be silent who should
“cry aloud and not spare,” lest haply the harm may be done and it be too
late for the remedy. Now, the whole clamor, save in so far as it
inveighs against drunkenness, “the disgrace of man and the mother of
misery,” proceeds on the false hypotheses, 1, that the Holy Scripture
discountenances the moderate use of liquor; 2, that the church opposes
it; 3, that the ancient philosophers condemned it; 4, that it is
injurious in health; 5, that it is valueless as a remedy in sickness;
and, 6, that prohibitory laws should be passed forthwith forbidding
under penalty the manufacture, purchase, sale, or importation of wine,
beer, or spirits. Not a single one of these assertions is true, or has
about it the semblance of verisimilitude to any but the average brain of
the secret-society _affilié_, or the fungus that stands in the place of
a heart for the bigoted sectary. Were they every one true, we should
still be opposed to the manner in which it is attempted to carry them
into effect; fully believing, as we do, that the whole matter of
personal reform lies within the domain of the church, upon which region
the civil power has no right to trench. Of course the state has a
perfect and undisputed right to tax wines, liquors, etc., like all other
articles of luxury, to any extent she may deem advisable, either for
revenue or repression of habits of expense among her citizens. But,
inseparably bound up with this right, and as a corollary from it, it is
the duty of the state to see that the article or articles for allowing
the sale of which she receives revenue shall not injure, much less ruin,
her citizens; and it is in the performance of this duty that we affirm
government to have been totally remiss and delinquent. Had it been
otherwise, and had the state been half as anxious to perform her duty as
she has been always eager to claim her right, there never would have
been the faintest plausibility in the cry raised; no agitation could
have resulted; with her performance of the duty the clamor must, of
necessity, cease, and with it those secret societies, so powerless for
good, so potential for evil, that have been evoked by it.

There is, however, no limit in our age to the power of clap-trap, of a
cry well started and persistently kept up. Back such a cry by the
unremitting efforts of a few secret organizations, which demagogues well
know how to use as a means of climbing into power, and superadd the
influence of some of the sects, it deepens to a howl, and a careless or
lethargic community is easily induced to believe that there must be some
reason for the clamor; that what so many people say must be true; that
where so much smoke exists there must have been a fire at some time;
and, finally, that the object on which so many persons seem to have set
their minds, to carry which so many are combined, must be a good one.
From this point to supporting it with vote and influence the step is an
easy one. Hence it is that, absurd as is the proposal of those who favor
Congressional prohibitory laws touching liquor, we feel no certainty
that its unreasonableness will prove a barrier to its being at some time
put into effect. We have indicated previously that there exists, even
among Catholics, who should know better, a lurking notion that in
joining the T. B. A. or any of its congeners, they take a step forward
in holiness, approach nearer to the imitation of the Saviour, and
outstrip in piety those who remain outside the institution using (and
able to enjoy without abusing) “the liberty wherewith Christ has made
them free.” Now, this is false, and consequently is not Catholic
doctrine or feeling. It is according to the doctrine of the church, with
which the practice of Catholics must agree, that should the experience
of any individual prove to him that total abstinence from drink is _in
his special case_ easier than moderation in its use, and that he ought,
consequently, not to use liquor at all; and if, in addition, he is
clearly of opinion that this, his proper course, is much facilitated by
joining a Catholic temperance association, he has a clear right, nay, it
is his duty, to attach himself to it. Further, should a Catholic have a
friend, whom he can largely influence, who is becoming over-fond of
drink, and whom he judges in conscience he can reclaim by taking with
him the pledge of total abstinence, or by accompanying him into any of
the Catholic associations got up and recommended for such purposes, the
Catholic so doing acts nobly and performs a meritorious work, greater
and more laudable just in proportion as he himself was further removed
from temptation or danger of fall in the matter of drink. But it is not
a bounden duty enjoined on every Catholic Christian to abstain entirely
from liquor, much less to join a temperance society; and, except where
it is done to save another, as in the case just presented, the Catholic
so joining it is no more laudable, certainly, than he who stands aloof,
using his God-given liberty in the matter.

While the church, like her divine Lord and Founder, has never forcibly
interfered with man’s free-will, yet her entire history proves that her
salutary influence has been exerted, and that, too, with the highest
success, against every shape in which the sin of luxury has appeared.
The Catholic countries of the world are not now, and they never have
been, the drunken countries. Drunkards are not found to-day among those
who frequent the tribunal of penance; and, with that consistency of
action and oneness of doctrine which is found in no other existent
institution, the church maintains that against the sin of drunkenness,
as against all other forms of sin, there is no thoroughly effectual
remedy but the frequentation of her sacraments. Pledges and
associations, while sanctioned by her, are regarded as mere
_adminicula_, tending to bring the sinner to the use of confession, the
performance of enjoined penance, and the worthy reception of the Blessed
Sacrament. Abstinence, whether for a time or for life, she looks upon as
a work of perfection, of remedy, or of penance for the individual. The
_pledge_, as administered by her, is neither oath nor vow, but either a
resolution taken by one’s self in the presence of another, or at the
utmost a solemn promise made to man. While more than fifteen hundred
years ago the church anathematized the heresy of the Manicheans, who
taught that spirituous liquors are not creatures of God, and that, as
they are intrinsically evil, he who uses them is thereby guilty of sin,
yet both before and after the rise of that detestable sect all the
writings of her fathers and doctors, all the decrees of her synods and
councils, all the decisions of her Supreme Pontiffs, and all the labor
of her priests have been persistently directed towards teaching her
members to “subdue the flesh with its affections and lusts.” How well
she succeeded let her conquest to Christianity of the conquering
northern barbarian hordes testify. Of these, whose temperament rendered
them peculiarly inclined to debauch, whose habits by no means belied
their inclinations, and whose besetting sin was drunkenness even after
their conversion to the faith, she made sober nations. Acts of
Parliament, municipal and other local measures, show us the huge strides
toward unbounded intemperance in drink taken by the English people from
the time when, in giving up the true church, they abandoned the
sacrament of penance; while the same acts, and what we have had of
so-called repressive law-tinkering on the same subject in our own
country, show us the utter futility of any and every attempt by the
civil law to render men moral by statute—to do God’s work without the
help of the Omnipotent. Were it even possible for the state to succeed
in carrying out the most stringent prohibitory or repressive laws that
it ever entered the brain of the wildest or most narrow-minded fanatic
to conceive, what would be the result? Simply that people would, like
inmates of the work-house or penitentiary, endure privation without
practising abstinence. The church of God takes no such ground; and the
state can no more succeed in carrying out such measures than did
Domitian with his sumptuary decree. Legislators forget what the church
always bears carefully in mind and has always inculcated—viz., that
_drunkenness is the sin not of the drink but of the drunkard_. The
assertion that alcohol in any form is an emanation of the evil spirit,
or the denial of the lawfulness of the use of liquor, is in itself just
as much a heresy today as it was in the days of the Egkratites. But,
that we may not overrun our limits in pursuing this branch of the
subject, we refer such readers as may be anxious to see it fully and
ably treated to the valuable little work entitled _The Discipline of
Drink_, by Rev. T. E. Bridgett, C.SS.R.

It is not, however, from Catholic sources that the proposal emanates to
cut off by legal enactment the supply of beer, wine, and spirits, which
many people—indeed, the vast majority of the civilized inhabitants of
the earth—deem necessary for their health, conducive to their comfort,
or desirable for their enjoyment. Such schemes come from the _Radicaux
enragés_; from those who addle their intellects by striving to decipher
the mystic number of the Apocalyptic beast; from the men of the George
Fox stripe, to whom a _steeple-house_ is the unclean thing; always from
men on whom the name of the Church of Rome operates as does the
flaunting of a red rag by the picador on the bull in the amphitheatre of
Seville; and, finally, from those who believe neither in this nor in
anything else that man should hold sacred, but who see and seek in the
secret societies, and in the agitation of this and similar questions, a
stepping-stone to power and a means of gaining influence.

Were one to judge by the pamphlets and tracts written on the side of the
prohibitionists, he would readily suppose that it is admitted on all
hands by physicians and chemists that alcohol is of no use as a remedial
or curative agent; that it is not food, is not life-sustaining; that no
possible good can come out of Nazareth; that the unclean thing is
altogether accursed, and should be relegated to the bottomless pit
whence it sprang. And, that we may not overburden this article, we shall
simply give the conclusion arrived at by a writer in the _Edinburgh
Review_ for July, 1875, entitled “The Physiological Influence of
Alcohol,” in which the writer (himself a physician, whose yearning to
find against us is evident throughout), after an able comparison and
summing up of the cases, experiments, and arguments of Doctors
Richardson, Thudichum, Dupré, Anstie, and other celebrated authorities,
thus perorates:

    “The inference is plain. The nutritious capability of alcohol, when
    used in appropriate circumstances and in reasonable quantity, is yet
    a matter of controversy, and a question which has yet to be further
    investigated and weighed by competent scientific authorities before
    any absolute judgment regarding it can be pronounced that shall be
    worthy of general acceptance.”

Those who feel any interest in this part of the subject would do well to
read the entire article referred to, and we feel convinced that nine out
of ten who do so will come to the conclusion, from the data given, that
the able writer’s patent bias is what caused the very non-committal
wording of his final dictum; while the same number will decide the large
preponderance of proof to be in favor of the nutritive qualities of
alcohol. We have failed to see in any of the “temperance” documents the
remotest hint that there was anything at all to be said in favor of
alcohol as an article of nutriment. Is this honest? These people must
calculate largely on the gullibility of the public; but they should
recollect, too, that the same public, when it once discovers their
prevarication, is very ready to apply the proverb, _Falsus in uno_, etc.

The great Swedish chancellor, Oxenstierna, said to his son: “You do not
yet know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed.” We are
in this respect neither better nor worse off than other countries, with
perhaps this exception: that our best citizens, those of largest
experience and soundest judgment, are too self-respecting, too proud, to
descend into the dirty arena of politics, a vast majority of such never
having attended a primary meeting in their lives, and many, very many,
rarely casting a vote. True, when corruption has run its course, when
ring-rule becomes unendurable, this class will sometimes, as lately in
New York, arouse itself. Now, the men of one idea, the canters (honest
and dishonest), and the knaves are not so. They never miss an
opportunity of propagating their views, and it would seem almost as
though there were an intimate and necessary connection between the
falsity or illiberality of the view and the pertinacity of its upholders
in spreading it. Besides, they are not indifferent to, but they hate,
broad and liberal views on any subject; they must gauge all humanity by
their own instrument, which, while it suits the pint-pot, is but ill
adapted to the hogshead. “_Les idées générales sont toujours haïes par
les idées partielles_,” says a French writer to whom (while we by no
means agree with him in everything) ability must be conceded. Should
people ever have the power to do it—a contingency by no means unlikely
in this century, in which the secret societies seem to hold “high
carnival” (May a subsequent Lenten time purge the world of such foul
humors!)—they will infallibly enact a penal prohibitory law. This will
be accomplished by means of the already-organized associations, the
oath-bound classes, the pledged abstainers, some of the sects, largely
aided by the lethargy and carelessness of people who hold clearer and
more correct views. It will be worse than useless to pass such laws,
unless provision be made for stringently carrying into effect their
details. Suppose that the prohibitory law proposed has been enacted and
is vigorously enforced, and let us cursorily examine what is this Golden
Age, this antedated millennium promised us so confidently by our
over-temperate friends.

A blockade of coast will be necessary, to which the blockade of the
Confederate territory during the late war will be as nothing, either for
extent of coast to be guarded or for the numbers, ingenuity, and means
at the command of the blockade-runners. The Canadian and Mexican borders
will require cordons of sentries day and night, to furnish which one
hundred armies such as we possess would be ridiculously inadequate. A
government detective force of at least one-fourth our adult male
population will have to be employed, organized, and paid; and not less
than one-half of the remainder will soon be in prison for infraction or
evasion of the law. Meanwhile, the revenues will have diminished by
fully one-third, while the governmental expenses will have been tenfold
increased. The hundreds of thousands who now make a livelihood for
themselves and families by the manufacture, transport, and sale of beer,
wines, or spirits must find other employment or join the already too
numerous army of tramps; and in this case what becomes of the
unfortunate families? If the laboring man finds it difficult to procure
work now, what will it be then? Taxation must, of necessity, be
decoupled; and meantime a large proportion of the population will have
come to the conclusion that they are suffering under the most odious of
all tyrannies, and will be ripe for revolution. The pretext will not be
wanting in the details of carrying out the provisions of the law. This
state of things might last, at the utmost, a year, during which
insurrections would be of constant occurrence in every part of the
country; outbreaks in the cities would take place day after day; and,
finally, the minority, in revolution against what they considered an
unjust and tyrannical edict, would carry the day either peacefully at
the polls (by aggregating to themselves such of the majority as had
become convinced of the absurdity of the law) or, sword in hand and at
the mouth of the cannon, would revindicate to themselves the rights so
wantonly trampled upon. The results of such a victory may be better
imagined than described. History, fortunately, has but few examples of
such revolutions against the extravagance of over-zealous reform, but
those few are terrifically replete with warning.

We wish, then, to insist that _no law at all_ is better by far than a
law which, in its nature, _cannot be carried into effect_. That this is
such a law we think manifest on the above showing; and did we wish
further proof, it is readily found in the fact that all those
communities, great or small, towns, counties, or states, that have
tested this, or even much milder doses of similarly-intended laws, have
been obliged either to abandon them after a longer or shorter trial, or
to acknowledge their impotence to execute them, and to own that under
such _régime_ the evils deprecated become more virulent and drunkenness
more rampant. Contempt, too, for the law, in one instance, has the
inevitable tendency to sap the foundations of respect for all law, not
merely in the mind of the drunkard but in that of the moderate drinker,
as well as of those who abet them both in their violation of legal
enactment. Meanwhile, the sensible man, the practical but unpledged
total abstainer, cannot be expected to feel strongly interested in the
success of a law which his judgment tells him to be merely an arbitrary
_enforcement, by a majority, of their views of morality_ on a minority
entitled to their own ideas and practices in this matter alike by
natural reason, Scriptural teaching, and church commands. “A nation is
near destruction when regard for law has disappeared.”

Fully aware, as we are, that the arguments and deductions, the
statements and quotations, contained in this paper are far from being in
accord with the oral and printed teachings most in vogue and most
palatable to the reading public, and much as we might desire to be on
the popular side, still we are not prepared, for the attainment of this
end, to sacrifice our convictions of right, to ignore the experience of
the past, to turn a deaf ear to the teachings of the church, or to
superadd to her commands practices in morals that she knows not. We
cannot undertake to find in Scripture injunctions that do not exist;
still less are we willing to lie supine when erroneous views are
stealthily creeping in (even amongst ourselves), are sedulously
promulgated over the length and breadth of the non-Catholic world, and
when the attempt is making to enforce _even desirable_ practices in
morals and personal discipline by false arguments and means that will
not stand the test of right reason. Let us review the ground and gather
together the results.

The use of intoxicating liquor or strong drink has been known in all
countries and from the earliest times; drunkenness must have been and
was equally well known. In no system, even of heathenism, has
intoxication been recommended; and in none, save that of Mohammed, has
abstinence from liquor been enjoined. The Old and New Testaments, while
teeming with allusions to the use of _wine_ and _strong drink_, nowhere
lay down any precept forbidding their use, but frequently by the
clearest implication, and in a few instances by express injunction,
command the use of both; and the manufacture of wine _must_, by the
institution of our Blessed Saviour, be kept up so long as the world
shall exist. There is _no_ proof for the assertion, that alcohol is not
food, and _less_ for the averment that it has no efficacy as a remedial
agent. The taste for liquor is a natural one and inherent to all men,
but probably stronger and more necessary of gratification among
hard-working men, and in damp or cold climates, than in the case of
sedentary persons or in mild and hot countries. It is _not_ the province
of civil government to remove temptation to the infraction of the moral
law; its province is _to keep order_ and _to punish infractions_ of law.
To pass a series of totally prohibitory laws would be to attempt the
legal suppression of human nature; which being impossible, such
legislation must be absurd. There are great evils in the present
management of the liquor-traffic, chiefly arising from the wholesale
adulterations with poisonous drugs everywhere _largely_ practised, but
most ruinously in the northern countries of Europe, in Canada, and in
the United States. Were the traffic so taken in charge by governments or
carefully-appointed companies that _pure liquors only_ should be
furnished for consumption, all profits from the sale accruing to
government, the great mass of the evils (now justly complained of) in
connection with the liquor trade would disappear, while at the same time
an immense revenue would accrue to the federal or State treasury, as the
case might be. If these prohibitory laws were passed, and carried out in
their spirit, dreadful evils would be the result; and, finally, such
laws never can be carried out at all, and, by consequence, it is not
competent for government to enact them. The whole matter of intemperance
comes purely within the domain of morals; religion alone can deal with
it radically; and while the civil law should and must punish
drunkenness, with the crimes resulting therefrom, it is to Christianity
alone that we must look for the effectual reformation of the drunkard
and prevention of his sin.

These are the arguments that present themselves to us against the
enactment of what are called “prohibitory laws”; and we believe the
suggestions above given, regarding the evils of the present liquor trade
and the mode of ridding the world of those evils, to be in full
consonance both with the facts and with common sense.

    “Si quid novisti rectius istis.
    Candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum.”

                     FRENCH PROVERBIAL SAYINGS.[48]

There is, in the French language, one peculiarity amongst others which
only becomes perceptible to foreigners after a somewhat lengthened
residence in France—namely, the frequent use of proverbial expressions
of which the original meaning, as far as the speaker is concerned, is
utterly lost.

For instance, a person grandly dressed out is said to be _sur son trente
et un_; an old piece of furniture or of attire is _vieux comme Hérode_;
again, _il ne se foule pas la ratte_ means “he takes things easily”;
_prendre les jambes au cou_ is to go as fast as possible; and a person
who speaks French badly is said to _parler Français comme une vache

When the English-speaking races use expressions of this kind, there is
in them almost always some recognized allusion, quotation, or, it may
be, a quaint adaptation of the words of some well-known author, ancient
or modern, or they point to some fact or tradition or popular notion. In
French familiar conversation, however, there are numberless proverbial
and popular sayings still in common use the sense of which has been lost
for centuries. Comparatively few amongst those who use them know that
they are expressions borrowed, it may be, from certain customs or from
history or from literature; but usually the trace is lost, the
connection broken, and the reason of their existence forgotten.

These proverbial expressions have, for the most part, been recently
collected, and as far as possible accounted for, and their source and
history, where not discovered, at least suggested, in an ingenious
volume by M. Charles Rozan, in which he gives also certain popular words
usually qualified as vulgar, but “whose fundamental meaning it is all
the more acceptable to learn, from the fact of their not being yet
admitted into the official dictionaries; since,” he adds, “it is
intruders more especially whom we would question as to who they are,
whence they come, and what they have done.”

In the present notice we have chiefly selected examples having a local,
historical, or in some way characteristic interest, and, with one or two
exceptions, we have left aside those taken from the drama, besides the
numerous sayings, not by any means peculiar to France alone, which
relate to classical antiquity, and which any one possessing a very
moderate knowledge of ancient history and literature would at once

_Je m’en moque comme de l’an quarante_ is a saying which dates from the
beginning of the eleventh century. There was at that period an extensive
belief that the end of the world was at hand, and that the _thousand
years_ and more supposed to have been assigned by our Lord as the
duration of his church on earth, and of society in general, were to
expire in the year 40 of that century. Sinners were converted in crowds;
many talked of turning hermit; but, once this redoubtable epoch was
over, men changed their tone, and from that time to this the expression
used in speaking of a thing which need inspire no alarm is: “I care no
more for it than for the year forty!”

_La beauté du Diable_ we should naturally suppose meant an appalling
ugliness. It means nothing of the kind, but, on the contrary, that
exceeding prettiness frequently noticeable in young girls between the
ages of fourteen and nineteen, or thereabouts, which then passes away.
This, the freshness of youthful beauty, seems to derive its name from
the old proverb, _The devil was handsome when he was young_—namely,
while he was yet an unfallen angel.

Ladies somewhat advanced in the debatable ground of life’s pilgrimage,
when youth has made way for the nameless years of “a certain age,” are
said to _coiffer Sainte Catherine_.

It was formerly the custom in France, as it still is in Spain and some
parts of Italy, on particular festivals, to array in festal garments and
headgear the statues of the saints. St. Catherine being the patroness of
virgins, the care of her adornment was always entrusted to young girls.
This charge, however agreeable and honorable at sixteen, might,
nevertheless, not be desirable in perpetuity, and thus it came to be
said of any middle-aged maiden: “She stays to _coiffer_ St. Catherine.”

To speak French very badly, or with a bad accent, is called _parler
Français comme une vache Espagnole_. The people inhabiting the
Basque provinces obtain their name from the indigenous word
_vaso_—mountain—which, when taken adjectively, is augmented by the
final _co_, and thus becomes _vasoco_, and, by contraction,
_vasco_—mountaineer. The French, knowing little enough of Spanish,
said at first _vacco_, and then _vacce_. Thus, _parler comme un
vacce Espagnol_ meant at first to allude to the _inhabitants_ of the
Basque provinces of Spain, whose language still bears all the
characteristics of a primitive tongue, and who have great difficulty
in expressing themselves in French; but _vacce_, at a time when the
Latin had left its traces everywhere, was said for _vache_, the
peasants in many of the French provinces retaining it still. Thence
arose the confusion which produced the senseless comparison, “to
speak French like a Spanish cow.”

_Attendez-moi sous l’orme_ (wait for me under the elm) implies that “the
rendezvous you ask is disagreeable to me, and I will not keep it.” The
type of an unpleasant rendezvous is that which compels an appearance
before the judge, and it is to this that the expression here quoted
originally referred. Formerly the judges administered justice under a
tree planted in the open space before the church or the entrance of a
seignorial mansion; hence the phrase of _juges de dessous l’orme_, and
also that of _danser sous l’orme_. _Attendez-moi sous l’orme_ means,
Find me there if you can (ironically), and to name a rendezvous which
one has no intention of keeping.[49]

_Faire Charlemagne_ is to retire from the game after winning it, without
giving the adversary a chance of revenge. This expression evidently
alludes to the death of the great Charles, who, when he had become the
monarch of the West, quitted this life without having lost any of his

To make unlawful profits by deceiving as to the price of any articles a
person has been charged to buy is called “shoeing the mule” (_Ferrer la
mule_). The expression dates from the time when the counsellors of the
Parliament repaired to the _Palais de Justice_ mounted on mules, and the
lackeys who remained outside during the sittings of the Assembly spent
their time in gambling, extorting from their masters the money they
wanted for their amusement by pretending that they had had to pay for
shoeing the mules. Others carry the origin of the saying back to the
time of Vespasian; the muleteer of that emperor, when on a journey,
having been bribed to do so, suddenly stopped the mules under pretext of
having them shod, so as to give time to a person whom they had met on
the way to speak to the emperor of his affairs.

_Faire danser l’anse du panier_ is said of a cook who fraudulently
obtains from her mistress more money for her purchases at market than
they have really cost. The idea is that of shaking the basket so as to
make its contents take up as much room as possible, and thus look worth
their alleged price.

_Connaître les êtres de la maison_ is to know the doors, staircases,
passages, rooms, outlets, etc.—in a word, the internal arrangements—of
the house. _Êtres_, which for a long time was written _aîtres_, has for
its origin the Latin _atria_, in the sense of dwelling.

_Je l’ai connu poirier_ is said of a _parvenu_ whose sudden rise from a
mean condition has not earned him much consideration. There was in a
village near Brussels an image of St. John, black and worm-eaten with
age, and held in great veneration by the people. M. le Curé, thinking it
time to replace it by a new one, sacrificed his best pear-tree for that
purpose. One of his parishioners, who had shown great veneration for the
ancient statue, took no notice whatever of the new one. “Have you lost
your devotion to St. John?” the curé one day asked him. “No, M. le Curé;
but the new St. John is not the real one—_I knew him when he was a

The expression of _Cordon Bleu_ is a singular example of the degradation
of an aristocratic word, and we discover its ancestry with the same
feeling that we once received the answer of a poor mason’s apprentice,
who, on being asked his name, gave as his Christian and surname those of
two of the oldest and noblest families in the county of Devon.

To the Order of the Holy Ghost, instituted in 1578 by Henri III., not
every one could aspire. It consisted of only one hundred members, at the
head of whom, as grand master, was the king.[50] The Dauphin, the sons
and grandsons of the monarch, knights by right, were, as well as the
princes of the blood, received at the time of their First Communion.
Foreign princes were not admitted before the age of twenty-five; dukes
and other nobles of high rank not until thirty-five; and in all cases
none was allowed to enter who could not trace back at least three
generations of nobility on the father’s side. The cord to which the
symbol of the order was attached was blue, and the knights themselves
were commonly designated _Cordons Bleus_.

The distinction being reserved to only a small number of persons of the
highest rank, it gradually became customary to give the name of _cordon
bleu_ to persons of superior merit. The Order of the Holy Ghost was
abolished at the Revolution. All the dignities as well as all the ideas
which had grouped themselves around this noble order have disappeared
with it. Its name is no longer used in the figurative language of France
to recall great merit or a distinguished name; the last memory of the
order lingers in the kitchen, and the only _cordon bleu_ of the
nineteenth century is a good cook!

Those who have hard work and scant pay are wont to observe that they
might just as well _travailler pour le roi de Prusse_. The kingdom of
Prussia not having been a century and a half in existence, this
expression cannot have an earlier origin. M. Rozan asks, therefore,
which is it of the five Fredericks who thus puts in doubt the royal
generosity? Some persons say that it is Frederick William I., constantly
anxious to show himself economical of the property of his subjects,
unlike his father, who was, according to the expression of Frederick the
Great, “great in little things and little in great.” Either from what
the one did not spend at all, or from what the other spent amiss, a
conclusion might be drawn in the sense of the proverb. We incline,
however, rather to charge upon the Great Frederick himself all the
responsibility of the French reproach.

Frederick II. was fond of employing French workmen, but not quite so
fond of paying them; and as no people know better than the French that
_noblesse oblige_, it is no matter of surprise that he should have
furnished them with a proverb. We also find an example of his sparing
management in the conflict which arose between him and Voltaire (who was
very economical also) about lumps of sugar and candle-ends. In the
agreement he had made with the poet Frederick had promised him, besides
the key of chamberlain and the Cross of Merit, the ordinary appointments
of a minister of state—_i.e._, an apartment at the château, board,
firing, two candles a day, and so many pounds of tea, sugar, coffee, and
chocolate every month. These articles, though duly provided, were of
such bad quality that Voltaire complained to the king. Frederick
professed to be infinitely pained, and promised to give fresh orders.
Were the orders given? In any case the provisions were as bad as ever,
and Voltaire again remonstrated. The king got out of the affair with
equal economy and cunning. “It is frightful,” he exclaimed, “to think
how badly I am obeyed! I cannot hang those rascals for a lump of sugar
or an ounce of tea; they know it, and laugh at my orders. But what most
pains me is to see M. de Voltaire disturbed in his sublime ideas by
small miseries like these. Ah! let us not waste upon mere trifles the
moments that we can devote to friendship and the muses. Come, my dear
friend, you can do without these little provisions. They occasion you
cares unworthy of you; we will speak of them no more. I will command
that for the future they shall be stopped.”

On another occasion Frederick was having a new front put to a Lutheran
place of worship in Berlin. The ministers complained to the king that
they had not light enough to carry on the service. The building,
however, being too far advanced for his majesty to wish to incur the
cost of alteration, he sent back their address, after writing upon it:
“Blessed are they who see not, and yet believe.”

As a last proof of the just implication of the proverb, an English
traveller, who does full justice to the eminent qualities of the
monarch, says: “Never was there a fat soldier in any country; but the
King of Prussia has not even a fat sergeant. A profound knowledge of
financial economy is a point on which this sovereign excels. It is also
a reason why his troops should never be otherwise than lean.”

This observer might have added that Frederick made it a rule never to
allow his soldiers any pay on the 31st day of the month. There were thus
seven days in the year on which the whole Prussian army _travaillait
pour le roi de Prusse_.

_Manger de la vache enragée_ is to suffer great privations, to procure
with difficulty the merest necessaries of life, and so to be reduced, as
it were, to “eat the flesh of a mad cow.” The expression has also come
to mean the trials of every kind which, in the course of life, ought to
strengthen the body to endure hardness and the mind to a habit of

On entering upon a house or _appartement_ in Paris it is customary to
make a present of a few francs to the concierge, which present is called
_le dernier adieu_. The newcomer, if a foreigner, wonders why the first
dealings he has with the concierge of his new abode should be so
singularly misnamed as “the last farewell.” The words are a corruption
of the _Denier à Dieu_—God’s penny—the piece of money given to the
person with whom a bargain was concluded, with the intention of taking
God to witness that the engagement had been made, and of offering him a
pledge that it should be faithfully kept. The sums thus given were
bestowed by the receiver in alms to the poor, and were not appropriated,
like the _arrhes_, a part payment of what was due to the person with
whom an agreement had been made.

The lugubrious associations connected with the name of the melancholy
building at the back of Notre Dame de Paris encourage the idea that the
word _morgue_ must relate to corpses, or in any case to death. M. Rozan
disabuses us of the mistake.

There was formerly at the entrance of prisons a room where new arrivals
were detained for a few days after committal, in order that the keepers
might learn to know their faces and appearance sufficiently well to
preclude any chance of their escape. Later on the corpses found in the
Seine or elsewhere were exposed in this same room, the public being
admitted to see them through a small aperture made in the door.

Until 1804 the corpses were exposed in the lower jail dependent on the
prison of the Grand Châtelet, when they were transferred to the quay of
the _Marché Neuf_ in a small building which received the name of
_morgue_, an old French word for _face_ or _visage_, and used also to
express a fixed or scrutinizing look. It is doubtless in the latter
sense that we find the true meaning of the term.

Now that we have given a greatly abridged version of portions of M.
Rozan’s work, we refer the reader for the remaining curious fragments of
information scattered throughout its pages to the book itself. At the
same time we venture a suggestion that in future editions it might be
well if the author were, as far as practicable, to classify its contents
under certain heads—such, for instance, as are dramatic, historic,
local, or classic, etc., in their origin or allusion—so as to allow some
continuity of ideas in its perusal, and to gather its at present
scattered stones into a collection of mosaics.

Footnote 48:

  _Petites Ignorances de la Conversation._ Par. Charles Rozan. Paris:
  Hetzler. 1877.

Footnote 49:

  We may here mention that the finest elm in France is probably that in
  the court of the Deaf and Dumb Institution in the Rue St. Jacques in
  Paris. It is 50 metres in height and 5 in circumference, the last
  remaining of the 6,000 feet of trees planted under Henri IV. We
  mention this merely for the sake of our European readers, not for
  those accustomed to the sylvan giants of the Western world.

Footnote 50:

  Henri III. instituted this order in memory of the three great events
  of his life which had happened on the Feast of Pentecost—namely, his
  birth, his election to the crown of Poland, and his accession to the
  throne of France.

                        THE HOME-RULE CANDIDATE.
                      _A STORY OF “NEW IRELAND.”_
                              CHAPTER IV.
                             THE ELECTION.


I was received at Clonacooney with an enthusiasm that sent the hot blood
surging through my veins in prideful throbs. At the entrance to the
village I was presented with an address by a splendid specimen of the
Irish race in the person of Myles Moriarty, a man who had been “out” in
forty-eight, who, on the part of the tenant-farmers of Clonacooney,
tendered me welcome and assurances of both moral and physical support.

“The dark hour is passin’ from the ould country, sir, and yours be the
hand to wipe the tear from the cheek of Erin,” were his concluding

I must have spoken to the point, for I was cheered to the echo, and my
right hand almost wrung from the arm by repeated shakings.

In Father O’Dowd’s garden a small platform had been raised, composed of
the kitchen table, the safety of which Biddy Finnegan watched over with
tender regard.

Around the little grass-plat some hundred of the “boys” were gathered,
who bared their heads in respectful reverence when the good priest
ascended the dais.

It is chiefly in Ireland that one sees the visible link that binds
priests and people. The Irish peasant never forgets that he is in the
presence of the Lord’s anointed, and the respect for the clergyman upon
the hillside or wayside is the same as though he were clad in his
vestments and upon the altar.

Father O’Dowd introduced me in a speech that burned into the minds of
his auditory. It was full of fiery eloquence, full of patriotism, full
of Catholicity. In dealing with the question of Home Rule he said: “Over
a country agitated by dissension and weakened by mistrust we have raised
the banner of Home Rule. We raised it hesitatingly, unfurling it
tremblingly to the breeze; but the hearts of the people have been moved
by the two small words, and the soul of the nation has felt their power
and their spell. These words have passed from man to man along the
valley and along the hillside. Everywhere our despairing sons have
turned to that banner with confidence and hope. Thus far we have borne
it. Upon these young and stalwart shoulders,” placing his arm
affectionately around me, “we shall now place it, to be borne unto
victory. It is meet that the representative of a stainless race, of a
race that upheld their creed when its avowal led to the scaffold and
gibbet, should go forth from among us young in years, high in hope,
ardent in the cause of creed and country. We shall hand our banner into
his youthful hands, and with him this trust shall be considered sacred.
He will defend it, if necessary, with his life. The cause of the church
will be his; the cause of the country will be his.”

When it came to my turn to speak a mist seemed to gather before my eyes
and my head began to swim.

“Courage!” whispered Father O’Dowd. “_Nos hæc novimus esse nihil._”

I plunged in _medias res_, floundering on, stumbling, staggering,
repeating myself, till I felt all aflame, and as if my head were
red-hot. Suddenly the idea smote me that I had Wynwood Melton to beat,
and I became cool as ice. Yes, the transition was simply instantaneous,
and with it came a flow of words such as have never welled from me
since, save, perhaps, upon the day of the election.

I spoke for nearly an hour, and I subsequently recollected that I had
discussed the entire political situation of Ireland, as I had done some
years before in a debate at the Catholic University. Memory came
gallantly to the rescue, and when I concluded Father O’Dowd cried

“A born orator—_nascitur, non fit_. Now, boys,” addressing the
tumultuous assemblage, “haven’t we got the right man, and won’t we put
him in the right place?”

When I returned to Kilkenley I found that Mr. Melton had taken his

“He is alive to the importance of an active canvass,” said Mr.
Hawthorne, “and has repaired to the tents of his people. I am very sorry
that the warning should come from me—a warning that may be of singular
disservice to you.”

“I _feel_ that I shall win.”

“My dear young friend, I felt that I would win, and discredited the
returns that threw me overboard when I contested Fromsey. Do not let
your feelings mislead you. Work as if expecting defeat, and as if
endeavoring to reduce the majority against you. I’m an old campaigner
and know the ropes.”

My mother was all eagerness to know how I had progressed. When I told
her that I had made two speeches, one of them of an hour’s duration, her
delight was boundless.

“You were lost, dear child,” she cried. “Your talents are of a high
order, and you have at last found a field for them.”

Harry Welstone had attended a meeting at Ballynashaughragawn, and had
held forth in my behalf, like a regular brick that he was. All my
jealousy disappeared upon the mention of Melton, and Harry was again my
confidant in everything.

“I don’t think she cares much for that fellow, Fred.”

“I tell you that they understand each other.” And I writhed in the agony
of the thought.

“I think her governor is nibbling for Melton as a son-in-law, but there
is no ring of the true metal about the girl’s feelings—nothing that _I_
can detect; and I’m not utterly unobservant.”

I never felt that the gash in my heart was so deep until Miss Hawthorne
referred to their leaving.

“Our time is up. We have overstayed our limit.”

“Surely you will not desert us until after the election,” said my
mother. “You must celebrate his success, if success it is to be.”

“Oh! Miss Hawthorne is not interested in my success, mother,” I

She turned her violet eyes full upon me.

“Much more so than you give me credit for.”

“My non-success, you mean.”

“I do _not_ mean it.”

“It is quite right that you should,” I said bitterly. “_I_ have no claim
upon your interest.”

“A very strong one, I assure you.”

“Melton’s the man,” assuming a savage gayety. “How jolly he will feel if
he wins! how delighted to bear the news to his lady-love!”

“Does it not strike you, Mr. Ormonde, that your last observation is upon
the borderland of—what shall I call it?”

“Truth,” I suggested.

She did not deign to reply to me, but, turning to my mother, expressed a
fear that she should leave Kilkenley upon the following day.

“I will not hear of it,” said my mother stoutly.

There was one chance left, and that lay in inducing Mr. Hawthorne to
stump the county with me. This scheme I confided to Harry, who highly
approved of it. After dinner, when the ladies had returned to the
drawing-room, Harry opened fire.

“Mr. Hawthorne, the people about here are exceedingly anxious to hear
you speak. They have heard a good deal of your eloquence in Parliament,
and have read some of your speeches.”

“I am not reported, sir. Those scoundrels in the press gallery ignore
_me_ because I defy _them_. Would you believe it, gentlemen, my speech
upon the removal of a custom-house officer upon a charge of disloyalty
to the throne and constitution, and which occupied two hours and a half
in its delivery—I went into the question of customs generally, into
those of foreign countries, into the national debt, into our relations
with Japan, into the contracts for constructing ironclads—in fact, I
grasped a series of subjects of the highest importance to the country;
and would you believe it, Mr. Speaker—I mean gentlemen—the _Times_,
although I saw that the reporter—yes, gentlemen, I watched him with an
eagle eye—was present and apparently engaged in reporting me—the
_Times_, I say, had the audacity to publish that the honorable member
for Doodleshire uttered some irrelevant observations which were
inaudible in the reporters’ gallery; and yet this unprincipled scoundrel
pockets his pay, and reports the flimsy orations of other honorable
members not one tithe of so much national importance as mine.” And
trembling with anger, Mr. Hawthorne gulped down three glasses of claret
in rapid succession.

“The Irish people,” continued Harry, “are the most rhetorical and
oratorical in the world, and prefer a good speech to any known amusement
except a wake. News of your presence here has gone far and wide, and I
may tell you fairly that it is incumbent upon you to let them hear you.”

“I—ahem!—would be very pleased to do so, did a suitable opportunity
present itself,” said the M.P. with a pleased smile.

“The opportunity luckily does present itself. On Thursday next our host
here must attend a meeting of his constituents at Bohernacallan, and, if
you were to accompany him and address the people, I assure you it will
be regarded as a very considerable favor by the hundreds who will be

“On Thursday next I shall be on my way to London.”

“Not a bit of it,” I chimed in.

“There is nothing to be done in London now, Mr. Hawthorne,” said Harry.

“My arrangements are all made, and nothing, sir, nothing could induce me
to break them. I am a man of iron, adamant in such matters.”

I looked blankly at Harry, but Master Harry was still hopeful, as
indicated by a dexterous half-wink while the M.P. was tossing off
another glass of claret.

“I may tell you as a matter of fact, Mr. Hawthorne, that you are
expected at this meeting.”

“It is very flattering, Mr. Welstone, but the meeting must stand
disappointed in so far as I am concerned. No, gentlemen; in the House or
outside of it, once I lay down a plan of operations, I never diverge
from it by the distance of a single hair.”

Again I looked blankly at Harry, and again I met with a half-wink.

“That’s very unfortunate, Mr. Hawthorne, but I suppose it cannot be

“It cannot indeed, sir.”

“And reporters coming down from Dublin, too,” said Harry, addressing me.

“What is that you say, Mr. Welstone?” demanded the member of Doodleshire
with considerable earnestness.

“Oh! it’s not worth repeating.”

“I think I heard you mention something about reporters?”

“Oh! yes; the Dublin newspapers are sending down special reporters, and
the London _Times’_ correspondent is a reporter on the _Daily Express_.”

“Ahem!” And Mr. Hawthorne gravely produced a memorandum-book, which he
proceeded to scan with apparent interest.

Harry gave me the full wink now.

“Oh dear me—ahem!” exclaimed the M.P. “I find that I need not be in
London quite so soon, and if it obliges you, my dear Ormonde, I shall be
glad to strike a blow in your aid. Did you say the _Times’_
correspondent will be there? Not that it makes the _slightest_
difference to _me_; yet, belonging as I do to the great liberal party,
and belonging as this election does to the great liberal party, I deem
it a sacred duty to aid the great liberal party in so far as it lies in
my power. Mr. Ormonde, rely upon _me_, sir.”

When later on I spoke with Harry on the question of deceiving my guest,
especially as no reporters would be within fifty miles of us, “Don’t
bother your head about it, Fred. Leave it all to me. I’ll get Tom
Rafferty and the two O’Briens to come with big pencils and lots of
paper, and tell them to write for their lives the whole time old
Hawthorne is speaking. Everything is fair in love, war, and an

                  *       *       *       *       *

The excitement in the county was intense as soon as the fact of my being
in the field became known across its length and breadth. The De Ruthvens
were furious, the head of the family, Mr. Beresford de Ruthven, honoring
me with a personal visit, in order to ascertain whether I was in my
senses or out of them.

“Am I to understand, Mr. Ormonde, that you are a candidate for the
representation of this county?” he asked, after the usual ceremonial
questions had been pushed aside.

“You are, Mr. De Ruthven.”

“That you have consented to be nominated by a rabble—to be—”

“I have been nominated by no rabble, Mr. De Ruthven.”

“You are the nominee of the priests.”

“I am, sir; but have a care how you speak of a Catholic clergyman in
this house. You are not now at Ruthventown.” I was hot with anger.

“Do you want to break up the harmony that has existed for centuries in
the county, Mr. Ormonde?”

“I want to see a liberal represent the county, and I am willing to give
way to a better man.”

“Liberal! What liberality do you require? Do not the liberals have their
share in everything?”

I had him now.

“How many liberals are there on the grand panel, Mr. De Ruthven?”

“Oh! I grant you that there has been mismanagement,” he hastily replied,
“but we’ll see to that.”

“What liberality is it that leaves the roads approaching every Catholic
church in a condition that would shame a backwoods clearing, while those
near the meanest Protestant place of worship are cared for like the
avenues in your own domain?”

“That shall be looked to.”

“Where is the liberality at the union boards, in the magistracy, in the
county offices? Is there a single Catholic in any office whatever?”

“O Mr. Ormonde! I see you are primed and loaded, and must go off like a
fifth-of-November cracker. Now, all I can say to you is this: that if
you persist in this audacious attempt in breaking up the harmony of this
great county, on your own head be the penalty; and let me add, sir, that
when next you attend the assizes, do not be surprised if you are openly

“And do not be surprised, Mr. De Ruthven, if the man who dares insult me
is _openly_ horse-whipped.”

Mr. De Ruthven, very much disgusted at my papistical audacity, took his
leave, warning me, even when in his carriage, that I was certain of
defeat, and equally certain of being put in Coventry.

My attempt to wrest the seat from the conservative party was regarded
with the same interest as Mr. A. M. Sullivan’s daring effort to snatch
Louth from the Right Honorable Chichester Fortescue—an effort that was
crowned with such signal success. The cabinet minister and ex-Irish
secretary, who was regarded as Mr. Gladstone’s official representative
in Ireland, was deemed invulnerable in Louth, having sat for it for
twenty-seven years. The government laughed to scorn the idea of
disturbing him, but Mr. Sullivan polled two to one, and was carried in
by such a weighty majority as virtually to close the county for ever and
a day, as the children’s story-books say.

In my county the conservatives laughed my attempt to scorn, pooh-poohing
my pretensions and ridiculing my supporters. My opponent made
Ruthventown his headquarters, and from Ruthventown came forth his
address. From Ruthventown also was issued a manifesto, or imperial ukase
rather, commanding the tenants to vote for the De Ruthven candidate,
while from every conservative landlord appeared a notice couched in
similar dictatorial terms. To these counter-proclamations were scattered
broadcast by my various committees throughout the country, calling upon
Catholics to support a Catholic, upon Irishmen to support Home Rule.

Father O’Dowd was indefatigable, leaving Sir Boyle Roche’s bird simply
nowhere, as he would appear to be in half a dozen different places at
one and the same time. He lived upon his little outside-car, and the
dead hours of the night saw him dashing through lonely glens, winding up
steep mountain-sides, speeding through sleeping villages, all for the
purpose of bringing the old faith to the front, and of rescuing
representation from the clutches of the Orange clique, who had held it
so long, to the prejudice of Catholicity and the shame of Catholics.

“We’ll shake off the yoke now or never!” was his constant cry. “Down
with the De Ruthven ascendency! We’ll take their heels off our necks. We
have suffered and endured too long and too patiently. We have allowed a
little clique to govern a nation at their own sweet will. It is time for
the people to assert themselves, to come to the front, to share in their
own government. The hour is at hand, and the men.”

The county was ablaze. Meetings were held in every village, and my name
was handed from townland to townland as a talisman. The most despicable
coercive measures were adopted by the conservative landlords toward
their tenants with reference to their votes, threats of eviction, of
rent-raising, of persecution being openly resorted to.

“Make no promises, boys. Keep yourselves unpledged,” was the constant
cry of Father O’Dowd. “Recollect that you have consciences and a

At one meeting, whilst I was engaged in speaking—even now I feel
astonished at my eloquence of that time—I was interrupted by some of the
De Ruthven faction, who endeavored to hiss and hoot me down.

“Boys,” yelled a voice in the crowd, “there’s iligant bathing in Missis
Moriarty’s pond below; they say it’s Boyne wather.” And ere I could
interpose or take any step towards cooling the feverish excitement of my
supporters, the luckless Ruthvenites were ruthlessly swept towards the
dam in question, where in all human probability they would have been
half-drowned had not Father O’Dowd rushed to the rescue.

“Are you mad, boys? Don’t touch a hair of their heads.”

“We want for to larn them manners, yer riverince; shure there’s no great
harm in that.”

“If one of these vagabonds is ill-treated by you, they’ll unseat Mr.
Ormonde on petition. _You_ will not suffer, but Mr. Ormonde will. For
Heaven’s sake, boys, don’t lay a finger on them.”

The announcement caused a general gloom.

“Never mind, boys,” shouted one of the crowd. “Shure if we can’t bate
thim afore the election, we can knock sawdust out av thim whin it’s all
over, an’ that’s a comfort anyhow.”

From every side promises of support came pouring in. The priests and
people were working as one man, silently, swiftly, surely. The “hard
word” had gone forth, and every parish was preparing its contingent. The
hints and cajoleries of the other side were received in dignified
silence—a silence which the ascendency party construed into assent. It
was deemed utterly impossible that the tenantry could vote against the
nominee of their landlords; and although these “slave-owners” received
very significant warnings from their bailiffs, they could not and would
not give heed to them.

My address was drawn up in a solemn committee composed of Father O’Dowd,
Mr. Hawthorne, Mabel, my mother, and myself. I need not reproduce it
here. It was Catholic and national, and when it went forth to the county
it was received with universal enthusiasm. The opposite party
stigmatized it as an “audacious document,” a “firebrand.” “Yes,” said
the parish priest of Derrymaleena, “it is a firebrand, and one that
lights the funeral pyre of the Orange party.”

I found Miss Hawthorne rewriting a copy of my address.

“I will save you the trouble, Miss Hawthorne,” I said bitterly, and
Heaven knows my heart was at a dead ache, “and I will send a copy to Mr.

She flushed, the hot blood mounting over her little ears. “You do me a
cruel injustice, Mr. Ormonde,” she replied. “Read that!” contemptuously
flinging me an open letter across the table.

“I do not wish to pry into Mr. Melton’s secrets.”

“That letter is _not_ from Mr. Melton. I never received one from him in
my life, nor do I care to receive one; but since you will not read this
letter, you shall hear its contents.”

She read as follows in a pained voice:


    As the coming man is so busy, and is probably at the other side of
    the county, I write to you to ask you to send me a copy of his
    address as soon as ever you can. We are all alive here, and Victory
    is within our grasp. Always yours,


“Now, Mr. Ormonde, may I ask you if it was generous of you to—”

“Forgive me, Miss Hawthorne,” I exclaimed. “I—I do not know what I am
doing, what I am saying. I am distracted—wretched.” I was silent. I
dared go no further. The vision of Wynwood Melton cried check to the
bounding thoughts that came surging from my heart.

“The evening of the 20th will find you in better form.”

I shook my head. The future was utterly dreary—one blank, sunless waste.

“You will win this election, Mr. Ormonde.”

I sighed deeply.

“A barren victory.”

“A barren victory!” she exclaimed with considerable animation. “Do you
consider it a barren victory to beat the Carlton Club, the great
conservative stronghold of England, whose every ukase is law—to beat the
De Ruthven faction, who have held your beautiful county in subjection
since the Pale?”

“A Dead-Sea apple. In winning this election I win your hatred.”

“_My_ hatred?” opening her lovely violet eyes in delicious wonder.

“Yes, Miss Hawthorne; if I am elected I shall have beaten the man you

She flushed again—a shower of rose-petals.

“There is not a more miserable being on the face of this earth than I am
this moment, Miss Hawthorne. Were I not pledged in honor to this
election, I would stand aside and let Mr. Melton win _this_ stake, as he
has won the higher stake—your heart.”

She was about to interrupt me, her lips tremulous, her hands in strong

“Hear me for one moment,” I cried, carried away in a rush of tumultuous
feeling, every sense in a mad whirl. “I love you, Mabel—love you with a
love that is more than love. I tried to hate you. In that vain attempt I
resolved to bring sorrow to your heart, to glut my own desire for
vengeance. It was jealous despair that led me into this conflict. It is
possible I may not see you until the fight is over, perhaps never again;
but, Mabel Hawthorne, my first, my last love, it may be sweet to you to
know why this victory will be a barren one, why the hand that grasps the
laurel will seize but dead ashes.” And without trusting myself even to
glance at her, I rushed from the room, from the house, and was many
miles on the road to Derrymaclury ere thoroughly aware of the fact.

                  *       *       *       *       *

I did not return to Kilkenley. I dreaded the fearful fascination of
Mabel’s presence, and, now that I had declared my hopeless love, I did
not care to meet her. It would be mean and shabby to hang about her,
knowing she was never to be mine. It would be despicable, under the
peculiar circumstances of the case, were I again to refer to Melton or
the election. There was nothing for it but to remain at a distance. I
recall the agonies of those few days with a shiver. The powerful
excitement of the approaching contest was over-weighted by the dull
gnawing at my heart. I was as one walking in a painful dream. In vain I
plunged into the whirl of speech-making, canvassing, and all the
absorbing surroundings of the election—truly in vain, for the one idea
ever grimly tortured me, and the one hopeless thought ever perched
raven-like in my gloom-laden mind.

“Take heart of grace, man,” Father O’Dowd would say. “We’ll beat them
three to one.”

Could he minister to the disease that was eating away my very heart?

Harry Welstone came over.

“Why, there has been a sort of panic at Kilkenley on account of your
abrupt departure, Fred. The last person who saw you in the flesh was
Miss Hawthorne, and she is very reticent in the matter. I tried to pump
her, and got quietly sat upon for my pains. She has disappeared, too.”

“What do you mean?”

“She has been playing the invisible princess. Your opponent called
twice, and she refused to see him.”

“Is it Melton?” I cried, a wild joy surging around my heart.

“Yes; the great M.P. in embryo.”

“Wouldn’t see him?”

“Said she had a headache.”

“You jest, Harry.”

“Not a bit of it. Old Blunderbuss was as mad as a hatter, but missy
stuck fast to her colors.”

“I wish to heaven you hadn’t told me this, Harry.”


“I do not know.”

And I did _not_ know, but so it was. There lay a disturbing element in
this news that completely set me astray. Hope, that springs eternal in
the human breast; hope, that seemed shut out from mine for ever, was
timidly knocking at the portals demanding admittance; but I resolutely
barred the portals, raising the drawbridge, and dropping the portcullis.
And yet—

No. I would _not_ admit the impossible.

The nomination took place in the court-house at Ballyraken, the county
town, which was literally packed with the country people, who had come
in from the great harvest districts to hear the “speechifyin’.” The De
Ruthven faction mustered very strongly, all the Protestant gentry
arriving in their equipages, making “a brave and goodly show.” Mr.
Wynwood Melton—who appeared in a faultlessly-fitting black frock-coat,
with the last rose of summer in his button-hole, a hat that literally
shone like jet, and pale lavender gloves—was proposed by Sir Robert
Slugby de Ruthven, D.L., and seconded by Mr. Beresford de Ruthven, D.L.

Sir Robert, an aged, aristocratic-looking man, with a lordly voice and
royal mien, after dilating, amidst fearful interruption, upon the
misfortune that had fallen on the county in the ill-considered
enterprise of this rash young man—meaning me—in his hopeless endeavor to
disturb the harmony which had so long existed in the county, proceeded
to say:

“I have a gentleman to propose to your consideration—a gentleman of
birth, a gentleman of education, a gentleman of position, a gentleman of
means, a gentleman—”

Here a voice, which I immediately recognized as that of Peter O’Brien,
cried out in the crowd:

“Arrah, blur an’ ages, we’re tired av _gintlemin_; can’t ye stand

This sally, which was greeted with a roar of laughter, completely upset
the little speech which Sir Robert had prepared, and in a few mumbled
words he proposed Mr. Wynwood Melton as a fit and proper person to
represent the county in the Imperial Parliament.

Mr. Beresford de Ruthven was an able and popular speaker. He knew how,
when, and where to touch the heart of the Irish peasant. His tact was
admirable, while he possessed the rare qualification of being enabled to
keep his audience in his hands as a juggler his golden balls.

We feared his speech. It was a rock ahead, and every word that fell from
his lips was to be caught up and treasured, in order that our best men
should reply to him. We knew it was nearly impossible to catch him
tripping, and that he was one of those agile performers who spring
smilingly to their feet even after an ugly fall.

“I wish this was over,” whispered Father O’Dowd. “_Timeo Danaos et dona
ferentes._ He’ll butter the boys like parsnips, and promise them the

Mr. De Ruthven commenced his speech in a breathless silence. Oratory is
always respected in Ireland, even in an opponent, although that opponent
be a Protestant and an Orangeman. The speaker labored under the
disadvantage of possessing but one hand, the other having been
accidentally shot off by the bursting of a fowling-piece while Mr. De
Ruthven was grouse-shooting in Scotland.

His speech was, unhappily for us, most felicitous. He seemed to suit
himself to the occasion, and to make the occasion suit him. A faint
murmur followed one or two of his well-directed points, which gradually
swelled into open applause, until, to our dismay, we found he was
carrying the audience with him.

Our party gazed significantly one at the other. We all perceived that
the danger we had already anticipated was upon us in real earnest. At
this moment I perceived Peter O’Brien elbowing himself to the front. A
dead silence had fallen, one of those unaccountable stillnesses that
occasionally come upon all assemblages, however large. Mr. De Ruthven
was about to recommence, when Peter, putting his hands to his mouth, and
in a voice that could be heard in the adjacent barony, shouted at the
top of his lungs:

“_Where’s the hand that sthruck the priest?_”

To describe the effect of this query would be impossible. It was simply
electrical. In one second the current, which had been flowing smoothly,
became dammed, and instantly turned into another channel. In vain did
Mr. De Ruthven endeavor to gain a hearing; in vain to disclaim the
odious charge that had been indirectly preferred against him. It was
useless. Every effort was met by a thousand cries of “Where’s the hand
that sthruck the priest?” And in these few words the sun of his
eloquence had set for ever. The high-sheriff almost burst a blood-vessel
in his endeavor to obtain silence, until, finding the task a hopeless
one, he advised Mr. De Ruthven to formally second the nomination and
retire, which was accordingly done, and in dumb show.

When Melton presented himself he was received with laughter and jeers.
The people had just warmed into that facetious good-humor that is so
dangerous to a candidate for their suffrages. Opposition makes a martyr.
Laughter causes a man to appear ridiculous.

“What’ll ye take for the posy?”

“Off wud yer gloves.”

“Will ye give us a pup out o’ that hat?”

“Is that coat ped for?”

“The raison it’s so new is that he wants to be able for to turn it,

“Spake up.”

“Give us a little Irish.”

“Sing the ‘Wearin’ av the Green.’”

“We’ll return ye—to England.”

“Go home to yer mother.”

“Cud ye say boo to a goose?”

“Och! we’ll vote for ye all together like Brown’s cows, an’ he had only

“Yer a fine man to send—out o’ the counthry.”

“Arrah, what brought ye here at all?”

“Ax for the price o’ the thrain for to take ye home, an’ mebbe ould
Beresford wud give it to ye.”

Such were the greetings that interrupted Mr. Wynwood Melton during the
delivery of a very brief speech, not one word of which even reached the
reporters’ table. He seemed, however, perfectly unruffled, and continued
bowing for a considerable time in response to the derisive cheering that
followed upon his silence.

Father O’Dowd was received with a whirlwind of cheers, yells, and other
manifestations of enthusiastic delight.

In proposing me he was very brief, alluding to the degrading position
held by Catholics in a county where the large majority of the people
were Catholics, and where everything that could be denied a Catholic was
denied him. He was good enough to refer to the intrepidity with which my
poor father had upheld the ancient faith, to his true-hearted
patriotism, and wound up by declaring that this was the hour for the
county to assert itself, both for conscience and country.

I read my speech in the _Weekly Courier_ on the following Saturday, and
I _suppose_ I must have uttered it, but I have not the remotest
conception of what I said. It read wonderfully well; and as Father
O’Dowd told me I surpassed myself, I felt more or less elated at my

“If _she_ had been there to hear it!” was my sad, sickening thought.

_Læta dies aderat._ The eventful day arrived big with my fate and that
of the county. I felt that I was but the mere instrument, and, if
victory were to crown the effort, it would be due to the principle and
not the man. We knew that in some districts we would be badly beaten,
while in others the issue was somewhat doubtful; but as to the ultimate
outcome we entertained not a shadow of a doubt. The people were panting
for a chance, and they had got it now.

When I showed the voting-papers to Peter, telling him that a cross
marked in pencil should go opposite the name of the candidate for whom
the voter wished to vote, he anxiously demanded:

“An’ must the min that votes for the Englishman put in a crass, too?”

“Every man of them.”

“Och, thin, glory be to God! shure it’s a judgmint on thim Protestants
for to have to make the sign av the blessed an’ holy crass at all, at
all—curse of Crummle on thim!”

Fearing a disturbance, as party spirit ran so high and as my supporters
were so excited, a strong detachment of the Sixtieth Rifles was marched
into Ballyraken on the eve of the polling. The Protestant landlords had
secured free quarters in the town for such of their tenantry as chose to
inhabit them, while they themselves occupied the Club House and De
Ruthven Arms in a most imposing and demonstrative manner.

I was walking down the main street, all alone, thinking not of the
forthcoming ballot, but of Mabel, when I perceived my opponent lounging
on the steps of the Club House. I should be compelled to pass the Club
House or cross the street, and as I was a member of the club, although I
never frequented it, I now resolved upon boldly entering the enemy’s

I was passing Melton with a nod when he stepped forward and in a
singularly insolent tone demanded a word with me. He was very white.

“I was at Kilkenley yesterday.”

“Indeed!” I said. His tone was too uncertain to admit of my making any
comment upon his visit.

“I suppose Miss Hawthorne is acting under _your_ orders?” he hissed.

“I am at a loss to understand your meaning, sir,” I hotly replied.

“Not at home save to those whom you may be pleased to admit to your
palatial residence,” he sneered.

“My residence is a very humble one, Mr. Melton, and when _you_ honored
it with your person I hope you found it a hospitable one. Miss Hawthorne
is mistress of her own movements, but let me tell you, sir, that she is
my mother’s guest, and the guest of an Ormonde is sacred.”

“Very dramatic, but scarcely to the point.”

“I’ll come to any point you please.”

“When this election business is over I may have something to say to
you,” his tone fairly exasperating.

I could stand it no longer.

“You white-livered cub, whatever you have to say, say it now!” I
shouted, the blood rushing like molten lava through my veins.

“I don’t row in public.”

“Do you wish me to tell you what I think of you, in public, Mr. Melton?”

He smiled.

“Pah! you are not worth this stick, or I’d break it across your
shoulders.” And I marched into the club, my heart bumping against my
ribs from sheer excitement.

What could he mean? Miss Hawthorne refuse to see him at _my_ request? It
was too absurd. Some lover’s quarrel. Was this cad her lover? Had her
heart gone forth to such a man as this?

It was torture to think it.

Contrary to all expectations, the conduct of the people was orderly and
peaceable. The dread of a petition had been seared into their very souls
by Father O’Dowd and by the admirable organization that had charge of my
interests. They came up to the booths silent, almost sullen. The
landlords and bailiffs were all at their posts, uttering a last warning
word as the tenants filed into the booths, addressing them cheerily as
they emerged therefrom, in the hope of gleaning the much-coveted
information as to the direction of the vote; but the responsibility of
that day’s work appeared upon every face, and they entered the
voting-places as though stepping into a church. Telegrams came pouring
in all day from the outlying districts.

“Ballymaclish is all right—a majority of sixty; Derrymaclooney accounts
for every man,” cried Father O’Dowd. “Bravo, my dear old parish! I knew
I could trust my good, brave, pious children.”

Later on: “The De Ruthvens have carried Tubbercurry.”

“That’s because Father Nolan is on the broad of his back.”

“Ay, and because the Beresfords have stopped at nothing,” observed one
of my committee. “If we want a petition we can pick it up in
Tubbercurry. A telegram this morning says that there were money and
whiskey going all the week.”

“How about Dharnadhulagh?”

“No returns yet.”

“Or Derrycunnihy?”

“Derrycunnihy is doubtful.”

“Not a bit of it.”

“I say it is.”

“I say it isn’t. Sure, Father James O’Neil has it in hands.”

“Oh! that will do. Put us down at forty at the very least.”

This sort of thing went on all day; but as the day wore on and the
returns came in, we found at four o’clock that I had a majority, and at
five that I had beaten Melton like a hack.

A wild flash of joy quivered through me. Frederic Fitzgerald Ormonde,
M.P.! Visions of St. Stephen’s, of fierce debates over the crushing
wrongs of expectant Erin, of glorious oratory, of splendid, supreme
efforts, of magnificent rewards, honors—_Cui bono_?

_She_ would hate me for having beaten her lover in the race. But was he
her lover? Had not her tell-tale blushes told me all? And yet I had
given her no chance of reply. Perhaps—

As this idea smote me a nameless ecstasy vibrated through every fibre of
my being, and I longed to get to Kilkenley, I knew not why.

It was excruciating to be compelled to wait and receive the
congratulations of my friends and supporters. It was simply fearful to
have to sit out a dinner which had been prepared in my honor, and to
listen to the leaden speeches all harping upon the one theme.

Somehow or other the night passed onwards, and at about eleven o’clock I
found myself free. I rode over to Kilkenley; it was a mad race, and how
I contrived to avoid riding down some of my constituents is still a
matter of mystery to me. It relieved my feverish spirits to give the
reins to my horse, and we flew homewards, past villages, past
homesteads, past inebriated revellers on low-backed cars, past bonfires
which were lighted for miles along the route, past hedges,
ditches—everything; nor did I draw rein until I drew up at the lodge,
shouting the word “Gate!”

“Lord be merciful to us! but it’s the masther,” cried Mrs. O’Rourke, the
lodge-keeper, as she tremblingly threw open the gate. “May I make so
bould as to ax ye if ye bet the Englishman, sir?”

“Beat him to smithereens.”

“Glory be to God! I knew Father O’Dowd would settle it.”

There were lights all through the house. The great event had kept the
household out of their beds. My mother fell upon my neck in a paroxysm
of joy when I told her the news.

“Where is Mabel—I mean Miss Hawthorne, mother?” I stammered.

“She was here a moment ago. Is Mr. Hawthorne at Ballyraken?”

“Yes; I left him making a third speech.”

“You must be worn out, my child. I’ll make you some mulled port.”

Something told me that I should find Mabel in the adjoining room; and my
instincts had not deceived me. She stood in the centre of the apartment,
one hand resting upon a small table. When I found myself standing
opposite to her I felt utterly, totally dumbfounded. I could only stare
at her.

“I heard the news,” she said, casting down her violet eyes. Ah! that was
_all_ she had to say.

“Will you forgive me?” I cried.

“Mr. Ormonde,” her hands working nervously, her glorious eyes still bent
upon the table, her exquisitely-shaped head half averted, “I—I—that
is—you have been under a most extraordinary misconception with reference
to Mr. Melton. That gentleman is only a friend. As a matter of fact, I—I
was so—so distressed at your ideas about him in connection with
myself”—here she blushed red as a rose—“that I refused to see him when
he came to visit here yesterday.”

“Then you are not in love with him?”

She raised her violet eyes, and her glance met mine as she uttered the,
to me, ecstatic word, “No.”

“And not engaged to him?”


I do not know what I said or what I did; but this I _do_ know: that when
my mother entered the room with a tumbler of mulled port, she dropped
the tumbler, uttering an exclamation of delight, and fell to kissing
Mabel, exclaiming: “This is the one thing wanted to make me perfectly
happy. My poor boy was breaking his heart about you.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

I was declared duly elected to serve the county in the United Parliament
of Great Britain and Ireland.

Mr. Hawthorne duly presented me to Mr. Speaker upon the occasion of my
taking the oaths and my seat. My first nap in the House was during a
speech from the member for Doodleshire, which was not treating the
ethereal thunder of his mind with becoming respect, especially as he had
just been good enough to give me his daughter in marriage. We were
married at the pro-cathedral at Kensington, by Father O’Dowd.

Melton I never met.

Harry Welstone and I are closer friends than ever, as he is in the
House, representing the borough of Bohernabury, and we are always “agin
the government.”

We reside at Kilkenley, and Peter O’Brien is teaching my eldest boy to
handle the ribbons.

“Musha, thin, whin I rowled out forninst ye in the dirt beyant at the
railway station, it’s little I ever thought I’d see ye misthress av the
ould anshint property, ma’am,” is his constant remark to the lady of the
manor, while he is perpetually urging upon me the crying necessity for
“takin’ a heat out av Drizzlyeye.”

“Bloody wars, Masther Fred, but you an’ ould Butt is too aisy wud him.
Give him plinty av impudince, an’ as shure’s me name’s Pether O’Brien
ye’ll have Home Rule while ye’d be axin’ the lind av a sack.”



Our federal government, as a government, is absolutely forbidden by the
Constitution to have anything whatever to do with religion; but the
State Department has been for years and is now conducted as if it were
an agency for a religious sectarian propaganda. The gentlemen whom it
has sent to represent us at foreign courts have acted, in numberless
instances and with few exceptions, as if they were the emissaries of
Protestant or infidel missionary societies rather than as the
ambassadors, ministers, and _chargés d’affaires_ of a government which
professes no religion, but which nevertheless has among its citizens
eight millions of Roman Catholics, more or less, whose rights and
opinions it is bound at least to respect. Many of these gentlemen have
seemed to believe that one of their principal duties, especially if
accredited to a Catholic country, was to form intimate associations with
conspirators and agitators; to espouse their cause; and to fill their
despatches to Mr. Seward, Mr. Fish, and Mr. Evarts with absurd but
pernicious misrepresentations concerning the relations of the church
towards education, civil freedom, and material progress. It may be
admitted that many of these agents have erred rather through ignorance
than malice; not a few of them have received but a limited education; it
is only lately that a knowledge of the French language has been deemed
requisite for even an ambassador. Scores of our ministers and _chargés
d’affaires_ have been sent abroad, remained for a few years, and
returned, without acquiring more than a mere smattering of the language
of the country to which they were accredited. Too frequently these
misrepresentatives of ours fall into the hands of the agents of the
secret sects which are plotting all over the world for the destruction
of the church and the overthrow of Christian society, and receive from
these sources the erroneous and pernicious views of affairs which they
transmit to Washington. One of our diplomatists, returning from a long
residence in the capital of a Catholic country, had for a
fellow-traveller on the steamship an American Catholic.

“I envy you your residence in ——,” said this gentleman; “the
intellectual society there is agreeable. Were you not well acquainted
with Father —— and Mgr. ——?” naming two individuals of wide-spread

“Oh! no,” replied the astute statesman, “not at all; I never met them.
They are Papists, you know, and I never cared to waste my time with men
who pray to idols, and pretend to believe that a piece of bread is God.
Besides,” he added, with ingenuous simplicity, “my interpreter, a very
shrewd fellow, told me all the priests in —— were bitter foes of our
free republican institutions, and I thought it my duty to keep aloof
from them.”

A perusal of the Red Books for the last two years inclines one to
believe that many of our ministers to foreign countries derive their
opinions and their information chiefly from their “interpreters.” The
Hon. Mr. Scadder, rewarded for his eminent services to his party by
being torn from his sorrowing constituents at Watertoast, and sent to
represent us at the proud court of a papistical sovereign, may be at the
mercy of any wag who chooses to humbug him with fantastical lies, or of
any emissary from a Masonic sect who is instructed to fill his mind with
misrepresentations; but Mr. Fish and Mr. Evarts are men of culture, and
are supposed, at least, to be able to distinguish a hawk from a handsaw.
It is of them that we chiefly complain. If the exigencies of party have
made it impossible for them to select the best men for our diplomatic
service, and if they have been obliged to put up with Mr. Scadder and
his kind, it has at least been always in their power to cause our
foreign agents to understand that it is no part of their duty to write
despatches calumniating the Catholic Church, or to employ themselves in
promoting the missionary enterprises of Protestant sects in Catholic
countries. Had Mr. Fish and Mr. Evarts possessed a true idea of their
own official duties, they never could have permitted one of their agents
to write a second time such despatches as some of those contained in the
Red Books before us. They would have administered to their Scadders, and
Marshes, and Beales, and Partridges, and Bassetts a rebuke that would
have opened the eyes of these public servants and taught them a useful
lesson. Mr. Fish, we know, is a prominent and zealous member of the
Protestant Episcopal Church; Mr. Evarts, we believe, is an adherent of
the same sect. In their private capacity they have at least a legal
right to do what they can to advance the interests of their own
communion, and to expose and check the diabolical designs of the Man of
Sin. But as Secretary of State at Washington Mr. Fish had not, and Mr.
Evarts has not, any right to instruct, encourage, or even permit our
agents abroad to calumniate the Catholic Church, to encourage
conspiracies against her, or to spend their time, which belongs to the
country, and the money with which the country supplies them, in
promoting Anti-Catholic propagandism. Such a course is as bad a policy
as it is un-American. We trust that the present Secretary of State will
give this matter his immediate and careful attention; and the Senate and
the House of Representatives would do well to look into it. Let him, as
becomes his duty, inform the diplomatic agents of this republic that
they are sent and paid to attend to the material and political interests
of our country, and are expected to keep to themselves their religious
opinions, whatever those opinions may be, in their correspondence with
the Department of State. A proper sense of dignity on the part of the
American who holds the office of the Secretary of State, and a decent
respect for others, would not suffer that a diplomatic agent under his
control should use his political position to insult the religious
convictions of so large, important, and patriotic a portion of his
fellow-citizens. Catholic citizens ask no favors as Catholics, and the
time has gone by for them to accept silently from the hired agents of
our common country insults to their religious faith. No one deprecates
more than we do to see the tendency of the Catholic vote in this country
given almost exclusively to one of its political parties. The only way
in which to prevent this is by the opposite party putting an end to the
display of bigotry and fanaticism against the Catholic Church.

The Department of the Interior, in its Indian Bureau, has repeatedly
been guilty of gross violations of good faith and fair dealing towards
the Catholic Church; but this has been due, probably, to the direct
pressure put upon it by the various sects, whose cupidity was excited by
the hope of reaping where Catholic priests had sown. But the foreign
agents of the State Department often appear to have gone out of their
way, in mere wantonness, to insult, irritate, and injure Catholic
interests and feeling. Imagine the collector of the port of New York
writing official despatches to the Secretary of the Treasury, informing
him that, in the absence of anything better to do, he had been giving
his mind to an investigation of Catholicism in this metropolis, and that
he had arrived at the conclusion that much of the pauperism of the city
was due to the facts that the entire Catholic population were in the
habit of refusing to work on eight days of the year—days known in the
superstitious jargon of the Papists as “days of obligation”—and that
vast sums of money were exacted by the priests from their ignorant and
degraded dupes, and sent over to Rome to support in idle luxury the
pampered pope! It is probable that Secretary Sherman would administer to
the collector a severe reprimand, and that this particular letter would
not form part of the annual treasury report. But this is precisely the
sort of news with which our minister to Hayti—Mr. Ebenezer
Bassett—regales Mr. Evarts, so much to the apparent satisfaction of the
latter that Mr. Bassett again and again returns to the subject and
dwells upon it with unction. Or fancy Postmaster James sending a
despatch to Mr. Key to cheer him with the happy intelligence that an
unfrocked and disgraced Catholic priest had started a brand-new sect of
his own in New York, and predicting that in a short time a majority of
the Papists would desert their pastors and joyfully embrace the new
gospel. But this is in substance the intelligence that such a man as Mr.
Bancroft most delighted to send from Berlin. The collector of the port
and the postmaster would be as much out of the line of their duty in the
cases we have mentioned as Mr. Bassett and Mr. Bancroft have been. The
duty of our foreign representatives is to promote the commercial,
financial, and political interests of this republic at the courts to
which they are accredited, and not to make themselves channels for the
conveyance of idle, false, and scandalous gossip, much less to interfere
in the domestic affairs of the countries to which they are sent, or
allow themselves to be used as the tools of secret societies or of
Methodist or any other missionary boards.

We have at present thirteen envoys extraordinary and ministers
plenipotentiary—in Austria, Brazil, Chili, China, France, Germany, Great
Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, and Spain; eight ministers
resident—in the Argentine Republic, Belgium, Central American States,
Hawaiian Islands, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, Turkey, and Venezuela;
and two ministers resident and consuls-general, in Hayti and Liberia.
There are also five _chargés d’affaires_—in Denmark, Greece, Portugal,
Switzerland, and Uruguay and Paraguay. We have no representative in
Bolivia, Ecuador, or the United States of Colombia. The great majority
of the inhabitants of nineteen of the above-named thirty-one countries
are Roman Catholics; yet not one of our foreign representatives is a
Catholic. We ask not is this fair, but is it good policy? The population
of these nineteen Roman Catholic nations is in round numbers, and
according to the latest enumerations, about 170,000,000 souls; but we
now are, and so far as we know almost always have been, represented at
their capitals by Protestants. Of this, in itself, we do not complain.
Wisdom—nay, even common sense—would indeed seem to dictate that the best
results would be attained, other things being equal, by sending
Catholics as envoys to Catholic countries. An American Catholic in a
Catholic country finds himself in sympathy with, and not in antagonism
to, the religious habits and modes of thought of the people; and his
path towards the accomplishment of any good and worthy object is greatly
smoothed by this fact. We believe that intelligent, clever, patriotic,
Catholic envoys at Vienna, Rio Janeiro, Santiago, Paris, Rome, Mexico,
Lima, Madrid, Buenos Ayres, Brussels, Guatemala, Caracas, Port au
Prince, Lisbon, Montevideo, Asuncion, Quito, Bogota, and La Paz would
have been more successful in accomplishing the best and highest duties
of diplomatic representatives of this republic than Messrs. Beale,
Partridge, Logan, Washburne, Marsh, Foster, Gibbs, Cushing, Osborne,
Merrill, Williamson, Russell, Bassett, Moran, and Caldwell have been. We
are certain that they would not have committed the sins against good
taste and propriety which must be laid at the door of nearly all these
gentlemen; they surely would not have committed the still graver
offences of which we shall have to give some instances. We wish to
except from this remark, however, Mr. Moran, long our faithful and
exemplary secretary of legation at London, and for the last two or three
years our chief representative at Lisbon. Although not a Catholic, Mr.
Moran is a gentleman of excellent culture, of correct opinions
concerning his official duties, and a very skilful diplomatist. One may
look in vain through his despatches for anything that should not be
there. We wish we could say half as much for some of his _confrères_.

Let us take, as an instance, our misrepresentative at Rome, Mr. George
P. Marsh, of Vermont. Mr. Marsh leaves us in no doubt whether or not
he is in full sympathy with the worst political elements in Italy, and
inspired by a lively hatred of the church. He deems it one of his most
pressing duties to assail and calumniate the Pope; he seems never so
happy as when he can give a false and malicious interpretation to the
acts of the Papal See; he appears never so miserable as when he finds
himself disappointed in his fond anticipation of seeing the Italian
government invade the Vatican, drive out the Pope, and finish up what
is left of the church in Italy. In what Mr. Marsh is pleased to call
his mind, the church in Italy is a ravening wolf, wounded, sick, and
in a trap, but still with life enough in her to make her dangerous,
and to render it necessary that she should be knocked on the head as
soon as possible. Whenever Mr. Marsh observes indications of a
willingness on the part of the government to let the wolf live a
little longer, or even to make terms with her, he scolds and laments
at a fearful rate. He writes as if he were a member of the Extreme
Left, and evidently draws his inspiration from the most advanced
radical sources. “I see no reason to expect,” says he, “any more
vigorous resistance to the encroachments of the church from this
administration”—the administration that was in power in November,
1876. What is it that Mr. Marsh would wish? What can be “the
encroachments of the church” in Italy—the “encroachments” of men
disarmed, despoiled, captive, and helpless as far as human agency is
concerned? The elections for members of the Chamber of Deputies in
November, 1876, were regarded by Mr. Marsh as evidence that the
electors were greatly dissatisfied with the government as it had been
administered. Doubtless they were. Mr. Marsh speaks of “the heavy
burdens of taxation imposed by it upon the people”; of its “financial
difficulties that prevent the execution of important works of public
improvement”; of its failure even to attempt “the abolition of the
macinto tax, or of any of the financial abuses which weigh so heavily
on the poor.” But his remedy for this is simply “a more vigorous
resistance to the encroachments of the church”—a little more
plundering, a little more confiscation; the seizure of the Vatican,
for instance, and the sale of its treasures at public auction, would
no doubt put a few million lire in the public treasury. That would
suit the amiable Mr. Marsh exactly. But the Italians hesitate, and Mr.
Marsh is disgusted with them. At times he informs Mr. Evarts of
terrible secrets—confidential information which could only have been
communicated to him under the pledge of solemn secrecy by one of those
practical jokers who lounge about the _cafés_ in Rome and exercise
their ingenuity in beguiling simple foreigners with incredible
_canards_. In a despatch dated April 23, 1877, Mr. Marsh gives an
account of a seditious outbreak that had occurred in Central and
Southern Italy, instigated by people who were well dressed and who had
plenty of money, but whose purpose, as explained by themselves, was
“not only the overthrow of the existing government, but the
destruction of all established civil, social, and religious
institutions, and the triumph of universal anarchy.” These, in fact,
were members of Mr. Marsh’s own party; but his secret informant in
Rome made him believe that they were in the pay of the Pope, and
probably Jesuits in disguise! “Long live Pius IX.! was shouted by the
Internationalists at Benevento in the same breath with their cries of
sedition,” writes Mr. Marsh; and he goes on to warn Mr. Evarts that
“the number of persons prepared to lend a ready ear to the promptings
of International emissaries”—_videlicet_ the Jesuits in disguise
aforesaid—“already large, is increasing; and that Italy may be the
theatre of convulsions, to resist which will demand the most strenuous
efforts of wise rulers and the most self-sacrificing patriotism on the
part of the governing classes,” but always in the direction of
resisting “the further encroachments of the church.” Mr. Marsh
indulged in glowing hopes when the so-called Clerical Abuses Bill
passed the Chamber of Deputies. He described the measure as “a bill
for repressing the license of the clergy in public attacks upon the
ecclesiastical policy of the government,” and looked for the happiest
results to follow its enforcement. Mr. Marsh is an American citizen;
he is the representative of a government which plumes itself upon the
almost unchecked freedom of its citizens; he is paid by a people whose
political shibboleth is “free speech.” If Mr. Marsh were running for
Congress in Vermont instead of exercising his powerful intellect as
minister at Rome, what would he say concerning an attempt by Congress
to enact that the penalty of fine and imprisonment should be inflicted
upon every clergyman or minister who should “attack the policy,” for
instance, of the government seizing all the Methodist and Baptist
meeting-houses throughout the country, and converting them into
barracks? The Italian bill was worse than this, for it inflicted these
penalties upon every priest who, even in the discharge of his duties
as a director, might “disturb the peace of families” by advising a
mother to teach her children that it was a sin to steal. But the
Italian senate was less brave than Mr. Marsh, and his heart was almost
broken by its final rejection of the bill. “This rejection,” he moans,
in his despatch of April 23, “will encourage the clergy to measures of
more active hostility against the state.” He feels so cut up about it
that he returns to the subject in his despatch of May 10, and is so
far carried away by his feelings as to write that

    “The violence of the clergy and of their lay supporters in Italy and
    France is almost beyond description, and any one living among them
    has abundant opportunities of being convinced that they are prepared
    to resort to arms in support of the pretensions of the Papacy and of
    the principles of the Syllabus of 1864!”

A viler calumny, a more wicked falsehood against the French and Italian
clergy has seldom been written. We are amazed, not that Mr. Marsh should
have written it, but that Mr. Evarts should have allowed such balderdash
to be printed. But Mr. Marsh grows worse as he goes on. In his despatch
of May 26 he almost excels himself. He takes it as a personal grievance
that the Pope has compared Prince Bismarck to Attila; he is impatient
for the abrogation of the Law of Guarantees; he is certain that sooner
or later “a violent conflict between the government and the church is
inevitable,” and he wishes it to come rather sooner than later.
Apparently he is anxious to assist at the final sacrifice, and he is
tormented with the fear that the crafty Papists may cheat him out of
that gratification.

“The Roman Curia,” he writes, “is at all times shrouded in such mystery
that the purposes of those who administer it (_sic_) are very rarely
foreshadowed, and no positive predictions can ever be hazarded
concerning it beyond the general presumption that its future will be
like its past.” In all soberness and earnestness we ask Mr. Evarts
whether Mr. Marsh is kept in Rome for the purpose of writing nonsense
about the “mystery” of the “Roman Curia”? What has he to do with the
affairs of the Holy See? He is not accredited to the Vatican; he has no
more to do with the Pope than our minister at London has to do with the
Archbishop of Canterbury. True, the Pope is a far more important
personage than is Mr. Tait; but Mr. Marsh, as we understand it, was not
sent to Rome to occupy himself about the Pope. Instead of attending to
his own business he goes out of his way to insult the Holy Father, and
through him the entire Catholic population of the United States. If
everything were as it should be, we should have as our representative at
Rome, the capital of Christendom and the seat of the head of the
universal church, a Catholic statesman. We do not insist upon this; but
we do insist that our representative at Rome should be at least a
fair-minded, candid, well-educated, and discreet gentleman, and not an
ignorant, rude, prejudiced, and foolish dupe like Mr. Marsh. That we may
not be accused of doing him injustice, let us give here the exact text
of the essential portions of his despatch of May 26 last, to which we
have already referred:

    “The excesses of the clericals,” he writes, “are producing their
    natural and legitimate effect in a feeling of dissatisfaction with
    the position in which Italy has placed herself toward the Papacy by
    the Law of Guarantees. A recent allocution by the Pope, in which,
    for acts of the German government, Count Bismarck is likened to
    Attila, is much commented upon, and it is seriously asked whether
    Italy can protect herself against all responsibility for tolerating
    the use of such language in public discourses by the Pope, and its
    circulation through the press, under the plea that, by the seventh
    article of the law referred to, she has enacted that the Pope ‘is
    free to perform all the functions of his spiritual ministry, and to
    affix to the doors of the basilicas and churches of Rome all acts of
    that ministry.’ Such questions are bringing more clearly into view
    the incongruities and inconveniences of the anomalous position in
    which the general sovereignty of the state and the still higher
    virtual sovereignty of the Papacy, admitted by the terms of the Law
    of Guarantees, are placed toward each other. The Syllabus of 1864,
    having been promulgated before the enactment of that law, was notice
    to all the world of the extent of the inalienable rights claimed by
    the Papacy, and it is not a violent stretch of Vatican logic to
    maintain that, in spite of its protests, the law in question is
    legally a recognition of those claims. In fact, there are many
    occasions of collision between the two jurisdictions, such, for
    example, as the right of asylum implied in the extraterritoriality
    of the Vatican, which can never be avoided or reconciled without
    such an abandonment of the claims of one of the parties as will be
    yielded only to superior force; and hence a violent conflict between
    them is at any time probable, and at no distant day certainly
    inevitable. Such occasions were expected by many to arise from the
    pilgrimages to Rome on the fiftieth episcopal anniversary of the
    present Pope. But the number of pilgrims thus far has not reached
    the tithe of that predicted, probably not amounting in all to ten
    thousand, while the garrison and municipal police have been quietly
    strengthened to a force abundantly able to repress any disturbance.
    The death of Pius IX. and the election of his successor, events
    almost hourly expected, are looked to as probably fraught with
    important changes in the attitude of the Papacy toward Italy, and in
    the general policy of the church. For this expectation I see no
    ground, though the Roman Curia is at all times shrouded in such
    mystery that the purposes of those who administer it are very rarely
    foreshadowed, and no positive predictions can ever be hazarded
    concerning it beyond the general presumption that its future will be
    like its past.”

Mr. Edward F. Beale, of Pennsylvania, was our representative at Vienna,
having been sent there to succeed that ardent anti-Catholic, Mr. John
Jay, and being now in his turn superseded by Mr. Kasson, of Iowa. Mr.
Beale’s career at the Austrian capital was brief but not brilliant. In
August, 1876, he undertook to instruct Mr. Fish concerning the drift of
public opinion, not only in Austria but in France and England, upon the
Eastern question. He had ascertained that the prevailing sentiment in
these countries was “religious fervor”; the people were so much in love
with Christianity and so full of hatred of Moslemism in that they
desired nothing more than to see Russia enter Constantinople, and to
drive the Turks out of Europe “bag and baggage.” “It is a question of
faith which will govern Europe,” writes the astute Mr. Beale, “and a
crusade is quite as possible now as when Peter the Hermit preached.” The
European congress which is about to assemble as we are writing will not
disturb itself about any “question of faith”; its members will concern
themselves only with questions of boundaries, fleets, and money. But not
content with forecasting the future, Mr. Beale reverts to the past, and
kindly undertakes to furnish the State Department with easy lessons in
European history. Thus, in a despatch dated September 27, 1876, and
_apropos des bottes_, he bids Mr. Fish to remember that

    “It is interesting to recall that in Bosnia originated the first
    Protestant movement of Western Europe, and that even before the
    heresies (as the Catholic Church calls them) of John Huss in Bohemia
    she had sent out her missionaries to preach the Gospel as she read
    it, and to disseminate her religious views over the rest of the
    world. When the persecutions of the Church of Rome were at their
    worst she offered a generous asylum to her co-religionists, many of
    whom found here what had been denied them at home—the right to
    worship God after their own forms and belief.”

In point of fact, the heretics of Bosnia, at the time referred to by our
erudite minister at Vienna, were advocating principles utterly
subversive of order and tending directly to anarchy. They taught that a
subject was released from all allegiance to a ruler if that ruler were
in a state of mortal sin, and each subject was to judge for himself as
to the spiritual condition of his ruler. The Church of Rome had no
hesitation in setting the seal of her condemnation upon this vagary of
Protestantism, and even Mr. Beale would probably admit that she was
right in so doing. But he evidently was ignorant of the facts, and was
anxious only to air his newly-acquired learning and to have a fling at
the church. Is there among the secret instructions of our State
Department to its agents a rule to this effect: “When you have nothing
else to write about, pitch into the Pope”?

It is a far cry from Vienna to Port au Prince; but our misrepresentative
in Hayti next demands our attention. He, of all his brethren, is perhaps
the most vulgar, insolent, and ignorant; but he is one of the most
outspoken. The United States pay him $7,500 a year, and have done so
since 1869. How much the Protestant Episcopal Church pays him, if
anything, we do not know; but he seems to have given much of his time
and influence to the advancement of the interests of that body, and to
the abuse of the Roman Catholic clergy of the island. Several of Mr.
Bassett’s despatches contain eulogiums upon a “Rev. Dr. Holly,” who, he
says, was “at Grace Church, New York, in 1874, ordained bishop of
Hayti,” and whom Mr. Bassett appears to have taken under his special
protection and care. Now, there is no “bishop of Hayti”; there is an
archbishop of Port au Prince, the Most Rev. Alexius Guilloux; and he has
four suffragans, the bishops of Cap-Haitien, Les Cayes, Gonayves, and
Port Paix. “The Rev. Dr. Holly” has no more right to call himself bishop
of Hayti than he has to call himself the Pope of Rome; but Mr. Bassett
deems it very hard indeed that the archbishop, the bishops, and the
clergy of Hayti have taken the liberty of warning their people that “the
Rev. Dr. Holly” is not bishop, and that his teachings that marriage is
not a sacrament, and that the first duty of a Christian is to revolt
against the church, are not to be accepted. In May Mr. Bassett writes to
Mr. Evarts that “the Roman Catholic archbishop and his clergy have
assumed a pretension to supremacy over the civil code, _notably in the
matter of marriage_”; and in July he writes again a long letter upon
“the introduction and growth of Protestantism in Hayti and its influence
upon the government.” He admits that in 1804 “Romanism,” which was
“then, as now, the faith professed by a great majority of the Haytian
people,” “was declared to be the religion of the state and placed under
the state’s special protection and support,” and that “it still
continues to enjoy that protection and support.” But he complains that
“the Roman priesthood have made many strongly-directed and persistent
but truly uncommendable efforts to cause to be suppressed, or
effectively placed under ban, every other form of worship and belief
than their own.” Mr. Bassett is not the only Protestant who cannot or
will not understand the difference between the duty of Catholic prelates
in a country where heresy does not exist and where it is sought to be
introduced from outside, and their duty in countries like our own, where
theoretically all religions are placed on the same footing, and the
government is absolutely forbidden by its organic law to interfere in
any way for the propagation of religious truth or the suppression of
religious error. The first ruler of Hayti who endeavored to introduce
Protestantism into the island was, according to Mr. Bassett, “Henri
Christophe, the autocratic king of the north of Hayti,” who in 1815,
although “himself a Roman Catholic,” engaged a clergyman of the Church
of England to propagate heresy in his dominions. But King Henri, five
years afterwards, “died by his own hand,” and Protestantism made no
further progress “until, in 1861, the Protestant Episcopal Church of the
United States was pleased to establish a mission with the Rev. J. T.
Holly as its pastor.”

    He hit upon the idea “of raising up a national clergy in Hayti—a
    policy which seems never to have been thought of by any other
    religious denomination in this country, and which opened a new road
    and gave a new impetus to Protestantism here. The mission continued
    to grow. It was encouraged and visited in 1863 by Bishop Lee, of
    Delaware; in 1866 by Bishop Burgess, of Maine; and in 1872 by Bishop
    Coxe, of Western New York; and finally the Rev. Dr. Holly was, at
    Grace Church, New York City, in 1874, ordained bishop of Hayti. So
    that since 1874 there has been established in Hayti an independent
    Protestant Church, with the distinguishing feature that all its
    clergy are citizens of the country, several of them educated in the
    United States under the vigilance of Bishop Holly.”

There are ninety-three Catholic priests in Hayti, and of these nearly
all are educated and cultured French gentlemen, who are undoubtedly far
better able to discharge the duties of the priestly office than the
native apostates who have been “educated in the United States under the
vigilance of Bishop Holly.” But Mr. Bassett has the ignorant malice to
vilify them and to display his own foolishness in this happy style:

    “The French Roman Catholic priest, in coming to Hayti, leaves behind
    him all his social ties, in the hope of returning to them within
    eight or ten years, the average period of his labors here. All that
    he receives while in the country, over and above his scanty personal
    wants, goes abroad to enrich France at the expense of the Haytian
    people, and he even bends his energies to accumulate. In addition to
    his salary from the government, which ranges from 20,000 francs to
    the archbishop to 1,200 francs to the country curate, he is allowed
    a tariff of prices for all public religious services performed by
    him. Baptisms, marriages, funerals, dispensations, indulgences,
    Masses for the dead—services for each of these yield him by law a
    revenue ranging from 50 cents up to $50. Not only this, but he can
    collect offerings from the faithful, and it is even affirmed that
    many such offerings are made to him under the dread secrecy inspired
    by the confessional.

    “It is true that France lost open political control over this island
    in 1804, but by means of the Roman Catholic clergy she has
    maintained almost exclusive control over the religious affairs of
    these people. Indeed, the domination which she once held over their
    bodies was hardly more complete than that which she still holds over
    their consciences and spiritual susceptibilities. The priests, in
    their present controversy with the government, which is outlined in
    my No. 501 already referred to, do not fail to rely upon the
    spiritual subjugation of the Haytian to the papal system of Rome, in
    connection with their own supposed power over him as citizens of a
    country which once held him in physical bondage, and to whose
    interests they themselves are devoted.

    “In the light of these facts it is no cause for astonishment that
    the Haytian government, aroused and inspired by the policy and
    success of the Protestant Bishop Holly in raising up and
    establishing a national clergy for the Protestant Episcopal
    denomination, should seek to conserve its own integrity and the
    resources of its people, as well as to avoid continual
    misunderstandings with a class of foreigners resident here and
    shielded by the dignity of sacerdotal robes, by stimulating and
    encouraging the young men of the country to enter the ecclesiastical

    “Meanwhile, it ought not to be unknown to those who feel bound by
    the holy injunction to have the Gospel preached to all the world
    that in Hayti the door stands wide open for every kind of Christian
    missionary work.”

And it is for writing such stuff as this that we pay Mr. Ebenezer
Bassett $7,500 a year—that is to say, as much as is received by thirty
of the “country curates” whom he reviles.

Our space is limited, and we have but skimmed through our two Red Books.
We should have been glad to have followed the erratic flight of Mr.
Partridge, our late minister to Brazil, who fills quires of paper with
ridiculous nonsense about “the exactions of Rome,” the wickedness of
“the ultramontane party,” and the awful danger that the Brazilian
ministry “will yield to the demands of the Roman Curia.” Nothing escapes
the birds-eye view of this Partridge; he unconsciously explains much
that would otherwise be mysterious by stating that the prime minister of
the cabinet is “a member of the Masonic fraternity”; but the scope of
his intellect is best shown by his remark that “the throwing of stones
at the bishop of Rio, as he ascended the pulpit to preach,” was “a trick
of the Jesuits.” It would have been pleasant to congratulate Mr. Orth,
who was our representative at Vienna in 1876, upon his sagacity in
advocating, with hysterical warmth, the law for the virtual confiscation
and destruction of the houses of the religious orders in Austria—a
measure denounced by Cardinal Schwarzenberg and thirty-one archbishops
and bishops as “a law which equally violates the equality and personal
freedom of the citizen, the dignity of religion, the honor of the
Catholic Church, and the members of religious orders,” but which, in Mr.
Orth’s opinion, was “sound and salutary, and demanded by the progressive
spirit of the age.” A page or two is deserved by Mr. Williamson, who
gives us a history of a presidential campaign in Chili, in which all the
virtues are attributed to the Masonic candidate, and all that is
devilish is ascribed to “the church party,” “the ultramontanes,” and
“the church.” Delightful would it be to tarry with Mr. Scruggs, our
talented and courteous minister at Bogota, who commences one of his
despatches thus: “In April last one Bermudez, a bishop of the Roman
Catholic Church, proclaimed against the public-school system of this
republic,” and who gives an account of the events which followed,
closing his glowing periods with the cheerful assurance that “the church
property will probably be appropriated to pay the war debt.” The letters
of our Mr. Rublee, at Berne, apropos of the Old-Catholic schism in
Switzerland; of our Mr. Nicholas Fish, who during a brief interregnum
represented us at Berlin; and of several of our other agents, furnish
equally tempting matter for comment. But we must pass by them with the
remark that none of them are quite so outrageous as those of Mr.
Bassett, Mr. Beale, and Mr. Marsh.

The present administration has made changes in six of our most important
embassies. Mr. Kasson has been appointed to Vienna, Mr. Stoughton to St.
Petersburg, Mr. Hilliard to Brazil, Mr. Lowell to Madrid, Mr. Welsh to
London, and Mr. Bayard Taylor to Berlin. It goes without saying that
none of these gentlemen have received any diplomatic training. Mr.
Kasson is a respectable provincial lawyer, who has sat in Congress, and
who rendered important services to his party by going to Florida and
taking care that the electoral vote of that State was properly counted.
What he knows about Austria, and how he may deport himself there,
remains to be seen. Without being extravagant, one may indulge the hope
that he may prove to be an improvement upon Mr. Beale. Mr. Welsh is an
old and worthy merchant of Philadelphia, a prominent member of the
Protestant Episcopal Church, and an extensive dealer in sugars: but we
have yet to learn what are his qualifications for the weighty duties of
minister to the court of St. James. Mr. Lowell is a poet, a man of
letters, and a scholar who has done honor to his country; but we should
be inclined to doubt his fitness for managing our commercial and
political affairs at the court of King Alfonso. Mr. Taylor is a good
journalist, in a certain way; he has been a traveller of some
experience, and he is an ardent admirer and a close student of Schiller
and of Goethe; but he has himself been swift to disclaim the idea that
these things made him fit for the post to which he has been appointed,
and he rather ridiculed the notion that he had been appointed minister
to Berlin in order that he might there finish his great work—a new
biography of Goethe. There is much to be said on both sides of the
question, “Is it worth while to keep up our diplomatic service at all?”
We should be inclined to take the affirmative; but we are not disposed
to enter into the discussion at present. One thing, however, is certain,
and that is the necessity of freeing the service from the weight of men
like Marsh, Beale, Partridge, Orth, Williamson, and Scruggs. There are
others as bad, but these will serve as types of the worst. In no sense
can they be said to rightly represent this great, free, and noble
people; in every sense they may be said to misrepresent the Catholic
population of the republic, whose interests, rights, and feelings can no
longer be, as they never ought to have been, safely trampled upon by any
administration or by any party. Whatever party does this betrays an
un-American spirit; its policy is a bad one both for the country and
itself, and unless it changes for the better its reign will be short.


Beneventum is a small town of about fifteen thousand inhabitants,
situated geographically in the kingdom of Naples. It formerly depended,
spiritually and temporally, on the Holy See, which also held
jurisdiction over part of the territory of the ancient duchy; the other
part being subject to the king of Naples as to temporal affairs, and to
the archbishop of Beneventum as to those of a spiritual nature.

The archiepiscopal palace, or the _episcopio_, to use the old term,
stands in its proper place, next the cathedral, flanking the apsis. One
of the wings faces the market square, where public gratitude has erected
a marble statue to Pope Benedict XIII., the immortal benefactor of the
city, of which he had been archbishop under the title of Cardinal
Orsini. The entrance is to the south. At the west, from the garden
terrace, or the windows of the _conventino_, is a superb view over a
fertile valley, the verdure of which extends up the very sides of the
mountains that fade away in bluish tints on the horizon. It is at once
in the city from the proximity of the inhabitants, and in the country as
to its pure air, calm solitude, and the enchanting aspect of a landscape
that always commands attention and admiration.

The building is not, strictly speaking, a palace.[52] It is large and
spacious, but not lofty or elegant. Nothing in its exterior bespeaks its
occupant. It might be taken for a theological seminary or a convent,
wrapped as it is in gloomy silence, and surrounded by thick walls. Its
general appearance is dismal and unattractive. Only an archæologist
would take any pleasure in examining the huge stones of which the walls
are built. These stones were hewn out in the time of the Romans, and
more than one have the characteristic _trou de louve_ by which they were
raised and put in place. They were probably taken from the amphitheatre,
for the misfortune that made the Coliseum at Rome an inexhaustible
quarry for the construction of so many palaces, like the Farnese,
Barberini, etc., also befell the theatre of Beneventum, of which but a
bare outline remains, though great blocks from it are to be found at
every step in the private dwellings and the walls that surround the
city. After the earthquakes of June 5, 1688, and March 4, 1702, the
exterior of the palace was greatly modified by Cardinal Orsini, but the
building, as a whole, is ancient, and many features of the walls, like
the belfry of the cathedral, carry us back to the middle ages. Let us
study it in detail, for in more than one respect it presents a model
worthy of imitation.[53]

The portal of the palace is monumental. It has a semi-circular arch,
which is more graceful than a square entrance, and more conformable to
ecclesiastical traditions. And the tympanum which fits into the arch or
ogive offers ample space to the sculptor or painter for decoration.
Against the lintel rest the folding doors. These are open all day,
however, for the house of a bishop is like that of a father who cannot
shut out his children. Above are the arms of Cardinal Orsini, carven in
stone. Two other scutcheons once hung beside them: one of Pius IX.,
destroyed when his temporal power was suppressed in the duchy of
Beneventum—that is, in 1860, when the kingdom of Naples was overrun by
the Garibaldian hordes; the other that of Cardinal Carafa, the actual
archbishop, who was driven into exile, and whose palace was devastated.

Two enormous lions, taken from the front of the Duomo, stand at the
sides of the entrance. They have come down from Roman times. They are
not of remarkable workmanship, but the outlines are good. There is life
in their partly stretched-out forms, and pride in the pose of their
heads. The paws are pressed resolutely together. One of them grasps a
head covered with a helmet, and the other the remains, probably, of one
of those nude children to be seen in the mouths of the crouching lions
watching at the doors of the churches at Rome, symbolic of helplessness
and innocence that need aid and protection from the strong. When the
lion is represented crushing a beast or holding a warrior’s head, it
signifies the vice to be overcome, the enemy to be annihilated.

Some look upon the lion as the emblem of justice. This queen of the
cardinal virtues is generally represented as a woman with various
attributes, such as the book of the law, the balance wherein actions are
weighed, the sword to smite the guilty, the eagle to show her imperial
nature, and the globe indicating the extent of her empire. On the public
square at Bari is to be seen a lion of the twelfth century, with the
brief but significant inscription, CVSTOS IVSTICIE, on its collar. The
lion, then, does not represent justice itself. That virtue is only
exercised in the temple, either by God or by his representative. But the
lion stands, like the guardian of Justice, watching at the door of the
Holy Place in which she has taken up her abode. Nothing, then, could be
more suitable for the door of a bishop, the unflinching enemy of vice as
well as the sure protector of virtue, than these two lions, type of the
power conferred by the church on her ministers. And they are specially
emblematic of the firmness and energy of Cardinal Orsini, who had them
placed here.

The wall through which the gateway is cut is bordered by a line of
merlons, the peculiar form of which reminds one of Cordova and the
Alhambra. They produce a picturesque effect, but are not of the
slightest utility. They are the relics of feudal authority and power,
the last vestige of which is the annual payment of the _cathédratique_,
identical with the nominal tribute some lords required of their vassals,
of no importance in itself, but typical of the honor due from the
inferior to the pre-eminence of his lawful chief—_in signum præeminentiæ
et honoris_, to quote the holy canons revived by Cardinal Orsini, and
maintained to our day, particularly in this point, by the collateral
descendant of Pope Paul IV., who for more than thirty years has occupied
the see of Beneventum.

From the top of the wall rises one of those small open belfries called
bell-gables. It is of the most primitive construction, being a mere
extension of a part of the wall through which an opening for a bell has
been made. It terminates in a gable like a mitre, on which are an iron
cross _fleurdelisée_ and a small vane to mark the direction of the wind.
The cross is always appropriate for a belfry, large or small, if not
obligatory, as Anastasius the Bibliothecarius insists in his works. The
vane is no less traditional at Rome, where it is generally in the shape
of a little banner (the origin of which is quite feudal), wherein the
armorial ensigns are so cut as to be emblazoned against the azure sky.
Here the vane is shaped like a flame. It once bore the arms of the
resident archbishop, but the rain has washed off the color, and the
surface is now corroded by rust.

The small bell is of the kind called _nola_. In ancient times it was
rung whenever the archbishop left his palace or re-entered it, as the
bells of St. Peter’s at Rome announce the visit and departure of the
pope. Later it only rang when he set out on a journey and at his coming
back. Now it is mute, and no longer announces his appearance in public
or his return to the palace.

Passing through the gateway, we come to the court. On the left are the
carriage and store houses, and, beyond, the saddle-room, which was quite
brilliant in former times when the cardinals went forth in gala array.
At the right is an arched passage leading to the interior of the palace,
and further on is the porter’s lodge, formerly the guard-house of the
_curia armata_.

Around the court are many ancient monuments and inscriptions, which
constitute a small museum, begun long since by the archbishops. There is
an Egyptian obelisk of red granite, broken in two, which once stood in
the cathedral court. It is covered from top to bottom with hieroglyphics
relating to the deeds of some old king. Domitian consecrated it to Isis.
On another side are three fragments of fine marble columns: one of
_cipollino_, so called on account of its greenish veins, which resemble
those of an onion, in Italian _cipolla_; the second, of what is called
_porta santa_, because the casing of the door in the Vatican basilica,
opened only at the Jubilee, is of this marble, which is of a pale violet
color, or a purple that has lost its freshness; and the third is of
_breccia corallina_, the white ground of which is relieved by reddish

The ancient inscriptions collected here, whether sepulchral, votive, or
commemorative, are not rare. But they are noteworthy for their clearness
and brevity. How expressive, for instance, are these four lines
consecrated to the _manes_ of Vibbius Optatus, who died in the flower of

    D. M. A. Vibbio . Opta
    To. Vix. An. XI. M. XI. D. XIX.
    Parent. Infelicissimi

The unfortunate parents had no illustrious name to bequeath to
posterity. The discreet marble only echoes a profound grief.

Here is a landmark, rounded at the top, and hewn to a point at the
bottom, the better to insert it in the ground, that once stood on the
Appian Way, which passes triumphantly through the arch raised to the
glory of Trajan at one end of Beneventum.

Beneventum, which copied Rome, even in the device of its senate: S. P.
Q. B.—_Senatus populusque Beneventanus_—had a magistrature of ediles at
its head, who made generous provision for the embellishment of the city.
Here is a pedestal on which this municipal corps pompously proclaimed

    Splendidissimus ordo Beneventanorum.

One cannot help exclaiming, in view of the present order of things:

    “Comment en un plomb vil l’or pur s’est-il changé!”

    How into vile dross hath the pure gold changed!

The Romans loved statuary, and were lavish of it in all their public as
well as private dwellings. Above all, their sculptors produced
divinities and illustrious men, but sometimes the principal members of a
household, if not the whole family, to adorn the _atrium_. Who does not
remember the Balbus family in the Museum at Naples, the father and son
on horseback, and the rest gathered around them? Here we find several
statues, both nude and draped. Nudity was chiefly confined to heroes and
the gods. It signified apotheosis—the ascension to a higher world. The
terrestrial garb was laid aside; only a glorified body remained. Pagan
art showed itself incapable of fully expressing a state indicated in the
middle ages by a radiance surrounding the transfigured body. We have an
admirable example of the immediate change to the glorified state in
Perugino’s immortal production in the Sala del Cambio at Perugia. There
the bankers and money-changers have constantly before their eyes a
symbol of the change wrought by divine power on a body in the state of
celestial beatitude. Paganism divested the body of its garments, but did
not render it luminous. It only invented a symbol which the church has
retained to designate the saints—the nimbus around the head, as the most
noble part of man because the seat of the intelligence. But it could go
no further. From Apollo, who alone had the nimbus in the beginning to
express in a measure the luminous atmosphere of the sun, personified in
him, it passed to other divinities, and finally even to those to whom
the senate accorded the title of divine, thus becoming the equivalent of
_divus_. It is really amusing to see, on the Arch of Constantine at
Rome, the Emperor Trajan so divinized that his bare head is surrounded
by a nimbus, though he is engaged in the chase. The nude among the
Romans was, therefore, a conventional way of expressing what was right
in substance, the immutation wrought by glory, and was not intended to
excite ignoble passion. In other cases their statues were modestly
draped, though sometimes a little too much of the form was revealed by
the clinging folds of the garments.

There are several sarcophagi in the court, with nothing extraordinary
about them, but even in the most unpretending affording proof of
artistic taste. They are adorned with scenic masques, vases of fruit,
the genii of the seasons, etc., which have their significance and are
not without poetry. Here is one with a medallion of its former occupant
in the centre—a portrait full of life and animation, as if he still were
under illusion as to his nothingness. It is supported by two genii,
winged and nude, as if bearing him to the celestial regions—winged,
because they are fulfilling a mission; nude, to indicate their celestial
origin. This emblem was common in ancient times. The middle ages did
nothing but Christianize it by substituting angels for genii, and
placing in their hands, not the body, but the soul, of the deceased,
about to receive the reward of his sanctity and good works. We see them
on the tomb of King Dagobert, in the abbatial church of St. Denis,
snatching the soul of the king from the demon who was endeavoring to
bear it away.

But we have lingered too long in the precincts. Let us enter the palace,
and first visit the prisons—for prisons there are, the archbishop of
Beneventum, as we have said, having formerly a twofold jurisdiction,
temporal as well as spiritual. His tribunal of justice imposed the
canonical penalties. Fines seem to have been specially employed, for
among the officials of the Curia there was one to receive and apply them
to some religious object. At the same time there was a register in which
they were faithfully recorded. There were, too, different degrees of
imprisonment. In the _carcere alla larga_ there was comparative liberty.
The _purgatorio_ indicates a temporary expiation. The _inferno_ was
perhaps the prison from which death alone could be looked forward to as
a release. The two latter correspond to the _carcere duro_ of the
Venetians. There are similar ones, but not so spacious, in the
governor’s castle overlooking Beneventum, which also bore the terrible
names of _purgatorio_ and _inferno_.[54] Cardinal Orsini, who, though
severe, was of a humane disposition, visited these prisons in 1704, at
which time there were only three prisoners, it appears, from the report
of his visit. After assuring himself that the vaults were in a good
condition, capable of resisting all efforts at escape, _confornicatæ et
proinde tutæ_, he saw the necessity of obviating the dampness of the
ground by a brick pavement, _ut humiditas arceatur_, and ordered the
_inferno_ to be closed for ever, because, as he said, it was a very damp
and atrocious place. A thoughtfulness so full of humanity is something
to dwell on. The very text should be cited: “Eminentissimus
archiepiscopus utpote humidissimam et immanissimam claudi demandavit et
quod sub pœna excommunicationis nemo ibi detendatur.” The prisoners must
have been delighted at a threat so much to their advantage.

The cardinal, preoccupied also with their spiritual condition, found
means of providing them with a chapel where they could attend Mass and
on festivals hear a sermon. Their cells were sprinkled with holy water
to drive away the malign spirit, and ornamented with pictures of
devotion. They were forbidden to play cards or read bad books, and were
to go to confession six times a year—at Christmas, Easter, Whitsunday,
St. Peter’s day, Assumption, and All Saints. Every month the
vicar-general visited them to listen to their grievances, remove all
grounds of complaint, and assure himself that all orders had been
executed. And the cardinal, who always kept an eye on everything
himself, went to see them twice a year.

One item in the register of accounts is particularly touching. Cardinal
Orsini increased the ration of bread from time to time at his own
expense, and had a fire made in the winter, that the prisoners might not
suffer from the cold.

The three soldiers employed to make the necessary arrests were under the
command of a _baricello_, or corporal, all of whom, with the jailer,
were lodged in the _guardiola_ beside the arched passage which connects
the two interior courts.

The second court is bounded on one side by the sacristy of the
cathedral, and on the other by the stables and the jubilee hospice. The
stables, built by Mgr. Pacca (of the same family from which the cardinal
of that name descended), are large enough for about twenty horses—none
too many for the archbishop and his suite, for his visits could not
always be made in a carriage. Even in our day a cross-bearer precedes
his eminence on horseback, clothed in a violet cassock and _mantellone_,
and in former times the _cortége_ must have been much more imposing.

The hospice affords a proof of Cardinal Orsini’s inexhaustible charity.
He had before built a special asylum for pilgrims, not far from the
palace, under the title of St. Bartholomew, patron of the city. There is
nothing left now to remind one of it, except a narrow street still
called the _Via dei pellegrini_. But on extraordinary occasions, as at
the time of a jubilee, this asylum was insufficient, and the cardinal
accordingly set apart a whole wing of his palace to lodge those who came
to Beneventum or were on their way to Rome to gain the indulgence of the
Holy Year. This hospice had two entrances to admit the sexes separately:
one opening into the first court, the other into the second. The latter
has on its lintel this inscription, which gives the precise date and
object of the foundation:

    Xenodochivm Archiepiscopale
    Vrsinvm pro An. Ivbilæi MDCC.

Nor was the cardinal content to give them benches and tables in such
numbers as still to be spoken of. He had the bare walls relieved by
paintings of some religious subject. In the room where public prayers
were offered and the rosary sung, as it still is daily in the cathedral
to a peculiar air handed down by tradition, was painted Our Lady of the
Rosary, with St. Dominic and St. Catharine of Siena at her feet. In the
refectory was depicted a scene from the life of the Blessed Ambrogio
Sansedoni, a Dominican friar. He was in the habit of serving five
pilgrims in honor of the five wounds of our Lord. One day, while waiting
on his guests, his eyes being opened by the Holy Spirit, denoted by the
white dove on his shoulder, he saw with astonishment that they were five
angels sent by God to reward his charity. In the room where the
pilgrims’ feet were washed is to be seen the Blessed Andrea de Franchi,
also a Dominican, humbly prostrate before a pilgrim who afterwards
reveals himself to be the Saviour.

In the arched passage we find a staircase, leading on the one hand to
the hall of state, and on the other to the curia. Taking the latter
direction, we pass beneath a statue of St. Philip Neri, larger than
life, for which reason it is called St. Filippone. Before it burns a
votive lamp, a tribute of gratitude from Cardinal Orsini. Higher up are
two medallions of the fifteenth century: one of the Blessed Virgin
modestly veiled, her hands folded, borne to heaven by two angels; the
other represents St. Mark with his usual attribute, the winged lion. The
walls of the court-room are enlivened by a series of landscapes,
alternating with the Orsini arms, but the most appropriate decoration is
the sentence from the writings of St. Jerome:

    Privsqvam avdias
    Ne Ivdicaveris
    D. Hieron:
    De Sept: eccl.

To judge no one without first hearing him is one of those axioms it
seems useless to repeat, and yet how many precipitate judgments, how
many sentences that would not be rendered, were so obvious a duty

The metropolitan archives are between the chancery and the office of the
vicar-general, which pour into it every week a mass of official
documents for preservation. On the ceiling are emblazoned the arms of
Cardinal Banditi, who fitted up the room with conveniences for the
registers and papers, distributing them, according to their contents,
among the large pigeon-holes which extend from the floor to the very
ceiling, and are literally crammed with documents. To find one’s way
through such an accumulation requires the sagacity and good memory of an
archivist like the present one, whose patience is only equalled by his
wish to oblige. Beneventum is full of such excellent priests, who are
ready to spend their leisure moments in aiding you in your researches.

It is here Cardinal Orsini may best be studied, and that we can learn to
what an extent he sacrificed himself for his flock, thereby meriting to
become, by the unanimous suffrage of the Sacred College, the successor
of Pope Innocent XIII. His incessant activity is shown by the _Diario_
of six volumes in folio in which, till his elevation to the Papacy, his
secretary, day by day, noted down the most minute details of his
official life. It begins December 1, 1685, the date of his preconization
as archbishop of Beneventum by Pope Innocent XI.

The contents refer chiefly to his pastoral visits, ordinations, both
regular and extraordinary; assisting at the offices of the cathedral,
preaching in pontificals with seven deacons around him; confirmation,
with examination of the children on the eve; general communions,
baptisms, visits to the dying, visits of devotion to churches;
consecration of bishops, churches, altars, and chalices; blessings of
all kinds, including vestments; religious professions; processions
wearing the red hat; attending lectures on the Holy Scriptures by a
theologian; exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, absolution of the
excommunicated, synods, provincial councils, consultations in cases of
conscience, instructions to the people after the Gospel, saying the
rosary with the faithful, teaching children the catechism, journeys,
etc., etc.

At the end of the year a summary was made of his principal labors. We
give that of the year 1694: Cardinal Orsini baptized 67 children and
confirmed 13,851; conferred orders on 841 clerks, 503 porters, 450
lectors, 449 exorcists, 435 acolytes, 436 subdeacons, 434 deacons, and
457 priests; consecrated 12 bishops, 100 churches, 100 stationary
altars, 500 portable altars, 176 patens, and 188 chalices; blessed 5
abbots and 4 abbesses; received the profession of 88 nuns; performed 6
marriages; administered extreme unction 8 times; placed 13
corner-stones, and blessed 14 cemeteries and 234 bells.

What a proof of his activity, combined with a very complicated
administration! But let us cite a few items from this unpretending

    “In the evening I kept vigil before the relics exposed in the church
    to be consecrated on the morrow.

    “In the morning I solemnly consecrated the church of the Most Holy
    Annunciation at Jelsi, preached to the congregation, and then said
    Low Mass. This church is the CXXXV.

    “I solemnly administered the sacrament of confirmation in the church
    to 34 boys and 24 girls, in all 58.

    “Assisted _in cappa_ at a sermon on the Blessed Sacrament by one of
    the students of my seminary.

    “Assisted _in cappa_ at the Mass of the feria, chanted (it was in
    Lent), and at the sermon.

    “At Fragnitello I was received with the usual ceremonies, but, what
    was unusual (and this greatly affected me), all the men, women, and
    children came out to meet me a mile distant, with olive branches in
    their hands, showing by this manifestation the joy in their hearts.
    God be for ever blessed!”

At the end of the year the cardinal signed the register to guarantee the
authenticity of the contents. He adopted this formula:

“Annus 1695, Deo propitio, hic terminatur.

“Ita est. Ego fr. Vin. Mar. card. archiepiscopus m(_anu_) p(_ropria_).”

The old palaces had a hall of state for exceptional occasions, when the
bishop had to appear in all his dignity. There is such an apartment
here, and it is of grand proportions. It is adorned with the portraits
and arms of the prelates who have occupied the see, with a concise
notice of each. Among them are fourteen saints and two _beati_: viz.,
SS. Photinus, Januarius, Dorus, Apollonius, Cassian, Januarius II.,
Emilius, John, Tamarus, Sophus, Marcian, Zeno, Barbato, and Milon. The
latter belongs to the eleventh century, St. Photinus to the first, and
the remainder range between the fourth and seventh. The Blessed Giacomo
Capocci and Blessed Monaldi lived in the fourteenth century. Let us
hope, as the cause has been introduced, we may soon add the Venerable

From St. Photinus to his Eminence Cardinal Carafa di Traeto there are
fifty-one bishops and seventy-one archbishops. The see was not made
archiepiscopal till the year 969, during the pontificate of Pope John
XIII. Of the twenty-three cardinal archbishops two became popes:
Alexander Farnese, under the name of Paul III.; and Cardinal Orsini,
under that of Benedict XIII. Three other popes were likewise from
Beneventum—St. Felix (526), Victor III. (1086), and Gregory VIII.

As an example of the concise and elegant manner in which these prelates’
lives are noticed, we give that of St. Milon, a native of Auvergne:

    “LIX. Archiep. VIII. S. Milo ex Arvernia
    in Gallia oriundus, VIII. Beneventanus
    archiepiscopus, ille idem qui
    pietate et literis Stephanum Grandimontensis
    familiæ fundatorem erudivit. Provincialem
    synodum consummavit A.D.
    MLXXV. Obiit die XXIII. Februarii
    A.D. MLXXVI. cum sedisset paucis
    supra annum mensibus.”

Above these records of the bishops is a long array of armorial ensigns,
in which, unfortunately, the arms and seal are often confounded, though
essentially different. The archbishops of Beneventum have used for ages
a seal of lead on their diplomas and licenses, similar to the bulla of
the popes. On one side, separated by a cross, are the heads of the
Blessed Virgin, titular of the cathedral, and of St. Bartholomew, the
patron of the city and diocese. On the other side are the name and title
of the actual archbishop. This seal, in spite of the principles of
archæology and heraldry, is given as a coat of arms to the bishops who
had none, beginning with St. Photinus, and continuing to the seventh
century. From the time of St. Barbato, who died in 682, another seal is
added in _parti_ to the bulla, representing a bishop on horseback
crossing a bridge and precipitating a dragon into the water. This is
doubtless St. Barbato himself, and perhaps refers to the golden viper
which he abolished the worship of at Beneventum, transforming it into a
chalice, on which, says tradition, was graven the Lord’s Supper.[55]
This counter-seal is maintained from the seventh to the eleventh
century, when the bulla is resumed under Amelius (1072).

The first arms really heraldic make their appearance under Cardinal
Roger, the sixteenth archbishop, who died in 1221. The red hat is found
on the escutcheons of the twelfth century, though not conceded to
cardinals till about a hundred years later (at the Council of Lyons),
and not to be seen on their arms before the fourteenth century. But this
may be on the same principle that St. Jerome is usually represented with
a cardinal’s hat at his side.

The bulla, seal, and arms, from the first, bear the tiara and crosier.
The latter adds nothing to the significance, and does not imply any
special privilege, being common to bishops and abbots. As to the tiara,
even with a single crown at the base, it is a manifest usurpation. The
archbishops of Beneventum, it is true, wore it in the middle ages, as is
shown by a document of the fourteenth century and the reliefs on the
bronze doors of the cathedral. But Paul II., and later St. Pius V., by a
_motu proprio_, the original of which is to be seen in the archives of
the chapter, condemned the practice in formal terms. If the tiara is no
longer admissible on ceremonial occasions, why retain it on the arms?
And this tiara is boldly surrounded by a nimbus when placed over the
arms of the canonized bishops, though none of them ever wore it, with
the exception, perhaps, of St. Milon. The nimbus is suitable for the
head, which represents the whole body, whereas the covering of the head,
however sonorous its name or rich its make, should not have an emblem
which denotes elevation on our altars and a claim to public veneration.
This would be a grave error, infringing on the liturgy as well as

The archbishops of Beneventum had a mania for imitating the pope. Thus,
they wore the tiara, had the Blessed Sacrament borne before them in
their visits, styled themselves _Servus servorum Dei_, issued diplomas
in solemn form after the style of the Cancellaria, sealed them _sub
plumbo_, and imposed on the bishops of the province the annual visit _ad
limina B. Bartholomæi apostoli_. Of all these usurpations, only the
tiara remains on the arms, and the bulla on the licenses; but even these
are too much, for the tiara and bulla are essentially papal, and
rightfully belong to the Sovereign Pontiff alone.

On the walls of the apartment are painted _en camaïeu_ all the sainted
bishops of Beneventum in simulated niches, clothed pontifically, with
the tiara on their heads. One alone has a distinguishing attribute—St.
Barbato, who has in his hand the viper of gold. St. Photinus, according
to the Diptychon of Beneventum, was ordained and sent here by St. Peter
in the year 40. He is believed to be of Greek origin. From him to St.
Januarius, who was martyred in 305, is a long interval with no names,
though tradition tells us the see had eleven occupants in the time. This
loss of names is said to be owing to Diocletian, who ordered the
writings of Christians to be destroyed. There is a similar vacancy in
all the sees in France, but this is no argument against their apostolic
origin. The first founders might receive their mission from St. Peter or
his immediate successors, and the difficulties of the times might
prevent their being at once replaced. The churches had to exist as best
they could for a long period, and were perhaps governed by bishops with
no fixed residence or distinct territory.

To complete the parallel with Rome, Beneventum is said to have had a
woman for one of its bishops, as the papal see, according to its
enemies, was fraudulently occupied by Pope Joan. Cardinal Orsini
spiritedly replies to this calumny in the noble words inscribed next the
name of Bishop Enrico, who died in 1170: “_Ex errore in necrologio
monialium S. Petri orta fuit fabula de Sebastiana moniali pro
archiepiscopo habita ne fabula sua vacaret Beneventana Sedes in hac
Sebastiana ut Romana de sua Johanna_.” This calumny sprang from a false
interpretation of the record in the necrology of the abbey of San Pietro
for November 29: “_Obiit archiepiscopus et Sebastian. mon._” The
archbishop and the nun might certainly die on the same day, without
being, on that account, one and the same person.

On the east wall of the hall is painted the city of Beneventum,
surrounded by the principal towns of the diocese and the sees of the
suffragans. As their number is considerable, the frescos are continued
in the passage leading to the sacristy. They are not without interest,
though perhaps maps would be preferable, after the manner of those, so
striking and complete, which adorn the gallery of Gregory XIII. at the

As conferences and ecclesiastical assemblies, as well as the _Mandatum_
on Holy Thursday, were held in this hall, there is a permanent throne of
carved wood, but it stands between the windows on one side, instead of
being at the end _in capite aulæ_, the proper place, where the entrance
now is from the private apartments.

One of the doors in the hall opens into the Monte di Pietà, founded by
Cardinal Orsini to relieve the poor of his diocese, where money was lent
on articles pledged and without the least interest, conformably to the
bulls of Leo X. and Paul V., which definitely regulated such
institutions. He established, moreover, a _Mons Frumentarius_, or wheat
fund, to furnish grain to the poor in want of bread, or to sow, at the
mere recommendation of their curate, and inscribed over the door
appropriate texts from Holy Writ, showing him to be the comforter of the

    _Mons frumentarius Beneventanus erectus anno Domini 1694._

    _Factus es fortitudo pauperi, fortitudo egeno_[56] (Isaias xxv.)

    _Eripiet de angustia[57] pauperem_ (Job xxxvi.)

Revolutions have naturally put an end to these charitable institutions,
without substituting anything more to the advantage of the people, but
they cannot efface the memory of the incomparable prelate who founded
them. Canonico Feuli has reason to say in his _Bulletino Ecclesiastico_
that “others may equal Orsini, but can never surpass him.”

At the top of the staircase is a kind of _marquise_, supported by
elegant columns, before the door leading to the private apartments.
Above are the Orsini arms of inlaid marbles, the colors conformed to the
rules of heraldry, and the inscription:

    Fr. Vinc. Maria. Ord. Præd. Card. Ursino. Archiep. An. MDCCVIII.

which reminds us that Cardinal Orsini belonged to the Dominican Order.
Even when pope he continued to be a _frate_. From him emanated the
celebrated constitution which admonished bishops chosen from the regular
orders to remember, by the color of their costume, the solemn profession
they had once made.

The most striking thing in the antechamber is a double band of
emblematic medallions on the walls, with explanatory mottoes, such as
were popular in the sixteenth century. They all refer to the obligations
of a bishop, and evidently allude to Cardinal Orsini as the model of
one. They begin with the holy name of God in Greek, with the _Sanctus,
Sanctus, Sanctus_, the angels’ eternal song of praise. We will rapidly
review the other emblems here employed to raise the mind from the
visible to the invisible, the material to the spiritual.

The telescope, which enables the human eye to penetrate the profound
mysteries of the heavens. So the spiritual world is opened by prayer and
meditation. _Alta a longe cognoscit_ (Ps. cxxxvii. 6).

A dog, guarding the fold: emblem of pastoral vigilance. _Vt vitam
habeant_ (St. John x. 10).

The mitre, supported by a column: episcopal firmness. _Firmalitvr et non
flectetvr_ (Ecclus. xv. 3).

The wine-press overflowing with the juice of the grape: emblem of the
spiritual harvest. _Vt fructvm plvs afferat_ (St. John xv. 2).

A clock, which tells the hours and minutes: the value of time.
_Particvla non te prætereat_ (Ecclus. xiv. 14).

The crane, emblem of vigilance, because it was formerly believed to
sleep on one foot; the other holding a stone, which, when it fell, awoke
it. _Excvbat in custodiis_ (Num. xviii. 4).

The horse, held in check by a vigorous hand: self-government. _Ne
declines in ira_ (Ps. xxvi. 9).

The elephant, believed every morning to adore the sun at its rising:
humility before God. _Hvmiliat semetipsvm_ (Philipp. ii. 8).

The lamp which burns and gives light: figure of the bishop consuming
himself for others. _Vt ardeat et lvceat_ (St. John v. 35).[58]

The pelican, nourishing its young with the blood from its own breast: a
lively expression of extreme devotedness. _Reficiam vos_ (St. Matt. xi.

The crosier is the shepherd’s crook. It terminates with a graceful hook
for the purpose of drawing the lambs more gently. It was once a saying:
“It is good to live under the crosier!” _Svm pastor bonvs_ (St. John x.

The sun, shedding its rays on a balance: equity under the inflexible eye
of God. _Æqvitatem vidit vvltvs eivs_ (Ps. x. 8).

The honeycomb, in which the bee deposits its honey gathered from the
flowers: activity and sweetness. _Mansvetvm exaltant_ (Ps. cxlix. 4).

The stag, which, according to an old notion, attracted serpents by its
breath in order to exterminate them: the might of the Holy Spirit, of
which a bishop is the organ. _Flavit Spiritvs eivs_ (Ps. cxlvii. 18).

The trumpet, which, though sonorous, can give forth sweet notes. _In
spiritv lenitatis_ (Gal. vi. 1).

The mill, turned by the water, grinds wheat to feed the hungry. A
bishop, above all, should be the father of the poor and needy. _Frangit
esvrienti_ (Isai. lviii. 7).

A painting representing the sun: the divine attributes should be
reproduced in a bishop. _In eandem imaginem_ (2 Cor. iii. 18).

The fox, emblem of the transgressor, flies before the dog, symbol of
episcopal vigilance. _A facie tva fvgiam_ (Ps. cxxxviii. 7).

The dolphin, by the odor it exhales, draws to it the fish of the sea:
the influence of virtue. _In odorem cvrrimvs_ (Cant. i. 3).

An anvil, struck by two hammers at once, without being moved: strength
to resist exterior assaults. _Fortitvdinem meam cvstodiam_ (Ps. lviii.

The phœnix, which springs to new life on the pile where it is consumed:
the power of multiplying time. _Mvltiplicabo dies_ (Prov. ix. 2).

The bear, taking its young in its paws, to teach them to stand and walk:
paternal direction of souls. _Donec formetvr_ (Gal. iv. 19).

The compass, turning its needle to the polar star. A bishop should not
be guided by human influences. _Hanc reqviram_ (Ps. xxvi. 4).

The rain, watering the garden: going about doing good. _Pertransiit
benefaciendo_ (Acts x. 38).

The pomegranate contains a great number of seeds: a bishop shelters the
multitude. _Coperit mvltitvdinem_ (St. James v. 20).

The mitre, surrounded by an aureola: the splendor sanctity adds to the
episcopal dignity. _Contvlit et splendorem_ (Judith x. 4).

The eagle, trying its eaglets by making them look at the sun: God alone
should be looked to in trial. _Cvm probatvs fverit_ (St. James i. 12).

A tree, the vigor of which is only increased by age: experience
increases one’s efficiency. _Fortior cvm senverit_ (Prov. xxii. 6).

At one end of the antechamber is the library, formerly containing a fine
collection of books, mostly belonging to Cardinal Orsini, but now
unfortunately scattered. He also established a printing-press in the
palace for the purpose of publishing his own edicts, licenses, and
pamphlets for the direction of his clergy. A small oratory opens into
the library with its marble altar turned towards the East and its walls
covered with paintings. One of these is a votive picture from Cardinal
Orsini after his miraculous preservation in the earthquake of 1688 by
the special intervention of St. Philip Neri, representing him buried
among the ruins of his palace, his head alone visible, resting on a
picture of the saint, who, in consequence of this memorable
circumstance, has ever since been regarded as one of the patrons of

It is said that when Cardinal Orsini was leaving Beneventum for Rome, he
turned towards the weeping inhabitants, and, after praying silently for
an instant, promised them his protection henceforth against earthquakes,
and, in fact, not only has the city been spared when serious disasters
have occurred in the country around, but no citizen of Beneventum has
received any injury, even when exposed elsewhere to terrible danger.
Many families keep with veneration a bust of the holy cardinal in their
houses, or some object once belonging to him, and attribute to this
devotion a special protection.

There is nothing of interest in the private rooms once occupied by
Cardinal Orsini. One would like to see his unpretending furniture, his
pictures of devotion, the kneeling-stool where he so often prayed for
his flock, and the books he daily used, but they are all gone. There is
not even an authentic likeness of him,[59] though he resided here
thirty-eight years, and expended in the restoration and embellishment of
the palace 64,589 ducats of his personal fortune.

We have already alluded to the quarter of the palace called _il
conventino_, because it has the aspect of a monastery. It is divided by
a corridor, with cells on both sides that communicate with each other,
or can be made private at pleasure. Here, without any luxury or display,
Cardinal Orsini lodged the bishops convoked for the provincial councils,
and generously provided for every expense these assemblies involved. The
priests who accompanied them were lodged in the convent of San Modesto,
where nothing was wanting to their comfort. The register of accounts
gives some curious details as to the supplies. Macaroni necessarily
played an important _rôle_. Snow was furnished for refreshing drinks.
And as the wine called Lachryma would doubtless have been too heavy, it
was previously tempered by a strong addition of the ordinary red wine!

But the patience of the reader is already exhausted with these details.
As we have implied, the archiepiscopal palace of Beneventum is not
precisely artistic, and yet it is interesting and curious. If the
account has been unreasonably prolonged, the memory of Cardinal Orsini
is a sufficient justification. We cannot make too prominent the name and
labors of those who lived only for the church, and sacrificed themselves
for its development and glory. _Quam multa, quam opportuna, quam grandia
accepta referunt beneficia_, let us say, in conclusion, with the
inscription on the hospital at Beneventum, graven on marble to the
praise of Fra Vincenzo Maria, priest of the title of St. Sixtus,
Cardinal Orsini.

Footnote 51:

  _Le Palais Archiépiscopal de Bénévent._ Par Mgr. X. Barbier de
  Montault, prélat de la maison de Sa Sainteté. Arras: A. Planque et
  Cie. 1875.

Footnote 52:

  The word palace is, by us, reserved for exceptional edifices that are
  vaster, loftier, and more highly ornamented than the dwelling of a
  merely private individual. But the Italian, who loves sonorous
  epithets, is more indiscriminate in its application. His word
  _palazzo_ is susceptible of two meanings, one referring to the
  edifice, and the other to the person who inhabits it. In the latter
  sense it is applied to the residence of any high dignitary or person
  of office, however little in accordance it may be with his station. It
  is his rank which gives importance to his dwelling, and a name that
  sets it apart and prevents it from being confounded with the houses of
  people merely in easy circumstances.

Footnote 53:

  In order to correspond fully to the wish expressed so _gracieusement_
  by the Rev. Father Hecker, founder of the Paulists, to have the plan
  of a building, with its ornamentation, in conformity with Roman
  traditions, we have taken the principal features of the palace at
  Beneventum as the model of that which the Catholics of America propose
  offering the cardinal of New York. The development of this
  architectonic and iconographic project will be the subject of a
  special essay.—_Note of Mgr. Barbier de Montault._

Footnote 54:

  In an official paper at Dijon, dated Sept. 26, 1511, mention is made
  of an obscure dungeon under the name of _cachot d’enfer_.

Footnote 55:

  St. Barbato’s triumphal entrance into Beneventum was by a gateway that
  has preserved the name of Porta Gloriosa.

Footnote 56:

  _In tribulatione sua_ (Isa. xxv. 4).

Footnote 57:

  _De angustia sua_ (Job xxxvi. 15).

Footnote 58:

  These quotations are often modified—the idea, rather than the exact
  words, being aimed at.

Footnote 59:

  There are three portraits of Cardinal Orsini in the cathedral, taken
  at different periods of his life. The forehead is high and well
  developed. The eye is pleasant and sympathetic, but keen and
  penetrating. The nose has a bold outline, indicative of his energetic
  will. The mouth is contracted at the corners, giving it an expression
  of bitterness and dissatisfaction. The face is full, and tells of life
  and vigor.

                            “JUXTA CRUCEM.”

    “Dear Lord,” we say, “could we have stood
      With thy sweet Mother and Saint John
        Beside thy cross; or knelt and clung—
      Heedless what ruffian eyes look’d on—
        With Magdalen’s wild grief, and flung
    Our arms about th’ ensanguined wood!...”

    But have we not the Crucified
      Among us, “even at the door”?
        Whom else behold we, day by day,
      In the sore-laden, patient poor?
        And where disease makes want its prey,
    Can we not stand _that_ cross beside?

    O blest vocation, theirs who come,
      At chosen duty’s high behest,
        To soothe the squalid couch of pain
      With pledges of a better rest
        Than all earth’s wealth can give or gain,
    And whispers of eternal home!

    Never so near our Lord as then,
      We touch _His_ Wounds—more heal’d than healing:
        Never so close to Mary’s Heart,
      Hear too for _us_ its throbs appealing:
        And when for other scenes we part,
    It is with John and Magdalen.


La Bruyère sees in all extravagance of phrase some symptom of weakness.
“To say modestly of anything it is good or it is bad, and to give
reasons why it is so, needs good sense and expression. It is much
shorter to pronounce in a decisive tone either that it is execrable or
admirable.” He himself is a model of clearness and exactness of
expression. His English counterpart is Swift, of whom Thackeray said:
“He writes as if for the police.” Nothing in literature surpasses the
vraisemblance of _Gulliver’s Travels_, which reads like a book of
authentic adventure. Its artlessness is the perfection of art concealing
art. La Bruyère also says: “What art is needed to be natural (_rentrer
dans la nature_)! What time, what rules, what attention, what labor to
dance with the ease and grace with which we walk, to sing as easily as
we talk, _to speak and express one’s self as one’s self thinks_!” To
speak or to write as one thinks seems, in these days of tumid and
extravagant expression, to be one of the lost arts. We generally say
either more or less than we think, usually more. For this reason we
should turn to the older classical writers, because of the importance
they attribute to diction, and the sense of duty they attach to it.

The new rhetorical doctrine is, “Let the style take care of itself. Give
us thought.” Robert Browning, whose poetry nobody understands, probably
not even himself, declares in favor of “burrs of expression that will
stick in the attention.” Any one who has scrambled through the
labyrinths of some of his poems has had “burrs” enough to suffice him
for a lifetime. It is clear that this plea for thought to the neglect of
style is an excuse for slovenly composition. There is no reason why
thought should not have clear, precise, and beautiful expression. Unless
style be made a subject of deep attention, and be brought to the
severest test of rhetorical criticism, there is an end of literature. If
the barbaric “yawp” of Walt Whitman is to pass for poetry; if the
pictorial daubs of J. A. Froude are to be considered historical
portraitures; and if extravagant and exaggerated forms of speech are to
be ranked as striking beauties, the literary critics and the lovers of
literature in general must gird themselves for a tougher battle for
letters than they ever did for any attack that threatened them from
Philistia. What we call the Extravagant School of Literature numbers
eminent names, and is by no means confined to the more obvious and
pronounced sensationalism of the daily press. Contemporaneous history,
criticism, poetry, sectarian theology, and, wonderful to say, philosophy
and science deal largely in exaggerated expression and extravagant

It may be some consolation to the newspapers and to the gentler sex,
both charged by the critics with the use of exaggeration and hyperbole,
that they but follow the example set them by grave modern historians and
scientists. The reckless writing in the journals, like the fluent gossip
at Mrs. Grundy’s tea-parties, is ephemeral. But extravagance aspires to
immortality in the pages of the historian. The description of Mary
Stuart’s beheading in Froude lacks even the historical accuracy of a New
York _Herald_ reporter’s account of an “execution.” Macaulay’s fantastic
analysis of motives exceeds in boldness of conjecture a journalist’s
article on the future policy of the Vatican. In both sets of examples
there is the same fault—unlimited speculation and unjustifiable comment.
Darwin observes some particular facts in natural history, and, in
defiance of a familiar rule in syllogisms, leaps at once to a universal
conclusion. Matthew Arnold, fired by his name as a critic, indulges in
extravagant speculation upon the relations of literature and dogma.
Science loses its cool head, and philosophy its cautious pace, on the
presentation of hitherto unexplained phenomena. Protestant theology
hears aghast that the Greek of the Epistle to the Hebrews is more
classic than that in the other Pauline epistles, and telegraphs the
discovery to the Board on the Revision of the Scriptures. The dainty
trick of Tennyson’s metre is the despair and admiration of inglorious
Miltons, whose hands cannot strike the resounding lyre with like
skilfulness, and thereupon jangle it in woful measures. Bret Harte makes
a “hit” in the delineation of wild Western life, and he is hailed as a
new-born genius. John Hay and Joaquin Miller assume the bays. A crowd of
nonentities rush before the public on the lecture platform, and their
extravagant nonsense brings them fame and fortune. The two classes react
upon each other for the worse. The extravagant never corrects his
faults, and the public never perceive them, so used have they become to
this baneful influence of sensationalism. It permeates popular religion.
A Protestant _Life of Christ_ by a prominent preacher reads like a dime

We readily pardon the extravagance of fiction; and _catechresis_ in
poetry does not call forth the severest censure of the critic. Any one
familiar with the hard conditions of modern newspaper writing will not
be disposed to judge harshly if both editor and reporter combine to make
their journal “spicy.” It may be that the high-pressure system on which
newspapers are conducted has exercised a marked influence upon all
classes of readers and writers. The New York dailies have a rather
questionable _élan_, which provincial journals follow from afar off. The
stupendous enterprise of sending expeditions to South Africa and to the
North Pole, the insatiable quest for news, the undisguised love of the
sensational characteristic of foremost journalism, have, in our opinion,
a debilitating and disastrous effect upon the scholarship and the
intellectual life of America. The showy story, the painfully
epigrammatic drama, and the pyrotechnical poetry of the land are
newspapery to the last degree. Journalists do not even seem to know or
realize the influence which they exert. What is a pointed and brilliant
editorial compared to the honest endeavor of a journalist to inculcate
sound ethical and social views in the minds of his readers? Who cares
about Jones’ slashing attack upon Smith? Why, in the name of common
decency, are columns opened to the discussion of Robinson’s domestic
infelicities? We do not wish to make up our minds every morning upon the
state and prospects of the universe. We are firmly convinced that the
world will go on, without being daily buttonholed by talented editors to
acquaint us with the fact. The sensational newspaper has spoiled some of
the best traits in the American, and it has given abnormal development
to his worst tendency—his curiosity. A newspaper would have scattered
all the happiness of Rasselas’ valley. It is happy for Americans that
they have a weakness for print, and seem rather to enjoy a figure
therein. If the _Bungtown Bugle_ did not notice the arrival in town of
Mr. Porkpacker, let the editor tremble.

But the extravagance of journalism is mainly confined to words. It is
not altogether true that the guiding spirit of the newspaper is
sensation. This charge, which can readily be sustained against the
contemporary historian, does not hold of the journalist. He makes the
most of news, but he rarely invents. He is sensitive on this point.
Accuracy is a prime requisite in a reporter. His is the hyperbole of
words. This comes generally from a limited education and inexact habits
of thought. When we reflect that the first and last lesson of rhetoric
is simplicity, we should not expect too much from men who are trained to
think and believe that no idea is acceptable unless arrayed in gorgeous
imagery and blazing with tawdry rhetoric. A fire with loss of life is a
terribly startling thing, and the reporter imagines that he is really
describing its horror when, with apt alliteration’s artful aid, he heads
his account with “The Fire-fiend Furious—Flaunting Flames Frantically
Flashing—Fainting Firemen Fused by the Fierce Fire,” etc. Richard Grant
White has wearied his readers for a decade and more on the theme of
newspaper English and cognate subjects. The fact is, no man can be an
etymologist without a fair knowledge of the languages from which the
English is derived, and it is simply wasted labor to counsel the
attainment of a classic style from a mere acquaintance with one
language, and that the vernacular. The wonder is that so much really
good writing is done under such limitations.

It takes some self-denial in a newspaper man to say a thing simply. We
understand that Western newspapers have made a new departure in
announcing deaths, and that a rather coarse, if not ribald, humor is
tolerated. This is an evidence of a lower sensationalism. The West has
exercised a rough and energetic influence upon the laughable
dilettanteism of the Eastern press, but we must confess our inability to
relish its humor. Its humor is extravaganza, and thus would work out the
very reform and improvement which it is the design of this article to
advocate. The pompous descriptions ending in anti-climax, the open
burlesquing of the style of newspaper novelists, the riotous
characterization of oddities, and the hearty dislike of sham and cant
that one meets in Western journalism must have a good effect upon the
general literature of the country. But one tires of Mark Twain, mayhap
for the reason that one grows speedily weary of professedly funny
papers. The poor court-jesters of the middle ages got more frowns than
smiles. Mark Twain has little of that heartiness and _bonhomie_ that are
the characteristic of true humor. Real wit he has none, nor does he
pretend to it. His humor is extravagance, which, even in this humble but
oh! how genial faculty and expression of the human heart, is seen to be
out of place and power.

The more we read and write, the clearer becomes to us the wisdom of the
Horatian maxim to keep our lucubrations by us for years. Hasty writing
is not only hard reading but often dangerous utterance. An editor told
the writer that when the news of the late Pope’s death reached us he had
his biography already in type, but without editorial comment. It was
necessary to compose some sort of editorial upon an event which for a
time suspended the breath of Christendom, and our editor, with the
_nonchalance_ and conceit which unfortunately characterize so many of
the journalistic guild, sat down to dash off as fast as pen could travel
_his_ estimate of that great, long-suffering, and heroic man on whose
brow, where gathered the glory of Thabor and the gloom of Calvary,
rested the mystic diadem of the Supreme Pontificate. “Of course,” said
our editor, “I hadn’t time to get up anything very fine, but my
Protestant friends were delighted. I gave the good old man some pretty
severe raps—that thing, you know, about his being a Mason, and opposed
to progress—and—and—Antonelli, and that little love-affair, you know.
Ha! ha! ha!” No wonder Dickens impaled the editor of the New York
_Rowdy_. Now, if this man could have waited, and read and reflected, it
would have been morally impossible for him to have composed an obituary
which, if it had been written of any other man than the dead Vicar of
Jesus Christ, would have exposed its author to the pistol-shot of
outraged relatives or to the chastisement of public justice.

So long as ignorant and irresponsible men are suffered to guide and
control the expression of a journal, so long will the American newspaper
fail of any high mission. It is a good sign of the sturdy independence
of the American character that it has shaken off the journalistic yoke
and thinks for itself. Formerly the editorial pages were the first to be
scrutinized and the mysterious oracle consulted. But

    “Apollo from his shrine
    Can no more divine.”

The garish light of day has been poured in upon the sanctum, and the
divinity has fled. The newspaper is not likely soon again to attain to
that high dignity and power which it held prior to the last Presidential
election, for reasons too obvious to the reader to need mention here.
Year by year the strongly-marked individuality of the chief editor, so
familiar of old, fades out of sight, either because the race of great
editors is run or the conditions of newspaper life have changed. We
speak of the newspaper only as it falls within the scope of this
article, which regards its literary and not its moral aspect. We do not
advert to it at all as a teaching or ethical power, for we look upon the
average journal with feelings akin to contempt at its blind or wilful
neglect of the highest possibilities of good. No men are better
acquainted than are newspaper men with the absurdity of Protestantism,
its failure both as a public institution and a private religious life,
its petty tyrannies, its squeamishness, its rhodomontade, and its
helplessness before any attack of sound and manly logic. They know, too,
or ought to know, the real good of the Catholic Church. Yet how rarely
one sees in a journal even a feeble recognition of the benefits of
Catholicity! Why, in many quarters we do not even get the show and
hearing graciously accorded to the Mormons. Who has not felt the covert
sneer, the poorly-concealed bigotry, and the ignorant prejudice so
thinly disguised? When Doyle, England’s best caricaturist, not even
excepting Cruikshank, was required by the proprietors of _Punch_ to draw
a caricature of the Pope, he threw his pencil in their faces and told
them “be ——,” a word which the recording angel certainly blotted out.
What are we to think of a journal that seizes the celebration of the
feast of a great national saint as a happy occasion for publishing a
series of “jocular” and blasphemous articles on the saint’s memory,
twice piercing the sensibilities of Irishmen, once through their faith
and next through their nationality? Is that honest, worthy, or dignified

Enough has been said to place the general newspaper press upon a low
form in the school of extravagant expression. Not until editors feel a
profound moral responsibility, and enlarge their minds with at least a
cursory study of Catholic theology—two things which are least likely to
come to pass—will the American journal attain any lasting prestige or
power. As it is, its tone becomes less dignified and effective year by
year, and we should not be surprised to discover in the newspaper, in
time, the most stubborn and powerful opponent of Christianity, and even
of general morality. Heaven knows what incalculable harm it now does to
immortal souls by its constant vomiting forth of social impurities and
criminal details. There are certain papers of large circulation and
“respectability” which cannot be read by all without proximate danger of
mortal sin. But if a Catholic critic ventures to proclaim these manifest
truths, he is answered with a howl about the church’s opposition to
progress and enlightenment. The newspapers cannot bear criticism whilst
savagely attacking any person or institution to which they take a
dislike. This sensitiveness is a symptom of weakness.

We turn to the great masters of extravagant expression. At their head we
place Lord Macaulay, who has demonstrated the art of making history
romantic, and romance historical. Query: whether Sir Walter Scott was
not the founder of the contemporaneous historical school? At any rate
the cry is, “Let us have no more dryly accurate histories like Lingard’s
or Arnold’s. Relegate to an appendix state papers and statistics. Give
us delightful conversations between historical personages, somewhat in
the style of Landor’s _Imaginary Conversations_, only not so heavy.” It
is _so_ delightful to enter into the secret motives of men, to interpret
their hidden spirit, and clearly understand their whole mental and moral
being. This is the new school of historical writing, carried to
extravagant lengths by Macaulay, Froude, and Carlyle. The old-fashioned
idea of history was the simple and exact statement of events, the
_ascertained_ motives of historical personages, and the _actual_ results
of their deeds and decrees. This idea the trio before mentioned scout
with derisive laughter. Macaulay writes down “the dignity of history”;
Froude penetrates into the _arcana_ of royal bosoms; and Carlyle shrilly
hoots at the Dryasdusts for their historical investigations, and makes a
bonfire of archives and state papers. Of this precious triad Macaulay is
the least vehement, but none the less must we dub him an extravagant. He
never can say a thing naturally. He cannot rise above an epigram or an
antithesis. Nor was there ever any intellectual growth in him. In
Trevelyan’s _Life and Letters of Macaulay_ there is a characteristic
anecdote of his boyhood. His mother refused him a piece of cake for some
misdemeanor—for missing a lesson, we think. “Very well,” antithetically
answered the future reviewer (_ætat_. 9), “hereafter industry shall be
my bread and application my butter.” This might have been written in the
_Edinburgh_ forty years after. When the famous essay on Milton appeared,
sensationalism had not as yet invaded the prosy precincts of the
reviews. Jeffrey’s classic but dull reviews were models; nor did the
humor of the “joking parson of St. Paul’s” receive much countenance from
the Scotch, on whom the parson revenged himself when he said that a
surgical operation was necessary to get a joke into a Scotchman’s head.
Macaulay’s brilliancy took the town by storm. But what is there in the
review of Milton? of Johnson? of Bacon? He began the carnival of the
sensational. George Cornewall Lewis said of Macaulay: “The idea of a man
of forty writing such flowery and sentimental stuff! Macaulay will never
be anything but a rhetorician.” But the reading people had their
appetites whetted by Scott and Byron, and there has been little sobriety
in literature since. The extravagance of the praise with which Macaulay
bedaubed Milton struck the critics at the time; but when they answered,
he was famous. The Americans raved over him. It was perhaps as well that
his _History_ was never finished, for it is morally certain that his
infatuation for saying brilliant things would have led him to hurl
Washington and the American patriots of the Revolution from their
pedestals. He could not resist the temptation to bid men abate their
admiration of any esteemed character. To wind up with a brilliant period
was the height of his poor literary ambition. Of course he received his
reward; but no man now who values his reputation for scholarship would
think of citing him as an historical or, what may seem stranger, a
literary authority. That glowing tribute to the Catholic Church in the
review on Ranke has always seemed to us one of his rhetorical bursts.
There were in the subject light and color, imposing figures, an
atmosphere of art and beauty, and innumerable chances for introducing
epigrams and startling paradoxes. He wrote an article which flames like
one of Rubens’ pictures. The whole argument is false from beginning to
end, and its logic would shame the New Zealander himself. The conclusion
which any thoughtful man would draw from the powers and attributes
therein ascribed to the Catholic Church is that such an institution must
be divine—a conclusion furthest from the reviewer’s thought. He has made
the dull pages of English political history as interesting as a
fairy-tale, under which designation it no doubt will be tabulated by
future scholars; for there is not a _point d’appui_ in the entire
history, from his glorification of King William to his defamation of
Penn, that has not been shattered by some one. But who should seriously
attack romance?

James II. was a poltroon, and William III. was a brave man and a great
statesman. Macaulay did not attempt all the possibilities of
sensationalism. This was left for J. A. Froude, who now reigns in his
stead. Casting about for a striking character, Froude lights on Henry
VIII. And it is here that that delightful historico-romantic style soars
to hitherto unexplored heights of extravagance. The injured monarch is
introduced to the sound of mournful music. His tortured mind is apparent
in his anguish-riven face. Contemplate at leisure that Achillean form,
that massive brow, the melancholy grace of those royal legs. A pensive
smile irradiates a countenance on which all the graces play. He is
thinking of Katharine. His conscience is smitten. Enter to him Anne
Boleyn. What thoughts are hidden beneath that alabaster brow?—and so on
for volumes. The _forte_ of the historian of this school is his thorough
knowledge of the thoughts and designs of his personages. Nothing escapes
his eagle eye. This wondrous faculty, which has hitherto been considered
preternatural, enables him to detect deep meanings in the slightest act.
The king smiled significantly. Ah-hah! Sergeant Buzfuz’s interpretation
of Pickwick’s note about the warming-pan sinks into obscurity alongside
of the calm and connected analysis of motive that Mr. Froude can weave
out of King Henry’s stockings. It will amuse our readers to take up a
few pages of any of Froude’s historical works, and study out
illustrations of this criticism. They will soon discover that it is he
who does all the thinking, planning, and suffering for his historical
automata, that are moved by the chords of his sympathetic heart. No one
would call Froude a historian except in burlesque. He is a romancist.

But what shall we say of the Scotch Diogenes, Carlyle, who hurls books
instead of tubs, though the latter missile would do less mischief? He is
an extravagant. We have hesitated some time about classing him in the
school, but we think that we are justified, at least by the wildness,
unconnectedness, and rhapsodical fury of his speech. Besides, he
frantically hates and denounces America, which fact would set him down
at once as a man of unbalanced intellect and malignant humor. He used to
know how to write English, as his _Life of Schiller_ and _Life of John
Sterling_ abundantly prove. But in an evil hour he learned German, and
the next view of him we have discovers him tossing in a maelstrom of
German metaphysics. He certainly deserved a better fate. We very much
doubt if any sane man can long keep his wits and study German
philosophy, especially in the mad outcomes of Fichte’s Absolute Identity
and Schelling’s theories of the το εγο. The best minds of Germany, both
Catholic and Protestant, Möhler and Neander, have pronounced the
judgment of all sensible men upon these absurdities in one
word—_rubbish_. Carlyle patiently worked in this rubbish for years, and
his result is not half so good as his brave old words, spoken out of his
honest heart: “Do what you are able to do in this world and leave the
rest to God.” In the name of common sense, do rational men care anything
about the critic of Pure Reason, or the beer and tobacco speculations of
conceited egoists? It were well if men, like the parish priest in _Don
Quixote_, burnt all those foolish books of knight-errantry carried on in
a world as dreamy and fantastic as that fabled by the old writers on
chivalry. Carlyle’s command of language is marvellous, but his style is
hybrid, wearisome, and frequently unintelligible. He is sensational, in
a bad sense, too. There is not a hero that he has chosen who was not
chosen with an eye to effect: Mohammed, a prophet! Luther, the
hero-priest! Cromwell, the hero-king! The selection of these worthies
enabled him to say something startling. Then the idea of taking
Frederick II. of Prussia as a type of the heroic, kingly, religious,
literary, and general excellence of the eighteenth century was carrying
the extravagant a little too far. The old man now sits like a bear with
a sore head. We pardon him much, for we look upon him as an embittered
and disappointed man. He seems not to care what he says nor how rudely
he says it. His criticism on Swinburne, the erotic poet, whose success
is an indication of something rotten in English letters, is so harsh
that we hesitate to quote it, though it is richly deserved: “He is a man
up to his neck in a cess-pool, and adding to the filth.” We need
Diogenes to snub Alexander and to trample on the pride of Plato. Had
Carlyle escaped fantastic Germanism and its wretched philosophizing, he
would rank with the greatest masters of language in any tongue. The glow
and beauty of many of his descriptions are beyond praise, and no more
skilful hand has ever drawn the vast and gloomy _tableaux_ of the French
Revolution. His historical method has the same vice as Macaulay’s and
Froude’s. He is pictorial, imaginative, and given to unwarranted
speculation. His style has the worst faults of the sensational school,
though it may be alleged in his defence that his vast knowledge of
German has unconsciously and radically modified it. Affectation he has
none, which cannot be said of his imitators in word-coining.

Literary criticism, which certainly should have advanced somewhat since
the days of Dennis, is at present as “slashing” as that old cynic
himself could have desired. The great reviews, spoiled by Macaulay’s
example, have adopted a supercilious tone that but ill comports with the
dignity and functions of true criticism. We recall only one great
exception, John Wilson (Christopher North), in recent English literary
criticism, that is not open to the charge of querulous fault-finding.
The narrowness of the English reviews, and their fatal obtuseness to see
beyond the limits they have drawn for themselves, have deprived them of
the proper power of literary judgment or suggestive writing such as we
associate with a review. The latest of their number, the _Nineteenth
Century_, is not long enough before us to enable us to form a
satisfactory judgment. It lacks unity, but, perchance, this is a merit.
The reader knows beforehand the judgment of the _Edinburgh_, the
_London_ and _British Quarterlies_, and the _Westminster_ on any
subject. They are a bench of Lord Jeffreys passing sentence before any
evidence is presented to them.

There is no writer on whom sensationalism works such quick and fatal
destruction as the critic. We look to him to be above the passions of
the hour, the rage of the fashion, and the influence of literary and
political cliques. Even his admiration must be tempered. He must betray
no weaknesses. When we come across a _critique_ which runs over with
passion, weak sentiment, petty jealousies, unworthy bickerings, and a
subdued but potent sensationalism, we are shocked and disappointed. Most
contemporary reviews are pompous exhibitions of the writer’s own
learning, which may be in one sense encyclopædic, and which generally
throws the author under review quite in the shade. The older reviewers
gave some hearing to an author. They quoted him largely, and enabled the
reader to judge for himself. They proffered their opinions modestly, and
supported their objections with proof drawn from the book itself. But
nowadays, if a reviewer condescends to advert to the book which he is
supposed to be reviewing, it is in a high and mighty tone of censure or
of autocratic approval. This obtrusion of self and opinions smacks much
of the sensational. The reviewer wishes to be seen upon the tripod, and
he is convinced in his own heart, or at least allows his reader plainly
to understand, that he could write a much better book than that which he
has deigned to review. Slashing criticisms are in great favor. Oh! for
another Macaulay to blast another Montgomery. _We_ say, Oh! for another
Pope to place these gentlemen in another _Dunciad_. There is no merit in
cutting a book to pieces. An eye sharpened by malice and on the lookout
for faults will detect blunders in a title. Where merited chastisement
must be inflicted it should not be spared; but that is a poor idea of
literary criticism that views it as a medium of communicating only
stinging comment and bitter diatribe. Criticism is essentially calm and
judicial. It should sift a book as law does evidence. No stormy passions
should be suffered to disturb its equanimity. There is no other
department of letters that invites and exacts such rare scholarship and
genial wisdom.

The man who can quickly recognize and honestly praise a work of genius,
and, through wise commendation, introduce it to a wide circle of
readers, merits a crown more precious than the poet’s. In these days of
much bad writing and wide reading there is deep need of such exact
criticism, such careful watchfulness over literature, and such sure
guidance of the public taste. Keep sensationalism at least out of our
reviews and our book notices, for if the critic loses the reckoning we
are indeed at sea.

We hinted that sectarian theology has its sensational side. If we can
dignify with the name of theology that _congeries_ of books, sermons,
pamphlets, and tracts that is the literary outcome of Protestantism,
then theology, the queen of the sciences, is in the plight of Hecuba as
described in _Hamlet_:

    “But who, oh! who had seen the mobled queen
    Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames,” etc.

No attempt is made to conceal the sensationalism of the Protestant
pulpit. A dull preacher had best betake himself to another occupation;
say anything that will be listened to, sooner than behold the agonizing
sight of a sleeping congregation. Modern congregations do not enjoy the
traditional nap. They are kept awake by the attitudinizer in the pulpit.
They are not sure of what he is going to say next. Sir Roger de Coverley
made his chaplain preach one of Barrow’s sermons, and, thus being
assured of orthodoxy, he slept with a quiet conscience. The quality of
the majority of Protestant sermons is as spiced and sensational as the
average popular lecture. What motive but that of making a sensation can
induce Farrar and Stanley to preach against hell in Westminster Abbey?
Their sermons are as high colored as a story in the New York _Ledger_.
The new tack which the Protestant hulk is now painfully taking is the
harmonization of science and religion. We verily believe that Darwin,
Huxley, and Tyndall take a malicious pleasure in seeing the squirms of
Protestant theologians. Those men know themselves the inconclusiveness
of their arguments against revelation, but the fatal spell is on
science, too—it must be sensational or nothing. The old scientists
worked calmly away for years, and set forth the results of their
investigations with the modesty of true merit. But Huxley cannot
anatomize the leg of a spider without publishing the process in the
newspapers, with some reflections upon its bearing and probably fatal
effect upon the Mosaic records.

In summing up the conclusions suggested by our reflections upon the
extravagant, we must not forget that the ways and habits of modern
social life have almost necessitated this species of literature. It is
remarkable that the Latin writers under the later emperors have neither
the purity of thought nor of style of the old masters. Literature is the
reflex of passing life. Our century is the century of startling
discovery, of kaleidoscopic changes, of rapid social life and intense
intellectual energy. Its expression must be loud and boisterous. But it
is the duty of writers to keep the gross sensational elements of life
out of letters. Literature should soothe and compose the mind; should be
its refuge from turbulence and care; should be a ministry of peace and
refreshment to the wearied spirit. The enduring products of human genius
are marked by the calmness and serenity of the great souls that
conceived them, and they produce in us the like frame of mind. The
public should look coldly upon the class of productions we have been
examining, and bid

    “The _extravagant_ and erring spirit hie
    To its confine.”

                         THE BLUE-BIRD’S NOTE.


    Not Philomel, ’mid dark of night, unseen,
      Pipes sweeter notes unto the listening heart
      Than from the adventurous blue-bird start
    That sings amid the cedars’ dusky green
    When March doth fleck the sky with windy clouds,
      When sodden grass is gray as naked boughs
      Along whose length no touch of summer glows—
    Folded the buds within their spicy shrouds,
    Waiting the coming of their Easter morn,
      When the up-risen sun their bonds shall break,
      Earth’s alleluia in the forests wake,
    Wherein no voice more glad than this is born
    That fills the farewell hours of winter gloom
    With skies of blue and fields knee-deep in bloom.


    Who hears the music of the blue-bird’s song,
      And sees not straightway cloudy skies grow fair
      With softened light pale April kindleth there?
    Who heareth not the swollen, rippling throng
    Of loosened streams that trip the roads beside,
      That wear soft channels in the meadow grass,
      And peaceful grow to uphold the crisp-leaved cress?
    Who sees not o’er the marsh-pools, dark and wide,
    Rise tasselled willow and the later glow
      Of sturdy marigolds’ broad, golden bloom,
      Dim light of violets; while fresh perfume
    From every budding twig doth overflow?
    Such world a song can build of shivering air—
    Earth’s miracles unfolding everywhere.


    Singeth the dreamy nightingale of love,
      Unsevered still the thrush from Paradise,
      The lark’s swift aspiration to the skies
    Is faith that sees in perfect light above;
    And type doth seem spring’s blue-winged herald’s song
      Of that calm faith Eternal Wisdom blessed,
      Believing things unseen with quiet breast,
    Not asking first to see the angels throng.
    Faith meet for earth, filling the storm-rent skies
      With cheerful song of trust and heavenly grace,
      Softening with joys to come earth’s rugged face,
    Tinting life’s gray with heaven’s rainbow dyes—
    Thy note, O fearless blue-bird! stainless scroll
    O’er writ with love and hope for earth and soul.

                        LITURGICAL SUBJECTS.[60]

A diligent and impartial German bibliographer, Dr. John Geffcken,
Protestant pastor of St. Michael’s, Hamburg, in his learned work on
catechetical treatises of the fifteenth century, has pointed out the
almost complete forgetfulness of present scholars of a branch of
literature important in the theological and controversial history of
Germany before the Reformation. He says of his own researches in this

    “There was a lost, or at any rate a forgotten, literature to be
    discovered step by step, and its spirit grasped in all the branches
    thus brought together and compared. The following information will
    show how little light the fragmentary notices of Langemack in his
    _Historia Catechetica_ (vol. i.), or of Köcher, in his _Catechetical
    History of the Papal Church_, threw upon the times to which I have
    devoted my attention. The worst, however, was that even these scanty
    notices were often false or misleading, and that, instead of
    pointing out the right track, they not seldom led into error. They
    consist mostly of lists of titles of books, without a hint of the
    contents of such books, and not seldom an uncertain or fanciful
    title is interpreted as denoting contents utterly different from the
    reality. The spirit of controversial prejudice in which these works
    were written impelled the authors, whenever they had to deal with
    ante-Reformation times, to paint the historical background in the
    darkest possible colors, in order to bring out in corresponding
    relief the brightness of the new dawn of the sixteenth century.”

If this is true of such works as those to which Geffcken refers, it is
equally so of the German _Plenarii_, or glossaries, commentaries,
homilies, and various devotional manuals in the vulgar tongue published
in the last half of the fifteenth century and the first quarter of the
sixteenth. The inquiry into the publication, contents, and diffusion of
these books is as interesting from an antiquarian as from a theological
point of view. They are little known even to cataloguists of
acknowledged merit. Brunet, in his _Manuel du Libraire_,[61] etc., under
the heading _Plenarium_, vol. iv., mentions only one, as the
_Plenarium_, or Book of the Gospels, printed at Basle by Peter von
Langendorff in 1514; while under the heading of _Gospels_ (vol. ii.) he
mentions in general terms several “Evangelia.” Hain, in his _Repertorium
Bibliographicum_ (Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1826-1828), in which he claims
to have collected the names of all the books printed from the time of
the discovery of printing to the year 1500, is a little more explicit as
to the gospels and epistles under the heading of that name, but has
nothing to say of any Plenarium; although the name stands as a separate
heading, it is followed by no details or examples. Graesse, in his
_Trésor de livres rares et précieux, ou nouveau dictionnaire
bibliographique_ (Dresden, 1859-1869), mentions only five of these
works, giving the dates and presses but no hint of the contents of the
books. Earlier scholars, however, had not so wholly lost the tradition
of the existence of these manuals; for instance, Nicholas Weislinger, in
his _Armamentarium Catholicum Argent._, 1749 _fol. sub anno_ 1488 (pp.
412-415), and Panzer, in his _Annals of Ancient German Literature; or,
notices and descriptions of those books which, since the invention of
printing till the year 1520, were printed in the_ GERMAN _tongue_
(Nuremberg, 1788), mentions a fact which Dr. Alzog says he has not yet
found proved by other documents—the existence of similar manuals in
other countries than Germany. The French have _Les Postilles et
Expositions des Epistres et Evangiles Dominicales_, etc. (Troyes, 1480
and 1492, and Paris, 1497), and the Italians the same in 1483, press and
date not mentioned, and _Epistole e Evangeli per tutto l’anno, per
Annibale da Parma_ (Venice, 1487). No doubt research among the libraries
of ancient Italian cities, colleges, and monasteries would discover many
copies of such manuals, and the same may be said of French glossaries.
The fact that they have but recently come to light in Germany argues
equally in favor of their being at some future time discovered in other
countries, certainly not less enlightened at the time whence date the
German manuals.

It seems that hitherto no satisfactory etymology of the name of this
class of books has been found; the explanation of Du Cange[62] being
rather bald, that the books “wholly contain the four gospels and the
canonical epistles.” Whatever the origin of the title, the books
themselves multiplied rapidly from 1470 to 1522. They were invariably in
the vulgar tongue, often in dialect. They were meant as emphatically
popular hand-books, guides to the liturgy, and interpreters of the Latin
offices of the church, while they also supplied the place of sermons,
homilies, and meditations by their glossaries and explanations of the
gospels, lessons, and epistles. Some of these are much in the style of
the commentaries of the early Fathers on Scriptural subjects. The
translations from the Vulgate are generally original, and do not follow
strictly any of the authorized versions of the day. In some of the later
Plenarii the Collects and Prefaces are given, in others the Graduals and
Communions; in a few the whole liturgy is translated and the ceremonies
explained. None of these books was ever published in Latin, and, unlike
our modern missals, they very seldom, and then sparingly, included the
Latin text with that in the vulgar tongue. Hymns and sequences were also
often printed. Dr. Alzog was drawn to the study of this branch of church
literature by his researches for a hand-book of universal church
history, and by his opportunities in the University Library of Freiburg
in Breisgau, which alone contains six editions of Plenarii of 1473,
press unknown, five respectively of 1480 (Augsburg), of 1481 (Urach), of
1483 (Strassburg), of 1514 and 1522 (Basle), and several others without
authors’ or publishers’ names, as well as the kindred works of a famous
preacher of that time, Geiler von Keisersperg, printed at Strassburg.
The reproach sometimes made to the fifteenth century, of being destitute
of sufficient religious and moral instruction in printed form, is much
neutralized by the opposite reproach of a contemporary whose name is
famous in literature as that of the author of the _Ship of Fools_,
Sebastian Brant. This powerful satire, the work of a priest, begins with
these words in German rhyme:

    “All the land is now full of holy writings
    And of what touches the weal of souls,
    Bibles, and the lore of holy fathers,
    And many more such like,
    In measure such that I much marvel
    No one grows better on such cheer.”

Alzog names thirty-eight manuals, including five by Keisersperg, with
his sermons and expositions of doctrine, and seven in Low Saxon dialect,
interesting as showing the peculiarities of spelling in certain
districts at that time. The form of the title is almost unvaried in all:
“In the name of the Lord. Amen. Here follows a Plenarium according to
the order of the holy Christian Church, in which are to be found written
all epistles and gospels as they are sung and read in the ceremony of
the holy Mass, throughout the whole year, in order as they are written
in the following.” The two earliest mentioned by Alzog are of 1470-1473.
They are adorned with title-pages or frontispieces, Scriptural or
allegorical subjects. In the University Library of Freiburg is a small
folio with a wood-cut of our Lord, his right hand uplifted in the act of
blessing, and his left carrying an imperial globe, the ball surmounted
by a cross, such as may be seen in pictures of the old German emperors.
Round the four sides of the print runs the following curious
inscription, unfortunately clipped short in part by the binder: “This
portrait is made from the human Jesus Christ when he walked upon the
earth. And therefore he had hair and a beard, and a pleasant
countenance. Also a ... He was also a head taller than any other man on
the earth.” The first edition mentioned by Panzer and Hain as containing
a glossary on the Sunday gospels is of the year 1481, printed at
Augsburg, but the four editions between 1473 and 1483 all had uniform

The mention is worded thus: “A glossary will be found of each Sunday
gospel—that is, a good and useful teaching, and an exposition of each
gospel, very useful for every Christian believer (or believer in Christ)
to read.” In 1488 Weislinger and Panzer point to a book printed at Baden
by Thomas Ansselm, called _Gospels with Glossaries and Epistles in
German, for the whole year; also the beginning; the Psalm (the “Judica”
and Introit) and the Collect of each Mass according to the order of the
Christian Church_. Another book of 1516, printed at Dutenstein, has the
same title with this addition: “for the whole year, with nothing left
out.” A very elaborate manual, of which a copy (1514) is in the
University Library of Freiburg and is mentioned in Panzer’s catalogue,
is called

    “The Plenarium, or gospel book. Summer and Winter parts, through the
    whole year, for every Sunday, Feria, and Saints’ days. The order of
    the Mass, with its beginning or Introit. _Gloria Patri_, _Kyrie
    Eleyson_, _Gloria in Excelsis_, Collect or prayer, Epistle, Gradual
    or penitential song, Alleluia or Tract, Sequence or Prose. Gospel
    with a glossary never yet heard by us, and ended by fruitful and
    beautiful examples.[63] The _Patrem_ or Creed, _Offertorium_,
    _Secreta_, _Sanctus_, _Agnus Dei_, Communion, Compleno and _Ite
    Missa est_ or _Benedicamus Domino_, etc. And for every separate
    Sunday gospel a beautiful glossary or Postill, with its example,
    diligently and orderly preached by a priest of a religious order, to
    be seriously noticed and fruitfully applied for the greater use of
    the believer, who in this quickly-passing life can read nothing more
    useful....” At the end are these words: “To the praise and worth of
    Almighty God, his highly-praised Mother Mary and all saints, and to
    the use, bettering, and salvation of men.... Printed by the wise
    Adam Peter von Langendorff, burgher of Basle. 1514. In folio.”

The book contains four large wood-cuts of some artistic merit, Christ
crucified, with a landscape in the background, and two groups, one of
four women on one side, the other of four men on the other, and the
following legend beneath, taken from Notker’s famous hymn _Mediâ Vitæ_,
which “wonderful anthem or sequence,” says an Anglican writer, is “so
often mistaken for a psalm or text”[64]: “In the midst of life we are in
death: whom shall we seek to help us, and to show us mercy, but thou
alone, O Lord, who by our sins art righteously enwrathed? Holy Lord God,
holy strong God, holy, merciful, and eternal God, suffer us not to taste
the bitterness of death.” The other wood-cuts, respectively indicating
Christmas day, Easter eve, and Whitsunday, represent the Adoration of
the Infant Jesus by Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, with a landscape in
the background; the Resurrection; and the Descent of the Holy Ghost in
the form of fiery tongues. The book contains many smaller wood-cuts.

Another Plenarium (Strassburg, 1522) boasts of being “translated from
the Latin into better German,” and another, of the same year (Basle),
announces “several other Masses, never hitherto translated into German,”
as well as a register with blank leaves. Keisersperg’s sermons “in the
last four years of his life, taken down word for word from his own
mouth,” are printed at Strassburg in 1515, and are qualified in the
title-page as “useful and good, not only for the laity, and never
hitherto printed.” His _Postill_, or “Commentaries on the Four Gospels,”
is printed in four parts in Strassburg in 1522, also his Lenten sermons,
and some additional ones on a few saints’ days, “written down from his
own mouth by Henry Wessmer”; but the most curious work mentioned is a
folio volume of his sermons, without title, and containing other
treatises with fanciful titles and bearing on mysterious subjects. “The
Book of Ants, which also gives information concerning witches, ghostly
appearances, and devilish possession, very wonderful and useful to know,
and, further, what it is lawful to hold and believe touching them”;
also, “the little book, ‘Lord, whom I would gladly serve,’ in fifteen
parts of fine and useful doctrine; finally, the book of ‘Pomegranate,’
in Latin _Malogranatus_, containing much wholesome and sweet doctrine
and advice.” This dates from 1517 (Strassburg, John Greinninger). For
the sake of the language the manuals printed in Low Saxon, chiefly in
Lübeck, are among the most interesting specimens. The titles are much
the same as the German, but generally more concise. Panzer remarks of
one of them, printed by Stephen Arndes at Lübeck in 1496, and adorned
with several fine wood-cuts, that he has seen three other editions,
printed in 1488, 1493, and 1497. A few of the peculiarities of spelling,
and of the indifferent use of various forms of one word, will be seen in
the following examples: book, in the contemporary High-German, spelt
_buch_ or _buoch_, is here spelt _boek_, _boeck_, _bok_, and _boke_,
this last a form often found in Old English writers; holy, _heylig_,
_heilig_, or _hailig_, is here spelt in five different ways: _hilgen_,
_hylgen_, _hylligen_, _hilligen_, and _hyllyghen_; and birth, _geburt_,
is _bort_ and _borth_. _Das_ (the) becomes _dat_; _endigt_ (ends) is
turned to _ondighet_; and the _o_’s and _n_’s are in general used the
reverse way to that common in High-German.

The contents of the Plenarii show the peculiarities of the liturgy as
used at that time. The same epistle and gospel sung or read on Sunday
was repeated on Monday, Tuesday (which the oldest manuals call
After-Monday), and Thursday. Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year
had separate epistles and gospels, and Saturday is not mentioned, unless
it is indicated by the “third day,” which the later editions speak of as
“having a separate epistle and gospel throughout the year.” Each day of
Lent had a separate one. Some of the books of 1473 contained special
Masses—that of the Wisdom of God for Mondays, the Holy Ghost for
Tuesdays, the Holy Angels for Wednesdays, the Love of God for Thursdays,
the Holy Cross for Fridays, and the Blessed Virgin for Saturdays. There
followed Masses for rain, for health, for sinners, for fair weather, and
for “all believing souls.” The glosses on the gospels in the earlier
editions are interesting from their simplicity and directness. Even the
preface of the Basle Plenarium of 1514, though less simple, is a good
specimen. It is noteworthy that the Immaculate Conception is implied in
the text. The heading is from Luke xi. 28: “Blessed are they who hear
the word of God and keep it.” The preface runs thus:

    “Jesus Christ is the Word of the Eternal Father; the Word is made
    flesh (understand by that, man) in the womb of the immaculate, holy,
    and pure Virgin Mary, that we too may be saved. From this Word, as
    from Christ the Son of God, flows Holy Scripture, which is the
    life-giving flow of the blessed paradise of the highest heaven,
    penetrating and making fruitful on this earth the paradise of the
    holy church to the use of all believers. And in order that man may
    better know and acknowledge his Lord, he has at hand the help of
    Holy Scripture, which is the source of all knowledge and wisdom, of
    whom all knowledge is the servant and follower, and which teaches
    and admonishes us, through the wonderful works of God, to worship
    the Maker of all; for Christ the Son of God is the wisdom of the
    Eternal Father, and in him and through him are all creatures made,
    and, indeed, so wonderfully made and hidden that no human wisdom can
    fully penetrate into these secret recesses. Such is the teaching of
    Holy Writ.

    “To confess God, to avoid sin, to do good, and to show ourselves
    diligent in the love of God and our neighbor—this is a spiritual
    pharmacy of all sweet-smelling and precious medicine. Although many
    prophets and other saints have written Holy Scripture and divine
    truth, each one according as it was given to him by the Holy Ghost,
    yet are the strength and truth of the holy gospels above every other
    Scripture, as says St. Augustine in his Concordance of the Gospels.
    And Holy Scripture is so fruitful, wise, and unfathomable that we
    can never fathom it till the end of this passing life on earth, and
    till we come to the place whence Scripture itself floweth ... and
    ourselves read in the great Bible—that is, the Book of Life.

    “And because many men do not understand Latin, and yet can read
    German, therefore this book of the gospels, with its belongings, has
    been translated into German, to the glory of God and the use of such
    as shall feed their souls on it. For man liveth not on material
    bread alone, but on the spiritual bread which is the Word of God, as
    Christ says by the mouth of the evangelist Matthew, in the fourth

Much more follows; for instance, an enumeration of the nine graces that
a diligent reader of Scripture receives, in which much good but rather
trite advice is given, and of the five kinds of men who read Holy Writ,
only two of whom do it to advantage. These conceits belonged to the age,
and, indeed, survived the age, as we find in the Presbyterian sermons of
two centuries later in Scotland and the Puritan sermons of New England.
Keisersperg was profuse of them, and some of the quaint and rather
strained combinations and coincidences which he imagined are a curious
illustration of the sort of pulpit eloquence popular in the fifteenth
century. The prominence given among saints to the four evangelists grew
naturally out of the reverence paid to the four gospels as the noblest
part of Scripture. The Plenarii often contained allegorical
representations of them under the conventional figures known to art, and
undertook to explain the reason of these figures being applied to them,
connecting them with the four living creatures of Ezechiel’s vision and
those of the Apocalypse. But, beyond the constantly-received
explanations, they sometimes contained details calculated to astonish
readers of a later day. Such is the idea of the fitness between St. Mark
and the symbolic lion, derived from the belief that lion whelps were
awakened the third day, by the roaring of their mother, from the sleep
or trance in which they had been born, which was interpreted to refer to
the fact that St. Mark chiefly dwells on the resurrection of the Lord on
the third day after his death. The Basle manual from which the foregoing
preface is quoted has special prayers in honor of the evangelists,
chiefly to the end that they would help the faithful to a better
understanding of, and acting up to, the principles of the Gospel. The
wood-cuts which distinguish these as well as the Latin missals took the
place of the illuminations of the older books in manuscript, and, though
wanting in the finish and delicacy of the latter, were designed on the
same models and in the same spirit. The Latin missals now in the
University Library of Freiburg, of 1485 and 1520, are rich in this kind
of ornamentation, the latter having as title-page the Crucifixion, with
a group of many figures, and around the illustration representations of
the seven sacraments, whose grace flows from the atonement of Christ.
The same idea is conveyed in the often-repeated allegorical
representation in mediæval pictures of two angels collecting in golden
cups the blood that flows from the outstretched hands of the Saviour on
the cross.

Freiburg has many treasures in the department of illuminated
manuscripts, the chief one being a _Codex_ of the tenth century, with
the _Sacramentarium Gregorianum_. It contains two hundred and ten pages
of parchment, and begins with a calendar of twelve pages on purple
ground with arabesque borders. The Ordinary of the Mass is written on a
similarly colored ground, and has three illuminated pictures—a portrait
of Pope Gregory the Great, an angel uplifting the Host, and an elaborate
Byzantine crucifix. Five thousand francs were offered for it by a French
archæological society, and refused by the university. Among the
peculiarities set forth by the German manuals is the order of Sundays
throughout the year, which, before the Council of Trent, were reckoned
from Trinity instead of Whitsunday, and, in the case of Easter falling
early, were supplemented by a “twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity,” as
the editions of 1473 to 1483 have it, “if another Sunday is needed.” The
later editions and the Latin missals simply call it, without comment,
“the twenty-fifth Sunday.” As time went on, the German Plenarii
contained more and more, sometimes additional votive Masses, and the
Passions and Prophecies of Holy Week, sometimes the whole of the
liturgy, including the minor parts, sometimes even more than the Latin
books themselves—as, for instance, the thirteenth to the fifteenth
chapters of St. John, inclusive, for the edification of their readers on
Maundy Thursday. The glossaries or homilies also grew longer and more
serious after 1514, and among explanations of undoubted moral worth and
pious intent—due, Alzog thinks, greatly to the influence of the Swiss
“Friends of God,” a brotherhood devoted to popular teaching and the
propagation of practical piety among the masses—we often come upon those
naïvely-propounded conceits which were common to earnest and ingenious
men of that day. For instance, the word alleluia, whose etymology was
probably wholly unknown to the author, is thus dissected and explained
in one of the Basle editions of the sixteenth century:

    “The word has four syllables—that is, four meanings: the first,
    _al_—that is, _altissimus_, or Most High and Almighty; the second,
    _le_, _levatus in cruce_, or uplifted on the cross; the third, _lu_,
    _lugentibus apostolis_, or the apostles have mourned and all
    creation bemoaned him; the fourth, _ja_, or _jam surrexit_—that is,
    he is now risen from the dead, wherefore we should rejoice with all
    our strength and sing _alleluja_.”

On the other hand, some of the prayers and meditations of these now
obscure books of devotion were beautiful, dignified, and worthy of
imitation. The language often reminds one of the _Following of Christ_:

    “Consider, O my soul! with thorough devotion, the gifts and benefits
    of God wherewith he has so abundantly blessed thee. He has created
    thee out of nothing and in his image. He has given thee wisdom and
    understanding, that thou mayest distinguish good from evil. He has
    also given thee reason beyond that of all other creatures, and made
    them subject unto thee. He has put the sun and the moon in heaven to
    give light to the world. He causes all green things to grow and
    ripen on the earth to thy use, that thou mayest be fed and clothed
    therewith. Consider also, O my soul! with great devotion, how
    inestimable are the gifts of the holy sacraments, so sweetly
    prepared for thee. How clean should be thy hands from all evil
    works, how chaste thy lips, how holy thy body, how spotless thy
    heart, to which the Lord Almighty, the God of purity, humbles
    himself so lovingly! How great should be thy thankfulness to God thy
    Creator, who gives himself to thee so freely, not for any good he
    derives therefrom, but only that he may cleanse thee, in thy misery
    and sickness, from sin, and give thee eternal life. Amen.”

The manuals also made typographical progress corresponding to that of
their contents, and, after 1483, began to have their pages both numbered
and headed, while the spelling became a little more uniform, but the odd
comparisons and arbitrary combinations in the text developed themselves
as freely as ever. Indeed, they had one merit—that of fixing a thing in
the minds of hearers less likely to be impressed by generalities; and,
unlike the sensational devices of the present day, they were not
resorted to as mechanical means by men to whom they were themselves
indifferent, but came from the “abundance of the heart” of authors fully
penetrated by their meaning and proud of having originated this
particular form of it. For instance, a panegyric on St. Martin, Bishop
of Tours, is résumed in the seven letters of the German word Bischof,
each standing for the initial of a word describing some quality of the
saint; and the same happens with the seven letters of the name of
Matthew, _Matheus_ (seven was, from obvious causes, a favorite number in
the mystical mind of those ages), which are thus interpreted:
_Magnificentia in relinquendo_ (magnanimity in relinquishing),
_Auscultatio in obediendo_ (hearing in obeying), _Tractabilitas in non
resistendo_ (tractability in not resisting), _Humilitas in sequendo_
(humility in following), _Evangelisatio in prædicando_ (evangelization
in preaching), _Virtuositas in operando_ (efficiency in working),
_Strenuitas in patiendo_ (fortitude in enduring).

The glossaries on the epistles and gospels contain many passages
remarkable as setting forth the reverence for Holy Writ of which those
times have been too hastily pronounced deficient. The four oldest
editions (from 1473 to 1483) have the same commentary for the first
Sunday in Advent, on which the gospel of Palm Sunday, pointing to
preparation for the coming of the Lord, was then read. The whole is
filled with texts and allusions to the prophets; the preparation is
asserted to consist in being “washed clean of evil thoughts,” in laying
aside the torn garments of sin, that bind us to the darkness where we
have hidden ourselves that we may not be seen, ... in hating the
garments of impurity and those of pride.... It is not seemly to stand in
the hall of the King clothed in mean garments, as we find in the Book of
Esther, cap. iii., and therefore no one should enter the holy time of
Advent while yet burdened with sin and so on through a host of
Scriptural quotations in which moral virtues only are inculcated, and of
ceremonial observances there is no mention. The edition of 1514 (Basle)
on the same occasion says that this gospel is read twice in the year, on
the anniversary of the day when our Lord entered Jerusalem, and on the
first Sunday in Advent, which commemorates his spiritual coming and his
assuming human nature. The various kinds of advents or comings are
represented by the gospels of the four Sundays, the last being the entry
into the heart of every sinner when he repents of his sin and is
converted. “As the Jews asked John the Baptist, ‘Who art thou?’ so
should every man ask himself, Who am I? If we examine honestly we must
needs acknowledge that we are but poor sinners. Of this advent St. John
speaks in the Apocalypse: ‘Behold I stand at the door of thy heart and
knock with my gifts; and whoever opens unto me, to him will I go in, and
give him bread from heaven, and a new stone in his hand, that is the new
joy of everlasting life.’“[65] Of this advent St. Augustine speaks:

    “Lord, who shall give it to me that thou shouldst come into my
    heart, sweet Jesus, and fill it, and that my soul should forget all
    evil and all sin?... ‘This is everlasting life (John xvii. 3), that
    men know thee, Father in heaven, and confess thee alone the living
    and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ This raises a
    question—namely, Why did the Lord Jesus not come earlier? why delay
    his coming so long? For this reason: that Adam transgressed God’s
    command on the sixth day, and the coming of Christ was therefore
    deferred till the sixth age of the world.... If you turn to the Lord
    in truth, he will answer you through the prophet Ezechiel: ‘In
    whatsoever hour the sinner repents of his sins and forsakes them,
    and is turned from his unrighteousness, I will remember his sins no
    more, saith the Lord.”

The commentary on the gospel of the first Mass on Christmas night in the
Basle edition of 1514 contains glimpses of legends which long kept their
hold on the popular and even the scholarly mind of that age. The story
of the Sibyllic prophecies is outlined:

    “The Emperor Augustus, when he had conquered the whole world for the
    Roman Empire, was about to be adored by the Romans as a god. But he
    resisted and asked for a delay of three days, during which he sent
    for the wise woman, the Sibyl of Tibur, and asked her advice. When
    she shut herself up with the emperor and prayed to God to tell her
    how to advise the emperor, she saw close by the sun a shining ring
    of light, and within the ring a beautiful Virgin with a fair Child
    upon her knees. Then the Sibyl showed the Virgin and Child to the
    emperor, and said: “This Child upon the knees of a Virgin must thou
    adore, for he is God and Lord of the whole world, and the Child that
    is to be born of a Virgin shall be for the consolation and salvation
    of mankind.’ So when the emperor saw this he refused to let himself
    be adored....

    “We read also that once the Romans built a fine temple, large and
    grand, which they meant to call the Temple of Peace. While they were
    building it they asked the Sibyl how long the temple should stand.
    She answered and said: ‘Until a Virgin shall bear a Child.’ ‘Then,’
    said the Romans, ‘as that can never happen, the temple will stand
    for ever, and shall be called the Temple of Eternity.’ Then came the
    night when our Lord Jesus Christ was born, and a great part of the
    temple fell suddenly in ruins, and many who have been in Rome say
    that every Christmas night a portion of this temple still crumbles
    into ruin, as a sign that on this earth nothing is eternal.”

The three Maries at the sepulchre give the author occasion in the homily
on Easter Sunday to link the virtues we ought to practise with the names
of the three holy women. From Mary Magdalen, whom, according to the
tradition of the time, he identified with Mary the Sinner, he bids us
learn “the great diligence and great love with which she sought God the
Lord; ... so should we also anoint the feet of Christ with the ointment
of contrition and repentance. From Mary Jacobi (Mary the mother of
James, or Jacob) we should learn to overcome sin, because Jacob means a
fighter and striver.... From the third Mary we should learn to have a
true hope of obtaining grace, for Salome means a woman of grace
(probably he considered wisdom and grace identical), ... especially the
grace to battle against despair.” And this suggests a comparison of the
three Maries with the three virtues, faith, hope, and charity. Galilee,
again, which he interprets to mean in German Passover, is set as a sign
that we must part with sin and cross over to God, die to the world and
be detached from its allurements. The commentary on the gospel of
Whitsunday, in the older editions (1473-83), contains these words: “If
you love God, you will willingly hear his word and diligently say to
yourself, What I hear is a token from the great King.” Then follow
several Scriptural quotations strengthening and illustrating this truth.
The epistle of the day gives rise to an explanation of the appearance
“as it were of fiery tongues”: “The fire of the Holy Ghost consumed all
fear in their hearts, and so enkindled them that they feared neither
king nor emperor. So was fulfilled the saying of the Redeemer, ‘I am
come to bring a fire upon the earth,’ and what do I wish but that it
should be enkindled?” Then the tongues signify that the word is spread
by the tongue; God sent the Holy Ghost in fiery tongues, that they (the
apostles) might burn with love and overflow in words. What is the Holy
Ghost? He is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, who confirms and
establishes all things, and who comes at all times to the heart of every
man who makes himself ready to receive him, as says St. Augustine: “It
is of no use for a teacher to preach to our outer ears, if the Holy
Ghost be not in our hearts and do not give us true understanding.” The
likeness of the Holy Spirit to a dove is then ingeniously drawn out in
comparisons such as St. Francis of Sales, two centuries later, might
have adopted in his _Introduction to a Devout Life_, and the prayer or
aspiration at the end is thus worded: “May the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Ghost help us to hear the word of God and keep it, that our hearts
may be enlightened and enkindled by the fire of the Holy Ghost, that we
may live with simplicity and joy among the doves, and that the true
Dove, the Holy Ghost, may come to us and abide with us for ever.”

The later editions of the sixteenth century have a longer and more
complicated homily on the same subjects; they dwell, among other things,
on the peace and comfort brought by the Holy Ghost, and distinguish
three kinds of peace, that of the heart, that of time, and that of
eternity, the second of which alone was not given to the apostles,
because their Master also had it not, as is inferred from several texts
quoted at length. The suddenness, the force of the wind, and the
quickness of the appearance in the upper chamber in Jerusalem are all
turned to practical account by the commentator, who also reminds his
readers that the grace of God comes soonest to those who lead a life of
inner recollection and prayer. The love of God is shown under a sort of
parable, that of the scholars of an Athenian philosopher, who begged
their master to write them a treatise upon love, and received from him
in answer the picture of a lion with a legend round his neck: “Love
brings forth nothing which afterwards causes remorse to man.” Thus
Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, is spiritually this lion of love,
whose works were all for the salvation of man. For Trinity Sunday the
glossaries of both the older and the later editions are very short, the
mystery being confessedly unfathomable, and the ancient Fathers
themselves having but feebly succeeded in throwing any other light than
that of faith upon the subject. Both editions contain a warning not to
search curiously into the mystery, but believe with simplicity, and the
later ones cite the legend of St. Augustine and the child whom he met by
the sea-shore trying to bail the sea into a small trench in the sand. On
the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity the vision of God by purity of
heart, “and by the reading of Holy Scripture and practising its
precepts,” is descanted upon in the 1514 Basle edition, and the fate of
Lot’s wife is used as a simile for the turning back from God into sin,
while the love of our neighbor, as flowing from a true love of God, is
strenuously inculcated by Scripture texts and warnings.

The description of the contents of these manuals, however, would not be
complete, nor wholly convey the spirit of the age in which they were
published and read, without some mention of the miraculous stories
printed in them under the head of “useful examples.” Of these Frederick
Hurter, in his work on Pope Innocent III., vol. iv. pp. 547-8, says:

    “All writers of this time (the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; and
    what applies to those applies to later centuries almost as far as
    the seventeenth) are full of wonder-stories—a proof of how universal
    and deeply ingrained in man was the belief in wonders. Many of these
    are simply mythical, others had passed by tradition and literary
    embellishments from the region of facts into that of myths, while
    others again must be left uninterpreted by criticism, unless it is
    disposed to dismiss them with a mere denial. Whatever decision one
    may come to on this point, one truth certainly underlies this mass
    of tales: that they cannot have been without influence on the mind
    of thousands. Many may be looked upon as childish and crude, but
    from beneath this coating still shines the true gold of a belief in
    one almighty, ever-present Being, a father and protector of the
    good, a leader and raiser-up of the fallen or the wavering, an
    avenger against the evil and oppressing.”

Such stories have to later research appeared as interesting landmarks of
the progress of a nation’s mind, and links with all its former beliefs
and traditions. Again, they were striking illustrations, fitter to
remain in the popular mind as emblems of great truths than the learned
doctrinal disquisitions, which were always above the understanding of
the masses. They are rather emblems than facts; the condensation of a
truth than its actual outcome. We have only room for a single specimen.
Whether it was intended to be related as a vision in a dream, or partly
as a waking dream, does not appear clearly from the text:

    “There was,” says the Basle Plenarium of 1514, on the occasion of
    Good Friday, “a prior in a monastery, who sat in his cell after his
    meal and fell asleep. While he slept, one of his brethren died and
    came to the sleeping prior, and spoke to him: ‘Father prior, with
    your permission, I am going.’ When the other asked him where, he
    answered: ‘I am going to God in eternal blessedness, for in this
    very moment I have died.’ Then said the prior: ‘Since many a perfect
    man must after death pass through purgatory, and one seldom comes
    back to earth from it, I ask you how can you go at once to God, and
    how do you know you have deserved it?’ Then answered the monk: ‘I
    always had the habit of praying thus at the feet of the crucifix:
    “Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of thy bitter sufferings which thou
    hast endured on the holy cross for my salvation, and especially at
    the moment when thy blessed soul left thy body, have mercy on my
    soul when it leaves my body.“ And God mercifully heard my prayer.’
    Then the prior asked again: ‘How was it with you when you died?’ and
    the other answered: ‘_I thought at that moment that the whole world
    was a stone, and that it lay upon my breast, so terrible did death
    seem to me_.’”

The Plenarii were not the only manuals scattered among the
rapidly-increasing number of people who, in Germany, could read in their
native tongue. Besides the Scriptures, of which nine translations, some
partial, some entire, were _printed_ before Luther’s, from 1466 to 1518,
and three entire ones after his in the sixteenth century alone,[66]
there were previous to that period fourteen complete Bibles in
High-German and five in Low-German (the University of Freiburg possesses
copies of eight of the former), and many psalters and gospels, as well
as separate books of Scripture published singly. The psalter was
undoubtedly the best-known and most commonly used part of Holy Writ.
Panzer mentions the three oldest editions printed in Latin and German,
without date or press, in folio; another octavo at Leipsic; others in
German, Augsburg, 1492 and 1494; Basle, 1502 and 1503; Spires, 1504;
Strassburg, 1506 and 1507; Metz, 1513; and the Book of Job, Strassburg,
1498. Again in the same years, and from the same presses as well as
Mayence and Nuremberg, came the epistles and gospels, and the four
Passions, divided according to their use on Sundays, while the first
popular illustrated “Bibles of the Poor,” condensations and selections,
chiefly of the most stirring stories told in the Old and New Testaments,
followed each other rapidly after 1470. The wood-cuts were generally
very good, and the Latin and German texts printed side by side. “German
explanations of the office of the Mass” were also printed, and the
devotional writings, meditations, etc., of Tauler, Suso, Thomas à
Kempis, Geiler von Keisersperg, and Sebastian Brant. Lives of the saints
and martyrologies were also printed, arranged according to the calendar
in two parts, winter and summer; but though in the main edifying, these
were chiefly reflections of traditions rather than authentic biographies
taken from contemporary sources. That style of writing was not known
then, and the general example of a holy life was more the object of the
writers than the historic details of real life. But even in these
traditions some nucleus of undisputed fact might always be found beneath
the ivy tracery of legend. Panzer remarks that these editions differed
greatly from Jacob of Voragine’s _Legenda Aurea_, and often contradicted
it. Catechisms and manuals for confession and communion were also
familiar, and some of the litanies now reprinted in modern prayer-books
are of this date, while even the contents of the Breviary were
translated into German by a Capuchin, James Wyg, and printed in Venice
in 1518. “Little prayer-books” are mentioned by Panzer as printed at
Nuremberg, Lübeck (these in Low German), Basle, and Mayence from 1487 to
1518. Two were called the _Salus Animæ_ and the _Hortulus Animæ_. The
latter is as well known now in English as it was then in German; one
edition of 1508 has a little versified introduction, interesting as
showing how Sebastian Brant’s talents were often practically employed:

    “The soul’s little garden am I called.
    Known am I yet from my Latin name.
    At Strassburg, his fatherland,
    Did revise me Sebastian Brant,
    And industriously me corrected,
    And into German much translated,
    That now is to be found in me
    Which will give joy to every reader;
    Now, who uses me aright,
    And plants me well, reward shall have.”

The prayer _Anima Christi_ is found in some editions. A book called _The
Mirror of the Sinner_ went through five editions from 1480 to 1510,
which Pastor John Geffcken has most impartially and fully criticised in
his history of catechetical instruction in the fifteenth century. _The
Ten Commandments_ was the title of two books printed at Venice by an
Augsburg printer in 1483, and Strassburg in 1516, and a _Manual for
Preparation for Holy Communion_, several times reprinted at Basle, has
suggested this praise from Herzog, the biographer of John Œcolampadius:
“It breathes the purest and noblest devotion (_mystik_); we shall seldom
find a communion-book penetrated with such a glow of devotion”; if we
had any room left for quotation, this judgment would be found fully
deserved. Manuals for the sick and dying were also widely used; three of
1483, 1498, and 1518, and one without date, are given in Panzer’s
catalogue. The _Garden of the Soul_ also contains a long passage on the
fit preparation for death; and other books have special prayers for the
same circumstances. That we are apt to see but one side of any question,
and that false impressions unluckily in the popular mind chiefly avail
themselves of the axiom that “possession is nine points of the law,”
Jacob Grimm very appositely complains in the preface to his _Antiquities
of German Jurisprudence_. “What is the use,” he says, “of the poetry
being now discovered which presents the joyous vitality of life in that
time (the middle ages) in a hundred touching and serious
representations? The outcry about feudalism and the right of the
strongest is still uppermost, as if, forsooth, the present had no
injustice and no wretchedness to bear.”

Footnote 60:

  _Die deutschen Plenarien (Handpostillen)_ 1470-1522. Dr. J. Alzog.
  Herder. Freiburg in Breisgau. To this most interesting and valuable
  _brochure_ of the distinguished German ecclesiastical historian the
  writer is chiefly indebted for the substance of the present article.

Footnote 61:

  _Dans lequel sont décrits les livres rares, précieux, singuliers, et
  aussi les ouvrages les plus, estimés._ Ve édit. Paris, 1860-1865, en
  vi. tomes.

Footnote 62:

  _Glossarium mediæ et infimæ latinitatis._

Footnote 63:

  These “examples” constituted a literature apart, to which reference
  will be made later, characteristic of the middle ages, of which
  scholars like Grimm speak with more respect, because more knowledge,
  than many more modern and less discriminating writers.

Footnote 64:

  Bampton Lectures, 1876. _Witness of the Psalms to Christ and
  Christianity._ Dr. William Alexander.

Footnote 65:

  A paraphrase of Apocalypse ii. 17 and iii. 20.

Footnote 66:

  The German translations of the Bible, in part or complete, of which
  the library of the University of Freiburg possesses copies, are as
  follows: 1. 1466, Strassburg, folio, in 2 vols., printed by Eggestein.
  2. 1472-1474, Strassburg or Nuremberg, large folio, 1 vol., printer
  not named, the chief source from which the following editions were
  compiled. 3. 1474. Augsburg, Günther Zainer. 4. 1474, Augsburg, 1
  vol., large folio, Antony Sorg. 5. 1483, Nuremberg, large folio, 2
  vols., Antony Koburger. 6. 1485, Strassburg, small folio, 2 vols. 7.
  1490, Augsburg, small folio, 2 vols., Hans Schösperger. 8. 1507,
  Augsburg, folio, 1 vol., but very defective. 9. 1518, Augsburg, small
  folio, 2 vols., the first missing, Sylvanus Otmar. 10. 1534, the Old
  and New Testaments, Mayence, folio, 1 vol., Dietenberger (of which six
  other editions were printed at Cologne between 154- and 1572). 11.
  1534, The Old and New Testaments translated directly from the Hebrew
  and the Greek texts, Frankfort-on-the-Main, Christian Egenolff. 12.
  The Old and New Testaments, according to the text authorized by Holy
  Church, 1558, Ingoldstadt, small folio, 1 vol., Dr. John Ecken.

                          DANTE’S PURGATORIO.
                      TRANSLATED BY T. W. PARSONS.
                            CANTO SIXTEENTH.

    ‘Drizza (disse) ver me l’acute luci
        Dello _Intelletto_, e fieti manifesto
        L’error de’ ciechi, chi si fanno duci.’

    —_Purg._ xviii. 16.

    Turn thy sharp lights of intellect towards me
      And many errors will be manifest,
      In many a volume by the world possessed,
    Of men called leaders, and who claim to be.

    Blackness of hell, and of a night unblest
      By any planet in a barren sky
    Which dunnest clouds to utmost gloom congest,
      Could not with veil so gross have barred mine eye
    Nor so austere to sense as now oppressed
      Us in that fog which we were folded by.
    Its sharpness open eye might not abide,
      Therefore my wise and faithful escort lent
    His shoulder’s aid, close coming to my side,
      And, thus companioned, close with him I went
    (Like a blind man who goes behind his guide,
      Lest he go wrong or strike him against aught
    To kill him haply or his life impair)
      On through that sharp and bitter air, in thought
    My duke observing, who still said: ‘Beware
      Lest thou be separate from me!’ Anon
    Voices I heard, and each voice seemed in prayer
      For peace and pity to the Holy One
    Of God, the Lamb who taketh sins away;
      Still from them all one word, one measure streamed,
    Still _Agnus Dei_ prelude of their lay,
      So that among them perfect concord seemed.
    ‘Those, then, are spirits, Master, that I hear?’
      I asked. He answered: ‘Rightly hast thou deemed
    They go untangling anger’s knot severe.’
      ‘Now who art thou discoursing at thy will
    Of us? Who cleavest with thy shape our smoke
      As time by calends thou wert measuring still?’
    So said a voice, whereat my Master spoke:
      ‘Ask him if any mounteth hence, up there.’
    And I: ‘O being, who dost make thee pure
      Unto thy Maker to return as fair
    As thou wert born! draw near me, and full sure
      Thou shalt hear something to awake thy stare.’
    ‘Far will I follow as allowed,’ he said;
      ‘And if the smoke permit us not to see,
    Our sense of hearing may avail instead
      Of sight, and grant me to converse with thee.’
    Then I began: ‘With that same fleshly frame
      Which death dissolveth, I am bound above:
    Here through the infernal embassy I came,
      And if God so enfold me in his love
    That his grace grants me to behold his court
      In manner diverse from all modern wont,
    Keep not from me the knowledge, but report
      Who thou wast, living, and if up the mount
    My course is right: thy word shall us escort.’

      ‘Lombard I was, and Mark the name I bore;
    I knew the world, and loved that sort of worth
      At which men bend their bows not any more.
    Thy course is right: climb on directly forth.’
      He answered, adding: ‘Pray for me when thou
    Shalt be up there.’ I answered him: ‘I bind
      Myself in good faith by a solemn vow
    To grant thy wish; but with one doubt my mind
      Will burst within unless I solve it now.
    The simple doubt which I had formed before
      From others’ words is doubled now by thine,
    Which, joined with those words, make my doubt the more.
      The world in sooth, as I may well divine
    From what thou say’st, is wicked at the core
      And clothed with evil; of all virtue bare:
    Show me, I pray, that I may tell again
      Others, the _cause_ of this; for some declare
    That Heaven is cause of ill, and some say men.
      A deep-drawn sigh which anguish made a groan
    First giving vent, to ‘Brother’ spake he then:
      ‘The world is blind; sure thou of them art one.
    Ye who are living every cause refer
      Still to high Heaven, as though necessity
    Moved all things through Heaven’s[67] motion. If this were,
      Freedom of will impossible would be,
    Nor were it just that Goodness should for her
      Sure meed have joy, and Badness misery.
    Heaven to your actions the first movement gives—
      I say not all; but granted I say all,
    For good or evil each his light receives,
      And a free will which, if it do not fall,
    But win Heaven’s first hard battle, then it lives,
      And, if well trained, is never held in thrall.

    ‘To greater power and to a higher soul
      Free, ye are subject; and that power in you
    Creates the mind, which no stars can control:
      Hence if the present world go wrong, ’tis due
    To your own selves; and of this theme the whole
      I will expound as an informer true.
    Forth from His hand (before its birth who smiled
      On his new offspring) into being goes
    A little weeping, laughing, wanton child;
      The simple infant soul that nothing knows,
    Save that, by pleasure willingly beguiled,
      She turns to joy as her glad Maker chose.
    Taste of some trifling good it first perceives,
      And, cheated so, runs for the shining flower,
    Unless a rein or guide its love retrieves.
      Hence there was need of Law’s restraining power;
    A king there needed, that at least some one
      Of God’s true city might discern the tower.
    The laws exist, but who maintains them? none;
      Because the Shepherd, Sovereign of the fold,
      Though he may ruminate, no cleft hoof bears:
    The people then, seeing their Guide so fond
      Of what they crave, and with like greed as theirs,
    Pasture with him, and seek no good beyond.
      ’Tis plain to see that what hath made mankind
    So bad is evil guidance, not your own
      Corrupted nature. Once of old there shined
    The twofold splendors of a double sun
      In Rome, which city brought the world to good;
    One showed the way of earth to men, and one
      Gave them to see the other way, of God.
    One hath destroyed the other, and the sword
      Is with the crosier joined, that neither fears
    The other’s check; so joined they ill accord.
      If thou dost doubt me, think what fruit appears
    In the full blade, since every plant we know
      For good or evil by the seed it bears.
    Once in that goodly region by the Po
      And Adige watered, valor used to dwell
    And courtesy, ere Frederic’s trouble came:
      Now one might journey through that country well
    Secure from meeting (if it gave him shame
      To speak with good men) any that excel.
    Three old men yet dwell there in whom the old
      Chides the new age, and time seems slow to run
    To them till God replace them in his fold;
      Currado da Palazzo, he is one,
    Gherardo likewise, of the life unblamed,
      And Guido da Castello, who perchance
    Simply the Lombard might be better named,
      After the fashion of their speech in France.
    Say thou this day, then, that the Church of Rome,
      Confounding human rule and sway divine,
    Sinks with her charge beluted in the loam?’[68]
      ‘Thou reasonest well,’ I said, ‘O Marco mine,
    And I perceive now why the sacred tome
      The sons of Levi bars from heritage.
    But who is that Gherardo who, thou say’st,
      Remaineth in rebuke of this rough age
    From those who formerly the realm possessed?’

      ‘Either thy tongue misleads me or thou show’st
    A wish to try me,’ he to me replied,
      ‘That, using Tuscan speech, thou nothing know’st
    Of good Gherardo. No surname beside
      I know, unless unto that name he bore
    One from his daughter Gaia be supplied:
      Go thou with God! I follow thee no more.
    See! raying yonder through the fog a gleamy
      Splendor that whitens it; I must away
    (It is the Angel there!) before he see me.’
      Thus turned he, nor would hear me further say.

Footnote 67:

  By _heaven_, throughout this discourse, Dante means, simply,
  _planetary influence_. The lesson taught by Marco Lombardi is the same
  as that which Shakspere puts into the mouth of Cassius:

      “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
      But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Footnote 68:

  It is well to note in connection with this passage that Dante was, up
  to the time of his banishment by a political faction, a Guelph, the
  Guelphs being then the patriotic party in Italy, and supporters of the
  pope in his resolute opposition to the foreign invasion under Frederic
  Barbarossa. During his exile Dante changed his politics and joined the
  Ghibellines. Had he lived in our own days it is certain that he, whose
  faith was so high and clear, would have shared the openly expressed
  convictions of all responsible men and competent judges in this
  matter, that the temporal authority of the Holy See is necessary, as
  things now are, to the full liberty and full exercise of its spiritual
  authority. Dante’s opinion, as above expressed, is that of a political
  partisan in bygone times. Were he living to-day, instructed by the
  lessons of the centuries which have passed since he wrote, there can
  be no doubt that he would adhere to his earlier, truer, and more
  patriotic political convictions and see no impossibility of the union
  of “The twofold splendors of a double sun in Rome” in the person of
  Rome’s lawful and historic pontiff and king.—ED. C. W.


Under the title of “Indigence in a Black Coat” an observant French
writer[69] draws a painful picture of the sufferings of a class of his
countrymen usually much less compassionated than the so-called
working-classes. That term, indeed, is a misnomer when applied to any
one especial class, as, with rare exceptions, every one in France is
hard at work, manually or intellectually. The class, however, with which
these few pages are concerned is one still more deserving of respectful
sympathy than even those who follow the honest, nay, noble, career of
skilled or unskilled labor.

Besides the mechanic and artisan, whose payment follows in a certain
measure the progressive price of provisions, there are other categories
of men, assuredly not less interesting, whose pecuniary level has never
risen or fallen even by a five-franc piece, and who at the present time
are compelled to live on the appointed salary which has been attached to
their place for an unlimited number of years.

Everywhere in the towns rents have doubled, and even trebled. The system
of railways has disseminated local production, which formerly had a
local and limited sale, over all parts of France, and even abroad,
without any proportionate incomings to compensate for the increase of
prices attendant on so great an increase of sale. The latter, it need
hardly be said, involves a like increase of production.

In a country like France, where the agricultural riches are immense and
the landed property infinitesimally parcelled out, the means of
transport, which have increased tenfold within the last thirty years,
have carried riches, or at least competency, into the villages and other
country parts. To such a degree is this true that there is not now a
peasant in France who cannot maintain himself by his strip of land.
Formerly he would have carried into the town, on market days, the
produce of his land and live stock. Now he rarely takes the trouble to
do this, and almost always strikes a bargain with buyers who purchase
_en masse_ and pay him a high price. Thus, with hardly any
expenditure,[70] he can live on his little property, his aim being to
save all he can and to sell as dearly as possible.

But in the cities and small towns how to live is a more difficult
problem. The clerks, secretaries, and small functionaries of every kind,
who could formerly support and educate their families in a respectable
way, have no longer the possibility of doing so on the meagre and
rigidly-fixed salaries dispensed to them by the state. The sea itself is
no longer a resource. The railway carries off the produce of the tides
to Paris and the other large towns, which purchase the whole and throw
away thousands of kilos of spoilt fish every week.

Again, these small official situations generally involve the necessity
of being respectably, or even well, dressed. A professor, for example,
or a magistrate, an employé of the registration or other government
offices, belongs, by education or by the functions he discharges, to a
class of persons who must make a good appearance, under pain of being
neglected, unnoticed, or even altogether tabooed.

At Paris, where there is an abundance of everything, and into which the
provinces pour the overflow of their riches, life, for certain persons,
is materially impossible. The _octroi_ absorbs all, and, under pretext
of making the capital a rich and beautiful city, peoples it with poor by
rendering their means wholly inadequate to meet the increasing
exigencies of expenditure.

Thus, while living is difficult to them in the provinces, because the
country sends all its produce to the great towns, in the towns they
cannot live at all. The imposts there are enormous; while the fact that
the necessaries of life are abundant is accompanied by no diminution of
price, but the contrary.

Still, nothing is done; and these meritorious persons, obliged to
conceal a very real poverty beneath an outward show that eats into their
slender resources, and who, unlike so many around them, are disenchanted
of the dream that the world is all their own, suffer uncomplainingly.
Perhaps they are weary of complaining; in any case they do not noisily
insist and threaten, but, at the utmost, plead, and certainly wait until
hope and energy wither in the blight of continued disappointment.
Hundreds of thousands of persons thus exist, and those who may be called
the intellectual essence of the nation: professors, magistrates, men
occupied in the various departments of art, and who prepare the
intellectual prosperity of a generation to come. These men, especially
such of them as have a family dependent upon them, drag on life year
after year so miserably remunerated that how they contrive to live, and
to strain the two ends to meet by any honorable means, is simply a
mystery. In vain may each capable member of the family put a shoulder to
the wheel and effect prodigies of economy. With every noble effort they
find their life growing harder, and the cost of life increasing in
proportions of which it is impossible to see the limit.

In the times through which France is passing even the wealthy, and those
who are regarded as the favored ones of fortune, reduce their expenses
under the influence of a certain feeling of apprehension which is not
easy to define, unless a reason for it may be found in the frequent
government changes and general instability of political affairs in this
country. They instinctively restrain their expenditure to what they
regard as the necessaries of life, and indulge in few of the luxuries of
patronage involving outlay. And thus the hardness of the times makes
itself so severely felt in all the liberal professions that in the study
of the professor or literary author, as in the _atelier_ of the artist,
the pressing cares of life not unfrequently absorb the mind so as to
eclipse and benumb the powers of imagination and invention. The father
and bread-winner anxiously asks himself how, even with marvels of
economy and self-denying privation, he is to provide for the present
needs and future career of his children.

The question we are considering is for the moment drowned amid the
tumult of political strife. It must, however, assert itself with
increasing urgency in proportion as misery, in the full acceptation of
the word, shows itself as the inevitable consequence of the progressive
increase of prices in things of absolute necessity, without such
compensation as corresponds with it or even approximates to it.

And yet France is far from being poor. Sober, industrious, and
economical, her treasury is rich in spite of the enormous war-tribute by
which it was partly diminished of late. That diminution was, by
comparison, insignificant. Surely, with all the sources of wealth which
France has at command, there must be amply sufficient to pay, at a rate
commensurate with their services and due requirements, men who have
never bargained for their trouble, but who now, under the continuance of
the actual condition of things, will find it impossible to live.

This is a question demanding prompt attention, unless the anomaly is to
be maintained that France is a country of great actual and possible
wealth, in which the _élite_ of the nation are more and more exposed to
the danger of dying of hunger.

The writer on whose words, verified by our own observations, we have
based our remarks says that from all quarters he receives letters of
which the following extract is a sample: “What you have stated is far
short of the truth. Could you lift the veil that conceals our misery,
you would see into what a gulf of distress we have been plunged by years
of indifference to our needs. From time to time we make earnest
representations of our case, but these, as well as the proofs we give of
the hard reality of our necessities and expenses, are year after year
treated with the same passive disregard; and there are very many amongst
us who, in spite of the most rigid economy, will never be able to
recover themselves.”

In case our remarks should seem to have too general a character, or to
be in any way exaggerated, we will give an example—namely, the parochial
clergy, the men who are unweariedly denounced by the radical-republicans
as “pillagers of the budget” and “robbers of the state.”

The ordinary income of one of the more opulent among the rural parish
priests (by far the larger proportion receive less—some much less) is as

      Indemnity of the government for each quarter, paid 900 frs.
      three weeks or more after time = 225 francs,
      equalling per annum the sum of

      Indemnity of the commune                           100 frs.

      Casual receipts                                      60 frs

      (Say, 40) Low Masses                                 60 frs


      Forming a total of                                    1,120

Then, as the sum of obligatory expenses, we have the following:

      Wages of servant                                   240 frs.

      Door and window tax                                 53 frs.

      _Prestation_, or taking of oaths                     5 frs.

      Tax for dog                                          8 frs.

      For the Fund for Infirm Priests, as the only means  10 frs.
      of securing a morsel of bread if disabled


      Total                                              316 frs.

There remains, therefore, for this parish priest to live upon an average
income of 804 francs—_i.e._, about $160. He is not even “passing rich”
on the traditionary “forty pounds a year.”

With these eight hundred and four francs he must meet all expenses, keep
open the hospitable door of the presbytery—the house so readily found,
so close by the church, and so accessible; the house which receives the
first visit of the poor, the outcast, and the wanderer, and whose
occupant, thus poor himself, has neither the wish nor the right to close
against any one the way to his fireside. Two francs and four _sous_ a
day, however, are the magnificent sum allowed for the inmates of this
presbytery and for all the needy, who, regarding it as their natural
home, go straight to the kitchen, not knowing what it is to be sent away

We are personally acquainted with several country _curés_ whose
governmental stipend is from four to six hundred francs a year, and it
is only the more important parishes of the _curés doyens_ or _curés de
canton_ to which is attached the ampler revenue of nine hundred francs,
or thirty-six pounds sterling. A large proportion of the _curés de
commune_ do not receive more from the state than four hundred francs
_per annum_. And this stipend is termed, as if in mockery, an
“indemnity.” It only deserves that title if we read the word by the
light of a wholesale spoliation of church property and revenues,
parochial, monastic, collegiate, and eleemosynary, effected by the
revolution, and later on ratified, or at least condoned, by the state.
If, indeed, as all history proves, the Catholic Church has been the
saviour and preserver of the state, the state has often shown itself the
Judas of the church, and this “indemnity” is its kiss of peace.

There are now in France more than twenty thousand priests who are the
recipients of this exorbitant civil list. They neither complain nor
recriminate, but patiently and bravely act for the best in the interest
of all. With a calmness derived from faith, they allow to sweep by them,
as if heeding it not, the flood of stupid and malignant calumnies with
which they and their sacred office are daily assailed. They go on
receiving the poor, visiting the sick, consoling the sorrowful,
sympathizing with all, assisting, even beyond their power, the
distressed out of their own pittance, and thus further lessening the
scanty means doled out to them for the sublime service of every
hour—services basely misrepresented as to their motive, their spirit,
and even their result.

It is not our present intention to dwell on the high social part filled
by the second order of the clergy in France, and almost invariably with
the most praiseworthy self-abnegation. But, at a time when honor,
justice, and moral sense are by so many in France completely forgotten,
or treated as an effervescence of obsolete and Quixotic sentimentalism;
when it is the order of the day for each to get as much as possible for
himself, and thrust himself into any office at hand, irrespective of
worth, fitness, or merit; and when legions of “enlightened” and
“advanced” “republicans” (especially those who elect to be married like
heathens and buried like dogs) are gnashing their teeth at the clergy of
France, so excellent, so devoted, and in the truest sense so liberal, it
would be well if these men who insult them without stint and against
reason were made aware that the more opulent among the men they revile
are receiving, for all personal and household requirements, and the
satisfaction of the hospitable instincts of their sacerdotal hearts, the
munificent revenue of forty-four _sous_ a day.

Footnote 69:

  Under the _nom de plume_ of “Jean de Nivelle.” See _Le Soleil_ for
  Jan. 4, 1878.

Footnote 70:

  The diet of a French peasant is frugal in the extreme. His two meals
  usually consist of cabbage-soup—in which on Sundays and other special
  occasions a morsel of bacon is boiled—accompanied with rye bread. We
  have known a very well-to-do couple make half a rabbit last them four
  days in the way of meat. Many kinds of fungi are common articles of
  diet with the French peasantry. They cook them with vinegar “to kill
  the poison.”

                    THE CORONATION OF POPE LEO XIII.

ROME, March 20, 1878.

There is a passage in the circular of the cardinals addressed to the
diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See on the eve of the conclave
which deserves to be noted in connection with the issue of the conclave
and the secular policy of the new Pontiff. The circular, after renewing
all the protests and reservations of the deceased Pontiff, and declaring
the intention of the cardinals to hold the conclave in Rome, because the
first duty of the Sacred College is to provide the widowed church with a
pastor as quickly as possible, says: “And this resolution was taken with
the greater tranquillity, inasmuch as, pledging the future in no wise,
_it left the future Pontiff at liberty to adopt those measures_ which
the good of souls and the general interests of the church will suggest
to him in the difficult and painful condition of the Holy See at
present.” The future for the new Pontiff is a free and open field which
he can traverse in the manner he shall judge best for the weal of the
church. The protests and reservations of the deceased Pontiff touching
the temporalities of the Holy See constitute a realm of principle.
Surrounding this is a free border-land for the new Pope.

People here in Rome and elsewhere who speculate much on the present
condition of the Holy See, and especially on the so-called antagonism
existing between itself and the Italian government, hoped that Leo XIII.
would assume a less inflexible attitude before the people. Of the
liberals, the conservatives, who are the acknowledged exponents of the
sentiments of the crown, hoped for a formal conciliation. The Catholics
expected that the new Pope would at least appear occasionally in public
to bless them; while the curious tourists of all countries had visions
of the solemn and imposing ceremonies in St. Peter’s which were the
characteristic feature of Rome in other days. The expectations of all
have been falsified so far. Since the 3d of March, the day of Leo
XIII.’s coronation, the most sanguine liberals have desisted from their
conciliatory speculations, and the rest have settled down into quiet
resignation, yet hoping that a propitious occasion may again bring the
Pontiff in public before his people.

A more fitting occasion than the day of his coronation could not be
desired. Nay, the Pontiff himself had resolved to make his appearance,
and be crowned before the people, in the upper vestibule of St. Peter’s.
The Mass and other functions, prefatory of the coronation, were to have
been performed in the Sistine Chapel. In fact, on the 1st of March the
members of the Sacred College each received an intimation from the
acting Secretary of State that the ceremonies preceding the coronation
would be performed in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Palace. In the
vicinity of the inner balcony of St. Peter’s temporary balconies were
erected for the diplomatic corps, the Roman nobles, and persons of
distinction, native and foreign. The confession of St. Peter and the
papal altar under the dome were surrounded with a strong railing to
prevent accidents, while the central balcony itself was enlarged by
extending it farther out into the basilica and back into the vestibule.
It had been the intention of His Holiness to be crowned here, and
afterwards to bestow the apostolic benediction upon the people below.
But on Friday afternoon, March 1, the workmen received orders not only
to discontinue but to undo the preparations. It is unnecessary to
speculate on the cause of this order in the presence of explanatory
facts. A demonstration of enthusiastic devotion on the part of the
multitude of Catholics who would be assembled there was naturally
expected, and in this there was nothing deterrent whatever. But the
information had eked abroad, and was duly reported to His Holiness, that
a party of _Conciliators_ had resolved to seize the occasion of the
solemn benediction, and create a demonstration in favor of a
conciliation with the existing order of things. Flags, Papal and
Italian, were to have been produced just at the moment of benediction,
and an interesting tableau of alliance to have succeeded. But this was
not all. A counter-demonstration of the radicals was also mooted. This
is no trivial hearsay, as the events of the same evening sufficiently
attest. I pass over the allusions to the explosion of Orsini shells in
the church. In the face of such expectations ordinary prudence would
have suggested to the Sovereign Pontiff the inexpediency of a public
ceremony. Yet if he were disposed to hesitate before giving credence to
what was related to him by reliable authority, the attitude suddenly
assumed by the government left no doubt in his mind as to what was
expedient in the matter. Crispi, the garrulous Minister of the Interior,
had given out that the government would not consider itself responsible
for the maintenance of order in St. Peter’s on the 3d of March. He had
previously addressed a circular to the prefects and syndics of the
realm, interdicting any participation of theirs in the public rejoicings
for the election of Pope Leo XIII., because, forsooth, he had not been
officially informed of the election! He seems to have overlooked the
inconsistency of this act with the efficient service rendered by the
troops in St. Peter’s during the funeral ceremonies of Pius IX., albeit
the government had not been officially informed of his demise. The
church, however, has long since learned that it is vain to look for
consistency in men who are strangers to truth and fair dealing.
Moreover, she has, within the past few years, had bitter experiences in
the doctrine of provocation, as inculcated by the Italian government.
Leo XIII. was crowned in his own chapel, in the presence only of the
cardinals, the prelates, and dignitaries, ecclesiastical, civil, and
military, of the Vatican, the diplomatic corps, the Roman nobility, and
a few guests.

At half-past nine o’clock on Sunday morning, the 3d of March, Pope Leo
XIII., preceded by the papal cross, and surrounded by the attendants of
his court, by the Swiss and Noble Guards, descended from his apartments
to the vestry hall. The two seniors of the cardinal deacons, the
penitentiaries of St. Peter’s, and the archbishops and bishops awaited
him there. When he had been vested in full pontificals, with golden
mitre, a procession was formed, moving towards the ducal hall. A Greek
deacon and subdeacon, in gorgeous robes, attended upon the deacon and
subdeacon of honor. The cardinals were assembled in the ducal hall,
where an altar was erected. His Holiness knelt for a moment in prayer,
and then mounted a throne which stood on the gospel side of the altar.
There he received what is termed the first obeisance of the cardinals,
who approached, one by one, and kissed his hand. The archbishops and
bishops kissed his foot. Having imparted the apostolic benediction, the
Pope intoned Tierce of the Little Hours. Another procession was formed,
preceded by the first cardinal, who bore the sacred ferule in his hand
and chanted the _Procedamus in pace_. The Pope was carried in the
gestatorial chair under a white canopy borne by eight clerics. The
Blessed Sacrament had previously been exposed in the Pauline Chapel.
Thither the procession moved. At the door of the chapel the Pope
descended from his chair, entered the chapel bare-headed, and knelt for
a time in silent prayer. It is to be supposed that in those moments he
prayed for humility of self, as well as peace and benediction upon his
reign. It is the fitting prelude to the significant ceremony which
followed. Just as the procession was about to move from the chapel-door
towards the Sistine Chapel a master of ceremonies, bearing in his hand a
gilded reed, to the end of which a lock of dry flax was attached,
approached the throne, and, going down upon one knee, gave fire to the
flax. As it burned quickly to nothing he said: _Pater Sancte, sic
transit gloria mundi_—“Holy Father, thus passeth away the glory of the
world.” He repeated the same ceremony at the entrance to the Sistine
Chapel, and again just as the Pope was approaching the altar—a sage
reminder, for the Sistine Chapel at that moment presented a spectacle of
glory and magnificence which has no parallel.

Sixty-two cardinals, in flowing robes of the richest scarlet, the
magnificence of which was enhanced beneath tunics of the finest lace,
and as many attendant train-bearers in purple cassocks and capes of
ermine; archbishops and bishops vested in white pontificals; clerics of
the apostolic palace in robes of violet; Roman princes, gentlemen of the
pontifical throne, in their gorgeous costumes; officers and guards in
splendid uniforms; diplomatic personages ablaze with decorations;
Knights of the Order of Jerusalem in their historic vesture; ladies in
black habits and veils, gracefully arranged, and gentlemen in the full
dress of the present day. Despite all this splendor, the most trivial
worldling could not but be impressed with the sacred solemnity, the
awful genius of the occasion. A Pope was to be crowned—“the Great
Priest, Supreme Pontiff; Prince of Bishops, heir of the apostles; in
primacy, Abel; in government, Noe; in patriarchate, Abraham; in order,
Melchisedech; in dignity, Aaron; in authority, Moses; in judicature,
Samuel; in power, Peter; in unction, Christ.”[71]

The Mass has begun. The choir has sung the _Kyrie Eleison_ in the
inimitable style of the Sistine Chapel. The Pope has said the
_Confiteor_. He returns to the gestatorial chair. The three senior
cardinals of the order of bishops, mitred, come forward, and each in
turn extends his hands over the Pontiff and recites the prayer of the
ritual, _Super electum Pontificem_. Cardinal Mertel, first of the
officiating deacons, places the pallium upon his shoulders, saying at
the same time: _Accipe pallium, scilicet plenitudinis Pontificalis
officii, ad honorem Omnipotentis Dei, et gloriosissimæ Virginis Mariæ,
Matris ejus, et Beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et Sanctæ Romanæ
Ecclesiæ._ Leaving the gestatorial chair, and ascending the throne on
the gospel side of the altar, the Pope again receives the obeisance of
the cardinals, of the archbishops and bishops. The Mass proper for the
occasion is then celebrated by the Pontiff, and the Litany of the Saints

The solemn moment has arrived. The Pope again ascends the throne, while
the choir sings the antiphon, _Corona aurea super caput ejus_. The
subdean of the Sacred College, Cardinal di Pietro, intones the _Pater
noster_, and afterwards reads the prayer, _Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
dignitas Sacerdotii_, etc. The second deacon removes the mitre from the
head of the Pontiff, and Cardinal Mertel approaches, bearing the tiara.
Placing it on the head of the Pope, he says: _Accipe thiaram tribus
coronis ornatam, et scias te esse Patrem Principum et Regum, Rectorem
Orbis, in terra Vicarium Salvatoris Nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor
et gloria in sæcula sæculorum._

The Pope then arose and imparted the trinal benediction. This was
followed by the publication of the indulgences proper to the occasion.
From the Sistine Chapel the Pope, with the tiara still glittering on his
brow, was borne in procession back to the vestry hall, whither the
cardinals had preceded him. When he had been unrobed and seated anew in
the middle of the hall, Cardinal di Pietro approached and read the
following discourse: “After our votes, inspired by God, fixed upon the
person of your Holiness the choice for the supreme dignity of Sovereign
Pontiff of the Catholic Church, we passed from deep affliction to lively
hope. To the tears which we shed over the tomb of Pius IX.—a Pontiff so
venerated throughout the world, so beloved by us—succeeded the consoling
thought, like a new aurora, of well-founded hopes for the church of
Jesus Christ.

“Yes, Most Holy Father, you gave us sufficient proofs, while ruling the
diocese entrusted to you by divine Providence, or taking part in the
important affairs of the Holy See, of your piety, your apostolic zeal,
your many virtues, of your great intelligence, of your prudence, and of
the lively interest which you also took in the glory and honor of our
cardinalitial college; so that we could easily persuade ourselves that,
being elected Supreme Pastor, you would act as the apostle wrote of
himself to the Thessalonians: ‘Not in word only, but in power also, and
in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness.’ Nor was the divine will slow in
manifesting itself, for by our means it repeated to you the words
already addressed to David when it designated him King of Israel: ‘Thou
shalt feed my people, and thou shalt be prince over Israel.’

“With which divine disposition we are happy to see the general sentiment
immediately corresponding; and as all hasten to venerate your sacred
person in the same manner as all the tribes of Israel prostrated
themselves in Hebron before the new pastor given them by God, so we too
hasten, on this solemn day of your coronation, like the seniors of the
chosen people, to repeat to you as a pledge of affection and obedience
the words recorded in the sacred pages: ‘Behold, we shall be thy bone
and thy flesh.’

“May heaven grant that, as the holy Book of Kings adds that David
reigned forty years, so ecclesiastical history may narrate for posterity
the length of the pontificate of Leo XIII. These are the sentiments and
the sincere wishes which, in the name of the Sacred College, I now lay
at your sacred feet. Deign to accept them benignantly, imparting to us
your apostolic benediction.”

His Holiness replied: “The noble and affectionate words which you, most
reverend eminence, in the name of the whole Sacred College, have just
addressed to us touch to the quick our heart, already greatly moved by
the unlooked-for event of our exaltation to the supreme pontificate,
which came to pass contrary to any merit of ours.

“The burden of the sovereign keys, formidable in itself, which has been
placed upon our shoulders, becomes still more difficult, considering our
insufficiency, which is quite overcome by it. The very rite which has
just been performed with so much solemnity has made us comprehend still
more the majesty and dignity of the see to which we have been raised,
and has increased in our soul the idea of the grandeur of this sublime
throne of the earth. And since you, lord cardinal, have named David,
spontaneously the words of the same holy king occur to us: ‘Who am I,
Lord God, that thou hast brought me hither?’

“Still, in the midst of so many just reasons for confusion and
discomfort, it is consoling to us to see the Catholics all, unanimous
and in harmony, pressing around this Holy See, and giving to it public
attestations of obedience and of love. The concord and affection of all
the members of the Sacred College, most dear to us, console us, and the
assurance of their efficient co-operation in the discharge of the
difficult ministry to which they have called us by their suffrage.

“Above all, we are comforted by confidence in the most loving God, who
has willed to raise us to such an eminence, whose assistance we shall
never cease to implore with all the fervor of our heart, desiring that
it be implored by all, mindful of what the apostle says: ‘All our
sufficiency is from God.’ Persuaded, moreover, that it is he who
‘chooses the weak things of the earth to confound the strong,’ we live
in the certainty that he will sustain our weakness, and will raise up
our humility to show his own power and cause his strength to shine

“We heartily thank your eminence for the courteous sentiments and the
sincere wishes which you have now addressed to us in the name of the
Sacred College, and we accept them with all our heart. We conclude,
imparting with all the effusion of our soul the apostolic benediction.
_Benedictio Dei_, etc.”

His Holiness then retired to his apartments, and the solemn assembly

Meanwhile, the vast basilica of St. Peter had been crowded with people
since ten o’clock in the morning, who hoped on, despite the contrary
appearances, that His Holiness would come out at the last moment to
bless them. Deeming such an event not unlikely, the Duke of Aosta, now
military commander in Rome, had ordered several battalions of soldiers
into the square, with orders to render sovereign honors to the Pontiff
if he appeared on the outer balcony. This measure inculpated still more
the Minister of the Interior, inasmuch as the unofficial information
which was acted upon by the Minister of War should have been sufficient
for the Interior Department. Save and except the salaried organs of the
ministry, the journals of every color in Rome concurred in censuring the
action of Signor Crispi, adding, at the same time, that it was the duty
of the government to show every consideration for a Pontiff whose
election has given such universal satisfaction. The breach between the
church and state, they concluded, was only widened and the antagonism

Though the ceremonies of the coronation terminated at half-past ten
o’clock, and the equipages of the cardinals and dignitaries had
disappeared from the neighborhood of the Vatican, still the expectant
and anxious people lingered in the basilica until the afternoon was far
advanced. Then only did they turn homewards, supremely dissatisfied, not
with the Pope but with the civil authorities. The demonstration of the
_canaille_ in the evening against the Pope and the clerical party only
confirmed the report of an intended tumult in St. Peter’s, to be
provoked by the radicals. The palaces of the nobles had been illuminated
about an hour on the Corso, when the mob assembled at the usual
rendezvous, Piazza Colonna. With a movement which betokened a previous
arrangement they rushed down the Corso to cries of “Death to the Pope!”
“Down with the clericals!” “Down with the Law of the Papal Guarantees!”
etc. They halted before the palace of the Marquis Theodoli, and assailed
the windows with a prolonged volley of stones, which they had gathered
elsewhere, as no missives could be had on the Corso, unless the pavement
were torn up. A full hour elapsed before the troops appeared on the
scene and the bugles sounded the order to disperse. Only a few were

That same afternoon the Mausoleum of Augustus was the witness of a more
systematic and dangerous demonstration against the Law of the
Guarantees. The speakers, several of whom are members of the Parliament,
indulged in the most villanous tirades against the Papacy, coupled with
no measured votes of censure upon the government. A strong memorial was
drawn up and addressed to Parliament, demanding the abrogation of the
Law of Papal Guarantees.

Two days after his coronation Pope Leo XIII. appointed to the office of
Secretary of State his Eminence Cardinal Alessandro Franchi, formerly
prefect of the Propaganda. Whether it be that the moderate liberals
still harbor visions of a formal conciliation, or that their esteem for
Leo XIII. is superior to every party question, or both the one and the
other motive actuate them, is not yet established; but the fact is,
every act of the new Pontiff has been more warmly commended, as an
additional instance of his unquestionable capabilities and profound
sagacity, by the liberal than by the Catholic press. I am far from
wishing to intimate that the latter displays no enthusiastic admiration
for the inaugurative acts of Pope Leo’s pontificate. But the liberal
press is particularly demonstrative in its admiration. The nomination of
Cardinal Franchi to the Secretaryship of State has been hailed with
jubilation by organs which hitherto have devoted every energy to
bringing the late incumbents of that office, living and dead, into
disrepute. “Cardinal Franchi,” say they, “is the man for this epoch.
Accomplished, polished, bland of manner, skilled in diplomacy, and of
accommodating disposition, he will be a worthy companion and counsellor
to Leo XIII. in the new era for the church just inaugurated.” It is to
be regretted, however, that their admiration for the Sovereign Pontiff
and his secretary has not been able to keep their usual powers of
invention from running riot in their regard. Cardinal Franchi is already
credited with addressing a circular to the nuncios abroad, asking how a
change of the Vatican policy _in a less aggressive sense_ would be
regarded by the powers of Europe. He is also said to have made the first
step towards an understanding with Prussia, while the Pope himself is
asserted as having addressed an autograph letter to the Czar of Russia,
in which he expresses the hope that the difficulty between the Holy See
and the imperial government, touching the condition of the church in
Poland, will soon be removed.

It is needless to observe that the nomination of Cardinal Franchi as
Secretary of State is pleasing to the Catholics. His career has been
throughout one of eminent service to the Church. He was born of
distinguished parents in Rome, on the 25th of June, 1819. At the age of
eight years he entered the Roman Seminary, where he graduated with
distinction, and was ordained priest. Soon after he was appointed to the
chair of history in both his Alma Mater and the University of the
Sapienza. Later on he became professor of sacred and civil diplomacy in
the _Accademia Ecclesiastica_. Some of his pupils are now members of the
Sacred College. In 1853 he was sent as _chargé d’affaires_ to Spain,
where he remained, with honor to the Holy See and to himself, until
1856. Recalled from Spain, Pope Pius IX. himself consecrated him
Archbishop of Thessalonica _in partibus_, and appointed him nuncio to
the then existing courts of Florence and Modena. He remained in that
capacity until the annexation to Piedmont of both duchies in 1859.
Returning to Rome, he was nominated in 1860 secretary of the
Congregation of Ecclesiastical Affairs. In 1868 he was sent back to
Spain as apostolic nuncio. The Spanish Revolution of 1869 brought his
useful labors in that country to a close, and he again sought his native
city, but only to be sent to Constantinople in 1871, on the delicate
mission of arranging the serious difficulty then existing between the
Holy See and the sultan touching the Armenian Catholics in the Turkish
capital. His sound judgment, coupled with his proverbial urbanity,
enabled him to bring his mission to a successful conclusion in a short
time, and he returned to Rome laden with presents from the sultan to the
Holy Father. He was created cardinal in the consistory of December 22,
1873, and in the March of the following year was appointed prefect of
the Propaganda. His qualifications for the present office need not be
enlarged upon after a consideration of his antecedents. With the office
of Secretary of State is joined that of prefect of the Apostolic Palace,
and administrator of the revenues and possessions of the Holy See. In
the latter capacity he will be assisted by their Eminences Cardinals
Borromeo and Nina, recently nominated at his request by the Sovereign

Pope Leo XIII. has inaugurated an era of reform in the administrative
department of the Vatican. He is fast retrenching unnecessary expenses.
He has brought into the Vatican his old frugal habits which
distinguished him as the bishop of Perugia. He still uses the midnight
lamp of study, and is at the moment of the present writing busily
engaged in drawing up the allocution which he will pronounce in the
coming consistory.

In that document Leo XIII. will stand revealed in his attitude before
the Powers, friendly and hostile, of the world.

Footnote 71:

  St. Bernard.

                           NEW PUBLICATIONS.

    A LIFE OF POPE PIUS IX. By John R. G. Hassard. New York: The
    Catholic Publication Society Co. 1878.

“It is ... with the story of the private virtues of Pius IX., the
outlines of his public life, and the most important works of his
pontificate that the present biography will be chiefly concerned,” says
the author of this really excellent life of the late Pope. Mr. Hassard
has closely kept to the programme which he thus clearly set down for
himself in the beginning, and the result is one of the most
comprehensive biographies of Pius IX. that we have yet seen. The book is
by no means a bulky one, yet the story of the wonderful pontificate is
all there; the events that mark it grouped with the skill of a
thoroughly practised and efficient pen: the secret forces that impelled
those events brought to light; and the lights and shadows of the
ever-shifting scene pictured with a rapid yet bold and true hand. Mr.
Hassard has the happy gift of collecting his facts, setting them
together in the briefest and most intelligible form, and leaving the
reader to make his own comment on them. The comment is sure to be such
as the author himself would make, so clear and logical is his
arrangement of the premises. Another happy feature marks this biography:
there is an absence of gush. The author writes tenderly and with an open
admiration of his subject; but the tenderness never sinks into
sentimentality, and the admiration is always manly and reasonable. The
anecdotes are well chosen and happy, and most, if not all, of them will
be new to the general reader. The author’s study of the workings of the
secret societies, which play so prominent a part in the history of the
last pontificate, has been close and searching. His acquaintance with
European politics generally, so necessary in a biographer of Pius IX.,
is equally thorough. These necessary qualifications give a special value
to the present _Life_, while the whole story is told with a genial glow
of personal regard and admiration for its subject, none the less
charming that its tone is rationally subdued. Mr. Hassard is to be
congratulated on having produced a biography that will be cherished by
Catholic readers as we cherish and keep by us, and look at again and
again, a faithful miniature of one very dear to our hearts.

    manuscripts, with introduction and notes by Harry Buxton Forman. New
    York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co. 1878.

Were these the letters of John Brown instead of John Keats the world
would wonder, with reason, what possible motive could have induced their
publication. Well might poor Keats, were he alive, say on seeing them in
print and exposed to the public gaze, “Save me from my friends!” Their
publication is, perhaps, the greatest injury that the unfortunate poet,
or his memory, ever had to sustain. As letters, even as love-letters,
they are remarkably dull and insipid. How Miss Fanny Brawne received
them of course we do not know. Love is reputed to be blind. It is
certainly color-blind. Othello could never have looked black—at least
not very black—to Desdemona. Had he worn his native sable that poor lady
would undoubtedly have been reserved for a better fate. So it is
presumably with love-letters. They may contain wells of wit and wisdom
and eloquence and fire to the party to whom they are addressed, and who
is bewitched by love’s potion, though to all the rest of the world they
are the very embodiment of absurdity and nonsense. Titania, over whom
the spell has been wrought, sees an Adonis where everybody else only
sees honest Nick Bottom, the weaver, fittingly capped by an ass’s head.
It is an evil day for Bottom when the love potion has lost its virtue
and the scales drop from the eyes of Titania. Such an event does happen
at times to all the Bottoms and Titanias, and probably it happened to
Miss Fanny Brawne, who never became Mrs. Keats, but Mrs. Somebody Else.
If ever she had cause for a grudge against Keats she has more than
revenged it by allowing some prying busybody access to these very silly
letters which are now given to the public for the first time.

They show nothing but weakness, mental and moral, in their author. It
should be remembered, however, that they are the letters of a man marked
for death. They exhibit not a trace of the wit and humor which Keats
really had, and to which he sometimes gave expression. They are utterly
without his classic grace and profound, if pagan, sympathy with nature.
They are the expressions of morbid feeling, and of nothing else. They
can serve no purpose but to lower Keats in the estimation of all who
read them. He was never a robust character; but these exhibit him as a
weakling of weaklings, and it was simply cruel to publish them. The
whole thing is a piece of the worst kind of bookmaking we have seen. The
introduction, which is worth nothing save to perplex, occupies
sixty-seven pages; the letters, which are of about equal value, occupy
one hundred and seven pages; an appendix of nine pages sets forth “the
locality of Wentworth Place”; to all of which there are no less than six
pages of an index with such headings as these: “Arrears of Versifying to
be Cleared”; “Books lent to Miss Brawne not to be sent home”; “Brawne,
Fanny”; “Brawne, Margaret”; “Brawne, Mrs.”; “Brawne, Samuel, Jr.”;
“Brawne, Samuel, Sr.” (why not “The Brawne Family” at once?); “Café,
Keats will not sing in a”; “Flirting with Brawne”; “Front parlor,
Watching in”; “Getting Stouter”; “Laughter of Friends”; “Sore throat,
Confinement to the house with”; and so on. We do not know who Mr.
“Harry” Buxton Forman may be, but if ever it came to pass that we were
threatened with fame at the cost of a future Harry Buxton Forman to hunt
up our love-letters or butchers’ and bakers’ bills, or every scrap that
we might write in an incautious moment, we should certainly prefer to
all time our present happy obscurity.

    LIFE OF HENRI PLANCHAT, Priest of the Congregation of the Brothers
    of St. Vincent de Paul. By Maurice Maignen. Translated from the
    French, with an introductory preface. By Rev. W. H. Anderdon, S.J.
    London: Burns & Oates. (For sale by The Catholic Publication Society

This Life is a beautiful one. In reading it we are constantly reminded
of the just and faithful man—the privileged servant of God—who, amidst
the turmoil of the world, possesses his soul in peace. Henri Planchat
was born of good parents at Bourbon-Vendée on November 22, 1823. After a
holy youth he was called to the sanctuary and studied under the
venerable Sulpitians at Paris. Being ordained priest on December 22,
1850, he offered his first Mass the next day, and the day after that
“attained,” says his biographer, “the climax of his wishes by becoming a
member of the little community of Brothers of St. Vincent of Paul, in
order to live and die in the service of the working classes and of the
poor in general.” Interior recollection, humility, and the perfect
performance of the duties of his ministry raised him to a martyr’s
throne. A dreadful storm, the fury of the Commune, suddenly burst upon
this life of singular simplicity and charity, devoted to the needy and
the ignorant for upwards of twenty years, and he was basely massacred,
out of hatred to religion, in the Rue Haxo, on the 27th of May, 1871,
among that very class of people for whom he had labored so earnestly and
so long. “We are the good odor of Christ,” says the apostle, and in the
untimely yet happy death of Henri Planchat we perceive the aptness of
Bacon’s saying about adversity, that “virtue is like precious odors,
most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed.”

The Rev. Father Anderdon, S.J., has written an introductory preface to
this English translation which is short and to the point; but a scholar
like Father Anderdon should not have mistaken (preface) Poitou for
_Picardy_, which was an altogether different province of the territorial
divisions of France before the Revolution.

    ONE OF GOD’S HEROINES: A Biographical Sketch of Mother Mary Teresa
    Kelly, Foundress of the Convent of Mercy, Wexford. By Kathleen
    O’Meara. New York: The Catholic Publication Society Co. 1878.

Nothing that the very gifted author of the _Life of Frederic Ozanam_
writes can fail to attract attention or excite admiration. Miss O’Meara
seems equally happy in biography as in fiction. Her stories, such as
_Are You My Wife?_ _Alba’s Dream_, etc., etc., need no recommendation to
readers of THE CATHOLIC WORLD. In the touching little biography which
calls for the present notice Miss O’Meara has evidently performed a
labor of love. The title exactly describes the subject of the sketch.
Mother Kelly was indeed “one of God’s heroines,” called up at a time
when such heroines are peculiarly needed—in our own days. She was born
in 1813; she died on Christmas day, 1866. Her religious life was a
sustained series of heroic actions—actions none the less heroic that
they were done in a practical, unostentatious, matter-of-fact manner.
Her good works live after her, and it was a kindly and just thought to
commemorate them as they have been commemorated in the bright pages of
this tender and graceful little memoir by so skilful a hand and
appreciative a heart. No one can read _One of God’s Heroines_ without
feeling that after all the world is a brighter place than so many
writers are wont to picture it. It will always be bright and worth
living in while it can boast of such pious and charitable souls as
Mother Mary Kelly. The only fault to be found with the present sketch of
that life is its brevity.

    TO THE SUN? From the French of Jules Verne. By Edward Roth.
    Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger. 1878.

That very clever Frenchman, Jules Verne, has again given us a most
interesting and wonderful tale, which has been very successfully
translated by Mr. Roth. It is to be wished that all translations were
equally well done. Captain Hector Servadac and his servant, Ben Zoof, a
typical Frenchman, are hurled into space upon a piece of the earth’s
surface, and proceed with alarming velocity toward the sun. Of course
they are not the only ones removed from this sphere. There are some
Englishmen and Spaniards, and a Dutch Jew. We must not forget a Russian
count and his companions, who all play an important part in this
wondrous story. Verne’s object is to interest boys in the exact
sciences, as Mayne Reid’s was to awaken a corresponding interest in
natural history. At the present day, when stories for boys are becoming
so intensely vulgar, and contain so much slang which passes for wit and
playful badinage, it is a relief to find a story that is told in good
English, and that contains, moreover, in a marked degree the highest
sentiments of manly honor. There is in it an undercurrent of the
strongest feeling against the Germans, which is vented upon a Holland
Jew. The book would have been better without this. Some English officers
come in for a few hits at their national characteristics, but, on the
other hand, our young captain himself is frequently reproved by his
Mentor, the Russian count, who, of course, is nearly faultless.

The chief beauty of the book is the large amount of interesting
scientific knowledge which can be gleaned from it, if carefully perused,
and although not as amusing as _Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea_
or _A Journey to the Centre of the Earth_, it can be cheerfully
recommended to our boyish friends as full of absorbing interest and
healthy in its moral tone. It is to be followed by a sequel.

    MAY, 1874, TO MARCH, 1877. By the Rev. Theodore Noethen, Catholic
    Chaplain. Albany: Van Benthuysen Printing House. 1877.

These discourses are published in aid of a fund for increasing the
Catholic library of the prison. The author’s preface tells us that the
library contains about one hundred bound volumes and a number of
pamphlets. “An incalculable amount of good has already been effected” by
it; but the number of Catholic prisoners—nearly four hundred—makes many
more books necessary. “If,” he says, “there could be some concerted
action among the Catholic publishers of the United States, each
contributing a few books, an excellent library would soon be formed; and
it is but right that this suggestion should be acted on, for the reason
that prisoners are sent to the Albany penitentiary from all parts of the
Union.” He praises the example of a few of our leading Catholic
publishing houses, “whose generous contributions of English and German
books, together with rosaries and medals, have earned for them the
gratitude” of their unfortunate fellow-Catholics.

These sermons are short and simple, and will be found very useful to
pastors whose time is crowded with work, and particularly to those in
the country who have more than one “mission” to attend. They will also
prove excellent reading for the Catholic inmates of other penitentiary

    THE FOUR SEASONS. By Rev. J. W. Vahey. New York: The Catholic
    Publication Society Co. 1878.

This is a useful book of instruction, written in a pleasing and popular
style. The “four seasons” represent the various stages of human life
from early youth to ripe old age. The lesson inculcated is the old one,
that as a man sows so shall he reap. The author has happily contrived to
weave much practical observation and really sound knowledge into his
allegory—for such the little work may be styled. The chief object aimed
at is to arouse Catholic parents to the necessity of religiously
guarding the education of their children, and thus keeping them all
their lives within the church into which they are baptized. Father
Vahey’s volume has the warm approval of his archbishop, the Most Rev.
John M. Henni.

    THE YOUNG GIRL’S MONTH OF MAY. By the Author of _Golden Sands_. New
    York: The Catholic Publication Society Co. 1878.

_Golden Sands_, which was noticed in this magazine, has become, as it
deserved to become, a very popular book of devotion. In the present
small volume the same author has given us a work admirably adapted for
May devotions. There is a special motive, aspiration, and brief
meditation set apart for each day of the month of Mary, breathing a
happy piety and tender grace throughout. The devotions need not at all
be restricted to “young girls.” The same skilful hand that rendered
_Golden Sands_ into English has with equal happiness set this _Month of
May_ before English readers.

                          THE CATHOLIC WORLD.
                   VOL. XXVII., No. 159.—JUNE, 1878.


There is a story told of an illiterate cobbler who was wont to attend
the theological discussions in an Italian university, and who, despite
his ignorance of Latin and the points discussed, always discovered the
disputant that was worsted. To a friend who expressed surprise at his
acuteness he explained that he had noticed that the arguer who first
lost his temper was the one who also lost the victory.

The cobbler’s test admits of wide application. The consciousness of
truth begets serenity. What chronic ill-temper was there amongst the
first Protestant Reformers! And even to-day a Protestant controversial
author writes as though he were aflame with rage. The doughty Luther,
warmed, possibly, as much with the wine whose praises he so lustily sang
as with polemical zeal, hurls such names as sot, devil, and ass at his
opponents. He has declined and conjugated the word “devil” in all cases,
moods, tenses, numbers, and persons. We can imagine his broad face
purple with rage, and his bovine neck throbbing apoplectically, as he
pours out the vials of his wrath upon that “besatanized, insatanized,
and supersatanized royal ass,” Henry VIII., whose accredited book won
for the monarchs of England that most glorious, though now, alas!
inappropriate, title, “defender of the Faith.” The meek Melanchthon had
the tongue of a termagant; and Bucer must have suggested to Shakspere
some of the characteristics of Sir John Falstaff, so far as a command of
billingsgate goes; for the wordy combats of that Reformer (Bucer, we
mean) recall the conversational victories of the knight of sack.

Morbid irritability and unwholesome sensitiveness were the
characteristics of the movement known, rather vaguely, as “New England
Transcendentalism,” which, forty years ago, promised America a new life
in religion, literature, and art. This ill-temper was a forecast of
defeat. It brought the movement under the suspicion of weakness and
error. It was a voice crying in the wilderness; it had not, however, the
trumpet-tones of strength and conviction, but was rather the puny wail
of complaint and despair. We were just ceasing to be provincial and were
opening to world-wide influences. Our national boastfulness was hugely
developed, and we flattered ourselves that no pent-up Utica contracted
our powers. De Tocqueville says of us that we are a nation without
neighbors; and this, of course, means that we are without standards or
comparisons of excellence, and so, like the Buddhist devotee, we aim
after perfection by self-contemplation. New England was filled with
schoolmasters who had read Carlyle and translations of the
Encyclopædists, and who in consequence began to have doubts about what
not even Pyrrho would have considered a doubt, so far as it had any
existence in _their_ minds—religion. The stern-eyed old Calvinism which
watched them like a detective became inexpressibly odious to them, and
they hated “Romanism,” too, with all that contradictoriness that baffles
explanation. It was soon discovered that Scotch Puritanism was unfitted
for the latitude of New England, though it must be said that the
mechanical virtues and the staid habits of the people owed much to that
strange fanaticism which, whether happily or unhappily for them, has
passed away for ever.

How to throttle Puritanism, and yet preserve its corpse from
putrefaction as a convenient effigy to appeal to, became a problem for
which no solution presented itself. The American masses even to this day
venerate the Pilgrim Fathers, and no amount of historical evidence will
shake their veneration for those fierce and ignorant fanatics, whose
memory should long ago have been buried in charitable oblivion. It is
only the Catholic historian and philosopher that can to-day respect the
inkling of truth which they held, and which St. Augustine says is to be
found in every heresy and doctrinal vagary. They attempted to make the
Bible a practical working code of laws—an idea which to-day would be
greeted with laughter by their children, who have long since unlearned
veneration for the Scriptures. There is something quite noble, though
irresistibly ridiculous, in the old Puritan notions about the Bible. One
wonders that they did not revive the rite of circumcision. Protestants
are beginning to acknowledge the wisdom of the church in not making the
Scriptures as common as the almanac or the newspaper. The whole
atmosphere of New England became Judaic. Biblical names of towns
abounded. Scriptural names were given to children, with a disregard for
length and pronunciation that in after-years provoked the ire of the
bearers. The Mosaic law was ludicrously incorporated with the legal
enactments of the civil law. The old Levitical ordinances were carried
out as far as practicable, and the minister of the town just barely
refrained from donning the garments of the high-priest and decorating
himself with the _Urim_ and _Thummim_. This anomalous society survived
even the great social changes which were wrought by the Revolution.

Puritanism repressed all individual eccentricities of religious opinion.
The boasted independence of Protestantism scarcely ever _did_ exist,
except in name. Let a man to-day dissent from the opinions of the sect
in which he has been brought up, and he may as well become a Catholic,
though that is the crowning evidence of being given over to a reprobate
sense. What liberty did Luther give the Sacramentarians? What divergence
of opinion did Calvin allow in Geneva? He punished heresy with death.
What toleration was there in the Church of England for Dissenters? And
there is a quiet but effective persecution kept up in the English church
to-day against all “Romanistic tendencies.” There is not a greater
delusion prevalent than the lauded Protestant freedom of investigation
and liberty of conscience. The Catholic Church, even as judged by her
enemies, was never so intolerant as that obscurest of Protestant sects,
the Puritans of New England. The harshest charges that have been falsely
made against a merely local tribunal, the Spanish Inquisition, are
historically proved against the full ecclesiastico-civil tribunals of
Massachusetts in the punishment, not of turbulent and contumacious
heretics, but of wretched and harmless old women accused of witchcraft.
Every Protestant church is a _complexus_ of social and business
influences, all of which are cruelly and unfairly brought to bear
against any member who uses the Protestant right of private judgment. If
he will disjoin himself from church communion, though his interpretation
of the Scriptures may assure him that the Father is worshipped in
spirit, he is looked upon as an infidel and blasphemer. The petty
persecution of the Protestant church is a subject admissive of infinite

Cramped and crippled by a fierce Scotch Covenantism, what were the
aspiring minds of New England to do? A natural idea struck them. Some of
the fathers of the Revolution were infidels. That great and glorious
light of American history, Benjamin Franklin, who was held up as a model
to every New England boy, was a sort of deist. The influence of that
man’s example and writings has been one of the most baleful in our
country’s history. The fathomless depths of his pride, the cool
assurance of his “virtue,” the intensely worldly spirit of his maxims,
and his Pharisaical reward of wealth and honors in this world have been
imitated by thousands of American youth. That nauseating schedule of
“virtues” which he drew up; such hideous maxims as “Rarely use venery”
and “Imitate Jesus and Socrates,” which seem to us infinitely more
shocking in their cold calculation than a wild debauch or a hot-headed
oath; his constant prating about integrity as the high-road to health
and wealth; and, in short, the whole wretched man, body and soul,
furnished the worst yet widest-copied example of American virtue and
success. Add to such influences the schoolboy beliefs in liberty and
independence, the solemn Fourth-of-July glorification of individual
freedom, the vision of the Presidency open to the humblest youth in the
district school, and the gradual weakening of faith in the Bible,
brought about by the rapid multiplication of the poor, deistical
histories and scientific miscellanies of fifty years ago, and the end of
Puritanism was soon predicted. The heavy hand of the clergy was shaken
off. The curiosity deeply planted in the Yankee nature looked around for
a new religion. At once all the vagaries of undisciplined thought, so
long held in silence by Protestantism, burst out in Babel speech. Chaos
was come again. If Puritanism had dared, it would have sent the
“Apostles of the Newness,” as they were called, to the scaffold or the
pillory, or, at the very least, it would have pierced their tongues and
branded them with symbolic letters.

And what a revelation! We laugh at the wild rhapsodies of George Fox,
and Mr. Lecky, in his late book, _England in the Eighteenth Century_,
has rather cruelly, we think, dragged up Wesley’s and Whitefield’s
eccentricities for the laughter of a world which should rather be in
tears over the vanishing of such earnestness as both those deluded men
had; but the laughter which New England Transcendentalism evokes is
hearty and sincere, from whatever side we view it.

In the first place, there is no meaning in the name. The logician knows
what transcendental ideas are—the _ens_, _verum_, _bonum_, etc.; and
what philosophy calls the transcendental is really the most familiar, as
connected with universal ideas. But Transcendentalism in New England was
understood to mean a high, dreamy, supersensuous, and altogether
unintelligible and unexplainable state, condition, life, or religion
that escaped in the very attempt to define it. Dr. Brownson complains
that he had much difficulty in convincing a philosopher that nothing is
nothing; and we feel much in the same mental condition as that
philosopher, for we cannot see how Transcendentalism (a polysyllable
with a capital T) is nothing. It is infinitely suggestive. It is any
number of things, all beginning with capitals. It is Soul, Universe, the
Force, the Eternities, the Infinities, the βία καὶ κράτος. It is Any
Number of Greek and Latin Nouns. It is, in fact, a Great Humbug (in the
largest kind of _caps_). Mr. Barnum’s “What-is-it?” is nothing to the
Protean forms of Transcendentalism. A fair definition might be,
Puritanism run mad. There was a certain method in it, and it would be
false to say that the absurdity ever went so far in America as Fichtism
or even Hegelism in Germany. The old Puritan leaven was too strong for
that; and the Yankee common sense, which not even the wildest flights of
Transcendentalism could wholly carry from earth, instinctively rejected
the German theories. Not even Comte’s Positivism, which has quite a
following in England and an influential organ in the _Westminster
Review_, ever gained ground amongst us. We do not believe in Cosmic
Emotion or Aggregate Immortality, ponderous and unmeaning words, to
which, listening, a Yankee asks, _Heow?_

The surprising fact is how, in the name of all the philosophers and the
muse that presides over them, did New England fall a victim to the
“Apostles of the Newness”? It was worse than the Protestant Reformation,
which is said to have developed more crazy and eccentric enthusiasts
than any other physical or social convulsion recorded in history. The
shrewd Yankee genius was supposed to be insured against spiritual
lightnings. The cold and common-sense temperament of the people seemed
farthest removed from the action of “celestial ardors.” But the fierce
old Puritanism was taking only a new form. The spirit that sent Charles
I. to the scaffold was nurtured amid the gloomy woods. Only that the
sweet providence of God, mysteriously permitting and clearly punishing
evil, is gradually withdrawing even the physical presence of that
spiritually and intellectually unbalanced race, what chance would there
be for the action of his all-holy will as wrought out by the church? New
England is largely Catholic to-day, yet New Hampshire will have no
popery in her councils. “This spirit is not cast out without prayer and
fasting.” Milton, who lacks spiritual insight, fails to identify the
spirit of pride with the spirit of impurity. New England, alas! has been
filled with the spirit of pride, and of hatred against the City of God,
and lo! now she is slain by the spirit of impurity, and the stranger
within her gates has taken her place and will wear her crown. And that
stranger is the despised and hated “Romanist,” who now enjoys the
blessing foretold in that mystic Psalm whose counsels New England
despised—the blessing of progeny. It is a prophecy and a history (Ps.
cxxvi.): “Unless the Lord buildeth the house, they labor in vain that
build it. Unless the Lord keepeth the city, he watches in vain that
keepeth it. It is in vain for you to rise before the Light. Rise after
ye have sat down, and eaten the bread of sorrow. Behold, children are an
inheritance from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As
arrows in the hand of the mighty, so are the children of them that were

This is the divine “survival of the fittest.” Would to Heaven that the
solemn significance of this great Psalm could sink into the heart of New
England and cast out the foul demons that have so long lurked within it;
that, having partaken of “the bread of sorrow,” she might rise to the
contemplation of the true Light!

No sooner was the restraining power of Puritanism cast off than
Transcendentalism, like the _genie_ in the _Arabian Nights_, rose like
an exhalation, and afterward defied the command of the invokers to
return to its former limited quarters. The men who assisted at this
liberation of a powerful and anarchic spirit soon discovered, to their
fear and disgust, that they could not control it. It was worse than
Frankenstein, for it appeared to have symmetry, and the land was quickly
enamored with its beauty. Every theorist felt that the millennium had
dawned. A truce to common sense was called. The leaders of the movement
were put in the painful but logical predicament of inability to object
to the consequences of their teachings. The over-soul was reduced to
such limitations as the necessity and obligation of using bran-bread in
preference to all other forms of food. Carlyle’s _Sartor Resartus_
happening to appear at a time when the inspiration was fullest,
Sartorial heresies became the rage. Bloomer costumes asserted their
rights. The old sect of Adamites revived, and nothing but tar and
feathers, which hard-headed Calvinists bestowed with unsparing vigor and
abundance, prevented many from rushing into a state of nudity. There
arose prophets of vegetarianism, and, says Lowell, every form of
dyspepsia had its apostle. Money, the root of all evil, was condemned by
impecunious disciples, who drew largely upon treasures which they
imagined they had laid up in heaven. Furious assaults were made upon the
Bible, which was stigmatized as a worn-out and effete system. A crew of
anti-tobacconists, who regretted that they could not find a condemnation
of the weed in Scripture, were joined by a set of teetotalers, who did
not hesitate to condemn our Blessed Lord’s use of wine, and, as they
were unable to see the high, mystic significance of the Eucharist, they
vented their foolish wrath upon such of the Protestant sects as retained
wine in the Lord’s Supper, and this with such effect that it became
quite common in New England to administer bread and _milk_ instead of
wine in the communion, thus destroying even the semblance to the blood
which we are commanded to drink in remembrance of That which was shed
for our redemption, and which, in the divine Sacrifice celebrated by
Christ on Holy Thursday, was _then_ really and truly poured forth, in
the chalice, unto the remission of sin.

The revulsion from the unspeakable harshness of the Puritanic
interpretation of the Scriptures was so complete that men cast about for
an entirely new theological terminology. The transcendental pedants were
ready for the want. What was grander than the old Scandinavian
mythology? What is Jehovah to Thor? What is the Trinity to the sublimity
of the Buddhistic teachings? The cardinal doctrine of the New Testament
is the golden rule, which was familiar to the Greeks, and expressed in
our own terms by Confucius. Satan’s master-stroke was thus levelled at
the Bible, which was the word of life to the New-Englander. Take the
written word away from the Protestant, and the gates of hell have
prevailed against him. The inscriptions upon the Temple of Delphi
preserved Greek mythology for centuries. Infantine belief in the poor,
adulterated word of the Scriptures, which, after all, were never
subjected to the full action of the Protestant theory, kept alive some
remnants of Christian faith and hope. But to cast away the Bible for the
Vedas, the Krishnas, the Mahabarattas, the skalds, and the devil knows
what other vague and windy compilations of Scandinavian and Brahminical
superstitions was to inaugurate a chaotic era, the like of which history
does not record. There is no sympathy between the American mind and the
Buddhism of the East, much less between the minds of the Yankee
Transcendentalists and the wild beliefs of Danish sea-kings, who would
have knocked their brains out, as puling and scholarly creatures unfit
to wield a club or harpoon a seal, and consequently objects of the just
wrath and derision of Odin and Thor. Yet these strange mythologies,
intermixed with fatalism, Schellingism, and nature-worship, formed the
_olla-podrida_ to which New England for at least ten years sat down,
after the unsavory dish of Puritanism had been thrown out of doors.

The spiritual squalor and intellectual poverty of most
Transcendentalists were studiously kept out of sight, and the school—for
it would be blasphemy to call it a religion—pushed forward into notice
its exponents, who, under the stricter requirements of writing,
considerably toned down their sentiments, and sought to give
intelligible and literary form to their extravagances. A magazine,
called the _Dial_, was published in Boston, in 1840 and a few following
years, and notwithstanding the petulant genius of Emerson, its editor,
who only now and then yielded to the spirit of newness, the strangest
gibberish began to mumble in its columns. The following, from the
“Orphic Sayings” of Bronson Alcott, who was considered to be one
“overflowed with spiritual intimations,” is an illustration of the
jargon. It might be proposed by a weekly paper as a puzzle to the

    “The popular genesis is historical. It is written to sense, not to
    soul. Two principles, diverse and alien, intercharge the Godhead and
    sway the world by turns. God is dual. Spirit is derivative. Identity
    halts in diversity. Unity is actual merely. The poles of things are
    not integrated. Creation is globed and orbed.”

The leaders of the movement cared nothing about letting their infidelity
be known; but the mass following were loath to break completely with
their religious traditions. They did not know what _Kultur_ meant, and
had neither knowledge of, nor sympathy with, Wilhelm Meister or Werther.
The _Atlantic Monthly_, which may be regarded as having taken the place
of the _Dial_, became the repository of Transcendental thought, though,
with Yankee shrewdness and _savoir faire_, the editors managed to give
it an unsectarian and, in time, even a national character.

The _Atlantic_ never committed itself to Christianity, or, if it did so,
it was to that spurious horror which in rhyme, idea, and general
relativeness joins Jesus with Crœsus. A peculiar school of literature,
marked with the patient study of German idealism, grew up around the
_Atlantic_, which, with characteristic New England assertion, claimed to
be the critic and model of American letters. The _orphic_ style was
sternly kept down in the _Atlantic_, but it _would_ assert itself. Any
one who cares about illustrating this idea has but to turn over the
older _Atlantics_ to see the painful efforts made to paraphrase the name
of God, which, whenever boldly printed, has some title of limitation. We
have any quantity of Valhallas and mythologies, and poems about the
Christ that’s born in lilies, etc.; but it is tacitly understood that
_Kultur_ is the presiding genius. It must be admitted that New England
Transcendentalism developed, or at least engaged, considerable literary
and poetic talent. Not to speak of its High-Priest, Avatar,
Inspirationalist, Seer, or Writer (with a big W), or Whatsoever you call
him—Emerson, who has retreated from its altar and seems to be swinging
his Thor-hammer wildly in every direction, there appeared a number of
writers, all under the mystic spell. They aimed at a certain vague and
beautiful language, and were given to pluralizing nouns which are one
and singular in meaning. A certain kind of poetry, after the manner of
Shelley, but not after his genius, sprang up and monthly bedecked the
_Atlantic_ with flowers. The literary men of New England were made to
feel that inspiration sprang from Transcendentalism alone.

Nathaniel Hawthorne became its novelist, and Thoreau, whom we have been
keeping at the door so long, suggested to him the idea of Donatello in
_The Marble Faun_—a finely-organized animal, acted upon by human and
otherwise spiritual influences. Hawthorne’s morbid genius, for which we
confess we have little admiration, was unnaturally stimulated by the
Transcendental seers. He is for ever diving into the depths of inner
consciousness, and always appearing with a devil-fish instead of a
pearl. His _Note-Books_ show him to have been a spiritually diseased
man, for whom the stench and ugliness of moral fungus growths had more
charms than had the flowers. He has the besetting weakness of false
reformers, chronic irritation, quite as vehement against the pettiest
crosses and vexations of life as against its awful tragedies and crimes.
This is the evolution of Transcendentalism. It began with enthusiasm and
ended in worse than Reformation anger at everything and everybody, not
excepting itself; but it was not an anger that sins not.

Theodore Parker was its theologian by excellence, and as the one god he
believed in was himself, we suppose he may be allowed the title.
Margaret Fuller Ossoli was co-editor with Emerson of the _Dial_, and was
a strong-minded woman, whom her admirers insisted upon calling Anne
Hutchinson come again—so strong, after all, were their New England
traditions. Dwight wrote their music, if music can be limited in
expression. William Ellery Channing was the poet of Transcendentalism,
and Henry D. Thoreau was its hermit.

Thoreau was born at Concord in 1817, and he died in 1862. He was the
only man among the Transcendentalists that allowed their theories the
fullest play in him, and the incompleteness and failure of his life
cannot be concealed by all the verbiage and praise of his biographers.
Emerson’s high-flown monologues ruined him. A trick of naturalizing and
botanizing which he had, and which never reached the dignity or
usefulness of science, was exaggerated by a false praise that acted more
powerfully than any other influence in sending him into the woods as a
hermit, and among mountains as a poet-naturalist. He appears to have
cherished some crude notions about the glory and bountifulness of Nature
and her soothing and uplifting ministry, but these notions are, in the
ultimate analysis, admissive of much limitation and qualification, if
they be not altogether _ægræ somnia mentis_. The Transcendentalists
worshipped Nature and built airy altars to the Beautiful, but they did
not venture into the woods on a rainy day without thick shoes and good
umbrellas. Thoreau gave up his life to this delusory study and adoration
of Nature, and got for his worship a bronchial affection which struck
him down in the full vigor of manhood. We have no patience with an ideal
that takes us away from the comforting and companionship of our
fellow-men. What divine lessons has Nature to teach us comparable with
her manifestations in human nature? Why should we run off into solitude,
and busy ourselves with the habits of raccoons and chipmunks that are
sublimely indifferent to us? How much better is old Dr. Johnson’s
theory: “This is a world in which we have good to do, and not much time
in which to do it,” and who, on being asked by Boswell to take a walk in
the fields, answered: “Sir, one green field is like another green field.
I like to look at men.”

Life in the woods is very good for a mood or a vacation, but man escapes
from them into the city. The old proverb about solitude runs, _Aut deus,
aut lupus_—no one but a divinity or a wolf can stand solitude. One of
the weaknesses of Transcendentalism was an affectation of seclusion. It
was too good for human nature’s daily food. Man is such a bore! “O for a
lodge in some vast wilderness!” Now, all this is sinful and
unreasonable. Why should we shrink from the bad and evil and
objectionable in mankind to herd with the wild beasts of the forest? The
only thing that sanctifies solitude is the Catholic faith; and, even
when the monastic idea sought to realize complete isolation from the
world, the superiors were loath to grant permission. They felt that it
is not good for man to be alone, and St. Benedict, in his Rule, has a
reflection that there were monks lost in solitude who would have been
saved in community. The true idea is that we can be solitary in spirit
in the midst of crowds. There is no necessity of betaking ourselves to
the woods.

Very likely the high praise of isolation, as nutritive of genius, acting
upon a naturally retiring disposition, first led Thoreau to his sylvan
life. The common idea that he was a hermit or a misanthropist is fully
disproved by his biographers. In our opinion he is just the reverse, and
if we were disposed to bring in evidence we could show that he was wild
for notoriety. His private letters are more affected than Pope’s, who
wrote with an eye to publication. All Thoreau’s books are full of his
private experiences, thoughts, and emotions. He never suffers you to
escape from his overpowering personality. He never sinks the _ego_. He
reminds one of the diary of the private gentleman in Addison’s
_Spectator_: “To-day the beef was underdone. Took a walk. Dreamt about
the Grand Turk.” Thoreau is for ever telling us about his personal
feelings, his method of baking bread, and his dreams about tortoises,
etc. There is something funny in his writing six volumes for men on whom
he fancied he looked with Transcendental contempt. The fact is, he was a
fine, naturally talented, and poetic man, who was bewitched by the
theories which we have sketched; and the contest within his spirit has
led his biographers and critics into pardonable misapprehensions of his
life and aims. Left to himself and his aspirations, he would have
developed into a fair poet or a good naturalist—perchance an Agassiz or
an Audubon. He had no theological or philosophical ability, but a deep
sense of truthfulness, which made him experimentalize upon the theories
which he heard. He found it much easier than would most men to live in
the woods, to take long walks, to navigate rivers, and to collect
specimens of natural history. His studies in nature have no value to the
scientist. He was a good surveyor and liked animals. He wrote some
indifferent poetry. He described some gorgeous sunsets. He delivered an
oration on John Brown, and he managed to let the world know that he
built and lived in a hut at Walden. _Voilà tout_. He flippantly
criticised our Lord Jesus Christ, ridiculed all Christian beliefs,
preferred the company of a mouse to that of a man, of an Indian to a
white man, and died without a single throb of supernatural faith, hope,
or charity. This was a man, too, who had Catholic blood in his veins,
but who could not bear to hear the chime of church-bells without some
contemptuous remarks, and who professed himself a Buddhist without the
Indic veneration, and a worshipper of Pan without knowing or believing
that the great Pan had died for his salvation.

Two biographies are before us, one by William Ellery Channing, who was
Thoreau’s friend and companion, the other by H. A. Page, who appears to
be a biographer-in-general or by profession. Channing’s, as might be
expected, is a sort of prose _In Memoriam_; and Page’s is made
ridiculous by an attempted comparison between Thoreau and St. Francis of
Assisi, based on the saint’s love of, and miraculous power over,
animals, and the Concord man’s ability to bring a mouse out of its hole
or tickle a trout. Strange as it sounds, this comparison is carried on
through one-third of the volume. Page must be a member of a Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, for Thoreau’s kindness to brutes
he evidently regards as his finest trait. Such stuff as “the animals are
brethren of ours and undeveloped men,” and the slops of evolution in
general, are poured out in vast quantity, and the impression forced upon
the reader is that Mr. Page, who speaks of himself as an Englishman, has
no conception of Thoreau’s character, nor, indeed, of any adventurous or
sport-loving nature such as freely develops on our wide plains and high

Thoreau graduated at Harvard, but without distinction. He and his
brother taught school for a while at Concord, where the sage lives who
gave such cheering voice to Carlyle. There was a wildness in him which
nothing could subdue, yet it took no cruel or brutal form. He appears to
have had that passionate love of external nature which is so sublime as
a reality, so detestable as an affectation. He was made of the stuff of
pioneers and Indian scouts, but with rarer feeling and poetic
temperament. A water-lily was more than a water-lily to him. He had no
social theory to advocate—a delusion about him into which Page falls—but
he took to the woods as an Indian to a trail. There is nothing
Transcendental about his life, and yet he is the chief and crown of
Transcendentalists. He had a brave, high life in him, which is perfectly
intelligible and realizable, quite as much in the parlor as in the
swamp. Heroism need not leave New York for the steppes of Russia. A
naturally timid priest who anoints a small-poxed patient is as brave in
his way as Alexander or Charles XII. of Sweden. A thousand hermits have
lived before Thoreau, and made no palaver over their social discomforts,
which are, indeed, inseparable from their way of life. There is an
unpleasant _soupçon_ of Yankeeism when, in _Walden_, Thoreau lectures us
on economy. The Transcendental aurora vanishes before the prosaic

We remember having read _A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers_ and
_The Maine Woods_ during a summer vacation which we spent between Mount
Desert and Nantucket, and the sweet naturalness of those two beautiful
books sank into our heart, touched, perhaps, by the glorious yet sombre
scenery in which we moved. The jar and discord of Thoreau’s theological
opinions melted away in the harmony of the great music which he made us
hear among the hills and scenes which he loved so well, and of which he
seemed a part. Hawthorne’s keen eye, sharpened, we will not say
purified, by high æsthetic cultivation, detected in Thoreau the latent
qualities of the _Faun_ whose existence, by an anomaly, he has thrown
into modern Italy, and even intimates as wrought on by the church. We
love to think of Thoreau, not as idealized by Emerson, Channing, or
Page, nor shallowly criticised as by Lowell, but as bright and winsome,
afar from the sensuous creation of Hawthorne, and full of that boyish
love of flood and field which has made us all at one time Robinson
Crusoes. This is a most undignified descent from that ideal type of
character which Thoreau is supposed to represent; but we submit to any
reader of his books, if he did not skip his foolish theories about
religion, friendship, society, ethics, and other such themes on which
Emerson expatiates, and about which dear old Thoreau never knew anything
at all practical, and leap with him into the stream, follow the trails
he knew so well, learn the mysteries of angling and hunting, and tramp
with him through the forests, read with him his dearly-loved Homer, and,
in spite of our half-concealed laughter, listen to his wonderful
explanations of the _Beghavat-Gheeva_.

It is encouraging to notice how bravely he shakes off half the nonsense
of Transcendentalism, though bound by the wiles of Merlin, who lived
only two miles from Walden. Transcendentalism gave no religion. It was
even hollower than Rousseau’s _Contrat Social_ and _Émile_, in which
writings the wicked old Voltaire said that Jean Jacques was so earnest
in converting us back to nature that he almost persuaded us to go upon
all fours. Even Emerson confesses to the failure of Thoreau’s life.
“Pounding beans,” says that wise old man, with the air of a Persian
sage—a character which he frequently adopts, especially when he
recommends some thousand-dollar Persian book to us as infinitely
superior to the New Testament,—“Pounding beans,” says he, referring to
poor Thoreau’s attempt to carry out his Transcendentalism, “_may_ lead
to pounding thrones; but what if a man spends all his life pounding

And so, in the style of the tellers of fairy stories, we say that poor
Thoreau continued all his life pounding beans, but without caring very
much for the bearing of beans upon the eternities, splendors, and
thrones, and that he lived a cheerful and wholesome, natural life,
though rather an uncomfortable one, in his woods and among his beasts
and flowers; that he was kind and gentle to beasts, but not to God or to
man, of whom he seemed to be afraid, which was a mistake; and after he
was dead he was made out to be a great philosopher, a golden poet, a
great social theorist, and a Transcendental saint, which is another

With Thoreau died the Transcendental hermit, and, so far as human nature
and a happy combination of character and circumstance could permit, the
only truly ideal man that Transcendentalism has produced. Yet how far he
falls below the most commonplace monk in spiritual range and power and
aim! No great spiritual fire burns in his bosom; nor will any
Montalembert be attracted to his memory. There was not the light of
Christian faith or love upon his life, which is distinguished from the
savage’s only by its superior mental civilization and its relation to
that civilization which he so humorously yet contradictorily despised.
With Emerson, who has now convinced himself of the absurdity of
immortality, its greatest writer will die. The _Kulturkampf_ of Germany,
which New England introduced into America, cannot survive the literary
changes which take place every half-century. Emerson will fade into
oblivion, and even now he is no longer listened to. But there is that in
Thoreau’s books which gives vitality to old Walton’s _Angler_, and the
traveller on the Concord and through Maine will recall the memory of
Thoreau, no longer, we hope, to be associated with the eclipse of his
false philosophy, but seen bright and vivid in that sunshine and beauty
he loved so well.

Footnote 72:

  _Thoreau, the Poet-Naturalist._ By W. E. Channing. Boston: Roberts
  Brothers. 1873.

  _Thoreau: his Life and Aims._ A Study. By H. A. Page. Boston: J. R.
  Osgood & Co. 1877.

                          THE FOUNTAIN’S SONG.

    Into the narrow basin
      Falleth the ceaseless rain,
    Echo of sweet-voiced river
      Singing through mountain glen,
    Breaking amid the footfalls
      Filling the city square,
    Mingling with childhood’s clamor
      Piercing the heavy air:
    Shrill-sounding, childish voices
      Gathered from dust-grimed street,
    Pale little wondering faces,
      Swift little shoeless feet;
    Coral-stained cheeks of olive,
      Lips where all roses melt,
    Eyes like the heavens’ zenith—
      Latin, Teuton, and Celt
    Crowding with eager glances
      Where the wide bowl lies spread,
    Watching the gold-fish glimmer,
      Giving the turtles bread:
    Eyes that of mountain streamlet
      Never the light have known,
    Ears that of mountain music
      Know not a single tone,
    Feet that have never clambered
      Clinging to mossy stone,
    Hands that the palest harebell
      Never have called their own.

    Glittering in the sunshine
      Droppeth the fountain’s rain;
    Glistening in the moonlight,
      Singing its mountain strain.
    Twittering round the basins
      Sparrows sit in a line,
    Dip in the ruffled water,
      Scatter its jewels fine.
    Rests in the earth-bound basin
      Depth of the starlit sky,
    Shadows of noon and twilight
      Soft on the waters lie.
    Fresh on the clover circle
      Falleth the wind-driven spray,
    Keeping an April greenness
      All through the August day.
    Meet that St. Mary’s gable,
      Bearing the cross, should crown
    This little glimpse of freshness
      Set in the sun-parched town;
    Meet that St. Mary’s altar
      Rise with its Sacrifice
    Here where the city’s poor ones
      Seek pure breath from the skies.

    E’er in the dropping water
      Filling the pool below
    Voices I hear that never
      Pure mountain-stream can know:
    Singeth the city fountain
      Songs that are all its own,
    Though for its needs it borrow
      Music the hills have known:
    Sings it of sin forgiven,
      Sorrow-tossed heart at rest,
    Wearisome load soft lifted,
      Soul of all bliss possessed.
    Chanteth the silver murmur
      Notes of the vesper hymn;
    Gleams in the moonlit showers
      Twinkle of taper dim
    Burning before God’s altar
      Faithful through day and night,
    In its unbroken service
      Token of holier light.
    Bells rung at Benediction
      Mingle their sacred chime
    Clear in the solemn rhythm
      Wherewith the fountain keeps time.

    Gifts of our Blessed Mother,
      Lady of God’s dear Grace,
    Fall with the falling waters—
      Heavenly dew of peace.
    Wind-swept spray of the fountain
     Keeping the clover green,
    Telleth the grace of sorrow
      Clothing a soul serene;
    Bubbles breaking in sunshine—
      Heaven-reflecting spheres—
    Shine like joy-freighted eyelids:
      Heart finding speech in tears.
    Quarrelsome little sparrows
      Wear the white wings of dove,
    Brooding o’er mystical waters,
      Fusing the waves with love.
    So doth the fountain whisper
      Thoughts of all sorrow and joy,
    Sparkle like blessèd water
      Cleansing from sin’s alloy:
    Voices of mountain and altar
      Blend in its ceaseless rain,
    Holding my soul that listens
      Bound in a subtle chain.



“Let man return to God the same way in which he turned from him; and as
the love of created beauty made him lose sight of the Creator, so let
the beauty of the creature lead him back to the beauty of the
Creator.”—_St. Isidore of Seville._

Let others who visit the magnificent range of the Pyrenees tell of the
grandeur of the scenery and the beneficence of the mineral waters; let
them recount the days of border warfare, when Christian and Saracen
fought in the narrow passes, and Charlemagne, and Roland, and all the
mighty peers awoke the echoes of the mountains; we will seek out the
traces of those unlaurelled and, for the most part, nameless heroes who
overcame the world and ended their days in the lonely caves and cells
that are to be found all along the chain from the Mediterranean Sea to
the Bay of Biscay. Many towns and villages of southwestern France owe
their origin to some such cell. The hermit at first only built one large
enough for himself, in which he set up a cross and rude statue of the
Virgin. Other souls, longing for solitude, came to knock at his door.
The cell was enlarged. An oratory was erected. People came to pray
therein and bring their offerings. The oratory grew into a chapel. The
hermitage became a monastery, around which families gradually took
shelter, and the hamlet thus formed sometimes grew into a town. Lombez,
St. Papoul, St. Sever, and many other places owe their origin to some
poor hermit. The names of a few of these holy anchorites are still
glorious in these mountains, like those of St. Orens, St. Savin, and St.
Aventin, but most of them are hidden as their lives were, and as they
desired them to be. Many of the chapels connected with their cells have
acquired a local celebrity and are frequented by the people of the
neighboring villages. This is a natural tribute to the memory of the
saintly men to whom their fathers used to come when in need of prayer or
spiritual counsel. The influence of such men on the rural population
around was incalculable, with their lessons of the lowly virtues
enforced by constant example. Sometimes not only the peasant but the
neighboring lord would come with his _Dic mihi verbum_, and go away with
new views of life and its great aims. King Perceforest, in his lessons
to his knights, said: “I have graven on my memory what a hermit a long
time ago said to me by way of admonition—that should I possess as much
of the earth as Alexander, as much wisdom as Solomon, and as much valor
as the brave Hector of Troy, pride alone, if it reigned in my bosom,
would outweigh all these advantages.”

Many of these hermitages and oratories are

    “Umbrageous grots and caves
    Of cool recess”

that have been consecrated to religious purposes from the first
introduction of Christianity. In the valley of the Neste is one of these
grottoes, to which you ascend by steps hewn in the cliff. The opening is
to the west, and the altar, cut out of the live rock, is turned duly to
the east, where the perpetual Oblation was first offered. The sacred
stone of sacrifice has been carefully preserved. There is a similar cave
near Argelés also with its altar to the east.

Whether cave or cell, these hermitages are nearly all remarkable not
only for their solitude but for the beauty of their situation. Sometimes
they are in a fertile valley amid whispering leaves and wild flowers
that give out sweet thoughts with their odors; sometimes ’mid the deep
umbrage of the green hillside, vocal with birds, perchance the
nightingale that

      “Shuns the noise of folly,
    Most musical, most melancholy”;

or on the border of a mountain stream with no noise there

    “But that of falling water, friend to thought”;

or some secluded tarn whose tideless waters, like the soul stilled to
all human passions, give back an undisturbed image of the sky; but
oftener on some lofty crag, gray and melancholy, with scarce a spray for
bird to light on, where amid heat of summer and winter frosts the hermit
grew “content in heavenward musings,” like him, sung by Dante, on that
stony ridge of Catria

        “Sacred to the lonely Eremite,
    For worship set apart and holy things.”

Every one in his hours of deepest feeling, whether of love, or grief, or
devotion, has longed for some such retreat where he might nurse it in
solitude. To every soul of any sensibility that has lived and
suffered—and is it not all one?—it appeals with a force proportioned to
the deep solitude he has already passed through, and his sense of that
solitude he knows must one day be encountered. There is something
healing and sustaining in this contact with nature, but it is only
experienced by him who has that “inward eye which,” says Cowley, “is the
bliss of solitude.”

    “The common air, the earth, the skies,
    To him are opening Paradise.”

“But solitude, when created by God,” says Lacordaire, “has a companion
from whom it is never separated: it is Poverty. To be solitary and poor
is the secret of the heroic in soul. To live on a little, and with few
associates; to maintain the integrity of the conscience by limiting the
wants of the body, and giving unlimited satisfaction to the soul, is the
means of developing every manly virtue, and that which in pagan
antiquity was a rare and noble exception has become under the law of
Christ an example given by multitudes.”

The cells of these mountain hermits are therefore invariably of extreme
simplicity. “Prayer all their business, all their pleasure praise,” the
mere necessities of the body only were yielded to.

    “The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
    His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well.”

There were once more than a thousand hermitages on both sides of the
Pyrenees, most of which have been swept away in the different
revolutions. Several of them, however, have been restored, and a great
number of the chapels connected with them have become popular places of
devotion. This is especially the case in the Pyrénées Orientales. M.
Just, who was our guide to so many of them, and on whom we draw freely
in our narration, gives nearly forty of ancient origin that still exist
in Roussillon, the chapels of which are open to the public and greatly
frequented, at least on certain festivals of the year. The people love
the altars where erst their fathers prayed, and have restored most of
those which fell into ruin at the Revolution. One feels, in going from
one of these holy places to another, as if in the true garden of the
Lord filled with flowers of aromatic sweetness. The “balm-breathing
Orient” has nothing to surpass them. Let us pass several of them in
review, and catch, if possible, the secrets of their spicy nests.

There is the hermitage of Notre Dame de Peña—Our Lady of the Peak—on a
barren mountain, bristling with needles, not far from the source of the
Aude. Nothing grows on these rocky cliffs, except here and there, in the
crevices and hollows, tufts of fragrant lavender, thyme, and rosemary,
and the box, the odor of which, as Holmes says, suggests eternity. A
rough ascent, cut in the rock, leads up to the hermitage, with a little
oratory here and there by the wayside, and a saint in the niche,
reminding the visitor to prepare his heart to draw near the altar of the
Mother of God. There is a narrow terrace before the chapel, from which
you look down on the wild Agly rushing along at the foot of the mountain
over its rough bed of schist. On the farther shore is the little village
of Cases-de-Peña, surrounded by hills that in spite of the aridness of
the soil are covered with vines, almond-trees, and the olive. In the
distance is Cape Leucate, where the low range of the Corbières shoots
forward into the very sea. The hermitage is in a most picturesque spot,
and there is a stern severity about the bare gray cliffs not without its
charm. An unbroken silence reigns here, except on certain festivals of
the Virgin. Directly behind, a sharp needle springs up, called the Salt
de la Donzella, with ruins on the summit, of which no history
remains.[73] These cliffs can be seen far out at sea, and the mariner,
when he comes into the basin of St. Laurent, looks up to invoke Our Lady
of the Peak:

“Beloved is the Virgin of us. Every day we pray to her at the sound of
the Angelus bell. Her image is the sail that impels our bark toward the
flowery shore. O the Virgin! the Virgin! We need her now; we need her
everywhere, and at all times!”[74]

Notre Dame de Peña is one of those Madonnas, so numerous in the
Pyrenees, that were hidden in the time of the Moors or Huguenots, and,
being forgotten, were brought to light in some marvellous manner. In
this pastoral region it was almost always by means of the flocks or
herds, whereas in Spain such images were generally found surrounded by
light, music, and odors. In this case the lowing of cattle around a
cliff of perilous height led to the discovery of the statue in a cave.
When this took place, or when the chapel was built to receive the holy
image, is not known. But the date on the cistern hollowed in the rock
shows that it was already here at the beginning of the fifteenth
century: “In the year 1414 this cistern was made by Bn. Angles, a mason
of Perpignan, by the alms of charitable people.” The chapel formerly had
no doors; consequently, any one could enter, day or night. The peasants
used to say of the Madonna: “_No quiere estar cerrada esta imagen_”—This
image is not willing to be shut up. But later, in order to keep animals
out, a wall was built around it, with a gate that any one could
unfasten. In old times there were many _ex-votos_ in the chapel, and
silver reliquaries, one of which contained a fragment of the tomb at
which Christ wept, and another of the pillar to which he was bound. And
the Virgin had thirteen veils broidered with silk and garnished with
silver, and a still greater number of robes, it being the custom here,
as in Spain, to clothe the sacred st